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Sri Radhastami

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Radhastami Festival, Kolkata-Worldwide, 26 August 2020, part 1


Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Visva-varenya Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
Om Vishnupad Bhagavan Sri Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupad ki jay
Rupanuga-guru-varga ki jay
Namacharya Haridas Thakur ki jay
Vrinda Devi, Tulasi Devi, Sri Bhakti Devi ki jay
Sri Shyama Kunda, Radha Kunda, Sri Giri Govardhan ki jay
Sri Mayapur Dham, Sri Nabadwip Dham, Sri Vrindavan, Mathura ki jay
Sri Purusottam Ksetra ki jay
Baladev Subhadra Jagannathjiu ki jay
Akar Math-raj Chaitanya Math ki jay
Mayapur Yogapith ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math ki jay
Tandiya sakha Math samuha ki jay
Sri Mather sevak vrinda, bhakta-vrinda ki jay
Ananta-koti Vaishnav vrinda ki jay
Sri Gaudiya Acharya vrinda ki jay
Tridandi-pad-gan ki jay
Saparsada Sriman Nityananda Prabhu ki jay
Saparsada Sriman Mahaprabhu ki jay
Bhakta-prabara Prahlad Maharaj ki jay
Suddha-bhaktir-vighna-vinasankari Bhagavan Nrisinghadev ki jay
Sri Sada-Siva Gangadhar, Giriraj Govardhan ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
Jay Sri Sri Radhastami ki jay
The appearance day of Srimati Radharani ki jay
Sri Kirtika Mayi ki jay
Sri Vrisabhanu Raja ki jay
All the assembled devotees ki jay
All the sannyasi vrinda ki jay
Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj ki jay
Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj ki jay
All the assembled devotees ki jay
All the worldwide devotees ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
Samagata Sri Gaura bhakta-vrinda ki jay
Bhakta-prabara Prahlad Maharaj ki jay
Nitai Gaura premanande Hari bol

মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

It is a very auspicious, very worshippable day today. Today is the appearance day of Srimati Radharani.

Srimati Radharani appeared in this world in Dvapar-yuga on this tithi of Sukla-astami (eighth day of the bright moon), Visakha-naksatra, in the month of Bhadra. Every year, our temples here in India and all of our temples all over the world celebrate this festival on this day. This is a very auspicious festival, it is usually celebrated at noon.

I want to first start with one-two songs. We must remember that Gurudev is non-different from Srimati Radharani. Actually, Gurudev is a dearmost devotee of Lord Krishna, and at the same time Gurudev is also a dearmost servitor of Srimati Radharani. That is why, we are praying to Gurudev and Srimati Radharani on this day remembering Srila Raghunath Das Goswami's prayer.

[His Divine Grace chants 'Radha bhajane yadi mati nahi bhela' and 'Radhe jaya jaya Madhava Dayite.']

Nitai Gaura premanande Hari Hari bol.

মূকং করোতি বাচালং পঙ্গুং লঙ্ঘয়তে গিরিম্ ।
যৎকৃপা তমহং বন্দে শ্রীগুরুং দীনতারণম্ ॥

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande sri-gurum dina-taranam

"The dumb can speak, the lame can climb a hill—all it takes is mercy from Gurudev."

(Bhavartha Dipika)

First, I am giving my full obeisance at the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudev, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. Then, I am offering my humble obeisance at the lotus feet of all guru-varga and everyone else--all my Godbrothers, godsisters, all my friends, well-wishers, as well as the devotees all over the world.

As I have said before, it is a very auspicious day today. Today is Radhastami. Devotees in every corner of the world always worship Srimati Radharani, especially on this day.

[His Divine Grace then proceeds to read from Guidance, Volume 3 (chapter Sri Radhastami).]

Sri Radhastami

Tomorrow, our holy Math observes the festival of Sri Sri Radhastami. Sri Radha is the only worshippable Deity of Gaudiya Vaisnavs—we say 'the only' because if it was not for Gaudiya line, no one would have been able to get the qualification to serve Sri Radha, nor would anyone have had any appreciation for it. The Lord of the Gaudiyas (Gaudiyanath) has revealed to the world the deepest secret of this service and worship:

prema namadbhutarthah sravana-patha-gatah kasya namnam mahimnah
ko vetta kasya vrndavana-vipina-maha madhurisu pravesah
ko va janati radham parama-rasa-chamatkara-madhurya-simlam
ekas chaitanya-chandrah parama-karunaya sarvam avischakara

(Sri Chaitanya-chandramrta, 10.130)

"Would anyone have heard that 'prema' (divine love of God) is the highest destination? Would anyone have known the glory of the Holy Name? Would anyone have had access to the kadamba forests of Vrindavan, filled with unfathomable sweetness? Would anyone have known Sri Varsabhanavi (Sri Radha, the highest worshippable Deity), who is the resplendent embodiment of superb excellence of sweet ecstatic love (madhurya-mahabhav)? Sri Chaitanya-chandra has revealed all this manifesting His supreme magnanimous pastimes."

