Mahāprabhu prays to Nanda-nandana in this verse. He does not approach Kṛṣṇa as Yaśodā-nandana, Gopī-jana-vallabha, or Radha-kanta. Why does Mahāprabhu say, ‘Nanda tanuja’? Nanda Mahārāja gives shelter to all the residents of Vraja-dhāma, and takes care of them as if they are his own children, his own heart and soul. He has love and affection for everyone. He does not think that only Kṛṣṇa is his and others are not.
Mahāprabhu prays to Nanda-tanuja because all the glories of Nanda Mahārāja are present in Kṛṣṇa. He is the son of Nanda and Yaśodā; He is the son of the King of Vraja. Nanda Mahārāja gives shelter to whoever comes to Vraja. He is never angry or disturbed by anybody and he never insults anybody or kicks them out of Vraja-maṇḍala. His heart is open to everybody.
Mahāprabhu said, “He Nanda-nandana, please make me Your kiṅkara. I am Your servant, but I forgot You and my real identification. Thus, I fell to this world, in which I experience great suffering. How can I realize my eternal position as Your servant, and stop my suffering?”
Nanda Mahārāja and the Vrajavāsīs take so much care of even the most insignificant servant in Vraja-maṇḍala. He maintains everybody very carefully. Kṛṣṇa is automatically happy with whomever is dear to Nanda Mahārāja. If you want to have a relationship with Śrī Guru-pāda-padma, the mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas, or Kṛṣṇa, you have to first observe who is dear to them.
The sādhaka cannot directly approach Kṛṣṇa by independently performing bhajana and in a challenging mood asking for blessings and shelter. A lot of people say that they perform bhajana, worship Kṛṣṇa, and do austerity and parikramā, but Kṛṣṇa is not satisfied with this. As a result, they throw their Gopāla Deity away after sometime and say, “There is no need to further perform worship. This is all bogus.” This is only because you do not know the process.”
After stealing the cowherd boys and calves, upon realizing his mistake, Brahmā first offered praṇāma to Lord Kṛṣṇa again and again and asked for forgiveness. But Kṛṣṇa did not even look at him. Then Brahmā said, “Oh, You are Nanda-nandana, the son of Nanda Mahārāja.” And then he prayed to all the Vrajavāsīs; then Kṛṣṇa’s heart melted.
Mahāprabhu teaches us this process of anugatya. Receiving the mercy and blessings of Kṛṣṇa’s devotees is the only one way to become close to Kṛṣṇa and please Him with our service.
Mahāprabhu said, “Ayi nanda-tanuja.” He did not directly mention Kṛṣṇa’s name. He did not say, “Rāma, Hari, Gopāla.” “Ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram, how can I become a small servant of Nanda Mahārāja’s son and family? If they accept me, my life will become successful.”
The next lines of this state that, “I fell in this dangerous well of materialistic family life, or saṁsāra. Krpaya, please accept me. Tava pāda pankaja—Your feet are soft and fragrant like a lotus. In this ocean of material existence, bhāvam–budhau, there is no shelter, but if take shelter of Your lotus feet, then I can be saved from this calamitous circumstance.”
There are bumblebees, which are so strong, they can even make holes in trees. These bumblebees fly here and there in search of honey, and sometimes come to a lotus flower. They sit on the flower and start to drink the honey. The bee drinks so much honey that it forgets its family and its own nature, and falls asleep in the lotus. When the sun set, the lotus closes for the night, and the bee is stuck inside. The next morning the lotus blossoms again with the first ray of the rising sun, and the bee wakes, intoxicated with the fragrance of the lotus and sweetness of its nectar.
Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet are more glorious than this lotus flower. Whoever relishes their fragrance and takes shelter of them will lose all relation, affection, and attraction to family life. Therefore Mahāprabhu said, “O Kṛṣṇa, Your feet are more glorious than a lotus, pāda-pankaja. Please give Me the shelter of these lotus feet. I do not desire anything other than the nectar from Your lotus feet.”
Then the verse continues, “Stitha dhuli sadrsam vicintaya, there are many sevakas who are affixed to Your lotus feet like particles of dust or pollen.” A blossomed lotus contains an abundance of pollen and nectar. This attracts many honeybees. “Your lotus feet are very attractive. There are numerous servants serving these lotus feet. These servants are like small particles of dust that never go away from Your feet, but continuously remember and serve them. Please, make me one of these small servants, so that I will also never leave You. I would like such a position.”
First the sādhaka has to understand and make a firm vow to become the servant of God. He should pray, “O Kṛṣṇa, please give me the adhikāra to serve You. Without Your service I will fall down. Please never reject me or replace me from the post of Your servant. When pride arises in my heart, many problems arise. Therefore I pray to be the small and insignificant dust at Your lotus feet. When my position is insignificant, Nanda Bābā and all the Vrajavāsīs will take care of me like a small baby, and I will not become proud.”
The following is Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda’s song on the fifth verse of the Śikṣāṣtakam.
aparādha phale mama, citta bhela vajra-śama,
tuyā nāme nā labhe vikāra
hatāśa haiye hari, tava nāma ucca kari,
baḍa duḥkhe ḍāki bāra bāra
As a result of my offenses, my heart has become as hard as a thunderbolt. Consequently, it does not melt even slightly when I chant Your holy name. O Lord, now I am feeling very despondent. Being very aggrieved with distress, I am calling Your name again and again.
dīna dayāmaya karuṇā-nidāna
bhāva-bindu dei’ rākhaha parāṇa
You are very merciful. Kindly give me just a single drop of ecstatic love and save my agitated life.
kaba tuyā nāma uccāraṇe mora
nayane jharaba dara dara lora
When will that auspicious day arrive when, upon chanting Your holy name, a stream of tears will flow from my eyes?
gadgada-svara kaṇṭhe upajaba
mukhe bola ādha ādha bāhirāba
When will my throat become choked up, causing my words to become garbled?
pulake bharaba śarīra hāmāra
sveda-kampa-stambha habe bāra-bāra
When will the hairs of my body stand erect due to ecstasy? When will I become soaked with perspiration? When will the limbs of my body begin to tremble? O Lord, when will my body become stunned?
vivarṇa-śarīre hārāobuṅ jñāna
nāma-samāśraye dharabuṅ parāṇa
Becoming overwhelmed with bhāva, when will my color fade, and when at last will I lose all consciousness? Regaining my consciousness once again, I will maintain this life simply by taking shelter of Your holy name.
milaba hāmāra kiye aiche dina
ro-oye Bhaktivinoda mati-hīna
Crying incessantly, this Bhaktivinoda, who is devoid of all intelligence, says, “Will there ever be such a day for this unfortunate soul?”
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]