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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Some interesting details from Vilāpa Kusumāñjali


Recently I had this interesting exchange with my friend Kṛṣṇadās:

Dear Kṛṣṇadās,
I have a question about Vilāpa kusumāñjali 36. Can you see from the Sanskrit if the nose or Rādhā is taking the nose-ring from Tulsi's hand? If you don't have the text at hand I will spell it out for you. (For the readers:)


VERSE 36:

KANAKA GUṆITAM UCCAIR MAUKTIKAṀ MAT KARĀT TE
TILA KUSUMA VIJETRĪ NĀSIKĀ SĀ SUVṚTTAM
MADHU-MATHANA MAHĀLI KṢOBHAKAṀ HEMA-GAURI
PRAKAṬATARA MARANDA PRĀYAM ĀDĀSYATE KIM


kanaka - golden; guṇitam - strings; uccaiḥ - great; mauktikaṁ - pearl; mat - my; karāt - from the hand; te - Your; tila-kusuma - sesame flower; vijetrī - defeating; nāsikā - nose; sā - that; suvṛttam - round; madhu-mathana - Kṛṣṇa, the churner of the honey; mahā - great; ali - bumblebee; kṣobhakaṁ - agitating; hemagauri - golden beauty; prakaṭatara - becomes manifest; maranda - honey; prāyam - like; ādāsyate - will take; kim - whether.


O Hema-Gauri (golden girl)! When will Your nose, that defeats the beauty of a sesame flower, take a great, round nosepearl, attached to a golden string, from my hand? The great bee Madhumathana (Kṛṣṇa) will be very agitated by the honey that appears thus!



Dear Adwaita,
In the verse from Vilāpa Kusumāñjali, the nose is the subject: te (=tava) nāsikā mauktikam ādasyate kim. But I probably do not understand your question. Why should the difference between the person and the nose matter?

Dear Kṛṣṇadās,
It makes a big difference in līlā smaraṇa. Plus, Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī says Rādhā takes the pearl, but from the Sanskrit I surmised it was the nose. It's just a bit weird if the nose took it, but why not? It's all ecstatic poetry after all. So please, can you give your own full translation of the verse?

Dear Advaita,
Although the text says that the nose takes the pearl, on account of ajahal-lakṣaṇa (or ajahatsvartha-lakṣaṇa) it actually means that Rādhā takes the pearl. It is like when you say: kuntāḥ praviśanti ("The lances enter"). The lances themselves cannot enter. They are acetana, insentient. Therefore, we understand that the noun denotes men bearing lances. The secondary meaning includes the primary meaning as well. I hope this will help you understand the seeming contradiction.
Kṛṣṇadās

Plus,
In the ongoing debate on whether meeting or separation is the goal, I was not able until now to ascertain where my parivāra stands on this, but today I found Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī saying in his purport of Vilāpa-kusumāñjali (60) that milane-ī sādhya, perfection lies in meeting.

1 comment:

  1. "in the ongoing debate on whether meeting or separation is the goal, "

    Why in the world would anyone's goal be to separate our beloved Swamini from Her priyatam?!?!

    Of course meeting is best!

    Separation is for sadhaks only.

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