We Are Radha's Dasis

For the occasion, and oldy but goldy from Gaudiya Discussions, July 22, 2004:

olo ! āmarā rāiera dāsī !
āmarā rāiera dāsī ! āmarā rāiera sevā bhālovāsi

Listen everyone! We are Radha's dasis !
We are Radha's dasis, and we love to serve Radharani.

rāi jokhon je bhāve thāke, āmarā ghire basi
rāi kāndile āmarā kāndi, hāsile āmarā hāsi

Wherever Radha is, in whatever mood she is,
we gather all around her.
If she cries, we cry; and if she laughs, we laugh.

rāi śyāmake bhālovāse, tāi āmarā-o bhālovāsi
rāi ānugatye śyāma sevā kori, dekhe rāi boṛo ullāsī

Radha loves Shyam, so we love Shyam, too.
When she sees that we serve him
according to her directions,
she becomes ebullient.

rāi śyāma-nāma bhālovāse, tāi āmarā nāme piyāsī
rāi sukhe nāma kori bale, sei bhālovāse kālośaśī

Rai loves Shyam's name,
so that makes us thirst for it.
And because we sing his name for her pleasure,
she loves him even more.

rāiera mukhe kṛṣṇa-kathā śuni, mora soba divāniśi
rāiera kathā kṛṣṇa-mukhe śuni, āmarā hoi ullāsī

Day and night, we all listen
to Radha speak about Krishna.
And when we hear Krishna speak about Radha,
that gives us great joy.

rāiera nāma-ṭī sāra kore śyāma, bājāya mohana vaṁśī
rāiera nāme vāṁśī rava śuni, āmarā hoi udāsī

Shyam plays Radha's name, the essence of life,
as the enchanting tune on his flute.
When we hear Radha's name in the flute song,
we forget everything else in our lives.

rāiera prati apūrva pirīti koren go kālo-śaśī
rāiera prīti dekhe poṛechi śyāmera premera phāṁsi

The black moon Krishna has
incomparable love for Radha.
And seeing the love she has for him,
we have fallen into the net of Shyam prema.

rāiera nāme āmarā mānī, kṛṣṇete hoi udāsī
rāi milile śyāmera sane, morā kori miśāmiśi

We swell with pride at hearing Radha's name,
but we are indifferent to Krishna.
The only time we will mix with Shyam
is when she meets with him.

morā rāiera dāsī bole kṛṣṇa kato-i vā hoy ullāsī
rāiera kṛṣṇa bole hoi morā sadā-i śyāma pratyāśī

Krishna becomes so joyful
when he learns that we are devoted to Radha.
We always think of Krishna
because we know he belongs to her.

rāiera sane kṛṣṇa milana boṛo-i bhālovāsi
yugala premera sevā niye sadā modera bhālovāsā-vāsi

We really love to see
Krishna meet with Radha.
Our only joy, our happiness, comes from serving
the Divine Couple in ecstatic love.


Narottam Das Thakur, whose Prema-bhakti-candrikā is probably the most important book in Gaudiya Vaishnavism after the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (maybe even more important, because it's so condensed and thus shorter and more widespread), writes:

sādhane bhāvibe jāhā -- siddha dehe pāibe tāhā
pakvāpakva mātra ei vicāra
What you meditate on in your spiritual practices is what you will attain in your spiritual body. The only difference is that one is an unripe state, the other is ripe.
Rāgānuga-bhakti is about visualizing what you want: about picking the eternal Vrajavasis you want to follow and following them by meditating on the way you want to serve. The beginning point is identity. That is why Gopinath Basak's song is so wonderful, so powerful. It is unshakable commitment to Rādhā-dāsya.

Manjaris are those who recognize that nobody can really please Krishna except Radha. They are the ones who have read Radha's glories in the fourth chapter of Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila and seen why Krishna himself had to become Gaura in order to appreciate fully her greatness. The Manjaris are the ones who have concluded that they don't need God when Bhakti is greater than Him.

bhaktir evainaṁ nayati
bhaktir evainaṁ darśayati
bhakti-vaśaḥ puruṣaḥ
bhaktir eva bhūyasī
Bhakti alone will bring Krishna to you. Bhakti alone will show you Krishna. The Lord is under the empire of devotion. So verily bhakti is the greatest thing of all.
But its not OUR bhakti. The great ashraya, or reservoir, of loving devotion is Radha.

Those who recognize Radha's glories have basically two options. We are minute, tiny sparks of spiritual energy. So we can either merge into Radha's being, or we can become simultaneously one and different from her by being her dasis and serving her intimately, retaining our separate individuality. Those of us who follow Rupa Goswami consider the latter to be the superior option.


Steve Bohlert said…
Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Thank you for the beautiful thoughts. Is Prema-bhakti-candrika available in English? Radhe! Radhe!....
Jagadananda Das said…
I am sure that it is, though I cannot say that I know of an edition offhand. Prof. O'Connell did a translation once, but I don't know if he published it. Other than that, there is no doubt an Iskcon translation out there.

Yes, I am feeling progressively joyful today. I have been listening to a Radhashtami lecture by Narayan Maharaj, followed by a very nice version of Srita-kamala (jaya jaya deva hare) sung by one of his disciples. Very cheering.

Thanks for sharing yourself. Jai Radhe !
Anonymous said…
Several years ago (1992?), I edited Gadadhar Pranji's translation for him. I don't know if he ever published it, but I still have the document on my hard drive.
Jagadananda Das said…
Speaking of which, did you ever do any work on his Govinda-lilamrita? I realize that you are doing your own work on that right now, but did you ever edit any part of his version?
Anonymous said…
No; I haven't had any contact with him for many years.
Anonymous said…
Radhe Radhe


Advaita das has a published translation and you can buy it from him. His translation might not be flawless but I believe it is a labour of love, nonetheless.

Jagat, I'm wondering why you didn't remember that your friend Advaitadas had published a translation.

Kind regards
Jagadananda Das said…
Yes, I am sorry. Advaita has done so many things, most of which I have never seen. I don't believe I have seen his PBC. I should have thought of it, though.
Anonymous said…
Indeed forgeting important things is a problem seniors may be faced with. Socially it can pose an embarassment, to say the least. Older devotees can perhaps excercise more patience with one another in this matter so to keep the floor smooth and even. Let everyone remember that too.

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