It is the general idea that Sri Krsna is pleased to be surrounded by many devotees who are busily engaged in serving Him. But Jayadeva Gosvami points out here that real krsna- puja is carried out only by those whose sole desire is to please Srimati Radharani. This is the essence of anukula anusilanam. We may offer many sweets and things to Thakuraji based on our own idea of what is appropriate, but there is no guarantee that Krsna will be pleased. If, after carrying out many types of sadhana and worship, Radha and Krsna’s lilas do not appear in the heart then we can be certain something is lacking in us.
Even in the spiritual world, Krsna wants to see how many people are correct and He examines everyone. “Who really wants to please me?” When He sees that someone has surrendered to Srimati Radharani He becomes pleased and desires to be the friend of that person. This is what Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu instructed our Gosvamis to teach the souls of this world.
Now Jayadeva Gosvami sings:
näma-sametaà kåta-saìketaà vädayate mådu-veëum
bahu manute nanu te tanu-saìgata-pavana-calitam api reëum
Krsna’s body is decorated with flowers, charming cloth, and the dust of Vraja. He thinks, “I am fortunate to be touch by this vraja-raja. As soon as I come in contact with this dust I am filled with the inspiration to chant and remember only, ‘Radhe Radhe.’ I desire to constantly and exclusively remember and hear Her names—nama sametam. This is because of the mercy of the dust of Vraja.”
This is Krsna’s mood, but he cannot openly teach those in other rasas, such as dasy and sakhya, to chant these names.
In Kali-yuga Mahaprabhu gives this nectar of Radharani’s names. He establishes that is the supreme dharma of all to chant harera-nama—Sri Radha’s names. Mahaprabhu went out for nagara-sankirtana everyday and sang, “Hare hare! Govinda hare!” He gave told everyone to chant the Hare Krsna mantra, the mahan, or greatest, mantra. Everyone should chant this—anyone from any rasa. Without Srimati Radharani’s mantra and name then there is no way to reach God—yet this remains, to most, a secret. Krsna only gives hints—nama sanketam. He cannot openly tell everyone to chant Radharani’s names and surrender to Her.
Before, Krsna chanted the names of His cows, such as Pisangi and Ganga. Counting on His mani-mala He made sure all of them were present. If any where absent He would call them by playing His flute. Krsna also has millions of sakhas. He knows and calls them all by name. But in chanting these names He does not find complete happiness. Only when He chants the names of the Vraja-devis does He feel satisfied. This is because the names of all His bhaktas are present within the names of the gopis. Furthermore, the names of all the gopis are present within the names of Sri Radha. Therefore, Krsna desires to chant that name incessantly.
Now Srimati is in mana and Her friends are trying to pacify Her. “O Sakhi,” they say, “Krsna is chanting Your name. The air is carrying the dust from Your lotus feet and when that touches Krsna He desires to never remove that dust from his body. He says, ‘I am so lucky. I respect this dust which has touched the body of Srimatiji.’ He feels so much happiness and satisfaction from within when this dust touches Him and in that state he places His flute to His lips and plays a sweet melody.
“O Radhe, Krsna is waiting fro You. Please come out of the impenetrable fortress of Your mana. Krsna will not meet with anyone else. He wants to see You only. The dust from Your feet is smeared on His brow and His entire body. He will not even talk to or meet with His sakhas now. He only wants Your darsana. Please come. Where?
dhéra-samére yamunä-tére vasati vane vanamälé péna-payodhara-parisara-mardana-caïcala-kara-yuga-çälé
The sakhis are urging Sri Radha to come meet with Her beloved Krsna where He is waiting on the bank of the Yamuna, where a gentle breeze that carries Sri Radha’s divine fragrance and foot dust is flowing. is flowing. Srimatiji, however, does not move one step.
patati patatre vicalati patre çaìkita-bhavad-upayänam racayati çayanaà sacakita-nayanaà paçyati tava panthänam
“O Radhe,” the sakhis say, “Krsna is normally restless and carefree, but today He has become very focused in making a beautifully decorated place for You to sit.”
When Krsna picked the flowers He said to them, “I am taking you away from your parents (the stem and leaves) but do not worry, I will use you for the service of Radharani, making your lives and the lives of your entire dynasty successful.
A sadhaka might not know the right way and principles in the execution of his practice but he just chants from his heart, “He radhe, vraja devike, ca lalite!”then Krsna will come and collect him, as a gardener collects flowers.
Gurudeva said, “I went to the West and collected many flowers that Prabhupada had planted.”
“O sakhi, Krsna has not only made a sitting place for You, He has also made a picture of Your lotus footprints out of flower petals. He offers arcana to those footprints andwhile reciting the bija-mantra, ‘ram radhikaye namah.’ He offers each article of worship, like padya, arghya, and acamana, with all His heart. Carefully utilizing tiny and colorful flowers He has made this place for worshiping Your footprints. In another place He has made a pillow of flowers for You to rest Your feet on. Thus He is expressing His heartfelt love and that He has offered everything to You. O how is the smell of that place! How pathetic the scene! You cannot imagine this.
As they described to Srimati Radharani this scene that they saw on the bank of the Yamuna, the sakhis were overcome with spiritual emotion and they began to perspire.
As He decorated the flower design of Radharani’s footprints, Krsna offered the flowers into the seva of Srimati Radharani, saying to them, “You will be here—as Her toe ring.”
Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari know this—they know that their place is at Srimati’s lotus feet.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who is Rati Manjari in the eternal world, says:
çré rüpa maïjaré karärcita pädapadma goñöendra-nandana bhujärpita mastakäyäù hä modataù kanaka-gauri padäravinda samvähanäni çanakais tava kià kariñye
Under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari, I will massage my Radharani’s feet while She rests Her head in Krsna’s lap.
By following Sri Krsna’s hints—nama sanketam—a person can obtain seva adhikara, qualification to serve in Vraja. Krsna cannot directly tell everyone to serve Srimati so He gives hints. All this is illustrated in Krsna’s making rangoli designs with hidden messages and expressions in that kunja on the bank of Yamuna.
Anyone desirous of such seva-adhikara must follow the gopis and that means to be keep ones seva secret. The word gopi means gopan or gopaniya—secret or hidden.
A bird becomes attracted a tree with many fruits. He comes to taste one of the ripe sweet fruits but as soon as he touches it, it falls to the ground. “What happened?” said the bird. “Why did he fall? He fell when I came. Perhaps he does not like me. What wrong did I ever do him?” Then he flies to a raw fruit and finds that it does not fall when he touches it. “Yes,” the bird said. “This one is nice to me.” Then he tastes the fruit but finds it sour and bitter. He flies away considering it useless.
What can we understand from this? Asat sanga is easy, but sat sanga is not so easy. Sadhus are clever. They remain distant from everyone and appear to be of a bitter nature.
Krsna arranged a sitting place for Srimati Radharani, as well as a place to comfort Her feet, He arranged a place for Her to rest.
“O Radhe,” the sakhis say, “the wind is flowing and the birds are singing as they watch Krsna. Krsna corrects them, saying, “Don’t look at Me. Look into my heart. There you will see only Srimati Radharani’s name. I chant Her name and you should also. Then I will be happy with you and will give you anything you desire.”
mukharam adhéraà tyaja maïjéraà ripum iva keli-sulolam cala sakhi kuïjaà satimira-puïjaà çélaya
All the sakhis and manjaris came to urge Srimati Radharani to go to Krsna, saying, “Calo sakhi.” But She is not convinced. Her mana is not broken. “You can all go. You like Him. You are in His party, so go at once to Him. I am not going.”
Then the sakhis continued to describe to Srimati the scene of Krsna waiting on the bank of the Yamuna, lost in thoughts of Radharani and Her all-powerful love. It is as if they manifested a great painting for Srimati to see, and said, “Just see how Krsna is waiting for You. He is sad without You. He is chanting You chanting Your names constantly and arranging your bed, seat, and so one. Come. Why not give Him Your darsana?
Srimati’s friends continued, “Come and meet Him, but first remove your ankle-
bells. Leave these ones behind, for Krsna has made anklets for you from small flowers. Look.
These flower arrangements that Krsna made for Srimati Radharani are placed around Her ankles and thus decorate Her feet. They are like Krsna’s puspanjali to Radhika. Why is puspanjali offered to the feet? Why not to the head or the chest? To offer anjali means to offer one’s love, respect, or faith. Puspanjali is when flowers, puspa, are used to represent one’s love and are offered to the feet of the object of that love. They are offered to the feet as a form of deep love and respect.
The sakhis collected Krsna’s love and showed them to Radhika. “Just see this tasteful nectar!” they said. Then they touched the anklets made by Krsna to Srimati Radharani’s lotus-like feet.
By contacting this small offering of love Srimati Radharani’s mood completely changed. She became overwhelmed by the sweetness she found in the loveful offering and fell became almost completely unconscious. The sakhis carefully took Her in their arms and attended to Her. “Why does Krsna have so much of this sweet love for Me? How do I deserve this? How could I ever match this love? I have nothing to give Him. He has no much sweet nectar to give Me but what can I give Him? I have nothing.”
Srimati Radharani’s love now began to show the extremely elevated signs of ecstasy such as madana and modana. As these levels of affection increased in Srimati Radharani, Krsna’s love for Srimati Radharani also increased. And because Krsna’s love was increasing, Srimati’s was increasing even more.
The anklets were not all the sakhis had collected from Krsna. They also brought to Srimati Radharani a garland which He had worn and which also carried His love within it. Srimati Radharani was now fully unconscious, but when they put the mala around Her neck she immediately woke up. Now She was ready to go for abhisara.
This mala was like an ajna mala. It was not just an invitation, but a calling—a pulling. Now awake and alert, Srimati Radharani noticed that it was the dark night of a new moon.
Krsna is dark and makes everything dark. Therefore when You are near Him you will not be seen by any worldly people. They will not be able to find you and steal you.
Srimati’s friends now said, “Sakhi, no one should see you. Now that you have discarded your noisy ankle-bells and have accepted the flower ornaments made by the hands of Your beloved, walk carefully and go to meet Krsna in the kunja sheltered in the darkness of the night. The flower anklets have great power. Because you are wearing them you will not become tired. Cover Yourself with a dark blue shawl and set out for Your abhista-siddhi, the fulfillment of your hearts cherished desire. Imagine that the dark shawl that covers You is actually Syamasundara Himself protecting You. You will not be seen by anyone.
urasi murärer upahita-häre ghana iva tarala-baläke taòid iva péte rati-viparéte räjasi sukåta-vipäke
Srimati Radharani’s bodily complexion is the color of melted gold. Now She covered Herself with a dark shawl, but Her luster seemed to shine even more brightly upon doing so. She cast light in all directions with every step she took. She appeared more radiant than an indra-nilamani. The sakhis became slightly worried. How could she move stealthily when she appeared like millions of suns rising at the same time?
The trees and creepers that were touched by the light coming from Srimati Radharani all were filled with blissful sakti and they reflected the light. The creaking of the tree- branches and rustling of leaves formed a voice that chanted, “Radhe Radhe.” Now the forest was completely lit up and full of energy. The idea of abhisara is to hide and go to the dark kunja in the black of night but now everything was blazing with light.
As Srimati Radharani traversed the forest path the garland that Krsna made swung from Her neck to and fro. Each of Her steps fell upon the petals of flowers, lovingly placed there in charming colorful designs by Her manjaris.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami writes in his Vilapa-kusumanjali how he meditates on doing this service for Srimati Radharani as She walks from Yavata to Nandagram. Absorbed in his nitya-svarupa, he says, “As She walks upon the path of flower petals that I have previously arranged, I will fan Her with a camara and sing mangala-gita (auspicious songs.)”
Krsna saw that forest had lit up in all directions and all the plants and animals were surcharged with sakti. He thought, Everyone is getting Srimati Radharani’s mercy. Everyone is illuminated by Her…but will she not illuminate Me? Will Her light not shine in My heart.? Alas! Only I am dark? I have no place for Her in My heart; therefore I am dark. How can I arrange a place for her in my heart?”
Tears fell profusely from Krsna’s eyes. He looked around and said to Himself, “I must decorate my heart if I want Srimati Radharani to be there. Till now I have been making external decorations. This is just duplicity.”
There are persons who externally have many qualities but are desert-like within. They apply tilaka and wear tulsi-mala but in fact have impure hearts. This imitation and duplicity is very displeasing to Krsna.
Krsna said, “I am truly a cheater. Look at this Vrndavana-dhama. All the creepers are dancing pleasantly, the leaves of the trees are fanning She who walks beneath the forest canopies. Upon seeing Srimati Radharani, the flowers blossom, honey flows from the bees’ hives, and everyone is singing. Just look at their pure hearts. I have been a fool to be spending this much time decorating external things like seats and pillows thinking that
this is a sine of so much love. But because my heart is filled only with darkness all this is useless.”
vigalita-vasanaà parihåta-rasanaà ghaöaya jaghanam apidhänam kisalaya-çayane paìkaja-nayane nidhim iva harña-nidhänam
Krsna, still waiting and bewildered, thought, “How can I surrender Myself to Srimati Radharani? How can I serve Her. If She comes now, will She accept Me? I can only hope that She will accept Me just like the lotus accepts the bee. Everyone has heard about the bee that became attracted by the smell of the nectar contained in the lotus and became mad while drinking the same. He forgot his surroundings and fell a sleep, completely intoxicated by the nectars’ sweetness. The bee did not even notice when evening came and the lotus closed its petals around the him. He slept inside the closed lotus the entire night, unseen by anyone, and in the morning, when the lotus bloomed again, he came out. The bee thought, “Oh! I am very cruel. My teeth are so sharp. They can cut through wood. I have come here to this soft and sweet lotus and used those same teeth to extract nectar from it. But this lotus changed my nature. It made me soft and gave me shelter. It accepted me in the room of its heart.’ Will Srimati Radhar
ani give Me, who am so hard and devoid of sweetness, shelter like this?
On the other side, Srimatiji thought was thinking, “It is a dark moon night. The darkness of such a night is perfect for abhisara, but I am so unfortunate that wherever I go, I see that the forest is full of light. I want to secretly meet with My beloved but how can I remain hidden in this luminous forest. Perhaps this is the arrangement of Krsna. Maybe He has seen that the forest be lit up so that I may find my way more easily. But does He not realize that someone may se Me?”
As Srimati Radharani thought in this way, She momentarily turned Her back to the direction of kunja where Krsna was…
harir abhimäné rajanir idäném iyam api yäti virämam
kuru mama vacanaà satvara-racanaà püraya madhuripu-kämam
When Srimati Radharani turned Her back, Krsna saw that the light in the forest grew slightly dim and He became anxious. Back on Sri Radha’s side, the sakhis explained that the light was not Krsna’s arrangement. “O friend, the effulgence of just one of Your toe nails is enough to illuminate all of Vrndavan. The light You see is actually from You. But Krsna is dark and He likes darkness, so let us cover you completely with dark cloth and continue on our way.”
The pain of Radha and Krsna’s separation can be likened to dark clouds that grow bigger
and bigger and then suddenly clash together and form an intense light that cuts through
the darkness of night. The heart-breaking separation between Radha and Krsna had
become so intense, but now Radharani was making Her way to the place where Her
beloved awaited Her, casting light in all directions. She was just like the lightning that
appears in the sky that is filled by agitated stormclouds.
The sakhis covered Srimatiji in such a way that no light could now escape from under the dark cloth. They led Her through the forest toward Krsna.
Meanwhile, Krsna was plunged into despair. The growing light had convinced Him that Sri Radha was approaching, but now the light had completely gone out. It seemed She would never come.
Radharani’s sakhis said, “Radhe, we must be quick. Time is running out. Krsna is alone. At any moment He can be approached and stolen away by the agents of another party. They have many ways by which they can trick Him. They could say to Him, ‘Come Syamasundara! We will take You Radha’s kunja.’ Then they will lead Him to a place where a gopi is sitting with her head covered. They will say that she is You and thus kidnap Him…
çré-jayadeve kåta-hari-seve bhaëati parama-ramaëéyam pramudita-hådayaà harim ati-sadayaà namata sukåta-kamanéyam
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami says, “May this Divine Couple, along with their lila-sakti, come into my heart. O Bhagavat-jana, O devotees of the Lord, always desire to fill the eager ears of Krsna with the glories of Sri Radha; and to describe Krsna’s glories to Sri Radha. When you describe Sri Radha’s glories to Krsna, Krsna is pleased; and when you describe Sri Krsna’s glories to Sri Radha, Sri Radha is pleased. When you please Sri Radha, Sri Krsna is pleased—and that is real service to Sri Radha.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]