Monday, February 22, 2010

Chapter 20: Ushaji's Loving Devotion-Blessings by a Siddha on the Biddings of Lord Krishna

Shri Usha Bahenji Longed For Vrindavan

The longing to head for Vrindavan, where the god forever dwells, intensified in Bobo. But consciousness of her duties was a constraint. On several occasions she sat for hours at a stretch in front of Thakurji, absorbed in the deeper ecstasies of devotion.

Despite being invincible that beautiful dark-skinned cowherd of Vrindavan is hungry too for the fulfillment of love. Seeing this ardent longing of Bahenji, Lord Krishna sent a close sakhi of his inner circle for drawing her closer, to give a loving assurance and for relishing his romantic dalliance.

Now we are about to introduce a siddha. Not remaining a dreamy archetypal figure casting its shadow over the mind of the subject but acting as a real three-dimensional personage, he appeared in broad day-light and conversed in commonly understandable idiom with Ushaji.Embodying himself, Sakhaji,the ethereal being began visiting Bahenji on biddings of the handsome god to reveal certain esoteric secrets of Radha-Krishna.

Kusum Sarovar,Vrindavan

The amazing incident dates back to July 30, 1954 the 30th birthday of Bobo. While she was wondering over the meaning of the term nila parivestita,a saintly figure dropped in all of a sudden uttering jaya jaya radhika madhava. His presence triggered a peculiar vibration in the room. On inquiring, the celestial being replied mystically enough that he was Charana Sakha, friend of Lord Krishna's feet, and that he lived at Kusum Sarovar in Braj where Uddhava also lived. 

The Gopi Bhava

Revealing Krishna as the ardent lover of the love-struck soul, Sakhaji affirmed that He abides in those who assume the gopi bhava of sweet and total commitment and love for the dark god. In so doing, we get a glimpse of one's transcendent self and as madhurya translates into ananda comes the realization that everyone is ultimately a nayika searching for Krishna.

The sequence of narrating Krishna's playful dalliance became a daily affair. Several times Sakhaji would drop in twice.Ushaji sensed his arrival and he began reciting the lila the instant she called out. Bahenji would speak and a Bahen sitting nearby would note down the episode. Many of us relished his narration. His sensitive perceptions are a great support for enlightening sadhakas and a vast repertoire was formed.

Supreme Lover Krishna

" Krishna Chandra took my soul and life with him.With tenderness and teasing, mischief and spontaneity and the beauty of his dark body, the colour of the condensed sky, He made me his captive. I recognized Him as my supreme lover," he gave his introduction a year later.

On becoming conscious the teasing paramour had vanished and I was lying alone in the pastures of Braj. "Why am I a male even on being totally enraptured by the dark god?" I pondered and the captivating dark-hued Krishna appeared before me. Now the body was not worthy of worldly tasks and I began living as the dust of Braj. I take part whenever I sight satsang and the elusive god appears at times to intoxicate me with divine madness. I roam around longing for yet more."

Sakhaji,a siddha (a great spiritual adept, moving on a a higher spiritual plane) and an intensely close sakhi of Krishna, had entry into the most intimate transcendental exchanges of Shri Radha-Krishna.He asserted," The person who abandons all mundane desires can relish Krishna's playful dalliance."

Sakhaji Had Assumed the Form of a Sakhi

Ever since, the pattern of narrating amorous frolics continued incessantly till the year 1991. By Lord Krishna's touch Sakhaji had abandoned his masculine identity and assumed a female form of a beautiful young sakhi in accordance with his bhava.

Initially he disclosed eventful lilas but with time playful dalliances in nikunjas, the group sports of Radha-Krishna and the isolated trysts of the sacred couple unfolded in succeeding episodes of union and separation.

In this manner two voluminous manuscripts of divine plays narrated by Sakhaji have been compiled. They help us relish the trysts of Radha-Krishna and their sakhis or kayavyuhas within the contexts of religious aspiration.

Krishna worship reached its most widespread development from the 15th century onwards when acharyas inspired bhaktas and the dark-hued god was adored with loving devotion and emotional exultation. With the passage of time the wave of accomplished adherents like Shri Hariramji Vyas, Shri Vishwanath Chakravarti Paad,Shri Bhagvatrasikji, Chacha Vrindavan Dasji and the ashtachap kavis, probably ended. After a long time span Sakhaji's mode of rasa relishing became an unprecedented future link in the sequential experiences of those accomplished rasikas.

Such a unique combination of love flowing towards the Lord and language is only possible by an intimate sakhi (Sakhaji) belonging to the nij parikar or inner circle of Shyama-Shaym.

The Flute's Lack of Desire

 His Flute is Very Dear to Krishna

Jai Jai Radhika Madhav
The great good fortune of the flute is inexpressible. What great act of merit hath this bamboo-shoot performed that the delightful son of Nanda was enslaved and it became his constant companion, soon enough. The flute in the hands of Krishna is more than a musical instrument.It is the breath of love and a call to eternity.

Vanshi is a symbol of the great good fortune of a cowherdess assuming the form of this flute and revelling in his company. If it was just a bamboo stem he would not fervently hold it all the time and have no qualms in getting another on losing it. Some gopis know of this mystery and tease Krishna by hiding it on purpose.

The flute is his beloved and second to none other than Shri Radhika.Some of the frolics in Gaulok, where the god forever dwells, can be savoured here as well.

A Sakhi Named Vanshi

Once the son of Nanda, VrashbhanuNandini and several cowherdesses were busy in a romantic dalliance in some grove. A sakhi name Vanshi was present but was not so fortunate at that point of time. The flute which Krishna played was embellished with gold and precious stones. Its sound also attracted the gopas-gopis but he did not love her intensely. He sported and interacted with everyone except Vanshi.

She was neither jealous nor furious at the others. There was an ardent longing for the dark god, which she tenderly hid in her heart. She thought,"I am definitely lacking because Krishna loves everyone equally."

Several years passed by in this manner but she neither lost hope nor complained. Sometimes in the pitch dark nights she would console herself," Why are you impatient? He is well aware of your plight and will pamper you instinctively when the time arrives."

The beloveds of Krishna could not figure out her anguish. Rarely one of them would ask about her distraught state but she evaded the matter with a smile.

It was the night of purnima (full moon) and dalliances had been on since evening. But the son of Nanda did not cast a glance on her and the frolic ended in the silence of midnight.Everyone went to their sleeping chambers but Vanshi could not. In turmoil she stepped out and reclined against a tree.

Assuming Krishna's presence she lamented,"I know that I am unaware of my worthlessness. But please explain why you posited me in this ethereal Gaulok and never looked at me? As of now, you must placate this frenzied madness." Reproaching herself soon after she said," Why are you not pleased with his pleasure? Do not let this dejection reach him or his beloveds."

Morning dawned and she regained her composure. Standing up, she mumbled, "Rest assured Priyatam! I am happy in your happiness.And giggling but hiding her distraught state, she entered her chamber.Going through the daily chores, Vanshi decked herself and met the sakhis but her grief was imperceptible.

Shri Radha-Krishna & Sakhis Dally in a Nikunja

Well in the evening of that day Nandnandan, VrishbhanuNandini and some sakhis were dallying in the grove. Vanshi was expectant as always little knowing that she was about to become not just a companion but Krishna's breath of love. Moonlight bathed the darkness of night and everyone went to their chambers after midnight.

The gopas had also gathered today but had left earlier to rest. Vanshi was in her bhavan, but certain of not stepping out," If the mischievous supreme lover or a sakhi passed by what would they say? I should not be disturbed since I see and adore his dark beauty everyday." Consoling herself she lay down with eyes shut. Unexpectantly a sound of the opening door was heard but she was sure it was a misapprehension. On sensing someone sitting down beside her, she was startled.

Vanshi swooned with ecstasy on sighting Krishna. The son of Nanda brought her back to consciousness with various measures. The final question of her trial ensued," Aren't you upset with these sakhis? Why did not they draw my attention to you?" 

" Why should I be vexed since they never neglected me. Do not blame them for my diffidence," she replied innocently.

The son of Nanda was greatly impressed now. Sincere honesty is what binds the frivolous god. Captivated by her answer and loving her intensely, he asked about her desired wish which he had already fulfilled.

Her plight could not be hidden from Shri Radhika who had sent him today. The son of Nanda was eager himself and ran on her approval.

Vanshi is Transformed into a Flute

Enraptured by Vanshi's selflessness, the Lord gave her a boon.He transformed her into a flute drinking nectar from the lips of Krishna and his energy whose melody attracts the cows and draws the gopis, the milkmaids of Vrindavan out of their homes in a romantic dalliance with him.

May the flute and its player bestow such sincere dedication on us so that his terrifying rush of love invades our hearts.

Conventional norms are not violated in love but one casts off societal constraints. Hence we experience a related heightening of spiritual experience by ecstatic and evocative expressions of love in a land of highly restrictive social bindings.

Shri Sakhaji who founded an original concept of rasa or the blissful experience savoured by Radha, was a supreme siddha and close sakhi of Krishna.His perspective has certain freshness and is a variant of the traditional romantic sentiments of the earlier acharyas.

Shri Radha-Krishna

1.Braj denizens and those with the Vrindavan bhava have sometimes acclaimed handsome Krishna as the principal idol of devotion and at times Radha as the symbol of divine love. But in Sakhaji's opinion both are equally significant as far as divine play, time, attachment and drawing us passionately is concerned.

2.Several rasikas' sentiments have been confined to enchantment and the quest for a divine and transcendental love.But Sakhaji despite being deeply absorbed in madhurya or sweet love is intoxicated yet again by rasa.His bhavas unfold in cyclical episodes of union and separation, the joy of Krishna's presence followed by the emptiness of his absence.

