by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words
The Bhajana-rahasya Text 13, 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 13 belonging to the chapter “Ashtama-yama-sadhana (Ratri-lila–prema-bhajana sambhoga)” representing from midnight to three-and-a-half praharas of the night: approximately 00.00 a.m.–3.30 a.m.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.31.9) states:
तव कथामृतं तप्त-जीवनं कविभिर् ईडितं कल्मषापहम्
श्रवण-मङ्गलं श्रीमद् आततं भुवि गृणन्ति ते भूरि-दा जनाः
tava kathāmṛtaṃ tapta-jīvanaṃ kavibhir īḍitaṃ kalmaṣāpaham
śravaṇa-maṅgalaṃ śrīmad ātataṃ bhuvi gṛṇanti te bhūri-dā janāḥ
O Kṛṣṇa, nectar-filled narrations about You are the life and soul of persons suffering in separation from You, and they are sung by great, realised poets who are Your devotees. Just by hearing the all-auspicious narrations about You, all kinds of sins, such as prārabdha and aprārabdha, are removed, and all prosperity, in the form of prema-bhakti, arises in the heart. Therefore, no one is equal to or more generous than he who broadcasts Your glories.
तव कथामृत कृष्ण! जीवनेर सुख
कवि-गण गाय याते याय पाप-दुःख
tava kathāmṛta kṛṣṇa! jīvanera sukha
kavi-gaṇa gāya yāte yāya pāpa-duḥkha
श्रवण-मङ्गल सदा सौन्दर्य-पूरित
सुकृत-जनेर मुखे निरन्तर गीत
śravaṇa-maṅgala sadā saundarya-pūrita
sukṛta-janera mukhe nirantara gīta
At the time of Ratha-yātrā, Śrī Gaurasundara, endowed with the mood of Śrī Rādhā, became tired and lay down to rest beneath a tree, extending His lotus feet. Within His mind, He relished the vraja-devīs’ various moods. Mahārāja Pratāparudra came to Him dressed as an insignificant and lowly person and in a humble mood massaged Mahāprabhu’s feet, while gently singing this śloka.
In the previous verse of Gopī-gīta, which begins with madhurayā girā, the gopīs who were suffering in separation from Kṛṣṇa pray for the nectar of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lips to cure their disease. In reply Śrī Kṛṣṇa says, “O gopīs, I cannot understand how you can remain alive in such a diseased condition.”
The gopīs reply, “Śyāmasundara, we are alive only due to the nectar of narrations about You, which do not allow us to die. If You ask what this nectar is like, we will answer that it can even bring peace to someone who is aff licted with the intractable disease of suffering the threefold material miseries. The nectar of descriptions of You even calms a forest fire of miseries.”
Kṛṣṇa may say, “O gopīs, I will bring you nectar from heaven. You can take that!”
The gopīs answer, “Dear Śyāmasundara, nectar from heaven will make the body healthy, but it will increase lust (kāma) and other inauspicious qualities, that cause much misfortune. Indra and the other demigods of Svarga are overrun with lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy.”
If Kṛṣṇa says, “O gopīs, take the nectar of liberation!” then the gopīs will reply, “Even if You offer liberation, Your devotees will not accept it, because it is unfavourable for prema-bhakti. Where are the loving exchanges in liberation? Dhruva, Prahlāda, Brahmā, Nārada, the four Kumāras, Vyāsa, Śuka and other great devotees and poets glorify descriptions of You (hari-kathā). For those who aspire for liberation, this kathā is the effective medicine that immediately cures the disease of material existence. And for materialists, it gives pleasure to the ears and minds. Great personalities who are liberated within this world praise such narrations as nectar. Hearing them removes all the living entity’s sins and offences and bestows auspiciousness. Just as with the arrival of the autumn season, rivers and ponds automatically become clean, similarly, by hearing descriptions of You, the dirt in the living entity’s heart is removed. Such narrations give new life to the devotees who are burning in separation from You, and it bestows all kinds of beauty and wealth. One who distributes kṛṣṇa-kathā throughout the world is a truly benevolent person.”