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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami > Govinda Lilamrta 2 > Chapter 1


 Shri Govinda Lilamrta

The eternal nectarean pastimes of Shri Govinda



Chapter 1

Pastimes in the kunja at the end of night


This book describes Shri Govinda's eternal eight-fold daily pastimes. The first of the eight time-divisions is called "Nisanta Lila", pastimes at dawn and is described in the first chapter of this epic. It deals with the time from 3.24 to 6 a.m.


AUSPICIOUS INVOCATION: Obeisances unto Shri Govinda, the abode of transcendental bliss in Yraja and the forest of Vrndavana, who find happiness in Shri Radha's company! (I)


I take shelter of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the wonderfully compassionate Lord, who cured the world from its intoxicating madness of ignorance, maddening it instead with the nectar-treasure of Love for Himself (2)


I offer my obeisances to the eternal pastimes of Shri Radha's heart's friend in Vraja (Shri Krishna), the service of whose lotus feet is the highest goal of devotional service, and is only attainable through intense sacred greed. This is unattainable even by Lord Brahma, Lord Siva or Ananta Sesa. Now I will describe this mentally performed service which is practised by devotees that travel on the path of raga. (3)


SUMMARY OF THE EIGHTFOLD DAILY PASTIMES: May Shri Krishna, who daily returns from the kunja's to the meadows at the end of night, who milks the cows in the morning and evening, and who eats then also, who plays with Shri Radhika and Her girlfriends at noon and at night, who returns to His village in the afternoon and who pleases His well wishers in the evening, protect us! (4)


All glories to Shri Govinda Lilamrta, the immortal nectar pastimes of Shri Govinda, that defeats the nectar of the demigods, or the desire for liberation, bestows a wonderful sacred thirst whenever it is drunk through words or with the mind, curing the disease of material life and deluding one with loving intoxication, nourishing the heart and the body and giving a high taste to those who always relish this nectar. (5)


Won't I be the cause of great laughter for Vaishnava's who always play in the nectar-ocean of Shri Krishna's pastimes? But even though I am incompetent, mediocre, less intelligent and unqualified, I desire to taste that nectar! (6)


May the lowly words of a great clown like me cause laughter and joy to the Vaishnava's of Vraja, whose minds are absorbed in the dance-like pastimes of Shri Krishna, that were exposed by real playwrights like Shri Rupa Gosvami! (7)


Although I am dull minded, my lowly words about the Lord's pastimes will be liked by the saints, since it is said (in Shrimad Bhagavata 1.5.11) that every word about the Lord's activities, though imperfectly composed, will destroy the sins accumulated by humanity. Encouraged by this statement, I will now describe the eternal nectarean pastimes of Govinda.... (8)


May the saints give a place on the shore of the lake of their ears to nourish this cow (text) of mine, which is heading towards Gokula, but is afflicted by wandering over the desert of my mouth! (9)


SUMMARY OF THE DAWN-PASTIMES (3.24-6.A.M): I remember Radha and Krishna at night's end, being awakened by various sounds of the parrots that were sent by Vrnda devi and that were making Them rise from Their pleasure-bed by reciting different pleasant and unpleasant poems to Them. They are joyfully witnessed by Their friends as They are tired from Their loving pastimes, and They become afraid of the words of the old she-monkey Kakkhati, so They leave for Their individual homes, although They are still thirsty for more pastimes, and go to sleep. (10)


Seeing the end of the night, Vrnda ordered her birds to awaken Radhika and Madhusudana. Although they were eager to sing from the beginning, the parrots remained silent on Vrnda’s order. Now they joyfully surrounded the bower and started warbling. The she-parrots sang in the grapevines, the male parrots in the pomegranate trees, the cuckoos with their mates in the mango trees, the pigeons in the Pilu-trees, the peacocks in the Kadamba-trees, the bees buzzed in the vines and the cocks started cooing on the ground. (11-13)


Then a swarm of bees, greedy after honey, began to hum like Cupid's auspicious conch in the charming grove which was full of blooming vines and had a bed of lotus flowers. A swarm of joyful she-bees, intoxicated ~ hummed like the auspicious cymbals of Cupid to awaken Govinda. (14-15)


