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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta, chapters 14-20


Chapter Fourteen

Unless one is a knower of the text it is highly recommended to keep my English translation of Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta at hand, in order to follow these additional notes:

A footnote is added to 14.10, the verse which outlines the 8 sakhīs' kuñjas, with a song by Uddhava Dās:

aparūpa rādhā mādhava saṅge ;
vṛndā racita vipina duhu vilasaye kore kora, kara dhari koto raṅge
lalitānanda kuñje yāi duhu baiṭhalo, citrā sukhada saba sahacarī meli

"How wonderful is the association of Rādhā and Mādhava! They ramble in Vṛnda's forest, holding hands. Coming to Lalitānandada Kuñja, They sit down and in Citrā Sukhada Kuñja They meet Their friends."

kṣaṇe eka rahi punaḥ madana sukhada nāma kuñjaha sakhī saha meli; 
kuñje punaḥ bhrami bhrami coluṅ campakalatā kuñje 
sudevī raṅgadevī kuñje yāi duhuṅ koru koto ānanda puñje

"They dwell for a while in Madana Sukhada Kuñja and meet Their girlfriends there before proceeding to Campakalatā's kuñja, and then blissfully going on to Sudevī and Raṅgadevī's groves."

pūrṇa indu sukhada nāme, kuñjahi tahi koto koto kautuka kelo;
tuṅgavidyā sakhī kuñjaka heraite, sahacarīgaṇa loi gelo
bhramaite sakala kuñja duhu heralo ṣaḍ ṛtu śobhana rīte;
aichana kusuma suṣamavara dvijagaṇe uddhava dāsa rasa gīte

"Then they had some fun in a grove named full moon (named after Indulekhā sakhī), and took their girlfriends along to see the grove of Tuṅgavidyā sakhī. In this way they wandered through all the groves and admired the beauty of all the six seasons. In this way Uddhav Dās sings a rasik song about the excellent beauty of the flowers and the birds (of Vraja)."

14.22 sarasvatī also means sarasa rasavatī - A luscious rasika girl.

14.26 Ref. Rāy Śekhara padāvali song nr. 68

14.50 Footnote carries a song by padakartā Madhusūdana (not sure if this is the same person as the Bengali translator):

kuṇḍe sināna korolo duhuṅ meli; sahacarī-gaṇa soye kori jala-keli.
vasana bibhūṣaṇa pahiraṇa keli; nibhṛta nikuñja mājhe coli geli

"Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa meet to bathe and play in the Kuṇḍa with their girlfriends; They play after abandoning Their garments and ornaments and then proceeded into the solitary bower."

ratana pīṭhopari kiśorī kiśora; baiṭhalo duhuṅ jana ānanda vibhora;
vṛndādevī yogāyato tathāibahu mata phala mūla vividha miṭhāi;
bhojana koru duhuṅ sakhīgaṇa saṅge; madhusūdana kobe herabo raṅge

"Blissfully Kiśorī and Kiśor sit on a jewelled throne while Vṛndā Devī serves Them many different kinds of fruits, roots and sweets. Madhusūdana rejoices when he witnesses Their fun as They enjoy this snack with Their girlfriends."

14.51 Here in the footnote a song by Rāy Śekhara is added, though this is not in the songbook I published:

ratana bhavane, kuñja dāsīgaṇe, phala mūla āni koto.
saṁskāra kori, thāli bhori bhori, rākhalo vividha mata
bādāma chohārā, drākṣā madhurā, kaṅalā keśara belo,
dāḍima, nāraṅgā, kharjjura cholaṅgā, sālu pilu nārikela

'The maidservants in the grove gathered in a jewelled house and brought so many fruits and roots, filling up trays with peanuts, dried dates, sweet grapes, pomegranates, oranges, juicy dates, grapefruits, Pilus and coconuts."

kharamujā kṣiriṇī, badarī vīriṇī, kadalī kanda-mūla,
āmra panasa vividha surasa, āta, ānārasa kula
pehārā mṛṇala, tāla pāṇi-phala, ṭeṭi miṭhi karakaṭi;
vividha miṭhāi, dharalo tathāi nānā mata paripāṭi

"They also expertly carried in various kinds of melons, jujubes, bananas, radish, mangoes, jack-fruits, berries, pineapple-juice, palm-fruits, water-fruits and sweets."

bātasā bundiyā nāḍu manoharā micharī navāta pheṇi;
chenā pānā sara-bhājā, sarakarā khaṇḍāmaṇḍā
padma-cini amṛta-kelikā laḍḍukā adhikā; karpūra kelikā āra;
rasālā mākhane, rākhilā jatane, nānā mata parakāra

"These sweets included hollow drops like Bātās, Pheṇī and Bundiyā and Laḍḍus like Manoharā, Nāḍu, Padma-cini (lotus-sugar), Karpūr-kelikā and Amṛta kelikā. There was also rock candy, sherbet sweet cold drinks, Rasāla milkshake, Sarabhājā milk sweets and butter (Mākhān) - all these items were carefully kept there."

dekhiyā nāgara, rasera sāgara, baṭure ānilā tathā,
dvijera kumāra, dekhi upahāra, saghane ḍhulāya māthā
tāre kori bāme, subale ḍāhine, bosilā rasika rāya.
deyata sumukhī saṅge saba sakhī, śekhara dāḍiye cāy

"When Nāgar Kṛṣṇa saw this ocean of rasa He brought His pal Madhumangal there. When this brahmin boy saw all the preparations he frantically shook his head. Keeping Madhumangala on His left and Subala on His right, Rasika Rāya (Kṛṣṇa) sat down and fair-faced Rāi and Her girlfriends began to serve. Rāy Śekhara stood by and watched."

14.52 A song is added here of Balarām Dās:

saba sakhīgaṇa soye, rāi sudhāmukhī, kānuka bhojana śeṣa.
bhuñjaye koto, paramānanda kautuke, guṇa mañjarī pariveśa
aparūpa bhojana keli,
koriyā ācamana, nibhṛte niketana, coluṅ saba sahacarī meli.
ratana pālaṅka para, sutala rāi kānu, priya sakhī tāmbūla delo.
kṣaṇe eka ninde nindāyali duhu jana balarāma haraṣita bhelo

"After Kṛṣṇa and His friends finished eating, nectar-faced Rāi blissfully enjoyed some (remnants) with all Her girlfriends, served to them by Guṇa Mañjarī. How wonderful is this eating pastime! After flushing Her mouth, Rādhikā proceeded to a solitary abode with Her girlfriends. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa then reclined on a jewelled bedstead while Their dearest girlfriends served Them betel-leaves. Balarām Dās rejoices when he then sees Them falling asleep a short while later."

Chapter Fifteen
15.56 A lengthy pada by Yadunandan Thākur is quoted in the footnote:

jaṭilā āsiyā tabe, kohoye sabāre ebe, purohita ānaho jāiyā.
śuni puna kundalatā, hoye ati harṣa citā, sei kṣaṇe colilā dhāiyā
dekhe kṛṣṇa aparūpa līlā.
dhīra-śānta kalevara, sākṣāt vipraveśa dhara, keho nāhi lakhite nārilā

'Jaṭilā then came around and told everyone: 'Get a priest here to conduct the Sūrya pūjā!" Hearing this, Kundalatā joyfully ran off at once. Behold Kṛṣṇa's wonderful pastimes! He looked just like a real brahmin with His grave and peaceful posture - no one could discern Him!"

āsi kundalatā devī, kohoye vṛddhāre bhāvi, māthura deśīya garga chātra.
brahmacarya sadā dhare, nā dekhe abalā kare, āmāra sādhane āilā mātra

"Kundalatā returned to Jaṭilā and told her: "This brahmin boy from Mathurā is a disciple of Garga muni - he is always celibate and does not even look at a girl's hand - he came here just to please me!"

śuni sei harṣa-mati, koroye minati stuti, tvarānvitā kohoye badhūre
ei vipra viñja-vara, suśīla sarva guṇa dhara, paurohitye boroho ihāre

"Hearing this, Jaṭilā joyfully told her daughter-in-law: "Please accept this very learned brahmin boy, who is so well-behaved and endowed with all qualities, as Your priest!"

śuni rāi harṣa hoiyā, dhīre dhīre kohe jāiyā, ei mora mitra pūjibāre
viśvaśarmā nāme khyāta, jagata maṅgala gotra, purohite varinu tomāre

"Hearing this, Rāi joyfully and gently said: "I accept this renowned Viśvaśarma, whose gotra is auspicious in this world, as My priest."

tabe sei vipra-vara, kuśāgre karṣiyā kore, rāi haste puṣpāñjali dilo
namo namo mitra-vare, ei mantra uccāre, arghya diyā pūjā samarpilo

"Then this best of brahmins took a straw of Kuśa grass and placed a handful of flowers in Rāi's hand. Then He offered oblations by pronouncing the mantra namo namo mitra-vara."


tabe vṛddhā harṣa-bhore, dakṣiṇā loite tāre, punaḥ punaḥ yatnete sādhilo
teṅho kohe kārya nāhi, tomā sobāra prīti cāhi, ei mora dakṣiṇā hoilo

'Jaṭilā then joyfully took out a remuneration for the young priest and repeatedly offered it to Him. He said, 'No need, Your love is the only reward I want'.

tabe sei tuṣṭa hoiyā, ratana mudrādi diyā, kohe nitya korābe pūjana.
daṇḍavat praṇati koilā, rāike loiyā gelā saṅge coluṅ e yadu-nandana

"Satisfied, Jaṭilā donated Kṛṣṇa Rādhikā's jewel ring and told Him to always do pūjā with Her. After offering prostrated obeisances to Him, she took Rāi with her in the company of Yadunandan (the poet)."

Chapter Sixteen
16.23 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma confirms that Baladeva takes the cows and boys into Nandagram to give Kṛṣṇa the chance to meet Rādhā - śrīkṛṣṇasya preyasī-varga sahita milana samayam ālakṣya kiñcin miṣeṇa baladeva śrīdāmādīnāṁ puri praveśam āha. This remains problematic, because earlier in Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta and also in the Vilāpa comments of Ānanda Gopāla Gosvāmī it is said that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are concerned about Baladeva's presence - does He or doesn't He know?

16.24 "The restless Vraja-girls joyfully threw flower-balls from the garden at Kṛṣṇa, who caught them with trembling hand and threw them back at them. By thus catching and throwing the flower-balls an ocean of ever-fresh luster surged within His body." Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: pakṣe rāmāṇāṁ strīṇāṁ śobhana mano rūpa kandukasya, which is elaborated upon by Madhusūdana Vācaspati as: "Or the beautiful minds of these restless, contrary beauties from Vraja are like balls that cause waves in the ever-fresh luster-ocean of Kṛṣṇa's body on the pretext of being thrown to and caught by Him."

16.28 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: yad yasmāt rādhikā rūpa mālatyāḥ "That Mālatī flower is Rādhikā."

16.32 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: atra nirjana sthale kulāṅganānāṁ sthitir na yogya kintu gṛhaṁ yāma - "This solitary place is not fit for housewives, so lets go home."

16.33 Not the gopīs' eyes, but the gopīs themselves are compared to lotus flowers here.

16.34 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: mūrcchātaḥ prabuddhaṁ mithunaṁ pratyāśayā baddha hṛdayam akārṣīt - 'The sakhās and sakhīs first woke Them up from Their swoon and then consoled Them, giving Them new hope (for future meetings)."

16.35 I forgot to translate the adjective viduṣī here, Viśākhā is a wise girl.

16.37  Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: ahaṁ grāmād bahiḥ puṣpa-bāṭikāyāṁ śrī-kṛṣṇena saṅgatā āsaṁ katham atra puṣpa śayyāyāṁ vidyamāneti  "Am I lying in a flower garden outside of the village in union with Śrī Kṛṣṇa? How come I am lying here on this bed of flowers?"

16.38 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: prati dinaṁ vihārānantaraṁ gṛhāgamanocitaṁ prātaḥ kim ajani "Has the morning come, the time that each day I should go home, after enjoying with My beloved?"

Chapter Eighteen
18.32 netra śrotra daṁśād actually means "If you fear the bites of the people's eyes and ears (not just the eyes)."

18.33 Guru vādhā can also mean 'heavy obstacles'.

18.40 Bali here can also mean "Bali Mahārāja, who donated the whole universe to Lord Trivikrama, but You donate three lines (tribali) to Kṛṣṇa, in whom there is the power of 100 Cupids (śata vikrama)!"

18.43 Unknown commentator makes a good point here in a footnote - 'Kṛṣṇa is so bewildered by prema that He imagines Caṭaka-birds singing at night (obviously they normally only sing in the daytime)."

18.44 Kṛṣṇa didn't embrace the tree but leaned against it.

18.45 druta hṛd atanu ghūrṇākīrṇa-dhīḥ in the last line means: "Her heart melted and Her mind was dizzy with amorous feelings."

18.49  yāvad evānayāmaḥ  actually means 'as long as we don't take You (into that Bokul grove)......"

18.54 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: aprāptiṁ sambhāvayati iti bhāvaḥ - 'anurāga is such that one always thinks it is impossible to attain the beloved."

18.55 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: sakhīnām āgamana śaṅkayā - 'Rādhikā was afraid Her girlfriends would show up'.

18.57 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: sva-dharma vāmyam akṛtvā - "Rādhikā gave up Her natural vāmya (opposition)....." and, at the end, sismiye smitaṁ cakāra"She smiled"

Chapter Nineteen

19.2 It should be in future tense - kariṣye - 'I will mark Your girlfriends."


19.4 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: śrī kṛṣṇena kṛtaṁ yad viḍambanaṁ tasya hetu-bhūtāṁ rādhikāṁ prati kuṭila bhruvaḥ sakhīḥ rādhā viṣādam abhinīyam abravīt: "Before Her sakhīs, that had arched eyebrows, Rādhikā pretended to be dejected because She wanted to conceal from them that She was the cause of Kṛṣṇa's impudent behaviour towards them."

19.8 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: sva-dharmaṁ vāmyaṁ vihāya - "Rādhikā abandoned Her natural opposition (vāmya) and spoke so submissively..."

19.16 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: niṣkuṭa eva nija nandīśvara gṛhodyāna eva sva gṛha-dāsībhir eva tāṁ spṛhāṁ sādhaya na tu mayeti. 'Satisfy those desires with the maidservants at my home garden in Nandagrāma, not with Me."

19.21 The end of my translation was not correct. khedam evābhininyuḥ  means 'The gopīs imitated their grief (of the original Rāsa dance, when they were similarly distressed at seeing Kṛṣṇa enjoying with Rādhikā). Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: keśa prasādhanaṁ tvatra kāminyāḥ kāminī kṛtam iti vadantīnāṁ vipakṣāṇāṁ khedottha vacanam anusṛtya - 'They imitated the distressed words of the rival party when they saw Kṛṣṇa decorating Rādhikā's hair'.

19.26 The end of my translation was not correct. vitatākṣī actually means 'wide-eyed', not 'tear-filled eyes'. “Making Kṛṣṇa relish it with wide eyes.”

19.29 phala puṣpa-mālādibhiḥ sevyamānau - “They were served with fruits, flower garlands etc.”

19.31 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: 'The obvious meaning of the riddle is the body'.

19.33 Madhusūdana Vācaspati gives an elaborate explanation of the riddle here: "Your Vīṇā is singing tata vādya - it is a stringed instrument, and it is anurāginī, it plays all the rāgas, like the Vasanta. Just as anurāgiṇī women sing the glories of their beloved man and faint (mūrcchā) in the process, Your Vīṇā also attains different mūrcchas (scales). On a Vīṇā there are rasanta, or resounding strings (guṇa) and in the Saṅgīta śāstras there are similarly 7 notes and 3 grāmas (three gatis of the svaras). grāma also means village or group. When the Vīṇā resides in that grāma it is expert in atanu-rasa (the greatest rasa, which can also mean erotic rasa).

19.38 The word ujjvalātma-vedana should really mean, according to Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma, kṛpārdrayā yayā yoginyā ahaṁ muhuḥ pāṭhito'bhavam….dṛk pakṣe kandarpa saukhya siddhaye yat ujjvalātmanaḥ śṛṅgāra rasa svarūpasya vedanaṁ jñānaṁ bhavati tad eva jñānaṁ yayā dṛśā ahaṁ paṭhitaḥ "I was repeatedly educated by this yoginī who was melting with compassion...." "The pun of priya-dṛk is: For the sake of attaining erotic bliss and the knowledge of rasa svarūpa I am studying (on the strength of Her) merciful glance."

19.46 Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī says the gṛhasthas want su-kha (happiness), but Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says surataruta padasyānta ta-kāreṇa saha ādya varṇa su śabdasya yoge sati sutam icched iti praśnasyārthaḥ - The last syllable of surataruta (ta) combined with the first one (su), makes 'suta', or sons. The rest of the explanation is the same as in my original translation.

19.52 In connection with the Rāsa dance, ullāsa means joyful and udāra means liberal.

19.53 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: "Kṛṣṇa speaks this verse not just to Rādhikā, but to all the gopīs - he alasa dṛśo gopyaḥ, and actually Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī said the same.

19.54 I forgot to add that kalāṁ prathayañcakāra (not prabhayāṁ) - by doing this the Creator showed his great artistic skills."

19.55 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma (and Madhusūdana) add: avaśiṣṭa bhāgastha malināṁśaḥ kalaṅko'bhūt - "The remaining dirty portions of this strained portion became the spots on the moon."

19.58 The missing syllables that were on a broken page when I copied the Sanskrit from a book in Madrasi Baba's library are cā-ru and pa-tra. Thus the third line of the śloka reads as follows: kastūrikā cāru tamāla patrakaṁ.

19.66 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: tat kālotpanna śṛṅgāra rasa rūpa jalena mṛdulāli śobhanamanāṁsyeva sumanāṁsi puṣpāṇi yāsāṁ tāḥ 'It seemed as if flowers of erotic rasa were growing on the golden vines of the gopīs' bodies, and their jingling waist-bells resounded like bees that are attracted to such flowers."

19.71 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: kuṣṭhī-jano yathā sva gātra-sthaṁ śvitraṁ kṣatādi cihna khyāpanena ācchādayati tathā candro'pi sva-sthitaṁ duryaśaḥ mṛga-cihna khyāpanenācchādayatītyarthaḥ "Just as a leper is shamefully  trying to hide the scars of his disease on his body by covering them over, the moon also tries to hide the shameful deer-spots on its surface (when compared to Rādhikā's moonlike face)." And: brāhmaṇasya viṣa-bhakṣaṇam atyanta niṣiddhaṁ tadapi kṛtaṁ amṛta-mayatvena maraṇaṁ ca na bhaviṣyatye tādṛśa jñānābhāvāt mūḍhaḥ "It is forbidden for a brahmin to drink poison, and besides, since the moon is full of nectar (or immortality) it is simply impossible for him to die - that is how bereft of knowledge, or foolish, he is!"

19.72 ṣaḍja etc are of course the full names of sa ri ga ma etc., not alternatives.

19.76 'came to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's faces' means they uttered these syllables that expressed the rhythms. They 'danced in Their faces (mouths)' (Madhusūdana)

19.80 Madhusūdana Vācaspati says Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa then sat down.

19.81 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: prema-bhaktiṁ vinā rāsa varṇanaṁ na sambhaved - 'Without prema bhakti it is not possible to describe the Rāsa līlā."

