The Inner Meaning of Sri Mangala-gitam
by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[The following is a translation of the class given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja on the morning of Sri Krsna Janmastami. In this class, Srila Maharaja explained the deep meaning of Sri Jayadeva Gosvami's bhajana, Sri Mangala-gitam. The translation was kindly given by Uttama dasa brahmacari:]
In the beginning of this morning's class, Srila Maharaja asked Krsna dasa brahmacari to lead the assembled devotees in singing Sri Mangala-gitam. He said that because today is Krsna's Appearance Day, we should begin by first of all singing this kirtana. Then he said, "Who is really qualified to hear this bhajana? Sri Krsna Himself is actually the only person qualified to hear it. Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is only singing this song to give Krsnacandra happiness. He hopes to see Him pleased."
After the bhajana, Srila Maharaja gave the following elaboration of the verses: When Krsna sees Radharani looking towards Him with sidelong glances, He looses all His power and begins to fall to the ground. At this time Madhumangala notices and says, "What are You doing? Your mother, father, and all Your relatives are watching. You should check Yourself."
srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e
kalita-lalita-vanamala! jaya jaya deva hare
Krsnacandra takes shelter of srita kamala. Srita means shelter, and here, kamala means Radharani. Kuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter of the breasts of Radharani.
Dhrta-kundala. Krsna's kundala (earrings) are not ordinary. His kundala is the glories of Radharani, and He is always "wearing" that.
Kalita lalita. Lalita means very attractive and beautiful. Here, Lalita refers to Krsna's vanamala. His garland is made from different kinds of forest flowers. It hangs around His neck and extends down to His lotus feet.
Jaya jaya deva hare: all glories to this Krsna who steals all the distress of the living entities. Especially, He steals the heart of Srimati Radharani. No one can steal the heart of Radharani, except for Krsnacandra.
dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana e
muni-jana-manasa-hamsa! jaya jaya deva hare
Srila Maharaja explained that generally dina mani means the sun, but here it means all the universes. India is the topmost place in all the universes, and Sri Vraja Bhumi, the topmost place in India, is the crown jewel in all the universes. So here, dina mani means that Vraja-mandala, not the Sun-god, is the crown jewel in all the visva-mandalas.
Bhava means samsara, material existence, and it also means bandhana, bondage. He who delivers others from this samsara bandhana is called bhava-khandana. In this connection, is there any material bondage for the Vraja-devis? They have none at all. Their only bondage is their feelings of separation from Krsna, which are called viraha bandhana. Krsna is the only person qualified to remove this bondage of separation from the Vraja-devis, so bhava-khandana means that Krsna can remove the distress of separation of the gopis.
Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa means the great sages, especially those who meditated on Krsna for a long time in the Dandakaranya forest. It applies to all the yautiki rsis (those who came to Krsna in a group) and ayautiki rsis (those who came individually) who became gopis in their next birth. Muni also refers to Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Krsnacandra is just like the swan, swimming in the minds of these munis. Jaya jaya deva hare. Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, "All glories to this Krsna."
kaliya-visadhara-ganjana! jana-ranjana e
yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa! jaya jaya deva hare
Kaliya-visadhara ganjana refers to that Krsna who smashes the pride of Kaliya. Krsna easily removed the poison of Kaliya, although he was extremely poisonous, and after doing so Kaliya became like amrta, nectar. In the same way, Krsna can also smash our anarthas, unwanted desires. We therefore pray to that Krsna.
Jana-ranjana. Jana here means Vraja-jana, the residents of Vraja, like Nanda Baba, Yasoda Ma, and all of Krsna's friends and cows. Jana here especially means the Vraja-devis, and among them, Srimati Radhika is the most prominent. Krsna is the only person who gives pleasure to the Vraja-jana. He has no other duty; He is always thinking how to give pleasure to Srimati Radharani.
Yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa. Yadu-kula means the
dynasty of Nanda Baba, not the dynasty of
madhu-mura-naraka-vinasana! garudasana! e
sura-kula-keli-nidana! jaya jaya deva! hare
Madhu, Mura, and Naraka were demons who were killed by Krsna – not really by Krsna Himself, but by other Visnu avataras. In describing the Visnu avataras, Srila Maharaja used the example of the moon. He said that Janmastami is known to have taken place on the eighth day of the moon, but in reality, the eighth day of the moon is the full moon day. In other words, the moon is always complete; only according to our own vision do we see that today is the eighth day of the moon – or the fifth, or sixth, etc. Although always full, the moon is sometimes covered in part by a shadow, and thus we see only three-quarters, half, one quarter, or less. In the same way, all of the incarnations of Krsna, the Visnu avataras, are also Krsna. It is only our vision that makes us see any difference. It is generally understood that visnu-tattva kills the demons, not Krsna. But actually Visnu is Krsna Himself, Purnacandra, the source of all incarnations.
Just as the full moon is also always present on the eighth, and any other day of the moon, Purnacandra, Krsna, is eternally present. In this way, when Visnu killed the Madhu and Mura demons, Krsna was also there. Here it says, madhu mura vinasana. He who killed Mura and Madhu is also Krsna; the verse indicates Krsna.
Garudasana. Generally Garudasana refers to Narayana, He whose carrier is Garuda. But here, Garudasana means Krsnacandra. Krsna once made Sridama His Garuda-carrier. Jayadeva Gosvami is saying, Garudasana, meaning Krsnacandra.
Sura kula keli nidana, jaya jaya deva hare. Sura generally means devatas, demigods. But Krsna's madhurya pastimes are not for the demigods. Not only can't they see these pastimes, they also have no qualification to hear them. Venu-gita of Srimad Bhagavatam explains that the demigoddesses have a chance to see something of Vraja-lila, but they cannot see completely. Yet, even when they saw only the abhasa (semblance) of the pastimes there, they fainted and became unconscious. The demigods on the other hand, have no qualification to see Krsna's pastimes, especially the madhurya-mayi pastimes. Only those who attain a qualification like Krsna can hear these pastimes. Keli-nidana. Keli means those pastimes that are giving pleasure to this type of sura.
amala-kamala-dala-locana! bhava-mocana! e
tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana! jaya jaya deva! hare
Amala means without any spots or blemishes, and kamala means lotus flower. Krsna's eyes are just like the petals a spotless lotus flower. Tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana. Tribhuvana here means Vrajabhumi, which is the essence of all of the three worlds, Krsna is the only shelter of Vrajabhumi and the Vrajavasis. Jaya jaya deva hare. I offer my obeisances to this Hari, who is the shelter of all the Vrajavasis.
janaka-suta-krta-bhusana! jita-dusana! e
samara-samita-dasakantha! jaya jaya deva! hare
The general meaning of janaka suta is Sita devi, the consort of Lord Ramacandra. In the pastimes of Ramacandra, Janaka suta is decorating Rama with many kinds of paraphernalia. This can also be applied to Krsna's and Radharani's pastimes. Sometimes, Radharani decorates Krsna in the forest. Janaka means father, and suta means daughter. Therefore janaka-suta in this connection means the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. Janaka-suta-krta-bhusana. Bhusana means decoration; Krsna is decorated by the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba.
Jita-dusana means He who defeated the demon, Kala Dusana. But, jita-dusana also means those things that are very bad, like the very intense separation of the Vraja-devis. Hari, Krsna, removes this, so I offer my obeisances unto that Hari.
Samara-samita-dasakantha. Srila Maharaja explained that this Nanda-lala (the darling son of Nanda Baba) is defeating dasakantha, the many demons. Jayadeva Gosvami is saying that this Nanda-lala is killing all the demons in Vraja. Jaya jaya deva! hare. I offer my obeisances unto the lotus feet of Hari.
abhinava-jaladhara-sundara! dhrta-mandara! e
sri-mukha-candra-cakora! jaya jaya deva! hare
Abhinava means very new, and jaladhara means that the newly formed cloud is appearing in the sky. It is very soft and snigdha (glistening, pleasing, and attractive.) Krsna's varna, complexion, is like this nava-jaladhara.
Dhrta-mandara. Srila Maharaja said that mandara here doesn't refer to Mandara-parvat (one of the largest mountains in the universe; the mountain of the demigods); it means Giri-Govardhana. In one way, it can also be understood that mandara means the two Giriraja Govardhanas of Srimati Radhika's breasts, upon which Krsna takes shelter. Srila Maharaja then said that the elevated ideas in this connection cannot actually be expressed. We will have to understand them by our bhajana.
Sri-mukha-candra-cakora. Here, sri-mukha refers to Srimati Radharani, whose lotus face is just like the moon. Krsna always hankers to have darsana of that moon. Just like the cakora bird, Krsna is also always one-pointed. The cakora bird will only drink water that comes directly from rain, not from any pond, or ocean, or river. In the same way, Krsna is always hankering to drink the nectar of the lotus face of Srimati Radharani.
tava carane pranata vayam iti bhavaya e
kuru kusalam pranatesu jaya jaya deva! hare
Here, Jayadeva Gosvami, who is most merciful and a very rasika Vaisnava within our sampradya, is saying, tava carane pranata vayam. Vayam is plural. Jayadeva Gosvami alone is writing this song, but he is including us within his prayer to Krsna: "Oh, please be merciful. We are now taking shelter at Your lotus feet; we are now pranata."
Kusala means welfare. What is the real welfare? Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is praying, "Oh, please make me the maidservant of Srimati Radharani." This is welfare. Kuru kusalam pranatesu: "Please! We are taking your shelter. We are remembering Your lotus feet. Therefore, please make us the maidservants of Srimati Radharani."
Srila Maharaja pointed out here that Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering, jaya jaya deva hare three times, so that Krsna will listen to his prayer. The position of the maidservant of Srimati Radharani is topmost, and Krsna Himself wants to serve Her as Her "maidservant." Although it is the topmost position, still, Jayadeva Gosvami is appealing three times so that Krsna will accept his prayer. He is indicating, "It is for this purpose that I offer my pranama unto the lotus feet of that Hari."
sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam
mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jaya jaya deva! hare
Jayadeva Gosvami is praying to Krsna, "Only You are qualified to listen to this song. No one other than You is qualified to listen to this type of glorification of Srimati Radharani, and therefore I'm writing this song for You. I pray that you will become pleased by hearing it."
What happened to Krsna when He heard this song? His ears stood up and just like the ears of a calf or a cow, taking the form of cups. This song, only meant for Krsna, is the only real vandana (offering of prayers of glorification) to Him. He becomes very pleased when His devotees sing this song. He will be pleased when you worship She who is dearest to Him. Radha-Krsna's exalted pastimes are explained in Ujjvala Nilamani and other granthas by the Gosvamis, and if we do vandana to pastimes such as Sri Krsna offering His head at the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, He will become very pleased."
Editorial advisor: Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Translator: Uttama dasa brahmacari
Transcribers: Anjali dasi, Radhika dasi
Editors: Premavati dasi, Syamarani dasi
Typist: Bimala dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa