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Shri Radhika's Bath, Dressing and Ornamentation
Pratah Lila cont. (6:00 a.m. - 8:24 a.m.)
After this, the maidservants came before Shri Radhika's jeweled sofa with golden pitchers in their hands, filled with water which was cool in the summer and warm in the winter, to quickly wash Her beautiful mouth. One maidervant poured water from her jug into her palm. As Shri Radhika flushed Her closed mouth, moving the water back and forth from Her palate to Her teeth, Her cheeks were slightly puffed up. With a bit of noise, She privately spat the water out. After this, one maidservant removed Shri Radhika's locks from Her shoulders with the fingers of her left hand, placing them on Her head, and began to wash Her naturally smooth forehead, cheeks and eyes, making them shine unlimitedly. With soft closed hands, one faireyed maiden brushed Shri Radhika's teeth with the very beautiful twig of a desire tree. At that time her handstring swung and her bangles remained silent, but her earrings swung faster. While Shri Radhika was washed like this, Her teeth looked beautiful and charming like raindrops.
Another fair maiden cleaned Shri Radhika's tongue with a tongue scraper which was shaped like a bow. She held the scraper with her tender thumbs and indexfingers and scraped Radhika's youthful, sproutlike tongue. Shri Radhika was very pleased with that. Her lowered head that was covered with Her curly locks and beautified by Her smile, shivered. After Shri Radhika's moonlike face was thus repeatedly washed inside and out, one sakhi washed Her hands and dried the water drops from Her face with a soft towel. One maidservant held a jeweled mirror in front of Radhika's face to show Her that all the pan spots had been washed from Her teeth. Once again, Radhika's face was beautified with a nectarean smile as She beheld Her own face, that showed all the signs of Her Priyatama's love festival, in the mirror.
The sakhis came there in great bliss and removed all the unnecessary ornaments from Radhika's limbs, making Her look even more beautiful with the signs of the removed ornaments on Her body, like an ornament free from spots. Then, Shri Radhika put on a white bathing dress, looking around anxiously to see if anybody was watching. She looked like a steady streak of lightning surrounded by the beautiful orb of the moon. Then again, She sat on a soft seat, surrounded by Her girlfriends that are dedicated to Her with causeless love and that are expert in serving Her, like a beautiful moon surrounded by its orb.
Rati Manjari took Radhika's veil off and opened Her braid, displaying Her wonderful bunch of hair. She unravelled this hair with her fingers and sprinkled it with fragrant oil, gently pulling it from top to bottom and making it smoother by hitting it softly with the side of her hand. She softly massaged Radhika's head with her bud-like hands that carried jingling bangles. Radhika's eyes opened slightly and Her body shivered from erotic bliss. When she combed Radhika's hair and bound it up, it looked as if the dense darkness of this hair blocked the shining of Her moon-like face, so she angrily punished the hair for this with the weapon of her jeweled comb.
The maidservants secretly smiled when they saw the marks of Krishna's nails and teeth on Radhika's breasts while they opened the pots with oils for sprinkling Her breasts, arms, etc. Seeing this, Radhika's eyes became startled and She shyly lowered Her head. Then one very clever maidservant prepared an ointment of kunkuma, camphor, lotus pollen and sandal mixed with rosewater. Another maidservant anointed Radhika's body, that looked like the lightning showered by a raincloud of nectarean luster, with this unguent, expertly checking with her eyes if her service was done well. Another maidservanr massaged Radhika's hair with the palms of her hands, using myrobalan shampoo mixed with other fragrant substances. With her calm movements, she made this hair very smooth and beautiful.
Shri Radhika than sat down on a crystal bathing dais in front of her, being surrounded by Her attendants and maidservants. When She climbed onto this dais with the elegant steps of an elephant, Her own luster colored the dais golden. Shri Radhika's buttocks, that were covered by a white cloth, looked like a waterfall through the transparent crystal jug, attaining oneness in color with it, but changing in form as the jug came close to Her body. When these blissful maidens rubbed the drops of water from Radhika's body after the shower, it looked as if pearls were wiped from a steady streak of lightning by a blue, atumnal cloud.
