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SRI BILVAMANGALA THAKUR
The famous sannyasi named Bilvamangala Thakura is also known as Lilasuka. Suka means "parrot". This name is said to have been given by his guru Somagiri on account of his merit in describing the loving lila or sports of Shri Krishna. There seems to have been more than one person of the name of Bilvamangala but we are concerned with the author of Krishnakarnamrta. The history of Bilvamangala Thakura is given in a book called Shri Vallabha Digvijaya. He appeared in the eighth century Saka era in the province of Dravida and was the chief disciple of Vishnusvami. It is evident that Bilvamangala belonged to the Vishnusvami sect, because neither the Ramanuja sect nor the Madhva sect had yet come in to being. In a list of temples and monasteries kept in Sankaracarya's monastery in Dvaraka, Bilvamangala Thakura is mentioned as the founder of the Dvarakadhisa Temple there. He entrusted the service of his deity to Hari Brahmacari, a disciple of Vallabha Bhatta. The worship of Padmanabha at Trivandrum was offered the first worship by Bilvamangala. The fact that Bilvamangala was at first a Sankarite follower before his conversion into Vaisnavism may be gathered from his own writing. During this period from before Sankara, Vaisnavism was making headway in the south under the active patronage of King Kulasekhara of Kerala, who was the author of the immortal Vaishnava poem Mukunda-mala-stotra. Bilvamangala's conversion to Vaisnavism was quite possible in an age of religious revival, when the disciples of Sankara founded the maths at Trichur dedicated to Lord Vishnu in His manifestation of Parthasarathi and Narasimha. The memory of Bilvamangala is still fresh at Trichur and other parts of the Kerala state. Krishnadasa Kaviraja (16th century) by way of explaining ther first sloka of the Karnamrta, records the traditional account of the life of our poet in his commentary Sarangarangada. According to Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami the composer of Karnamrta was first given worldly attachments; then he cultivated kevala-jnana or contemplation of impersonality
of Brahman; and thereafter he turned out to be a very close devotee of Lord Krishna.
Born in a brahmin family in South India, he is said to have been a renowned scholar and lived on the eastern bank of the holy river Krishna-Venna in South India. In his previous life he was advanced up to the point of bhava, but he was very attached to sex life. As Bhagavad-gita states prapya punya krtam lokan usitva sasvati samah / sucinam shrimatam gehe yoga 'bhrasto 'bhijayate. "The unsuccesful yogi, after many years of enjoyment on the planets of pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy." Hence, Bilvamangala was born into a wealthy brahmana family. But the sons of the rich sometimes tend to abuse their opulent situation, and thus Bilvamangala was one such case. He had an illicit love affair with a dancing girl who was a musician and harlot named Cintamani, who used to live on the opposite bank of the river Krishna-Venna, and whom he used to visit every night. He was so devoted to this prostitute that even when he was performing his father's death ceremony (sraddha), he told the priests, "Make haste! Make haste! I have to go." He finished the proceedings quickly, took some first-class foodstuff in a bag and departed.
When he came out of his house, it was a terribly stormy night, but this did not daunt the passionate Bilvamangala. He came to the bank of the Krishna-Venna, and finding no boat, he risked his life to cross the terrible river just to see the prostitute Cintamani. He began swimming across the raging torrent.
In the meantime, the prostitute Cintamani resolved, "It is so late, and raining so hard. Surely Bilvamangala will not come in such conditions." So she bolted the door and retired to her bedroom.
In the meantime, poor Bilvamangala was drowning in the middle of the fierce river. He desperately grabbed onto what he thought he was a log. When he finally reached the other side of the Krishna-Venna river, he discovered that it was actually a corpse. Not caring a fig, he quickly proceeded to the door of his beloved's house. But, to his disappointment, he found the gate of the prostitute's house was bolted from within. He shouted her name with all his might, but it was of no avail. His cries were deadened in the deafening thunder, boisterous winds and torrential rains which were beating on the windows and walls. What was to be done? Nothing could daunt his morbid passion which should be satisfied even at the cost of his life. He was then as a devil incarnate. The walls were too high and steep to scale. The weather-beaten but passionate Bilvamangala made a last desperate attempt to climb the steep wall. Having nothing else to hold on to, he seized the tail of a snake, which clung to the wall, and succeeded in leaping over but fell heavily to the ground on the other side of the wall bringing Cintamani to the spot. In what was practically a dying condition, he was discovered by his love for whom, for the sake of a frantic infatuation, he had risked his life. Had she not found and nursed him, it is certain he would have died. She carried him into the room and there nursed him tenderly as he hung between life and death. She, seeing his mad love for her, felt a pinch in her conscience and reminded him that such an intense love, if offered to God, might lead them to their highest good. When he recovered consciousness, she pitied and abused him for his fool hardy venture, saying, "What a great fool you are! Shame on your learning! I know and I am always conscious of my own wicked life and profession. Had you been attached to God in the way you love me, you would have been an angel." It sounded like a call of God to Bilvamangala, who had existed in a circle of hell. The whole face of things was instantly changed, so inspiring were her words at that great moment. To him, those words of hers were not merely a reprieve, but a total deliverance from his hateful life, a restoration that suffused his whole being. Her grim censure proved wholesome to the remorseful Bilvamangala; changed the whole course of his life, giving it a swift turn into spiritual channels. With this she too renounced the world, giving up all her fortunes, and as such she became Bilvamangala's vartma-pradarsaka guru or his guru showing him the way to the highest well being.
The very next day he renounced the world and started for Vrndavana-dhama. But even on the way to Vrndavana, he saw another beautiful woman, the wife of a brahmana. He was again attracted, and he began following her. That woman belonged to a respectful family, and Bilvamangala came to their house. The woman went to her husband. "This man is following me. Ask him what is the idea."
The brahmana adressed Bilvamangala, "My dear sir, you appear to be a very nice gentleman. From your appearance I can understand that you come from an aristocratic family. Why are you following my wife?"
"Because I want to embrace her," Bilvamangala replied.
"Come then, embrace her," the brahmana announced. Then he told his wife, "Here is a guest, and he wants to embrace and kiss you. Decorate yourself nicely so that he can enjoy."
The wife followed the instructions of her husband, and when Bilvamangala came before the woman, he again realized what a fool he had been. He resolved to make a permanent solution to his problem, and asked the brahmana lady, "My dear mother, will you kindly give me a pin from your hair?" (Shrila Prabhupada comments in this connection that when one addresses a woman as "Mother" there is no question of any sexual connotation). Although the lady knew not why he asked for this, she agreed and, taking a pin from her hair, she handed it to Bilvamangala. Bilvamangala took that pin and pierced his eyes, saying, "These eyes are my enemies!"
He then continued towards Vrndavana and gradually reached the holy dhama. As he neared Vrndavana, a young boy took his hand and began leading his to Vrndavana. He realised that it was Krishna. As they got near to Vrndavan, Krishna pulled away from his hand. "I have to go now. My mother is calling me. If I do not go now and take my lunch, she will be very angry."
"No, you can't go," Bilvamangala said. "I won't let you go." But Krishna got away, he somehow managed to pull His hand out of Bilvamangala's. Bilvamangala called after Krishna, "You can pull your hand from mine, but you cannot take Yourself from my heart. I have imprisoned you there."
Then he sat down in Brahma-ghat to perform tapasya. One day, however, Krishna again came to Bilvamangala. "My dear sir," He addressed the blind Bilvamangala, "Why are you starving? Why don't you take some milk?"
"Who are You, my dear boy?" Bilvamangala inquired.
"I am a cowherd boy," Krishna replied. "If you like I can supply you daily with milk."
Bilvamangala agreed, and from then on Krishna would daily bring Bilvamangala milk.
He remained at Brahma-kund for 700 years and performed tapasya. When he would sing his sweet songs about Krishna, that singing would drag Krishna to the spot where he was singing. Krishna would not be able to concentrate on what he was doing, and he would leave everything and go to where Bilvamangala was singing his glories. Krishna would come and sit in front of him and listen. Bilvamangala would realise that Krishna had come to listen to his singing, and Bilvamangala would try to move closer and touch Him or grab Him Krishna would withdraw and try to get away. Bilvamangala would get up and try to run after him, but being an old, blind man, how far could he go? However, Krishna could not stay away when Bilvamangala sung his sweet poetry. It is said,
naham vasami vaikunthe
yoginam hrdaye na ca
yad mad-bhakta gayanti
tatra tisthami narada
"I do not stay in Vaikuntha, nor am I in the hearts of yogis. I always go where my devotees are singing My glories."
