Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi’s disappearance lila

30 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

As I mentioned in my previous post I had lost internet connectivity for nearly 24 hours so the date of this post is off by a day. Yesterday was the tirobhav of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi, a close disciple of Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev. She was an upasaka of sakhi-bhava and an intimate companion of Lalita Sakhi Dasi (Sakhi Ma). She attained siddhi at a very early age There is a chapter about her in carita-sudhA titled, “sakhi kizorI dAsIra bibaraNa” in the SaSTha khaNDa which gives a brief account of her life and I will reproduce it here for the pleasure of the Vaisnavas and in hope of receiving the kripa of Sri Kishori Sakhi Dasi.

One day, when Sri Radharaman Charan Das Dev was staying in the Agaraparha Garden in Calcutta he suddenly spit up some blood while washing his mouth in the morning. This made his companions anxious about his health. They said, “What could this be due to? Does it indicate some disease?” Baba Mahasaya replied, “This is due to some sorrowful happening in Puri.” Then he went and lay in his room and covered himself with a cadara from head to feet. After half an hour he uttered, “Kishori!” Then again he was quiet.

At about 10:30 AM he got up and said to someone, “I will go to Puri today, inform Pulin.” He had hardly said this when Pulin came with a telegram in his hand. He said, “What news Pulin?” Seeing that Pulin was hesitant in replying he said, “I know that on the day following Radhastami, Radharani accepted Kishori Dasi. She is blest. Arrange for my journey to Puri, I shall go today.”

The news spread in Agaraparha that Baba Mahasaya had suddenly decided to go to Puri. Many people came to inquire the reason for his sudden departure.

Baba Mahasaya replied, “Sometime ago a twenty year old boy named Advaita Das took mantra from me and went to Braja. After seeing all the holy places connected with the lila of Sri Krishna, he went to Barsana. There he lived with vairagya and swept the Sriji Mandir. He did not talk with anyone. In the evening he covered his head with his cadara and danced before the Sri Vigraha of Radharani. While dancing he often lost himself in bhava. The people of Barsana loved him very much because of  his bhava-bhakti.

“One day Radharani asked him in a dream to dance before Her in gopi-vesh. He ignored this as a mere dream. After three days Radharani again appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘You did not dance as I had asked. Tomorrow I shall send you the dress of a gopi. You wear the the dress and dance before Me. Remember that is your siddha-vesa.’

“The next  evening an old lady came with a sari and a blouse and said to him, ‘Baba, you dance before Radharani everyday. I like your dancing very much. I am giving you this sari and blouse so that you may wear them while dancing.’  He put on the sari and began to dance. Slowly he became so much attached to it that he could not give up wearing it. People began to call him Kishori Dasi. After one year he went to Puri and engaged himself in the service of Radhakanta Deva in Jhanjapita Math. Everyone was charmed by his bhava and loving service of the Thakurs. During the period of his service the Thakurs put on a new appearance. They looked so beautiful that sometimes I would wonder if They were the same Sri Vigrahas or not.”

“Radharani accepted him yesterday and engaged him in Her loving service in nitya-lila for all times. I am happy  because of this, but I am sorry to have been deprived of his company because the very sight of him inspired Krishna-lila in my heart.

What follows is Lalita Sakhi Dasi describing the passing of Kishori Dasi:

Kishori: “Believe me, I feel that by Radharani’s grace and your blessings I shall leave this body tomorrow between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.”

Lalita: “I burst into tears and said, “Kishori! Will you really leave us all and go?”

Kishori: “Ma! By your blessings it appears that it will be so. You decorate me and send me to Braja happily. I am sorry I have to leave your sweet company and to go without having the darshan of Baba Mahasaya.”

Lalita: “As she said this she threw her arms around my neck and began to cry like a child. After some time she contained herself and asked for some mahaprasada. Kusuma Dasi brought Radhakanta’s and Jagannath Deva’s mahaprasada. With her own hand she put a little of the mahaprasada in the mouth of each of us and then she took our remnants.”

“The next day early in the morning we assembled around her and started kirtana. At 8:30 I saw the she was slowly sinking. According to her desire I uttered her siddha name in her ear. As soon as she heard her name she became radiant and a smile came to her face. I placed a garland of Mukundavilasa around her neck. Others decorated her by putting a vermillion mark on her forehead and alta on her feet. We were singing, ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Rama.’ She started singing with us. Suddenly she shouted, ‘Radhe Pranesvari!’ and she became silent forever. Her face was still radiant with a smile and her eyes were wide open and fixed on some object. It appeared as if she was looking at something extremely astonishing and attractive when she took her last breath.”

As Lalita Sakhi Dasi concluded the story of Kishori Dasi’s entrance into the nitya-lila, she began to cry. Baba Mahasaya was moved to the core of his heart. He said with a voice choked with emotion and tears in his eyes, “Kishori Dasi has left an ideal for the upasakas of madhura-rasa.”





