Bhajana Rahasya

Chapter 8 – Aṣṭama-yāma-sādhana

 

Rātri-līlā – prema-bhajana sambhoga

(from midnight to three-and-a-half praharas of the night: approximately 00.00 A.M. – 3.30 A.M.)


Text 1

Steadiness in perfection – that is, one-pointed dependence on Kṛṣṇa – is described in Śikṣāṣṭaka (8):

āśliya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām
adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā
yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampao
mat-prāna-nāthas tu sa eva nāpara

Let that debauchee (Kṛṣṇa) tightly embrace this maidservant, who is devoted to serving Him, and thus delight Me. Or, let Him trample Me under His feet, or break My heart by not giving Me His darśana. He may do whatever He desires. Even if He sports with His other beloveds directly in front of Me, He is still My prāṇa-nātha. In My heart there is none other than Him.

āmi – kṛṣṇa-pada-dāsī, teho – rasa-sukha-rāśi,
āligiya kare ātmasātha
kibā nā deya daraśana, jārena mora tanu-mana,
tabu tiho mora prāṇanātha


Text 2

A devotee who remembers these pastimes is transcendental, being filled with eternality, knowledge and bliss (sac-cidānanda) just like Bhagavān. A Vaiṣṇava’s body is non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s body. In this regard, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.29.34), Śrī Kṛṣṇa says to Uddhava:

martyo yadā tyakta-samasta-karmā
niveditātmā vicikīrito me
tadāmtatva pratipadyamāno
mayātma-bhūyāya ca kalpate vai

When a person abandons all fruitive activities and fully surrenders himself to Me, he becomes a recipient of special prema. This is a result of My merciful treatment towards him. I release him from old age and grant him entrance into My eternal pastimes, where he serves Me eternally.

sarva karma teyāgiyā, more ātma nivediyā,
yei kare āmāra sevana
amtatva-dharma pāñā, līlā-madhye praveśiyā,
āmā-saha karaye ramaa


Text 3

Steadiness in bhajana is described in Manaḥ-śikṣā (2):

na dharma nādharma śruti-gaa-nirukta kila kuru
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pracura-paricaryām iha tanu
śacī-sūnu nandīśvara-pati-sutatve guru-vara
mukunda-preṣṭhatve smara param ajasra nanu mana

O my dear mind, please do not perform either the dharma, which produces piety, or adharma, which gives rise to sin, that are mentioned in the Śrutis. Rather, render profuse loving service to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala, who the Śrutis have ascertained to be supremely worshipful above all others and the topmost Truth. Always remember Śacīnandana Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is endowed with the sentiments and bodily lustre of Śrī Rādhā, knowing Him to be non-different from Śrī Nanda-nandana; and always remember śrī gurudeva, knowing him to be most dear to Śrī Mukunda.

śruti-ukta-dharmādharma, vidhi-niedha-karmākarma,
chāḍi’ bhaja rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pada
gaurāṅge śrī-kṛṣṇa jāna, guru kṛṣṇa-pretha māna,
ei bhāva tomāra sampada


Text 4

Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī’s mood of humility is reflected in the following statement, which is imbued with the firm hope (āśābandha) characteristic of a jāta-rati-bhakta devoted to bhajana. This verse is quoted by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.35):

na premā śravaṇādi-bhaktir api vā yogo ’tha vā vaiṣṇavo
āna vā śubha-karma vā kiyad aho saj-jātir apy asti vā
hīnārthādhika-sādhake tvayi tathāpy acchedya-mūlā satī
he gopī-jana-vallabha vyathayate hā hā mad-āśaiva mām

My heart is devoid of prema for You, and I am not qualified to perform bhakti by hearing and chanting. I possess no knowledge, pious activities or qualifications of a Vaiṣṇava, nor have I taken birth in a high-class family. I am, therefore, unqualified in every respect. Nevertheless, O beloved of the gopīs, Your mercy also falls upon the lowest of the low. This firm hope of attaining You is making me very anxious.

