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The Door to Divine Love

The devotion in separation revealed by Śrīpād Mādhavendra Purī.

Excerpts from chapter four of Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta’s Madhya-līlā with commentaries by Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur and Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur.

purīra prema-parākāṣṭhā karaha vichāra
alaukika prema chitte lāge chamatkāra [178]

“Consider the supremacy of Mādhavendra Purī’s divine love. His extraordinary divine love strikes wonder within the heart.

Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s Anubhāṣya: Separation from Kṛsṇa—spiritual separation—is the soul’s only aspiration. Repentance produced by material separation is simply an expression of material attachment, but repentance produced by separation from Kṛṣṇa is the greatest expression of the desire to please Kṛṣṇa. The original mahājan Śrīpād Mādhavendra Purī’s extraordinary desire to please Kṛṣṇa is the one and only ideal and precedent for souls who aspire to serve Kṛṣṇa. Śrīman Mahāprabhu and His intimate devotees later followed and demonstrated this.

pragāḍha-premera ei svabhāva-āchāra
nija-duḥkha-vighnādira nā kare vichāra [186]

“This is the nature of intense divine love: the devotee does not consider their own sadness or troubles.

Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarawatī Ṭhākur’s Anubhāṣya: In the natural conduct of devotees with intense divine love, it is seen that sadness, troubles, and so on that are contrary to the fulfilment of their personal desires do not obstruct them; rather, in the midst of hundreds and thousands of troubles and constant sadness, devotees reveal their love to the fullest extent. The verse tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.14.8) explains who is fit to be liberated from the limited experience of the material world and immersion in separate interest. Souls who have intense love for the Lord do not consider any of the scarcities, troubles, or sadness of the external world.

yata dekha vaiṣṇavera vyavahāra duḥkha
niśchaya jāniha sei parānanda sukha

[“Know for certain that a devotee’s apparent distress is actually their ecstatic spiritual joy.”]

In Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s expression āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ, we see this highest teaching.

ei bhakti, bhakta-priya-kṛṣṇa-vyavahāra
bujhiteo āmā-sabāra nāhi adhikāra [190]

“We have no ability to understand such devotion or Kṛṣṇa’s behaviour, which is most dear to the devotees.”

eta bali’ paḍe prabhu tā̐ra kṛta śloka
yei śloka-chandre jagat karechhe āloka [191]

Saying this, Śrīman Mahāprabhu recited a verse written by Mādhavendra Purī. This moon-like verse has illuminated the world.

ghaṣite ghaṣite yaichhe malayaja-sāra
gandha bāḍe, taichhe ei ślokera vichāra [192]

The fragrance of sandalwood increases by grinding it more and more. Consider this verse in that way.

ratna-gaṇa-madhye yaichhe kaustubha-maṇi
rasa-kāvya-madhye taichhe ei śloka gaṇi [193]

Amongst poems about rasa, I consider this verse like the Kaustubha jewel amongst jewels.

ei śloka kahiyāchhena rādhā-ṭhākurāṇī
tā̐ra kṛpāya sphuriyāchhe mādhavendra-vāṇī [194]

Śrī Rādhā spoke this verse, and by Her grace, it has manifested as an expression of Mādhavendra Purī.

kibā gaurachandra ihā kare āsvādana
ihā āsvādite āra nāhi chauṭha-jana [195]

Oh! How Gaurachandra tasted it! No fourth person can do so.

Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya: Rādhā Ṭhākurāṇī, Mādhavendra Purī, and Śrīman Mahāprabhu tasted this verse. No fourth person was fit to taste it.

śeṣa-kāle ei śloka paṭhite paṭhite
siddhi-prāpti haila purīra ślokera sahite [196]

Reciting this verse at the end of his life, Mādhavendra Purī reached perfection.

ayi dīna-dayārdra nātha he
mathurā-nātha kadāvalokyase
hṛdayaṁ tvad-aloka-kātaraṁ
dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham [197]

“O Lord whose heart is melted with mercy for the poor! O Lord of Mathurā! When will I see You again? In separation from You, My broken heart trembles. O Beloved! What should I do now?”

Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya: The Vaiṣṇavas who propagate pure devotion on the basis of the Vedānta are divided into four sampradāyas (schools). Amongst them, Śrī Mādhavendra Purī selected the sampradāya of Śrī Madhva Āchārya and accepted Vaiṣṇava-sannyās. From Madhva Āchārya up to Śrī Lakṣmīpati—the Guru of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, there was no devotion in śṛṅgāra-rasa (madhura-rasa) in this sampradāya. The devotion that they had can be understood through the discussion Śrīman Mahāprabhu had with the Tattvavādīs during His tour of South India. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī sowed the seed of devotion in madhura-rasa by writing this extraordinary verse. The purport of the verse is this: service to Kṛṣṇa offered following the mood (bhāva) of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s outpouring of paramount divine love in separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa when He accepted the kingdom of Mathurā is supreme. Devotees in this rasa, considering themselves extremely poor (dīna), call out to the Lord who is melted with mercy for the poor in this way. The mood of separation from Kṛṣṇa is the natural mood of service for the soul.

Kṛṣṇa has gone to Mathurā; not seeing Him, Śrīmatī’s heart has broken, and She is expressing Her yearning to see Him: “O Beloved, without a glimpse of You, My heart aches intensely. Tell Me, what must I do to see You? Knowing I am poor, be merciful.” Similarity between this mood of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī and the descriptions of the mood of Śrīmatī when She met Uddhava, which manifested in Śrīman Mahāprabhu, is easily seen. Thus, the mahājans have said that Mādhavendra Purī is the root of the tree of śṛṅgāra-rasa, Īśvar Purī is its sprout, Śrīman Mahāprabhu is its main trunk, and the Lord’s followers are it branches and sub-branches.

Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s Anubhāṣya: ayi–an address of Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Nandinī to Her lover in madhura-rasa he dīna-dayārdra–O Lord whose heart is melted with mercy that alleviates separation and reveals Your form, qualities, and Pastimes to the poor gopīs, Your companions, who are heartbroken in separation—O Lord whose heart is so soft and merciful to the gopīs who are tormented by the burning pain of unbearable separation, he nātha–O one and only lover of gopīs such as Myself, he mathurānātha–O Lord of the people of Mathurā—if You consider Yourself the lover of the gopīs, then how can You forget us, desire luxuries, and reside in Mathurā for the satisfaction of ordinary lovers there: Your hard heart is merciless towards the gopīs, kadā tvaṁ–when will we, the gopīs heartbroken in separation, avalokyase?–see You? he dayita–O dearest beloved, tvad āloka-kātaraṁ hṛdayaṁ–the hearts of the gopīs—sorrowful, anxious, raving for a glimpse of You, bhramyati–are becoming maddened. kiṁ karomi–What should we do now?

ei śloka paḍite prabhu ha-ilā mūrchchhite
premete vivaśa hañā paḍila bhūmite [198]

While reciting this verse, the Lord fainted. Overwhelmed with divine love, He fell to the ground.

āste-vyaste kole kari’ nila nityānanda
krandana kariyā tabe uṭhe gaurachandra [199]

Nityānanda quickly took the Lord in His arms. Crying, Gaurachandra then arose.

premonmāda haila, uṭhi’ iti-uti dhāya
huṅkāra karaye, hāse, kānde, nāche, gāya [200]

Maddened with divine love, the Lord arose and ran about. He roared, laughed, cried, danced, and sang.

‘ayi dīna, ‘ayi dīna’ bale bāra-bāra
kaṇṭhe nā
niḥsare vāṇī, netre aśru-dhāra [201]

He called out, “Ayi dīna! Ayi dīna!” again and again. He could not form the verse in His throat, and tears streamed from His eyes.

kampa, sveda, pulakāśru, stambha, vaivarṇya
nirveda, viṣāda, jāḍya, garva, harṣa, dainya [202]

Trembling, perspiration, tears, horripilation, paralysis, pallour, repentance, remorse, inaction, pride, joy, and humility arose in the Lord.

ei śloke ughāḍilā premera kapāṭa
gopīnātha-sevaka dekhe prabhura prema-nāṭa [203]

With this verse, He opened the door to divine love, and the servants of Gopīnāth watched the Lord dance in ecstasy.

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