In his early life, Bilvamangala Thakura was an impersonalist monist, and he used to meditate on the brahman effulgence. Later he became a devotee, and the reason for this change is explained in a verse that he himself wrote, and which was quoted by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (3.1.44.). advaita-vithi-pathikair upasyah svananda-simhasana-labdha-diksah \ sathena kenapi vayam hathena dasi-krta gopa-vadhu-vitena. "Although I was worshiped by those on the path of monism and initiated into self-realization through the yoga system, I am nonetheless forcibly turned into a maidservant by some cunning boy who is always joking with the gopis. (CC Madhya 10.177-178). His devotional spirit that had been acquired in his previous life or lives, but was up to now latent, now became manifest. He composed these slokas about the Vrndavana-lila of Krishna while offering service to his guru, and seeing these, Somagiri gave him the appelation "Lilasuka" and permitted him, at his desire, to go on pilgrimage to Shri Vrndavana. Then he traveled to Vrndavana and composed beautiful songs about Krishna, whom, although he was rendered blind, he could see with spiritual vision. On his way, his love intoxication became intensive and he became extremely impatient. It was Krishna himself who added to his love intoxication and thus became his siksa-guru towards the acquirement of the climax of love intensity. He intensely desired to enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord, and he lived at Vrndavan for 700 years in the vicinity of Brahma-kunda, a still existing bathing tank in Vrndavan. In the Krishna-karnamrta, he specifically mentions Bhagavan, Krishna the cowherd boy who has peacock feathers on His crown, as his instructing spiritual master because the Lord of Vrndavana used to come to Bilvamangala and talk with him and supply him with milk. He lived for some time at Vrndavana after his initiation. He is said to have composed his poem when he was still at Vrndavana, and on the way from there to his native province.
Bilvamangala actually entered into the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna. He has recorded his transcendental experiences and appreciation in the book known as Krishna-karnamrta. Karnamrta means "nectar for the ears." In the beginning of that book he has offered his obeisances to his different gurus, and it is to be noted that he has adored them all equally. The first spiritual master mentioned in Cintamani, who was his instructing spiritual master because she first showed him the spiritual path. The prostitute Cintamani deserves commemoration for having saved him from death, both physical and moral, and presenting him to literature and to the world of Vaishnavas, It was God who was mysteriously preparing him for a world where sins and lusts are unknown. God lifted him out of the slough of earthly sin through the instrumentality of Cintamani whom Bilvamangala has immortalised in the the first sloka of his Krishna-karnamrta, ana makes obeisances to her who, in the character of a harlot, showed him the way to the kingdom of God.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu acquired this one sataka of the three satakas of Krishna-karnamrta from the south of India. He heard it recited at a gathering of brahmana Vaishnava panditas on the bank of the river Krishna. He was so charmed to hear of the sweetness and grace of Krishna's divine love sports which compose the subject matter that He kept a copy of it with great care and enthusiasm. Shri Chaitanya told Ramananda Raya that His devotional principle is just the same as that found in Krishna-karnamrta. Krishnadasa Kaviraja says that there is no book like the Karnamrta in the whole of the threefold world. He who reads it incessantly knows the depth of the charming beauty of Shri Krishna.
Raya Ramananda, Vasudeva Datta Thakura and others made copies of it for their personal use. It has, since then, been regarded as the very best kind of devotion in the Gaudiya Vaishnava community. We are only discussing the first Sataka of 112 verses of the Krishnakarnamrta which Shri Chaitanya recited, and which is the most popular in Bengal.
The complete treatise Krishna-karnamrta is dedicated to the transcendental pastimes of Shri Krishna and Shrimati Radharani. It is a book to be read and understood by the most elevated devotees of Shri Krishna. See Madhya 9.306
The following are excerpts from the first Sataka of Shri Krishna Karnamrta.
cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me
siksa gurus ca bhagavan sikhi-pincha maulih
yat pada kalpataru pallava-sekharesu
lila-svayamvara rasam labhate jayashrih
All glories to Cintamani, and to my initiating spiritual master, Somagiri. All glories to my instructing spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who wears peacock feathers in His crown. Under the shade of His lotus feet, which are like desire trees, Shrimati Radharani enjoys the transcendental mellow of an eternal consort.
asti svastaruni-karagra-vigalat-kalpa-prasuna plutam
srasta-srasta-niruddha-nivi-vilasad-gopi sahasra vrtam
hasta-nyastanatapavargam akhilodaram kisora krti
There is an entity who has the appearance of an adolescent boy, and who is being inundated with desire tree flowers falling from the fingertips of the damsels of heaven. That boy is completely carefree, situated in transcendental attitude, as He sends forth waves of sound from His famed flute. He is encircled by thousands of effulgent milkmaids who are feeling extreme pleasure at hearing the sound of that flute. That adolescent boy, the pinnacle of munificence, places liberation from birth and death into the hands of His surrendered devotees.
