Hari-kathaArticlesThe Great Pain and Glory of Love - Gita Govinda

The Great Pain and Glory of Love – Gita Govinda

ripur iva sakhī-saṁvāso ’yaṁ śikhīva himānilo
viṣam iva sudhā-raśmir yasmin dunoti manogate
hṛdayam adaye tasminn evaṁ punar valate balāt
kuvalaya-dṛśāṁ vāmaḥ kāmo nikāma-niraṅkuśaḥ


Srngara rasa maintains everything. It supports all the other rasas. It is complete, therefore the power of all the other rasas are contained within it. The other rasas take their power from the source known as srngara-rasa.

There is power and life in a material body when it is inhabited by the soul. Without the soul it is dead. Similarly, in Vraja-mandala, no rasa has life or is independent from srngara-rasa.
The mind is treacherous. If you follow the mind, it will burn you in fire and destroy everything. Follow Paramatma and collect srngara-rasa, then your mind and senses will not collect harmful things and make you suffer. The mind and senses will kill you given the slightest chance. They will collect the four kinds of anarthas, which are:

  • (1) illusion about one’s real identity (svarūpa-bhrama),
  • (2) hankering for that which is temporary (asat-tṛṣṇā),
  • (3) offences (aparādha) and
  • (4) weakness of heart (hṛdaya-daurbalya) and all kings of miseries.

We wonder, “How can we control the senses?” But the Guru-varga does not tell us to think like this. They say, “Do not worry so much about controlling your senses. It is impossible for you. Just give them aprakrta-madhura-rasa. If your senses drink just one drop of that then they will be completely satisfied and happy. They will no longer be restless and desirous of maya.”

If we don’t collect that madhura-rasa then we will desire to collect a wife or a husband and when we are not satisfied with him or her we will desire another one. The senses will never actually be gratified no matter how hard we try to gratify them. Our mind collects things that are worse then poison. Therefore, what do Mahaprabhu’s followers give? Parama amṛtam ekaṁ jīvanaṁ bhūṣaṇaṁ me.

jayati jayati nāmānanda-rūpaṁ murārer
katham api sakṛd āttaṁ mukti-daṁ prāṇināṁ yat
parama amṛtam ekaṁ jīvanaṁ bhūṣaṇaṁ me
Śrī Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam 1.9


All glories, all glories to the name of Kṛṣṇa-Murāri, the enemy of lust and the embodiment of divine bliss! It halts the cycle of birth and death and relieves one of all painful endeavors in practicing religion, meditation, charity, deity worship and austerity. It awards liberation to one who utters it even once. Kṛṣṇa-nāma stands alone as the supreme nectar and sole treasure of my life.

They tell us to give the senses harinamamrta. Say, “O senses, why are you running? Come with me and drink the nectar of the holy name.” The senses may not want to accept harinamamrta. Force, chastisement, and begging—this will not convince them. Only when you give them srngara rasa will they accept the nectar that our Guru-varga is most magnanimously offering us.

Our Gosvamis did saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau. They were completely engaged in chanting their fixed amount of harinama, doing kirtana, and offering pranama. And they would call out, “He rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ—O Rādhā! O Goddess of Vṛndāvana! O Lalitā-devī! O Son of Nanda! Where are you?”

If we do not remember that Guru-varga—those Vraja-devis and their near and dear—and chant harinama, then how can we obtain aprakrta madhura-rasa? We will chant and pray only for sense enjoyment. We will do tapasya, parikrama, vrata, and so on and then offer the fruit to our senses and thus lose millions of lives uselessly.

We must offer our love, which is meant only for Krsna, but has been misdirected for lifetimes, to our Guru-varga and the Vraja-devis. They will help us by making our love reach Krsna. No one else, no demigod or relative of yours, can take your love and give it to Radha and Krsna.
If the mind and senses are not with us, then how can we do sadhana and bhajana?

