(based on a webinar class on Prabodhananda Sarasvati’s fifteenth century classic: 'Vrndavana Mahimamrta')
“In this verse, Prabhodananda Sarasvati says that for a male sadhaka, the embodiment of maya or illusion is woman. In fact, there are many verses in this book about the perils of woman, which we compare to icebergs on the ocean of devotion for a male sadhaka. But why is this rasika-vaisnava, Prabhodananda Sarasvati, discussing this, since this book is about amrta or the nectar of Vrndavana?
Nåtya and Lunthan: Dancing and rolling on the Ground
Small children are prone to beg for attention from their fathers. A child will put his arms up in the air, dance around and call out to the father, who will respond by taking the child into his lap and fondle him lovingly. But if the father does not respond right away, the child cries and rolls on the ground. Seeing this is intolerable for the kind father, who certainly picks the child up. In this mood, dancing and rolling on the ground are an integral part of the performance of saìkértana. They are meant to petition the favor of the all-merciful Lord Çré Kåñëa, the Supreme Father.
Karatäl: Hand Cymbals
During saìkértana, the karatäls ring out their famous ‘one-two-three’ rhythm, which conveys the following three messages to the devotees:
1) I will be victorious over death.
2) I will be victorious over Yamaräja.
3) I will very happily be victorious over all his servants.
(To be recited before class)
O Sri Vrndavana! I am now very fortunate. I have become the object of your invaluable mercy. You have given me the permission to reside within your boundaries, a permission that is prayed for by Lord Brahma, Sukadeva Gosvami, Sanaka Kumara, and others. This greatest of gifts gives me hope that someday I will directly serve the splendid, charming, eternally youthful, amorous fair and dark Divine Couple, Radha-Syama.
(This is an excerpt from the book "Appreciating Navadvipa Dhama" by HH Mahanidhi Swami)
Most of the information in this section is from authorized Sanskrit and Bengali works expertly translated by our (HH Mahanidhi Swami’s) Godbrother Çréman Daçaratha Suta Däsa. The primary instruments used in saìkértana are the khol [mådaìga] and karatäls [hand cymbals]. Sometimes a horn [shingä or viñäna] is also played. Other essential items of kértana are häta-tälé [clapping the hands], nåtya [dancing], and lunthan [rolling on the ground].