Bhajana Rahasya 8.5: The spiritual identity of the perfected devotee

Bhajana Rahasya 8.5: The spiritual identity of this perfected devotee

This is described by Prabodhananda Saraswati in the Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi (53)—

dukūlaṁ bibhrāṇam atha kuca-taṭe kañcuka-paṭaṁ
prasādaṁ svāminyāḥ sva-kara-tala-dattaṁ praṇayataḥ
sthitāṁ nityaṁ pārśve vividha-paricaryaika-caturāṁ
kiśorīm ātmānaṁ caṭula-parakīyāṁ nu kalaye

When will I see myself as an adolescent girl, excited by the mood of being married to someone else, expert in all varieties of personal service, standing beside the Divine Couple, wearing a dress and blouse formerly worn by my own mistress Radharani and affectionately given me by Her personally.

Extended translation: How sweet it is to think "I am Radha's maidservant!" How tender and delicious is the remembrance of one's siddha svarupa! Srimad Jīva Goswami said in Bhakti Sandarbha (304), "Even if one does not perform any other spiritual practice, one can attain perfection simply by having the attitude that ‘I am a servant of the Lord’ (dāso’ham)."

The practising devotee takes the forms, qualities and activities of the eternally perfect maidervants (nitya-siddha-mañjarī-gaṇa) as his example to nourish his self-identification of “I am an adolescent maidservant with such-and-such qualities, service and form. I am not this body, I am not this mind, and I am not these senses, but I am a transcendental female individual, eternally endowed with adolescent beauty!” This is how the aspirant shrugs off his bodily and mental consciousness.

The Upaniṣads state: “The soul is not female, not male and not neuter. It is only upon attaining a particular body that one is identified with a particular gender.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.10)

Prabodhananda Saraswati not only thinks of himself as an adolescent maidservant, but he also says, "I am dressed with the leftover blouse and dress that Swamini lovingly gave me with Her own hand when She was satisfied with my service!"

According to Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, all of Srimatī Radharāṇī's clothes and ornaments are made of transcendental emotions. Even a dried-up heart will become filled with rasa by remembering Srimatī's leftover blouses and dresses. Uddhava says, " We, Your eternal servants, who eat only the remnants of Your food, who are dressed in the garlands, unguents, clothes and ornaments You have worn, will easily conquer Your material energy. " (Srimad Bhāgavata 11.6.46)

This is all aiśvarya bhāva (a reverential conception), therefore in Uddhava’s verse, the conquest of Maya is mentioned as the benediction, but in the realm of sweetness, rasa is the benediction. The meditation on Radhika's sweet pastimes is interpenetrated by the memory of the blouse and dress that She mercifully gave with Her own hands. The bodily fragrance of Radha and Krishna is sweet prasad, and when the kinkari smells it she feels blessed. (Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj)

Bhaktivinode Thakur—

siddha-dehe gopī āmi śrī-rādhā-kiṅkarī
rādhā-prasādita vastra kañculikā paḍi
gṛhe pati parihari kiśorī vayase
rādhā-pada sevi kuñje rajanī-divase

In my spiritual body, I am a gopi, the maidservant of Srimati Radharani. I wear Radha’s used cloth and blouse. Though I am still an adolescent girl, I have left my husband at home to serve Radha day and night in the forest bowers of Vrindavan.


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