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United Through Affection

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj summarises the hidden messages exchanged during Ratha Yātrā.

Mahāprabhu Śrī Chaitanya, in the mood of Rādhārāṇī, expressed His heart during the Ratha Yātrā and quoted verses from the Bhāgavat.

mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām amṛtatvāya kalpate
diṣṭyā yad āsīn mat-sneho bhavatīnāṁ mad-āpanaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.82.44)

What is the meaning of this verse? Kavirāj Goswāmī explained,

sei śloka śuni’ rādhā, khāṇḍila sakala bādhā,
kṛṣṇa-prāptye pratīti ha-ila
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 13.159)
[“Hearing Kṛṣṇa’s words, which cut away all Her distress, Śrī Rādhā became confident She would attain Kṛṣṇa.”]

This is a miracle! If Kavirāj Goswāmī would not have explained it, we could not have understood the meaning: “All of the unhappiness in Her mind disappeared.” That is what is stated by this verse:

mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām amṛtatvāya kalpate
diṣṭyā yad āsīn mat-sneho bhavatīnāṁ mad-āpanaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.82.44)
[Kṛṣṇa said to Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs: “Devotion to Me qualifies souls for immortality. O gopīs! By your good fortune, you have developed affection for Me, and by that affection You reunite with Me (or: By My good fortune, you have developed affection for Me, and by that I am compelled to reunite with you).”]

Kavirāj Goswāmī further explained,

ataeva ‘ṛṇī’ haya—kahe bhāgavate
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 8.91)
[“Kṛṣṇa cannot reciprocate Rādhārāṇī’s prema. Thus Kṛṣṇa confesses in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam that He is a debtor.”]

Through the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām, Kṛṣṇa told Rādhārāṇī, “Everyone becomes glorious through devotion to Me, but I am indebted to Your devotion. What can I say? I cannot reciprocate it.”

na pāraye ’haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ
yā mābhajan durjaya-geha-śṛṅkhalāḥ
saṁvṛśchya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.32.22)
[Kṛṣṇa told Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs: “Your meeting with Me is irreproachable. You have served Me, completely severing yourselves from the difficult-to-overcome bondage of family life. I cannot compensate you for this even within the lifetime of a god. May your own virtuous acts be your compensation.”] [In the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām, Kṛṣṇa is saying:] “Don’t worry about Me. I am coming soon. A few of the enemies of Vraja Dhām are still alive. Why am I not going to Vraja or showing interest in the Vraja-vāsīs? Because these enemies may notice My attention to Vraja, see that I am closely related and indebted to the Vraja-vāsīs, and then harm them greatly. That is why I am not showing My affection, even though you are all present in My heart. This is My policy, and it is taking some time for Me to return because I am performing Pastimes.”

In this way Kṛṣṇa gave the Vraja-vāsīs and Rādhārāṇī an explanation, and they understood it: “Yes, if Kṛṣṇa shows more attraction or attachment to us, then His enemies will become interested in disturbing Vraja Dhām.”

Kṛṣṇa Dās Kavirāj Goswāmī gave this explanation of the verse Mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām.

Mahāprabhu also quoted this verse:

āhuś cha te nalina-nābha padāravindaṁ
yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyam agādha-bodhaiḥ
saṁsāra-kūpa-patitottaraṇāvalambaṁ
gehaṁ juṣām api manasy udiyāt sadā naḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.82.48)
[Rādhārāṇī says to Kṛṣṇa: “O Lord whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are meditated upon by ascetics and sages, and they are the means of deliverance for souls that have fallen into the well of this world. Although we are simply householders, may they always be arise within our hearts.”]

Kavirāj Goswāmī’s explanation of this verse is very long.

anyera hṛdaya—mana, mora mana—vṛndāvana,
‘mane’ ‘vane’ eka kari’ jāni
tāhāṅ tomāra pada-dvaya, karāha yadi udaya,
tabe tomāra pūrṇa kṛpā māni
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 13.137)
[Rādhārāṇī says to Kṛṣṇa: “The minds of others are one with their hearts, but my mind is inseparable from Vṛndāvan. I consider My mind and Vṛndāvan to be one. If Your two lotus feet would appear there, I would deem that Your full mercy.”]

Kavirāj Goswāmī explained step by step.

pūrve uddhava-dvāre, ebe sākṣāt āmāre,
yoga-jñāne kahilā upāya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 13.139)
[Rādhārāṇī says: “Previously through Uddhava, and now directly before Me, You have instructed Me to practise meditation (to attain You).”]
nahe gopī yogeśvara, pada-kamala tomāra,
dhyāna kari’ pāibe santoṣa
tomāra vākya-paripāṭī, tāra madhye kuṭināṭī,
śuni’ gopīra āro bāḍhe roṣa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 13.141)
[“The gopīs are not ascetics who will be satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet. There is duplicity within your methodical instructions. Hearing it, the gopīs’s anger increases even more.”]
deha-smṛti nāhi yāra, saṁsāra-kūpa kāhā̐ tāra,
tāhā haite nā chāhe uddhāra
viraha-samudra-jale, kāma-timiṅgile gile,
gopī-gaṇe neha’ tāra pāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 13.142)
[“Where is the well of this world for those who have no consciousness of their bodies? Such souls do not desire to be delivered from it. (Thus Your instruction for them to practise meditation to attain liberation is unfounded.) The gopīs are being swallowed by the timiṅgila of desire within the ocean waters of separation from You. Please deliver them to the shore.”]

You will not find this kind of explanation anywhere, and you will not be able to adjust its grammar either. Yet Kavirāj Goswāmī has given the real grammatical meaning of the verse in this way. It is very nice. Finally the gopīs stopped complaining about what Kṛṣṇa was doing. They understood Him [through His expression Mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām]. And what they understood, that is a miracle!

The gopīs, headed by Rādhārāṇī, expressed their hearts in this way, and Mahāprabhu Chaitanyadev, who is nondifferent from Rādhārāṇī, expressed that during the Ratha Yātrā before Jagannāth, who is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa.

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