Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chapter 40: Swelling Emotions Arising in the Yugal's Sweetness

Shringara rasa is considered the peak of human emotions.

Banke Bihariji
Roop Goswami Paad has acclaimed Krishna as the sole purusha and

the selfless love of Shri Radha, his hladini shakti and the gopis her replications, is said to be transcendental love of the highest order.

Vrindavan rasa or even Braj rasa seems an attempt to bind romantic dalliances.When we completely accept the natural rush of feelings in the shringar rasa, then whether that romantic dalliance excels in the pastures of Vrindavan or in the wilds of Braj rasa it is the key to celebrating the love of Radha and Krishna and in doing so get a glimpse of one's transcendent self.As madhurya translates into ananda comes the realization that everyone is ultimately a nayika searching for Krishna.

Who has the competence to narrate tales of rasikas delighting in the joyous abandon of Vrindavan, where all seasons are present at all times.Getting to know the wishes of Priya-Priyatam, their sequence changes according to the dalliance.

In tandem with the sakhis, the pleasant perceptions of summer tugged at Bobo's heart strings and she said,“The start of summer sows the seeds of new dalliances in the yugal.Amorous frolics gush forth in such sweltering heat.

At times such coolness is circulated on banks of the lake, in bucolic groves and creeper thickets posited on banks of the Kalindi that this handsome Rasika, enraptured Kishori and herds of beauties are delighted, similar to the joy of an autumnal dalliance and their fragrant bodies shiver with the cold. Bodies smeared with sandalwood,nikunjas smelling of fragrant flowers, the gushing waves of clean lakes-Oh! How delightfully charming is the cool scene of summer sports.”

Generally it is the sakhis who decorate the nikunja shrine, arrange for water sports and laying a bed of blossoms incite the yugal's ardent longing. But romantic dalliance is not bound by any conventional norm.

“Today the supreme Shiromani decked kunjas posited on the shore of Radha Kund. He lay out lotus petals on the path so that Kishoriji's tender feet would come prancing on that soft carpet. A cool weak breeze began to blow and the ambience was fragrant with lotus pollen. Nature is Krishna's follower and seeing his inclination ordains the scene accordingly. With fresh new lotus buds the supreme lover fabricated a bed and drew Priyaji with the melody of his flute, soon after. Priyaji arrived to her beloved lake along with Lalita and other sakhis, maybe she was roaming nearby.

The footfalls of Kishoriji, tinkling anklets and merriment of sakhis indicated that they were coming. The supreme lover turned up at the grove's entrance. Priyaji adulated his expectant sweetness and was embarrassed.The blush of love flashed across the sakhis' faces as well.The supreme lover welcomed everyone lovingly and taking Priyaji got seated on the seat of flowers. Like overcast clouds the, sakhis surrounded this cloud-lightning and sat around them.

The flute had descended from his lips to the hands and insane on being relished by Krishna, it seemed to spring up.

This time when the supreme lover flung up the flute a bit, Priyaji bent to one side and caught it in her tender hands, arousing his desire for an amorous frolic.He glanced at Priyaji with a side long glance as if to get approval and then posited the flute on his lips. It chirped when Priyatam breathed into this breath of love and at times Priyaji inspired it with her charm.

Sakhis were thrilled by the flute play and soon after all the musical instruments presented themselves.

Shri Lalita took up the vina (a large instrument of the type of the lute), Shri Vishakhaji took up the mridang (double drum) and the sakhis held other instruments. Their melodious sounds led to a particular raga abounding with a terrifying rush of love.

Bobo absorbed in Radha-Krishna's secret and sudden love reached the heights of elation and ecstasy.

And soon enought the pleasant cool wind of autumn glorified nature, making it insane. A fresh enthusiasm enchanted birds, trees swayed with passion and jostled the creepers. Nature in her most glorious state decked the love escapades and dallying nights of Radha-Krishna. Relishing their delicious divine play, Bobo said,

“Arousing Braj beauties and creating a furore, the long awaited autumnal nights arrived in Vrindavan.The full moon smiled in the blue clear sky.Affectedly smiling moon beams played hide and seek in kunjas-nikunjas.Trees and creepers rejoiced on being cleansed in that silvery lustre and budding flowers decked forest and groves.Bathing the sands of Yamuna,moonbeams were enchanting,the entire site glittered as if diamond dust had been scattered.

A fresh enthusiasm affected river Kalindi and hiding in those waves, the mischievous moon strutted around with spirited antics.The song of forest birds raving about Krishna resounded in that secluded site. And all of a sudden the chirping was quiet, the Yamuna's banks became silent-as if expecting someone.But this numbness abounded with irrepressible rejoicing and soon enough Braj maidens yearned for Krishna with an ardent longing. The year had passed somehow but these handful of days seemed like ages.