Jai Sri Radhey! ~ braja-rasa-anurAga-mArg

29 08 2009

Jai Sri Radhey!

Yesterday Radhastami was celebrated in Radha Kunda. I was unable to attend the festivities during the day, but at night I went for snana, parikrama of Sri Radha Kunda and also to take a few photos to post on this blog. The reason I didn’t post this timely is because my internet connection was down for 16 hours. The festivities were over by this time and the altars were all set back to normal. I took photos at many mandirs, but one of the problems I often face with taking pictures in the evening is the way the lighting is set up on the altars in Radha Kunda. Nearly always there seems to be a glaring light directly above and in front of the dieties, thus taking a clear and properly lit photo a near impossiblility. I had wanted to share several photos, but as things turned out hardly any photos came out clear enought to post. Tonight I will just post a photo of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari taken on the evening of Sri Radhastami, accompanied by a couple of  wonderful verses by Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati in his Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi. This grantha is astonishing beyond words and its seems to be the direct incarnation of Kripamayi Sri Radhey in book-form, just as the Srimad Bhagavat is considered to be non-different and also the book-form of  Braja Bihari Sri Krishna. Prabodhananda Saraswatipada seems to have been especially empowered by Mahaprabhu in his writing to show that the braja-rasa-anurAga-mArg is the highest form of worship. He glorified the sentiments of Braja-rasa as the purest and best method for attaining prema of Sri Sri Radhey Shyam.

~ Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari ~

~ Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ananga Manjari ~

kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-mandira-gato yogIndravad yat-pada-
jyotir-dhyAna-paraH sadA japati yAM premAzru-pUrNo hariH |
kenApy adbhutam ullasad-rati-rasAnandena sammohitaH
sA rAdheti sadA hRdi sphuratu me vidyA parA dvy-akSarA || RRSN 96||
Hari goes to the forest bower abode by the Yamuna’s banks,
and there, like a great yogi with eyes full of tears,
devotedly meditating on the light from her lotus feet,
enchanted by some amazing excited joy of erotic flavors,
he constantly chants that two-syllable mantra rA-dhA.
May those two syllables manifest always in my heart.

kAlindI-taTa-kuJja-mandira-gato yogIndravad yat-pada-
jyotir-dhyAna-paraH sadA japati yAM premAzru-pUrNo hariH |
kenApy adbhutam ullasad-rati-rasAnandena sammohitaH
sA rAdheti sadA hRdi sphuratu me vidyA parA dvy-akSarA || RRSN 96||

May the two supremely astonishing, blissful, rasik, erotic, and enchanting syllables “rA-dhA”, that fulfill all desires, that Sri Hari does japa of while sitting in a kunja on the bank of the Yamuna as the king of yogis, meditating on the effulgence of her lotus-feet with His eyes filled with tears of love, always be manifest in my heart.

devAnAm atha bhakta-mukta-suhRdAm atyanta-dUraM ca yat
premAnanda-rasaM mahA-sukha-karaM coccAritaM premataH |
premNAkarNayate japaty atha mudA gAyaty athAliSv ayaM
jalpaty azru-mukho haris tad amRtaM rAdheti me jIvanam || RRSN 97||

This name that is so far from the experience of the gods, from the  devotees of Vaikuntha, from the liberated souls and from Krishna’s friends. This name, which upon being chanted with love, confers the ultimate joy of tasting the bliss of prema. It is this name that Hari listens to lovingly, sometimes doing japa of and, sometimes joyfully singing aloud, and He also chatters her name incessantly among Radha’s sakhis, his face covered with tears. The nectar of Radha’s name is my life.





Happy Radhastami 2009

27 08 2009

Jai Jai Sri Radhey! Today is an ultra-auspicious day for all Caitanya Vaisnavas. It is the day celebrated as the birthday of Brindavaneshvari Sri Radhey and also Sri Bisakha Sakhi. I wasn’t sure what I should write. This day is overwhelmingly important and nothing will seem adequate as a proper glorification of our life and soul, our Svamini, Sri Radharani. A verse from Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Saraswatipada caught my attention and I will post that along with commentary from Madhusudan Das, Prabhupad Ananda Gopal Goswami, and Sri Ananta Das Pandit the Mahant of Sri Radhakund and attempt to glorify Her is this way. Surely by the grace of guru and Nitai we will one day attain the position of Her nitya-dasi serving Her and Shyam in the kunjas of Braja.

vaidagdhya sindhur anurAga rasaika sindhur
vAtsaly sindhur ati sAndra kRpaika sindhuH |
lAvaNya sindhur amRta cchabi rUpa sindhuH
zrI rAdhikA sphuratu me hRdi keli sindhuH ||RRSN 18 ||
The ocean of clever expertise
The ocean of singleminded extraordinary love
The ocean of motherly affection
The ocean of extremely condensed deep compassion
The ocean of graceful charms
The ocean of nectarean effulgence of sheer beauty
May the ocean of the the sportive amorous lilas of Sri Radhika manifest in my heart.
Sri Radha — The Seven Cosmic Oceans Personified
(1)Sri Radha is vaidagdhya sindhuH, an ocean of cleverness. This means rasa pANDitya, She is learned in the science of rasa. She even teaches rasika zekhara, the king of reliShers, Sri Krishna expertise in erotic rasa. Sri Krishna Himself admits in Caitanya Caritamrta: rAdhikAra prema – guru; Ami – ziSya naTa; sadA AmA nAna nRtye nAcAye udbhaTa “Radhika’s love is the teacher and I am the dancing pupil. She always causes Me to dance different wonderful dances!” She is the teacher of arts.
Sri Rupa Goswamipada writes in Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakaraNa 21):
AcArya dhAtu citre pacana viracanA cAturI cAru cittA
vAg yuddhe mugdhayanti gurum api ca girAM paNDitA malya gumphe
pAThe zArI-zukAnAM paTur ajutam api dyuti keliSu jiSNur
vidyA vidyoti buddhiH sphurati rati kalAzAlini rAdhikeyam
Kundalata told Gargi: “O Devi! What more can I say about the artful expertise of Sri Radhika? She is the teacher by example of making pictures of mineral pigments (Sri Visvanath Cakravartipada writes in his Ananda candrikA commentary on this verse: AcArya na tu kadAcid api kasyacic chiSya….evaM sarvatra jJeyam. “The word acarya here means that She did not learn this science from anyone, it was spontaneously manifest to Her.”) She is expert is cooking, She can even stifle Krishna in verbal battle. She is very learned in stringing flower garlands, She is expert in teaching the Suka and Sari parrots how to recite beautiful verses. She can defeat even the unconquerable Ajita in a game of dice, and She has a keen intelligence.” Because of Her cleverness She is compared here with the ocean of Sweet Water (the seventh of the cosmic oceans).
(2)Sri Radha is the only ocean of anurAga. anurAga means mahabhAva. anurAga is ever-fresh and ever-astonishing. Srimati thinks Krishna’s sweetness is ever fresh and She always has more taste for His sweetness, so She always reliShes it. With the statement that Radharani is the only ocean of anurAga rasa is meant that when anurAga increases, it becomes mahabhAva and that when, mahabhAva increases it is called mAdana mahabhAva. Sri Radharani is the only one who has this mAdana mahabhAva and She is the fountainhead of all mahabhAva, just as the ocean is the fountainhead of all the rivers and ponds. The other gopis are Her phalanx that help Her to complete Krsna’s relishing of prema rasa. Just as milk becomes thick kSIra when it is boiled down, anuraga turns into mahabhAva when it becomes ‘thick’ (intensified). Therefore the anurAga-ocean is compared to the ocean of milk (the sixth of the cosmic oceans).
(3)Sri Radha is the ocean of vAtsalya. vAtsalya means love for the poor and the fallen. Just as Sri Radha is an inexhaustible storehouse of erotic rasa, She is also a great ocean of vAtsalya-affection. The writers of the rasa zAstra say that the vAtsalya rasa is not compatible with the madhurya rasa, but Radharani makes them compatible in some situations. For instance, She gives the greatest bliss to rasika ziromaNi Sri Krishna and Her girlfriends and maidservants when She gives this ‘motherly’ affection to Krishna while He takes His meal. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her girlfriends is also most wonderful. She is always controlled by their affection. Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the following example in his Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakAraNa 34):
upadiza sakhi vRnde vallabendrasya sUnuM kim ayam iha sakhInAM mAm adhInAM dunoti
apasaratu sazaGkaM mandirAn mAninInAM kalayati lalitAyAH kiM na zauTIrya dhATIm
Sri Radha had a quarrel with Sri Krishna, but now She regrets it (kalahAnrarita bhAva). She is once more eager to meet Him, but in order to show that She is under the fll control of her girlfriends, She tells Vrinda: “O sakhi Vrnde! Tell this prince of Braja that I am controlled by my girlfriends! Why does He waste His words on Me? We are proud girls it is not proper for Him to stay in our abodes! Tell Him that He better fearfull flee! Doesn’t He know the prowess of my friend Lalita?” With these words sakhI vatsalA Sri Radha pleases Her girlfriends and gives a hidden instruction to Shyamasundar to come and meet Her at the same time. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her maidservants is incomparable! The maidservants are always showered by the waves from the ocean of Her motherly affection. She always keeps them by Her side, calling them, “My Rupa Manjari, My Rati Manjari, with strong feelings of mineness. Because there is a lot of the essential part of affection in the vAtsalya-ocean, just as yoghurt is the essence of milk, this ocean can be compared the ocean of yoghurt (the fifth of the cosmic oceans).