varhottamsa-vilasa-kumtalabharam madhurya magnananam
pronmilannava-yauvanam pravilasad venupranadamrtam
jyotis cetasi nascakastu jagatam eka 'bhiramadbhutam
Let the effulgence personified, Krishna, shine within our hearts. He is wearing a bright peacock plume on His head, His face is steeped in sweet beauty, His fresh youthfulness is bursting forth, and His flute is pouring out murmuring nectarous sounds of rapture. On all sides the milkmaids of Vraja worship Him in adoration. Indeed He is, amazingly, the only enjoyer, and the only source of enjoyment in the entire universe.
madasikhi-pincha lanchita-manojnakaca pracayam
visaya-visamisa-grasana grdhnuni cetasi me
vipula-vilocanam kim api dhama cakastu ciram
Shri Krishna's eyes are long like petals of a blooming lotus, and His very charming lotuslike face is made all the more charming by His extremely beautiful and sweet, nectarous smiles. His profuse curling locks look delightful with their decoration of a proud peacock's tailfeather. Let Him, the embodiment of all effulgence, forever shine within my heart which is greedy for the poisonous meat of sense objects.
mukalaya mana nayananbujam vibhor
mukha-pankajam manasi me vijrmbhatam
May the lotus of my Lord's face blossom within the lake of my mind. The eyes of that face resemble lotus buds, being half-closed, and the delicate, mirrorlike orbs of its cheeks are puffed with the nectarous honey of the flute sound.
kalavenu kvanitadratana nendoh
mama vaci vijrmbhatam murarer
madhurimnah kani kapi kapi kapi
Let my words express even a tiny particle of a particle of a particle of the luscious beauty of Murari, whose artless adolescent figure enraptures me, and whose moon face is worshipped by the soft melodies of His flute.
I take shelter of Lord Krishna, who becomes agitated with passion when He hears the sound of His own flute, held in His lotus hands which resemble newly sprouted reddish twigs. His lotus feet reproach fully blossomed patali flowers with their beauty, and His amiable face sends forth blossoms of brilliance from His delightfully sweet lips.
anuksanam vallava sundaribhir
abhyarcamanam vibhum asrayamah
I take shelter of my Lord, Krishna, whom the beautiful milkmaids worship at every moment with unbroken sidelong glances from eyes tinged red with passion.
kim api vahatu cetah krishna-padam-bujabhyam
Let my mind attain some inexpressible, beautific bliss from thinking of Krishna's lotus feet, which are the home of the eternal pastimes of the most beautiful maidens in all the worlds, which destroy the pride of whole clusters of lotuses, and which are highly esteemed for their great eagerness in providing safety for the Lord's humble devotees.
pranaya-parinatabhyam shri bharalambanabhyam
pratipada-lalitabhyam pratyaham nutanabhyam
pratimuhu radhikabhyam prasphurallocanabhyam
prabahatu hrdaye nah prananathah kisorah
May the Lord of our life, that young boy Krishna, shine incessantly within our hearts. His eyes, full of love for Radha, are the abode of infinite beauty. Every day they appear newer and newer, at every step they increase their charm and elegance, and at every moment they sparkle more and more brilliantly.
ananda-samplavamanu plavatam mano me
May my mind float along in the flood of bliss emanating from Krishna's moonlike face, made charming by a very mild smile. Krishna has the appearance of a young boy, and beautified by the waves of His passionate ecstasy breaking in the ocean of sweetness, He soothes all distress.
ardre madiya-hrdaye bhuvanardramojah
Let the force of the flood of bliss emanating from Krishna's face, which saturates the whole universe, play within my heart which is already saturated by contact with Krishna's lotus feet, by the display of charming, artless emotions on His open, lovely lotus face, and by the melody of His flute, which is relished by Radha.
vande taccaranam vibhoh
I bow down to the feet of Lord Krishna, whose jewelled anklets tinkle and whose footprints decorate the paths of Vraja.
mama cetasi sphuratu vallavi-vibhor
mani nupura pranayi-manjusinjitam
May the sweet jingling of the jeweled anklets of Krishna, the master of the milkmaids, be manifest in my mind. Radharani's white swans, swimming in the lotus-filled ponds of the Yamuna, accord that sweet jingling a warm welcome with a melodious warbling from their throats.
mithya svapamupasmahe bhagavatah kridhani miladdrsah
We worship Lord Krishna, who is mischievously keeping His eyes closed, pretending to sleep, in order to hear the milkmaid's playful talks, which are so pleasing to the ear and the mind. Though Krishna is trying to restrain Himself, a gentle smile trickles from His lips drop by drop, and He cannot check the rising tide of love, which causes the hair on His body to begin standing on end.
