Srila Govinda Maharaj Russia (Baladev)

Vasanta Rasa

In honour of Vasanti Panchami, and in remembrance of Sripad Vaishnav Maharaj, we are continuing our series on the Temple of Love and Affection by presenting a verse Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj discussed with Sripad Vaishnav Maharaj three years ago on this day.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Twenty-Three

viśveṣām anurañjanena janayann ānandam indīvara-
śreṇī-śyāmala-komalair upanayann aṅgair anaṅgotsavam
svachchhandaṁ vraja-sundarībhir abhitaḥ praty-aṅgam āliṅgitaḥ
śṛṅgāraḥ sakhi mūrtimān iva madhau mugdho hariḥ krīḍati
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 4.224; Sri Gīta-govinda: 1.11)

“O friends, the enchanting embodiment of amorous love, Sri Hari, unhesitatingly embraced in full by the beauties of Vraja on both sides, plays during the season of spring, delighting the entire universe by creating a festival of Cupid with His soft arms and legs which resemble blue lotus flowers.”

Alternate Translation

“O friends, the enchanting embodiment of amorous love, Sri Hari, plays during the season of spring, delighting the beauties of Vraja who unhesitatingly embrace Him in full on both sides by arousing the ecstasy of amorous desire within their hearts with His soft arms and legs which resemble blue lotus flowers.”


Srila Govinda Maharaj delivered a unforgettable lecture on this day in 2009; a small portion of his talk is excerpted below.

Today is a very auspicious day. In the time of Srila Guru Maharaj we would always discuss the qualities and Pastimes of all the devotees who are honoured on this day. And today is specially Vasanta Panchami; Krishna performs His Vasanta rasa dance today.

Last night Srutasrava Prabhu and I were discussing one shloka about this. This shloka was composed by Jayadev Goswami and is found in his Gita-govinda; it is a very famous shloka. Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev would taste this shloka and the other poems and prayers within Gita-govinda.

viśveṣām anuraṣjanena janayann ānandam indīvara-
śreṇī-śyāmala-komalair upanayann aṅgair anaṅgotsavam
svachchhandaṁ vraja-sundarībhir abhitaḥ praty-aṅgam āliṅgitaḥ
śṛṅgāraḥ sakhi mūrtimān iva madhau mugdho hariḥ krīḍati
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 4.224; Sri Gīta-govinda: 1.11)

This shloka describes that Krishna is performing rasa-lila and attracting everyone, drawing everyone near to Him. He is taking them, embracing them, dancing, and singing. So much ecstasy is overflowing all around Him and the whole world is becoming happy. The shloka described Krishna as the concentrated, condensed form of all ecstasy, all ananda, all rasa, specially sringara-rasa. That means madhura-rasa. Sringara-rasa sakhi murttiman means that Krishna is the fully concentrated, condensed divine form of madhura-rasa. When Krishna sees Himself in the mirror His heart melts and He embraces the mirror. Krishna is so beautiful that even He is mugdha, astonished and melted, to see Himself.

Today is Vasant Panchami and that Sri Krishna performed rasa-lila today. We are not reading that chapter in Srimad Bhagavatam though because we are afraid. Vedavyas described everything beautifully but we live within this mundane world. Our senses are always controlled by Maya and we cannot feel things properly. We feel the opposite of transcendental feelings and that destroys our devotional mood. Therefore we are trying to become qualified first, we are not reading the rasa-lila. But sometimes we are hearing something from a qualified, expert Vaishnav.

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