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Padma's Opposition Paurnamasi's Counter Attack
Seeing auspicious omens in every direction, Paurnamasi was astonished to see the dejected faces of Radha's sakhis and asked the reason. Lalita said, "Please hear why I sent Vrinda to bring you here. The light of moon always gives protection to the kumuda (water lily shaped like a lotus), by giving its own juice. That is why the real padmas have wilted. Inner meaning: (Candravali is scheming with Padma. That is why we are dejected.) "Padma is acting according to her nature, but not for fulfilling Krishna's pleasure. As the clouds drift off due to strong winds and fail to give life-sustaining rain to the crops, Padma by scheming with others has decided to create dissension. She has sent some mad women to old Jatila, so that Jatila will prevent Krishna from coming and thus abort the abhiseka.
"These women told Jatila, 'We have come to you for your help. Today by good fortune your daughter in-law will be installed with an abhiseka. But protect Her from the eyes of Mukunda. If He happens to see Radha, we cannot be responsible tor the consequences. Krishna, who is fond of flirting, is very attracted to women who strictly follow the codes of dharma. Suddenly such women just give up their respect for their elders and run to Him. We have heard from an akash vani (celestial voice) that Krishna will come to see Radha. Therefore you must prevent His coming, and thus protect your daugh¬ter from fear, illusion and obstacles.'
"O Paurnamasi, Now hear what the old woman (Jatila) said on hearing the plan of opposition presented by the representatives of Padma-sakhi. One should not hesitate to destroy another's life to preserve his own. Jatila said, 'Let the abhiseka reject Radha and go to Rasatala (hellish planet)! Inner meaning: (I will prevent Her from going.) Fie on the moon (Krishna) who distributes his light to all, so that He cannot give pleasure t" women ' "The scheming Jatila, with the help of the terrible gopi Bharunda, intends to bring along Bharunda's son Govardhana Malla (Candravali's husband) to the abhiseka. What can I say about the character of Govardhana Malla? He is a follower of Kamsa, and possesses all the rajasic and tamasic qualities of anasura." ,
Like the sky with its twinkling stars losing its glory when the cloud covers the moon, the sakhis succumbed to anguish on hearing this news. Though Gokula was superbly decorated for the festival, it gave no pleasure to the sakhis. As the full moon swells the fish-filled ocean with bliss, and then, spreading bliss to the nearby people, raises up the cintamani jewel, Paurnamasi revived the hearts of thegopis with closed eyes, and give bliss to the surround¬ing people as a brilliant thought arose in Her mind. Paurnamasi said, "O my children! Give up your lamentation! The two obstacles, like Sunda and Upasunda, will mutually destroy each other. Those envious of the righteous destroy themselves."
Paurnamasi encouraged the sakhis again to prepare for the abhiseka, but at that time Jatila arrived. After advising them, she informed Jatila of all that had taken place. All actions of pious people are accomplished simultaneously (the success of Radha's abhiseka and the thwarting of Jatila's plan.) With a happy heart, Paurnamasi told Jatila the ancient story of resisting the demons. First she directly scolded old Jatila, then she consoled her with sweet words, and advised her in various ways.
Paurnamasi said, "O Jatila! Vraja is famous as a place that destroys sins. Thus the people live here peacefully without the presence of demons. In Vraja, therefore, what anxiety can there be for the abhiseka of your daughter in-law in the presence of a peaceful soul like me?" Catching Paurnamasi's feet, Jatila said with tears in her eyes and a choked voice, "O Devi! Know my daughter to be like a sacrificial altar who must be offered to qualified people. Please protect Her." Inner meaning: ("Know that Radha is to be offered to Krishna, the very form of the knowledge of love So do everything to make Her qualified.") In front of everyone, dependable Paurnamasi appeased old Jatila and con¬fidently embraced Radha. Ordering the musicians to play, she then danced and danced. Paurnamasi offered Radha back to the sakhis. Receiving Radha, they felt as if they had regained their own souls. When one's life is dependent on another, when one is brought back to life by another, or when one attains the goal of one's life, one feels immense gratitude.
Blissful Singing and Dancing
It seemed as if the land of Vraja had given birth to a variety of instruments with the mixture of melodious music, singing and dancing. The peacocks danced and cried in bliss when the instrumental music and singing reached a crescendo resembling the rumbling of clouds. Svargaloka and Martyaloka, assuming the form of umbrellas, returned the sound of each note echoing throughout the universe.
Going to the Bathing Platform
As the form of the moon faded away, the prominent constellations hid their faces in shame. The sun threw its rays upon the lotus creepers, the sitting place of Laksmi. Seeing the rays of dawn, everyone understood that the auspicious moment of Radha's installation had arrived. Taking Kirtida's permission, Paurnamasi, who knows the Vedas and is steady in intelligence, eagerly escorted Radha to the abhiseka mandapa (bathing arena) which was filled with auspicious items. The earth revealed its affection through the ghee. It cried tears of bliss through the honey. It laughed through the yogurt. It offered gifts through the many glittering jewels. It horripilated through the sowed sprouts. It laughed and showed its teeth at attaining such good results through the stalks of the banana trees. It showed its possession of all wealth through the calves and cows being milked by Prthu. Desiring to bathe Radha herself, the earth held a multitude of water pots on her head, and offered an asana for Her on the platform in the jeweled pavilion.
Radha walked on a beautiful path into the arena, which had an asana for an attractive bodice, lines of flowers for garlands, whose chest was the earthen altar decorated with jeweled caskets for breasts. Upon entering the pavilion, which was topped with a shining white canopy, Radha sat on the white silk cushions. She looked like Laksmi sitting on a lotus in the Milk Ocean, giving blessings to the whole universe. Radha's ear ornaments were like flowers blooming on a creeper. Her eyes were dancing hummingbirds in the lotus of Her face. Her braid was a pea¬cock and Her smile was a white swan. Radha was the embodiment of all the auspicious items one might see before starting a journey (lotuses, swans, peacocks, hummingbirds, and flowering creepers).
Offering Her feet to the lotuses drawn on the earth, and bowing down as if to arrogant opponents, Radha moved forward to mount the platform. Her left arm, thigh and eye twitched, and the assembled persons developed pro¬fuse goose bumps.
Order of the Entrance
The talented musicians leading the procession were followed by a lot of noisy women carrying flowers, puffed rice, and other ingredients in their hands. Then came Paurnamasi, the wives of the brahmanas, and other re¬spectable women eager to see the festival. Dancing women, women playing vinas and flutes, and others carrying ingredients for the festival followed them. At last camp young girls bringing various festival paraphernalia. Vrinda and others waiting expectantly at the mandapa thought, "When will Radha come?" Just at that moment a fragrant, cool breeze arose to touch their limbs and relieve their anxiety. As Radha and Her sakhis walked on the flowered footpaths of Vrindavana to the mandapa, a profuse shower of flowers fell from the sky to form a canopy overhead. Radha and Her friends proceeded on the flower-covered path lit by rows of brilliant ghee lamps. It seemed that the moon was moving through the Milky Way along with the planets. As Radha walked, She glanced at the places where Krishna had performed different pastimes. At that time, Radha revealed a most astonishing appearance that the gopis had never seen before. While speaking, the Vrajagopw seemed to be singing, "Come, go, bring, receive." Elsewhere, the heavenly damsels muttered, "She is fortunate, She is truly fortunate, She is most fortunate."