Prema-vilāsa-vivarta – Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s divine play with Śrī Rādhā – Part 2

( – Translated from Śrī Radha-Govinda-natha’s six-page Bengali commentary on CC Madhya 8.150 by Navadvipa Dasa

The inverted play (viparīta-vihāra) that is brought forth by self-forgetfulness (ātma-vismṛti)—or in other words, by the absence of the awareness of distinction (bheda-jñāna-rāhitya)—which itself arises from complete identification (tanmayatā) with vilāsa alone, is the true signifier (paricāyaka) of the state of the highest exultation of the glory of vilāsa. This is also understood from the description found in Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s Gopāla-campu, in the prior division (pūrva-campu), Scene 33, which is entitled, “The Fulfillment of All the Heart’s Longings” (sarva-manoratha-pūraṇam). The scene described therein can be summarized as follows.

Being overcome by the most intense longing to facilitate Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure, the young women of Vraja remained immersed in divine play (vilāsa) with Him—their very life and soul (prāṇa-vallabha)—day after day without cessation. It was as though their innate longing for divine play (vilāsa-vāsanā) was not pacified even in the least. Rather, day after day it seemed to be exponentially increased. It was as though they, whose thirst remained ever unpacified (śānti-hīna), upheld as their life’s vow (vrata) the vilāsa that has as its one and only import the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The indomitability (uddāmatā) and progressively increasing ardor (autkaṇṭhya) of this innate disposition (vāsanā) for sevā is found to an all-surpassing extent in Śrī Rādhā alone, because the supreme manifestation of prema is present only in her. Rādhā’s supreme ardor (param-autkaṇṭhya), arising from her innate disposition (vāsanā) for sevā, gives rise in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s heart (citta) to the corresponding supreme ardor (param-autkaṇṭhya), arising from His innate disposition (vāsanā), to accept sevā. And Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s innate disposition to accept sevā is in reality simply the longing (autkaṇṭhya) in Him to extend love or pleasure (prīti-vidhāna) to Śrī Rādhā and the Vraja-sundarīs. This is due to the fact that the sole aim of all Kṛṣṇa’s līlās is to please the hearts of His devotees, as He Himself openly declares in the following statement: “I enact varieties of divine play simply for the delight of My devotees” (mad-bhaktānāṁ vinodārthaṁ karomi vividhāḥ kriyāḥ, Padma Purāṇa).

If at the root of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s innate disposition to accept the sevā of His devotees there lied concealed the desire for His own happiness (sva-sukha-vāsanā), there would be no glory at all in His acceptance of sevā. Then for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the acceptance of His devotees’ sevā could not be of completely splendorous glory (pūrṇa-aujjvalye mahīyān). When, however, Śrī Rādhā’s innate disposition (vāsanā) to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and His innate disposition to accept Rādhā’s service in order to please her, both attain complete indomitability (pūrṇa-uddāmatā) and are transformed into supreme longing (carama-autkaṇṭhya)—then only their prema-vilāsa can be elevated in its glory to highest degree of completion. In this manner, when the hero and heroine are carried along in the flow of the līlā under the compelling force of the most highly developed longing (caramatama-autkaṇṭhya), their amorous play (ramaṇa) is as described by Jīva Gosvāmī in the following passage:

“Every day, the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa would mutually proceed to a secluded place, meet together, embrace and kiss each other, play together, delight each other, speak of amorous affairs, order each other with the words, “Dress me nicely,” and also dress each other ornamentally. In this manner, they remained continuously immersed in varieties of amorous play (keli-vilāsa). Yet in doing so, due to their singularly focused identification (aikāntikī-tanmayatā) with vilāsa alone, they had no cognizance (anusandhāna) whatsoever of “who is acting,” “who has acted,” and “who can act” (Gopāla-campu, Pūrva, 33.5).

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