Understanding Tattva And Investing Emotions

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.01-19 - Understanding Tattva And Investing Emotions (download mp3)
Radhika Vallabh Prabhu ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.31.1
gopya ucuh
jayati te ’dhikam janmana vrajah
 srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
 tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate

The gopis said: O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indira, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us.

Those who are familiar with the art of chanting Sanskrit verses will be able to appreciate the especially exquisite Sanskrit poetry of this chapter. Specifically, the poetic meter of the verses is extraordinarily beautiful, and also, for the most part, in each line the first and seventh syllables begin with the same consonant, as do the second syllables of all four lines.

SB 10.31.2
sarad-udasaye sadhu-jata-sat-
 sarasijodara-sri-musa drsa
surata-natha te ’sulka-dasika
 vara-da nighnato neha kim vadhah

O Lord of love, in beauty Your glance excels the whorl of the finest, most perfectly formed lotus within the autumn pond. O bestower of benedictions, You are killing the maidservants who have given themselves to You freely, without any price. Isn’t this murder?

In the autumn season, the whorl of the lotus has a special beauty, but that unique loveliness is surpassed by the beauty of Krsna’s glance.

SB 10.31.3
visa-jalapyayad vyala-raksasad
 varsa-marutad vaidyutanalat
vrsa-mayatmajad visvato bhayad
 rsabha te vayam raksita muhuh

O greatest of personalities, You have repeatedly saved us from all kinds of danger — from poisoned water, from the terrible man-eater Agha, from the great rains, from the wind demon, from the fiery thunderbolt of Indra, from the bull demon and from the son of Maya Danava.

Here the gopis imply, “O Krsna, You saved us from so many terrible dangers, so now that we are dying of separation from You, won’t You save us again?” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that the gopis mention Arista and Vyoma because, although Krsna had not yet killed these demons, the fact that He would kill them in the future was well known, having been predicted by the sages Garga and Bhaguri at the time of the Lord’s birth.

SB 10.31.4
na khalu gopika-nandano bhavan
 akhila-dehinam antaratma-drk
vikhanasarthito visva-guptaye
 sakha udeyivan satvatam kule

You are not actually the son of the gopi Yasoda, O friend, but rather the indwelling witness in the hearts of all embodied souls. Because Lord Brahma prayed for You to come and protect the universe, You have now appeared in the Satvata dynasty.

The gopis here imply, “Since You have descended to protect the entire universe, how can You neglect Your own devotees?”

SB 10.31.5
viracitabhayam vrsni-dhurya te
 caranam iyusam samsrter bhayat
kara-saroruham kanta kama-dam
 sirasi dhehi nah sri-kara-graham

O best of the Vrsnis, Your lotuslike hand, which holds the hand of the goddess of fortune, grants fearlessness to those who approach Your feet out of fear of material existence. O lover, please place that wish-fulfilling lotus hand on our heads.

SB 10.31.6
vraja-janarti-han vira yositam
bhaja sakhe bhavat-kinkarih sma no
 jalaruhananam caru darsaya

O You who destroy the suffering of Vraja’s people, O hero of all women, Your smile shatters the false pride of Your devotees. Please, dear friend, accept us as Your maidservants and show us Your beautiful lotus face.

SB 10.31.7
pranata-dehinam papa-karsanam
 trna-caranugam sri-niketanam
phani-phanarpitam te padambujam
 krnu kucesu nah krndhi hrc-chayam

Your lotus feet destroy the past sins of all embodied souls who surrender to them. Those feet follow after the cows in the pastures and are the eternal abode of the goddess of fortune. Since You once put those feet on the hoods of the great serpent Kaliya, please place them upon our breasts and tear away the lust in our hearts.

In their appeal, the gopis point out that Lord Krsna’s lotus feet destroy the sins of all surrendered conditioned souls. The Lord is so merciful that He even goes out to herd the cows in the pasturing ground, and thus His lotus feet follow them about in the grass. He has offered His lotus feet to the goddess of fortune and has placed them upon the hoods of the serpent Kaliya. Therefore, considering all this, the Lord should place His lotus feet on the gopis’ breasts and satisfy their desire. That is the logic the gopis employ here.

SB 10.31.8
madhuraya gira valgu-vakyaya
 budha-manoj├▒aya puskareksana
vidhi-karir ima vira muhyatir
 adhara-sidhunapyayayasva nah

O lotus-eyed one, Your sweet voice and charming words, which attract the minds of the intelligent, are bewildering us more and more. Our dear hero, please revive Your maidservants with the nectar of Your lips.

SB 10.31.9
tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
 kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
 bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah

The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one’s sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent.

King Prataparudra recited this verse to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu during Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra festival. While the Lord was resting in a garden, King Prataparudra humbly entered and began massaging His legs and lotus feet. Then the King recited the Thirty-first Chapter of the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the songs of the gopis. The Caitanya-caritamrta relates that when Lord Caitanya heard this verse, beginning tava kathamrtam, He immediately arose in ecstatic love and embraced King Prataparudra. The incident is described in detail in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 14.4-18), and in his edition Srila Prabhupada has given extensive commentary on it.

SB 10.31.10
prahasitam priya-prema-viksanam
 viharanam ca te dhyana-mangalam
rahasi samvido ya hrdi sprsah
 kuhaka no manah ksobhayanti hi

Your smiles, Your sweet, loving glances, the intimate pastimes and confidential talks we enjoyed with You — all these are auspicious to meditate upon, and they touch our hearts. But at the same time, O deceiver, they very much agitate our minds.

SB 10.31.11
calasi yad vrajac carayan pasun
 nalina-sundaram natha te padam
sila-trnankuraih sidatiti nah
 kalilatam manah kanta gacchati

Dear master, dear lover, when You leave the cowherd village to herd the cows, our minds are disturbed with the thought that Your feet, more beautiful than a lotus, will be pricked by the spiked husks of grain and the rough grass and plants.

SB 10.31.12
dina-pariksaye nila-kuntalair
 vanaruhananam bibhrad avrtam
ghana-rajasvalam darsayan muhur
 manasi nah smaram vira yacchasi

At the end of the day You repeatedly show us Your lotus face, covered with dark blue locks of hair and thickly powdered with dust. Thus, O hero, You arouse lusty desires in our minds.

SB 10.31.13
pranata-kama-dam padmajarcitam
 dharani-mandanam dhyeyam apadi
carana-pankajam santamam ca te
 ramana nah stanesv arpayadhi-han

Your lotus feet, which are worshiped by Lord Brahma, fulfill the desires of all who bow down to them. They are the ornament of the earth, they give the highest satisfaction, and in times of danger they are the appropriate object of meditation. O lover, O destroyer of anxiety, please put those lotus feet upon our breasts.

SB 10.31.14
surata-vardhanam soka-nasanam
 svarita-venuna susthu cumbitam
itara-raga-vismaranam nrnam
 vitara vira nas te ’dharamrtam

O hero, kindly distribute to us the nectar of Your lips, which enhances conjugal pleasure and vanquishes grief. That nectar is thoroughly relished by Your vibrating flute and makes people forget any other attachment.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti’ s charming commentary on this verse is in the form of a dialogue between the gopis and Krsna:
“The gopis say, ‘O Krsna, You exactly resemble Dhanvantari, the best of physicians. So please give us some medicine, for we are suffering from the disease of romantic desire for You. Don’t hesitate to give us the medicinal nectar of Your lips freely, without our paying a substantial price. Since You are a great hero in giving charity, You should give it without any payment, even to the most wretched persons. Consider that we are losing our life and that now You can restore us to life by giving us that nectar. After all, You have already given it to Your flute, which is simply a hollow bamboo stick.’

“Krsna says, ‘But the diet of people in this world is the bad one of attachment to wealth, followers, family and so forth. The particular medicine you’ve requested should not be given to those who have such a bad diet.’

“‘But this medicine makes one forget all other attachments. So wonderful is this herbal drug that it counteracts bad dietary habits. Please give that nectar to us, O hero, since You are most charitable.’”

SB 10.31.15
atati yad bhavan ahni kananam
 truti yugayate tvam apasyatam
kutila-kuntalam sri-mukham ca te
 jada udiksatam paksma-krd drsam

When You go off to the forest during the day, a tiny fraction of a second becomes like a millennium for us because we cannot see You. And even when we can eagerly look upon Your beautiful face, so lovely with its adornment of curly locks, our pleasure is hindered by our eyelids, which were fashioned by the foolish creator.

SB 10.31.16
 ativilanghya te ’nty acyutagatah
gati-vidas tavodgita-mohitah
 kitava yositah kas tyajen nisi

Dear Acyuta, You know very well why we have come here. Who but a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night, enchanted by the loud song of His flute? Just to see You, we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives.

SB 10.31.17
rahasi samvidam hrc-chayodayam
 prahasitananam prema-viksanam
brhad-urah sriyo viksya dhama te
 muhur ati-sprha muhyate manah

Our minds are repeatedly bewildered as we think of the intimate conversations we had with You in secret, feel the rise of lust in our hearts and remember Your smiling face, Your loving glances and Your broad chest, the resting place of the goddess of fortune. Thus we experience the most severe hankering for You.

SB 10.31.18
vraja-vanaukasam vyaktir anga te
 vrjina-hantry alam visva-mangalam
tyaja manak ca nas tvat-sprhatmanam
 sva-jana-hrd-rujam yan nisudanam

O beloved, Your all-auspicious appearance vanquishes the distress of those living in Vraja’s forests. Our minds long for Your association. Please give to us just a bit of that medicine, which counteracts the disease in Your devotees’ hearts.

According to the acaryas, the gopis repeatedly entreat Lord Krsna to place His lotus feet on their breasts. The gopis are not victims of material lust, but rather they are absorbed in pure love of Godhead and thus want to serve Lord Krsna’s lotus feet by offering their beautiful breasts to Him. Materialistic persons, who are victims of mundane sex desire, will not be able to understand how these conjugal dealings take place on a pure, spiritual platform, and that is the materialists’ great misfortune.

SB 10.31.19
yat te sujata-caranamburuham stanesu
 bhitah sanaih priya dadhimahi karkasesu
tenatavim atasi tad vyathate na kim svit
 kurpadibhir bhramati dhir bhavad-ayusam nah

O dearly beloved! Your lotus feet are so soft that we place them gently on our breasts, fearing that Your feet will be hurt. Our life rests only in You. Our minds, therefore, are filled with anxiety that Your tender feet might be wounded by pebbles as You roam about on the forest path.

The translation of this verse is from Srila Prabhupada’s English rendering of Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 4.173).

Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the Tenth Canto, Thirty-first Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Gopis’ Songs of Separation.”