Friday, December 19, 2008

Prem Sudha Dhara: Uthmaji

(Page 225)

Shri Radha is Shiromani Amongst the Cowherdesses of Vraja
Shri Hari

Shri Vrindavan Dhaam

31st July 1968

Dear sister Uthma,

With love, Jai Shri Hari.

The book containing the names of Shrii Shri Radha are with Dulari. I can merely recall two names which I am writing about. Shri Radhaji is acclaimed as Shiromani or crown jewel amongst the cowherdesses of Vraja. Dhammil is a bun wherein the hair is coiled or tied up behind. Precisely as a jasmine flower in the midst of blossoms strung together holds pride of place in suffusing its lustre, lovely beauty and fragrance; Shri Radhika the blooming jasmine amongst the wealth of Braj beauties is the crowning glory.

'Shri Krishna Priyavali Mukhya!' Shri Radha, above all the other herdswomen of Vrindavana and above all of the other souls of the world, ultimately emerges as the supreme object of Krishna's passionate love. It is impossible to count the beloveds of Brajendra Sundar, the supreme lover. There are several groups of maidens in Vraja and all are dedicatedly devoted to Lord Krishna. Steeped in his ardent passion, the entire lot are absorbed in his amorous frolics; sacrificing their self-gratification to see him joyous in love. Casting off their work, all their worldly cares and the burdens of convention they move in a delicious anguish to his side.

Gopis Long for Dark-hued Krishna

If the gopis representing souls in search of salvation are hungry for the fulfilment of love, that beautiful dark-skinned cowherd of Vrindavana, Krishna, is hungry too. He is deeply obliged to the gopikas in the last shloka of Shri Raas's fourth chapter," Beauties, even on attaining the life span of deities, I can not pay off your debt. Leaving behind your earthly chores, families and duties in a land of highly restrictive social constraints you have rushed to my side." There is no measuring the dimension of the Brajbalas' love play; absolute and eternal,it is beyond our comprehension.

Even though the gopis celebrate a love of selfless devotion there is no comparison to Shri Radha, the divine exemplar without a second. Shri Radha, the foremost of the gopis, is able to please Krishna with little more than a glance. Her love can expand to greater heights as she fulfils Krishna's desire for a loving relationship in a variety of ways. The terrifying rush of love she receives can be occasionally attained by the gopis though not due to any partiality by Krishna.The epitome of perfect beauty,Shri Radhika is a trove of virtues and Shyamsundar is also incapable of singing her glories. Only the sakhis', if their ardour is sufficient and their understanding complete can identify their passion and the consummation of their love with hers.

Surdas, (name of a 16th-century North Indian devotional poet believed to have been blind) has given an excellently beautiful portrayal of Shri Radha in his padas or verses. The sakhis used to always tease Shri Radha regarding Shyam Sundar. She had not even glimpsed him so why were they pestering her. They insisted on taking her along early next morning to the banks of the Yamuna. The group had just about begun to bathe in the water when they sighted Pran Vallabha, their adorable lover, standing beneath a tree. The herd of sakhis then turned around to look at Shri Radha. She stood stupefied as tears streamed down from her love-lorn eyes.

After some time when Lord Krishna left, the sakhis probed," Now tell us Kishori, how is Hari? " On guard she replied, "I haven't seen him, why don't you describe the dark-hued god?" All of them laughed on this remark and asked," You haven't sighted him yet? Okay, we will detail his appearance, and you add on later." They described his physical form with the minutest detail as Shri Radha shed tears of joy.

Lord Krishna Wearing Golden Kundals

Finally she replied,"Sakhis, you are all blessed to have adulated him with serious intricacy, scrutinizing his fragrant limbs. I could only glimpse his kundals (large ring shaped earrings) swaying to kiss his cheeks. Ah! The golden gleam of the earrings on his ethereal face, the colour of the condensed sky...Not knowing the reason, tears trickled from these crazed eyes and nothing else was visible. Shri Radha turned silent and the sakhis were dumbfounded.

They enthused in unison," Truly, Kishori you are the foremost amongst us, the chudhamani (an ornament worn on top of the head, supreme) in our midst. We can not in any way compete with you. Only you can completely absorb the abundance of Krishna's ineffable beauty and the mazes and mysteries of his love." There are innumerable divine plays where Shri Radha emerges as the supreme object of Krishna's passionate love.

Shri Radha-Krishna are in essence a single entity who manifest as two distinct individuals for the sake of interpersonal romantic exchange. The Godhead in female form, Shri Radha appeared from Krishna's left portion, he created her for the sake of his joy. Nandnandan can not bear the pathos of her separation even for a short while. Lord Krishna is distressed in case she sulks and has a difficult time pleasing her. He tells Radha," There is a difference only in word...we have two bodies but the soul is identical. My name is incomplete without you." Shri Radha invariably emerges as Krishna's most beloved and the herd of sakhis have implicit faith in this ultimate reality.

Gandharvi is probably the seventh name. Conventionally Shri Radha is termed Gandharvi because of her supreme beauty. Gandharvas are considered foremost in beauty and music in the mundane world and in the realm of the gods. All of the beauty and all of the rhapsody of the world co-mingle in Shri Radha's character and form, which leads to her being addressed as Gandharvi.

Okay then, Jai Shri Hari. Ram Ram to everyone.

With love,

Yours Bobo.

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