The Glories of Raghava's Bag, Part 14
BY: SUN STAFF
Jan 29, 2013 CANADA (SUN) A journey through the nectarian contents of Raghava's Bag.
Damayanti and Raghava Pandit, Part 2
Today we hear more about the lila identities and pastimes of the famous Gaura-lila associate Damayanti, who was the gopi named Gunamala during Sri Krsna's Vrindavan lila, and her Gaura-lila brother Raghava Pandit, who appeared in Vraja-lila as the gopi Dhanistha. These two transcendental personalities have enjoyed many prasada-related pastimes with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Radharani, Mother Yasoda and the Lord's other associates.
During Krsna's Vrindavan-lila, Dhanistha-sakhi was an older girl who lived at Nanada Maharaja's house. She served as a messenger, delivering food and other gifts. Danistha is very learned in the six arts of politics and diplomacy.
raghava-pandita -- prabhura adya-anucara
tanra eka sakha mukhya -- makaradhvaja kara
raghava pandita -- Raghava Pandita; prabhura -- of the Lord; adya -- original; anucara -- follower; tanra -- his; eka -- one; sakha -- branch; mukhya -- chief; makaradhvaja -- Makaradhvaja; kara -- surname.
Raghava Pandita, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's original follower, is understood to have been the seventh branch. From him proceeded another subbranch, headed by Makaradhvaja Kara.
Kara was the surname of Makaradhvaja. At present this surname is generally found in the Kayastha community. The Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (166) states:
dhanistha bhaksya-samagrim krsnayadad vraje 'mitam
saiva sampratam gauranga-priyo raghava-panditah
Raghava Pandita was formerly a confidential gopi in Vraja during the time of Lord Krsna's pastimes, and his former name was Dhanistha. This gopi, Dhanistha, always engaged in preparing foods for Krsna.
tanhara bhagini damayanti prabhura priya dasi
prabhura bhoga-samagri ye kare vara-masi
tanhara -- his; bhagini -- sister; damayanti -- Damayanti; prabhura -- of the Lord; priya -- dear; dasi -- maidservant; prabhura -- of the Lord; bhoga-samagri -- cooking materials; ye -- who; kare -- does; vara-masi -- throughout the whole year.
Raghava Pandita's sister Damayanti was the dear maidservant of the Lord. She always collected various ingredients with which to cook for Lord Caitanya.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes in his Anubhasya, "In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (167) it is mentioned, gunamala vraje yasid damayanti tu tat-svasa: The gopi named Gunamala appeared as Raghava Pandita's sister Damayanti. On the East Bengal railway line beginning from the Sealdah station in Calcutta, there is a station named Sodapura, which is not very far from Calcutta. Within one mile of this station, toward the western side of the Ganges, is a village known as Panihati, in which the residential quarters of Raghava Pandita still exist. On Raghava Pandita's tomb is a creeper on a concrete platform. There is also a Madana-mohana Deity in a broken-down temple nearby. This temple is managed by a local zamindar of the name Sri Sivacandra Raya Caudhuri. Makaradhvaja Kara was also an inhabitant of Panihati."
Following is a nectarian exposition on the pastimes of Danistha-sakhi, from Chapter 8 of Sri Govinda Lilamrita by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami:
22 Seeing Dhanistha so happy at their meeting, Srimati Radharani thought she must have been sent with a message from Her heart's beloved Lord Krsna. Considering this, Srimati Radharani became agitated with various sentiments of ecstatic love, and Her thoughts became repeatedly anointed with the desire to hear about Krsna. Using various clever pretexts to ask about Krsna, She spoke the following words:
23 O My friend, please tell Me, how has this forest of Vrndavana become so suddenly filled with all the beauty of spring? please tell Me, who is this cowherd-prince now standing before us?
24 O My friend, this springtime sweetness bears the mark of all beauty and opulence. This sweetness is filled with hordes of chubby bumble-bees, drawn to the nectars of various blossoming flowers. This springtime sweetness reverberates with the charming conversations of the cuckoos. This springtime sweetness inflame the amorous desire of the young gopis.(O My friend, the sweetness of Lord Krsna is full of all beauty and opulence. This sweetness attracts the bumble-bees, who are drawn by the garland of forest-flowers worn by the Lord. The sweetness of Lord Krsna reverberates with His clever charming speeches and the pleasing flute-melodies of his flute. Lord Krsna's charming sweetness inflames the amorous desire of the young gopis.)
25 Dhanistha replied: Who is able to describe the glory of spring? My friend simply by seeing the beauty of spring one become agitated by hosts of amorous desires.(Who is able to describe the beauty of Lord Krsna? Simply by seeing Him, You have become agitated by hosts of amorous desires.)
26 Dhanistha continued: The peak of Govardhana Hill is very splendid and beautiful. It is formed of multi-colored minerals. The rustling sounds of the bamboo growing there reassure the worried cows that streams of drinking water flow nearby. The tumultuous sounds of the birds and other creatures provide a pleasant environment. The peak of Govardhana Hill provides nourishment for all the surabhi cows. It provides the young cows and boys with a pleasant place to sport and play.(Lord Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana Hill, is splendidly handsome. His limbs are colorfully decorated with various mineral pigments. He carefully protects the surabhi cows and takes care that they are properly nourished by eating the fresh grasses. He loudly plays the buffalo horn bugle. He performs many jubilant childhood pastimes. His sweet flute-playing reassures all the surabhi cows, who are all afraid that king Indra may again try to inundate Vrndavana with torrential rains.)
27 By drinking the nectar of Dhanistha's puns, Srimati Radharani became intoxicated. In order to obtain a clear description of the activities of Her lover Krsna, Srimati Radharani conversed with Dhanistha in the following way:
28 Radha: Where are you going now?
Dhanistha: I am going to see You.
Radha: For what purpose?
Dhanistha: To relay some news to You.
Radha: What is the news?
Dhanistha: The news is about Sri Krsna, the moon of Vraja.
Radha: What is the news of Him?
Dhanistha: The news is that Sri Krsna has become completely crushed the darkness of ignorance spread by His enemy, the demigod Cupid.
29 Although Krsna was alone and unarmed, and although cupid was accompanied by many followers and armed with dangerous weapons, still, angry Krsna, armed with only His transcendental bodily sweetness, easily defeated the demigod cupid.
30 Rati's husband cupid is now hurling torrents of flower-arrows, bumble-bees , cuckoos, spring-breezes, and other dangerous weapons at Sri Krsna in the forest by Radha-kunda. Sri Krsna wished that You come at once to aid Him in the battle.
31 Your lover Krsna has now fallen into great danger by the force of destiny, and only Your association can deliver Him. Please quickly go to Him, if You are not callous and ungrateful, for the many times He has protected You in the past.
32 When You are present, Sri Krsna can easily bewilder Cupid. When You are not present, even though Sri Krsna enchants the entire universe, He cannot protect Himself from the bewilderments of Cupid.
33 Decorated with many ornaments, Lord Hari sits on a couch of flowers in Radha-kunda's grove, which is filled with humming bees and singing cuckoos. He wonders whether You will come, He yearned for You to come. He constantly talks about You. Although He is the most powerful hero, He has lost all composure, being tortured by the cruel Cupid.
34 My dear saintly friend, handsome Lord Hari is now waiting in the grove by Radha-kunda. His complexion is the color of a fresh rain-cloud, and His exquisite garments are the color of gold. He wears glistening shark-shaped earrings and a garland of golden yuthika flowers. His body is anointed with attractive kumkuma, and His wide open eyes are like fully blossomed lotus flowers.
35 As Lord Hari waited for You on the path, He plays the flute, and the sound of His flute creates a gale that makes the blades of grass of the gopis' hearts and eyes repeatedly rise and fall. Lord Hari is repeatedly splashed by the tidal waves of the nectar-ocean of Your splendid beauty, He has now become caught in the powerful whirlpool controlled by the deity Cupid.
36 My dear moon-faced girl, please pour the flood of all Your talent on the supremely talented Lord Krsna, the killer of Bakasura. Offer Your youthful beauty to the youthful, handsome Lord Krsna. Direct Your thirst for romantic love upon the sublimely romantic Lord Krsna. Offer some of Your garments to the impeccably dressed Lord Krsna, so He may wear them as a disguise. All these items are meant for Lord Krsna's service. Give them to Him. That is their proper use.
37 O beautiful Radharani, Your lover Krsna is overwhelmed with love for You. Defeated by the powerful Cupid, Your Krsna is on the verge of complete collapse. Please quickly go to Him and save Him.
38 When Srimati Radharani drank these nectarean words of Her friend, She longed to meet Krsna. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, She became stunned and could no longer move.
39 Quickly arriving, Kundalata approached Srimati Radharani. She twirled a toy lotus flower in her right hand as she grasped Radha's hand in her left.
40 Tulasi and Dhanistha stood in front of Srimati Radharani. Visakha and Lalita stood at Her sides. The other gopis stood in a circle around Her.
41 Affectionate Rupa-manjari, carrying paraphernalia for worship of the sun-god, and accompanied by Dhanistha, Tulasi, and other contemporary gopi-friends followed behind Srimati Radharani.
42 As Radharani and the gopis left the village of Vraja they noticed a beautiful woman carrying a jar of yogurt, a blue-jay, a brahmana, a mongoose, deer-herd, surabhi-cow with her calf, and a bull, passing one after another on their left side.
43 Youthful Srimati Radharani glanced at a nearby pond and saw a blossoming lotus flower, a swarm of bumble-bees, and two dancing khanjana birds. Thinking the lotus flower was Her lover Krsna's face, the swarm of bees was His moving locks of hair, and the two birds were His dancing eyes, Radharani became stunned in ecstasy.
44 When the gopis saw all these auspicious omens, they crookedly smiled and laughed. Filled with great happiness, they moved very slowly. As they walked by Her side, Srimati Radharani, moving as lowly as an intoxicated elephant, approached the boundary of Vrndavana-forest.
45 As soon as Srimati Radharani and Her friends entered the forest, the personified beauty of spring also entered. The beauty of spring caused the trees and creepers to bloom. She caused the cuckoos to vibrate sweet songs on their throats, and she caused the bumble-bees and sparrows to warble with pleasant waves of sound.
46 When Srimati Radharani looked at the forest of Vrndavana, She thought it was in truth the desire-fulfilling transcendental form of Her beloved Krsna. She thought the splendor of the dark creepers in Vrndavana was actually the beauty of the transcendental limbs of her beloved Krsna. She thought the beautiful sesame flowers were the tilaka marking on the forehead of Her beloved. She thought the large arjuna trees where Visala, Arjuna, and other cowherd friends of Her beloved. She thought the fertile land was Lord Balarama, the elder brother of Her beloved. She thought the feathers worn by the peacocks were actually decorations on the crown of her beloved. She thought the flowers blossoming on the punnaga, amala, and campaka trees were flowers in the garland worn by Her beloved. She thought the many kancana and vidruma trees were gold and coral ornaments worn by her beloved. She thought the splendid tamala trees were the luster of the body of Her beloved. She thought the glistening gunjas were a gunja-necklace worn by her beloved. She thought the shade-giving kadamba trees had provided a place where Her beloved had sat down to rest. She thought the pleasant rustling sounds of the bamboos moving in the breeze were the sweet music of Her beloved played on his bamboo flute. She thought the resplendent pitana trees were the kumkuma powder worn by her beloved. She thought the many blossoming manmatha trees were the intense amorous desire of Her beloved. She thought the charming sporting of the handsome forest-birds were the beautiful pastimes of Her beloved Krsna.
