Dark-hued Krishna is compared to the moon of Braj and Radha to the moonbeams.His beloveds like entranced planets revolve around him constantly. Each site of Braj is steeped with his romantic dalliance as the dark god gives joy to milkmaids of Braj on every path. Actually the gopis are the ones who can relish his madhurya since they are the replications of Radha. By cultivating the gopi bhava of sweet and total commitment and love for Krishna, religious devotion is nourished.
Well Bobo was steeped in the bliss of Priya-Priyatam, and it was difficult to measure her ardent longing. She says,“This intense desire points at a yearning. When the parched earth flares up and nature is stifled , dark clouds gather and overcast the sky.Dispelling the sluggishness of nature they make it flirtatious and rain,narrating their tale in the rumbling.Krishna, the supreme lover along with Radha and his beloveds is seated on the green lap of nature to confer greater coolness, sweetness and a cool balm.Busy in various amorous frolics enacted in buculic groves and forests,the blue-hued fills them with a delicious anguish.
Describing the trait of handsome Shyam, Bobo says,“It is not as if he listens when we call out repeatedly but is startled even on hearing a feeble call which may just be a longing. Occasionally one wonders if this is true or an illusion. Is he not listening and why is he silent?This is his stratagem.Feigning ignorance,Krishna invades his beloveds with a mysterious love-and soon after makes them relish his nectarine closeness.”
“Everything is topsy turvy in the realm of our impassioned yugal or Radha-Krishna. Until there is a yearning for Krishna we are at peace but a pathos of longing afflicts us till we get him. Who can bear this agony but the impassioned couple are always on fire with desire for each other. Krishna tells Radha,“One may figure out the gushing waves and count stars twinkling in the sky but no one can fathom my love-lorn state. Similarly Kishoriji says, “Sakhis I can never adulate him to my heart's content. Such is my fortune that my eyes turn teary when I look at him yet the heart pines for him.”
At times adulating Krishna's shringar Bobo says,“ He dallies with majesty and posits it in his fragrant limbs, spirited antics, captivating smile,frolics, beautiful adornments such as the vanamala, fluttering pitambar and melodious flute play.Shri or an attractiveness as mysterious as it is compelling invades every fiber of his being, his gestures, his demeanour and his chest.Shri or in other words Shri Radhika and the Braj maidens are his dalliance site and his wide chest is theirs.Self assured and dignified Shri (Radha) frolicks in his loving tenderness, delicate movements, evocative clothes, serene sensuality and graceful manners.
And the idyllic and sensuous Vrindavan provides a perfect setting for the sweet love of Krishna.His madhurya abounds in the groves and forests of Vrindavan. It is here that Shri resides in the lyrical Yamuna, clouds showering rain,
peacocks dancing in ecstasy, birds singing passionately, blossoms blooming affectionately, creepers caressing tree trunks, bees dancing around lotus pollen, cranes and swans flying towards and cows drawn to the call of the flute. She follows the yugal wherever they tread or reaching beforehand invades the fields, forest and streams. Therefore this forest area is known as 'Shri Van'.
Well let us go to the isolated nikunjas of Shri Van. It so happened that seeing Shri being pampered, dalliance turned greedy and became friends with her. Shri has constant entry and similarly dalliance stepped in but needed absolute isolation for its evolution. Decorating Shri or ineffable beauty in the redness of her feet, when Vrishbhanu Nandini frolicks with the supreme lover, their love play peaks. Krishna's epithet as 'Vihari' or sportive reaches perfection.
Soon after the companions of beauty and dalliance followed suit. Shri's loving tenderness, charm, exquisite beauty, delicate limbs, bright coloured hue, coupled with dalliance's infatuation-attachment,loving entreaty, offence-sulking, clever appeasement,charming-endeavour and the art of Kama (god of love).The impassioned yugal smiled and welcomed these newcomers, and soon enough the dalliance of sportive Krishna gushed forth.
Bobo absorbed in Priya-Priyatam was intoxicated. Moreover her daily regime concerning Radha-Krishna reached perfection. At one end her ardent longing found the support of Shyama-Shyam and alongside stirred by emotions she says,“Both their eyes are captivated plus fatigued. When Priyaji adulated the triumphant supreme lover-Kamdev's arrows shot from her side long glance and piercing Krishna's eyes struck his heart.But amazingly Priyaji seemed enchanted this time on glimpsing Krishna's enraptured state.The teasing paramour took advantage and what ensued later is unknown.
