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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a sweet selection of rasika-acharya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more.

10.21.3 When the Vraja-gopis hear Shyama’s flute song, which incites Cupid’s influence, some gopis privately describe Krishna’s qualities to their intimate friends.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Seeing the autumnal beauty, Sri Krishna gets excited and practices flute playing to attract the gopis. Thus they become aroused (verse word smaraudaya), and start glorifying Krishna in this chapter. Although now Krishna is in pauganda period (5-10 years), His flute playing arouses amorous desires in the gopis because it magically manifests the kaisora age (10-15).

Not only ladies but all living entities in Vraja become immensely attracted (verse word sarva-bhuta-manoharam) to Krishna’s venu-nad. For Yashoda, it arouses vatsalya, motherly affection, and not smara or amorous intimacies. But for Radha it is smara, and thus Sriji herein reveals Her mental anguish to Her confidantes like Lalita-sakhi.

10.21.4 While speaking about Krishna, the damsels of Vrajabhumi remember His lilas. The power of Cupid, however, arises to agitate their minds and then they stop speaking.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: This verse describes the sequence of rising love. Although they try, because of love’s impulses (verse word smaravegena), the gopis become mum. They simply think about that “heart stealer”, Muralimanohara, again and again.

10.21.5 Featuring a peacock-feather ornament upon his head, yellow karnikara flowers on his ears, a brilliant golden yellow garment, and a Vaijayanti garland, Sri Krishna looks like the best of dancers as He prances into Vrndaranya, beautifying it with the unique marks of his footprints. As Krishna fills the flute with the nectar of his lips, the gopas sing his glories.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Among all the sakhas, Govinda is most attractive, and even more so because now Krishna is dressed as a dancer (verse word natavesa). Filling the flute with the nectar of his lips means Krishna’s flute song is as attractive as Krishna’s adharamrta. The verse word vrndaranya means that sakhi Vrnda-devi has already cleaned and specially decorated the forest to stimulate Krishna’s lilas. The presence of Krishna’s extraordinary 19 footprints in the forest of Vrndavana gives bliss (verse word ramanam), to everyone especially Vrnda-devi. And the charming, soft dust, fragrant flowers, leaves etc. give delight (ramanam) to Radha-ramana’s lotus feet.

The verse describes Krishna’s natural adornments of feathers, leaves and Vraja flowers, and not His usual gold and pearl necklaces etc. Why? Because upon entering Vrndaranya, Krishna sets these aside in preference to decking Himself out with Vraja’s natural opulences of leaves, flowers, feathers, mineral pigments and gunja berries. Krishna is also sporting only forest decorations as appropriate for the first day of His Autumnal pastimes.

10.21.6 When the young Vraja-gopis hear Krishna’s venu, which steals the minds of all living beings, they embrace each other and describe it.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: All the gopis (verse word vraja-striyasarva) indicates all degrees of attachment to Krishna i.e. deep, medium and light. Some gopis mentally embrace (verse word abhirebhire) Krishna who is seizing their hearts. Or due to arising love, other gopis mistake their sakhis to be Krishna and embrace them. And some sakhis embrace each other because their natural love is awakened.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimas Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.11

Translation: The gopis say, “Blessed are all the less intelligent deer because, on hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, they and their husbands do the best worship by glancing affectionately at Nandanandan, who is gorgeously dressed.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Such is the glory of Vrindavan that all the jivas taking shelter there are very dear to Sri Krishna. Now, let us describe the good fortune of the animals in Vrindavan. The does are without discrimination yet as they wander through Vraja they are directly seen by Krishna.

The Vraja-gopis mention Nanda’s name because their minds are bewildered by uncontrollable agitation. They performed Krishna’s worship with glances filled with affection. Love is the greatest treasure in worship. In great astonishment the gopis speak with lamentation. “O! We do not have such good fortune!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.12

Translation: The gopis say, “When the devatas’ wives flying in vimans with their husbands see Krishna, whose form and qualities fill all women with joy, and when they hear Krishna’s venu-gita, their hearts are agitated by Cupid, and they become so bewildered that the flowers fall out of their hair and the ropes holding up their undergarments loosen.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Both the animals on the ground and the devatas flying in the sky have become supremely fortunate by seeing Krishna whose all-attractive form and qualities immediately incite anuraga in all women. The devis hear Krishna’s flute playing a raga drenched in madhurya-rasa.

They came along with their husbands since they didn’t have the adhikari for direct association with Krishna. Just by seeing Shyam the Svargadevis became intensely afflicted with lust for Krishna. Their enchantment was further enhanced by hearing Krishna’s venu-gita. Hearing and seeing  were both causes of bewilderment. 

This is the anubhava called mottayita which is the appearance of desire in the heart from the arousal of the sthayi-bhava from remembering or hearing about Krishna.

The gopis pine, “We are most unfortunate for not having seen Krishna, the astonishing ocean of all auspiciousness, who bewilders the foolish female deer and the most intelligent wives of devatas. Or, we are most unfortunate for not seeing Krishna as He wanders in the forest, whereas they are fortunate.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.13

Translation: The gopis say, “Using their upraised ears as cups, the cows drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute-song flowing out of from His mouth. The calves, their mouths full of milk from their mothers’ moist nipples, with tear-filled eyes, stand still as they embrace Krishna within their hearts.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Other gopis speak three verses to hide their amorous emotions by describing the cows which have maternal affection for Krishna. “Even cows that are famous for not being able to distinguish good from bad, are relishing the sound of Krishna’s flute coming from His moon-like mouth which is endowed with more nectar than billions of nectar-filled moons.

