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Pastimes in Shri Goloka
1. Now the story of this book will begin.
2. To show His birth pastime and other pastimes to the devotees who worship Him in their glistening hearts, Lord Krishna, accompanied by the people of Vraja, descended to this earth, killed the demon Dantavakra, and then returned to the world of Goloka, where suffering never enters. Following the evidence of scripture, that history will be related in these two campus. When, late at night, Lord Krishna returned to Goloka, dundubhi drums were sounded at King Nanda’s doorway in Goloka. Thinking, “This sound must signal a blissful festival,” the people of Goloka rose from their sleep. Not only the people awakened. Thirsting to see Lord Krishna, the lotus flowers bloomed and sent forth a great flood of sweet fragrance. Then the poets and singers came to the lion-gate at Nanda’s palace, climbed to the rooftop room meant for looking at the moon, and recited many newly composed virut-kavyas and other kinds of poems, poems glorifying Lord Krishna's killing a host of demons beginning with Putana and ending with Dantavakra. Reciting these poems, they seemed to be dancing. In this way that plunged everyone into a flood of the nectar of bliss. They also sang songs glorifying Lord Krishna's many loving pastimes with His devotees.
3. Delighted to hear these songs about Lord Krishna, the kings and queens of Vraja again and again joyfully gave to the singers many gifts of precious garments and ornaments. The people never tired of hearing those songs. How could they not give gifts? Then the ocean of Vraja became filled with the nectar of love. Tossed by the great waves that came from songs about Krishna, Krishna who delights Vraja’s hearts, that ocean of Vraja filled everyone with wonder. We can only assume that the moon of Krishna's glories, risen with those songs, was the cause of those waves.
4. Then the gopis began to sing songs of Lord Krishna's pastimes. Thirsting to hear these songs, the gopa men became silent. They became like kokila birds who hear the sweet sound of Krishna's flute. When the gopis sang, the gopas made no sound with their ornaments or anything else. The melodies and tempos of the gopis songs were like a gift. Accepting that gift, the gopas became wealthy.
5. Bewildered by others’ words, the gopi goddesses of Vraja believe they are married to gopas other than Krishna. Still, their hearts are gravely wounded by arrows of love for Krishna alone. In their palaces, which are dedicated to Lord Krishna's service alone, they never stop desiring Krishna as their only lover. With their playful singing of songs in the sunrise raga they made everyone stop whatever else they were doing.
6. Not quickly, but slowly they sang:
“Their arms and chests were now slackened. Their mouths were agape. Again and again They struggled to rise from the bed. Filled with great pleasure by each other's touch, Lord Krishna and His beloved could not bare to make Their eyes meet.”
7. When She heard this verse sung, Radha, the best of the gopis, fainted in ecstasy.
8. Then the gopis sang:
“With Me, She melts with love. Away from Me, She is torn to shred by wicked gossip. Now She thinks the jasmine flowers in the forest are like flames in a fire. How, how will I comfort Her?”
9. Singing this song, a song of words spoken by agitated Krishna, the gopis tried to comfort Radha. Offering Her gifts, including betelnuts chewed by Krishna, they revived Her. When She was again peaceful, they asked Her, “What happened to You?”
10. Weeping, She said:
“I am not a fool. Nor am I stubborn. Nor do I yearn after the happiness of this body. Still, the qualities of Vraja’s prince make Me faint.”
11. “What can We do? How can We attain peace when Our heart is wounded?"
12. Radha, who has beautiful white teeth, was very agitated. Talking of the nectar of other things, the gopis tried to comfort Her. That is what She said on that day. Then Vraja’s all-auspicious Queen Yasoda said, “Ah! All the girls have come. Why has Radha who is more dear to me than life, not come?” Hearing that Yasoda had said those words, and seeing that the sun had risen, Radha quickly performed Her morning duties and, accompanied by Lalita, Visakha, and Her other gopi friends who had taken turns sleeping and staying awake to guard Her at night, Radha went to Queen Yasoda’s abode. As She went, Radha delighted the gopis with the splendour of her beauty. Every direction and every heart was filled with Her splendour.
13. The gopis gazed at Her with unblinking eyes. They thought:
“When the moon, the blue lotus, and the bandhuka and sesame flowers all blossom on a golden vine, that is the wonder that is Krishna's dear Radha.”
14. Her heart thirsting with devotion, Radha fell to the ground and humbly offered obeisances to Lord Krishna's mother. Accompanied by her associates, Yasoda happily welcomed Her.
