Newsletter: Song Book

I have an admission to make. Although as a sannyasi I am controlled of mind, as a writer I can be distracted. It’s the difference between following rules and following inspiration. If you remember, I left Volume Two of Varnasrama Compendium to write Sadhana-sara-dipika. Now I am distracted from that by going back to the writing and editing of a longterm project, a song book, just so I can say “it’s done.” This book is not going into print for some years; it is an ongoing project dating back more than a decade, but I thought to share one work-in-progress in the form of a song from the book. Jaya Radha Syama.

Pratiyatu Sadhuna

Song 5

Hear now, O wondrous Syama, my petition at Your lotus feet! After reflecting upon it well, You may find that consenting to my proposal has a most agreeable outcome for both You and I.

Long ago You and Radha left the gopis, and later You abandoned Her as well. While You had reasons for behaving as You did, the gopis were perplexed, and upon Your return they questioned You.

“What kind of lover are You? Are You like a merchant? Are You munificent? Or are You completely indifferent? By Your paradoxical conduct we, who love You without condition, are perplexed.”

In ways that melted the gopis’ hearts, You spoke of an extraordinary love for them, a love that from prying eyes You keep secreted behind a deceptive veil of equivocal conduct and contradictory words. 

But Your honest admission, na paraye ’ham, still echoes through the groves of Vraja, raises high waves upon the Yamuna, makes flowers bloom with extraordinary fragrance and brings tears to my eyes. (1)

The gopis are single-minded in their love, but You have so many devotees with whom to reciprocate, how can You reward accordingly those who surrender unto You? You cannot! So na paraye ’ham!

Unable to fulfil Your promise, indebted to the vraja-devis, You who mystify everyone were mystified. Your only solution was dependent upon their good will, “Be satisfied with Your own glorious deeds!”

O Syama! I know that being unable to requite the gopis’ love still weighs heavily on You. Some things time cannot mend. But I have a solution to lessen Your burden and ease Your conscience. Please hear! 

The phrase tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna may mean “let a saintly devotee repay My debt to You.”(2) So some of Your devotees can become the gopis’ followers, and by serving the gopis they will repay Your debt!

Now, I am neither saintly, nor a devotee. But I am Your follower. If You make me a sadhu and transform me into a maidservant, then I shall dedicate myself eternally to repaying Your debt to the gopis.

Having tendered this proposal, what more can I say? My pen goes quiet, my heart thunders, my mind is aswirl. Sitting in my grove I cry to You, “This submission is advantageous to us both. Please hear me!”

Yours in Krishna’s service,
Sivarama Swami


Footnotes:
1. The verse beginning with na paraye’ ham is in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22.
2. This is an explanation given by Sanatana Gosvami to the phrase in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22