Miracle Plays of Mathura: Uddhav Lila, Part 4

BY: SUN STAFF

Anxiety of Separation
Gujari Ragini from Ragmala, c. 1600
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]


May 17, CANADA (SUN) — The Uddhav Lila of Swami Kunvar Pal - Part Four.


UDDHAV:

Song
Listen to Uddhav's preaching, O ladies of Braj,
The treasury of beauty, virtue, charm, and all good qualities,
The emblem of love, the embodiment of romance, producers of a host of joys,
Listen, O ladies of Braj!
To tell you one message from Syam have I come to you.
I could not speak; nowhere had I the secluded place and the opportunity,
I constantly though in my mind, 'When shall I find a (suitable) place,
And, having delivered the message of Nandalal, return to Mathura?
Listen, O ladies of Braj!

SWAMI:

Song
With libation of water, they seated him,
And again they walked around him.
Knowing him as Syam's own friend,
Much service did they do him.
The girls of Braj with smiling face
Asked news of Nandalal.
'Is Balram's brother well? Speak sweet words.
Listen, O companion of Syam.'

A GOPI:

O Uddhav, tell us something of the well-being of Syamsundar, who is dear as life to us.

UDDHAV:

Song
Well are Balram and Syam,
Well are all their companions.
All the Yadu family are well;
All are supremely happy.
To ask the well-being of Braj
Have I been sent to you.
He will meet you in a few days;
Be not impatient in your hearts.
Listen, O ladies of Braj!

O Braj ladies, I am Uddhav. Your dear Syamsundar is quite happy, and he will meet you in a few days.

SWAMI:

Song
On hearing the message of Uddhav,
Recollection of (Krsna's) form came to them.
Their lotus faces became excited,
Their limbs as if possessed.
The Braj women, overcome by grief,
Drooped and fell to earth.
Uddhav revived them with a sprinkle of water,
And, making up something to say,
He talked philosophy in this way.

UDDHAV:

Song
He is not far from you;
Look with the eye of wisdom.
He pervades the entire universe;
His form as Brahman is extraordinary,
In iron, wood, stone,
Water, land, space,
The motionless and the moving, all
Reflect the effulgence of the light of Brahman.
Listen, O ladies of Braj!

O good women of Braj, who is that Syamsundar in separation from whom you are weeping? He has the form of light, and exists everywhere - in me, in you, in the wall, int eh earth, in the wind, in space, in fire, in radiance. Syamsundar has the form of light, is made of Brahman, is omnipresent.

THE GOPIS:

Song
Who is the light of Brahman?
What do you call wisdom, Udho?
Straight is the way of the love
Of our handsome Syam!
Showing the charming shape
Of his eyes, speech, face, nose,
By his love-thuggery [1] he stole
All our wit and wisdom with his flute.
Listen, O comrade of Syam!

O Uddhav, what Brahman is Syamsundar, and who has the form of light? We don't know any such person. Syamsundar played the flute and stole our wisdom and wits.

UDDHAV:

Song
this whole creation has attributes;
His form is without attributes.
Changeless of form, detached,
He makes no contact with the three gunas.
Having no hand nor foot nor nose
Nor eye nor speech nor ear,
He is the splendor of the imperishable light,
the mine of the whole Universe.
Listen, O ladies of Braj!

That Syamsundar, about whom you are saying that he played the flute and enchanted your hearts, has neither hand, nor foot, nor nose, nor ear, nor face. He is made of Brahman just as light is. Being in radiant form, he is present in all places. He is within me, he is within you; so he has no form at all which you could see.

A GOPI:

Song
If he had no mouth, say who ate the butter?
Without legs, tell who ran from forest to forest after the cows?
In his eyes he put collyrium; he took up Mount Govardhan with his hand.
Nand and Yasoda's son is he, Prince Kanh, the Lord of Braj.
Listen, O companion of Syam!

We have seen that Syamsundar. You say that we have seen him only in grief for him. He has eyes. With our own hands we have applied collyrium to them.. He has a mouth, to which we have fed butter. With his feet he has herded the cows. He is the son of Nand and Yasoda and Kanhaiya is his name. We know him well.

UDDHAV:

Song
He whom you call 'Kanh'
He has no father nor mother!

He whom you are calling Syamsundar hasn't any mother or any father. One thing is indeed certain: that he is Brahman. It was to perform lilas that he came to Braj, and he performed his lilas. But now you say that you will obtain him by weeping; you cannot obtain him. Yes, in one way you can obtain him: Rub ashes on your body and take up yoga, as mendicants rub on ashes. Moreover, having become pure in the fire of Brahman, when the fire of Brahman itself worships a face having the form of Brahman, then you will be able to obtain Syamsundar.

A GOPI:

Why should we repeat the name of Syamsundar in the guise of yogis? He is with us, as it is. He is seated in our hearts and has been there continuously. Then who would let go of the treasure of love and load themselves with the corpse of religious action?

