Hari-katha Articles WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MAKE A RELATIONSHIP WITH VRAJA-RASA? (Part 1)

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MAKE A RELATIONSHIP WITH VRAJA-RASA? (Part 1)

Krsna is eternally present within His names, forms, qualities and pastimes. The name of an ordinary person and the name of God are not on the same level. If we chant some ordinary person’s name it does not give any spiritual potency. If you take shelter of the Lord’s holy name sincerely, as given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you will experience all transcendental potency’s that are within the name. Krsna considers qualification, but in Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, He does not consider whether one is qualified or not. (Sanga anga upasa) Mahaprabhu appears with His own names, forms, qualities, pastimes and His own abode and associates.

KRSNA DISTRIBUTES RASA LILA

Krsna thought, “My sadhaka may engage in spiritual practice for many millions of lifetimes, and after that he may be able to achieve perfection by taking birth in Vraja or getting the qualification to stay in Vraja. However, if he does not make a relationship with Vraja-rasa and the Vrajavasis, then he will not be able to understand Me or come near Me.” Bhagavan Himself decided to distribute this rasa through rasa-lila. Krsna was dancing, singing, playing on His flute and meeting with everyone and by this He gave rasa.

PARAMATMA HELPS THE SADHAKA

The Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead is present within the hearts of all living entities as Paramatma. But the Lord does not reveal His form as Paramatma, nor does He manifest His qualities and names, He is always neutral and peaceful. He is present everywhere in a neutral manner.

When the practitioner begins his spiritual practice, he will gradually understand Paramatma and Visnu-tattva, ‘the indwelling witness in the heart’. Paramatma’s primary function will be to help the sadhaka make spiritual progress. If someone worships the ‘para-vasta’ avatars such as Rama, Narayana, Nrsinghadeva or Krsna, then Paramatma will personally help them progress towards their ultimate attainment. The Lord Himself will come, and through ‘rasa’, will fulfill and satisfy them, making them effulgent. He fully decorates the sadhaka, giving them all eligibility for His service.

BUMBLEBEES PARTICIPATE IN THE RASA DANCE

indavan the Lord Himself initiated the rasa dance. ‘Kamala’, lotus flowers, were decorating the hair and ears of the Gopis. Their braided hair was swinging back and forth and the faces of the Gopis were beautifully decorated with flowers. When Krsna was dancing in the rasa-mandala, the Gopis ankle bells were chiming, and as Krsna was beautifully dancing, so were the Gopis. Even the bumblebees were singing so sweetly, wanting to participate in the symphony of music of the rasa dance.

In Vrindavan the bumblebees drink nectar from the various flowers, and when they saw the wonderful dancing of Krsna and the Gopis, they also wanted to sing and dance. They think, “I will also participate in this wonderful symphony of music.” Even though the bumblebees seem to be without rational thought, still they became maddened by the nectar of the rasa dance and wanted to participate.

Sridhara Swami explains that the bumblebees made a very sweet sound like the drone of a tambura, in this way, they assisted in the rasa dance symphony. The residents of the heavenly realm also came to witness the rasa dance. Seeing the rasa dance, they became overwhelmed. Even though they could not understand anything externally, still their hearts became filled with love for Krsna.

During the Rasa-dance the singers were the Gandharvas and the Kinnaras. These heavenly performers became intoxicated and senseless by the attractive performance of Sri Krsna and the Gopis. Even without an invitation, they would instinctively come. When the Vraja-devis danced, their ankle bells, waste-belts and bracelets all resounded like musical instruments. The flowers that were decorating the Gopis hair-braids would shake and fall off, when their heads shook back and forth to the sound of the music and dance. The flowers in their hair were showering down like a shower of flowers that were dancing with Krsna.

The Gandharvas and Kinnaras, who were the heavenly performers and damsels, had appeared in their heavenly airplanes. They did not have a complete understanding of why the Gopis and Krsna were singing and dancing, they were still immersed in complete joy. Even the animals, birds, peacocks, bumblebees, cuckoos, and deer, all participated in the Rasa-dance and became completely intoxicated in divine love for Sri Krsna. The bumblebees were drinking the nectar from the lotus and other flowers that decorated the Gopis hair, and they also participated as singers.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains, a person while taking full shelter of the Lord’s transcendental names, forms, qualities and pastimes, chants Their glories by singing and dancing, that person will become decorated with all good qualities.

QUALITIES OF GOOD PLACES AND BAD PLACES

What is the nature of a place filled with good qualities, and the nature of a place filled with bad qualities? It is described here, that wherever good qualities are present, everyone’s heart will be attracted and simultaneously pleased and joyful without bad or dark moods. As long as these good qualities are being distributed, people will come participate and not be able to leave that place because there is no selfishness present there.

Even if you don’t know any melody, have a good tone, or know any words to a kirtan, just chant the holy names of the Lord with all sincerity and faith, and whatever you don’t know, will manifest in your heart, simultaneously. Even if you don’t know anything, just start chanting the Lord’s holy names and mantras with full faith.

THE MOODS OF THE GOPIS ARE ORNAMENTS AND INSTRUMENTS

All the various ornaments of the Gopis, the ankle bells, waist belts with small hanging bells, and their bracelets, all participated in and manifested an effulgent beauty in the musical performance of the Rasa-dance. These ornaments all manifested a different mood and they all had a personality.

Can you comprehend the qualities of a flute that is made of wood, or a mrdanga that is made of clay and leather? What love is present within them? In Krsna lila the mrdanga, flute, ankle bells, bracelets, and the waist belts, all become favorable to Krsna-rasa. They became instruments of His loving rasa, and became intoxicated in the ‘vilasa’ or loving affairs of Sri Krsna with his beloveds.

The Gopis had braids that were adorned and wound with flowers and flower garlands, and when they were dancing, these flowers would begin to fall from their hair and it would appear like a shower of flower petals covering the whole area. Everyone became bewildered by their dancing, and as previous mentioned, even the bumble bees became instruments and participated in the singing.

In Sri Krsna’s Rasa-lila in Vraja, there is no pollution or lust. It was like children playing together, there was no lust. Krsna was dancing and having loving affairs with his own associates who are all manifestations of His divine potency.

THE NATURE OF SRNGARA-BHAVA

When Krsna began His loving affairs with the Vraja-gopis, they could not control or bewilder Him. Krsna is not controlled by anything, and is completely transcendental. It is like a child playing with its shadow or reflection. Krsna was not bewildered or influenced by any trace of lust, even though He was dancing with millions and millions of Gopis, who were all more beautiful than millions of Goddesses of fortune. Krsna attracts everyone, but at the same time He is not influenced by, nor does He come under the control of anyone because of their beauty or attractive qualities.

at is the nature of the Gopis’ srngara? They are all gifts and ornaments for Sri Krsna. With so much love Krsna gave so many gifts to the Gopis. Some He gave more gifts to, others He gave different gifts to. What were these gifts? The skills to sing, play the vina, mrdanga drum, dancing, and all the qualities through which they could perform their loving affairs, were the gifts given by Sri Krsna.

Krsna was playing with them, just as a little child would play with his own reflection in the water. He was like a small boy playing with His own reflection, being attracted by His own beauty, and being satisfied within Himself by His own sweetness. The limit of Krsna’s sweetness came to its full extent amidst the Gopis, and even though His sweetness is boundless, it fully appeared amidst the Vraja-gopis.

THE GOPIS ARE MORE FORTUNATE THAN LAKSMI

The gifts that Krsna bestowed to the Gopis were the gifts of love. The Goddess of fortune, Laksmi, could never receive this. The Lord never danced and sang with her like He did with the Gopis. She is present with Him with all ‘maryada’, rules and regulations. The Vraja-devis therefore are more fortunate than even Laksmi-devi. Their beauty increased more and more because of Sri Krsna’s love for them, but at the same time, there was no lust. Krsna was dancing and playing with His own potencies, just as a small boy would play with His own reflection or shadow. In this way Krsna began His play.

Krsna is perfected in the 64 arts that manifest through His ‘kaya-vyuha’, personal expansions. All of Krsna’s pleasure potencies and His various expansions are the Vraja-devis. They are not separate from Krsna, and we should not think they are something different. These potencies are present in other forms to facilitate His loving exchanges, and to serve Him. Krsna is the original personality that is engaged in loving affairs and wonderful pastimes, that bestow ‘ananda-cinmaya-rasa’ upon all the Vraja-gopis.

Excerpted from the up and coming Bhakta Bandhav publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”

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