Krishna is usually regarded as the eight incarnation of lord Vishnu and was born in the Dvarpara Yuga as the “dark one”. Lord Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, that destroys all pain and sin. He is the protector of sacred utterances and cows. Krishna is an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love.
Krishna was born as the 8th child of Devaki, sister of the cruel demon king Kamsa. The sage Narada had predicted that Kamsa would be killed by his nephew, so the king killed Devaki´s first six children. The 7th, Balarama escaped and the 8th, Krishna, was secretly exchanged for a cowherds daughter.
The demon king Kansa send many demons to kill Krishna, but all were defeated. Among them were the whrilwind demon Trinavata, Vatasura disguised as a calf, the enormous crane Bakasura, Aghasura the demon snake and the monstrous horse Keshisura. Lord Krishna also mastered the five-headed demon snake Kaliya, to stop it from poisoning the holy river Yamuna and send it back to the ocean. He jumped on the snake from a big Kadamba tree and then defeated him by dancing on his heads.
Krishna was brought up in a cowherds family and loved to play the flute to entertain the other cowherds, the milkmaids, and the cows. As a child, Krishna had great love for his foster-mother Yashoda and their relationship stands as a great exemple for the love between a mother and her child. Krishna also became very famous for teasing the milkmaids of Vrindavan as well as Yashoda. He and his friends would steal milk and butter, let the cows go free at milking time, hide the clothes of bathing girls or even break the water pots the milkmaids were carrying on their heads. Little Krishna was not just teasing purely for the fun of it. He wanted to destroy the ignorance of his devotees, teaching them not to be attached to matter and forms and only focus on him. As such, Lord Krishna is the deity of Hasya or Humour and a messenger of peace.
Krishna, Radha and Leela
Radha and Krishna are the divine couple that rules love, romance and the aesthetic sense. Radha was foremost among the milkmaids of Vrindavan, as the incarnation of Lakshmi, Vishnu’s spouse and Krishna’s obvious favorite.
Love and devotion may also find beautiful expression in the relationship between lovers. In India, women often see their husbands as Krishna, while men see their wives as Radha, the beloved. When men become gods and women goddesses, then we do not see the imperfections, and see only perfection, divinity. Surrender and serving each other are the keys to any good relationship, which becomes a rehearsal of surrender to the universe and the divine.
While Krishna’s love was truly universal, Radha sometimes expressed feelings of jealousy. Like it is shown in the painting here, one day Radha became jealous of Lord Krishna’ flute, because it was allowed to touch his lips and because he would breath his prana into it. Thus she took it from Krishna and then did not want to return it. Some thus see the relationship between Krishna and Radha as the love between god and man, between self and ego.
One moonlit night, Krishna multiplied his body into many to dance with all the milkmaids and fulfill their desire for union with him. The love between Krishna and the milkmaids represents the divine play (Leela) between reality (consciousness) and illusion (form), purusha (soul) and prakriti (primordial nature), divinity and humanity. The maidens dance around Krishna as electrons dance around the nucleus of every atom, and as body molecules and energies dance around the soul of every being.
Lord Krishna was only eight years old when he left Vrindavan and and his beloved Radha to study in the ashram of the saint Sandeepani. Therefore, everything that happened between Krishna and Radha or Krishna and the milkmaids took place when they were children. They were all very conscious of being incarnations of divine beings and saints. Whatever happened between them can only have been very romantic and spiritual. A lot of it was child-play.
Krishna and Bhakti
After Krishna killed Kansa, he became king. In the great Mahabaratha epic, Krishna spoke memorable words on the essence of Bhakti Yoga or the yoga of pure spiritual devotion. During the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna the essence of Bhakti Yoga, of love for God which is love. This revelation is found in the famous Hindu scripture called the Bhagavad Gita. The Deity is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. When the Bhakta is blessed by divine grace he feels undivided union and non-dual consciousness.
Bhakti Yoga is regarded as the most direct method to merge in cosmic consciousness. Food, sex, sleep, attachments, responsibilities – all are no longer important in Bhakti Yoga : only worship is. Paintings and sculptures of deities are an essential part of the Hindu worship known as Puja. In temples or home shrines, one finds images of many gods and goddesses that are worshipped on a daily basis, decorated with flowers and offered food and incense, such as this Krishna statue.
SOME STORIES OF LORD KRISHNA
In the Nandavrajam, Yaśodā invited many for celebrating the janmadina mahotsavas of Lord Śrī Kṛṣhṇa. After abhiṣhekam, they did beautiful alankāras to the Baby — Kastūrī tilakam, ear rings, chandra hāram, suvarṇa kankaṇas etc.
They gave the Nandanandana nīrājanas and made him sleep on a small svarna śayya, under the shade of a śakatam (cart). The puṇyastrīs were busy with their work and suddenly they stopped hearing the tiny cries of the Lord. Śakaṭāsura, sent by Kamsa, came in vāyurūpam and tried to push the śakaṭam on the Paramātma. The Baby touched the śakaṭam during His play and it flew high into the air, along with huge kṣhīra, dadhi bhāṇḍas that were kept on it. They fell on the Śakaṭāsura and his head broke into a thousand pieces! Vraja kāntas came running to see if Śrī Kṛṣhṇa was safe. The Paramātma was playing with Himself like a usual Baby. The Gopabālas told the Vraja kāntas that Śrī Kṛṣhṇa kicked the śakatam and it flew into the air. Immediately the vanitas removed dṛṣhṭi for Śrī Kṛṣhṇa, made bhūsurottamas to give mangala-āśīrvacanas and put Śrī Rāma Rakṣha to the Baby.
Hiraṇyalocana’s son was Utkaca. He was a krūra. It was just his nature to be very harsh and not compassionate.
Once he uprooted all the Vṛkṣhas in the āśramam of Lomaśa maharṣhi (for no reason!!). The maharṣhi became angry and said “The way a snake removes its old skin, the same way you leave this body”. The rākṣhasa fell on the ṛṣhi’s feet and asked for kṣhama. The maharṣhi said “by the divya sparśa of Kṛṣhṇa Paramātma, you will be freed from your śāpam”. He further explained to Utkaca “Usually one cannot eacape from Kālam and his own Karma. The only way is through Bhagavat-kṛpa.”
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Krūratvam
Message for present society:
This story also shows that one must not only have daya on fellow humans and animals, but also to plants. According to our śāstras, if one uproots one Vṛkṣham for human consumption, then four must be planted before doing so. Ofcourse its the responsibility of that person only to bring those up too. However man due to his Krūratvam, for his own selfish needs removed many trees and now started facing the consequences. Atleast from now on let us leave some space in our houses for plants (ones which give flowers, fruits or shade, not crotons ofcourse ).
Bāla Kṛṣhṇa was sitting on the lap of Yaśoda. A dānava by name Tṛṇāvarta came in the form of a tornado. Suddenly the Baby became as heavy as a mountain and Yaśoda put the baby on the ground, not able to carry the Bālaka. Huge air storm came and blew off the tops of many kuṭīrs. Sand dust filled Yośoda’s view and the Baby was missing. All the Gopikas started to search for Śrī Kṛṣhṇa.
