Hari-katha Articles THE SHOWER OF RASA

THE SHOWER OF RASA

brahmeśvarādi-su-durūha-padāravinda
śrīmat-parāga-paramādbhuta-vaibhavāyāḥ
sarvārtha-sāra-rasa-varṣi-kṛpārdra-dṛṣṭes
tasyā namo ‘stu vṛṣabhānu-bhuvo mahimne

I offer obeisance to the glory of Śrī Vṛṣabhānu’s daughter. Even Brahmā, Śiva, and all the demigods cannot attain the pollenlike dust of Her lotus feet. Her merciful glance bestows a shower of the greatest nectar.

Lord Brahmā and the demigods also pray for Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s mercy.  Brahmā took birth in Vṛṣabhānu-pura, taking the shape of a hill with four peaks, which were his four heads. He considered, “All my knowledge and memories are useless. I carry so much garbage in my mind. My knowledge of the Vedas, Vedānta, and the Upaniṣads is worthless. If the foot dust of the Vraja-devīs could fall on my head then my mind and intelligence would be pure and prepared for service in Vraja.”

Brahmā therefore stayed in Varsānā and prayed for the saffron pollen that decorates Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s feet and is found on the pathways and in the forests of Vraja. This pollen, parāga, is unavailable to the demigods. They cannot understand the extent of the glories of this parāga. This parāga  bestows transcendental rasa and destroys the desire for jaḍa-rasa, material pleasures and relationships. Seeing us anointed with this pollen from Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s feet, or sincerely aspiring for that wealth and the service of Śrīmatījī, the Vraja-devīs will accept us as their own and will train us how to serve Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa with pure love.

Brahmeśvarādi—even beyond Brahmā, Bhagavān and all His incarnations long for the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. All the incarnations of śaktimān, Bhagavān Himself, pray for the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. And all goddesses expand from Svarūpa-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhikā and desire to receive Her mercy—umā ramā satyā śacī candrā rukmiṇī, rādhā-avatāra saba āmnāya-vāṇī. Without the mercy of Svarūpa-śakti, no one has any power. The incarnations of Bhagavān are impersonal Brahman without the power of Svarūpa-śakti; They are śaktimān only when They are connected to the power of Svarūpa-śakti
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Without śakti They are only impersonal, allpervading,
featureless Brahman.

In this world, mostly all religions and castes follow Brahman but do not have any idea or belief in brahma-śakti. They worship the featureless, all-pervasive Brahma; meanwhile they have no faith in śakti. Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, on the other hand, worship śakti and śaktimān, with prominence given to śakti. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who decisively formulated and propagated the concept of acintya-bhedābheda, gave emphasis to śakti and propounded the principle of śakti-parināma-vāda—that all matter and living beings are expansions of śakti, the Potency of Kṛṣṇa, who is śaktimān, the Potent, and not Kṛṣṇa directly. Other sampradāyas give utmost respect to śaktimān and consider
śakti secondary. However, Vaiṣṇavas of the Gauḍīya-sampradāya worship primarily śakti. They are the Gauḍīyas, meaning the followers of Gaurī, the Golden Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.

kevala mādhava pujaye, so ajñānī
rādhā-anādara koroi abhimānī

Those who, out of mundane pride, neglect Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and worship Mādhava alone are ignorant fools.

Prabodhānanda Sarasvatīpāda originally lived in Śrī Raṅgam and worshipped Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught him, however, that even the incarnations of God have no power without Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s mercy. Everything flows from the direct and original embodiment of Svarūpa-śakti,
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. The three features of the Absolute—satcit-ānanda—all come from Svarūpa-śakti. When Bhagavān is connected to Svarūpa-śakti, then He is śakti-samanvitāḥ. Thus empowered, He performs His pastimes as Lakṣmī-Nārayaṇa and viṣṇu-tattva. However, almost everyone follows impersonal Brahman without relation to Parabrahma and śakti. We cannot
be related to Parabrahma without taking shelter and receiving the mercy of śakti.

Brahmā, the incarnations of Bhagavān, and the demigods offer puṣpāñjali to the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and pray to Her from a distance, waiting for Her mercy in the form of a particle of dust from Her feet.

The inhabitants of the material worlds, the spiritual planets, and Śrī Goloka Vṛndāvana experience transcendental bliss when they hear and sing the glories of the Vraja-devīs, especially Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. When Śrī Hari hears the glories of the gopīs, He is extremely pleased.