47 Whatever Srimati Radharani saw She considered to be a limb of Lord Krsna, the enemy of Aghasura. the continual sight of Her beloved in this way became like arrows striking Her heart, and maddening Her thoughts. This is certainly very wonderful.
48 Srimati Radharani was decorated with a garland of fresh flowers surrounded by intoxicated bumble-bees, and She was accompanied by jubilant gopi-friends. Her friend Visakha then led Her to a shady place. It was very clear that Radharani was greatly agitated by the awakening of amorous love for Her beloved Krsna.
49 Srimati Radharani was consummately beautiful, Her form was as charming as a graceful creeper, and Her breasts were very large and pleasantly cool. She had the transcendental power to satisfy senses of Lord Krsna.
50 When the gopis looked at Vrndavana-forest, they thought it exactly resembled the form of Srimati Radharani. They thought the beautiful birds in the forest were just like the ecstatic feelings of Radharani.
51 Srimati Radharani thought: Why is it that even though My friends, the best and most expert of gopis diligently search the forest and caves of Vrndavana, still they cannot find Sri Krsna? Why is it that this lusty, greedy rake Krsna willfully abandons us? As Srimati Radharani walked in the forest, She noticed on Her left side a black deer playing with many does and a peacock playing with many peahens. Bewildered by feelings of ecstatic love, She thought the deer and peacock were Her lover Krsna, and the many does and peahens were the gopis. Thinking in this way She became extremely agitated.
52 When Srimati Radharani saw a dark tamala tree, it's roots covered by a flowering golden-jasmine creeper, and it's top branch the home of a dancing peacock, She became convinced that She had just seen Her lover Krsna, with His dark complexion, yellow dhoti, and peacock-feather crown.
53 Srimati Radharani became convinced that Her lover Krsna must be with some other gopi. Bewildered by the snake of jealousy, passionate Radharani angrily moved Her fearsome eyebrow, and spoke the following words to Dhanistha:
54 Radha: My dear Dhanistha, what is this?
Radha: What do you see before your eyes?
Dhanistha: This forest of Vrndavana.
Radha: What else do you see?
Dhanistha: I do not see anything else.
Radha: Sri Krsna, the shining moon of all deceivers, is dancing now before your eyes. O wicked Dhanistha, why do you not see Him? Why have you blindfolded yourself so you cannot see Him?
55 Thinking She had just seen her lover Krsna dancing with another gopi, Srimati Radharani said to Lalita and the others: My dear friends, just see this wonderful and auspicious dancing of the king and queen of cheaters.
56 Intoxicated by the honey of Srimati Radharani's words, Dhanistha became also convinced that Sri Krsna was standing before them, arrogantly dancing with another gopi.
57 Dhanistha then said: O gopis, a clever, enthusiastic, false messenger has brought us here to make us dance with these two cheaters.
58 Just look at this deer Suranga who left his mate Rangini to sport with these other does, and will not stop his immoral behavior even after seeing he is in my presence. Does he not act in this way because he copies the actions of his master, the libertine Krsna?
59 Here is Krsna's pet peacock Tandavika, who rejects the association of his own mate, My pet peahen Sundari, and instead boldly plays with a host of other peahens. He has clearly learned this from his master Krsna.
60 Smiling Dhanistha then spoke the following words: O saintly Radha, we are all very happy that You have revealed to us the actual meaning of these dances by the deer and peacocks. Your explanations have revealed to us what we did not understand before.
61 Whether the beloved is easy to meet or remote and inaccessible, it is the nature of lovers to always worry and imagine that so many obstacles may come between them and their beloved.
62 Dhanistha then turned to the gopis and said: My friends, let us immediately go to Krsna, describe this wonderful dancing of the deer and peacocks, and hear His interpretation of them. Because He is aware of Radha's good qualities He shall certainly affirm His love for Her, and express His desire to desire enjoy pastimes with Her.
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