Hari-katha Articles WHAT IS REAL ‘VIRAHA’ – SEPARATION?

WHAT IS REAL ‘VIRAHA’ – SEPARATION?

What is our prayer, is it sadness or a request? In which way are we expressing the moods of our heart? Is it pure or mixed? Is it filled with poison or is it mixed with the Lord’s transcendental shakti? Someone cries and is sad when they are disrespected or offended. Someone cries because they don’t get the objects of their enjoyment, the objects that they desire. Some people cry because they don’t get respect in this world. Some people cry because they love someone but they don’t receive love in return from that person, even though they have offered everything to their beloved, they do not receive any love.

This is all included within one’s own selfishness. We must learn to tolerate everything for the satisfaction and pleasure of our Lord. We endeavor to please and satisfy ourselves, but when we cannot be successful in this and our desires are not fulfilled, what do we do? We begin to cry alone. When we can not tolerate any longer, we will cry very loudly even in front of others. The cry of a child or an adult to express one’s own sadness, is not real ‘viraha’ – separation. This is not based on a real relationship. If someone’s husband, father, or son dies, they cry for some time and then forget them. They eat and live life as normal.

Once the Queen in Jagannatha Puri Orissa, came to Srila Prabhupada after her had son died. He was called Nila-Bhavan. The Queen was crying so much, so one day the sevaka who was with Prabhupada said; “Oh Prabhupada she is not fit to receive your mercy or to accept the knowledge you are giving, your ‘tattva-jnana’. She is bound within her own material attachment and cannot be freed from this covering. If someone does not have ‘sevonmukha-vrtii’, then how will they have the ability to accept the mercy of the Guru-varga? They have not done any service. They are attached to family, son and so forth. If you like I will speak with the King”.

The sevaka spoke with the King and he advised him to bring a large amount of gold and put it in front of the Queen, hundreds of kilos of gold from your treasury. Then she will become absorbed in thinking about the gold and taking care of the gold and will forget her son.

The King thought, “Ok I have tried everything else and it has not worked, so I will try this now”. He brought so much gold, silver, diamonds, jewels and many baskets of gold ornaments, and threw it all around. He scattered it in the garden, in the kitchen and in the different areas of the palace. Wherever she walked she would see the jewels and ornaments and put it in her pockets, smile and laugh. The next day he did it again, for 3 or 4 days he did this. Gradually collecting and maintaining all these ornaments she forgot her son. Otherwise before she would take the dead body of her son, embrace it and cry and wail very loudly like a mad lady.

HAVING PROPER FAITH

When I was in Mathura, we had a brahmacari who was very thin and sickly. He could not be fixed by any medicine. One day there was the Acarya of the Catur-Vedi-Vidyali a University for Brahmans. We asked him what we should do for the brahmacari as no medicine was working. He said; “Let him count the money everyday. Just give him the job of counting all the notes and then he will become fat. He doesn’t need anything else. A sad person becomes thin because they are always thinking, “Oh I am so poor. I have no money”. Then we gave this brahmacari the work of counting all the notes. If any notes were broken, I would tell him to keep them with him. He collected all these old notes and he felt like, “Oh I have something with me. They have faith in me. Now they must consider me as their own”.

Once Gurudeva called me and said; “Do you have faith that if you ask me for 30,000 rupees I will give it to you?” I said; “If you want you can give it. If you don’t want you won’t give it”.

Gurudeva said; “If you don’t have faith that I will give you 30,000 rupees, then how will you have faith that I will give you pure love of God, Bhagavat-prema”? I thought, “Oh from where has he taken me”? He said: “If you don’t have faith that I will give you 30,000 rupees, then how will you have faith that I will give you the transcendental wealth of prema? It means you don’t have the faith that I have the ability to give this to you”. We can not mix everything into one. One person cries day and night like a mad person. Is that viraha? Is this vipralambha? Is this the same as Mahaprabhu’s weeping?

At the time of Ratha-yatra, Mahaprabhu was weeping so powerfully that the tears from His eyes would shoot forth like spray jets and shower onto all the devotees around Him. Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays: from his eyes tears were flowing like a rain storm in the monsoon season. This separation and material people’s weeping and sadness is that the same? If we want to understand this properly then we should study ‘Rasa-pancadhyayi’.

GOPIS AMAZING MOODS

It is said that when all the Vraja-devis were dancing, playing and singing with Krsna for the entire night of Brahma. They had the chance to meet with Krsna and serve Him. He would always glorify and praise them. Through various verses He would glorify them and sing kirtans with their names. On the other side the Gopis were praising Krsna through kirtan and glorifying His beautiful form and qualities. In this way they were having a divine competition.

Krsna’s complexion and form would continue changing for each Gopi. The Gopis also manifested so many amazing moods. Radharani was given the name Gandharvika and Krsna received the name Giridhari. In this way they became Gandharvika-Giridhari and they also received the name Naval Kisora because they had such beautiful forms in their meeting.

WHY DID KRSNA DISAPPEAR?

After their meeting, when Krsna disappeared, in their sadness and separation from Krsna they said; “Krsna should not be so cruel”. He called them, so they left everything and came to Krsna. They gave up everything and surrendered to Him, so why did Krsna leave them? Was there any fault? They had some pride, in their good fortune.

Does that mean they should be forsaken? Then where is mercy? Where is magnanimity? Is there any shortness in God Himself? If Bhagavan becomes angry with His devotees then who will accept them? No one will accept them. Therefore you should not give any fault to God, there cannot be any fault in God’s activities. We may be at fault and therefore we look to the faults of everyone else, but Bhagavan has no faults.

Then why did Krsna leave them? Why did the Gopis have to roll about, weep, and lament so much? While searching through the forests in separation from Krsna. He gave them shelter and then after they surrendered everything, He rejected them! This is not the fault of Krsna.

How do you make a nice clay pot? First you take clay, then you soak it, then sift it, then cook it, then when it starts to dry a little you beat it, then you mix water again, then you dry it and then beat it again. Is it ready now? No, it’s not finished. Then you put it on ash in the fire and burn it. After that you put on another layer and again put it in the fire. In this way you make it black. Until the pot has become black, it is not ready. The clay pot will become black like coal. You put different layers on it then and after each layer you put it back in the fire. Now it becomes so strong it becomes like stone. All the power that is within stone, the clay pot will be even stronger. It becomes very shiny and you can cook anything in it now. Even if you try cooking with a raw pot then after two days it will disintegrate. When you cook it in the fire again and again and prepare even more layers again and again, then it will be completely strong and sand black. At that time, it will be even stronger than stone. A stone will break before the pot will break. Now you know it is ready.

In Vraja, Krsna witnessed this fire of the Vraja-devis separation. They had not seen ‘Krsna- viraha’, they had their own separation. Bhagavan can also have viraha. When Krsna left with Srimati Radharani, He was carrying Her. She said; “Look all the gopis are nearby. If they see Me with You, they will argue and fight with You, causing some problem. Let us go. I am very tired and cannot walk anymore, if you want you can carry Me but I cannot go further. Together we have come so far into the forest.”

Radharani desired to give mercy and shelter to the Gopis. She thought about how Krsna had left them, and how they were wandering deep into the different forests, and felt they should be given mercy. She thought, “If we proceed even further into the forest and if Krsna is not pleased with Gopis and He does not accept the them again, then it will become very difficult for them.”

PURE SEPARATION MOOD

Wherever Srimati Radhika is then Krsna will most certainly be there. Radharani thought, “If I go and give My darshan to the Gopis, then Krsna will also give His darshan.” So Krsna disappeared at that time leaving Radharani behind. Why did He leave Radharani alone? Her separation mood, that intense burning fire of separation is called, ‘vipralambha’’. Now the Gopis will witness that pure mood and they will learn. All the millions of Gopis who were searching from forest to forest to find Krsna in their separation will witness Srimati Radharani’s pure state of separation.

They saw Krsna’s footprints and thought, “We have not offered ourselves to Krsna’s lotus feet, therefore Krsna has rejected us, He has not given us His shelter. We will take shelter of His lotus feet.” In this way they meditated on Krsna’s lotus feet.

THE ATTRACTIVE POTENCY NEEDED

Now when they saw the other footprints along with Krsna’s, which were Srimati Radharani’s, they thought, “Oh she must be the dear most to Him, because He has taken her with Him. Her worship of Krsna was the greatest. He left everyone else but he did not leave Her”. Then they began to have a mood of respect towards Her and they prayed to both pairs of footprints.

When they had darsana of Radharani’s footprints and prayed to them, then at that time Radharani could not proceed further. Until we have some attractive potency within us, then it is like we are moving about here and there in an open field, we don’t have the bondage of attraction. That person who has ‘eka-darshan’ strong attraction, they are in some kind of bond or relationship. Because of the pride in their good fortune of being with Krsna, Radharani had not taken responsibility for the Gopis, but when they meditated on Her and prayed to Her lotus footprints, then Radharani could not leave them. Now they were bound in a relationship with Her.

GURU AND SADHUS ARE THE TRUE DOCTORS

Everyone is the servant of Guru, everyone is Guru das. But those who are remembering Guru, praying to Guru, thinking of Guru’s lotus feet, who are surrendered to Guru really, then Guru takes full responsibility for them. Otherwise there are so many servants, but if the children do not think of the parents and they leave then what will happen? If someone is sick Gurudeva would sometimes say, “Ok you can give so many different types of medicine,” without asking Gurudeva. When he knew that they were suffering so much then he said, “Oh you have tried everything now? Have you finished? Now are you ready to take shelter? Now will you listen to me?” They did not come to him. They went to the hospital, they showed themselves to the doctor, they took all sorts of medicines, but by this the bhava-roga – the material disease – will not go. The fruits of karma will not be destroyed. If the doctor can destroy the fruits of your karma then the doctor will become like Bhagavan’s svarupa, he will be guru, he will be the person who takes us on the path to liberation. He will be the person most worthy of respect. But he can not free us from our karma. Our sickness and suffering can not be cured by a doctor.

However the sadhus are the true doctors and they know how to very quickly destroy karma, even with the snap of a finger. The tirthas, the sastras, those objects of the Lord’s mercy, they have so much ability and power, in a second they can cure you, but you must surrender. If you do a sinful activity or a bad work, akarma and vikarma and so forth, if you disturb others then that is sin. What is the fruit of sin? Immediately you become sick. What is the fruit of sickness? You become fearful. Then because of the fear, you become more perplexed and deluded and you lament. When you become full of lamentation then the final state is death.

TENDENCY TO SIN

The doctor cannot free you from the results of your sins. We cannot be freed from these sicknesses that come from our sins. We try to distribute our sins to people in charity and so forth, but the tendency to sin does not leave us. We may bathe in the Ganga and then come out and sins are removed, but the tendency to sin is not removed. The sin may be washed away but not the tendency to sin, the seed of sin is not washed away. Then we start to sin again by criticizing others, sadly we are not afraid of sin.

How can this tendency to sin be uprooted completely? If we take shelter and pray to the Lord’s devotees, the pure Guru, the Lord’s dhamas, (the holy places), then it does not take them long. Even in a moment they can free one, and uproot these tendencies to sin. When people are suffering, and they cannot find any other place then they call sadhus, they bathe their feet, they take their caranamrta, they take their remnants, feed them and in this way, they receive peace and salvation, which is the direct fruit.

WHY ARE WE CRYING?

Because of their independence the Gopis were wandering in the forest lamenting and crying and praying to Krsna. But what should the proper mood of their prayer be? In separation do they have the mood of serving Krsna? They have their own sadness, and they are expressing lamentation borne of their own sadness. But what power does that have to attract Krsna? What power do our prayers have to attract Krsna? We may weep so much but no one comes to us and then we say, “No one wants me, no one loves me”. But who are we crying for? Is it for ourselves or anyone else? We are crying because of our own sadness.

Who will free us from this sadness? Have we taken anyone’s shelter or not? Now when Krsna left Srimati Radhika, the gopis prayed to Her lotus footprints, and then Radharani told Krsna that She could not walk any further. Afterwards the Gopis then met with Srimati Radhika and saw Her lamenting and praying to Krsna. Before that point they had prayed many prayers. When they met with Srimati Radharani in separation they prayed to Krsna as Maha-bhuja, who is very strong and powerful. She said; “I have offered Myself in Your service”. What does this mean? “Even though I am unqualified, you gave this tendency, so please accept Me as Your servant, and do not reject me seeing my shortcomings. I have no one else as My shelter. I have no other Lord but You. You are My one and only Lord, otherwise I am an orphan, I have no master. I am offering Myself to You, please mercifully accept Me.” Meaning please give me Your service.

This is one positive point. Up to this point their crying was mostly for their own selfishness. Even though it is not a bad kind of selfishness, it is not any kind of impurity, it is very high and beyond these things. Still, however, now Srimati Radhika is praying; “Please accept Me even though I am unqualified. You are very magnanimous and very strong. You are so powerful and I have no qualification compared to You. I am full of bad qualities and therefore I am suffering”.

A person will be poor as long as they do not have all good qualities. When they have good qualities then how can they be poor? That person who has all good qualities, then these qualities have wealth and power and value. Through these qualities everyone will be attracted. These qualities are your wealth. Those who have no good qualities for example, are illiterate, a fool and they have no intelligence. They do not know how anything should be done. Whereas those who are educated and filled with all good qualities, and have all qualifications, then how can they be poor? All wealth will naturally come to them very easily. They will know how to collect everything so they cannot be poor. It is said a King is respected in his own country but an educated person is respected everywhere. When our Guru-varga went to all the different countries, did they become a King and then go? Did they become expert in some field of politics, and then go and try to fight and play politics in different areas? No. They have transcendental knowledge, ‘paravidya’, and through that they became conquerors of the whole world. Therefore they have all wealth, and there is no shortness of anything. In this way they are never poor or sudra.

GOPIS FIND SRIMATI RADHARANI

Srimati Radharani says; ‘dasyaste krpanaiya’, “I have accepted no one else but You as My one and only friend. If You do not give Me good qualities in which to serve You, if You do not accept Me in Your service, then where will good qualities come from? Who will give them?”

“Please give Me your shelter and teach Me so that I develop good qualities and qualification, then I will be fit to serve You, and remain in Your service. But if I have no qualification and You do not accept Me, then how can I be Your servant?”

When Srimati Radharani prayed like this then all the gopis witnessed Her prayers and their hearts came into a completely pure state of ‘viraha’ – separation. Until this point they were imitating Krsna’s pastimes. One became Putana, the other jumped on her chest. One lifted up her cloth like she was lifting Govardhana. In this way they were absorbed in and imitating Krsna’s pastimes. They were ‘tadatma’, but what kind of Krsna seva in this? Where is the power to attract Krsna in this? This is present with Srimati Radharani, and after the Gopis found Her they began to learn this. This concept is a very subtle.

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

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