Chapter Twenty
20.1 prabandhān anusṛtya means 'following the composition'.

20.14 nirmanchanam means ārati, according to Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma.

20.15 tayoḥ in the ṭīkā means 'Both Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's feet', not just Kṛṣṇa's.

20.16 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: śveta puṣpamaya vyajana - The flower-fan was made of white flowers. Madhusūdana adds that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's fame is similarly white.

20.23 Madhusūdana explains āśābandha as: "After touching Her breasts, Kṛṣṇa could be sure His desires would be fulfilled because Rādhikā's desires had been incited by that...."

20.24 '...then he worshipped the demigods...' should have been 'he wrote soma on the golden pitcher', soma meaning Śiva, who is accompanied (sa) by Pārvatī (umā). And that soma reappears in the pun as the moon-beam-like scratches Kṛṣṇa makes on Rādhikā's breasts. Same for the last mentioning of 'demigods' in the translation - it should be Soma or Śiva.

20.32 It is not vedhaiva but vedaiva, and I forgot to translate that last line. Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: iyaṁ vidagdhā kiṅkarī tayoḥ sarvaṁ hārddaṁ veda. kathambhūtā tayor bhāva rūpa puṣpena bhāvito vāsitaḥ ātmā antaḥkaraṇaṁ yasyāḥ sā "These clever maidservants know all about Their (dual, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa) hearts. How? Their hearts are scented with the fragrance of the flowers of Their feelings and Their forms." In my original translation I wrote that the maidservants say that about themselves, which makes no sense. Actually this statement is just made by the author.

20.39 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: śrī-kṛṣṇasya mukha-candratvena śrī-rādhāyā mukhaṁ kamalatvena ca varṇayitvā "Kṛṣṇa's face is here described as a moon and Śrī Rādhikā's face as a lotus flower." Madhusūdana says: "Look sakhi! How Śrī Kṛṣṇa's moon-like face is absorbed in drinking the honey from Śrī Rādhikā's lotus-like face! This is also an amazing thing! As incitements both the lotus and the moon are friends of Cupid.... (follows regular translation)

20.40 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: nanu mukhayoḥ kamalatve kiṁ pramāṇaṁ. tatrānumānālaṅkāram āha - yayor mukhayor antare madhye sambhoga-samaye śītkāra rūpa bhramara dhvanir lakṣyate. tathā ca madhya sthita bhramara dhvani hetunā kamalatvaṁ siddhim iti bhāvaḥ. "And if you claim that they are both lotuses, what is the proof of that? Listen here, during sambhoga the lotus-mouths emit screams that sound like the buzzing of bees. That proves that the (sources of those) bees are lotusflowers!"

20.42 “Sakhi, look look! When they drank the honey of Each others lips, Śrī Rādhikā's eyeliner got stuck on Śrī Kṛṣṇa's lips; now, as Śrī Rādhikā drinks the honey of Śrī Kṛṣṇa's lips, these spots are erased and instead She marks Kṛṣṇa's lips with the signs of Her passion, the red spots of Her Pān consumption. Is it as if She offered these ink spots to Kṛṣṇa's captivating lips just as the moon has ink-like spots on it?” (follows regular translation)

20.44 The verse says śatābhā, not śatāthā, in either case śata means 'hundreds', that is 'hundreds of drops'.

20.48 Verses 48-50 require a full re-translation, for the current one is not fully comprehensible. Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma explains: adhunā jñāna siddhānāṁ sūrya-maṇḍala dvārā arcirādi mārgaṁ varṇayan tādṛśa śabdānāṁ śleṣeṇa viparīta sambhogam apyāha "Now the author will compare Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's reverse enjoyment with the way the siddha jñānīs practise their worship through the sunglobe." Just as the liberated souls (muktāvalī) dance in ecstasy when they attain mokṣa within the restless sun globe that rises within a cloud, Śrī Rādhikā's muktāvalī (pearl necklaces) ecstatically dances on the cloud-like chest of Kṛṣṇa, that is adorned with the sun-globe-like Kaustubha gem. Just as swans (paramahaṁsas) and avadhūtas joyfully play various musical instruments while watching the liberated souls dance on a golden ground (Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: pañcama skandhokta kāñcanī-bhūmi - "Such a golden ground is described in the fifth canto Bhāgavata." Only, I don't know where...), similarly, during reverse pastimes, Rādhikā's lotus feet are golden places where swans (haṁsa, or kaṭaka-footbangles) tremble (avadhūta) and thus make wonderful music."

20.49 Others can not come to this golden ground. When Lord Madhusūdana arrives there will be music which will delight the ears of rasikas like Śukadeva and Nārada, whose vine-like bodies will melt of the resultant sāttvika vikāras. Similarly, when Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's fragrance increases because of Their union of Their bodies the Madhusūdanas, or bumblebees, will come and sing sweetly, which will cause the vine-like bodies of rasikā mañjarīs like Rūpa and Rati to melt of sāttvika vikāras." rasikāṇāṁ kiṅkarīṇāṁ aṅga-vallyeva sabhyā (KDS)

20.50 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: jñānināṁ sūrya-maṇḍala dvārā arcirādi mārgam uktā karmiṇāṁ candra-maṇḍala dvārā dhūma-mārgam āha - 'After describing how the jñānīs worship their path through the sunglobe, the author now proceeds to say how the karmīs tread the path of smoke through the moonglobe, also in comparison to the reverse pastimes....." Crooked bālas, or ignorant souls always greedily worship material life left and right. Attached to the fruitive path mentioned in the śrutis (Vedas) they are busily engaged (karmaṭha) in prati-karma (each fruitive activity); thus they reside on the moonglobe (candra-maṇḍala). In the same way the bālas or crooked curly locks always restlessly dangle left and right, extending to the śrutis (ears), being a suitable embellishment (pratikarma), beautifying Kṛṣṇa's moonlike face (candra-maṇḍala)."

20.51 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: vāmyādyabhāvena avāryamāṇāṁ vāraṇa rahitaṁ 'They had lost all selfcontrol and restraint because there was no more vāmya."

20.52 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: 'śrānti sakhī (the girlfriend named Fatigue) tells Nidrā devī (the goddess of sleep): "Come come sakhi Nidre! Come here and relish the sweetness of the Divine Pair!" At the end of the verse translation Madhusūdana writes: "Seeing this, the sakhīs and mañjarīs go to their own abodes and fall asleep there."

20.54 The footnote existing in my published translation originates from Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma's ṭīkā of verse 52.

The Sanskrit of the two additional verses which is in this edition, while it may not have been included in the Sanskrit edition I copied by hand in 1987, runs as follows:

Verse 1:
viśvākāśa vikāra sammita śake vāre guroḥ phālgune
viśvānandini pūrṇimā pratipadoḥ sandhau sarasyās taṭe
gāndharvā giridhāriṇoḥ sarabhasaṁ dolādhirūḍhāṅgayoḥ
śrī caitanya dine tad etad udagāt kāvyaṁ bhajat pūrṇitām

Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments that viśva, the universe, is one, ākāśa (sky) is void, thus 0, and vikāra (transformations) are 16 in number. Traditionally the order of these figures is reversed, so that one comes to 1601. And that is 1680 AD, not 1686.

Verse 2:
tasya śrī guru pāda-padma madhunaḥ kena stave prābhavat
yat pītaṁ sahasaiva hanta malinaṁ maccitta mattālinam
saṁsārogra mātaṅgajasya madirāṁ vismārya vṛndāvane
rādhā-mādhava keli-kalpa-latikā vāse sadāvīvasat.

This zuddhi-patra, or correction-sheet, stripped of most personal comments, will be turned into a portable document format (pdf) and uploaded to the literature-dept. of http://www.madangopal.com/ as a free appendix to my published translation of Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hearing from non-devotees

I have heard some express doubt about whether it is really so harmful to hear Hari-kathā from non-devotees.There is a verse, famous in some circles,

avaiṣṇava mukhodgīrnam pūtaṁ hari kathāmṛtam
śravanaṁ naiva kartavyaṁ sarpocchiṣṭa yathā payaḥ

("One should not hear the pure nectar of Hari kathā from the mouth of a non-Vaiṣṇava -it is like milk touched by a serpent!"), and it is said to be in Hari-bhakti Vilāsa. I have personally not seen it there though, not even in its commentary. But in his commentary to Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.30, Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda does give this beautiful simile:

madhuram api jalaṁ kṣāra-bhūmi praviṣṭaṁ yathā virasībhavati tathaivāvaiṣṇava mukha nirgato bhagavad guṇo'pi nātirocaka -

"Even sweet water, if poured over a salty desert, becomes tasteless. Similarly the glorification of the Lord emanating from the mouth of a non-Vaiṣṇava, is not tasty."

Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta, chapters 10-13


Chapter Ten

Unless one is a knower of the text it is highly recommended to keep my English translation of Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta at hand, in order to follow these additional notes:

10.1 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "The sakhīs were absorbed in different types of rasālāpa (rasika discussions)."

10.6 samajñāṁ means kīrtīṁ, so 'Who does not desire to become famous in such a wonderful way?'


10.8 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma: kṛṣṇena yatnāt grāhitaṁ yan maunaṁ tat hriyā naisargikaṁ svabhāva siddhaṁ prāptāṁ - 'For Kṛṣṇa it is difficult to keep quiet but for Rādhā it is natural for She is bashful by nature." tayā svādhīna bhartṛkayā rādhayā alaṅkṛtaṁ sāṅgaṁ vibhrat "Kṛṣṇa sat down to Rādhā, who was in svādhīna bhartṛkā mood."

10.12 I made a mistake here too. I wrote 'When we ask ṭhem what happened They get scared", but Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: vayaṁ vibhimaḥ yataḥ prabhuṣṇu "They are the Lord, we are scared to ask Them." Madhusūdana says:"They are the Lord, we are scared to ask, besides, They are in meditation (and shouldn't be disturbed)!"

