Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pratah Stava: 1st Shloka or Verse

Prata: Smarami Yug keli-rasabhishiktan

Vrindavan Suramneeymudar-Vriksham.


Yugmanghri-renu-kanikanchit sarvsatvam.

In the first shloka of the stotra, Acharya Shri remembers Shri Dhaam Vrindavan where Shri Radha-Krishna dally romantically; the land of Lord Krishna's divine play. Herein poetry becomes practised religion as we live out stories from the cosmic world of Krishna.

He enthuses, ' I meditate upon Vrindavan which is constantly immersed in the passionate escapades of the lovers. The play between Radha and Krishna gushes forth constantly in this fabled land as they move into the mazes and mysteries of love.

Vrindavan reigns supreme in the entire mandala or mystical circular region. Each kunja-nikunja (bower), every part of the greatly fortunate Vrinda landscape, banks of the Yamuna, pastures of Krishna's flute-play, market places, lanes and mountain passes are all adorned with Shri Radha-Krishna's winsome dalliances.

Just now, the handsome lover along with his beloved was frolicking in this nikunja...and guess what...he is heading towards another secluded bower; the Vrinda ground blossoming with his divine footprints. And soon enough the two reach the isolated nikunja on the banks of the Yamuna...

One never knows how long they stay on and soon enough... in the twilight of dusk the giggling twosome...chatting away...hand in hand step out of the shrine-like nikunja. Arriving at the banks of the Yamuna...they peep in briefly...bending over water...Faces glued to each other, both burst out laughing. Two lotuses blooming in the exquisite beauty of the evening when the sun has set. It is amazing!

But idyllic Vrindavan is beyond highly restrictive social constraints. The delights of Paradise are reflected in this world transformed by ecstatic devotion, flooding across ephemeral boundaries. Ethereal the land is adorned with ineffable beauty and served by joyous abandon; the dark-hued frolicking site of the Yugal's loving tenderness. Vrindavan is the kalpavriksha (one of the fabulous plants or trees) of Krishna's paradise, a tree that grants all desires.

Vrindavan grants fruition of our ardent entreaties. A roaming ground of the handsome god and his beloved, the site is large-hearted like them. Whoever focuses on this celestial forest, is spontaneously absorbed in the mysterious and sudden love of Shri Radha-Krishna. As a tree gives cool shade to fatigued individuals, in the same manner sentimental devotees find respite in the divine play of theYugal; who are the repository of sweetness. I recollect the same Vrindavan of enthused exultation, enchanting us in its absorption.

Vrindavan is surrounded by Shri Yamuna, daughter of the Sun God. The sacred river with its cooling gentle waves, invades the land with inspiration and delight for its adorable Yugal. Resonating with the gurgling sound of the wandering Kalindi (name of the river Yamuna, said to rise on a mountain called Kalinda), the idyllic forest displays its trove of virtues in various ways.

All seasons bloom perpetually by the handsome Yugal's divine play; not governed by evening-dawn, day-night or sun-moon. Overgrown thickets, shrubs and creepers, birds and deer are spellbound by their playful dalliances, ecstatic on attending to Shri Radha-Krishna's needs; Vrindavan moves in joyous response to their passionate service.

Freed of disciplinary norms, marked by footprints of the young Shri Radha-Krishna and scented by the dust of their feet, I bring to mind a rapturous Vrindavan, where all the elements of nature are construed as living sentient beings.

May this pristine Vrinda landscape steep us in the terrifying rush of Shri Radha-Krishna's divine play. Delighting in play, they endear themselves and bring delight to all their bhaktas. May their feet' s dust particles which flood the fabled land become our crowning glory and enflame us; so that we move in a delicious anguish to the forest, attending to the needs of theYugal or Shri Radha-Krishna'.

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