AFFECTIONATE GUIDANCE: CHAPTER TWELVE
Our Lord's Beloved Power
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
he krsna karuna-sindho dina-bandho jagat-pate
tapta-kanchana-gaurangi radhe vrndavanesvari
Today is Sri Radhastami, the Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani. In the Scriptures, especially Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta there is much glorification of Srimati Radharani.
hladinira sara 'prema,' prema-sara 'bhava'
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 4.68-69)
"The essence of ecstasy is love; the essence of love is heart; and the acme of heart is called 'mahabhava.' And the personality of mahabhava is our Queen, Sri Radha Thakurani. She is the mine of all good, the jewel of Krishna's beloveds."
We can understand the identification of Srimati Radharani in this way: the Power and the Powerful are non-different, but when the Power wants to play with the Powerful, They are taking different forms. One is Power and the other is Powerful.
radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 1.5)
Although the divine form of Radha-Krishna is one, sometimes for the Pastimes of love, the Power and the Powerful play together as two. There we will see hladini-sakti playing with Krishna in full love, beauty, charm, and affection. That is the form of Srimati Radharani.
Pranaya-vikrtir—where Love Herself is taking form and playing with the Powerful, that is Srimati Radharani. Srila Swarup Damodar Prabhu has explained that Krishna's power is classified in three manifestations: first is chit-sakti (transcendental potency), the second is jada-sakti (mundane potency), and the third is where the first two come very close to each other, and that is called tatastha-sakti. First is light, second is shadow, and third is the position midway between the two. That is called tatastha. And from that third plane, the innumerable jiva-souls are manifest.
Krishna, the Powerful, with these three powers in their fullness, is playing in the Paravyoma Dham. There, unlimited manifestations of the Lord are living, all within the infinite plane. And in Vrindavan, where Krishna's play is overflowing with love and affection, everything is for the satisfaction of the Powerful. There, love has five kinds of manifestation: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and Madhura. And Madhura is of two types: consorthood (swakiya) and paramour (parakiya). Where we see the supreme manifestation of Madhura-rasa, there we see the manifestation of Srimati Radharani. She is hladini-sakti, and hladini-sakti is further explained in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta:
krsnake ahlade, ta'te nama—'hladini'
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 8.157)
"That power which is always supplying service for the satisfaction of Krishna, and through which comes full happiness, full joy and full ecstasy, that is called by the name hladini."
In that realm everything is eternal and we cannot properly conceive that within our mundane intelligence. Therefore Sriman Mahaprabhu has said it is achintya. We have seen in the garden of one lady, a tree with three different types of fruit growing from it. Apricot, pear and plum, all growing on the same tree. I often use the example that if I ask a banana tree to please give me one mango, it will not be able to give that, not in this world. But after seeing that tree—actually two or three trees were there—I can say that it is possible, but still unbelievable. So if in this mundane world it is possible, then why not in the transcendental world.
"Surrounded by millions of wish-fulfilling trees, in abodes made of multitudes of wish-yielding gems, He who tends the ever-yielding cows and who is perpetually served with great affection by hundreds of thousands of Laksmis—the Primeval Lord, Govinda, do I worship."
The explanation of Goloka Dham given in Sri Brahma-samhita is inconceivable from this plane, but it exists eternally and there all play is going on by the power of Srimati Radharani. She is always trying to satisfy Krishna in so many ways. Her form is most beautiful, and Krishna is also so nice and beautiful, and when they are playing together, the whole transcendental universe also plays through that mood of their love.
Here, is the shadow universe where jada-sakti is the power, and that power is also eternal. Still in the shadow we cannot clearly see everything. The shadow of my hand will not show the colour of my hand, and many other things are unmanifest in the shadow. That jada-sakti can also be divided into three: gross matter, subtle matter or the mental plane, and the ego or ahankara. These three cover the jiva-soul, so we are unable to perceive our real self.
Where the play of the Power and the Powerful is always manifest, that is called Vaikunthaloka, and there unlimited manifestations of the Lord are playing eternally. And where that play is supreme, where the principal manifestation of the Power and the Powerful is to be found, that place is called Goloka Vrindavan. There the Powerful is known by many Names: Krishna, Nandanandan, Yasodanandan, Syamasundar, Govinda and many more, and the Power is manifest fully as Srimati Radharani, and She also appears in many divine forms; the sakhis, the manjaris, and others, for the service of Krishna. It is said in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta:
krsnera yateka khela, sarvottama nara-lila,
"The most supreme form of Godhead is Krishna, who plays in His eternal divine Pastimes just like a human being, an ever-youthful cowherd boy of Vrindavan. He enacts His Pastimes, always playing His flute and dancing expertly."
