vikirati muhuù çväsän äçäù puro muhur ékñate
praviçati muhuù kuïjaà guïjan muhur bahu tämyati
racayati muhuù çayyäà paryäkulaà muhur ékñate madana-kadana-kläntaù känte priyas tava vartate
Yesterday we heard how Krsna, Parabrahma Himself, learns the way of service from Vrndavana-dhama and practices it. The inhabitants of Vraja—including the plants, birds, and beasts—serve continuously.
“I have seen many places,” Krsna says. “Even places as exalted as Dvaraka and Vaikuntha, but this vrndavan is the place of seva. No other dhama is like this. Every person and object in Vrndavana is a seva murti—an encapsulation of the tendency to serve. No one asks Me for anything here. They have no selfish desires. They only serve continuously. They are not even interested in even a small amount of recognition for their service. They are most humble. Even while they continuously serve, they lament, ‘Alas. I never serve. Really I do nothing. I have no strength to serve.’ This Vrndavana is an ideal training center for pure loving service.”
What is the meaning of love? Does an exchange of gifts constitute love? Does love mean paid or unpaid labor? None of these really define love. Observing the nature of Vrndavana-dhama, Krsna realizes what true love is, for true love is only present there.
We hear the pastimes and deeds of Krsna and His incarnations that appeared within this universe. We are told about how Bhagavan kills many demons in many instances. We know that in these pastimes, the Lord meets with different devotees and sometimes must be separated from them. For example: Ramacandra’s associate Jataya quits his body in the Lord’s arms and Rama morns Him and carries out His funeral. But is all of this nitya- lila? No. Nitya-lila is something else. These pastimes we hear are collection or a compilation that we can memorize and respect with our present intelligence. They are like a distant hint of nitya-lila.
It is commonly known that Putana came to the home of Nanda in one form. Then a little later she took on another form—a gigantic form. We know Putana as having the identity of a powerful witch, but by Krsna’s grace she has yet another form—an eternal one in which she serves under the guidence of Yasoda Mata. In nitya-lila Krsna does not kill Putana over and over again. This is not the meaning of nitya. The twin Arjuna trees were once unbridled rogues, and there is a beautiful pastime involving them receiving the mercy of Guru and Krsna, but their eternal identity is not that of the sons of Kuvera, nor is it the twin Arjuna trees. Also, it is not that they reached nitya-dhama and behaved improperly as they did before they got there. In eternal Vraja they are Snigdha-kantha and Madhu-kantha.
Kṛṣṇa sees that Vraja-dhāma is not like anywhere else—not like Vaikuṇṭha and certainly not like this material world. This world is so limited. Svarga and even Dvārakā and Vaikuṇṭha are all limited. They lack the quality of ever-freshness that is found in Vraja. In other words, Vaikuntha is an eternal dhama but there is a structured and regulated routine there. In eternal Vraja-mandala however everything is constantly new.
During Rāmacandra’s pastimes in this world, He was separated from more than once and suffered so much pain from this. But this is not possible in eternal Vraja-maṇḍala. Mahāprabhu has indicated this in His Śikṣāṣṭakam:
yugäyitaà nimeñeëa cakñuñä prävåñäyitam
çünyäyitaà jagat sarvaà govinda-viraheëa me
Here Mahaprabhu expresses that Radharani feels like She has passed millions of years in separation from Krsna, while in fact only a moment has passed.
Nothing is old in Vrndavan. Everything and everyone is always young and new. Ever- fresh rasa continuously flows there. Krsna thinks, “I reciprocate with My bhaktas. But what will the Vraja-devis take from Me? I have nothing to offer them, but I must try to think of something.”
It has already been described that Krsna attempts to offer some service by making flower ornaments and decorations an the bank of the Yamuna, where He arranged a nice kunja. He finds this service to be most tasteful, but He still cannot understand the depths of Radharani and the Vrajadevis’ love. “How do they have so much energy?” He thinks. “All day long, they are cooking and arranging so many things.”
The Vrajadevis care and think about every single part of Krsna’s body. They dress His head with a turban, atop which the feather of a peacock is present. The shadow of the peacock feather is very cooling and auspicious, but that shadow. This worries the Vrajadevis. Their mood of service is so thorough and their care for Krsna reaches such detail. Because the peacock feather only partially cools and protects Krsna, the Vrajadevis make auspiscious designs from minerals and the rasa of flowers on His face and body. Many descriptions of Krsna’s beauty are found in sastra. Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.23.22) states:
çyämaà hiraëya-paridhià vanamälya-barha- dhätu-praväla-naöa-veñam anavratäàse vinyasta-hastam itareëa dhunänam abjaà karëotpalälaka-kapola-mukhäbja-häsam
His complexion was dark like a fresh monsoon rain-cloud, and the glistening yellow cloth that was draped on His shoulders subdued the splendor of gold. There was a garland of forest flowers around His neck and a beautiful peacock feather splendidly adorned His head. Playful designs were painted on His limbs with colored minerals and He was decorated with bunches of newly sprouted leaves. He looked just like a dramatic dancer. He was resting one hand on the shoulder of His friend, and with the other hand He was playfully twirling a lotus flower. Ornaments danced on His ears and curls of black hair were cascading down His cheeks as His lotus face blossomed with a playful, mild smile.
All these mentioned decorations on Krsna’s body are done by the Vraja-devis. Their seva and love, especially that of Srimati Radharani, fascinates Him.
