Bhajana-Rahasya

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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 16, 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 16 belonging to the chapter “Shashtha-yama-sadhana (Sayam-kaliya-bhajana–bhava)” representing six dandas after dusk: approximately 6.00 p.m.–8.30 p.m.

Also in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.21.5):

बर्हापीडं नट-वर-वपुः कर्णयोः कर्णिकारं बिभ्रद् वासः कनक-कपिशं वैजयन्तीं च मालाम्
रन्ध्रान् वेणोर् अधर-सुधयापूरयन् गोप-वृन्दैर् वृन्दारण्यं स्व-पद रमणं प्राविशद् गीत-कीर्तिः

barhāpīḍaṃ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṃ bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṃ vaijayantīṃ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair vṛndāraṇyaṃ sva-pada ramaṇaṃ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

[Seeing Kṛṣṇa through the eyes of bhāva, the gopīs in pūrva-rāga described His beauty:] Śyāmasundara is entering the forest of Vṛndāvana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. In His turban there is a peacock feather; over His ears, a karṇikāra flower; on His body, a pītāmbara glitters like gold; and around His neck, extending down to His knees, is a charming garland strung with five kinds of fragrant forest flowers. His beautiful dress is like that of an expert dancer on a stage, and the nectar of His lips f lows through the holes of His flute. Singing His glories, the cowherd boys follow from behind. In this way, this Vṛndāvana-dhāma, which is more charming than Vaikuṇṭha, has become even more beautiful due to the impressions of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, which are marked with the conch, disc and other symbols.

शिखिचूड, नटवर, कर्णे कर्णिकार
पीतवास, वैजयन्ती-माला-गलहार

śikhicūḍa, naṭavara, karṇe karṇikāra
pītavāsa, vaijayantī-mālā-galahāra

वेणु-रन्ध्रे अधर-पीयूष पूर्ण करि’
सखा-सङ्गे वृन्दारण्ये प्रवेशिल हरि

veṇu-randhre adhara-pīyūṣa pūrṇa kari’
sakhā-saṅge vṛndāraṇye praveśila hari

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

With this verse Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the crown jewel of all paramahaṃsas, has drawn an amazing picture of the sweet form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa that manifested in the hearts of the beautiful damsels of Vraja when they heard the sound of His veṇu. The vraja-ramaṇīs, filled with deep attachment for Kṛṣṇa, became overwhelmed upon hearing the sweet sound of His flute. As they began to describe to each other the astonishing sweetness of that sound, the image of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in His very beautiful threefold-bending form (tribhaṅga-lalita ), with His playful way of strolling, His crooked glances, His sweet slight smile and so on, manifested within their hearts and overwhelmed them with prema.

Barhāpīḍam–Amidst the locks of black curly hair on Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s head sits a peacock feather crown that looks like a rainbow on a fresh raincloud. These feathers were a gift from blissfully dancing peacocks. By wearing this crown on His head, the dhīra-lalita-nāyaka Kṛṣṇa reveals the hāva, bhāva and other ecstatic symptoms of His beloveds in an unprecedented way. The nakha-candrikā, the shining bluish-green centre of the peacock feather, is a seal of cleverness in the loving affairs (prema-vidagdha) that comprise the art of rasa. By wearing a peacock feather on His head, Kṛṣṇa proclaims the victory of His beloved Rādhā in the previous night’s pastimes in the pleasure groves.

Naṭa-vara-vapuḥ–Even the art of dancing (nṛtya-vilāsa) is defeated by Kṛṣṇa’s playful way of strolling. Śyāmasundara, the best of dancers, is the personification of the highest sweetness, which is beyond comparison. When, accompanied by His cowherd friends, He follows the cows into the Vṛndāvana forest, His lotus feet dance in His own natural style, which shames the art of dancing itself. At the same time, His jewelled anklebells, golden-coloured pītāmbara, waist bells and the vaijayantī-mālā on His chest also dance. His fingers, too, dance upon the holes of His flute in a unique manner. Kṛṣṇa’s two eyes, which defeat the beauty of the restless movement of khañjana birds and baby deer, also dance with various expressions. His makaras haped earrings, His black curling tresses and the peacock feather adorning the top of His head also start to dance. Thus, He Himself is the unequalled expert dancer (naṭa-vara) and every part of His body is also a naṭa-vara.

Karṇayoh karṇikāram–The yellow kanera flower (karṇikāra ) that Śyāmasundara wears on His ears as He enters the forest increases the incomparable sweetness of His fresh youth. Rasika-śekhara Śrī Kṛṣṇa wears only one kanera flower, sometimes on His right ear and sometimes on His left, thus demonstrating His carefree, intoxicated youth. He places this flower on the ear that faces the loving gopīs, who stand on the rooftops, thus showing them His great affection.

Bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśamNaṭa-vara Śyāmasundara’s body, whose dark complexion defeats the colour of fresh rain clouds, is adorned with a golden-yellow garment (pītāmbara ), which resembles lightning against a thundercloud. By covering His body with the pītāmbara, which is similar in colour to the vraja-gopīs’ golden complexions, He expresses how He feels when they embrace Him; thus He reveals His deep love for them. On His very broad chest, a vaijayantī-mālā, made from five kinds of flowers, swings gently and sweetly. When the gopīs see this, their hearts surge with ever-fresh waves of emotion. These five flowers are like five arrows released by the gopīs that pierce each and every part of Kṛṣṇa’s body.

Randrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan–When Śrī Kṛṣṇa covers the holes of the veṇu with His fingers, puts it to His tender, bud-like lips that defeat the beauty of ripe bimba fruits, and gently blows into it, a sweet sound pours forth that infatuates the entire world and enchants all moving and non-moving beings. The lifeless veṇu becomes alive and stirs the gopīs’ hearts, stimulating transcendental lust (kāma) within them. Moreover, when the gopīs see that the veṇu is enjoying the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s lips (adhara-sudhā)–which they consider their wealth–right in front of them, even though the flute is male, the sañcāri-bhāva called jealousy (īrṣyā ) arises in their hearts.

In this way, Śyāmasundara plays on His veṇu as He enters the most pleasant forest of Vṛndāvana. The moment a stream of the flute’s sweet nectar enters the ears of the vraja-ramaṇīs, who are endowed with mahābhāva, an amazing condition arises in their hearts. They become restless with a strong desire to meet with Kṛṣṇa, and although they try to conceal this mood, they are unsuccessful.

A sādhaka who aims to attain the gopīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa will gradually develop his bhāva-mādhurya by performing sādhana under the guidance of his spiritual master. When the stage of bhāva arises, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form manifests within the sādhaka’s heart. At this stage, the sādhaka’s mood is similar to that of a gopī. He understands himself (in his svarūpa) to be a young girl (kiśorī), and he becomes absorbed in rendering service under the guidance of the nitya-siddha-gopīs.

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