Chakra Living

The Beginning of Kartik

by The Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti

Posted October 13, 2006

Oct. 7, 2006, is the first day of the Kartika Vraja Mandala Parikrama, and it will continue to Nov. 7. As every year, a beautiful pandal was built in Gopinatha Bhavan in Vrndavana, and Srila Narayana Maharaja gave his first discourse there today.

He told his international audience that this month is Srimati Radharani's month, and he explained in brief the importance of the month. He said that many of our important acaryas have appeared or disappeared in this month, and that many of Sri Krsna's important pastimes occurred in this month. He said that everyone should give up their comforts such as having air conditioning and an attached bathroom during this month, because they have come here to perform austerities.

Sri Radha-Vinodabihari Astakam

By Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami

Verse 1
radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantir vilopita
sri krsna caranam vande radhalingita-vigraham

"We pray at the lotus feet of that form of Radhalingita-Radhacihnita Sri Krsna, who is embraced and marked by Sri Radhika. When Srimati Radhika, the personification of mahabhava, displayed mana (Her mood of jealous anger), and He became thoroughly immersed in separation from Her, His own dark complexion vanished and He assumed Her bright, golden luster."

Or, "We pray at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna who is beautified by Srimati Radhika's golden luster when She embraces Him, after Her mana has broken."

Verse 2
sevya-sevaka-sambhoge dvayo bedah kuto bhavet
vipralambhe tu sarvasya bhedah sada vivardhate

"Sri Krsna is sevya (He who always takes service from the sevaka) and bhokta (He who is always enjoying). Srimati Radhika is sevaka (She who always performs seva for sevya) and bhogya (She who is enjoyed). When They meet together and enjoy each other, how can there be any distinction between Them? At that time, bheda (distinction) vanishes and abheda (non-difference) is apparent. However, in the stage of vipralambha (separation), bheda perpetually becomes more intense."

Verse 3
cil-lila-mithunam tattvam bhedabhedam acintyakam sakti-saktimator aikyam yugapad vartate sada

"The eternal divine couple are the embodiments of the combined form of sakti and saktiman. To fulfil Their transcendental, pleasure-giving pastimes, They both become one in the stage of sambhoga (union) and yet simultaneously and inconceivably exist as different and non-different from each other. This means that para-tattva is never without sakti. Sakti and saktiman are eternally united together in that para-tattva. He is purusottama endowed with completely transcendental pastimes, the original Self in the conjugal form, the combined form of sakti and saktiman. That conjugal form is Sri Radha-Krsna as Gaura tattva. By the influence of acintya-sakti (inconceivable potency), the contrary principles of difference and non-difference simultaneously reside in Him eternally."

Verse 4
tattvam ekam param vidyal lilaya tad dvidha sthitam
gaurah krsnah svayam hy etad ubhav ubhayam apnutah

"The non-dual Absolute Truth advaya-jnana-para-tattva is one. That Absolute Truth is eternally manifested in two forms for the sake of conducting pastimes. One form is that of Sri Gaurasundara and the other is that of Sri Krsnasundara. Both are absolute para-tattva and are non-different from each other. By tattva, Sri Gaurasundara is Krsna Himself and Sri Krsna-sundara is Sri Gaurasundara. Both manifest both forms; that is to say, Sri Krsnasundara has become Sri Gaurasundara and Sri Gaurasundara has become Sri Krsnasundara."

Verse 5
sarve varnah yatravistah gaura-kantir vikasate
sarve varnena hinas tu krsna-varnah prakasate

"When all the colors are mixed with each other, a golden hue is manifest. For instance, the sun is golden because all the colors are present in it. On the other hand, where all the colors are absent, a blackness beyond mundane colors is manifested."

Verse 6
sagunam nirgunam tattvam ekam evadvitiyakam
sarva-nitya-gunair gaurah krsnau rasas tu nirgunaih

"Constitutionally both the saguna and nirguna tattvas are non-different from each other and are one without a second. Sri Gaurasundara is saguna-tattva, the embodiment of unlimited, eternal, transcendental qualities. The omnipotent Sri Krsna, who is devoid of all kinds of mundane modes and is beyond them, and who is the embodiment of all rasas, is nirguna-tattva. Sri Krsna is described everywhere in the scriptures as rasa-svarupa (the form of rasa) and rasika-sekhara (the foremost relisher of rasa). Rasa-tattva is nirguna or transcendental. It can never come under the influence of the mundane modes."

Verse 7
sri krsnam mithunam brahma tyaktva tu nirgunam hi tat
upasate mrsa vijnah yatha tusavaghatinah

"Sri Krsna and Sri Gaura are both the same supreme Brahman. Those who abandon Their service to worship the formless Brahman never attain factual liberation, and are precisely like those who try to extract rice by beating empty husks. All they obtain is their own fruitless, hard labor. Similarly all seekers of empirical knowledge, who give up the service of Sri Krsna to worship the nirvisesa nirguna Brahman, simply perform fruitless hard labor. All their efforts go in vain."


Editor's Note: Because this article, at over 10,000 words, is longer than those we usually post, Chakra is providing only an extract of the devotional verses and their translations. A detailed and extensive commentary, by Srimad B.V. Narayana Maharaja, from his biography of B.P. Kesava Maharaja (his guru and Srila Prabhupada's sannyasa-guru), is available at www.purebhakti.com.