10.15 Madhusūdana translates as follows: "If that lusty Kṛṣṇa turned Śrī Rādhā into His form with his mantra japa, then who knows who is going to be next?"

10.41 Madhusūdana comments at nr. 41: "Restlessness, childishness and stubbornness are unfavorable to mokṣa, and yet they can be found in Rādhikā's eyes, hairs and breasts and caused them liberation - that is very amazing!"

Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds to verse 42: śleṣeṇa dhavaḥ patir mā sāyujyado bhavet - 'Your husbands cannot bestow such sāyujya to you."

10.47 Nāndīmukhī smiled and said: "Lalite! Are you ever deprived of the embrace of She (or He) whom you and your millions of chaste friends are constantly worshipping - and for whom you are calling the two of us? I think you are surely speaking lies!"

10.51 bhoḥ iti sāmānya śabdena rādhākṛṣṇayoḥ sambodhanam - 'With the word 'Your' Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are both addressed -in Rādhā's case it means the fulfillment of desire, that is that Kṛṣṇa managed to deceive Her sakhīs and thus fulfilled His desire. ladbhā asmākaṁ kṛṣṇadvārā viḍambanarūpa nijārtha siddhir yayā. They knew it was Rādhā but pretended that they thought She was Kṛṣṇa.

10.53 Madhusūdana adds: "It was as if Rādhikā hadn't been aware of what had taken place all this time so far."

10.56 vihāya tāṁ tāvad aviśvasatyo - 'We left Him because we didn't believe Him. By the mercy of Fate we were saved -our hearts proved it to us - as soon as we saw Him our hearts were filled with fear and hesitation - we couldn't remain free from fear for even a moment!"

10.57 Vṛndā said: "You can now see for yourselves whether this is your sakhā or sakhī (Kṛṣṇa or Rādhā)!"

10.59 Pun: 'You desire the end of Dvāpara yuga (and the beginning of Kali yuga) for then all the sādhus fall down. There will surely be an increase of svadharma (sva dharma means 'ones own virtue' but it can also be dissected as su adharma - 'nice irreligion', as in Kṛṣṇadeva's ṭīkā : tava svadharmajaṁ pakṣe suṣṭhu adharmajam.

10.63 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: pūrva kṛta viḍambanasya vyaktāśaṅkayā lalitādayaḥ kiñcid vaktuṁ na śaknuvanti 'Lalitā and the sakhīs couldn't say anything because they didn't want to reveal how they deceived each other earlier in this pastime." ataḥ śrīkṛṣṇa eva niḥśaṅkatayā āha - "Śrī Kṛṣṇa then spoke out fearlessly."

10.66 The desire vine of Vṛndāvana is Śrī Rādhā - iti śrutvā vṛndāvana-kalpavallī rādhā smitaṁ dadhe (Kṛṣṇadeva). Her desire that Her sakhīs would again have aṅga saṅga with Kṛṣṇa were now fulfilled - tathāca punarapi tābhiḥ sahāṅgasaṅgobhavatviti bhāvaḥ (Kṛṣṇadeva). In a lengthy footnote the famous CC verses 'rādhāra svarūpa kṛṣṇa prema kalpalatā sakhīgan hoy tār pallava puṣpa pāta' are quoted and its original verse from the Govinda Līlāmṛta (10.16) too. "Rādhā is millions of times more happy when Her girlfriends meet with Kṛṣṇa than if She would meet Him Herself."

Chapter 11

A nice pada by Uddhava Dās about the Jhulan Līlā is added to 11.15:

rādhākuṇḍa sannidhāne, harṣa varṣada vane, bakula kadamba taru-śreṇī
bāṅdhiyāche dui ḍāle, rakta paṭṭa ḍori bhāle, mājhe mājhe mukatā khicani

"Close to Rādhākuṇḍa, in the forest named 'Delighting the monsoon', there are some Bokul and Kadamba trees. Swings are suspended from the branches of these trees with red silken ropes, adorned with pearl strings."


puṣpa-dala cūrṇa kori, sūkṣma vastra mājhe bhori, kusuma tuli nirakhiyā.
pāṭāra upare muḍi, ḍuri bandha konā cāri, kṛṣṇa āge uṭhilena giyā

"Pillows made from crushed flower petals that are tied in fine cloth, cover the plank of the swing, that is tied with ropes on all four corners. Kṛṣṇa is the first one to mount the swing."


rāi kara ākarṣaṇa, kori ati harṣa mana, tulilena hindola upori
karapuṭe āṅti ḍori, dolā paṭe pada dhari, samullāsa mukhī mukha heri

"Pulling at Rādhā's hand He joyfully brings Her on the swing. Holding the ropes of the swing with His hands He looked at the face of Samullāsa-mukhī (Rādhā with a gleeful face)."

heno kāle sakhīgaṇe, kori nānā rāga gāne, puṣpera ārati duhu koilo
e uddhava dāsa bhaṇe, sabe nirmañchane, atiśaya ānanda bāḍhilo

"At that point the sakhīs began to sing songs in different rāgas and performed Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's flower-Arati. Uddhava Das sings - there was a great increase of bliss in this worship."

Added to 11.21:


joto sevā-parā, sakhī sucaturā, ki dibo upamā tāra
ati anurāge, māthe bāndhi pāge, sājaye vividha hāra

'With whom can I compare all those sakhīs that were expert in and dedicated to their service?With great loving attachment they tied a turban on (Kṛṣṇa's) head and decorated (both) with various necklaces."


ānanda atula, karpūra tāmbūla, diyā mukha pāne cāya
haraṣita cite, dolā dolāite, lalitā viśākhā cāya

"In matchless bliss they stare at the faces of the Divine Pair and place betel leaves in Their mouths. Joyfully Lalitā and Viśākhā push the swing."


śārīra añcala, kaṭīte bandhana, suchānde kiṅkiṇī diyā
cakra hoiyā kāche, rohe āge pāche, dui pada āropiyā

'They tie their veils into the waist of their sārīs with their jingling waist-bells and stand before and behind the Divine Pair in a circle."


āra dui sakhī, samaya nirakhi, hindolā viśrāma sthāne
tāmbūla sampuṭe loiyā karapuṭe, e dāsa uddhava bhaṇe

Uddhava Dās sings: "Two other sakhīs, seeing the time fit, took a basket with betel-leaves in their hands (and stood by) at the swing's resting place."

Added to 11.23:

Rāgiṇī jaya jayanti

manera ānanda, sakhī manda manda, jhulāyato duhuṅ sukhe
vega avaśeṣa, pāiyā avakāśe, tāmbūla deyāi mukhe

"Blissfully the sakhīs reduce the speed of the swing, to the pleasure of the Divine Pair. Now that the swing has slowed down they find the opportunity to place betel leaves in Their mouths."

āra sakhīgaṇa, sugandhi candana, parāgādi loiyā kore
nāgara nāgarī, aṅgera upori, borikhe ānanda bhore

"Other sakhīs take fragrant sandal paste and flower pollen within their hands and blissfully shower this over the bodies of our Hero and Heroine."

kona sakhīgaṇa, koroye narttana, mohana mṛdaṅga bāy
vividha yantrete, rāga tāna tāte, ālāpi susware gāy

"Some sakhīs dance and play enchanting mṛdaṅga-drums, singing along with the rhythms and tunes of different musical instruments with nice voices."

heriyā vihvala, deva nārīkula, ūrdhva pothe sobe rohe
puṣpa boriṣaṇa, kore anukṣaṇa, e dāsa uddhava kohe

"Seeing this, the goddesses in the sky become ecstatic as they hover in the sky. Uddhava dāsa says: They are showering flowers all of the time!

11.33-38: Padakartā Uddhava Dās was born in the early 18th century (at the end of Viśvanātha's life) and was very inspired by Viśvanātha's book, which is clear through his descriptions of the Līlā of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa's garlands touching each other during the swinging and Them seeing Each others' reflections within Each others chests. The publisher quotes songs by Uddhava Dās to that extent in the footnotes to these verses.

Another nice one by Uddhava Dās comes at 11.37:


nāgara ati vege dulāya, athira rāi sakhī niṣedhaye tāya.
dhani vigalita veṇī; śithila rāi kuca kañcuka uḍani
maṇi ābharaṇa khosai, uḍaye vasana heri nāgara hasai.
śramajale tanu bhorai, kanayā kamala kiye makaranda jhorai
ati uparūpa śobhā, uddhava dāsa bhana kānu manolobhā

"Nāgara Kṛṣṇa swings so forcefully and fast that Rāi's sakhīs forbid Him. Rādhikā's braid and blouse loosen and Nāgara laughs when Her jewel ornaments fall off and Her garments fly up. Her body is studded with sweat drops, making Her look like a golden lotus exuding drops of honey. Uddhav Dāsa sings of Kṛṣṇa's great desire aroused by this extraordinary beauty."

11.46 Ref. Rāy Śekhara song # 61.
Song added to 11.48:


atiśaya charama, gharama-yuta duṅhu tanu, dolā korolo suthira
śrī rati mañjarī, cāmara kore dhori, mṛdu mṛdu koroto samīra

"Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's bodies were studded with sweat-drops as the swing was put to a halt. Śrī Rati Mañjarī took a fan in her hand and gently fanned them."


lalitādika sakhī, heri sudhāmukhī, kusuma-hi korolo nichāi
dolā soiye taba, rāi utarāla, kusumāsana paro nāi

"Seeing the nectar-faced One(s), Lalitā and the other sakhīs offered flowers. Rādhā then stepped off the swing and sat down on a flower seat."


rāi vāme kori, baiṭhalo nāgara, dāsīgaṇa koru sevā
vāsita jala, upahāra ādi joto, yā koro sevana jebā

"Nāgara Kṛṣṇa seated Rādhā on His left while the maidservants rendered various services to Them, offering Them scented water and whatever other services were required."


karpūra tāmbūla, vadana-hi toikhone samaye jogāi,
uddhava dāsa, koroto pada sevana, sakhīgaṇa iṅgita pāi

"They offered Them camphor-laced betel leaves at the right time while Uddhava Dās served Their lotus-feet on the sakhīs' indication."

11.51 Ref. Rāy Śekhara song # 62.

Chapter Twelve:

12.21-22 yathā brāhmaṇa kṣatriyādyāśramiṇo janā grāme kramaśaḥ eka pradeśe brāhmaṇā anya pradeśe kṣatriyādayo vasanti  "The flowers all stay in their own places just as in villages Brahmins, Kṣatriyas etc. all have their own allotted quarters."

12.47 The Śuka is in the kalpa-taru (not mentioned by me in the original translation).

At the end of the chapter a song is added by Rādhā-mohan Thākura:


bhrama-i gahana bane yugala kiśora, saṅgahi sakhīgaṇa ānande bhora
sakhī e kohe punaḥ hero sakhi, doṅhe doṅhā daraśane animekha āṅkhi

'The Divine Pair rambled on in the deep forest, blissfully accompanied by Their girlfriends, who encouraged each other to stare at Them as They also stared at Each other with unblinking eyes."


taru sab pulakita bhramarera gaṇa; saurabhe dhāyalo chāḍi phula-vana
śrama bhare baiṭhalo mādhavī kuñja; rāi mukha kamale paḍalo alipuñja

"The trees were all studded with goosebumps and the bees gave up the flower patches to run after Their fragrance. Tired of wandering, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa sat down in a grove of Mādhavī flowers, where bees landed on Rādhikā's lotus-like face."


līlā kamala hi kānu tāhā vāri; madhusūdana geo kohoto ucāri
eto śuni rāi virahe bhelo bhora; koho rādhā mohana anurāga ora

"Kṛṣṇa chased them away with His play-lotus, saying loudly: 'Madhusūdana (the bee, or Kṛṣṇa) is gone!" Hearing this, Rādhikā became engrossed in feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa. Rādhā-mohan says: "That is the limit of transcendental passionate love!"


13.28 Song added by unknown author:


navīna kiśorī sakhī nava madhupāne, mado preme bhrānta netra pralāpata kṣaṇe
la la lalite pa pa paśya rādhācyuta; sa sa sakala saṅga lālasā yāite
vividha vipina mama mahīra sahite; ga ga ga gagana kona la la la lambite

"This fresh adolescent girl became drunk from drinking the honey punch and began to speak like mad, with bewildered eyes - la la la lalite, loo loo look at Rādhā and Acyuta, the fo-fo-fo-rest is rotating with the earth and the sky."


vikaca ambuja jini mukha padmagaṇa; tārapara matta bhṛga kore ākarṣaṇa
madhupāne matta hoilā rādhā nitambinī; madana spṛhāte kore śayana vāñchani

"The face of Rādhā, with the nice buttocks, defeats the blooming lotus, so it naturally attracts drunken honeybees who became mad after drinking its honey. Desiring amorous pastimes, She then reclined on the bed."


sevā parā sakhī tārā nānā sevā kore; doṅhāke loiyā gelā śayanera ghare
kusuma śayyāte duhuṅ korolo śayana; nija nija kuñje śuilena sakhīgaṇa

"The dedicated sakhīs rendered various services, taking the Divine Pair into the bedroom. The Divine Pair reclined onto Their bed of flowers, while the sakhīs took rest in their own groves themselves."

13.34-37 The amorous relationship of Kṛṣṇa with the mañjarīs described here is not supported by my lineage, nor by any of the main Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava lineages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta chapters 8 and 9


Chapter Eight

Unless one is a knower of the text it is highly recommended to keep my English translation of Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta at hand, in order to follow these additional notes:

8.6 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: mūrccha (swoon), who is hard to remove, is broken, yet also not. At every moment Rādhā's heart is broken at the thought of Kṛṣṇa going to the forest - She faints again and again."
8.17 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "How amazing! Though you are absorbed in the bliss of smelling Kṛṣṇa's bodily fragrance you doubt its existence!"
8.22 Instead of 'blowing life airs' I should have written 'throbbing' (original word is spandana). Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "Where's the limit to Her tenderness? She cannot even feel the presence of Her life-airs!"
8.23 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: antar udghūrṇataḥ āturaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ śokena ruddha-vāk san vāṣpa-pūrṇa nayane madhumaṅgalasya mukhe akṣipat - "Kṛṣṇa was unable to speak out of sorrow and affliction."
8.24 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma quotes Madhumaṅgala as saying: śleṣeṇa vanaṁ padminīṁ ānaya padminẏāḥ duḥke bhavatīnāmavadhānam eva kāraṇam - "Why are you causing this golden lotus to suffer by keeping ḥer out of the forest (water)? You are the cause of Her distress! A Rādhā-lotus is sure to suffer outside of Śyāma-water!"
8.27 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "Wherever there's a true hearts' meeting, the two hearts are tied into one. As soon as one heart is hit, the other one will reverberate. Thus Rādhā experiences Kṛṣṇa's pain of separation at every stage and experiences even His slightest heartache. Therefore the joy She felt from the scent of His forest garland at once vanished."
8.28 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "Rādhā's strong eagerness gradually crossed the borders of Her gravity and became like a powerful river that filled up the lake of Her heart." Ref. Rāy Śekhar's padāvalī, song nr. 50
8.30 Ref. Rāy Śekhar song nr.53
8.31 I forgot to include here bhallabhāṇi priyāṇi, 'The sweets are very dear to the gopīs too.'
8.33 Ref. Rāy Śekhar song nr.57
8.34 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma ṭīkā - kanaka srak yathā jaḍatayā paravaśā tathā iyam apīti bhāvaḥ - "Just as the golden garland is dependent and subservient, due to being material, so is this (Priyatamā)."
8.36 In the footnote is a sweet song by Prasād ḍās, but unfortunately I am unable to fully figure it out. It is about Kṛṣṇa's feelings of separation, His swoon, His fluteplaying and His meeting with Rādhikā.
8.40 Madhusūdana comments it is an autumn moonlight.
8.44 I forgot to translate here 'āpa āpurapi nimnagāśritā yajjaḍatva mihakā vicitratā' (The translation of this line was clearly mentioned in Rādhikānāth Gosvāmī's Bengali translation, shame on me!)" The current of the powerful Yamunā has also become stunned? Isn't that amazing?" Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds:"If Sarasvatī ends up in such a condition in misunderstanding the meaning of the word 'go', then is it very amazing that downward-flowing rivers become stunned?"
8.46 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma, Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī and Madhusūdana Vācaspati have all given elaborate translations to this verse, which I originally translated with just one sentence. This is what they write (translated from the Bengali translation of Madhusūdana): "Sakhi! Is this the glory of Muralīdhara (Kṛṣṇa) or the astonishing power of the flute itself? This is not to Muralīdhārī's credit, because the flute-song "Hey cows,come!" is not a throat-sound - it doesn't wait for the wish of its employer Muralīdhara - just see how powerfully it creates awe (sambhrama) in everyone, by explaining the meaning of the word 'go' as meaning 'the earth', etc., with its inebriating power, totally independently! Or this word 'go' can be taken as a mere throat sound without any second meaning and is simply giving its own meaning beyond the control of its employer - 'Kṛṣṇa is calling me', causing complete (samyak) illusion (bhrama, together forming the word sambhrama mentioned in the śloka). The Alaṅkārikas call the ability of one word to have different meanings 'śakti', but the alternate meaning of a word is only understood through vyañjanā (suggestion). This is not to the credit of Vaṁśīdhārī but of the amazing power (or multi-interpretations) of the word (go)!"
8.47 "And look! The cows understood the purport of the speaker through abhidhā (the mukhya artha or main, obvious meaning of a word). Thinking: 'He is calling us!', they blissfully prick up their ears towards Him and reply to Him with their bellowing!" The pun of this verse wasn't understood by me either at the time. The verses deal with the various layers of understanding of a word explain in the Kavya scriptures.
A song from Pada Kalpataru is added as a footnote to verses 48-49 by an unknown author:

muralīra ālāpane, pavana bohiyā śune, yamunā bohoi ujāna.
nā cole rabira ratha, bājī nā dekhaye path, darabaya dāruṇapāṣāṇa -

'As soon as the wind carried Kṛṣṇa's flute song the Yamunā began to flow upstream and the sun's chariot stopped, since its horses had lost the way. The hardest stones melted."

śuniyā muralīdhvani, dhyāna chāḍe joto muni, japa tapa kichu nāhi bhāy.
tṛṇa-mukhe dhenu joto, ūrdhva mukhe herato, bāchure dugdha nāhi khāy"

Hearing the flute-sound the Munis gave up their meditations and lost interest in their japa and tapa. The cows left their grass unchewed within their mouths, their heads raised, and their calves stopped drinking the milk from their udders."

