VMA 1.85 : Radha’s dasis get more rasa than Lakshmi

alakṣyāḥ śrī-lakṣmyā api ca bhagavatyā bhagavataḥ
sadā vakṣaḥ-sthāyā madhura-madhurāḥ kecana rasāḥ |
aho yad dāsībhiḥ satatam anubhūyanta ūrubhiḥ
prakārais tāṁ rādhāṁ bhaja dayita vṛndāvane vane ||
There are some sweeter than sweet tastes
that are beyond even the glorious Lakshmi Devi,
the Supreme Goddess, who constantly resides
on the Lord's chest.

Ah but those same rasas are experienced
by Radha's maidservants in so many ways.
So, dear friend, please worship Radha
in the Vrindavan forest. (1.85)


This commentary follows on from the previous verse. A frequently stated trope in all glorifications of the madhura-rasa of Vrindavan is to state that Lakshmi Devi, who is eternally situated on Lord Narayan's chest, still hankers to have the loving mood of the gopis, but cannot have it because she cannot shake her feelings of reverence for her husband, that is, her awareness of his being the supreme deity.

Ramananda Raya, in his conversations with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, said the following:
One who has a strong desire to taste the nectar of the gopis’ loving mood abandons all consideration of the religious principles of the Veda or public opinion, and simply worships Krishna. Whoever worships the Lord on the rāgānugā path will attain the son of Nanda in Braj. Whoever worships Krishna in any one of the moods of the residents of Vraja will attain a suitable spiritual body to serve himthere. The examples of this are the holy Upanishads who attained Vrajendra-nandana by worshiping him on the path of spontaneous love. (CC 2.8.219-222)
One cannot obtain Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan simply by serving himaccording to the rules. Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopés and meditate night and day on the dalliances of the Divine Couple. One should meditate on one’s spiritual body and serve Radha and Krishna in it. By taking on the mood of a sakhi, one will attain their lotus feet. (CC 2.8.227-8)

gopī ānugatya vinā aiśvarya jñāne
bhajileha nāhi pāya vrajendra nandane
tāhāte dṛṣṭānta lakṣmī karila bhajana
tathāpi nā pāila vraje vrajendra nandana
If one does not follow in the footsteps of the gopīs and remains absorbed in the consciousness of the Lord's majesty, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of the son of Nanda, even though he may be engaged in devotional service. The example of this is the goddess of fortune, who worshiped Lord Krishna in order to attain his pastimes in Vrindavan but could not. (CC 2.8.229-30)
Thus, the idea that the mood of Lakshmi and that of the sakhis or dasis of Radha are different from each other, and that following the latter is the fundamental key to understanding and attaining the highest concept of spiritual love and ecstasy, is basic to the spirit of Vrindavan and the mood of Braja.

Here is a verse from Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi that glorifies the good fortune of Radha's sakhis is great because of the greatness of Radha and Krishna's love for her. Radha is the complete svarupa shakti. To know and serve that shakti is the key to getting Krishna's grace.

anullikhyānantān api sad-aparādhān madhupatir
mahā-premāviṣṭas tava parama-deyaṁ vimṛśati |
tavaikaṁ śrī-rādhe gṛṇata iha nāmāmṛta-rasaṁ
mahimnaḥ kaḥ sīmāṁ spṛśatu tava dāsyaika-manasām||
Krishna discounts even an unlimited number of great offenses to the sadhus and being completely overwhelmed with love puzzles over what great gift he can bestow on the person who simply pronounces your immortal nectar-like name. O Sri Radhe! Who then could ever reach even the outer edges of the glory of those whose minds are entirely devoted to your service? (155)
So we can finish today's post with a little bit of Narottam Das's Prema-bhakti-candrikā:

rādhikā caraṇa reṇu, bhūṣaṇa koriyā tanu,
anāyāse pābe giridhārī |
rādhikā caraṇāśraya, ye kore se mahāśaya,
tāre mui yāi bolihārī ||107||
By making the dust of Radha's feet the ornament of your body,
you will easily attain Giridhari Krishna.
That great soul who takes shelter of Radha's lotus feet,
to him do I carry my offerings of devotion.
jaya jaya rādhā nāma, vṛndāvana yāra dhāma,
kṛṣṇa sukha vilāsera nidhi |
heno rādhā guṇa gāna, na śunilo mora kāna,
vañchita korilo more vidhi ||108||
All victory to Radha's name, which makes its abode in Vrindavan,
where it is the treasure at the center of all Krishna's joyful acts,
My unfortunate ears have not heard the glories of such a Radha,
for I have been cheated by Destiny.
tāra bhakta saṅge sadā, rasa līlā prema kathā,
ye kore se pāy ghanaśyāma |
ihāte vimukha yei, tāra kabhu siddhi nāi,
nāhi yeno śuni tāra nāma ||109 ||
One who remains constantly in the company of her devotees,
sharing talk of her blissful love and pastimes,
will attain Krishna in his dark blue form.
But one who is opposed to this will never attain any kind of perfection,
I pray that I may never hear his name.
kṛṣṇa nāma gāne bhāi, rādhikā caraṇa pāi,
rādhā nāma gāne kṛṣṇa candra |
saṅkṣepe kohinu kothā, ghucāo monera byathā,
duḥkhamaya anya kathā dhanda ||110||
O brother! If you chant Krishna's name, you will get Radha's lotus feet,
and if you chant Radha, you will get Krishna.
This I have told you in brief, now put an end to my misery,
for any other topics are simply a painful confusion.


Prem Prakash said…
When I read something like the Prema-bhakti-candrikā, I can enjoy it but, honestly and unfortunately, it doesn't move me. When you, Jagatji, present the text and teachings, they come alive for me. They become an inspiration, in the truest sense of the word. Perhaps this is the true nature of sampradaya. Thank you so very much.

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