Saturday, November 13, 2021

Satsanga - the gift of God to attain Him

Satsanga - the gift of God to attain Him

Teachings of Purana Kalidah's Kishori Das Babaji to Surendrajit Singh, Advocate -

An appendix to "Bhakta Balak Madanmohan", written by Jugal Kishore Goswami, p. 107-116

(English slightly edited for readability)

He is a very fortunate person who comes in the company of saints. Or for that matter you can say when he gets Guru Kripa, then he gets knowledge of something what is bhakti - without guru kripa, without satsang he cannot get it. (In that case) It is impossible for a person to get even glimpses of bhakti.

I remember, you told me a story about Akhbar Badshah and a Fakir which goes like this. One day Badshah Akhbar, who was a famous emperor, and ruled India for 52 years, was sitting in his fort, thinking with a little depression in his heart that he has lived in India and he has ruled India but he has not known God. Just at that moment he saw this one Fakir who was drinking Yamuna-water below the fort. He was looking much happier than Badshah Salamat Akhbar himself, who was the ruler of India. The Mugal king called his watchmen and ordered, "Go and bring this Fakir before me". When the watchmen were moving towards Yamuna river to bring that Fakir, Akhbar called them back and said, "Don't bring him by a longer route. Make him sit in the Jhula (sedan chair) and bring the Fakir up." The watchmen obeyed the orders. When the Fakir came up in that Jhula and presented himself before the king, Akhbar asked him one question, "How to get God?" The Fakir at once replied, "In the same way as I met you today." The King asked, "What do you mean?"  The Fakir answered, "If I had desired to meet you, it would have been a pretty long story. I would have had to cross three gates before coming in front of you, and there was every possibility the watchmen would have stopped me from getting in. They would have repelled my request for coming in by saying, "No no you cannot go; the Emperor is sleeping. It is his rest time, and you have to try on some other occasion." In many more ways, they would have stopped my entry. But when you took fancy upon me and developed a desire to meet me you ordered your servants to bring me up.  That is how I have come up and met you today. That is how God meets His beloveds when He so desires - when He takes fancy of them, when He becomes anxious to bestow kripa upon them. So it is He who matters and it is not me who matters. It is only when God wishes, then He lifts His beloved up unto Him and there is no other way to meet Him." That is exactly what Lord Krishna told Brahma in his catuh sloki teachings. Lord Krishna said, "It is only when I so desire and I wish to give my blessings and bestow my kripa, it is then alone that a person can meet Me, have My darshan and have the joy of reunion and there is no other way - no other way. That is why I am going to narrate in this article various features of bhakti which is an inside story.

The question again arose how to meet God. It is said that you should develop liking for matters and things which are favoured by the Lord and disliking for things which are not favoured by the Lord. This is the first step one must take before divine love is bestowed upon him. 

Then the question cropped up how to be a devotee of the Lord's feet. Gurudev answered me saying that it is the company of (the Lord's) lovers which can develop this effect in you. Then I asked how to get the company of such lovers. 

The answer was given that God's blessing (kripa) is the only way for getting the company of the (Lord's) lovers. In English version we have read "Divine love is God's gift."

I asked you, pujya Gurudev, whether by darshan of the Lord one can get priti (divine love). Quick answer was given by you that no, not possible. The only way for getting love is to get the company of the lovers.

To illustrate this proposition I would attempt to count the example of Lord Krishna telling His friend Uddhav to visit Sri Vrindavan. It is occurring in Srimad Bhagavat. The Lord said, "Uddhav, you are my beloved friend. You are in no way inferior to Me in any walk of life or in any respect, whether it is Gyan, Karma or Kriya." Though Uddhav was so near and dear to Lord Krishna, as a friend and companion, yet the company of the Lord could not bring him around to beget love. Then Lord Krishna told His friend Uddhav that you better go to Vrindavana and meet the gopi-mandal (gopi-circle) where you will get the gift (of prema). What I cannot do Myself, gopi priti will do. There you will find that they are depressed in life due to separation from Me. Whatever Uddhav saw in Brij dham, he realized the heartfelt sadness amongst the gopis and Radharani. One may read the 40 slokas narrated by Uddhav and gopi santana parikrama. (? It seems Kishoridas ji refers to chapters 46 and 47 of the 10th Canto) The first part of the sloka and the concluding part of the last sloka will indicate the frame of mind of Uddhav who was full of praise of gopi-prem. This is the highest of the highest in Vedant philosophy. Learned as he (Uddhav) was, equivalent to Lord Krishna, he had to admit frankly that gopi priti was much higher than knowledge.

So the natural inference of the aforesaid discussion is that Uddhav, when he was thrilled by the priti of the gopis, got that divine love bestowed which he could not get in the company of Lord Krishna Himself, though He was his dear bosom friend. So a thing which one cannot get merely by the darshan of the Lord, one can get by the company of those who love Him. It is company which makes a hero or a coward of a man. So sat sanga is indispensible in bhakti.

