Thursday, August 24, 2017

Kāntā-bhāva Bhajana by Gadādhara Prāṇa Dās (Part II)

Gadai Gauranga Kunj, Ishodyana, Mayapur

Now let's return to the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi story about Mani Manjari. But this time we will put a sakhi named Surangini in Mani Manjari's place. In other words, Radha has just sent a sakhi to arrange Surangini's first private meeting with Krishna.

[First private meeting: Although Surangini is Krishna's eternal consort, Yogamaya has arranged that she forget all of her past affairs so that today's adventure appears like her first milana with Krishna. This is to heighten the rasa's pleasure.]

Let's enter the scene and see what happens next:

The sakhi exclaims, "Hey Surangini! Just hear the message that Radha has sent for you. She is saying that since the pleasure of Krishna's rati-saṅga is incomparable, why don't you try it once? You may consider that just as the sakhis share both friendship with Me and loving pastimes with Krishna, you may also take up this mood. Why should you remain behind the others?"

Hearing Radha's wonderful proposal brings tears of joy to Surangini. As she enters samādhi, "O my!" she thinks, "During the madhu-pāna līlā just a moment ago, I was pouring the refreshing madhu that Vrinda Devi brought into Shyam's glass. But Srimati was noticing then how my shapely figure was also intoxicating Him! So as She left with Shyamasundar to enjoy prema-keli in the padma-mandira, She gave me a wink and smiled! Now I can understand what she meant."

[When a sādhaka or a sādhikā perform līlā-smaraṇa and mānasī sevā while envisioning their mentally conceived gopī-svarūpa, this is called svārasikī bhajana. The story will illustrate the author's desire to serve in this way. The upcoming sequences correspond to Krishnadas Kaviraj's madhyāhna-līlā narration in Govinda-līlāmrita.]

Hearing the news, Surangini almost faints! For she has taken birth in Vraja simply to offer her exquisite beauty to Govinda. And now the greatest moment in her life has come, the moment when all of her desires will be fulfilled!

Arriving at the vilāsa-kuñja, the sakhi shows Surangini how the keli-mandira has been skillfully decorated. "O Surangini," she says, "Won't this be the ideal place to take up your first love encounter with Krishna?" Though while steeped in such thought, Surangini becomes a bit dizzy and goes to lie down on the flower bed.

Meanwhile, back at the padma-mandira, Radha is resting after enjoying kandarpa-keli with Krishna. But then She speaks with a smile:

sākūta-sa-smita-dṛśā priyam īrayantī
kāntābravīt priya na śarma labhe vinā yāḥ |
kuñjeṣu kuñja-vadanā mada-vihvalāṅgyaḥ
sakhyaḥ svapanti ramaṇānaya tāḥ prabodhya ||
Hey Priyatama! I'm unhappy without My lotus-faced sakhis. But now they are sleeping in their kuñjas to recover from the madhu's intoxicating effects. So, hey Ramana, why don't You go wake them up and bring them here? (GLA 15.32)
Radhika is sakhīra sukha-sukhinī, happy when Her sakhis are happy. So after enjoying rati-keli with Shyamasundara, She desires that He enjoy with them too. But because the manjaris are present, Srimati doesn't directly say this. Rather she talks in a roundabout way and hints at it with a wink! Thus Shyam realizes, "Aha, it is for Radha's happiness that I shall make the sakhis happy." Thus He saunters off to greet them.

Govinda-līlāmṛta goes on:

kṛṣṇaś cakre manasi lalitāṁ yāmi kiṁ vā viśākhām
ādau citrām iti sa nikhilā bhāvayaṁs tāḥ priyālīḥ |
gacchan harṣād yugapad akhile prāviśat kuñja-vṛnde
ātmānaṁ te nija-viracite jīva-dehe yathaikaḥ ||
When leaving Radha's kuñja Krishna contemplates, "Who shall I visit first? Lalita? Vishakha? How about Citra? While thus meditating, Krishna joyfully expands into many forms to enter each of the sakhi's kuñjas, just as the Paramātmā accompanies every jīva. (Govinda-līlāmṛta 15.34)
Here is a noteworthy siddhānta: For just as the Paramātmā is aware of every jīva's nature, mood and desires, Krishna also knows the nature, mood and desires of every one of His consorts because the Paramātmā is His plenary portion. Therefore Krishna can truly be the ideal soulmate of every gopi.
Meanwhile, Krishna arrives at Surangini's kuñja and the sakhi exclaims, "Hey Surangini! Look, your prāṇa-ramaṇa has come and He appears very anxious to meet you. So please go and welcome Him."
Surangini takes one look at Krishna and becomes stunned. And as her eyes roam up and down His universally enchanting form, her captivation increases! "Oh my gosh!" she contemplates. "I never knew that Krishna could be so powerfully attractive! Every limb of His glamorous body appears like an ocean of amorous love! Now an irrepressible desire is awakening in me to make love with Him. Oh my, surely He is sākṣāt manmatha-manmatha!

