UNITED THROUGH AFFECTION

The hidden messages exchanged during Ratha Yatra.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Sri Ratha Yatra in Puri

 

Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya, in the mood of Radharani, expressed His heart during the Ratha Yatra and quoted verses from the Bhagavat.

mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam amrtatvaya kalpate
distya yad asin mat-sneho bhavatinam mad-apanah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.82.44)

What is the meaning of this verse? Kaviraj Goswami explained,

sei sloka suni’ radha khandila sakala badha
krsna-praptye pratiti ha-ila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.159)

[“Hearing Krishna’s words, which cut away all Her distress, Sri Radha became sure She would reunite with Krishna.”]

This is a miracle! If Kaviraj Goswami would not have explained it, we could not have understood the meaning: “All the unhappiness in Her mind disappeared.” That is what is stated by this verse:

mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam amrtatvaya kalpate
distya yad asin mat-sneho bhavatinam mad-apanah

[Krishna said to Radharani and the gopis: “Devotion to Me qualifies souls for immortality. O gopis! By your good fortune, you have developed affection for Me, and by that affection You reunite with Me (or: By My good fortune, you have developed affection for Me, and by that I am compelled to reunite with you).”]

Kaviraj Goswami further explained,

ataeva ‘rni’ haya—kahe bhagavate
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 8.91)

[“Krishna cannot reciprocate Radharani’s prema. Thus, Krishna confesses in Srimad Bhagavatam that He is a debtor.”]

Through the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam, Krishna told Radharani, “Everyone becomes glorious through devotion to Me, but I am indebted to Your devotion. What can I say? I cannot reciprocate it.”

na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjaya-geha-srnkhalah
samvrschya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.32.22)

[Krishna told Radharani and the gopis: “Your meeting with Me is irreproachable. You have served Me, completely severing yourselves from the difficult-to-overcome bondage of family life. I cannot compensate you for this even within the lifetime of a god. May your own virtuous acts be your compensation.”]

Then, [in the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam, Krishna is saying:] “Don’t worry about Me. I am coming soon. A few of the enemies of Vraja Dham are still alive. Why am I not going to Vraja or showing interest in the Vraja-vasis? Because these enemies may notice My attention to Vraja, see that I am closely related and indebted to the Vraja-vasis, and then harm them greatly. That is why I am not showing My affection, even though you are all present in My heart. This is My policy, and it is taking some time for Me to return because I am performing Pastimes.”

In this way, Krishna gave the Vraja-vasis and Radharani an explanation, and they understood it: “Yes, if Krishna shows more attraction or attachment to us, then His enemies will become interested in disturbing Vraja Dham.”

Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami gave this explanation of the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam.

Mahaprabhu also quoted this verse:

ahus cha te nalina-nabha padaravindam
yogesvarair hrdi vichintyam agadha-bodhaih
samsara-kupa-patitottaranavalambam
geham jusam api manasy udiyat sada nah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.82.48)

[Radharani says to Krishna: “O Lord whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are meditated upon by ascetics and sages, and they are the means of deliverance for souls that have fallen into the well of this world. Although we are simply householders, may they always arise within our hearts.”]

Kaviraj Goswami’s explanation of this verse is very long.

anera hrdaya—mana mora mana—vrndavana
‘mane’ ‘vane’ eka kari’ jani
tahan tomara pada-dvaya karaha yadi udaya
tabe tomara purna krpa mani
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.137)

[Radharani says to Krishna: “The minds of others are one with their hearts, but my mind is inseparable from Vrndavan. I consider My mind and Vrndavan to be one. If Your two lotus feet would appear there, I would deem that Your full mercy.”]

Kaviraj Goswami explained step by step.

purve uddhava-dvare ebe saksat amare
yoga-jnane kahila upaya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.139)

[Radharani says: “Previously through Uddhava, and now directly before Me, You have instructed Me to practise meditation (to attain You).”]

nahe gopi yogesvara pada-kamala tomara
dhyana kari’ paibe santosa
tomara vakya-paripati tara madhye kutinati
suni’ gopira aro badhe rosa
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.141)

[“The gopis are not ascetics who will be satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet. There is duplicity within Your methodical instructions. Hearing it, the gopis’ anger increases even more.”]

deha-smrti nahi yara samsara-kupa kaha tara
taha haite na chahe uddhara
viraha-samudra-jale kama-timingile gile
gopi-gane neha’ tara para
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 13.142)

[“Where is the well of this world for those who have no consciousness of their bodies? Such souls do not desire to be delivered from it. (Thus Your instruction for them to practise meditation to attain liberation is unfounded.) The gopis are being swallowed by the timingila of desire within the ocean waters of separation from You. Please deliver them to the shore.”]

You will not find this kind of explanation anywhere, and you will not be able to adjust its grammar either. Yet Kaviraj Goswami has given the real grammatical meaning of the verse in this way. It is very nice. Finally the gopis stopped complaining about what Krishna was doing. They understood Him [through His expression Mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam]. And what they understood, that is a miracle!

The gopis, headed by Radharani, expressed their hearts in this way, and Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev, who is nondifferent from Radharani, expressed that during the Ratha Yatra before Jagannath, who is nondifferent from Krishna.

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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