valam kada nama vilokayisye
When O when shall I see that young boy Krishna, the unchallenged king of those who are exquisitely beautiful? And when shall I experience along with that vision the flooding nectar of His flute sound, endowed with the topmost musical embellishments?
sisirikurute kadanu nah
sikhipincca bharana-sisu drsoh
yugalam vigalanmadhu drava-
smita-mudra mrduna mukhenduna
When will that child Krishna, adorned with peacock plumes, soothe and cool our eyes with a vision of His moonlike face, imbued with gentleness by the trickling honey of His tender smiles?
apusnata bhuvanam adbhuta vibhramena
shri krishnacandra sisirikuru locanam me
O moonlike Krishna, please soothe and cool my eyes with Your sidelong glances tinged with mercy, with the magnificence of Your childhood touched by youth, and with Your wondrous playfulness which nourishes the whole universe.
kada va kalindi-kuvalaya-dala-syama-taralah
kataksa laksyante kim api karuna vici nicitah
kada va kandarpa-pratibhata-jata-candra-sisirah
kamapyantas tosam dadati murali-keli ninadah
When will Krishna cast upon me His sidelong glances, which are as dark blue as the blue lotuses growing in the Yamuna, and tremulous with waves of mercy? And when will my heart find ineffable joy in the playful notes of His flute, which are more cooling than the moon held on the head of Siva?
mayi prasadam madhuraih kataksair
vamsi ninadanu carair vedhehi
tvayi prasanne kimihaparairnas
tvayya prasanne kimi haparair nah
O Lord, please show me Your mercy by casting upon me Your charming sidelong glances, moving to the accompaniment of Your flute song. If I have your blessings, what use are others? And if I am without Your blessings, what use are others?
nibadha-murdhanjali resa yace
dayanidhe deva bhavat-kataksa-
I fix my folded palms on my head, and given voice by my increasing ceaseless pitiable misery, pray, "O Lord, O ocean of mercy, please anoint me just once with a drop of kindness from Your sidelong glance."
pinastani nayana pankaja-pujaniye
capalyameti nayanam tava saisave nah
O Lord, our eyes have become restless to see Your childlike form, with its clustered locks delightfully adorned with a peacock feather. That form, which is worshipped by the milkmaids' lotus eyes, possesses a face which has begun defeating the beauty of the moon and the lotus.
paryacitamrta-rasani padartha bhangi
valguni valgita visala-vilocanani
balya dhikani mada vallava bhavanibhir
bhave luthanti sukrtam tava jalpitani
O Krishna, Your verbal duels with the impassioned, vivacious milkmaids, exhilirate the hearts of the fortunate. These talks are filled with the nectar of the exchanges of love, rendered very pleasant by waves of witty meanings, imbued with Your natural boyishness, and punctuated by the movements of Your wide, dancing eyes.
punah prasannendu-mukhena tejasa
puro 'vatirnasya krpa mahamvudheh
tadeva lila-murali ravamrtam
samadhi-vighnaya kadanu me bhavet
O when will Krishna, the great ocean of mercy, appear before me again with His spotless, effulgent moon face? And when will the nectarous sound of His flute, expressor of His pastimes, remove my great disease?
yavanna me navadasa dasamim kuto 'pi
lavanya-keli sadanam tava tavadeva
laksyah samut kvanita venu mukhendu bimbam
Till the tenth stage of man (death) comes upon me through some physical defect, enveloping me in total darkness, let me ever see the orb of Your moon face, which is the abode of both the pastimes of beauty, and Your high-sounding flute.
he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho
he krishna he capala he karunaika sindho
he natha he ramana he nayanabhirama
ha ha kadanu bhavitasi padam drsor me
O my Lord, O dearest one, O only friend of the universe! O Krishna, O restless one, O only ocean of mercy! O my Lord, O my enjoyer, O beloved to my eyes! Alas, when will You again be visible to me?
hare tvada lokanam antarena
anatha-bandho karunaika sindho
ha hanta ha hanta katham nayami
O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O friend of the helpless, You are the only ocean of mercy. Because I have not met You, my inauspicious days and nights have become unbearable. I do not know how I shall pass the time.
asranta smitam arunaruna dharostham
harsadra dviguna manojna-venugitam
vibhramyadvipula vilocanardha mugdham
viksisye tava vadanambujam kadanu
O Krishna, when O when shall I see Your lotus face, with its deep red lips, its constant smiling, its very charming flute song saturated with jubilation, and its delightful, half-closed eyes that sometimes open very wide and wander here and there?