The devotees here in this world, those who have received exclusive devotion through the mercy of the Power, they can see the Pastimes of Krishna, and they are distributing that to us through the Scriptures, through themselves and through their agents, the rsis, munis and sadhus. Sometimes Krishna Himself, with His full paraphernalia and associates, reveals Himself in this material world, and that is called lila. Lila means that which looks like our own activities, but it is not exactly that. Similar yet entirely different.
astavimsa chatur-yuge dvaparera sese
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 3.10)
When Krishna appeared in the dwapara-yuga the Yugavatar Krishna, and the original Powerful Krishna, manifested in this mundane world in a combined way. In Dwaraka, Mathura and Vrindavan, Krishna manifested Himself in different ways. They are all eternal and transcendental but there is some difference. Acharyya Srila Rupa Goswami has explained this as purna, purnatara and purnatama—perfect, more perfect and most perfect, respectively. Those Pastimes begin with the janma-lila, the appearance of Lord Krishna. Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karmma cha me divyam
"Those who can properly understand (vetti tattvatah) My birth and activities, they will never again be subject to the cycle of birth and death." So who can really understand that?
His birth and death are not the same as ours. They are like the rising and setting of the sun. Surya is rising and setting in the path of our vision, but he is not born at sunrise and does not die at sunset. Krishna's birth and death is something like that.
When the Power Herself, Srimati Radharani appears in this world, along with the Powerful Himself, Sri Krishna, She is fully replete with all beauty, all charm, all love, all affection and all harmony. And when Their play is moving in Vrindavan, the whole atmosphere—the plants, the trees, the earth, everything—is purna, perfect.
sriyah kantah kantah parama-purusah kalpa-taravo
"That place where the divine Goddesses of Fortune are the beloved, and Krishna, the Supreme Male, is the only lover; all the trees are divine wish-fulfilling trees; the soil is made of transcendental gems and the water is nectar; where every word is a song, every movement is dancing, the flute is the dearmost companion, sunlight and moonlight are divine ecstasy, and all that be is divine and enjoyable; where a great ocean of milk eternally flows from the udders of billions of surabhi cows and the divine time is eternally present, never suffering the estrangement of past and future for even a split second that supreme transcendental abode of Svetadwip do I adore. Practically no one in this world knows that place but for only a few pure devotees—and they know it as Goloka."
This is the explanation, but still we cannot conceive it entirely, so the sastra says it is achintya. When you enter into that transcendental abode, then you will feel and understand. Before that it will be astonishing to you. Srimati Radharani appeared on this day five thousand years ago, and She played with Krishna in Vrindavan, manifesting full Paramour Love with Him. Srila Rupa Goswami, knowing that our vision is not very deep, has written that although Their play is like that of a man and woman, it is in fact completely different from this mundane nature. Some expression has been given in the Scriptures because there is no other way to express it, but what kind of love Srimati Radharani has for Krishna, and what kind of love Krishna has for Srimati Radharani—we cannot conceive of it.
pidabhir nava-kala-kuta-katuta-garvasya nirvasano
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.52)
The nature of the love of Radha and Krishna is described in this verse. It is like the burning pain caused by a cobra's bite which can cause unconsciousness within minutes, such inconceivable pain coming through love. Similarly the happiness coming through that love is like all ecstasy coming together, taking form and giving inconceivable joy in the heart.
akaitava krsna-prema, yena jambunada-hema,
(Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.43)
Who has that type of love for Krishna, he cannot be separated from that in any way at any time, and if somehow separation does occur then he or she must surely die.
Srila Rupa Goswami has written:
disi disi rachayantim sancharen netra-laksmi
And Sri Prabhodananda Saraswati has given the following verse in praise of Srimati Radharani:
yasyah kadapi vasananchala-khelanottha-
The meaning is a very high matter to discuss in a public meeting. Our Gurus have given very strong caution in this regard and that is always checking our tongue. Srila Guru Maharaj has written that Sukadev Goswami, Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, all have given indication from afar—Suka-Siva-Brahmadi-sammanitam (Srimad Bhaktivinodaviraha Dasakam)—but all are reluctant to take the Name of Srimati Radharani publically, and why is that? The reason is that they are fearful that we will mix that highest thing with sahajiyaism, imitationism. A warning is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam itself:
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam cha visnoh
The meaning is that if you hear about the Pastimes of Krishna with the Gopis, then from your physical and subtle body, lust will be driven out and you will become dhira, or liberated with the mood of real devotion. But we are warned how to hear and the correct way to discuss these things. This is also given in this verse, sraddhanvitah and anusrnuyat, first strong faith in those Pastimes is necessary, and secondly you must hear those Pastimes only from a perfect master, who is himself liberated and in full knowledge. Without fulfilling these two conditions if you try to discuss these matters, you will be in a very dangerous position.