Bāla Kṛṣhṇa went into the sky along with Tṛṇāvarta and mounted his back. He became so heavy that the dānava could not anymore bear the weight. The dānava was trying to smash the Baby onto the ground. Small Kṛṣhṇa squeezed his throat and the dānava fell on the ground and lost his life. The Baby started playing on the dānava’s mṛta deham. The Vrajavanitas brought Śrī Kṛṣhṇa back to Yaśoda safely and made her very happy. She removed dṛṣhṭi for the Paramātma, made Vedāśīrvacanas to be given and did many Go-Bhū dānas. She told Śrī Kṛṣhṇa to stop doing mischief and made him sleep on a svarṇa āṇḍolikā, in between silk gilpas (cushions).
Sahasrākṣha used to rule the Pāṇḍudeśam. He was a Bhagavat-bhakta, but a strī-lola. In his kāmāndhatvam, even noticing that Dūrvāsa maharṣhi came, he did not do yathāvidhi namaskāras to him. The maharṣhi gave a śāpam to become a rākṣhasa. Sahasrākṣha later fell on the maharṣhi’s feet and asked for śāpāntaram. The maharṣhi said “you will get Kaivalyam because of Śrī Kṛṣhṇa’s pāda-sparśa.”
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Kāmāndhatvam.
Balarāma and Śrī Kṛṣhṇa were growing day-by-day. They got the age where they could take the cows out, along with other Gopālas. Kālindī nadī sands was their fauvorite vihāra-sthalam. Balarāma used to wear a nīlāmbaram and Śrī Kṛṣhṇa a pītāmbaram. Paramātma with His madhura veṇu gānam taught the Gopālas and the Gomātas the Sāmaveda-sāram. Everyone who hear the venugānam used to experience Brahmānandam. All of them used to play, eat together. Kṛṣhṇa used to decorate the Gopālas and satisfy all their surprising new new childish vāñchas. Aaha! What immense puṇyas must they have done to have Śrī Kṛṣhṇa as their sakha!
Vatsāsura, sent by Kamsa, once mixed with the cow-herd that the Gopālas were protecting. Paramātma kept observing him. Vatsāsura slowly slowly approached near Śrī Kṛṣhṇa and kicked him with his legs. Śrī Kṛṣhṇa caught the asura by his legs, rotated him in circles and smashed him against a tree (Velaga Cettu). The tree broke down and a tejaH puñjam left the asura and joined in the Paramātma.
(See this image)
Murāsura’s son was Pramīla. Once he took the guise of a brāhmaṇa and approached Vasiṣhṭha maharṣhi and asked the maharṣhi to give him the Nandinī dhenu. Nandinī identified the kapaṭa nāṭakam of Pramīla and gave him a śāpam “become a calf with asura svabhāvas”. On pleading the dhenu for kṣhama, She said that when Śrī Kṛṣhṇa kills you, you will attain mokṣham.
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Kapaṭam, Kuṭilatvam.
Immediately after vastāsura vadha, this episode happened. Bakāsura, one big heron, came to the Yamunātīram where Śrī Kṛṣhṇa and Gopālas were protecting the cows. It was as big as Kailāsa Parvatam. Its garjanam was like that of the ghana meghas. Seeing it the Gopālas were frightened. With its beak, which was as strong as a diamond, it swallowed Śrī Kṛṣhṇa. The Gopāla bālas began to cry seeing this.
Immediately Devendra used His Vajrāyudham. Brahma threw His daṇḍam. Nothing happened to Bakāsura! Parameśvara broke one of its wings. Vāyudeva’s Vāyavyāstram could do nothing! Yamadharmarāja hit it with His daṇḍam. The daṇḍam broke! Surya deva’s thousand arrows did not work! Bakasura did not care about Candra’s Nīhārāstram! Agnideva’s Aagneyāstram burnt Bakāsura’s chest. Varuṇa deva hit it with His Pāśa. Bhadra Kāli threw Her Gadā daṇḍam. Bakāsura fell unconscious. With Kumāra Svāmi’s Śakti āyudham, Bakāsura’s leg broke. Bakāsura with one leg and wing flew and chased away many Devatas and came back to the same place!
Maharṣhis were doing Śrī Kṛṣhṇa’s dhyānam. Paramātma shouted so loud from inside Bakāsura that his stomach expanded and he had to forcibly bring out Śrī Kṛṣhṇa. Bakāsura started poking the Paramātma with his beak. Śrī Kṛṣhṇa then caught him and tore his beak apart. Bakāsura was killed and Devatas rained puṣhpa vṛṣhṭhi. Bakā’s tejas entered the Kṛṣhṇa Paramātma. Gopālas immediately hugged the Lord and felt happy that He was safe. They reported the entire episode to Yaśodā devi.
(see this picture)
(see this picture)
Bakāsura was the son of Hayagrīva rākṣhasa. His then name was Utkala. He had immense balaparākrama’s. He once defeated Devendra and became Svargādhipati for 100 years.
Once Utkala went to the shores of Sindhū Sāgara, near the Aaśramam of Jājili maharṣhi. He started fishing for fun. Maharṣhi saw him and said “Jīva himsa is a mahāpāpam”. Utkala was a murkha. He did not believe the words of the maharṣhi. He did not stop killing the fish. Maharṣhi became angry and said “become a baka with asura lakṣhaṇas”. He pleaded the maharṣhi to forgive him for his mistake. Jājili maharṣhi gave abhayam saying “through the hands of Śrī Kṛṣhṇa you will be killed and then you will get śāpavimukti”.
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Himsa.
Aghāsura was Bakāsura’s eldest son. Sent by Kamsa, he came to bite the Paramātma with his Bhīkara viṣham. He had the form of a huge snake and was waiting near Yamunātīram. He kept his mouth open with his upper lips near meghamaṇḍala and the lower lips on the Bhūmaṇḍala. Thinking that the mouth of Aghāsura was a cave, with the confidence that Paramātma was with them, the Gopālas and cows happily entered the cave to explore it. Aghāsura was waiting for the Paramātma to enter him.
Śrī Kṛṣhṇa also entered it and immediately Aghāsura closed his mouth. Because of the bhīkara viṣha-vāyu all the Gopālas and the cows fell dead. Paramātma closed the navarandhra’s of Aghāsura such that his stomach expanded and burst. Śrī Kṛṣhṇa came out. He brought back the lifes of all the cows and Gopāla just by His Saṅkalpam.
Aghāsura was the son of a rākṣhasa by name Śaṅkha. He was strong and handsome. He was very young. His svabhāvam was to always do paraninda. Once he saw Aṣhṭāvakra maharṣhi and laughed saying “Why do you have some many curves in you body..” Maharṣhi became angry and gave śāpam that you will become a sarpam. When Aghāsura pleaded the maharṣhi for kṣhama, the maharṣhi said “When Śrī Kṛṣhṇa enters your stomach you will get mokṣham”.
Just by doing Bhagavat-nāma-smaraṇa itself people get mokṣham. If Paramātma Himself enters the stomach will he not? (he will.)
Listening to the sāhasakṛtyas of Śrī Kṛṣhṇa, Yaśodā Devī had kalavaram. She thought even though they left Nandavrajam and came to Bṛndāvanam, the utpātas did not stop. Seeing the duhkham of Yaśodā, Nandarāja consoled saying “Śrī Kṛṣhṇa is not a sāmānya bālaka. Garga maharṣhi told us about this. For the good of Him do many dānas, Annadānas”. Yaśodā Devī made Balarāma-Kṛṣhṇas do many dānas and Annadānas.
