Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vrindavan (Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur)

Goloka Vrindavan, Krishnas own abode – is it real? I was about to say “Just as real as this ’place’”, but that is wrong; it is the Source of Reality, as opposed to this faint, diluted shadow of Reality. How do you “go there? It’s easy. You raise and purify your consciousness by chanting the Maha Mantra, change your spirit and activity from enjoying/exploiting to serving/dedicating, and follow the instructions of the Spiritual Master, Krishna manifesting in a soul surrendered to Him, to lead you to Him.


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Vrindavan


A rare poem by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākur

(Written on 18 July 1871 in Śrī Purī Dhām,
published in Śrī Gaudīya Darśan on 12 August 1957)





1
nitya-dhāma vrindāvana yathā mora krsna-dhana
nitya-kāla karena vilāsa
chidānandamaya latā prema-kisalaya yathā
jñānānandamaya kunja-vāsa 

My wealth, Krsna, performs His eternal Pastimes in the eternal abode of Vrindāvan, where there are joyful, spiritual forest cottages and joyful, spiritual creepers replete with sprigs of divine love.



2
sunirmala upāsanā kālindite vibhāvanā
yathā sadā bhaktera hridaye
jīvera ye uchcha-bhāva govardhana āvirbhāva
chare jīva gābhi-rūpa haye 

In Vrindāvan, thoughts of pure service beside the Yamunā are always present in the devotees’ hearts. There, the highest mood manifests at Govardhan, and souls graze as cows.



3
sakhī-bhāva bhrātṛ-bhāva yathā sadā nitya-bhāva
ānanda yāhāra mātra aṅga
kāma dvesa ādi yata nāhi yathā kona mata
prema-rūpa rasa mātra ranga

There, everyone’s disposition is always towards friendship and brotherhood. There, joy is all there is. There, neither lust nor envy nor anything of the sort exist. There, the ecstasy of divine love is the only enjoyment.



4
dāsya sakhya sumadhura vātsalyādi rasa-pura
vraja-dhāma premera ālaya
janma mrtyu śodha roga nāhi tathā kare bhoga
premāmrta jīvera āśraya

The land of Vraja is the abode of the rasas of servitude, friendship, affection, and amorous love. It is the home of divine love. There, souls do not undergo birth, death, healing, or sickness. The nectar of divine love is their sustenance.



5
abhautika atīndriya sei deśa krsna-priya
deśa-kāla atīta sarvadā
bhūtamaya deha laye jadāsakta chitta haye
keha nā yāite pāre tathā

That land is supernatural, imperceptible, and dear to Krsna. It is always beyond time and space. No one with a material body and materially attached consciousness can go there.



6
sei jīva bhāgyavāna pāiyāchhe susandhāna
guru-krsna prasannatāśraye
manomaya bhūtamaya dehe kari’ parājaya
yāya sei ānanda nilaye

Souls who have discovered the shelter of Guru and Krsna’s satisfaction are fortunate. They transcend the mental and physical bodies, and reach that abode of joy.



7
aprākrta deha pāi vrajera nikata yāi
sakhī-pada kariyā āśraya
rādhā-krsna sevā-sukha bhunji saba yāya dukha
mahābhāva paryanta udaya

They attain a divine body, enter Vraja, take shelter at the sakhīs’ feet, and relish the joy of serving Rādhā and Krsna. They leave behind all sadness and experience even mahābhāva [the ultimate ecstasy].



8
ataeva bandhu-jana chala yāi vrndāvana
ati dūra nahe sei deśa
indriya samyama dhari’ antare praveśa kari’
samādhi labhibe avaśesa

So friends! Let us go to Vrindāvan! That land is not very far away. Subdue the senses, enter within, and lastly reach samādhi.



9
bhūta-bhāva deśa kāla viramile kichhu-kāla
ātmāra dahara vikaśibe
sei bhūmi vrndāvana jāna ohe sādhu-jana
yathā rādhā-govinda dekhibe

Material time and space will remain for some time, but the soul’s intimate connection with that land will develop. O noble souls! Know Vrndāvan to be where you will behold Rādhā and Govinda.



10
tathā keli kutūhale paśibe yamunā jale
sakhī-saha rādhikā sevāya
rādhikā jīvaneśvarī krsna-priyā sarveśvarī
prema-vākya kahibe tomāra

There, you will enter the Yamunā’s waters and exuberantly play with the sakhīs in service to Rādhikā. She, Krsna’s dearmost, the Mistress of the soul, the Goddess of all, will speak words of divine love to you.



11
śunibe govinda vamśī jīvera hrdaya damśī
bhuvana mātāya yāra rabe
pulaka kadamba-tale tomāya ānibe bale
dubāibe premera āsabe

You will hear the sound of Govinda’s flute, which pierces the soul’s heart and maddens the world. That sound will forcibly bring you to the base of a blooming kadamba tree and submerge you in the nectar of divine love.



12
paśile yamunā jale prema-jvālā āro jvale
dhadaphadi uthibe takhana
puline āgata haye krsna-rūpa nirakhiye
eka-bāre habe achetana

You will enter the Yamunā’s waters, and the fire of divine love will burn even more. Your heart will palpitate. Coming back onto the bank, you will see Krsna’s form and suddenly faint.



13
hena vrndāvana dhāma sarva-jīva abhirāma
chhādi yei yāya anya sthāna
tāra sama mūrkha nāi chintā kari’ dekha bhāi
yadi pāo premera sandhāna

This abode of Vrndāvan is the delight of all souls. There is no fool like one who leaves Vrndāvan and goes elsewhere. O brother! Consider whether you find divine love anywhere else.



14
kāminīra saha-vāsa galpa ādi parihāsa
madya kumbha alankāra chaya
sakali duhkhera mūla sukha bali tava bhula
ei belā bujhaha niśchaya

Living with women, jokes, stories, pots of wine, collections of ornaments, and so on, are all sources of misery. Considering them happiness is your mistake. Now understand this clearly.



15
dehe jvarā praveśiyā kāpāibe tava hiyā
kaphe kantha paripūrna habe
śunite nā pābe kāne nāsikā aksama ghrāne
nirasta ha-iyā chaksu rare

Fever will enter your body and cause you to tremble. Your throat will become filled with mucus. Your ears will not be able to hear, your nose will not be able to smell, and your eyes will stop functioning.



16
priya bandhu yāre jāna se tomāra habe āna
angaja karibe avahelā
dvāre pratihāri prāya rākhibe tomāre hāya
bālakera habe tumi khelā

Those whom you consider your dear friends will become strangers, and your descendants will neglect you. Alas! They will stop you at the door like a gatekeeper, and their children will make fun of you.



17
pūrva ye priyasī tava ebe ghrnā kare saba
surā sukha nāhi deya āra
ye asthi charviyā sukha pāibe se ebe duhkha
danta-hīne ditechhe apāra

All of your former lovers will now despise you, and alcohol will no longer give you any pleasure. The bone you chew and enjoy will now cause you unlimited pain, as you will become toothless.



18
alankāra paridhāne āra śobhā nāhi māne
ebe mūrti markata samāna
kothā se darpana-rāja kothā se tomāya sāja
chinti’ kara vairāgya vidhāna 

You will no longer become more attractive by wearing ornaments. Your body will now look like a monkey. Where is your grand mirror? Where is your outfit? Consider this and become detached.



19
ataeva ei-ksane chala bhāi vrndāvane
nitya-sukha pāibe tathāya
krsna-prema nitya-sukha kabhu nāhi deya duhkha
achyuta padapi yāte pāya


So brother! Let us go to Vrndāvan now! You will find eternal happiness there. The eternal happiness of divine love for Krsna never causes sadness. By it, you will become infallible.



20
tava aprākrta deha vrndāvane pābe geha
jada-deha jadete rahibe
panchatva āpanna hale deha rabe ei sthale
tumi vraja kabhu nā chhādibe


You will attain a divine body and a home in Vrndāvan. Your material body will remain in the material world. When you die, your body will remain here, but you will never leave Vraja.



21
kahe kedāra-nātha datta ei vrndāvana tattva
guru mora chaitanya gosāi
tāra dāsa sanga hale jade chitta nāhi chale
chaitanya āśraya kara bhāi


Kedārnāth Datta describes Vrndāvan’s glory. My Guru is Śrī Chaitanya Gosāi. When you attain the association of His servants, your heart will never drift towards matter. O brother! Take shelter of Śrī Chaitanya!





5 comments:

  1. Very beautiful, thank you for posting!

    I have one doubt though, which I hope that someone can dispel.

    How come, that out of all the innumerable universes, out of all the innumerable planets in this universe, and out of all the 400.000 human species, Svayam Bhagavan in Goloka Vrindavan resembles one of us, in a village on this planet?

    For instance, if there is another universe which doesn't look like ours, which is a huge ocean, and the intelligent creatures are fishes, would Krishna appear as a fish to them? Or would he say "sorry, I don't look like anything you have ever seen, I look like something called a human"?

    Or should I understand the descriptions of Goloka Vrindavan as metaphors for something which is more abstract, like pure emotions, or so strange that it cannot be properly described?

    I pray that you have patience with a greenhorn like me, who has got his mind shaped by years of scientific studies, and who finds it very difficult to think outside the "maya box".

    I guess the answer is, that it is necessary to reverse one's thinking completely? It isn't Goloka Vrindavan which resembles any of the worlds, all worlds resemble a fraction of Goloka Vrindavan? And it isn't Krishna who resembles a human, or any other creature, all creatures resemble a fraction of him? Now if only I could get that concept into my head...

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    Replies
    1. Dear Bhakta Tom,

      Yes, as far as I understand you answered your question yourself. But I will ask Brahma prabhu to fill in, I'm sure he'll be able to expound on this.

      One thing though, it's 8.400.000 species of LIFE, not humans, that we pass through before getting to a human birth. And we probably spent 8.400.000 lifetimes as a plankton before we advanced to the next form of life: another kind of plankton :D And so on, before we finally got a number of human births, where self realization is possible (but far from given - most of the 7 billion souls on this planet right now who have a human birth drink beer and watch TV and fight).

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    2. HAribol dear Bhakta Tom... - read this verse from the Bhagavatam with purport of Srila Prabhupada.

      Just as Radha Krishna is the source of human and demigod forms, Matsya is the source of all aquatics, Ananta Shesha
      of the reptiles, Garuda of the birds etc. All variety of forms in this world are shadowy reflections of the world of pure consciousness.
      Krishnas names, forms, qualities and activities cannot be percieved with our five blunt senses or even mind and intellect.
      Therefore the vedas say, Acintya or inconcievable.

      The humanlike pastimes of God is sayd to be his innermost hearts expression. But remember, Vrindavan is full of all the animal forms represented as they come to serve their king and Queen in the many forests of Vraja Dham. Everything has its perfect place in Vraja, the highest conception of Godhead.

      experience is the greatest of evidence. Souls that have experience of transcendence, tryes their best to express that what is in their heart, taking to various kinds of arts, as arts can indicate beyond reasoning and direct sense perception.

      The poetry of the vedas and sages, the beautiful paintings of Vraja and Krishna or even the image formed in the mind of a practitioner are not fully Krishna, unless beheld and worshiped by pure devotee.
      for beginners they are indications for meditation given by those with first firsthand experience and as the practitioners faith condenses into reality, every nook and corner he percieves of this world of reflection will find home and place in his prayer.

      Only with heart pure and eyes smeared with the salve of love, can we percieve Sri Vraja and all its variety.

      Krishnas form is selfcontradictory, dont even try it to :)

      Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati says:
      The Śyāmasundara form of Kṛṣṇa is His inconceivable simultaneous personal and impersonal self-contradictory form. True devotees see that form in their purified hearts under the influence of devotional trance. The form Śyāma is not the blue color visible in the mundane world but is the transcendental variegated color affording eternal bliss, and is not visible to the mortal eye.

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    3. Thank you, Brahma Theodoridis!

      The only first-hand experience I have are brief moments of bliss, of the lifting of a weight, what to speak of seeing anything with an inner eye. But I pray that I one day will be able to see the Lord myself.

      "the beautiful paintings of Vraja ... for beginners they are indications for meditation"

      Thank you, that was my main concern - whether these pictures and descriptions cover it all or merely give an indication. I've been into Buddhism before, and they make it clear that words cannot properly describe the higher reality, only "point at the moon", and I was not sure whether the same is being said within Krishna consciousness.

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  2. http://srimadbhagavatam.com/1/3/26/en this is the link to the verse I refered to

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