Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pratah Stava: 8th Shloka

Pratarnmami Vrashbhanusutapdabjan,

Netralibhih parinutan Brajsundarinaam.

Prematurenh harina suvisharden,

ShrimadBrajesh-tanyen sadabhivandhyam.

In this shloka revered Shri Acharyaji makes obeisance to Shri Shri Radha's lotus feet early in the morning with the sakhi bhava. Served by the capricious eyes of Braj beauties, the feet are adoringly adulated by the impassioned supreme lover, Krishna.

The daughter of Vrashbhanu, Shri Radhika is the deity, life and soul of the sakhis. Their entire focus is Radha, all the time; their love for Radha stands supreme but the sakhis are not contented.

Loved to the same extent as dark-hued Krishna...but surprisingly Radha is even more lovable for some sakhis.Particularly desirous to assist in the loving affairs of Radha...understanding all her bhavas and facial expressions, they attend to her needs. Shri Radha their svamini or devotional ideal, is also very fond of them. Large-hearted, Shri Radhika fulfills their desire for a loving relationship with Krishna in a variety of ways. It is said that she controls Krishna with her love and that perfect spiritual life is unattainable without her grace.

Netralibhih parinutan Brajsundarinaam.

Acharya Shri raved that the lotus feet of Kishoriji are attended to by the capricious eyes of Braj beauties. It means imbibing the bhava of loving the holy feet and taking on the form of the greedy black bee, eager to savour nectar of the lotus feet. The Braj maidens not only serve in the dasya bhava (servitude). As snehadhika, their love for Radha stands supreme, perceived in their peculiar desire to assist in the loving affairs of Radha and Krishna.

The same applies for the cowherdesses. Shri Radha is the foremost of the gopis, who are very dear to her...the recipients of her pampering. Radha exalts their service and they eagerly attend to her needs...watching her face in eager anticipation. The primary concern over and above their own self-interest is Radhika's pleasure. And to this end they comfort and even admonish her.

The sakhis are her kaya-vyuhas or replications. When Radha is offended and sulks, giving orders that Krishna should not be allowed to enter; they are desirous to send him in. As Radha and Krishna's sole purpose is to engage in a loving exchange, the gopis exist to assist them in this love. When arrogant Radhika warns them not to mention her name, they go to the handsome god on some pretext, narrate her love-lorn state...and fetch him.

Once love-struck Kishori was very furious initially...scraping the ground with her toe nail...though Priyatam repeatedly tried to appease her. And when the young god got up and left, she longed for him... Restless, she entreated, that the sakhis go and call him and why they let him leave in the first place. In separation, she lacked sight, was lifeless and devoid of a soul.

When she persisted relentlessly, the sakhis were moved but appeared harsh, 'We are not going under any circumstances. When he comes to pacify, you are haughty...flare up at the slightest not even look at him...and now you request us to fetch him. We do not want the incidence to be repeated.' Scolding her, they made her reach the heights of elation and ecstasy of union. Spurring her to make several promises they brought Pranvallabha or beloved of the hearts,Krishna.

Their eyes akin to intoxicated black bees are forever restive to savour the sweetness of their beloved sakhi's lotus feet...hovering around...circling around them...serving the needs of Radha...they savour the seva rasa and are enchanted.

As love messengers the sakhis sometimes get young Radha adorned for a tryst with the supreme lover and at times fetch the handsome god to the ardently longing Kishori. Constantly in close proximity to these lotus feet, the sakhis hum like bees...chirp...roam around, and at times silent...stupefied they relish the rasa of Shri Radha-Krishna's amorous frolics. Blessed are these Braj beauties and greatly fortunate are the pair of lotus feet served by these maidens.

Come, let us also secretly enter the herd of Braj beauties and hiding behind some creeper thicket, have a look at how the handsome Krishna adoringly adulates Priyaji's lotus feet...what does he ask for.

The quintessential romantic hero, Krishna is skilled and well-versed in the art of dalliances. With tenderness and teasing, mischief and spontaneity he knows exactly how to please Radha. Proud of her love-play, when Radhika rejects his sudden love...denies his advances...turns down his spontaneous moves; the lover praises her lavishly, charms with his humility and expresses his enraptured state. And if she refuses still feigning indignation, then the teasing Krishna stations his flute and peacock crown at her holy feet, flattering her.

Even so if not pleased, he rests his head on Radha's lotus feet. and when...her eyes are laden with a smile and a smile spreads across her lips, then the dark-hued god sets up her pair of lotus feet on his broad affectionate chest. Laughing he confirms that Shri Radha-Krishna's union is due to the feet's blessings and enthrones them. (Krishna is often construed as the ardent but faithless lover of the love-struck soul, Radha.)

The impassioned lover was about to say something when Kishori kept her lotus hand on his lips. Gathering intense passion, he rested the hand on his chest and enthused,' You have seen the fruition of praying to the feet!' And soon after caressing the tender pair of lotus feet, was desirous for an amorous frolic.

Revered Shri Sakhaji had once narrated a divine play woven around the jasmine thicket. Tightly binding her in a terrifying rush of love, the supreme lover was engaged in an impassioned love exchange. Soon after, he got up and sat facing her. Positioning her lotus feet in his lap, he fondled them.

Embarrassed Priyaji pulled her legs and complained,' Every action of yours is strangely controversial.' The lover forcibly held her lotus feet and lowering his handsome face showered sudden love. The young Radha had no option, except resting her forehead against his. She coaxed,'It is enough now!' And then he snuggled her head on his chest. Giving in to freedom, spontaneity and intense passion, the supreme lover adoringly adulates Radha's feet in this fashion.

When she sulks the scenario is completely different. Offended, she is not appeased in any fashion and he has a tough time pleasing her. Her arrogance gives way and Krishna's longing for dalliances gushes forth and rolling in those feet, gains access to her beautiful body. The chest enflamed with the pathos of longing, nestling these cool lotus feet, bestows coolness.

Soon the handsome god entreats for new amorous frolics...and then praying to these lotus feet, unfurls the flag of intense passion. Defeated concurrently, he triumphs...and appeasing these lotus feet is rapturous.

May we also be sheltered by these lotus feet...our salvation lies in focusing on them. I make obeisance to these exalted feet over and over again. There is a humble exquisite desire...that these pair of all-knowing holy feet are pleased...and grant the boon of fulfilling our longings.

Once a shrewd sakhi saw Radha walking affectedly in the darkness of daybreak and construed the entire scenario. She saw the staggering gait and red spots...sort of sprinkled on the feet. She queried,'Kishori what are these red spots on your tender feet and these stains of lampblack?' Priyaji smiled and gave a gentle slap on her cheek. Embarassed, she just uttered the word,' Crazy...'and was quiet.

Look, the respectful obeisance led to this romantic dalliance. Stepping out of the thicket, the handsome god came close and casting a passionate glance on Priyaji...laughingly assured the sakhi,' I will reveal the mystery.' We never know what he said and unveiled. Expressions of those love-signs were marked on her body...and...

We awaken to a world transformed by remarkable obeisance; rare dedicated devotion of the holy feet and unique result, leading to amazing fruition...Reaching the deeper ecstasies of devotion...the heights of elation.

Let us share the vision of Acharyaji and respectfully bow before the pair of red feet, to develop an all-consuming intimacy with Shri Radha.

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