Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.
Pastimes of Radha - in Her earlier life
Madhava - Wed, 10 Jul 2002 17:02:10 +0530
I am posting some accounts on Sri Radha's pastimes from Her early years here. Feel free to contribute if you have anything on record.
Madhava - Wed, 10 Jul 2002 18:01:31 +0530
Vraja Vilasa Stava 90
gAndharvAyA jani maNir abhud yatra saGkIrtitAyAm
AnandotkaraiH sura muni naraiH kIrtidA garbha khanyAm
gopI gopaiH surabhi-nikaraiH saMparIte ‘tra mukhye-
rAvalyAkhye vRSa-ravi pure prIti pUro mamAstam
“May I drown in a flood of love for Ravala, the capital of Maharaja Vrisabhanu, where many cowherdmen and women lire and where the jewel-like Sri Radha appeared from the mine-like womb of Her mother Kirtida, which was blissfully praised by the demigods, sages and human beings.”Stavamrta Kana Vyakhya: In this verse Sripada Raghunatha praises Ravala, the capital of Maharaja Vrisabhanu. Just as Mahavana or Brhad-vana is the birthplace of Sri Krishna, so is Ravala the birthplace of Sri Radharani. After seeing the havoc caused by different demons, Sri Nanda Maharaja and his associates shifted their capital to Nandisvara and Sri Vrisabhanu Maharaja shifted his capital to Varsana. In the village of Ravala the great jewel Sri Radharani appeared from the mine-like womb of Mother Kirtida. Mother Kirtida is truly the giver of fame to the world. Sriman Mahaprabhu asked Srila Ramananda Raya: kirti-gana madhye jivera kon bodo kirti? “Of all kinds of fame, which fame is the greatest?” Sri Rama Raya replied: krsna prema bhakti boli yara hoy khyati (C.C.) -- “The fame of he who is known to have loving devotion for Krishna.” Because she made the presiding goddess of love for Krishna personally descend and blessed the people of the world by giving them great fame as devotees of Krishna, she is justly named Kirtida. Can there be any doubt that the womb from which the great jewel Sri Radharani, who is directly the embodiment of maha-bhava and who is Krishna’s most dearly beloved, has appeared, is a mine of jewels?
In Srimat Rupa Gosvamipada’s Lalita Madhava Nataka it is described how Harimaya attracted Sri Radha from Kirtida’s womb and placed Her in the womb of the wife of the Vindhya-mountains, how Putana kidnapped Her and how She returned into the hands of Vrisabhanu and Kirtida after Vindhya’s priest launched a witch-killing mantra against Putana and thus made her drop the baby before she could deliver it to Kamsa. This is an occasional pastime, though, which occurs in some form in some kalpa (era). No one is able to understand the Playful Lord and the wonderfully playful manifestations of His svarupa sakti (innate energy). No one can understand in which age the Playful Lord performs what pastime and in which saint’s heart this will be revealed. Actually Sri Radharani appears from the mine-like womb of Kirtida in every kalpa, but in some kalpas She is first drawn out of Kirtida’s womb and placed in the womb of Vindhya’s queen to appear from there. This is how we should understand it.
In this verse Sripada Raghunatha clearly describes how the great Radha jewel emerged from the mine-like womb of Sri Kirtida and how the demigods, sages and human beings were immersed in the pinnacle of bliss when they beheld this pastime of advent. Sri Bhakti Ratnakara describes it thus:
ahe zrInivAsa dekho e ‘rAvala’ grAma;
etha vRSabhAnura vasati anupAma
zrI rAdhikA prakaTa hoilA eikhAne;
yAhAra prakaTe sukha vyApilo bhuvane
Aji ki Ananda vRSabhAnura mandire;
janmilA rAdhikA devI kRttikA udare
dizA daza Alo kore rUpera chaTAya;
ye dekhe bAreka tAra tApa dUre yAya
sukomala tanu jini kanaka labanI,
AhA mari! kibA prati aGgera balanI
jananI janaka dhRti dharite nA pAre;
koto sAdhe cAGda mukha dekhe bAre bAre
jaya jaya kalarave bharilo bhuvana;
gAoye maGgala gIta gopanarI-gaNa
bAjaye vividha vAdya parama rasAla;
nAcaye sakala loka, bole bhAlo bhAlo
dadhi dudha haldi aGgane chaDAiyA;
hAsaye hAsAya koto bhaGgI prakAziyA
vipra vandI-gaNe dAna kore nAnA bhAti;
dekhi ghanazyAma onA rAGga sukhe mAti
“Behold, O Srinivasa, the village named Ravala! This is the matchless abode of Maharaja Vrisabhanu. It is here that Sri Radhika appeared and thus filled the whole world with bliss. What bliss there is today in Vrisabhanu’s abode, for today Radhika devi appeared from Kirtida’s womb! Her bodily luster, which illuminates all ten directions, removes the affliction of anyone who sees it even once. Her tender body shines brighter than gold. O goodness! Just see the elegance of each of Her limbs! Her mother and father could not remain calm and eagerly stared at Her moonlike face again and again. Shouts of ‘jaya! jaya!’ filled the world and all the cowherdwomen sang auspicious songs. Various musical instruments were tastefully played and all the people danced saying: ‘Very well! Bravo!’ Throwing yoghurt, milk and haldi around on the courtyard they laughed and joked, making many gestures. Great charity was given to the brahmanas and the bards and Ghanasyama was maddened with bliss when He saw this.”Sripada Raghunatha says: “May I drown in a flood of love for Ravala, the capital of Maharaja Vrisabhanu, which is filled with cowherdmen and -women”. In his svarupa Sri Raghunatha is the maidservant of Sri Radha, therefore she covets greatly passionate love for the birthplace of her supreme goddess, who is dearer to him than millions of her life-airs.
Anane vibhora, suramuni nara,
garbha rUpa khani, mAjhAre ye maNi
rAdhA name camatkAra
yethA AvirbhUta, ho’ye sukhApluta,
rAvala nAmaka, gopa gopI dhenu,
vRSabhAnu pura, prati sumadhura,
piriti pravAha rAzi
e hRdaya mAjhe, sadA yeno rAje,
rahibo se rase bhAsi
“May a stream of sweet love for Ravala, which is beautifully filled with cows, cowherdmen and cowherdwomen, and where demigods, sages and were were blissfully praising Kirtida, in whose mine-like womb the astonishing jewel called ‘Radha’ appeared, causing all moving and non-moving beings to be immersed in transcendental bliss, always flow through my heart, so that I may remain floating on it.”
Madhava - Wed, 10 Jul 2002 18:19:30 +0530
Lalita Madhava (Act 1, Scene 1)
1 (Paurnamasi appearing as described in the previous text, enters)
Paurnamasi: Afraid of King Kamsa, and thus unable to directly announce the marriage of Radha and Krsna, a certain person instead tells this story of the dancer and the king of the Kiratas. By this trick this fortunate person tells me the truth and comforts me, who had been filled with anguish.
Child Gargi, listen: As we drink the nectar of the overflowing celestial Ganges of Radha's moonlight smile touching the wave-filled Yamuna of Krsna's sidelong glance at the Triveni of Their rendezvous, a flood of pleasant coolness licks away our sufferings and pleases our hearts. Crossing over the seven worlds, now we stand above them all.
2 Gargi: O noble lady, you yourself arranged Radha's marriage with Abhimanyu. Why would She desire to meet with Krsna?
3 Paurnamasi: Daughter, this (marriage) is an illusion of Maya. How could the vaijayanti garland of Sri Radha, which was strung with Brahma's sweet nectar and Mount Vindhya's austerity flowers, be placed in the hands of an ordinary man?
Note: The word "prthag-janah" (an ordinary man) may also be interpreted to mean "anyone other than Krsna".
4 Gargi: What is this "sweet nectar?"
5 Paurnamasi: It is Brahma's words "O Mount Vindhya, to fulfil your desire you will have two daughters that will give you a son-in-law who will defeat Lord Siva and whose virtues will fill the world with wonder."
6 Gargi: Why did Mount Vindhya desire a daughter and not a son?
7 Paurnamasi: He had become the rival of king Himalaya, who is the father of Gauri and very proud of the opulence of his son-in-law, (Siva).
