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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 17, 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 17 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.

A description of the direct darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is given in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.32.2):

तासाम् आविरभूच् छौरिः स्मयमान-मुखाम्बुजः
पीताम्बर-धरः स्रग्वी साक्षान् मन्मथ-मन्मथः

tāsām āvirabhūc chauriḥ smayamāna-mukhāmbujaḥ
pītāmbara-dharaḥ sragvī sākṣān manmatha-manmathaḥ

Just then, Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared in the midst of the gopīs. His lotus face blossomed with a mild, gentle smile. Hanging from His neck was a garland of forest flowers, and He wore a golden-yellow garment (pītāmbara). What was the nature of His beauty? That beauty stirs the mind of Kāmadeva (Cupid), who himself stirs the minds of everyone.

gopīra sammukha hari, dāṅḍāila veṇu dhari’,
vanamālī pītāmbara, manmathera manohara,
rādhikāra deha-mano-lobhā

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is expert in increasing His devotees’ prema, disappeared from the rāsa dance. Devastated by separation from Him, weeping, the gopīs arrived at the bank of the Yamunā. There they performed kīrtana, having exhausted all alternatives in their search for Him. Their voices were full of extreme feeling and they used metaphors with multiple meanings to express their sentiments. Restless in the pain of separation, the vraja-ramaṇīs’ tears, full of prema, f lowed freely and continuously from their eyes. At that time, Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, who was in the dense, dark forest, heard their weeping and suddenly appeared in their midst, manifesting His lustre.

In this Text, Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is thoroughly absorbed in mañjarī-bhāva, and in anger, he has used the word śauri as an insult. Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared in a kṣatriya family within the Śūra dynasty, whose hearts were deceitful and hard. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was unable to tolerate Svāminī’s agony of separation from Kṛṣṇa, and he therefore saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s hiding as a defect. He thought, “The young girls of Vraja are simple loving girls (premikās), and You take pleasure in making them unhappy. Seeing the gopīs aff licted by grief, You display Your prowess (śaurya).” Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī felt that such so-called prowess was a disgrace: “If Your heart were truly honest, You would not have done such a thing.” These are examples of the defamatory remarks used in prema;only one whose prema is deep can speak like this.

Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, the crown jewel of all those skilled in amorous pastimes (vidagdha-cūḍāmaṇi), appeared in the midst of the vrajadevīs, displaying His unparalleled beauty. This beauty is described in this Text by the use of three adjectives: smayamāna, sragvī and sākṣān-manmatha-manmathaḥ.

Smayamāna–Although His face was radiant and smiling, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s heart was remorseful. Smiling is a characteristic of bhagavattā (the quality of being Bhagavān), but Kṛṣṇa’s smile before the gopīs was caused by the bhāvas He experienced upon seeing them. He smiled to remove their distress and console them. Darśana of His extremely enchanting lotus face removes all the gopīs’ sorrow. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa, wearing a pītāmbara, heard the distress-filled cry of the vraja-devīs, He came swiftly, holding His pītāmbara around His neck so that it would not slip off.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa had charmed the gopīs with the sound of His flute. All those gopīs had abandoned their families, morality, steadfastness and shyness to arrive at Kṛṣṇa’s side. But on that day, Kṛṣṇacandra had abandoned the gopīs and disappeared. Upon His return, He held His yellow cloth around His neck as a gesture, in order to show that He was praying for forgiveness. Conscious that He had given great suffering to His dear ones, Kṛṣṇa admitted that He Himself was an offender, and He held His pītāmbara with His hands to beg forgiveness for His transgression. Just as a repentant person clasps a piece of straw between his teeth, Kṛṣṇa humbly put His cloth around His neck, thus begging forgiveness. His hands held His pītāmbara, which He used to carefully wipe away the tears from the eyes of the vraja-devīs, who were grief-stricken in their feelings of separation from Him. Vrajendra-nandana is also relating the following mood to the gopīs: “You are of golden complexion, so I have covered My body, heart and mind with the pītāmbara; My inner heart is also coloured by your golden anurāga.”

Sragvī–Leaving aside all other ornaments, Śrī Kṛṣṇa wore a fresh, radiant garland of forest flowers around His charming neck. He wore this garland of cooling lotuses only to remove the gopīs’ fire of separation. In doing so, He expressed the sentiment, “You are like the garland’s flowers; you are like My very heart. By embracing you, I am praying for forgiveness and beg you to soothe the heat of My feelings of separation from you. You strung this very garland yourself and garlanded Me with it. I am displaying My eternal gratitude by wearing it upon My heart.”

Sākṣān-manmatha-manmathaḥ–Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s extremely charming beauty, embellished by His being in the midst of the gopīs, churned the mind of Cupid. Vyaṣṭi-kāmadeva and samaṣṭikāmadeva are concealed in sākṣāt-manmatha, the original Kāmadeva. The vyaṣṭi-kāmadevas are the Kāmadevas that exists in different universes, samaṣṭi-kāmadeva is Pradyumna, and the original Kāmadeva is Nanda-nandana Himself. The material Madana (Kāmadeva) intoxicates all jīvas, but when this material Madana receives darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form, which enchants the three worlds, he falls unconscious. Sākṣāt-manmatha-manmatha Kṛṣṇa, who is the transcendental Kāmadeva, manifested such a form to calm the gopīs’ suffering.

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī writes in the Krama-sandarbha that manmatha-manmatha signifies that person who infatuates even Madana. Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra displayed His Mohinī-mūrti and even bewildered Mahādeva in his form as Rudra.[1] But actually, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form as sākṣāt-manmatha-manmatha is only displayed in the rāsamaṇḍala.

This is confirmed in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā 5.212–213):

वृन्दावन-पुरन्दर श्री-मदन-गोपाल
रास-विलासी साक्षात् व्रजेन्द्र-कुमार

vṛndāvana-purandara śrī-madana-gopāla
rāsa-vilāsī sākṣāt vrajendra-kumāra

श्री-राधा-ललिता-सङ्गे रास-विलास
मन्मथ-मन्मथ-रूपे याङ्हार प्रकाश

śrī-rādhā-lalitā-saṅge rāsa-vilāsa
manmatha-manmatha-rūpe yāṅhāra prakāśa

Madana-gopāla, the Lord of Vṛndāvana, is the enjoyer of the rāsa dance and is directly the son of the King of Vraja. He enjoys the rāsa dance with Śrīmatī Rādhikā, Śrī Lalitā and others. He manifests Himself as the Cupid of Cupids.

Footnotes and references:


The story of how Mahādeva became bewildered by Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Mohinī-mūrti is narrated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eighth Canto, Chapter 12.

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