rādhā-nāma-sudhā-rasaṁ rasayituṁ jihvāstu me vihvalā
pādau tat-pada-kaṅkitāsu caratāṁ vṛndaṭavī-vīthiṣu
tat-karmaiva karaḥ karotu hṛdayaṁ tasyāḥ padaṁ dhyāyatāṁ
tad-bhāvotsavataḥ paraṁ bhavatu me tat-prāṇa-nāthe ratiḥ
May my tongue become overwhelmed by relishing the nectarean flavour of Radha’s holy name, may my feet walk over Vrindavan’s pathways that are marked with Her footprints, may my hands be engaged only in Her menial service, may my heart meditate on Her lotus feet, and may I develop love for the Lord of Her life (Krishna) through Her festival of emotions. (Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi 142)
First of all Shripad, who is, just like in the previous verse, in sādhakāveśa (external consciousness), says: rādhā-nāma-sudhā-rasaṁ rasayituṁ jihvāstu me vihvalā “May my tongue become overwhelmed by relishing the nectar of Radha’s holy name!” The best way to attain prema is nama sankirtana. Actually, when the tongue becomes overwhelmed by chanting the holy name, all the other senses also become overwhelmed by its sweetness. This is what Sanatan Goswami says in Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta (2.3.162):
ekasminn indriye prādurbhūtam nāmāmṛtaṁ rasaiḥ
āplāvayati sarvāṇīndriyāṇi madhurair nijaiḥ
Furthermore, Sanatan Goswami comments nijaiḥ svakīyaiḥ svābhāvikair vā “The holy name naturally contains all of its own sweetness.”
Sri Rupa Gosvami writes in his Kṛṣṇa-nāma-stotram:
tvam kṛṣṇa nāma kāmaṁ sphura me rasane rasena sadā
O Holy name of Krishna! You are the very life of Narada Muni’s vina and the stream of your sweetness is the quintessence of nectar! Please always give that savor to my tongue!
But even Krishna is overwhelmed when his tongue relishes the nectar of Radha’s name! When you love somebody, it is natural that you love that person’s name also. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes in Act VI of Vidagdha-mādhava that when Krishna was burning in the forest fire of separation from Sri Radha, his comrade Madhumangala consoled Him by writing the two syllables rā-dhā on a leaf and showing it to him, saying: “O Friend, accept Your Radha!”
Krishna was very happy when he saw the syllables on the leaf and said: “O friend! You have fully satisfied me with this gift! Because:
kramāt kakṣām akṣṇoḥ parisara-bhuvaṁ vā śravaṇayor
manāg adhyārūḍhaṁ praṇayi-janānām akṣara-padam|
kam apy antas toṣaṁ vitarad-avilambād anupadaṁ
nisargād viśveṣāṁ hṛdaya-padavīm utsukayati ||
Who will not be happy when the name of one’s beloved comes to the edges of the eyes or the ears? The hearts of all the people of the world are naturally always eager for this!
Offenders cannot taste the natural sweetness of the holy name, but the holy name destroys the offenses of a surrendered chanter and becomes self-manifest on his tongue. When a devotee does not experience any taste, he should humbly pray: “O Holy name! O Chintamani jewel! O Lord! O form of topmost bliss! Reveal Your spotless, blissful form on my tongue! You are the most merciful descent in the form of syllables! Please bless this fallen soul with a little taste of Your endless sweetness!” Thus the sincere devotee will surely be blessed with some sweet taste (sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ).
Then Shripad says: pādau tat-pada-kaṅkitāsu caratāṁ vṛndaṭavī-vīthiṣu: “Let my feet walk over the pathways of Vrindavan, that are marked by her lotus feet! May I experience the fact that my Ishwari always walks here! Each speck of Vraja’s dust is sprinkled with the honey of her supreme love, and even great devotees like Uddhava prayed for a shower of that dust over their heads! When I remember this I will surely be blessed with a life full of bhajana in Vraja!”
tat-karmaiva karaḥ karotu: “May my hands be engaged in Radha’s service. My hands and feet have been serving so many persons. Let them become stunned now and become solely engaged in Sri Radha’s service.”
hṛdayaṁ tasyāḥ padaṁ dhyāyatāṁ: “May my heart meditate on Sri Radha’s lotus feet, as well as on Her whole form, Her pastimes and Her qualities. My mind is always restlessly wandering away from it’s sweet meditation on Sri Radha! If it could only acquire some taste for Her lotus feet, then it would remain calm and fixed there! Not only the tongue, the hands, the feet and the mind should be engaged, but all the other senses as well! Let my eyes look at beautiful Radha Kund and at Radha’s devotees, let my nose smell the incense offered to Her, and let my ears hear the singing of Her holy names, pastimes and attributes!”
Someone may say: “Shripad! Why don’t You worship Govinda while living in Vrindavan?” As an answer he says: tad-bhāvotsavataḥ paraṁ bhavatu me tat-prāṇa-nāthe ratiḥ: When I surrender exclusively to Sri Radha’s lotus feet, my worship of Govinda will automatically be more successful! Knowing me to be the greatest object of Sri Radha’s mercy, Govinda will automatically come to me and give me even more mercy than he gives to his own devotees (prītaḥ svaṁ bhajato’pi, RRSN 118)! Rather, since Sri Radha is hard to attain even for him, Sri Govinda will always need me in order to get her mercy also! I will not need him, but he will need me!”
Here the word bhāvotsava means mañjari bhāva, a preference for Sri Radha over Sri Krishna (bhāvollāsa rati), and a strong feeling of possessiveness towards her. The manjaris love Krishna only because he is connected to Sri Radha.
Sri Rupa Gosvami concludes his Cātu-puṣpānjali (Verse 23) by praying:
karuṇāṁ muhur arthaye paraṁ
tava vṛndāvana-cakravartini |
api keśaripor yathā bhavet
sa caṭu-prārthana-bhājanaṁ janaḥ ||
O Queen of Vrindavan! I pray for Your mercy again and again, so that I may once become the object of Krishna’s flattering prayers! I will be your maidservant and when You are angry with Krishna He will have to flatter me by saying: “O Sundari (beautiful girl) O merciful one! (dayavati)! Please please Your Svamini for Me, so that the fire of My separation from Her will be extinguished!” Then I will take Him by the hand and bring Him to You!” Such will be our love for Govinda in the festival of Radha’s bhāva! This is the greatest aspiration for a Gaudiya Vaishnava!
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