Acaryas QuotesGurudeva said todayDetailed Explanation of Bhajans

Detailed Explanation of Bhajans

[Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja requested the devotees to sing this kīrtana:]

hari hari kabe mora ha’be hena dina
vimala vaiṣṇave, rati upajibe, vāsanā haibe kṣīṇa


O Hari! O Mahāprabhu! When will the fortunate day come when rati, deep love and attachment, will come in my heart for the lotus feet of the pure-hearted Vaiṣṇavas? [At that time I will honor and serve them, and thus all my material desires and anarthas, especially lust and anger, will disappear.]

antara-bāhire, sama vyavahāra, amānī mānada ha’ba
kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtane, śrī-kṛṣṇa-smaraṇe, satata majiyā ra’ba


With a heart free from duplicity, my outer behavior will correspond to my inner feelings and thoughts. [Seeing myself as completely insignificant] I will give all respect to others, seeking no honor in return. Always dancing and singing the holy names, I will remain constantly absorbed in remembering Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful pastimes.

e dehera kriyā, abhyāse koriba, jīvana jāpana lāgi’
śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhajane, anukūla jāhā, tāhe ha’ba anurāgī


My bodily maintenance should simply go on by habit so that my mind can be fully given to harināma. I will become attached only to that which is favorable for serving Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

bhajanera jāhā, pratikūla tāhā, dṛḍha-bhāve teyāgiba
bhajite bhajite, samaya āsile, e deha chāḍiyā diba

I will firmly reject whatever is unfavorable for His service. Continuing to do bhajana, in time I will give up this body [happily and peacefully].

bhakativinoda, ei āśā kari’, basiyā godruma-vane
prabhu-kṛpā lāgi’, vyākula antare, sadā kānde saṅgopane


Residing alone in the forest of Godruma and continuously weeping, Bhaktivinoda anxiously prays, “I am living only with the hope that Mahāprabhu will bestow His mercy upon me.”

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: When one remembers Kṛṣṇa, his bodily hairs stand on end, tears come in his eyes, and many sāttvika-bhāvas manifest in his heart.

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Vimala vaiṣṇave, rati upajibe, vāsanā haibe kṣīṇa means “By attachment to a rasika tattva-jñā Vaiṣṇava, my material desires will be destroyed.”

Antara-bāhire, sama vyavahāra, amānī mānada ha’ba. Antara means ‘internal’ and bāhire means ‘external.’ Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is praying, “Oh, when will that fortunate day come when my external activities – my speaking, thoughts, and actions – will be one with my internal aspirations to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? I will then be able to offer all respects to others, without expecting any respect in return.”

Kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtane, śrī-kṛṣṇa-smaraṇe, satata majiyā ra’ba. This means “Thus, while performing śrī kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana, I will be absorbed in remembering the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa at all times.”

E dehera kriyā, abhyāse koriba, jīvana jāpana lāgi’. This means that I should try to mould my life in such a way that I can live very simply, not spending much time, energy, and effort on my bodily maintenance.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Abhyāse kori. This phrase means that Śrīman Mahāprabhu never put any effort or thought into eating or maintaining the body. Abhyāse means “I am eating, but my mind is with Kṛṣṇa.”

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhajane, anukūla jāhā, tāhe ha’ba anurāgī. This means “When will that day come that I will be greatly attached to performing only those activities which are favorable to kṛṣṇa-bhajana?”

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: What is the meaning of anurāga?

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: With attachment.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Only ‘attachment’?

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Anurāga means ‘great intense feeling.’

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: The stage after bhāva-bhakti is prema. As prema develops it becomes sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, and then anurāga. Anurāga is a most elevated mood. One in anurāga is totally colored, or saturated, in love and affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Anurāga means nitya-navīnā rāga, or continuous ever-fresh, ever-new feelings of love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Bhajite bhajite, samaya āsile, e deha chāḍiyā diba. This means “If I constantly do bhajana like this, then one day, when my body will be given up, I will very easily…

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: No, no, no. This is not the meaning. E deha chāḍiyā diba means “I will give up my body. I will not be controlled by death; I will control death.”
This state is very, very hard to achieve: The devotee gives up his body by his own will, without any problems. It is likened to taking off cloth from the body.