15. Radha fell at Yasoda’s feet. Yasoda placed a hand on Radha’s head. Radha remained on the ground before Yasoda. Yasoda smelled the hair of Radha’s head. Yasoda picked Her up and held Her in her arms. With eyes filled with tears Radha and Yasoda gazed at each other. How can I describe Their gaze?
16. Seeing that Radha was shy to honour Rohini and the other ladies, Yasoda said to Her, “Daughter, You should offer obeisances to Your elders.” With a flood of devotion wise and charming Radha bowed down before the elder ladies. With a bowed head she sat down at a respectful distance.
17. Then Lalita and the other friends of Radha also offered obeisances to the elder ladies and also sat down.
18. Then Rohini said, “O queen of Vraja, the star Rohini now shines with great happiness. Shaking off Her original nature, the star Radha has now become an intelligent girl. I give this command: Radha and Her friends, splendid like moonlight, should go into the kitchen and prove their skill in cooking. Dhanya, Mangala and other glorious girls dear to Krishna, girls whose names are delightful and auspicious, should join them there. I do not need to ask Lalita and the other girls who are like expansions of Radha’s own form. They will certainly help.”
19. With this command the saintly girls offered obeisances and disappeared into the kitchen.
20. Now we will tell another story.
21. Then, at sunrise, Krishna's affectionate and gloriously youthful friends, followers, kinsmen, cowherd associates and sudra servants all met at the entrance of Krishna's charming palace. They all shone with great splendour.
22. Then, accompanied by servants bearing various articles for His bath, youthful Krishna, the brother of Balarama and the protector of all, entered the bathing room for His early morning bath.
23. Then Subala and other playful, joking, cheerful, affectionate friends, all sons of vaisya cowherds, came there. Eager for joking words, Krishna stopped to talk with them. He sat down on a glorious seat. Filled with wonder, all the boys affectionately served Him.
24. The soul and the body are different. The life and the life-force are different. But Krishna and His friends are not different. They are each others life. They are each other’s life force.
25. Morning after morning Krishna enjoys these pastimes in the company of His friends:
Krishna washing Krishna's glorious face, hands, and feet, the massage of His body with oil, His bath, the washing of His limbs, His being dressed with a pair of garments, His performing acamana, His being marked with tilaka, His performing His morning duties, His being dressed in splendid garments and decorated with jewel ornaments, His wearing a peacock feather, and His carrying a flute, bugle, and a stick all attract my heart.
26. Even Lord Ananta Sesa praises the servants that massage Lord Krishna's body:
The servant who, thirsting after the touch of Lord Krishna's body, lovingly place fragrant oils on His head and lovingly massage His feet, arms, and other limbs, attain the same happiness Krishna's parents and gopi lovers attain.
27. Then, wearing yellow garments, and accompanied by His friends and servants, Krishna entered the courtyard. Standing before His mother. He became like a lifeless statue.
“He has come!”
“Glory to His graceful sweetness!”
“We should offer arati to Him.”
“Please stand before my eyes.”
“May He stand always before my eyes.”
Suddenly seeing lotus-eyed Krishna come before them, the people became filled with wonder. How can I describe the wonder they felt?
29. The elder ladies had burned in flames of separation from Krishna. Now they were flooded with love for Him. Giddy and restless, and overcome with pure bliss, they came down from the palace porch. As a cow greets her dear calf, so Yasoda greeted her son. As everyone watched, Rohini also greeted Krishna.
30. Krishna bowed down before the feet of the first one and then the other. Then He honoured all the elder ladies. He pleased them all.
31. Then, following behind Balarama, came Shridama, Sudama, and the other boys who always played with Krishna. The learned sons of brahmana priest also came. The boys honoured the ladies there as if they were their own mothers, and the boys delighted their sisters and cousins.
32. Again and again they respectfully stood before each of the elder ladies and spoke respectful words.
33. The goddess who in the assembly of siddhas, in the assembly of saints who know the conclusions of devotional service, and in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam(10.29.1), is famous by the name Yogamaya, who makes arrangements for the Lord’s pastimes, and who is the Lord’s internal potency, was manifested there as an austere old lady. There her name is Paurnamasi. The boys all approached her. She happily blessed them all.
34. Her son was a learned brahmana who thirsted to enjoy pastimes of confidential joking words. He was bound to Krishna with ties of friendship. He had no faults. He was like Narada himself. He was decorated with skill in speaking joking words. His name was Madhumangala. Expertly speaking joking words that touched the heart, he delighted everyone. He was like a great treasure standing by Lord Krishna's side.
