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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 20, 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 20 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.

Anguished that their blinking prevented them from seeing Śrī Kṛṣṇa when they were taking His darśana, the gopīs curse the person who created eyelids.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.82.39) describes this condition of the gopīs at their meeting with Kṛṣṇa in Kurukṣetra:

गोप्यश् च कृष्णम् उपलभ्य चिराद् अभीष्टं यत्-प्रेक्षणे दृशिषु पक्ष्म-कृतं शपन्ति
दृग्भिर् हृदी-कृतम् अलं परिरभ्य सर्वास् तद्-भावम् आपुर् अपि नित्य-युजां दुरापम्

gopyaś ca kṛṣṇam upalabhya cirād abhīṣṭaṃ yat-prekṣaṇe dṛśiṣu pakṣma-kṛtaṃ śapanti
dṛgbhir hṛdī-kṛtam alaṃ parirabhya sarvās tad-bhāvam āpur api nitya-yujāṃ durāpam

(Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who was experiencing the mood of the gopīs when they saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa at Kurukṣetra, said:) The vrajasundarīs, who cursed the Creator for making eyelids that obstructed their darśana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, now saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa again after a very long time. They took Him from the path of their eyes into their hearts and tightly embraced Him there. They attained that rare absorption that cannot be attained either by yogīs or by Rukmiṇī and the other queens of Dvārakā, who are always with Him.

चिर-दिन कृष्ण-आशे, छिल गोपी व्रज-वासे,
कुरुक्षेत्रे प्राणनाथे पाइया
अनिमेष-नेत्र-द्वारे, आनि’ कृष्णे प्रेमाधारे,
हृदे आलिङ्गिल मुग्ध हैया

cira-dina kṛṣṇa-āśe, chila gopī vraja-vāse,
kurukṣetre prāṇanāthe pāiyā
animeṣa-netra-dvāre, āni’ kṛṣṇe premādhāre,
hṛde āliṅgila mugdha haiyā

आहा से अमिय भाव, अन्य जने असम्भव,
स्वकीय-कान्ताय सुदुर्लभ
गोपी विना एइ प्रेम, येन विशोधित हेम,
लक्ष्मी-गणे चिर असम्भव

āhā se amiya bhāva, anya jane asambhava,
svakīya-kāntāya sudurlabha
gopī vinā ei prema, yena viśodhita hema,
lakṣmī-gaṇe cira asambhava

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

At the time of the solar eclipse, all the Vrajavāsīs arrived at Kurukṣetra, eager to see and meet with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When the vraja-ramaṇīs saw Kṛṣṇa after being separated from Him for so long, they became radiant with bliss, and their hearts and eyes did not move. Those vraja-gopīs had been unable to tolerate even a moment’s separation caused by the blinking of their eyes, and had thus cursed the creator of eyelids. Who can describe their ecstasy when they again saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa after burning in a raging fire ignited by His absence?

The Śrutis say it is impossible to describe in words the happiness derived from merging into the impersonal effulgence of the Lord (brahmānanda); no one is able to determine the extent of it. This brahmānanda, however, is like a firefly before rasānanda, the bliss attained by the gopīs possessing mahābhāva, in their prema-filled service to Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs’ bodies are composed of intense, loving attachment (anurāga), which is caused by the great depth of their relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Anurāga is a function of the hlādinī-śakti when it is endowed with saṃvit. This state is called svasaṃvedya, which means that it can only be known by the person who experiences it.

According to the intensity of anurāga, prema is determined as perfect (pūrṇa), more perfect (pūrṇatara) or most perfect (pūrṇatama). Compared to the pūrṇatama anurāga of the gopīs, the bliss of the service performed by Lakṣmī, who revels on the chest of Nārāyaṇa, and also the skill of the queens of Dvārakā in the art of various loving affairs, are bland and insipid. Although they exhibit various extraordinary moods, enchantingly beautiful smiles, etc., they cannot bring Kṛṣṇa’s heart under their control. The vraja-gopīs, however, who are coloured with dense anurāga, as well as with prema imbued with madīya-bhāva (a feeling that ‘Kṛṣṇa belongs to me’), control Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s heart through their crooked, sidelong glances. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī’s reference to the gopīs’ extraordinary prema in this Text is a sharp cue meant for the jñānīs, who meditate on brahma. In effect he is saying, “O jñānīs performing arduous sādhana! Fie on you! If you want to make your lives successful, then surrender at the lotus feet of these prema-filled gopīs.”

Having witnessed the sweetness (mādhurya ) of the vraja-gopīsprema, Uddhava becomes eagerly desirous to attain it: vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṃ ca (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.47.58). Enchanted by this prema-mādhurya, the queens of Dvārakā, who always accompany Kṛṣṇa, pray to attain the fragrance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, which are coloured with kuṅkuma from the gopīs’ breasts.

One unprecedented experience of ecstasy in separation is called divyonmāda. This ocean of prema stirs enormous waves that inundate every universe. Its current bewilders the heavenly damsels, who are lustrous like lotus flowers. It stirs the hearts of earthly beings, invades Satyaloka, and even rebukes the beauty of the realm of Vaikuṇṭha. Uddhava, Nārada and others are astonished to see the prema born of the gopīsmahābhāva ; it even stuns the hearts of Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā. Despite performing many arduous practices, the yogīs cannot even establish the effulgence of the nails of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet in their hearts. The gopīs, however, very easily and directly adorn their breasts with the lotus feet of youthful Kṛṣṇa, who is the essence of all beauty and lustre, and thus they pacify His fire of lust. Blessed are these masterful gopīs.

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