Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

From Shravan month, sukla tritiya “Hariyali Teej” until Shravan Purnima, all the Thakurjis in Vraj enjoy Their annual twelve-day blissful rainy season swing festival (jhulanotsava). Below are translations of popular Hindi and Bengali jhulan bhajans, you can meditate upon while chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra japa.

Radha-Krishna Jhulan Lila Meditation Japa Chanting Technique

** Copy and save this post on your mobile. Since all of Radha Govinda’s lilas are eternal, nitya-lila you can chant japa with these meditations anytime or the year. By doing lila japa you will feel very satisfied, spiritually refreshed and blissful in your heart.

This is the proper way to chant Hare Krishna nama japa; hear, chant and deeply remember the eternal asta-kaliya lilas of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vrndavana.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

1) Before japa, first slowly read one bhajan translation. While reading, try to visualize Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, the sakhis and manjaris, the forest scene, and all the props.

2) Slowly read again, increasing the visualization while trying to identify with the feelings and sevas of the sakhis and manjaris caring for Lila Yugal.

3) Close your eyes, try to recapture the scene, sevas and feelings being exchanged between the sakhis, manjaris, and Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugal.

4) Open your eyes, read the entire piece again out loud.

5) Close your eyes and begin chanting japa while trying to mentally see, feel, enter into, and serve everything you just read about.

Without a doubt, if you do this sincerely you will have an amazingly sublime and sweet experience during your jhulan lila japa meditations.

Jhulan Lila Japa Meditations

# 1 The sakhis gossip from house to house in Varsana: “Hey sakhi! Quickly, dress and let’s go meet gallant Shyamasundara.”

Lalita and Vishakha dress Radhika, and then everyone rushes to the Jhulan site. Radhika and the sakhis joke and laugh in great fun.

Upon meeting Shyam, they burst with joy. Radha’s loving eyes meet Shyams and Their minds spin with amorous desires.

Mohana dasa observes this lila in great happiness, as Rasik Yugal swing together being as the gopis push back and forth.

# 2 Shyam inebriates with the joy of jhulan swinging with golden Radha on His left, jhulato shyam, gauri bama—ananda range matiya). Exchanging mild smiles, Radha-Shyam arouse amorous mutually moods.

Radhika sweetly gestures to Her sakhis to push the swing. Swarms of bees hover around the fragrant flowers decorating the golden swing. Shyam looks like a rain cloud as the playful Rai embraces His left side like a brilliant lightning strike.

Dangling necklaces and moon lockets toss about as Radha-Shyam embrace. Mrdangas enchantingly pound, bi-dhi, bi-dhik, a-di-ya; tini-na, tini-na, and ta-ti-ya!

The indescribable atmosphere is saturated with the gopis’ high-pitched singing of jhulan bhajans.

Mixing sweetly with the jhunara (large karatals), their bangles, ankle bells and waist bells resound—jha-na, jha-na, jha-na, jha-ti-jha! Overcome with joy, Uddhava dasa takes shelter at the lotus feet of Radha-Mohana.

# 3 “Sakhi, look! As Yugala-kishora look like a blue sapphire set in gold as They swing.” Lalita and Vishakha happily push the swing while relishing the beauty of Their faces. Rai’s playful sakhis surround the flower decorated swing and dense rainclouds rumble overhead.

The sakhis drown in ecstasy as they swing the Divine Couple. Some sakhis clap their hands gleefully while telling lovely-faced Radha, “Tightly hold Your Pranavallabha so You don’t fall off the jhulan!”

As Radha-Shyama swing faster and faster, Their hair loosens and beads of perspiration, like drops of nectar, glide down their moon-like faces. To relieve Radha-Shyama’s fatigue, the sakhis wave chamaras.

The bees and cuckoos watch from the trees and sing out, “Jaya Jaya Radha-Krishna! Jaya Radha-Krishna!”

Padakarta Jagannatha dasa says, “O when will I behold Yugala-kishor’s beautiful jhulan-lila in the groves of Vrindavan?”

# 4 Sweet-faced Radha on His left, the topmost gallant lover floates in an ocean bliss while joyfully swinging on the elegant hindola. The amazing sight of their matchless beauty captivates the universe!

The irresistible enchantment of Radha’s beautiful face and enticing eye gestures induces Shyam to kiss Kishori again and again. Radha’s voice falters as Cupid’s spell seizes Shyama-Shyam!

