nayana kamala mādhurī niruddha
vraja nava yauvata mauli hṛn marālam
vraja-pati-suta citta mīna rāja
grahaṇa paṭiṣṭha vilocanānta jālam
O Kṛṣṇa! The swan-like heart of the crown jewel of Vraja’s young girls (Rādhikā) is captured by the sweetness of Your lotus-like eyes!
O Śrī Rādhike! The net of Your glances was expert in catching the heart of the prince of Vraja, which is like the king of fishes.
NAYANA MĀDHURĪ (The Eyes’ Sweetness):
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
Śrī Rādhā’s maidservants are the embodiments of devotional service, and like them, nobody knows what is the greatest service to be rendered to Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava.
They serve both Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa by immersing Them in Each other’s sweetness. At the time of meeting they keep the picture of the sweet pastimes, forms and qualities of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava’s drawn on the canvas of the heart and during the time of separation they are like expert handicraft-girls that serve the Divine Couple by painting these pictures on the canvas of Their hearts.
Bhakti makes them understand everything. The screen of the Yugala’s hearts is opened to them and nothing remains hidden from them.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is in his siddha svarūpa as he says:
“O Kṛṣṇa! Śrī Rādhā’s swan-like heart is captured by the sweetness of Your lotuslike eyes! When the swans see the blooming lotus flowers they become very eager to enjoy their stems, and in the same way the swan of Śrī Rādhā’s heart becomes agitated with desires to meet Kṛṣṇa after seeing the endless sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s lotuslike eyes.”
At that moment, She tells Her sakhīs:
rūpa lāgi āṅkhi jhure guṇe mana bhora;
prati aṅga lāgi prati aṅga kāṅde mora
hiyāra paraśa lāgi hiyā mora kāṅde;
parāṇa putali mora thira nāhi bāndhe
“My eyes are soothed by seeing His form and My mind then becomes absorbed in remembering His attributes. Each of My limbs cries when they touch His different limbs. When His heart touches My heart, it cries and the puppet of My life-airs cannot remain calm.”
The eyes of endlessly beautiful Kṛṣṇa are also most beautiful, and they are again filled with hundreds of playful emotions. They are like Cupid’s enchanting arrows that agitate Śrīmatī’s heart and mind. tarala nayāne, teracho cāhani, viṣama kusuma bāṇa.
She then tells Her sakhīs:
rasa-bhare manthara, lahu lahu cāhani,
ki diṭhi ḍhulāoni bhāṣti
garala mākhi hiye, śela ki hānalo,
jarajara koru dina rāti
“He looks at Me slightly and slowly with rasa-laden eyes and His glances are swaying. Is My heart being pierced by poison-smeared arrows, so that it now aches day and night?”
sajani! ithe lāgi kāñdaye parāṇa!
koto koto janama, kalapa phale milalo,
diṭhi bhari nā herilum kāna.
“O friend! This feeling makes My heart cry! How many births and ages had to pass until I met Kāna, but I still did not absorb My eyes in seeing Him!”
niśi diśi soñari, soñari cita ākula,
o gati ādha ādha pāya.
haṭha kori marame, marame majhu paiṭhala,
koho sakhi kon upāya?
“I remember Him day and night and this agitates My heart. In this way I get Him only half. He suddenly enters My heart by force. O sakhi, tell Me, what can I do now?”
Śrīla Govinda dāsa is also very expert in describing the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s eyes:
ḍhala ḍhala sajala, jalada tanu śohana,
mohana ābharaṇa sāja.
aruṇa nayana gati, vijurī camaka jiti,
dagadhala kulavatī lāja.
“His body is like a dripping monsoon cloud that is ornamented in an enchanting fashion. His red eyes are defeating the swift movements of the lightning and are burning the shame of the married girls (as the lightning scorches all kinds of external objects).”
sajani! yab dhari pekhaluṁ kāna
taba dhari jaga-bhari, bharala kusuma śara,
nayane nā heriye āna.
“O sakhi! As soon as I saw Kāna the whole world was filled with flower-arrows (amorous desires) and My eyes couldn’t see anything else!”
majhu mukha daraśi, vihasi tanu moḍai,
vigalita mohana vaṁśa
nā jāniye kon, manorathe ākula,
kiśalaya dale koru daṁśa
“Looking at My face He smiles and turns around, dropping His enchanting flute. I don’t know which desire agitates Him that makes Him bite a young sprout (hinting that He wants to kiss Me on the lips).”
ataye se majhu mana, jvalitahi anukhana,
dolata capala parāṇa
govinda dāsa, michai āśoyāsalo,
abahuṅ nā milalo kāna
“Thus He scorches My heart at every moment, causing My restless life-airs to dangle. Govinda Dāsa gives false consolation. Still She has not met Kṛṣṇa.”
In a few words Jñāna dāsa also clearly manages to reveal the extraordinary ability of these eyes:
kibā se bhurūra bhaṅga, bhūṣaṇera bhūṣaṇa aṅga,
kāma mohe nayānera koṇe.
hāsi hāsi kothā koy, parāṇa kāḍiyā loy,
bhulāite koto raṅga jāne.
“What about the movements of His eyebrows? His body is the ornament of its ornaments, and His sidelong glances enchant even Cupid! He smiles and laughs while He speaks and thus He takes My life away. He knows how to make Me forget everything!”
In his book ‘Padyāvalī’ Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes the beauty of Kṛṣṇa’s wide eyes, that enchant millions of Cupids and that extend up to His ears, as follows:
ārakta dīrgha nayano nayanābhirāmaḥ
kandarpa koṭi lalitaṁ vapur ādadhānaḥ
bhūyāt sa me’dya hṛdayāmburuhādhi
vartī vṛndāṭavī nagara nāgara cakravartī
“May Śyāmasundara, the king of amorous heroes in the town of Vṛndāvana, whose eyes are slightly red of erotic intoxication and are so wide that they extend up to His ears, who enchants the eyes, and whose body is more lovely than millions of Cupids, be manifest in my lotuslike heart today!”
anaṅga rasa cāturī capala cāru netrāñcalaś
calan makara kuṇḍala sphurita kānti gaṇḍa-sthalaḥ
vrajollasita nāgarī nikara rāsa lāsyotsukaḥ
sa me mānase sphuratu ko’pi gopālakaḥ
“May one cowherd boy, whose enchanting restless sidelong glances are filled with the dexterity of erotic rasa, whose cheeks are illumined by the lustre of His swaying Makara-earrings, and who is very eager to dance the Rāsa-dance with the blissful heroines of Vraja, be manifest in my mind!”
What counts for Śyāma also counts for Rādhā. Her eyes are certainly not less beautiful. The heart of Vrajendra-nandana is like the king of fishes that is trapped in the net of Śrī Rādhā’s glances. Kṛṣṇa’s heart is not just like any fish – it is the king of fishes! It’s not easy to catch that king of fishes in one’s net!
When Kṛṣṇa mounted His bird-carrier Garuda to kidnap Rukmiṇī while she was heading for the Devī-Mandira with some brāhmaṇa-maidens to perform Durgā-pūjā, Garuḍa was totally enchanted by the beauty of her form, and he told Kṛṣṇa: “O Lord! Look! The whole town is illuminated by the splendor of this princess!”
Kṛṣṇa replied: bhavatu, kim etena rūpa mātreṇa na hāryo hariḥ – “Let it be! O Garuḍa! Remember that My name is Hari, and My form enchants the whole world! Don’t tell Me anything about physical beauty! It’s not just the form that can steal away My mind! Just tell Me how much love she has for Me!”
Śrī Rādhārāṇī’s eyes contain mādanākhya prema, and that is why they can take away the mind of the transcendental youthful Cupid of Vṛndāvana.
In pūrva rāga even Her slightest restless sidelong glance overwhelms Him, and He reveals His heart to a sakhī:
sajani! aparūpa pekhaluṁ bālā
himakara madana, milita mukha-maṇḍala,
tā pora jaladhara mālā
“O sakhi! I saw an extraordinary young girl! The moon and Cupid are meeting in Her face and above that is a garland of clouds!”
cañcala nayane, heri mujhe sundarī,
mucakāyai phiri gelo.
toikhone marame, madana jvara upajala,
jīvaite saṁśaya bhelo.
“This beautiful girl looked at Me with restless eyes, smirked at Me and then turned back. Then the fire of Cupid started burning My heart and I doubted whether I was still alive or not.”
ahar niśi śayane, svapane āna nā heriye,
anukhana soi dheyāna.
tākara piriti, ki rīti nāhi samujhiye,
ākula athira parāṇa.
“Day and night, in dreams or in wakefulness, I constantly meditate on Her. I do not understand the ways of Her love, and this makes My heart unsteady and agitated.”
maramaka vedana, tohe parakāśala,
tuhuṅ ati catura sujāna.
so puna madhura, mūrati daraśāyabi,
e rādhā vallabha gāna.
Rādhā Vallabha sings: “Thus I told you about My heartache. You are a clever girl, so please show Me this sweet form again!”
Śrīla Vidyāpati Ṭhākura has an extraordinary ability in describing the beauty of Śrīmatī’s eyes:
yahā yahā nayana vikāśa; tāhi kamala parakāśa
yahā lahu hāsa sañcāra, tahi tahi amiyā vithāra
yahā yahā kuṭila kaṭākha; tahi madana śara lākha
heraite so dhani thora; ab tina bhuvana agora
puna kiye daraśana pābo; taba mohe iha dukha yābo
vidyāpati koho jāni; tuya guṇe deyabo āni
“Wherever She casts Her glances, there the lotus flowers blossom! Wherever She extends Her mild smile there She distributes nectar and wherever She casts Her crooked glances there are thousands of Cupid’s arrows. Seeing this fortunate girl for one moment, now I see Her throughout the three worlds. When will I see Her again? Only then My misery will cease. Vidyāpati says: “I know! Your attributes will bring Him here!”
The great poets have compared Śrīmatī’s eyes with lotus flowers, fishes and Cakora-birds, but actually these eyes are incomparable. Is it possible to compare these mahā-bhāva-eyes with any worldly object?
Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī has written:
nayana yuga vidhāne rādhikāyā vidhātrā
jagati madhura sāraḥ sañcitāḥ sad guṇā ye
bhuvi patita tad aṁśais tena sṛṣṭānya sārair
bhramara mṛga cakorāmbhoja mīnotpalāni
(Govinda Līlāmṛta 11,100)
“The Creator collected the essence of all the sweet and good things of the world to make Rādhikā’s eyes and the leftover parts fell down to earth to become the black bees, deer, Cakora birds, plain lotuses and blue lotus flowers!”
Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī has written:
śrī gopendra kumāra mohana mahā-vidye sphuran mādhurī
sāra sphāra rasāmburāśi sahaja prasyandi netrāñcale
kāruṇyārdra kaṭākṣa bhaṅgi madhura smerānanāmbhoruhe
hā hā svāmini rādhike mayi kṛpā-dṛṣṭiṁ manāṇ nikṣipa
(Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi – 189)
“O my mistress Rādhike! O Great illusory potency that enchants the prince of Vraja! O You whose eyelids are a naturally flowing vast ocean of the essence of sweet rasa! O Girl whose glances are melting with compassion! O Girl with the sweetly smiling lotusface! Please cast a slightly merciful glance on me!”
Kṛṣṇa netra kamalete, ki mādhurī āche tāte,
sei makaranda pāna kore.
vrajabālā sīmantinī, rādhāra citta haṁsinī,
niruddha hoilo ciratare.
“How much sweetness is there in Kṛṣṇa’s lotus-eyes! The swan-like heart of Śrī Rādhā, the Queen of all the Vraja-gopīs, is always caught by them and is constantly drinking their honey!”
priyāra kaṭākṣa jāle, amṛta taraṅga khele,
bhaṅgimā darśane hoiyā mugdha.
vrajapati nanda suta, nava yuva-rāja cita,
mīna-rāja hoilo ābaddha
“The heart of Vraja’s young prince is like the king of fishes that is caught in the net of Priyājī’s glances, and He plays in waves of nectar, wholly enchanted.”