naitat samacharej jatu
Without following the proper course, to hear and discuss these things will be as dangerous as trying to drink poison in imitation of Lord Siva. These things must be heard, but strictly under the guidance of an expert, otherwise you will lose. We can discuss these slokas of Prabhodananda Saraswati a little, but I do not like to enter into that in public, rather I will try to glorify our Lord's beloved Power in another way.
Before I began today, we sang Sri Sri Radhika Stuthih by Srila Rupa Goswami. There he is glorifying Srimati Radharani: Radhe jaya jaya Madhava-dayite. She is the dearmost Power of Krishna, Madhava. Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu has used this word 'Madhava.' 'Ma' means Laksmidevi, and Laksmidevi also wants entrance into the Rasa-lila of Sri Krishna. When Krishna shows His majestic form of Narayan, the Power there is Laksmidevi. In Narayan we will find dasya-rasa and ardha-sakya (half friendship). No one will say to Narayan, "Oh my friend Narayan, please come here." But that is possible with Krishna. After tasting a very sweet fruit we cannot then offer that to Narayan, but again that is possible with Krishna. So we can say that a more beautiful relationship is found with Lord Krishna. We can play with Krishna, but we cannot play with Narayan. Laksmidevi is always serving Narayan in a very honourable way, whereas the Gopis are treating Krishna as their boyfriend, and so Laksmidevi aspires to enter into that group. The lila of Sri Ramachandra is also different to that of Krishna. Sri Ramachandra is so beautiful that the rsis of Dandakaranya wanted to play with Him. They offered to take the form of girls to play with Him, but He told them, "It is not possible in this Avatar, but when Krishna appears in dwapara-yuga, then you can take the form of girlfriends and play with Me. But that form must be Krishna."
Krishna has five kinds of relationship with the devotees, and this is not found in any other manifestation of the Lord. Srimad-Bhagavatam says:
ete chamsa-kalah pumsah
isvarah paramah krsnah
Sarvva-karana-karanam means the Cause of all causes and the Creator of all creators. Transcendental or mundane, He is the Supreme Original. "Reality is for Itself and by Itself." If reality was existing for another, then that 'other' would hold the highest position. Even Narayan cannot claim the position of Krishna. In the abode of Narayan, there are two and a half rasas existing there. In Dwaraka-lila we see that Krishna has 16,108 queens, and they are all married to Krishna; but in Vraja Dham, Krishna has no marriage relationship. There His relationships are all paramour. In this world that relationship is very bad.
To make harmony in this mundane world some laws have been introduced, 'You do not take my wife and I will not take your wife.' This is harmonious adjustment, and for that purpose many scriptural rules are also given here. But where nothing bad can exist, that plane where nothing can be touched by anything dirty, there paramour love is super beautiful. There only the consciousness of the paramour is present, and through that consciousness they are tasting paramour love. That is so beautiful, surpassing the beauty of even consorthood. We may not be able to conceive of that from this plane, but the Scripture can see, and it is existing there. And from time to time it is revealed here.
sri-krsna-chaitanya prabhu jive daya kari
When Krishna mercifully wants to show His Pastimes in the mundane world, He reveals that along with all His associates and paraphernalia. When Krishna appears, then Srimati Radharani also appears as the full Power, along with all of Her associates. Perhaps you have heard how She appeared.
One day Brsabhanuraj while at the River Yamuna saw a small baby girl lying in a lotus flower. He was very surprised and so he took that baby and gave Her to his wife, Mother Kirtida. When everyone heard, they were delighted that Maharaj Brsabhanu and mother Kirtida had got a daughter. Everyone believed that She was their daughter born from a lotus. That is the nature and devotional mood of the faithful plane.
Everyone worshipped Brsabhanuraj and Kirtida praising them for their beautiful daughter, but She would not opening here eyes. Anyhow within a few days Mother Yasoda heard that Raja Brsabhanu and mother Kirtida had a nice newborn girl, and so, with baby Krishna, she came to see. When Mother Yasoda took that beautiful girl on her lap, Krishna also tried to see, and when Krishna was looking into the face of Radharani, She opened Her eyes for the very first time. Everyone was stunned and thought, "Oh, this boy is very auspicious, when He touched this girl, She opened Her eyes." This was Her first darsan, the first meeting of the Power and the Powerful.