8.49 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "When She heard the Muralī resound, many sweet waves of bliss and passion billowed in Śrī Rādhā's heart. Wherever She cast Her glance She perceived the vast impact of this sound, and moment by moment She experienced delusion, paralysis and astonishment. With a voice filled with astonishment She said: (Follows regular verse translation)
8.52 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma ṭīkā: āsāṁ tu muralī iti asmākaṁ tāsāñca phalataḥ sāmyam iti dhvaniḥ "We gopīs are stopped by our husbands but these does by the flute. As a result we end up in an equal situation."
8.53 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "The sakhīs that accompanied Śrī Rādhikā also became astonished beholding the amazing strenght of the flute-sound. Their hearts became covered with joy and astonishment. Lalitā then said with trembling voice: (Follows regular translation)
8.55 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma ṭīkā: tathā cācintya yogamāyayā kṛtāt sthāna-saṅkocād eva tatra jagmur ityarthaḥ "Through her inconceivable power Yogamāyā contracted the place (shrank Vraja bhūmi) for the gopīs so that they could reach the kuñja in time, despite their paralysis."
8.56 Ref. Rāy Śekhara song nr.56
8.60 Madhusūḍana Vācaspati adds: "When the sun rises Madhusūdana (a bumblebee, or Kṛṣṇa) thinks his beloved lotus-flower will surely be in the water of a nearby pond (Rādhākuṇḍa), surrounded by alis (bees or sakhīs), (Follows regular translation).
8.62 A better translation would have been: "Just as the devatās can read the minds of the humans, similarly Kṛṣṇa's dear pal Madhumaṅgala could read Kṛṣṇa's mind" (follows regular translation):
8.70 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "A garland of clouds in the form of Śyāma's body is accomplishing the beauty of the forest grounds and it showers the Rādhā-lake with the nectar shower of its luster, so that it becomes filled with sweet water and attains ghūrṇā (dizziness or whirlpools). As the forest is thus beautified and the lakes filled with water and whirlpools, the thirst for this nectar is only increased by it, rather than quenched. This is exactly how Rādhā experiences the sweetness of Śyāmasundara's cloud-like luster.
8.71 Ref. Rāy Śekhara song nr.60

As in Govinda Līlāmṛta, in Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta also the pūrva-rāga, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's ever increasing eagerness before the midday-midday, is described in chapter 8. Govinda Līlāmṛta's chapter 8 is so fascinating it can simply not be superseded and Viśvanātha indeed did not manage that, though he did try very hard.

Chapter Nine

9.1 Kṛṣṇadeva ṣārvabhauma adds: pakṣe kusumeṣu kandarpas tatra 'Not only your desire for picking flowers (kusumeṣu) will be fulfilled but also Your amorous (kusumeṣu= Cupid, the flower-archer) desires.' Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds that this verse is spoken not by any sakhī but by Viśākhā.
9.2 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: atra ānandājjātaṁ jāḍyādikaṁ bhaya-janyatvena khyāpayati balad iti "You don't shiver of fear but of ecstasy (because Kṛṣṇa is approaching)." Madhusūdana adds to Rādhā's reply: "Just as Your doe-like eyes are restless, so you are too - I can see it!"
9.4 Should have been in plural case: kintu prācīnāparādha-vaśāt asmāsu saruṣā iva vidhātrā ayaṁ lampaṭaḥ sādhvī vratarūpāndhakārasya dhvaṁsana etc."But due to offences committed in the past Fate has become as if angry with us, so this debauch is now ravishing our vows of chastity...."
My original translation wasn't so good altogether. This is how Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma explains it: yaḥ sūrya-rūpaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sarvāḥ padminīḥ pakṣe vrajasundarīḥmukha mudraṇād virahitāḥ arthāt praphullāḥ kṛtvā tāḥ padminīḥ svasmin āsaktā iti pravāda mātraṁ loke nayan nandati sukhaṁ prāpnoti. tena padminīnāṁ yathādūra sthitenaiva sūryeṇa pravāda mātraṁ na tu saṅga iti dṛṣṭānta sūcitenānurāgeṇa sthāyinā tṛṣṇātireko dhvanitaḥ "That sun-like Kṛṣṇa causes all the lotus-like gopīs to blossom (mukha mudraṇāḍ virahitāḥ is just the opposite of what ī translated originally, it means opening, not closing). This is however just popular hearsay (loke pravāda) that serves to delight common people. In fact the sun is very far away from the lotus flowers, they cannot really unite with him. Can I ever in this life unite with my beloved?" This utterance shows Rādhā's sthāyibhāva of anurāga."
9.6 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "The waves of ecstasy caused by their seeing Kṛṣṇa were so powerful that they swiftly eroded the sand-dyke of false anger."
9.7 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma explains: rasena jalena pakṣe śṛṅgāra-rasenāplutāntaratayā – “They were thus inundated by a flood of śṛṅgāra (amorous) rasa.”
9.8 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Their patience was flushed away like blades of grass on a current of nectar."
9.9 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma explains: ānanda-jāḍyena tāsāṁ prati-vācam aprāpya - "He did not get a reply from the gopīs because they were stunned of ecstasy."
9.14 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma: "puṣpeṣu means 'We are eager to pick flowers' or: 'We are eager to engage in the sports of the flower-archer Cupid."
9.15 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma: vāmya ityanena krīḍā-samaye vāmyaṁ na kartavyam atrāpi śapathaṁ kuruteti bhāvaḥ. Kṛṣṇa means to say here: "You must take an oath that during the time of love-making you will not resist!"
9.18 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "I will test your fidelity to your husbands in this kunja!"
9.20 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Kṛṣṇa was not at all taken aback by this show of force by Lalitā. He did not budge an inch, rather He began to proudly taunt her: (follows regular translation) vigata śaṅka means 'You lost all fear'
9.21 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: 'Lalitā was angry like a trampled snake. She said: 'You are always frightening innocent women, but that won't work with me - I am not like them, look - I am Lalitā!"
9.23 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: 'Each word of the crown-jewel of rasikas Śrī Kṛṣṇa caused a fountain of delight within Rādhā's heart, but externally She pretended to be angry, so She said: "(follows regular translation). Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: tasyā me mama śreṣṭha dharma vartmani ratāḥ sadā nikaṭe sthirā imāḥ sakhyaḥ. pakṣe atanoḥ kandarpasya dharma vartmani ratāḥ "atanu dharma means the path of the greatest virtue or the path of erotic practises."
9.27 All directions were inundated by the sweet waves of Śrī Rādhā's moon-like, uncovered face.
9.28 Was completely misunderstood by me back in '88, though I must say in my defence that it was a sweltering hot Vṛndāvana-summer and the translation of Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī leaves room for misunderstanding. Madhusūdana's translation is clearer: "At that time Rādhikā's wild unkempt hairlocks above Her moon-like face enchanted Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who thought to Himself (Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma starts his ṭīkā with 'snāna samaye śrīkṛṣṇasya vitarkam āha' Śrī Kṛṣṇa wonders during (His or Her) bath.' This makes little sense at this point of the aṣṭakāla līlā, where there is no question of bathing.) "Oh how sweet! This mass of darkness is not destroyed by the spotless full moon shining under it! It should be destroyed by that pure moonlight. Then what, has the darkness defeated the moonlight in combat and is now ruling over him? No, no - that is also not possible, for though the moonlight is situated under the darkness it shines with full force. Can a loser ever shine with such amazing beauty? Or perhaps they have made friends? No, if that were so there wouldn't be one above the other. That'd be totally improper - they should then stay on equal levels. Then did the dvija-rāja (best of brahmins or the moon) accept the service of tama (darkness)? That would be very embarrassing. Brahmins are in the mode of goodness, it would be embarrassing for them to accept servitude to tama."
9.29 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Again, when Kṛṣṇa beheld the sweetness of Rādhā's eyes, that were half closed due to bashfulness, He thought to Himself:" (Follows regular translation)
9.30 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: atra ekasya pāna kartṛtvaṁ anyasya mattatā aparasya vivaśatā anyasya sukhitāityetair asaṅgatyalaṅkāraḥ sūcitaḥ "One sakhī drank honey-wine (of this vision), another was already inebriated, another was overwhelmed and another was in bliss. This indicates the asaṅgata alaṅkāra."
9.33 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Śrī Rādhā cast sidelong reddened with external (feigned) anger at Kṛṣṇa and asked with an examining voice: (Follows regular translation)
9.34 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: (Kṛṣṇa said:) "Afterwards You can examine My expertise in this fruitive sacrifice of Cupid!"
9.35 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: 'Hearing these funny and rasika words of her cousin-in-law, Kundalatā beams a spotless smile around her cherry-like lips." (Follows regular translation)
9.36 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Hearing these very intimate jokes of Kundalatā Śrī Rādhā bloomed of love and said:" (Follows regular translation)
9.37 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Waves of ecstatic love played in the hearts of the sakhīs and with an excited voice Viśākhā said: "Priyasakhi Rādhe! Let's first test the expertise in Cupid's sacrifice of this crown-jewel of crooks through Kundalatā!"
9.39 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: svena kartavyasya karmaṇaḥ parīkṣārthaṁ svasakhīḥ prārthayati ataḥ sva mukhenaivasambhoga prārthanā kṛteti tāsāṁ hāsye kāraṇam "She is asking Her own girlfriend to get tested, which is a roundabout way of asking for Her own enjoyment. That is the cause of the sakhīs smiling."
9.40 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: Viśākhā's lips bloom with a smile as she says: "Rādhe! If you go to test that mantra then who will protect You? Until now only indifference has been Your protectress...."(continues regular translation) "...I see You feel heartache now that indifference can not protect You anymore...." Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: kintu sāhāyyaṁ karotīti vyutpattyā siddhaḥ agre eṣa sahakāraḥ āmravṛkṣas tava avitā rakṣitā bhavitā ata ekānte sahakāra kuñjaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja "The word sahakāra (mango) is derived from sahāyya (assistant or protector). Thus this mango grove in front of You will surely protect You. Or: If You desire Your own welfare, or: if you want to be immersed in the nectar-ocean of bliss of intercourse, then enter that grove without delay!"
9.45 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "When ṣhe heard Nāndīmukhī's words, Śrī Rādhā was tossed about on the waves of doubt and was scorched by flames of suffering. At each moment Her full-moon face was covered by foul clouds of lamentation. With anxious eyes She looked eagerly towards Lalitā for consolation. Out of pride Her lips pouted and trembled but She was unable to produce a sound. (Follows regular translation) Last sentence should have been: "Would any wise person leave an ocean of nectar (sudhāmbu) to go anywhere else?"
9.49 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: āli-śreṇīr api mohayan san "Not only should you delude Rādhā but also Her girlfriends!"
9.51 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says: anyā capalā cañcalā iva ghanarucer nibiḍa spṛhasya te aṅkaṁ rādhikā kiṁ samārokṣyati. pakṣe ghana rucer megha sadṛśasyacapalā vidyud iveti bhaṅgyā āśvāsa eva kṛtaḥ 'Should Rādhikā just sit on the lap of a cloud (ghana-ruci means cloud or intense desire)?' Pun: Paurṇamāsī consoles Kṛṣṇa: "The pastimes of a lightning strike are observed near a cloud, so the Rādhā-lightning will surely shine beautifully near You cloud-like one!"
9.52 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Hearing this, Kṛṣṇa was tossed between hope and despair, and between joy and sorrow. Then He went home. Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds: patrīsthāṁ vārtāṁ na jānāmītyarthaḥ (Nāndīmukhī said:) "I don't know what is written in the letter."
9.53 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Hearing this, Śrī Rādhā told Her girlfriends in astonishment and agitation: (Follows regular translation). I made a mistake here. tatraiva sūryārcitam means 'We will do sūrya pūjā at home today" instead of 'and then do our sūrya pūjā'.
9.55 Madhusūdana Vācaspati adds: "Nāndī's bold words left Śrī Rādhā a bit embarrassed. Nevertheless She replied with a sarcastic voice: (Follows regular translation)
9.56 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma interprets vana to be ocean, because the moon actually rises from the ocean "The moon suddenly rose from the horizon of the blue ocean" Madhusūdana translates. Kṛṣṇadeva adds further: jyeṣṭha māsīya sūryajāpi suṣamā sambhrānteti citram. mantrabala-bhāk ataevātiśaya śobhā-pūrṇaḥ sa -"On the strenght of this mantra japa Kṛṣṇa has attained a beauty like the powerful sun in June (scorching sun in Indian summer)."
9.59 yāntīṁ means Rādhā was going to the kuñja.
9.62 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma adds in the ṭīkā: gavāṁ nārāyaṇasya śapathaḥ - 'Rādhikā took oaths on the cows and Lord Nārāyaṇa again and again."
9.63 Madhusūdana Vācaspati and Kṛṣṇādeva Sārvabhauma say that Rādhā initially would not 'let Cupid show his skill in dancing" (resisted), but Madhusūdana forgets to translate that Kṛṣṇa bit Her cherry like lips while abducting Her.
9.65 According to Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma the word nabhinna (I translated it as "undifferentiated") means that the pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are totally different from mundane lusty affairs and non-different from transcendental love. Sārvabhauma quotes the verse 'premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ityagamat prathām'.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta chapter 4-7


