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Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.

Saradiya Rasa -- The Autumnal Rasa Dance - Descriptions of Rasa-lila

Madhava - Thu, 24 Oct 2002 03:13:34 +0530
On the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Sri Krishna displays the beautiful saradiya-rasa, the autumnal rasa-dance.

Sri Kavi Karnapura describes the autumn of Vraja in his Ananda Vrindavana Campu. We will now present this description followed by numerous narrations on rasa-lila from the mahajanas (commentaries on RRSN by Ananda Gopal Gosvami, Madhusudan Das Adhikari and Ananta Das Pandit).
Madhava - Thu, 24 Oct 2002 03:21:56 +0530


The splendorous season of autumn is characterized by lakes full of deep blue water filled with red lotus flowers that look like the lotus feet of Visnu being caressed by the loving lotus hands of Laksmi. Brimming with water, these lakes are as clean and pure as the sinless heart of a devotee aspiring for prema. As Narayana is beautified by the presence of the joy-ful Goddess of Fortune, similarly, the autumn lakes are beautified by the presence of cakravaka birds and blossoming lotuses.

Groups of lazy swans sport freely in the lakes. Gliding along the water, they resemble liberated souls (paramahamsas) swimming in the ocean of spiritual bliss. The cooing herons appear to be echoing the tales of Rama and Laksmana. Blue lotuses please everyone with their splendid fragrance, spreading through the land like the fame of the all-attractive Lord. The white lotuses (pundarika) ornamenting the lakes are like the elephant Pundarika who decorates the Southeast direction. The bees ravage the honey of the kumuda lotuses growing in the lake, just as they enjoy the liquid oozing from the body of Kumuda, the elephant of the Southwest direction. Red lotuses cast their colors across the autumn lakes like the setting sun coloring the evening sky with it pastel pinks.

Like an impassioned lady, the autumn season holds these lakes, the reservoirs of all beauty, to her chest in love. The autumn moon shines brilliantly like a glinting sword unsheathed before battle. As dharma fully manifests in Satya-yuga, the bulls, as representatives of religion, manifest a type of madness during this season as they turn every field into a play-ground. The large lakes of this season are very beautiful with warm water on their surfaces and cool water within. They resemble a peaceful man who keeps cool within, even when harassed by the words of a fool. The rows of brilliant wispy clouds adorning the autumn sky look like sandal-wood paste on the limbs of the directions personified as women. These cloud wisps appear like the white scarf of a young woman waving in the breeze, or cotton fluff carried by the winds personified as young girls.

When the groups of pure white clouds reflect in the Yamuna, it appears like a brilliant white sandbar in the middle of the river, or that the Ganga (which is greenish-white in color) has taken shelter of the Yamuna to gain the fortune of bathing Krsna. Three wonderful features fill the autumn season with bliss, namely the fragrant pollen from blooming lotuses, the directions becoming darkened from swarms of bees maddened by the in-toxicating fragrance of the chatina tree, and the wind driven clouds mov-ing like freely roaming elephants.

The autumn season can be seen as a beautiful woman whose waist-belt is the cooing herons, whose ankle-bells are the sonorous quacking of the ducks, whose breasts are the cakravaka birds, whose moon-like face is the half-blooming lotuses, whose eyes are the blue lotuses, whose eyebrows are the fickle bees, and whose attractive garments are the pollen from various flowers.

When the mud (kardama) dries up this season becomes blissful with the sight of the faces of many brown calves (kapilas). Similarly, when Kardama Muni renounced his home, Devahuti took pleasure in seeing the face of her son Kapiladeva. This season is like a king who has a flower bed in the middle of a forest of land lotuses. Its canopy is the sky overhead sparkling with the constellations. Its camara whisks are the swaying of the tall kasa flowers.

