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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 5, 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 5 belonging to the chapter “Saptama-yama-sadhana (Pradosha-kaliya-bhajana–vipralambha-prema)” representing from six dandas of the night until midnight: approximately 8.30 p.m.–00.00 a.m.

Giri-Govardhana becomes blissful by the touch of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s and Śrī Balarāma’s lotus feet, and he worships them with various articles.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.21.18) states:

हन्तायम् अद्रिर् अबला हरि-दास-वर्यो यद् राम-कृष्ण-चरण-स्पर्श-प्रमोदः
मानं तनोति सह-गो-गणयोस् तयोर् यत् पानीय-सूयवस-कन्दर-कन्दमूलैः

hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo yad rāma-kṛṣṇa-caraṇa-sparśa-pramodaḥ
mānaṃ tanoti saha-go-gaṇayos tayor yat pānīya-sūyavasa-kandara-kandamūlaiḥ

O sakhīs, this mountain, Govardhana, is the crown jewel of Śrī Hari’s servants. Blessed is his fortune! By the touch of the lotus feet of our prāṇa-vallabha Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva Prabhu, who is most pleasing to the eyes, Govardhana is blossoming with delight and supplying crystal-clear water, soft grass, wonderful caves and varieties of roots. By thus serving Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, who are surrounded by the cowherd boys and cows, he highly honours them.

हरिदास-वर्य एइ गिरि-गोवर्धन
राम-कृष्ण पद-स्पर्शे सुखे अचेतन

haridāsa-varya ei giri-govardhana
rāma-kṛṣṇa pada-sparśe sukhe acetana

सखा-धेनु-सह कृष्णे आतिथ्य करिल
पानीय-कन्दर-कन्दमूल निवेदिल

sakhā-dhenu-saha kṛṣṇe ātithya karila
pānīya-kandara-kandamūla nivedila

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

The vraja-devīs, who are the embodiments of mahābhāva, say, “If anyone can be said to be the topmost devotee, it must be Girirāja. In a variety of ways he serves our prāṇavallabha and the cowherd boys and cows who accompany Him. We do not have the strength of kṛṣṇa-prema, and therefore we are weak (abalā). This Girirāja, however, is the proprietor of kṛṣṇa-prema. Let us go, sakhī. We should bathe in Mānasī-gaṅgā, circumambulate Girirāja, take darśana of his presiding deity, Śrī Harideva, and worship him. Then the desires we have long held in our hearts will be fulfilled. Even though attainment of the wealth of prema is extremely rare, Girirāja will give some of it to us. O sister, we want to touch priyatama Śyāmasundara’s chin and talk to Him. It is so frustrating that we are unable to talk with Him, what to speak of render direct service to Him.

“Just look! Girirāja becomes ecstatic by the touch of Kṛṣṇa’s limbs as Kṛṣṇa climbs upon his body, and one can easily see his ecstatic sentiments, such as tears, horripilation and perspiration. The appearance of grass is horripilation, the humidity is his perspiration and the waterfalls are his tears. Moreover, Kṛṣṇa also receives pleasure by performing playful pastimes on Govardhana’s body. Having seen all this, we do not have even the slightest doubt that Girirāja-Govardhana is haridāsa-varya, the topmost servant of Śrī Hari.”

That servant who delights Śrī Hari with his service, and who receives the greatest happiness by rendering that service to Him, is topmost among Śrī Hari’s servants. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, three great personalities are called haridāsa: Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Śrī Uddhava and Śrī Girirāja-Govardhana. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira accepts Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supreme Absolute Truth and fully independent, as his intimate friend, and he serves Him lovingly in the mood of a servant (dāsya ), a friend (sakhya) and a parent (vātsalya).

Śrī Uddhava, the second haridāsa, became Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s messenger and went to Vraja to console Kṛṣṇa’s parents as well as the vrajaramaṇīs and other Vrajavāsīs. Upon seeing the symptoms of the gopīs’ high class of prema, Śrī Uddhava became astonished. He not only realised the glories of the gopīs’ foot-dust, he also expressed a desire to take birth in Vraja as grass, a shrub or a herb. He fulfilled this desire at the most magnanimous Girirāja-Govardhana, by taking birth in Girirāja’s lap near Kusuma-sarovara as a blade of grass, but still he was unable to serve the Vrajavāsīs as Girirāja does.

Girirāja is haridāsa-varya, the topmost servant of Śrī Hari. Why? Because he fulfils all the needs of Kṛṣṇa and the Vrajavāsīs. He serves Kṛṣṇa and His companions, the cowherd boys and cows, with his body, mind, wealth and very life, sacrificing everything to satisfy all of their inner hearts’ desires. He offers them the pure, cool, sweet drinking water of Mānasī-gaṅgā and other sarovaras, very tasteful fruits and roots to eat, varieties of flowers and red minerals for decoration, jewelled seats and beds, precious stones to use for lamps and mirrors, and well-adorned caves and kuñjas for resting and playing. And he offers nutritious grass and plants to the cows. Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds relish very confidential pastimes in the beautifully decorated groves and caves of Girirāja, who is expert in performing the topmost service in śṛṅgāra-rasa. Because Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s confidential nikuñja-līlās take place inside and upon his body, so as to not disturb these confidential pastimes, he has permanently assumed the stationary form of stone.

In this way, the gopīs lavishly praise Girirāja-Govardhana upon seeing the many kinds of services he renders to Kṛṣṇa.

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