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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhakti Bhavana Bisnu Swami > Asta Kala Lila > Asta-Kala Lila

Asta-Kala Lila


During the ritualistic day of the sadhaka, the day begins with mangal arati, one and a half hours before sunrise. This time corresponds with nisanta lila, the end of night and the waking of Radha and Krsna in the bowers of Vrindavana. While the beginning sadhaka views the arati as the end of the long night of his material slumber, and the dawning of his day of service to shri guru, the siddha envisions his soul's participation in the lila, assisting those waking Radha-Krsna and helping the divine couple to reach their homes before the sunrise speaks of their secret love to all. As ordinary souls dread the end of night and slumber on in ignorance, the sadhaka rises early to conquer the ignorance of sleep. Yet the ultimate soul, Radha-Krsna, dreads the sunrise in the lila of love, for it brings to a close the union of Radha and Krsna and gives rise the pangs of their daytime separation, in which their secret paramour love must remain hidden. Thus it is stated in Shri Gita:

ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyam jagarti samyami

yasyam jagrati bhutani sa nisa pasyato muneh


"What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled, and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage." (Bg. 2.69)


It is said in the Vedas that proportionate to the removal of darkness, the light of knowledge awakens in one's heart, and to that extent kama, the heart's longing, is destroyed. Yet it appears that in Vrindavana this is just the opposite. When the darkness of night comes to an end, the light of daybreak only increases the desire of Radha and Krsna to be united again. The customs of Vraja are beyond the reach of even the Vedas ! What is day for the sadhaka is night for those not treading the spiritual path. Yet what is day for the sadhaka is at the same time night for the siddha who lives in the lila of Radha-Krsna. The sadhaka takes joy in rising early to the new day, while the siddha laments in transcendental ecstasy over the separation of Radha-Krsna that the rising of the sun mandates. This transcendental lamentation is most desireable, and awakening to this ideal is mangal arati, the most auspicious arati of all.