by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 8, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. This is text 8 belonging to the chapter “Pancama-yama-sadhana (Aparahna-kaliya-bhajana–krishna-asakti)” representing from three-and-a-half praharas of the day until dusk: approximately 3.30 p.m.–6.00 p.m.

Taking shelter of the perfect sentiments of the gopīs (siddha-gopībhāva) is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.29.39):

वीक्ष्यालकावृत-मुखं तव कुण्डल-श्रीगण्ड-स्थलाधर-सुधं हसितावलोकम्
दत्ताभयं च भुज-दण्ड-युगं विलोक्य वक्षः श्रियैक-रमणं च भवाम दास्यः

vīkṣyālakāvṛta-mukhaṃ tava kuṇḍala-śrīgaṇḍa-sthalādhara-sudhaṃ hasitāvalokam
dattābhayaṃ ca bhuja-daṇḍa-yugaṃ vilokya vakṣaḥ śriyaika-ramaṇaṃ ca bhavāma dāsyaḥ

[The gopīs said:] O beloved, after seeing Your beautiful lotus face, decorated with glossy black curling tresses; Your beautiful cheeks, upon which enchanting earrings (kuṇḍalas ) radiate Your boundless loveliness; Your sweet lips, whose nectar defeats all other nectar; Your charming glance, which is made radiant by Your slight smile;Your two arms, which liberally bestow fearlessness to surrendered souls; and Your chest, beautified by Lakṣmī who resides there as a golden line, we have all become Your maidservants.

ओ मुख अलकावृत, ओ कुण्डल-शोभा

o mukha alakāvṛta, o kuṇḍala-śobhā

अभय-द भुज-युग, श्री-सेवित-वक्ष
देखिया हलाम दासी, सेवा-कार्ये दक्ष

abhaya-da bhuja-yuga, śrī-sevita-vakṣa
dekhiyā halāma dāsī, sevā-kārye dakṣa

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

The gopīs’ internal bhāva is present within this verse. When a transcendental revelation (sphūrti) of siddhagopī-bhāva appears to Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he remembers and utters this verse. Vrajendra-nandana Śyāmasundara is rasikacūḍāmaṇi, the crest jewel amongst those who relish rasa. Concealing His own submissive mood (dākṣiṇya-bhāva), Śrī Śyāmasundara expresses a mood of indifference towards the vraja-devīs, saying, “O vraja-devīs, why do you want to be My unpaid maidservants?”

The gopīs meekly reply, “O Śyāmasundara, it is impossible to describe the value of the payment You have given us.”

Smiling, Śyāmasundara asks, “What was that payment?”

The gopīs reply, “You have given all us ramaṇīs the naturally perfect nectar of Your lips, the touch of Your alluring arms and other limbs, and the embrace of Your chest, which is the shelter of Śrī Lakṣmī. Our eyes, which are fickle like the movement of khañjana birds, have been imprisoned by the net of Your face, which is encircled by Your curly hair. Those curls are not actually hair, but a snare, and both Your earrings are traps. The nectar of Your lips is the lure for the khañjana birds of our eyes, and Your smiling, restless glances are well-bred and trained to capture our eyes. Your alluring arms and Your chest, which bestow rati, calm our hearts. O Kṛṣṇa, even before we reached adolescence, You called us to Your arboured retreat (kuñja-mandira) by the means of Your enchanting sweetness, and You gave us darśana of the wealth of Your earrings and other ornaments made of precious stones (nīla-nidhi and padma-nidhi) and of the best gold (jāmbu-nada-svarṇa), and fed us the nectar of Your lips. Such enticements have forced us to hanker to become Your maidservants.” With loving anger, the vraja-devīs then say, “O Kṛṣṇa, upon seeing the unequalled wealth of Your beauty, we have developed the desire to become Your maidservants, but if this desire is not fulfilled, it will change into hopelessness.”

Or the gopīs shake a chastising finger at Kṛṣṇa and say, “O crestjewel of the religious, we know very well about the nature of Your religiosity; You always flirt with the wives of other men. You also keep the ramaṇīs of Vaikuṇṭha upon Your chest for amorous dalliance. You can be forgiven by Nārāyaṇa, but not by us, and not by our husbands. Rather, after our husbands complain to the mighty Kaṃsa, You will be punished. We are chaste women from good, noble families, and the idea of having a paramour is extremely contemptible for us. You cannot make us into Your maidservants by showing Your beauty and sweetness.”

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the crest jewel of those who relish vraja-rasa, describes how the gopīs became the maidservants of Kṛṣṇa after seeing the unprecedented beauty of His form:

Śyāmasundara says to the gopīs, “I did not purchase you with any payment, so how have you become My maidservants?”

The vraja-ramaṇīs reply, “You have given us a payment that is millions and millions of times more than enough. If You want to know what that priceless treasure is, then listen. Ever since the very beginning of our youth, You called us into Your kuñja-mandira and showed us Your beautiful face, covered with falling locks of curling hair. When You wrap a tilted turban on Your head, we get darśana of Your lotus face through the lattice made by Your curly tresses. Then, with Your small delicate finger, You push those curling locks into Your turban and Your beauty is thoroughly revealed. Your curling tresses also hang loose when You tie a centred turban, and when You untie Your turban to take rest, Your hair falls all over Your face. In this way, Your lotus face is sometimes uncovered, sometimes slightly covered and sometimes completely beautified by these curly locks. When You laugh and joke, Your earrings swing to and fro to kiss Your cheeks. By the impressions resulting from this meeting, Your most attractive cheeks emanate an unprecedented beauty. In this way, when we see Your moon-like face, the lotuses of our hearts blossom. You have purchased us with the incomparable sweetness of Your beauty as payment.”

Kṛṣṇa may say, “I am devoted to religious principles, and you are the wives of other men. How can I make you My maidservants?” Upon hearing this, the gopīs shake a finger at Him and reply, “O best of the followers of dharma, You keep Lakṣmī, the wife of Nārāyaṇa of Vaikuṇṭha, upon Your chest where, in front of us, out of shame, she is present merely as a golden line. In private, though, she enjoys amorous sports with You. Can any woman in the three worlds reject You? None can. By showing us the priceless treasure of

Yourself, You compel us to become Your maidservants.”

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