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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami > Govinda Lilamrta 2 > Chapter 6

Chapter 6

"Shri Krishna plays in the forest"



When Hari looked back over His shoulder as He entered the forest, He saw that the Vrajavasis had stopped following Him. This made Him bloom of joy. Being loosened from the chain of the Vrajavasis glances, Krishna jumped forward into the forest, free and restless as a mad elephant. Krishna was like a picture that was released from the bondage of the Vrajavasis' eyes by the forest, who is like a painter through whom many kinds of His wonderful plays are going to appear in picture, to create a festival of joy to the eyes. Like newly released baby-elephants. the cowherd boys were dancing, singing, laughing, leaping, feeling ecstatic, stumbling over each other, joking and playing with each other. They imitated all of Krishna's activities, like how He peacefully stands in front of His mother, but restlessly looks at the girls, and how His voice can falter. Some of the boys went between the trees and vines, imitating the restless glances an slight smiles of the gopis through their open veils. Others walked on hands and feet, imitating the cows, rolling on the ground with bent neck and raised ears. Some refuted the meaning of Krishna's words like learned debaters, others were fighting each other with sticks or with their arms, some were throwing different weapons at each other, others showed their skills in balancing on a stick, some were dancing, laughing or pleasing Acyuta with some service. (1-8)


Seeing Krishna arriving in Vrndavana, Vrnda addressed all the mobile and immobile forest creatures , that were suffering separation from Him: "0 Friend the forest! Give up your dizziness of separation! Madhava (Krishna, or the spring season) has come! Rejoice quickly! Remind Krishna of your Queen Radha by showing your attributes and make your beauty usefull by facilitating Radha and Krishna's play! 0 Vines, wake up. 0 trees, blossom! 0 deer, play around! 0 Cuckoos! Sing with the bees! 0 Peacocks! Dance happily! 0 Parrots! Recite sweet verses! 0 mobile and immobile creatures! Rejoice, because your dearmost Krishna has come to make you happy." (9-Il)


The cloudlike Krishna, seeing His dear forest had fainted out of separation from Him, began to shower it with the nectar of His flute-song to bring it back to life and to announce His arrival. When the forest thus became sprinkled with the nectar of Krishna's flute sound, fanned by the wind of His bodily movements and awakened loudly by Shri Vrnda, the forest bloomed up at once. All the mobile creatures became stunned and the immobile creatures moved from the appearance of the nectarean flute sound and the forest became moved with sattvika (existential) transformations of ecstasy. The immobile creatures started shivering, the mobile creatures became stunned, the stones melted, the flowers lost their colours and cried tears of honey, the voices of the birds were choked and the vines' sprouts formed goose pimples. In this way the Vrndavana-forest showed all the eight sattvika ecstatic transformations. (12-15)


It was as if the goddess of fortune and beauty had come to see Krishna when the forest became adorned by Krishna's entry and the arrival of springtime. The forest became filled with joyful birds singing in the fifth note and sweetly buzzing bees, ripe juicy fruits, blooming lotus flowers and vines that were like dancing girls taught how to dance by their teacher the wind. Thus the forest pleased all of Hari's senses. The trees honoured Hari at His arrival, smiling with their flowers, singing with their bees, dancing with their sprouts, quenching His thirst with their honey and stilling His hunger with their fruits. The vines extended their service with their singing bees, that were kissing their flowers, and with their dancing sprouts, that covered their smiling flowers as a dress. (16-19)


When Hari saw the restless eyes of the does that were grazing with their bucks, coming close to Him, being attracted by the sound of His flute, the remembrance of Radha's glance appeared in His mind. This gave pain to His heart. (20)


When the peahens saw Krishna they approached Him and began to dance, intoxicated wih love for Him. Seeing their tails, Murari remembered Radha's glistening braid, as it is loosened after Their love play (21)


The sounds of intoxicated Cataki-birds in a lake nearby reminded Krishna of Rdha's bangles, the warbling of the swans of Her waist bells and the songs of the cranes in that lake of Her ankle bells. Thus He was deluded into thinking that His beloved had come. Staring at the restless honeybees on the slightly blooming, nicely fragrant lotus flowers, Krishna thought that it was His beloved's smiling fragrant lotus face with Her sidelong glances. This made Him think that She had come. (22-23)


Looking all around Him, Krishna became thirsty from seeing the ripe Rucaka's, pomegranates, Bael fruits and oranges. He joyfully imagined them to be the beautiful breasts on Shri Radhika's body (24)


Wherever Hari cast His glance, He saw reminders of Radhika's body. This is not so amazing, for Vrndavana had taken Her form just for His pleasure. (25)


Seeing all these reminders, Hari could not control His mind, that was spinning like a Kasa-flower, anymore. He became overwhelmed with love by seeing that all the mobile and immobile creatures of Vrndavana became overwhelmed with love from seeing Him. (26-27) 


