Monday, November 3, 2014

Rasikānanda's Bhāgavatāṣṭakam verse 3

Samādhi of Rasikānanda in Remuna
 
TEXT 3
  
mṛgyāṁ brahma-bhavādibhir vraja-vadhū-nāthāṅghri-kañja-dvayīṁ
svātantryāt praṇayoru-rajjubhir aho baddhvā balān nirbharam |
svacchandaṁ pibatas tad-āsava-rasaṁ prasyandamānaṁ mudā
vande bhāgavatān imān anulavaṁ mūrdhnā nipatya kṣitau || 3 ||

The lotus feet of the Lord of the damsels of Vraja are sought after even by great personalities like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others. What a wonder! Being free to do so, His devotees forcefully bind His feet very tightly with the strong ropes of love and gladly drink the honey that flows from them to their heart’s content. Bowing my head on the ground, I respectfully glorify these great devotees of the Lord at every moment.



Bhajanānanda-deva-gosvāmi-kṛta-ṭīkā:

punaḥ kīdṛśān ity apekṣāyāṁ viśinaṣṭi – mṛgyām iti | vraja-vadhvaḥ śrī-rāsotsava-gatās tāsāṁ nāthasya śrīmad-rāsa-vihāriṇaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇasya aṅghri-kañja-dvayīṁ caraṇāravinda-yugalam | kīdṛśīm | brahmā ca bhavaś ca, ādi-padena śrī-ramā-devī-prabhṛtayaḥ | keśa-śeṣādy-agamyety atra tad-bhāṣya-kṛd-vyākhyānāt | tair mṛgyām anveṣaṇīyāṁ na tu prāpyāṁ brahma-bhavayoḥ puruṣāṅgatvāt tad-aprāptiḥ | tathaiva ramā-devyāś coktaṁ śrīmad-uddhavena – nāyaṁ śriyo’ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucāṁ kuto’nyāḥ | rāsotsave’sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha- labdhāśiṣāṁ ya udgād vraja-sundarīṇām (śrīmad-bhāgavatam, 10.47.60) iti | svātantryāt tad-abhāvāt – ahaṁ bhakta-parādhīno hy asvatantra iva dvija (śrīmad-bhāgavatam, 9.4.63) iti durvāsasaṁ prati śrīmad-vaikuṇṭha-nātha-vacanād eṣāṁ svata eva svatantratvam | eṣāṁ madīyeti matvety arthaḥ | bandhanāny api bhavanti bahūni prema-rajju-vinibandhanam anyat | dāru-bheda-nipuṇo’pi ṣaḍ-aṅghrir niṣkriyo bhavati paṅkaja-baddhaḥ (Cāṇakya-nīti, 15.17)  ity-ukta-diśā praṇayaḥ premā sa eva uru-rajjava utkṛṣṭa-dāmāni tābhiḥ | praṇayaḥ premṇi viśvāse iti viśvaḥ | balāt tad vidhāya | lyab-lope pañcamī | nirbharam atidṛḍhaṁ yathā tathā baddhvā aho āścaryam etat | tasyā aṅghri-dvayyā yad āsavaṁ madhu tad eva raso dravatvāt | raso gandha-rase svāde tiktādau drava-rāgayor iti viśvaḥ | kīdṛśam | prasyandamānaṁ  prasravat kṣaritam ity arthaḥ | mudānandena svacchandaṁ nirbhayaṁ yathā tathā pibantīti pibantas tān | yady apy eṣām atisukumāra-śrī-bhagavac-caraṇāravinda-dvandva-bandhanādinātikrūratvaṁ tathāpi prema-paravaśatvād bhakta-parādhīnatvāc ca tad avigaṇayya śrī-bhagavatā nemaṁ viriñco na bhavo na śrīr apy aṅga-saṁśrayā | prasādaṁ lebhire gopī yat tat prāpa vimuktidāt (śrīmad-bhāgavatam, 10.9.20) ity-ādi-mātṛ-bandhana-rūpa-prasādato’pi mahad vailakṣaṇyaṁ kṛtaṁ yatas tasyās tasmāt kiñcit-prāpaṇābhāvād iti bhāvaḥ || 3 ||

