Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pratah Stava: 7th Shloka

Pratarnmami Yugalanghri saroj kosh

Mashtang yukt vapusha bhavduhkhdaram.

Vrindavane suvicharantmudar chihnan,

Lakhamya urojdhritkunkumragpushtam.

Shri Nimbarkacharyaji states,' I make obeisance to the treasured lotus feet of Lord Krishna, destroyers of worldly sorrows, which mark Vrindavan, the site of their eternal divine play. Roaming with joyous abandon, the feet are delighted with the saffron spots adorning Shri Laxmi's bosom .'

How tenderly beautiful, softly enchanting, auspiciously soothing and mischievously spirited are these feet! Stealing the fragrance of lotus clusters and assigned the tough task of getting rid of mundane grief, the holy feet are not burdened. By smarana or meditating upon them, we can placate searing earthly pain.

The most fearful scenario for mankind is to be detached from these holy feet, who never distance themselves but we assume aloofness due to our negligence. At times while roaming and dallying they enter the more elusive fields, forests and streams of our hearts and worldly grief deserts us.

The Braj beauties have fully savoured their enchantment while others can only relish a fragment of this joy.

The wealth of the cosmos itself falls at their lotus feet. A constant ground of the divine play of goddess Laxmi (wife of Vishnu and goddess of good fortune and wealth), they attract the pride of forest groves abounding with lotuses... assuring safety to devotees.

How can a lotus possibly compete with their glory. Imbibing a bit of their soft delicacy, the entire lotus family reigned supreme amongst flowers. The lotus feet arousing awareness in mortals, brings them close to the divine.

Braj beauties sing glories of the lotus feet during painful moments of separation. The feet expiate the sins of mankind...wander behind cows and are the abode of goddess Laxmi. They expedite the fulfillment of devotees' desires. The enraptured maidens realize that these lotus feet can relieve the pathos of longing, whereas earthly lotuses enflame the agony of separation.

Handsome Krishna has liberally marked the forest of Vrindavan with his roaming pair of feet.Shri Paad Goswami's gopi heart and ears were drawn by the tinkling sound of anklets ornamenting them. Brajbhoomi and Vrindavan resound with the melodious sound as the feet wander around flirtatiously, arousing the hearts of Braj maidens.

Shri Billavmangalji Maharaj made a prayer to the holy feet adorned with saffron. He ardently entreats for the lotus feet; found in lotus clusters of Kalindkumari (name of the mountain on which the river Yamuna rises),romantic dalliances with Braj beauties and amorous frolics with the young Shri Radhika, to reside in his heart.

Well, let this delicate pair of feet reign over our hearts and have a night's rest. Kishori Radha...and Krishna must relax now, though dalliance is a source of respite for them. Therefore the sakhis teased,' Don't assume this to be a night of frolic.'

'Lakhamya uroj dhrit kunkum rag pushtam,' embodies the constant dalliance of the shringar rasa or sheer sensuality.

Nourished by the saffron colour of Shri Laxmi's bosom, they prance with an intoxicated gait. The footprints are centered within earthly Vrindavan. When the supreme lover, Krishna fond of spirited antics, dallies with his beloved Radha and the sakhis, the pair of feet endorse their loving tenderness.

How did Shri Laxmi arrive at earthly Vrindavan? She presses Lord Vishnu's feet in Vaikunth, the abode of Vishnu. It is said she did penance in Braj for attaining the good fortune of the gopis, whose love for Krishna is the zenith of spiritual awareness. Lakhamya uroj dhrit kunkum rag pushtam. The Braj gopis are construed as expansions of Laxmiji with Shri Radhika reigning supreme.

In Shri Jeev Goswamiji's composition Shri Gopal Champu, Lord Krishna confirms that he is as capricious as the inconstant bee, counted on to alight upon flower after flower to savour its sweetness. Finally he hovers over the majestic beauty of Shri Radhika, enchanted and intoxicated by sweetness itself.

Krishna exults,' My heart's beloved Radha is the supreme object of my passionate love, the primal consort, she is the source of all shaktis or feminine manifestations of cosmic energy. Thus delighted by the saffron colour marking Braj Laxmi's bosom, his pair of feet are nurtured and...mark Braj, the ground of his divine play.

Bhil maidens seeing the saffron footprints marked on earthly Vrindavan, apply the saffron paste on their faces and bosoms to cool the surges of exquisite desire.

When Krishna reappeared after vanishing, some love-lorn maiden placed both his lotus feet on her enflamed heart. Shri Jeev Goswami has written a pada on this incidence. But these mischievous, spirited lotus feet do not reside there stably. Giving in to freedom, spontaneity and intense passion they roam all the time. Casting off the burdens of convention and nestling the feet on their throbbing hearts, the sakhis calm several exquisite desires.

But the supreme lover Krishna is the most human of gods, most faithless of lovers, and as such is subject to all the foibles and fickleness which add despair to the delights of love. He does not care for highly restrictive social constraints and his elusive feet yearn for amorous frolics.

Shri Radha turned away a great romantic overture. Keeping her hand on Krishna's sweet lips, she tried to stop him repeatedly. Now she shifted a bit and gradually turning her back, sat facing the other side.Krishna observed her adoringly with a spirited stratagem. He lay down beside her, gradually spreading out his legs. Giving in to intense passion, the tender feet jerked and Radha turned all of a sudden. Soon enough it led to a dalliance with Shri Radha-Krishna reaching the heights of elation and ecstasy.

Impassioned, Krishna would raise his head a bit and gaze at her. Unable to control his spirited moves, Radha caught the pair of feet with her trembling hands. Now the mischievous god got up and laughed. He did not free himself and delighted his beloved with an amorous frolic. It seemed Rati and Kamdev had handed over the domain of love to Shri Radha-Krishna.

The marks of saffron paste on the bosom, hidden in the soles of the lover's feet, planned a delicious conspiracy. By a strange reversal of roles, the same enraptured Radha which has Krishna's crown bowing before her fair-complexioned feet and his curly mop of hair caressing them...was raised by the supreme lover from his holy feet.Soon after embracing her, he showered terrifying love.

Shri Radha-Krishna fond of dallying had no inkling how much time was spent in the feet flirting... hands prancing...and the surge of nectarine sweet faces.

When the birds chirped signaling daybreak, the fragrant breeze blew mildly...caressing their conscious fatigued limbs...whispering ferns narrated their passionate tale, then both were startled. Cornered, they distanced each other. Harnessing their passion and putting things in order, the two got up to leave. Precisely then, the herd of sakhis' cheerful chatter and peals of laughter heralded their auspicious arrival...the round of ardent questions and answers...amusing jokes began...

Along with Acharyaji, let us imagine, experience and share his vision of propitiating Lord Krishna's lotus feet, the repositories of passion. Drawn to the saffron colour of Radha's bosom, Krishna is conceptualized as the god in need, as the ardent but often faithless lover of the love-struck soul (Radha).

In this shloka Acharya Shri has made a prayer to the quintessential romantic hero,Krishna, to express in some tangible form the perennial quest of mankind for a divine and transcendental love.

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