Therefore, remember the Guru-varga and the Vraja-devis in times of comfort or danger. They will help you even in the darkest parts of your journey.

bādhāṁ vidhehi malayānila pañca-bāṇa
prāṇān gṛhāṇa na gṛhaṁ punar āśrayiṣye
kiṁ te kṛtānta-bhagini kṣamayā taraṅgair
aṅgāni siñca mama śāmyatu deha-dāhaḥ

Radharani expresses Her anguish in separation and conflicting emotions of jealous-anger and longing. “O Yamuna,” She says, “You sooth everyone. Why do you not cool My blazing heart today? I wish to die. O wielder of five arrows, O Kamadeva, quickly take My life. Then I will be free. Otherwise. My senses, My body, everything is for Krsna. Without Krsna, My life is useless.”

prātar nīla-nicolam acyutam uraḥ saṁvīta-pītāṁśukaṁ
rādhāyāś cakitaṁ vilokya hasati svairaṁ sakhī-maṇḍale
vrīḍā-cañcalam añcalaṁ nayanayor ādhāya rādhānane
svādu-smera-mukho ’yam astu jagad-ānandāya nandātmajaḥ

Sometimes, in the early morning, Radha and Krsna find that They accidentally exchanged Their cloth. Krsna has the blue cloth of Srimati Radharani and Srimati Radharani has Krsna’s golden pitambara. It is as if Krsna is saying to Her, “Take this. Wearing it, You will never feel separated from Me.”

atha katham api yāminīṁ vinīya
smara-śara-jarjaritāpi sā prabhāte
anunaya-vacanaṁ vadantam agre
praṇatam api priyam āha sābhyasūyam

After a night of singing, dancing, playing, and meeting with Krsna, Srimati Radharani is in Yavata and Krsna is now in Nanda-bhavan. She will see Him soon, but even for these few short moments She cannot tolerate the pain in that separation. The separation gives Her ever-increasing pain.

When there is finally a chance to meet in the forest, Srimati Radharani looks at Krsna for a moment and then suddenly starts mana. Krsna must think hard about how He can possibly break that mana.

When Srimati sees Krsna, She says, “Why are You late? Where were You? Who were You with? You can’t hide the signs on Your body. Where did they come from?”

rajani-janita-guru-jāgara-rāga-kaṣāyitam alasa-nimeṣam
vahati nayanam anurāgam iva sphuṭam udita-rasābhiniveśam
hari! hari! yāhi mādhava yāhi keśava mā vada kaitava-vādaṁ
tām anusara sarasīruha-locana yā tava harati viṣādam (refrain)

Jayadeva Gosvami explains that there is no telling when Srimati Radharani’s durjaya-mana will suddenly manifest. “You are not happy with Me,” She says. “That is why You leave Me waiting, while You meet with another! Very well. Leave now! There will be no need of Your excuses, just get out, Madhava! Don’t try to cheat Me Kesava. There is no use trying to cheer Me with Your lies and tricky words. You cannot take away My grief. Clearly You did not rest last night. Your eyes are reddish so go home now and rest.”

This is prema-vaicittra. It is impossible for baddha-jivas to explain, properly understand, read, or even repeat what you have heard or read about this aspect of Srimati Radharani’s love.

“You have attachment for someone who is elsewhere,” She says, “so please go there now. Never come here. I did not call You here!”

daśana-vasanam aruṇaṁ tava kṛṣṇa tanoti tanor anurūpam

“The pupils of Your eyes are black. The kajjala on Your eyes are black. Your hair is black. You are completely black. If anyone looks You in the eyes then You steal their heart. ‘Where has my heart gone?’ they think. “How can I get it back?” But it is impossible to bring it back from that darkness. You are very tricky and selfish. Therefore, leave now, O Hari. Go away Madhava. That person whose heart has been stolen finds even more pain if they try to forget You and stay away from You.”

Krsna is surprised, “How can I be with Her. How can I stay away from Her? She becomes upset by both.” This prema-vicitra.

