Hari-katha Articles Vipralambha and Glories of Lalita

Vipralambha and Glories of Lalita

We are very fortunate to be in the line of the Svarūpa-rūpānuga-gauḍīya-guru-paramparā. If we cherish the aspiration to serve Śrīmatī Rādhārānī in Vraja, we must be in the anugatya, guidance, of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī and Śrī Lalitā-devī. They are our group leaders. Without Lalitā-devī’s mercy and acceptance, we cannot enter Rādhārānī’s group. Today we are celebrating the glories of Śrī Lalitā-devī.

In Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṛṣṇa always desires to meet with Rādhārānī, to speak with Her, to go nearby and sit with Her. Lalitā-devī is very strong and will not allow Kṛṣṇa to openly meet with Rādhikā. When Kṛṣṇa pleads for a chance to meet, Rādhārānī’s heart may melt a little bit, Her māna may soften, but then Lalitā would chastise Her and say, “Why are You looking at Him? Why are You thinking about Him or becoming soft towards Him? He is a rascal and cheater.”

Viśākhā is śikṣā-guru and somewhat favorable to Kṛṣṇa, although she is on Rādhārānī’s side. She is not so vāmya, left-sided, and pragabhā, bold and outspoken, as Lalitā. Lalitā-devī increases the pleasure of the Divine Couple’s meetings by making them sudurlabhā, very rare. When meeting is open and free, then the sweetness is not so great as when it is very difficult to meet. Kṛṣṇa meets in Dvārakā with the queens openly, but He cannot sit openly with Rādhārānī in Vraja-maṇḍala. Everything is ready, ready, ready, and Kṛṣṇa comes to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, but Lalitā-devī says, “Rādhe! Don’t look at Kṛṣṇa. Turn Your face the other way.”

Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to Lalitā-devī—

dhūrte vrajendra-tanaye tanu suṣṭhu vāmyaṁ
mā dakṣiṇā bhava kalaṇkini lāghavāya
rādhe giraṁ śṛṇu hitām iti śikṣayantīṁ
devīm guṇaiḥ su-lalitāṁ lalitāṁ namāmi
(Śrī Lalitāṣṭakam 4)

 

[I offer praṇāma unto Śrī Lalitā-devī, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Śrīmatī Rādhikā in this way: “O Kalaṇkini Rādhe, listen to my good instructions which are favorable for You. Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhūrta). Do not display Your mood of gentle submission to Him; instead, in all circumstances, always be contrary.]

When Kṛṣṇa persisted in His attempts to meet with Rādhikā, Lalitā took Her away to another kuñja. Rādhārānī lamented, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa will never meet with Me.” She feels so much pain. How sweet is that pain? It is unfathomable. The sweetness of meeting is enhanced by separation and in separation, there is unlimited sweetness. In separation, Rādhārānī’s loving moods increase higher and higher without limit. Lalitā-devī helps nourish these moods of separation. Rādhikā laments and suffers so much without meeting Kṛṣṇa, and also when meeting, She feels separation. Sometimes, when the Divine Couple meet, They do not speak. They sit side by side but Rādhikā turns Her face away from Kṛṣṇa. She has very strong māna, jealous anger. There seems to be no solution. Then, Lalitā-devī will arrange reconciliation. The sakhīs will speak Kṛṣṇa’s glories and Lalitā-devī arranges a sweet playful program for Kṛṣṇa.

When Kṛṣṇa left Vraja, the gopīs stayed at Uddhava-kyārī, experiencing intense pangs of separation. We have heard of the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī there. Lalitā-devī was there with Śrīmātī. If she liked she could have called Kṛṣṇa at once. But after meeting, would Rādhārānī’s feeling of separation be solved? It would only increase more and more. If there is a large fire and one puts a thick metal plate on top of the fire and heats it until it glows red, then he may put thousands of drops of water or liters of water on the plate, but it will not be cooled. If you shower the burning plate with a stream of water, the water will sizzle and evaporate. Even the air around the fire place will heat up from the steam, it is not cooled. The separation of Rādhārānī is so strong. People cannot understand Her moods. When Kṛṣṇa is far away from Her, then sometimes She meets with Kṛṣṇa in a dream and talks with Him. Awake, She sees Kṛṣṇa, smiles, runs forward and embraces a tamāla tree, thinking it to be Kṛṣṇa. Lalitā-devī collects all these pastimes and offers them to Kṛṣṇa.