Hari asked the forest-creatures: "0 Friends the vines! Are you well? 0 trees! You are all My friends! Is everything fine? 0 does and bucks! Is everything all right.? 0 birds! Is all auspicious? 0 bees! Is everything all right? 0 All you mobile and immobile beings! Are you happy?" (28)


Now Shri Krishna came to a valley of Govardhana Hill to graze His hungry cows, playing with His intimate friends to keep His mind from running towards His beloved. But despite playing His world-famous, self-invented pastimes and despite the beauty of the forest, Hari was unable to stop His mind,  which was burning with intense feelings of separation, from running towards Radha. (29-30)


When Krishna saw that His friends were very tired and hungry of playing and wrestling, He mercifully wanted them to eat. Then Dhanistha came with her maidservants with dishes that were fried in ghee by Lalita and others in the morning and that were handed to her by mother Yasoda along with savouries. Seeing her, Hari became very happy and said: "0 Dhanisthe! Are My parents happy? Tell Me, have they eaten to their satisfaction after their bath and puja?" (31-33)


Dhanistha said: "Your parents have eaten and done their puja for Your welfare, they fed the brahmanas and their families and have given them proper donations. Then they sent me to You with these dishes." (34)


The vine of Hari's mind was eager to climb into the tree of Radha's association and had now found Dhanistha as her best support. (35)


Krishna gathered His cows, that were wandering here and there, with the sound of His flute and brought them to Manasi Ganga with the cowherd boys to make them drink. Then he made all the cows and cowherd boys drink nice cool and clear water. He Himself also drank and spent a lot of time bathing and playing in the water. Coming back on the shore, Krishna was surrounded by His friends, and laughingly He fed them all savouries with mangoes, condensed milk and churned yoghurt, personally sitting with them and eating along with them. (38)


He said: "0 Friends! Go ahead herding the cows with Balarama for a while, I will wander around in the forest a little with Subala and Madhumangala to enjoy the beauty of the springtime-forest." (39)


Dhanistha told her maidservants: "0 Girls! I am going ahead to pick flowers for Narayana-puja! Quickly go ahead with these eating-plates!" (40)


Then Vrnda appeared with two fragrant Campaka-flowers, fit for ornamentation, and placed them in Krishna's hand. Seeing these two golden flowers, Hari remembered the luster of His beloved, Madhumangala took these flowers and stuck them on Krishna's ears. (42)


Krishna considered the six martial arts of conquering the great kingdom of Radha's bodily association (making friends, scattering the enemies, surrounding the city, performing battle, making peace and riding out against the enemies), consulting experts like Vrnda, Dhanistha, Subala and Madhumangala. He held Madhumangala's hand with His left hand and went to Kusuma Sarovara with Vrnda, Dhanistha and Subala. When He saw the kunjas there with their blooming vines and trees, the noisy land and water birds and the beauty of Kusum Sarovara, Krishna became eager to meet Radha, for which He consulted His friends. (43-45)


He said: "If I send Vrnda, Subala or Madhumangala to Her house, Jatila will become suspicious and quarrel with them, or lock Radha inside the house! If I attract Her by playing My Muraliflute, all the other gopis will also come, and they will quarrell with eachother in envy and pride and My romantic pastimes cannot take place! Therefore, 0 Dhanisthe! Go to Kundalata, who is very much trusted by Jatila. Ask her to bring Radha here, for she is able to cheat Jatila!" (46-48)


Vrnda said: "Well spoken, but if one of Radha's friends comes here for picking flowers, we can have news about Radha from her first!" (49)


Then Tulasi and her friend came. They became very happy to see Vrnda , Dhanistha, Subala and Madhumangala discussing Radha's meeting with Krishna. (50)


Knowing that Tulasi does not leave Radha even in her dreams, everyone became happy, thinking that Radha had come along with her; so along with Madhava they all cast their eyes down the path that she came on. Tulasi opened her basket, handed Madhumangala the garland and Subala the betel leaves from Radha. Looking at the garland, that had become more fragrant from the touch of Radha's hand, that showed the wonderful skill or Her craftsmanship and that attracted the honeybees, Hari became as if intoxicated. He began to shiver of joy when the vaijayanti-garland, that Shri Madhumangala laughingly hung around His neck, touched Him, because it made Him enjoy the bliss of the touch of Radha's hand. (51-54)


Mukunda came to the kunja, thinking of His beloved, who was hiding there for fun. Eager to see Her, He asked Tulasi: "Sakhi! Is your mistress (Radhika) well?" Tulasi said: "She is fine!" Krishna: "Where is She?" Tulasi: "She's at home!" Krishna: "Won't She come out to the forest?" Tulasi: "Her elders told Her not to!" Krishna: "What is She doing?" Tulasi: "She was churning water in the yoghurt-pot!" Krishna: "Then what happened?" Tulasi: "She was rebuked and locked inside the house!" Krishna: "Then let Vrnda go there and deceive Jatila!" Tulasi: "Jatila cannot be deceived!" Krishna: "Alas! Curses on Fate!" Krishna, taking Tulasi's words seriously, became sad and wounded by Cupid, knowing that Radha is always hard to obtain. (55-S7)


Seeing Krishna so upset, Tulasi herself also became upset. Being rebuked by Vrnda's and Dhanistha's glances, she carefully told Him: "0 Joy of Vraja! Don't be sad! Everything is well! Your beloved has come! I was just joking!" (58-59)


Hearing that Radha had come, the prince of Vraja became restless and eager to see Her. Taking the two Campaka-flowers from His ears and placing them in Tulasi's hands, He told her: "Where is She, where is She? Why is She hiding? Why is She angry? I have not done anything wrong (going to other girls or so)! If you say that She's just joking, then I say that that is improper! 0! 0! Quickly show Me My Beloved!" (60-61)


Tulasi, who knew the proper time and place, quickly wanted to bring Radha to Hari, who was anxious to see Her and told Him: "0 Lotus-eyed One! Your lover; who is eager to see Your face, was sent out by Jatila to worship the sun with Kundavalli! She is coming now, sending me ahead to get news from You. I will bring Her to any playground You tell me!" (62-63)


Hearing these words, Hari became enthusiastic and with love He took the gunja-string from His neck and gave it to Tulasi as a reward. (64)


With her eyes, Vrnda gave a wink to Krishna, indicating the trysting-kunja and told Tulasi; "Quickly bring Radhika to the grove named Kandarpa Keli Sukhada (giver of joy in conjugal plays) on the bank of Radhakunda! 0 Sakhi ! I will go with you to Radhakunda to collect the paraphernalia for the upcoming pastimes! Hurry up! I'm very eager to go!" (65-66)


Then Candravali's girlfriend Saibya came, thinking to lure Krishna into Candravali's kunja. When she hung Candravali's gunja-string around Krishna's neck, she became painfully disturbed to see Vrnda and Tulasi with Him. Seeing Krishna speaking with Radha's dear friends, Saibya became sad, thinking that Radha had come, so artificially she told Tulasi: "Today Candravali will hold a festival for Durga's worship and she has sent me here to invite Radha! I looked for Her everywhere, in the forest and in Her home, but I did not find Her anywhere! Fortunately I met you now, Tulasi! Tell me, where is your friend?" (67-70)


Tulasi could understand Saibya's deceitfulness and thought: "One should deceive a deceiver', so she slyly told Saibya: "Radha was invited by Syama-sakhi today to attend a festival for the worship of Ambika-devi! Having come there, She was entrusted with all the responsibilities for the festival's execution, along with all of Her girlfriends. Lalita sent me here to get Vrnda to bring fruits, flowers and garlands. I will take her there just now!" (71-73)


Thus deceiving Saibya with her clever words, Tulasi, showing apparent indifference towards Madhava, left with Vrnda and Dhanistha. Krishna also feigned indifference towards Tulasi and hinted with curved glances to Saibya to wait because she wanted to tell her something. He said: "0 Saibye! Don't say anything right now! Let Tulasi go first, and then tell Me how Your friend Candravali is! Where is My dearest Candravali, and what is she doing?" (74-76)


Saibya happily replied: "0 Krishna! Although Candravali is locked in her louse by her mother-in-law, I'm carefully bringing her here now on the pretext of going out to worship Durga! I have come here to look for You after leaving Candravali, who is hankering for Your company, with Padma near Sakhisthali (a village near Govardhana-town now named Sakhikhara)." (77-78)



Hari was thoughtful within, but showed joy externally, being completely present at mind. lust to keep Saibya happy for the time, He falsely told her: "Sakhi ! I have become eager to see Candravali! I will be so fortunate if you can bring her to Gauri turtha, where there is no disturbance! Keep her at Gauri tirtha as long as I am keeping My cows in the Pramada Radha-forest (Paramadali, where I feel great joy because of Radha) with My cowherd boyfriends!" (79-81)


Madhumangala hinted to Krishna: "Friend! Now follow the order of the king of Vraja, that was relayed by Dhanistha!" Hearing this, Krishna replied: "Yes, revered Madhumangala! My father has secretly heard from Vasudeva's messenger that Kamsa will send his thiefs to Vrndavana to steal our cows! Dhanistha brought the order of My father that all the cowherd boys should be very careful! So, My dear Saibye, I may be a little late because I have to solve these problems, but don't worry! I will surely come soon!" (82-85)


After thus deceiving Saibya, Murari returned to His cows and cowherd boys and Saibya happily went to see Candravali. (86)


In the poem Govinda Lilamrta, which was the result of service to Shri Rupa Gosvami, who is like a honeybee at the lotusfeet of Shri Chaitanya, the encouragement of Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami and the blessings of Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, this was the sixth chapter; dealing with the forenoon pastimes.