# 5 The sakhis say, “O Vrishabhanunandini! Auspicious teej has come, so let’s go swing in the cool breeze of monsoon! Black clouds shower tiny rain drops and enthrall everyone with their romantic rumbling.

O Kishori! O Karunamayi Radhe, who takes away everyone’s misery! The beautiful swings on the kadamb trees anxiously await to serve Your exquisitely divine form.

O Vrajeshvari! Please accept our humble request. Wear a bright, colorful sari and come to the jhulan. A gentle smile adorns Your lovely, softly glowing beautiful face which shames the radiance of the moon.”

# 6 O Radhe, costly ornaments adorn Your splendid form, and kajal accents the elegance of Your lotus eyes. O Pyarijeu! Please come for jhulan and bless the anxious monsoon clouds.

O most wise and learned Vrishabhanu-dulari, please give up your angry disposition toward Shyam.

Your beloved Rasika Pritam eagerly waits for You. When Vilasini Radha arrives at the jhulan, Krishna folds His hands in surrender and says, “O Shyamajiu! I submit to Your lotus feet.”

# 7 O Bihariji! You forever relish swing pastimes in Vrindavan. Just see how the keli -kunjas of Vraja are covered with a blanket of green! Here stands Nandabihari and Bhanudulari. O how sweet the Divine Couple look in our eyes! Wearing dazzlingly artistic clothing, You both look so beautiful standing beside the Yamuna.

The kadamb trees blossom with an abundance of fragrant flowers. The shining black luster of Ghanashyam mixes with the resplendent golden hue of Radha like a lightning flash in a raincloud. This incredible sight our hearts with bliss. Shyam’s chakora eyes relish every drop of sweet nectar mercifully dripping from the rasa moon of Madhuri’s countenance. Excited sakhis serve Their every wish.

# 8 At midday, Sri Radha and the sakhis walk to the jhulan mandap. Beautiful blossoming kalpa vrksha trees stand on all sides. The fragrant creepers of madhavi and malati wrapped around the intertwining, densely foliated, bending branches of the trees to form a natural canopy overhead. The pleasure swings hanging from the trees have comfortable seats with soft cushions and pillows.

On the pretext of admiring the forest beauty, Sri Krishna slips away from the boys and cows. With His confidantes Subala and Madhumangala, Krishna quickly goes to meet Radhika and the sakhis. Some sakhis and manjari expertly play vinas, drums and other instruments. And other lovely damsels of Vraja sing and dance for the pleasure of Priya-Priyatam.

With their sweetest possible voices, the cuckoos and parrots join the concert, and the peacocks fan their tails while ecstatically shrieking “Ke Ka! Ke Ka!”

Bees buzz, deer frolic and the entire forest vibrates with festive bliss. Radha-Shyama and Their intimate sakhis sit together in the center of the spectacular thousand-petal lotus jhulan. Nearby on other swings, different yutheshvaris sit with their sakhis.

On her swing in the east is Candravali and her party; south, Bhadra and her sakhis; north, Shyamala and friends; and wes, Dhanya and company. Hovering in their transports, devas and devis happily observe the jhulan utsav from the sky.

Just to make it a super spectacle bliss festival, Vrinda-devi mixes in Holi too! She and her allies bring heaps of colored powders made of pulverized fragrant flowers; flowers bombs, and powerful one meter syringes to completely drench everyone in festive colors of joyful love.

“Preme Se! Preme Se!” Holi Hey! Holi Jhulan Utsava ki jai! Radha’s yutheshvaris team up to bombard Lila Yugal with clouds of color, and streams of rainbow-hued liquids shot from their gem-studded golden syringes (huge squirt guns).

Clever Lalita and Her sakhis form a human shield all around Yugal to protect Radha-Govinda from the attack. In seconds, the sakhis are simultaneously wet and dusted from the torrents of colored liquids, powders and flower bombs. The color monsoon turns the day into night.

After some time, the dense powder clouds settle, and the sakhis get off their individual swings to eagerly push Radha-Shyam’s jhulan. Due to the rapid swinging, Radha-Madhava’s malas start to oscillate. Nectar thirsty bumblebees try to land on these malas. But they end up just chasing the jhulan back in forth without getting any nectar.