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Bhakativinoda, ei āśā kari’, basiyā godruma-vane. This means that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is residing in Godruma forest at the end of his life. He has given up everything. He is doing bhajana and bitterly weeping. He has one hope: ei āśā kari’ prabhu-kṛpā lāgi’, vyākula antare.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: What is the meaning here? Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is thinking, “I am continually waiting for the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. When will the day come that I will attain these devotional qualities? I do not have these qualities now, but when His mercy comes, I will be successful.”

All of Śrīla Bhaktivinda Ṭhākura’s prayers are very high-class like this one. If one follows even one line…

Rāmacandra dāsa: He was living in Godrumadvīpa, but he wrote ei āśā kari, which means that he is praying to live in Godruma. How is it that he desires to live there when he is already living there?

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: No, no. He is not praying for residence in Godrumadvīpa. Living there, he is waiting for the mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and praying, “When will I attain all these devotional qualities?”

Now we will sing Yaśomatī-nandana, which also contains very deep meanings.

[All devotees then sing Yaśomatī-nandana:]

yaśomatī-nandana vraja-vara-nāgara,
gokula-rañjana kāna
gopī-parāṇa-dhana madana-manohara,


Kṛṣṇa is Yaśodā-maiyā’s beloved son, and the topmost lover in Vrajabhūmi. As Kāna (an affectionate name for Him) He delights Gokula and is the wealth of the life of the gopīs. He is an inveterate thief, stealing the hearts of all, and He crushed the Kāliya serpent.

amala harināma amiya-vilāsā
vipina-purandara navīna-nāgara-vara,
vaṁśī-vadana, suvāsā


These spotless holy names are filled with all of Kṛṣṇa’s sweet pastimes. He is the king of all the forests of Vraja. He is the ever-fresh and ever-youthful lover, always wearing very beautiful garments, attracting the gopīs with His bodily fragrance, and holding the flute to His mouth.

vraja-jana-pālana asura-kula-nāśana,
govinda, mādhava navanīta-taskara,
sundara nanda-gopālā


He always protects the Vrajavāsīs, destroys the demons, and tends Nanda Bābā’s cows. As Govinda, He gives pleasure to the cows, land, gopas, gopīs, and the senses. As Mādhava, He is the husband of the topmost Lakṣmī – Śrīmatī Rādhikā. He is always stealing butter (the prema of the Vrajavāsīs) to increase the Vrajavāsīs’ love for Him, and He is the beautiful son of Nanda Bābā.

yamunā-taṭa-cara gopī-vasanahara,
rāsa-rasika kṛpāmaya
śrī rādhā-vallabha vṛndāvana-naṭavara,


Roaming along the banks of Yamunā, He stole the clothes of the very young gopīs. He is the enjoyer of the rāsa dance and is full of mercy. He is most beloved to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and is the most expert dancer in Vṛndāvana. Bhaktivinoda wants to take shelter of this Kṛṣṇa.

[Training the devotees in the correct way to sing this song with all its nuances of melody, Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja then requests the devotees to sing the entire song again, this time personally leading the singing.]

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: What is the meaning?

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: These are names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa which describe His pastimes. The son of Yaśodā-devī is the hero of all of the residents of Vraja.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Nāgara means ‘the most beloved of all the gopīs.’ He is the life and soul of all the Vrajavāsīs, but He is the nāgara only of the gopīs. He is especially rādhā-nāgara, the most beloved of Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

Gokula-rañjana kāna: He performs sweet pastimes that make all of the Vrajavāsīs extremely happy and which cause them to sink in an ocean of love and affection.

This is also written in Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam (Verse 3):

itīdṛk-sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeśita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ
punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande


By childhood pastimes such as this, He perpetually immerses the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of pure bliss, and through them He informs the devotees desirous of knowing His aspect of supreme opulence and majesty that He is conquered only by those who are free from knowledge of His aiśvarya. With great love, I again and again worship that Dāmodara Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa plays with all of His sakhās, giving them an abundance of love. He performs innumerable sweet pastimes in the house of Nanda and Yaśodā, and He is always playing, singing, and dancing with the gopīs.