3.The relishing of rasa or sentiment of sweet romance which is always constant for Shri Radha, is also savoured by her kayavyuhas or replications. She manifests herself as the many gopis of Braj, who fulfil Krishna's desire for a loving relationship in a variety of ways.

The Doctrine of Rasa within Krishna's Lilas or divine play

 Dark-hued Krishna is Love Incarnate
 All the sports of Krishna are engimatic and leave us spell-bound. Those who relish his playful dalliance are truly blessed.
  • Lord Krishna is Love Incarnate. Actually he is the one who is affectionate and the Supreme Lover. Love can not attain perfection without him.
  • We are only concerned about honour, sense of decency, prestige and family norms until we haven't savoured his blue-hued sweetness or madhuri.Forgetfulness of the created universe accompanied by attachment to the Lord, is said to be moksha.
  • All manners of the youthful Krishna are winsome and exude the romantic sentiment. Thus acharyas have acclaimed him to be 'Rasraj' (an epithet of Krishna). New dalliances and spirited antics are delightfully enacted in Braj every day but a chosen few have the good fortune of sighting them.
  • The sensually charged romantic love exists between the earthly and human gopis on one hand and a celestial and divine Krishna on the other. It is to Krishna that the gopis direct their anger and passion, fear and their love. While the scriptures and rishis aspire towards singing his glories these simple cowherdesses fondly address him as a thief and a thug who is fickle and frivolous.
  • Truly fortunate devotees are mentally steeped in the son of Nanda. Where he reigns all desires vanish and head towards the handsome god. But not due to good deeds of several past lives and religious observances but by the grace of Gopivallabha and His gopis.
Swamini Shri Radha
  • If their svamini Shri Radhika, merely casts a glance there is not a moment of delay for it is said that she controls Krishna with her love and perfect spiritual life is unattainable without her grace.
  • Youth is the prime state of one's life and Gopivallabha is the one who relishes it.This age is one of innocence and emotional intensity, with the romantic sentiment being the highest expression that subsumes all other forms of devotion.
  • His recollection is dearer than the supreme lover because it is constant. Krishna may abandon us because of his spirited antic but abides in our hearts since he very well knows that his devotee can't exist without him.
  • Singing his glories is not subject to speech but the highest ideal of religious rapture. It is virtually impossible to stash the deeper ecstasies of devotion thus experienced and we narrate his trysts with enthused exultation.
  • Exclusive peace and the joy of isolation is being captivated by an intoxicating glance of Krihsna. The beauty of his dark body impassions our eyes with the madhur rasa or sentiment of sweet romance.But yet we long for more of his dalliance.
  • If the teasing,elusive and insistent paramour is not near it is worthless.The highest ideal of religious rapture is experienced when one is constantly by the side of the supreme lover.
  • Our distraught state binds the frivolous god. The devotion, propitiation, worship and adoration of the gopis, was in essence their passionate longing. They crossed a threshold of awareness that Krishna existed intensely in their hearts when they sang his praise and dwelt in their longing for him.
  • Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! A befittingly attractive name; sweet, flirtatious and teasing. Continue chanting the name by an inner meditation unconditioned by his physical presence, where Krishna is known not as a separate singular god-like body but mystically visualized as the world around us.
  • Radha and Krishna, Krishna and Radha are in essence a single entity, who manifest as two distinct individuals for the sake of interpersonal romantic exchange. To attract rasikas and satiate their quest for a divine and transcendental love, Shri Radha-Krishna's romantic dalliances are constant.
  • If there is one aspect of Krishna's enigmatic persona which distinguishes him from all other incarnations it is his playful dalliance which is both real and illusionary. Delighting in play, he brings delight to all his bhaktas.
  • Sublime prema is rooted in selfless surrender to the divine and is disengaged from attachment to oneself and any form of self-gratification.There is no greater symbol to denote the longing of the soul in its quest for the divine than the longing of the nayika for her beloved. Devotion to Krishna is not an end by itself but that devotion is to be expressed and experienced in the union of the lover and the beloved.
  • Krishna is the sole purusha or supreme male and the human soul striving for spiritual evolution is therefore conceived as feminine,a celestial energy of the divine. While a woman is a natural devotee since her love for her husband or Lord is the greatest possible love. The male devotee visualizes himself as being inwardly a female aspirant and is hence privileged to witness the trysts of Radha and Krishna.
  • By sweet and total commitment and love for Krishna, the young gopis know precisely how to relish his spirited antics. Just by glimpsing them, the handsome god's eyes become flirtatious and he has no choice, but to respond.There is development of his madhurima or sweetness and a romantic dalliance followed by a yearning for yet more.
  • He is seen as the object of longing and of a love which is expressed in the cry of the enraptured cowherdesses for union with their teasing, elusive and insistent paramour. Seeing him approach,they cast off their work and wordly cares, and move in delicious anguish to his side.The undivided whole, that is god, requires the absorption of its parts and their love for Krishna is reciprocated and thus made complete. Among Krishna's epithets is Gopivallabha, or beloved of the gopis.

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