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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Glories of Shri Radha > Meeting of Radha Krishna > Purva Raga of Radha

Purva Raga of Shri Radha

Shri Radha’s Purva Raga
For Chp 8 Ananda Vrindavana Champu by Shrila Kavi Karnapura

As Krishna entered His pauganda period (six to ten years old) He looked exceedingly attractive with His sweet nectarean smile, puffy raised cheeks, and the natural fragrance of His body. At this time Krishna and Balarama no longer played in the dust of Vmdavana, nor did They play with the honeybees that always buzz in the lotus flowers. For mother Bhumi, the touch of Krishna's lotus feet gave the perfection of happiness. At six years of age Krishna and the gopas, the abodes of purity and good qualities, stopped caring for the calves and tended the cows instead.
Now Krishna rarely acted restlessly and frivolously as He did during His kaumara period. As a student of the Vedas becomes sober and serious, Krishna turned thoughtful and grave in His movements. His waist reduced to slender proportions and His eyes shone with a glimmer of excitement. He cast anxious glances in all directions. Where did Krishna's naughty child¬ish behavior suddenly go? - L
As a great epic is full of expertly placed words and phrases, similarly, Krishna now used precise language with perfect pronunciation. The nectarean beauty of Krishna's effulgence far surpassed the splendor of a tamala tree blooming in spring with fresh sprouts and colorful flowers. Every part of Krishna's transcendental body diffused a special sweetness like the liquid nectar oozing from a lotus flower. When flower buds un¬fold their petals, pollen, and honey they become surrounded by swarms of eager bees. Similarly, at this time Krishna's body revealed all the qualities of beauty, softness, fragrance, and sweetness. Krishna combined these at¬tributes with a playful desire to enjoy in a way just suitable for this age. This is symptomatic of His characteristic as Cupid personified and His dhira lalita nature (a youthful hero expert at joking, devoid of anxiety, and controlled by the prema of His beloveds).
The creeper named syama-lala becomes free from bitterness before it produces fruits. Even before fully ripe, the fruits are soft, tasty, and tempt¬ing. Similarly, though not fully mature, Krishna's body displayed a tantaliz¬ing charm. As a necklace acquires more attraction when strung with dif¬ferent Jewels, similarly, the elegance of Krishna's body enhanced from the variety of radiant pastimes He performed. The serenity of a lake is de¬stroyed when intoxicated elephants enter and playfully spray water from their trunks. Similarly, Krishna's broad chest and wide shoulders emanated a sweet wantonness that enchanted and agitated the minds of all observers. Radha and all the other beloved gopis of Krishna appeared on earth along with the Lord. Krishna's complexion compares with the hue of a blue sap¬phire, a blue lotus, or a fresh monsoon cloud. The complexion of the gopis' defeats the brilliance of molten gold, lightning, and gotden campaka flowers. The gopis appeared on earth within two weeks or one month of the birth of Shri Krishna. The beauty of any one gupi could easily crush the pride ofParvati. To increase the various flavors of Radha-Govinda's smgara rasa (ecstatic conjugal love), the gopis appeared in Vrndavana to self-Icssly serve Krishna, the fountainhead ofmadhura-rasa. Radhika and Syama could not have relished the summit of sweetness in smgara rasa without the VraJa gopis.
In the beginning stage, tulasi manjaris grow straight but upon develop¬ing they turn crooked. Similarly, Radhika and the other lovers of Krishna behaved innocently and honestly as children, but upon attaining youth they were crafty and cunning. As a verse from an epic can have many different meanings, the gopis' speech at this time contained many outer and inner meanings. The slow and measured steps of the gopis re¬sembled the gentle dripping of water falling off the edge of a roof after a monsoon. The gopis felt a little insecure about the new sensations they felt upon flowering into youth. As the whorl of a lotus flower looks like a golden demigod sitting there ruling over his kingdom, it seemed that the demigod of lust had suddenly taken possession of the gopis' hearts and established his kingdom there. They no longer cared to play in the dust of Vmdavana.