Krishna then enjoys jhulan with different partners each taking turn. First Radha, then Lalita and all others. Descending from the swing, Radha seats a pair of sakhis on Shyam’s sides, and personally pushes the swing in great joy. Then Shyama gets off and pushes Priyaji and Her dearest gopis.

When Jhulan ends, the kinkaris relieve the Prem Yugal by fanning Them, daubing Them with sandalwood paste, and offering Them tasty sweet fruits and refreshing cool drinks. (Gutika, adapted)

Jhulan japa meditation ki jai! Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugal Jhulan Utsav ki jai!

JAI JAI SRI RADHE!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

To progress nicely in Radha-Krishna bhakti -bhajan, we offer the following ideas for your daily remembrance and practice, sadhana -abhyasa. For most Gaudiya Vaisnavas this is the essence of SAMBANDHA and PRAYOJANA i.e. the foundation and goal of Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajan.

Our Eternal Identity

** By nature every jivatma (you) is an eternal servant, part and parcel of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

** As Gaudiya Vaisnavas we are Radha-Govinda Yugala -upasakas, which means that here every day, and forever in Vraja Gokula, we will worship Radha and Krishna in the keli -kunjas, divine play groves of Sridhama Vrndavana in Goloka—the spiritual sky.

** My Sthayi-rati (permanent mood of loving attachment to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.)

Of the five Vraja rasas or ratis, we possess and serve Sri Krishna in the topmost form of madhurya-rati (divinely ecstatic amorous love), with the same parakiya bhava that Srimati Radharani and all Her confidential sakhis like Lalita, Visakha and Tulasi-manjari feel toward Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

** We are eternal loving maidservants (manjaris/dasis/kinkaris) of Srimati Radharani, following the moods and sevas of Her other manjaris like Sri Rupa and Tulasi manjaris.

** For Sri Radhika’s happiness, in our daily reading and meditation, we offer one specific seva (which we cherish most), and a variety of other tasteful services to please Swamini Radha throughout the day and night, asta-kaliya lila.

** Upon attaining Radha-Govinda prema, we will leave this maya jagat, samsara, once and for all, and go directly to Radha-Govinda Yugala’s pastimes in Bhauma Vrndavana.

** Then Srimati Herself and Her dearest companions like Visakha sakhi, Tulasi-manjari, Guru manjari and param-guru manjari will personally train us in perfect sevas, and all the nuances and advanced feelings beyond Krishna prema i.e sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and MAHABHAVA.

** Our hearts and bodies have now become perfect (siddha-deha/siddha-bhava)—complete and immaculate divine spiritual beings.

** Upon concluding Their prakata lila in Bhauma Vrndavana, Radha-Govinda Yugala, all Their eternal associates (nitya-siddhas), and all Their sadhana-siddha dasi manjaris (us) will go directly to Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual sky to eternally serve Radha-Krishna in the ever-fresh, beautiful and natural play land of loving happiness—Sridhama Vrndavana.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Sri Vraja Dhama ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The practice of receiving details about one’s eternal, spiritual body or siddha deha i.e. siddha pranali from the spiritual master began 500 years ago in the beginning of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya.

Sri Caitanya’s eternal associate Vakresvara Pandit gave siddha pranali to Gopala Guru Gosvami who in turn gave it to Dhyanacandra Goswami. (“Dhyanacandra Paddhati”) Sri Gopal Bhatta Gosvami gave siddha pranali to the famous padakarta, Srinivasa Acarya (“Prema Vilasa” chapter 6)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada also accepted siddha-pranali from his Guru. In his book, “Sankalpa Kalpadruma”, Cakravartipada mentions the siddha dehas of his Guru and the other members of his lineage as Tulasi-manjari, Ranga-manjari and Prema-manjari.

The three most prominent acarya Gurus in the parampara of IGM (Iskcon/Gaudiya Math)—Jagannatha das Babaji, Sri Gaura Kishora das Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and also Sri Vamsi das Babaji—ALL RECEIVED SIDDHA PRANALI from their Gurus.

In fact, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura fully endorsed the system of siddha pranali diksa. He gave it to his youngest son, Sri Lalita Prasada Thakura, who in turn gave it to several western disciples of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura clearly describes the practice of receiving siddha pranali diksa from Guru in three of his most famous books, “Harinama Cintamani”, “Jaiva Dharma, and Gitavali, which are very popular with members of IGM.

So how can anyone say receiving siddha pranali from one’s Guru is “bogus” “unauthorized” or “a practice of sahajiyas”?

The phrase siddha-pranali means “siddha” i.e. the spiritual body or siddha deha, and “pranali” means a lineage, channel or line. Siddha-pranali means the line or list of the Gurus in one’s lineage, along with their siddha dehas in Radha-Krishna’s eternal pastimes in Goloka Vrndavana, beginning with the patriarch or founder of one’s individual parivara, which means family or branch of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya like Nityananda Parivara, Advaita Parivara, Gadadhara Parivara, Lokanatha (Narottama), Syamananda etc.

For example, in Krishna lila, Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s eternal transcendental form is Srimati Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radharani. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Kamala Manjari. In a letter to a disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said his manjari siddha deha name in Krishna lila is Nayana-mani manjari.

In the siddha-pranali system, the Guru privately tells a qualified disciple the 11 aspects of his siddha deha known as ekadasa-bhava, which include the disciple’s eternal spiritual name in Krishna lila, age, dress, seva, kunja, mood, sakhi group leader like Laltia or Visakha, and so on. As learned from his own Guru, Sri Guru then teaches the disciple the same method to realize his/her eternal spiritual identity, siddha deha.

One’s pranali includes the siddha deha identities of each Guru in one’s individual parivara. The disciple then meditates on one’s own and their forms while mentally serving Radha-Krishna’s eternal asta-kaliya-lilas in Vraja Dhama.

In “Nectar of Devotion” (chapter 16), Srila Prabhupada says, “The so-called siddha-pranali process is followed by the prakrta sahajiya, a pseudo-sect of so-called Vaisnavas.”

However, if one examines all the evidence given above, one might wonder who are these “sahajiyas” that Srila Prabhupada is talking about? Surely, it can’t mean Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada or any of the famous Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas mentioned above. In fact, the following conversation downloaded from I-net seems to prove that Srila Prabhupada actually approved of the siddha-pranali system, wherein the Guru gives the siddha deha to a qualified disciple.

In 1974, Mayapur ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada had the following most revealing talk with Sri Hrishikesananda das, a scholarly disciple of his who studied Gaudiya Vaisnavism in Vrndavana in the 70s. Today, he lives in Thailand sincerely practicing Krishna consciousness, and lovingly caring for his devotee family.

Srila Prabhupada: What you have learned in Vrndavana?

Hrishikesananda das: Gurudeva, I learned about Krishna’s nitya Vraja lila, siddha-pranali, and asta-kaliya-lila smaranam. Is this alright, Gurudeva?

Srila Prabhupada: YES, but who is siddha?

HD: So, Srila Prabhupada, what about siddha-pranali? How to qualify? Who will give it?

Srila Prabhupada: GURU WILL GIVE [siddha-pranali]. You just chant Hare Krishna.

HD: So how will your disciples receive this eternal information, Gurudeva?

Srila Prabhupada: [repeats] GURU WILL GIVE! There is no material consideration about whether one’s Guru is here or there [in the spiritual sky]. When you reach that level, GURU WILL GIVE.

HD: Gurudeva, manasi-seva, mentally meditating on serving Krishna, is this also bhakti bhajan?

Srila Prabhupada: Krishna makes no distinction [whether you serve in your mind or with your body]. But if you serve Krishna by mind—He will accept. That is sure!

HD: Gurudev, whenever I mention anything about these things to my God brothers, they get angry and say that you never taught that!

Srila Prabhupada: [That’s ok] Everything is coming; they will also know it.

So this is the exact and clear truth about the siddha-pranali process along with supporting facts describing its origin, authenticity and acceptance by all the leading mahajanas of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya beginning with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s eternal associates, the six Gosvamis and contempory Gurus like Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada.

It is hoped that this knowledge will enlighten everyone regarding the truth about siddha-pranali. Henceforward, may no one malign those sincere devotees practicing this traditional method of sadhana bhajan.

It is certainly unbecoming, unfair, immature, and offensive to wrongly tag or label sincere devotees as “sahajiyas” or “bogus” for following a completely bonafide system of spiritual advancement within the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya.

Gaudiya Vaisnava harmony ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!