Published on March 25th, 2021 | by Harmonist staff4
By Swāmī Śrī Bhaktivedānta Tripurāri
Gaura-līlā is oceanic. Its sacred wonder is beyond comprehension. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says śrī gauranga mahāprabhos caraṇayor ya kesa śeṣadibhi˙sevagamyataya—the gods, goddesses, and even Ananta Śeṣa cannot comprehend the wonder of Gaura-līlā. As Śrī Vyāsa has written, this is true for Kṛṣṇa-līlā as well, muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ. The many līlās of Radha-Kṛṣṇa are comparable to rivers flowing in all directions, but the fountain from which they flow is the līlā of Śrī Gauranga. Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Mahāśaya writes:
kṛṣṇa-līlā amṛta-sāra, tāra śata śata dhāra, daśa-dike vahe yāhā haite
se caitanya-līlā haya, sarovara akṣaya, mano-haṁsa carāha’ tāhāte
Krisha-līlā is the essence of eternal nectar flowing in hundreds of branches in all ten directions from the inexhaustible lake of Caitanya-līlā. May the swan of my mind swim in that lake.Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 25.271
How can we approach that lake? It is the property of Gaura’s devotees and they can give it to us, sva-bhakta-vihita sanyair-yaya labhyate. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has dug a channel from the bottomless lake of Gaura-līlā to our ears in the form of his Gauranga-līlā-smaraṇa-stotra, and if we listen to this stotra with faith, it will enter our hearts through our ears and flood any prospect for material enjoyment, while drowning our souls in Gaura-līlā.
Let us offer our obeisances to the daily līlā and endearing character of the Lord who takes birth in Navadvīpa Dhāma, naumi pratyahikam tadiya-caritam sriman-navadvipa-jam.
In Nadīyā, many perfect devotees reside in their fully spiritualized perfected sādhaka-dehas. Ever youthful, surrounded by their disciples, and under the shelter of their gurus, they serve Śrī Gauranga, Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Advaita Ācārya, and their pārṣadas. There are innumerable āśramas dotting the landscape of Navadvīpa Dhāma and our guru’s āśrama in this world is a particular manifestation of the magnanimous abode of Śrī Gauranga. Thinking of himself as a servant of śrī guru and a sevaka of his ashram, a sādhaka can perfect himself and enter the eternal līlā of the moon of Gauḍa-Maṇḍala with one’s guru-given name in the form of brāhmaṇa-kiśora. Meditating on the daily līlā of Śrī Gauracandra and engaging in nama-sankirtana one enters Gaura-līlā, and as Nimāi Paṇḍita, in the course of his eightfold daily līlā, enters the trance of Kṛṣṇa-līlā, one follows him in one’s self-realized form as a Vraja gopī or gopa.
Gaura-līlā is always tempered by a degree of reverence. Even the most intimate devotees of Śrī Kṛṣṇa when appearing in Gaura-līlā show reverence for Śrī Caitanyadeva. However, for the sādhaka, reverence—dāsya-bhakti—for Śrī Gauranga leads naturally to love of God in intimacy—Vraja-bhakti.