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Going to the Arena
Elders like Mother Yasoda lead the way, as they accompanied Radha to the abhiseka mandapa. Surrounded by Her dear sakhis, Radha bowed Her head in shyness while moving along the path previously forbidden for men to walk on. The women of Vraja sang sweet songs for Radha's pleasure while drink¬ing the nectar of Her beauty. In this way, the happy women surrounding Radha playfully acted while proceeding on the path.Gazing at the personified beauty of Her abhiseka (the abhiseka Laksmi), Radha's eyes were like dancers competing with its beauty. The shower of multi-colored, divine flowers was Laksmi's dress. The various pleasing draw¬ings were the sandalwood patterns on Her body. Her golden ornaments were the lines of lamps. The rows of golden kumbhas (water pots) were Her necklaces. She was singing through the music and shouts of the participants. The coming and going of the women was Her dancing. The flapping of the participants' clothes was the waving of the flag. The rows of banana trees were Her horripilations. The beauty of the decorated gates was Her pearl necklace.
Looking at Each Other's Beauty
It appeared that the sakhis were attempting to worship the effulgent god¬dess of the festival. They seemed to accept the forms of Laksmis who could fulfil desires, being the accumulation of pious actions for all eyes. Radha sprinkled them with the shower of Her own beauty. By that, the creepers of their bodies bloomed. Radha appeared like a swan with Her movements and the jingling of Her ornaments. With their eyes, they stole the beauty of the lotuses of Her two feet. With full hips and breasts, She appeared golden in all Her limbs. Seeing this, the sakhis became paralyzed, and their complexion turned reddish. They took shelter of Radha's feet. Some sakhis held the lotus hands of others.
Their faces became bright with smiles, as if they had washed and wiped their faces by exchanging joking words with Radha. As Radha's shoulders slightly shook, Her earrings glittered. That beauty conquered the movement of the creepers and their flowers. The clatter of their jeweled ornaments was like the buzzing of bees around the flower buds of Radha's words. Covered with the constantly falling pollen from the flowers and the incessant flow of perspiration, they appeared like rows of kadamba flowers as goose bumps of ecstasy appeared. After inquiring about family affairs to those bringing gifts in their hands, Radha satisfied everyone with Her cheerful loved-laced words. Radha's form, luster, aroma, graceful movements, and the sound of Her words and ornaments fully blossomed. The sakhis felt that having darsana of Radha was the good result of hundreds of sukrtis (pious deeds). They devel-oped such greed for seeing Radha that they desired the eyes of everyone in the arena in order to gaze upon Radha's wonderful form.
At the four sides of the bathing arena, the women and children stared at Radha with wide-open eyes and great longing. The sakhis saw that the bodies of the beholders were transformed withprema, and their faces were deco¬rated with Radha's sweet pastimes. They watched Radha enter the eastern courtyard, which was skillfully decorated with pictures, flowers, canopies and full kumbhas at the junction of the four paths. Then they entered them¬selves.