From the Jacket
The Vidgadha-madhava is a dream of Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vrndavana. Srila Rupa Gosvami finished this book in the year 1454 Sakabda.
The first part of this drama is called Venu-nada-vilasa, the second part manmatha-lekha, the third part Radha-sanga, the fourth part venu-harama, the fifth part Radha-prasadana, the sixth part Sarad-vihara, and the seventh and last part gauri-vihara.
One day while Rupa Gosvami was writing Vidagdha-madhava, Sri Caitanya Maha prabhu suddenly appeared. The Lord inquired, "What kind of book are you writing?" He held up a palm leaf that was a page of the manuscript, and when He saw the fine handwriting, His mind was very pleased. Thus being pleased, the Lord praised the writing by saying, "The handwriting of Rupa Gosvami is just like rows of pearls."
"Actually going to Vrndavana involves taking shelter of the six Gosvamis by reading the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhy, Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava and the other books that they have given. In this way one can understand the transcendental loving affairs between Radha and Krsna.
Kabe hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said: I met Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga, and became very attracted to him because of his exalted qualities," Thereafter, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Praised Rupa Gosvami's use of metaphors and other literary ornaments, and said that without such poetic attributes there is no possibility of preaching transcendental mellows. The Lord then requested all His personal associates to bliss Rupa Gosvami so that he would be able to continuously describe the pastimes of Vrindavana, which are full of emotional love of Godhead.
From the Back of the Book
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu, "You should both show Your mercy whole heartedly to Rupa Gosvami. May Rupa Gosvami, by you mercy become so powerful that he will be able to describe the transcendental mellows of devotional service." Thus Rupa Gosvami became the object of love and affection for all the devotees of the Lord, including those who came from Bengal and those who resided in Orissa.
One day thereafter, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to see Srila Rupa Gosvami, the omniscient Lord spoke as follows. "Do not try to take Krsna out of Vrndavana, for He does not go anywhere else at any time. The Krsna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu-kumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana."
After saying this, Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to perform his noontime duties, leaving Srila Rupa Gosvami somewhat surprised. "Satyabhama ordered mo to write two different dramas," Srila Rupa Gosvami thought. "Now I understand that this order has been confirmed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. "Formerly I wrote the two dramas as one composition. Now I shall divide it and describe the incidents in two separate works. I shall write two separate invocations of good fortune and two different introductions. Let me think deeply about the manner and then describe two different sets of incidents." These two books are the Vidagdha-madhava and the Lalita-madhava. The Vidagdha-madhava describes pastimes in Vendavana, and the Lalita-madhava describes pastimes in Dvaraka and Mathura.
"In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (180) Sri Rupa Gosvami is described to be the gopi named Sri Rupa-manjari. In the Bhakti-ratnakara there is a list of the books Sri Rupa Gosvami compiled. Of all his books, the following sixteen are very popular among Vaisnavas: (1) Hamsaduta, (2) Uddhava-sandesa, (3) Krsna-janma-tithi-vidhi, (4 and 5) Radha-krsna-ganoddesa-dipika, Brhat (major) and Laghu (minor), (6) Stavamala, (7) Vidagdha-madhava, (8) Lalita-madhava, (9) Dana-keli-kaumudi, (10) Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (this is the most celebrated book by Sri Rupa Gosvami), (11) Ujjvala-nilamani, (12) Akhyata-candrika, (13) Mathura-mahima, (14) Padyavali, (15) Nataka-candrika and (16) Laghu-bhagavatamrta."
In the Caitanya-caritamrta, it is nicely described how Srila Rupa Gosvami came to write Lalita-madhava and Vidagdha-madhava. After being instructed by Lord Caitanya at Prayaga, Srila Rupa Gosvami had gone to Vrndavana. Then, later on, as he journeyed to Bengal, along with his brother, Anupam, he began to compose a drama about Lord Krsna's pastimes in Vrndavana. Anupam died in Bengal and so Srila Rupa Gosvami could not accompany the devotees to Jagannatha Puri.
