RELIGION OF THE HEART
"In His activities of conjugal love He is always surrounded by His dear devotees who possess unequaled love for Him."
The next quality Srila Rupa Goswami explains that belongs exclusively to Krsna and not to any other form of the Lord is that Krsna has wonderful associates who are always serving Him with love and affection: atulya-madhura-prema-mandita-priya-mandalah. All the Vraja-vasis and associates of Krsna in Sri Vrndavan Dham give pleasure to Krsna's heart twenty-four hours a day with their miraculous service, miraculous faith and miraculous love. Narayan and other incarnations of the Lord do not have this quality. They do not have such an all-attractive character that attracts such spontaneous loving devotional affection from Their servitors.
Five types of relationships
In Vrndavan Dham, Krsna is always served by His devotees with five types of divine relationships: santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa and madhura-rasa.
In sakhya-rasa, Krsna's friends always try to give pleasure to His heart as if they are in an equal position with Him. When they eat something and feel it is very good, even if it is half-eaten, they give it to Krsna saying, "O Krsna, this apple is very good, taste it. This sa is so nice, please try it. This mango is wonderful, take it!" Or, "This type of play is very nice. Let's play." They play with Krsna and feel Krsna and themselves are equal—only that Krsna is a little more special.
In Govardhan-dharan-lila Krsna lifted Govardhan Hill and held it for seven days. All the cowherd boys, cowherd men and even the cowherd girls took sticks to help Him.
They thought, "Krsna has taken the whole of Govardhan Hill in His hand. He has some special power, no doubt, but still we must help Him."
Parental service: vatsalya-rasa
Everyone has heard how much Krsna's father and mother—Nanda Maharaj and Yasodamayi—and Rohini serve Him. An example of this intense servitorship is shown in the slokas of Sri Damodarastakam:
rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
The expression in this sloka is very nice. Mother Yasoda is angry. She is chasing Krsna and wants to capture Him and beat Him for being naughty. Krsna is running and looking over His shoulder and then can't see anymore because His eyes are full of tears. He is so afraid, rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam. He is out of breath and so tired. He is suffering so much, muhuh svasa-kampa-trirekhanka-kantha.
You won't see these qualities in the Pastimes of Narayan-lila. Krsna is Sach-chid-ananda-vigraha, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this is vividly expressed in other slokas of Sri Damodarastakam. The last verse is especially nice:
namas te 'stu damne sphurad-dipti-dhamne
Mother Yasoda wants to bind Krsna with a rope. An effulgence has come from that rope and the author says, "I bow down to that rope," namas te 'stu damne sphurad-dipti-dhamne. Who has Mother Yasoda bound? She has bound the Creator of the Whole Creation with a rope. Mother Yasoda has bound Krsna's belly with a rope! These are the Pastimes of vatsalya-rasa which take place in Vrndavan Dham between Krsna and His devotees.
Madhura-rasa, the Pastimes of Srimati Radharani
In the last sloka of Damodarastakam the author mentions madhura-rasa, the conjugal Pastimes of Krsna. He says, Namo Radhikayai tvadiya-priyayai, namo 'nanta-lilaya Devaya tubhyam—"I do not want to say anything more; I can only say I bow to Radhika and the Supreme Lord. I can't say anything about Your transcendental Pastimes which are manifest in this material world with Your divine associates. Your Pastimes are infinite. There is no end and no beginning to them."
Here the author also indicates the glories of Srimati Radharani: "I can't say anything more about Radharani's Pastimes. They are beginningless and continue twenty-four hours a day with Her Lord, Krsna, Her prana-vallabha, Her heart and soul. She is the dearest of the dearest and nearest of the nearest."
More examples of madhura-rasa
Radharani's service is briefly expressed in the above sloka. Srila Baladev Vidyabhusan has given another very nice sloka:
He says, "If one holds a jewel high in his hand he can show the beauty of that jewel by slowly turning its various facets. Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis have each held the beautiful jewel who is known by the Name of Govinda, and who is always served by the Supreme Goddess of Fortune, high in their hands and shown His beautiful form to the world."
Only Radharani can do this type of service. Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis can also do it; but without Radharani's mercy no one can do it. No one can give a second example of this type of exclusive service. She is Her own example.
A sparkling light of the jeweled Pastimes of Radha and Krsna has come to this world through Jayadev Goswami, Chandidas, Rupa Goswami, Ramananda Raya and from various Goswamis. A small amount of sparkling light comes to this world and through that we understand a very little.
We can't conceive of Krsna's Pastimes and of Krsna's relations with His devotees that take place in madhura-rasa in Vrndavan Dham. There are three groups of Vraja-gopis. One is the adolescent group, another is mature and married and the third is the paramour group. We cannot conceive of these Pastimes from our present position. Jayadev Goswami has written many slokas about Radharani's Pastimes and they are of the first group, the adolescent group, and it is best not to try and explain them.
Loving affection: the law of Vrndavan
Another example of madhura-rasa with the Vraja-gopis is shown in a verse composed by Prabodhananda Saraswati. In this verse Krsna says, "When Radharani walks in front of Me and I feel a little breeze from Her cloth I think, 'Oh, I am so fortunate.'"
yasyah kadapi vasananchala-khelanottha-
Prabodhananda Saraswati composed this miraculous sloka. The meaning is, "I bow to the direction where Radharani lives—whether it is in the East or the West—I bow to that direction. I do not bow to Her lotus feet or Her house but only to the direction where Her father's house is." When Krsna feels a little breeze from Radharani's cloth He feels this way.
Every day in Vrndavan, Radharani would distribute food to the Vraja-balakas by the order of Mother Yasoda. Radharani cooked one item for Krsna because Durvasa Muni had very mercifully given Her a boon that whoever She cooked for would get a long life:
durvasara thani tenho panachena vara
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Antya 6.116)
Mother Yasoda knew this, so every day she requested Jatila and Kutila to send their sister-in-law to make a subji for Krsna. When Radharani would distribute that, a breeze from Her cloth would come to Krsna, and He would feel, "Oh, I am so fortunate. I am so happy." Krsna feels His life is blessed and fulfilled by feeling only a little breeze from Radharani's cloth. He thinks this breeze inspires Him so much that He wants to feel it again and again. He is fully satisfied by feeling the breeze from Radharani's cloth. Krsna gets these feelings from only the breeze of Radharani's cloth so you can imagine how much Krsna must be satisfied by getting Her intimate association. This is madhura-rasa.
These are the types of Pastimes that take place between Krsna and Radharani and Her associates in Vrndavan Dham. They take place in madhura-rasa twenty-four hours a day in Govardhan, Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda, the Manasa-ganga, the Yamuna and in Her house. They take place everywhere in Vrndavan Dham.
Narayan can't taste these Pastimes. They won't come to His taste. If they would He would feel they are bitter. Narayan lives by rules and regulations. He is a law-abiding personality. In Vrndavan Dham the only law is love and affection, or Krsna-prema.
Part One: The Glories of Devotional Service
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