Then later Radharani was growing up in the house of Maharaj Brsabhanu, and She was very beautiful and very intelligent and qualified in so many ways. Then one day Rsi Durvasa came to the house of Maharaj Brsabhanu, and Srimati Radharani cooked very nicely for him. Durvasa was so pleased with Her, that he gave Her a boon that whatever she cooked would taste of ecstasy, and whoever will eat Her cooking, they will get a long life.
Mother Yasoda heard of that boon, so every day she would call Srimati Radharani to cook something for Krishna. Even after Srimati Radharani was married to Abhimanyu, She had an open invitation, and She was so happy, and Abhimanyu was also very happy, and sometimes he is also taking that Prasadam. This is nitya-lila.
In Vraja Dham they do not like to say 'Srimati' Radharani. In Bengal they say Srimati Radharani, but in Vraja Dham they say Sri Radha. We are adding 'Srimati,' but they do not like that. They cannot say why, but they don't like it. In the Bengali poetry of Chandidas, Vidyapati and others, the word 'Srimati' is often found, and Sriman Mahaprabhu relished that.
So Sri Prabodhananda Saraswatipad has given this sloka:
yasyah kadapi vasananchala-khelanottha-
He has expressed that when Srimati Radharani is moving, some breeze is coming from Her clothing, and then that breeze is touching Krishna. And Krishna is feeling so fortunate at feeling that breeze, it is giving Him so much joy, and that is Her qualification. Srila Prabhodananda Saraswati has given this explanation, but when he is giving his pranam, he says, tasyah namo 'stu Vrsabhanubhuvodise 'pi—"From a respectful distance I am offering my dandavat pranam. Not directly to Srimati Radharani, but to the place of Her birth, Brsabhanupur, in the direction of that most holy of holy places am I making my obeisance."
Srila Rupa Goswami's song continues, Gokula-taruni- mandala-mahite: that place, Gokula, where all the associates are very beautiful like Laksmidevi, there they are all charmed to see the exquisite beauty of Srimati Radharani who is always decorated with many beautiful garments and scented flowers.
Her Pastimes are going on eternally with Krishna in Sri Vrindavan Dham. Vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe. Dadhi means the ocean. Just as the moon is said to have appeared from the ocean, so from the ocean of Brsabhanuraj appeared Srimati Radharani.
All liberated devotees, the highly qualified mukta-purusa devotees such as Sanaka and Sanatan, they are always glorifying the abode of Krishna with His devotees and particularly the Supreme Servitor of Krishna, Srimati Radharani.
On this Radhastami Day, Srila Guru Maharaj has given us the opportunity to sing the song by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur:
radhika charana padma sakala sreyera sadma
"I did not take care to worship the lotus feet of Sri Radhika, which are the abode of all auspiciousness." The Rupanuga Sampradaya gives some special, unique appreciation of Srimati Radharani. They feel that without the merciful connection of Srimati Radharani, they cannot approach towards Krishna at all. Only if the order is coming from Her will they move towards Him. They are extremely fanatical about Srimati Radharani, and that is their foremost qualification. In another song Bhaktivinod Thakur says:
radha-bhajane yadi mati nahi bhela
If you have no intention to serve Srimati Radharani, if your intention is only service to Sri Krishna, then you are surely spoiled.
atapa rahita suraya nahi jani
Just as without heat we cannot know the sun, so without Srimati Radharani there is no Krishna; the Powerful is Powerless. Kevala Madhava pujaye so ajnani—who worships Krishna without Radharani, their conception must be imperfect. Who knows the glories of the Power must first worship the Power and then the Powerful. Uma, Rama, Satya, Sachi, Chandra, Rukmini, Radha Avatara sabe amnaya vani—all the auspicious, powerful, divine women, such as Uma, Ramadevi, Laksmi, Satyabhama, Sati, Chandravali, etc., all are the expansions of Srimati Radharani.
hena radha-paricharyya yankara dhana
Thus Bhaktivinod Thakur says in conclusion that who worship the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, he worships Their lotus feet.
Srimati Radha Thakurani, ki jaya. May all glory be unto Her, the Power of powers and the Queen of Sri Krishna's heart.
Section 1 — 'Siddhanta'
Section 3 — 'Our Devotional Line'
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