nilarunabhyam nayanam bujabhyam
aloka yetadbhuta vibhramabhyam
kale kada karunikah kisorah
When will the time come when that merciful boy, Krishna, will look upon me with His playful lotus eyes, which are soothing and cooling with loving emotion, reddish at the corners and dark-bluish at the irises, and wonderfully rolling and dancing?
bahula cikurabharam vaddha pinchavatamsam
capala-capala netram caru-bimba dharostam
madhura mrdulahasa mantharodara lilam
mrgayati nayanam me mugdha vesam murareh
My eyes search for that enchantingly adorned one, Murari, whose thick locks bear a peacock plume, and whose gaze darts here and there very quickly. His lovely lips are red like bimba fruit, and with His sweet, gentle laughter, He seems to be churning the ocean of my heart with Mount Mandara.
vahala-jalada cchaya cauram vilasa-bharalasam
madasikhi sikha lilottamsam manojna mukhambujam
kamapi kamalapangodagra prasanga jadam jagan
madhurima paripakodrekam vayam mrgayamahe
We are searching for that person who has stolen the effulgence of thick clouds, who has grown a bit languid from playing so much, who wears a crest made from the playful feathers of an impassioned peacock, whose lotus face is so fascinating, who has become stunned by long and close contact with the upward-pointing sidelong glances of Shrimati Radharani, and who is the very over-abundance of perfection of all the sweet beauty in the universe.
paramrsyam dure pathipathi muninam vrajavadhu
drsa drsyam sasvat tribhuvana manohari vadanam
anamrsyam vaca munisa mudayanam api kada
daridrsye devam daradalita nilotpala rucim
When shall I see, to my heart's content, My Lord Krishna, for whom the sages must always search further along the path, but whose face, which enchants all the three worlds, is always visible to the eyes of the milkmaids of Vraja? When shall I see Him, whose lustre resembles a slightly open blue lotus bud, and who is always beyond the reach of the words of the great sages?
ahima karakara nikaramrdu mrdita laksmi
sarasa tarasara siruhasa drsa drsi deve
vrajayuva tira tikalaha vijayinija lila
madamuditavada nasasi madhurimani liye
I am absorbed in contemplating my Lord, whose eyes resemble luscious lotuses gently developing their beauty under the rays of the sun, and whose moon face is full of beauty, being exhilirated with delight at His having defeated the milkmaids in the lovers' quarrels.
I am lost in thoughts of my Lord, who is a deep lake of nectar trickling forth as the very melodious warbling of His flute, which He holds with His lotus petal-like fingers. I am absorbed in thoughts of the sweetness of his ruby red lips, which bear a constant series of tender laughs, filled with an abundance of His innate, loving mellows.
anamramasita bhruvo rupacita maksina paksamamkure
svalola manuraginor nayanayor adram mrdau jalpite
atamra madharamrte madakala mamlana vamsisvane-
svasaste mama locanam vraja sisor murtim jaganmohinim
My eyes desire to see the form of the young child of Vraja, who enchants the whole universe. His dark eyebrows are curved, His blossoming eyelashes quite thick, His rolling eyes full of passion, and His gentle speech saturated with feeling. His nectarous lips are very red, and He sounds low, clear, soft notes on His flute.
tat kaisoram tacca vaktraravindam
tat karunyam te ca lilakataksah
tat saundaryam sa ca mandasmita shrih
satyam satyam durlabham daivate 'pi
Truly, truly, even among the demigods it would be hard to find such beauty, such sweet adolescence, such a lotus face, such tender compassion, such playful sidelong glances, or such lovely, mild smiling as we find in Krishna.
visvopa-plava-samanaika vaddha diksam
visvasa-slabakita cetasam jananam
pasyamah pathi pathi saisavam murareh
On every path we see the childlike form of Murari, whose one fixed vow is to relieve all the afflictions of the people whose hearts are blossoming with faith in Him. His soft, bright bluish cheeks glow with ever new effulgence.
madhuram adhare-bimbe manjulam mandahase
sisira mamrtanade sitalam drstipate
vipulam arunanetre visrutam venunade
marakata-mani-nilam balama lokaye nu
O, that I may see that young boy who has a complexion as deep blue as a sapphire, sweet lips like bimba fruit, charming mild smiling, soothing nectarous words, cooling glances, and large dawn red eyes, and who is famous for His flute song.
