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Verses, prayers and quotes of choice. If you come across something you find inspiring, please post it here. You can also start threads on a particular theme and regularly post in something related.

madana-hatakena -

Jagat - Thu, 15 Sep 2005 04:27:19 +0530
One of my favorite chapters in the Chaitanya Charitamrita is Madhya 2, in which Krishnadas has really given a selection of favorite verses and done brilliant translations of them. I was just looking at one

yadA yAto daivAn madhu-ripur asau locana-pathaM
tadAsmAkaM ceto madana-hatakenAhRtam abhUt
punar yasminn eSa kSaNam api dRzor eti padavIM
vidhAsyAmas tasminn akhila-ghaTikA ratna-khacitAH

The moment that Krishna by chance crossed our path of vision,
that vile and miserable god of love came and stole our heart.
If ever that moment should come again to our eyes,
then we will decorate its every nanosecond with jewels.(2.2.36)

je kAle vA svapane dekhinu vaMzI-vadane
sei-kAle Aila dui vairI
Ananda Ara madana hari nila mora mana
dekhite nA pAinu netra bhari

punaH jadi kona kSaNe karAya kRSNa darazana
tabe se ghaTi kSaNa pala
diyA mAlya candana nAnA ratna AbharaNa
alaGkRta karimu sakala

In that moment, perhaps it was a dream,
when I saw Krishna playing his flute,
two enemies came and stole my mind.
One was joy, the other desire.
I was unable to gaze upon him to my heartís content.

If at any time in the future,
fate should allow me to see Krishna again,
I will worship that moment, that second, that instant,
offering each of them garlands, sandalwood paste,
and all kinds of jewels and ornaments. (2.2.37-38)

The latter translation follows Prabhupada closely, for he did it rather well. The former deserts his version.

The point I take here is this: Spiritual life is about faith, but faith is always based on some experience. It disappears when reason is brought to bear and we examine our own experiences in the light of what happens afterward--if we cannot reproduce it, or if destiny deals us a few low blows and we feel that our faith has been shortchanged. We should all expect a few low blows, because whatever we do in life, become devotees or devils, we will experience the transformations of the material body. That is not the point.

The point is that we have had incredible moments of light, joy, and love. Those were all manifestations, direct or indirect of Krishna's light, Krishna's joy and love. The gopis here are saying that they had that moment--they even curse that moment, in a sense--they fell in love after getting just a glimpse of Krishna. But though they blame Cupid, they worship the moment that they saw Krishna and promise to worship it if it ever comes again. The sacred moment. Like all religious people, they promise their god offerings if he does their bidding.

In the same way, the life of faith is about conserving those precious moments, hallowing them in our deepest recesses for meditation. By meditating on them, they return to give us strength and the power to love. Though it may be wrong and selfish to ask the divinity that brought us that moment to bring it again, it is in the nature of bhakti itself to pray for it, because it is our life, our breath, our food.

That moment itself was and is eternal.