Once, a modern traditional guru-cum-writer Ray Gunakar Bharata Chandra, being unable to understand the true nature of Sri Radhika, wrote about Her as being under the influence of the Lord's external shadow potency! Although he actually lived at Satasana Math, Sri Puri Dham (the place where Srila Raghunath Das Goswami lived and served immersed into the service of Sri Radha), and pretended to practise with disinterested nature, he had to eventually give it up—he created a fictional character of Hira Malini, a beautiful mundane enchanting courtesan, which is an imitation based on the resemblance with the transcendental and couched this similarity in the a fine poetic form—as a result, he actually brought about a flood of lust that filled the moat of Bengali language and literature of the time. We do not blame Ray Gunakar, for he is an extension of illusory environment, maya, who is capable of producing even that which is impossible! Maya (illusory potency of the Lord) has cast a cataract on the eyes of nearly the entire world—all the ancient or modern writers, archaeologists, et al.; and to this day Maya, who is the origin of Durga Devi, the mistress of the entire creation, and the personal potency of the Lord, guards and protects the unparalleled, highly confidential wealth of Sri Radhika.

Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad laid a special stress on this and expressed it in very appropriate Gaudiya terms and conclusions. Unless we serve the transcendental Govardhan, we will not be able to realise the supremacy of Sri Radha Kunda that lies beside Govardhan and is inundated with the nectar of divine love. 'Go' means senses or knowledge. If you serve the external, physical Govardhan, i.e. cultivate knowledge merely to increase or indulge your selfish material senses, then you are actually dunking yourself into the waters of Niraya Kunda (Hell Pond) that is created by the mahamaya, the external shadow potency of Sri Radha; those who foster transcendental senses and cultivate transcendental knowledge consider that service to Govardhan is to give pleasure to Krishna's senses. When the demon Aristasur attacks Govardhan with his horns trying to expand his own enjoyment (when mundane rationalism attacks theism and is about to destroy the truth of five spiritual relationships with the Lord, namely neutrality, servitude, friendship, parenthood, and consorthood), then Krishna kills this demon and establishes the truth. When the bull-demon Aristasur was slain, an elderly gopi named Madanika handed Sri Radhika-sundari over to Krishna as a reward for that.

Aristasur assumes the form of a bull. 'Go' (a cow) is considered among religious-minded people to be a symbol of dharma, religion, and it is also known as the carrier of Lord Rudra (Siva), who is in charge of universal annihilation. So, when the bull-demon of rationalism comes to charge the banner of religion, Krishna destroys this promoter of rationalism.

Lord Rudra (Siva) rides a bull and carries Ganga—the water that washes the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, a personal expansion of Lord Krishna Himself—on his head. This Lord Rudra, when he was defeated by Cupid, wanted to understand the transcendental pleasure Madan Mohan (Krishna, the Enchanter of Cupid) experiences during His rasa-lila and prayed for the mercy of the gopis. This Lord Krishna, surrounded by dancing sadharani and samanjasa gopis (gopis with general and appropriate attraction) during the rasa-lila, left that place of the rasa-lila. Being attracted only by the love of His dearmost Ananda-vidhayini Sri Radhika, He left the place of rasa-lila and followed behind Her. Those common gopis then spoke about Her, the main heroine of Srimad Bhagavatam, in this way:

anayaradhito nyunam bhagavan harir-isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.30.24)

"My friend! Krishna has abandoned us and took Her to a secluded place. She must have worshipped the Supreme Lord very much." The hidden meaning of these words is that because She is the crest jewel among all the beloved of Krishna, Her name is Radhika.

We hear also that after Aristasur (bull-demon) was killed, two kundas were created—Sri Syama Kunda and Sri Radha Kunda. At this Radha Kunda Sri Krishna always enjoys the rasa-lila with Sri Radhika and Her group at midnight. These nocturnal pastimes are far more captivating than the midday pastimes, and the general gopis have no entrance there. Those who are attracted by the flute of Sri Krishna but, not waiting for the guidance of Sri Radhika, come to play with 'Dhira Samira' Krishna, have no right to enter the rasa-lila performed at Radha Kunda—Chandravali has no right to enter there.

The dancing and loving pastimes of Rasaraj Sri Krishna (the King of Love) have nothing to do with the frenzied dance of Nataraj Rudra or any of the imitative various modern and traditional indigenous dances. In fact, Gopisvar Sadasiva learned to dance at the rasa-mandali, and based on that, his plenary expansion Rudra manifests his Nataraj form (Lord Siva dancing at the time of universal annihilation). We can see in Sri Brhad-bhagvatamrta that Rudra is a servant of Sankarsan and, being always absorbed in the chanting of the name of Rama, he creates his frantic dance that drives the world mad. Imitating the ever increasing enjoyment of this dancing of Rudra the world is heading towards the tryst with annihilation.

Pure devotees who are devoid of anarthas, have revealed the service pastimes of Sri Radhika in the scriptures dealing with the transcendental mellows of divine love, such as Karnamrta, Sri Gita Govinda, books written by Chandidas, Vidyapati, etc., but the associate followers of Sri Gaurasundar, the Supreme Lord adorned by the heart and halo of Sri Radhika, can reveal a far greater super excellence of Her service than what is described in these scriptures. That is why so many transcendental literatures on the transcendental mellows of divine love were composed—Sri Ray Ramananda composed his Sri Jagannath-vallabha Nataka Giti, Sri Rupa Goswami composed Vidagdha Madhava, Dana-keli-kaumudi, Stavamala, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, the greatest follower of Sri Rupa Goswami, composed Mukta-charita, Stava-vali, and Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu, a follower of Srila Raghunath, composed Sri Govinda-lilamrta, etc. Gaudiya Vaisnavs' reading of Gita Govinda, Karnamrta, Vidyapati, Chandidas and the reading of non-Gaudiya Vaisnavs are worlds apart. It is impossible to understand it through mundane examples or analogies—even if you compare a lecture on Shakespeare and Kalidas by a hardly literate person and a lecture on their works by an expert professor, this analogy would be still insufficient.

To the south of Nandisvara Hill there is a beautiful mountain called Varasanu. A king of cowherds Vrisabhanu with his virtuous spouse Kritika lived there, on the plateau of this Varasanu Hill, and worshipped the Lord. On the eighth day of the bright moon in the month of Bhadra, in the naksatra called Visakha, at midday, a precious jewel daughter appeared in the house of Raja Vrisabhanu illuminating the house, the town and all the ten directions. Overwhelmed with joy, Goparaj Vrisabhanu, Ratnabhanu and Subhanu, three brothers who stayed in Vrisabhanupur, began to dance. Greatly fortunate Kritika was beside herself with joy when she saw her budding moon-like daughter. A wave of joy engulfed Surapur and Vrajapur. This transcendental jewel of a daughter became renowned as Vrisabhanu-nandini Sri Radhika.

"tata arabhya nandasya vrajah sarva-samrddhiman
harer nivasatma-gunai ramakridam abhun nrpa"

"O Maharaj Pariksit, the home of Nanda Maharaj is eternally the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His transcendental qualities and is therefore always naturally endowed with the opulence of all wealth. Yet beginning from Lord Krishna's appearance there, it became the place for the pastimes of the goddess of fortune."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.5.18)

For as long as the son of Nanda Maharaj enjoyed His pastimes confidentially in the abode of Lord Hari in Nanda-Gokula, all the gopis of Vraja, headed by Sri Radha, enjoyed with Him confidentially. However, when Sri Nanda Kumar enjoyed His pastimes openly, the crest jewel of the Vraja-gopis Sri Radhika expanded Herself into many gopis and enjoyed Sri Krishna's pastimes openly.

If one thinks "the flowers collected for Durga and Kali garlanded the neck of Sri Radhika" or that "appearing in Brahma-vaivarta, Sri Radhika entered the assembly of gods on an auspicious day in the age of Aryans (Dvapar-yuga)," then it will not only terminate their archaeological escapades, but will also leave them cheated in their attempts to research the scriptures.

Durga is described in Brahma-samhita as an internal potency of Govinda—she enchants, creates, maintains, and annihilates the entire world. She is also described as a shadow potency of Sri Radha, who enchants the mind of Govinda, the enchanter of the world. Unless one becomes fully initiated into the service of the transcendental eternal Deity who is the origin of this internal potency, no one can understand this matter easily with one's intellect or intelligence. They are not infertile though—if the intelligence of such writers becomes cleansed, they can understand the reality. The fact is that if the imperfect jiva souls cannot recognise Vrisabhanu Nandini considering Her a mere fiction, an idol of literary works, then they bring about their own destruction submerging themselves in the filth of amusing literatures. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu, a master of transcendental literature and a follower of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu, sang,

tasya apara-rasa-sara-vilasa-murter
brahmadi-durlabha-gater vrsabhanu-jayah
kainkaryam eva mama janmani janmani syat

"May I attain the service of Vrisabhanu-nandini birth after birth. She is the personification of the essence of the transcendental mellows of divine love. With a form of the most wonderful transcendental bliss, She is the supreme goddess of fortune. Her lotus feet are difficult to attain even for the demigods headed by Lord Brahma."

ha devi kaku-bharagada-gadayadya vacha
yache nipatya bhuvi dandavadudbhatartih
asya prasada-mavudhasya janasya krtva
gandharvike tava gane gananam vidhehi

"O Devi! In great distress I fall to the ground offering You obeisances and prayers with a voice choked with emotion. O Gandharvika! Please bestow Your mercy upon this pauper and count me amongst Your own associates."

Jay Srimati Radharani ki jay!


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