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

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 21, 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 21 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.

The gopīs’ intense longing to receive Śrī Kṛṣṇa in their own home, Vṛndāvana, is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.82.48):

आहुश् च ते नलिन-नाभ पदारविन्दं योगेश्वरैर् हृदि विचिन्त्यम् अगाध-बोधैः
संसार-कूप-पतितोत्तरणावलम्बं गेहं जुषाम् अपि मनस्य् उदियात् सदा नः

āhuś ca te nalina-nābha padāravindaṃ yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyam agādha-bodhaiḥ
saṃsāra-kūpa-patitottaraṇāvalambaṃ gehaṃ juṣām api manasy udiyāt sadā naḥ

[At the meeting in Kurukṣetra, Śrī Rādhikā and the prominent gopīs said:] O You whose navel is like a lotus (Kamalanābha), great yogīs who possess profound intelligence meditate upon Your lotus feet in their hearts. Your lotus feet are the only means of escape for those who have fallen into the well of material existence. O Lord, please give us the benediction that, even when we perform household work, Your lotus feet shall always reside in our hearts and we shall never forget them, even for a moment.

kṛṣṇa he!
agādha-bodha-sampanna, yogeśvara-gaṇa dhanya,
tava pada karuna cintana
saṃsāra-patita jana, dharu tava śrī-caraṇa,
kūpa haite uddhāra kāraṇa

आमि व्रज-गोप-नारी, नाहि-योगी, न-संसारी,
तोमा लञा आमार संसार
मम मन वृन्दावन, राखि’ तथा ओ’चरण,
एइ वाञ्छा पूराओ आमार

āmi vraja-gopa-nārī, nāhi-yogī, na-saṃsārī,
tomā lañā āmāra saṃsāra
mama mana vṛndāvana, rākhi’ tathā o’caraṇa,
ei vāñchā pūrāo āmāra

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

At the time of their meeting in Kurukṣetra, Śrī Kṛṣṇa tried to console the vraja-gopīs, who had been distraught in separation from Him, by instructing them on brahma-jñāna and yoga. He said, “I am all-pervading; I am never separated from you all. Endeavour to see Me in your hearts through devout meditation.”

Hearing their priyatama’s instructions on brahma-jñāna and yoga, the gopīs became somewhat angry and said, “O shining sun of the authorities on scriptural truth! Give these instructions on jñānayoga somewhere else; we very simple and ignorant gopīs cannot understand them. It is commendable to give an instruction that is suitable to the listener. When we hear these instructions, our hearts begin to burn. Prāṇanātha, it is true that the hearts of others are the same as their minds, but our hearts are the same as Vṛndāvana, so if You go to Vṛndāvana, we shall consider that You have entered our hearts. Only this will be Your complete mercy, nothing else. Vraja is not only our heart, it is also our home. Unless we meet You there, our life airs will certainly leave our bodies.

“First, You sent Uddhava to instruct us on yoga and jñāna, and today You are personally giving us this same instruction. You are rasika and supremely compassionate, and You also understand the feelings in our hearts, so why do You speak like this? You know we want to remove our affection for You and place it in household affairs, but even after a hundred thousand such attempts, we have been unable to do so. Now You are instructing us to meditate upon You. Can You not even slightly consider the persons You are instructing? We gopīs are not great yogīs, and we can never be satisfied by meditating on Your lotus feet. Hearing You talk like this makes us very angry. O simpleton, where is the possibility of a well of material existence and the desire for deliverance from it, for those who cannot even recall their own bodies? We are always drowning in the deep waters of separation from You, where the crocodiles of lust swallow us. O Prāṇanātha, please save us!

“O wealth of our lives, have You forgotten Vṛndāvana, Govardhana, the banks of the Yamunā, the rāsa-līlā and other pastimes that took place in the kuñjas? Aho ! It is surprising that You have forgotten the sakhās, Your parents and all the other Vrajavāsīs. It is our misfortune. We are not unhappy for ourselves; we are unhappy for Vrajeśvarī Yaśodā-maiyā. It tears our hearts apart to see her so forlorn. We may or may not have a relationship with You, but You are related to Yaśodā-maiyā by blood, as Your body is made of her blood. You may forget that relationship, but it cannot be removed. Whether You come to Vṛndāvana or not is up to You, but why have You kept the Vrajavāsīs alive? Is it just to make them suffer again and again? Yes, if You want to keep them alive, then quickly come to Vṛndāvana. This royal attire of Yours, the elephants and horses, Your association with the officers of the king here, and this foreign land, do not slightly befit the Vrajavāsīs. Although we are unable to abandon Vṛndāvana, we could not remain alive without seeing You. You are the life of Vraja, the wealth of Vrajarāja’s life and also the very life of our existence. Quickly return to Vṛndāvana and protect the lives of everyone.”

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