In the monsoon season, the elephants of the directions jump on the clouds and push them down so that the sky appears to touch the treetops. On the other hand, when the tree branches become free of these clouds, it seems the elephants of the directions have departed. In their absence the space above the trees increases.
Malatilata - Thu, 24 Oct 2002 03:53:54 +0530

user posted image


vipaJcita-supaJcamaM rucira-veNunA gAyatA
priyeNa saha vINayA madhura-gAna-vidyAnidhiH |
kadA nu vRSabhAnujA milatu bhAnujA-rodhasi ||

(Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 58)

“When may the daughter of king Vrsabhanu, Who is expert in playing the vina and singing sweetly and whose gait is as charming as that of a she-elephant in rut, meet the king of elephants Sri Krishna, Who plays His celebrated flute so nicely in the fifth note that it resembles the sound of a Vipancita-Vina, on the bank of the Yamuna?”

Commentaries: In this verse Sripada gets a sweet vision of the Rasa dance, the crownjewel of all of Krishna's pastimes. The blazing mellows of the Rasa lila enchant even the Lord Himself. Sri Krishna says: na hi jane smrte rase mano me kidrisam bhavet “I cannot express the feelings that arise in My heart when I remember the rasa dance” In Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (2.1.2 10) Uddhava Mahasaya says:

harer api camatkrti prakara vardhanah kintu me;
vibharti hrdi vismayam kam api rasalila rasah

“My heart is greatly astonished when I remember the mellows of the rasa lila, that increased even the astonisment of Sri Hari!” Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya 8) states:

samyak sara vasana krsnera rasa-lila;
rasalila vasanate radhikd srnkhala
taha vinu rasalila nahi bhay cite

“Krishna's desire in the Rasa lila is complete, and Sri Radhika is the binding link in that desire.” “Without Her, He does not like the Rasa-lila.” Therefore Rasa-rasika (Krishna, Who enjoys the rasa dance) plays His flute with new expertise to call Rasesvari (Radha, the Queen of the Rasa dance). He plays His flute in the fifth note, so that it sounds like a vina. Why does Krishna play His flute like a Vina? Sripada says priyena saha vinaya madhura gana vidyanidhih: “The Vina is the reservoir of all sweet songs, that plays duets with Syamasundara's sweet fluteplaying.”

There is no other abode than Vrindavana where the Rasa-lila takes place and where Sri Radha, Who is the reservoir of all sweet songs, appears. All the dancing and singing in the Rasa lila is a product of the gopis' maha bhava. When Rasesvari hears Krishna's flute sounding like a vina, She becomes desirous to match Her sweet Vina playing with Krishna's fluteplaying. Very eagerly Rasesvari thus meets fluteplaying Rasa Vihari (Krishna), Who is dearer to Her than millions of lives, on the bank of the Yamuna. How sweet is Their meeting! “How pleased are Their eyes when They see Eachother's blessed moonlike faces! It makes Them feel satisfied like a Cataka bird drinking rainwater, or like a Cakorabird drinking lunar nectar! Syama shines like an Atasi-flower and Radhika like a golden Campaka-flower, and when They meet, They look like the moon hiding in a fresh raincloud! Their clothes loosen, Krishna's hair falls out from under His peacockfeather crest and Radhika's bluish veil slips from Her head.”

A loving mother likes more to see the face of her child, even if it is dumb, than the moon, because she feels love for the child and not for the moon. Love makes the ugly look beautiful. Who can then describe the ecstasy felt when the greatest and most beautiful Lovers meet Eachother? The Yamuna (who is called bhanuja, the daughter of the sun) swells up of ecstasy when she sees Vrisabhanuja, the daughter of Maharaja Vrisabhanu, meeting Syamasundara on her banks and freely playing with Him like an intoxicated she-elephant with the king of elephants. All the moving and nonmoving creatures of Vrindavana are shivering of ecstasy, while Radhika, the ocean of artfulness, plays Her Vina, outsounding Syamasundara's flutesong. By serving the divine Couple the kinkari is blessed with the sweet vision of Their pastimes.
Malatilata - Thu, 24 Oct 2002 04:00:09 +0530


vicitra-vara-tANDava-zrama-jalArdra-gaNDa-sthalau |
kadA nu vara-nAgarI-rasika-zekharau tau mudA
bhajAmi pada-lAlanAl lalita-vIjanaM kurvatI ||

(Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 59)

“When will I joyfully serve the best ladylove, Sri Radhika, and the best of lovers, Sri Krishna, Whose cheeks became moistened with sweatdrops of fatigue from Their incomparible dancing during the wonderful enchanting Rasa-festival, which is full of laughter, by massaging Their feet and nicely fanning Them?”

