Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pratah Stava: 4th Shloka

Shri Shri Nimbarkacharyaji saw the scenario with the sakhi bhava and remarked,

Pratarbhaje suratsar payodhi chihanan,

Gandsthalen nayanen cha sanddhanau.

Ratyadhyashesh shubhdau samupet kamau,

Shri Radhikavar-purandar punyapunjau

'The impassioned Yugal wear love-spots of imagined pleasures, which an impassioned man and an enraptured woman may enjoy, on their soft cheeks and eyes. I meditate upon the bestowers of a divine and transcendental love, infinite happiness and good fortune; the ravishing Yugal...Krishna, Shri Radha's wealth...and Radha, the supreme lover, Krishna's consort, early in the morning.'

The entire night passed away in a new romantic dalliance. Holding each others lotus hand, the ardent lovers began a delicious conversation but it transformed into an amorous frolic. Coy Shri Radha mumbles sensually at times...and the handsome god enchanted by this trait, adulates her. Mischievous Kishore...comes dangerously close...sliding to whisper in her ear. Revered Sakhaji says,' The sakhis saw early in the morning; these reddish blue-hued cheeks of Krishna and reddish yellow-hued ones of Radha, stained by betel leaf.'

A sakhi piped in,' I feel that Kamdev, Rati's lord, decorated the flower garland on these tenderly smooth cheeks...' One of them sitting quietly opined, 'I am sure that when Kamdev, the god of love, was defeated by the handsome Yugal, he lowered his banner. Shame and embarrasment has seized the spiritedness of the god of love in this fickle love-play.'

Yet another affirmed,' Subject to the triumphant Yugal, Kamdev forgot his strategems and hid in their cheeks.' The sakhis are apprehensive that Shri Radha-Krishna pleased by him may not return the treasure trove they won and hand them over too.

Someone else endorsed, ' In the isolation of dark silence, the impassioned duo descended into the mazes and mysteries of Kamdev (god of love), but sank deeper and deeper.' When the heart-arouser, Kamdev, struck the innocent Yugal off guard, they were completely vulnerable; absorbed in love-play and hit by Cupid's arrows. Kandarpa made a note of their triumph, whose signature is apparent on their tender faces. Rati seeing her husband bound, instantly wrote an entreaty with the vermilion of her hair parting, and prayed for his release, which is visible on Kishori's cheeks.'

A spirited maiden intervened, 'What about the love-signs on their large pointed eyes.' While talking, the golden glow of daybreak transformed into the yellow and ochres of the midday sun and along with the hues of dawn entered the shrine-like bower. And the intoxicated Shri Radha-Krishna startled, smoothed the embarrassed plight of their limbs, reluctantly. The sakhis saw the confused grandeur of the fatigued Yugal adjusting the disheveled clothes...haphazard jewelery...sweetness of faces.

Enchanted when the sakhis saw the Yugal become conscious, one of them remarked,' Sakhis come let us clarify the matter.' All of them entered the bower stealthily. Within, they stood surrounding the passionate bedstead and the Yugal saw the herd of sakhis. Their faces pale...a shy smile loaded Shri Radha-Krishna's embarrassed eyes...they could not speak a word.

Once lifting his eyes, the dark-hued god cast his glance on them and looked away. Coyly Priyaji looked down but the frolic of the silent night was laid bare. Laughing the lot questioned, 'Kishori lowering your eyes has endorsed the love-play further. Do reveal the puzzle of this love-sport.'

Kishori's cheeks became paler and those musky spots were accentuated...unveiling the entire escapade. The sakhis were quiet, savouring the deeper ecstasies of devotion. Gopi-love is said to be the zenith of spiritual awareness, the purest emotion a soul may have for its divine source. One of them provoked,' It is wrong of the blue-skinned capricious lover, to have gone on clearly imprinting the signs of erotic love. You have always been innocent.'

One of them slightly serious, commented,'The eyes are informers, revealing the hidden mystery of your frolic.' A third quipped,' Sakhis they are giving an account of the dark-hued god's eager desire.'

'And what do the love-spots say.' One of them intervened,'You must ask the Supreme Rasika himself.' The handsome god smiled slightly. His lips quivered, about to say something...and precisely then Priyaji lifted her gaze. Their eyes met and he did not reveal the cause. The sakhis burst into laughter and teasingly ridiculed the duo. Soon after, the suns' rays blazed and one sakhi suggested,' Now let them go to their respective abodes.'

