Beginnings of Love
By: mahanidhi Swami
Radha and Krishna are eternally connected in a loving bond of sweet intimacy. Yet to relish the rich flavor arising from the curious and tender moments of first falling in love, the Divine Couple appear to fall in love one day.
Our acharyas describe the beginning stage of love before meeting closely as purva-raga, which means prior attachment. In these initial days of Radha-Madhava’s relationship, mutual attraction, infatuation, desire and captivation flood Their minds and hearts.
Many exalted devotees have portrayed this stage of love in their writings. Because this stage of Radha Govinda Yugala’s immaculate love affair is so wonderfully attractive, sweet and endearing, we are including translations of some of their rasika bhajans for the purifying pleasure of one and all. By hearing and meditating upon them, we are sure that your hearts will melt into rivers of attraction rushing to the lotus feet of Radha Govinda Yugala to engage in their eternal prema seva!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Shyama Falls in Love with Radha
Once upon a time, Shyama met a sakhi and opened His restless heart to her.
Shyama said, “O sakhi! I just met a most extraordinary girl whose face resembles a mixture of Madana (Cupid) and the moon. And surrounding that face is a mass of rain clouds! That Sundari cast Her furtive eyes at Me, smirked and turned away. Since that moment, My heart started burning in the fire of desire. My mind has become most agitated and unsteady due to constantly meditating on Her while awake and while dreaming. You are a clever girl and a good person, so please help Me and show Me this sweet form once again.” (Padakarta Radha Vallabha)
One day Shyama described His amazing first meeting with Kishori.
Shyama said, “O, I have seen a wonderful golden girl who just pierced My heart. Lotus flowers blossom wherever She glances, and nectar flows whenever She smiles. And Her crooked glances release thousands of Cupid’s arrows! (Sri Vidyapati Thakura).
One day a sakhi messenger told Radhika how much Krishna is in love with Her.
Sakhi: “O Radhe! When Subala gives Govinda a garland of golden Champaka flowers, His mind wavers and tears of passionate love flow from Shyama’s eyes. O beautiful girl! Your form forever awakens intense love in Shyama’s heart.
“Vrishabhanunandini! Vrishabhanunandini! Vrishabhanunandini!” is the only word that Shyama says throughout the day and night! Although lacs of girls speak sweet words to Shyama, He does not hear them even in His dreams! In His ecstasy, Shyama can only pronounce RAA! Then tears stream from Shyama’s eyes and He rolls on the ground! O Radha, how can I describe Kanu’s distress? In His miserable state only Your mercy can destroy Shyama’s suffering! (Govinda Dasa)
By chance, Krishna once heard someone chant the most astonishing name of RADHA. A few moments later, Priyatama met a sakhi and disclosed His mind.
Murari said, “O priya-sakhi! Who just chanted Radha’s name? Upon hearing Radha’s name My heart moved in many ways. Gokula is filled with so many names, but none of them can agitate My heart like the name of Radha!
“There is so much sweetness in this name RADHA that it automatically fills My heart with nectar, and brings the beautiful form of Vrishabhanunandini into My mind! I feel I am swimming in an ocean of nectar! (Yadunandana)
Radhika Falls in Love
Ramani Radha is similarly stunned with ecstatic symptoms whenever She hears the name KRISHNA. One day in the stage of purva-raga, Radha became agitated and overwhelmed upon hearing Krishna’s name.
Revealing Her heart to a confidante, Radha said, “O sakhi! Who just sang the name Krishna, which has pierced My heart and disturbed My mind? There is so much honey in Krishna nama that My mouth cannot stop drinking it. Repeating the name “Krishna! Krishna! Krishna!” I become astounded so how can I ever forget it?
“Hey sakhi! If Krishna’s name has such power, then what will happen when I touch Krishna’s body? Wherever I am, My eyes see Shyama. In this condition, how can I possibly uphold the principles of dharma? Although I do try to cast Krishna out of My mind, it is to no avail! O sakhi, what shall I do now?” (Dvija Chandi das)
Once upon a time, Priyaji revealed Her heart to Paurnamasi, the elderly yogini who always helps Radha and Krishna meet.
Radha said, “Who is this playing His flute along the Yamuna’s bank? And who is that filling the meadows of Gokula with the melodies of His flute? My body and mind have gone mad in agitation by hearing this flute song! O Paurnamasi, I simply cannot stop the flow of tears from My eyes. And My mind is so overwhelmed that it has gone blank upon hearing that sweet flute of Nandanandana!”
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
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