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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 12, 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 12 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.

The rejection of all types of dharma, out of the desire to serve Śrī Rādhā’s lotus feet, is described in Śrī Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi (33):

दूराद् अपास्य स्वजनान् सुखम् अर्थ-कोटिं सर्वेषु साधन-वरेषु चिरं निराशः
वर्षन्तम् एव सहजाद्भुत-सौख्य-धारां श्री-राधिका-चरण-रेणुम् अहं स्मरामि

dūrād apāsya svajanān sukham artha-koṭiṃ sarveṣu sādhana-vareṣu ciraṃ nirāśaḥ
varṣantam eva sahajādbhuta-saukhya-dhārāṃ śrī-rādhikā-caraṇa-reṇum ahaṃ smarāmi

The desire for the pleasure received from relationships with family and friends; for the four goals of life, namely dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa ; and for vast wealth, etc., are the causes of all unwanted desires. Knowing this, I abandoned them all. I worship the footdust of Śrī Rādhā, which showers natural, wonderful happiness, and I always keep this foot-dust upon my head.

स्वजन-सम्बन्ध-सुख, चतुर्-वर्ग अर्थ
सकल-साधन छाडि’ जानिया अनर्थ

svajana-sambandha-sukha, catur-varga artha
sakala-sādhana chāḍi’ jāniyā anartha

sahaja-adbhuta-saukhya-dhārā vṛṣṭi kari
rādhā-pada-reṇu bhaji, śire sadā dhari

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

The first line of this Text, dūrād apāsya sva-janān sukham artha-koṭim, means that the desires for wealth and the happiness derived from the company of relatives cause impediments in remembering the dust of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s lotus feet, and therefore those desires should be rejected. Pure renunciation is actually a natural distaste for material matters and a taste for the dust of Śrī Rādhā’s lotus feet. Sādhakas who possess exclusive faith in Śrī Rādhā (rādhā-niṣṭhā) are solely attached to the fragrance of Her lotus feet. Without Śrī Rādhā, they have no taste for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Material happiness seems insignificant to such sādhakas, who have firm attachment for Her lotus feet and who are not slightly inclined toward any other transcendental practice and goal.

Indeed, on the path of prema-bhakti, other practices (sādhanas) are obstacles, as stated in the following verse:

puṇya ye sukhera dhāma, tāra nā laio nāma,
puṇya mukti dui tyāga kari

prema-bhakti-sudhā-nidhi, tāhe ḍūba niravadhi,
āra yata kṣāra-nidhi prāya

Prema-bhakti-candrikā (6.15–16)

Although piety is the abode of material happiness, do not strive for it. Rather, give up the desire for piety, as well as for liberation. Loving devotional service is an ocean of nectar. Always be immersed in it.

Pious activities, liberation and so forth are like a pile of ashes to the premī-bhakta (the devotee at the stage of prema). Indeed, if a devotee persistently desires to submerge himself in the nectarean ocean of loving devotional service, and his bee-like heart is attracted by the fragrance of Śrī Rādhā’s foot-dust, which is full of immaculate rasa, how can he go anywhere else? After receiving happiness from a supremely excellent object, can one become attracted by some trif ling pleasure? Compared to the happiness of merging with brahma (brahmānanda), the bliss of bhajana (bhajanānanda) is vastly greater. That ecstasy is indescribable. Bhajanānanda in its most condensed form is premānanda, but it is beyond words to express the nature of premānanda, as it is a stage to be experienced. Amongst all varieties of premānanda, the prema of the gopīs when distressed in separation crosses beyond the ultimate limit of ānanda and attains a state that cannot be expressed in words. From the dust of the lotus feet of the crest jewel of all gopīs, Śrī Rādhā, a stream of this indescribable happiness continuously f lows towards that sādhaka who remembers Her. This stream of ānanda, composed of pure sweetness and devoid of even a scent of aiśvarya-jñāna, is natural and filled with wonderful astonishment. This is the meaning of the words sahajādbhuta-saukhya-dhārā in this Text.

Śrī-rādhikā-caraṇa-reṇum aham smarāmi–In the absence of directly receiving the exceedingly rare dust of Śrī Rādhā’s lotus feet, the sādhaka who is established in rādhā-dāsya remembers that dust. What this actually means is that he yearns to obtain his cherished service in Śrī Rādhā’s pastimes in the pleasure groves (vilāsa-kuñjas ). This is the heartfelt desire of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, and it is their topmost sādhana. Prema-bhakti-candrikā (2.2) states: “sādhana smaraṇa līlā, ihāte nā kara helā, kāya mane kariyā susāra–the sādhana at this stage is to remember Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; do not neglect this. Make this the most essential endeavour of your body and mind.”

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