One person may ask a friend how things are going and the friend says, "Everything is O.K. in my family, by bhagavan's kripa." Believe me, kripa has no meaning in the welfare of a family. kripa has an entirely different philosophical meaning as aforesaid. Even after God has bestowed the gift of kripa upon His bhakta He does not appear to give him darshan. It is a very rare phenomenon, and He alone knows why. There is an example in the life of Swami Vivekananda, whose original name was Narendra. He was a disciple of Ramkrishna Paramahamsa. When Narendra asked his Guru why one cannot get the darshan of the Lord, or how long one must make efforts to get darshan of the Lord, Gurudev Ramkrishna Paramahamsa replied that it is His choice and He alone knows whom to select for darshan. Just as one person in the night is coming with a lantern and another person is coming from the opposite direction without a lantern. Now the person without a lantern can see the prakash (light) around the man coming with the lantern but he cannot see his face. It is he alone who lifts the lantern and shows his face. That is how the Lord appears or disappears according to His own wish. Therefore gyanis, yogis karmis and others have been able to understand the Lord through (His) bright illumination only. But if you would ask them whether they have seen the figure of the Lord, the answer will be in the negative. Therefore the Lord alone, by lifting the lantern, if He wants to show His figure, face or madhuri, He can do so. But there is no binding. He is absolutely free in that respect, in that choice.

Ties of love alone can be the base for getting that gift from the Lord, which can enable a person to get His darshan and His kripa. But without love, or priti, you cannot get Him - you cannot get Him.

The Lord's anugraha

But raganuga bhakti is an easy path to salvation. The only thing that one has to develop is love for the achievement of the object. It is called premamayi pipasa, thirst for achieving divine love from the Lord. It is just like a thirsty man asking for water to remove his thirst. That thirst cannot be fulfilled in any other way. Suppose you were to offer him emeralds, diamonds, pearls or other valuable things and tell him not to ask for water - tell him to finish his thirst by possessing these valuable articles, can he do so? No, he must have water; he will cry for water and his thirst cannot be satisfied by offering him valuable articles which he can possess. He can have pride of possession or security for his future life but thirst can be solved by drinking water and nothing else. So (if) a bhakta at any particular moment, starts feeling that he is thirsty for that divine love, for achieving love for the lotus feet of the Lord, the matter is solved and life becomes easy. In achievement of such an object, if your desire is utmost, there is a promise from the Lord that He will fulfill it. You have to develop the desire and leave the rest to Him.

The first step you have to take is to develop in yourself interest for things that are dear to the Lord, and detachment from things that are unreal, for which the Lord has disliking. This is known as ruchi pradhan marg.

Again there was inquisitiveness in my mind, so I asked pujya gurudeva to please let me know how it could be possible to get the Lord and His affection only by nam smaran. pujya gurudev answered "Just as a locomotive serves as power to carry the load of 10 or 11 goods wagons fully loaded, so also nam smaran serves as a power to carry the life of a person to its goal, though he is also fully loaded with vasanas, desires yet unfulfilled in life. Goswami Tulasidas, the reverend author of the book Ram Charita Manas, himself said - कलि युग केवल नाम आधारा The only substance in Kali-yuga is the name (of the Lord)."

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali book review


ook review - 


A bouquet of Woeful Entreaties

Comments by Swami B.V. Narayan and his disciples

Until recently Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's 1991 lectures on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali were available only in small coverless stapled booklets, but now they are published in a large 529-page book via Bhakta Bandhava Publications, distributed by Amazon. As Amazon may sell many copies of this book it is important for me to point out, purely for the record, which comments originated from my Guru's father Śrīla Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī, since credit should be where credit is due.

Śrīla Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī, 12th generation direct descendant of Śrī Advaita Ācārya, lectured on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali in Vrindāvan's Śrī Radha-Dāmodar Mandir in the mid-1950s, and the notes, made by his disciple Śrī Nivāran Chandra Kor, were published by Śrī Ananta dāsa Bābājī in Kartik 1985 in Bengali, as part of his commentary. Krishnadas (Madrasi) Bābā read the original commentary to me a year earlier, and they were recorded from him for me by a friend in 1994. Ananta dāsa Bābājī acknowledged using Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī's lectures in his introduction to this 1985 Bengali edition.

B.V. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's lectures on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali to some then-senior ISKCON devotees were given in the second half of October, 1991 in Keshavji Gaudiya Math in Mathura.

For comparative investigation I also consulted Ram-Narayan Vidyaratna's Bengali translation from 1888 and a recent translation by ISKCON's Bhānu Swami.


I question the adhikāra of 3 young Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja-disciples (some say it is actually by another, single devotee named Premānanda) to write their own commentary on such an elevated text. There is repeated rasābhāsa and viruddha siddhānta in their/his commentaries, that also carry elaborate poetic fantasies. They know little Sanskrit too, writing aṇḍa-kūpa [egg-well] instead of andha-kūpa [blind well], parikāra instead of parikara, sankha instead of sankhya, tādātma instead of tādātmya, gṛhamedi instead of gṛhamedhi, kuṇḍa instead of Kunda (for the flower of that name), and siddhi deha instead of siddha deha. The opening song of Śacīnandanāṣṭakam on page 85 has been maimed in every line.