After the delay due to the death of his brother, as Srila Rupa Gosvami traveled to see Lord Caitanya, he came to a village known as Satyabhama-pura, in the Cuttak district of Orissa. While resting in Satyabhama-pura, he dreamed that a celestially beautiful woman came before him and very mercifully gave him the following order. "Write a separate drama about me," she said. "By my mercy it will be extraordinarily beautiful." After having that dream, Srila Rupa Gosvami considered, "It is the order of Satyabhama that I write a separate drama for her. "I have brought together in one work all the pastimes performed by Lord Krsna in Vrndavana and in Dvaraka. Now I shall have to divide them into two dramas."
Absorbed in these thoughts, Srila Rupa Gosvami came to Jagannatha Puri, where he stayed with Haridasa Thakura. After seeing the upala-bhoga ceremony at the Jagannatha temple, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would regularly come to see Haridasa every day. Thus it is happened that, just after Srila Rupa Gosvami's arrival, the Lord came there.
The next day, Lord Caitanya introduced Srila Rupa Gosvami to all the devotees. At that time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu, "You should both show Your mercy wholeheartedly to Rupa Gosvami. May Rupa Gosvami, by Your mercy, become so powerful that he will be able to describe the transcendental mellows of devotional service." Thus Rupa Gosvami became the object of love and affection for all the devotees of the Lord, including those who came from Bengal and those who resided in Orissa.
After saying this, Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to perform His noontime duties, leaving Srila Rupa Gosvami somewhat surprised. "Satyabhama ordered me to write two different dramas," Srila Rupa Gosvami thought. "Now I understand that this order has been confirmed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. "Formerly I wrote the two dramas as one composition. Now I shall divide it and describe the incidents in two separate works, I shall write two separate invocations of good fortune and two different introductions. Let me think deeply about the matter and then describe two different sets of incidents."
These two books are the Vidagdha-madhava and the Lalita-madhava. The Vidagdha-madhava describes pastimes in Vrndavana, and the Lalita-madhava describes pastimes in Dvaraka and Mathura.
After the four months of Caturmasya [Sravana, Bhadra, Asvina and Kartika], all the Vaisnavas of Bengal returned to their homes, but Srila Rupa Gosvami remained in Jagannatha Puri under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
One day while Rupa Gosvami was writing his book, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu suddenly appeared. As soon as Haridasa Thakura and Rupa Gosvami saw the Lord coming, they both stood up and then fell down to offer Him their respectful obeisances. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced them both and then sat down.
The Lord inquired, "What kind of book are you writing?" He held up a palm leaf that was a page of the manuscript, and when he saw the fine handwriting, his mind was very pleased. Thus being pleased, the Lord praised the writing by saying, "The handwriting of Rupa Gosvami is just like rows of pearls."
While reading the manuscript, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw a verse on that page, and as soon as He read it He was overwhelmed by ecstatic love. "I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krs-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert."
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted this verse, Haridasa Thakura, upon hearing the vibration, became jubilant began to dance while praising its meaning. one has to learn about the beauty and transcendental position of the holy name of the Lord by hearing the revealed scriptures from the mouths of devotees. Nowhere else can we hear of the sweetness of the Lord's holy name. Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Haridasa and Rupa Gosvami and left for the seaside to perform His noontime duties.
On the next day, after visiting the temple of Jagannatha as usual, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Ramananda Raya and Svarupa Damodara. They all went together to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and on the way the Lord greatly praised his qualities. When Haridasa Thakura and Rupa Gosvami saw that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had come with His intimate devotees, they both immediately fell down like logs and offered prayers to their lotus feet.
After being seated, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "My dear Rupa, please recite that verse from your drama which, upon being heard, makes all people's unhappiness and lamentation go away."
When the Lord persisted in asking this again and again, Rupa Gosvami recited that verse about the holy names of the Lord.
When all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, especially Sri Ramananda Raya, heard this verse, they were all filled with transcendental bliss and were struck with wonder. Everyone admitted that although they had heard many statements glorifying the holy name of the Lord, they had never heard such sweet descriptions as those of Rupa Gosvami.
Ramananda Raya inquired, "What kind of drama are you writing? We can understand that it is a mine of conclusive statements.
Svarupa Damodara replied for Srila Rupa Gosvami: "He wanted to compose a drama about the pastimes of Lord Krsna. He planned to describe in one book both the pastimes of Vrndavana and those of Dvaraka and Mathura. He began it in that way, but now, following the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he has divided it in two and is writing two plays, one concerning the pastimes of Mathura and Dvaraka and the other concerning the pastimes of Vrndavana. The two plays are called Vidagdha-madhava and Lalita-madhava. Both of them wonderfully describe ecstatic emotional love of God."