Gopī-parāṇa-dhana, madana-manohara: He is the wealth of the life of the gopīs. He bewilders even Cupid himself, because His beauty defeats that of millions of Cupids. How? On the full moon night, during the rāsa dance, in a very secluded place on the bank of the river, cuckoos were singing, bees were humming, gentle breezes were blowing, and flowers were in bloom. No one besides Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs were present there, where, touching the gopīs, Śrī Kṛṣṇa danced and played with them. Moreover Kāmadeva (Cupid) was also not present there, meaning that neither Kṛṣṇa nor the gopīs were influenced by lusty desires.

Kālīya-damana-vidhāna: Yaśodā-nandana is very soft, and simultaneously He is like a thunderbolt. He controlled the Kāliya serpent like a thunderbolt, saying, “Go away from here.” He was rhythmically dancing on Kāliya’s hoods and crushing his hoods. As blood gushed from Kāliya’s mouths, Kāliya began to think, “Who is He? I fought with Garuḍa, who is extremely powerful, but this person is so much more powerful!” Thus, Kāliya surrendered.

Amala harināma amiya-vilāsā: Kṛṣṇa’s names are non-different from Him. The holy names are non-different from the possessor of those names. Thus, by the performance of saṅkīrtana of the holy names, all of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are present. When you sing this kīrtana, all the pastimes manifest.

Vipina-purandara: Vipina indicates Vṛndāvana. Purandara consists of pura (complete, or full) plus indra (master). Kṛṣṇa is Purandara, the full master, of Vṛndāvana. His footprints, marked with the club, lotus, disk, and conch shell – nineteen auspicious signs – are found everywhere in Vṛndāvana. There is no place in Vṛndāvana where Śrī Kṛṣṇa has not performed pastimes. By each tree, on the bank of Yamunā River, on the bank of Mānasī-gaṅgā, in Kāmyavana, here and there and everywhere, He is performing His sweet pastimes and playing His flute.

Navīna-nāgara-vara: The gopīs see Kṛṣṇa as ‘newer and newer’ at every moment. Moment by moment, He is ever-increasingly ever-new and ever-fresh. In fact, even while dancing and singing with Him, Rādhikā thinks, “Who is He? I have never seen Him before.” Vaṁśī-vadana: Kṛṣṇa is always playing on the flute, and by His expert flute-playing He controls everyone. However, He personally declares, “If Rādhikā very sweetly says anything, I forget to play My flute.” All of Kṛṣṇa’s sweet pastimes reside in His names.

Yamunā-taṭa-cara: He is present on the bank of the Yamunā. Why does He go there? What is it there that attracts Him?

Rādhā-kānta dāsa: There is very beautiful sand, and the moon is rising.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: No, nothing of the sort. The gopīs go there to take water, and that is why Kṛṣṇa goes there. Gopī-vasanahara means “Kṛṣṇa took all of the clothes of the gopīs.”

Rāsa-rasika kṛpāmaya: He is very fond of rāsa – dancing and singing. When He sings in the fifth note (sa, re, ga, ma, pa, da, ni), Lalitā and Viśākhā sing higher than Him. Śrīmatī Rādhikā sings the highest, enlivening Kṛṣṇa to clap and call out, “Sādhu, sādhu,” meaning “Bravo, bravo!”

Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: He could not reach that high note.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is not less than Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura; he is the Seventh Gosvāmī. All of these hidden meanings reside in his kīrtanas.

I have come here only to give the gift of these deep meanings.

[To Rādhā-kānta dāsa] I have given you the management to oversee, and I will simply give these deep truths. I have not come to make temples and manage the Society’s affairs.

Praṇāmī (donations) are coming, and with these donations I am serving Vraja, Navadvīpa, and Jagannātha Purī dhāma, the dearmost pastime places of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. But my real purpose is to give what I have realized. Sometimes people do not understand me or what I am doing.

[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publicaition “Walking With a Saint 2008”]
[CC-by-ND GVP]

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