We acquire this desire relying on his power. He is the sole support for frail women of the likes of us and makes us relish his charming lilas.
Reaching the heights of elation and ecstasy, several scenes of the supreme lover were reflected in front of Bobo.“There is no site in Braj where he is not upto some spirited antic.Look he is making merry with a Braj maiden on banks of the Yamuna.Tucking her sari and pushing back a lock of hair, the new maiden had just immersed her water pot in Yamuna waters when the teasing Krishna sang some lovable melody making her rapturous.
The pot slipped from her hands, sari was ruffled and heedless she was about to stumble when the supreme lover ran and came close. Propping her head on his sturdy thigh, he gave support.The flute play which made her swoon, impassioned her now. Her eyes opened but shut soon after- a smile played on her lips and this Rasika adored it with his laughing lips.Their frolic paused since they were apprehensive of sakhis arriving. And the beauty filled with his mysterious love had to give its account to them.
Those maidens were discussing his spirited antics and the clever paramour in hiding listened . The herd came to the same banks and asked about the girl's condition, as the son of Nanda arrived to delight them. Laughing merrily, he enchanted them with his winsome manners and made merry on banks of the Yamuna. A romantic escapade gushed forth, filling them with inspiration and delight.
Even the wells are resounding with this frolic. Holi is far away but there is no rest to the holi of rasa as Radha and Krishna adulate each other.
Well then Bobo was absorbed in the legends of Priya-Priyatam.Whatever the supreme lover made her savour, those rasa particles invaded her heart and burst forth through the medium of her writing.
Bobo says, “I have sat down to write and 'Bowing to the sportive Krishna' tugs my mind.Though a love-lorn state is washed away in the dark hued god's terrifying rush of love and compositions surge forth on their own.
“These days the spring breeze has begun blowing and basant struts ahead in bitter cold. In such a scene the lover of dalliance takes refuge in his beloveds and Shri Radha, the supreme object of Krishna's passionate love.And those beauties and Shri Radhika are hungry too for his love.Soon after the same dalliance gushes forth and absorbs these cowherdesses in its delicious anguish.
His frolics have no respite in any season, month...day or night...evening or dawn. And thus he is known as Vihari or constantly busy in spirited antics. And Priyaji is the one capable of managing his thrusts of ecstasy, his secret or his sudden love. Radha's characterization represents the highest ideal of religious rapture experienced through the sentiment of sweet romance. Even the ardent longing of sakhis is due to Priyaji who manifests as the many gopis of Braj to fulfil Krishna's desire for a loving relationship in a variety of ways.
The cool breeze aroused an ardent longing in Krishna while Shri Radhika in the prime of her youth and radiant like spring stretched out.But dignified it was not possible for her to transgress the constraints of society which have no significance for the supreme lover. All of a sudden he stepped out of the bhavan and reached the personal garden of Kishoriji.
Priyaji had no inkling but suffering pangs of love she reached somehow. Leaning against a huge tree she stood amidst a cluster as the cool breeze played with her aanchal and teased her long tresses.She was unknowingly waiting for Krishna and guess what he actually reached the same thicket. Adulating her, he was taken aback for a couple of seconds and then instantly moved forward-keeping his hand on Priyaji's shoulder...
The whiff of spring breeze enflamed them with greater passion. Kamdev due to his close friendship with spring, posited the yugal in a new nikunja or dalliance shrine. And now that Madan was nonplussed and Rati enchanted, the yugal gave them the boon of residing in their limbs.The romantic dalliance of Radha-Krishna is still in motion-nonstop and constant.
The grandeur of this dhaam is with Shri Radhika and the supreme lover who is forever frolicking with her, thus his name is Vihari or sportive.The yugal are adept in giving a chance to every season for attending to their needs. Everyday there is a new amorous frolic between the Braj beauties, Radhika and the son of Nanda who is fond of dallying.
Nature brought about a new turn of events in Braj, the cool breeze of spring turned into warm whiffs of summer but not to heat the body. The warmth of love began to yearn for a certain coolness and it arrived.Summer dalliances ensued in bucolic groves, dark-hued foliage and solitude. Delicate garments gave the lustrous fair-dark bodies' of Radha-Krishna a great chance of dallying flirtatiously.
Nikunjas illuminated with the radiance and body fragrance of the yugal drove Madan crazy-and he kind of swooned. Instantly Radha-Krishna held him, giving him life. At times ringing the moonlit night's solitude with his passionate rasa, Krishna would take Shri Radha and herd of sakhis, to the sandy river bank of the Yamuna.