When one maidservant tied Radhika's hair in a cloth to squeeze out the water, it looked as if the Yamuna was covered by the Ganga, but still defeating the Ganga by coming out from inside of it, extending her luster. This maidservant softly beat Radhika's hair with this towel to make the water drip out. It was as if dense darkness was crying, being swallowed by the moonbeams that are white like lotus stems.
Shri Radhika then dressed in a fine gown from her waist down, dropping Her bathing dress. Mother Earth accepted that dress and attained its fragrance, thinking, " Fragrance is my quality and fair eyed Radhika's bathing dress has given me that quality with all the fragrant oils that touched it during Her bath!" Shri Radhika, the jewel of all ladies, whose body was slightly bent and whose eyes were startled, removed the hairs from Her beautiful face with Her fingers, that looked like the buds of golden campaka flowers. Shri Radhika held he towel with both Her hands, striking Her freshly washed locks with it, filling the sky with drops of water that flew here and there. This looked very beautiful. It looked as if the branches of a steady lightning vine had made friends with the spotless moonglow to strike the dense darkness, making it splendid and bent.
Then, Shri Radhika was dressed in a beautiful blouse tied with crimson strings hanging down Her breasts, and with a petticoat with pictures on it, that hung down to Her heels. On top of that She was dressed in a new cloud blue sari with golden spots on it, seeing which, Muknda's eyes would be and caught and obstructed. The remaining water dripped from Svamini's hair, making the aguru smoke from it ascend to heaven. Who does not take part in the constant service of great souls? (Those who have no guru can still relish the service of the Lord, who is the aggregate of all gurus, and relishing the nectar of such service, ascend to heaven, Vaikuntha)
The moonfaced Radhika, being surrounded by the soldiers of Her bright luster sat down on Her golden chair and the expert Sudevi came up to Her, placed her left hand on the top of Her head and combed Her hair softly with a comb she held in her right hand. When she combed, she opened her left hand, otherwise she contracted it. I was as if the stream of the Yamuna was dragged by a golden net, falling on the sometimes blossoming, sometimes closed lotus flower of Her face, swallowing it. With a beautiful comb Sudevi made the part in Radhika's hair above Her forehead. In this way Her two braids were divided by a narrow path that was praised by Cupid.The remembrance of this part destroys all sinful reactions. Is it sweetness personified, or is it the Ganga where the elephant of Hari's heart can play? Or is it the triple pathway where the boats of Her friends' eyes can cross the river?
Lalita stood in front of Radhika, placing a beautiful crestjewel on Her shining head, that rose like the sun on the dense darkness of Her hair, that is very dear to Him. All around this crestjewel were strings of new pearls that touched the part. It looked as if the stars got cold and displeased from serving the moon and therefore began to serve the sun, to get some warmth. Tha place where the part comes out on the forehead is named latatika. The pearls that were placed on this part looked like Cupid's bow and kissed Radhika's curly locks. It looked as if the moss on a lake of nectar was kissed by foam. Then, Sudevi joined Radhika's hair with the pearl string of Her crestjewel and lalatika and made Her braid, that fell down to Her thighs, decorating it with different sweet flowers that came out here and there. It looked as if the moon threw out all its spots after performing penances and had attained the position of Shri Radhika's spotless moon-like face. The discarded spots hung down as Her braid, that touched Her feet out of gratitude. At the end of this braid, Sudevi hung a lotus flower made of various wonderful diamonds, pearls ang gold on a thin silken string. This looked like the desire vine of Hari's desires in the form of the fibrous root of a Banyan tree with a very beautiful jeweled ribbon at the end, brought there by Cupid after he conquered the abode of Indra.
Lalita jokingly told Sudevi, "O Sudevi, are you Bandhada devi ('Maya devi, who binds the illusioned souls to the material world' or 'the goddess who binds the braid') who firmly binds all the balas ('living beings' or 'Radhika's hairs')? Only Hari can give moksha ('liberation to the living beings' or 'only He can open Radhika's braid') whenever He feels like it!" After saying this, Lalita placed her left hand on the top of fawn-like Radhika's head, slightly lifting Her head, and holding a cup of musk in her right hand. With a pencil, she mixed that musk with aguru and made a circle on Radhika's forehead with this mixture. In the middle of this circle she drew an eight petalled lotus with sindura and in that circle she painted Radhika's sweet tilaka with sandalwood paste mixed with camphor. Cupid defeated Lord Siva and took the moon from his forehead, using it to make the half moon-crest on Shri Radhika's forehead.
Shri Radhika's forehead looked like a golden slab covered by Her curly locks that were like magic syllables written on that slab, and was beautified by the multicolored smara yantra (Cupid's instrument) tilaka that controls and gladdens Her Priyatama. Then Lalita applied eyeliner mixed with camphor on Radhika's eyes from a cup. How can any poet's tongue relish (lick) the sweetness of Radhika's curved eyelids then? Seeing Radhika's lotus-like eyes with eyeliner on, it seems that even the sun does not shine so brightly! The enemy of the sun, dense darkness, has surrounded the friends of the sun, the lotus flowers, as the eyeliner. But how amazing! Instead of diminishing the beauty of these lotus-like eyes, their beauty simply increases!
Lalita smilingly said, "Radha, I don't know how much You like black substances (referring to Krishna)." Hearing this, Shri Radhika angrily knitted Her eyebrows. Then, Lalita said, "O nicely anointed fishlike eyes, now that the sweet Krishna cloud will arise you should dance skillfully, sweetly and blissfully!"
Hearing this, moon faced Radhika said, "Lalita, how can My eyes become dancers unless your glances, that are the best of dancers, teach them?" Then Lalita swiftly placed Radhika's nosepearl, that was inset with different jewels, on Her nose. It looked as if the moon took his wife the star on his chest as an ornament. These pearl ornaments were like an effulgent king sitting on a golden lotus throne, giving great joy to Hari's city-like eyes, controlling them, although they are otherwise hard to control. Are Aghadvisa's (Krishna's) two playful eyes thirsty after Radhika's nosepearl, thinking it to be the seed of a vine of beauty? Or are they Cupid's round bud-like arrows that were coming out of a quiver of sesame flowers showing their great opulence in order to destroy Mukunda's patience?
Lalita jokingly said, "O nosepearl, You are a globule with sweet nectar that adorns Hari's fish-like eyes. Quickly attract Him so that the world can announce your good fortune!"
Then, Visakha said, "Lalita, those fish-like eyes of Hari, that live in the ocean of constant passion even swallow the basket of the housewives' patience and fear, and they will also swallow this globule. Who on earth can subdue these eyes?"
Hearing these nectarean words of Her friends, Shri Radhika frowned and said, "Why don't you engage in mutual krisa (attraction)? You can attract Krishna and Krishna can attract you!" After that, Lalita hung hoop earrings, that shone like clean garments, on Shri Radhika's ears that were adorned with kunda flowers and jewelled earrings hanging under them. Are these the best sprouts of Cupid's tree, that give joy to the Krishna honeybee, bearing beautiful clusters of jewels and honey, or are they Shri Radhika's hoop earrings?
Lalita then painted makara fish (sharks) on Radhika's soft cheeks that will surely call Makara Ketu (Cupid), saying, "Please come, and Hari will worship you during the most romantic time, offering His red, sprout-like lips to you! O makaras, when Krishna's shark earrings fall on you, you must accept them as your husbands! They are aghara sruti sevi (Aghara is Krishna or 'destroying all sins' and sruti sevi means 'they hang under Krishna's ears' or 'they are served by the Vedas'.)
The diamonds that hung on Radhika's ears on the fresh nectarlake of Her cheeks looked like barleycorns and the sharks on Her cheeks opened their mouths to eat them. Have they now become stunned from bliss when these diamonds arose? Keep Krishna's snake-like earrings lying on the hard chest of Your snake-like armlets, thus they will attain the jewel of women (Radhika's armlets), becoming most wealthy and giving up their restlessness! When Lalita put a drop of musk on Radhika's chin, it looked as if the moon, removing the darkness with its rays, mercifully kept this child of darkness on his own chest.
Lalita joked, saying, "This blue drop is like the full moon rising from an ocean of sweetness. Seeing this, Krishna will think it belongs to Him and He will personally come to relish its juice again and again. It seems as if Cupid has made a leafcup with perfectly formed golden ketaki leaves, placing red bimba fruits on them and laying a beautiful baby black bee under it."