Also I see a difference between Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja saying, on page 249, “If a person is not tādātma in kṛṣṇa-bhāva and has the material bodily conception of life, he has no qualification to read or hear these things”, and that "we have the right to enter into this after giving up eating and sleeping" (page 391), and his followers selling this elevated topic on Amazon. Do they believe every Amazon-customer is on the niṣṭha- or ruci-level and gave up eating and sleeping?


In his purport of Vilāpa-kusumāñjali’s verse 1, on page 24, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says: “When Kṛṣṇa kisses Śrīmati Rādhikā, the symptoms or signs of such kissing manifest on the face and mouth of Rūpa Mañjarī". It seems that Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja accepts both the 'non-involvement-vāda' (nāyikātvānapekṣiṇī, Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi 8.87) of Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī (through the bhāva-tādātmya concept of the mañjarīs carrying the reflection of Kṛṣṇa’s enjoyment of Rādhā on their bodies instead of them being directly enjoyed by Kṛṣṇa) as well as nāyikā bhāva (mood of independent lover of Kṛṣṇa) of the mañjarīs, because on page 26 he writes: "Rādhikā always wants that the mañjarīs also meet Kṛṣṇa, because they are in the category of kāmātmika prema........In this way, by the wish of Śrīmati Rādhikā, Kṛṣṇa sometimes approaches the mañjarīs and fulfills their kāma. Without this, they cannot be kāmātmika."

On pages 36 and 37 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples claim that "Everyone's heart has anurāga, love, when this is misused, one suffers."

This is nowhere in śāstra. There is no dormant love in the heart, nor is there any free will which is misused so one falls from Vaikuṇṭha.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 3 - The story narrated here by Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī, how the kiṅkarī saved Rādhikā from embarrassment by quickly putting her missing mekhalā (waist bells) on while she was dancing, was quoted by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja on pages 62-63 of this book, not verbatim but the copying is clearly recognizable.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says in 1991: “Rādhikā ordered all the sakhīs to please Kṛṣṇa by dancing and joking with Him. Then, to the accompaniment of various types of instruments, such as khol, mṛdaṅga, dampa, and so on, they began to dance along with Rādhikā. The gopīs had very thin waists, and while they danced, it seemed as if their waists would break in two. They danced very swiftly and very beautifully, and performed kīrtana at the same time. In appreciation, Kṛṣṇa responded by calling out,  “Sādhu, sādhu, sādhu.” (Meaning, 'Excellent! Excellent!')

Śrīmatī Rādhikā became somewhat fatigued. When She sat down She noticed, “Oh, My mekhalā is not here.” In Her haste She had left it in the vilāsa kunja. This mekhalā is very dear to Kṛṣṇa, who always wants to play with it and tighten it on Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s waist. Now She feared, "If all the other sakhīs come to know that I have forgotten My mekhalā there, they will surely joke about Me." Silently, therefore, by Her eyes, She called Tulasī Manjarī, and indicated to her in such a way that no one else could hear, “I have forgotten that praṇayi mekhalā in the kuñja. Without letting the others know, silently go there and bring it to Me." So she went there and brought that mekhalā, and very skillfully she sat near Śrīmatī Rādhikā, so that no one could see, and put it on Rādhikā. Śrīmatī Rādhikā was very much pleased, “Oh, you have done so that even Kṛṣṇa or Lalitā and Viśākhā has not seen that it was missing. If they had seen it they would certainly cut jokes, so many jokes, and I would be so embarrassed. You have protected My honour.”

Then Śrīmatī Rādhikā at once joined with the other gopīs and began to dance for Kṛṣṇa.


37 years earlier, Śrī Ānanda Gopāla Gosvāmī said:

শ্রীরাধামাধব একাসনে বসিয়াছেন প্রাণেশ্বরীর ইঙ্গিত পাইয়া সখীগণ সম্মুখস্থ প্রাঙ্গণে নৃত্য করিলেন, পরে সখীগণের ইচ্ছায় স্বামিনীজী নৃত্য করিতে আরম্ভ করিলেন কটিতে মেখলা নাই, তাই নৃত্য জমিতেছে না মেখলাটি কুঞ্জে ফেলিয়া আসিয়াছেন, সখীগণের সামনে বলিতে পারিতেছেন না, তাহারা পরিহাস |রিবে, তাই সখীগণের অলক্ষিতে রতিমঞ্জরীকে ইঙ্গিত করিলেন শ্রীরতিমঞ্জরীও দ্রুতগতিতে মেখলাটি আনিয়া অন্যের অলক্ষেতে নাচিতে নাচিতে যাইয়া মেখলাটি পরাইয়া দিলেন

 “Śrī Rādhā Mādhava sit on one seat. On Prāṇeśvarī’s wink the sakhīs start to dance on the courtyard in front of Them. After that Svāminījī also starts to dance on the sakhīs’ request. But Her mekhalā is no longer on Her waist, hence the dance is not resounding as it should. She left the mekhalā in the kuñja, but She could not tell it in front of the sakhīs. They would cut jokes with Her, so outside the view of the sakhīs Rādhikā winks to Rati Mañjarī, who quickly goes to get the mekhalā, and puts it back on Her, all the while dancing.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 8 – On page 119, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja quotes Śrīmad-bhāgavata’s verse 1.2.17 as Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī did in his earlier lecture on this verse too.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 9, page 156 - Rādhikā's footdust gives prema, more than just a brain as Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples say here.