35. Holding hands, fair and dark Balarama and Krishna approached Their mothers, embraced them, and smiling, stood in the courtyard before the palace doors.
36. Then Krishna and Balarama sat on thrones of splendid gold and jewels of many colours. Their glance on everyone was like a shower of nectar.
37. That day was the birthday of Krishna, Krishna who makes Yasoda glorious. Performing Krishna's birthday abhiseka, the learned boys chanted many mantras.
38. In the festival the devotees’ affectionate and splendid mantras, songs, instrumental music, and calls of “Jaya Krishna” all joined together to make a very beautiful sound. They joined as the rasas beginning with srngara-rasa join to make a beautiful poem, or the six notes of the scale join to make beautiful melodies.
39. In that festival an arati ceremony, the touch of auspicious words, and many kinds of worship performed by brahmanas presiding over mirrors of ghee, were all offered to Lord Krishna. Krishna was very glorious. Hundreds of His glories filled all the worlds.
40. Touching the hair of Krishna's head with durva grass and other auspicious things, the brahmana ladies offered their blessings. Tears in their eyes, they prayed that Krishna's every wish be filled.
41. Her body stunned and her eyes filled with tears, how could Yasoda place tilaka on her son’s head? Stunned Rohini could do nothing to help.
42. Krishna's father, mother, uncles, and aunts were all stunned. None of them had the power to decorate Krishna with tilaka.
43. Entering the inner courtyard, a graceful boy said, “O glorious prince of Vraja, on this festival day we have all come here in the assembly of Vraja’s king. Standing before the gates of Your palace, we have brought betelnuts, silk garments and many other gifts for You, gifts we now place before the king of Vraja’s lotus feet. Please, it is not right for You to shake Your head and decline to accept these gifts.”
44. Hearing these words Krishna became thoughtful. Agitated, and bowing down before her, he asked His mother’s permission to visit Paurnamasi’s cottage. Trembling with love, following Balarama, and accompanied by Shridama and His friends, he began to leave as the gopis earnestly kept their eyes on Him.
45. Everyone became like cataka birds gazing at a host of rainclouds, or like cakora birds gazing at the moon, or like lotus flowers in lakes filled with water, or like unconscious persons suddenly awakened. They were all filled with bliss. When the poets and singers began to chant Krishna's glories, they all stood up.
46. Their hearts anxious, Nanda and everyone else became stunned. This was right, for the greatest love stays in King Nanda’s village.
47. At one moment someone said to someone else:
“Krishna and Balarama are more glorious than a monsoon cloud and lightning. The garments of Their chests are splendid like sapphires and gold. Their handsome faces defeat the grace of blue and white lotus flowers. Their restless eyes defeat the khanjana birds. Their strength defeats the king of elephants. O my friend, it is not surprising that everyone is stunned by gazing at Them.”
48. On the right were the elders filled with eternal glory. One by one the elders stood. One by one the priests(purohita) offered priceless arghya. In the Nirukti Dictionary the word “purohita”(priest) is said to mean, “He who goes(hita) first (puro).” The word may also be said to mean “He from whom the very beginning (puro) brings auspiciousness (hita).”
49. Bound to Krishna with family ties, and filled with the blissful nectar of pure love for Him, Nanda, Upananda, Abhinanda, Sannanda, Nandana, and the other gopa men stood, eager to see Him.
50. They were also giddy with love for Balarama.
51. As lotus flowers are delighted by the presence of the moon, so the gopa men were delighted at heart by the presence of the charming Krishna and Balarama.
52. For a few moments the gopa men rose from the nectar of bliss into which they were plunged. As they all gazed at Krishna's wonderful face, King Nanda said, “Son, today is Your auspicious birthday. Therefore today You should stay in Vraja Village. I will send some of the other cowherds to take care of Your cows today. Sit down and let Your kinsmen see You”
53. Placing the kings command like a flower garland on His head, Krishna glanced at Balarama’s lotus face, and then, like a rising moon surrounded by lotus flowers, sat down in the courtyard. Krishna prepared Himself to give cows in charity to the brahmanas. Sitting down, and happily chewing betelnuts, He joked with His kinsmen.
54. In a moment a boy came from inside the palace and approached Krishna and Balarama who, thirsting to worship Their kinsmen, happily sat together. With Their handsome forms They filled King Nanda with wonder. Nanda said, “Today is the auspicious day when, by Lord Narayana’s mercy, Krishna was born.” Folding his hands, Nanda then humbly asked his guests to accept something to eat. Cheerfully glancing at king Nanda, in a single moment everyone rose and entered the palace.
55. A dedicated boy led the pure-hearted ladies from the courtyard to inside the palace. Then the men, yearning to see Krishna and the splendour of His palace, one by one entered the dining room.
56. Entering a great room the size of Mount Meru, Krishna and Balarama cast glances like showers of nectar. Thirsting to see Their cows, They said, “O gopa men, someone should protect the cows as they walk to the right and left of the pathways.”
57. Krishna and Balarama joined the guests:
There was sweet aguru incense. There were splendid jewel chairs, splendid plates, and golden cups. With awe and love Lord Krishna’s eternal associates gazed at the glorious dining room.
58. Someone asks, “O Lord, please allow me to wash Your feet.” Someone fans the Lord. Someone speaks pleasing joking words. Someone serves delicious foods. Krishna’s merciful glance is like nectar. In this way Krishna’s friends enjoy a great feast. Do they not taste great bliss?
59. In one place the brahmanas happily ate delicious foods. Each in their own places, the children, adults, and elders could be seen joking, feasting, and enjoying pastimes. They did not enjoy alone. As they enjoyed so also did Krishna, Krishna who is the nectar moon of King Nanda’s dynasty, Krishna who is a nectar ocean of pastimes, of playful words, and of delightful wide-eyed glances.
60. The most prominent of the rasas:
The people happily joked and laughed with each other and with Lord Krishna. They enjoyed the six tastes of the feast, and they also enjoyed the seventh taste: the taste of joking words.
61. The different kinds of food became the root of many jokes. Many puns were made. With ambiguous words one thing seemed to have been said but another was hinted.
62. Joking with King Nanda, Madhumangala playfully said, “O great king, the brahmanas tell us that the first meaning of the word ‘sakula’ is ‘auspiciousness’, and the second meaning is ‘accepting the sacred thread and chanting the gayatri mantra.‘ By chanting the gayatri mantra the vaisyas and ksatriyas attain power and wealth, and the brahmanas attain many kinds of delicious foods to eat. We do not know from what far away places you have brought all these delicious foods. How were you able to serve such delicious foods to us? How? How? Under the careful eye of King Nanda, for our sakes Vrsabhanu’s daughter and Her friends expertly prepared all these delicious foods. In the Gopala-tapani Upanisad it is said that by the ferocious Durvasa Muni’s mercy, Radha’s cooking is always delicious and sweet like nectar. You have served this delicious food to us and we have eaten it. It is already eaten. Now we have become like thieves. Thieves. Food should first be offered to Lord Vishnu in a yajna. Now that we have eaten it, we cannot offer it. We have committed an offence. The only solution, the solution described in the Sruti and Smrti sastras, is that we should accept diksa from a guru. That diksa is the third meaning of the word ‘sakula’.”
63. These joking words brought an uproar of laughter. Queen Yasoda came from the kitchen and watched. Everyone laughed at another joke, a joke comparing food cooked on fire to food cooked with suryakanta jewels.
64. Enjoying the feast, everyone felt satiated, but their eyes never felt satiated by gazing at Krishna gloriously dressed in yellow garments. Somehow the feast ended, and everyone rinsed their mouths with scented water, although everyone yearned to continue gazing at Krishna.
65. With gifts of betelnuts, fragrant sandal, garments, flower garlands, and ornaments, the kinsmen and brahmanas were then worshipped.
66. Seeing the gifts given to the brahmanas, Madhumangala spoke these nectar joking words: “O glorious people of Vraja, please do not envy us brahmanas that we have received so many gifts. After all the great feast you have all enjoyed is completely priceless.”
67. At this there was an uproar of laughter. Approaching His father, charming Krishna humbly asked, “You have brought Us all to this assembly. Now it is almost time for Shri Balarama, Dama, Sudama, and the other of Us boys to go.” Then Krishna went to His mother’s room and said to her, “Mother of mothers, please give Us boys permission to depart.”
68. Milk trickling from the flower-buds of her breasts, Mother Yasoda said, “Son, may You live a long life. You boys are like one life in many bodies. Therefore it is not right that I should detain You.”
69. Then Mother Yasoda’s friends said, “Child, we are also called Your mothers, but Yasoda is Your true mother. Why do You not love her?” Bowing His head and with a smile mixed with tears, Krishna said, “O My mothers, what can I do? The cows do not know what to do. Without Me they will not even eat a mouthful of grass.”
70. Mother Yasoda said, “What the boy says is true. If we make them stay here, their hearts would break. The boy, His cows, and His friends have made the forest their home.”
71. Krishna smiled and said, “Mother, there are no dangers to fear in the forest. Kesi and the other demons were killed, all pulled up by their roots.”
72. Mother Yasoda said, “What did I hear? I heard all those demons became ghosts. They may still attack You as ghosts.”
73. Krishna smiled and said, “Mother, They did not become ghosts. Rather, because they died in the land glorified by the touch of the dust of Your feet, they all attained liberation. Sometimes we make statues of these magician demons, but that is only for our playing games.” The games of Krishna and Balarama are described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.11.59 and 10.14.61):
“In this way Krishna and Balarama passed Their childhood age in Vrajabhumi by engaging in activities of childish play, such as playing hide-and-seek, constructing a make-believe bridge on the ocean, and jumping here and there like monkeys.”
74. Hearing this, the elder ladies gave up their fears. With great love Krishna’s mother placed her left hand on Krishna’s back and her right hand on His chin. Then, with tears in her eyes, she said to Balarama, “Child Balarama, I am Your mother. Have I not love You from Your earliest childhood? Still, I can understand objectively, impartially, what is the truth. Why, then, do I tremble with worry? I ask You this: 'When He walks in the pathways of Vraja, please stay always with Krishna.' "
75. Then Rohini said to Krishna, “Child, son of Yasoda from the earliest childhood, You have been restless and mischievous, and not always obedient to Your mother. Neither were You very obedient to me. Please chase Your mother’s sufferings far away. Please make the nectar moon of her face shine bright with happiness.”
76. Bowing down before their feet, Krishna pleased the elder ladies. Taking Him by the hand, they led Him to the courtyard. Standing at the filigree windows, the younger girls, Krishna’s beloveds , all gazed at Him.
77. The young gopis longed to be with Krishna. They were intoxicated by drinking the nectar of love for Him. They were terrified that soon they would be separated from Him. As Krishna was about to leave for the forest with the cows, the gopis, free of any inhibitions, gazed at Him. For two or three moments they looked like pictures painted on the palace walls.
78. Seeing the gopis gaze at Him in that way, Krishna felt embarrassment and thirst. Embarrassment and thirst made Him close His own eyes. Seeing Krishna close His eyes, the gopis thought, “In His heart Krishna deeply meditates on us.” Thinking this, the gopis yearned to meet Krishna in the forest.
79. As the gopis gazed at Krishna, Radha worried, “Alas, if my elders see the signs that I have fallen in love with Krishna, what will happen to Me?”
80. As one by one He bid farewell to the elder gopis, gopis He treated like mothers, Krishna’s form was reflected in the gopi’s eyes.
81. Carrying parasols, camaras, garments, cups, betelnuts, cases and other things difficult even for the demigods to attain, the servants followed Krishna as He left with Balarama, Dama, and the other boys.
82. Eager to please, charming Krishna and Balarama entered the glances of Father Nanda and the others in the glorious assembly.
83. Surrounded by the stars of His friends, Krishna was like a moon descended to earth. He gloriously stood before everyone’s eyes.
84. Krishna’s form is embraced by all splendour and glory. With restless and unblinking eyes, He glances at the people of Vraja.
85. Gazing at Krishna and Balarama, the people of Vraja became plunged in an ocean of bliss. Again and again they offered prayers and blessings to Krishna and Balarama , whose garments were splendid and whose hair was like a raincloud and lightning that attracted the cataka birds of the people’s eyes, or like a great nectar ocean, the most glorious of all oceans, or like the best of glorious cintamini jewels, or like an evening sky splendid with many stars. Rapt in thinking of Krishna and Balarama, who were like an ocean of glory, everyone became stunned and then fainted in ecstasy. Becoming conscious again, two people said, “Glory to Krishna, who is glorious like a sapphire cintamini jewel! Glory to the king of Vraja! Glory to the Lord who descended to the earth! Glory to Vraja’s prince, who delights the people of the world! Glory to His elder brother Balarama! Glory, glory to Balarama, who is glorious with a great flag of victory!”
86. Gazing at lotus eyed Krishna, two devotees said:
“Glory to Krishna who, on the dark fortnight when the star Rohini was conjoined with the moon, took birth as the glorious and blissful son of Nanda and Yasoda.”
87. Filled with wonder, the devotees again said:
“Let us gaze on the glorious form of Krishna, Krishna who was born from Yasoda, Krishna whom even the great philosophers have not even enough words to properly praise.”
88. Then Nanda, the glorious king of Vraja, gracefully said, “O Ratnacuda, O crest jewel of poets, who are these two delicate boys?”
89. Ratnacuda said: “O Nanda splendid with opulence and good fortune, O glorious king of Vraja, these two boys are my sister’s sons.”
90. Then the king of Vraja said, “From which of these two glorious boys born?”
91. Ratnacuda replied, “O unrivalled king of a country filled with jewels, desiring to see the peerless Supreme Person, my jewellike sister Ratnavati came here. I offer my respectful obeisances to her.”
92. The king of Vraja said, “O sister, may your good fortune increase.”
93. Ratnacuda said, “O lord, my sister’s husband is named Sumati.”
94. Smiling, the king said, “Anyone who sees this boy will not suffer.”
95. Then the king respectfully said, “O glorious one, I would like to ask You some questions. Where is your home these days?”
96. Ratnacuda replied, “O hero of kings, it is on the seashore.”
97. Upananda said, “Then you must have come from afar.”
98. Then, His eyes bathed with the nectar effulgence of His face and His jasmine-bud teeth showing from behind His sweetly smiling lips, Krishna said, “Who are these two?”
99. Ratnacuda replied, “O boy the tips of whose toenails we worship with arati, placing before them our lives many millions of times, their names are Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha.”
100. Krishna said, “Their names are similar.”
101. Ratnacuda replied, “They are brothers.”
102. Upananda said, “Ratnacuda, did these two study and attain pure knowledge.”
103. Ratnacuda replied, “Yes. Of course. These are full of many wonderful virtues.”
104. Upananda said, “What kind of persons are they?”
105. Ratnacuda said, “They know everything. They are protectors of everyone. They are great poets”
106. Then everyone gazed at them with great wonder.
107. The king of Vraja said, “O glorious Sumati, how did these two boys become so glorious?”
108. Sumati said, “O purifier of the worlds, O pure and famous one, please ask them directly.”
109. The king of Vraja said, “O boys, may you live long. The description of your virtues fills our hearts with wonder. Please tell how you attained them.”
110. Folding their palms, the two boys said, “O king of glorious Goloka, The peerless mercy of the spiritual master is the cause of all virtues. This the saintly devotees see with their own eyes.”
111. The king of Vraja said, “What are the glories of your spiritual master?”
112. Folding their hands, the two boys said, “Our spiritual master’s name is glorious. He brings good fortune to persons like ourselves. He is a monsoon of spiritual happiness. He is Narada Muni, the sage of the demigods.”
113. Then everyone said, “Then it is not surprising that he is very glorious.”
114. The two boys again said, “We have left the land of the Yadus and come to the land of Vrndavana. By our spiritual master’s mercy we have come to Your glorious world, a world even the demigods cannot attain, a world the thought of which brings deliverance from the world of birth and death.”
115. Filled with wonder everyone gazed at the two boys.
116. Lord Krishna thought, “Yes. Yes. After a long time they have at last come before Me.”
117. Understanding a hint sent by Krishna, Balarama approached the king of Vraja and said, “Noble father, We are very eager to see these two boys.”
118. Approving, the king of Vraja said, “Rama this is an auspicious day. It is a good sign that our guests have come. As by chance an insect may leave on a leaf a mark resembling a letter of the alphabet, so by this chance visit our guests have brought auspiciousness to us. We should offer them all hospitality.” To the attendants at his side, the king said, “As the monsoon rains bright all that is needed, in the same way bring our guests all that they need. From early morning everyone should be called to observe a festival.”
119. Upananda and the gopas expressed their happiness. The poets chased away any possible sadness. Everyone enjoyed a great festival. In this way the middle of the day passed. Then, after requesting the king’s permission, glorious Krishna, Balarama, and the gopa boys offered obeisances and departed.
120. Krishna’s friends did not want to stay at home. They wanted to herd the cows. In that way their limitless desires would be fulfilled.
121. Accompanied by Balarama and His friends, Krishna entered the forest. Before the trees were empty. But when Krishna played His flute, the trees were suddenly filled with flowers.
122. Far from their elders, the boys happily held hands. Pretending to stutter, they joked and laughed.
123. Joking, Balarama said, “Crooked Madhumangala, why, when all the rest of Us were respectfully receiving instructions from the elder gopis, who are like Our mothers, did you whisper, ‘O queen of Vraja, in private I will tell you a secret?’” Then, intent on their duties, the elder gopis never heard that secret.
124. Opening his eyes wide and loudly laughing, Madhumangala did not say a word. Then after a moment, he said, “Aha! I forgot.”
125. The Balarama said, “Dear friend, please vow you will speak the truth: What did you want to say?”
126. Madhumangala said, “On my sacred thread I vow I will speak only the truth and nothing else.”
127. By a person who is self-controlled, I am conquered, By a person who is peaceful at heart, I am pacified. By a person who knows the truth I am taught. By a perfect spiritual teacher I am filled with knowledge.
128. “By a secretive person I am concealed by many lies. Why would I try to hide a host of glorious virtues?”
129. “But first I will ask a permission of Your gopis beloveds. If they withold their permission, I will never tell You.”
130. Krishna said, “Wild madman, first tell Us.”
131. Madhumangala said, “If You promise You will not be upset, then I will tell.”
132. Krishna and Balarama said, “We won’t be upset. We promise We won’t.”
133. Madhumangala said, “If I openly spoke the real truth to You and Your gopi friends, then in this forest You would playfully quarrel with them...”
134. Grabbing Madhumangala’s right arm with His left hand, and suddenly pressing Madhumangala’s lips closed with His right thumb and middle finger, Krishna said, “Sewing his lips together, I will quiet My crazy brahmana friend.” Struggling to speak in this situation, Madhumangala somehow said, “If that is the desire in Your heart, You need only fill my mouth with sugar-candies from home. Why should I not speak? My words are meant to serve You.”
135. Smiling, Balarama said, “He wants a bribe. Is this what the brahmanas want?”
136. As all the boys laughed, the clever jokester Madhumangala hugged Krishna, shook Him, and laughed.
137. Filled with all glorious virtues, surrounded by His friends and happy at heart, forest-flower-garlanded Krishna walked down the forest path, a path charming with many flower-filled trees. Approaching the cows He began to play His flute.
138. Krishna charmed all the cows. They were all attracted to Him. Filled with wonder, a demigod in the sky said:
“Rivers always flow downstream. But the stream of Krishna’s flute-music charms the rivers and makes them flow backwards.”
139. Then he said:
“Cows moo. Peacocks sing the sixth note and the cuckoos the fifth note. Other creatures make each their own sounds. But not now. Hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, they are now stunned with wonder. Who will wake them up from their trance of bliss?”
140. “Even Krishna is entranced by His own flute music. Krishna is the life of all who live. If Krishna is entranced, who will not be entranced?”
141. Aha! Hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, everyone became filled with bliss.”
Hearing the sweet sound of Krishna’s flute, everyone fell into a trance. Awakening from that trance, everyone looked at each other with eyes filled with wonder.
142. When the cows and other creatures had returned to consciousness, Madhumangala smiled and said, “This is the fruit that grows from insulting a brahmana. These creatures are all my friends. Their response to Your insults is stunned silence.”
143. Hearing this, all the boys laughed. Then the boys began to call the cows on Mathura’s path:
To lead the cows to the Yamuna, the boys called out “hihi” for the cows to walk and “dhiriha” for them to stop.
144. The called out “co” for the cows to drink water, “jhiri” for them to stop drinking, and “tiritiri” to make them walk away from the water.
145. Making the billion cows stay on the river bank, the boys happily bathed in the water. They played and sang.
146. Then Krishna had the boys eat the fragrant lunches their mothers made for them. Smiling, Krishna made His tongue explore the different flavours of His lunch.
147. Finished with lunch, Krishna rinsed His mouth, Accompanied by Shridama, Dama, Sudama, Vasudama, and His other friends, His cheeks filled with crushed, splendid, golden-coloured betel mixed with camphor, His handsome face decorated with swinging earrings, and His lotus eyes happily glancing at His friends, the glorious protector of the cows, returned to His home.
148. Travelling through different forests, allowing the cows sometimes to stop and eat the fragrant grasses, and making the people of Vraja Village more and more anxious in His separation, Krishna slowly walked home with His friends.
149. Taking the cows with Him, Krishna walked to Gokula. Stopping to rest under a great shade tree, He listened to the prayers, singing, and instrumental music of the demigods and other celestial beings. Again walking, He came to the outskirts of Vraja Village.
150. His glorious handsome face gazed at by demigods flying in airplanes, by sages learned in mantras, yoga, and other sciences, by people coming before His eyes, and by the cows with their eyes and noses, Krishna playing His flute and casting glances from the corners of His happy, graceful, glorious eyes, walked on one path and then another, and finally entered the village of Vraja.
151. Glory to the sound of Krishna’s flute. Even though the cows’ mooing, the cowherd boys’ happy talking, the demigods’ flood of prayers, and the sages’ many quotes from the scripture have all assembled together to make a deafening tumult, the faint sound of Krishna’s flute breaks that tumult into pieces.
152. Hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, the cows and boys in the forest became filled with bliss and the demigods in the celestial worlds became filled with wonder. Krishna had become glorious like the moon. With the sound of His flute He made the cows stunned with bliss.
153. Pausing for a moment outside, Krishna, Balarama and the boys entered the barn to delight the cows and calves and to enjoy the pastimes of milking the cows. Then Krishna and Balarama entered the palace Yasoda and the other glorious ladies offered arati to Them and showered Them with grains and other auspicious offerings. Meanwhile the younger gopis, Krishna’s beloveds, kept their eyes on Him. As the elder gopis massaged Their feet, fanned Them, and served Them in many ways, Krishna and Balarama relaxed.
154. For some moments Krishna and Balarama were caressed by Their mothers. Then They went to the bathing room, were bathed and dressed by servants, and returned to Their mothers.
155. As sunset came, Krishna and Balarama enjoyed pastimes of an evening meal with Father Nanda and Their kinsmen. Leaving the dining-room they met other kinsmen and they sat down together with them.
156. As the kinsmen, glorious with a hundred virtues, associated with the two delicate boys Krishna and Balarama, the guests Sumati and Ratnacuda arrived.
157. Having enjoyed His evening meal and other pastimes with Nanda, the glorious king of Gokula, and with joyful Sumati and Ratnacuda, Krishna affectionately called for the two sons of the poet and had the two sons sit down with Him. Then Krishna had everyone listen to the beautiful poems composed by the glorious poets of Vraja. Hearing the poems the two boys became very happy. They yearned to become qualified like those poets.
158. The festival continued in that way for three hours of the night. At dawn, when the festival of listening to poems came to an end, Krishna with His father's permission, took golden garments in His hand and, in the presence of His mother in her own room, embraced the poet’s two delicate sons and gave them a gift of the garments.
159. Standing before Krishna’s glorious mother, the two boys felt very happy. They thought, “Does this milk ocean where Krishna, the moon of Gokula, shines have an end? Does the full moon now shine before our eyes? Does the eastern horizon now joyfully stand here? Does the goddess who rules in the realm of a mother’s kindness to her son now bring a pleasant coolness to all the worlds?”
160. Then graceful Mother Yasoda very sweetly and affectionately gave delicious foods, valuable garments and ornaments and other gifts to the two boys.
161. Receiving the blessings and garments from Mother Yasoda, the two boys requested permission to depart. Taking the boys with Him, blissful Krishna entered His bedroom to take rest. He had the boys sit down. Then He sat down next to Shri Radha.
162. Then, as if She were the goddess of lightning flashes surrounded by lightning or a great lake filled with lotuses surrounded by lotus lakes, or spiritual mercy surrounded by all kinds of opulence and good fortune, or humbleness and saintliness surrounded by all virtues, or a great treasure of ecstatic love for Krishna surrounded by many kinds of love for Krishna, the boys saw Shri Radha surrounded by Her friends.
163. Seeing Shri Radha, the two boys now overcome with devotion, forgot who they were. Lord Krishna then pacified the overwhelmed boys. Gazing on Radha and Krishna the boys thought:
Krishna’s splendour brings life to the splendour of sapphires. Radha’s splendour is more glorious than the splendour of gold personified. When They meet, Radha and Krishna are the cause of the sweetest pastimes of the rasa that is the first of rasas.
164. When Krishna introduced them, Shri Radha happily, gracefully, and playfully honoured the two saintly boys.
165. After sending the boys back to their uncle’s home, Lord Krishna entered His own charming palace.
166. Approaching Krishna, Radha respectfully offered Him a sitting place. She fanned Him and served Him in many ways. Then Krishna lay down on His bed. Then Radha withdrew from Krishna’s sight. To Her friends Radha said, “Please do not let Krishna ever know I am here.”
167. The Radha’s friends said:
“When Krishna is not present You yearn to see Him, but when He stands before Your eyes You hide from Him. Why is that? We do not understand You.”
168. Taking Her by the arm, two friends brought wide-eyed Radha back to Krishna’s bedroom. Stunned with bliss Her beloved Krishna pulled Her toward Him.
169. Pulled by Krishna, She sat on the bed. Although in her heart She yearned to embrace Him, She rejected His advances. Then the two of them fought hand to hand.
170. Sometimes Radha is happy to meet Krishna, and other times She pretends to shun Him. These pastimes of the divine couple are not surprising. After all, Radha is playful nectar pastimes personified.
171. O Shri Krishna, O Shri Krishna Chaitanya, O Lord accompanied by Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, O Lord attained by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, O Lord dear to the residents of Vraja, please protect me.