A flock of birds repeatedly sang ku-hu on the fifth note like the vina of Cupid. The cuckoos sat next to their mates in the mango-trees, intoxicated with divine love, relishing the soft mango-pits, sweetly singing with clear voices like Cupid's vina. (16-17)


I suppose the king of hyena's called Cupid frightened the does of the gopis' patience, moral conduct and fame. He became angry at the tigers of their proud pique and roars at them with the sound of the cooing pigeons. (18)


Whilst awakening Radha and Krishna in the morning, the peacocks cried out ke ka , as if asking who (ke) other than Krishna can lift the mountain of Radha's patience and what other lady (ka) than the very fortunate daughter of king Vrsabhanu, though they may be very beautiful, can chain down and control the maddened elephant Krishna. (19) The cocks also said ku ku ku kuu with short, long and intermediate vowels, like a brahmana boy reciting the Vedas. Then, although the birds were calling Them with their warbling, Radha and Krishna, unaware of Each other's wakeful state and upset at the prospect of breaking Their intimate embrace, pretended to sleep with Their eyes closed. One very learned sarika (female parrot) named Manjubhasini, who witnessed Radha and Krishna's entire night pastime, and who was very dear to Vrsabhanu's daughter, addressed Krishna, sitting in a golden cage.


gokula bandho jaya rasa sindho jagrhi talpam tyaja sasikalpam

prityanukulam shrita bhuja mulam bodhaya kantam ratibhara tantam


"0 Friend of Gokula! Glory to You, 0 ocean of spiritual flavours! Please arise from Your moonlike bed! Awaken Your lover, who is sheltered in Your arms and who is tired of loving pastimes!" (23)


O Lord of Vraja! The morning sun, which is so cruel to young girls by nature, is swiftly rising! Leave the bank of the Yamuna and quickly return to Your bedroom!" (24)


O Lotus-eyed friend (Radhike)! Now You enjoy Your sleep after so much endeavour in Your play (the previous night). There is no fault in that, 0 chaste girl, but look, the rising sun in the east colours the sky red, unable to tolerate Your happiness like Your rival gopi Candravali! 0 Lotus eyed friend! The night is over, the morning has come! The sun has risen! Arise now from Your nice bed of cool leaves!" (25-26)


Then Vicaksana, a male parrot who was very attached to Krishna, very calm by nature and expert in using words, recited a series of verses full of clear and sweet syllables that were suitable for awakening Madhava:


jaya jaya gokula mangala kanda vraja yuvali tati bhrngy aravinda

pratipada vardhita nandananda Shri govindacyu:a na(a sanda


"Glory glory to You, 0 source of auspiciousness of Gokula, lotus for the bee-like girls of Vraja! 0 Govinda, 0 infallible One! You increase Nanda's joy at every step and give joy to the surrendered souls!"


prabhatam ayatam asesa ghosa trsarta netra bhramararavinda

garistha bhuyistha visistha nistham

gostham pratisthasva davistam istham


"0 Lotus for the thirsty bee-like eyes of the people of Vraja! Look, morning has broken! Swiftly return to Your abode in the meadows, which is affectionately served by Your relatives and superiors! If not, You may be embarrassed by them!" (29)


"0 Lotus-eyed One! Look! The eastern horizon, seeing that the red morning sun wants to rise, looks like a ladylove with a bright red dress (as is worn by a wife whose body is smeared with kunkuma, as she expects her husband home). So give up Your sleep, 0 Krishna! Look! The moon has fled along with the night out of fear of the sun, so You also leave the bank of the Yamuna now and return home with Your innocent lady-love! 0 Krishna! The sun is rising, the Cakravaka-bird looks with one eye at the sunrays, that colour the eastern horizon red, and at her distant husband with the other eye. The owls, who are blind for the day, enter into their tree-hollows, becoming silent out of fear of the sounds of day. So give up Your sleep, 0 Krishna!" (30-32)


