Friday, March 27, 2009

Lila-Rasa-Madhuri: Editor's Note

Shri Radha-Krishna serve as the stimulus of rasaupasana centered in Vraja and Vrindavan. The perennial quest of mankind for their divine and transcendental love has spurred several seekers to attain the ultimate reality by adopting the bhavas of dasya (servitude), sakhya (friend), vatsalya (maternal love)suitable to our particular identity in this world.


Nevertheless all other rasas reside in the madhurya rasa or sentiment of sweet romance which takes us to the very heart of the love of Radha and Krishna. The raja rasa or peak of human emotions, it not only celebrates our humanity but equally reaches out to an evocation of divinity.


This metaphorical search of the impassioned soul for union with God becomes possible by the grace of the enraptured cowherdesses with whom Krishna sported in his youth. He is construed as the object of longing and of a love when his hungering devotees do his chintan or sing his glories. Several eminent personages attained oneness with the divine and their experiences elucidate the divine path to earthly devotees.


Shri Krishna in the form of aadi purusha or primeval man, the divine energetic source or shaktimaan, the source of all manifestations of God is revealed as the supreme lover and Shri Radha his hladini shakti or blissful energy; is our svamini or devotional ideal. Coming alive in their majestic form, Shri Radha-Krishna preserve and destroy the world since the start of creation. As repositories of madhurya or sweet love they give in to the ardent longing of their close ones.


We come across the Supreme Being, dallying with the enraptured village women as he spreads joy and delight in idyllic Vrindavan. Roaming with Shri Radhika and the gopis, her replications or kaya-vyuhas, Krishna resides in the hearts of yogis. As Vishnu's avatara, Krishna chose to be born in Vraja and chose it as his playground to relax from protocol. The refuge of various religions, Shri Radha-Krishna are propitiated by sage Narada, Brahmaji and Lord Shankar plus other deities.


The twin stotras or hymns of praise which sing their glories, assist us in sharing their grace and loving tenderness. The fruition of Shri Radha Stora revealed at the end of the text, has been experienced by several noted mahatmas.


On the other hand 'Shri Krishna Kripa Kataksha' composed by Shri Shankracharyaji Maharaj is replete with its own grandeur. The last shloka is differently worded in the recitation but endorses selfless bhakti of Nanda's handsome son Krishna.


Highly revered Usha Bahenji's deeper ecstasies of devotion surge towards the sweet divine play of Shri Radha-Krishna. Steeped in the love of the Yugal, her experiences were compiled, becoming the pivotal concept of the text 'Lila-Rasa-Madhuri'.


Now Ushaji's body and mind were fused and focused in pampering Priya-Priyatam and now it was tough to construe the depth of her devotional imagination. Developing an all-consuming intimacy, Shri Radha-Krishna would converse with her, and freely ask her to adorn them with shangar and even demand some particular bhoga or offering of food.


These incidences make us imagine, experience and share the vision of earlier renowned acharyas; of the union and ultimate indivisibility between Krishna and Radha, Purusha (spiritual realm) and Prakriti (physical world), God and devotee.


First of all I am greatly indebted to highly revered Shri Nishchalanandji Maharaj presiding over the Shankracharyaja Goverdhan Peeth, for giving his consent for the text.Shri Satyanandji Maharaj, respected Susheela Bahinji and other eminent personages are responsible for its publication in the Viashnava world; a concrete result of their combined efforts.


Here is praying that with energy and joyfulness and love, the stotras become an excellent recourse for love-struck devotees; absorbing them in the loving tenderness of Priya-Priyatam.

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