(Translation of Hindi Dictation)
śrī govindaṁ vrajānanda sandohānanda mandiram
vande vṛndāvanānandaṁ śrī-rādhā-saṇga-nanditam
This book Govinda-līlāmṛta establishes the living entities in spiritual perfection, bestowing realization of their svarūpa-siddhi, eternal spiritual form, svarūpa-ānanda, the bliss inherent in that form, and svarūpa-gata-sevā, the service corresponding to that form. This Govinda-līlāmṛta builds the temple. Which temple? The temple of the soul’s eternal form, where ātma-gata-sevā is performed. A temple is where the service of God is performed. Our heart is now impure and full of anarthas, but by hearing this Govinda-līlāmṛta, the swamp of filth present in our heart will be cleansed and a wonderful temple will be constructed.
How is this possible? The Vrajavāsīs and Vraja-devīs’ hearts are full of ānanda-rasa, the bliss of pure love. When their hearts melt towards us, and shower us with their affection and mercy, then Govinda’s pastimes, līlā-śakti, will manifest in our hearts, vitalizing us with life. Then our hearts will become a temple where Kṛṣṇa eternally performs His pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
We offer obeisance to Govinda and His pastimes. By receiving the flow of transcendental nectar the soul is nourished and its spiritual body develops. After the soul has blossomed into its spiritual form in the transcendental world, the Lord is brought into the beautiful temple of the heart. At that time, knowledge of the distinction between male and female forms based on temporary physical bodies will be lost, as well as all other material conceptions. Only when this has occurred can our heart truly be a temple for God. As long as we have a materially contaminated ego, vision, and conceptions, until that time, we will be controlled by jāḍa-rasa, mundane sensuality, and everything we perceive will give us its material designation, rather than its true spiritual designation. By perceiving the temporary material designations of objects in this world, these objects enter within our mind and make our heart a foul swamp.
Mahāprabhu instructed, “To cleanse the mirror of the heart, one must again and again relish the nectar of God’s playful loving pastimes, līlā-rasa. We must again and again hear these pastimes, extol these pastimes, and remember them. Līlā-rasa is our very life. Without līlā-rasa coming in our hearts, the soul shall never be born into its real existence.”
Therefore Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains that by taking shelter of Govinda’s pastimes, we can enter the fathomless ocean of līlā-rasa. The writer Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī composed this Govinda-līlāmṛta in the form of Sanskrit poetry.
First of all, we pray to Govindadeva, the performer of transcendental pastimes.
It is told—
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā 1
Kṛṣṇa is without beginning. Where is He? In Vraja Bhūmi. Those who receive the great fortune to reside in Vraja in the company of the associates of Kṛṣṇa, cannot have any doubt. All doubt leaves their hearts. Being maintained and nourished by ānanda-rasa, that person will become absorbed in the sweet service of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa in mādhurya-rasa. By mādhurya-rasa the soul’s eternal form is constructed, and this be the most wonderful of temples. In this temple Śrī Śrī Rādhā Mādhava will be present at all times, performing Their loving pastimes.
. . .
Ignorant living entities suffer from the disease of material existence. What is bhāva-roga? They always independently try to make material objects their own. If they see any object, they try to possess it, and are devoid of the ability to offer anything to God. They are weak cowards hiding in the temporary material bodies. All conditioned souls want to possess material objects. They take these things without offering them to God, this is sin. The entire world is the property of God. My body is the property of God. Everything is Gods. But the conditioned souls want to enjoy that property. This is sin. This is cowardliness. Because of this greed, one takes the help of other conditioned souls, and becomes their servant and follower. This is bhāva-roga, the disease of material existence.
How can this disease be cured? Only by drinking the nectar of pure love. Supremely merciful Mahāprabhu and His companions freely distributed the elixir of prema-rasa to the conditioned souls, saying, “Why do you foolishly drink insignificant mundane rasa, why do you give attention to the degraded? Why do you waste time for this? Why do you suffer life after life in the struggle to attain happiness through false love? Take prema-rasa, the mellow of pure love. Relish līlā-rasa. Serve God with all your senses. Use anything you possess or achieve in the service of God, don’t keep anything near you for the sake of your own enjoyment. Keeping anything for yourself is bhoga and causes you to suffer.”
As a disciple who comes to a pure Guru is immediately offered to God and is engaged in the service of God. A genuine Guru does not engage disciples in his own service. Whatever comes to us in this world must be engaged in the service of God. But how will our disease of material existence become vanquished? Once we relish līlā-rasa, we will be attracted by the potency of līlā-śakti, and will realize the glories of our Lord. We shall be related to Him and shall learn to love Him favorably. When related to the Lord we shall naturally offer Him all things we possess. Then bhava-roga will be destroyed for all time.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu brought this līlā-rasa and distributed it in the world. Hence, there is no other more merciful than He. Therefore we offer Him obeisance.
First obeisance was offered to the holy dhāma, Vrajavāsīs and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, who will make our hearts into temples. Then we offer obeisance to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who came and mercifully distributed this līlā-rasa.
. . .
The composer of this book, Kavirāja Gosvāmī, realized that until the living entities hear of the eight-fold daily pastimes of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, because of not accepting līlā-rasa, spiritual potency and enthusiasm will not come to the jīvas, nor will the ability to offer themselves to the Lord, or to serve the Lord. Therefore the composer mercifully did not explain anything about jaḍa-rasa, mundane sensualities, nor about the activities of various incarnations of God. Rather, he described the pastimes of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī with Her dearmost beloved Kṛṣṇa. We offer our homage unto those eternal pastimes.
The eight-fold pastimes of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa begin from niśānta-līlā, pastimes at the end of the night. By hearing, chanting and remembering these pastimes, we shall certainly become saturated with anurāga. If we have no greed to hear or enter within those pastimes, however much sādhana we perform, we will achieve no benefit. If we have a burning desire for absorption in these pastimes, then līlā-śakti will bestow her mercy without a doubt. Hence, those who wish to tread on the path of anurāga must always meditate on these pastimes. If we don’t tread on the path of Vraja anurāga, then attraction of the material world will pull us towards the objects of māyā. We offer obeisance to that topmost līlā-śakti.
Mānasī-sevā, service performed in the mind, is of utmost importance for the spiritual aspirant. This internal service should be like an unbroken stream of oil. If we desire to traverse the path of spontaneous attraction, we must always remember the daily activities of Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, and serve within them. Then kriyā-śakti, the active potency, will mercifully bestow direct revelation of those pastimes in our heart.
As one who is very eager to go to some place will plan out how to achieve his aspired destination and then will buy a ticket and board the proper train. But if he has no desire to go anywhere, why would he pay for a ticket and sit on a train? Thus, the aspirant desiring to follow the path of rāga-mārga must begin the process of mānasī-sevā.
. . .
In this verse, Kavirāja Gosvāmī summarizes the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in Vraja. At the end of the night, Kṛṣṇa leaves the forest grove where He has been engaged in pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and secretly returns to Nanda-bhavāna, where He takes a short rest. Śrīmatī returns to Yāvaṭa and soon leaves for Nanda-bhavāna with Her sakhīs. Kṛṣṇa’s friends, the sakhās, arrive at Nanda-bhavāna from their own residences. Yaśodā Mātā enters the room of Kṛṣṇa in the early morning and sees red and black marks on His face, neck and form. Also, His upper cloth is blue, not yellow. She becomes astonished, “I bathed Him carefully after He returned from the forest. And when I tucked Him into bed He was so perfect and beautiful, without a blemish on Him. Now what has happened to Him? It is as if someone has bitten and bruised Him.” Then she thinks, “Maybe I am mistaken, and did not bathe Him properly. Thus He has these marks on His face from playing in the jungle with His friends yesterday.”
She quickly fetches warm water and a soft cloth, which she dampens and uses to wipe Kṛṣṇa’s face and neck. She looks at His feet and sees they are marked with red kuṁkum and alta and thinks, “How has this come on my lālā’s feet? Who has placed it here?”
Just then, the sakhīs peek in the door and watch, fearing, “Will Yaśodā Mātā suspect us? Will she comprehend our activities?”
They come in the room and tell Yaśodā, “You will become tired here alone, we will clean Him, don’t worry.”
“No, no, don’t wake Him, be silent. He is very tired. You didn’t bathe Him properly last night, just look, all the marks are there from the forest. Alas, my lālā labors so hard day after day going to the forest with the calves. Now He is exhausted and His throat is dry. I will bring some fresh butter for Him right now.”
As Yaśodā leaves the room, the gopīs exchange the blue shawl Kṛṣṇa is wearing for His yellow one, wipe away the red unguent on His feet, and clean His face and neck from any mark. Also, there is sign on Kṛṣṇa’s hands from when He embraced the gopīs during Rāsa līlā. The gopīs swiftly wipe any indicating mark of their meetings with Kṛṣṇa from His body and depart the room before Yaśodā returns.
Yaśodā comes and gently opens Kṛṣṇa’s mouth, placing butter inside with sugar candy. Kṛṣṇa slowly sucks on this without opening His eyes. Yaśodā thinks, “He is still tired and will not yet awake.” She closes the ventilators and curtains and then goes and tells all waiting for Kṛṣṇa’s darśana outside, “Don’t make any noise.” She warns the monkeys, “I don’t want to hear any of your bantering.” And the birds, “Don’t even think of loudly chirping.” She instructs the sakhās, “Make not a sound. Don’t shout out, ‘Kanhaiyā, Kanhaiyā.’ My lālā is exhausted. I closed the curtains and made the room completely dark.”
She tells the sakhīs, “Don’t go in and clean.”
The sakhīs hold on to Yaśodā’s hands and lead her away joyously, while behind them, Rādhārānī slips into Kṛṣṇa’s room and begins to fan and massage Him. Kṛṣṇa immediately sits up and kisses Her cheek and catches onto Her neck, then pulls Her down under the covers in His arms. The sakhīs come give a signal and Śrīmatī leaves the room and goes to prepare for Kṛṣṇa’s bath as Kṛṣṇa wakes up and leaves the house to milk the cows in the paddock.
At every moment, until Kṛṣṇa touches Śrīmatī, He feels some shortness or emptiness in Himself. Therefore throughout the day, Śrīmatī searches for some pretense to meet with Her Beloved.
Rādhā Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are unlimited and eternal. Sometimes Śrīmatī Rādhārānī comes late from Yāvaṭa, having remained longer in the kuñja with Kṛṣṇa. She meets with Kṛṣṇa while He milks the cows. Sometimes, as She passes Kṛṣṇa who milks the cows near Tera Kadamba, Rādhārānī purposefully breaks Her jeweled necklace and sits down to pick up all the gems. Then Kṛṣṇa comes and takes Her in His lap, kisses Her cheek and strokes Her hair, then leaves. Arriving at Nanda-bhavāna, Rādhārānī goes to the kitchen to cook for Kṛṣṇa, changing Her cloth to something appropriate. Kṛṣṇa sees the gopīs’ colorful sārīs in the dressing room and asks His mother, “Whose clothes are scattered here and there. Someone has left these here in a hurry. I will fold them and place them inside nicely.”
Kṛṣṇa takes the sārīs and places them on His head. Yaśodā is very pleased and says, “Lālā, Your nature is very good. Serve all, I am very pleased.” Then Kṛṣṇa goes and places the dresses in another room. When the gopīs finish cooking and come out of the kitchen with the intention of again changing their clothes, they cannot find them and ask Yaśodā, who points and says, “Look in that room over there.” Then when they go to change clothes, Kṛṣṇa again meets with them.
For those who are colored with anurāga, līlā-rasa manifests in their heart, revealing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa one after the other. Then there cannot be anurāga towards the mundane world. Therefore līlā-rasa is of utmost importance to destroy bhāva-roga, the disease of material existence. The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are transcendental to any mundane conception. They cannot be fathomed by the conditioned mind.
The sun has still not risen. It is just before dawn, and the darkness of night is slowly dissipating before the coming of day. How do Rādhā Kṛṣṇa separate from Their embrace in the kuñja? Morning is coming, after performing Rāsa, Rādhā Kṛṣṇa have laid down to rest in a kuñja. Jaṭilā and Kutila have become concerned, “It is late, why has Rādhā not arisen and come out of Her room?” They do not enter Rādhārānī’s private quarters. Then Kakkhaṭī comes and causes a ruckus. After, she returns to the kuñja and says, “Don’t worry, I have distracted Jaṭilā and Kutila, they will be engaged for sometime cleaning up from the havoc I have caused.”
Jaṭilā and Kutila go around cleaning, when the sakhīs come and ask, “Is Rādhā still sleeping?”
The sakhīs decorated Rādhā as another sakhī and snuck Her into the room, telling Jaṭilā, “We will go wake up Rādhā.”
Many varieties of pastimes occur during kuñja-bhaṅga-līlā.
. . .
Kavirāja Gosvāmī next says, “I am unqualified and my intelligence is very slight.” What is the purport? “Now my intelligence doesn’t go towards any work of this mundane world. I am talent-less and unworthy.” Why does he say he has no intelligence? Some people have such immense intelligence they make impact all over the world. But Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “I cannot perform any work of this world. My intelligence is not able to do this. I am without talent.” This means: I am not expert in pleasing the minds of materialists, as is generally seen to be necessary to survive happily in this world. Why does he say he is insignificant and worthless? “No one likes me. Why? I cannot be the slave of anyone. I have already completely surrendered my life.
“My nature is now only to describe the nectar ocean of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes,” Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains.
“What is the reason?”
“Kṛṣṇa’s līlā-rasa is my very life. The Lord mercifully did not give me any qualification. If He had done so, I would have taken those qualities and gone far away from Him. He only gave me līlā-rasa. If God had given my any other quality, I would be cheated by this.”
Those who God doesn’t cheat are not given any high qualification, because taking that they would go further away from God.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “If any Vaiṣṇavas laugh at me for my foolishness, let them do so. If anyone speaks roughly to me, let them do so. I am not a paṇḍita. I am not a knower of high philosophy. I know only this līlā-rasa, am drowning in this rasa, and will describe this rasa.”
What will be the result? First he told very humbly, “I am an insignificant and a bungling fool.”
Why did he say so?
“If I had other qualifications, I would not be one-pointed to this rasa.”
Why did God not give any other skill?
“Then I would not be able to properly relish this rasa, for I would have no time. My time would be shared with other pursuits. As I am now drowning in this līlā-rasa day and night, if I had many talents, I would have to give time for many things. Therefore God bestowed great mercy upon me.”
Kavirāja Gosvāmī showed his own qualification and God’s mercy. Kṛṣṇa mercifully gave him this rasa, nourishing him, and keeping him engaged in His service. This is the confidential meaning.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains, “If He had not given me this rasa, then I would not have the qualification to serve Him.” Why? “Then I would be attracted to other rasas and become the servant of others.”
In this world there is ordinary mundane rasa. People become attracted to this and show false love to please others, saying, “I am yours. I am ready to give my life for you. Please accept me as your own.” As long as there is some selfishness people act like this, but as soon as one’s selfish motives are fulfilled, or people stop acting favorable to their desires, they give up their supposed beloveds in a moment.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “I do not know such theatrical acting. God did not give me this talent. To please anyone, I cannot act like Rāvaṇa who dressed as a sannyāsī to kidnap Sītā. I do not know this hypocrisy. I only know kṛṣṇa-līlā-kathāmṛta, nothing else. The Lord did not give me any other qualification. God did not give me so much talent that I could speak so many big things to attract peoples’ minds.”
. . .
Kavirāja Gosvāmī next says, “In Vraja-maṇḍala they are many exalted mahā-bhāgavatas who are the associates of Mahāprabhu. They composed many beautiful and perfect scriptures, describing the pastimes of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. The different rasas were explained, as well as vaidhī-bhakti and so forth. I do not know so much. I cannot speak on so many subjects. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu described Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in a very wonderful, charming and humorous manner.”
To enable rasa to enter within people some special means must be put into affect. No one will take transcendental rasa without any special process to make it easily digestible. People easily accept the rules and regulations of vaidhī-mārga through chastisement and punishment. But all do not know the method to bring people into the path of rāgānuga-bhakti. Therefore Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu wrote sweet plays like Lalita-mādhava, Vidagdha-mādhava, Haṁsa-duta and so forth. These naturally attract the hearts of people. In rāga-mārga, this sort of method must be carried out.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]