Radha rains rasa
tasmāt koṭi-guṇojjvalaś ca madhuraḥ śrī-gokulendro rasaḥ |
tac cānanta-camatkṛtiṁ pratimuhur varṣad rasānāṁ param
śrī-rādhā-pada-padmam eva madhuraṁ sarvasva-bhūtaṁ mama ||
Countless times more relishable
than the flavor of Brahmananda
is that connected to Vishnu.
Millions of times brighter than that
is the sweet rasa related to the Lord of Gokula.
Raining down infinite astonishment
are the topmost of all rasas,
the sweet lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.
They alone are my life and soul.
Following on from the previous posting. Check the label "hierarchies of prema" for more on this general subject.
By the way, the word "raining down" is appropriate, as today was the first day of the real monsoon here in Rishikesh. We had plenty of pre-monsoon rain, but the sky today is grey, the atmosphere is almost clammy with humidity, and the mountains will be covered in mist for the next few months. After the record heat, the relief is welcome. I only pray that the Doab gets a good rainy season and the Brajvasis get some respite from the heat of the past few months.
There are many verses of this sort, presenting hierarchies of one kind or another. I especially like the ones that lead to the superiority of Rādhā,, Rādhā dāsya or Radha Kund. For such, verses 9 and 10 of Upadeśāmṛta are good examples.
I first came across this verse in Harilal Vyasa's commentary to the Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, where it appears no less than four times -- at 147, 212, 257, 270. He credits Svāyambhuvāgama (śiva-vākyam). The first of these citations is the most appropriate to the subject of hierarchies. The verse itself is almost Prabodhananda like in its composition and it rather perfectly mirrors RRSN 147.
kecid govinda-sakhyādy-anupama-paramānandam anye svadante |
śrī-rādhā-kiṅkarīṇāṁ tv akhila-sukha-camatkāra-sāraika-sīmā
Some in this world are uniquely devoted
to the ecstasy of Brahma realization,
while others are intoxicated with the joy
of glorifying the Personal Lord.
Some others relish an incomparable joy
in friendship and other loving moods with Govinda.
Those who are the maidservants of Radha, however,
from even a single flash of the rays
of the jewel toenails of her lotus feet
experience the very upper limit
of the essence of all wondrous manifestations of bliss. (RRSN 147)
Harilal Vyas says that he has a relevant example for the four stages spoken of in the verse beginning with brahmānanda. Like a king who first of all has the power to control the entire country, at the same time he is present in the court with all the symbols of his status, then again he is in the company of his close friends and courtiers, and last of all he is in present in his inner chambers, in the intimate embrace of his dear beloved. In each case he experiences a particular kind of happiness, and is shared with those who are in possession of the right qualifications.
Sometimes a sound is experienced as just the unclear vibration of musical instruments like a lute or a flute. Then one experiences increased pleasure when one hears the tunes structured into the ragas and so on. Then one experiences even more pleasure when one hears the lyrics which are expressed poetically producing all the moods and sentiments, and then when an actor makes the appropriate dramatic movements that reveal more fully the emotional situation.
In the first situation, the bliss is spoken of only (brahmānandaika-vādāḥ). In the second, they are intoxicated with the experience of paying their respects from a distance (bhagavad-vandanānanda-mattāḥ), in the third there is an actual taste of incomparable bliss (govinda-sakhyādy-anupama-paramānandam ), but in the fourth one experiences a joy which rises like waves in the ocean of bliss (akhila-sukha-camatkāra-sāraika-sīmā). In this way, it is explained how both Krishna and his devotees experiences different levels of happiness. And Prabodhananda Saraswati says over and over that the sakhis (i.e., the manjaris) know the highest bliss.