8 Gargi: He could not tolerate the glory of his own family. In ancient times He tried to defeat Mount Meru. He could not rise again after he bowed down to offer respects to Agastya Muni.
Note: Mount Vindhya grew taller and taller until he challenged even his relative, Mount Meru. Agastya Muni visited Mount Vindhya. The mountain bowed down to offer respects. Agastya asked Mount Vindhya to remain in that position until he returned. Agastya never returned and Vindhya could not raise his head again. In this way Mount Vindhya's pride was humbled.
9 Paurnamasi: Yes. The intelligent are like that.
10 Gargi: How did Radha go from Mount Vindhya to Gokula?
11 Paurnamasi: She was taken by Putana, the kidnapper of children.
12 Gargi: (with fear) Witches that steal children generally eat their victims. This girl is very fortunate to be saved.
13 Paurnamasi: O daughter, Kamsa ordered her to kill any extraordinary small boys and kidnap any small girls.
14 Gargi: Why did the king ask her to do those two things?
15 Paurnamasi: (He was pushed) by the words of Devaki's demigoddess daughter.
16 Gargi: What were those words?
17 Paurnamasi: She said to Kamsa: "This same person who in your previous birth severed your head with a cakra raised in battle, the same person who the sages know as He whose two lotus feet are worshipped by the demigods, the same person who pleases His loving devotees (by showering them) with oceans of the nectar of bliss, the same person who is the root from which the universe (has sprouted) has now appeared (in this world) at the time of the moon's rising."
18 She said: "Today or the day after, eight sublimely sweet saktis will appear on this earth. Two sisters, who are like great palaces of beautiful transcendental qualities, will also appear. When He defeats Siva, Lord Krsna, the king of kings, will accept the hand of both the girls (in marriage)."
19 Gargi: What happened to the second sister?
20 Paurnamasi: When Vindhya's chief priest chanted a demon-killing mantra, Putana's heart became struck with fear.
As she was hastily flying over Vidarbha province the first of her victims dropped from her and fell into a river's current.
21 Gargi: My father (Sandipani Muni) is omniscient. Why then, has he said that, (as a result of) a benediction granted by Durvasa Muni, Srimati Radharani appeared from (King) Vrsabhanu's chest?
22 Paurnamasi: Requested by Brahma, Lord Hari's yogamaya potency removed these two infant girls from the wombs of the wives of Candrabhanu and Vrsabhanu and placed them in the womb of Vindhya's wife.
23 Gargi: (With astonishment) did the two fathers know what happened?
24 Paurnamasi: Certainly they understood. Why would Durvasa Muni not help them?
25 Gargi: How do you know all this?
26 Paurnamasi: (I learned this) by the mercy of my spiritual master's (Narada's) instructions, which have also made me attached to Radha.
27 Gargi: Is it true that when the witch Putana was killed you took Radha from her lap?
28 Paurnamasi: (I took) not only Radha, but five other girls also.
29 Gargi: Who were they?
30 Paurnamasi: They were 1. Radha's moon-faced friend Lalita, 2. Candravali's beautiful friend Padma, 3. Bhadra, who acts auspiciously, 4. auspicious Saibya, and 5. splendid and cheerful Syama.
31 Gargi: How were these girls placed among the gopis?
32 Paurnamasi: Swiftly and secretly I gave these five infant girls to five gopis in different parts (of Vrndavana). In a secret place I happily gave virtuous Radha to Yasoda's nurse, Mukhara, and said: "O elderly one, here is your son-in-law Vrsabhanu's daughter."
33 Gargi: This must be the way Radha's second close friend Visakha, appeared in Gokula (Vrndavana).
34 Paurnamasi: No. No. Jatila found her floating in the Yamuna.
35 Gargi: I did not know that. Who found the Vindhya's first daughter as she was floating in the river's current?
36 Paurnamasi: Bhismaka.
37 Gargi: Alas, the cruelty of fate, who has separated these two sisters.
38 Paurnamasi: My daughter, fate then re-united them. In this way fate's mercy may be seen.
39 Gargi: How did that happen.
40 Paurnamasi: Candravali was the granddaughter of Karala. Jambavan, who lived in the caves of Govardhana Hill and the Vindhya Hills, kidnapped the five-year old Candravali and forcibly took her from Kundina City. He did this on the orders of (the goddess Durga, who was) staying then in the Vindhya Hills.
