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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami > Govinda Lilamrta 2 > Chapter-23




"The festival of the Rasa dance"



Then Shri Krishna began to sing different rhythmic story-songs and danced with the clever gopis. When Krishna candra danced with Shri Radha, Lalita and others sang, Citra and others gave the rhythms and Vrnda and her group were the audience. (1-2)



When Krishna danced alone Radhika and Her girlfriends sang amazingly difficult tunes and sometimes Krishna watched Radhika dance with amazing gestures. (3)



Gradually the gopis made a line on the dancing stage, playing vinas and other instruments, sining different story songs (prabandha). (4)



Although the stringed instruments, wind instruments, flutes, drums and voices all softly resounded in various ways, they became one with the sounds of Krishna and the gopis coming on the dancingstage and began to dance, following these sounds with their foottaps and the movements of their eyebrows, hands, bodies and eyes. (5)



Krishna repeatedly came out from between the gopis, moving His beautiful lotushands- and feet according to the different rhythms they made, and began to dance: tat (a tatthe drk iti drgitait drg tathai drk tathai drg tathai (a' to the great joy of the gopis. (6)


Krishna began to dance and sing charming prabandha-tunes like (ho drk dam dam kita kita kanakhai thokku (ho dikku are jhai dram jhai dram kita kiti kiti dham jhenka ihem jhem ku jhem jhem (ho dik dam dam drmi drmi drmi dham kanku jhem kanku jhem dram. (7)



Radhika sang tathathai thai tathai thai tathai (ha, and danced like a lightningstrike in the Krishna-cloud, repeatedly making Her bangles resound with the movements of Her hands and making Her waistbells, armiets and anklebells jingle along nicely. (8)



Repeatedly and joyfully Isa (Radha) danced and sang: dham dham drk drk can can ninam nam ninam nam ninam nam tuttuk turn turn gudu gudu gudu dham dram dram gudu dram gudu dram dhek dhek dho dho kiriti kiriti dram drimi dram drimi dram. (9)



Lalita then came out from their midst, like a lightningstrike in a cloud. The golden bangles on her lotushands went jham jham and she danced on the stage that had become bluish from Krishna's luster, loudly singing (ham (ham (ho tigada tigada (ho tathai (ho (a thai ta! (10)



Then Visakha came up, making her ornaments jingle jhanana jham jhat, playing kana kana kana with her vina and dancing. Her sounds mixed with the mrdangas pounding drmi drmi drmi dho dho dho and she sang drgi(i drgi(i drk thai tho tatho (ho! (11)



One sakhi danced, making her anklebells and bangles repeatedly resound: thaitha thathaitha tatha (a(haiya, another sakhi sweetly sang while making her anklebells and bangles resound with the movements of her hands and feet, singing thai thai thai thai thai iathai thai tathai ta ! Another sakhi came on the stage, began to dance and sang: (haiya (ha iya tatha tatha (ha iya thaiya thaiya (igada tathaiya (12-14)



Then Krishna danced and loudly sang with a loving, joyful voice a a i ati a ati ai ati aa ati a a a ! Look Radhike! It is as if the moonlight so bright makes the Yamunabank dance! are a a a ati a a, the forest dances along with the soft breeze! a a a! (15)



a i a ai ati priya hasas candrati kundati hamsati are ksira(i hirati harati are ai a ai a nrtyati radha


Radha danced and sang: " a a i ai ! Your very sweet smile, the moon, the Kundaflower the swan, milk, diamonds and pearls all shine equally beautiful! are ai a ai a!" (16)



The mrdangas nicely played (a dhik (a dhik drg  in the Rasa dance. It was as if they mocked the demigoddesses in the sky in this way dhik is a curse), being more pleased with the gopis' dancing. (17)



The vina- and fluteplaying gopis sang and gave the rhythm, and the mrdanga-playing gopis began to dance in ecstasy with the dancing gopis. While the gopis were thus absorbed in dancing and singing, their tight girdles, braids and blouses loosened. Seeing this, Krishna swiftly approached them while dancing to bind their clothes up again. (18-19)



The gopis created various new sounds and ragas in the sa ri ga ma pa dha and ni-divisions with their songs. They divided the pure and narrow voices in thousands of other voices and sang many heavenly (margi) and earthly (desiya) songs. The gopis' cymbals (ghana) sounded like monsoon clouds (ghana), their wind instruments (susira) sounded like needleholes (suci mula), the vinas ((ata) sounded as pure as the clear sky ((ata) and the percussion (anaddha) instruments sounded as attractive as strung ornaments (anaddha). (20-22)


