ha! Is this some kind of beautiful end result
of great accumulations of pious works?
Is it the dance of God’s compassion and charity
that appears before me in such wondrous form?
Indeed, what a amazing attainment it is!
Or perhaps it is not so astonishing at all:
This is the land of Vrindavan, a most elevated substance,
which enchants Lakshmi, Brahma, Siva, and all the gods with its natural qualities
and has now itself appeared on this earth.
āḥ kīdṛk puṇya-rāśeḥ supariṇatir iyaṁ keyam āścarya-rūpā
kāruṇyaudārya-līlā sphurati bhagavataḥ ko nu lābho’dbhuto’yam |
yad vā nāścaryam etan nija-sahaja-guṇa-mohita-śrī-vidhīśādy
atyuccair vastu vṛndāvanam idam avanau yat svayaṁ prādurāste ||
Prabodhananda Saraswati has had a chain of sphurtis in the previous verses culminating in a vision of the sakhis of Radha, who serve the Divine Couple in such intimacy. Radha, Krishna and the sakhis, but it was all simply to glorify this place, Vrindavan. Without Vrindavan, the Divine Couple and their closest companions, who are nevertheless infinite in number, would have nowhere to exist. The Divine Couple and their companions and the Dham form one Complete Whole, none able to exist without the others.
Now he reflects on that chain of visions. It is a common occurrence that on experiencing some new pleasure or emotion, the nature of the mind is to inquire into the nature of that experience. As soon as the mind separates itself from the experience, the experience ceases. Then it becomes only a memory which is subjected to the mind’s continuous proddings.
Prabodhananda does not lament the loss of his vision, but rather his response is to rejoice in the ecstasy of what he has seen and felt, and not what he has lost. He exults! He rises from his seat of meditation and asks, “What was that?”
And is first answer is to say, “Whatever good works I did over many lifetimes have finally borne fruit.”
But then, in humility, he recognizes that nothing he could possibly have done could merit such a Divine Vision, such a fullness of being. How can the good of this world purchase something that lies so far beyond it? And so he thinks, “It is God’s own pastime of compassion and generosity taking this amazing form.” (bhagavataḥ āścarya-rūpā kāruṇyaudārya-līlā sphurati.) And then again, he reflects what a wondrous attainment this is!
But then he thinks, perhaps not. Perhaps it is not such a great miracle if only we understand the nature of this land of Vrindavan. The land of Braj is a transcendental dimension that is craved for by the gods for whom there is nothing unattainable in this world. If it should choose to enter this world, will its power to bestow prema be diminished for one who takes shelter of her?
The very purpose of Vrindavan is to be the play garden of the Divine Couple and their friends. It is not different from them. How can one be in Vrindavan and not see this pastime going on? Yes, you have had great good fortune to come to Vrindavan, and yes it is the generous and benevolent gift of the highest God! Glory be to Him and I fall to the earth in gratitude!
But more than that it is the natural substance of the prema-maya Divine Couple; it naturally exudes prema, like the flowing river or the shining moon. Thoughts of good fortune and gratitude are almost completely inundated in the waves of bliss.
svānandena plāvayitvā sakhīś ca |
śaśvad viśvaṁ plāvayan suprasiddhaḥ
so’yaṁ buddhiṁ naḥ samiddhāṁ karotu ||
That prema that inundates the Duo,
Radha and Krishna, with its own bliss,
and the sakhis as well,
is that very prema well known to inundate the world:
May it enflame my intelligence!