Friday, June 12, 2015

A Translation of the Opening Lines of the Nama Ghosa of Madhavadeva

A Translation of the Opening Lines of the Nama Ghosa of Madhavadeva

muktito nisprha yito    sehi bhakataka namo
rasamaya magoho bhakati
samasta mastaka mani nija bhakatara basya
bhajo hena deva yadupati

The one disinterested in salvation—that devotee I salute.
Nectar-flavored (rasamaya) is the devotion I demand.
Crown-jewel of all, in own devotee’s control,
I engage in devotion—pure—to such a deity, the Lord of Yadus.     1

The very first verse of the Nama Ghosa beginning ‘muktito nisprha yito…’ is indicated in the critical editions as being a rendering of the opening lines ‘ye muktavapi nisprha…’ of Visnupuri’s Kantimala commentary (tika) to his own Bhakti Ratnavali:

ye muktavapi nisprha pratipadapronmiladanandadam
yamasthaya samastamastakamanim kurvanti sve vase
tan bhaktanapi tanca bhaktimapi tam bhaktapriyam sriharim
vande santamarthaye’nudivasam nityam saranyam bhaje

In this very first verse (ghosa) of the Nama Ghosa is the proclamation of pure devotion.
Madhavadeva salutes that desireless devotee who is spurning even the highest form of liberation; but, Madhavadeva, it seems, is not without desire for he makes it clear, in the very next line, that it is the nectar-flavored devotion that he really is after. Ah! So this is the reason behind saluting the uninterested devotee!
‘I salute, at the outset, that supreme devotee who is uninterested even in salvation—the highest form of liberation—in which one merges, as it were, into God, the supreme cause;
‘But why; what can be the reason behind my salutation? I salute the supreme devotee because I crave for that devotion which is full of sweet joy. I reject salvation but certainly, oh certainly do I want a share of that supremely tasteful nectar of pure devotion which is available in the company of such desireless pure devotees. Surely, by taking their company, I will be able to fulfill my craving for such a rasamaya bhakti?
‘But what gives you such an assurance? What makes you think that you will be able to fulfill your desire? I am not even in an iota of doubt that I will be able to fulfill my wish because the Lord Himself comes and distributes this nectar among His pure devotees who too have no other wish but to partake of this invaluable nectar. Our demands are similar, it seems!
‘Oh! But how can the supremely powerful Lord ever be made to distribute this nectar! How can you bring Him under your control—He who is the crown-jewel of all heads, the supreme Lord of the entire creation? I have no doubt in this matter because although my Lord is the crown-jewel of all, He is of such a graceful nature that He becomes subservient to His own devotee! He is so fond of His pure devotees that He gives even Himself to them as a slave, as it were, and does whatever they ask Him to do! And since these pure devotees would ask nothing of Him save the distribution of this nectar-flavored devotion, I am supremely assured that I will get to taste my desired flavor staying in their company.
‘I see! But in what specific way will you place your demand? By what specific means do you plan to capture or bring under your control the supremely gracious Lord? Specifically, we plan to capture the personality of supreme grace, the supreme cosmic entity—who is maintaining even the material entities of the microcosm—solely by the singing of His name and qualities forsaking all prescribed acts and writ-dictates. Doing so in this manner will make my devotion pure and the supreme pure personality will be satisfied. Therefore, from this point onwards, I dedicate myself solely to the pure devotion of the distributor of this pure joy—the eternal, ever-joyous supreme Lord Krsna.’

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