Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some of Radha's qualities


Rādhā has twenty-five principal qualities that are described in the fourth chapter of Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (11-15):

atha vṛndāvaneśvaryāḥ kīrtyante pravarā guṇāḥ |
madhureyaṁ nava-vayāś calāpāṅgojjvala-smitā ||11||
cāru-saubhāgya-rekhāḍhyā gandhonmādita-mādhavā |
saṅgīta-prasarābhijñā ramya-vāṅ narma-paṇḍitā ||12||
vinītā karuṇā-pūrṇā vidagdhā pāṭavānvitā |
lajjā-śīlā sumaryādā dhairya-gāmbhīrya-śālinī ||13||
suvilāsā mahābhāva-paramotkarṣa-tarṣiṇī |
gokula-prema-vasatir jagac-chreṇī-lasad-yaśāḥ ||14||
gurv-arpita-guru-snehā sakhī-praṇayitā-vaśā |
kṛṣṇa-priyāvalī-mukhyā santatāśrava-keśavā |
bahunā kiṁ guṇās tasyāḥ saṅkhyātītā harer iva ||15||


All of these qualities are said to bring Kṛṣṇa under her control. They are divided into four groups: physical, mental, verbal and social.

The six qualifications of the first group are that she is: (1) sweet, (2) a fresh maiden; (3) she has enchanting sidelong glances and (4) a glowing smile; she is (5) decorated with auspicious signs on her hands and feet, etc., (6) her bodily fragrance is potent to enmadden Mādhava himself.

The qualities of mind are ten in number: she is (1) modest, (2) compassionate, (3) expert, (4) clever, (5) shy, (6) mannerly, (7) calm and patient, (8) grave, (9) knowledgeable in the ways of love and (10) possessed of the highest perfection of love, namely mahā-bhāva.

Those of her qualities which are related to speech are three in number: She is (1) highly talented in music and song, (2) expert in speaking attractively and (3) clever in making plays on words.

Other than these 19 qualities, Rādhā has six virtues that are connected to her dealings with others: She is (1) the object of all Vraja's love; (2) her glories are spread throughout the entire creation; (3) she is treated with the greatest affection by all the older folk in Vraja. She is (4) controlled by the devotion of her girlfriends and is (5) the chief of all those beloved of Kṛṣṇa. Finally, (6) Kṛṣṇa himself is always ready to obey her slightest command.

Elsewhere, it is said that Rādhā's physical features are divided into seven categories according to (1) her age, (2) form, (3) loveliness (lāvaṇya), (4) her beauty (saundarya), (5) her nobility (abhirūpatā), (6) her sweetness (mādhurya), and (7) her softness (mārdava). These qualities have been described by Prabodhānanda in his Vṛndāvana-mahimāmṛta (7.92-98):

(1) Her age (vayas): “Her divine form reveals a new, exciting youthfulness.”

(2) Her form (rūpa): Rūpa is defined as “that quality by which a young damsel appears to be fully bedecked with all varieties of ornaments when in fact she is not.” (UN 10.25)

aṅgāny abhūṣitāny eva kenacid bhūṣaṇādinā |
yena bhūṣitavad bhāti tad rūpam iti kathyate ||


“Rādhā's amazing form causes the entire universe, including the Supreme Lord, to lose consciousness and fall in a faint. It bewilders the mind, for it is the very picture of sweetness overflowing.” (VMA 7.97-98)

(3) Her loveliness (lāvaṇya): “She is the embodiment of billions of oceans of loveliness.” Lavaṇya is defined by Rūpa Gosvāmin as “an indescribable aura that emanates from within every limb of a young woman in the way that a glow expands from a pearl.” (UN 10.28)

muktā-phaleṣu chāyāyās taralatvam ivāntarā |
pratibhāti yad aṅgeṣu lāvaṇyaṁ tad ihocyate ||


(4) Rādhā's beauty (saundarya), defined as “the perfect and charming arrangement of all the limbs of the body,” “At every step, Rādhā enchants the world with her amazing beauty.” “She is the foremost of the milkmaidens of Vṛndāvana, she is decorated with all good qualities and in every limb is perfectly and beautifully formed.” “The beauty of even the tip of her fingernails causes the best of the universe's beauties like Lakṣmī, Pārvatī, Rati, etc., to all bow their heads in shame. Her grace and golden lustre are unlimited.”

(5) Her exquisiteness (abhirūpatā), defined in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi as “the unique quality that causes the beautiful properties of one's own body to be transmitted to other objects that are situated in proximity to it.”

The following example is given of this particular quality:

vakṣoje tava campaka-cchavim avaṣṭambhoru-kumbhopame
rādhe kokanada-śriyaḥ karatale sindūrataḥ sundare |
drāg indindira-bandhureṣu cikureṣv indīvarābhāṁ vahan
nakaḥ kairava-korako vitanute puṣpa-trayī-vibhramam ||

One day, by the banks of Rādhā Kuṇḍa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was twirling a white lily that had been given her by Vṛndā. At that time, Kṛṣṇa playfully took it and touching it first to her breasts and then to her hair said, “O Rādhe! How wonderful that this one lily blossom has taken three different forms: When in contact with your golden jug-like breasts, it appears to be a golden campaka flower; when by your hand it takes on the form of a pink lotus, and when held near your hair, which glistens blacker than a bumblebee, it looks just like a beautiful blue lotus.” (UN 10.35)
In Vṛndāvana-mahimāmṛta:

daśa-diṅ-maṇḍalācchādi-sugaurāṅgocchala-cchaviḥ |
cid-acid-dvaitam āmajjaty ucchalan madhura-cchaviḥ ||
mahā-prema-rasāmbhodhi-jṛmbhaṇaikādbhuta-cchaviḥ |
śrī-kṛṣṇātma-prāṇa-koṭi-nirmañchaika-rasa-cchaviḥ ||
svayaṁ prabhā cid-advaita-sat-premaika-rasa-cchaviḥ ||

Her golden bodily lustre fills the ten directions with its glow and all things, within the universe, conscious or unconscious; all become one in the ocean of her exquisite beauty.... She is the embodiment of all charm arising from the ocean of pure and great love for Kṛṣṇa with ten million lives and she bears the charm born of the foremost of all loving sentiments, the conjugal... She is a self-manifested picture of the spiritual non-duality of ecstatic love. (VMA 7.94-96)
(6) The quality of sweetness (mādhurya) is defined as an inexpressible quality of all-pervading charm or sweetness in the body of a beautiful girl. “It is as if great heaps of sweetness have been gathered together in her body just to enchant the universe.”

(7) The Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi defines mārdava, “delicacy” or “softness,” as “the inability to tolerate the touch of any hard object.” Vidyāpati also writes, “This young girl's body is as soft as a garland of flowers.”

From Section 4.41 of Mañjarī-svarūpa-nirūpaṇa by Kunja Bihari Dasji.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. Wonderful!