Krsna finds that everyone in Vraja has proper love and respect for Srimati Radharani. That is His whole purpose of going everywhere within Vraja—to see that love. This is even the reason He goes to Candravali. Even Candravali expresses Her respect for Srimati Radharani. She says, “Only by Her mercy do I have a place in Vraja-dhama.”

vapur anuharati tava smara-saṅgara-khara-nakhara-kṣata-rekham
marakata-śakala-kalita-kala-dhauta-liper iva rati-jaya-lekham

Written on a diamond wall with a golden pen are the words, “Victory to rati!” Rati is supreme, but how can rati come into your heart? Where can it be found? Who gives it? Can it be bought? Can it be obtained by sadhana or tapasya? Impossible. You can do tapasya and sacrifice till your heart turns as dry as a rock, but you will not get this rati, or love. Perhaps you would not like having this rati. Those whose hearts are softened by this rati must undergo great pain. We could say that brahmanandis, whose hearts are toWritten on a diamond wall with a golden pen are the words, “Victory to rati!” Rati is supreme, but how can rati come into your heart? Where can it be found? Who gives it? Can it be bought? Can it be obtained by sadhana or tapasya? Impossible. You can do tapasya and sacrifice till your heart turns as dry as a rock, but you will not get this rati, or love. Perhaps you would not like having this rati. Those whose hearts are softened by this rati must undergo great pain.tally dry, are fortunate. There are no qualities in their satisfaction, but this also means there is no pain.

Rati catches hold of the heart and binds it, saying, “Now you cannot go anywhere.”

Srila Gurudeva is a follower of madhura rasa and he came without rope, chain, or net and captured all of us conditioned souls and pulled us close to him. It is impossible to break that bond—very rarely do people escape it. He does this, but we do not even know what is happening. Did we take his shelter for food, sleep, or enjoyment? We are not forced to stay under his shelter. Anyone is allowed to go at any time. But if someone leaves, having been once captured by that rati, then that person will suffer so much wherever he goes. He will not find satisfaction anywhere he goes.

Always think of Guru-pada-padma, recall his hari-katha, honor his caranamrta, take his prasada, do kirtan in his glorification—by this you will become further and further trapped in his affection and everything outside of that “prison” will be bitter to you.

The gopis consider their rati to be the cause of endless pain for them. They say that whoever has this rati will never find happiness.

caraṇa-kamala-galad-alaktaka-siktam idaṁ tava hṛdayam udāram
darśayatīva bahir madana-druma-nava-kisalaya-parivāram

A new kisori carefully decorated herself. When she finished, she thought, “For whose happiness am I decorating myself? My face, my dress, my ornaments—whom are they meant to please?” Just then, she had a vision of Nanda-nandana within her heart and her question was answered.

. . .

Those who have rati are always full of fresh beauty. Some people have such dirty cloth and bodily smell that even ghosts do not wish to go near them. Those who have rati are not like inert stones, they are always active and doing service. Everything they do is perfect and pleasing.

The Vraja-devis decorate themselves nicely because their bodies are Krsna’s property. Every action done out of love is meaningful. Anything done without rati for Krsna is useless. When you have krsna-rati you will understand that your existence is for Krsna’s happiness and your body is His instrument. Then you will not try to do vairagya. You will not say, “From now on I will hardly eat anything,” and then become too weak to do any seva at all. To think that being austere pleases Krsna is speculation. This renunciation is done with a selfish motive. “I want to be pure and freed from maya.” This is the mentality. However, if you have rati, you will serve continuously and chanting nama and mantra will be very easy and sweet. Without this rati your body will not be able to tolerate vairagya. The vairagya of our Gosvamis was a natural byproduct of their love. Sanatana Gosvami had love, therefore he went to Mathura every day for parikrama and to see how Krsna was doing there. Then he would go to Govardhana and do parikrama and interact with Krsna and His devotees there.

Externally, the life of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was one of strong vairagya, but what was his understanding? He only knew that he daily milked the cows early in the morning and collected the milk in a beautiful pot before making ksira out of that. He would do abhiseka of Krsna and offer bhoga. He continuously served with rati, while externally it seemed as though he was executing very austere and strict vairagya. External vairagya, or vairagya not done as a product rati is called dry renunciation. That will never make the heart soft.

When you have krsna-rati, vairagya will be natural. Krsna will enter your heart and it will be impossible to get Him out.

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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