Srila Prabhupada, in a purport to Caitanya-caritamrta, has described the importance of this book, Vidagdha-madhava: "In the beginning one should very regularly chant Sri Gaurasundara's holy name and then chant the holy name of Lord Nityananda. Thus one's heart will be cleansed of impure desires for material enjoyment. Then one can approach Vrndavana-dhama to worship Lord Krsna.
"Unless one is favored by Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, there is no need to go to Vrndavana, for unless one's mind is purified, he cannot see Vrndavana, even if he goes there. Actually going to Vrndavana involves taking shelter of the six Gosvamis by reading the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava and the other books that they have given. In this way one can understand the transcendental loving affairs between Radha and Krsna. Kabe Hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti. The conjugal love between Radha and Krsna is not an ordinary human affair; it is fully transcendental. In order to understand Radha and Krsna, worship them and engage in their loving service, one must be guided by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and the six Gosvamis, Lord Caitanya's direct disciples."
It must be said, however, that this book should only be read by those who are seriously trying to advance in Krsna consciousness under the direction of Srila Prabhupada. It is a great blunder to read Vidagdha-madhava and consider the loving exchanges between Lord Krsna and the gopis to be similar to the so-called loving affairs between men and women in this material world. This is nicely understood by reading the following conversation that took place in 1977 between Srila Prabhupada and some of his disciples.
Prabhupada: Introducing as study book in higher colleges, universities, text book, then it will be what is the use, a so-called scholar having a Sat-sandarbha? And this has been failure. Our one Godbrother, he did. Simply he printed. It was not sold, and then it was mishandled, distributed like anything.
Hari-sauri: What was that?
Prabhupada: That Ananta Vasudeva, my Godbrother, he printed so many Gosvami literatures, but it was not successful.
Satsvarupa: Even when I went to the convention in America, one convention, this woman professor, they were all excited. She has just translated Vidagdha-madhava. But she had no understanding. She was talking about what the rasa is and Radharani, but it's all like psychology of sex literature.
Prabhupada: That's all. They say, "Sex religion. Religious perfection through sex." That is their idea. That Rajneesh is doing that. Rajneesh?.
Satsvarupa: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: And Freud also.
Hari-sauri: All of them.
Prabhupada: Ha hanta ha hanta visa-bhaksana. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said this sex is the more dangerous than drinking poison for person who are going to advance in spiritual understanding. And they are talking-"Sex is the way of perfection." Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ha hanta ha hanta visa-bhaksana apy asadhu. If one takes poison, that is criminal. So this sex indulgence in devotional life is more dangerous than poison-taking, criminality. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's. but the sahajiyas, they are taking that through sex their life. What Gosvami? Jayadeva Gosvami, Candidasa, they read, and they say, "Oh, through sex one can achieve the highest." They publicly say in Vrndavana. "I am Krsna, and parakiya rasa. You have to select one woman who is not your wife, kept wife, parakiya."
Hari-sauri: I have seen one man. He comes sometimes to our temple dressed as a woman.
Prabhupada: Yes, sakhibhekhi.
Hari-sauri: Yes, I have seen him a few times.
Prabhupada: Sakhibekhi. There are so many apasampradayas, thirteen at least in the counting by Bhaktivinoda Thakura: aula, baula kartabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani sahajiya, sakhibekhi. This sakhibekhi. Smarta, jata-gosani, ativadi, cudadhari, gauranga-nagari. These thirteen, fourteen apasampradayas.
They are passing as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sampradaya. But they are the worst, rejected.
Srila Prabhupada repeatedly taught us that the attraction that a man or woman feels for the opposite sex is a perverted reflection of the original love we all have for Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here, in Vidagdha-madhava, we experience pure love, devoid of all the inebriety that is found in mundane so-called love. So long as we hope to experience such love in our mundane relationships so long we will remain disappointed and frustrated. Although filled with bitter experience, we can take hope from this great literature-that there is a realm of pure love far beyond this material world. For that reason, our aim should be to go back home, back to Godhead, as Srila Prabhupada always said.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend