Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

[This is a verse spoken by Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.] “My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krishna on this field of Kurukshetra. I am the same Rādhārānī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrindāvana.”[1]

Actually this is a continuation of the previous verse: “It’s the same moonlight night, it’s the same me, it’s the same lover, it’s the same setup, but I wish to return back to Vrindavana.

“Now, Oh, devotees, please hear a brief explanation of this verse. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was thinking in this way after having seen the Jagannātha Deity. The subject of His thoughts was Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, who met Krishna on the field of Kurukshetra. Although She met Krishna there, She was nonetheless thinking of Him in the following way: She thought of Him in the calm and quiet atmosphere of Vrindāvana, dressed as a cowherd boy. But at Kurukshetra He was in a royal dress and was accompanied by elephants, horses and crowds of men. Thus the atmosphere was not congenial for Their meeting. Thus meeting with Krishna and thinking of the Vrindāvana atmosphere, Rādhārānī longed for Krishna to take Her to Vrindāvana again to fulfill Her desire in that calm atmosphere.[2] The gopīs spoke thus: “Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshipped and meditated upon by great mystic yogīs and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.”[3] This is a quotation from “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, Tenth Canto and we can see that this Tenth Canto is closest to the mood of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. “The gopīs thought, “Dear Lord, if Your lotus feet again come to our home in Vrindāvana, our desires will be fulfilled.” In one verse, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained the confidential meaning of the verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for the understanding of the general populace.[4] The gopīs continued, “Dear Krishna, the fragrance of the mellows of Your pastimes is spread throughout the forests of the glorious land of Vrindāvana, which is surrounded by the sweetness of the district of Mathurā. In the congenial atmosphere of that wonderful land, You may enjoy Your pastimes, with Your flute dancing on Your lips, and surrounded by us, the gopīs, whose hearts are always enchanted by unpredictable ecstatic emotions.”[5] This is a verse from “Lalita Madhava”, so you can imagine the mood of this drama.

If you go to a present-day Vrindavana, you will see a village. You will see the transmission towers for the telephone companies, you will see the people who are living and working there, you will see the golden youth of Delhienjoying there, you will see brand new guest-houses for the westerners, you will see the poisoned and polluted Yamuna. Very difficult to see Krishna, even in that place. Although there are many temples, and there are some very famous and important temples. But it is said that Krishna covers the lilas at the holy places with thin material blanket in order to prevent unqualified eyes to penetrate into the lilas. And most of the people move on that very thin surface. What to do? We have to develop divine vision so as to see the presence of Krishna, Shrimati Radharani, the gopis, the devotees all the time. Not only when we are on a pilgrimage, not only when we come together to listen to a lecture. But practically by connecting back to this divine source you can have that elevated vision all the time. No doubt, it needs some training, but it is possible. AsKrishna is there in your hearts also, we only need to establish that connection very firmly. The invitation from his side is ever open; we only have to respond to that invitation.

And here this very poetic expression about the meeting and the nevertheless felt apprehension of Radha andKrishna(is described). This is very poetic, still you can say: “Well, it is so high, I am so far away from these problems – whether Radharani meetsKrishnain Vrindavana or in Kurukshetra.” But that means you are not moving on the very thin surface of the covering over Vrindavana, but you are swallowed by the throat of the devil. Deep. So better we climb up the stairs, come to the surface, greet the sunshine and see the beauty around. Because actually everything is describing the meeting of Radhe-Shyam. When you see happiness of the world outside – that is the meeting; and when you see sadness or distress – that is the separation. In this way you can connect everything back toKrishna, to Their meeting or separation. We are very fortunate to follow the examples of the great ones in cultivating that science.


(to be continued)

[1] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.76; “Padyavali” 387 by Shrila Rupa Goswami

[2] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.77-80

[3] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.81; “Shrimad Bhagavatam” 10.82.48

[4] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.82-83

[5] “Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.84; “Lalita Madhava” 10.38 by Shrila Rupa Goswami

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