The trayodashi (thirteenth day of a lunar fortnight) moon gleamed in the sky. An insane maiden cast her glance on it. Entranced she asked a question, getting a reply, “The day after tomorrow” and was startled. She was desirous to adulate the dark god who had answered. Not just one but all were intensely desirous of having Krishna's attention for themselves, being on fire with desire for the dark god.And soon after the chaturdashi (fourteenth day of a lunar fortnight) moon snatched their patience and laughed in joyous abandon.Each gopi was engulfed by surges of exquisite desire to posses Krishna singularly and without cease.

And soon enough the night gently arrived with the full moon illuminating the earth. Cool whiffs of winds thrilled the kunjas-nikunjas. In such a captivating night or rather evening this ineffably beautiful supreme lover peeped from his window and dumbfounded watched the moon's grandeur. Holding his flute, he walked like a swaying elephant towards the Yamuna's banks where the river and sands had turned golden in the light of the moon.His breath of love, perched on his lips, sang melodiously and instantly reached his tearful pathetic friends, the gopis. Hearing the music they abruptly abandoned husbands, chilldren, calves, to rush to him.

With tenderness and teasing, mischief and spontaneity that Rasik Shekhar enflamed their longing.

Soon after, Krishna commenced the rapturous dance of the maharasa. The forest area resounded with the gopis' tinkling anklets as they held hands with Krishna to complete a circle and broke into a dance that was their delight.”

An expert in keeping her sentiments secret, Bobo's enthused exultation could not be kept under check and tears of joy streamed down her cheeks. She said,”A delightful breeze is blowing today-giving someone's message and revealing some sweet moments. The darkness of evening is turning into pitch dark of the night.In joyous abandon the impassioned couple are roaming and dallying in some secluded nikunja-resonating with their constant love talk.

The dear sakhis finding them, hid in that kunja. And the yugals' indistinct sweet talk thrilled their hearts.And when they longed to relish that religious rapture, this supreme lover yearned to caress impassioned Radha. It is just the start of night and this frolic will deepen with the advancing night.Who can possibly measure this terrifying rush of love.

On an early morning,the sound of churning curd in every house of Braj tugged at Bobo's sentiments. Lost, she gives a live description,“ In the pleasant dawn, the sweet sound of Braj cowherdesses churning curd is ringing in every house, as gopis sing glories of the young Brajraj. Due to this, the peacefully sleeping dark-hued Krishna awakens since it is time to wake up. The sweet glow of love reveals the escapade as Radha-Krishna move into the mazes and mysteries of love. These sleepy eyes unveil the mystery and love pollen cascades from these huge eyes loaded with addictive sleep.

Sakhis have a look! Who is this dazzling like lightning on his left side? Oh it is our beloved beautiful Radhika.! Resting her head on his wide chest, she is sleeping blissfully.Her impassioned state is reflected on the dark-hued lover's face-radiant with the red languor of love. What is the fault of this handsome god? How can he wake up alert early in the morning but the churning of curd in every house awakens him.

Crazed sakhis have just woken up the handsome yugal.Though they did not want to since Radha-Krishna had slept a short while ago. The sakhis stepped loudly and hence their anklets tinkled and bracelets sounded. But the sacred couple are in deep sleep today with lotus eyes closed and limbs fatigued.The infant sun wrapped in redness is rising in the sky, in a hurry to adulate their faces and go off for work.The birds strive to waken them with their constant singing.Cleverly hiding in trees and creepers, they have probably seen their romantic dalliance during the night and are more fortunate than the sakhis.

Enraptured Vishakha, Chitra, Rangini and some others are listening to this delighted discussion of the sakhis. Someone shook Lalita, “Lalita Bahen!Where are you lost today? Can't you see the young sun is rising and in a short while there will be crowds thronging the market place. It will get tough for Radha-Krishna to go to the bhavan. A sakhi got her vina and kept it in front. The sound of the lute reminded the couple of their ardent longing, adulating each other and their amorous frolic. Its message made a smile play on their lips as if to conceal a love escapade.The sakhis did not want to disturb their impassioned state but there was no way out. They had to make Radha-Krishna fully conscious.

With tinkling anklets amidst merriment and laughing in joyous abandon, they entered the nikunja. Stretching out, shyly and blinking their eyes repeatedly, the impassioned yugal got up. Priyaji opened her eyes again and saw sakhis surrounding her.Whan sakhis caught her stealthily looking at the supreme lover, sweetness gushed forth. Everyone's laughter startled them and the two became fully alert. Relishing their love play, the herd of sakhis were engrossed and the rush of love steeped them.