Balarāma-Kṛṣhṇas used to beautifully do alaṅkāram of Gomātas and take them. Śrī Kṛṣhṇa used to follow the cowherd closely so that Go-dhūli falls on Him. However without having Paramātma Darśanam Gomātas were not able to move their feet forward. Hence Śrī Kṛṣhṇa Himself used to be at the front, middle and end of the cowherd simultaneously. The Jīvātma-Paramātma sambandham is truely very deep.
In Madhurānagaram there was a Tālavanam. There used to be a dānava by name “Dhenuka” in gārdabhākāram in the Tālavanam. Once all the Gopālas along with Balarāmadeva and Śrī Kṛṣhṇa went near the Tālavanam. The Gopabālas, afraid of Dhenukāsura, requested Balarāma-Kṛṣhṇas to get them the madhura Tāla-phalas (tāṭi paṇḍlu).
(See this image)
Balarāma-Kṛṣhṇas entered the vanam and shook the trees, making the fruits fall.
(See this image)
A donkey has more power in its back legs. Dhenuka kicked Balarāma to 4 krośa distance away! Unaffected, Balarāma, hit the Dhenuka against a Tālavṛkṣham. Though a donkey normally does’nt have horns, this Dhenuka had 4 and started to attack the Gopālas. Śrīrāma, Subala and others replied with sticks, pāśas and astras.
Nandakiśora threw him to Govardhanagiri, making him unconscious. After gaining his consciousness, he took the Paramātma in to sky and started yuddham. Śrī Kṛṣhṇa threw him down and threw Govardhanagiri on dhenukāsura, like a ball. Dhenuka threw it back and Śrī Kṛṣhṇa kept it back at the same place and signalled Balarāmadeva. With one muṣhṭighātam of Balarāmadeva, the Dhenuka was killed and his tejas entered the Paramātma.
Sāhasika was the son of Balicakravarti (see this too). He once did vihāram on pavitra Gandhamādana Parvatam (where many ṛṣhis, munis do tapas and Paṇḍavas also lived for sometime), with 10000 vanitas. They exceeded their limits and the tapas of Dūrvāsamaharṣhi was disturbed. “Without any kind of vinaya-vidheyata you behaved like a gārdabham. So become one” said the Maharṣhi. After begging the Maharṣhi for kṣhama, the maharṣhi gave abhayam “in Dvāparayugam through the hands of Balarāmadeva you will get mukti”.
Since Paramātma told Prahlāda that He will never kill anyone in his dynasty (one uttama/bhraṣhṭa is enough to save/destroy an entire dynasty), he signalled Balarāmadeva to kill Sāhasika (Dhenuka).
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Not having Vinayam-vidheyata and doing whatever pleases oneself.
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Paraninda.
The divya līla of Kālīya mardanam is well known and is ananta phala dāyakam.
(SEE THIS IMAGE)
During the time of Svāyambhuva Manvantaram (first Manu in Brahmadeva’s current day), Vedaśiras, a great bhūsurottama, used to do his tapas. Aśvaśiras, another great Vipra, came to Vedaśiras’s Āśramam and requested him to allow him to do tapas in his Āśramam. Vedaśiras did not agree and Aśvaśiras said “this Āśramam belongs to Nārāyaṇa (Nara-Nārāyaṇa avatāram). With durahaṅkāram you hissed on me and so become a sarpam and be tortured by Garuḍa Bhagavān”.
Vedaśiras replied “Since it will be a disturbance to my tapas, I said like that. Like a Kāka, for your svārtham, you did svalābha kāṅkṣha, hence become one”.
Paramātma then gave them His durlabha-Darśanam and said “both of you are my great Bhaktas, but your words cannot be taken back. O Vedaśiromaharṣhi! By doing Divya Nṛtyam on your sahasra-phaṇas, I will put My Pāda-cihnas and save you from Garuḍa. O Aśvaśiromaharṣhi! You will take the form of Kāka and become a Brahma-jñāni and trikāla-vetta”.
Aśvaśiras became the great Śrī Rāma bhakta, Kāka Bhuśunḍi, did tapas on Nīlagiri and told Garuḍa Bhagavān, the great Rāmāyaṇam. He did tattvopadeśam to the great Vasiṣhṭha maharṣhi. Śrī Rāma Candra, everytime as a part of His bālya līlas, used to give food to Kāka and play with him.
Sajjanas, even though they sometimes give śāpam, it will turn out to be a great varam!
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Svārtham, Ahaṅkāram.
On the Yamunātīram, Paramātma used to sit on a tree (Pogaḍa Vṛkṣham) and do Veṇugānam. On hearing the sweet muralīravam, the Gomātas used to turn towards Nandakiśora and listen undisturbed as if they were nirjīva śilpas. When Paramātma used to call the Gomātas with the names “Yamunā”, “Sarasvatī”, “Gangā”, the Gangā Yamunā Sarasvatī Nadīs used to break their frontiers, come running and on touching His feet used to become paravaśa and do praṇāmams to the Yadusimha. As if dropping ānada-bhāṣhpas, the puṣhpas used to do makarada-srāvam. Bhramaras used to hum their madhura-gānam. Hamsas and others pakṣhis (Begguru Pakṣhi) like a ṛṣhi in Samādhiniṣhṭha, used to hear to the Veṇu-gānam. There used to be slight rain of Tuṣhāra. Similar to how ghana meghas give varṣham and remove the kaṣhṭam of the cātaka pakṣhis (see this), the Kṛṣhṇa-megham, with His Karuṇāmṛta-varṣham, satisifed the tāpatrayam of the Bhaktas.
(see this picture)
Paramātma used to do krīḍa, gānam, nṛtyam, kalaham with the Gopabālas.
They used to divide themselves into two two teams; one lead by Balarāmadeva and the other by Śrī Kṛṣhṇa.
The rule of the game was that a person who gets defeated must carry the winner till the Vaṭa Vṛkṣham by the name Bhāṇḍīraka. It is usual for the Lord to get defeated in the hands of His Bhakta; so Kṛṣhṇa’s team was defeated and He was carrying Śrīdhāma. Pralambāsura, sent by Kamsa, acted as if he was in the team of Śrī Kṛṣhṇa and carried Balarāmasvāmi. Balarāma increased His weight and Pralambāsura took his nija-rūpam. With His muṣhṭi-ghātam, Balarāmasvāmi cracked the Brahmarandhram of Pralambāsura and the asura’s head broke into two. The tejas from Pralambāsura entered Balarāmasvāmi.
Kubera, the iṣhṭa sakha of Paramaśiva, had an Udyānavanam by name “Caitraratham”. The Puṣhpas from that Udyānavanam were meant to be used only for Śivapūja. Howmuch ever the rakṣhaka-bhaṭas used to be careful, someone or the other used to take the puṣhpas from the Udyānavanam. Out of exasperation, Kubera said “the puṣhpa-cora will get a rākṣhasa janma”.
Once Vijaya, the son of the Gandharva by name “Hūhū”, reached the Udyānavanam after doing some tīrtha-yātras. He without taking the permission of Kubera and not knowing the śāpam given by him, took the puṣhpas from the Udyānavanam. He immediately became a rākṣhasa and then asked Kubera for śaraṇam. Kubera gave abhayam saying “Vijaya! you are a great Viṣhṇu bhakta. You will be killed by Balarāmasvāmi in Dvāparayuga end and then you will get Mokṣham”.
One must, even unknowingly, never take things not belonging to them, without owner’s prior permission (see this for a similar story). This will lead to caurya-doṣham.
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Cauryam.
One day, Gopalas and Nandakiśora were playing. Some played the role of Gomāta, some as aja (goat), some as stena (thief) and the others as Gopālaka. Vyomāsura, a Kamsa-prerita, the son of the great Mayāsura, joined the group who were acting as stenas and slowly stealed all the Gopālakas playing in the game, who belonged to different groups, and shut them up in a bilam. Knowing this, Kṛṣhṇa Paramātma took the rākṣhasa with his two hands, swirled him in air and smashed him onto the ground. The tejas from Vyomāsura entered the Parandhāma. The Paramātma then broke the huge stone that closed the bilam and released all his mitras.
(SEE THIS IMAGE)
Once the great Kāśī Kṣhetram used to be ruled by Bhīmaratha. He was a great Viṣhṇu bhakta, Medhāvi and Dānaśīli. He left the kingdom to his son, took Vānaprasthāśramam and went to Malayaparvatas for doing tapas. One day Pulastya Brahma, one of the Brahma mānasa putras (grandfather of Rāvaṇa) and a great ṛṣhi himself, came to Bhīmaratha’s place along with his śiṣhyas. The King did namaskāras to the ṛṣhi, but did not do satkāras. Pulastya Brahma told “O Bhīmaratha! This is an asura-lakṣhaṇam. Hence, you must take the janma of a rākṣhasa”. Bhīmaratha pleaded the ṛṣhīsvara for kṣhama. Pulastya Brahma gave him abhayam saying “With Paramātma’s anugraham you will become a dhanya. Donot worry”.
An uttama must always be respected. As Pulastya maharṣhi said, not doing so is an asura-lakṣhaṇam.
Durguṇam to be unlearnt: Not respecting the elders and the deserved (uttama).
Once Arishtaasura, in a vrushabha-rupam, entered the Nandavrajam. He tried to poke the Vraja-vaasis with his horns. Everyone was running from the asura and calling Shri Krishna for help.
Baala Krishna, came in front of the asura. The asura tried to poke the Paramatma. Shri Krishna pushed him back. The asura threw the Rohita parvatam on Krishna paramata, which the Yadukulabhushana threw back. Shri Krishna pierced his horns into the ground releasing a jaladhara. The both then had a fierce fight. Arishtaasura finally left the form of asura, took a vipra-rupam and told “O Krishna! I am the shishya of Bruhaspati, the Devaguru. My name was Naratantu and I was a Brahmachari. Not knowing how to respect a Guru, I sat before him with my legs stretched. For this my Gurudeva said that I will take the form of a vrushabha with asura-lakshanas. He gave abhayam to me after I had pashchattapam for my mistake”.
Durgunam to be unlearnt: Not respecting the Gurudeva.
Krsna Rescues His Teacher’s Son
1. Understanding that His parents were becoming aware of His transcendental opulences, the Supreme Personality of Godhead thought that this should not be allowed to happen. Thus He expanded His Yogamaya, which bewilders His devotees.
2. Lord Krsna, the greatest of the Satvatas, approached His parents with His elder brother. Humbly bowing His head and gratifying them by respectfully addressing them as “My dear mother” and “My dear father,” Krsna spoke as follows.
3. [Lord Krsna said:] Dear Father, because of Us, your two sons, you and mother Devaki always remained in anxiety and could never enjoy Our childhood, boyhood or youth.
4. Deprived by fate, We could not live with you and enjoy the pampered happiness most children enjoy in their parents’ home.
5. With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years.
6. A son who, though able to do so, fails to provide for his parents with his physical resources and wealth is forced after his death to eat his own flesh.
7. A man who, though able to do so, fails to support his elderly parents, chaste wife, young child or spiritual master, or who neglects a brahmana or anyone who comes to him for shelter, is considered dead, though breathing.
8. Thus We have wasted all these days, unable as We were to properly honor you because Our minds were always disturbed by fear of Kamsa.
9. Dear Father and Mother, please forgive Us for not serving you. We are not independent and have been greatly frustrated by cruel Kamsa.
10. Thus beguiled by the words of Lord Hari, the Supreme Soul of the universe, who by His internal illusory potency appeared to be a human, His parents joyfully raised Him up on their laps and embraced Him.
11. Pouring out a shower of tears upon the Lord, His parents, who were bound up by the rope of affection, could not speak. They were overwhelmed, and their throats choked up with tears.
12. Thus having comforted His mother and father, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing as the son of Devaki, installed His maternal grandfather, Ugrasena, as King of the Yadus.
13. The Lord told him: O mighty King, We are your subjects, so please command Us. Indeed, because of the curse of Yayati, no Yadu may sit on the royal throne.
14. Since I am present in your entourage as your personal attendant, all the demigods and other exalted personalities will come with heads bowed to offer you tribute. What, then, to speak of the rulers of men?
15. The Lord then brought all His close family members and other relatives back from the various places to which they had fled in fear of Kamsa. He received the Yadus, Vrsnis, Andhakas, Madhus, Dasarhas, Kukuras and other clans with due honor, and He also consoled them, for they were weary of living in foreign lands. Then Lord Krsna, the creator of the universe, resettled them in their homes and gratified them with valuable gifts.
16. The members of these clans, protected by the arms of Lord Krsna and Lord Sankarsana, felt that all their desires were fulfilled. Thus they enjoyed perfect happiness while living at home with their families. Because of the presence of Krsna and Balarama, they no longer suffered from the fever of material existence. Every day these loving devotees could see Mukunda’s ever-cheerful lotus face, which was decorated with beautiful, merciful smiling glances.
17. Even the most elderly inhabitants of the city appeared youthful, full of strength and vitality, for with
their eyes they constantly drank the elixir of Lord Mukunda’s lotus face.
18. Then, the Supreme Lord Krsna, the son of Devaki, along with Lord Balarama, approached Nanda Maharaja. The two Lords embraced him and then addressed him as follows.
19. [Krsna and Balarama said:] O Father, you and mother Yasoda have affectionately maintained Us and cared for Us so much! Indeed, parents love their children more than their own lives.
20. They are the real father and mother who care for, as they would their own sons, children abandoned by relatives unable to maintain and protect them.
21. Now you should all return to Vraja, dear Father. We shall come to see you, Our dear relatives who suffer in separation from Us, as soon as We have given some happiness to your well-wishing friends.
22. Thus consoling Nanda Maharaja and the other men of Vraja, the infallible Supreme Lord respectfully honored them with gifts of clothing, jewelry, household utensils and so on.
23. Nanda Maharaja was overwhelmed with affection upon hearing Krsna’s words, and his eyes brimmed with tears as he embraced the two Lords. Then he went back to Vraja with the cowherd men.
24. Then Vasudeva, the son of Surasena, arranged for a priest and other brahmanas to perform his two sons’ second-birth initiation.
25. Vasudeva honored these brahmanas by worshiping them and giving them fine ornaments and well ornamented cows with their calves. All these cows wore gold necklaces and linen wreaths.
26. The magnanimous Vasudeva then remembered the cows he had mentally given away on the occasion of Krsna’s and Balarama’s birth. Kamsa had stolen those cows, and Vasudeva now recovered them and gave them away in charity also.
27. After attaining twice-born status through initiation, the Lords, sincere in Their vows, took the further vow of celibacy from Garga Muni, the spiritual master of the Yadus.
28. Concealing Their innately perfect knowledge by Their humanlike activities, those two omniscient Lords of the universe, Themselves the origin of all branches of knowledge, next desired to reside at the school of a spiritual master. Thus They approached Sandipani Muni, a native of Kasi living in the city of Avanti.
