by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words
The Bhajana-rahasya Text 25, 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 25 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.
एताः परं तनु-भृतो भुवि गोप-वध्वो गोविन्द एव निखिलात्मनि रूढ-भावाः
वाञ्छन्ति यद् भव-भियो मुनयो वयं च किं ब्रह्म-जन्मभिर् अनन्त-कथा-रसस्य
etāḥ paraṃ tanu-bhṛto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo govinda eva nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ
vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṃ ca kiṃ brahma-janmabhir ananta-kathā-rasasya
The gopīs have one-pointed rūḍha-bhāva towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the soul of all living entities. This is the topmost level of kṛṣṇa-prema, and by this, their lives are successful. This bhāva is hankered for, not only by fearful persons desiring liberation from this material existence, but also by great mahāpuruṣas, as well as devotees like ourselves; but none of us are able to attain it. For one whose mind is attached to kṛṣṇa-kathā, the three kinds of birth–seminal, brahminical and sacrificial–are not necessary; but for one who has no taste for hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, what is the benefit of taking birth, even as Brahmā, again and again for many, many eons?
भव-भीत मुनि-गण आर देव-गण
याङ्हार चरण-वाञ्छा करे अनुक्षण
bhava-bhīta muni-gaṇa āra deva-gaṇa
yāṅhāra caraṇa-vāñchā kare anukṣaṇa
से गोविन्दे रूढ-भावापन्न गोपी धन्य
कृष्ण रस-आगे ब्रह्म-जन्म नहे गण्य
se govinde rūḍha-bhāvāpanna gopī dhanya
kṛṣṇa rasa-āge brahma-janma nahe gaṇya
With this verse and others, Śrī Uddhava is praising the crown jewels of all devotees, the gopīs, who are worshipable by all the worlds. Uddhava is Kṛṣṇa’s dear most friend. Seeing the extraordinary prema of the gopīs, he became astonished and ref lected as follows: “Lord Brahmā is Kṛṣṇa’s son, but is proud of being His son. Śaṅkara’s nature is one with Kṛṣṇa’s, but his mind is more absorbed in his oneness with Kṛṣṇa than in thinking about bhakti. Saṅkarṣaṇa has the mood of a brother, and Lakṣmī the mood of a wife, and these feelings are more prominent in them than the mood of prema. But the gopīs love Kṛṣṇa as their prāṇa-priyatama, the treasure of their lives. Their love is nirupādhika, free from any other designation and it has reached the zenith of prema. They have rūḍha-bhāva for Gokulendra-nandana Govinda.”
Rūḍha-bhāva is endowed with a vast sweetness that is free from any sense of awe and reverence. It is affection for Kṛṣṇa without any designation, and it is paramour bhāva without any expectation. Rūḍhabhāva appears in the higher levels of mahābhāva. Rūḍha-bhāva is mentioned in this verse, but the gopīs actually attain adhirūḍhabhāva, which is the final limit of their mahābhāva. To only mention rūḍha-bhāva restricts the extent of the gopīs’ emotions. The vrajadevīs, who are endowed with adhirūḍha-bhāva, in other words with mādana, mohana and all other bhāvas, are the very soul of Govinda. This is the meaning of the words nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ.
Uddhava starts to contemplate the following: “Govinda is the condensed form of Svayam Bhagavān Parameśvara.” All scriptures state that the original, non-dual truth, Govinda, is the original Person (ādi-puruṣa ). Govinda gives pleasure to the Vrajavāsīs with the sweetness of His form: “go vindayati iti govinda–Govinda is He who gives pleasure to the gopas, gopīs and cows.” Go means one who pervades the senses, and the gopīs pervade the senses of Govinda. It is a severe offence to ascribe the moods of ordinary females to the vraja-devīs, who, being extraordinary in every respect, are the very embodiments of concentrated prema.
Vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṃ ca–Those desiring liberation, munis and others who have attained liberation and who are fully self-satisfied (ātmārāma ), and even Uddhava, who lives with Govinda, as well as the Pāṇḍavas, Yādavas, Caturmukha Brahmā and others, are attracted by the gopīs’ mahābhāva and eagerly desire it. If one has no taste for hearing narrations about Ananta-kṛṣṇa, then even birth as Brahmā is useless. There is even no gain if as Brahmā one performs the act of creation, or as a brāhmaṇa one studies the Vedas, Upaniṣads and other scriptures, and takes vows, performs austerities and so on. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says, “The life and death of a person who has no taste for hearing narrations of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s premamādhurya are insignificant and meaningless.” If a person’s mood is not similar to that of the gopīs, then Kṛṣṇa does not accept him. This is why He sent the māthura-brāhmaṇīs back to their homes, as described in Chapter 23 of the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Bhuvi refers to this Earth, the heavenly planets and the spiritual world. The only success in these three worlds is to take birth as a gopī.
Tanu-bhṛto bhuvi–Kṛṣṇa delivers all living entities from material existence, even those who are low and insignificant. He nourishes them accordingly with the prema of the gopīs, who are situated in His heart. He propagates prema, He relishes this extraordinary prema and induces others to savour it, and He increases prema in those to whom He gives it. The name of this potency is ‘gopī’.
Uddhava is profusely praising the greatness of the vraja-devīs in this verse. He also establishes the superiority of a married gopī’s paramour mood in comparison to the mood of a husband and wife. This paramour mood is not possible anywhere else except Vraja. In paramour love (parakīya-bhāva ), rasa is produced by unprecedented astonishment.