Chapter Four:
4.19 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: meghaiḥ sahasā dṛśyantaram āha - "Just as clouds are always different, Rādhā's bodily luster always looks different to the sakhīs."
4.36 aguruṁ guru rahitaṁ yad dhūmakulaṁ malinaṁ kulaṁ guru-svarūpaṁ keśaṁ īśvaraṁ bhajat. Instead of saying, like Rādhikānāth Gosvāmī, that a jīva can ascend to Vaikuṇṭha without a Guru, Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma says that low class people without a Guru can reach Vaikuṇṭha by worshipping the ḷord (directly). Even this is controversial though.
4.56 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: nanu bho lalite! aṅgānāṁ madhye śreṣṭhābhyāmāvābhyāṁ kathaṁ ratnādikaṁ vihāyaañjanaṁ dattaṁ tatrāha vāṁ yuvayoḥ kṛṣṇaruci drave tṛṣṇāyuktāvagamāt kṛṣṇarucidravo mayā arpitaḥ. (ṭhe kajjal said:) "Bho Lalite! We are the best of Rādhikā's limbs, so why instead of ornamenting us with jewels and so, are you smearing this ink on us?" (Lalitā replied:) "Both of you increase Kṛṣṇa ruci (Kṛṣṇa's taste for Rādhikā), so I offered this Kṛṣṇa-ruci (black substance) to you." This obviously inspired Rādhikānāth Gosvāmī to write his own comment about the ink and the jewels.
4.75 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: koṇa-yugaṁ yasyāḥ tena droṇī catuṣkoṇaiva bhavati iyaṁ dvikoṇeti viśeṣaḥ "Normally a basket is square, with four corners, but this one has just two corners."
4.89 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: yathā yathā hārāḥ kramaśo lambamānā nānā varṇamayaśca tathā tathā kucayoḥ śobheti jñeyaṁ "On whatever part of the breasts the jewel necklace hangs, it shows beauty of various colours."
4.99 Madhusūdan Vācaspati adds (in connection with the priya sakhīs' rasa kathā): "Those who are agitated by thirst wont find relief by hearing the words 'water water', rather their thirst will double."
4.103 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma and Madhusūdana Vācaspati both comment that the ornaments lick Rādhā's bodily luster.



Chapter Five:
5.14 Rādhikānāth Gosvāmī's pun about alam-paṭi (Rādhā's cloth becoming useless) is not found in any of the earlier commentaries. This also goes for his pun at 5.32 about Giridhārī holding Rādhā's breasts.
5.37 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: akhilā āśā diśo yasya saḥ gaura-nīla dyutītyanena prayāgaḥ sūcyate. Madhusūdana translates this as follows: "The golden glow of Kṛṣṇa's cloth and the blue glow of ḥis body resemble the meeting of Yamunā and Gaṅgā at Prayāga."
5.41 Seeing Rādhā's upset face, clever Lalitā could easily understand Her heart's deep feelings, but still she laughed and spoke these words of consolation: "Dear friend! Out of fear of having to pass by that Casanova Your vine-like body trembles and is studded with goosebumps. ṭear-drops well from ẏour lotus-like eyes."
5.42 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "After this, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa cross the path of Each others eyes - perceiving the treasure of Each other's meditation. How beautiful is the symptom of Their love - dearer than life! Kṛṣṇa beholds the life-delighting sweet form of Rādhā to ḥis heart's content. The more He looks the more He rejoices. Bewildered by astonishment He thinks:"Oh how wonderful! What a peerlessly sweet beauty!" Rādhā also stares without blinking at the world-enchanting sweetness of Her heart's lover, who destroys the pride of Cupid, and becomes absorbed (in it)."
5.44 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "The closer Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa got to Each other the more shy and scared ṭhey got. ḷove of Kṛṣṇa is naturally crooked - inside there is a wave of joy, while outside there is bashfulness and resistance."
5.45 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "With bewildered eyes Kṛṣṇa beheld Rādhā's sweetness,extracted from millions of moons. Suddenly the object of His meditation peeked at Him from the corners of Her love-crooked eyes, telling Him so many pitiful stories of passion from Her inner heart. Understanding this, Kṛṣṇa became stunned of loving absorption. When He returned to His senses somewhat, ḥe saw -
5.51 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "Nanda Mahārāja made inner quarters in case Kṛṣṇa Balarāma would marry. In the south eastern-corner is the bedroom of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa and in the north-western corner the inner chamber of Nanda Mahārāja."
5.66 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: "Kṛṣṇa served His voice, which defies the sound of (His) flute in the cup of Rādhā's ears. The Vīṇā of Rādhā's heart at once resounded when She heard the beautiful sound of Her hearts lover's voice."


Chapter Six:
6.12 The two lakes are Rādhākuṇḍa and Śyāmakuṇḍa, the mount is Girirāja Govardhana.
6.13 Kṛṣṇadeva Sarvabhauma comments: ujjvalaḥ śṛṅgāraḥ - Ujjvala means the amorous rasa.
6.53 The unknown commentator in the footnotes quotes ślokas from the Sāhitya Darpaṇa and Alaṅkāra Kaustubha to explain vyañjana vṛtti: "If the meaning of a word cannot be clearly revealed through abhidhā (the primary meaning of a word) and lakṣaṇā śakti, another śakti is needed to understand it, and that is vyañjana." (lakṣaṇā in Monier Williams: "aiming at, aim, object, view ḥariv. indication, elliptical expression, use of a word for another word with a cognate meaning (as of "head"' for "intellect"'), indirect or figurative sense of a word (one of its three Arthas, the other two being abhidhā‚ or proper sense, and vyañjanā‚ or suggestive sense with sāropā, the placing of a word in its figurative sense in apposition to another in its proper sense).
6.72 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka: (Śrīdāma tells Madhumangala:) "This enjoyment is only for vaiśyas and kṣatriyas - not for tapasvī brāhmaṇas (like you)!"
6.82 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: vastutastu vā vikalpe naratvam iti vyutpattyā vānarasyāpi naratvaṁ vartate. Madhusūdana translates: "Just as Baṭu (the brahmin Madhumangala) has in fact a human side (naratva), similarly alternatively (vikalpe) one can add (vyutpatti) the prefix 'vā' to that, in which way even a monkey can become (appear) like a human being."
6.116 Madhusūdana Vācaspati elaborates on the mūla śloka in the end of his translation: "Aha! Then wave after wave of the nectar-juice of uninterrupted sambhogānanda sprang from the scorching desert of separation!"

