Friday, April 7, 2017

'Shri Krishna Karnamrita:' First Shloka

[An emotional explanation of the first two shlokas written by highly revered Baba Manohar Das ji is being given as a tribute to his holy memory. Urged by divine inspiration revered Baba has written about the inner emotional state of Shri Billavmangal ji.]

Shri Manohar Das ji
cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me ,
shiksha-gurush ca bhagavan shikhi-pishcha-maulih  |
lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayashrih  || 1||

  Chintamani Turns Towards Lord Krishna

 First of all Shri Billavmangal ji says glory be to prostitute Chintamani, not to Bhagavan[1], or his guru, not to Shri Ganesh the bestower of auspiciousness, or to Shri Shankar, or some god of goddess. What is it so?

Shri Billavmangal ji

Billavmanagal ji's having attained the correct path, is an accommodation of God’ causeless mercy. However, Shri Billavmangalji does not remember anyone, but the one who had been the cause of his degenerate state, his life had seen a steep decline by coming into contact with her. The one who had to be reproached and blamed, he is singing the glories of that very Chintamani. What has happened to the wisdom of Billavamangalji, a greatly learned man hailing from a South Indian Brahmin family? It is a matter which needs to be reflected over in great seriousness.

Chintamani Gave Spiritual Instructions to Billavamangal ji

 Look-Was that prostitute who had been delighted to entice Billavmangalji, rich in wealth, family an affluent and highly learned person, and had been looting his wealth and, youth,   competent enough to give him spiritual instructions. On seeing his lustfulness and the handing over his entire being to her, she should have been beside herself with joy. How did she get the good sense to advise him? How did she muster the courage? This matter is beyond comprehension. Highly valuable principles were uttered from her mouth and they had such an immediate effect on a highly learned person like Billavmangalji. Astonishing! Truly astonishing! We will have to go into the depth of this matter.

Krishna Advises Arjuna

ishawarah sarvabhutanam hridayshuarjuna tishthati /
bhramyan sarvabhutani yantrarudhhani mayaya // Bhagvadgita18.61
The Lord abides in the heart of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings to act (or work out their Karma) by His power of Maya as if they are (puppets of Karma) mounted on a machine. (18.61)…”

It is the unusual play of hridayshe tishthati. Chintamani is merely a puppet mounted on a machine. Shri Billavmangal ji is a recipient of the Supreme Lord’s grace for the past so many births.  He has to be reminded of this fact. It will be fruitful to get him cured from that very source from where he has been afflicted with this disease.

Eyes Open to Spiritual Reality

 As Billavmangal ji set off, the fire of repentance blazed, the infinite anguish of being separated from the Supreme Lover Krishna. Vishasya vishamaushadham: poison is used as a medicine to cure a number of diseases. Lord Krishna, the ocean of mercy, entered Chintamani’s heart and spiritually instructed Billavmangalji through the medium of her voice. Awakening the dormant bhavas in him, impelling a great divine ray of light, a spiritual awareness in Shri Billavmangal ji’s heart was instantly awakened due to its unerring impact. His eyes opened to spiritual reality.

Virtuous thoughts are awakened when advice is given for a very long time to a person who has fallen into bad company. However the transformation in Billavmangalji’s case was like an electric current, it did not take even a minute for the awakening to take place. As soon as he heard Chinatamani’s words, he turned towards the path of loving devotion to Krishna.

Path of Raga Anuraga

 tivratapen dhuta shubhah Due to the intense fire of repentance, all his auspicious and inauspicious deeds were burnt to ashes. Attaining the suddha sattva svarupa: the form of pristine purity, Shri Billavmangal set off on the spiritual path of his destination, in search of his goal, and straightaway reached the feet of his guru Somagiri. What instructions did he give? He could only give the advice of Brahma prapti or attainment of liberation because of being a sannyasi, but he didn’t. Billavmangalji was an adherent of the path of shudh raga anuraga[2]. He had assumed that attraction to the prostitute was anuraga so the dry unemotional advice of Brahma Gyan[3]  would not have uplifted him.

Lord Krishna Wearing Peacock Feathers

 Therefore the Supreme Lord Himself manifested in front of Billavmangalji as his shiksha guru or spiritual preceptor:
shiksha-gurush ca bhagavan shikhi-pishcha-maulih |

Shri Billavmangal ji could have just said Bhagavan but why did he address Him as shikhi-pishcha-maulih? Let us first be fully acquainted with His shringara and then get to know about His rupa or beauteous form, gunas, nature and rasa. How eligible was Billavmangal ji as a recipient also deserves thought. The wealth he attained, is described in ‘Shri Krishna Karnamrita,' in Billavmangalji's words. Shri Krishna forever longs to listen to this composition. His ears are never satisfied. He keeps drinking its nectar and will continue to do so.

The Seed of Krishna's Rasa Sprouted in Billavmangalji's Heart

 Although Billavmangal did not choose Chintamani as his guru the words ‘Jai ho jai ho!” were passionately uttered because she had done him a favour. He got diksha from saint Somagiri and his heart was spiritually illuminated but he continued feeling the absence of the desired object. He began calling out to God with a tenderly compassionate heart. The seed of  juiciness was already sprouting in the core of his heart due to previous births. The word sarasta or juiciness is connected to Bhagavan, which he spread on coming to Vrindavan.

Braj Gopis, the Rightful Enjoyers of Krishna's Rasa

 Truly, the Lord is rasa ‘raso ofavai sah[4],’ manifesting in the form of romantic dalliances. 

tehi mag vrajtiya chalin, aan kou nahin adhikari!
The Braj gopis are the rightful enjoyers of Krishna’s rasa.

 Ineffable Beauty of Supreme Lover Krishna

 Billavmangalji came and stood amidst this rasa vatika, the garden of rasa. Burning in the fire of repentance, he became radiant and ardently thirsted for rasa. He had darshan of his rasamaya Guru for the first time in bhagavan shikhi-pishcha-maulih. Besides,he wondered who was coming towards him, wearing peacock feathers on His head. Oh this is Bhagavan! Soon after, he beheld Lord Krishna's beauteous form and His shringara, and his heart chose Krishna. As soon as Billavmangalji beheld the Lord, every fiber of his being stood erect, he shed tears, his body trembled, and sattvik bhavas became apparent. He walked towards rasanagri like an insane person. The images of hundreds of charming beauteous forms were contained in his eyes. Shri Billavmangalji’s eyes were initially mesmerized by shikhi-pishcha. Why did Krishna wear the peacock tail feather? What did it mean? To adorn the head with some bird’s feather. What was its purpose?

Shri Radha-Krishna Dancing with Peacocks

Listen, they say it was a pleasant day of the rainy season and Priya-Priyatam were dallying in the forest. Peacocks assumed that they were the ghan[5](cloud) and damini( lightning), and  began dancing. Seeing them, Priya-Priyatam, the Supreme Lover and His Beloved, were very delighted and they too began dancing. All of a sudden Priyaji picked up a peacock feather and made it Krishna’s head ornament. This enhanced His beauty even further. Seeing His ineffable beauty Shri Radha swooned and entered a state of unconsciousness. Lord Krishna is always delighted in Radha’s happiness. Therefore he wears the peacock feather. Simultaneously eyes in the peacock feather remind Him of the shape of Shri Radha’s eyes. The armlet, kundals, and other ornaments do not enhance the beauty of His limbs because of bhushnam-bhushnangam, His own limbs are like ornaments.  But Krishna’s beauty is further enhanced by the peacock feather,it is called His head ornament.   
Shri Billavmangal saw the peacock feather first of all. He said bhagavan shikhi-pishcha-maulih so that nobody assumed Him to be an ordinary person so he added the term Bhagavan.

Lord Krishna Wearing Peacock Feather

And then he beheld Bhagavan wearing the peacock feather as yat-pada-kalpataru-pallava-shekhareshu, 

Krishna's Lotus Feet Fulfill Desires like the Kalpataru

 whose lotus feet fulfill everyone's desires like the kalpataru. These lotus feet fulfill all the desires of Braj gopis. Their heart’s desire is to dally with Krishna.  A stream of intoxication keeps flowing from the lustrous nails of His toes -those Braj gopis are forever plunging in that intoxicating wave

 Gopi Geet

  It has been said in the Gopi Geet: 
charan pankajam shantmam cha te ramannah staney-shvarp-yadhihan || 13 ||
 O Priyatam (dearest)! Please posit Your lotus feet on our hearts. It is the sole means of pacifying the agony which arises due to our separation from You. The interpersonal romantic exchange which takes place between Krishna who is rasa and Braj gopis who are steeped in rasa, is rasa.

Priya-Priyatam, the Supreme Lover & His Beloved

 lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayashrih . Rasa is of various types but what is’ lila swayamvar’ rasa - which Billavmangal ji is boasting of.

The One who has accepted rasa is rasa or the one whom rasa has accepted is rasa? The supreme rasa is actually rasa, he is singing its glories; the one which lila itself accepts or the one which is totally governed by lila, the one sheltered by the realm of lila or which makes Priya-Priyatam and Braj gopis constantly dance to its tune. Purna rasa is where interpersonal romantic exchange forever takes place and which chooses Priya-Priyatam. The entire rasa mandala is steeped in the Maha Rasa. Silently relishing that rasa with absolute absorption, Billavmangalji could just say lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayashrih[6] .

Shri Radha-Krishna's Lila

There is no lila or rasa beyond the great governance of lila which selects Priya-Priyatam, glory be to such a lila.
Billavmangal ji got drowned in the infinite flow of this lila and never stepped out. He has indicated the depth of relishing that rasa. Whatever has been written later on is merely a belch(a summarized version) of what he actually experienced.

Lord Krishna did not choose lila rasa but lila chose Priya-Priyatam with its own capability. Billavmangalji got absorbed in divine play and lost consciousness.  Infinite yugas passed by, he lost his true identity, based on the soul's relationship with God.

Relishing Krishna's Beauteous Form

 lal priya mein bhai na chinhari |
Only the governance of rasa prevailed therefore its glories are being sung. Billavmangalji is singing the glories of that state in a frenzied state and walking on. Getting immersed in the rasa of lila, he gradually relishes Krishna’s beauteous form. What is being described by his voice has manifested as ‘Shri Krishna Karnamrita.’

Lord Krishna's Majesty

He says in the last shloka’
yato yatah prasarati me vil ocanam ,
tatas tatah sphurau tavaiva vaibhavam ||112||
Billavmangal ji is relishing Krishna’s majesty as it manifests and is walking on. Even on his eyes being fully satiated, he seems unsatisfied.

Steeped in The Gopi Bhava

 Shri Billavmangalji is seen steeped in the gopi bhava in the last two lines of the first shloka. He entreats and longs to relish the lila svayamrasa which cascades from the Lord’s lotus feet, and bestows supreme rasa,[7] on the gopis, We too, while relishing the constant rasa gushing from Shri Billavamangal ji’s mouth, have to follow him. So be it!

[1] Bhagavan:  an epithet for God, particularly for Krishna and other avatars of Vishnu in Vaishnavism,
[2] Raga anuraga: Sneha which is possessed of an intense longing is called raga. Upon the appearance of raga, even a moment's separation is intolerable, whereas in meeting, great sorrow appears like happiness. The complete opposite of this situation is found in separation (i.e. great happiness becomes a source of unbearable distress). This raga causes its worshipable object to be experienced as eternally fresh, and being ever increasingly fresh itself, it is transformed into anuraga.
[3] Brahma Gyan: Brahm Gyan’ (Divine Knowledge) is an eternal technique through which we can practically experience and realize God.
It is the process of seeing and realising the True Self (Atman) within our human frame.
[4] Sah: of the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1)
[5] Ghan-Damini: a perfect metaphor to the combined beauty of the dark Lord (Ghana or dark cloud) and his fair consort, Radhaji.(Damini or lightning)
[6] Jayashri: (Shri Radha gives Her heart, life and soul to Krsna. Offering Her life thousands of times over, She offers arati to the rays coming from His toenails, and by this She feels the same bliss as if it were Her svayamvara. To select a bridegroom from lakhs and lakhs 1 of suitors is called a svayamvara, a tradition in ancient India.)

[7] Awareness: the zenith of spiritual awareness ,such love represents the purest emotion a soul may have for its divine source,

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