The palms of the gopis now displayed a pinkish hue like the rising sun. Their reddened tips looked like luscious ripe bimbo fruits shining with nectar. Under the control of Cupid, their eyes and limbs moved in various enchanting ways. Their hips expanded with shapely curves and their speech sounded sweet and captivating. The gopis now walked with petite and gentle steps. Their long, thick hair defeated the dense darkness. These beautiful characteristics heralded the glories of the gopis like a raised flag waving in the wind. The subtle powers of the nine planets now reposed within them.
Since they had lost all the attributes of their childhood, the gopis now plundered the special qualities of others. Their restless running here and there as children reentcred their eyes as furtive glances. Their waists be¬came very slender as the broadness of their childhood waists moved out to their hips. Their talkative nature as children turned into the abundant sweetness of youth,
The eight mystic suidhis now resided in the bodies of the gopis. Anima-siddhi (becoming smaller than the smallest) entered their waists. Mahima-siddhi (becoming bigger than the biggest) took shelter within the broad hips of the gopis. Laghima'siddhi (becoming lighter than the lightest) entered their rarely spoken words. Prapti-siddhi (acquire whatever one desires) took the form of the gopis' shyness. Kamavasayita-siddhi (obtain anything from anywhere) moved into the corner of their eyes- Vasitva-siddhi (ability to control others) took shelter ;n the gopis' glances. Prakamya-siddhi (fulfillment of all desires) manifested in the sweetness of their forms. Ssitva-siddhi (create something wonderful or willfully anni¬hilate something) entered their sidelong glances. Thus the eight mystic siddhis fully manifested within the bodies of the gopis.
When Krishna's beloved gopi Radhika appeared the whole world drowned in unlimited transcendental ecstasy- Radhika's touch turned the village of Vmdavana into an abode of the sweetest fortune. The birth of the flower-archer Cupid attained perfection by Radha's presence, and the poets achieved perfection by praising the mellow exchanges of Radha and Krishna.
The gopis were extremely anxious to meet Krishna, but they did not mani¬fest any external symptoms of their ecstasy. Transcendental lust had taken over their minds, but they did not show any lusty behavior. Though desir¬ing. they did not act on their desire. They sustained their lives with just one thought: "Soon we will enjoy many playful pastimes with our beloved Syamasundara." The gopis hid this intense longing deep in their hearts. They covered the emotions swirling within their hearts with a veneer of boundless shyness. Their sudden detachment from ordinary activities created a slight fear within their minds. The functions of their minds appeared to be ham¬pered by a type of dreaminess. The incurable disease of inertia had mys¬teriously infected the gopis. The sudden transformation of the gopis' minds resembled a type of rice that is ripe inside though appearing raw outside.
Though the gopis concealed their internal attachment to Krishna, their relatives detected a change in their behavior. The experience of rasa tran¬scends verbal description. It can only be appreciated by tasting and feel¬ing it. In the same way, no words can accurately depict the agitation in the gopis' minds due to their rising love for Krishna. As a word like Ganga has both outer and inner meanings, similarly, no one can know the confiden¬tial desires within the minds of the gopis just by observing their outer behavior.

Somehow they maintained patience despite the fact that the forceful movements of their hearts spun their minds in circles. Though concerned, the gopis did nothing to stop the growing force of their desire. Just as one with a fever always feels thirsty, the gopix always felt severe aching in their bones and joints due to the raging fire of their intense desire to enjoy with Krishna. As termites eat dry bamboo devoid of moisture {rasa), the termites of desire slowly nibbled away the dry, mellow (rasa) less hearts of the gopis. Although their minds vibrated with attraction for Krishna, their tender bodies wece not yet experienced in savoring the sweet mellows of love.

The disturbance in the gopis' minds made their cheeks turn pale yellow in color like the lavali fruit. Their lips dried out like fresh leaves withered by the sun. As the petals of blue iotus flowers loose their luster with the arrival of winter, the childish glimmer in the blue lotus eyes of the gopis gradually faded with the onset of youthful desires. They breathed heavily as if afflicted by sunstroke. Their erratic movements resembled a deranged person moving here and there without any purpose. Uttering incoherent phrases, the gopis appeared like a person who has lost his speaking ability due to negative planetary influences. When a person develops a mood of detachment he loses interest in domestic affairs, similarly, the gopis be¬came totally detached from their homes and relatives.

Day by day the minds of the gopis were steadily and spontaneously more attracted to Krishna. This created contempt for their household chores. But they carefully hid these feelings even from their closest friends. As the gopis blossomed with youth, they looked incredibly beautiful and effulgent. Gradually, the gopis understood each other's pun'a-raga (love prior to meeting). Radhika's flourishing heart radiated most prominently. . To hide the intolerable rise of affection that they felt for Krishna, the gopis acted in various tricky ways. With their intelligence they reassured them¬selves of the reality of their deep attachment to Krishna.

Pushed by their disturbed minds, the gopis gave many valuable orna¬ments to each other in charity. The effulgence of this Jewelry rivaled that of royalty, and resembled the beautiful radiance of Krishna's transcenden¬tal body. Receiving these ornaments, the gopis felt blissful and manifested various symptoms of divine ecstasy such as crying, thrill-bumps, and stand¬ing up of bodily hairs. Kajaia highlighted their eyes and blue lotus flowers adorned their ears. The sweet fragrance of those flowers filled the earth with jubilation- Because those lotus earrings reminded them of Krishna's beautiful body, they enlivened the gopis and removed the pain in their hearts. The blue lotuses made a perfect match for the golden bodies of the gop'is.

While thus absorbed in thoughts of Krishna, the gopis chanted His sweet name. As the nectar of the name exhilarated [heir hearts, the gopis dis¬played various symptoms of ecstatic love. Waterfalls of tears washed away the kajala bordering their lotus-petal eyes. Their life airs seemed to pass out of their fragile bodies as they sighed deeply. Their heavy breathing and tear-filled eyes brought the gopis to a wonderful state of intensely desiring lo meet Krishna.

