Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava – A praise of the manifestation of the Vraja-pastimes
(Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī)
yan mādhurī divyasudhārasābdheḥ
smṛteḥ kaṇenāpy atilolitātmā |
padmair vrajasthān akhilān vrajaṁ ca
natvā svanāthau bata tau didṛkṣe ||3||
I greatly yearn to see My most beloved king and queen, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, the memory of a single drop from the nectar ocean of Whose sweetness has made my heart very eager to see Them. Thus through these verses I bow down to Their abode Vraja and its inhabitants.
Stavāmṛta kaṇā vyākhyā (commentary of Sri Ananta das Babaji)
How great Śrīpāda Raghunātha’s passionate devotion was, which caused such a great yearning for bhajana in his old age.
His extraordinary renunciation and his harsh adherence to the regulative principles of bhajana simultaneously arise in one place with the tenderness of his loving devotion, always serving as a shining example for the rāga-bhaktas like the pole star Deeply absorbed in bhajana, Śrī Raghunātha is weeping on the bank of Rādhākuṇḍa. He cannot remain alive without seeing the Lord directly. Occasionally a transcendental vision of the sweetness of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava awakens in him Whose relish expands a supernatural bliss in his consciousness, and then a moment later the vision ends and his lamentations double in intensity.
It is comparable to the momentary lightning strike in a clouded new moon night, which (afterwards) doubles the darkness of the traveller’s eyes. What a wonderful condition of bhāva awakens when the premika once relishes the sweetness of the Lord through his eyes and then this vision vanishes.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda describes this in his Mādhurya-Kādambinī-grantha (8th shower):
…hanta hanta kena vā anirvacanīya bhāgyena svayaṁ hasta prāpto nidhir ajani, kena vā mahāparādhena tataś cyutam iti, niścetuṁ niścetano’haṁ na prabhavāmi tad bādhāvādhitadhīḥ kva yāmi kiṁ vā karomi kam upāyam atra kam uha vā pṛcchāmi mahā-śūnyam iva nirātmakam iva niḥśaraṇam iva dāva pluṣṭam iva māṁ nigilad iva tribhuvanam avaloke
“Alas! Alas! By some indescribable stroke of luck I have gotten this jewel in my hand! What offence did I commit that made it fall from my hand again? I am ignorant, so I cannot ascertain anything myself! I’ve become like a great fool! Where shall I go? What shall I do? Whom shall I ask for the solution to this? I feel completely empty as if bereft of all relatives, without shelter as if burning in a forest fire! It is as if the three worlds are devouring me!”
If a sādhana-siddha-premika experiences this out of want for the sweetness of the Lord, one can easily imagine how powerful the condition of separation of a nitya-siddha-parikara like Śrīpāda Raghunātha must be.
When his transcendental visions vanish, he feels a strong want and even during such sphuraṇa-(unfolding) visions he feels a deep hankering for the direct attainment of the deity. In such a condition Śrīpāda Raghunātha praised Śrīdhāma Vraja and the eternal associates of the Lord in this Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava, as a means to directly attain the Lord.
In this verse he says: yan mādhurī divya sudhā rasābdheḥ smṛteḥ kaṇenāpyati lolitātmā
“I have become extremely greedy after remembering the flavour of even one drop from the divine sweet nectarocean of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava.”
The divine nectar of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava’s sweetness is like a billowing ocean. When Śrīpāda relishes a sphuraṇa-vision of even one drop of this nectar he becomes overwhelmed. Because he attracts everyone from the material universes up to Vaikuṇṭha and Goloka, from the mobile and immobile creatures up to Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa and even Himself, the Lord of Goloka, with His wonderful sweetness, He is named ‘Kṛṣṇa’.
vṛndāvane aprākṛta navīna madana;
kāma gāyatrī kāma bīje yāra upāsana
puruṣa yoṣit kibā sthāvara jaṅgama;
sarva cittākarṣaka sākṣān manmatha madana
śṛṅgāra rasarājamaya mūrtidhara;
ataeva ātma paryanta sarva citta hara
“The transcendental youthful Cupid of Vṛndāvana is worshipped with the Kāma-Gāyatrī-mantra with the Kāma-bīja. He attracts men and women, mobile and immobile creatures, for He is the enchanter of Cupid Himself. He is the embodiment of the king of flavours, the erotic flavour, and thus He steals even His own mind away!” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 8)
Along with His all-attractive, ever fresh dense śyāma-beauty, the tender Śyāmasundara Who is an ocean of sweetness and the root cause of all lustre, there is premera svarūpa deha prema vibhāvita; kṛṣṇera preyasī śreṣṭhā jagate vidita.