Someone pitched in,' Sakhis, when they descended into ecstatic bliss and churned it with their assistant Cupid, the stirring gave them treasures...and various kinds of wealth, which is sparkling on their cheeks and pair of eyes. An account of their romantic dalliance is documented in these streaks.'

Both the impassioned lovers smiled and saw the sakhis. For some moments the herd stood amidst transcendental love of the hightest order...Soon enough taking Shri Radha-Krishna they stepped out of the shrine-like bower. The lot teased,'You two can take leave. In the night...again...again...and yet again. And once again...tomorrow morning...We will ask you the entire incidence of your amorous frolic.' And they headed toward their houses. The Yugal also left,walking in an intoxicated fashion.

The sakhis' only concern is to see Radha and Krishna united and joyous in love and to this end they not only carry messages but comfort and even admonish them. Weaving this moment of ecstatic response, Shri Achayaj affirms that he lovingly meditates upon the love-spots imprinted on the eyes-cheeks of the Yugal, absorbed in the essence of lovers' pleasure.

Ratyadhyashesh shubhdau samupet kamau,

Shri Radhikavar-purandar punyapunjau

Shri Acharyapad gave a serious account of the love-spots arising from the most intimate romantic exchanges, 'Wearing the signs of love-spots on their tender cheeks and eyes,I focus upon the ravishing Yugal in the auspicious morning time.' Shri Radha-Madhav who are the soul of Braj...the nayakas or heroes of Braj...all of the virtues of the world comingle in their character and form...Impassioned, they are the bestowers of joyous abandon, infinite good fortune and prosperity.'

Acharyashri calls them the embodiment of lovers' pleasure or the terrifying rush of love, arising from deep within...;the zenith of spiritual awareness; which counters accusation of mundane sexuality. Every episode of their love-play strips amorous desire with clearly defined distinctions between lust and love.

The love of Shri Radha-Krishna does not remain confined to the passionate emotions of two individuals in love but becomes a sustaining principe of the universe, the domain of their love expands from confined romantic arenas to cosmic spaces,from mere sensuality to exalted spirituality. The play between Radha and Krishna as they move into the mazes and mysteries of love, becomes a metaphor for the conjuncton of the male and female polarities of the cosmos itself-where the descending god and the ascending soul become one.

When Shri Radha-Krishna awaken from the rapturous bliss, they grant the impassioned love-spots, amorous frolics and the triumph of Kamdev to sakhis peeking from behind creeper thickets. The herd is thrilled to see the auspicious love-marks on their fragrant limbs with joyous abandon, exultation and ecstasy.

With their playful dalliance, the ravishing Yugal further enflame the ardent longing of the individual soul for union with the divine. But if the sakhis representing souls in search of salavation are hungry for the fultilment of love, that insistent divinity, Shri Radha-Krishna are hungry too; in need as the ardent but often faithless lovers of the love-struck soul to be restored to wholeness once again by an accumulation of devotion.

Shri Radha entreaties Krishna, to bestow the same joy of amorous frolics to her sakhis, in which she is constantly absorbed. She feels that her love for Krishna can always expand to greater heights, and manifests herself as the many sakhis of Braj; eagerly desirous for Krishna to fulfill their desire for a loving relationship in a variety of ways. And Pranvallabhava (title of Krishna, beloved of the hearts)...supreme lover of the gopis...the nayaka or hero of Braj...getting her indication, ardently frolics with them.

The sakhis dally in joyous abandon with Krishna in various forest bowers; they are the centres which the god must seek to return to wholeness once again. And the kayavyuhas or Radha's replications, expand her love for Krishna, the supreme lover, to lofty aesthetic heights.

Truly the soul of Braj; all of the beauty and all of the virtue of the world comingle in the Yugal's character and form. Acharyashri evokes a moment of ecstatic response by meditating upon the impassioned Shri Radha-Krishna early in the morning...focuses on them himself...and inspires others to do so.

The joyous abandon which the ravising Yugal grant the sakhis, who are an indispensable persona in the dynamics of love and equally in our celebration of that love...they bestow the same delight to those who identify with the sakhi and reflect upon Shri Radha-Krishna; raising the sentiment of sweet romance to lofty aesthetic heights. As we understand and celebrate the love of Radha and Krishna, madhurya or sweet love translates into ananda and comes the realization that everyone is ultmately a nayika searching for Krishna.

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