The sounds of the bangles, anklebells, armlets and waistbells on the bodies of the dancing Krishna and the gopis sounded like the fifth kind of instruments after the four aferementioned kinds. They made a loud sound, following the four other kinds of instruments. (23)



While they danced, the gopis' mouths sang beautiful songs, their hands made beautiful gestures, their lotusfeet gave beautiful rhythms, they sweetly shook their necks and hips, moved their eyes around and moved their pupils left and right while glancing at Krishna's lotusl ike face, feeling great conjugal joy. (24)



The marginal notes, the modulations and the regulated rising and falling notes never resound without the vina, but the gopis sang them. The unmixed notes of the voices again mixed with the marginal notes and the modulations. Some gopis sang them, showing their wonderful qualities, making Han joyfully say: "Well done!" Then they sang the Dhruva note upto the bhoga and were praised even more for that by Han. (25-26)



Radha began to dance the Chalikya and Krishna was very pleased with that, so He rewarded Her with a heart's embrace, not finding any better reward. Krishna made Radhika dance with His flutesongs and Radhika jokingly indicated that He had made a mistake in His song and swiftly corrected Him with Her glances. Then She made Syama dance along with Her vina-playing and Her singing. (27-28)



Radha danced and sang with Krishna as Han did with Her. Although the sakhis were eager to assist Them with singing and dancing, they were unable to do so. (29)



After these tunes ended Krishna placed His hand on Priyaji's breasts and , although She was happy with it, Priyaji obstructed Han as if She was angry with Him. (30)



One gopi kneeled on the ground and stretched out her arms, rotating quickly, like Cupid's disc, one gopi stretched out her arms and then contracted them to touch her different other limbs, performing a very difficult dance. Another gopi sometimes touched the ground with one hand and turned the rest of her body in the sky. Then she fell on the ground again, performing a rotating dance without other support. Some slender gopi bent her head backwards towards the ground, supine. Her bent back and belly looked like the golden bow of Cupid and her braids, that fell down to her heels, resembled the bowstring. In this way she danced very beautifully. (31-34)



One gopi made her anklebells jingle to the rhythm, one-two-three, sometimes making the bells silent while still dancing in a wonderful way. All the qualified gopis who saw this, blissfully praised her for this, saying:"Well done!" (sadhu vada). (35)


In this way Krishna and the gopis constantly danced and sang several of their own funny dances and songs in the Rasa-dance, like the songs and dances made by Brahma and Siva for Lord Vishnu of Vaikuntha, His Queen Laksmi and all the goddesses of fortune, that were unapproachable by others. (36)



Han swam in an ocean of spiritual flavours, turning around and around in the Rasa dance, looking at one gopi, kissing another one, eagerly staring in another one's eyes, drinking the nectar of some other gopi's lips, holding one gopi's breasts and scratching another gopi's breasts with His nails. (37)



evam gayan gayayams tan svadarams citram nrtyan nartayan nartitas taih gitas caitan s~aghayan slighitas tai

reme 'ty uccair balako va sva bimbaih


Krishna danced and made the gopis dance, sang arid made the gopis sing, was glorified by the gopis and also glorified them. In this way He played with them like a boy who plays with his own reflections. (38)



One gopi placed Krishna’s sandal-smeared arm on her shoulder and began to shiver, horripilate and cry of ecstasy when she smelled His fragrance, looking like a lightning strike within a raincloud. This doe-eyed gopi began to perspire on her forehead and cheeks from the fatigue of dancing. These seatdrops adorned her like a friend of affectionate eagerness personified. (39-40)



Fatigue caused the gopis' clothes and dresses to slacken and their nipples to heave with their deep breasts. Their foreheads and cheeks were anointed with drops of perspiration, but Krishna was even more pleased by seeing thaL Thus the Rasa dance came to an end. (41)



Krishna's eyes eclipsed the beauty of a cluster of white lotusflowers. Restless Makara-earrings swung on His cheeks, being taught how to dance by an expert female teacher, who kept these earrings on her own cheek while chewing the betelleaves that Krishna gave Her from His own mouth. (42)



