The Line of Sri Rupa
This prayer is found in the Archan Paddhati, which comes from Gopal Bhatta Goswami's edition of the Hari-bhakti-vilasa. From there it has sprung through him. It is there in the Sastra, which is an eternal flow of a particular current of knowledge. Everything is eternal in Vaikuntha and Goloka. Just as the sun comes up and goes down, appears and disappears, the thought is eternal and sometimes appears and disappears.
In this verse, Govinda-vallabhe Radhe, there is a sudden turn. Krishna says to His devotee, "Oh, do you want an intimate relationship with Me? It is not to be found within My department. You will have to go to another department. Go then to the department of Radhika." Then at once, the devotee's thought is transferred towards that side. All his energy is monopolised there. It is Her monopoly. "Your inner quest is not to be found within My department," Krishna says. "You'll have to go elsewhere and file a petition there."
And, with this inspiration, at once the devotee puts his petition to Radharani. Govinda-vallabhe Radhe: "O, Sri Radhe, Your master and sustainer is Govinda. He is the Lord of Your heart." Govinda means, "He who can give fulfilment to all our senses." With our senses we can feel perception as well as knowledge. Govinda is the master who gives fulfilment to all our channels of perception. "Govinda is Your Lord. But just the opposite is also true. You are mistress of the heart of Govinda, the Supreme Master. Is it not? You are queen of the heart of Govinda. I have been directed to come to You with my petition. Please enlist my name in Your department and admit me as a servitor in Your group."Flowing River of Nectar
"O Radhe, O Queen of Vrindavan, You are like a flowing river filled with the nectar of mercy. Please be kind upon me, and bestow upon me some small service at Your lotus feet." You are the Queen of the whole management of ecstasy (rasotsava). Rasa means ecstasy. That is an unlimited flow of ecstasy. That is the specialty of Vrindavan: adi-rasa, the original rasa, madhura-rasa, conjugal mellow. All rasas are branches of that rasa, in its peculiar developing character. If analysed, all rasas will be found within madhura-rasa. And madhura-rasa has been recognised as the highest mellow of devotion.
In His conversation with Ramananda Raya, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected devotion contaminated with reason. He said, eho bahya age kaha ara, "This is superficial; go further." Mahaprabhu accepted that real bhakti begins from the stage of pure devotion, unmixed with reason. When Ramananda suggested dasya-rasa Mahaprabhu said, "This is good, but go further." Then Ramananda mentioned sakhya-rasa: Mahaprabhu said, "This is also good, but go further." Then he came to vatsalya-rasa, the sonhood of Godhead. "This is very good," Mahaprabhu said, "But go further." Then he came to madhura-rasa, "Yes," Mahaprabhu said, "this is best." At that stage in the development of rasa, Vrindavan is the most suitable place.
Madhura-rasa is found most extensively in Vrindavan. So, it is said, Radhe vrndavanadhise: "You are the Queen of that sort of lila which is found in Vrindavan. There, the highest type of nectar is flowing. You are like a flowing river of nectar."
The very nature of Krishna has been described as "Ecstasy Himself." He is tasting the innate ecstasy of Himself. He knows His ecstasy and He feels it, but to distribute that innate ecstasy outside, a particular potency is indispensable, and that is known as hladini. The gist of hladini-shakti, or Krishna's internal ecstasy potency, is Radhika, who is drawing the innermost rasa, the ecstasy of the highest order, extracting it from within and distributing it outside."
So, it is said, karunamrta-vahini: "Ecstasy mixed with magnanimity is flowing from that great fountain, and just as a river flowing from the mountains may carry with its current many valuable minerals to the outside world, the hladini potency carries rasa out from the abode of the rasa-svarup, Krishna Himself, ecstasy personified. The flow of that river of nectar carries ecstasy and rasa, the flow of sweetness and magnanimity, to distribute to others.
Then, another categorical change is effected within the mind of a devotee. In the meantime, in the course of his progress, he realises, "Oh! Krishna is of secondary concern to me. I find my primary connection with You, Sri Radhe. I want Your direct service and not the direct service of Krishna." This awakening of the heart, intimate adherence and obligation to the next nearest agent, develops in a surrendered soul. At this stage, the devotee thinks, "I shall derive more benefit by giving my closest attention to the nearest agent, my Gurudev. I shall thrive thereby." And it is his concern to sanction the upper connections. Of course, our intentions should be pure and genuine, and the business of that agent is to give us a favourable, normal connection with the hierarchy of service.
All our attention should be concentrated in the service of our Guru. This should be the idea. Our first tendency is to approach Krishna. In that stage, the first thing to understand is that we are helpless. Of course, all things must be sincere. First there is the stage of helplessness, then we want the shelter of Krishna, sweetness personified, then we are attracted to sweetness of a particular type, and to approach that department. There, we pray for the final closest connection or permanent membership as a servitor there. This has been taught by Srila Raghunath Das Goswami as the highest achievement of the living being.
Das Goswami lived for sixteen years continuously in the association of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarup Damodar. After they disappeared from this world, Raghunath Das, disgusted with his future prospect, went to Vrindavan to finish his life. But when he met Rupa and Sanatan there, he saw another vision, a dream of a new life. Then he found, "Although Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarup Damodar have disappeared from my physical eyes, they are living here in Rupa and Sanatan, within their activities, in their preaching tendency. Mahaprabhu is here, as living as anything." He had to reject the idea of finishing his life. And with new vigour he began to serve in Vrindavan.
Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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