May Vishakha Devi, who is the great object of love and humor of the Vraja’s youthful couple Radha and Krishna and who defeats even the call of the cuckoos with the divine artistry of her song, be pleased with me and initiate me in that art.
vrajapura-nava-yūnor yā ca kaṇṭhān pikānām
nayati param adhastād divya-gānena tuṣṭyā
prathayatu mama dīkṣāṁ hanta seyaṁ viśākhā
Sri Krishna’s sweetness and Sri Radha’s mahābhāva have, of course, been discussed and described from the scriptures in the past, but they could still not be conceived by human beings at the time of their descent. The Goswamis have built a huge jewelled palace of sweet Vraja-bhajan on the unshakeable foundation of their own genuine transcendental experiences and scriptural evidence.
In this Vraja-vilāsa-stava Raghunath Das Goswami describes the sweet and perfect love of the Lord’s eternal companions in Vraja, by following in whose footsteps the practising devotees will gain entrance into that jewelled temple and become blessed by receiving the desired loving devotional service of Sri Sri Radha and Madhava.
In the previous verse Das Goswami described the great love of Lalita, Radha’s foremost girlfriend, and in this verse he describes the mood of Sri Vishakha and reveals to her his aspiration to learn the musical arts from her. First of all he says:
praṇaya lalita narma sphāra bhūmis tayor yā
“She is the abode of love and humor for Śrī-Sri Radha and Krishna.”
In his Śrī Viśākhānandana-stotram Raghunath Das has said: bhāva-nāma-guṇādīnām aikyāt śrī rādhikaiva yā: “Vishakha is just like Sri Radhika in mood, name and attributes.”
Both Radha and Krishna may deal with Sri Lalita with some fear and reverence because of her outspoken boldness, but in Sri Radha’s yūtha (party) Sri Vishakha has the mood of adhika madhyā, i.e., keeping a balance between the overly compliant and obstinate character), hence she is not only respected by all because of her love, good fortune and wonderful attributes, but she is also the object of love and humor for the Divine Couple because she is non-different at heart from Sri Radha.
tāḍayanti dvirabjena sa-bhrū-bhaṅgena līlayā
Sri Radhika smiles when she sees that Krishna is defeated by Vishakha’s intimate joking words. She is the best teacher in humor and defeats even the goddess Saraswati in eloquence. When Mādhava speaks about his intimate pastimes before Vishakha, Sri Radha frowns her eyebrows and playfully beats him with her play lotus. (Viśākhānandada-stotram 105 and 106)
From this we can understand how Sri Vishakha is the object of the Divine Couple’s love and humor. In his Kṛṣṇāhnika-kaumudī, Sriman Mahaprabhu’s beloved companion Kavi Karnapura has drawn an enchanting emotional picture of Sri Vishakha’s joking discussions with Sri Radha before Sri Krishna with great poetic expertise, using double entendre to make her humorous references.
Vishakha jokingly told Srimati Radharani, who was picking flowers: “Sakhi! Don’t pick the flowers from this vine. It is kṛṣṇa-pakṣa-sarasā (“blooming in the dark lunar fortnight” or “a rasika friend of Krishna’s”); she will pull your garment with her hand-like branches (to pull you off to Krishna’s side).”
Sri Radha smiled and replied: “Sakhi Vishakhe! This vine bears flowers that bloom in the bright lunar fortnight! Why do you say they bloom in the dark one (kṛṣṇa-pakṣā)? This vine is unable to tolerate separation from me and so is obstructing me for fun!”
Vishakha answered: “O naive girl! Just see! A black (kṛṣṇa) bee is coming to drink the nectar of your moon-like face, thinking it to be a lotus, so be careful! Those who are too dark in complexion are not of good character!”
Hearing this, Sri Radha said: “Alas! When you girls are here with your blooming lotus-like faces, then how will this bumblebee ever come to relish my moon-like face, that has no scent at all?” (Kṛṣṇāhnika-kaumudī 4.42-45)
This is how Vishakha is the abode of Sri Radha and Krishna’s relishable joking conversations. Das Goswami says: “May Vishakha, who defeats the cuckoos’ singing in the fifth note with her love-drenched voice, that sings enchanting divine songs that have Sri Radha and Krishna’s sweet pastimes as their subject, be pleased and satisfied with me and teach me the art of song!”
Kavi Karnapura has also written:
“The extraordinary transcendental art of singing as well as the voices of the Vrajasundarīs are all beyond Brahmā’s creation, therefore they cannot be compared to anyone’s voice within it. Vrinda Devi explained to one of Radha’s sakhis named Saṅgīta Vidyā what is the difference between the singing of the Kinnari Matangi, who is the original acharya of the science of song, and the singing of the Vraja gopis, saying:
In this Stavāvalī Raghunath Das Goswami repeatedly reveals his desire to learn the art of singing about Radha and Krishna from Vishakha, and to please Sri Sri Radha Madhava with these sweet songs.
prāṇārbuda koṭi preṣṭha yugala mūrati;“May Vishakha, who is the object of the honey-sweet humorous love of the Yugala Mūrti, Who are dearer to her than millions of lives, whose loving voice creates a wave of divine songs that defeats the singing of the cuckoos and that describe the dual sweetness of Sri Radha-Govinda, teach me that divine art of song.”
tāṅdera praṇaya madhu kautukera pātrī
śrī rādhā-govinda doṅhāra yugala mādhurī
yāra prema-kaṇṭhe divya saṅgīta laharī
kokilā kākali yiho parājaya kore
se viśākhā divya gāna śikṣā dena more
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
Source: Tarun Govinda Das, Flowing Nectar Stream blog.