Commentaries: Now the Rasa-dance has begun. The gopis dance in a circle and Radha dances in the middle with Vrajendranandana. How sweetly Rasaraja and the Rasa-heroines smile at eachother with budding lips when they see eachother's sweet dancing, which is born from the mood called rati! How much they are enchanting and how much are they astonishing eachother with their song and dance! The Rasa-lila enchants not only Syamasundara (as was shown in the previous verse), but also the gopis. When Krishna had left them to go to Mathura (sudura pravasa), the gopis asked Uddhava the following question:

tah kim nisah smarati yasu tada priyabhir
vrndavane kumuda kunda sasanka ramye |
reme kvacic carana nupura rasa gosthyam
asmabhir idita manojna kathah kadacit ||
(Srimad Bhagavata 10.47.43)

“O Uddhava! Your Lord must have forgotten us gopis, but has He also forgotten the nights that He danced the Rasa with us? We become mad when we remember those enchanting nights, that were whitened by the pleasing rays of the full autumn moon inundating the surface of mother earth! The whole natural scenery of Vrindavana smiled at us with its white Kunda and Jasmine-flowers. Although she is called Krishna, or the Black One, the Yamuna became as white as milk because of all the blossoming white lotusflowers and lilies floating on her surface, and the sand on her banks became as soft, white and fragrant as ground camphor. On top of that, the demigods have strewn many white flowers on the arena of the Rasa-dance! O Best of the Yadus! The dancing of the gopis made their sashes of bells, the bangles on their wrists and the anklebells on their feet jingle sweetly, sounding even more beautiful than the different musical instruments that they played! Does Your Lord remember that most blissful Rasa-dance now?”

The word vilasa in the text means that the gestures of the faces and the eyes of the hero and heroine are extra special. gati sthanasanadinam mukha netradi karmanam; tat kalikam tu vaisistyam vilasah priya sangajam (Ujjvala Nilamani).

In Srimad Bhagavata (10.33.8) Sri Suka Muni perfectly drew the following beautiful picture of the Maha Rasa:

pada nyasair bhuja vidhutibhih sasmitair bhruvilasair
bhajyan madhyais cala kucapataih kundalair gandalolaih |
svidyan mukhyah kavara rasanagra granthayah krishna vadhvo
gayantyas tam tadita iva ta megha-cakre virejuh ||

With their measured treads, the motions of their hands, the playful movements of their eyebrows accompanied with graceful smiles, bending waists, shaking breasts and fluttering skirts of their garments, earrings swinging against their cheeks, perspiring faces and their braids and girdles loosened because of their swift movements, and singing His glories, the wives of Krishna shone brightly like flashes of lightning in a mass of clouds.”

Sripada, in his kinkari-form, sees vicitra vara tandava srama jalandra gandasthalam “Rasesvari’s and Rasika Sekhara's cheeks have become moist of sweatdrops of fatigue from Their sweet dancing”, so she sweetly fans Them. The sadhaka should also remember himself serving in this way, but this remembrance cannot come as long as one is in external, mundane consciousness. Sripada describes the sweet Rasa lila as follows in his poem Sangita Madhava:

pravahad amrta rasa krta parihase; siva vidhi suka narada janitase
radha madhava keli vilase; visatu mano mama prema vikase
vrndvana vana sahaja nivase; nava rasa bhavita mati pratibhase
tikta tarikrta mukti vitane; hari caranojjvala bhava nidane
pratipada jrmbhita madana vikare; parama rasamrrta sagara sare
thutkrta vidhi-pada munivara gite; tuccha triguna jada prakrtim atite
radha priya parijana kalaniye; vidita nigama-vara samvaraniye
anta rahita mahad akalita pare; bahu-vidha bhangima prema prasare
ati rasa lola sarasvati gane; kuruta hrdayam iha parama nidhane

“This pastime is bearing the nectarean rasa of laughter and is desired for by Sukadeva, Brahma, Siva and Narada. May the playful pastimes of Radha and Madhava enter my mind and increase my love. These pastimes only take place in the Vrindavana forest and are reflected in the hearts of those who are absorbed in this fresh rasa. This rasa makes the taste of mukti seem bitter and finds it shelter in the glistening feet of Sri Hari. The erotic transformations increase at every moment in this ocean full of the quintessence of nectarean rasa. These pastimes are beyond the three modes of material nature and are sung by the greatest sages, who spit even on the position of Lord Brahma. This pastime can only be seen by Radha's dear devotees and is not disclosed even to the Vedas. Even the great souls cannot find the end to all the different kinds of loving gestures made in this Rasa festival. O devotees who are very eager for rasa! Always keep your hearts absorbed in the supreme jewel of Prabodhananda Sarasvati's song!”

Now the Rasa dance is over. Radha and Madhava enjoy a little rest, sitting on a jewelled throne and Sripada, as a maidservant, blissfully massages Their lotusfeet. The word lalana in the text means 'keeping with affection'. The maidservant forgets all sense of time while she eagerly relishes the sweet taste of massaging these lotusfeet. The lotusfeet of the divine Couple are tired of dancing the Rasa, and Radha and Madhava keep Their eyes halfclosed while They enjoy the soft and affectionate massage of the maidservant. There's no limit to the maidservant's ecstasy then! Then, when this transcendental vision vanishes, sripada pitifully prays: “When will You bless me with the services of fanning You and massaging Your feet?”
Madhava - Sun, 09 Nov 2003 02:58:42 +0530
Today we commemorate Rasa-purnima.
Madhava - Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:09:32 +0530
Today is Rasa-yatra, the day for vasanti-rAsa. smile.gif

Among other texts, the rAsa-dance of the spring season is described in Jayadeva's Gita-govinda. More on rAsa for example here, a thread that I wish someone would continue. smile.gif
anuraag - Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:27:15 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Apr 23 2005, 05:39 PM)
Today is Rasa-yatra, the day for vasanti-rAsa. smile.gif

Among other texts, the rAsa-dance of the spring season is described in Jayadeva's Gita-govinda. More on rAsa for example here, a thread that I wish someone would continue. smile.gif

Wonderful, I like to add this to enhance our Divine Love Devotion. smile.gif

rAsa krIDASTakam
anuraag - Sun, 24 Apr 2005 03:37:13 +0530
Jaya Sri Radhey!

A few sublime verses from Gita-Govinda kavya of Sri Jayadeva
glorifying Maha Raasa lila of Lord Krishna and Gopis:

.. prathamaH sargaH ..

.. giitam.h 4..

chandanacharchita niilakalevara piitavasana vanamaalii .
kelichalan maNikuNDalamaNDita gaNDayuga smitashaalii ..

harir iha mugdha vadhuu nikare
vilaasini vilasati kelipare .. 1..

His lovely bluish form is smeared
with fragrant sandal paste,
robed in yellow siken garments
and decorated with a garland
of wild forest-flowers.

His glittering cheeks are adorned with
an enchanting smile of amorous play
and swinging diamond ear-rings.
O seductive lover!
Your Beloved Hari now sports with the
playful flock of beautiful, artless maiden!

user posted image

shrii jayadevakaveridam adbhuta keshava kelirahasyam.h .
vR^indaavana vipine lalitaM vitanotu shubhaani yashasyam.h .. 8..

Ratha Yatra and Sharad Poornima Celebrations!

10th Anniversary Celebrations of Sri Raseshvari Radha Rani Temple!