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7 / Saptama-yama Sadhana
Bhajana During Late Evening
(Love in Separation)
The internal symptom of devotion in the stage of perfection is that one worships Krishna in the mood of separation (vipralambha7). The Shikshashtaka (7) describes this mood as follows:
shunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me (1)
My Lord Govinda, because of separation from You, I consider even a moment a great millennium. Tears flow from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I see the entire world as void.
In my agitation, a day never ends, for every moment seems like a millenium. Pouring incessant tears, my eyes are like clouds in the rainy season. The three worlds have become void because of separation from Govinda. I feel as if I were burning alive in a slow fire.
In the mood of vipralambha, purva-raga8 and pravasa9 are especially favorable in the execution of one's bhajana.
Purva-raga is described in the following five verses. In this verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.21.9), the gopis praise the good fortune of the flute, which drinks the nectar of Krishna's lips:
gopyah kim acarad ayam kushalam sma venur
damodaradhara-sudham api gopikanam
bhunkte svayam yad avashishta-rasam hradinyo
hrishyat-tvaco 'shru mumucus taravo yatharyah (2)
My dear gopis, what auspicious activities must the flute have performed to enjoy the nectar of Krishna's lips independently and leave only a taste for us gopis, for whom that nectar is actually meant! The forefathers of the flute, the bamboo trees, shed tears of pleasure just as persons who are advanced in knowledge take pleasure to see their descendants engage in the service of the Lord. His mother, the river on whose bank the bamboo was born, feels jubilation, and therefore her blooming lotus flowers are standing like hair on her body.
The Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.21.11) describes how the does and bucks worship Krishna and attain good fortune after hearing the sound of Krishna's flute:
dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo 'pi harinya eta
ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesham
akarnya venu-ranitam saha-krishna-sarah
pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih (3)
Blessed are these deer. Though merely dumb animals, they have approached Maharaja Nanda's son, who is gorgeously dressed and is playing on His flute. Indeed, both the does and the bucks worship the Lord with looks of love and affection.
It is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.21.15) that by the sound of Krishna's flute, the rivers stop flowing and worship Krishna's lotus feet with lotus flowers:
nadyas tada tad upadharya mukunda-gitam
alingana-sthagitam urmi-bhujair murarer
grihnanti pada-yugalam kamalopaharah (4)
When the rivers hear the flute-song of Krishna, their minds begin to desire Him, and thus the flow of their currents are broken and their waters are agitated, moving around in whirlpools. Then with the arms of their waves the rivers embrace Murari's lotus feet and, holding on to them, present offerings of lotus flowers.
Govardhana Hill becomes jubilant by the touch of the feet of Rama and Krishna and worships Them with various offerings. As stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.21.18):
hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyo
yad rama-krishna-carana-sparasha pramodah
manam tanoti saha-go-ganayos tayor yat
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows, and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities—water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.
By hearing the sound of Krishna's flute the animate entities become inanimate and the inanimate entities become animate. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.21.19) it is said:
ga gopakair anu-vanam nayator udara-
venu-svanaih kala-padais tanu-bhritsu sakhyah
aspandanam gati-matam pulakas tarunam
niryoga-pasha-krita-lakshanayor vicitram (6)
My dear friends, as Krishna and Balarama pass through the forest with Their cowherd friends, leading Their cows, They carry ropes to bind the cow's rear legs at the time of milking. When Lord Krishna plays on His flute, the sweet music causes the moving living entities to become stunned and the nonmoving trees to tremble with ecstasy. These things are certainly very wonderful.
O friend, by not obtaining Krishna my heart is breaking. When will providence give me Krishna's association?
Pravasa is described in the next four verses. In this state Radharani's emotions are most relishable for the devotees. One should read such passages as Bhramara-gita (Radharani's talks with the bumblebee). Radharani's emotional outburst is expressed in the following words of Shri Madhavendra Puri:
ayi dina-dayardra natha he
dayita bhramyati kim karomy aham (7)
O my Lord! O most merciful master! O master of Mathura! When shall I see You again? Because of my not seeing You, my agitated heart has become unsteady. O most beloved one, what shall I do now?
The gopis blame Providence on their separation from Krishna in these words of the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.39.19):
aho vidhatas tava na kvacid daya
samyojya maitrya pranayena dehinah
tamsh cakritarthan viyunankshy aparthakam
vikriditam te 'rbhaka-ceshtitam yatha (8)
The gopis said: O Providence, you have no mercy! You bring embodied creatures together in friendship and love and then senselessly separate them before they fulfill their desires. This whimsical play of yours is like a child's game.
Separation from Krishna for even a moment is unbearable, as stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.39.29):
nitah sma nah kshanam iva kshanada vina tam
gopyah katham nv atitarema tamo durantam (9)
When He brought us to the assembly of the rasa dance, where we enjoyed His affectionate and charming smiles, His delightful secret talks, His playful glances and His embraces, we passed many nights as if they were a single moment. O gopis, how can we possibly cross over the insurmountable darkness of His absence?