śravaṇādi-bhakti, prema-bhakti, yoga hīna
āna-yoga-karma hīna, saj-janma-vihīna
kāṅgālera nātha tumi rādhā-prāṇa-dhana
tomā-pade dṛḍha-āśāya vyakulita mana


Text 5

The identity of a perfected soul (siddha-paricaya) is described in Śrī Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi (53):

dukūla vibhrāṇām atha kucatae kañcu-kapaa
prasāda svāminyāḥ svakara-tala-datta praayata
sthitāṁ nitya pārśve vividha-paricaryaika-caturāṁ
kiśorīm ātmāna caula-parakīyāṁ nu kalaye

When will I remain near Svāminī eternally, intent on serving Her in various ways? When, wearing Her silken cloth and bodice that She affectionately gave me with Her own hands, will I be able to count myself as a clever and very beautiful kiśorī ?

siddha-deha gopī āmi śrī-rādhikā kikarī
rādhā-prasādita vastra-kañculikā pari
ghe pati parihari, kiśorī-vayase
rādhā-pada sevi kuñje rajanī-divase


Text 6

The method of bhajana and place of residence of one who possesses the mood described in the previous Text is explained in Upadeśāmṛta (8):

tan-nāma-rūpa-caritādi-sukīrtanānusmtyo
kramea rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi-janānugāmī
kāla nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram

While living in Vraja as a follower of those who are attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one should utilise all his time by gradually transferring the absorption of his tongue and mind from matters other than Kṛṣṇa to the chanting and remembering of narrations of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instruction.

kṛṣṇa-nāma-rūpa-gua-līlā-sakīrtana
anusmti-krame jihvā-mana-sayojana
kuñje vāsa anurāgi-jana-dāsī haiyā
aṣṭa-kāla bhaji līlā majiyā majiyā


Text 7

The rāgānuga-bhakta’s method of bhajana is to perform his desired perfectional service (siddha-sevā) under the constant guidance of the guru. Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.294) states:

kṛṣṇa smaran jana cāsya preṣṭha nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsa vraje sadā

The devotee who desires rāgānuga-bhakti should constantly remember Vṛndāvana-Kṛṣṇa, along with Kṛṣna’s beloved associates who have the same mood as himself. He should remain engrossed in hearing and speaking narrations of their pastimes and always reside in Vraja.

smari’ kṛṣṇa, nija-kṛṣṇa-preṣṭha-vraja-jana
kṛṣṇa-kathā-rata, vraja-vāsa anukaa


Text 8

The premi-bhakta’s behaviour, characteristics and activities are expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40):

eva-vrata sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyā
jātānurāgo druta-citta uccai
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van ntyati loka-bāhya

In the heart of one who adopts such a transcendental vow, attachment for chanting the name of his most dear Lord arises and melts his heart. Now he rises above the condition of the general mass of people, and he is beyond caring for their opinions and views. In a natural way – not out of pretence – he acts as if mad. Sometimes he bursts out laughing and sometimes he sheds floods of tears. Sometimes, in a loud voice, he calls out to Bhagavān and sometimes, with a sweet voice, he sings Bhagavān’s glories. At other times, when he perceives his beloved standing before his eyes, he even starts dancing in order to please Him.

ei vrate kṛṣṇa-nāma kīrtana kariyā
jāta-rāga drava-ccitta hāsiyā kāṅdiyā
cītkāra kariyā gāi loka-bāhya tyaji’
ei vyavahāre bhāi, preme kṛṣṇa bhaji


Text 9

Firm faith in vraja-līlā is found in this verse recited by Śrīman Mahāprabhu (Padyāvalī (386)):

ya kaumāra-hara sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kapās
te conmīlita-mālatī-surabhaya prauhāḥ kadambānilāḥ
sā caivāsmi tathāpi tatra surata-vyāpāra-līlā-vidhau
revā-rodhasi vetasī-taru-tale ceta samutkaṇṭhate

O friend, that beautiful one who stole my heart in my youth is now here. These are also the same pleasant nights of the month of Caitra, with the same fragrance of blossoming mālatī flowers and the same cool, gentle, fragrant breeze from the kadamba trees. I am also the same; my beloved, too. Nonetheless, my mind is eager for amorous play at the foot of the vetasī tree on the bank of the river Revā.

kaumāre bhajinu yāre sei ebe vara
sei ta’ vasanta-niśi surabhi-pravara
sei nīpa, sei āmi, sayoga tāhāi
tathāpi se revā-taa sukha nāhi pāi


Text 10

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained the previous Text by composing this verse, which is found in Padyāvalī (387):

priya so ’ya kṛṣṇa sahacari kuru-ketra-militas
tathāha sā rādhā tad idam ubhayo sagama-sukham
tathāpy anta-khelan-madhura-muralī-pañcama-jue
mano me kālindī-pulina-vipināya sphayati

[After meeting Śrī Kṛṣṇa at Kurukṣetra, Śrī Rādhā said:] O sakhī, today at Kurukṣetra, I met My same prāṇa-priya, Kṛṣṇa. I am that same Rādhā and there is also happiness in Our meeting. But nonetheless, I deeply yearn for Vṛndāvana, for the kuñja on the bank of the Kālindī that is inundated by bliss as a result of Kṛṣṇa vibrating the fifth note on His playful muralī.

sei kṛṣṇa prāṇanātha, kuruketre pāinu
sei rādhā āmi, sei sagama labhinu
tathāpi āmāra mana vaṁśī-dhvanimaya
kālindī-puline sphā kare atiśaya
vndāvana-līlā-sama līlā nāhi āra
vaikuṇṭhādye ei līlāra nāhi paracāra
vraje yei līlā tāhe viccheda, sambhoga
dui ta’ paramānanda, sadā kara bhoga


Text 11

Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of meeting (sambhoga-līlā) are described in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (15.222–4):

te tu sandarśana jalpasparśana vartma-rodhanam
rāsa-vndāvana-krīḍāyamunādy-ambu-kelaya
nau-khelā-līlayā cauryaghaṭṭa-kuñjādi-līnatā
madhu-pāna vadhū-veśadhtikapaa-suptatā
dyūta-krīḍā-paṭākṛṣṭiś cumbāśleau-nakhārpaam
bimbādhara-sudhāpānasamprayogādayo matāḥ

The anubhāvas of meeting (sambhoga) are: seeing each other (sandarśana); talking (jalpa); touching (sparśana); blocking each other’s way in a contrary mood (vartma-rodhana); the rāsa-līlā; enjoying pleasure pastimes in Vṛndāvana (vṛndāvanakrīḍā); playing water-sports in the Yamunā and Mānasī-gaṅgā (jala-keli); enjoying boat pastimes (nau-khelā); stealing flowers, clothes and the flute (līlā-caurya); enjoying pastimes of demanding taxes (ghaṭṭa); playing hide-and-seek in the kuñjas (kuñjādilīnatā); drinking honey (madhu-pāna); Kṛṣṇa dressing in female attire (vadhū-veśa-dhṛti); pretending to sleep (kapaṭa-suptatā); playing dice (dyūta-krīḍā); pulling off each other’s garments (paṭākṛṣti); kissing (cumba); embracing (āśleṣa); making nailmarks on each other (nakha-arpaṇa); relishing the nectar of each other’s lips, which are like bimba fruit (bimba-adharasudhā- pāna); and enjoying amorous union (samprayoga).

sandarśana, jalpa, sparśa, vartma-nirodhana
rāsa, vndāvana-krīḍā, yamunā-khelana
naukā-khelā, pupa-curi, ghaṭṭa, sagopana
madhupāna, vadhū-veśa, kapaa-svapana
dyūta-krīḍā, vastra-ṭānā, surata-vyāpāra
bimbādhara sudhāpāna, sambhoga prakāra


Text 12

Decorating Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is described in Stavāvalī (Svasaṅkalpa-prakāśa-stotra (9)):

sphuran-muktā guñjā mai sumanasāṁ hāra-racane
mudendor lekhā me racayatu tathā śikaa-vidhim
yatha tai sakÿptair dayita-sarasī madhya-sadane
sphua rādhā-kṛṣṇāv ayam api jano bhūṣayati tau

May Indulekhā Sakhī, as guru, mercifully teach me the art of stringing very beautiful necklaces and garlands composed of pearls, jewels, guñjā berries and flowers. With these necklaces and garlands, I can decorate Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa for Their pleasure as They are seated on the jewelled throne in the middle of Rādhā-kuṇḍa.