Chapter Seven:
7.25 A footnote gives the Sāhitya Darpaṇa's definition of vyaṅgya - vācyo haryo'bhidhayā bodhyo lakṣyolakṣẏaṇayā mataḥ vyaṅyo vañjanayā tāḥ syus trisraḥ śabdasya śaktayaḥ. "The meaning understood from abhidhā is vācya, from lakṣaṇā is lakṣya and from vyañjanā is vyaṅgya."
7.33 It is unlikely that a gopī would speak like that to her mother-in-law.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta ch.1-3


Book review - Śrī Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta by Viśvanātha Cakravartipāda.
Published by Bhṛgunāth Mishra, Vrindavan, 2007

To my knowledge, this is the first Bengali edition of Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanamṛta since the one of Rādhikānāth Gosvami from 1903 (not counting its partial inclusion in the Bhāvanā Sāra Saṅgraha from Haribol Kutir in the 1970s), though some years ago I saw pamphlets on the walls of Rādhākund advertising a new Bengali edition available from Gopīnāth Gherā in Vrindāvan. However, I never got my hands on that one. Śrī Bhṛgunātha Miśra is himself not a Bengali but had several Bengali bhaktas working on this most excellent edition, which is packed with extras - a Sanskrit ṭīkā by Viśvanātha's disciple Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma and many elaborate footnotes with padānuvādas from all the famous padakartās like Govinda Dās, Uddhava Dās and Rāy Śekhar, definitions from the rasa śāstras and elaborate descriptions of all the sakhīs, sakhās, pitās and mātās of Vraja. The Bengali verse prose translation dates from 1919 and is done by Madhusūdan Vācaspati, aka Madhusūdan Dās Adhikārī, who also wrote commentaries on Rādhārasa Sudhānidhi, partly translated by yours truly. Many comments in the footnotes are from an unknown source but it is presumed that they are also from Madhusūdan Vācaspati. For properly understanding the following notes it is highly recommended to have a copy of my English translation of Kṛṣṇa Bhavanamrita at hand.

I personally think that Viśvanātha's puns linking madhura līlā with jñāna and yoga in chapter two are not so attractive and inciting.


Kṛṣṇadeva Sarvabhauma comments on 3.4: rādhāyāḥ svatantra vāsa-sthānaṁ - "Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja made a mansion for Rādhā's independent residence (on the yard of Abhimanyu)."

3.8 sarvādau peṭikodghaṭanañca vastrālaṅkārādi darśanārtham. tāsāṁ svabhāva eva - "It is the nature of the kinkaris to first open the trunk to check the garments and ornaments."

3.10 remains troublesome to me - vyatividhāna mitho'vadhāyi - "The brahmins and the cows compete in outsounding each other - in the end no one can hear each other anymore." Seems distressful and reminds me of modern India.

3.13 Carries a footnote (source unknown) about Mukharā - 'She is a friend of Pātlā, Yaśodā's mother, and used to affectionately breastfeed Yaśodā. Due to this parental affection Mukharā daily comes to see Kṛṣṇa at Nandālaya. Mukharā's husband is called Bindugopa."

3.14 pītavasanaṁ vīkṣyāpi rādhā lajjitā bhaviṣyatīti śaṅkayā - "Though she does see the yellow cloth Mukharā does not say anything about the yellow cloth so as not to embarrass Rādhā."

3.15 Footnote (source unknown): "In most other writings Paurṇamāsī wakes up Rādhā, but that is because the līlā differs per day."

3.18 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments that, although Śyāmalā is an independent yūtheśvarī, still the wheat of her joy can only flourish through her meeting with Rādhā. The anonymous commentator classifies her as a suhṛt pakṣa sakhī, though she is a friend of Candrāvalī's. In his tīkā on the first verse of Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī writes there are three kinds of Vrajagopīs - avara-mukhyā, madhyama mukhyā and parama mukhyā. Śyāmalā belongs to the middle class, Rādhā to the top class. atha madhyama mukhyābhyām āha kalite ātmasātkṛte śyāmā śyāmalā lalitā ca.

Rādhākṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā says: suhṛt pakṣatayā khyātā śyāmalā mangalādayaḥ "Śyāmalā and Maṅgalā belong to the friendly party."

3.19 Madhusūdana Dāsa Adhikārī comments that due to the joy of meeting Śyāmalā, Rādhā completely forgets Her nocturnal pastimes with Kṛṣṇa, but I doubt this.

3.23 Here is an elaborate footnote on sthāyībhāva and anurāga. Quoting from Alaṅkāra Kaustubha and Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi.3.25 Madhusūdana Dāsa Adhikārī writes: "Hearing priya-sakhī Śyāmalā's words, Rādhā shyly stares at ḥer own chest and sees that actually the karāgra-kalā (moonbeams or nailmarks) of the full kalā-kauśala (moon or artful Kṛṣṇa) are there, illuminated by Her vilāsa, beautifying Her breasts. Taking this as evidence confirming Śyāmalā's words, She laughs and speaks (then follows the regular translation of verse 25):

3.26 Rādhikānātha Gosvāmī's addition that a sadācārī doesn't do anything before his morning bath is confirmed by Kṛṣṇadeva Sarvabhauma's ṭīkā.

3.29 A sūtradhāra is someone who, after the recitation of the maṅgalācaraṇa or Nāndī-verse, circumambulates the stage and recites a brief synopsis of the drama.

3.32 Mādhurikā: ṣhe belongs to Raṅgadevī's yūtha, and is thus one of the 64 priya sakhīs (8 sakhīs of the aṣṭasakhīs, 8x8=64, ed.)

3.35 The mantra : 'avyād ajo'ṅghri maṇimān' originates from S.B 10.6.19.

3.37 According to the Harivamsa Rohiṇī was Kaśyapa's wife Surabhī in the last life - devakī rohiṇī ceme vasudevasyadhīmataḥ rohiṇī surabhīr devī aditir devakī hyabhūt. (Unknown commentator:) "To accomplish Kṛṣṇa's nikuñja vilāsa and Rāsa līlā in Vṛndāvana there is Vṛndā, but for the full accomplishments of goṣṭha- and vana-līlās there is Paurṇamāsī."

3.38 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: rāmasya baladevasya gūḍhārtaśca ca rāmāyā ambareṇa - "Paurṇamāsī means the cloth of Rāmā (Rādhā), but Yaśodā thinks she means the cloth of Rāma (Balarāma).

3.41 Madhusūdana Vācaspati says that Madhumangala has a red glow, but Rūpa Gosvāmī says he is śyāma.

3.56 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: uṣṇīṣe śekharīkṛtaḥ kānaka sūtrajālaḥ torarā iti khyātaḥ suvarṇa nirmita sūtra samūhaḥ - ṭhe golden string-net on Kṛṣṇa's turban is called torarā.

3.60 Kṛṣṇadeva Sārvabhauma comments: cāru sundaraṁ tavaiva mukhaṁ yena tad guṇān kathayasi. ramaṇya iti tā eva ramante vayaṁ tu sadaiva duḥkiṇya - 'ṣince you speak of Kṛṣṇa's beautiful attributes you are called cārumukhī. ḹe are, however, always unhappy."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Four levels of speech in Bhāgavat confirmed

In a letter today, my friend Kṛṣṇadās provided authoritative comments on the Bhāgavata that prove the four levels of speech (discussed in my blog of February 28) are actually meant in the Bhāgavata verses quoted to me earlier by Satya-nārāyan Prabhu, though they are not literally mentioned there:

SB 11.12.17: sa eva jīvo vivara-prasutiḥ prāṇena ghoṣena guhaṁ praviṣṭaḥ manomayaṁ sūkṣmam upetya rūpaṁ mātra svaro varṇa iti - "According to the ṭīkā of Śrīdhara Swāmī, ghoṣena refers to parākhya vāk, manomayam to paśyanti, sūkṣma to madhyama and words mātra, svara and varṇa to vaikhari."

Śrīdhara Swāmī comments to SB 11.21.36: prathamam prāṇa-mayaṁ parākhyaṁ tato manomayam paśyantyākhyam, tata indriyamayaṁ madhyamākhyam – “Prāṇa refers to the supreme sound of parā, then comes the mental level of paśyantī and then the sensual madhyama.”

The texts, along with the Haribhakti Vilāsa verses on pramāda japa mentioned earlier on my blog (January 31), are added to my essay 'The art of japa' on www.madangopal.com (linktab 'Articles')

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Gaura vs Rāhu

Gaurapurnima 2007 coincides with an eclipse, so from 6 p.m deity service and prasāda is to be stopped. So, since breaking fast is exactly at 6 p.m., one either has to fast until the next morning or have the prasāda 'contaminated' by Rāhu. As a compromise I decide to break fast at 5.30 p.m., still a bit around dusk, and just before the onset of the eclipse. I cook a 'feast' for Rādhācaran and Kṛṣṇamayī and do abhiṣeka with them as well. Then, fearing contamination by Rāhu, I was supposed to do a vigil from 6 p.m to 3 a.m. as well. Well, you know there are limits for a 51-year old 29-year sādhaka. Just look at it: 1-2 February - vigil (plane flight), 2-5 February jetlag, 14 February Ekādaśī, 16 February Śiva Rātri (24 hour vigil and fast. Scrapped the former deliberately, the latter accidentally). 27 February Ekādaśī, 3/4 March Gaura Pūrṇimā + eclipse - Full fast till dusk (observed, without eating 1 kg of potatoes at noon, like most of my fellow rāgānugaites), eclipse vigil (scrapped deliberately, slept from 6.30 p.m to 3.30 a.m. instead). Coming up: 5/6 March vigil in airport and plane, 6-11 March jetlag, 14 March Ekadashi, etc..

I did stay indoors during the eclipse, though. What about the story of Sārvabhauma eating prasāda brought by Mahāprabhu before mangal ārati and His morning bath? What about the Puranik verse that says that considering prasādā to be contaminated brings one to eternal hell? What about the fact that we Vaiṣṇavas are surrendered to Lokanāth (Viṣṇu), the Lord of all planets, including Rāhu? Nirañjan Bābu told me that during the eclipse we just 'chant and afterwards take a bath'.

(For the record, I do support and follow all Vaiṣṇava vratas)