(4)Sri Radha is the ocean of deep compassion, always showering Her devotees with the nectar stream of Her mercy. Those who have been touched by the nectar of that compassion, can testify. Sri Raghunath Das Gosvami says: karuNA vidravad dehA – “Her body melts with compassion”. Normally, a person’s heart melts with compassion, but only in Radharani’s case Her whole body melts with compassion. She always bathes in streams of ambrosial compassion, and because Krishna accepted Her mood when He became Gaura Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu is so merciful! Mahaprabhu does not consider who is qualified or unqualified, who is from which caste or from which asrama. He gives prema without making such distinctions! That is ‘a body melting with compassion’! It is Radha’s storehouse of compassion, not Krishna’s! In Braja-lila the storehouse of Radha’s mercy remained hidden and closed, but when Mahaprabhu accepted the mood and complexion of Sri Radha, it became manifest to the world! Mahaprabhu showed the people of the world how the body can melt with compassion, because He assumed Sn Radha’s merciful mood. Because Radhika’s body melts with compassion, it can be compared to the ocean of clarified butter (the fourth of the cosmic oceans).
(5)Sri Radha is the ocean of lavaNnya. Sri Rupa Gosvami defines lAvaNya as follows in his Ujjvala Nilamani:
muktAphaleSu chAyAyAs taralatvam ivAntarA |
pratibhAti yad aGgeSu lAvaNyam tad ihocyate ||
“The luster that gushes out of each bodily limb like the luster shining out from inside pearls, is called lAvaNya.” Srimati is the ocean of lAvaNya, or elegance. The fishlike eyes of Sri Krishna, who is called lAvaNya sAra (the essence of lAvaNya, or elegance) in Srimad Bhagavat (10.44.14), never get tired of swimming in the ocean of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya. Indeed, His desire to swim in that ocean simply increases! Sripada Bilvamangala Thakura said in Krishna Karnamrtam (3): lAvAnyAmRta vIci lolita dRSaM – “Krishna’s eyes billow on the waves of nectarean lAvaNya.” Sri Krishna Das Kaviraja writes in his sAraGga RaGgadA commentary on this verse: zrI rAdhAyA evA lAvanyAmRta vIcibhir lolite satRSNIkRte dRzau yasya tam “Sri Krishna’s eyes have become very thirsty after the nectar waves of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya.” Because Krishna is intoxicated by seeing Radha’s lAvaNya and Her maidservants and girlfriends are intoxicated by seeing Krishna looking at Radhika like this. The practicing devotees should also forget everything related to this world or the next world and become intoxicated by worshiping the lotus feet of that Sri Radha! The ocean of lAvaNya is compared to the ocean of wine (the third of the cosmic oceans).
(6)Sri Radha is the ocean of amRta cchabi rUpa. She is the very form of glowing nectar and Her form is like a vast ocean. She is mahAbhAva personified and mahabhAva is compared to nectar. It is the deepest possible love for Krishna, and Radha’s form reveals this beauty and tastefulness to the utmost, therefore She is the amRtacchabi rUpa sindhu. Although Sri Krishna inundates the world with a mere drop of His beauty, even He rowns in the nectar ocean of Radha’s form! Krishna says in the Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.242-243:
koTi kAma jini rUpa yayapi AmAra, asamordhva mAdhurya sAmya nahi yAra
more rUpe apyAyita hoy tribhuvana, rAdhAra darzane AmAra juDAya nayana
<……………………………………………………………>
eimata jagatera sukhe Ami hetu, rAdhikAra rUpa guNa AmAra jivAtu
“Although My form defeats millions of Cupids, it is unrivalled in it’s sweetness and pleases all the three worlds, My eyes are still pleased by seeing Radha…In this way I am the cause of joy to the world, but Radhika’s form and attributes are My very life! Because the ocean of Sri Radha’s form is so sweet it is compared to the ocean of sugarcane juice (the second of the cosmic oceans).
(&)Sri Radha is the ocean of playfulness, which means She frolics with Her beloved Syamasundara. She keeps Syamasundara immersed in the waves of the ocean of Her pastimes when She meets Him. When the waves of mAdana rasa swell in the ocean of Sri Radha’s pastimes even Sri Krishna, the transcendental youthful Cupid of Brindavan does not dare to place His boat-like heart on its surface, just as a boatman fearfully keeps his boat on the bank of the Ganga when her huge waves meet the ocean. The very sight of this ocean destroys all sins, but a person who drinks it’s water will die. Similarly, when one faithfully chants and hears about the pastimes of Radha and Madhava one will become free from all sins and from the heart’s disease of lust, but when one tries to imitate these pastimes one will perish. This ocean of play is compared to the ocean of salt water (the first of the cosmic oceans).

