The Intense Fire
of Separation

by Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govinda Swāmī Mahārāja

Śrīla Prabhupāda has written (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.3.31, purport):

The form of the Lord with a flute in His hands is most attractive, and the one who is most sublimely attracted is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Rādhikā. She enjoys supremely blissful association with Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes people cannot understand why Rādhikā’s name is not mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Actually, however, Rādhikā can be understood from the word ārādhana, which indicates that She enjoys the highest loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.


Molten Gold
The forty-seventh chapter of the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes how Kṛṣṇa sent Uddhava to deliver the message of love to the gopīs. Uddhava came to the gopīs and at last to Rādhārāṇī. Rādhārāṇī was lying in Her kuñja surrounded by Her eight most intimate sakhīs, feeling acute pangs of separation from Kṛṣṇa.

Arriving there, Uddhava saw one mahā-devī lying on the ground.

sakhī aṅke hima vapu rasanā abaśa
pāṇi-tala dharā-tale śeṣa-daśā daśa

Her golden body is lying on the lap of Her sakhī. Her tongue cannot speak anything; She is speechless. Her hands are restlessly moving to and fro. Sometimes She is rolling on the ground. Śeṣa-daśā daśa – the ten symptoms of a dying person are there. This is all mentioned in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi. I am not going to [speak on] that, as it will take another day. There are so many things to say. If I explain this verse, it will take one week. It contains so many things. Of these daśā daśa, ten conditions, the last condition is mṛtyu, death.

With a very feeble voice, Rādhārāṇī told Her girl companions, “Sakhī, what shall I say? This viraha, separation, from Gokula-pati, the Lord of My heart, Kṛṣṇa, is so acute! Viśleṣa janmā jvara. This separation has caused a high temperature, a fever more than 110 degrees.”

Rādhārāṇī told Lalitā:

uttāpī puṭa-pākato ’pi garala-grāmād api kṣobhaṇo
    dambholer api duḥsahaḥ kaṭur alaṁ hṛn-magna-śūlyād api
tīvraḥ prauḍha-visūcikāni cayato ’py uccair mamāyaṁ bale
    marmāṇy adya bhinatti gokula-pater viśleṣa-janmā jvaraḥ

— Śrī Lalita-mādhava (3.2.4)

“I cannot bear suffering the fever of separation from Kṛṣṇa, nor can I explain it to you. It is something like gold melting in an earthen pot. This fever produces more distress than poison, it is more piercing than Indra’s thunderbolt, more sharp than a spear plunged into the heart, and more horrifying than the last stage of cholera.”

A goldsmith puts pieces of gold inside a small earthen pot, places them in the blazing fire, covers them with another pot, then blows it with bellows until the heat becomes more and more intense and finally the gold melts. Similarly, Rādhārāṇī says, “Such heat I am feeling, uttāpī puṭa-pākato – more and more severe heat. I am feeling heat that is greater than the heat produced from very dreadful poison – garala-grāmād api kṣobhaṇo. It is duḥsahaḥ, more intolerable than the striking of a thunderbolt. I cannot tolerate it. It is breaking My heart at every moment – marmāṇy adya bhinatti. I cannot tolerate it.

O My sakhī, dear girl companion, I cannot tolerate it. There is no need of this body. I do not see any purpose of keeping this body. This body is useless. I want to give it up immediately.”

Unbolt the Door

Rādhārāṇī kept silent for one or two moments and then said, “Oh! Death is not coming to Me! I want to die but death is not coming. There is a great obstruction to death. What is that obstruction? It is Kṛṣṇa’s words. He said, ‘I will come back, I will come back, I will come back.’

When Akrūra took Kṛṣṇa in his chariot and was leaving Vrajabhūmi, we were rolling on the ground and crying, ‘Let the wheels of the chariot roll over our bodies! Let us die!’ At that time Kṛṣṇa said, ‘Hey! Hey! No, no, no! Do not do that! I will come back!’ These words He spoke are a great obstruction. So death is not coming. What shall I do?”

At that time, Rādhārāṇī looked up at the sky and saw a crow flying in the direction of Mathurā. She called out, “He crow! Come here, come here! Listen to Me. Are you going to Mathurā? Do not go in any other direction; just go straight go to Mathurā! Lord Mathurāpati, Mathurānātha is there. Vandanā caraṇa, offer obeisances to that Lord of  Mathurā and deliver My message to Him.

“Tell Him that if a house has caught on fire, the first duty of the house master is to let the domestic animals loose. They should not be burned. The door is to be opened and they are to be let out first. My body is the house and it is on fire – viraha-agni, separation is the fire. This house is burning, burning, burning. Who has set this fire? Your Mathurānātha has set fire to this house. Now go and tell Him that My prāṇa, My life, is the animal in the house. The house is on fire and it cannot get out – dagdhuṁ prāṇa-pasuṁ śikhī viraha-bhūr indhe mad-aṅgālaye. What is the reason it cannot get out? Because the door is bolted, argala, with a very strong bolt. That strong bolt is āśārgalabandhanam – Kṛṣṇa’s words. He said, ‘I will come back.’

“The door cannot be opened and the house is on fire. Tell Him, He should come immediately and unbolt it. Then My life, prāṇa, will get out.” This is Rādhārāṇī’s love. There is no such thing in Rukmiṇī’s love. If Kṛṣṇa, out of fun, cuts some jokes with Rukmiṇī, she becomes afraid, “Oh, will He leave me?”


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