[Sākṣāt manmatha-manmatha: Gaudiya Vaishnavas traditionally receive the kāma-bīja and kāma-gāyatrī at the time of dīkṣā. For those with the good fortune to attain siddhi, the mantra's devatā Sri Madanamohana directly appears to them. Caitanya-caritāmṛta says:

vṛndāvane aprākṛta navīna madana
kāma-gāyatrī kāma-bīje jāṅra upāsana
puruṣa yoṣit kibā sthāvara jaṅgama
sarva cittākarṣaka sākṣāt manmatha madana
In Vrindavan there is a transcendental Cupid who is worshiped by the kāma-bīja and the kāma-gāyatrī. This form of Krishna forcefully attracts not only females but men too. He can ever lure every moving and non-moving object because He is Madanamohana!" (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.8.137-138)]
Seeing Shyam's zeal to enjoy her, Surangini becomes eager to control Him and considers, "Since Radha prefers to resist Krishna's advances and plays hard to get. I shall be dakṣiṇā and pragalbhā instead to conquer Him today!"

Thus coming over the flower bed, Surangini raises her arms in an enticing pose to exclaim, "Hey Priyatama! Look, can You help me reach these lovely flowers? You may decorate my hair with them."

Krishna is charmed, but instead of looking to the flowers, He runs right up to hold Surangini's slender waist! But then she scurries before a full-length mirror, takes one look at herself and says, "Hey Prana-vallabha! Wait a minute, I forgot to mention that my sakhis neglected to properly fasten my kanchuli, so can You fasten it for me?" Thus directing Shyam's attention to her amazing assets, Surangini becomes more captivating because as she clasps her two lotus hands behind her head, her very large and shapely breasts press forward to steal Krishna's mind.

But when Madhava tries to adjust her kanchuli, Surangini quickly scurries back to the flower bed and starts removing all of her clothes. And wow! Being eager to show off, she displays her stunning body so enticingly that even Cupid would get knocked out! Then with confidence she informs Krishna, "Hey Nagarendra! Do You know that I performed great austerity and prayed to the creator for a very sensuous body just to give You tremendous pleasure? Now feast Your eyes and see how He has molded me. Then if You can tell me which place on my body fascinates You the most, I will let You kiss me there."

Surangini isn't mistaken, for her fantastic body is truly a festival for the eyes, thus Krishna ecstatically horripilates upon viewing it. But then He is startled to realize, "Oh my, if I hope to win in today's kandarpa-keli battle, she is going to be My greatest opponent!"

Thus succumbing to her spell, Krishna requests that Surangini become His prema guru and feelingly prays, "Upon viewing your incomparable beauty, O Surangini, I can understand that your talent in Cupid's martial arts must be matchless. So I surrender! Now if you have accepted Me as your loving disciple, then please instruct Me which places on your body I may kiss."
Rasa Analysis

Let's stop to discuss what is going on here since some of those who desire to take up Krishna's madhura rasa upāsanā might consider Surangini's madhura sevā mood overly sensuous and bold. To answer them, we will certainly acknowledge their standpoint, but to bring more light into this discussion, let us examine Rupa Goswami's following siddhānta in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi.

bhāvaḥ syād uttamādīnāṁ yasyā yāvān priye harau |
tasyāpi tasyāṁ tāvān syād iti sarvatra yujyate ||
As Krishna's gopi consorts each serve Him in their own personal way, Krishna reciprocates their love accordingly. (Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 5.97)
Here is something that only Krishna can do because He is Svayam Bhagavān. In other words, since every gopis is special and unique, Krishna's loving behavior is unique and personal with each one of them. Hence every gopi can factually believe that Krishna loves her the most, as it is her superlative beauty and expertise in prema-sevā that attracts and pleases Him the most. This is something that deserves meditation.

In Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Rupa Goswami presents a basic outline of 360 different kinds of nāyikā or heroine, and hints that there are countless more types. So on one end of the spectrum we can find the pragalbhā heroines such as Surangini, who are exceptionally sensuous and bold. On the other end, we can find the opposite – the mugdhā heroines who are novice, naïve and shy when it comes to taking up rati-keli with Krishna. In between these two extremes there are limitless other Krishna-vallabhas who each have their own personalities, traits and moods.

So now let us take, for example, the madhyā or mid-range heroines, since Srimati Radharani herself belongs to this category. Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi describes them as follows:

samāna-lajjā-madanā prodyat-tāruṇya-śālinī |
kiñcit-pragalbhā-vacanā mohānta-surata-kṣamā |
madhyā syāt komalā kvāpi māne kutrāpi karkaśā ||
The heroine who is both shy and erotically fascinating, whose figure blossoms with new youth, whose colorful word play is slightly bold, who can last up to the point of fainting during rati-keli, and who can be either passive or fiery when defending her pride, is called a madhyā nāyikā. (Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 5.27)
Now a good question arises: Why did Rupa Goswami, our sampradāya ācārya, make such a thorough endeavor to list and classify so many different kinds of nāyikā in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi? Though before attempting to answer, we should mention that as Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi is the consummation of Rupa's bhakti-rasa exposition begun in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, it also represents the last word in Sri Caitanya's prema-bhakti dharma, because both the former and the latter culminate in the madhura-prema-sevā of the Vraja gopis.

Now for those who are sincere to reach this goal, Caitanya-caritāmṛta presents a wonderful guideline:
nijendriya sukha vāñchā nāhi gopikāra
kṛṣṇe sukha dite kare saṅgama vihāra
sei gopī bhāvāmṛte jāṅra lobha haya
veda dharma loka tyaji se kṛṣṇe bhajaya
rāgānuga mārge tāṅre bhaje jei jana
sei jana pāya vraje vrajendra nandana
The gopis overlook their personal pleasure to make love with Krishna for His pleasure alone. Yet only those having lobha for attaining their prema-sevā can discard the unrelated teachings in Vedic dharma and the useless opinions of disinterested people. Then by adopting the rāgānugā-bhakti process, they will attain Krishna in Vraja. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.8.217-220)
From this instruction we can understand why Rupa has presented such a long list of heroines in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi so that those hankering to become Krishna's consort can select the nāyikā-bhāva that is befitting their own gopī-svarūpa. Because on the rāga-mārga, one's constant absorption on their gopi siddha-deha forms the basis of this sādhanā. Thus we can test to see if we have lobha because if we do, to meditate on our gopī-svarūpa while performing mānasī sevā within Radha Krishna's pastimes won't be difficult.

Before we return to Surangini, however, let us ask: If the Vraja gopis' madhura upāsanā is the highest goal of Gaudiya Vaishnava dharma according to Sri Caitanya's teachings, then why do so few have the lobha to seriously take it up?

To answer frankly, it certainly appears that a ku-saṁskāra has crept in to deprive us from something very wonderful; because if we stop to consider what a spectacular and rewarding experience it would be to make love with Bhagavān and be His eternal consort, it is astonishing that practically no one ever thinks about this! So to find someone who actually nurtures the desire to attain such a treasure is even more rare.

A ku-saṁskāra means a bad impression that we pick up over a period of time and ku-saṁskāras are very hard to get rid of because what we experience around us and the things we hear people say often make them even stronger.

Now what are we getting at? In our world religion and erotic love are generally taken to be existing on two opposite poles of a sphere. So when thinking about religion we equate this with purity, self-control, selfless sevā and renunciation. But when we think about erotic love, don't we usually equate it with the opposite: impurity, sense-gratification, self-indulgence and material attachment?

So what often happens to those taking to Vaishnava dharma? Don't we hold on to this negative material conception about erotic love and wish to drop it altogether when visualizing Krishna līlā? We may discuss or meditate on a variety of Krishna's pastimes, but we will omit His madhura pastimes with the gopis. Or else, if we advance to the stage of visualizing Radha-Krishna's līlā, the only option will be mañjarī-bhāva, since the manjaris don't directly enjoy conjugal union with Krishna. Therefore, the question remains, could we be choosing mañjarī-bhāva instead of kāntā bhāva for the subtle, psychological reason that we still consider erotic love in Krishna līlā to be impure, unwholesome or improper?

Although our Six Goswamis present kāntā bhāva and mañjarī-bhāva upāsanā with equal emphasis and allow their followers to choose either path according to their personal ruci, today mañjarī-bhāva is being promoted exclusively. Thus it is important to mention that in Svayam Bhagavān's highest abodes of Goloka Navadvipa and Vrindavan, every jīva is eligible to perform both forms of worship, for it is natural that we have an eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord in both of these moods. From Caitanya-caritāmṛta we can learn about the gopis' high standard of purity and renunciation as follows:

loka-dharma, veda-dharma, deha-dharma, karma |
lajjā, dhairya, deha-sukha, ātma-sukha-marma ||
dustyaja ārya-patha, nija parijana |
sva-jane karaye yata tāḍana-bhartsana ||
sarva-tyāga kari' kare kṛṣṇera bhajana |
kṛṣṇa-sukha-hetu kare prema-sevana ||
ihāke kahiye kṛṣṇe dṛḍha anurāga |
svaccha dhauta-vastre yaiche nāhi kona dāga ||
Throwing their social reputation to the wind and sidestepping the Vedic injunctions, Krishna's gopi consorts don't care about their bodily comforts, household duties, shyness, patience or mental satisfaction. They have discarded the righteous path of virtuous women, which is very hard to abandon, and they even forsake their own family members to tolerate punishment and rebuke! Thus accepting Krishna's bhajana as their only aim, they secretly go to offer their bodies to him in prema-sevā for His pleasure alone. This is called dṛḍha anurāga, the gopis' overpowering attraction for Krishna that makes their love pure, like a spotlessly clean white sheet. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.4.167-171)
Because Krishna can never abandon His mother, father or friends or make so many sacrifices as the gopis do, He admits His defeat to them in the Bhāgavata as follows:

na pāraye'haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ |
yā mābhajan durjara-geha-śṛṅkhalāḥ
saṁvṛścya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā ||
Hey beautiful ones! Your great endeavor to secretly meet me in this forest is pure and faultless. Because after breaking the shackles of material life, you have come to fully surrender unto Me. Hence I am unable to repay the debt of your spotlessly pure love for Me, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. (Bhāgavata 10.32.22; Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.4.180)


Part II of this essay begins from here, though because the topic is intimate and confidential, we hope that only sincere, interested bhaktas desiring to know about Krishna's kāntā-bhāva bhajana read this. For such readers Part II can be obtained by writing to the author at


{ gadadhar_das000 AT yahoo.co.in }.


We humbly wish to protect Krishna's most intimate conjugal loving pastimes with His bhaktas from those who might find fault or criticize them.



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ādeśa – Dear Gadādhara Prāṇa Dās,

In the e-mail request of Krishna's kāntā-bhāva bhajana (Part II) entitled "praveśikā", my person denied being a bhakta; which is ironically humorous, as this morning whilst reading (page 14) Swami Lakshman Joo's 'The Awakening of Supreme Consciousness' my person came across the following:

"Madbhaktaḥ means 'one who is attached to spiritual practice'. One who is very earnest about it."

My person was reminded that my words to you were not entirely true, and needed to be corrected.

M.N.

Notes

The Awakening of Supreme Consciousness (Adobe Pdf):

http://cincinnatitemple.com/articles/Awakening-of-Supreme-Conscious-Swami-LakshmanKamal.pdf

“ca kuṇḍalī-bodhanaṃ” = "(by breath), cause to arouse, expand (extend out), split open (as a bud), penetrate though, hold up (above the skull), and move to-and-fro (to produce the milk-like juice of the moon [human brain])."

Anonymous said...

Hi Jagat and Gadadhar Pran

Thank you very much for presenting these terrific articles. It is very good to know that these rasas, including kanta and nagari, are for real and indeed supported by the Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures. I feel that, as a committed devotee, it is so important to have this kind of information so that those of us who are practicing raganuga bhakti and are starting to experience these kinds of things in our siddha deha meditations can feel more confident that we are on the right track.

I love your story of Surangini and I felt that I was tuning into the transcendental nature of it. Indeed this scene would be an excellent one to include for siddha deha meditations. With the Asta Kaliya Nitya Lila remembering Radha Krsna's eightfold daily pastimes we have the 8 scenes which is great to use as a starter set of scenes for the meditations on the Radha Krsna Lila. But for the Gaura Lila there seems to be virtually nothing available (as far as I have read) so anything that is available is very welcome. It would be good to build up a stock of scenes to help get the siddha deha meditations off the ground for this lila. Please provide more stories! :-)

With such confidential and sensitive subject matter it is understandable that there are only fragments of information available about it in the literature. In fact I wonder just how much more there may be in this vein that has never been spoken about, let alone written. It is up to us as individual practitioners to improve and perfect our practices so that, with the grace of Radha / Krsna, further input and awareness of the transcendental realm may be achieved. As an alternative reality, the transcendental realm is beyond the societal conditioning and cultural limitations here in our physical existence. Indeed much would be beyond our human comprehension. Who are we to evaluate what goes on in the transcendental realm? Hence the need to be totally open-minded, particularly when it comes to content that the mainstream vaisnava community finds difficult to accept, and receive what we are given.

Having said that, I feel more strongly than ever the need to exercise caution and discipline. Of course, meditating on such things as the kanta bhava can easily lead to sense gratification. There seems to be a very fine line there. The question is how to stay on the straight and narrow path. How do I know that I am not merely projecting content from my own subconscious onto the meditations? I think it all comes back to the presence of bhava and staying connected by keeping up with the basics of vaidhi practices. A rule of thumb that I read of recently is to keep the internal on the internal level and not mix it with the external. Would you agree with this? This is consistent with Srila Prabhupada's precept of sexual moderation in our external lives. Besides, although an essential function of the Krsna Girl svarupa, the erotic is not everything. I think it is paramount to keep it all in perspective in the overall theme of devotional service to Radha / Krsna (Gauranga / Gadadhar) of which there is so much more.

Anyway, I am certainly keen to read the sequel and will definitely email in my request.

With much gratitude

At the lotus feet of Radha / Krsna

Taz

Prem Prakash said...

Taz,
You have expressed very eloquently so many of my feelings about these writings of Gadhadhara Prana dass. Thank you.
I'll add this -- If one feels moved by these writings, by this transmission, then I propose one has an obligation, of sorts, to follow where they might lead. You can't fake this snake; either you feel it or not. If there is not support by conventional organizations, that is proof of their shortcomings. If there is lack of citation in traditional literature, similarly, it may well be that their acharyas were not privy to this ras, or chose not to share it overtly.
I fully respect your cautionary attitude and agree completely one must proceed with due diligence and humility in order to advance. Still, a certain degree of recklessness and adventuresomeness is required in this most beautiful of lilas.
I hope Gadhadhar Pran dass and Jagadananda dass might offer their insghts.

Anonymous said...


Taz said: "How do I know that I am not merely projecting content from my own subconscious onto the meditations?"

M.N. replied: You will know (by direct experience); so you may know, read the description in the Kundalinivijnana Rahasyam on Pages 7-13 (as Prem Prakash quite rightly said "You can't fake this snake"):

http://www.ishwarashramtrust.com/malini/Malini%20April%201997.pdf

Anonymous said...


A full (Adobe Pdf) copy of the Kuṇḍalinīvijñāna-Rahasyam may be downloaded from:

https://archive.org/download/kundalini-vigyan-rahasyam-swami-lakshman-joo/kundalini-vigyan-rahasyam-swami-lakshman-joo.Pdf

Anonymous said...


Ādeśa – Dear Gadādhara Prāṇa Dās,

On your hand-written e-mail (26/10/16) reply you added a question mark after the greeting "Ādeśa?" (questioning an unfamiliar term), my person was remiss in not answering your question; and thought you may wish to read this:

http://www.academia.edu/33640757/On_the_Meaning_and_Function_of_%C4%80de%C5%9B%C3%A1_in_the_Early_Upani%E1%B9%A3ads

To save you time, scroll to the 'Conclusion' on pages 564-565.

Yours in truth.

M.N.