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Nisanta Lila Pastimes at Dawn
(3:36 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.)
Shri Radha and Shri Krishna competed with each other in erotic cleverness, but Their fight ended when fatigue invited Nidra devi, the goddess of sleep, bringing her to Them. Their maidservants, who were also sleeping, were accustomed to get up in time to do their service. Have they now automatically awoken, knowing that the night is over? Getting up from bed, these maidservants looked around anxiously. Seeing that the best of lovers (Radha and Krishna) were still sleeping in solitude, they quietly sat up in their beds on the courtyard of the nikunja. They yawned and jokingly inquired from each other about what had happened. With their bee-like eyes rolling because of staying up late at night, they relished the vision of Hari's love signs on their breasts.
Some of these maidservants then began to perform their scheduled service at daybreak, stringing flowers and preparing betel leaves. They smelled the fragrance of Radha and Krishna's bodies, which were bound together by Cupid. With their lotus-like faces they looked through slits in the wall of the grove-cottage and saw how Radha and Krishna were embraced by the goddess of sleep, due to being tired from Their clever, erotic dance. They saw that the jeweled lamps that were standing here and there in the kunja made Krishna shine like a blue lotus flower and made Shri Radhika look like a golden campaka flower, even though Their effulgent forms were no longer covered by garlands or ornaments.
One sakhi (maidservant) told another, "Sakhi, Radha and Krishna's sakhis don't know how to dress and decorate Them! Therefore, Their sakhi Srngaradhu (over ornamentation personified) became angry, threw away Their clothes and ornaments and decorated Them with thousands of nail marks, making Them look even more beautiful. Their complexions complement each other through Their embrace. Golden Radhika is dressed by Krishna's blue complexion, and blue Krishna is dressed by Radhika's golden complexion. To avoid repetition of this pattern, the incorporal god Cupid removed Their blue and golden garments. When Cupid conquered the kingdom of Shri Radhika's body, shyness became the protectress of the land, taking her position in Radhika's head, eyes and breasts. Alas! Has she now been exiled? If bashfulness cannot stay in any secret place in Shri Radhika's body, she must have made some offense. Or maybe she has appeared as Radhika's auspicious glances to give joy to our eyes? Or maybe bashfulness disappeared, handing the kingdom over to Cupid? By doing this she may get incomparable opulence (i.e. after awakening, Radhika may become even more shy.) Is the steady Krishna-cloud showering the restless Radha-lightning with sweet rasa? How amazing! The Lord rewards the maidservants even before they've served Him!"
Elsewhere, some maidservants prepared betel leaves, strung flower garlands and made different kinds of ointments. They placed aguru frankincense in their trays and spent some time with other scheduled services. Then, a soft, cool breeze blew at the end of the night for the pleasure of the Lord and Lady of the nikunja. One maidservant said, "Sakhi, I understand that the sleep of this soft breeze is also broken, and because of its drowsiness it blows only softly. This soft Malayan breeze pleases all the ten directions, filling them with the fragrances of the blooming flowers of the vines and trees, which it kisses and carries around at the end of night, waking up the sleeping honeybees as it enters their nostrils."
Hearing the nice humming of the bees, Vrindadevi woke up, looked around everywhere and then engaged her pet birds in awakening her Lord and Lady. On Vrinda's order the roosters woke up, craned their necks and flapped their wings. They crowed about five or six times, awakening Shri Radhika, who became very disturbed. Seeing that the roosters stopped Her from embracing Krishna, Shri Radhika angrily cursed them saying, "Hey roosters, go crow in hell! Why are you crowing here?" Shri Radhika slightly slackened Her embrace of Shri Krishna's chest. Hearing that the roosters had become silent, She thought that they had gone to hell because of Her curse. Then, She tightened Her embrace, and fell asleep again. When the tittibhas and other birds began to sing, Shri Radhika, whose sleep was disturbed again, said, "Hey! Excuse Me! Let me sleep a little longer!" And She stretched out, slightly. Then, all the waterbirds like the kadambas, karandavas, swans and cranes and all the land birds like the pigeons, saris, sukas, peacocks and cuckoos awoke and began to sing nectarean songs about Krishna.
Radha and Krishna awoke simultaneously and stretched out Their bodies, feeling afflicted by separation from each other's embrace. While stretching, Shri Radhika's body looked like a bow of campaka flowers and Krishna's body resembled a bow of blue lotus flowers. Then, They blissfully embraced each other again, tightly. Their maidservants understood that Radha and Krishna had woken up, and they fearlessly yet silently opened the door of the kunja cottage, their anklebells jingling with each charming footstep, as they entered the cottage. Hearing Her maidservants' softly jingling anklebells, Shri Radhika wanted to get up from bed, but She was unable to do so, being tightly held by Krishna's vine-like arms. So, She remained lying in His chest, unable to move.
Just as Sukadeva Goswami expertly awakens the world from maya by glorifying the Lord in an attractive way (i.e. explaining the Bhagavata Purana), similarly the (male) suka-parrots, Daksa and Vicaksana, woke the Lord up at Vrinda's request.
First Daksa sang, "You who are expert in unlimited erotic games! You who are showering nectar on the gopis' eyes! O mad elephant, who swims in the love-river of His beloved One! O You who inundates all the worlds in His own sweetness! O, ocean of rasa! Are you sleeping, immersed in the bliss of tasting your lover's lips? That's not improper; but the night, who is called Ksanada (giver of only a moment of pleasure), and who facilitates Your love festival, has now ended."
Then, Vicaksana sang, "O, Lord! give up Your sleep; morning has broken. Be clever now and conceal Your desires. If not, then it will be seen by others. Slacken Your embrace of Your beloved and return to Vraja. Glory to You, joy of Vraja! O, moon of the milk ocean of King Nanda's heart! O, flower on the vine of mother Yasoda's piety! Go home, and make Your friends happy."
Then, the (female) sarika-parrots, Subha and Suksmadi called Shri Radhika. "Glory to You, my queen! Laxmi, the goddess of fortune, and the most beautiful women in the world desire the beauty of Your face and Your pastimes. You became intoxicated by drinking the honey of Your lover's lotus face, and now You are sleeping? That is not proper at this time of the morning. Therefore, I'm awakening You. Don't delay any more. Wake up! Follow the etiquette. Don't embarrass Yourself! Go Home! Who will teach You some good manners? You are the siksa guru in good manners (in surrender to Krishna) for all the gopis!"
Hearing this, the loving Couple sat up in bed, looking as beautiful as all that is beautiful in the three worlds. Their anklebells and waistbells jingled sweetly, and the splendor of their bodies shone brightly. Their faces were surrounded by disheveled locks of hair, illuminated by the splendor of Their earrings and necklaces. Their lotus-like hands moved here and there, groping for Their clothes, which had fallen off. For some time the two lovers hung against each other, Their eyes rolling from fatigue and Their hair disheveled. They sat facing each other, supporting Their bodily weight on each other's shoulders. They raised Their mouths as They yawned and stretched out Their bodies. It looked as if Their lotus-like faces were circumambulating each other. With the rays of the lamps of Their pearl-like teeth They performed the arati (ceremony) of each other's faces, and with the tongue-like corners of Their beautiful, slightly opened eyes They relished each other's sweetness. Then again They experienced the joy of sleep for a while. With Their beautiful, dizzy faces gazing at each other, They were lying in a tight embrace, and Their bodies rolled off the uneven bed of flowers. Neither the bed nor Nidradevi could leave Radha and Krishna, because both were overcome by feelings of separation. Alas, still the very hard hearted birds began to sing in the morning, separating Radha and Krishna from each other.