The story of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī rejecting the buttermilk from the Vrajabāsī which was quoted by Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī from Bhakti Ratnākara in his lecture on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 24 is also quoted by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in his commentary on the same Vilāpa-kusumāñjali verse.

On pages 154-155, and elsewhere, there is a lot of talk about vastu siddhi, a term and level of bhakti which is mentioned no-where in any of the Gosvāmīs books.

On page 163 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples write: "..if just once we hear the jingling sound of Śrīmatī Rādhikā's anklebells we will lose all desire to hear mundane sounds." Which was my personal addition to an early edition of my Vilāpa-kusumāñjali-translation. Coincidence?

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 13 – The verse translation in Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's edition says "your eyes....wander over each direction AS IF the forest were a jungle of blue lotuses" -

But the word kḷptāni means ‘making, producing, formed’, so the eyes produce a colour of lotus flowers across the environment.

Bhānu Swāmi rightly says "producing a forest of blue lotuses" and Ananta dāsa Bābājī says vṛndāvana-ke nīla-kamala sadṛśa śobhāmaya kariyā tulibe “They fill Vṛndāvana with beauty like blue lotuses.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 15 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja gives a description of the jala-keli, the noon-time water-pastimes in Rādhākuṇḍa, but says, on page 176, that Rati Mañjarī splashes Kṛṣṇa too, meaning she is in the water with the sakhīs. Generally, though, the concept of mañjarīs is that they do not participate in the jala-keli but remain on the shore. There is no description in Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī's books of mañjarīs participating in jala-keli. Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī says: শ্রীঅঙ্গের মাধুর্য তীরে থাকিয়া মঞ্জরীগণ দর্শন করিতেছেন  "The mañjarīs behold the sweetness of Her body, standing on the shore."

On page 179 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples borrow the monkey-part of the hide-and-seek pastime Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī describes at the end of his purport of this verse: “The gopīs heard the sound of a monkey on top of a Kadamba-tree by the shore of Rādhākuṇḍa. the monkey, who was partial to Rādhā, saw where Kṛṣṇa was hiding and pointed to His location.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said : শ্যামসুন্দর তমালবনে লুকাইয়াছেন স্বামিনী পাইতেছেন না পরে দেখিলেন, বানরগণ বৃক্ষের ডালে বসে একদৃষ্টিতে নীচরে দিকে তাকাইয়া আছে নাগর নিশ্চয়ই ঐখানে আছেন, বুঝিলেন – “When Śyāma Nāgara hides in a forest of Tamāla trees, Svāminī cannot find Him. Then She sees how monkeys sit on the branches of the trees and stare downwards at some spot, so She understands that Nāgara must surely be there somewhere.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 16 – On page 186 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples suggest mañjarīs may dress as sakhās, cowherd boys, to bring messages to Kṛṣṇa. A novel idea.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 17 - On pages 187-189 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja copies Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī's chāp mārā-purport, how Rādhā marks Tulasī with a stamp of Her foot-lac.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja - "I'm not so fortunate as this alta, because it is always at the feet of Srimati………If I put My name here. Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa all around. It will do the action of alta also.”

Then, instead of saying Rādhā kicks Tulasī’s arm Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says she kicks her head (though the śloka speaks of Tulasī’s arm).

Śrī Ānanda Gopāla Gosvāmī’s original text says -

যাবকের বাটি তুলি তুলসীর হাতে নাগর যাবক পরান, নয়নে অশ্রুধারা মনে করিতেছেন - "যাবকের ন্যায় সৌভাগ্য আমার নেই" শেষে নাম লিখিতেছেন মনে হইতেছে - নামের সৌভাগ্যও আমার হইল না দেখিয়া তুলসী হাসিতেছেন "হাস্য দর্শনে দণ্ড স্বরূপ স্বামিনী আমাকে যাবকরঞ্জিত চরণদ্বারা বাহুতে লাথি দিবেন, তখন আমার বাহু যাবকচিহ্নিত হইবে তাহা লইয়া গর্ব করে সর্বত্র বিচরণ করিব"

 “The cup of lac and the brush are in Tulasī’s hands. Nāgara is painting the lac on Svāminī’s feet while tears stream from His eyes, while He is thinking “I am not so lucky as this lac.” Finally He writes His own name on Her feet, and thinks: “I am not even as fortunate as My name is!” Seeing this, Tulasī laughs. “When Svāminī sees me laughing She kicks my arm with Her foot, that is just anointed with the fresh lac, as a punishment – then my arm will be marked with the lac. With this I proudly go around all over the place.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 18 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja calls bāhyāgāra, the outer house (toilet), ‘house’ instead. Then he says 'scent Your garden pavilion' which is nowhere in the śloka.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 20 - On page 209 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says: “Śrīmatī’s body was massaged with oil in such a way that Rādhikā thought that Kṛṣṇa Himself was doing it.”

Śrī Ānanda Gopāla Gosvāmī’s original text says -

স্বামিনী বলিতেছেন - "তুই তেল মাখাছিস্? আমি ভূলে গিয়াছিলাম - ঠিক নাগরের মতো!" Svāminī says: “You are massaging Me with oil? I completely forgot – you do it just like Nāgara!”

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples say they offer arbata and mehndi to Rādhikā's feet - these are Muslim unguents that are nowhere mentioned in śāstra.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 21 - Neither Bhānu Swāmi nor Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja translate the word purastāt - commentator Baṅgeśvara Vidyālaṅkāra says prathamato - at first, or in advance, Ananta dāsa Bābājī says sammukhe, before You.

The Sanskrit dictionary says both -

पुरस्तात् ind.     purastAt          in front of      

पुरस्तात् adverb purastAt          initially

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 24 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja quotes the leaf-cup story from Bhakti Ratnākara, how Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī rejected the leaf-cup from Sakhī-sthali offered by the Vrajabāsī Dās. Earlier this was also quoted by Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī in his purport of the same verse.

Paurṇamāsī's threats to Jaṭilā that her cows will die if she does not send Rādhā to cook for Krsna on top of page 225 are new to me. Seems a rather heavy-handed way. What happened with the positive motive of Durvāsā Muni’s blessings on Rādhikā’s cooking? Govinda Līlāmṛta (3.18-20) says instead:

“Although Jaṭilā was very awkward towards her daughter-in-law Rādhikā, clever Kundalatā came to her and delivered her the message of the queen of Vraja. Hearing of her order, Jaṭilā became worried about Kṛṣṇa's passion for her daughter-in-law. But then she remembered Paurṇamāsī's instruction (see chapter 2, verse 45) and told Kundalatā: "O child! My daughter-in-law is a chaste girl, sweetened by the honey of the greatest attributes, but Nanda's son is very naughty! People in general are faultfinders, but Paurṇamāsī also told me never to disobey the orders of the queen of Vraja. My mind is reeling—what shall I do?"

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 25 – In their commentaries both Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja and his disciple(s) say that the stick to apply the sindūra is golden but the verse says ratna, it is jewelled.

On page 227 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says a mañjarī shows Rādhikā Her image in the mirror before She starts cooking but that is hardly the proper time for that.

On page 228 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja repeats that Tulasī holds a mirror, and here it is copied from Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī, who said there বেশরচনার পর একখান দর্পণ ধরা হইল’ “After dressing a mirror is being held.”

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja also repeats Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī’s point that the sindūra mixed with Kṛṣṇa's hair during an embrace.

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said 35 years earlier:

কোন ক্রীড়া বিশেষে সিন্দূর অলকাবলীর সহিত লেগে যেতে পারে - “The sindūra may stick to (Kṛṣṇa’s) hair during some special love-pastime “

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 26 - sindhura should be spelled ‘sindūra’. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja takes over Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī's narration of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Utkalikā Vallari, verse 60, but adds that Rūpa Mañjarī had a Śuka-parrot whom she sent out to search for Kṛṣṇa.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 29 - On pages 253-4 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says:

“So by shyness. She had an idea, and She somehow broke the pearl necklace, and all the pearls were scattered. She sat down and began to pick them up. Time to time She looked towards Kṛṣṇa.”

And –

“When Nanda Bābā, Yaśodā, and others are there, the gopīs are there, so Śrīmatī cannot look directly at Kṛṣṇa. Thus in the pearls She can see Kṛṣṇa’s reflection and She becomes happy.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said 35 years earlier:

মুক্তামালা কোন দিক দিয়া স্বামিনীর প্রিয়? সূর্যপূজার অন্তে গৃহে আসিবার সময় প্রিয়তমের মুখখানি একবার দেখিবার লালসায় মুক্তামালা চিঁড়িয়া ফেলা হইল কুড়াইবার ছলে বদনদর্শন করিলেন | শ্যামসুন্দর যখন গোষ্ঠে যান, সকলের সামনে বদনপানে তাকাইতে পারেন না দূর হইতে শ্যামের প্রতিবিম্ব মুক্তাতে পড়িলে স্বামিনী দর্শন করেন “Why is this pearl necklace so dear to Svāminī? At the end of Sūrya Pūjā, when Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa must both return home at the end of Their afternoon pastimes, Svāminī deliberately breaks Her pearl necklace out of a strong yearning to have another look at Priyatama’s face. On the pretext of collecting the fallen pearls She can then have another peep at His face. When Śyāmasundara goes out to herd His cows in the meadows in the morning, Svāminī cannot just stare at Him in front of everyone. When Śyāma’s reflection falls into the pearls from afar She can see Him.”

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says  “Āsrajas means there are countless pearls.”

The word is sraja, not āsraja and it means string, not countless. The word āsrajas does not  exist.

स्रज      adj.      sraja    garland

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 30 - The word kalāvit in the verse is not translated by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 33 – In the verse translation, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says the necklace attained good fortune by being touched by Kṛṣṇa, but Ananta dāsa Bābājī says it should be the neck.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 36 - kanaka guṇitam means golden string, not that the pearl is golden. Ananta dāsa Bābājī says svarṇa tāra yukta, endowed with a golden string. Pearls are not golden. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says that the nose receives the pearl from Tulasī but the text says ādāsyate - the nose takes it herself.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 37 - pariṇayāmi, "I will marry them", is not included in the verse-translation.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 38 - That the earrings are special cakra śalākā, hoop earrings, is not included in Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's translation.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 46 - Both Bhānu Swāmi and Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja make the same mistake - Rādhikā places the food in front of Kṛṣṇa, while Tulasī is supposed to be sent to Nandagrām to bring the food, in the next verse. It is well known that Rādhikā goes only once a day to Nandagrām - not twice. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja also ends his purport by saying Rādhā cooks in Yāvat, contradicting the verse translation. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples purport says “Rādhārani cooks with Lalitā and all the sakhīs and mañjarīs in the kitchen of Nandagrāma”. Perhaps the wrong verse-translation was made by the disciples, not by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja himself.

Govinda Līlāmṛta (20.2-4) clearly describes, in the sāyāhna-līlā (6.00-8.24 p.m.) –

“Mother Yaśodā came home and brought her sons to the bathroom where she engaged her servants in bathing Kṛṣṇa. She told Dhaniṣṭhā, who stood next to Her: "O daughter, go to see Rādhā and take the laḍḍus and other delicacies that Kṛṣṇa likes from Her, that I asked Her to make and that will increase His and Balarāma's life span!" Dhaniṣṭhā went to Rādhikā and told Her of mother Yaśodā's order. Rādhikā was already eager to have dishes sent to Kṛṣṇa through some girlfriends.”

“Tulasī took the dishes and left and Dhaniṣṭhā privately told Subala where Kṛṣṇa could meet Rādhikā that night, giving him a pān for Kṛṣṇa made by Rādhikā.” (20.61)

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 47 - Bhānu Swāmi says Tulasī SERVES the food, but Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī says nītānna - I BROUGHT the food. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja doesn't even mention what happens with the food at all. The dictionary says -

नीत      adj.      nIta     brought

The first paragraph of Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja’s page 344 is copied from Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī’s purport of verse 46.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says –

“Rādhikā becomes so pleased and considering the mañjarīs to be very dear to Her, Śrīmatī orders them to take the sweets which She has prepared to mother Yaśodā. “You are very dear to Me, and I think I cannot go to Nanda-bhavana now. I’m confident that if you will go there and give this to mother Yaśodā, and in front of you she in turn gives it to Kṛṣṇa, it will be presented in an even more pleasant way to Kṛṣṇa. And in that manner, through you, I will give these things to Kṛṣṇa. You are My representative, so if you are present there and while Kṛṣṇa takes the sweets you serve Him by fanning and so many loving activities, I will feel that I’m doing it Myself.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said in his lecture on verse 46 –

সেবার দ্রব্য একেক রকম একেক থালায় সাজিয়াছেন শ্যামসুন্দরের সেবা-সামগ্রী পাঠাইতেছেন তুলসীকে বুকে জড়াইয়া ধরে বলিতেছেন - 'তুলসি! তুই যা! দেখ্! তোর উপরে আমার বিশ্বাস! আমি তো যেতে পারিলাম না! আমার হযে খাওয়া'বি! আমি খাওয়ালে যে তৃপ্তি পাই, তোরা খাওয়া'লেও আমি সেই তৃপ্তিই পাই"

Svāminī has prepared a plate for each dish and now sends Tulasī off to Nandīśvara with Śyāmasundara's eatables. Tightly hugging her, She says: "Tulasi, go now! I trust you! Feed Him in My name. I cannot go Myself, but I will be as satisfied when you feed Kṛṣṇa as when I would do it Myself!" 

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 48 - Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī's eye-scene was copied by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says:

When Tulasī Mañjarī returns to Yāvaṭa, Śrīmatī Rādhikā asks her, “O Tulasī Mañjarī, were you present when Kṛṣṇa was taking His meal?” Tulasī replies, ‘I was there, but at a distance because Kṛṣṇa’s elders were there, so by shyness I could not go close.”

“Did Kṛṣṇa enjoy it?”

“He liked it very much”

“But how did you know that He liked it?”

“Kṛṣṇa glanced towards me and with His eyes told me how delicious it was. And I also know by eyes that Kṛṣṇa had taken it.”

“Did you receive an opportunity to render any service to Kṛṣṇa? And was His stomach filled?”

“Yes, He was fully satisfied.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.”

Then Śrīmatī Rādhikā looked into the eyes of Tulasī Mañjarī and searched for Kṛṣṇa there. She saw that Kṛṣṇa was there – how? Because Tulasī Mañjarī was so cheerful from seeing Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmatī Rādhikā saw Kṛṣṇa in the eyes of Tulasī Mañjarī and She became so pleased.

35 years earlier, Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said in his lecture on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 48 –

তুলসীকে কোলে, কাছে টেনে নিযে বারাম্বার জিজ্ঞাসা করিতেছেন "'সে ভালো করে পেট ভরে খেযেছে তো? ভাল রান্না করিতে পারি নি তুই কাছে ছিলি তো? সব কথা তন্ন তন্ন করে জিজ্ঞাসা করিতেছেন ….রাধা - "তোর সঙ্গে কথাবার্তা বলে নাই?" তুলসী - "গুরুজনের সামনে কি করে বলিবে? তাকিযেছিল - জানিযেছিল - 'রাধার সহিত রাত্রে শ্রীবৃন্দাবনে যেন মিলন হয়' আমিও চোখে চোখে উত্তর দিযেছি 'অবশ্য হবে' রাধা - "তুলসি! তুই আমার দিকে চা আমি হতভাগিনী তা'কে দেখিতে পেলাম না দেখি, তোর নয়নের মধ্যে সে লুকিযে আছে কি না? তোর চোখ দেখে বুঝিলাম তুই দেখে এসেছিস্"

“Svāminī pulls Tulasī close, on Her breast, and asks her again and again “He has eaten His belly full, hasn’t He? I could not cook so well. You were close to Him, weren’t you?” Svāminī inquires thoroughly about everything. Rādha: ‘Didn’t He say anything to you?” Tulasī: “How can He, in front of His elders? He glanced at me, though, hinting: “Let Me meet Rādhā in Śrī Vṛndāvana tonight.” I glanced back at Him to answer Him: “Sure, we will arrange that.” Rādhā: “Tulasi, look at Me. I am unfortunate – I could not see Him. Let Me see if He is hidden in your eyes or not? When I look in your eyes I can understand that you’ve seen Him.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 49, verse translation - Kṛṣṇa is not ‘the Lord’ in a mādhurya-book like Vilāpa-kusumāñjali.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 50 – on page 370, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja quotes the same Ānanda-Vṛndāvana Campū-verse that Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī quoted in his purport of the same verse.

Also Rādhikā receiving pān from the mañjarīs is copied at the end. There they write beṭīkā while it should be vītikā, as in text 52. The same spelling mistake is on pages 377-379.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 54 - The līlā that Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī revealed about Kṛṣṇa meeting Rādhikā in the guise of Navīnā sakhī is referred to by Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja on page 393. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja said: “Today, Śyāmalā has brought a new, beautiful sakhī.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said 35 years earlier:

একটি সখী সহ শ্যামলা এলেন শ্রীরাধা - "সখি! এস এস! তোমার সঙ্গে কে?" শ্যামলা - "আমার এক নবীনা সখী" তোমার সঙ্গে পরিচয় নেই তোমার সঙ্গে ইহার খুব মিলিতে ইচ্ছা

“One day Śyāmalā comes to visit Rādhā with a girlfriend. Śrī Rādhā said – “sakhi! Come forward! Who did you bring with you?” Śyāmalā – “This is Your girlfriend Navīnā – You haven’t met her yet, but she is very eager to meet You.”

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja said: “Rādhikā asked: “Do you know some dance or any singing or playing any instruments?”….”Do you know how to dance?” Rādhikā asked. She answered, “Just a little.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said 35 years earlier:

স্বামিনী বলিতেছেন - 'গাইতে জানো? বাজাতে জানো? নাচিতে জানো?' নবীনা বলিতেছেন - 'একটু একটু জানি'

Svāminī: “You know how to sing? You know how to dance?” Navīnā: “A little bit.”

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 55 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja says Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and all jīvas have a madhyama ākāra (“medium shape”) – it is the first time I heard this - I cannot find this in any śāstra.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 58 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples come with a detailed story of Durvāsā Muni eating baby Rādhikā's cooked food at midnight but provide no pramāṇa. First time I heard it. They also say Rādhikā goes from Varsānā to Nandagrām to cook for Kṛṣṇa. This should be Yāvat instead of Varsānā. Same in their comment on verse 59.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 63 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples commenting that the elders in Nandagrām see Rādhārānī as Mahā Lakṣmī is clearly an unpalatable mix with aiśvarya vision.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 64 - In the verse translation Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja fails to mention nata dṛṣṭi, lowered eyes. He says: “O sweet one, when will I see Your joyful and eager lotus face, as Your passionate sidelong glances are seen by Mādhava, while He feasts in the company of His elders?”

padakartā Haripada Śīla, commentator Baṅgeśvara Vidyālaṅkāra, Ananta dāsa Bābājī all say

“O Madhure (sweet girl)! When will You gladden me when I see Mādhava somehow glancing at Your joyful and eager lotus-face with lowered eyes as He sits in the dining room with His elders?”

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples write in their purport, on page 428, that Rati Mañjarī is only three or four years old!!!!!

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 65 – vīkṣyase means Rādhikā sees Kṛṣṇa, and vīkṣyamānā means She is seen by Kṛṣṇa. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja only mentions Rādhikā seeing Kṛṣṇa. Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples write on page 436 that Kṛṣṇa smears Radha's face with prasāda. Then they say the cows chant OMkara, and the peacocks and peahens chant the kāma bīja. These are all nonsensical rasābhāsa fantasies.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 68 - Bhānu Swāmi and Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja both say the word raṅgam means ‘arena’, while commentator Baṅgeśvara Vidyālaṅkāra says raṅgam means nimajjanam, immersed.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 69 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja verse-translation is copied verbatim from yours truly.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 70 - mañjarīs making Kṛṣṇa's outfit seems a fantasy to me. They are rādhā dāsī, not kṛṣṇa dāsī.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 71 – On page 456, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples say Madana sukhada kuñja is in Nandagrāma, near Pāvan Sarovara. But there is no description in any śāstra of it being in Nandīśvara. It is described as being in Rādhākuṇḍa, in Govinda Līlāmṛta (7.78) - madana sukhada nāmā locanānanda dhāmā  vilasati sa viśākhānandadaḥ kuñja rājaḥ.

