Janmashtami: Krishna....The mystic lover
Wandering through the winding alleys of Vrindavan, the enigmatic place of lore, the land where Krishna…the mystic lover enchanted the Gopis and played out his divine love song, the first notes that breeze into our consciousness pronounce Radhe Radhe...Radhe Radhe.
Yes, Radha, the most beloved, the most adored of Krishna’s lovers rules the place. And, what’s intriguing for the seeker is the maya of Madan Mohan, that ensures Radha’s name remains on the lips of his devotees. Common sense argues that it should be Jai Sri Krishna, after all remembering the Lord, the saviour, has to be their basic instinct.
It’s not for nothing that Krishna is regarded the most intriguing of all divine incarnations. However, it’s his relationship with Radha, wherein lies the fountainhead of Krishna’s mysticism. The love of Radha, the most attractive of Gopis, and Krishna, the youthful irresistible appealing and the supreme one, transcends time and space at a very sublime level.
Although Krishna was the quintessential lover boy, someone who had maidens of Vrindavan running after him, trying to woo him; grab his attention. He for sure loved it all, loved them all; but his heart lay with Radha, his chirpy, loving playmate.
Their love for each other awakes on the banks of the Yamuna in the mustard fields. The air is redolent with the perfume of newly blossomed Jasmine flowers; the ears enjoy the sweet music of buzzing bees and the distant call of the cuckoos. Amidst the strewn flowers with his back to the Ashoka tree sits the lover, the Lord, seductively playing his flute.
Radha, can’t keep herself away from him, she doesn’t know what happens to her when she comes to know that Kanha is calling her…yearning for her.
Tum Mere Ho Kaun Kanu
Main Tou Ajj Tak Nahi Jan Payi
Aksar Jab Tumne Bansi Baja Kar Mujhe Bulaya
Main Mohit Mirg-si Bhagti Chali Aayi Houn
Aur Tumne Mujhe Apni Bahon Main Kas Liya
Tou Maine Doub Kar Kaha...
Kanu Mera Lakshya Hain, Mera Aradhya, Mera Gantavya Hain
(What do you mean to me oh dear, I have not yet understood. Often when you play your flute, I come running to you in gay abandon. And, when you embrace me tightly I realise you are my aim, my Lord, my destiny…)
Theirs was a complex relationship, for the devotee (Radha) is the `same as and yet diverse from` the Lord, and so even in the joy of unification there was the pain of separation. Undeniably, the highest form of devotion, according to the great saint Yamunacarya, comes not in union but after the union, in the `fear of separation`.
Krishna on the other hand was the all-knowing one, he knew that Radha had surrendered her soul at his feet, but more importantly she was the embodiment of the perfect devotee, someone who has united with the Lord and now lives in the perpetual fear of viraha (love-in-separation). But even for him, it was impossible to let go of someone who was one with him, who clung to him like a tender creeper, which tentatively lives by the shadow of a giant tree, always fearing the strong winds of time that can separate it from its saviour.
Going beyond the realities of human existence, in the realm of cosmic wilderness, where spirits unite and love pervades, resides the absolute truth about the lover, the Lord.
Through Radha, the Lord played out the pristine cosmic reality that there can be attachment and absolute oneness with the infinite provided the seeker not just loves the divine but surrenders completely.
Many others have loved him, even surrendered themselves at his feet but none could take Radha’s place in his heart…Radha the devotee, the lover.
And, when people of Vrindavan chant Radhe Radhe, they in a way reassert the truth that Radha is absolutely one with Krishna. They understand that the path that leads to the Lord traverses through the realms of mysticism, a journey that demands absolute love, absolute surrender…He is a lover…Mystic lover.