Thursday, December 08, 2016

"The very one who took my maidenhead..."

One of the most famous verses in the entire Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition is the following, found three times in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 1.58, 13.121, Antya 1.78).

yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
te conmīlita-mālatī-surabhayaḥ prau
hāḥ kadambānilāḥ
sā caivāsmi tathāpi tatra surata-vyāpāra-līlā-vidhau
revā-rodhasi vetasī-taru-tale cetaḥ samutkaṇṭhate ||
The very one who took my maidenhead
is here now as my bridegroom.
And these too are the same moonlit nights
of the month of Chaitra.
The same fragrance of malati flowers is there
and the same sweet breezes blowing from the kadamba forest.
I too am the very same person
with whom he made playful, ecstatic love.
Yet my unsatisfied mind yearns for that place
under the bullrushes on the bank of the Reva River.
Padyāvali 378 (Srk 815, Skm 2.12.3; Spd 3768; Smv 87.9; SD 1.2)
Since the story has been told by Kaviraj Goswami in three different places, it is important to examine the contexts. In the first and third citation, it is primarily meant to raise Rupa Goswami to the highest authority in the sampradaya for his insight into Mahaprabhu's mood. Rupa's pastiche of the above verse is the evidence for that special insight, and the two verses together are the ones with which he, significantly, concludes his Padyāvali collection:

priyaḥ so'yaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ sahacari kurukṣetra-militas
tathāhaṁ sā rādhā tad idam ubhayoḥ saṅgama-sukham |
tathāpy antaḥ-khelan-madhura-muralī-pañcama-juṣe
mano me kālindī-pulina-vipināya spṛhayati ||
O companion! This is the same beloved Krishna
meeting me here in Kurukshetra;
and I am the same Radha;
both of us are feeling the same joy of union.
Even so, my mind wishes for the forest
by the banks of the Yamunä
where the fifth note of his flute
reverberated sweetly within my heart.
(Padyāvali 383, Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.1.76)
The actual meaning of the verse is most fully explained in the second instance, which is the description of Mahaprabhu's ecstasies in front of Jagannath during the Rathayatra festival. I will not go into that here, though I see that I have not written about that most excellent topic before. One can however look at the translation of 10.82.49 from Bhajana Rahasya, which is most relevant to the topic at hand.

My interest here, however, is to follow up on my previous article about the Saṅkalpa-kalpa-druma, "Jiva Goswami's final word." In rebuttals to the svakīyā-vāda that Jiva Goswami presents in Gopāla-campū and elsewhere, it is frequently pointed out that he quotes the above verse (yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ). Since this verse refers to the superiority of the mood in Vrindavan, i.e., the parakīyā situation, is this not an indication of what is the true intent of Sri Jiva?

Let us examine those citations.

First of all, the first line is presented separately from the rest of the verse in three places: Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha 170, Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇi to 10.82.49, and Gopāla-campū 1.33.118. As an aside, the first two of these are one of the few places where VT and the Sandarbhas match word for word. This commentary on the situation in Kurukshetra is the seed for Kaviraja Goswami's description in Madhya 13 of Caitanya-caritāmṛta and the one followed in the Bhajana Rahasya link I have given.
Here Jiva Goswami is giving an alternative interpretation to the words gehaṁ juṣām, which in the translation is given as "we are attached to our householder lives and families." This is the external understanding. Jiva says it means:
We wish to meet with you in Gokula, the abode where we were previously united in loving dalliances, where all our desires for such love can be fulfilled, which is the natural dwelling place of our love, our very own home -- in Gokula alone, and not in Dvaraka or elsewhere. Here by the expression of this desire, they show that they are in love with that form of Krishna and no other as is shown in verse, "He who took my maidenhead is here again as my bridegroom," etc. Therefore, since we are unable too think of your lotus feet and are unable to come to you, or have no taste for coming to you in Dvaraka, and yet, as you know, we are suffering greatly in your absence, if you should fulfill your promise by directly coming to back; then only will we be saved.
I don't think that Sri Jiva is here specifically highlighting the word "bridegroom" (vara), but that is indeed the case in the first citation in Gopāla-campū:

The first citation from Gopala-campu comes at the end of Purva 33, where Narada is telling the story of the future to Nanda Maharaj, after the killing of Keshi. In this case, Jiva is stressing that Krishna did return to Braj and get married rather than the hankering for a return to Braj. In other words, Radha may be hankering for a return to Braj, but she is doing it after being married to Krishna.

yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapāḥ
ity ādy apy adhiyan kayācid uditaṁ gopālikā-gīr iti |
bhāvonmādaja-gāna-nṛtya-vivaśaḥ śrī-guṇḍicā-parvasu
śrī-caitanya-tanur mataṁ sa bhagavān aṅgīkariṣyaty adaḥ ||118||
"The very one who took my maidenhead
is here now as my bridegroom. These too are the same spring nights…"
This utterance of a gopi and quoted by another
are the conclusion that the Lord in his form as Chaitanya,
intoxicated by song and dance born of loving madness
during the Rathayatra festivals, will accept .
From the context it is clear that Sri Jiva is using this verse as evidence that Krishna returned to Braj and got married to Radha. Because the verse is from the "mundane" poetic tradition, its authority comes from the use that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made of it.