kāma citra obviously does not mean ‘pictures of Cupid’ but erotically inciting images.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples then write, "Kṛṣṇa goes alone to that kuñja after waking in the morning, and rests for a while in the arms of Śrīmatī and the Vraja-devīs" – while all the Gosvāmīs agree that Rādhā and Her sakhīs are in their own homes early in the morning.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 72 – The word bhuja does not mean ‘lap’ but ‘arm’. Rādhikā stays in Kṛṣṇa's arm not his lap. Rūpa Mañjarī  does not keep Rādhikā's feet in her lap either but in her hands (kara). ‘corners of her eyes’ is not there, nor ‘remnant service’, nor that Rūpa Mañjarī is fanning. None of this is in the śloka.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples say Rādhikā comes from Barsana (to Nandagrāma I suppose, where they claim Madana-sukhada kuñja is) that must be Yāvaṭa.

Rūpa Mañjarī doesn't offer mehndi to Rādhikā - that is a Muslim unguent mentioned nowhere in the Gosvāmīs books.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 74 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples write on page 476 that Candra Sarovara at Govardhana is Candrāvalī's kuñja. This is not correct. It is Gaurī-tīrtha instead, which is adjacent to Sankarṣan Kuṇḍa at Govardhana.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 75-76 - With two words changed, the verse-translations are copied from yours truly.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 77 - With no words changed, the verse-translation is copied from yours truly.

On page 490 Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja quotes this from Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī's purport -

"Kṛṣṇa was sitting behind Śrīmatī and looking over Her shoulder to see if She felt some pain or not. Śrīmatī Rādhikā became pleased and said “No no pain. You can do.”

Ānanda-gopāla Gosvāmī said 35 years earlier:

ব্যথা লেগেছে, এই ভযে শ্যাম পিছন দিক হইতে স্বামিনীর স্কন্ধের উপর দিয়া মুখখানি বাড়াইয়া স্বামিনীর মুখখানি দেখিতেছেন স্বামিনী প্রফুল্লতা নিযে বলিতেছেন - "কেন ব্যাকুল? লাগে নাই"

“Śyāma looks at Priyājī's face from behind, over Her shoulders, afraid that She may feel pain, but Svāminī assures Him with a blossoming smile, saying: "Why are You so worried? It didn't hurt!"

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 79 - With one word changed, the verse-translation is copied from yours truly.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 82 - Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja forgot to include "Then I know that You have accepted me as Your own!" (nija janam imam) in the verse translation.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 88 - Except for the first few words, the verse-translation is copied from yours truly.

On pages 507-508, Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples tell a strange story of Kṛṣṇa marrying all the gopīs when he expanded Himself into the cows and boys during the Brahma-vimohana līlā, and Abhimanyu worshipping Rādhikā: “When Brahmā stole the calves and boys and put them in a cave, Kṛṣṇa took their forms, so He also became Abhimanyu and all the sakhās and married all the gopīs in their forms. When the real Abhimanyu returned after a year, he asked his mother: “How has Rādhārāni come to our house? Why is She here?” Jaṭilā said: “She is your wife.” “No, how is that possible? She is highly respectable…She is the daughter of Vrṣabhānu Mahārāja, the king of Varsānā. I am very low”…….”Abhimanyu stayed outside in a small hut…..” That’s one way to facilitate Her meeting with Kṛṣṇa… there any evidence that Abhimanyu is a cowherd boyfriend of Kṛṣṇa’s who daily goes out with Him herding cows?

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 89 - Both Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja and Bhānu Swāmi say that Tulasī is shy before the sakhīs, not Rādhikā. Rādhikā is obviously shy because of the topic of the songs she's about to teach Tulasī. It is similar to Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 92, sakhīnam lajjayā devi. padakartā Haripada Shil and Ram-Narayan Vidyaratna (Bengali translation from 1888) also say Rādhikā is shy, not Tulasī.

he dayā-śile dhani,       giriguha gṛhiṇī,

lajjā hetu sakhīgaṇa hoite.

saṅge kori ekākinī,      loiyā yāibe tumi,

more girirāja kandarete.

"O merciful, fortunate Rādhe! O mistress of the mountain-caves! When will You shyly take only me away from among Your girlfriends and bring me to a cave of Govardhana?"

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 91 - With NO words changed, the verse-translation is copied verbatim from  yours truly.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 92 - With two words changed, the verse-translation is copied from  yours truly.

Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja's disciples say there is a kuṭīr at Rādhākuṇḍa where Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa wrestle. I am absolutely sure that the word vihārais does NOT refer to wrestling but an amorous struggle. Commentator Baṅgeśvara Vidyālaṅkāra writes - śrī kṛṣṇena saha kandarpa līlābhis truṭitam – “It is broken due to erotic pastimes with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” In Govinda Līlāmṛta's vast description of Rādhākuṇḍa there is no mentioning of a wrestling-kutir.

Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 94 - With NO words changed, the verse-translation is copied verbatim from yours truly.


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