Hit Harivamsa: Hit Chaurasi
The 84 hymns of Divine Love
Translated and commented by Pratibha Goswami
Tattva Viveka Edition, Bensheim 2010
176 Pages, Hardcover
Note from Pratibha Goswami (translator)
This is my humble request to all devotees to understand the love of Radha-Krishna and read this book carefully with Sakhi Bhaav (divine love) in the heart. Divine love supports pure hearted persons who have dedicated their entire life for the pleasure of Radha-Krishna. Those who are not in this bhaav can misinterpret the divine love for worldly love. This book is completely meant for those saints who have dedicated their entire life for the pleasure of Radha-Krishna. Please do not read this book as a curiosity to know the divine love, but read it to feel pure bhakti (love) for Radha-Krishna.
Biografical data to Hit Harivamsa
Hit Harivamsa Goswami is born around 1500. He was a disciple of Gopala Bhatta Goswami, is the founder of the Radha-Ballabha-line, and is known for his emotional poetry about Radha and Krishna. He was born in the village of Bad, about 10 km from Mathura, on the Mathura-Agra Road, in Braja Mandala. His father was a well-known astrologer and was engaged by the Mughal emperor. Hit Harivansh was married at the age of 16 and had three sons. He renounced family life at the age of 32 and started for Vrindavana. On the way he stopped in a village where a brahmana named Atmadeva was worshiping the Deity of Radha Ballabha. Atmadeva had two daughters of marriageable age. In a dream Atmadeva was directed to give the Deity to Hit Harivansh and also that his daughter should be married to him. Hit Harivamsa then built a hermitage near Seva Kunja in Vrindavana and installed the Deity of Radha-Ballabha there. He so founded the popular Radha-Vallabha-temple in Vrindavana (see image below).
Preface by the editor (Ronald Engert/Ram das)
According to the ancient Indian tradition of bhakti-yoga God is known as Krishna, a young 16 year old charming and highly attractive male who is always accompanied by his female consort, the most beautiful and lovely Radha.
So the full understanding of the Divine in this spiritual tradition is that of a young couple who is engaged in playful and amourous pastimes. Beyond any consideration of moral restriction this divine couple is enjoying freely in love exchanges which encompass all sorts of emotions and includes sexual interaction as well.
These issues hadn’t been broadcasted to the Western world so far, because they are very confidential and like the sexual and romantic feelings in the human world these intimate moods in the divine world are fragile and can be mistreated. It should be understood that Sri Radha and Sri Krishna are Goddess and God. They exceed any virtue and excellence of humans and cannot be imitated. The intent of presenting these topics to the public audience is the firm conviction that the hearing and meditating about these pastimes evoke spiritual sentiments and experiences in the recepient.
Western people are confronted with moral instructions about pious and sinful activities. They look for the truth behind these moralisms. Spiritual truth is far beyond any such sort of considerations. Truth is beyond piety. Truth is open and wide.
Krishna-bhakti is a spiritual tradition which includes the full range of relationships, starting from the attitude of awe and reverence towards a majestic God and ending in the most confident romantic and sexual affairs of God Himself with his consort and his devotees as well.
Goddess Radha Herself is so exalted that She even controls Sri Mohan, Krishna, who is complete stunned and dazzled by Her unrivaled beauty. He sweats and shivers when the glance of Her eyes hits him. He is completely devastated when She rejects him. He cannot exist without Her even for a second. Sri Krishna is Bhagavan, the origin of everything, the master of all universes and beyond time and space. Still He gets goose bumps when being touched by Radha Rani.
So the love between Radha and Krishna is the original template for the deepest and most intense emotions of love. Radha and Krishna Themselves, as Goddess and God, are completely free and unconditioned. What are They doing out of Their hightest pleasure? They enjoy these pastimes of loving erotic affairs in the forests of Vrindavan.
The book »Hit Chaurasi«, written in the 16th century, is one of the most ecstatic testimonials of these pastimes. The word »ras« in Sanskrit and in Hindi means »ecstatic emotions of love«. A »rasik bhakta« is a devotee of God who feels these ecstatic emotions. As coming from the Divine Couple these rasas are completely spiritual, purifying and healing. So the meditative and emotional relationship to the Divine Couple gives rise to enlightenment and spiritual awakening in a sweet and ecstatic way.
The bhakta understands intuitively that these pastimes (»leela«) are the answer of all questions of existence. They bestow the ultimate knowledge, the eternal peace of the soul and the highest bliss and love in the heart. These pastimes reveal the internal architecture of our souls and selves. So please read this book with this vision in mind. This book is meant for the highest benefit of our souls.
The commentaries of Pratibha Goswami, born and raised in the holy town of Vrindavan, are themselves rasik meditations about the leela. They explain and extend the original verses and come from a lifetime of dedication to Sri Radha.
– Ronald Engert (Ram das), Germany Bensheim, February 2010
About Pratibha Goswami
Pratibha Goswami dedicated her entire life in the service of God and Saints. She is born and brought up in the Sri Vrindaban in a highly Brahmin family descending from Sri Jaidev Goswami who composed the first »Shringaar kaavya« – Gita Govinda. It is the very famous first classical poetry about Radha-Krishna’s love. Pratibha Goswami is well versed in the rasik sampradaya of Brij Dham. She is the disciple of Jagadguru Sri Kripalu ji Maharaj who is the fifth original jagadguru of the world. She has been practicing spirituality from her childhood in the presence of her Grandfather Sri Yamuna Ballabh Goswami who was a great rasik saint of his time. In the presence of her parents, Dr. B. N. Goswami and Mrs. Shashi Goswami, she is learning how to develop Bhakti Yoga. She has written many articles about spirituality. She is doing intense meditation and writing articles occasionally for devotion to Sri Guru and Sri Vrindavan. Apart from her academics she is well versed in the classics of Brij poetry like »Prem Ras Madira, Radha Ras Sudhanidhi, Hit Chaurasi, Kelimal, Mahavani, Bhaktimal« etc. Currently she is working on translating different books to English speaking world. Her translation is very divine. She is well versed in all aspects of Bhakti yoga especially in the divine love of Sri Radha-Krishna that grows in the kunj of Sri Vrindavan.
Contact: pratiprati2007(at)yahoo.co.in, Tel.: 0091-9897085515