Our acaryas state:
çré-rädhäyäù praëaya-mahimä kédåç
o vänayaivä- svädyo yenädbhuta-madhurimä kédåço vä madéyaù saukhyaà cäsyä mad-anubhavataù kédåçaà veti lobhät tad-bhäväòhyaù samajani çacé-garbha-sindhau harénduù Çré Caitanya-caritämåta Ädi-lélä 1.6
“How great is the deeply intense love (praëaya) of Çré Rädhä? What is the nature of My astonishing sweetness, which She alone relishes? And what special kind of happiness does She experience on tasting My sweetness?” A greed to taste these three things arose within the heart of Çré Kåñëa, and to fulfill that intense desire, He took birth from the womb of Çré Çacémätä like the moon appearing from the ocean.
There is only ‘the present’ in eternal Vraja. The happenings there are not like any stories or histories that we hear and memorize. Everyone there is situated in the eternal ‘now’ and completely dedicated to Srimati Radharani and only interested in having Her blessings. This is ananya-bhava and parakiya-tattva. To divide myself and allow worldly family and friends to share me—this makes me contaminated. Sramitiji does not even look at such persons. Therefore, if we want Srimati Radharani’s blessings we must become one-pointed. Api tyaktvä lakñmé-pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanéà—we will have to abandon interest even for Lakñmépati Näräyaëa. But that is not all. Our Guru-varga has said that we will have to even give up attachment to Krsna if we want to one day be counted among the followers of the highest form of bhakti in existence.
Krsna Himself does not understand the exalted nature of vraja-bhakti and does sadhana for this purpose.
He says to the Vraja-devis:
na päraye ’haà niravadya-saàyujäà sva-sädhu-kåtyaà vibudhäyuñäpi vaù
yä mäbhajan durjara-geha-çåìkhaläù saàvåçcya tad vaù pratiyätu sädhunä
My dear gopés, your meeting Me is innocent and immaculate in every respect because it is devoid of even a single iota of desire for your own happiness. It is overflowing with supremely pure love. Although the bonds of affection for the members of one’s own home are impossible to overcome, you have completely demolished them. Thus, for loving service to Me, you have transgressed the moral laws of this world. Even if I lived as long as the gods I would be unable to requite even one drop of your love, sacrifice and service. All of you may free Me from debt simply by your own gentle nature, but I am forever the debtor of your prema, and will always continue to be.
“I cannot be ananya. I have so many bhaktas with whose bhakti I am obliged to reciprocate with.”
We now return to the scene of Krsna waiting for Srimati to come and meet Him.
“My life is useless.” Krsna thought. “I cannot please anyone” He cried out to the creepers, “Pleasa make Me like you! Accept Me. If I am like you then Radharani will surely bless Me.” Then he restlessly returned to the bed that He had arranged for Srimati Radharani. “Will she come here to rest? Will I have the fortune of applying sandal wood paste on her body? Will I have the chance to fan Her? Will I get some service?”
The sakhis explained to Srimati Radharani that Krsna had become mad in separation from Her. “You must give Him Your darsana.” they say. “He wants to be trained in your service and is asking all the Vraja-vasis for their blessings.” He says, ‘You all very easily bring happiness to Srimati Radharani, but I have nothing.”
Krsna is the Supreme Lord. How astonishing it is that he now laments, “I alone am unqualified. I have this misfortune because I am not under anugatya. I have no guru. No blessings. No one to help Me make Srimati Radharani happy.”
Because of the feeling of this lacking, Krsna became Mahaprabhu and trained in the Gambhira for 18 years. He met with the Vraja-devis, now in the form of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Gopala-bhatta Gosvami, Ramananda Raya, and so on. He continuously prayed and practiced how to become a follower of the Vrajavasis.
tvad-vämyena samaà samagram adhunä tigmäàçur astaà gato govindasya manorathena ca samaà präptaà tamaù sändratäm
kokänäà karuëa-svanena sadåçé dérghä mad-abhyarthanä
tan-mugdhe viphalaà vilambanam asau ramyo ’bhisära-kñaëaù
As at the end of the day, the sun becomes dejected and sets when he learns that the people wish him gone so they can sleep, Krsna might soon give up hope and turn into Brahma. Without You Krsna is Brahma—like a stone statue. You must show Him softness. He has been crying all night, waiting for You. Make haste!”
äçleñäd anu cumbanäd anu nakhollekhäd anu sväntaja-
prodbodhäd anu sambhramäd anu ratärambhäd anu prétayoù
anyärthaà gatayor bhramän militayoù sambhäñaëair jänator dampatyor iha ko na ko na tamasi vréòä-vimiçro rasaù
Before setting out for abhisara, Srimati appeared to be lying unconscious. But the truth is that at that time, She had passed into the stage of consciousness called antara-dasa. The sakhis could not understand why She did not listen to their repeated requests to soothe Her own heart as well as Krsna’s by going out for abhisara. They did not know that She had already brought Krsna into the chamber o Her heart. She was doing nothing externally but internally She was with Krsna and offering Him Her love. This state of antara-dasa is comparable to a dark place where Srimati’s perfect service could not be seen or disturbed.
Krsna felt all the effects of the service that she offered in internal consciousness. “I was not wearing these bracelets before?” He had thought, looking down at his hands. “What magic is this?”
This is the magic of eternal Vraja. Krsna has many different svarupas with which He must appears before the many Vraja-devis who individually offer Him service their within their minds. Each of them dress and decorate Him and they see that He is wearing only what they have given Him.
Now Krsna’s utkantha, or yearning, to see Srimati increased even more. “She must be nearby!” He had already felt Her service, now He could smelled her divine fragrance. He began searching behind nearby trees and here and there. “She is definitely close.” But He could not find Her. This made Him upset.
Then Krsna said, “O Radhe, You must not be giving me Your darsana because I am sad. Very well, I will not be sad.” He calmed His mind and thought to Himself, “Premamayi Radharani will soon be pleased with Me. She will accept Me and make me soft and sweet.”
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]