The ears are very restless and always try to hear different sounds, but if just once we hear the jingling sound of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s anklebells, we will lose all desire to hear mundane sounds. That sound bestows supreme auspiciousness.
diśi vidiśi bhayenodghūrṇitābhyāṁ
vanāni kuvalaya-dala-kośāny eva klptāni yābhyāṁ
kim u kila kalanīyo devi tābhyāṁ jano ‘yam
O Devī, with the two bumblebees of the corners of Your eyes, which in the moonlit rendezvous anxiously wander over each direction as if the forest were a jungle of blue lotuses, will You glance upon this person?
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is so effulgent that Her brilliance increases the light of the full moon, making it difficult to move secretly through the forest. Rādhārānī’s eyes move restlessly, searching, “Where is that blue lotus? Is He close or far away? Which kuñja is He in? Maybe He is hiding close by. Will that blue lotus attack Me on the way?”
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “Don’t worry, we are guarding the pathway. He is far away, waiting anxiously for Your arrival, listening for any sound of Your approach. He is thinking about You and chanting Your mantra.”
On the dark moon night Srimati Radharani is difficult to see. She dresses completely in black and walks on a hidden path through the forest, staying close to dark Tamāla trees and other plants and creepers on Her way to the kuñja–kuṭīra.
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “My eyes are greedy for Your darśana; I am waiting for Your mercy. I am Your insignificant maidservant. Is Your darśana possible for me with these eyes?”
Sādhakas engage in bhajana. We go to Guru-pāda-padma with a desire for hari-kathā and guru-sevā, but there are many cheaters and dacoits waiting to pounce on us:
asad-vārtā–veśyā visṛja mati-sarvasva-haraṇīḥ
kathā mukti-vyāghryā na śṛṇu kila sarvātma-gilanīḥ
api tyaktvā lakṣmī–pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanīm
vraje rādhā–kṛṣṇau sva-rati-maṇi-dau tvaṁ bhaja manaḥ
gale baddhvā hanye ’ham iti bakabhid vartmapa-gaṇe
kuru tvaṁ phutkārān avati sa yathā tvāṁ mana itaḥ
Many cheaters and dacoits, internal and external; mundane people and lust, anger, greed, madness are waiting on both sides, not wanting to give us a chance to hear hari-kathā and serve. If we are not distracted and go directly towards Srimati Radharani, then Kṛṣṇa will help us and will show us the pathway to meet with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. By chanting Rādhārānī’s holy names Kṛṣṇa will arrange everything to help you progress.
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “Srimati Radharani is Vṛndāvaneśvarī. For a long time I have been waiting to attain Her service.
Now I understand that Rūpa Mañjarī has opened a training center in Vṛndāvana. Before, I had no guardian. I had not offered myself, then who would teach me and make me qualified? Who would help me? I did not know, but now I understand. Rūpa Mañjarī will help me. And even though I have no strong desire for service, she will give greed, strength, and anurāga.”
There are two types of service: by duty and by love. Anything you do by love is accepted. Service performed out of a sense of duty has no sweetness. Sometimes you do it, but carelessly, with a mood of neglect. One house has many servants. The servants come and perform their duty and thereafter run away. There are many tutors ready to teach and many guardians to train us, but they have no love. Therefore the students never learn anything. Why do people come to Gurudeva and Vaiṣṇavas—to learn the process of loving service in Sevā-kuñja, under guidance of the Vraja-devīs.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “O Vṛndāvaneśvarī, I had no idea before about my guardian who would accept me, who would not only tell me my faults, but who would help change my faulty nature and bring me back from the wrong path, who would be kind and very sweet to me, who is helpful for me. In this world everyone looks for faults but cannot give good qualities.
But who is very kind, soft, and helpful? Who doesn’t neglect, kick, torture, and throw me out? Love has the power to transform, but the process of love is crooked—helping sometimes by neglect, sometimes by acceptance, and sometimes indirectly.”
Śrīla Gurudeva has appeared at a distance and from there he is watching, “Who are the real followers of my principles, my rules and regulations? Are they following or not?” Kṛṣṇa is eternal; Gurudeva is eternal. They arrange Vaiṣṇavas to help. They are the abodes of mercy, but we don’t realize how kind they are.
Anything we watch with mundane eyes will cheat us.
For example, one person is chanting harinama, and is internally serving Girirāja Govardhana. His eyes are open and he is sitting in one place, but he is doing parikramā of Girirāja Govardhana within. He is praying, singing, doing abhiśeka, cooking, offering bhoga, decorating the pathway with flowers, and distributing prasāda. But ordinary people think that he is only sitting, doing nothing. They tell him, “Hey rascal, go do some work.” They tell it to him twenty times but he doesn’t answer; he can’t even hear this.