Commentary by Bhajanānandadeva Gosvāmī

Once again, if someone asks what these devotees are like, the author here describes further. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of the damsels of Vraja (vraja-vadhū), who went to celebrate the rāsa-līlā with Him, and He is therefore known as the enjoyer of the rāsa-līlā. What are His lotus feet (aṅghri-kañja-dvayīm) like? They are sought after even by demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva (bhava). According to the Daśa-ślokī-bhāṣya [1]  of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī, by the word ādi Lakṣmī Devī and others are also included. His lotus feet are sought after by Brahmā and Śiva, but not attained. This is because they are partial expansions of the Lord, and therefore His feet are not attainable to them. Similarly, Uddhava speaks about Lakṣmī Devī in the following words:
nāyaṁ śriyo’ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ
svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucāṁ kuto’nyāḥ
rāsotsave’sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha-
labdhāśiṣāṁ ya udagād vraja-sundarīṇām

“While Lord Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the beautiful gopīs of Vraja in the rāsa-līlā, they fulfilled their wishes being embraced by His long arms. Such favor was never bestowed even upon Lakṣmī Devī or the beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower, and what to speak of other women?” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10.47.60)
Because of the independence (svātantryāt) of His devotees, the Lord loses His own. Devotees have their own independence, as the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha declared to Durvāsa muni:

ahaṁ bhakta-parādhīno hy asvatantra iva dvija

“O Brāhmaṇa, I am completely under the control of My devotees like a dependent person.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 9.4.63)

The meaning is that the Lord thinks: “Whatever is Mine belongs to them.” Love (praṇaya) is just like very strong ropes (uru-rajjubhiḥ). As it is said in the Cāṇakya Nīti, 15.17: 

bandhanāny api bhavanti bahūni prema-rajju-vinibandhanam anyat
dāru-bheda-nipuṇo’pi ṣaḍaṅghrir niṣkriyo bhavati paṅkaja-baddhaḥ

“There are many kinds of bondage in this world, but the bondage of the ropes of love is different. Although capable of piercing through wood, a bumblebee becomes confined within a lotus flower and takes no action.”

According to the Viśva-kośa, the word praṇaya is used in the sense of love and confidence. The word balāt is in the ablative case and implies an action forcefully done. How astonishing (aho) it is that they have bound (baddhvā) His lotus feet very tightly (nirbharam)! The honey (āsava) from His lotus feet is like a flowing juice. According to the Viśva-kośa, the word rasa is used for fragrances, juices, flavours, the six kinds of tastes, liquid substances and emotions. What is this honey like? It is flowing (prasyandamānam), which means, trickling. Devotees gladly (mudā) drink it at their own pleasure (svacchandam) and without any fear. Although there is great cruelty in doing things like binding the extremely delicate lotus feet of the Lord, still, being under the control of love and dependent on His devotees, the Supreme Lord does not take that into consideration, as stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10.9.20:

nemaṁ viriñco na bhavo na śrīr apy aṅga-saṁśrayā
prasādaṁ lebhire gopī yat tat prāpa vimuktidāt
 
“Neither Lord Brahmā, nor Lord Śiva, and not even Lakṣmī Devī, who is His better half, ever attained such mercy as received by Mother Yaśodā from Kṛṣṇa, the giver of liberation.”

The meaning is that Lord Kṛṣṇa did something even more extraordinary to the devotees mentioned here than the mercy of allowing Himself to be bound by His mother, for she did not get anything after binding Him.[2] 


Footnotes:

[1]  This is a commentary on ten verses attributed to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī called “Rādhā-Kṛṣṇāṣṭa-kāliya-līlā-smaraṇa-maṅgala-stotra,” which appear in Śrīla Kṛṣṇa-dāsa Kavirāja’s Govinda-līlāmṛta. The first verse is as follows: śrī-rādhā-prāṇa-bandhoś caraṇa-kamalayoḥ keśa-śeṣādy-agamyā, yā sādhyā prema-sevā vraja-carita-parair gāḍha-laulyaika-labhyā. “Confidential loving service to the lotus feet of the beloved friend and life of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī cannot be attained even by personalities such as Brahmā, Śiva, Śeṣa, etc. It can only be attained through intense eagerness by those engaged in meditating on His pastimes in Vraja.”
 

[2]  After binding baby Kṛṣṇa, Mother Yaśodā went to look after her domestic affairs, while the devotees praised here keep on drinking the honey from His lotus feet after binding them.
 

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