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Friday, August 19, 2005

Śrī Rādhikā travels to Barsāṇā - Śrāvan Pūrṇimā


TODAY IS JHULAN PŪRṆIMĀ. ŚRĪ RĀDHIKĀ TRAVELS TO BARṢĀNĀ

AS IN VILĀPA KUSUMĀÑJALI, VERSE 88:

BHRĀTRĀ GO'YUTAM ATRA MAÑJU-VADANE SNEHENA DATTVĀLAYAM
ŚRĪDĀMNĀ KṚPAṆĀṀ PRATOṢYA JAṬILĀṀ RAKṢĀKHYA RĀKĀ-KṢAṆE
NĪTĀYĀḤ SUKHA ŚOKA RODANA BHARAIS TE SAṀDRAVANTYĀḤ PARAM
VĀTSALYĀJ JANAKAU VIDHĀSYATA ITAḤ KIṀ LĀLANAṀ ME'GRATAḤ

bhrātrā - by Your brother; go - cows; ayutam - ten thousand; atra - there; mañju - beautiful; vadane - face (fem.); snehena - with affection; dattvā - having given; ālayam - the abode; śrīdāmnā - by Śrīdāma; kṛpaṇām - to the miser; pratoṣya - for satisfying; jaṭilāṁ - to Jaṭilā; rakṣa ākhya - known as Rakṣa; rākā - full moon; kṣaṇe - moment; nītāyāḥ - taken; sukha - happiness; śoka - sorrow; rodana - crying; bharaiḥ - with abundance; te - Your; saṁdravantyāḥ - melting; param - greatest; vātsalyāt - out of love; janakau - parents; vidhāsyata - will do; itaḥ - here; kiṁ - whether; lālanaṁ - fondling; me - of me; agrataḥ - before.


O Mañju-vadane (fair-faced girl)! On the full moon day of Śrāvaṇa (August) named Rakṣa Pūrṇima Your brother Śrīdāma comes to Yāvata with ten thousand cows to satisfy the greedy Jaṭilā before affectionately taking You along to Varṣānā, where Your parents lovingly fondle You in front of me as You melt with weeping from happiness and sorrow.


(Note by editor: Rakṣa Pūrṇimā is an auspicious family festival in India, during which brothers and sisters swear protection to each other by binding a decorating string around each other’s wrists)

Commentary by Śrīla Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī: Śrīdāma-Candra is called bhagini vatsala, he who is very fond of his sister. One day before this auspicious event Śrīdāma goes to Yāvata, the abode of Śrī Rādhikā's mother-in-law Jaṭilā. Eager to satisfy Jaṭilā, who is very miserly, and does not want to let his sister go, Śrīdāma asks her: "What do you want as a gift?" Jaṭilā is very greedy and demands cows, so he gives her ten-thousand cows just to appease her. In this way he can take his sister along. All this is arranged to facilitate Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes - in Śrī Rādhikā's parental home there is less control over Her than in Yāvaṭa. There it is easier for Śrī Rādhikā to go out to meet Kṛṣṇa. Rādhikā’s father and mother are staring down the pathway for their daughter to come. When Svāminī arrives mother and father bless Her so affectionately! Svāminī cries of happiness and sorrow. Happiness because of coming back home and sorrow because of Her long stay at Her in-laws' abode. Svāminī melts at the bosom of Her mother Kīrtidā, as if She merges with her and weeps, saying with choked voice: "Just forget about Me, ma!" Kīrtidā-Mā sobs: "Can I ever forget You?" Mother Kīrtidā’s chest is inundated with tears. Svāminī is vraja go gopa gopālī jīva mātraika jīvanam: (Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī's '108 names of Rādhikā) the very life of the cows, cowherders, cowherdwomen - nay, of all creatures of Vraja! How much then isn't She the life of the life of Her mother, who is the very form of parental love?! Tulasī prays: “It is my strong desire to see Your father and mother give You so much affection and love.” How close are the maidservants to Svāminī!  Unless She accepts you this cannot be understood.

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