by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words
The Bhajana-rahasya Text 10, 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 10 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.
यदा यातो गोपी-हृदय-मदनो नन्द-सदनान् मुकुन्दो गान्दिन्यास् तनयम् अनुरुन्धन् मधु-पुरीम्
तदामाङ्क्षीच् चिन्ता-सरिति घन-घूर्णापरिचयैर् अगाधायां बाधामय-पयसि राधा-विरहिणी
yadā yāto gopī-hṛdaya-madano nanda-sadanān mukundo gāndinyās tanayam anurundhan madhu-purīm
tadāmāṅkṣīc cintā-sariti ghana-ghūrṇāparicayair agādhāyāṃ bādhāmaya-payasi rādhā-virahiṇī
Upon the request of Akrūra, Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, who gladdens the gopīs’ hearts, departed Nanda-bhavana for Mathurā. Now separated from Her lover, Śrī Rādhikā became greatly agitated and was completely submerged in a river of anxiety, which was full of deep whirlpools of unlimited suffering.
गोपिका-हृदय-हरि, व्रज छाडि’ मधुपुरी,
अक्रूर-सहित यबे गेला
तबे राधा विरहिणी, घन-घूर्ण-तरङ्गिणी,
चिन्ता-जले अगाधे पडिला
gopikā-hṛdaya-hari, vraja chāḍi’ madhupurī,
akrūra-sahita yabe gelā
tabe rādhā virahiṇī, ghana-ghūrṇa-taraṅgiṇī,
cintā-jale agādhe paḍilā
In his book Haṃsadūta, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī gives an incomparable description of the vraja-ramaṇī’s feelings of separation (vipralambha-rasa) that resulted from Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s residing in a distant place (sudūra-pravāsa ). In śṛṅgara-rasa, vipralambha-rasa is most relishable. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has enabled rasika devotees to dive deep into the ocean of vipralambha-rasa by writing about the waves of separation that arose in all the limbs of Śrī Rādhā’s body, Her incoherent conversations in divyonmāda, and Her sorrowful speech, which were all due to blazing (sūddīpta ) sāttvika transformations.
The very bliss of the vraja-gopīs’ hearts, Śrī Nanda-nandana, was taken to Mathurā by Akrūra, whose name means ‘not cruel’. Actually, however, Akrūra was supremely cruel, and as a consequence, all the gopīs drowned in a bottomless ocean of separation.
One day the crown jewel of the gopīs, the personification of mahābhāva, Śrī Rādhā, overwhelmed by feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa, went to the bank of the Yamunā with Śrī Lalitā and other sakhīs to soothe Her aff liction. However, just by again seeing the kuñjas where Their playful pastimes took place, Śrī Rādhā fainted, distressed by the burning fire of that separation. The sakhīs lifted Her up and laid Her on a bed of lotus petals. Śrī Lalitā fanned Her with the end of her veil and the sakhīs chanted the names of Kṛṣṇa.
By fanning Her and anointing Her with cooling sandalwood paste, they tried to bring Her back to consciousness.
Impatient, Śrī Lalitā went to bring Her cool water from the Yamunā. There, she saw an extremely beautiful, white, male swan. An inspiration arose in her to send a message to prāṇa-vallabha Śrī Kṛṣṇa about the incidents that were destroying the life of her dear sakhī, Śrī Rādhā. She understood that this male swan (haṃsa) would be a suitable messenger (dūta ), and she politely petitioned him to go to Mathurā. While describing the main road, she remembered previous pastimes with Kṛṣṇa. She mentioned these pastimes to the swan, thus making him thoroughly understand all the sufferings in Śrī Rādhā’s heart, which was overwhelmed by separation from Kṛṣṇa.
After Śrī Kṛṣṇa departed for Mathurā with Akrūra, Śrī Rādhā became submerged in a fathomless ocean of anxiety. She began to think, “Shall I protect this life air, which is burning in the fire of agony, by binding it with the rope of hope? Or shall I liberate My body from this rope? As Prāṇanātha left Vṛndāvana, He said, ‘Āyāsya iti dautyakai–I will return the day after tomorrow.’ But the day after tomorrow has been replaced with many years, and we still have not received news that He is coming. Shall I give up that hope and choose death by entering fire or the waters of the Yamunā?”
Śrī Rādhikā further reflected, “When prāṇakānta Śyāmasundara returns from Mathurā and does not find Me here, He will become so distressed. So what shall I do? My intelligence is perplexed. If My prāṇanātha cannot see Me, He also will be unable to remain alive. What shall I do? If I die, I will not see My priyatama’s soft, delicate lotus face which resembles a kunda flower. But I am unable to remain alive, as I am burning in separation. That Lord of our lives has not abandoned us; therefore, it is only right that I protect My life.” In this way, Śrī Rādhā was submerged in the boundless ocean of separation, in whirlpools of thoughts filled with pain. The vrajasundarīs’ yearning to meet Kṛṣṇa is a transformation of their prema. It increases unlimitedly, exuding a wonderful sweetness.
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī follows Śrī Rādhā’s bhāvas and becomes one with them. He taunts Akrūra by using the word gāndinī-tanaya, the son of Gāndinī, which has a double meaning. Akrūra took birth from the womb of Gāndinī, the daughter of the king of Kāśī. He stayed in her womb for twelve years, which caused her much pain. His father asked, “O child, why are you not taking birth? Why are you making your mother suffer like this?”
The child in the womb replied, “Father, if you give one cow to each brāhmaṇa every day, I will take birth after one year.” His father gave the cows as requested, and after one year, the child took birth. The Purāṇas state that a son who is named after his father or his paternal grandfather is blessed, but that son who is known by his mother’s name is worthless. In this Text, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī indicates Akrūra’s cruel nature by making him known through his mother, not his father. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa describes that Akrūra’s mother gave her family suffering, anxiety and worry. Consequently, Akrūra, having the same qualities as his mother, threw the gopīs and Vrajavāsīs into a limitless ocean of grief.