The Unison of the Eternal Couple
The gentle breeze of the silent moonlit night was creating ripples in Yamuna’s turquoise blue water. The short, high pitched sounds of crickets made up for the absence of chirping of birds. The forest resounded with the rustling of the fallen leaves and the wind shifting them from ground. In one secluded corner of Nidhivan, the sakhis, friends of Radharani were engaged in decorating the bower. The entrance was skillfully embellished with strings of ornate flowers. Pendants of jasmine, magnolia, daisy and henna hung forming a canopy. The night had arrived in its last quarter. The sakhis, without letting their eyelids drop guarded the bower like the soldiers at an outpost. Nothing should create a hindrance in the union of Radharani and Sri Krishna. The sakhis never possessed any selfish desire. Their only joy was bringing about the union of the supreme lover and his beloved. It was their only wish, desire, objective and accomplishment, their sadhana. So, they had all assembled at the entrance of the bower, relishing the nectar emanating from the union of the eternal divine couple.
With the onset of dawn, a faint orange glow noticed on the eastern horizon was gaining prominence. Radharani woke up from her slumber with a start. Was it a dream or had her mind become contaminated? How absurd! How unimaginable! She lay down, her head resting on the lap of Shyam Sundar. She had closed her eyes and was sleeping peacefully, her body, mind and soul immersed in the bottomless stream of nectar emanating from her divine, unbound love for Him. Shyam Sundar was the only receptacle, the only essence of her conscious and superconscious states, the point where all her thoughts and actions converged. What was the reason for the discrepancy that night? Why such a disturbing dream? Radharani got up, her hair disheveled, tears running down her face, her body trembling. There was no need to hold on to her body anymore. How could she get charmed by the shadow of a person other than Shyam Sundar, her cherished one, the light of her life? Though it was a dream, it was still distorted, twisted. She resolved that she would bring an end to her life by drowning herself in Yamuna. She looked at Shyam Sundar, her eyes overwhelmed with sorrow.
A bewitching smile flashed across Shyam Sundar’s face.
“What happened? Why are you so agitated?”
Radharani narrated her remorse in a quivering voice,
“A young, majestic, golden hued person came in my dream in the last quarter of the night. I lost my heart and mind to that splendid personality. I can still feel the attraction in every fibre of my being. How did this happen? I have only loved you. You complete me. Why then this blemish in my love? There is no need for this life now. I have strayed and I have to atone for this. Even though it was for a fraction of a second, I was enchanted by this other man. I will give up this very life in Yamuna. Please grant me the permission to leave.” Radharani kept lamenting and tears ran down, soaking her saree.
Krishna, with that captivating smile on his lips, wiped the tears off her face, pulled Radharani closer and held her in a tight embrace. He let her cry out her frustration and pacified her with a revelation.
He said, “O Radhe! The fair, handsome man that came in your dreams last night is none other than me, he is my shadow only. Being drenched in the love that you shower on me, I still had an unfulfilled desire. I failed to realise the depth of your love. I couldn’t assess the greatness of Radha’s love with this body, with this consciousness. So, I decided to take on a form with the brilliance of your mood, your sparkle, your intensity. I will manifest again in Kaliyug. Krishna within and Gouranga on the outside. In Gouranga Avatar, I will grieve and ache for you the same way you pine for me in separation. I will cry for you and flood the world with my tears.
The greatness of the nectar of your love,
While in Brij I wasn’t able to admire.
Manifesting in Nadia drenched in your mood,
Making you my Guru, I will uphold this treasure rare.
You dreamt of me, O! My dear Radhe!
You dreamt of me, I swear.
The one you lost your heart to is none other than me
The dream was to make you aware.”
Radharani felt relieved. Astonished, she looked at Sri Krishna, her eyes wide. Could this be true? Could both of them get united in one form, in one body?
This is the mystery of Goura Leela. The leela that Sri Krishna hinted in Dwapara, materialized in Kaliyug.
Chaitanya Charitamrita says,
radha kṛiṣhṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hladini shaktir asmad ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau chaitanyakhyam prakaṭam adhuna tad-dvayam chaikyam aptam radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi kṛṣṇa-svarupam
- Chaitanya Charitamrita
The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Kṛiṣhṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s, Hladini Shakti, the internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Kṛiṣhṇa separated their identities, they are one and the same. Both these divine entities have again united, in the form of Sri Kṛiṣhṇa Chaitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself in the mood and golden complexion of Srimati Radharaṇi although He is Kṛiṣhṇa Himself.
In Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami has explicitly narrated the reason behind the manifestation of Gouranga Mahaprabhu.
Sri radhayaḥ praṇaya mahima kidṛuso vanayaiva
svadyo yenadbhuta madhurima kidṛuso va madiyaḥ
saukhyam chasya mad anubhavataḥ kidṛusm veti lobhat
tad bhavaḍhyaḥ samajani sachi garbha sindhau harinduḥ
- Chaitanya Charitamrita
Sri Krishna had three desires:
1. To understand the glory of Shrimati Radharani’s love.
2. To experience his own wonderful, nectarian qualities, all that she alone relishes through her love for him.
3. To drown in the joy that she feels when she realizes the sweetness of his love for her.
In order to realise these three aspects, Sri Krishna Chandra, enriched with Shrimati Radharani’s emotions, appeared from the womb of Shrimati Sachi Devi as the moon ascends from the ocean.
Swapna Vilas is the Nidhivan Leela that throws light on the mystery behind the manifestation of the golden hued sun in the eastern horizon, Premavatar, Namavatar, Pavanavatar, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty's essay, 'Swapna Vilas'.
Image credit: Eila Sahu