vaidagdhya sindhur anurAga rasaika sindhur
vAtsalya sindhur ati sAndra kRpaika sindhuH |
lAvaNya sindhur amRta cchabi rUpa sindhuH
zrI rAdhikA sphuratu me hRdi keli sindhuH ||RRSN 18 ||

The ocean of clever expertise
The ocean of singleminded extraordinary love
The ocean of motherly affection
The ocean of extremely condensed deep compassion
The ocean of graceful charms
The ocean of nectarean effulgence of sheer beauty
May the ocean of the the sportive amorous lilas of Sri Radhika manifest in my heart.

Sri Radha — The Seven Cosmic Oceans Personified

(1) Sri Radha is vaidagdhya sindhuH, an ocean of cleverness. This means rasa pANDitya, She is learned in the science of rasa. She even teaches rasika zekhara, the king of relishers, Sri Krishna expertise in erotic rasa. Sri Krishna Himself admits in Caitanya Caritamrta: rAdhikAra prema – guru; Ami – ziSya naTa; sadA AmA nAna nRtye nAcAye udbhaTa “Radhika’s love is the teacher and I am the dancing pupil. She always causes Me to dance different wonderful dances!” She is the teacher of arts. Sri Rupa Goswamipada writes in Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakaraNa 21):

AcArya dhAtu citre pacana viracanA cAturI cAru cittA
vAg yuddhe mugdhayanti gurum api ca girAM paNDitA malya gumphe |
pAThe zArI-zukAnAM paTur ajutam api dyuti keliSu jiSNur
vidyA vidyoti buddhiH sphurati rati kalAzAlini rAdhikeyam ||

Kundalata told Gargi: “O Devi! What more can I say about the artful expertise of Sri Radhika? She is the teacher by example of making pictures of mineral pigments (Sri Visvanath Cakravartipada writes in his Ananda candrikA commentary on this verse: AcArya na tu kadAcid api kasyacic chiSya….evaM sarvatra jJeyam. “The word acarya here means that She did not learn this science from anyone, it was spontaneously manifest to Her.”) She is expert is cooking, She can even stifle Krishna in verbal battle. She is very learned in stringing flower garlands, She is expert in teaching the Suka and Sari parrots how to recite beautiful verses. She can defeat even the unconquerable Ajita in a game of dice, and She has a keen intelligence.” Because of Her cleverness She is compared here with the ocean of Sweet Water (the seventh of the cosmic oceans).

(2) Sri Radha is the only ocean of anurAga. anurAga means mahabhAva. anurAga is ever-fresh and ever-astonishing. Srimati thinks Krishna’s sweetness is ever fresh and She always has more taste for His sweetness, so She always relishes it. With the statement that Radharani is the only ocean of anurAga rasa is meant that when anurAga increases, it becomes mahabhAva and that when, mahabhAva increases it is called mAdana mahAbhAva. Sri Radharani is the only one who has this mAdana mahAbhAva and She is the fountainhead of all mahAbhAva, just as the ocean is the fountainhead of all the rivers and ponds. The other gopis are Her phalanx that help Her to complete Krsna’s relishing of prema rasa. Just as milk becomes thick kSIra when it is boiled down, anuraga turns into mahAbhAva when it becomes ‘thick’ (intensified). Therefore the anurAga-ocean is compared to the ocean of milk (the sixth of the cosmic oceans).

(3) Sri Radha is the ocean of vAtsalya. vAtsalya means love for the poor and the fallen. Just as Sri Radha is an inexhaustible storehouse of erotic rasa, She is also a great ocean of vAtsalya-affection. The writers of the rasa zAstra say that the vAtsalya rasa is not compatible with the madhurya rasa, but Radharani makes them compatible in some situations. For instance, She gives the greatest bliss to rasika ziromaNi Sri Krishna and Her girlfriends and maidservants when She gives this ‘motherly’ affection to Krishna while He takes His meal. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her girlfriends is also most wonderful. She is always controlled by their affection. Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the following example in his Ujjvala Nilamani (rAdhA prakAraNa 34):

upadiza sakhi vRnde vallabendrasya sUnuM kim ayam iha sakhInAM mAm adhInAM dunoti
apasaratu sazaGkaM mandirAn mAninInAM kalayati lalitAyAH kiM na zauTIrya dhATIm

Sri Radha had a quarrel with Sri Krishna, but now She regrets it (kalahAntarita bhAva). She is once more eager to meet Him, but in order to show that She is under the full control of her girlfriends, She tells Vrinda: “O sakhi Vrnde! Tell this prince of Braja that I am controlled by my girlfriends! Why does He waste His words on Me? We are proud girls it is not proper for Him to stay in our abodes! Tell Him that He better fearfully flee! Doesn’t He know the prowess of my friend Lalita?” With these words sakhI vatsalA Sri Radha pleases Her girlfriends and gives a hidden instruction to Shyamasundar to come and meet Her at the same time. Sri Radha’s vAtsalya towards Her maidservants is incomparable! The maidservants are always showered by the waves from the ocean of Her motherly affection. She always keeps them by Her side, calling them, “My Rupa Manjari, My Rati Manjari, with strong feelings of mineness. Because there is a lot of the essential part of affection in the vAtsalya-ocean, just as yoghurt is the essence of milk, this ocean can be compared the ocean of yoghurt (the fifth of the cosmic oceans).

(4) Sri Radha is the ocean of deep compassion, always showering Her devotees with the nectar stream of Her mercy. Those who have been touched by the nectar of that compassion, can testify. Sri Raghunath Das Gosvami says: karuNA vidravad dehA – “Her body melts with compassion”. Normally, a person’s heart melts with compassion, but only in Radharani’s case Her whole body melts with compassion. She always bathes in streams of ambrosial compassion, and because Krishna accepted Her mood when He became Gaura Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu is so merciful! Mahaprabhu does not consider who is qualified or unqualified, who is from which caste or from which asrama. He gives prema without making such distinctions! That is ‘a body melting with compassion! It is Radha’s storehouse of compassion, not Krishna’s! In Braja-lila the storehouse of Radha’s mercy remained hidden and closed, but when Mahaprabhu accepted the mood and complexion of Sri Radha, it became manifest to the world! Mahaprabhu showed the people of the world how the body can melt with compassion, because He assumed Sn Radha’s merciful mood. Because Radhika’s body melts with compassion, it can be compared to the ocean of clarified butter (the fourth of the cosmic oceans).

(5) Sri Radha is the ocean of lAvaNya. Sri Rupa Gosvami defines lAvaNya as follows in his Ujjvala Nilamani:

muktAphaleSu chAyAyAs taralatvam ivAntarA |
pratibhAti yad aGgeSu lAvaNyam tad ihocyate ||

“The luster that gushes out of each bodily limb like the luster shining out from inside pearls, is called lAvaNya.” Srimati is the ocean of lAvaNya, or elegance. The fishlike eyes of Sri Krishna, who is called lAvaNya sAra (the essence of lAvaNya, or elegance) in Srimad Bhagavat (10.44.14), never gets tired of swimming in the ocean of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya. Indeed, His desire to swim in that ocean simply increases! Sripada Bilvamangala Thakura said in Krishna Karnamrtam (3):  lAvAnyAmRta vIci lolita dRSaM – “Krishna’s eyes billow on the waves of nectarean lAvaNya.” Sri Krishna Das Kaviraja writes in his sAraGga RaGgadA commentary on this verse: zrI rAdhAyA evA lAvanyAmRta vIcibhir lolite satRSNIkRte dRzau yasya tam “Sri Krishna’s eyes have become very thirsty after the nectar waves of Sri Radha’s lAvaNya.” Because Krishna is intoxicated by seeing Radha’s lAvaNya and Her maidservants and girlfriends are intoxicated by seeing Krishna looking at Radhika like this. The practicing devotees should also forget everything related to this world or the next world and become intoxicated by worshiping the lotus feet of that Sri Radha! The ocean of lAvaNya is compared to the ocean of wine (the third of the cosmic oceans).

(6) Sri Radha is the ocean of amRta cchabi rUpa. She is the very form of glowing nectar and Her form is like a vast ocean. She is mahAbhAva personified and mahAbhAva is compared to nectar. It is the deepest possible love for Krishna, and Radha’s form reveals this beauty and tastefulness to the utmost, therefore She is the amRtacchabi rUpa sindhu. Although Sri Krishna inundates the world with a mere drop of His beauty, even He drowns in the nectar ocean of Radha’s form! Krishna says in the Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.242-243:

koTi kAma jini rUpa yayapi AmAra, asamordhva mAdhurya sAmya nahi yAra more rUpe apyAyita hoy tribhuvana, rAdhAra darzane AmAra juDAya nayana
<……………………………………………………………>
eimata jagatera sukhe Ami hetu, rAdhikAra rUpa guNa AmAra jivAtu

“Although My form defeats millions of Cupids, it is unrivalled in it’s sweetness and pleases all the three worlds, My eyes are still pleased by seeing Radha…In this way I am the cause of joy to the world, but Radhika’s form and attributes are My very life! Because the ocean of Sri Radha’s form is so sweet it is compared to the ocean of sugarcane juice (the second of the cosmic oceans).

(7) Sri Radha is the ocean of playfulness, which means She frolics with Her beloved Syamasundara. She keeps Syamasundara immersed in the waves of the ocean of Her pastimes when She meets Him. When the waves of mAdana rasa swell in the ocean of Sri Radha’s pastimes even Sri Krishna, the transcendental youthful Cupid of Brindavan does not dare to place His boat-like heart on its surface, just as a boatman fearfully keeps his boat on the bank of the Ganga when her huge waves meet the ocean. The very sight of this ocean destroys all sins, but a person who drinks it’s water will die. Similarly, when one faithfully chants and hears about the pastimes of Radha and Madhava one will become free from all sins and from the heart’s disease of lust, but when one tries to imitate these pastimes one will perish. This ocean of play is compared to the ocean of salt water (the first of the cosmic oceans).





Disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji

23 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Today is the day of the disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji. He is one of the 12 great Mahatmas that are connected with our param-gurudeva Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj. In any festival connected to Ramdas Babaji these 12 Mahatmas are served along with him.

Ramhari Das Babaji took birth in 1847 in Sripat Shantipur. Even as a child he exhibited strong spiritual tendencies and renunciation. As so often happens in these situations his parents thought to marry him to take his mind from his spiritual practices. But he just took complete shelter of Sri Nam and left home and went to Nabadwip hoping to get the kripa of the Vaisnavas there.

By good fortune he met Siddha Jagannath Das Babaji and took his shelter and guidance. Jagannath Das Babaji could understand that he was very serious and determined in his sadhana and arranged for him to receive diksha from Sri Radhikavilasa Thakura of Sri Khanda who was then staying in the kutir with Jagannath Baba.. Then Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj himself gave him veshashraya and named him Ramhari Das. Since his home and family were not far away his family members continued to give Ramhari trouble so he decided to go to Braja to do his bhajan. He stayed at Kesi Ghat, Radhakund, and Lala Babu’s kunja in Vamsivat for 12 years

He was a very loving and affection soul and treated all equally. He was especially fond of Gaura kirtan and instructed his sisyas to read Locana Das’s Dhamali as part of their daily sadhana. He was so attracted to Gaura Nam that if anyone said the name of Gaura he would embrace them with love. His favorite Vaisnavas to associate with were the sisyas of Jagannath Das Babaji and he also loved to do kirtan with our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji which they did regularly.

It is so sweet to mention that when anyone would come to visit him from Nabadvip he would immediately welcome him with a garland of  fresh flowers and some cooling sandalwood paste.  He would then take that person on his lap and ask some philosophical questions about Gaurahari. If he didn’t get answers that pleased him he would ask the person to quickly go back to Nabadwip and have darshan of Nitai and Gaura and to get the association of the Gaura bhaktas there.

Rajarshi Banamali Bahadur, a close associate of Madhava Das Babaji came to stay at Lala Babu’s kutir. One day after honoring the prasad of Sri Radhavinod he became so overwhelmed in rapture that he began to dance and yell out, “Gaura, Gaura!” Sri Bijoy Krsna Gosvami’s disciple, Sri Brajabala Mahasaya, Sri Giridhari Das Babaji, Sri Madhava Das Babaji and many others came to join in the kirtana and they all danced in complete ecstacy!

On one day in 1907 at around noontime. he told his disciples, “Sri Gaurhari and His companions are performing kirtana and are dancing in ecstasy in Srivas Angan. I have to go there immediately.  Please bathe me and decorate me with tilak.”  After his sisyas carried out his orders, he sat in meditation with his eyes closed and entered nitya-lila.






The Initiation of Sri Rajani Das

18 08 2009
Sripad Radhacharan Das Babaji Maharaj (Rajani Das)

Sripad Radhacharan Das Babaji Maharaj (Rajani Das)

A desire grew within the heart of Rajani Das to find a Mahapurush and get diksha from him. He felt that he was simply wasting time and his sadhana will not bear fruit unless he can receive the shelter of a sadguru. Rajani Das met Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj in Nabadwip and believed that he was the Mahapurush that he was looking for. Rajani Das stayed for two days in Samaj Bari with Babaji Maharaj and fell under his spell, so to speak as he felt completely enchanted by him. He felt like a doll that would dance to whatever tune Babaji Maharaj played.

He wanted the association of Babaji Maharaj birth after birth, and so he pulled him aside and asked if he could speak to him privately. He humbly asked Babaji Maharaj, “Please don’t keep me at a distance—don’t keep so far from you, bring me close to you.”

Kripamoy Babaji Maharaj mildly smiled understanding the mind of Rajani Das, and what he was trying to say in this simple way. Babaji Maharaj replied, “In that place where you will be spending  your entire life there is a birthday coming soon. I will give you diksha on that day.”  Rajani Das said, “Prabhu, you are still keeping some distance between us. I don’t understand what you are telling me, please don’t speak so ambiguously.”

Babaji Maharaj then said, “You are the Nitya-Dasi of Sri Brindavanesvari Vrishabhanu Raja-nandini  Srimati Radharani.  I was speaking of Her birthday. I will give you diksha on Radhashtami which is tomorrow. In the morning take your bath in the Suradhuni Ganga, put on fresh cloth and meet me in Sri Sri Radharaman’s Samadhi Griha.”

Rajani Das was overjoyed! He spent the entire night tossing and turning, unable to sleep thinking about his good fortune and the special day just ahead of him. In the morning he went to the Suradhuni at Sribas Angan ghat for his bath. He was thinking how Mahaprabhu placed His lotus-feet in these very same waters and how fortunate he was to be taking bath there now. After bathing he quickly returned to Samaj Bari where he changed his cloth and went to the Samadhi of Sri Radharaman Charan Dev.