29. Sandipani thought very highly of these two self-controlled disciples, whom he had obtained so fortuitously. By serving him as devotedly as one would serve the Supreme Lord Himself, They showed others an irreproachable example of how to worship the spiritual master.
30. That best of brahmanas, the spiritual master Sandipani, was satisfied with Their submissive behavior, and thus he taught Them the entire Vedas, together with their six corollaries and the Upanisads.
31. He also taught Them the Dhanur-veda, with its most confidential secrets; the standard books of law; the methods of logical reasoning and philosophical debate; and the sixfold science of politics.
32. Those best of persons, Krsna and Balarama, being Themselves the original promulgators of all varieties of knowledge, could immediately assimilate each and every subject after hearing it explained just once. Thus with fixed concentration They learned the sixty-four arts and skills in as many days and nights. Thereafter, They satisfied Their spiritual master by offering him guru-daksina.
33. The learned brahmana Sandipani carefully considered the two Lords’ glorious and amazing qualities and Their superhuman intelligence. Then, after consulting with his wife, he chose as his remuneration the return of his young son, who had died in the ocean at Prabhasa.
34. “So be it,” replied those two great charioteers of limitless might, and They at once mounted Their chariot and set off for Prabhasa. When They reached that place, They walked up to the shore and sat down. In a moment the deity of the ocean, recognizing Them to be the Supreme Lords, approached Them with offerings of tribute.
35. The Supreme Lord Krsna addressed the lord of the ocean: Let the son of My guru be presented at once—the one you seized here with your mighty waves.
36. The ocean replied: O Lord Krsna, it was not I who abducted him, but a demonic descendant of Diti named Pancajana, who travels in the water in the form of a conch.
37. “Indeed,” the ocean said, “that demon has taken him away.” Hearing this, Lord Krsna entered the ocean, found Pancajana and killed him. But the Lord did not find the boy within the demon’s belly.
38. Lord Janardana took the conchshell that had grown around the demon’s body and went back to the chariot. Then He proceeded to Samyamani, the beloved capital of Yamaraja, the lord of death. Upon arriving there with Lord Balarama, He loudly blew His conchshell, and Yamaraja, who keeps the conditioned souls in check, came as soon as he heard the resounding vibration. Yamaraja elaborately worshiped the two Lords with great devotion, and then he addressed Lord Krsna, who lives in everyone’s heart: “O Supreme Lord Visnu, what shall I do for You and Lord Balarama, who are playing the part of ordinary humans?”
39. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Suffering the bondage of his past activity, My spiritual master’s son was brought here to you. O great King, obey My command and bring this boy to Me without delay.
40. Yamaraja said, “So be it,” and brought forth the guru’s son. Then those two most exalted Yadus presented the boy to Their spiritual master and said to him, “Please select another boon.”
41. The spiritual master said: My dear boys, You two have completely fulfilled the disciple’s obligation to reward his spiritual master. Indeed, with disciples like You, what further desires could a guru have?
42. O heroes, now please return home. May Your fame sanctify the world, and may the Vedic hymns be ever fresh in Your minds, both in this life and the next.
43. Thus receiving Their guru’s permission to leave, the two Lords returned to Their city on Their chariot, which moved as swiftly as the wind and resounded like a cloud.
44. All the citizens rejoiced upon seeing Krsna and Balarama, whom they had not seen for many days. The people felt just like those who have lost their wealth and then regained it.
The Killing of Kamsa
1. Thus addressed, Lord Krsna made up His mind to accept the challenge. He paired off with Canura, and Lord Balarama with Mustika.
2. Seizing each other’s hands and locking legs with each other, the opponents struggled powerfully, eager for victory.
3. They each struck fists against fists, knees against knees, head against head and chest against chest.
4. Each fighter contended with his opponent by dragging him about in circles, shoving and crushing him, throwing him down and running before and behind him.
5. Forcefully lifting and carrying each other, pushing each other away and holding each other down, the fighters hurt even their own bodies in their great eagerness for victory.
6. All the women present, considering the match an unfair fight between the strong and the weak, felt extreme anxiety due to compassion. They assembled in groups around the arena and spoke to one another as follows.
7. [The women said:] Alas, what a greatly irreligious act the members of this royal assembly are committing! As the King watches this fight between the strong and the weak, they also want to see it.
8. What comparison can there be between these two professional wrestlers, with limbs as strong as lightning bolts and bodies resembling mighty mountains, and these two young, immature boys with exceedingly tender limbs?
9. Religious principles have certainly been violated in this assembly. One should not remain for even a moment in a place where irreligion is flourishing.
10. A wise person should not enter an assembly if he knows the participants there are committing acts of impropriety. And if, having entered such an assembly, he fails to speak the truth, speaks falsely or pleads ignorance, he will certainly incur sin.
11. Just see the lotus face of Krsna as He darts around His foe! That face, covered with drops of perspiration brought on by the strenuous fight, resembles a lotus covered with dew.
12. Don’t you see the face of Lord Balarama, with its eyes copper-red from His anger toward Mustika and its beauty enhanced by His laughter and His absorption in the fight?
13. How pious are the tracts of land in Vraja, for there the primeval Personality of Godhead, disguising Himself with human traits, wanders about, enacting His many pastimes! Adorned with wonderfully variegated forest garlands, He whose feet are worshiped by Lord Siva and goddess Rama vibrates His flute as He tends the cows in the company of Balarama.
14. What austerities must the gopis have performed! With their eyes they always drink the nectar of Lord Krsna’s form, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equaled or surpassed. That loveliness is the only abode of beauty, fame and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh and extremely rare.
15. The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krsna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krsna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.
16. When the gopis hear Krsna playing His flute as He leaves Vraja in the morning with His cows or returns with them at sunset, the young girls quickly come out of their houses to see Him. They must have performed many pious activities to be able to see Him as He walks on the road, His smiling face mercifully glancing upon them.
17. As the women spoke thus, Lord Krsna, the master of all mystic power, made up His mind to kill His opponent.
18. Out of affection for the two Lords, Their parents [Devaki and Vasudeva] became overwhelmed with sorrow when they heard the women’s fearful statements. They grieved, not knowing their sons’ strength.
19. Lord Balarama and Mustika, expertly displaying numerous wrestling techniques, battled each other in the same way that Lord Krsna and His opponent did.
20. The harsh blows from the Supreme Lord’s limbs fell like crushing lightning bolts upon Canura, breaking every part of his body and causing him more and more pain and fatigue.
21. Furious, Canura attacked Lord Vasudeva with the speed of a hawk and struck His chest with both fists.
22. No more shaken by the demon’s mighty blows than an elephant struck with a flower garland, Lord Krsna grabbed Canura by his arms, swung him around several times and hurled him onto the ground with great force. His clothes, hair and garland scattering, the wrestler fell down dead, like a huge festival column collapsing.
23. Similarly, Mustika struck Lord Balabhadra with his fist and was slain. Receiving a violent blow from the mighty Lord’s palm, the demon trembled all over in great pain, vomited blood and then fell lifeless onto the ground, like a tree blown down by the wind.
24. Confronted next by the wrestler Kuta, Lord Balarama, the best of fighters, playfully and nonchalantly killed him with His left fist.
25. Then Krsna struck the wrestler Sala in the head with His toes and tore him in half. The Lord dealt with Tosala in the same way, and both wrestlers fell down dead.
26. Canura, Mustika, Kuta, Sala and Tosala having been killed, the remaining wrestlers all fled for their lives.
27. Krsna and Balarama then called Their young cowherd boyfriends to join Them, and in their company the Lords danced about and sported, Their ankle bells resounding as musical instruments played.
28. Everyone except Kamsa rejoiced at the wonderful feat Krsna and Balarama had performed. The exalted brahmanas and great saints exclaimed, “Excellent! Excellent!”
29. The Bhoja king, seeing that his best wrestlers had all been killed or had fled, stopped the musical performance originally meant for his pleasure and spoke the following words.
30. [Kamsa said:] Drive the two wicked sons of Vasudeva out of the city! Confiscate the cowherds’ property and arrest that fool Nanda!
31. Kill that most evil fool Vasudeva! And also kill my father, Ugrasena, along with his followers, who have all sided with our enemies!
32. As Kamsa thus raved so audaciously, the infallible Lord Krsna, intensely angry, quickly and easily jumped up onto the high royal dais.
33. Seeing Lord Krsna approaching like death personified, the quick-witted Kamsa instantly rose from his seat and took up his sword and shield.
34. Sword in hand, Kamsa moved quickly from side to side like a hawk in the sky. But Lord Krsna, whose fearsome strength is irresistible, powerfully seized the demon just as the son of Tarksya might capture a snake.
35. Grabbing Kamsa by the hair and knocking off his crown, the lotus-naveled Lord threw him off the elevated dais onto the wrestling mat. Then the independent Lord, the support of the entire universe, threw Himself upon the King.
36. As a lion drags a dead elephant, the Lord then dragged Kamsa’s dead body along the ground in full view of everyone present. All the people in the arena tumultuously cried out, “Oh! Oh!”
37. Kamsa had always been disturbed by the thought that the Supreme Lord was to kill him. Therefore when drinking, eating, moving about, sleeping or simply breathing, the King had always seen the Lord before him with the disc weapon in His hand. Thus Kamsa achieved the rare boon of attaining a form like the Lord’s.
38. Kamsa’s eight younger brothers, led by Kanka and Nyagrodhaka, then attacked the Lords in a rage, seeking to avenge their brother’s death.
39. As they ran swiftly toward the two Lords, ready to strike, the son of Rohini slew them with His club just as a lion easily kills other animals.
40. Kettledrums resounded in the sky as Brahma, Siva and other demigods, the Lord’s expansions, rained down flowers upon Him with pleasure. They chanted His praises, and their wives danced.
41. The wives of Kamsa and his brothers, aggrieved by the death of their well-wishing husbands, came forward with tearful eyes, beating their heads.
42. Embracing their husbands, who lay on a hero’s final bed, the sorrowful women loudly lamented while shedding constant tears.
43. [The women cried out:] Alas, O master, O dear one, O knower of religious principles! O kind and compassionate protector of the shelterless! By your being slain we have also been slain, together with your household and offspring.
44. O great hero among men, bereft of you, its master, this city has lost its beauty, just as we have, and all festivity and good fortune within it have come to an end.
45. O dear one, you have been brought to this state because of the terrible violence you committed against innocent creatures. How can one who harms others attain happiness?
46. Lord Krsna causes the appearance and disappearance of all beings in this world, and He is their maintainer as well. One who disrespects Him can never prosper happily.
47. After consoling the royal ladies, Lord Krsna, sustainer of all the worlds, arranged for the prescribed funeral rites to be performed.
48. Then Krsna and Balarama released Their mother and father from bondage and offered obeisances to them, touching their feet with Their heads.
49. Devaki and Vasudeva, now knowing Krsna and Balarama to be the Lords of the universe, simply stood with joined palms. Being apprehensive, they did not embrace their sons.
Once, Srimati Radhika was in mana and did not meet Krsna for several days. The sakhis tried various means to convince Her to give up Her mana, but on this occasion Her mana was fixed and therefore difficult to subdue. Krsna’s separation from Radha filled Him with great distress. Subala sakha therefore began to hatch a plan to help Him meet with Radha. Subala exactly resembles Srimati Radhika in age, beauty, speech and so forth and is skilled in many arts. He consoled Krsna, saying,” Why are You so distressed? You should wait in this kunja for a short time while I arrange Your meeting with Priyaji.” Saying this, he went to Yava-grama. When Jatila(Srimati Radhika’s mother-in-law) saw him there, she cried out,” Subala, you are the friend of that licentious debauchee Krsna, why are you hovering around our house? Leave this place immediately.”
Subala replied,” Maiya, one of my calves is lost and I can not find it anywhere. I have come to search for it.”
“Your calf has not come here,”Jatila answered. “Leave at once.” Subala repeatedly requested her to please allow him to look for his calf, and she finally relented. “I am going now to make cow-dung patties. Go to the cowshed and search for your calf, and if you find it, take it.”
Subala became delighted and reached Srimati Radhika’s balcony through the cowshed. He gave such a heart rending description of Krsna’s condition of separation that Srimatiji’s heart melted. She immediately gave up Her mana and prepared Herself to go and console Krsna, but how would She be able to leave Her house? Subala then gave Her his clothes and She disguised Herself as him, carrying a stick and wearing a twisted turban on Her head, a dhoti around Her waist, and a necklace of gunja seeds around Her neck. Carrying a small calf in Her arms, She appeared to be Subala happily leaving, having found his lost calf. Meanwhile, Subala, disguised as Radhika, became immersed in conservation with the sakhis. When Jatila saw Srimatiji disguised as Subala leaving the cowshed, she asked,” So, did you find your calf?”
Radhika answered in Subala’s voice,”Just see Maiya,”She said,” I have found it.” Jatila did not became even the slightest bit suspicious. Srimati Radhika finally reached Krsna, having made Her way to the location as indicated by Subala. Distressed in separation, Krsna asked Her,” Sakha, were you unable to bring My beloved? My life is coming to an end. What should I do? Where should I go?” Upon seeing Krsna in such a miserable condition, Srimatiji could not contain Herself. She put the calf down and embraced Him. By Her tender touch and by the fragnance of Her body, Krsna understood everything and all His sorrow went far away. He repeatedly praised the intelligence of Subala, and proceeded to enjoy delightful pastimes with His beloved. After sometime, Subala also arrived there and became so happy to watch Their meeting.
Sri Radhe-Krsna’s playful pastimes (vihara) – Kosi(Kosivana)
Once, Sri Krsna was so eager to meet Srimati Radhika that He knocked on Her door. From inside the house, Srimati Radhika asked,”Ko’si?(Who are You?)”
Sri Krsna replied,” I am Krsna.”
The word krsna also happens to mean “black snake”. Radhika therefore said,” If You are a black snake, then why come here? Do You want to bite me? Go to the forest. You have no purpose here.”
“No Priyatama, I am Ghanasyama.”
Radhika decided to take ghanasyama to mean “black cloud”. “If You are a black cloud, then You also are not needed here.” She answered. ” Do not shower rain here and muddy My courtyard. Go to the forests and fields to discharge Your rain.”
“Priyatama, I am Cakri.”
Cakri also means “potter”. Radhika therefore said,” There is no need for a cakri here. No wedding festival is being held in My house. Take Your clay pots and find a marriage celebration.”
“Priyatama, I am a Madhusudana.”
Radhika intentionally took the meaning of madhusudana to mean “bumblebee” and said,” If You are a madhusudana, then quickly fly from here to a flower-garden and drink the nector of the flowers. There is no flower-garden here.”
“Come on, I am Your beloved Hari”, Krsna insisted.
