Posts

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Since many devotees enjoy dancing (nrtya-seva) to please Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, we thought to share some treasures from Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu chapter describing bhava bhakti and attaining it by practicing raganuga bhakti.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada says that bhava bhakti appearing from sadhan-abhinivesh, which means intense practice of raganuga sadhana, is illustrated in the Padma Purana:

ittham -manoratham –bala -kurvati -nrtya -utsuka
hari-pritya- ca –tam- sarvam- ratrim –evat yavahayat

Translation:

“A young girl named Chintamaini, having great joy in her heart and being very enthusiastic to dance (nrtya utsuka), spent the whole night dancing in order to please Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

Second translation by Sri Pandit Baba:

“Thus determined in her mind that Damsel Chandrakanti being eager to dance with Krishna spent the whole night in dancing before a murti of Sri Hari for His pleasure.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

The word manoratham (with joy in the heart) indicates raganuga sadhana. By the influence of the murti of Sri Krishna, Chintamani developed raga similar to that of Krishna’s dear associates like Radharani.

While dancing the night away, Chintamani was thinking:

bahvishv- anyasu -narishu -mayy -evadhika-pritiman
nrtyaty -asau -maya -sardham kanthashleshadi-bhava-krt

Translation: Chintamani thought, “Among many women [gopis], Sri Krishna has the greatest affection for me. Krishna is dancing the Ras with me while embracing my neck.” (Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.14)

Radha decided to make that girl Chintamani Her sakhi when the girl reached the final stage [of prem]. By Her own mercy, Radha considered that the girl, having achieved all perfection by that sadhana [of enthusiastic dancing], was non-different from Herself.

For this reason, the Padma Purana says that the young girl Chintamani thought herself as the only lover of Krishna by identifying herself as Radha.

Sri Pandit Baba translation of Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika on this verse of Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.14:

“Sri Jiva Gosvami comments in this shloka that in the instance of Chandrakanti, the very fact of her mental determination for dancing before Krishna for His pleasures is itself raganuga bhakti.

Because at that time, the form of Krishna before her mind aroused in her heart the longing for the way of the eternal damsels of Braja, who were engaged in the Dance-sport with Sri Krishna. Thus she attained similar feelings in her mind.

Chandrakanti herself said: ‘Beloved Krishna is more attached for me than any other damsels, because Krishna is expressing His fondness for me and is dancing with me by embracing my neck!’

“Sri Radha Herself was graciously pleased with Sri Chandrakanti both during Her stages of spiritual practices as well as in Her state of final attainment of Sri Krishna.

“Thus Sri Radha accepted Damsel Chandrakanti as Her own friend Sakhi and made all Chandrakanti’s feelings towards Krishna identical with Her own feelings or Bhava toward Krishna. It is for this reason that in some places of the scriptures Chandrakanti has been identified with Sri Radha.”

We hope this inspires all devotees to keep on dancing before Radha and Krishna while blissfully chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama
Rama Hare Hare!!!

Nrtya seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

This post will quote Mahaprabhu and Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas to illuminate some essential facts regarding the extraordinary transcendental identity and phenomenal transformational quality of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s eternally whirling dance of universal bliss called “Rasa Lila”.

I.Unique Position of Rasa Lila

Sri Rupa Goswamipada says that of all Krishna’s lilas, the Rasa Lila is most unique and special.

“In the Bṛhad-vāmana Purāṇa, Sri Krishna says, ‘Although I have many fascinating pastimes, whenever I think of the Rasa Lila, which I perform with the gopīs, I become eager to have it again.’’’(Nectar of Devotion chapter 22; Krishna’s 61st quality)

Srila Prabhupada:

Krishna’s Rasa Lila dance is never to be considered like the mundane relationship of man and woman. It is the highest perfectional stage of the exchange of feelings between Krishna and the living entities. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.25 p.)

The living spirit is eternal, Krishna is eternal, and their exchange of loving feelings is also eternal. One who is intelligent should refrain from sensual enjoyment which is flickering, and seek enjoyment in spiritual life. That is called Rasa Lila. (BBT Folio: 660909BG.NY)

Krishna likes every part and parcel of His different potencies [i.e. jiva-sakti, we living entities] to take part in His eternal Rasa Lila, which is the highest living condition, perfect in spiritual bliss and eternal knowledge. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.24 p.)

II. Supremacy of Srimati Radharani in Rasa Lila

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta:

Raya Ramananda tells Mahaprabhu how Sri Radha once left the Rasa Lila, because She felt Her preeminence reduced in the presence of lacs of gopis.

Raya Ramananda said, “O Mahaprabhu, You should know that Radhika alone is the binding link in Krishna’s desire for Rasa Lila, rasa lila-vāsanāte rādhikā śṛṅkhalā. Without Radha, Krishna felt no bliss so He left the rasa mandala to search for Radha.

“Krishna wandered here and there but not finding Radha, He became distressed by Cupid’s arrows and lamented. Can You imagine the astonishing quality of Sri Radhika that Krishna left lacs of gopis to search for just one?” (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta 2.8.113-116)

Srila Prabhupada:

The next beautiful quote paints a wonderful meditative picture about Radha’s special position. “Srimati Radharani is the central petal of the Rasa Lila flower.”(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.81 p.)

III. WHY Krishna Enacts Rasa Lila?

Srila Prabhupada: “Krishna displays the Rasa Lila to induce all the fallen souls to give up their diseased morality and religiosity, and to attract them to the kingdom of God to enjoy the reality. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta 1.4.30 p.)

IV.Benefits of Rasa Lila

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

Here Mahaprabhu proclaims the most incredible and cherished fruit that one can attain by the mercy of Radha-Krishna’s Rasa Lila.

“Anyone who hears or speaks about the Rasa Lila will become immersed in bhava, and attain a siddha deha to serve day and night alongside Krishna’s eternally perfect associates.” (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta 3.5.49-50)

ye śune, ye paḍe / tāṅra phala etādṛśī
sei bhāvāviṣṭa yei /seve ahar-niśi
tāṅra phala ki kahimu, kahane nā yāya
nitya-siddha sei, prāya-siddha tāṅra kāya

V.Who Can Hear or Speak Rasa Lila

Srila Prabhupada:

One who has developed his faith in Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Spirit Soul, can both describe and hear the Rasa Lila.

The conditioned soul should hear the Rasa Lila dance from an authorized spiritual master and be trained by him so that he can understand the whole situation. Thus one can be elevated to the highest standard of spiritual life. (KRSNA BOOK 33)

VI. Sweet Rasa Lila

One day in a dream, Mahaprabhu saw Krishna performing the Rasa Lila, eka dina mahaprabhu Krishna rasa lila kare dekhila svapana. Madana Mohana’s beautiful body was curved in three places; murali caressing His lips, and adorned with bright yellow garments and a forest garland.

tribhaṅga-sundara-deha / muralī-vadana
pītāmbara, vana-mālā/ madana-mohana
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta 3.14.17-18)

Radha-Krishna Rasa Lila ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!