Śrīmat-parāga-paramādbhuta-vaibhavāyāḥ—the pollenlike dust from Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s lotus feet, śrīmat-parāga, is supremely wonderful and is endowed with all transcendental specialties. The shower of nectar, rasa-varṣā, coming
from Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, is present in Varsānā. Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja is very merciful. At Varsānā, he gives everyone the chance to receive Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s mercy. We offer praṇāma to Vṛṣabhānu-rāja-nandinī, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. How? We offer praṇāma to Her by surrendering exclusively to Her and desiring to receive Her blessings and none others.

Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is present in Varsānā. Varṣā means a shower, and ānā means to come, so in Varsānā Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is always giving a shower of rasa. Vara-rasa-ānā—vara means boon. Śrīmatījī gives the boon of transcendental nectar, rasa, to all who come, ānā, to Varsānā. Śrīmatī is present with Her family on the hill of Vṛṣabhānu-pura in Varsānā, and from there a waterfall of nectar descends and inundates Vraja with bliss.

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HOW STRONG WAS GURUDEVA'S CHARACTER?

Śrīla Gurudeva did not give dīkṣā initiations for more than two decades after Acarya Kesarī’s disappearance. Nonetheless, he was widely revered as a spiritual master during this me. Many accepted Śrīla Gurudeva as a parakīya-guru and in turn he accepted them as parakīya disciples. Devotees from ISKCON, other Gauḍīya Maṭhas, local brāhmaṇas and priests, and village people from different castes all respected and accepted Śrīla Gurudeva as their beloved teacher and guardian. Examples of parakīya-guru and disciples can also be seen in the lives of the Six Gosvāmīs and previous ācāryas. In some cases, the indirect disciple is superior to the direct disciple. If someone has offered everything to the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, and the Vaiṣṇava has accepted one as his own, then mantra and dīkṣā are a formality. Our lineage is the bhāgavata-parampara—in which prominence is given to śikṣā, spiritual instruction. The siksa-guru increases faith in Gurudeva and Bhagavān and is as significant as the dīkṣā-guru. If one undergoes a formal dīkṣā ceremony yet never receives śikṣā, he will never be able to advance in bhakti. Śrīla Gurudeva told some of those who stayed with him, “You are my parakīya (indirect) disciples. This is a sweet relation.” The dīkṣā-guru protects his disciples by sending them to high-class Vaiṣṇava association. The path of anugatya is illuminated by the disciplic succession: the mañjarīs serve under the guidance of the sakhīs, the Guru-varga serves under the guidance of the mañjarīs, and the Vaiṣṇavas serve under guidance of the Guru-varga. For sādhakas it is thus essential to follow the footsteps of those Vaiṣṇavas who are intimately connected to the Guru-varga. Then one will not endeavor to cultivate worldly friends and will certainly advance on the path of pure devotion for Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Various ācāryas would send their brahmacārī disciples to Śrīla Gurudeva to learn how to practice strict sādhana. Also, followers of different spiritual masters would seek the guidance of Gurudeva after their own guru had departed. Over the following years, in addition to the numerous disciples of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja who trained under Śrīla Gurudeva, many disciples of Śrīla Bhakti Jīvana Janārdana Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhakti Śrīrupa Siddhāntī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Gour Govinda Mahārāja, as well as other ācāryas, trained under Śrīla Gurudeva. Gurudeva welcomed and cared for everyone. He always received the spiritual masters of those who came to him and taught those disciples how to properly serve their own guru; he never encouraged them to neglect their guru. He acted as siksa-guru without selfish motives. Many disciples of different gurus dwelt there harmoniously, yet everyone worshiped their own spiritual master with the full support and encouragement of Śrīla Gurudeva. When brahmacārīs of different gurus recited jaya-dhvani (names of spiritual masters and holy places declaimed before and after temple programs), Gurudeva instructed them to first praise the name of their own spiritual master. Such an ideal Vaiṣṇava is met only by great fortune. Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvami Maharaja, were best of friends and closer than brothers. Although Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja was the official acarya, he always collaborated with Śrīla Gurudeva and Śrīla Trikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and together they made all the decisions for the maintenance and development of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samitī. These three godbrothers, known as the three pillars of the Samitī, first discussed issues together, and later had open meetings with the other members of the society. For a spiritual organization to be successful and to prevent it from being derailed from the authorized ideology and lineage, self-realized souls must be in positions of authority. The ideas of ordinary people generally cause disharmony. Before giving dīkṣā initiations during festivals such as Gaura-pūrṇimā, Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja would offer Śrīla Gurudeva prostrated obeisance—Gurudeva naturally returned the respectful gesture. Even though Śrīla Gurudeva was junior, Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja would humbly say, “I am about to perform a sinful act, taking on the sins and offenses of these people. Please protect me.” Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvami Maharaja sent many of those he initiated—and who wished to be brahmacārīs—to study under the guidance of Śrīla Gurudeva at Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha in Mathurā. Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja would instruct them, “Go stay under the guidance of Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja and learn from him. If you disrespect or disobey the Vaiṣṇavas, and they dismiss you, then I will also not give you any shelter.” Whenever Pūjyapāda Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja would come to Mathurā, he would bring many gifts like brooms, Bengali vegetables—banana flowers, jafru, parmal—cloth for the Deities and the Vaiṣṇavas, and sundries; he never came empty-handed. Śrīla Gurudeva would occassionaly invite Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja to Mathurā to give dīkṣā initiations to Mathurāvāsīs or brahmacārīs who were prepared. When these pure Vaiṣṇavas met, they offered praṇāma to each other and then spent many hours sitting side by side, engaged in conversation. Śrīla Gurudeva would give all the donations he had received to Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who would in turn give everything he had collected to Śrīla Gurudeva. These collections were then mutually entrusted with the treasurer of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samitī, Kṛṣṇa-kṛpā Prabhu, and when funds were needed for festivals or for maintaining various temple projects, they withdrew and used them accordingly. Śrīla Trikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja also reserved donations he received throughout the year during his collections in the area of Chunura, from Uddhāraṇa Gauḍīya Maṭha, and he would deposit this with his godbrothers when they met four or five times annually. These three ideal godbrothers had complete trust in each other and they thus harmoniously served the cause of their divine master. Sometimes godbrothers or their disciples came from other temples and stayed with Śrīla Gurudeva in Mathurā. He always taught them to respect and worship their own Gurudeva. Śrīla Gurudeva encouraged everyone to follow the appearance and disappearance days of all Vaiṣṇava-ācāryas; indeed, Śrīla Gurudeva himself respected and followed their āvirbhāva and tirobhava festivals. Śrīla Gurudeva always taught how to properly follow Vaiṣṇava etiquette by his own example. Śrīla Gurudeva instructed the brahmacārīs, “Never think that other Vaiṣṇavas besides your guru should not be respected. Śrī Caitanya