When the boat rocked Priyaji's tender body and mind trembled in fear which was exhilarating! And Krishna's ecstasy at that moment is inexpressible.
In Vrindavan we have wafts of the summer season which are likeable(It is always spring in Vrindavan) and hence it abounds with the joys of spring. Summer gave rains a chance to serve the yugal and left willingly, turning to look back at times. Dark rumbling clouds overcast the blue sky. When the sun peeped it would light up the earth shrouded in darkness.And the sacred couple would find ways of becoming one with each other.
Priyatam's ardent longing would cross all constraints and search for refuge in Priyaji's cool limbs and succeed.The serious rumbling of clouds, the clap of lightning, light rain showers and drumming heavy rains would enflame their romantic sentiments, leading to a romantic dalliance.
In the dark shade Radha-Krishna were strolling one fine day. Talking of imagined pleasures they were adoring the neatly manicured green lawns.And behold the pitter-patter of rain began.Running to the shade of a dense tree Priya wanted to avoid getting wet and holding Priyatam's hand head straight for shelter but the teasing paramour did not let her do so on purpose.
A new scene prevailed with the speedy gust of rain wetting her body and clothes.The blue-hued lustre sparkled from Krishna's yellow garments and it was extremely tough to control this terrifying rush of love.
How could the yugal dallying in this isolated nikunja possibly come to know when the rain stopped but the love play within the grove was at its peak.And in case we need to know about those pleasures which an impassioned man and an enraptured woman may enjoy let us ask the bevy of birds and creeper thickets.
The rains departed and the autumnal season arrived. Teary eyed they handed over the service of Priya-Priyatam to glorious autumn. The divine couple danced in joy and beloveds pranced in delight. Their senses revived as they gazed upon Krishna with joy and clung to him with endearing gestures, intensely desirous of having him.The supreme lover, his most beloved Radha and other young maidens soon reached banks of the Yamuna where the river and the sands had turned golden in the light of the autumnal moon,
and commenced the rapturous dance of the maharasa. The Rasa brought to halt the course of the moon and other planets filled with wonder to watch the beauty of the dance,making the night longer than other nights.
The ardent longing of Rasik Vihari was not yet content with pouring his secret and sudden love on Priyaji's kayavyuhas or replications.
To dispel their fatigue Krishna got his beloved Radha and her herd of sakhis to enter cool waters of the Yamuna.Gathering beads of their perspiration, the cool breeze handed them over to Kalindi.The episodes of dalliances gush forth in the same manner and have not lessened a bit.
Autumn left and the cold season encamped in Braj. A biting wind blew-impassioning the handsome Rasik further. Now to calm the bitter cold, Krishna, the teasing paramour, entreated Priyaji's Shri (lustrous splendour) for warmth.Creating the scene for this charming dalliance, the cold season taking along this yugal , strutted around affectedly.
Shivering with cold, the sacred couple's lotus hands took advantage of warmth and the same amorous frolic ensued soon after. Winter gave woollens an opportunity to gather the wealth of dallying.The flitting days of Hemant (mid-November to mid-January) decked the dalliance of this supreme lover in a new fashion.
Music in the form of rustling leaves and creepers challenged Madan or god of love for rasa.Initially he hesitated but then mustering courage sure that his close friend basant or spring (king of seasons) would come to its rescue, he firmly posited himself-the god of love had never borne such an onslaught of arrows by the supreme lover and fled.But swooned and rolled over at Krishna's lotus feet.
It is not in the dark god's nature to rebuff one fallen at his feet and Krishna gave him freedom to roam around at will, to impassion every shoot-shrub of Braj's nikunjas with his presence.The constant romantic dalliance of Shri Vihari is on, non-stop unconstrained. Every season is engrossed in attending to his needs, every night-day immersed in his dallying-as he frolicks in Shri Van even as of today.
Certainly it was tough to imagine the sensitive perceptions of Bobo, her entry into the lilas of Shyama-Shyam and the scale of her ardent longing. Only an emotional person can appraise the highest ideal of religious rapture which she experienced.
Bobo kept the world she lived in so very secret that no one had an inkling of her great good fortune as she relished the rasa of Radha-Krishna. A treasure trove, she was the glory or Shri of Braj and the majesty of Vrindavan.
I am making a feeble endeavour to throw light on her great persona through her compositions based on her conscientious interpretations of stotras, her letters, her sentiments reflected in personal experiences and poetry.