Overwhelmed with such feelings of love, one gopi joked with a girlfriend. "0 sakfiil Ah! My heart pains and is full of grief. I am completely contaminated by lust. Upon seeing the beautiful fonn of Syamasundara, my tears have moistened the pathway of my eyes."
Her girlfriend replied cleverly, "Though you are not wearing a blue sap¬phire, your body is showing the symptoms of divine ecstasy. You have not directly smelled that blue lotus, yet even smelling it from a distance has filled your nose with jubilation. Your eyes and other senses are also illu¬minated with ecstasy due to this absorption. Therefore I think you should have this ecstatic encounter again and again."
Due to the appearance of their unparalleled love for Krishna, the gopis talked madly with each other. One gopi said to herself, "0 sakhi[ Do not lament! This is the life of one who rejects the rules of morality. Only because of this are you full of remorse and lamentation. It is a well-known fact that you have a secret love for Krishna. Are you becoming adversely affected by the celestial power of all the gems you are wearing? Or are
you just going crazy?"
All the married gopis like Radhika and Candravali, and the unmarried gopis who had fallen in love with Krishna displayed these superexcellent emotional ornaments. They were curious to test each other's loving mood toward Krishna. The exquisite elegance and radiance of even the toenails of the gopis easily derided all the dazzling ornaments decorating the god¬dess of fortune. The beautiful raised hips of the gopis frustrated the pride of the celestial nymph Rambha, and crushed to dust the royal throne of Cupid, who now sits on their hips to rule his kingdom.
Their slender waists mocked the middle portion of Siva's damni (small x-shaped drum). The luscious beauty of their ful.1 breasts made pome¬granate fruits seem worthless. Indeed, upon seeing these wonderful fruits the pomegranate tree stops producing fruits. The rich red hue of their lips looked like the sky at sunrise or a blossoming bandhujiva flower- One easily abandons the association of his very self just by glancing at them. Their teeth beamed more brilliantly than shining pearls.
The arrow quiver of Cupid felt insulted upon seeing the charming open¬ings of their noses. Upon viewing the captivating sidelong glances of the gopis, Cupid hung his face in shame and forgot how to shoot his arrows-The attractive blue eyes of the gopis heavily rebuked the natural beauty of the blossoming blue lotuses swaying in the Yamuna. The incomparable beauty of the moon-like lotus faces of the gopis appears to have closed the petals of the lotus flowers and dried up the lake supporting them,
The most beautiful of the gopis acted as group leaders and accepted submissive service from their faithful gopi associates. The gopi group lead¬ers are eternally liberated companions of Shri Krishna, and famous for their expertise in relishing smgara-rasa. They always display favorable moods of love toward Krishna. The intensity of their love, however, is not a by-product of passionate youth as in ordinary humans. Although the gopis are eter¬nally the dearmost lovers of Krishna, according to human calculation it ap¬pears that the gopis begin to manifest intense loving emotions toward Krishna when they enter youth. Mundane scholars should not be surprised by the natural expression of the gopis' purva-raga for Krishna. The gopis did not taste this rasa upon attaining a particular age, but rather from birth they felt this inconceivably sweet form of love for Krishna.
Visakha, a group leader and dearmost friend of Shri Radha. exists as a sweet branch of an enchanting creeper of nectar. Once upon a time in a secluded place, Visakha composed an exceptional verse and spoke to her dear friend Radhika. "Hey Sumukhi! How has Your heart suddenly been so transformed? Your present state of mental agitation is greatly paining the minds of Your relatives. This mentality hes been steadily growing wiihin You from the day of its appearance. Even an intelligent person using his powers of argument and persuasion cannot understand Your mental state!
"Why are You no longer interested in Your studies? Previously, You took such care to train Your pet parrots, and You used to amuse Yourself watching the dancing peacocks. Why have You suddenly stopped playing Your vina and joking and laughing with Your dear friends? Has thai Vanamali Krishna stolen the precious Jewel of Your mind?
"Hey sakhi\ As a lake devoid of lotus flowers feels no pleasure, it is not surprising that You feel such anguish. There cannot be any happiness for the white lotus flowers until the life-giving sun rises. Besides seeing the monsoon cloud, nothing gives You joy. Your condition is just like the catafd bird who lives only by drinking rainwater falling in the sky, or like Rati-devi who accepts no other lover but the flower archer Kamadeva.
"Besides sitting on the lap of a rain cloud, can a lightning bolt ever cherish any other display of elegance? Does the wife of the cuckoo, ex¬cept in the month of caiira, ever become intensely eager or worried about separation from its lover? Can a royal swan appear beautiful if there is no water in the lake? Can a waxing moon grow during the dark fortnight? Without a gold-testing stone, how can pure gold reveal its own character? Only in the presence of spring (madhava—a month or Krishna) does the creeper (mddhavi— Radha) produce its sweet and fragrant flowers. White lilies blossom and give forth their honey only when the full moon appears overhead.
"Hey sakhi Radhe! Why are You concealing Your sentiments from me? Nothing can be hidden from a trained jeweler who can easily test the value and quality of a particular gem- In the same way, You cannot con¬ceal Your emotions from me, for Your love is well known and praised by all. Be merciful and quickly tell me everything about Your new found love."
After Visakha finished speaking, Lalita, who is an abode of all spiritual qualities adorned with Krishna prema, said, "Like the branch of a supremely gorgeous tree of love, Visakha has spoken quite befittingly. The splendor of night is appreciated during the presence of the moon. But who can cherish the beauty of the moon more than a cakori bird?"
Radhika responded, "Lalite! You have acted very boldly and coura¬geously by thinking about the possibility of an impossible attainment. When Visakha-sakhi attains the month of Madhava (Krishna), she doe1; not give up the nature of the star named Visakha, which enters the sky during the month of Madhava. Similarly, it is quite proper to declare that Visakha desires only to unite with Krishna. Therefore do not consider Me to be like You, although Visakha usually helps to enhance the beauty of Madhava (Krishna)."
Lalita replied, "Hey sakhi1. Whatever is destined will definitely happen. This is because the month of Visakha is also known as the month Radha. It is only Radhika who gives service during the month named Radha or Visakha. Since the words Radha and Visakha are both of the same cat¬egory, it can be said that the name of the star called Visakha is actually Radha. Who is the one who becomes beautified by that Radha star? In¬deed, it is Krishna who is adorned and served by that Radha."
Her face beaming with a sweet nectarean smile, Radhika said, "Hey Lalite! What kind of flower appears on a creeper in the sky? One may answer by saying that it is a sky flower of course. Similarly, since your question is also illusory, should I give an illusory answer? Certainly sakhi, you have conquered Laksmi by your words. Now do not perturb Me by speaking imaginary statements."
Then Syama-sakhi, whose body by nature is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, came before Radhika. Syama-sakhi had offered her heart to Radha and she came every day to serve Her. Seeing this softhearted, lotus-faced sakhi group leader rilled Radhika's own butter soft heart with joy and enchantment. All of Radha's girlfriends displayed cunning behav¬ior and expertise in a!l the sixty-four arts.
Shrimati Radhika, though displaying an air of gravity to hide Her inner emotions, greeted Syama-sakhi with a gentle, sweet smile and said. "0 lotus faced one! Your appearance before Me is like a cooling camphor lamp for My eyes. For you know what is in My mind and heart. So listen as I fill your ears with some pleasing words." Then Shri Radha told her what Laiila and Visakha had just spoken.
Syama-sakhi replied, "You arc the crest-jewel of ail the vraja-sundaris (beautiful women of Vmdavana). and the object of everyone's worship and adoration. Due to Your compassionate nature. You cannot tolerate the unhappiness of other sakhis. As the lotus has a natural attraction for the moon, You seem to have developed a spontaneous attraction to Krishnacandra, the moon of Gokula. The sweet fragrance of Your love spreads throughout Gokula."
Radhika, the leader of all the gopis, smiled and replied, "0 sakhi\ The
effulgence of your smile brightens your beautiful face. Actually sakhi, it seems you desire that man, and that you are projecting your feelings on others. In this regard, you have achieved excellence in all respects. After all, is there any woman who does not desire to reach out and touch the sun or the moon? What woman would not give the valuable jewel of her love to attain that supremely precious blue sapphire (Shri Krishna)? And what woman in the world does not wish to possess all the jewels in the ocean?"
Syama-sakhi said, "Why are You laughing and making fun of my words? You should be happy to hear my statements and accept them as mercy."
Radha replied, "0 Syame! 0 you with a belly shaped like the leaf of a peepul tree. You do not understand Syamasundara's words. Please do not joke with Me. The phrase tat purusa means that He is very difficult to attain. So why are you proposing such an impossible idea? Or you can take tat purusa to mean that Krishna exists in a supremely wonderful state. A person like Me, therefore, could never achieve such a rare fortune. So, how have you become so sure of My success? How could you even guess such a thing? This might happen to someone else, but it could never hap¬pen to one as unfortunate as I. Although you are as dear as My very self, You have not fulfilled by desire. Now You are just joking with Me and having fun.

Radharani continued, "0 Syame! Your speech is unreasonable. Every¬one in Gokula knows that Madhurika-sakhi is your devoted follower. When Madhurika said, 'This parrot belongs to my Devi,' Krishna took the phrase "my Devi" to mean you. Therefore what is the use of thinking anything else." Thus the dispute came to an end.

The Celebration of Krishna's Birthday

One year Nanda Maharaja organized a grand festival (nandotsava} to celebrate Krishna's auspicious birthday. Krishna sat upon a celestial golden throne and all the Vraja gopis came to worship Him. The loud pounding of the bheri drums, the "dhinia dhinta" sounds from the mrdangas and dundubhis, the bols from the madaias, and the skillful beats on the dolaks announced the auspicious festival of Krishna's birthday. The joyous vibra¬tion of the occasion was enhanced by the excited voices and jingling ankle-bells of the elderly gopis as they greeted the various guests.

The learned brahmanus bathed Krishna with thousands of streams of pure water poured from crystal pitchers while purifying the environment with perfectly enunciated mantras. This added waves of attraction to Krishna's already gorgeous body. They dried Krishna with a fine linen cloth, dressed Him in a yellow silk dhoti and caddar, decorated Him with glittering gems, and anointed His forehead with tilaka made of gorocana. After fixing His jeweled bracelets and armbands, they tied some durva grass around His wrist with turmeric soaked thread.
Following the local customs of such blissful festivals, the merciful Yasoda blessed Krishna by showering flowers upon His head. The elderly gopis sang traditional Vraja bhasa songs and waved lamps respectfully before the Lord. He, who is kind to His friends and the object of the gopis' love, sat quietly on His asana accepting arali. Then with great enthusiasm the Vrajavasis joyfully offered gifts to Krishna and gave Him a variety of creamy milk sweets.

To properly complete the festival, Yasoda had her servants invite the general public. Yasoda offered palatable food to the wives of the village leaders, the married women and the young girls of Vrndavana. Nanda Maharaja invited the cowherd men such as Sananda, Upananda, and their wives to take the sumptuous foods cooked by Rohini, the crest-jewel among women. When the cowherd men arrived Yasoda honored their youngest sons by worshiping them and offering pearl necklaces.

Though pained by separation from their husbands because they had to accompany their mothers-in-law to the festival, the newly married gopis put on omate and elegant ankle-length dresses. The lender faces of these newlyweds glowed splendidly under the fine fabric of their veils. Feeling intensely attracted to Krishna; the gopis disclosed their loving sentiments by offering Him their sidelong glances in charity. Their bangles fell silent as they embraced Krishna with their eyes. They felt as if they were behold¬ing a bouquet of beautiful flowers. No one noticed the auspicious meeting of Krishna and the gopis.

Though they had seen Krishna before, the young unmarried gopis like Dhanya-sakhi just stood with their mothers and gazed timidly upon Him as if it was the first time. While bathing in the lake of Krishna's exquisite beauty, the unmarried gopis expressed their desire to he His wives by offering Him mental flowers scented with camphor. They became shy, however, when Krishna accepted their proposal with a favorable glance. No could detect the infinite bliss the gopis now relished within their hearts.
At that time, Krishna's pet parrot left His side and landed on the lotus feet of a gopi whose heart throbbed with love. Hoping to develop a rela¬tionship with Krishna, that excited gopi respectfully welcomed the parrot.
Understanding the hint of the parrot, Krishna cast the fresh lotus garland of His glance toward Radha, the daughter of Vrsabhanu. Krishna's glance seemed to say. "0 parrot! I saw this gopi

Radha looking at Me from the
watchtower as I took the cows to the forest."
No one else saw this secret exchange of sweet love. Understanding that Radha's body had become slender due to Her pufva'raga, Krishna looked upon Her with great compassion. Then Yasoda, shining with all auspi¬cious qualities, smiled gently and look lotus-faced Radhika and the other gopts to another room to feed them.
After worshiping His best cows wilh scents and garlands. Vrajaraja Nanda escorted his guesf> to a wide jeweled veranda and sat them down on wooden seats. Then he bathed their feet, performed acamana, and of¬fered arghya. Nanda arranged for Rohini and the wives of Sananda and Upananda to respectfully serve them first-class food and drink on gold plates. At the conclusion of the meal. Nanda personally gave them betel nut, cardamom, scents, garlands, and ornaments. After the elderly men, children, and babies had eaten the feast, the married women and girls sat down in two rows to eat. Radhika and others received respect according to their position. Yasoda swam in an ocean of happiness as she personally served ihc gopis. In a voice that sounded as sweet as pattering raindrops of nectar, Yasoda spoke to each guest, "Please do not feei shy. Just eat to your heart's content."
Yasoda affectionately served everyone, and then honored them with offerings of betel nuts, garlands, ointments, sindura, and gold embroidered cloth. Finally, Yasoda, the crest jewel of good fortune, embraced each of the gopis before sending them home. Smiling broadly, Yasoda distributed the remnants of the feast to the sinless residents of the village- Nanda Maharaja presented gifts to the dancers and musicians while Yasoda blessed them with her upraised palm. Upon concluding the festival. Yasoda thought holding such a festival everyday would surely fulfill all her de¬sires. For a moment she felt a touch of sadness, fearing that she may not have fully satisfied ail the guests. (Translated by Bhanu Swami and Subhaga Swami and published by Mahanidhi Swami).