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in a vision. He further gave him an image of Krishna with the title of Rádha Vallabh, which on his arrival at Brindaban was set up by Hari Vans in a temple that he founded between the Jugal and the Koliya Gháts on the bank of the Jamuná. Originally he had belonged to the Mádhváchárya Sampradaya and from them and the Nimbáraks, who also claim him, his doctrine and ritual were professedly derived. But in consequence of the mysterious incident, by which he had been induced to forego his intention of leading a celibate life and take to himself two new wives; or rather in consequence of his strong natural passions, which he was unable to suppress and therefore invented a fiction to excuse, his devotion was all directed not to Krishna himself, except in a very secondary degree, but to his fabled mistress Rádhá, whom he deified as the goddess of lust. So abominable a system was naturally viewed at first with no little amazement, as is clear from the language of the Bhakt Málá, which is as follows:
॥ मूल ॥
श्रीहरिवंसगुसांई भजनकी रीति महत कोऊ जानि है ||
Translation of the text of Nábha Ji.
"The Gosáin Sri Hari Vans: who can understand all at once his method of devotion? with whom the feet of blessed Rádhá were the highest object of worship; a most staunch-souled devotee; who made himself the page in waiting on the divine pair in their bower of love; who gloried in the enjoyment of the remnants of all that was offered at their shrine; a servant who never pleaded obligation or dispensation; a votary of incomparable zeal. Account him blessed who follows in the path of Vyása's great son, the Gosáin Sri Hari Vans: who can understand all at once his method of devotion ?”
In the gloss, or supplement of Priya Dás, the same sentiment is expanded and a reference made to the legend of the Brahman and his two daughters.
॥ टोका ॥
श्री की रीति कोऊ लाषनिमें एक जांनें राधाई प्रधान मानें पाछें कृष्ण ध्याइये । निपट विकट भाव होत न सुभाव सौ उनहीकी कृपादृष्टि नैकुकि पाईये ॥ विधि और निषेध छेद डारे प्रानप्यारे हियें जियें निज दास निम दिन वहै गाईये । सुषद चरित्र सव रसिक विचित्र नीकें जानत प्रसिद्ध कहा कहिकै सुनाईये ॥ श्रये ग्रह त्यागि राग वय्यौ प्रिया प्रीतम से विप्र वडभाग हरिश्राज्ञा दई जानियें | तेरी उभय सुता व्याहदेवो लेवो नाम मेरा उनको जो वंस प्रसंस जग मानियें ॥ ताही द्वार सेवा विस्तार निज भगतनिकी
गतनिकी गति से प्रसिद्ध पहिचानियें | मांनि प्रिय बात ग्रह गह्यो सुष लह्यो सव कह्यो कैसैं जात यह मनमें न श्रनियें ॥ राधिकावल्लभलाल आज्ञा से रसाल दई सेवा मा प्रकास श्री विलास कुंजधामको । सेाई विस्तार सुषसार दृगरूप पियो दियो रसिक जिन लियो पछि वामको ॥ निसि दिन गांन रस माधुरीको पान उर अंतर सिहांन एक काम स्यांमास्यामको ।
गुन से अनूप कहि कैसेंके सरूप कहें
लहै मन मोद जैसे ओर नहीं नामको ॥
"Would you know the one point in a thousand of Sri Hit Ji's ways? he adored Rádhá first and after her Krishna. A most strange and unnatural fashion, that none could even faintly comprehend save by his favour. He obliterated all distinction between obligation and dispensation; his Beloved was in his heart; he lived only as her servant, singing the praises of the divinity night and day. All the faithful know his many edifying and holy actions; why tell and repeat them since they are famous already.
"He left his home and came; his passion for Rádhá and Krishna had so grown but you must know Hari had given an order to a wealthy Bráhman: 'Bestow your two daughters in marriage, taking my name, and know that their issue shall be famous throughout the world. By their means my worship shall spread among my faithful people, a path for the pathless, of high renown.' Obedient to the loving order he went home; the delight of all was past telling, for it was more than the mind could even conceive. Rádhá's dear spouse gave the gracious command: Publish abroad my worship and the delights of my sylvan abode.' He drank in with his very eyes the essence of bliss and gave it to every client who supported the cause of the female divinity. Night and day imbibing the honeyed draught of sweet song and cherishing it in his soul, with no thought but for Syámá and Syám. How is it possible to declare such incomparable merit ? the soul is enraptured at the sound more than at that of any other name."
By his later wives he had two sons Ban Chand and Kishan Chand, of whom the latter built a temple to Rádhá Mohan, which is still in the possession of his descendants. The former was the ancestor of the present Gosáins of the temple of Rádhá Vallabh, the chief shrine of the sect. This was built by one of his disciples, a Káyath named Sundar Dás who held the appointment of Treasurer at Delhi. One of the pillars in the front gives the date as sambat 1683. An earlier inscription, of 1641, was noticed by Prof. Wilson, but this would seem to have been over the gateway leading into the outer court, which since then has fallen down and been removed. The temple is in itself a handsome building and is further of special architectural interest as the last example of the early eclectic style. The ground plan is much the same as in the temple of Haridev at Gobardhan (described in my Mathurá Memoir, Part I, page 172) and the work is of the same character, but carried out on a larger scale. The nave has an eastern façade, 34 feet broad which, as will be seen from the accom
panying photograph, is in three stages, the upper and lower Hindu, and the one between them purely Muhammadan in character. The interior is a fine vaulted hall (63 ft. × 20 ft.) with a double tier of openings north and south; those in the lower story having brackets and architraves and those above being Muhammadan arches, as in the middle story of the front. These latter open into a narrow gallery with small clerestory windows looking on to the street. Below, the three centre bays of the colonnade are open doorways, and the two at either end are occupied by the staircase that leads to the upper gallery. Some of the carved panels of the stone ceiling have fallen; but the outer roof, a steep gable, also of stone, is as yet perfect. Some trees however have taken root between the slabs and unless carefully removed must eventually destroy it. The actual shrine, or cella, as also at the temple of Gobind Deva, was demolished by Aurangzeb and only the plinth remains, upon which a room has been built, which is used as a kitchen. As no mosque was ever erected at Brindaban, it is not a little strange that Mr. Fergusson in his History of Indian architecture, when speaking of this very locality, should venture to say "It does not appear proven that the Moslems did wantonly throw down the temples of the Hindus, except when they wanted the materials for the erection of mosques or other buildings." A thorough repair of roof, eaves and east front would cost Rs. 4,500, and as a typical example of architecture, the building is worth the outlay. A modern temple has been erected on the south side, and the nave of the old fabric has long been entirely disused. In fact this is the last temple in the neighbourhood in which a nave was built at all. In the modern style it is so completely obsolete that its distinctive name even is forgotten. On the opposite side of the street is a monument to the founder, which however the present generation of Gosáins are too ungrateful to keep in repair. They are the descendants of Braj Chand's four sons, Sundar-Bar, Rádha Ballabh Dás, Braj-Bhúkhan and Nagar Bar Ji; and the heads of the four families so derived are now Daya Lál, Manohar Ballabh, Sundar Lál and the infant son of Kanhaiya Lál.
Hari Vans was himself the author of two poems; the one, the Chaurási Pada, or 84 Stanzas,' in Hindi, the other the Rádhá Sudhá Nidhi, or Treasury of Rádhá's Delights,' in 170 Sanskrit couplets. The latter, though not much read, is held in great esteem and, regarded solely as a piece of highly impassioned erotic verse, it is a spirited and poetic composition. There is a good Hindi commentary upon it by one Bansidhar, dated sambat 1820. It is written in a very florid style and its interminable compounds, to be rendered into intelligible English, would require a greater expenditure of time and thought than I can now bestow upon them. But as MSS. are scarce and Sanskritists may like to see a specimen of the text, I subjoin the first 25 and the last couplet in the original.