vaksah sthale ca vipulam nayanotpale ca
mandasmite ca mrdulam mada jalpite ca
bimbadhare ca madhuram muralirave ca
balam vilasa nidhim akalaye kada nu
O when shall I see that young boy Krishna, who is an ocean of jubilation and a treasury of playfullness? Broad are His lotus eyes and His chest, mild are His gentle smiles and His loving talks, sweet are His cherry red lips and His flute song.
ardrava lokita dhura parinaddhanetram
aviskrta smita sudhama dhura dharostham
adyam pumamsam avatamsita barhibarham
alokayanti krtinah krta punya punjah
The fortunate, who have heaped up pious merit, can see Krishna, the original person, who brings their eyes under control with His extremely tender glances, whose lips are sweet with the nectar of His open smile, and who has adorned His head with a peacock feather.
valo 'yam alola vilocanena
vaktrena citrikrta dinmukhena
vesena ghoso cita bhusanena
mugdhena dugdhe nayanotsavam nah
This boy Krishna, with His dancing eyes, His face beautifying all directions, and His charming outfit just suitable for a cowherd, has extracted the milk of joy for our eyes.
andolitagra bhujam akulalola-netram
manda smitardra-vadanambuja candra bimbam
sinjana-bhusana citam sikhi pinccha maulim
sitam vilocana rasayanam abhyupaiti
He comes before us, the cooling balm for our eyes, wearing many tinkling ornaments on His body and a peacock feather on His head. His forearms are swinging, His eyes move restlessly with the agitation of love, and the moon of His lotus face displays a tender, gentle smile.
sisuresa sitala vilola locanah
madayan madiya hrdayam vigahate
This child Krishna, who is the ornament for the intimate community of cowherd boys and girls, whose lively glances are so soothing, and whose moon face has a wealth of soft tender smiles, gladdens my heart and enters deep within it.
tadidam upanatam tamala nilam
muditam udita vaktra candra bimbam
mukharita-venu-vilasi jivitam me
This person approaching me is dark bluish like a Tamal tree. His charming eyes, which resemble stars, move restlessly. The shining orb of His moon face is overflowing with delight, and He sportively begins sounding His flute. He is my very life.
saurabhya-sima sakaladbhuta keli-sima
saubhagya-sima tadidam braja-bhagya-sima
Here is that Krishna, my very life. He is the acme of fickleness, the one ultimate end of the existence of the fickle-minded milkmaids, the epitome of cleverness, the extreme perfection of the artistic skill of four-faced Brahma, the limit of good fragrance, the upmost embodiment of all sorts of astounding pastimes, the culmination of good fortune, and the zenith of auspiciousness for Vraja.
so 'yam vilasa-murali-ninadamrtena
sincannudancitam idam mama karnayugmam
ayati me nayana bandhur ananya bandhor-
Here comes my very life, Krishna. The beauty of His playful sidelong glances overflows with bliss, and He sprinkles my two perked up ears with the nectar of His sportive flute songs. He is the only friend for my eyes.
tribhuvana-sarasabhyam divya-lila kulabhyam
disi disi taralabhyam dipta-bhusadarabhyam
asarana-saranabhyam adbhutabhyam padabhyam
ayamayam anukuja dvenu rayati devah
This is He, this is He, my Lord Krishna, playing on His flute. He possesses two wondrous feet which are the shelter for the shelterless, which glow with the brilliance of many ornaments, which move this way and that, which are abundant with divine pastimes, and which fill the three worlds with the mellows of love.
so 'yam munindra-jana-manasa-tapahari
so' yam mada-vrajavadhu-vasanapahari
so 'yam trtiya-bhuvanesvara-darpahari
so 'yam madiya-hrdayam buruhapahari
This is He, who removed the burning distresses of great sages. This is He, whole stole the clothes of the impassioned wives of the cowherd men of Vraja. This is He, who curbed the pride of Indra, lord of the heavenly realm. This is He, who has stolen the lotus of my heart.
karau saradijambuja krama vilasa siksa guru
drsau dalita-durmada tribhuvano pamanashriyau
vilokaya vilocanamrta maho mahacchaisavam
Behold this nectar for the eyes, the lustre of this young boy Krishna. His hands teach graceful gestures to the autumnal lotus, His feet excel freshly grown desire tree sprouts in tenderness, and the beauty of His eyes destroys the pride of all comparable things.
tad ucchava sita yauvanam tarala saisavalankrtam
madacchurita locanam madana mugdha hasamrtam
pratiksana vilobhanam pranaya pitavamsi mukham
jagattraya manoharam jayati mamakam jivitam
All glories to Krishna, my very life, and the enchanter of the three worlds. His new blooming youth is adorned with the last flickering of childhood. His eyes flashing with delight, He bewilders Cupid with the nectar of His smiles. His beauty beguiles at ever moment, and out of love He drinks from the mouth of His flute.
citram tad etac caranaravindam
citram tad etan nayanaravindam
citram tad etad vadanaravindam
citram tad etad vapur asya citram
How wondrous are these lotus feet of that Lord Krishna, how wondrous these lotus eyes, how wondrous this lotus face, O how wondrous, wondrous is this body.
madhuram madhuram vapur asya vibhor
madhuram madhuram vadanam madhuram
madhu gandhi mrdusmitam etad aho
madhuram madhuram madhuram madhuram
The transcendental body of Krishna is very sweet, and His face is even sweeter than His body. But the soft smile on His face, which is like the fragrance of honey, is sweeter still.
nadyapi pasyati kadapi nidarsanaya
citte tathopanisadam sudrsam sahasram
satvam ciram nayanayor anayoh padavyam
svamin kada nu krpaya mama sannidhatse
O Lord, even to this very day thousands of Upanisadic sages have not seen you with their eyes, or in their hearts. So by what great mercy of Yours have You come within the range of my distressed vision for so long?
vikhandita sesa rasantarani
ayantrito dvanta sudharna vani
jayanti sitani tava smitani
All glories to Your cooling smiles, which are an overflowing ocean of nectar destroying all other joys with unbroken streams of the elixir of bliss.
kamam santu sahasrasah katipaye sarasyadhau-reyakah
kamam va kamaniyata parimalasvarajya baddha-vrata
naivaivam vivadamahe nace vayam deva priyam brumahe
yat satyam ramaniyata-parinatistvayeva param gata
Let there be thousands of men who possess relishable beauty, and let there be
thousands of men who are steady in the glory of the fragrance of attractiveness. We shall neither quarrel with them or speak well of them. But the truth, O Lord, is that in You the perfection of attractive beauty has reached its limit.
bhuvanam bhavanam vilasini shri-
stanaya stamara sasanah smaras ca
paricara paramparah surendras
tadapi tvac caritam vibho vicitram
O Lord, although the entire universe is Your abode, Laksmi is Your consort, Lord Brahma and Pradyumna are Your sons, and the chiefs of the demigods are Your attendants, still, Your pastimes here in Vraja are most wonderful.
deva striloki saubhagya
keli lilalita vibhramah
All glories to Krishna, the most munificent in all the three worlds, whose forehead is marked with musk tilaka, and whose love and joy are increased by the love sports of Vraja's milkmaids.
premadam ca me kamadam ca me
vedanam ca me vaibhavam ca me
jivanam ca me jivitam ca me
daivatam ca me deva na param
O Lord, You and You alone are my worshippable deity, giver of love, fulfiller of desire. You alone are my knowledge, my power and wealth, my vital force, and my very life.
vaco na stava vaibhave
cinta na stava saisave
O Lord, let our words be empowered to sweetly describe Your beauty, and let our thoughts swell with eagerness when dwelling on Your childhood.
yani tvac charitamritani rasanalehyani dhanyatmanam
ye va saisava capala vyatikara radhavarodhon mukhah
ya va bhavita venugita gatayo lila mukham bhoruhe
dhara vahikaya vahantu hrdaye tanyeva tanyeva me
Let there ever flow in my heart the nectarous pastimes tasted by the tongues of blessed, fortunate souls, Your mischievous childhood pranks, such as laying in wait to obstruct Radha, and the sportive gestures of Your lotus face, inspired by Your rippling flute song.
bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya kisora murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate 'sman
dharmarthaka magatayah samaya pratiksah
O Lord, if I am engaged in firm devotional service to You, then I can very easily perceive Your divine youthful form. And as far as liberation is concerned, she stands at my door with folded hands waiting to serve me, and all material conveniences of religiosity, economic development and sense gratification stand with her.
jaya jaya jaya deva deva deva
tribhuvana mangala divya-namadheya
jaya jaya jaya deva krishna deva
sravana mano nayanamrtavatara
All glories, all glories, all glories to You, O Lord, whose holy name is auspicious for all three worlds. All glories, all glories, all glories to You, Lord Krishna. You are the incarnation who are nectar for the ear, mind and eyes.
anusmaran mrdu muraliravamrtaih
yato yatah prasarati me vilocanam
tatas tata sphuratu tavaiva vaibhavam
O Krishna, always remembering the nectarous low, soft sounds of Your flute, as well as Your eyes doubly expanded with mercy, I pray that wherever my sight shall wander, You will always manifest Your beauty, sweetness and opulence before me.