“Krishna is the fullest embodiment of the highest bliss. In astonishment the cows simply stand, stunned, overcome by sattvika-bhava. Govinda indicates the master of the cows. They touch Krishna with affection. Some calves have mouthfuls of their mothers’ milk flowing from their mouths. Other calves are chewing grass.

“They all start crying as they embrace Govinda in their minds. Since their eyes are covered with tears, they can only see Krishna in their minds. We however are most unfortunate since we cannot even see Krishna.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.14

Translation: “O Amba! In this forest all the birds have risen onto the budding branches of the trees to see Krishna. With closed eyes, like sages, they are simply listening in silence to the sweet vibrations of Krishna flute, and they speak of nothing except Krishna.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: In astonishment, the gopis say, “O mother!” (amba)

It is the nature of those immersed in prema to make such statements. Since no mother is present, the gopis address their friends in this manner.

The gopis say, “What to speak of the good fortune of the cows protected by Krishna, how can we describe the fortune of these forest birds? Most of the birds are like this, but some like the peacocks are like the greatest devotees because they are dancing in prema, not just sitting in the tress.

“The birds climb on the branches of trees in order that they can see Krishna or so that Krishna can see them.  But the buds create obstacles to seeing Krishna, so they listen to Krishna’s venu-gita with half-closed eyes.” This indicates lassitude because of intense prema.

“No words except the words of the flute are sensed by their minds, ears or voice. Thus, they are fortunate.”

The word munayah refers to atmaramas like the Kumaras who have become birds to see Krishna. When they hear the sound of Krishna’s flute which they have never experienced before, that enchanting sound attracts them away from their brahma-samadhi. These sages have surpassed the branches of the Vedas and given up study of the Vedas. Their consciousness of their bodies has disappeared (milita-drsha—closed vision). The have become silent on all topics except Krishna. What else can they deliberate on?

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.7

Translation: The sakhis say, “O sakhis! Is there any other purpose for the eyes than seeing the beautiful youthful face of Krishna as He and Douji pasture the cows from forest to forest in Vrndavana?”

Tika: I, Sri Jiva, surrender to the gopis by whose mercy one can understand their words, and by whom the fathomlessly deep heart of Sri Krishna heart is conquered, gopih-prapadye-ta-yabhih,-sa-gambhirasayo-jitah.

To hide their complete attachment to Krishna, the gopis here externally glorify both Krishna and Balarama. In essence the  gopis are saying, ‘All senses attain success if they can taste the sweet nectar of Syama’s lotus face.’

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.8

Translation: Krishna and Balarama look so attractively gorgeous (vicitra vesa) with Their colorful flower malas; water lilies hanging over Their ears; Their wavy locks entwined with peacock feathers, mango buds and clusters of flowers; and twirling pastime lotus flowers in Their hands. Shining magnificently among the gopas, Govinda and Douji look like a pair of professional dancers on a dramatic stage.

Tika: In this verse and others, the gopis try hard to conceal their intense loving attachment for Sri Krishna. Here the gopis are saying, “These two feel great happiness singing and dancing amidst Their cowherd friends. Sometimes Kanai Balai sing or listen to the gopas glorify Them with special songs. The gopas sometimes challenge, “Of you two, whoever sings best should sing for us.” Then to create a particular sweetness in their play, Krishna Balarama both proudly sing different songs.

Though not spoken, the gopis emotions are saying, “O these gopas are so fortunate! But we are not since we can not freely associate with Krishna due to fear public opinion!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.9

Translation: My dear gopis! What good deeds did Krishna’s flute perform to now independently enjoy the nectar of Damodara’s lips while leaving only a drop for us gopis who deserve that nectar!

Tika: In the madness of mahabhava, the gopis here express their desire mixed with envy, while falsely imagining that the flute has performed many pious deeds even though it’s just a piece of dry bamboo. ‘We will also do such pious acts to get the taste of Krishna’s lips.’

By calling Krishna “Damodara”, the gopis suggest that they have had a special  natural loving relationship. with Him since Krishna’s balya-lila [age 1-5], wherein the sprouts appeared of their present blossoming emotions. In the daze of love, Damodara’s darlings disclose, “We see that even after enjoying Damodara’s lips for so long, His lips are still juicy and not dry, so the flute has not really enjoyed Krishna’s lips at all!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.10

Translation: O sakhi, Vrndavana has made the earth glorious because she possesses the treasure of Devakinandana’s lotus feet. Upon hearing Govinda’s vamsi, the peacocks madly dance, and all the creatures become stunned while standing on the hilltops to watch the dance.

Tika: Losing their interest in glorifying Krishna’s flute, the gopis focus on the glorious land of Vrndavana as being far superior to Vaikuntha for all the above reasons. In Vaikuntha, Krishna/Vishnu wears golden slippers and leaves no footprints for anyone to see or relish.

The gopis think, ‘Ah! The peacocks are dancing with Krishna to the thrill of all. But we, the most unfortunate, cannot see this. It should be understood that in all these verses, the gopis are actually expressing their dissatisfaction, an inherent quality of Krishna prema.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!