These are called bhāva-taraṅga, the waves of Rādhārānī’s loving moods, coming one after the other endlessly. Rādhārānī’s moods develop through the stages of sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva, modana, mādana, rūḍha, ādirūḍha, citra-jalpa and up to madanākhya-mahābhāva, the highest limit of love. These moods are so sweet and tasteful. They cannot be experienced without vipralambha. Meeting is one rasa, and separation is another. In meeting there is so much sweetness. But in vipralambha, there are feelings of meeting as well as separation. And separation increases the pleasure of meeting. Vipralambha is very helpful for the sādhakas, those who are practicing in this world, and also for the siddhas, the divine personalities in the transcendental world.

Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva, and Subadrā left Dvārakā and came to Nīlācala, nearby the ocean. This is Vipralambha-kṣetra, the land of separation. Here, Kṛṣṇa is only crying and weeping, trying to understand Rādhārānī’s moods. Kṛṣṇa next appeared as Caitanya Mahāprabhu and also stayed in Jagannātha-kṣetra. He hid in a small room with Svarūpa Damodara nearby to help Him relish Śrīmātī’s moods. Svarūpa Damodara is Lalitā-devī. She taught Mahāprabhu each mood and way of serving. Mahāprabhu would go from the Gambhīrā to Ṭoṭā Gopinātha, where He heard Rādhārānī, Gadādhara Paṇḍit, speak on the Bhāgavatam.

One day, while Gadādhara Paṇḍit was singing and describing Gopī-gīta, hearing the pathetic moods of the gopīs in separation from Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu became maddened with prema and began to search for Kṛṣṇa. Before, as Kṛṣṇa, He could not understand the gopī’s feelings when He disappeared from the Rāsa dance. Now as Mahāprabhu, endowed with the moods and complexion of Rādhārānī, He felt Her moods of separation and became maddened. When the gopīs moved throughout the forests and gardens searching for Kṛṣṇa, they would ask the trees and creepers where Kṛṣṇa was. Kṛṣṇa watched from a hidden place and could not fully understand why the gopīs were maddened in love and separation from Him. But now Kṛṣṇa Himself was maddened.

Mahāprabhu ran in the garden of Ṭoṭā, searching for Gopinātha, and calling out, “Where is Kṛṣṇa?” He embraced the trees and asked them, “Where is Kṛṣṇa?” He rolled on the ground, weeping and calling out for Kṛṣṇa. Then He dug in the earth and found Gopinātha. Why? The gopīs could not bear the feeling of separation from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa could not tolerate their pain and had to appear. Now, Gadādhara Paṇḍit and Svarūpa Dāmodara could not tolerate seeing Mahāprabhu’s separation from Kṛṣṇa. Gopinātha came out from their hearts. Mahāprabhu took that Gopinātha in His lap and brought Him to Gadādhara. He said, “O Gadādhara, Gopinātha is here.” Gopinātha smiled and played on His flute. He was shy. The gopīs gave Him their shawls as a seat and He sat there and smiling played His flute.

In Vraja, the gopīs are very shy. They are not married to Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa married with just one of them what would the rest feel? What are the rules in the Western countries? If a man has five or six partners, they will fight so much amongst each other. They may kill one another, or commit suicide themselves. The Vraja-devīs all have love for Kṛṣṇa. And they all know that all the other gopīs also love Kṛṣṇa. And they are very shy. But they do not fight. If one were to ask, “Why do you love Kṛṣṇa?” “I don’t know,” they would say. “I simply love Kṛṣṇa.” Why? There is no cause. The gopīs know that they love Kṛṣṇa, but it is hidden from their parents, husbands and other relatives. It must remain hidden. This is the parakīya mood.

Lalitā-devī cools and nourishes the hearts of the gopīs. The gopī’s receive special qualities from Lalitā-devī. They are under her guidance. And they become so sweet and happy. Lalitā is the group leader teaching how to serve Kṛṣṇa. She divides services, giving some mañjarīs the tāmbūla sevā, or the service of giving water, or of making sweets or flower garlands, some to dress Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and some to decorate and prepare the kuñjas. She divides services amongst the gopīs. When the gopīs’ hearts burn in vipralambha, Lalitā is like sandal cooling this separation. She gives the gopīs many lalita qualities, making them charming, soft, polite, humble and peaceful. When one of the gopīs thinks about Kṛṣṇa then Lalitā-devī gives her a service and the ability to properly serve. They serve both externally and internally. They have this vipralambha and feel, “I’m very small and have no good qualities. How can I serve him? Will He accept my service?”

Lalitā-devī then shows to the gopīs, “Kṛṣṇa is wearing the flower garland you made.” She says to another, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa is wearing the outfit you made.” And to another, “Look, Kṛṣṇa is wearing the turban you made.” “He is wearing the necklace you made.”
Kṛṣṇa accepts the gifts of the gopīs and feels like He is directly meeting with them. The gopīs think about Kṛṣṇa; their hearts have room only for Him. Thus Kṛṣṇa comes in their hearts, plays with them, and He embraces, kisses them and plays in their hearts. Their love increases more and more. Kṛṣṇa tastes that sweetness and then runs.

We are in the Svarūpa-rūpānuga-gauḍīya-guru-paramparā. There are different lines one may follow. There are different rasas, and amongst madhurya-rasa, some have vāmya-bhāva and some have dakṣiṇa-bhāva. We are in this svarūpa-rūpānuga line, following Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī and Śrī Lalitā-devī. Lalitā-devī is the best friend of Śrīmātī Rādhikā. By pleasing her, it is very easy to please Rādhikā.
Therefore, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura petitions Śrīmatī Rādhikā to engage him in service in Vraja, identifying himself as the unworthy maidservant of Lalitā—

yugala sevāya, śrī rāsa-maṇḍale
niyukta koro’ āmāya
lalitā sakhīra, ayogyā kiñkorī
vinoda dhariche pāya

 

[Bhaktivinoda, the unworthy servant of Lalitā Sakhī, tightly holding Your lotus feet close to his heart, begs to be engaged in Your confidential sevā in the śrī rāsa-maṇḍala. Please hear my supplication and appoint me as Your maidservant.]

Lalitā-devīs followers are very straight and strong. They are not scared of anything. Kṛṣṇa accepts whatever they prepare for Him and tastes all their moods. Followers of others may miss something, or have shortage of something, but the followers of Lalitā never miss anything. Their service is guaranteed. Wherever they begin their service, Kṛṣṇa will come. But direct meeting makes one proud. The Vraja-devīs and Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇavas do not directly jump to be guru, founder, and ācārya. They are tṛṇād api sunīcena, more humble than a blade of grass. Why? If you go in the direction of being Guru, pride will come and how will you then remain under guidance of Lalitā-devī? The mood of Brahma or God will come and you will go far away from the bhāgavat-paramparā. All the ācāryas in the bhāgavat-paramparā feel themselves to be servants of the servants of the servants. They are special ācāryas, for they always remain under guidance of Lalitā-devī. They will help whoever comes to them, but they never think they are the ones who are helping. They are not proud. Śrī Guru will say, “The guru-varga are helping you.” They offer everyone who comes to them to the guru-varga. Śrīla Gurudeva would tell everyone who came to him to aspire to be rūpānugas, the followers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.

Śrī Lalitā-devī kī jaya! Gaura-premānande! hari hari bol!

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

Must Read

Inauguration of Sri Goloka-ganj Gaudiya Matha

The public was very impressed to see the special quality of Srila Guru Maharaja’s preaching and to hear the hidden siddhantas of bhakti, and they resolved to take up spiritual life and follow his teachings. The devoted Sucitra-devi unconditionally donated her land and newly built residence for the purpose of establishing a Gaudiya Matha in Goloka-ganja. This donation was duly registered at the Registration Office in the main town of Gvalapada district, Dhubadi...

IS KRSNA VASUDEVA-NANDANA OR NANDA-NANDANA? – (Janmastami Festival)

At midnight on Janmāṣṭamī, the Mathurāvāsīs began to sing, “Nanda ke ānanda bayo, jaya kanhaiyā lal ki—(Nanda’s son has been born; all glories to baby Kanhaiyā!)” Hearing this kīrtana joyously sung by the thousands of faithful assembled in Keśavajī...

Glories of Sita-devi

In 1987, at the Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, many senior devotees of ISKCON came to Srila Gurudeva, as well as...

SRILA GURUDEVA'S APPEARANCE WAS THE MERCY OF SRI RADHA

Srīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja is an eternal associate of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the transcendental realm of Vraja and was sent by them to spread vraja-bhakti (dine love of the residents of Vraja) in the material world. He led an ideal life as a self-realized ācārya (preceptor) in the unbroken succession of divine masters of the Brahmā-Madhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya (a disciplic lineage). He is a scion of Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself. This is his true family lineage. Śrīla Gurudeva’s birth in a certain location with familial ties is an act of mercy to those people; however, he has no mundane birth. na karma-bandhanaṁ janma vaiṣṇavānāṁ ca vidyate viṣṇor anucaratvaṁ hi mokṣam āhur manīṣiṇaḥ Padma-Purāṇa A Vaiṣṇava (servitor of Lord Viṣṇu) does not take birth under the jurisdiction of karmic law. His birth and disappearance are transcendental. The wise have declared that the servants of Viṣṇu are eternally engaged in the liberated service of the Lord and hence are free from the laws of material nature. Sri Guru is transcendental and has a direct relationship with the transcendental world. The duty of a disciple is to glorify the transcendental nature of the Guru-varga. A person cheats himself when he considers Sri Guru in relation with the mundane world—or merely considers the spiritual master’s apparently ordinary activities, neglecting his spiritual character and ideology. To properly understand Śrī Guru, one must observe his supra-mundane teachings through the eyes of scripture, under the guidance of Vaiṣṇavas who are his close followers. Śrī Guru does not desire any object of the material world, for he has no relationship with this world other than to read the glories of the Divine Couple, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Because Śrī Guru is free from attainment to temporary objects, he will not mislead anyone by glorifying the qualities of mundane existence. He does not preach the path of fruitive action, austerity, or speculative knowledge. As he is immersed in blissful service to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, his ambrosial speech describing Their glories is the tonic that cures a living entity’s disease of repeated birth and death. Śrī Guru thereby connects souls suffering in material bondage with the Supreme Whole—fully satisfying their innermost need for a loving relationship. Kṛṣṇa sends His dearest associates, who are expansions of His Divine Potency, into this world to save souls suffering in māya (material energy in contrast to God’s spiritual energy). If Kṛṣṇa directly sent His own expansions, it would not be as helpful for the conditioned souls. Hence, He prays to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, “If Your powerful expansions go to the material world, they will liberate the entire universe. Please send them. They are more than capable of bringing the lost souls home to Me.” At the dawn of this material creation, Śrī Kṛṣṇa bestowed transcendental knowledge and potency to Brahmā, the universal architect. Empowered by the Divine Potency, the Brahmā-Madhva-Gauḍīya disciplic succession descends in an unbroken current of pure devotion from Śrī Brahmā to Śrī Nārada, Śrī Vedavyāsa, Śrī Madhvācarya, Śrī Padmanābha, Śrī Nṛhari, Śrī Mādhava, Śrī Akṣobhya, Śrī Jaya-tīrtha, Śrī Jñāna-sindhu, Śrī Dayānidhi, Śrī Vidyānidhi, Śrī Rājendra, Śrī Jayadharma, Sri Purusottama-tirtha, Śrī Brahmaṇya-tīrtha, Śrī Vyāsa- tīrtha, Śrī Lakṣmīpa-tīrtha, Madhavendra Purī, and Śrī Īśvara Purī, as well as Nityānanda Prabhu and Ādvaita Acarya. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu brought about Śrī Īśvara Purī’s great fortune by accepting initiation from him. From Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the lineage descended through Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara and the Six Gosvāmīs (Śrī Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, and Raghunātha dāsa). From them, came to Śrī Kṛṣṇa-dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrī Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī, and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, who flooded the world with the current of pure love as was practiced and taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Amongst Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s many beloved disciples, two of the foremost are Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. The foremost disciples of Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja are Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja and Śrīla Bhaktedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

MUST YOU LEARN TO BECOME TRICKY?

The gopīs are very tricky, they will say that they are doing one thing but will do something else. They will tell their parent and elders, “We are going to the Yamunā to pick flowers,” but instead they will go and meet with Kṛṣṇa. They will say that they are carrying buttermilk in clay pots, but actually they have kept butter, honey, and many other nice things for Kṛṣṇa. They will say they are going to sell buttermilk in the market, but instead will go and cook a feast for Kṛṣṇa in the forest and meet with Him there. The gopīs are crooked and tricky. They have so much love, and they also follow rules and regulations. Their rules and regulations however are those of Vraja, not of this world. Those who never drink the divine nectar of Rādhārānī’s names and service can never understand the behavior of the Vraja-devis and certainly cannot adopt their perfect behavior. The gopīs are expert at always pleasing Kṛṣṇa through their tricky behavior. Those who are always honest and straightforward cannot have the guidance of the Vraja-devis nor learn to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa like them. We must therefore learn to become tricky. When Śrīla Gurudeva served Param Gurudeva, Ācārya Kesarī Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he also did so in tricky ways. Once, Param Gurudeva asked Śrīlā Gurudeva, “What have you cooked today?” Gurudeva replied, “Only kichaḍi.” However, when he served Param Gurudeva, he first gave him kichaḍi, but then he also brought chutney, subjis, yogurt, kṣira, and so many tasty things. Param Gurudeva asked, “What is this? Where did you bring all this from?” “Oh, someone has arranged this for Ṭhākurajī. So I have brought a little of Ṭhākurajī’s prasāda for you. I don’t know who has made this or where it has come from. I heard that some devotees brought this for Ṭhākurajī, so we offered it and then brought some prasāda for you.” Ordinary people will not have this kind of mood when serving Ṭhākurajī and Guru Mahārāja. In this way, Śrīlā Gurudeva trickily arranged many delicious items for Param Gurudeva. He did not tell Param Gurudeva directly that he had made these things for him, rather he told him, “This was all arranged for Ṭhākurajī.” He thought, “I know that my Gurudeva will not accept these nice things, he will say, “Why are you bringing such opulent things only for me?” He understood that Param Gurudeva would become upset, so he acted in a tricky and clever way. This behavior is natural for the Vraja-devīs. Gurudeva also behaves like this because he has pure vraja-bhakti. The Vraja-devīs are always eager to serve in a pleasing manner. If any problem or disturbance comes then they never become hopeless or depressed; their love ever-increases. Obstacles that would destroy any ordinary person’s love may be there, but their love only increases. This pure bhakti—this vraja-bhakti—is highly exalted and therefore Prabodhānanda Sarasvatīpāda sings, “O my heart, please give up attachment for the important things of this world and just run to Vraja, to Vṛndāvana, where the supreme treasure, the nectar flood of Śrī Rādhā’s name delivers all the sādhakas of this world and brings them to the eternal land of Vraja.” We pray to always bathe in the nectar of Rādhārānī’s names. When there is so much rain that the land becomes flooded, the river overflows, and everything is either swept aside or pulled into that flood—even great big trees and houses—still, we can see that in the rivers there are lotuses that are not broken. They move this way and that, from side to side as though they are playing in the water. In the same way, when the flood of śuddha-rasa, or the divine nectar of Rādhārānī’s names enters our hearts, we will become restless with the desire to be present in Vraja, and even if so many obstacles come before us in this world we will be able to conquer all difficulties.

More Articles Like This