If your eyes can’t cross māyā, then how can you understand the nature of that transcendental realm?
In this Sevā-kuñja, you must not think that there are only monkeys and it is a dirty place where there are some thorn trees. If you have real knowledge, you will pray and wait for service in the eternal Sevā-kuñja. You will pray to the tutors of Sevā-kuñja: Rūpa Manjari, Lavanga Mañjarī, Vilāsa Mañjarī, Rati Mañjarī, Rasa Mañjarī, Vinoda Mañjarī… They are helpers, like nurses, knowing how to give treatment and make us strong and healthy. Gradually, they will teach us and help us learn something. Then we won’t look towards māyā. This is possible when we develop attachment to Rādhārānī’s lotus feet. The Vraja-devīs offer pollen, reddish kuṁkum, and alta everyday on Rādhārānī’s feet. The love of their heart is the reddish color of anurāga.
yadavadhi mama kañcin mañjarī rūpa-pūrvā
vraja-bhuvi bata netra-dvandva-dīptiṁ cakāra
tadavadhi bata vṛndāraṇya-rājñi prakāmaṁ
O queen of Vṛndāvana, since Rūpa Mañjarī filled my eyes with light in the land of Vraja, I have yearned to see the red lac decorating Your lotus feet.
If one drop of that kuṁkum touches our body, or if we have a desire to see that and we pray for that, then it is possible to attain Her mercy, and to understand who is favorable and helpful. Then we will make a relation with Her group and group leaders. Rays of love will come from Her lotus feet, and with that love we will be able to understand. Otherwise many cheaters come, trying to make relation with us. Many boys and girls come as thieves and cheaters to steal our blood, but don’t look at them. We can stop this by becoming one-pointed to Rādhārānī’s lotus feet and praying to Her.
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ
prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
Srimati Radharani has power to attract even the all-attractive Kṛṣṇa, who worships Her, chanting Her mantra, only to obtain a little of Her mercy and blessings.
yadā tava sarovaraṁ sarasa-bhṛṅga-saṅghollasat–
sphuṭat-sarasijākṣi he nayana yugma-sākṣād-babhau
tadaiva mama lālasājani tavaiva dāsye rase
O Devī, whose eyes are as beautiful as two blossoming lotus flowers, when Your lake, filled with sweet water, and splendid with many blossoming lotus flowers and buzzing bees, appeared before my eyes, I at once began to yearn for the nectar of direct service to You.
When the sun rises, lotuses gradually blossom. My heart and soul is in a dark and dirty place, but the light of Śrīla Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas’ mercy will open my spiritual eyes.
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “In the early morning, a bumblebee goes near flowers and sings. The bumblebee Kṛṣṇa goes in the early morning and sings.” How does Kṛṣṇa sing? Like Rāmānanda Rāya sings:
kalayati nayanaṁ diśi diśi valitam
paṅkajam iva mṛdu-māruta-calitam
Rādhā’s eyes move in all directions like a lotus moving in a gentle breeze.
Kṛṣṇa sings like this. He is a bumblebee, attached to Rādhārānī’s glories; this is His only drink. Without singing Her glories He can’t be happy.
What does the Guru-varga distribute? Rice, dal, medicine, cloth? No! This is only temporary relief. But the soul is not temporary. Without transcendental rasa the soul can never attain its own position. It gets one uniform after another, like that of an elephant, horse, camel, or human. The soul cannot attain its permanent svarūpa without the help of sādhus. To distribute that transcendental rasa, Śrīla Gurudeva, the Vaiṣṇavas, and Kṛṣṇa Himself sing the glories of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Dāsa Gosvāmī Prabhu prays for this.
In Vraja-maṇḍala, Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu is always very busy. People think he is a sādhu with no room and work. What does he do day and night?
Like my Guru Mahārāja, nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aśtottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktidevānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja. In his last two years, he practically stopped talking, eating, and sleeping. His sevaka requested, “Take some prasāda, Guru Mahārāja,” but he wouldn’t accept. When they requested him again and again, he said, “I am very busy, I have no time to eat anything or talk with you.”
“But Guru Mahārāja, what are you doing that keeps you so busy?”
“On one side Ṭhākurānī is giving me many instructions, and on the other side my Gurudeva is giving me instructions for service. I have no time to spare. What should I do? I have no time to eat, talk or do anything in this world.”
How can people understand the activities and position of sādhus? Therefore Dāsa Gosvāmī Prabhu is saying, “I came to Vraja-maṇḍala and met with Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu, and saw that he is very busy, day and night, distributing the nectar of Vraja-maṇḍala. How can I accept that? Please teach and help me. Give me power to accept this and take away all desire to accept anything else. May I have greed only to collect this unnata-ujjvala-rasa. Having come to Vraja-maṇḍala, may I forget everything else.”
Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Vilap Kusumajali”. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )