Remembering Radha-Krishna

BRAJ MEDITATION (Short)

Devotees meditate daily on the following scenario while imagining themselves in their perfect spiritual identity as a character interacting in Radha-Krishna’s play. It follows the basic plot synopsis given by Rupa Goswami in his Ashta-Kaliya-Leela-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram updated for contemporary use. It provides a simple outline practitioners can flesh out according to their personal loving relationship with Radha-Krishna.

If people begin this practice early in life as they are able and begin cultivating a mental picture of Braj while developing their spiritual identity, it helps spiritual progress and lays the groundwork for extended meditation later in life.

It is not all or nothing. Whatever devotees do to gradually progress is good. Slow, gradual progress is usually more sustainable than forced rapid progress. Each person finds the balance that works for them.

These meditational practices are mined from the depths of Radha-Krishna devotion and refined by Rupa and his followers. It is the process of becoming aware of Braj, and longing to be there. Being able to clearly picture the scene is quite helpful.  However, it is not simply a matter of seeing it but also feeling it. Many people are not adept at mentally picturing a scene like Braj, and that is not an obstacle. Focus on developing the mood of a girlfriend and learn how to act with other characters.

Look at it as conscious dreaming–entering into an alternate reality. Devotees fix their intention on becoming the person they imagine themselves to be in that reality. By meditating on the pastimes at the times of day they are said to take place, the spiritual plane intersects the spacetime plane, and practitioners learn to live in two realities at once.

Radha-Krishna are a young couple deeply in love with each other. They spend much time together, but there are periods of separation. They are not married, but have a committed open relationship. Marriage is not an issue as there is no birth, death, disease, or old age, which erases many of the traditional reasons for marriage. People do form committed relationships if they so desire, but generally, relationships are more open there than here since Radha-Krishna and all their expansions, including their devotees, simply want to share love and increase everyone’s enjoyment. Radha-Krishna are twenty years old. Their intimate friends are different ages ranging from eighteen to twenty.

Braj possesses an unimaginably beautiful rustic charm. Nature provides abundantly with little toil. Everything is conscious, and by desiring something, it is. The problem of inert matter does not exist there. People work at whatever they do because they enjoy it and want to contribute to others’ enjoyment. They live a cooperative community lifestyle.

Krishna is the son of a leading couple, and Radha is the daughter of another. They spend time with their families but live independently. Radha-Krishna and friends enjoy sumptuous communal meals and entertainment provided by talented community members. Due to their intense love, everyone wants to please Radha-Krishna, and they please everyone. All enjoy a life of simple elegance.

THE MEDITATION

  1. I extol Radha-Krishna’s eternal play in Braj and describe their daily activities, which those following the path of passionate natural devotion meditate upon. This emotional and mental visualization brings us to Radha-Krishna’s loving association by our intense desire to be absorbed in the play of Braj as a participant. It is unattainable by other means.
  2. May Radha-Krishna protect us, as at dawn, they leave their forest love cottage and return to their homes in town. In the morning and evening, Krishna takes part in village activities helping and inspiring everyone. He eats in the communal dinning hall where Radha supervises preparation of delicious meals twice a day. After the morning meal, Krishna tours the forests and meadows with his friends and tends the cows. He slips away to join Radha and her friends at the lake, and they return to town in the evening. After dinner, Radha-Krishna participate in community entertainment and then slip away to their forest cottage for love play.
  3. At dawn, I remember Radha-Krishna who are awakened by cocks crowing and birds singing. They unite one more time before rising and being greeted by their friends who spent the night in surrounding cottages, gazebos, and pavilions–well appointed for the enjoyment of all. Radha-Krishna each return to their own homes surrounded by loving friends.
  4. In the morning, I take shelter of Radha who is massaged, bathed, dressed, and decorated by her intimate female friends. She then goes to the community kitchen and supervises preparation of delicious food for Krishna and the community’s enjoyment. I also remember Krishna who bathes, dresses, and goes about inquiring into everyone’s well-being and bringing joy to all. Krishna then goes to the dinning hall and eats with Radha, their families, and friends.
  5. In late morning, I remember Krishna who tends cows in the forests and meadows with his friends. He slips away to rendezvous with Radha for amorous play at the lake. I also remember Radha who relaxes at the shore with her friends awaiting Krishna’s arrival.
  6. At midday, I remember Radha-Krishna who look indescribably beautiful and radiant due to their passionate meeting. They are surrounded by a host of girlfriends, like Lalita, who provide snacks, drinks, and pleasant companionship. Their youthful beauty and passion create an erotically charged atmosphere that attracts the god of love. Radha-Krishna and friends play in the forest and lake. They swing, make love, drink honey wine, enjoy aromatic, sweetly rousing herbs and other delights.
  7. In late afternoon, I remember Radha who returns home where her girlfriends bathe and beautifully dress her. She then goes and supervises preparation of the evening community meal. Krishna strolls around town seeing how everyone’s day went, encouraging them, and showing love for all.
  8. At sunset, I remember Radha-Krishna who beautifully dressed enjoy a lavish banquet with their friends and families. After dinner, people entertain with music, song, dance, and comedy. They tell stories of wondrous distant lands, of worlds filled with fantastic creatures and heroic deeds of insatiable love and danger, where land and people can perish. Listening to such tales by the evening fire they sometimes fall into reverie, imagining themselves as participants in such stories.
  9. At night, I remember Radha-Krishna who slip away to their love cottage by the riverside with some close friends. Radha-Krishna enjoy each other’s company surrounded by their dear friends who sing, joke, and speak sweetly. They drink honey wine, enjoy intoxicating herbs, and dance passionately. With minds absorbed in love and open hearts, they relish the varied flavors of erotic joy.
  10. Radha-Krishna enjoy the company of their friends who provide beautiful flowers, tasty sweets, cool drinks, and massages. After the girlfriends fall asleep, Radha-Krishna doze off on their flower strewn bed sharing sweet murmurings of deep love. When they fall asleep, they dream about tales they told and heard earlier, thus enjoying both their eternity and worlds of perishable nature in their dreams.