In GCP 33, this verse is followed by some other quotes taken from Lalita-mādhava. These have been cited in my article "Does Krishna marry the gopis in the end?" and one should look for them there. Jiva here also speaks of samṛddhimān sambhoga, which is integral to his understanding of the completion of the līlā, as it is described in the works of Rupa Goswami. (tad idam eva śrīmad-bhagavad-bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-nidhi-rūpa-śrīmad-ujjvala-nīlamaṇāv api sarva-rasa-paripāṭī-pūrti-sāra-mūrti-samṛddhimad-ākhya-sambhogatayā darśitam |) This will require further analysis, as the section in Ujjvala (15.206) is one of those places that Jiva and Vishwanath do battle.

Now the final citation of the yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ verse comes near the end of the Uttara-campū (chapter 36), after Radha and Krishna's wedding has taken place and Radha is indeed feeling some momentary despondency. When pressed by Lalita, she says:

yathā sarvātiśāyikāyāḥ kasyāścin nāyikāyāḥ labdha-nijābhīpsitāyām api
kāpi lipsā kavibhiḥ kavitām ānīyate, tathaiva daiva-vaśād asmākaṁ jātā |
Some most elevated heroine even after attaining everything she had desired expressed another longing, which a poet has described in verse. Now that same mood has suddenly overtaken me.
It is here that she recites the verse in full. Suddenly Krishna, who had been eavesdropping, comes into the room, embraces and kisses her, and says,

sādhūktaṁ preyasi ! sādhūktam | kintu “kṛṣṇā-rodhasi tatra kuñja-sadane” iti paṭhanīyam | yasmād adya sadya eva śrīmat-pitṛ-caraṇānucaran-nija-cāru-kaumāra-pracāra-maya-vihāra-sāra-sandīpita-vara-kālindī-dakṣiṇa-pāra-sanditaṁ vṛndāvanam eva sañcarituṁ gocarayiṣyāmi iti |
"Well said, my love, well said! But I think you should change the last line to "in the forest bowers on the banks of the Yamuna" since very soon, on this very day, I shall take you to that very same Vrindavan, which lies on the south side of the Kalindi and  was lit up with the essence of my beautiful childhood pastimes after my father took us there."
This is indeed what is described in the following, final chapter, except that the crossing of the Yamuna is the same as the ascension into the eternal nitya Goloka. So the purpose of the verse here is simply seen as a returning to the place, but not of returning to the parakīyā situation.

As a final note here, it should be mentioned that this verse finds no mention in Saṅkalpa-kalpa-druma, which is significant. If it were that important to Jiva Goswami's fundamental thinking, i.e., that which we are to look for as being pūrvāpara-sambaddha, the consistent element in his thought, we certainly cannot look to this verse for support of the parakīyā-vāda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It is indeed provident that my person is currently on page 263 of your book (see notes), studying verse §2.37; most provident indeed, considering you have published “The very one who took my maidenhead” here on your blog (describing one of the most famous verses in the entire Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition).

So your readers may know, relative to this famous verse, the tongue of khecarī-mudrā is not a physical tongue, it is a metaphysical (beyond that which is physical) tongue of energy directed by the minds will of the Yogi. The conscious movement of this energetic tongue stimulates the flow of Kaulāmṛta – the ambrosia of ā-mṛta (non-death).

Notes

mürdhnaḥ ṣoḍaśa-patra-padma-galitaṁ prāṇād avāptaṁ haṭhād
ūrdvhāsyo rasanāṁ nidhāya vidhivat śaktiṁ parāṁ cintayan |
utkallola-kalā-jalaṁ csuvimalaṁ jihvākulaṁ yaḥ piben
nirdoṣaḥ sa mṛṇāla-komala-tanur yogī ciraṁ jīvati ||37||

Source: §2.37, Page 263 Yoga-Taraṅgiṇī: A Rare Commentary on Gorakṣa-śataka (ISBN: 978-81-208-3989-2).