One gopi, who caused Krishna's hair to stand erect of joy, felt the same sensation from Krishna's touch. She placed her arm on His shoulder and blissfully rested on it for a while. (43)



kuca sirasi nidhayanyonya samsparsa harsat

pulakini pulakadhyam svedi nisveda yuk tam sata sata sasi sitam nrtyaja kjanti digdha

sva ramana karam eka sranti santim jagama


One gopi who was tired of dancing placed Krishna's hands on her nipples, making both the hands and her breasts perspire and horripilate of ecstasy The touch of Krishna's hands, that was cooler than millions of moons, soothed that gopis' fatigue of dancing. (44)


muhuh karabjena dayabdhi magnas (asam mukhat sveda jafani krishnah

sammarjayann apy asakann amarstum tat sparsa saukhyad dviguni krtani


Again and again Krishna's merciful, soft lotushands wiped the tired lotusfaces of the gopis, but instead of removing the sweatdrops, He doubled them because the gopis became ecstatic from His touch. (45)



One gopi, who was immersed in the nectar of friendship, wiped the sweat from her face with Krishna's scarf and Krishna wiped His face clean with her scarf. (46)



krishnanga sangadi vilasa sindhav ananda jalasya taranga magnah

bhrasya( sva malyambara kunta~anam masann aJam samvarane mrgaksyah


Waves of ecstasy moved on the play-ocean of Krishna' bodily touch, where the fallen and broken flowergarlands, ornaments and clothes sank in and the doe-eyed gopis were unable to stop them from falling. (47)



Thus they concluded that superb, manifold, unique, tasteful enjoyment of the Rasa dance. Now Vrnda understood that Krishna became eager to enjoy more advanced conjugal pastimes with His gopis. (48)



hima baluka baluke'male puline saha radhaya'cyutam vinivesya (ayoh purah sakhi nicayam sagana nyavivisat


The cool sand on the bank of the Yamuna was spotless like ground camphor and Vrnda seated Radha and Acyuta on this sand and engaged Their girlfriends for Them. (49)



Vrnda brought many kinds of fruit- and flower-wine in jeweled goblets along with various fruitsalads in front of Han and His sweethearts. Krishna appeared between each two gopis through His own Divine potency, laughing and making them drink wine and eat fruit salad, drinking the nectar of their lips (by kissing them). He laughed and ate and drank Himself also.



kandarpa madhvika madakulangim kandarpa madhvika madanusiste radham samadaya harau praviste vinyasta talpam pulinanta kunjam


Han became drunk of the wine and of lust and took beautiful Radha, who was also drunk, along to a wonderful playbed in a kunja on the bank of the Yamuna. (52)



kandarpa mada vaikiavyad ghurna purncksanah sakhih vrndapy adaya kunjesu prthak prthag asayayat


Vrnda took the gopis, whose eyes were rolling of intoxication of lust, along to separate kunjas and put them to rest on beds there. (53)



Then Krishna enjoyed Radhika's independent mood (svadhina bhartrka). Having His desires thus ful filled, He smiled and went out of the kunja. (54)



tayeritah sa kunjesu pravisya yugapat prthak

svadhina bhartrkavastham prapaya masa tah sakh ih


Radhika then urged Krishna to enter each gopi's kunja in separate forms, where He found His girlfriends in the same mood. (55)



nirga(ah kunja nikarat krishnas tabhir ajaksitah

ekah san radhikam agat sva darsana mrdu smitam


Unseen by the sakhis, Krishna went out of the kunjas in One form and came to Shri Radhika, who mildly smiled upon seeing Him. (56)



The sakhis dressed themselves and came out of their kunjas. Seeing Radha, they carefully covered their limbs with shy smiles, restless eyes and lowered heads. Radhika told them: "That lover, who is here with Me and Vrnda, did not leave Me for even a second! He did not make you dance Cupid's dance, then how did your bodies attain this condition?" (57-58)



harir asann aha nikunja range natyas tv ima murti matojjvajcna

raty akhya nr(ye rasa nayakcna samnarttita yat sphuta tat tad ankah


Han laughed and said: "Eros personified made these girls dance the famous dance of eros on this stage. That is where these dancing-signs (lovesigns) on their bodies come from!" (59)



Hearing Krishna's words, the sakhis felt loving anger and said: "Our friend Radhika is Your teacher in this conjugal dance and made You Her disciple, and now She wants to make us Her granddisciples! Anyone who voluntarily becomes a student of a guru is a real disciple according to the scriptures, but You are making disciples by force, and that is not proper! So we are not Your disciples, nor are You our guru ! Don't waste Your efforts on us!" (60-61)



Then the sakhis told Radhika: "0 Bhogini! (snake or enjoying girl) We are Nakulangana's (not housewives, or mongoose-wives), You are not aware of our pure conciousness, therefore You sent Your husband the bhujanga (snake, or lusty boy) to us. Why are You giving us needless sorrow?" (62)



i(tham vidhaya puru narma vihara nrtyam tabhih samam mada kariva karenubhih sah (at tac chramapanayanaya kalinda putram kartum samarabhata van vihara nrtyam


After thus dancing a lot with the gopis like an elephant with his wives, Krishna joyfully went to play with them in the water of the Yamuna to soothe the fatigue of dancing. (63)



toye (adoru dvayase kadacit sa nabhi matre k va ca kan (ha daghne akrsya (as tabhir alam nisik (ah priya hasarns (ah kutuki nyasincat


Some gopis stood in the water up to their thighs, some upto their navels and some up to their necks. Krishna pulled them into the water and sprinkled them. The gopis laughed at Krishna and jokingly sprinkled Him in return. (64)



At different places Han quarreled with one, five or six gopis at a time or with all of them. In great joy they played for different wagers. Krishna lovinly quarreled with the gopis over the wagers, and no one would admit defeat. (65-66)



ratrau ca cakra mithunena yutani bhrngah phullambujani pibatiti harau bruvana

doh svastikena rurudhur hrdayam priyas ta vaso'ncalena vadanam ca visankita drak


Krishna said: "At night the honeybee is cager to drink honey from the blooming lotusfiowers that have Cakravaka-birds on them." Hearing these ambiguous words (the honeybee meaning Krishna, the lotuses the gopis and the Cakravakas their breasts), the gopis quickly and fearfully covered their breasts with their arms and their faces with their veils. (67)



nua drk v,jita sapharya ghattita prasrta svayam ha rim cakita yat parirebhc radha sakhyam mene sa tenasyah


Radha, whose eyes are more restless than fishes, felt fishes, that were shy over being defeated by Her eyes, swimming between Her ankles as She stood in the Yamuna, so She fearfully embraced Han, who thus understood that She had accepted Him as Her friend. (68)



kamalaka ma Ii sakhinam kamalakamali ca visaviti pradhanam yad amut tat pasyata iha durac citram harer mano vy~itam


How amazing! By throwing lotusflowers, Iotusstems and water at eachother, the gopis conquered the mind of their spectator Han from afar! (69)



Two, three, five, six, seven or eight gopis played ja!a manduka (slapping the water with the hands to make music) with Acyuta, forming circles around Him. While the gopis were absorbed in these waterplays, their hairs were loosened, the unguents were washed from their breasts, their eyes lost their collyrium and the strings of their girdles, necklaces and flowergarlands all broke. Their clothes were moistened and their ornaments and unguents were washed away, revealing the natural beauty of their bodies. Seeing this, Krishna became lusty after them. (70-72)



tasam vaksas candanaih sveta toya krishna samyam gangaya'sau gatapi saures tat tat kelisaubhagya Jabhat tabhil~ sasvat susthu sa tam ajaisit


The Yamuna-water became as white as the Ganga after it had washed off the sandalpaste from the gopis' breasts, but still the Yamuna defeated the Ganga, because it had attained the fortune of being touched by Sauri (Krishna) who nicely played in her waters with the gopis. (73)



ittham vidhayambu vihara nrtyam kanta sa kantabhir avapta tirah

sakhikulair madita kesa varsma dadhara pratyudgamaniya vastram


In this way Krishna and the gopis concluded their dancing and watersports and came back on the shore of the Yamuna, where the maidservants served them by cleaning their hair and limbs and giving them new clothes to wear. (74)



vrnda tabhih samam krishnam aniya svarna mandapam

l˙˙IÂ_ _tat purva kuttime puspas tarane tam nyavivisat


Vrnda took Krishna and the gopis to a golden pavillion and put them to rest in the eastern wing on flowerbeds. (75)



tatah savrndopaninaya vrnda kalpaga valli phala samputams tan purnan vicitrambara bhusananulepanjanair nagaja varnakais ca


Vrnda and her assistants brought wonderful clothes, ornaments, unguents and minerals in baskets along with fruits of the desire vines. (76)



tat tan namankitan ahtatir adaya petikam

krishnam radham sakhis camuh prthak prthag abhusayat


Each basket that the maidservants brought had (he name of their servable Lord or Lady on them, and from those baskets they took the ornaments to adorn Radha and Krishna and Their girlfriends. (77)



harir ujjvala rasa murti rati parinata murtayo hi radhadyah vidhur ayam asya kalas ta ekatmano'pi tat prthag dehah


Han is conjugal rasa (ujjvala rasa) personified and Radha and Her girlfriends are the limit of Divine Love ~ati parinata) personified. Krishna is like the moon and Radha and Her girlfriends are its phases (kajah). Although the moon and it's phases are one, they revealed different forms. (78)



mfthah snehabhyanga ramyah sakhyodvartana suprabhah tarunyamrta susnata Javanya rasanojjvalah


mithah saubhagya tilakah saundarya sthasakancitah

astabhis citritangas ca stambhadyair bhava varnakaih


As an example of their Oneness, it can be said that Radha, Krishna and the gopis anointed eachother with the brilliant unguent of affection and friendship, bathed eachother in the nectar of youthfulness and dressed eachother with the garments of elegant beauty. They adorned eachother with the tilak of good fortune, anointed eachother with the vermilion of beauty and the wonderful minerals of the eight sattvika (existential) ecstasies, such as inertia, tears, shiverings etc. They nicely adorned eachother with loving sentiments like kila kincita, vivvoka, unmada and eagerness. Although Radha and Krishna were thus mentally ornamented, They were also externally adorned by Their maidservants. (79-82)



Shrimati Rupa manjari and Yrnda brought Ananga Gutika-, Sidhu Vilasa-, and milk-laddus from the forest. Everyone enjoyed the fruits that were as sweet and juicy as honey. After washing His mouth, Krishna entered a playtemple with His gopis. (83-84)



tasmin mukta catur dvari yamunanila .~itaIc

koti suryamsu sad ratna cayamsu paramojjvale


manoja keli nijaye'guru dhupati saurabhe

vinyasta ratna paryanke ha msa tulikayanvite

suksmambara vrta vrnta sat puspas taranopari nanopadhana citrante krishnah susvapa kantaya


The cool Yamuna-breeze blew through the four open gates of this temple, whose jewelrays blazed brighter than ten million sunrays. This abode of conjugal play was made fragrant with aguru incense and had a jeweled bed with a swan-white mattress in it. On this bed, which was covered with stemless flowers that were covered by a thin sheet and which had manypillows, Krishna nicely slept with His beloved. (85-87)



On each side of this playbed were beds where Lalita and Visakha blissfully sat down, feeding betelleaves to Radhika and Krishna and relished the remnants of those betelleaves also. (88)



shri rupa rati manjaryau pada samvahanam tayoh cakratus capara dhanya vyajanais tav avy~ayan


Shri Rupa and Rati manjaris massaged Radhika and Krishna's lotusfeet and other fortunate girls fanned Them with whisks. (89)



After serving Radha and Krishna like this for a while the sakhis left the playtemple and went to sleep in their individual abodes by the vines that entwined the desiretrees. (90)



shri rupa manjari mukhyah sevapara sakhi janah tal lila mandira bahih kuttime sisyire sukham


Outside of the playtemple was a platform where Shri Rupa manjari and all the other manjaris that were dedicated to Radha and Krishna's service blissfully took rest. (91)



The sakhis always relish the fruit of the nectar-rasa of Radha and Krishna's plays, just as Krishna's parents relish the nectar of their parental love for Him, His friends relish the nectar of His friendship and His servants relish the nectar of His humble service. (92)



krishnasya vrnda vipine'tra radhaya lila ananta madhuras cakasati

ksane ksane nutana nutanah subha dhin matram etan mayaka pradarsitam


There is no end to Radha and Krishna's sweet pastimes in Vrndavana. They are fresh at every moment and are very auspicious. I could only show a glimpse of them in this book. (93)



shri rupa darsita disa likhftasta kalya shri radliikesa krta keli tatir maycyam seva'sya yogya vapusa'nisam atra casya

ragadhva sadhaka janair manasa vidheya


Shrila Rupa Gosvami first gave a summary description of this eternal eightfold play of the beautiful Lord of Radhika. The practicing devotees who follow the path of sacred passion (raganuga bhakta~ mentally serve Radha and Krishna in this way, day and night, in (spiritual) bodies that are suitable for that service. (94)



padaravinda bhrngena shri rupa raghunathayoh krishna dasena govinda lilamrtam idam citam


Thus Govinda Lilamrtam was written by Krishna Dasa, who is a honeybee at the lotusfeet of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. (95)



Krishna, the moon who is the friend of the lily-like gopis of Vrndavana, swiftly and mercifully gives the devotee his desired service. With great sacred thirst the devotees drink the nectar of these pastimes of Shri-Shri Radha and Krishna, that is hard to perceive even by Lord Brahma and other gods. (96)



In the great poem Govinda Lilamrta, which is the result of service to Shri Rupa Gosvami, who is a honeybee at Shri Chaitanya's lotusfeet, the encouragement of Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, the association of Shri Jiva Gosvami, and the blessing of Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, this was the twenty-third chapter, dealing with Krishna's nocturnal pastimes.