Radhika interpreted hari as “monkey” or “lion”, and laughingly replied,” What is the need of a monkey or a lion here? Do You want to scratch Me? Quickly ran away to a dense forest. We are all scared of lions and monkeys here.”
In this way, Srimati Radhika jokes with Her beloved Hari. May They be pleased with us. The place of this joking pastime is called Kosivana.
1. The young women of Vraja became astonished upon seeing Lord Krsna’s servant, who had long arms, whose eyes resembled a newly grown lotus, who wore a yellow garment and a lotus garland, and whose lotuslike face glowed with brightly polished earrings. “Who is this handsome man?” the gopis asked. “Where has he come from, and whom does he serve? He’s wearing Krsna’s clothes and ornaments!” Saying this, the gopis eagerly crowded around Uddhava, whose
shelter was the lotus feet of Lord Uttamahsloka, Sri Krsna.
2. Bowing their heads in humility, the gopis duly honored Uddhava with their shy, smiling glances and pleasing words. They took him to a quiet place, seated him comfortably and began to question him, for they recognized him to be a messenger from Krsna, the master of the goddess of fortune.
3. [The gopis said:] We know that you are the personal servant of Krsna, the chief of the Yadus, and that you have come here on the order of your good master, who desires to give pleasure to His parents.
4. We see nothing else He might consider worth remembering in these cow pastures of Vraja. Indeed, the bonds of affection for one’s family members are difficult to break, even for a sage.
5. The friendship shown toward others—those who are not family members—is motivated by personal interest, and thus it is a pretense that lasts only until one’s purpose is fulfilled. Such friendship is just like the interest men take in women, or bees in flowers.
6. Prostitutes abandon a penniless man, subjects an incompetent king, students their teacher once they have finished their education, and priests a man who has remunerated them for a sacrifice.
7. Birds abandon a tree when its fruits are gone, guests a house after they have eaten, animals a forest that has burnt down, and a lover the woman he has enjoyed, even though she remains attached to him.
8. Thus speaking, the gopis, whose words, bodies and minds were fully dedicated to Lord Govinda, put aside all their regular work now that Krsna’s messenger, Sri Uddhava, had arrived among them. Constantly remembering the activities their beloved Krsna had performed in His childhood and youth, they sang about them and cried without shame.
9. One of the gopis, while meditating on Her previous association with Krsna, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus She spoke as follows.
10. The gopi said: O honeybee, O friend of a cheater, don’t touch My feet with your whiskers, which are smeared with the kunkuma that rubbed onto Krsna’s garland when it was crushed by the breasts of a rival lover! Let Krsna satisfy the women of Mathura. One who sends a messenger like you will certainly be ridiculed in the Yadus’ assembly.
11. After making us drink the enchanting nectar of His lips only once, Krsna suddenly abandoned us, just as you might quickly abandon some flowers. How is it, then, that Goddess Padma willingly serves His lotus feet? Alas! The answer must certainly be that her mind has been stolen away by His deceitful words.
12. O bee, why do you sing here so much about the Lord of the Yadus, in front of us homeless people? These topics are old news to us. Better you sing about that friend of Arjuna in front of His new girlfriends, the burning desire in whose breasts He has now relieved. Those ladies will surely give you the charity you are begging.
13. In heaven, on earth or in the subterranean sphere, what women are unavailable to Him? He simply arches His eyebrows and smiles with deceptive charm, and they all become His. The supreme goddess herself worships the dust of His feet, so what is our position in comparison? But at least those who are wretched can chant His name, Uttamahsloka.
14. Keep your head off My feet! I know what you’re doing. You expertly learned diplomacy from Mukunda, and now you come as His messenger with flattering words. But He abandoned those who for His sake alone gave up their children, husbands and all other relations. He’s simply ungrateful. Why should I make up with Him now?
15. Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can’t give up talking about Him.
16. To hear about the pastimes that Krsna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined. Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrndavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living.
17. Faithfully taking His deceitful words as true, we became just like the black deer’s foolish wives, who trust the cruel hunter’s song. Thus we repeatedly felt the sharp pain of lust caused by the touch of His nails. O messenger, please talk about something besides Krsna.
18. O friend of My dear one, has My beloved sent you here again? I should honor you, friend, so please choose whatever boon you wish. But why have you come back here to take us to Him, whose conjugal love is so difficult to give up? After all, gentle bee, His consort is the goddess Sri, and she is always with Him, staying upon His chest.
19. O Uddhava! It is indeed regrettable that Krsna resides in Mathura. Does He remember His father’s household affairs and His friends, the cowherd boys? O great soul! Does He ever talk about us, His maidservants? When will He lay on our heads His aguru-scented hand?
20. Having heard this, Uddhava then tried to pacify the gopis, who were most eager to see Lord Krsna. He thus began relating to them the message of their beloved.
21. Sri Uddhava said: Certainly you gopis are all-successful and are universally worshiped because you have dedicated your minds in this way to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.
22. Devotional service unto Lord Krsna is attained by charity, strict vows, austerities and fire sacrifices, by japa, study of Vedic texts, observance of regulative principles and, indeed, by the performance of many other auspicious practices.
23. By your great fortune you have established an unexcelled standard of pure devotion for the Lord, Uttamahsloka—a standard even the sages can hardly attain.
24. By your great fortune you have left your sons, husbands, bodily comforts, relatives and homes in favor of the supreme male, who is known as Krsna.
25. You have rightfully claimed the privilege of unalloyed love for the transcendental Lord, O most glorious gopis. Indeed, by exhibiting your love for Krsna in separation from Him, you have shown me great mercy.
26. My good ladies, now please hear your beloved’s message, which I, the confidential servant of my master, have come here to bring you.
27. The Supreme Lord said: You are never actually separated from Me, for I am the Soul of all creation. Just as the elements of nature—ether, air, fire, water and earth—are present in every created thing, so I am present within everyone’s mind, life air and senses, and also within the physical elements and the modes of material nature.
28. By Myself I create, sustain and withdraw Myself within Myself by the power of My personal energy, which comprises the material elements, the senses and the modes of nature.
29. Being composed of pure consciousness, or knowledge, the soul is distinct from everything material and is uninvolved in the entanglements of the modes of nature. We can perceive the soul through the three functions of material nature known as wakefulness, sleep and deep sleep.
30. As a person just arisen from sleep may continue to meditate on a dream even though it is illusory, so by the agency of the mind one meditates on the sense objects, which the senses can then obtain. Therefore one should become fully alert and bring the mind under control.
31. According to intelligent authorities, this is the ultimate conclusion of all the Vedas, as well as all practice of yoga, Sankhya, renunciation, austerity, sense control and truthfulness, just as the sea is the ultimate destination of all rivers.
32. But the actual reason why I, the beloved object of your sight, have stayed far away from you is that I wanted to intensify your meditation upon Me and thus draw your minds closer to Me.
33. When her lover is far away, a woman thinks of him more than when he is present before her.
34. Because your minds are totally absorbed in Me and free from all other engagement, you remember Me always, and so you will very soon have Me again in your presence.
35. Although some gopis had to remain in the cowherd village and so could not join the rasa dance to sport with Me at night in the forest, they were nonetheless fortunate. Indeed, they attained Me by thinking of My potent pastimes.
36. The women of Vraja were pleased to hear this message from their dearmost Krsna. His words having revived their memory, they addressed Uddhava as follows.
37. The gopis said: It is very good that Kamsa, the enemy and persecutor of the Yadus, has now been killed, along with his followers. And it is also very good that Lord Acyuta is living happily in the company of His well-wishing friends and relatives, whose every desire is now fulfilled.
38. Gentle Uddhava, is the elder brother of Gada now bestowing on the city women the pleasure that actually belongs to us? We suppose those ladies worship Him with generous glances full of affectionate, shy smiles.
39. Sri Krsna is expert in all kinds of conjugal affairs and is the darling of the city women. How can He not become entangled, now that He’s constantly adored by their enchanting words and gestures?
40. O saintly one, does Govinda ever remember us during His conversations with the city women? Does He ever mention us village girls as He freely talks with them?
41. Does He recall those nights in the Vrndavana forest, lovely with lotus, jasmine and the bright moon? As we glorified His charming pastimes, He enjoyed with us, His beloved girlfriends, in the circle of the rasa dance, which resounded with the music of ankle bells.
42. Will that descendant of Dasarha return here and by the touch of His limbs bring back to life those who are now burning with the grief He Himself has caused? Will He save us in that way, just as Lord Indra brings a forest back to life with his water-bearing clouds?
43. But why should Krsna come here after winning a kingdom, killing His enemies and marrying the daughters of kings? He’s satisfied there, surrounded by all His friends and well-wishers.
44. The great soul Krsna is the Lord of the goddess of fortune, and He automatically achieves whatever He desires. How can we forest-dwellers or any other women fulfill His purposes when He is already fulfilled within Himself?
45. Indeed, the greatest happiness is to renounce all desires, as even the prostitute Pingala has declared. Yet even though we know this, we cannot give up our hopes of attaining Krsna.
46. Who can bear to give up intimate talks with Lord Uttamahsloka? Although He shows no interest in her, Goddess Sri never moves from her place on His chest.
47. Dear Uddhava Prabhu, when Krsna was here in the company of Sankarsana, He enjoyed all these rivers, hills, forests, cows and flute sounds.
48. All these remind us constantly of Nanda’s son. Indeed, because we see Krsna’s footprints, which are marked with divine symbols, we can never forget Him.
49. O Uddhava, how can we forget Him when our hearts have been stolen away by the charming way He walks, His generous smile and playful glances, and His honeylike words?
50. O master, O master of the goddess of fortune, O master of Vraja! O destroyer of all suffering, Govinda, please lift Your Gokula out of the ocean of distress in which it is drowning!
51. Lord Krsna’s messages having relieved their fever of separation, the gopis then worshiped Uddhava, recognizing him as nondifferent from their Lord, Krsna.
52. Uddhava remained there for several months, dispelling the gopis’ sorrow by chanting the topics of Lord Krsna’s pastimes. Thus he brought joy to all the people of Gokula.
53. All the days that Uddhava dwelled in Nanda’s cowherd village seemed like a single moment to the residents of Vraja, for Uddhava was always discussing Krsna.
54. That servant of Lord Hari, seeing the rivers, forests, mountains, valleys and flowering trees of Vraja, enjoyed inspiring the inhabitants of Vrndavana by reminding them of Lord Krsna.
55. Thus seeing how the gopis were always disturbed because of their total absorption in Krsna, Uddhava was supremely pleased. Desiring to offer them all respect, he sang as follows.
56. [Uddhava sang:] Among all persons on earth, these cowherd women alone have actually perfected their embodied lives, for they have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Lord Govinda. Their pure love is hankered after by those who fear material existence, by great sages, and by ourselves as well. For one who has tasted the narrations of the infinite Lord, what is the use of taking birth as a high class brahmana, or even as Lord Brahma himself?
57. How amazing it is that these simple women who wander about the forest, seemingly spoiled by improper behavior, have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Krsna, the Supreme Soul! Still, it is true that the Supreme Lord Himself awards His blessings even to an ignorant worshiper, just as the best medicine works even when taken by a person ignorant of its ingredients.
58. When Lord Sri Krsna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or other consorts in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower. And what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful according to material estimation?
59. The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.
60. The goddess of fortune herself, along with Lord Brahma and all the other demigods, who are masters of yogic perfection, can worship the lotus feet of Krsna only within her mind. But during the rasa dance Lord Krsna placed His feet upon these gopis’ breasts, and by embracing those feet the gopis gave up all distress.
61. I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja’s cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds.
62. Uddhava, the descendant of Dasarha, then took permission to leave from the gopis and from mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. He bade farewell to all the cowherd men and, about to depart, mounted his chariot.
63. As Uddhava was about to leave, Nanda and the others approached him bearing various items of worship. With tears in their eyes they addressed him as follows.
64. [Nanda and the other cowherds said:] May our mental functions always take shelter of Krsna’s lotus feet, may our words always chant His names, and may our bodies always bow down to Him and serve Him.
65. Wherever we are made to wander about this world by the Supreme Lord’s will, in accordance with the reactions to our fruitive work, may our good works and charity always grant Us love for Lord Krsna.
66.Thus honored by the cowherd men with expressions of devotion for Lord Krsna, Uddhava went back to the city of Mathura, which was under Krsna’s protection.
67. After falling down to pay his homage, Uddhava described to Lord Krsna the immense devotion of the residents of Vraja. Uddhava also described it to Vasudeva, Lord Balarama and King Ugrasena and presented to them the gifts of tribute he had brought with him.
[Set of Eight Prayers Glorifying Lord Kesava, Who Enjoys Pastimes in the Forest of Vrindavana]
by Srila Rupa Gosvami
Krsna who is called Syamasundara, is the beautiful color of a cloud. His lotuslike face as effulgent as the sun, His dress brilliant with jewels, and His body garlanded by flowers, He is the object of the ideal yogi’s meditation.
krishnalabhir akrisorasi hari
sundaro jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. His complexion is as splendid as sapphires, He wears kadamba-blossom earrings, and His broad chest is decorated with a garland of gunja.
caruto jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. He is the cakora bird who drinks the moonlight of Sri Radha’s face. He steals away the composure of all the gopis. Skillfully clapping His hands in the rhythm known as carcari, He dances very gracefully.
lilaya jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. After stopping His relatives from performing the famous Indra-yajna sacrifice, He removed Indra’s pride and protected the people of Vraja by playfully lifting Govardhana Hill.
srenibhir jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest-pastimes that are glorified by the male and female parrots. By decorating His flute with many beautiful melodies, He glorifies the festival of His transcendental amorous love.
ranjano jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. The luster of His silk garments eclipses the glory of gold. The top of His head is decorated with a peacock feather. He pleases the splendid girls of Vraja.
kunjaro jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. He is anointed with fragrant sandal paste. His hips are decorated with a golden belt. He is the elephant bound by the rope of the beautiful face of Sri Radhika.
subhruvam jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. His forehead is splendid with golden tilaka made from mineral pigments. His campaka garland moves to and fro in His pastimes. He meets the beautiful-eyebrowed gopis in the palatial caves of Govardhana Hill.
nagaro jayati kunja-vihari
All glories to Sri Krishna, who enjoys transcendental pastimes in Vrindavana forest. His dancing sidelong glances make the gopis drop all their household duties. He is the charming lover of Vrishabhanu’s daughter, who is mad with love for Him.
kridaya pathati yah kila hari
sa prayati vilasat-para-bhagam
He who reads these eight verses, which are beautified by the Lord’s charming pastimes in the forest, will attain many splendid transcendental virtues. He will become attached to the service of the Lord’s lotus feet.