WHY IS VISAKHA SO DEAR TO RADHARANI?

O fair-faced Viśākhe, My mistress will not leave your company for even a moment. Because You are both the same age, you are the realm of Her playful joking pastimes. Please save my life from the affliction of separation and show me my Svāminī. Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “O Viśākhe, you are my guru. You teach how to serve my Svāminī, Rādhikā. You never leave Her even for a moment. I pray to you, please bring me to my Svāminī. You are of the same age as my Svāminī, and similar in nature to Her. I don’t want to leave your association. You bestow darśana of my mistress. I am weeping in separation. Please save my life.” Why does he pray like this? Śrīmatī Rādhārānī doesn’t like to give up Viśākhā’s company for a moment. Śrīmatī always keeps Viśākhā near. They are very close friends. When Kṛṣṇa comes forcefully to kiss Śrīmatī, She sometimes places Viśākhā before Him. Kṛṣṇa then jokes and plays with Viśākhā, but Viśākhā moves aside and pushes Him towards Rādhikā. Why? Rādhikā’s followers do not desire to independently meet with Kṛṣṇa. When Viśākhā sends Kṛṣṇa to Rādhārānī, she doesn’t leave the kuñja. Why? So that Kṛṣṇa doesn’t harass Her too much. When He tries to, Viśākhā reprimands Him, “Move! No more.” Kṛṣṇa is not satisfied. He has desire to meet with Rādhikā, but Viśākhā takes Him away to increase His eagerness even more. She says, “Why are You so hard with my Kiśorī? Her skin is scratched from Your attacks!” Viśākhā takes Rādhārānī into a private quarter and applies a cooling sandal paste on Her limbs, while saying, “I shouldn’t have allowed Kṛṣṇa to come. Now He has bruised and scratched You.” Rādhārānī also desired to meet more with Kṛṣṇa, but Viśākhā took Her away to increase Her eagerness even more. Then Kṛṣṇa crept up from behind and suddenly kissed Śrīmatī, causing Her beautiful face to flush red. “This is not appropriate!” Viśākhā exclaimed, “how many times have I told You to restrain Yourself!” Just then, Lalitā comes in with the mañjarīs and says, “Send Kṛṣṇa out and bar the door of the kuñja.” Kṛṣṇa is sent forcibly out of the kuñja. Within, Lalitā and Viśākhā begin to serve and decorate Śrīmatī. Kṛṣṇa searches for a pathway in, or a gap to peek inside. By these playful actions of the sakhīs, His happiness is increased and mādhurya-rasa swells. Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “O worshipable Viśākhā, Rādhārānī doesn’t like to leave you for even a moment. You are always joyful in Her company. Please bestow darśana of my mistress, saving my life. By your indication, I will also enter in the kuñja and apply sandal on the cut marks on Rādhārānī’s cheek and chest. By your mercy, I will go and intimately serve Svāminī.” Kṛṣṇa comes and pleads to Rati Mañjarī at the kuñja entrance, “Please let me enter the kuñja. I will not disturb Śrīmatī any more. I will only go and sit a short distance from Her, and won’t tease or taunt Her. I swear that I won’t touch Her.” But He cannot live without Śrīmatī. He prays to Rati, “My life is departing in separation from Her, only you can save My life.” He tries to convince Rati Mañjarī by stroking her cheek, but Rati neglects Him and moves away, knowing Rādhārānī would become angry with her if she allowed Kṛṣṇa to affectionately caress her. Kṛṣṇa’s separation from Rādhārānī is so intense, it is impossible for Him to tolerate. (CLICK on the Title to read the full article )

A true practitioner of bhakti will respect everyone

Having a straw between his teeth, Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura prays, “Ha Kiśora! Ha Kiśorī! I hope my service continuously runs. Please accept my service. I have been serving many people since millions of lives. But they were never pleased by my services. I have never attained liberation or relief by serving them. Although I continuously served them, they rejected me. Everyone kicked me away. Today, I am serving the gopīs of Gokula under Your guidance. Please accept my service! I hope to never be distance from you.” Līlā-śakti will cleanse us thoroughly during the time of sādhana. Externally, a sādhaka will engage himself in śravaṇa-kīrtana. But, he will be very greedy for vraja-bhāva on the inside. He will have a relation with Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s followers. His heart will be very clean.

KRSNA IN VRAJA AND MATHURA versus LORD JAGANNATHA IN PURI- What's the connection?

On the other side, Kṛṣṇa was in Dvārakā, suffering from the agony of separation from Rādhārāṇī. In the meantime, Nārada Ṛṣi came to Dvārakā. He had just been to Hastināpura, for he was searching for the best and most glorious city. The Pāṇḍavas advised him to go see the glory of Dvārakā, so he proceeded there. Arriving in Dvārakā, Nārada Ṛṣi was received by Kṛṣṇa and His queens. Nārada Ṛṣi glorified the splendor and beauty of Kṛṣṇa’s queens, especially Rukmiṇī, Satyabhāmā, and Jāmbavatī. But they replied, “We are not fortunate. We have never pleased Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is never happy with us. Somehow, by our good fortune, we are nearby Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is not nearby us. He hardly shows any attention to us. He barely speaks to us or eats our cooking. The whole day and night He acts indifferent to everything. At night, when He comes to sleep in His bed, He only weeps and weeps and calls out, ‘He Lalite, Viśākhe, Rādhe!’ He is agitated for many hours before He finally falls senseless. And even in His dreams, we can hear Him speaking the names of the gopīs. In the morning, His pillow and sheet are all wet with His tears. We cannot pacify or satisfy Him by any means. He only calls out, ‘Rādhe, Rādhe, Rādhe, Rādhe,’ nothing more. Sometimes, in the middle of His sleep, He will sit bolt upright and call out to His friends, the cowherd boys, and to His parents, Nanda and Yaśodā, and will lament, saying, ‘Why did I ever leave you! I was such a fool! How can I ever return?’ ”

Gaura-purnima Kirtans

Gaura-purnima Kirtan! Prabhuji dances with the bhaktas! The Gaura-purnima program began with bhajanas at 4 a.m., as every day does...but the kirtana and katha program lasted the whole day without stop until almost 10 p.m. We had a fire yajna in the morning and five devotees received saffron cloth and became official brahmacaris in Mahaprabhu's movement!

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