The passionate reminiscences of Radha-Krishna enthused Bobo and she said, “Truly both of them are moons-full moons.But the sky's moon can not be equated with them since it can not be seen in the day and shines merely at night. It wanes after purnima or full moon and ultimately terminates on amavasya (last day of the dark fortnight of a lunar month) and waxes again.

But both these moons are radiant throughout the day plus night and there is not the slightest decline in their ineffable beauty.They are the beauteous moons who expiate the sins of their devotees, destroying pangs of envy. One attains immortality by savouring this lovely form of Radha-Krishna with energy and joyfulness and love.

The terrifying rush of love which invaded lovers and bhaktas is immortal today, their love-lorn voices sang verses and composed poetry which became eternal on filling our lives with inspiration and delight.

Ineffably beautiful, supremely auspicious, absolutely perfect are the son of Nanda and the darling daughter of Vrishbhanu Baba,Shri Radha Rani.Radha controls Krishna with her love and that Mukund (title of Krishna) frees those seeking his refuge from all constraints while granting protection.

Radha-Krishna do not delay in granting salvation to those harbouring hatred, and deliver even demons who attacked Gokul. And the Braj milkmaids are the ones who know of their beauteous form, fragrant limbs, spirited antics, romantic dalliances and loving tenderness.

Govind is the one who grants delight to all our senses.With tenderness and teasing, mischief and spontaneity he enflames our desires for union with him. And he grants energy and joyfulness and love to those who meditate upon him, take his name, and attend to his needs. Who can be superior to him and Shri Radha, our svamini who instantly offers her devotees to Krishna, not bothering about their drawbacks. Perfect spiritual life is unattainable without her grace.Those entreating for worldly pleasures are given their desired object, the couple come running at the painful cry of the wretched, releasing them from pain.

Birds and deer stand still entranced on listening to their flute play. Calling out to them, patting them, giving seed with their lotus hands, the yugal dote on them. Giving paternal affection to parents and gurus, stubbornly entreating for small favours, cuddled in their lap Radha-Krishna comfort them by making up silly tales.

Festivals are celebrated in joyous abandon in Braj. 'Nitutsavo' is one of the epithets of Krishna.The idyllic pastures of Braj present the perfect ambience for a festival and fabricate its role.Many festivals are celebrated for no particular reason, being a charming medium to express one's enthused exultation.

And soon enough Bobo saw and described a sakhi's crazed state, “Oh! A bride of Braj was doing shringar as she looked into the mirror preparing for that special moment.Raising her spirited eyes at times she would look around and comb her hair again while adding other adornments.Does an ardent longing ever go waste? Keenly waiting for Krishna's footfalls, she was moved by a delicious anguish to sense his arrival. The dark-hued Krishna came in all of a sudden and keeping his hand on her shoulder teased, “Busy getting decked today! Where do you plan to go in the best of your finery?”

She spoke in a curtly brusque manner, “How does it concern you? Is it proper to foray into a strange woman's house?Aren't you a bit wary of touching some one else's wife?

This Rasik Shekhar laughed joyously, “A woman married to another but yet in love with Krishna. Okay tell me the truth why this special adornment today?” She laughed unable to be rude to his winsome manner, “ I am going to Barsana-will you come along?” and laughed loudly. The son of Nanda's eyes gleamed with a strange shine, “Is it the truth? Take me along.” She clarified, “ How is it possible. There is a festival concerning ladies today- men can't join in.” He said it was not difficult and she confirmed it wasn't if he assumed the guise of a maiden.

She was thrilled to have his company en route and getting down at Bhanupur while holding his hands. When I reach the bhavan, Kishoriji will rush to me and inquire about the new sakhi. Strutting around affectedly I will answer and get his absolute closeness while journeying in the palki. And guess what she quickly decked the handsome god, cladding him in dresses more beautiful than hers, adorning his limbs with ornaments.

And soon after Shyam had become Shyama.This greatly fortunate milkmaid of Braj took him along.The secret and sudden joy of that journey coupled with the enthusiasm of getting the desired gift was ethereal.

Amazingly this is precisely what happened when they reached Vrishbhanu Bhavan. Attended by Lalita and others, Kishori Radhika saw the new maiden coming along with that cowherdess, putting countless Ratis (wife of the god of love Kamdev) to shame. Coming close she inquired,“Sakhi! Whom have you got along today? Her body lustre and beams of her moonlike face are radiating through her delicate veil-who is this irresistible beauty?”

Raving about the sakhi's singing skills, the maiden revealed, “ You are totally smitten by her beauty but if you listen to her song. The singing began, eyes met eyes and the terrifying rush of love which exuded from this repository of beauty-was ecstatic.

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