Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Prabodhananda Discovery

I am skipping around the RRSN typing out the commentaries to the most popular or famous verses. No real sequence.

I am simultaneously listening to Gopi Gita lectures by Kirit Bhaiji, a young speaker from the Vallabhi sampradaya. He is pretty good--a professional Bhagavata speaker. What do some people hate professional Bhagavata speakers so much? I am feeling the rasa. Though at the beginning he sings songs to Ganesh, etc., as part of the introduction, on the whole he is pretty good, with lots of Vallabhi siddhanta. quoting also Sridhar Swami, Rupa Goswami, Madhusudan Saraswati, and using modern examples.

Anyway, I have great admiration for these Bhagavata saptaha people. They have a pretty gruelling schedule--reciting the verses all morning along with various rituals, and then usually a four-hour or even longer discourse in the afternoon. I saw one such performance at the Vrindavan Ashram a few months ago. A few busloads of devotees had been bussed in from Madhya Pradesh somewhere and they were lapping it up. The entire courtyard was full, mostly, I think, with these pilgrims. It was charged and one turbanned, rustic-looking gentleman with dhoti, colored shirt and drooping grey mustache, was dancing daintily as the "Katha-Vyasa" sang some devotional song.

I was thinking how I could never do this, at least not at this level of expertise. My abilities are elsewhere. This guy has a really good group of musicians and he interperses song here and there. All verses quoted are sung and most of his speech is also accompanied by background music.

It is clear that he has rehearsed and mastered his performance in such a way that he can recite smoothly and naturally. Doing the class at Vrindavan ashram is allowing me to develop the same kind of mastery of certain things that I tend to say over and over again, translating verses that I often quote more smoothly, etc., as well as perfecting introduction and certain word series. I would like to be a little more orderly in my presentation, also.

Karpatriji is quite different from this Kirit Bhaiji. Karpatri is a jnani and so his approach is more intellectual. No songs. More spontaneous. Less rehearsed. More like I would do it, though I would similarly never have his vast knowledge. I guess that I would just have to be me! Like Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself, everyone else has been taken." Let's just say that we should aim at professionalism.

Actually, on Monday, which is Satsanga (kirtan/bhajans) night here at the Ashram, I arranged for one musician Gurukula student to accompany me on the harmonium while I sang the Damodarashtaka prayers. Every couple of verses I would stop and tell the Damodar story (this was in English). It took me about 50 minutes, which was hogging the time that is usually shared, but the audience seemed to love it. Some here are starved for this kind of thing! At least no one stopped me or told me to shut up.

BTW, in the commentary here to RRSN verse 258, which is a really nice one I have liked for a long time--

ध्यायंस्तं शिखिपिच्छमौलिम् अनिशं तन्नाम सङ्कीर्तयन्
नित्यं तच्चरणाम्बुजं परिचरन् तन्मन्त्रवर्यं जपन्।
श्रीराधापददास्यम् एव परमाभीष्टं हृदा धारयन्
कर्हि स्यां तदनुग्रहेण परमाद्भुतानुरागोत्सवः॥

dhyāyaṁs taṁ śikhi-picca-maulim aniśaṁ tan-nāma sankīrtayan
nityaṁ tac-caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaraṁs tan-mantra-varyaṁ japan
śrī-rādhā-pada-dāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad-anugraheṇa paramādbhutānurāgotsavaḥ

Meditating on Krishna with the peacock feather in his crown, constantly chanting his name, always serving his lotus feet and whispering his mantra, holding in my heart my highest desire, service to Radha's lotus feet, when will I, by Krishna's grace, become a living festival of this supremely wondrous love?

Anyway, I have discovered here a full insertion of a text I had never seen before, attributed to Prabodhananda Saraswati and seemingly unknown to Gaudiyas. Maybe someone else knows it, but I certainly didn't, even when I did the research for my article on Prabodhananda.

It is called 108 names of Krishna (śrī-kṛṣṇāṣṭottara-nāmāvalī), each one of the names begins with Radha or Radhika. There are a couple of other stotras with 108 names of Krishna, including one by Rupa Goswami, but this is quite different. Many of those familiar themes of Prabodhananda's, which are equally present in RRSN. Too bad Prabodhananda never gets full credit for his influence.

Here is the stotra in Devanagari (not proofread).

श्रीकृष्णाष्टोत्तरशतनामावली

राधिकानागरो राधारसिको राधिकापतिः।
श्रीराधारमणो राधाप्राणसर्वस्व शेवधिः॥१॥
राधिकपरमानन्दो राधैकपरमोत्सवः।
राधैकपरमप्रेमा राधैकपरमोदयः॥२॥
राधैकपरमप्राणो राधिकापरमेप्सितः।
राधैककृतसम्मोहो राधैकव्याकुलीकृतः॥३॥
राधैकरतितृष्णार्तो राधैकसुवशीकृतः।
राधाङ्गसङ्गजीवातुः श्रीराधान्यस्तजीवनः॥४॥
राधाकटाक्षनाराचगाढनिर्भिन्नमर्मकः।
राधाभ्रूकालभुजगीविभ्रमोद्भ्रान्तचेतनः॥५॥
बाह्यान्तश्चित्तविन्यस्तराधालग्नसमाधिकः।
राधाविष्टतयाशेषप्रसुप्तव्यवहारकः॥६॥
राधाध्यानमहावेशवशस्थूलवचोगतिः।
राधाकामाग्निसन्तप्तो राधाविरहविह्वलः॥७॥
राधिकासङ्गमोपायरचनैकविमर्शकः।
प्रतिवर्त्म सदा राधापदाङ्कालोकतत्परः॥८॥
राधापदाङ्कसुश्लाघ्यव्रजरेणुविभूषितः।
राधावासदिगायातपवनस्पर्शनिर्वृतः॥९॥
श्रीराधानुचरीवृन्दसम्मानरसदोद्यतः।
श्रीराधादेशविन्यस्तप्रत्यध्वानर्घ्यवस्तुकः॥१०॥
राधादासीषु बहुधा कृतदन्ततृणादिकः।
राधासख्यर्पितस्वीयमुद्रिकाहारवेणुकः॥११॥
राधाभ्रूभङ्गिमोत्तुङ्गतरानङ्गशरार्दितः।
राधाप्रेममहावेशमुग्धचेष्टाप्रलापकः॥१२॥
राधापरीरम्भलोभभ्रमत्सर्वकलेवरः।
राधानुरागवात्यैकविघूर्णद्बहिरन्तरः॥१३॥
राधाकाममहाज्वालालग्नोच्चाटसदास्थिरः।
राधासीमसुधासिन्धुगाहनैकसदोत्सुकः॥१४॥
राधाकामाग्निसन्दग्धश्यामाङ्गरसवर्षणः।
राधाधम्मिल्लसंवादिबर्हिबर्हाविचूडकः॥१५॥
राधाङ्गरुचिकौशेयपरिवीतकटिस्थलः।
राधाप्रियारामपुष्परचितस्रग्विभूषणः॥१६॥
राधिकागुणनामादिवंशीमुखाम्बुजः।
राधादृश्यस्पृश्यवृन्दावनमात्रैककेतनः॥१७॥
राधिकापदविक्रीतस्वात्मा राधारतोत्सुकः।
सदन्ततृणकाकूक्तिकृतराधानुवर्तनः॥१८॥
राधाभ्रूभङ्गिचकितो राधाकर्णोत्पलाहतः।
राधाकुचालकालम्बी राधालीपरिनर्तितः॥१९॥
राधाहठपरिष्वङ्गी हठाकुलितराधिकः।
सगद्गदस्मितोदारराधाभर्त्सनतोषितः॥२०॥
राधिकावदनाम्भोजमधुलुब्धमधुव्रतः।
राधाभिन्नस्नेहपूर्णललिताद्यैकगोचरः॥२१॥
राधाविलासकुञ्जयित्वान्तश्चित्रप्रसवतल्पकः।
राधाविजयसद्वर्त्मास्तीर्णपर्णदलावलिः॥२२॥
राधास्मेरास्यचन्द्रेक्षास्फीतापाररसाम्बुधिः।
परार्धप्राणनीराज्यराधाङ्गच्छविलेशकः॥२३॥
राधिकाचन्द्रिकोज्जृम्भिपूर्णानन्दाब्धिसम्प्लुतः।
राधोपालम्भनोद्धर्षलुप्तसर्वेतिकृत्यकः॥२४॥
धृतपाणिसखीयत्नराधातल्पाप्तिनिर्वृतः।
राधाश्लेषमुखाम्भोधिलीनस्वपरभेदधीः॥२५॥
राधाप्रथमसङ्गोरुलज्जाभीभङ्गिजालकः।
राधासखीश्लाघ्यमानरतिवैदग्ध्यवैभवः॥२६॥
कुञ्जरन्ध्रनिविष्टाक्षिराधालीहर्षवर्षणः।
अतिगाढोपगूढाङ्गराधाखेदोक्तितोषितः॥२७॥
सगद्गदनिषेधार्थराधावागमृतप्रियः।
सुवेणीमूलम् आलम्ब्य कृतराधास्यचुम्बनः॥२८॥
मद्यन् माद्यन् मुहुः पीतराधाधरसुधारसः।
वक्षःकपाटसंघृष्टराधाकुचघटीतटः॥२९॥
महागाढाश्लेषखर्वीकृतराधाकुचद्वयः।
प्रियाद्वयैकतोत्प्रेक्षिराधाभीविस्मयप्रदः॥३०॥
महासुखचमत्कारसततोत्पुलककृतिः।
राधासुरतसङ्ग्रामसंरम्भव्यग्रविग्रहः॥३१॥
रदखण्डितकन्दर्परणोद्यत्राधिकाधरः।
पीनस्तननखाघातक्षुब्धराधोन्मदस्मरः॥३२॥
राधाशिथिलहस्ताब्जरुद्धनीवीमिलत्करः।
राधिकाकुचकुम्भावलम्बोत्तीर्णस्मरार्णवः॥३३॥
राधासखीजनास्वाद्य तदाश्चर्यरसाम्बुधिः।
विचित्ररतिवीक्षातिचित्रराधाविमूर्छनः॥३४॥
प्रतिक्षणानन्तगुणोद्वर्धिराधारतिस्पृहः।
राधाश्लेषरसावेचमहारोमाञ्चविघ्नधीः॥३५॥
राधिकारतिसम्मर्दरसावेशसमुन्मदः।
राधारतिरणश्रान्तिस्वेदाम्बुरचिताननः॥३६॥
उरस्थलीनित्यभूषा रत्नमञ्जरिराधिकः।
राधामुखार्पितस्वीयमुखताम्बूलवञ्चितः॥३७॥
राधामुखाम्बुजाकृष्टचर्वितास्वादसम्मदः।
राधाक्रीडामृगशिशू राधिकादासयन्त्रकः॥३८॥
प्रतिक्षणान्योन्यभूषाकृतराधाङ्गभूषणः।
राधाकुचतटीपत्रक्रियाकम्पकराम्बुजः॥३९॥
राधामुखशरच्चन्द्रचकोरायितलोचनः।
राधाकुचस्वर्णपद्मकोशबद्धाक्षिषट्पदः॥४०॥
राधातदालीसहितोच्छलितकेलिरसार्णवः।
राधिकाभूषितस्वाङ्गशोभेक्षाहर्षफुल्लितः॥४१॥
सुधाकोटिमुधाकारिराधानर्मोक्तिनिर्वृतः।
प्रतिक्षणकृताम्रेडराधासुरतभिक्षुकः॥४२॥
कुचतटीशायी स्वोरःशायितराधिकः।
उरःस्थलं विनाशय्याप्यधिरोपितराधकः॥४३॥
राधामानकलाभीतो राधानुनयकोविदः।
राधामानग्राहकाले चाटुकारपरायणः॥४४॥
सखीदृगिङ्गितस्तब्धो राधामानातिखिन्नधीः।
सहासराधिकाश्लेषसुखाम्बुधिविलीनधीः॥४५॥
अहेतुराधाचकिततत्त्रपारोषणोत्सवः।
वृन्दावनश्रीवीक्षार्थकृतराधासहभ्रमः॥४६॥
वंशीरतिग्रहाधूतजितराधावरोधकः।
राधानीवीसुसंस्पृष्टहृदयो राधिकामयः॥४७॥
राधासम्बन्धशून्यानां प्राणानाम् अप्युपेक्षकः।
राधासम्बन्धगन्धैकतृणकेऽप्यात्मविक्रयी॥४८॥
राधाकेलिकथानन्यधन्यैकसुवशीकृतः।
राधारसदसद्धामवृन्दारण्याश्रितात्मदः॥४९॥

॥ इति श्रीप्रबोधानन्दकृतनामावली सम्पूर्णा॥

Radhe Radhe!



Just counting how many unfinished posts I have as drafts -- 15 in all. Many quite recent. Hope I can finish some of them.

1 comment:

Jagat said...

Still listening to those CD's. I had to laugh because in the course of commenting on the second verse (10.31.2), the speaker goes into a bit of marital advice--including telling husbands to give their wives flowers for no reason at least once a month. I guess this recording was made in Ajmer, because he challenges the audience, "Is there any man in this town of Ajmer who gave flowers to his wife for no reason in the last month? No one is raising their hands. I guess not."

Anyway, it shows that

(1) A grihastha pathaka can say things that even the most liberal sannyasi most likely wouldn't consider.

(2) The potential for modernizing and widening the discourse in Bhagavata path.

(3) That there are people out there who make connections between the Rasa lila and love between men and women in this world.