(Note: This goddess Durga is the daughter of Yasoda. After Maharaja Vasudeva brought her back to Mathura and after King Kamsa unsuccessfully tried to kill her, she escaped to the Vindhya Hills.)
41 Gargi: (aside) I have heard from my father's mouth that although the (gopis) headed by Candrabhanu's daughter Candravali, and the (Dvaraka queens), headed by Bhismaka's daughter, Rukmini, are expansions of the same spiritual potency, nevertheless, their forms are separate and distinct. Now it is said that with the aid of the yogamaya potency, each gopi is identical with a specific queen, and each pair of gopi and queen is a single person in a single form. It must be so. Later I shall perhaps understand it. What can I understand now of these confidential matters? (Openly) It is not that the yogamaya potency forcibly prevented the marriage of Govardhana and the other gopas with Candravali and the other gopis?
42 Paurnamasi: Yes. The gopas simply thought these girls were their wives. In fact, they never even saw each other.
43 Gargi: Then it is not at all surprising that these eight girls have such deep love for Lord Krsna.
44 Paurnamasi: What to speak of these eight girls, what doe-eyed girl in Gokula did not love Lord Krsna?
45 Gargi: You say the truth. More than 16 100 girls in Gokula are now (deeply in love with Lord Krsna). Five gopis, headed by Candravali, regularly meet together and worship the goddess Durga, chanting the mantra: "O Katyayani (Durga), O Maha-maya (Il
lusory potency), O mystic yogini, O queen (of this world), O goddess, please make Nanda-gopa's son, (Krsna) my husband. I offer my respectful obeisances to you."
46 Paurnamasi: Garga Muni told the gopis: "Goddess Durga is named 'Kama' because she is the personification of the fulfilment of desires. When young girls worship her, she naturally grants their requests." O pious one, because of this advice from Garga Muni, the doe-eyed girls of Vraja now worship goddess Durga.
47 Gargi: Who engaged Radha in worshipping the sun-god?
Paurnamasi: Your father (Sandipani Muni).
48 Gargi: O noble lady, I have heard from my father's mouth that the association of these girls with their affectionate lover (Krsna) eventually leads to their separation from Him.
49 Paurnamasi: Child, he tells the truth. Both he and I have arranged that Abhimanyu's mother, Jatila, and Govardhana's mother, Bharunda, again and again place obstacles in the way of (Radharani and Candravali) these two crest-jewels of adolescent girls.
50 Gargi: Why do you not bring the two sisters together? Paurnamasi: I am afraid of wicked Kamsa's followers, who are always roaming about.
51 Gargi: Does anyone else know of this unusual incident?
Paurnamasi: No one. I have told only Krsna's mother (Yasoda) and Balarama's mother (Rohini). Only they know.
52 A voice from behind the scenes: Padma, get up from bed! Bhadra, stop making this crown of peacock feathers! Syama, stop stringing this flower-garland! Lalita, don't crush this kunkuma into powder! Visakha, stop teaching the parrot to recite poetry. Saibya, stop braiding your hair! The dust raised by the hooves of the surabhi cows has now entered the horizon!
53 Paurnamasi: Look! Look! The dust from cows and calves on the road creates a kind of darkness indicating that Krsna is returning home from the pasture. Also, the darkness of evening provokes the gopis to meet Krsna. Thus the pastimes of Krsna and the gopis are covered by a kind of transcendental darkness and are therefore impossible for ordinary scholars of the Vedas to see.
54 May the sweet sound of Lord Krsna's flute, His authorised messenger, be glorified, for it expertly releases Srimati Radharani from Her shyness and attracts Her from Her home to the forest.
55 A voice from behind the scenes: Dhanya, you haven't decorated your left eye with mascara! Padma, you've placed your armlets on your ankles! Sarangi, you've placed tinkling bells on only one ankle! Pali, your belt is already beginning to slip! Lavangi, you put tilaka markings (meant for your forehead) on your cheek! Kamala, you put red lac (meant for the soles of your feet) on your eyes! Don't run (outside) so quickly! (Krsna's) sweetly sounding flute is still far away.
56 Gargi: Lord Krsna is as splendid as the darkened (evening) sky. He is like a moon shining in Vrndavana, surrounded by the stars of the gopas and the splendid white moonlight of the cows.
57 Paurnamasi: (With intense happiness) The dark lustre of Krsna's body is charming. He holds a stick in His hand, and His splendid hips are wrapped in a yellow silk dhoti. The great flood of His transcendental beauty rebukes the blue lotus flower. Enjoying pastimes with the gopis, He appears like a transformation of the opulence of transcendental love. Let us go to Yasoda-devi. (They both exit)
Thus ends the first part of Act 1 of Lalita Madhava.
Madhava - Wed, 10 Jul 2002 19:06:32 +0530
Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: For the fulfillment of his own aspirations Sripada Raghunatha is praising Maharaja Vrisabhanu in this verse. Maharaja Vrisabhanu is Sri Radha’s father, who shines in all respects like the sun in the month of Jyestha (May-June, the sign of Taurus). vrsabhanu pita tasya vrsabhanur ivojjvalah (Radha-Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika 2,168). Maharaja Vrisabhanu is a great reservoir of parental love, and Sri Krishna’s dearmost beloved Sri Radharani, who is the Original Laksmi, has advented as his daughter. Without getting some insight into the glories of Sn Radha one cannot understand the glories of Vrisabhanu-raja.
Vraja Vilasa Stava 26
kharva zmazrum udAram ujjvala-kulaM gauraM samAnaM sphurat
pajcAcattama varSa vandita vayaH krAntiM pravINaM vraje
goSThezasya sakhAyam unnatatara zrIdAmato ‘pi priya
zrI rAdhaM vRSabhAnum udbhaTa yazo-vratAM sadA taM bhaje
“I always worship the greatly famous king Vrisabhanu, who has a small moustache, who is very generous, who comes from a brilliant dynasty, who has a golden complexion, who is greatly respected, who is fifty years old, who is very expert in Vraja, who is the greatest friend of Vraja’s king Nanda and who loves his daughter Sri Radha even more than his son Sridama.”
rAdhikA hoyena kRSNera praNaya vikAra;Just as the aggregate of form, flavor, scent, touch and sound is manifest in the Original Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, similarly if no fully blown maha-bhava-eyes, tongue, nose, skin and ears are revealed, these complete and absolute sense-objects cannot be fully relished. And again, without a complete root-energy, no one is able to bear this full mahabhava. Is there any limit to the glories of the man who has Sri Radharani, Who is relishing the full sweetness of Krishna, Who enters into all the innumerable devotees as a faculty to nourish them by giving them prema, Who simultaneously makes Sri Krishna inwardly enjoy His own bliss as the hladini-force, and outwardly makes Him relish various pastimes in a personal form, who is the very personification of mahabhava, the essence of prema, who is a mine of all qualities and the crown jewel of all of Krishna’s consorts, for a daughter?
svarUpa zakti ‘hlAdinI’ nAma yAhAra
hlAdinI korAya kRSNe AnandAsvAdana;
hlAdinI dvArAya kore bhaktera poSaNa
hlAdinIra sAra – ‘prema’, prema-sAra – ‘bhAva’;
bhAvera paramakASThA – nAma mahAbhAva
mahAbhAva svarUpa - zrI rAdhA ThAkurAnI
sarva guNa khani kRSNa kAntA ziromaNi
“Radhika is a transformation of Krishna’s love, His intrinsic energy named ‘Hladini’. HIadini causes Krishna to relish transcendental bliss and nourishes the devotees. The essence of Hladini is prema (love of God) and the essence of prema is bhava, the summit of bhava is called mahabhava and the embodiment of mahabhava is Sri Radharani. She is the crown jewel of Krishna’s lovers and a mine full of attributes.”
Sripada Raghunatha has said: “The dynasty of Vrisabhanu Raja is very splendid”. Sri Nanda Maharaja’s dynasty is certainly also very bright, because the Original Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna has advented in it, but the dynasty of Vrisabhanu Maharaja is even more brilliant, because in his dynasty prema herself has advented. This is because even when one has attained the Lord, one will remain deprived from relishing His sweetness without prema. Therefore the Lord Himself has established prema as being more important than He Himself. Who can describe the glories of Vrisabhanu’s dynasty, in which the Original Prema Laksmi, the embodiment of complete love, Sri Radha Herself, has advented as a daughter?
Sripada Raghunatha says: sridamo ‘pi priya sri radham – “He loves his daughter Sri Radha even more than his son Sridama.” Her glories are so great that even the Original Perso
nality of Godhead cannot find their limits – yara sad guna ganera krsna na pana para (C.C.). She has descended in his house in the form of a daughter, and since Maharaja Vrisabhanu has not even the slightest feeling of awe and reverence he fondles and rears Her just like his little daughter, with purely sweet love.
In the Patala Khanda of the Padma Purana it is written how Devarsi Narada saw Sri Radha as a little girl: “When Sri Radha, who is overwhelmed by love for Sri Krishna, descended She decided not to look at the world before seeing Sri Krishna, so She remained there with eyes closed. Then, one day, Devarsi Narada himself came to see Her, and when he told Maharaja Vrisabhanu that he wanted to cure the little girl, Vrisabhanu told him:
ekAsti putrikA deva devapatnyupamA mamaAfter Narada entered the house and saw Sri Radha he became overwhelmed by great feelings of love and began to offer her praises in both sweet and reverential manners:
kanIyasI zizor asya jaDAndha badhirAkRtiH
utsAhAd buddhaye yAce tvAM varaM bhagavattama
prasanna dRSTi-mAtrena susthirAM kuru bAlikAm
“O Lord! I have a daughter who is equal to the demigoddesses, and She is younger than this child (Sridama), but She is dumb, blind and deaf. O greatest of saints! I am very eager to fondle and rear Her, so I pray to you for this boon: Please cure this child with your satisfied glance!”
AhUya bhAnuM provAca nAradaH sarva zobhanamAlthough Sri Narada thus spoke different reverential words about Devi Sri Radha, it could not agitate the ocean of Maharaja Vrisabhanu’s parental love at all. Vrisabhanu just affectionately fondled and reared Her like his little girl.
evaM svabhAvA bAleyaM na sAdhyA daivatair api
kintu yad gRham etasyAH pada cihna vibhUSitam
tatra nArAyano devaH sarva-devagaNaiH saha
lakSmIz ca vasate nityaM sarvAbhiz caiva siddhibhiH
adyaH enAM varArohaM sarva bhUSaNa bhUSaNAm
devIm iva parAM gehe rakSa yatnena sattama
Sri Narada called Vrisabhanu and told him about his most beautiful little girl: “O King! That is the nature of this little girl! Even the demigods are unable to cure Her! But in whatever house She places Her feet, there Lord Sri Narayana, the goddess of fortune Laksnu and all mystic perfections reside! O great saint! Now you should keep this girl with Her nice hips, who is the ornament of ornaments, carefully in your house like the supreme goddess!”
Introducing this Vrisabhanu Raja to us, Srila Gosvamipada says: “I always worship the greatly famous king Vrisabhanu, who has a small moustache, who is very generous, on the strenght of whose love Prema-laksmi advented in his house as his daughter to bless the people of the world by giving them the treasure of prema, who has a golden complexion, who is greatly respected, who is fifty years old, who is very expert in Vraja and who is the greatest friend of Vraja’s king Nanda.”
kharva zmazru udAra carita sad vaMza jAta;
gaura varNa sambhrAnta yara vayas paJcAzata
vraja madhye hon yini atIva pravINa;
zrI nandera parama sahAya khyAtite kulIna
zrIdAma hoyena priya yAra jyeSTha-santAna;
(tathApi) kaniSThA zrI rAdhA prati ati snehavAn
samunnata kIrti yAra vRSabhAnu nAma;
sarvadA tAhAre bhaji pUrNa hobe kAma
“I always worship the greatly famous Maharaja Vrisabhanu, who has a small moustache, who is very generous, who hails from a good dynasty, who has a golden complexion, who is greatly respected, who is fifty years old, who is very expert in Vraja, who is known as the greatest friend of Sri Nanda of noble birth and who loves his younger daughter Sri Radha even more than his eldest son Sridama. In this way my (devotional) desires will be fulfilled.”