May Śeṣa-śāyī Sri Krishna, whose tender and enchanting lotus feet Sri Radha wanted to place on her breasts for her own happiness, but then changed her mind because she was afraid that her breasts were too hard for his feet, arrange for my staying in the enchanting meadows of Vraja.
yasya śrīmac-caraṇa-kamale komale komalāpi
śrī-rādhoccair nija-sukha-kṛte sannayantī kucāgre
bhītāpy ārād atha nahi dadhāty asya kārkaśya-doṣāt
sa śrī-goṣṭhe prathayatu sadā śeṣa-śāyī sthitiṁ naḥ
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises Śeṣa-śāyī (which is at the northernmost tip of Braj Mandal, just beyond Kosi). Here Sri Krishna lay down on the bed of Ananta just for fun and Sri Radharani served his lotus feet just as Lakṣmīdevī serves the lotus feet of Śeṣa-śāyī Bhagavān.
e śeṣa-śāyī kṣīra samudra ethāte,
kautuke śuilā kṛṣṇa ananta śayyāte;
śrī rādhikā pāda-padma koroye sevana,
ye ānanda hoilo tāhā nā yāya varṇana
“Here at Śeṣa-śāyī is the Kṣīra Samudra (Milk-ocean) where Krishna lay on the snake-bed Ananta just for fun. The bliss that was felt when Sri Radhika then served his lotus feet cannot be described.” (Bhakti Ratnākara)
Raghunath Das Goswami says: “When Sri Radharani served Sri Krishna’s lotus feet she wanted to keep these feet on her breasts for her own happiness.” Here own happiness means the happiness that nourishes Sri Krishna’s happiness, because the gopīs can never have any other purpose than Sri Krishna’s happiness.
ātma sukha duḥke gopīra nāhiko vicāra;
kṛṣṇa sukha hetu ceṣṭā mano vyavahāra.
kṛṣṇa lāgi āra sab kori parityāga;
kṛṣṇa sukha hetu kore śuddha anurāga
“The gopīs do not consider their own happiness or distress. All their thoughts and activities are aimed at pleasing Krishna. For Krishna they have given up everything else. Their pure passionate love exists only for Krishna’s happiness.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta)
Hence, wherever there is a mentioning of the gopīs’ personal happiness it must always be understood to be Krishna’s happiness.
ataeva sei sukha kṛṣṇa sukha poṣe;
ei hetu gopī preme nāhi kāma doṣe
“Therefore this happiness nourishes Krishna’s happiness, hence there is no fault of lust in the love of the gopīs.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta)
This secret is revealed in this part of the śloka: bhītyāpy ārād atha nahi dadhāty asya kārkaśya-doṣāt “Sri Radha did not want to place Sri Krishna’s tender lotus feet on her breasts, afraid that they would be too hard for him.” When she served Sri Krishna’s lotus feet Sri Radharani wanted to hold them on her beautiful breasts, but when she brought these very soft feet, that are adorned with endless beauty and sweetness, to her breasts she felt as if her hard nipples struck them, and so she decided not to place them there.
Here it should be specially noticed that a lady-love naturally goes beyond herself of bliss when she carries her lover on her breasts, but Sri Radharani did not lose herself of bliss when the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, whom she loves more than a million life-airs, touched her, for her only aim is Sri Krishna’s happiness. Her heart was filled with a fear that overruled her own desire for happiness, and thus she did not place Sri Krishna’s lotus feet on her breasts anymore. Thus the complete absence of desire for personal happiness, that is known to the rasika devotees, has been manifest.
Actually one of the signs of the gopīs’ rūḍha-mahābhāva is: tat-saukhye’pi ārti-śaṅkayā khinnatvam “They are anxious that even the things that please Krishna may give him pain.” When Rasika Śekhara Sri Krishna places his feet on the breasts of the Vraja-devīs, then his happiness is clearly visible on his beautiful face, because it is simply not possible that the lover will be unhappy when he has his feet on the breasts of his ladylove. Still the Vrajadevīs think that Sri Krishna will be unhappy when they do this. This is the private treasure of the Vrajadevīs’ ecstatic love, which is not accessible to any other consort of the Lord, like Rukmiṇī or Satyabhāmā. The Vrajadevīs revealed that themselves in the night of the Rāsa-dance in the last verse of the Gopī-Gītī (10.31.19):
yat te sujāta-caraṇāmburuhaṁ staneṣu
bhītāḥ śanaiḥ priya dadhīmahi karkaśeṣu
tenāṭavīm aṭasi tad vyathate na kiṁ svit
kūrpādibhir bhramati dhīr bhavad āyuṣāṁ naḥ
The Vrajasundarīs, though separated from Sri Krishna, sang to him: “O dearly beloved! We carefully hold your delicate lotus feet to our breasts, afraid that our breasts will be too hard for them. You are our very life, and we are very worried about your tender lotus feet when they tread the forest paths covered with pebbles and thorns!”
All these feelings are manifest in the most wonderful and amazing way in mādanākhya mahābhāvavatī (who is endowed with the topmost love of God known as mādana) śrī-kṛṣṇa-priyā-śiromaṇi (the crown jewel of Sri Krishna’s beloveds) gopī-varīyasī (the best of all the gopīs) Sri Radharani. Raghunath Das Goswami says: “May Śeṣa-śāyī Sri Krishna, whose tender and enchanting lotus feet tender Sri Radha wanted to place on her breasts for her own happiness, but then changed her mind because she was afraid that her breasts were too hard for his feet, arrange for my staying in the enchanting meadows of Vraja”.
śeṣera aṅga śayyāya, śrī aṅga helāye tāya,
pāda-padma prasārita kore
cira viśrāma kore yāhā, śeṣa-śāyī nāma tāhā,
sadā lakṣmī pada sevā kore
“The Lord, as Śeṣa-śāyī, reclines on the snake-bed of Śeṣa, spreading his lotus-legs out and resting there forever, his feet served by Lakṣmī-devī.”
sei to bhāvete kṛṣṇa, śrī rādhāra saṅga tṛṣṇa,
śeṣa-śayyāya korilo śayana
śrī kṛṣṇa caraṇa tala, kamala hoite sukomala,
rādhā korena se pada sevana
“In that mood Krishna, eager for Sri Radha’s company, reclines on the bed of Śeṣa while Radha serves his footsoles, that are more tender than lotus flowers.”
komalāṅgī bhānu-sutā, atiśaya bhaye bhītā,
śrī caraṇa nāhi dhare buke.
āmāra karkaśa hiyā, ati sukomala ihā,
ei cinti stabdha hoiyā thāke
“Tender-limbed daughter of Vrishabhanu fearfully thinks to herself: “His feet are so tender and my breasts are so hard”, and thus does not place his lotus feet on her breasts. She is always stunned by these thoughts.
śeṣa-śāyī śrī govinde, minati padāravinde,
kṛpā kori goṣṭhe dāo vāsa
śrī rādhāra saṅge tomā, sadā bhaji e vāsanā,
e dīnera pūrāo abhilāṣa
“This wretCh humbly prays at the lotus feet of Śeṣa-śāyī Sri Govinda: Please fulfill my desire and allow me to live in Vraja and always worship You and Sri Radha there!”
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
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