A sarika named Suksmadhi, who kept all the verses she learnt from Vrnda-devi around her neck (i.e. memorised them) as a necklace, whose sweet words were intoxicated by drinking the wine of love for Shri Radha and whose feathers stood on end out of that love, made her words dance on the stage of her tongue, just to awaken Her. She sang: "0 beloved of the prince of Vraja! Quickly return to Your abode, before people start travelling over the roads of Vraja! 0 Fairfaced girl! Look, the sun is swiftly rising! Leave Your bed and return to Your home in Vraja! 0 sakhi ! Give up Your drowsiness and wake up, wake up Your lover! Leave the kunja and return home! Don't give the people any chance to embarrass You! Working people are coming now for their scheduled work!" (33-37)


Although Radha and Krishna were both awake, They were still lying down in a tight embrace and although They were very restless, knowing that the night was over, they could not leave Their beautiful happy place. Shri Radhika placed Her back against Krishna's knees, Her breasts on His chest and Her face on His face, embracing Him around the neck and using His arms as Her pillow. Although She had awoken, She could not move Her body even slightly. Krishna became restless and got up from bed to return to Vraja, but He could not move His body even slightly because He was afraid to disturb Shri Radhika's tight embrace.(38-40)


Then a parrot named Daksa, who was the teacher of hundreds and thousands of other parrots and who was expert in describing Krishna's pastimes, came at the gate of the kunja and began to sing, with His wings flapping out of love for Krishna: "Krishna! Your mother has risen and is approaching Your bedroom, saying:


"0 Maidservants! Krishna is tired of wandering in the forest and is now enjoying His happy sleep, so churn the yoghurt quietly!", so quickly return to Your solitary bedroom! 0 Govinda, You must surely know that Your cows like Kalindi are all staring down the road, eager to see You. With raised ears and faces they moo to call their calves, being afflicted by the overweight of their unmilked udders! Being very eager to see You, Holy Paurnamasi finishes her morning duties and is coming to Your bedroom with Your mother to see You. Before she gets there, quickly get up from bed and return to Your room!" (41-44)


Hearing these words of the parrot, Shri Han quickly loosened Himself from Shri Radha's embrace and got up to return home. Before He did this, the sakhis awoke and met with Vrnda to witness Radha and Krishna 's morning pastimes through the window of the nikunja. (45-46)


Then a peahen named Sundari, who is very proud of her absorption in love for Radhika, left her husband in the Kadamba-tree and came down in the yard of the nikunja cottage. Han's pet peacock named Tandavik quickly descended from the Kadamba-tree, spread out his feathers and happily began to dance all around The doe named Rangini, leaving her husband at the foot of a mango-tree, joyfully and swiftly approached the kunja-gate to cast restless loving glances at Radha and Krishna's lotuslike faces. Han's pet deer Suranga, who gives great joy to Krishna, arrived in the kunja, leaving his mangotree, fixing the waves of his gaze on Krishna's face, his body freed from the grip of fatigue. (41-50)


Shri Krishna, having arisen, sat up in the bed and took slender Radha, who still pretended to sleep with closed eyes, on His lap with His arms to attentively behold Her sweetness. With a slight smile Acyuta drank the nectar of Her lover's face which was like a morning lotus. Her eyes restlessly rolled like wagtail birds and Her curly locks surrounded Her forehead like a swarm of black bees. With great love Krishna saw how Radhika stretched out Her arms, entwining the fingers of both Her hands. While yawning She slightly showed Her teeth, that shine like Kunda-flowers, and rubbed Her whole body. Seeing His exhausted lover in the morning, resting face up on His lap, in false anger, Her face slightly smiling and crying at the same time, with Her half-opened braid, Her crushed flower garland, Her broken necklace, Her eyes showing weariness externally, but joy inwardly, eagerly looking at Him, again and again rolling with them while She opened them, the moon of Vraja (Krishna) felt paramount joy (51-54)


Shri Radha, who was languid with loving fatigue, placed Her exhausted body on the body of Krishna, that was bluish like a glistening Tamala-tree. She could be compared with a steady streak of lightning resting in a fresh blue raincloud, or with a golden lotusflower. (55)


Seeing Han's face with its glistening Makara-earrings, His gentle sweet smiles, His eyes weary from Their pastimes, His curly hair locks smelling of lotus flowers and His lips cut by Her teeth and blackened by Her eyeliner, lotus-eyed Radhika became eager to enjoy with Him once more. (56)