muktā-guñjā-mai-pupa-hāra viracane
indulekhā-guru-kpā labhiba yatane
rādhā-kuṇḍa ratnamaya mandire duhāre
bhūṣita kariba āmi sulalita hāre


Text 13

For an understanding of vipralambha-rasa one should read Gopī-gīta (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, Chapter 31). Only those who distribute bhagavat-kathā are most munificent. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.31.9) states:

tava kathāmta tapta-jīvana
kavibhir īḍita kalmaṣāpaham
śravaa-magala śrīmad ātata
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 chants and propagates narrations about You.

tava kathāmta kṛṣṇa! jīvanera sukha
kavi-gaa gāya yāte yāya pāpa-dukha
śravaa-magala sadā saundarya-pūrita
sukta-janera mukhe nirantara gīta


Text 14

When the gopīs think of Kṛṣṇa wandering in the forest, they experience great sorrow. A description of their deep love for Him at this time is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.31.11):

calasi yad vrajāc cārayan paśūn
nalina-sundara nātha te padam
śila-tṛṇāṅkurai sīdatīti na
kalilatāṁ mana kānta gacchati

O Prāṇa-vallabha! O Kānta! When You go to the forests of Vraja to herd the cows, the soles of Your soft lotus feet, which are like beautiful blue lotuses, must suffer as they are pricked by small stones and dry straw. Thought of this disturbs our hearts and minds.

dhenu la’ye vraja ha’te yabe yāo vane
nalina-sundara tava kamala-carae
śilāṅkure kaṣṭa ha’be manete vicāri’
mahā-dukha pāi morā ohe cittahāri


Text 15

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.31.15) describes that for the gopīs, even one moment seems like a hundred yugas when they do not have darśana of that beautiful face adorned with curling locks:

aati yad bhavān ahni kānana
truir yugāyate tvām apaśyatām
kuila-kuntala śrī-mukha ca te
jaa udīkatāṁ pakma-kd dṛśam

O Śyāmasundara, when You go to the forest to herd the cows during the day, the Vrajavāsīs are unable to see You and thus they feel one moment to be like a yuga. And in the evening, when You return and we see Your beautiful lotus face covered with curling locks, the blinking of our eyelids becomes painful because it obstructs our darśana. Is the Creator, who made these eyelids, ignorant, or is he foolish?

pūrvāhne kānane tumi yāo go-cārae
trui yuga-sama haya tava adarśane
kuila-kuntala tava śrī-candra-vadana
darśane nimea-dātā vidhira nindana


Text 16

The pre-eminent gopī-bhāva is intended solely for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.31.19) states:

yat te sujāta-caraṇāmburuha staneu
bhītāḥ śanai priya dadhīmahi karkaśeu
tenāṭavīm aasi tad vyathate na ki svit
kūrpādibhir bhramati dhīr bhavad-āyuṣāṁ na

O beloved, Your beautiful feet are even softer than a lotus. When we massage those soft, tender, lotus feet we fearfully, slowly and gently place them on our breasts in such a way that our hard breasts may cause them no pain. With those same soft feet, You wander behind the cows in the deep forest. Will Your lotus feet not be pierced by sharp stones and the like? Such thoughts make us extremely anxious. O Prāṇanātha, You are our life, so please stop wandering in the forest. Please, appear before us.

tomāra caraṇāmbuja e karkaśa stane
sāvadhāne dhari sakhe! kleśa-bhīta mane
se pada-kamale vane kūrpādira dukha
haya pāche, śakā kari’ nāhi pāi sukha


Text 17

The gopīs’ bhāvocchvāsa (outburst of feeling that expresses the bhāva hidden in the heart) when meeting with Kṛṣṇa is described in Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta (12):

nikhila-bhuvana-lakmī-nitya-līlāspadābhyāṁ
kamala-vipina-vīthī-garva-sarvāṅkaṣābhyāṁ
praamad-abhaya-dāna-prauhi-gāḍhādtābhyāṁ
kim api vahatu ceta kṛṣṇa-pādāmbujābhyām

May my heart attain indescribable bliss at Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, which are the eternal abode of pastimes for the original goddess of fortune, which thwart heaps of lotus flowers’ pride in their beauty, and which are deeply respected everywhere for their great power in giving shelter to the surrendered souls.

nikhila-bhuvana-lakmī rādhikā-sundarī
tāṅra nitya-līlāspada parama-mādhurī
kamala-vipina-garva kaya yāhe haya
praata-abhaya-dāne prauha-śaktimaya
hena kṛṣṇa-pāda-padma, kṛṣṇa! mama mana
apūrva utsava-rati karuka vahana


Text 18

It is also said in Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta (18):

taruṇārua-karuṇāmaya-vipulāyata-nayana
kamalākuca-kalasībhara-vipulī-kta-pulakam
muralī-rava-taralī-kta-muni-mānasa-nalina
mama khelatu mada-cetasi madhurādharam amtam

His eyes are fresh and reddish like the early dawn, full of compassion and very long and wide; His bodily hair stands on end by the touch of the waterpot-like breasts of Śrī Rādhā; and the sound of His flute makes the munis restless like the gopīs. May the sweet nectar of His lips sport in my heart.

tarua arua jini, karuṇā-svarūpa mai,
vipula nayana śobhe yāṅra
rādhā-kuca-dvaya bhara, preme deha gara gara,
vipula pulaka camatkāra
madhura-muralī svare, muni-mana padmavane,
taralita kare sarva-kaa
kṛṣṇera madhurādhara, parāmta śaśadhara,
citte mora karuka nartana


Text 19

The mānasī-sevā, service performed within the mind, of one who performs bhajana of pastimes in his eternal form (siddha-deha) is described in Ujjvala-nīlamāṇī (8.88–91):

mitha prema-guotkīrtis tayor āsakti-kāritā
abhisāra-dvayor eva sakhyāḥ kṛṣṇe samarpaam
narmāśvāsana-nepathyahdayodghāṭa-pāṭavam
chidra-savtir etasyāḥ paty-āde parivañcanā
śikṣā-sagamana kāle sevana vyajanādibhi
tayor dvayor upālambhasandeśa-preaa tathā
nāyikā-prāṇa-sarakṣā prayatnādyāḥ sakhī-kriyāḥ

The sixteen activities of the sakhīs are: (1) to glorify the prema and qualities of the nāyikā to the nāyaka and vice versa; (2) to create attachment between the nāyikā and nāyaka; (3) to arrange for their abhisāra; (4) to offer their sakhī to Śrī Kṛṣṇa; (5) to joke; (6) to console; (7) to dress and decorate the nāyikā and nāyaka; (8) to skilfully hide the nāyikā and nāyaka’s innermost feelings; (9) to conceal the nāyikā’s faults; (10) to cheat their husbands and others; (11) to give favourable instructions; (12) to arrange for the nāyikā and nāyaka to meet at the appropriate time; (13) to fan and render other services; (14) to point out faults in the nāyikā and nāyaka and to instruct them; (15) to deliver the nāyikā and nāyaka’s messages to each other; and (16) to endeavour to protect the nāyikā’s life.

rādhā-kṛṣṇa guotkīrti, āsakti-vardhana
abhisāra-dvaya, kṛṣṇe rādhā-samarpaa
narmāśvāsa, vea-kārya, hdaya-sandhāna
chidra-gupti, gha-pati-gaera vañcana
śikṣādāna, jala āra vyajana-sevana
ubhaya-milana, sande
śādi-ānayana
nāyikāra prāṇa-rakṣāya prayatna pradhāna
sakhī-sevā jāni’ yathā karaha vidhāna


Text 20

In Stavāvalī (Vraja-vilāsa-stava (38)) it is written:

tāmbūlārpaa-pāda-mardana-payodānābhisārādibhir
vndāraya-maheśvarīṁ priyatayā yās toayanti priyāḥ
prāṇa-preṣṭha-sakhī-kulād api kilāsakocitā bhūmikāḥ
kelī-bhūmiu rūpa-mañjarī-mukhās tā dāsikāḥ saṁśraye

I take shelter of the maidservants of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, of whom Rūpa Mañjarī is prominent. Unlike the priya-narma-sakhīs, they can perform any service without hesitation. They perpetually and affectionately satisfy Śrīmatī Rādhikā with their various services, such as offering tāmbūla, massaging Her feet, bringing Her water and arranging for Her trysts with Kṛṣṇa.

tāmbūla-arpaa, duhāra caraa-mardana
payodāna, abhisāra, dāsī-sevā-dhana


Text 21

Pride in one’s service is described in these words of Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī from Sva-saṅkalpa-prakāśa-stotra (2):

nava divya kāvya svaktam atula nāṭaka-kula
prahelī-gūḍhārthāḥ sakhi-rucira-vīṇā-dhvani-gati
kadā snehollāsair lalita-lalitā-preraa-balāt
salajja gāndharvā sa-rasam-asakc chikayati mām

Aho! When, in a secluded place, will I receive such fortune that Śrīmatī Rādhikā will, upon the request of Śrīmatī Lalitā-devī, affectionately and happily – yet shyly – teach me dramas composed by Herself, new poems, riddles with deep meanings, and melodies on the vīṇā?

svakta-nāṭaka āra navya kāvya-tati
gūḍhārtha-prahelī, divya vīṇā-rava-gati
lalitāra anurodhe snehollāse kabe
salajja gāndharvā more nibhte śikhābe


Text 22

Sva-saṅkalpa-prakāśa-stotra (6) expresses the acceptance of Viśākhā Sakhī, whose beautiful voice defeats the sound of the cuckoo bird, as śikṣā-guru:

kuhū-kaṇṭhī-kaṇṭhād api kamala-kaṇṭhī mayi punar
viśākhā-gānasyāpi ca rucira-śikṣāṁ praayatu
yathāha tenaitad yuva-yugalam ullāsya sagaṇāl
labhe rāse tasmān mai-padaka-hārān iha muhu

May Viśākhā, whose voice is sweeter than the cuckoo, teach me the captivating art of singing. With that singing, I will please the youthful couple Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa during the rāsa dance and will receive from Them gifts, such as jewelled lockets and necklaces, again and again.

kuhū-kaṇṭha-tiraskarī viśākhā-sundarī
gāna-vidyā śikhāibe more kpā kari’
sei gāne rādhā-kṛṣṇe rāse ullasiba
mai-padakādi pāritoika pāiba


Text 23

Śrī Gīta-govinda (1.12) describes the ecstasy of the rāsa dance, the eternal rāsa-vilāsa of Kṛṣṇa and the vraja-sundarīs:

viśveṣām anurañjanena janayann ānandam indīvaraśreṇī
śyāmala-komalair upanayann agair anagotsavam
svacchanda vraja-sundarībhir abhita pratyagam āligita
śṛṅgāra sakhi mūrtimān iva madhau mugdho hari krīḍati

O sakhī, He who gives pleasure and bliss to all the gopīs; whose limbs are bluish-black, very soft and resemble blue lotuses; whose qualities awaken the festival of Kandarpa (Cupid) that lies dormant within the gopīs’ hearts; and who is embraced by each and every limb of the gopīs – that Kṛṣṇa is sporting like amorous love personified in the spring season.

madhu-tu madhukara-pāṅti
madhura kusuma madhu-māti
madhura vndāvana mājha
madhura-madhura rasa-rāja
madhura-nainīgaa-saga
madhura-madhura rasaraga
sumadhura yantra-rasāla
madhura-madhura karatāla
madhura-naana-gati-bhaga
madhura naanī-naa-raga
madhura-madhura rasa-gāna
madhura vidyāpati bhāṇa


Text 24

Jagannātha-vallabha-nāṭaka (3.11) describes the happiness the gopīs feel upon attaining Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s darśana after being separated from Him. In other words it describes the condition of the gopīs when they are meeting with Him:

yadā yāto daivān madhu-ripur asau locana-patha
tadāsmāka ceto madana-hatakenāhtam abhūt
punar yasminn ea kaam api dṛśor eti padavīṁ
vidhāsyāmas tasminn akhila-ghaikā ratna-khacitāḥ

[Śrī Rādhā said:] From the moment Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of the Madhu demon, unexpectedly came before My eyes, wicked Cupid stole My heart. Nonetheless, if He will come within My vision again, I will decorate those moments with jewels.

ye kāle vā svapane, dekhinu vaṁśī-vadane,
sei kāle āilā dui vairī
ānanda’ āra ‘madana’, hari’ nila mora mana,
dekhite nā pāilu netra bhari’
puna yadi kona kaa, karāya kṛṣṇa daraśana,
tabe sei ghaṭī kaa-pala
diyā mālya-candana, nānā ratna-ābharaa,
alakta karimu sakala


Text 25

The midnight pastimes (rātri-līlā) are described in Govindalīlāmṛta (22.1):

tāv utkau labdha-sagau bahu-paricaraair vndayārādhyamānau
preṣṭhālībhir lasantau vipina-viharaair gāna-rāsādi-lāsyai
nānā-līlā-nitāntau praaya-sahacarī-vnda-sasevyamānau
rādhā-kṛṣṇau niśāyāṁ sukusuma-śayane prāpta-nidrau smarāmi

At night Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, who are very anxious to see one another, finally meet. Their dear gopīs worship Them by performing many services. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa become exhausted from roaming in the forest, singing, dancing in the rāsa-līlā and performing other pastimes with these most beloved sakhīs. Their group of loving maidservants then serve Them by fanning Them, offering Them camphor and tāmbūla, massaging Their feet and so forth. Then the Divine Couple go to sleep on a bed of flowers. I remember that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

vndā-paricaryā pāñā, preṣṭhāli-gaere lañā,
rādhā-kṛṣṇa rāsādika-līlā
gīta-lāsya kaila kata, sevā kaila sakhī yata,
kusuma-śayyāya dūṅhe śuilā
niśā-bhāge nidrā gela, sabe ānandita haila,
sakhī-gaa parānande bhāse
e sukha śayana smari, bhaja mana rādhā hari,
sei līlā praveśera āśe


Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s concluding words to Śrī Bhajana-rahasya

sādhanera saha aṣṭakāla-līlā-dhana
cintite cintite krame siddha bhāvāpana
svarūpa-siddhite vraje prakaṭāvasthāna
guamaya gopī-dehe līlāra vitāna
kṛṣṇa-kpā bale guamaya vapu tyaji’
aprakaa vraje gopī sālokyādi bhaji
nitya-kāla śuddha-dehe rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sevā
sthūla-liga-saga-bodha āra pāya kebā
‘hare kṛṣṇa’-nāma gāne nitya-mukta-bhāve
pūra-premānanda-lābha anāyāse pābe
dekha bhāi! sādhane siddhite eka-i bhāva
kabhu nāhi chāḍe nāma svakīya prabhāva
ataeva nāma gāo, nāma kara sāra
āra kona sādhanera nā kara vicāra

The rāgānuga-bhakta, and especially the rūpānuga-bhakta, remember Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala’s night pastimes, and while chanting the holy name, they humbly pray, “When will I attain service in these pastimes?” The sādhaka remembers these pastimes in the association of rasika-bhaktas and gradually attains perfection. Upon attaining svarūpa-siddhi, he takes birth in a gopī’s house in prakaṭa-līlā by the arrangement of Yogamāyā. There, under the guidance of Kṛṣṇa’s eternal associates, his sevā in the pastimes matures. He gives up his attachment to family etc. and attains the body of a gopī in the aprakaṭa-līlā of eternal Vṛndāvana. There, he is forever absorbed in serving Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in his perfected body. At the time of sādhana, the gross and subtle bodies are obstacles in attaining one’s eternal service. However, constant performance of Hare Kṛṣṇa nāma-kīrtana manifests the sādhaka’s pure identity (śuddha-svarūpa). The sādhaka-bhakta who follows rāga-mārga, the path of spontaneous devotion, remembers pastimes by means of his internally contemplated body. The bhāvas upon which the sādhaka meditates at the time of sādhana will be attained by him at the time of perfection.

 

Thus ends the Aṣṭama-yāma-sādhana, Rātri-līlā, of Śrī Bhajana-rahasya.

 

Thus ends Śrī Bhajana-rahasya.