The overwhelming emotions experienced by Radharani in separation from Krishna are described in the Hamsaduta as follows:
yada yato gopi hridaya madano nanda-sadanan-
mukundo gandhinyasta-nayam anurundhan madhu-purim
ragadhayam radhamayapayasi radhavirahini (10)
When the Cupid of the gopis' hearts, Krishna, left the house of Nanda Maharaja and accompanied Akrura to Mathura, Shrimati Radharani's mind was disrupted. She became almost mad because of separation from Krishna, and She drown in the deep whirlpools and waves of a fathomless river of anxiety.
Ten symptoms of separation are given in the Ujjvala-nilamani as follows:
pralapo vyadhir unmado
mohomrityurdasha dasha (11)
There are ten stages of lamentation due to separation: anxiety, wakefulness, mental agitation, thinness, uncleanliness, talking like a madman, disease, madness, illusion, and death.
Radharani is overwhelmed by these symptoms and feeling extreme misery.
Feeling sharp pangs of separation, Radharani reproaches Krishna in the following verse from the Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka:
prema-ccheda-rujo 'vagacchati harir nayam na ca prema va
sthanasthanam avaiti napi madano janati no durbalah
anyo veda na canya-duhkham akhilam no jivanam vashravam
dvi-trany eva dinani yauvanam idam ha-ha vidhe ka gatih (12)
Our Krishna does not realize what we have suffered from injuries inflicted in the course of loving affairs. We are actually misused by love because love does not know where to strike and where not to strike. Even Cupid does not know of our weakened condition. What should I tell anyone? No one can understand another's difficulties. Our life is actually not under our control, for youth will remain for two or three days and soon be finished. In this condition, O creator, what will be our destination?
One sakhi says to Radha, “Be patient. Why are You becoming so anxious? What is the benefit of this anxiety? Your beloved, the best of heroes, will come soon.”
Radha replied, “O sakhi, I don't see any way He will come. The disease caused by Our loving affairs is simply increasing, for He has not come from Mathura to save Me. Love does not know where to strike and where not to strike. Krishna is hard-hearted in His loving affairs, therefore I am most bewildered. On top of that, Cupid has pierced Me with his arrows. They don't understand My suffering and this life is flickering, with youth lasting for only a few days. My dear friend, please tell Me, will that jewel amongst heroes return to Vraja? O fate, where will I find solace?”
A description of Radharani's agitation due to separation from Krishna is given the Krishna-karnamrita (42):
kim iha krinumah kasya brumah kritam kritamashaya
kathayata kathamanyam dhanyam aho hridayeshayah
kripana-kripana krishne trishna ciram vata lambate (13)
Alas, what shall I do? To whom shall I speak? Let whatever I have done in hopes of meeting Krishna be finished now. Please say something auspicious, but do not speak about Krishna. Alas, Krishna is lying within My heart like Cupid, therefore how can I possibly give up talking of Him? I cannot forget Krishna, whose smile is sweeter than sweetness itself and who gives pleasure to My mind and eyes. Alas, My great thirst for Krishna is increasing moment by moment!
The hope for attaining Krishna has taken residence within My heart. But unfortunately that pitiable hope seems impossible to fructify.
Radharani's delirious talk in separation from Krishna is given in the Krishna-karnamrita (41):
amuny adhanyani dinantarani
hare tvad-alokanam antarena
ha hanta ha hanta katham nayami (14)
O My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O friend of the helpless! You are the only ocean of mercy! Because I have not met You, My inauspicious days and nights have become unbearable. I do not know how I shall pass the time.
Therefore, please tell this maidservant how to meet You.
Longing to see beloved Krishna is described in the Krishna-karnamrita (40):
he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho
he krishna he capala he karunaika-sindho
he natha he ramana he nayanabhirama
ha ha kada nu bhavitasi padam drishor me (15)
O My Lord! O dearest one! O only friend of the universe! O Krishna, O restless one, O ocean of mercy! O My Lord, O My enjoyer, O beloved to My eyes! Alas, when will You again be visible to Me?
Meeting with Krishna unfolds as explained in the Krishna-karnamrita (68):
marah svayam nu madhura-dyuti-mandalam nu
madhuryam eva nu mano-nayanamritam nu
veni-mrijo nu mama jivita-vallabho nu
krishno 'yam abhyudayate mama locanaya (16)
My dear friends, where is that sweetly effulgent Krishna, Cupid personified, who is sweetness itself, the nectar of My eyes and mind, He who loosens the hair of the gopis, who is the supreme source of transcendental bliss and My life and soul? Has He come before My eyes again?
Seeing Krishna come before My eyes has returned life to My body. All My miseries have gone far away. O friend! My heart is now comforted for I have regained My lost treasure.
The direct darshana of Krishna is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.32.2):
tasam avirabhuc chaurih
sakshan manmatha-manmathah (17)
Then Lord Krishna, a smile on His lotus face, appeared before the gopis. Wearing a garland and a yellow garment, He directly appeared as one who can bewilder the mind of Cupid, who himself bewilders the minds of ordinary people.
The mood of Vraja is glorified in the Lalita-madhava. While meeting Krishna in Nava-vrindavana in Dvaraka, Radha requests Him:
cirad asha-matram tvayi viracayantah sthira-dhiyo
vidadhyur ye vasam madhurima gabhire madhupure
dadhanah kaishore vayasi sakhi tam gokulapate
prapadyethas tesham paricayam avashyam nayanayoh (18)
O Krishna, persons with fixed minds have hoped for a long time that You will return to Madhupuri, which is filled with intense sweetness. O Lord of Gokula, please go there in Your youthful form and perform Your sweet pastimes before their eyes. This is My only request.
Feeling separation, Radha wishes to take Krishna back to Vrindavana, which is filled with ever-sweet memories. Again from the Lalita-madhava:
ya te lila-rasa parimalodgari-vanya-parita
dhanya kshauni vilasati vrita mathuri madhuribhih
samvitastam kalaya vadanollasi-venur-viharam (19)
O Krishna! Within Mathura-mandala is the most fortunate forest of Vrindavana. It is surrounded by forests ornamented with the fragrance of the sweet mellows of Your pastimes, which You perform within Your inconceivable energy. In the congenial atmosphere of that transcendental abode You would enjoy different sports with us gopis, whose hearts are overwhelmed with love for You. O son of Nanda, we desire to again enjoy pastimes there with You as You play on Your flute.
Feeling intense separation, the gopis rebuke the creator of their eyelids as they gaze at Krishna. The following statement from the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.82.39), describes the gopi's state while meeting Krishna at Kurukshetra:
gopyash ca krishnam upalabhya cirad abhishtam
yat-prekshane drishishu pakshma-kritam shapanti
drigbhir hridi-kritam alam parirabhya sarvas
tad-bhavam apur api nitya-yujam durapam (20)
While gazing at their beloved Krishna, the young gopis used to condemn the creator of their eyelids, (which would momentarily block their vision of Him). Now, seeing Krishna again after such a long separation, with their eyes they took Him into their hearts, and there they embraced Him to their full satisfaction. In this way they became totally absorbed in ecstatic meditation on Him, although those who constantly practice mystic yoga find such absorption difficult to achieve.
The great eagerness of the gopis to achieve Krishna in their own residence (their hearts) is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.82.48) as follows:
ahush ca te nalina-nabha padaravindam
yogeshvarair hridi vicintyam agadha-bodhaih
geham jusham api manasy udiyat sada nah (21)
Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and meditated upon by great mystic yogis and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.
O Krishna! We are cowherd girls. We are not yogis, nor are we materialists. All our activities are dedicated to You. Our hearts are nondifferent from Vrindavana, so please keep Your lotus feet there and thus fulfill our desire.
Krishna's amorous conversation with the gopis at Kurukshetra is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.82.40):
bhagavams tas tatha-bhuta
prahasann idam abravit (22)
The Supreme Lord approached the gopis in a secluded place as they stood in their ecstatic trance. After embracing each of them and inquiring about their well-being, He laughed and spoke as follows.
Seeing the love between Krishna and the gopis, the Lord's consorts from Dvaraka are astonished.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.82.44), Krishna says the living entities' affection for Him is always auspicious, and by that affection they ultimately attain Him:
mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam
dishtya yad asin mat-sneho
bhavatinam mad-apanah (23)
Rendering devotional service to Me qualifies any living being for eternal life. But by your good fortune you have developed a special loving attitude toward Me, by which you have obtained Me.
This prema-bhakti you have for Me is the supreme nectar. Under the control of this affection I am always engaged in your service.
The following is an introduction to pradosha-lila (late evening pastimes) from Govinda-lilamrita:
radham saliganantam asitasitanisha-yogya-vesham pradoshe
krishnam gopaih sabhayam vihita-guni kalalokanam snigdha matra
yatnadaniya samshayitam atha nibhritam prapta-kunjam smarami (24)
I remember Shri Radha in the late evening. She dresses Herself in clothes suitable for the dark and light fortnight for the pleasure of Krishna. (She wears black clothes on the new moon day and white clothes on the full moon day.) In accordance with Vrinda's advice, She takes shelter in a secluded bower on the banks of the Yamuna in the company of Her sakhi messenger.
I also remember Krishna sitting in an assembly of cowherd boys and watching their various feats. His affectionate mother, Yashoda, brings Him home and attempts to put Him to sleep. Remembering the company of Radha, He soon quietly slips out of bed and leaves for the forest bower.
I remember Radha and Krishna engaged in this pastime.
Thus ends the Saptama-yama Sadhana of the Shri Bhajana-rahasya.