UDDHAV:

Why are you calling religious action evil? Perform religious action. 'By performing religious action there is salvation, residence in the city of the supreme Brahman.' If you do good religious action, then you will obtain good fruits; if you do evil religious action, then you will obtain evil fruits. Therefore perform some religious action. Take up yoga, then Syamsundar, who is made of Brahman, will be obtained by you quickly.

A GOPI:

People do religious action as long as they feel that they have not met the Lord, and when Syamsundar for our sakes dwells day and night in our hearts, for whom then shall we do religious actions? Religious actions are done so that our behavior may be purified and the Lord may be obtained quickly by us, obtained soon. Why should we do religious works when Syamsundar himself is with us? He for whom we are longing is seated in our hearts, so why should we do those religious actions?

The gopis make Syamsundar manifest in their hearts, and begin to speak to him.

THE GOPIS:

Song
O Lord, O Lord of Rama, Lord of the Yadus, Master of the Senses,
Without Thee, O Son of Nand, all the cows are straying.
Why not be gracious again and comfort the cows and the milkmaids?
We are sinking in the waters of the Ocean of Trouble. Pray give support.
Why remain cruel?

UDDHAV:

Syamsundar is seated in the gopis' hearts, and I have disputed with them!

Uddhav gets up and falls on Radha's feet. A bee is seen hovering about, and the gopis while seemingly addressing it, speak to Uddhav.

A GOPI:

Look!

Song
Someone says, 'O bee, you have no shame!
Your master, Syam, is called "Lord of the Hunch-back Woman" [2].
Called "Lord of the Milkmaids" here, his rank was too low.
Now the Yadu family has become pure by eating the leftovers of a maidservant!
Why are you talking so big?'

See here, Uddhav, your companion who there (in Mathura) has made a chief queen of Kans' maidservant, and who is not ashamed to live with her who used to bring sandalwood paste every day, here (in Braj) is ashamed to be called 'Lord of the Milkmaids'. He has always been as cruel.

A GOPI:

Song
Someone says, 'This (man) is cruel; sin does not affect him.
He himself is the creator of the sin as well as piety.
In his merciless form nothing is surprising.
Even while suckling, he took away the life of Putana.
That was the act of his infancy. Whose friend is he?'

O friend, this Syamsundar has always been cruel. In his infancy he killed Putana. She came to give him milk and he killed her!

Uddhav gives Krsna's letter. A gopi takes it and places it in the hand of Radha, and Radha, after looking at it again and again, reads it out to all.

RADHA:

Song
Come, friends, I shall read this letter which the King of Braj has written.
'Perform yoga, cast off your ornaments' - he was not ashamed to write this!
From looking and looking down the path my eyes have become dim;
From calling and calling for Krsna blisters have formed on my tongue!
O friend, the fault is not in Krsna; it is we who committed an impropriety.
Breaking our marriage vows, we made love to Krsna.
Affectionless is Nandalal; loving was the son of Dasarath.
From forest to forest he wandered in search of Sita while this man
abandoned the Braj girls!

A GOPI:

Song
We are the weaker sex, troubled, very wretched.
'Friend of the wretched' is your sweet name.
Why have you become so obstinate now?
The grief of the abandoned Braj girls - O what is it to you?
Kumar [3] says, 'Come soon and meet us.
Thine is the life of this body.
Our eyes will remain open at death
If we do not meet the Darling of Nand now!

UDDHAV:

Blessed are these gopis, who have shown me a vision of Syamsundar in their hearts. And how shall I, who was continually disputing with them, seek pardon of them for this? This is surely the remedy for it: I shall sing the eulogy of their dear Syamsundar in their presence, and then they may be pleased with me. And those gopis in whose hearts Syamsundar is seated because his sign is on themů for that reason

Now I shall become the dust of a footpath in the Braj country,
That those who are the vital root of Braj may put their feet on me while walking.
This is hard for the sages to attain!

Somehow, may I become the dust of this Braj, for which Mahadev and the very great sages eagerly long.

O may I be one of the shrubs, creepers, or herbs in Vrindaban,
Devoted to the dust of the feet of those gopis
Who renounced kin and the path of respectability, difficult to relinquish,
And obtained the place of Mukund sought after by the revealed scriptures. [4]

May I somehow become the dust of Braj. May I become a leaf or vine in Braj, so that when the Braj gopis set out after hearing the flute of the Lord, and I am then some leaf or vine in Braj, the dust of their feet will fall upon me, and I shall achieve my goal. 'This is difficult for the sages to attain.'


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Thagauri suggests pretence of sweet friendship, followed by sudden violent attack - 'thuggery' in an original Indian sense.
[2] Kubarinath: Husband of Kubja.
[3] Kumar ju: Rasdhari Kunvar Pal here uses one of his own compositions.
[4] Quoted from Bhagavata Purana, X.47.61.



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