Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Significance of 'Shri Krishna Karnamrita' in the Life of Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji

'Sri Krishna Karnamrita' is Relished by Krishna's Devotees

'Sri Krishna Karnamarita' the scripture which pours rasa into the ear receptors of Lord Krishna's devotees, was very dear to our lovable Usha Bahenji fondly known as *Bobo. The interpretation of this religious text by Bobo would be sent in the form of letters to her close associates who lived far away. It was only by the means of her lucid explanations that we could grasp the importance of this scripture to some extent, and it became an unprecedented spiritual attainment and treasury of our lives. For this very reason a paath of 'Sri Krishna Karnamrita' is done on Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji's  janamotsav (30th July,1925) every year, paying homage to this great saint of Vrindavan.

She had such a close connection with the flowing bhavas of its shlokas that it seemed that they were the sweet swelling emotions invading her heart and not the voice of Shri Bilavmangal ji. It appeared as if the profoundly deep bhavas with which Bilavmangala Thakur has  given a description of his beloved isht  Krishna, His madhurya or sweetness and His lilas or playful dalliances was already prevalent in Bobo's life with fervent abundance.

Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji Absorbed in the Madurya of Lord Krishna

 For those who have known Bobo, Its constant recitation was very much a part of her daily regime. Interpreting these shlokas in her own distinctive manner she would invariably get absorbed in some unknown ocean of Krishna's romantic dalliance.

The third shloka of 'Sri Krishna Karnamrita' showcases Krishna's lila or playful dalliance which is both real and illusionary, which makes him both human and divine at the same time. Delighting in play, he endears himself and brings delight to all his bhaktas.    

    lavanyamrita-vici-lolita-drisham lakshmi-katakshadritam  |
    kalindi-pulinangana-pranayinam kamavatarankuram
    balamnilam amivayam mahurima-svarajyam aradhnumah  ||3|| 

The Romantic Dalliance of Sri Radha-Krishna 

' We worship that dark bluish young boy, in whom culminate the principal stimuli for amorous love, who causes Radha to become languid with the beauty of His dancing sidelong glances, and who in turn becomes languid with love when Shri Radha and Her friends cast their sidelong glances at Him. That boy's beauty, like waves of nectar, engenders an extreme thirst in the eyes of Radha and Her companions, and, conversely, their nectarous beauty makes Him thirsty to see them. He is affectionately worshiped by Radha's wistful glances, and He enjoys loving pastimes with Radha and Her friends on the bank of the Yamuna. We worship that young bluish boy, the source of the god of love, who has attained unchallenged dominion over love's sweetness. '

 We bahenen had the great good fortune of reaching the heights of elation and  ecstasy when we directly experienced the scene in person. Since the paath was very dear to Bobo, every member of her parikar longed to hear it. Bobo had given the relgious observance of doing this paath to all the bahenen so that they could relish the rasa of Lord Krishna's madhurya sagar.

 Lord Krishna Richly Shares His Love With the Gopis

The fifth shloka reveals that Krishna is nothing but madhurya or the paragon of sweetness. A madhurya which defines his love, and which he richly shares with the gopis of Vrindavan, who represent his hungering devotees.
    mada-shikhi-pishcha-lashchita-manojsha-kaca-pracayam  |
    vishaya-vishamisha-grasana-gridhnuni cetasi me
    vipula-vilocanam kim api dhama cakastu ciram  ||5||

' Shri Krishna's eyes are long like petals of a blooming lotus, and His very charming lotuslike face is made all the more charming by His extremely beautiful and sweet, nectarous smiles. His profuse curling locks look delightful with their decoration of a proud peacock's tail-feather. Let Him, the embodiment of all effulgence, forever shine within my heart, which is (outwardly) greedy for the poisonous meat of sense objects, or (inwardly) greedy for the beauty of Shri Krishna, a beauty that binds the devotee's mind and causes burning pain at the time of separation from Him. '

 'Sri Krishna Karnamrita' is Read on Boboji's Janamotsav

Revered Darshan Bahenji would recite this paath  for Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji in a beautifully articulate voice loaded with bhava or love flowing towards the Lord. Above all, even after Bobo left us for Gaulok this eternal paath continues to be done by Darshan Bahenji herself.

 Our Lovable Bobo Participated in the Innocent Lilas of Lord Krishna

If Krishna is the repository of madhurya and earthly Vrindavana resonates equally with it too, Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji was equally tender in expressing and experiencing her love for Krishna. Whether it was in the pleasure of belonging, or the pathos of longing, participating in the innocent lilas of Krishna or being charmed by his flute, our Bobo in equal measure reflected the madhurya of Krishna.

The compilation of those interprations were gathered together in a book 'Sri, Krishna Karnamrita' with a rasa kadambini  commentary. Revered Darshan Bahenji and her sister Dr. Santosh Gupta have brought out this wealth which Bobo gave us, in front of the whole world.                                         

Everyone is Ultimately a Nayika in Search of  Krishna
Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji's  devotional practices require the devotee to savour the shringara rasa  of Sri Radha-Krishna. According to her madhurya  or the sentiment of sweet romance is the key to understanding and celebrating the love of Radha and Krishna and in so doing get a glimpse of one's transcendent self. As madhurya translates into ananda comes the realization that everyone is ultimately a nayika in search of Krishna. 

Bobo: Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji, a great saint, lived in Vrindavana from 1959 to 1992, inspiring educated youth to live lives of celibacy and tapa. Shunning self-publicity, she led a life of stern simplicity and attained great heights of spiritual realization.

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