Sri Krsna's Vrindavan Associates – Ujjvala


Sakha Ujjvala
[ Painting by Haridas Thakur ]

Apr 23, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates.

Today we continue our presentation of Sri Krsna's most confidential friends in Vrindavan with another of the priya-narma intimate friends. Counted among the priya-narmas are the divine sakha associates Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta and Ujjvala. Out of these many intimate friends, Subala and Ujjvala are considered to be the most prominent.

Ujjvala is described as having a splendid reddish complexion. His garments are decorated with star patterns and he is decorated with pearls and flowers. His father is named Sagara and his mother is the chaste Veni-devi. He is thirteen years old and full of youthful luster. Splendid Ujjvala appears like the personified ruler of all transcendental mellows, and Lord Krsna, the crest jewel of playful boys, is submissive to this dear friend.

Ujjvala sakha and his service to the Divine Couple are described in Sri Bhakti Rasamrta-sindu 3.3.48-50 by Srila Rupa Goswami, likewise in Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 41:

    arunambaram uccaleksanam madhupuspavalibhih prasadhitam
    harinilarunci haripriyam maniharojjvalam ujjvalam bhaje

    "The description of Ujjvala, another intimate friend, is given as follows. Ujjvala always wears some garment of orange color, and the movements of his eyes are always very restless. He likes to decorate himself with all kinds of flowers, his bodily hue is almost like Krishna's, and on his neck there is always a necklace of pearls. He is always very dear to Krishna. Let us all worship Ujjvala, the most intimate friend of Krishna!" (48)

    asya sakhyam, yatha

    sakta `smi manam avitum katham ujjvalo `yam
    dutah sameti sakhi! yatra milaty adure
    sa `patrapa `pi kulaja `pi pativrata `pi
    ka va vrsasyati na gopavrsam kisori

    About the confidential service of Ujjvala, this statement is to be found, addressed by Radharani to one of Her friends: "My dear friend, it is impossible for Me to keep My prestige! I wanted to avoid talking to Krishna anymore-but just see! There `again is His friend Ujjvala, coming to Me with his canvassing work. His entreaties are so powerful that it is very difficult for a gopi to resist her love for Krishna, even though she may be very bashful, devoted to her family duties and most faithful to her husband." (49)

    Ujjvala says:

    sphurada tanu taranga vardhita nalpavelah
    sumadhura rasa rupo durgama vara parah
    jagati yuvatijatir nimnaga tvam samudras
    tadiyam aghahara tvam eti sa vadhvinaiva

    "My dear Krishna, O killer of Aghasura, You have extended Your loving affairs so much that You can be compared to the great ocean, which is without limitations. At the same time, the young girls of the world, who are all searching after the perfect lover, have become just like rivers running into this ocean. Under the circumstances, all these rivers of young girls may try to divert their courses to some other place, but at the end they must come unto You." (50)

We find a further description of the categories of Sri Krsna's transcendental friends, and the qualities of Ujjvala gopa in Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Jaiva-dharma:

    "There are other friends who are more confidential than the suhrt, sakha and priya-sakha friends. They are called priya-narma or intimate friends. Counted among the priya-narma friends are Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta, and Ujjvala. Among them, Ujjvala, who is always eager to speak joking words, is the best. Among these friends some are nitya-siddha (eternally perfect), others are suracara (demigods who eventually attained this rasa) and others are sadhaka (human beings who by performing devotional service eventually attained this rasa). The friends serve Krsna in many different ways. Thus they perform a wonderful variety of different activities."

    (Jaiva-dharma, Volume Five, Chapter Twenty-nine)

The name 'Ujjvala' has many meanings. Except for the stories of Ujjvala's pastimes with Krsna in Vraja, 'ujjvala' is most often mentioned in sastra with reference to the Sri Ujjvala-nilamani by Srila Rupa Goswami, which describes the confidential aspects of madhurya-rasa. This text was quoted in our previous segment, because there are some nice pastimes mentioned that involved Subala. Ujjvala sakha is not mentioned in that text however.

The term as it relates to madhurya is ujjvala-rasa, or conjugal love. But when it is applied as a name for the cowherd boy, 'Ujjvala' also has many definitions, including: splendid, bright, brilliant, illuminated, and blazing.

One of the names of Nityananda Prabhu is Ujjvala (bright). Ujjvala describes Lakshmana'a golden body (Chaitanya-carita Mahakavya); it describes the splendor of Sri Balabhadra (Garga-samhita); Ujjvala is one of the names of Lord Nrsimhadeva (Sri Nrsimha-sahasra-nama, 18); and is also included in the Radha-sahasra-name-- Ujjvala-gatrika and Ujjvalaprada (22).

As some of Srimati Radharani's names refer to Ujjvala, so is the gopa Ujjvala listed as one of Radha's servants, along with Subala, Gandharva, Madhumangala and Raktaka.


Series Introduction
Subala – Part 1
Subala – Part 2
Subala – Part 3
Subala – Part 4
Subala – Part 5
Subala – Part 6
Subala – Part 7
Subala – Part 8
Subala – Part 9
Subala – Part 10
Ujjvala – Part 1


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