Gaura Purnima 2019

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

March 21st in the holy Appearance Day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, He is considered to be a combined form of the divine feminine, Sri Radha, and the divine masculine, Sri Krsna.

Here is a backstory of how that came to be:

One day, Krsna sat beside Radhika in the forest of Vrndavan. Taking one of her hands in His, He pleaded. “Please give me something special today…”

Inwardly, Sri Radha’s heart melted at His request, but outwardly, she concealed her secret mind with a studied silence. Speaking no words, but by the tilt of her head, her sidelong glance, and the sign language of her lotus hand, she invited Krsna to tell her what he wanted. And Sri Krsna eagerly obliged her silent invitation with an outburst:      “Please give me your love!”

Radha and Krsna in the Vrindavan Forest

Radha smiled and responded playfully.  “Aho, but Krsna, this love of mine would be too heavy for You to bear.”

Just then, the best of Sri Radha’s devoted girlfriends, the saucy Lalita, chimed in,

“Radha’s love would be too heavy for You, Krsna. You should know how intense it is when You are not near, her anxiety knows no limit. And though we try our best, no remedy can be found to assuage her distress. We anoint her body, blazing from the fire of separation, with cooling sandalwood paste, but the sandalwood flies from her limbs like dry leaves of paper. We bid her to lie on a shaded bed we prepared, strewn with dampened lotus petals, but the fragrant petals are in incinerated by the fever of her longing. So, it is true, none but the Queen of Vraja could bear that weight. It would be too heavy for You.

Hearing these words, Krsna grabbed hold of Radharani’s other hand, and with tears coming from His lotus eyes, implored once more: “But I cannot live without tasting the nectar of this love!”

Astonished by joy, Sri Radha broadly smiled, and as if orchestrated by her heartbeat, all of Vraja fell silent, eavesdropping to hear her jubilant declaration. “All right, beloved. I will give you this love You crave. But there’s something more. You will need the sanctuary of my golden complexion to shield your beautiful blackish body, because the intensity of my love will cause You to stumble and fall. And without the protection of my golden effulgence, you would be bruised. This golden hue will indemnify You instantly, no harm will come to ever overtake Your soft body, which is more dear to me than life itself.”

So Krsna was concealed by the molten gold of Sri Radha’s dazzling complexion, which causes Him to adopt her mood and inner disposition. His limbs began to tremble and dance in jubilation, and He began to cry out, as Radha does, “O Krsna, where are You? Where are you? O ascendant moon risen from the dynasty of Nanda Maharaj and Yasoda? O beloved of my life breath, where are You? As soon as Krsna possessed and was possessed by this love, His amorous cries transformed the landscape: the stones within earshot melted in ecstasy; the trees began to dance; and the ardour of the love He felt caused Him to crash down like a tree torn from the earth by a gale, and cast to the ground. And then it was that Sri Radha’s beautiful golden effulgence protected Him, as she had promised… This is the notion of Gauranga Mahaprabhu found in the line of Rupa and Raghunath…”

(This story appears in Narahari Cakravarti’s 18th Century Narottama-vilasa)

I wish you a most joyous Gaura Purnima, Appearance day of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

May Lord Caitanya be in your hearts and minds!

All the best,

Rukmini Walker