Blog Description

This blog is for sharing one of the six loving exchanges between vaishnavas - bhajana katha sravanam alapa - sharing and discussing bhajan topics with devotees.

It is also my humble attempt to follow the instruction my gurudeva would give at the end of every class: take these pastimes and instructions into your heart. Therefore in the hopes that it will make some impression in my heart, I am sharing lecture notes, quotes, book excerpts, and other words from the brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya and vaisnava/is around the world.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Mercy of Srila Rupa Goswami

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine k
nowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.
Today I am sharing some more nectar about Srila Rupa Goswami. My last post was about Srila Rupa Goswami in his manjari form, where he serves Srimati Radhika very intimately in the form of a young gopi girl. This post will be about Srila Rupa Goswami in his sadhaka form, who heard from Mahaprabhu and knew His moods.

For example, when Mahaprabhu recited a mundane poem at Rathayatra about a person missing their lover, Rupa Goswami knew the true, deeper, inner meaning behind Mahaprabhu reciting this verse. He wrote the following in response:
priyah so’yam krsnah sahacari kuru-ksetra-militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati

"My dear friend, now I have met My old and dear friend Krsna on
this field of Kurukshetra. I am the same Radharani, and now we are
meeting together. It is very pleasant, but I would still like to go to
the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I
wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note
within that forest of Vrndavana.”

Srila Gurudeva spoke a class in Vrndavana in 1998 about the cleverness and excellency of Srila Rupa Goswami, his writings, and his mood for Srimati Radhika:

"All of the associates of Krsna act as if they are dumb when it comes to expressing themselves about their own loving exchanges with Sri Krsna. They personally relish Krsna’s pastimes, but they cannot tell anything about their experiences. Radhika will also not tell anything about how She meets with Krsna. Sometimes, in the early morning, Syamala visits Srimati Radhika and asks, “I want to hear something from You. I want to take bath in hearing Your krsna-katha; I want to hear how You met with Krsna last night.” Srimati Radhika replies, “I don’t remember. I went there and I saw Him, and then I fainted, and I don’t know anything about what happened after that.”
Srila Rupa Gosvami's samadhi at the Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira in Vrndavana
"If Candravali asks what happened, Radhika’s sakhis tell the opposite of what actually transpired. They will not reveal what incidents actually took place. Whenever they are asked this question, all act as if dumb. Neither Lalita nor Visakha nor any other sakhis will tell, and even Krsna will not tell what happened. They will relish their pastimes together, but not tell others about them.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said:

na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau

krandami saubhagya bharam prakasitum

vamsi vilasy anana lokanam vina

bibhrami yat prana patangakan vrtha
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 2.45)
[“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of prema within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krsna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”]
"Mahaprabhu said, “I have not a scent of that prema.” In this way, He is also as if dumb.
"In Srila Raya Ramananda’s conversation with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Ramananda-samvada), Raya Ramananda – who is Visakha in Krsna’s pastimes – barely told anything. He was simply replying to Mahaprabhu’s questions, one after another. In Mahaprabhu’s instructions to Srila Sanatana Gosvami (Sanatana-siksa), what did He tell? He did not say anything about the confidential pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, nor did He reveal how the gopis serve Them.
"What has Mahaprabhu told in His instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Rupa-siksa? He told next to nothing regarding Radha and Krsna’s pastimes. And finally, He ordered Rupa Gosvami to reveal all that He Himself could not.
"Even Rupa-manjari cannot tell anything. Only Rupa Gosvami can tell; he tells everything.
"He tells us what he has seen: In the form of Rupa-manjari he is serving Krsna and Srimati Radhika. He is obeying the orders of Srimati Radhika and stopping Krsna from entering Her kunja. He is seeing how Krsna, being so much pleased, is begging her to be allowed to enter Radhika’s kunja and is placing His head at her (Rupa-manjari’s) own lotus feet to attain her (Rupa-manjari’s) mercy.
Sri Rupa Manjari
"Srila Rupa Gosvami is very clever. He has written all his prayers as though he has not already experienced the fruit of those prayers. Although he has actually experienced his personal services to Radhika, he is writing prayers as if he has never experienced this – for us. What he felt in the form of Rupa-manjari, he has very cleverly shared with us by means of his prayers.
"Rupa Gosvami has personally taken darsana of Radha and Krsna, but for the true, sincere sadhaka, he has written this verse in his prayer, “Gandharvika Prarthan-astakam”:
vrndavane viharator iha keli kunje
matta dvipa pravara kautuka vibhramena
sandarsayasva yuvayor vadanaravinda
dvandvam vidhehi mayi devi krpam prasida (1)
[“O devi Radhike! Like the intoxicated king of elephants sporting with his queen elephant, Sri Krsna and You are constantly enjoying Your ambrosial amorous pastimes in the lush pleasure groves of Vrndavana. Therefore, O Gandharvike, be pleased with me and mercifully grant me the darsana of Your two lotus-like faces.”]
"Srila Rupa Gosvami is teaching by his own example how a rupanuga Vaisnava prays to Srimati Radhika. Those who want to follow him never pretend to have already attained ekadasa-bhava (gopi-bhava, or manjari-bhava). Those who pretend to be already on that platform when they are actually not so, are actually mad; they have no sense at all. We should always pray as Srila Rupa Gosvami prayed. Then, by the mercy of the gopis and by the mercy of Srimati Radhika, we can realize all the truths hidden within Rupa Gosvami’s prayers. Srimati Radhika will give this realization. She will at once be pleased and give Her service.
"Srila Rupa Gosvami teaches us how to pray: “Vrndavane viharator iha – O, when will that time come? O my dear Srimati Radhika-devi, You are very merciful, so please be merciful to me. Please sprinkle Your mercy upon me.”
"...If Srimati Radhika hears these prayers uttered from the core of one’s heart, Her heart will melt and She will bestow Her mercy.

"Srila Rupa Gosvami has skillfully written prayers such as this, filled with the pastimes of Krsna. He is Rupa-manjari, a prominent nitya-siddha (eternally perfect) associate of Radha and Krsna, but in the form of a sadhaka he is explaining to us the pastimes and the process to understand and enter them, so that we may be helped. This is his mercy."
Source link [entire class]: August 6, 1998: "The Mercy of Srila Rupa Goswami"

Srila Rupa Goswami ki JAI!!! So much mercy!! Tomorrow is Lord Balarama's appearance day! Jai!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Srila Rupa Goswami as Rupa Manjari

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine k
nowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today I want to share some nectar about Srila Rupa Goswami in his form as a manjari or maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Rupa Manjari. I read the following sweet excerpt from "Sri Guru and His Grace" written by Srila Bhakti-Rakshak Sridhara Maharaja (pictured above with Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada).

First he establishes the supreme position of Srimati Radhika and Her service as our highest goal, as told by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
"The servitorship of Srimati Radharani is said to be of the living being by the school established by Mahaprabhu. It is the gist of the Srimad Bhagavatam. It is Krishna's own version."

He quotes Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.15 and 10.47.61, where Krsna praises Uddhava, and where Uddhava praises the gopis, of whom Srimati Radhika is the topmost. He then quotes Jayadeva Goswami, who writes in his Gita Govinda how, when Srimati Radhika left the rasa dance, even with all the gopis there Krsna was not satisfied, and chased after Radhika.

From there:

"The rupanuga sampradaya, the followers of Sri Rupa, are those who have the unique taste of service in the camp of Radharani...The highest kind of divine sentiment is distributed from the camp of Srimati Radharani, and that can never be compared with any attainment hitherto known even in the eternal factor of time and space.

"...Why should we try to enter into the camp of Radharani?...Radharani's service to Krishna is of the highest order in every way. If we devote our energy to help Radharani, our energy will be utilized in Her service. In this way She will serve Krishna with Her service more enhanced. Then the reciprocation will pass to us through Her as our reward. That will be devotion of the highest type, mahabhava...

"Yet still, there is another, higher thing. We are known as rupanugas, followers of Sri Rupa. Why? The service of Srimati Radharani eliminates everything, even Narayana, to go to Krishna...

"Still, there is another point. Who is Rupa? Rupa Manjari. Generally the hierarchy in the spiritual world is eternal. New recruits can occupy a particular rank of manjari, assistant, in madhurya rasa. And the leader of manjaris is Sri Rupa Manjari...

"When Radharani and Krishna are in secrecy, in private, the sakhis [Lalita, Visakha, and their followers] do not like to approach there and disturb...but the younger girls [manjaris] can enter there....

"New recruits may come to the manjari class. The manjaris have that sort of special advantage under the leadership of Sri Rupa Manjari....the most sacred type of pure service, which is not even open to the sakhis [Radharani's girl friends], is open to the manjaris. That is found in Radharani's camp. So, the position of the rupanuga, the followers of Sri Rupa, is the most profitable position.

"...So, the camp, the sampradaya of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as the rupanuga sampradaya. There our fate and fortune is located. Now we have to conduct ourselves in such a way that naturally we can connect with that highest, pure spiritual conception from here."

Srila Rupa Goswami, Rupa Manjari ki JAI!!

I got to hear more nectar on Srila Rupa Goswami, his literature, and how special he was, to know the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I will try and share more tomorrow. Now I am in New Braj, and I heard from Gopanandini that Srila Gurudeva used to do a festival for Srila Rupa Goswami, from his disappearance day until Balarama's Appearance Day. So I will try and stay in that mood and post more on Srila Rupa Goswami tomorrow.

How merciful is Srila Rupa Goswami in his form as Sri Rupa Manjari! All she wants is to help us serve Srimati Radhika, the highest goal. I also heard Srila Gurudeva describe how, whereas the sakhi friends of Radharani try to pacify her sulkiness and separation, Rupa Manjari is so close to Radharani that she actually *feels* the same things that Radha is feeling, when She is feeling them. How wonderful is Sri Rupa Manjari...

The Prospect of Divine Love; Srila Rupa Goswami

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine k
nowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Goswami. Srila Rupa Goswami is a very important person. It is he who knows the heart and mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Krsnaloka, Rupa Goswami is Rupa Manjari. She is the head of all the manjaris, or personal maidservants, of Srimati Radhika.

Srila Gurudeva makes the distinction in his Essence of All Advice that Rupa Manjari is not like Lalita and Visakha, and other dear friends of Srimati Radhika. Those friends of Srimati Radhika try to dissuade Her from Her sulking mood or Her separation. But Rupa Manjari feels the very same things that Srimati Radhika feels. So when Radhika is in separation, so is Rupa Manjari, and when Radhika is happy with Krsna, then Rupa feels that she is with Krsna, too.

Right now I am reading 'Sri Guru and his Grace' by Srila Bhakti-rakshak Sridhara Maharaja. In this book, he has one part where he speaks about the prospect of divine love, and quotes Srila Rupa Goswami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:

"At present, we are disconnected from the prospect of divine love which we cherish in the innermost quarter of our hearts. If we want to have that privilege very easily and very quickly, we must approach the Lord with plain speaking and with a naked body and mind, with everything exposed.

Srila Rupa Goswami in Bhakti rasamrta sindhu (1.2.152) has written:

mat-tulyo nasti papatma
naparadhi ca kascana
parihare pi lajja me
kim bruve purusottama
"My Lord, I feel ashamed. How shall I offer You so many pure things like flowers? Generally, pure things are offered to You, but what about me? I have come with the most filthy thing to offer You. I feel ashamed. I have come to You, with only my shame, to beg for Your mercy. There is no parallel to my sinful life, criminal life. Everything that can be conceived of as bad is found in me. It is very difficult even to speak about the characteristics of my heinous sins and crimes.

"Still, Your nature, existence, fame, and benevolence cannot but attract me. You can save me. You can purify me. Hoping against hope, I have come to You. And I have only one solace, that I am the real object of Your mercy. Your tendency is to purify the meanest. Those who are the most needy have some claim to Your mercy. I am the worst of the needy and the meanest of the mean. This is my only qualification, my only hope to attract Your attention and appeal to Your magnanimity."

I think this quote is extra amazing, because here it seems to me that Srila Rupa Goswami is teaching us how to pray to the Lord, and how to pray to our most magnanimous gurus. And our gurus tell us to pray to Srila Rupa Goswami.

Here is a nice class on the swing festival, jhulan yatra, which this year lasts from yesterday and ends Sunday (the day after Lord Balarama's appearance day!). This class also includes some katha on Srila Rupa Goswami, by Srila Gurudeva:

link to class

jhulan yatra ki jai!

I will post more on Srila Rupa Goswami today. For now, this is it. All glories to Srila Rupa Goswami!