Who can describe the power of the clash of the billowing waves of this incomparable ocean of sweetness, the golden embodiment of mahābhāva, that shines like fresh Gorocana-pigments, Kṛṣṇa’s dear most beloved Śrīmatī Vārṣabānavī, with the Kṛṣṇa-ocean?
Simply by remembering one drop of this, Śrī Raghunātha becomes exceedingly greedy. Śrīmat Jīva Gosvāmīpāda gives a slight hint of this self-manifest sweetness of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava:
gaura śyāma rucojjvalābhir amalair akṣnor vilāsotsavair
nṛtyantībhir aśeṣa mādana kalā vaidagdhya digdhātmabhiḥ
anyonya priyatā sudhā parimala stomonmadābhiḥ sadā
Rādhā-Mādhava mādhurībhir abhitaś cittaṁ mamākramyatām
“May Rādhā and Mādhava, Who are shining with a golden and bluish splendor, Whose eyes are dancing in a spotless festival of play, Who are anointed with endless cleverness in erotic artistry, and Who are greatly delighted by the nectarean fragrance of Their mutual dearness, attack my mind in all respects with Their sweetness.” (Śrī Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha 581)
The purport of this verse is:
“May the combined self manifest, indescribable forms of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava arise in my consciousness in such a way that not even the slightest other awareness will remain. May that sweetness never leave my consciousness!” – This is Śrīpāda’s wish.
He describes this sweetness as a bright golden and bluish splendor. In other words – The sapphire-like luster of Śyāma and the golden luster of Śrī Rādhā illuminate all directions. Because of being with the beloved, Śrī Rādhā’s right eye and Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s left eye are gladdened by wonderful gestures, dancing with indescribable sweetness. The endless manifesting expertise of Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī’s mādanākhya-mahābhāva is as if surrounding Their sublime bodies.
In other words, Their bodies are adorned by the sweetness of innumerable wonderful pastimes like kissing and embracing, which are the visible signs of that mādana-bhāva from which innumerable pastimes become revealed, generating all bhāvas, from rati upto mahābhāva.
Then again They are gladdened by the fragrance of sweetness that anoints Them with the unguents of mutual love and enchants all the people. In other words, just as the vermilion and other unguents that adorn a hero and heroine’s body makes their bodies fragrant and delights Their bystanding girlfriends, similarly the fragrance of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava’s mutual love supremely delights Their sakhīs.
Śrīmat Jīva Gosvāmī said: “May this sweetness attack my consciousness in all respects!”
The remembrance of even a drop of this ocean of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava’s very powerful sweetness greatly overwhelms Śrīpāda Raghunātha’s heart and mind. He becomes unsteady when great sacred greed awakens within him. Without directly being able to relish this sweetness he won’t be able to stay alive. jala vinā yeno mīna, duḥka pāya āyuḥ hīna (Like a fish out of water I suffer like I am lifeless). Such is his condition. He cannot spend any more time without darśana.
Being thus helpless in his desire to see Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, his king and queen, he praises and honours Śrī Vraja-dhāma and its inhabitants in these verses, seeing this as the best way to attain Their darśana. padyair vrajasthān akhilān vrajaṁ ca, natvā svanāthau bata tau didṛkṣe. Hence this stava is called Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava. When Vraja-dhāma and the inhabitants of Vraja are merciful, he will easily attain the direct audience of his most beloved Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, this is Śrī Raghunātha’s unswayable faith.
yāṅdera mādhurī sindhu, smari tāra eka bindu
ati lubdha hoiyāchi āmi.
katipaya śloka kore, vraja-dhāma parikare,
bhakti bhare tāṅhā sabe nami.
“Because I have become very greedy even by remembering a mere drop of the ocean of Their beauty, I am now bowing down with devotion to Vraja-dhāma and Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s associates there in these following verses.”
ei vāñchā hoy prāṇe, nitya kori daraśane,
prāṇa mora yugala kiśora.
vrajavāsi saṅge vāsa, ei mātra abhilāṣa,
(seve) ei āśā pūrṇa koro mora
“I cherish the desire in my heart to always see Them, for the Yugala Kiśora are my very life. I desire only to live with the Vrajavāsīs. Please fulfill these desires (for service)!”
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