Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Radhastami


Here it is, Radhe, your birthday. And here am I--infinity + 10,000 miles away from you and your kund. Since last night, I have been looking around in different books, trying to find something to say, something that took me out of theory and into the real world of your devotion and love. But my heart is so dry that none of the things I read, nectar though they were, seemed able to quench its thirst.

Finally, this morning I turned to Ananta Das's Vilapa-kusumanjali, which opened spontaneously on verse 96--

तवैवास्मि तवैवास्मि न जीवामि त्वया विना ।
इति विज्ञाय राधे त्वं नय मां चरणान्तिके ॥

tavaivaasmi tavaivaasmi na jiivaami tvayaa vinaa ।
iti vijnaaya raadhe tvam naya maam charanaantike ॥

Oh Radhe ! I am yours alone. I am yours alone.
I cannot live without you.
You know this full well, Oh Radhe,
so give me a place at your lotus feet.

This verse is the heart and soul of the Vilapa-kusumanjali. It is as if all the meditations on Radha's lila and the heartfelt prayers for service that Das Goswami has made in his Stotram all boil down to this--the repeated dedication of self in those words "I am yours alone. I am yours alone."

Radhe! I have nobody else. I am exclusively yours. This world is empty without you, without the sanga of those who love you, without your service. How can I claim to be alive when I am deprived of the sounds, sights, smells and sanga of your Kund? And why have I allowed this to happen?

You know this well enough, Radhe! Can I be angry with you for not giving me a place at your lotus feet? You have opened the door wide enough for me to see your effulgence on the other side, but I have not been able to walk through it. Can I call this a life when I live for everything else but you?

Ananta Dasji writes in his purport--"Sharanagati is the soul of bhajan. Bhajan and sadhan begin and end with sharanagati."

I am yours. I am yours. I belong to you. I have no other shelter. I have no other shelter. I hang myself out to dry. Either you save me or you don't. Either you give me a place at your feet or you don't. I am not mine to debate the matter.

Ramachandra says, "If someone takes shelter of me and says just once, I am yours, I give myself to him for all eternity."

There, if Ramachandra can say that, then, now that I have said I am yours twice, how can you, who are Krishna's mercy incarnate, refuse to do everything in your power to destroy my illusions, my doubts, my ignorance, my faithlessness, my misunderstandings, my weaknesses, my attachments, my misguidedness, and drag me to your kunja where I can participate in glorifying you, in becoming an extension of your loving and transformative power?

I will have no other gods before me, Radhe! Kanai is just a marionnette who dances at your behest. He exists to serve you. The power of your love is the creative force in all things. The illusory power of Maya is just your way of saying, "Don't love. But you will never be able to do exactly what you want. Love me and my prananath and you will be free. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te."

Sharanagati means knowing that you have no choice but to go to the root. You cannot water the branches, the leaves and twigs and expect your plant to flourish. You cannot feed the fingers and feet; food has to go to the stomach to reach all parts of the body. This is the meaning of love. Here am I, Radhe, ignoring this truth, thinking that I have some other duty, some other way of expressing the totality of my loving being in a way that does not make you the exclusive center.

The strands of illusion's veils still drape my eyes and make me think that there can be any meaning to an existence that is not totally dedicated to you, your servants and your service.

Oh Radhe! Here on this day, this day dedicated to you, I promise to dedicate every day to you. I have give myself to you so many times before, but somehow it has always been an act mixed with some deeper layer of insincerity. I have no recourse but to come back to essentials and offer myself to you again, with renewed attempts to find the purest motivations at the very base of my soul, of my existence. You are the only meaning to my being.

I ask my darlings, Lata Manjari, Kamala Manjari, Mana Manjari, Rati, Rupa and Rasa Manjaris, I ask them all to take this forlorn dasi and offer her to you and your service. You are my one Truth.

Jaya Sri Radhe! Jaya Sri Radhe! Jaya Sri Radhe!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful prayers! Sounds sincere and inspired. May Srimati Radharani be pleased with such aspirant.