Krishna also thought of resuming His love sports when He saw His lover's slightly smiling face, with Her eyes slightly contracted out of shyness from Their exchange of glances. He lifted His beloved's head which was lowered out of shyness with His left hand and Her chin with Hi right hand. He bent His neck and repeatedly kissed Her face which was beautified by Her smiling cheeks. Immersed in an ocean of bliss from the touch of Her lover's lips, Radha slightly closed Her eyes, moved Her hands and softly said: "No, no!", giving great joy to Her girlfriends. (57-59)


Those girlfriends, afraid of the unavoidable dawn, entered the grove which was filled with the sounds of many bees, joking and prodding eachother, joyfully smiling. (60)


Shri Radhika doubled Her lover's pleasure by showing Him Her restless eyes at seeing Her friends approaching unnoticed with their smiling faces. Then she got up from His thighs, covering Her body with Krishna's yellow cloth and looking shyly at Her friends. Then She sat down next to Her lover. (61-62)


The sakhis felt great joy over and over again from watching Their two dear Ones (Radha-Krishna) whose lips bore the cuts from Each other's bites, whose bodies were covered with nail marks, whose makeup had been washed away, clothes loosened, hair disheveled and garlands and necklaces broken. Their bed indicated all these different sports. The middle was colored with the deep vermilion from Acyuta's body, the sides were smeared with Radha's wonderful footlac and throughout were drops of eyeliner, sandal paste and vermilion. Radha's girlfriends saw the bed, which was made of wilted flowers, covered with various signs of pan, eyeliner and body-ointments, looking just like Shri Radha's body, which was marked with similar signs of Her lover's enjoyment. With their eyes they relished the restless lips of Han about to say some joking words and beautiful Radhika's lotuslike face, which was lowered out of shyness. (63-66)


Showing them His chest, Han, hoping to see a sweet medley of emotions on His beloved's face, said: "0 Friends, look! The star named Radha, seeing that Her lover the moon is leaving, fearfully marks hundreds of moonbeams on the canvas of the sky, desiring to see him!" (Double meaning: "Look! In the morning time Radhika, being afraid of Her lover's departure, marks His chest with hundreds of moonray-like nail marks, being eager to see Him!") Saying this, Krishna showed all the gopis His chest. (67-68)


When Krishna said this, Radhika, seeing Her girlfriends laughing, moved Her restless eyebrows, expanded Her spotless cheeks and shyly looked at Her lover with crooked glances as if striking Him. Being full of conjugal bliss, slightly closed, filled with tears, their borders colored red, restless out of shame and fear, crooked with envy and with blooming pupils from the great joy of beholding Her lover's face, Shri Radhika's eyes increased the bliss of Krishna's eyes unlimitedly (69-70)


Thus the sakhis drank the sweetness of Radha and Krishna's dawn sports. Both were immersed in an ocean of love-bliss. This made the sakhis forget their proper scheduled activities. (71) Seeing everyone thus immersed in the ocean of Radha and Krishna's nectarean pastimes, intoxicated by love, Vrnda became apprehensive and engaged her she-parrots, who knew her purpose, once more with a wink. (72) One such a parrot named Subha, who was expert in awakening Shrimati (Radhika), preventing Her shame before Her superiors, Her fear of Her husband and ridicule from the people, said: "0 Lotus-eyed friend! Your mother-in-law has arisen, saying: "Radhel Your husband will com here from the barn with lots of milk, being carried by his servants, so quickly get up and perform Your auspicious domestic rites!" Before she says that, You must leave this grove and slip back into Your bedroom unseen!" 0 dear friend! The moon, the Lord of the stars, having finished his sports with his stars at night, has now disappeared from the veil of the sky So you also leave the kunja now and go home, 0 innocent One! The sunrays color the lunar path golden, the people are coming on the main roads, so, 0 innocent One, quickly leave the kunja and go on the auspicious path home!" (73-76).


