bhavatīm abhivādya cāṭubhir
varam ūrjeśvari varyam arthaye
bhavadīyatayā kṛpāṁ yathā
mayi kuryād adhikāṁ bakāntakaḥ
O Ūrjeśvari (Rādhikā, the goddess of the Kārtika-month)!
I pitifully pray to You for this benediction:
May Bakāntaka (Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Bakāsura), be more kind to me, knowing me to be Yours!
RĀDHĀ NIṢṬHĀḤ (Loyalty to Rādhā)
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
The loyalty of Rādhā’s maidservants is evident from these prayers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. To Śrī Kṛṣṇa he prays: “Please make me the object of Śrī Rādhā’s grace”, and to Śrī Rādhā he prays: “May Kṛṣṇa give me more mercy, knowing me to be Your maidservant!”
Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s gift is revealed through the ācāryas. This Rādhā-dāsya is an unprecedented gift of mercy. The conditioned souls are floating in the ocean of material existence, but by some stroke of good luck some of them receive the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa in the form of the seed of the vine of devotion.
saṁsāre bhramite kon bhāgyavān jīva;
guru-Kṛṣṇa prasāde pāy bhakti latā bīja
By taking shelter of the lotus-feet of Śrī Guru a fortunate person can attain purification of the self. Gurudeva is bringing the remembrance of a ever-forgotten thing back into the heart.
When fortunate sādhakas take shelter of Śrī Guru’s lotus-feet in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya they become acquainted with the service of Śrī Rādhā. After establishing the self-identification as Rādhā’s dāsī they continue their bhajana according to the love of rādhā snehādhikā (greater love for Rādhā than for Kṛṣṇa).
How enchanting it is to think of oneself: “I am Rādhā’s fallen maidservant!”
My bhajana is disturbed by bodily consciousness; my life is contaminated by all kinds of external behaviour!
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says: “What to speak of internally, even externally, while following the process of hearing, chanting and deity-worship, one should think of oneself as Rādhā’s maidservant.”
This is the bhūta-śuddhi (spiritual self-identification) of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.
atha teṣāṁ śuddha bhaktānāṁ bhūta-śuddhyādikaṁ yathāmatir vyākhyāyate. tatra bhūta-śuddhir nijābhilaṣita bhagavat sevaupayika tat pārṣada-deha bhāvanā paryantaiva tat sevaika puruṣārthibhiḥ kāryā nijānukūlyāt
(Bhakti Sandarbhaḥ – 286)
“Here the bhūta śuddhih of the pure devotees is explained. This means thinking of one’s own desired spiritual body, in which one associates with the Lord and which is suitable for serving Him. The real bhūta śuddhi for a pure devotee is to think himself in his own siddha svarūpa (spiritual body). This way of thinking is favorable for those who know that the highest goal of life is to serve God.”
When Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī prays he calls Rādhārāṇī ‘Ūrjeśvarī’. The month of Kārtika (October-November) is also called ‘Ūrjā’, therefore Śrī Rūpa means to call Śrī Rādhā
“O presiding goddess of the month of Kārtika!” This address indicates Śrī Rādhā’s superiority.
In the Uttara-khaṇḍa of the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa it is said:
saṅketāvasare cyute praṇayataḥ samrabdhayā rādhayā
prārabhya bhrukuṭīṁ hiraṇya rasanā dāmnā nibaddhodaram
kārtikyāṁ jananī kṛtotsava vare prastāvanā pūrvakaṁ
cāṭuni prathayantam ātma pulakaṁ dhyāyema dāmodaram
“Once, in the auspicious month of Kārtika, Kṛṣṇa could not meet His beloved Rādhārāṇī in the kuñja on time, so Śrīmatī frowned Her eyebrows out of loving anger and bound Kṛṣṇa around the belly with a golden rope. Śrī Kṛṣṇa then explained to Her that He was too late for His appointment because He had been held up in Mā Yaśomatī’s festival, so Śrīmatī released Him again. Since then Śrī Kṛṣṇa has been named ‘Dāmodara’ or ‘Nīvi Dāmodara (the girdle-Dāmodara)’. We meditate on this Dāmodara, who is studded with goosepimples of loving ecstasy!”
The month of Kārtika is also called the month of Dāmodara. It is not just the month in which mother Yaśodā bound up Kṛṣṇa, but also the month in which Śrī Rādhā bound Him up. At first the ropes with which mother Yaśodā tried to bind up Kṛṣṇa were two fingers too short because of her lack of eagerness, and it took Mother Yaśodā a lot of trouble to get Kṛṣṇa bound up, but Śrī Rādhā’s loving eagerness was so great that She easily bound Kṛṣṇa up, and released Him again also. By calling Śrī Rādhā the goddess of the month of Kārtika, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has indicated Her absolute supremacy over all the other devotees.
Śrī Rūpa says: “O goddess of Kārtika! I praise You and I pray to You with sweet, anxious words: “May Kṛṣṇa give me more mercy, knowing me to be Your maidservant!” “He will serve You with His own hands, and I will assist Him. Then He will shower me with His mercy, knowing me to be Yours!”
vāsantī kusumotkarena parita saurabhya vistāriṇā
svenālaṅkṛti sañcayena bahudhāvirbhāvitena sphuṭam
sotkampaṁ pulakodgamair murabhidhā drāg bhūṣitāṅgīṁ kramair
modenāśru bharaih plutāṁ pulakitāṁ rādhāṁ kadāhaṁ bhaje
(Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī’s Utkaṇṭhā daśakam)
“When will I serve Śrī Rādhā, who sheds many tears of joy and whose hairs stand on end when Kṛṣṇa gradually decorates Her in so many ways with many self-made ornaments made of spring-flowers that extend their excellent fragrance everywhere, trembling and horripilating of ecstasy?”
“My assistance will be required when You are served in this way, and Kṛṣṇa will give me more mercy, knowing me to be Your maidservant! O Svāmini! I don’t have anyone but You in this world! My most merciful Śrī Gurudeva has submitted me to Your lotus-feet.
I will not mix with this world and its people! I will only think of You, and I will give my heart and my life to Your service!”
This is how those whose hearts are attached to the mood of service to Śrī Rādhā are thinking.
“O Svāmini! Please let me attain Your Priyatama’s mercy as Your maidservant! Kṛṣṇa is erotic sentiment personified, and His body blazes with an abundance of transcendental lust, so He has a strong desire to play with You! There are other consorts also, but His mind is really fixed on You! Therefore He ultimately desires me to serve Him as Your maidservant.” She prays with all her heart:
he ūrjeśvari! rādhe! āmāra īśvari!
cāṭu-vākye tava pade nivedana kori
śrī Kṛṣṇa tomāri bheve (more) koribe karuṇā
ei to vidhāna koro Kṛṣṇa-priyatamā
“O Ūrjeśvari Rādhe! O my goddess! I pray to Your feet with plaintive words: May Kṛṣṇa bestow His mercy upon me, considering me to be Yours! Please let this be, O beloved of Kṛṣṇa!”