by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

bhajāmi rādhāṁ aravinda-netrāṁ smārami rādhāṁ madhura-smitāsyām
vadāmi rādhāṁ karuṇā-bharādrāṁ tato mamānyāsti gatir na kāpi
Śrī Stavāvali Śrī Viśākhānandadabhi Stotram (131) by Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī

I worship Śrīmatī Rādhikā who has lotus-petal eyes, I remember Śrīmatī Rādhikā whose face is sweetly smiling, and I speak of Her whose heart is melting with compassion. My life has no other purpose than serving Her. I have heard from my gurudeva, from any Vaiṣṇava, that Śrī Rādhā is so beautiful, so merciful, and so madhura, sweet – I pray to Her feet. I have no qualification to hear all these things, but seeing the qualities of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, I have dared to pray to Her, and I know that She will hear me, because She is sarvajña, all-knowing. Certainly She will hear. Bhajāmi rādhāṁ aravinda-netrām. Aravinda- netrām means ‘eyes like lotus petals’. Why? Because lotus petals are fragrant, they have a good smell, and they are very soft, so soft. Here ‘soft’ means that if someone is in any distress or any difficulty and is weeping, then it softens Rādhārāṇī’s heart and She certainly bestows Her mercy upon them. So Raghunātha dāsa is giving the example of a lotus. Her eyes are lotus-like.

Anurāga means ‘red’. She is immersed in kṛṣṇa-anurāga (deep attachment to Kṛṣṇa), and the corners of Her eyes are like a lotus, somewhat reddish. [Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is saying,] “I want this kind of anurāga to enter me, and You [Śrīmatī Rādhikā] can make that happen.” So in these words, there are some hidden meanings.

“O Śrīmatī Rādhikā, bhajāmi rādhām aravinda-netrām, smārami rādhāṁ madhura-smitāsyām. I am remembering Your sweet smiling face.” Why is She smiling? She is in māna (Her mood of jealous anger), and Kṛṣṇa is trying to pacify Her, but She is not pleased. Rādhā tells Kṛṣṇa, “You cannot love anyone but Me, no one else.” Kṛṣṇa does what Rādhā tells Him, and She becomes pleased. Now She is smiling. “I have conquered Kṛṣṇa; He is doing everything I tell Him to do.” She is madhura-smitāsyām, sweetly smiling. She looks to the gopīs as if to say, “Now that I have conquered Kṛṣṇa, He is saubhāgyavat, feeling fully fortunate.”

[Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is saying,] “I want to remember all these līlās.” Vadāmi rādhāṁ karuṇā-bharādrām – I am always uttering the name of Rādhā who is always so merciful. She is always giving mercy to anyone who wants to serve Her. Tato mamānyāsti gatir na kāpi – I have no goal except You. I have no one else but You to look to. I only want to serve You. There is no one but You.

Published in Rays of The Harmonist, Vol.2 No. 2, Kārtika 1998

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