"0 Krishna! The morning has come and still You could not leave this innocent girl? Her mother-in-law, whose heart is covered with the mud of anxiety, mistrusts Her, Her bitter husband lives up to his name Abhimanyu (always angry) and Her dull sister-in-law is always rude and abuses Her!" (77)


Thus the Milk ocean of Radha's heart was stirred by the Mandara mountain of the sarika's words. With Her eyes wandering like baby-fish and saddened by the prospect of separation from Krishna, She got up from bed. (78)


Krishna too, seeing that the restless eyes of Vrsabhanu's daughter were agitated with fear, put on Her fine blue cloth and quickly got up from bed. Wearing Each other's clothes, Radha and Krishna held Each other's hands and fearfully came out of the kunja (79-80)


Krishna, holding Radhika's hand in His left hand and His flute in His right hand, left the kunja, looking like a cloud embraced by a wreath of lightning. (81)


One maidservant carried a golden pot, one carried a fan, another a golden wand, one a clear mirror, another one brought fine sandal paste and kunkuma, some girl brought a betel box inset with jewels and another one a sarika-parrot in a cage. Thus all these girls joyfully came out of the kunja-cottage. (82)


Slightly smiling, one sakhi came out of the kunja, taking an ivory box with vermilion which was studded with sapphires and gold and which looked like the breasts of a pregnant girl with her. One clever girl, collecting all the pearls from a necklace which was broken during an amorous embrace, bound them tightly in her arms ,and came out of the kunja-cottage. Shrimati Rati manjari quickly grabbed the earrings which had fallen from the bed, came out of the kunja and placed them back on the ears of Her Queen. Shrimati Rupa Manjari, a very dear friend of Shri Radha's, picked up Her blouse from the side of the bed, came out of the kunja and returned it to Her in private. The maidservant Guna manjari picked up Radha and Krishna's chewed pan and distributed it outside of the kunja. Manjulali took the garlands and the sandalwood pulp which had fallen from Radha and Krishna's bodies from the bed and distributed it to all the gopis outside. (83-88)


The sakhis began to giggle, covering their mouths with their hands, seeing that Krishna wore Radhika's cloud blue sari and that happy Radhika wore Krishna's yellow cloth. They restlessly looked all around, casting squinted glances at each other in great bliss. (89)


Radha and Krishna, seeing the signs of Their girlfriends' laughter, looked at Each other's faces with blooming eyes and became struck with wonder, merging in a swelling ocean of bliss. (90)


Because Radhika's fine dark blue sari was so much like Krishna's own complexion He was as if merged in it, unrecognisable. Similarly Radhika almost vanished in dear Han's bright yellow cloth, like milk inside a golden conchshell. (91)


Then Lalita, upset at seeing the rising sun spoiling the two lovers' playful nectarean enjoyment, angrily spoke the following abusive words: "0 Radhe! Look at this rising sun! Because of breaking the enjoyment of the best of women with their lovers, he lost both his legs through leprosy. Still he will not give up. The saying 'it is difficult to give up one's nature' is certainly true!" (92-93)


Casting Her glance, reddened by anger at the breaking of Her love-happiness, at the sky reddening by the sunrise, King Vrsabhanu's daughter smiled because of Lalita's words and spoke the following sweet soft words: "The sun sets and, crossing, even without legs, the sky in half a moment, rises again. If the Creator had given him legs, there would have been no night at all, despite the sun's course!" (94-95)


Seeing the charming beauty of the morning-time and being intoxicated with joy over drinking Radhika's ambrosial words, Krishna forgot to return to the village and told the Queen of His heart: "Dearest One! Look, the eastern direction (the wife of the sun) seeing the sun rising in the morning, his body reddened by touching the other directions (directions are female) turned red out of envy, like a mistress who sees her lover approaching at dawn with the sign of love-enjoyment of another lady on his body!" (96-97) Look, 0 intoxicated girl! This lotus flower says to the water lily: "0 Lily! Look, even though he is the destroyer of the darkness of all sins and is most peaceful, your lover the moon has fallen from the sky after touching the morningred (Alternate reading: This brahmana, who is twice-born like the moon, fell from his caste after drinking Varuni-wine). Hearing these words from the lotus flower, who is exclusively dependent on the now rising sun, and very happy through its association (its warm rays), the water lily becomes shy and covers her face with her petals in the morning. (98) Seeing darkness destroyed by the moon at nighttime, the cuckoos who are also black, called ku huu , disturbed by fear that they would similarly perish. They called out for a dark moon night when the sun is devoured by the eclipse along with the moon. (99)


The forest is full of joy because of uniting with her lover the spring. It is as if the she-pigeon shrieks slightly because of love-excitement. (100)


"0 Moon faced girl! Look! Just when the female bee is trying to crawl out of the slowly opening lotus petals in which she was captured at night, she is followed by a bee who was colored yellow from his playing with the pollen of the water lilies." (101)


"Afraid that her lover may come, a Cakravaki-bird quickly kisses a red Kokanada-lotus made twice as red by the rays of morning glory" (102)


"0 Sweet-voiced girl! Seeing Us, this swan named Kalasvana leaves his beloved, who is eager for love play and joyfully comes upon the Yamuna-bank, spreading out his wings!" (103)


0        Lotus faced girl! Look! The goose named Tundakeri leaves her husband the swan holding a lotus stem which was left over by her husband in her beak, making sweet sounds while staring at Your lotus face. Thus she follows her lover." (104) Note: According to Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Kalasvana is Krishna's pet swan and Tundakeri is Shri Radhika's pet goose.


"Look! The wind, moving through the sandal trees, carrying the fragrance of lotus flowers, teaches the vines, who are like his young maiden pupils, how to dance, blows around the water, taking away the fatigue and perspiration of the best of women and her lover!" (105)


Seeing that Radha and Krishna, because of Their very sweet conversation, forgot to return home, Vrndadevi became upset, more so since all the gopis were also intoxicated with love and were just smiling affectionately (not doing anything). Then an old she-monkey named Kakkhati, who was sitting in a tree, began to recite verses on Vrnda's indication, knowing her time had come. She said: "Daybreak comes, dressed in red cloth like a female ascetic with matted locks (jatila), praised by virtuous men, her rays of sunshine rising (in the sky)." (Alternate reading: Jatila, Radha's mother-in-law, who wears red cloth and who is praised by the quarrelsome, performs her austere morning-ablutions nearby, spreading her cloth to dry in the sun). (107-108)


Radha and Krishna, who are the very forms of Vraja's welfare, became upset with fear at the hearing of Jatila's name and They came out of the kunja, despite being full of unfulfilled desires. Seeing Them running down separate paths to Their individual homes in great fear, pulling up Their loosened clothes, hairs and garlands, trembling out of fear from hearing Jatila's name, the sakhis also became scared and started running here and there. (109-110)


Krishna turned His neck here and there, looking around, thinking that Candravali's friends were on His left (not wanting to be seen with Radhika by Her rivals), His superiors in Vraja before Him, Jatila and Kutila coming up behind Him and His beloved going home towards the south, being very eager to see Her still. Then lsvari (Radhika), fearing that Jatila followed Her and being afflicted by the weight of Her breasts and thighs, holding Her loosened garments and hair with both Her hands, ran back to Vraja, sometimes fast and sometimes more slowly. (112)


Shri Rupa Manjari, wanting to bring Radhika safely home, seated Her in the chariot of her own mind and then followed Her, covering the path with the curtain of her eyes, that were ash grey and flickering because of her fear and her attachment (to Radhika). (113)


Warding off outsiders with the arrows of her restless glances shot in all directions, Rati Manjari also followed Radhika, her heart beating with fear, leading the way like a phalanx of soldiers. (114)


Fearfully Radha and Krishna stepped across Their own courtyards, their restless eyes cast on the doors of Their elders. Then They fearlessly entered into Their individual rooms and lay down in Their own beds, Their minds afflicted with fatigue. (115)


The very expert sakhis who nourish the Lord's pastimes and whose movements cannot be traced, returned to their individual homes just like the Vedas who, at the time of the universal dissolution, enter back into the Lord when Acyuta, having finished His enjoyment, goes to sleep in His own abode. (116)


In the great poem Govinda Lilamrta this was the first chapter named: Pastimes in the kunja at the end of night. This was the result of service to Shri Rupa Gosvami, who is like a honeybee at Shri Chaitanya's feet, the blessings of Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, the association of Shri Jiva Gosvami and the inspiration of Shrila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami.