he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho
he kṛṣṇa he capala he karuṇaika-sindho
he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma
hā hā kadā nu bhavitāsi padaṁ dṛśor me
‘O My Lord! O dearest one! O only friend of the universe! O Kṛṣṇa, O restless one, O ocean of mercy! O My Lord, O My enjoyer, O beloved to My eyes! Alas, when will You again be visible to Me?’
This prayerful and extraordinarily beautiful verse, from Sri Krishna Karnamrita composed by Sri Bilvamangala Thakur, is full of transcendental sentiments and longing for the darshan of Sri Shyamsundar, who has been addressed with various names such as Nath, dayita, and raman, making the deep loving mood of Bilvamangal Thakur evident. The rasika vaishnavas are always relishing the various madhuris or sweetnesses of Sri Krishna, of which the four Madhuris, namely lila madhuri, rupa madhuri, venu madhuri and prem madhuri, are prominent, and thus they address him with such beautiful names in accordance with his sweet pastimes. Yet, being always desirous of serving Sri Krishna and giving satisfaction to him, they call him raman, or the one who enjoys, and by referring to him with this name, they are desiring for him to enjoy the devotees and the love that they have for him. For the premi bhaktas, the satisfaction of Shyamsundar is of paramount importance and one’s personal satisfaction is not even taken into consideration, as has been expressed in the eighth verse of Sri Shikshashtakam:
ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally.
Such is the pure and transcendental love of the devotees for their beloved Lord Madhav. Being desirous of following in the footsteps of these devotees and developing Krishna prem, a sadhaka should meditate on such beautiful verses while performing Japa and while performing other services to the Lord, and in this way, slowly but surely, constantly praying at the lotus feet of the previous acharyas, one can hope to make advancement on the path of bhakti and taste the nectar of pure transcendental love for Vrajaraja-suta, Sri Krishna, the son of Maharaj Nanda and the performer of limitless honey sweet pastimes with the Vraja Gopis, which are like an unending stream of nectar, flowing from the ocean of transcendental blissful Madhurya Prema.