When he arrived at the Samadhi Griha he saw that others were there waiting to be initiated.  Babaji Maharaj saw him and motioned that he come inside. Babaji Maharaj had him sit face to face with him and asked him to hold out his hands. Babaji Maharaj then held the hands of Rajani Das  for some moments and then breathed the diksha mantras in his ears including “Nitai Gaura Radhey Shyam Hare Krishna Hare Rama.”

Rajani Das describes his experience: “When he held my hands I could feel a tremendous spiritual energy flowing from him to me. So much shakti! My hairs were standing on end. I felt like my body was a ship previously being tossed about by violent waves, but that now has been taken to safe waters and anchored securely. I thought of these verses.

brahmANDa bhramite kona bhAgyavAn jIva |
guru-kRSNa-prasAde pAya bhakti-latA-bIja ||

Wandering througout the universe a greatly fortunate jiva, by the mercy of guru and Krishna receives the seed of the creeper of divine love.

saMsAra bhramite kona bhAgye keha tare |
nadIra pravAhe yena kASTha lAge tIre ||

The jivas are wandering throughout the universe. By good fortune a soul may get deliverance from samsara, just like a big log floating down a river may get stuck on one of its banks.

During the process of receiving the mantras I felt a super-consciousness. I could barely function and even needed help leaving the room. In my heart there was such incredible spiritual enjoyment…like the sound of a hundred vinas playing the most beautiful melodies and the enjoyment in my heart came to my eyes as a steady stream of tears. I was in such disbelief! Gurudeva! What did you give to me? I knew I was coming to receive diksha and you know what it it like when you go to get something—it is never quite what you had hoped for. In this case I couldn’t believe what I got! Gurudeva! What did you give to me? I can’t believe what I just received! I am in an ocean of nectar, nectar, nectar and nothing else! I could realize at that time what a mad man I previously was. Mad with my dry knowledge and proud too! But today by your kripa Gurudeva you have fully captured me heart and soul. And where did you take me? You took me to huge lake filled with love. You took me to the sarovar of prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam.





Ma Chandi of Cuttack

17 08 2009

Jai Ma!

In 2007 I was in Cuttack to visit Sripad Baya Baba’s ashram and Ras Bihari Math and we also took darshan of the famous Ma Chandi of Cuttack. Photos are not allowed, but the pujaris have a friendly relationship with the sadhus of our lineage so they permitted me to quickly take a photo.

Ma Chandi of Cuttack

Ma Chandi of Cuttack

There is a story about Ma Chandi and her appearance there.  The land where the Mandir is now located used to be a field in which Sri Hansa Panda, the priest of the King of Kanika, would let his cows graze. One day Hansa Panda was feeling sleepy so he layed down on a small hill to take a little rest and he experienced a stange sensation while lying there. That night Ma Chandi appeared to him in a dream and she asked to be dug out of the ground.  Hansa Panda told the King the whole story and with the King’s help the digging began the next day. It is said that 40 bullock carts of sindoor were removed from the hole before the deity of Ma Chandi was finally revealed. A temple was built on the same location and Sri Hansa Panda began her worship with great care and love.

She has four arms and she carries a pAza (noose), and an aGkuza (iron goad with a hook) in two hands and the other two hands are in the posture of the mudras, bara (awarding a boon), and abhaya (protecting from harm). Etymologically the word “Chandi” means fierce or violent and forcefully so. She is a loving Mother, but a wild killer. Her loving motherly side makes her intolerant of those who are hostile to her human and divine children. With all her strength she destroys the demon of darkness that impedes the evolution of her creation and the revelation of Divine Light.  Jai Ma!





Disappearance day of Pandit Srimad Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

16 08 2009
Sri Sri 108 Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

Sri Sri 108 Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj

Today is the tirobhav of  Sri Sri 108 Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji Maharaj Pancha Tirtha.

He took birth in Orissa and in his early life he received diksha from Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj and was instructed by him to serve at Sri Path Bari Ashram in Baranagar.  After some time he went to Brindavan to study the Bhagavata and other Vaisnava sastras under the guidance of Sri Radhacharan Das Babaji (Rajani Baba). When his studies were complete he moved back to Path Bari Ashram. Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj started the publication of a monthly Vaisnava magazine titled, Sri Sri Nitaisundar and  Vaisnavacharan Jetha was a major contributor to the magazine. He was a highly learned Sanskrit scholar and received the title Pancha Tirtha for his erudition.  He was famous for his Bhagavat katha and was deeply loved by thousands of friends, admirers, and disciples. He entered nitya-lila in 1987 at Sri Path Bari Ashram.

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji

Pandit Vaisnavacharan Das Babaji








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