Then Chitradevi made pictures of beautiful tender leafed vines on fair limbed Radhika's breasts with camphor, aguru, kunkuma and sandalwood pulp. Then these breasts looked like Cupid's chakravaka birds, that were covered by moss, coming out of a pond of rasa after having first been immersed in it. When the mad Krishna elephant sees this, He wants to play with them with his trunk. Champakalanta and Indulekha then placed two jeweled armlets on Radhika's arms, dividing these arms like the full moon cutting two lotus stems in two.
The sakhis jokingly said, "O armlets, if you don't bring someone's matchless body here to offer to She who wears you, all the people will find fault with you and your name, angada ('armlet' or 'giving the body') will not be fulfilled! Sakhi, if this armlet comes before Hari's eyes it will be immediately anangada (giving erotic bliss) fullfillling our highest desires in a very wonderful way! Who can be more generous than that?"
Hearing these jokes from Her friends, Shri Radhika smiled slightly, shyly lowered Her eyes and said, "Alright. No need to elaborate on these armlets any more. Your limbs have the three qualities of angadatva (ability to give one's body), anangadatva (ability to give erotic bliss) and agadatva (giving medecine against lusty affliction), that are also seen in Hari!."
Then the sakhis hung charming sapphire bangles inset with lines of gold, that please the ears with their jingling, on Shri Radhika's wrists. These bangles looked like black bees being chased away by the swanlike nails on Her lotus-like hands. Now, they are embracing the necks of those lotus-like wrists that give shelter to them, thinking them to be blue lotus flowers. Radhika's bracelets and bangles represent a japa mala of Krishna's bluish complexion and His golden dress. She naturally praises Krishna in this way, doing japa of blue and gold.
Just as a hunter spreads out his net to catch birds, Shri Radhika's handstring looked like a net spread out by the hunter, Cupid, from the roots of the leaves on the nectar vine of Radhika's hands to catch the cakora bird named Hari. Shri Radhika wears jeweled rings on each finger except for on the thumb, index and middle finger of Her right hand. Usually the moon and the lotus flower cannot be seen together, but on Radhika's lotus-like hands, the nails perk like moons and Her rings shine like stars surrounding these moons.
Then Visakha swiftly placed a crimson blouse embroidered with charming pearls on fawn-eyed Radhika's very soft breasts. The cups of this blouse have the tendency to break religious principles. They are soldiers of passion that come out from Radhika's heart, showing their might in subduing Lord Hari. The jewels that hung from fair-eyed Radhika's necklace, that was hung there by Visakha, looked very beautiful and divided Her breasts. It looked as if Cupid, to appologize for his offense to Lord Siva (or 'to destroy Krishna's patience'), poured spotless Ganga water over two Siva lingas with a golden conchshell. After this, Visakha placed a dhruva (steady) broche, that was as clear as a mirror and could reflect Hari's form, on Radhika's chest, that was Vishnupada (the place assigned to Krishna) as a great oblation to the earth, just as the dhruva star and the hairdhama (the form of Lord Vishnu) dwell in the Vishnupada (sky).
The bells that Tungavidya hung around Shri Radhika's buttocks looked like jeweled gates with which Cupid locks up his own home. Are these bells like rasika cranes that are overcome with lust, and show their opulence by sweetly singing on the shore of Radhika's navel, that is filled with the waves of Her three lined belly? Then, Rangadevi hung jeweled anklebells with nice swan-like ornaments on Radhika's lotus feet and sweetly jingling golden and jeweled rings on Her toes. Sweetness itself rolled at Shri Radhika's feet to make itself successful in different ways. Did it appear as Radhika's foot ornament to engage other fortunate souls to praise the glories of these lotus feet, making sounds like 'rana rana'?
Someone may ask. "Shri Radhika's nails and the soles of Her feet are naturally reddish. Why bother smearing red footlac on them?" The answer is, "are there no people worshipping the radiant sun with a tiny wick?" That sun-like footlac has merged with his beloved lotus flowers, the soles of Radhika's feet. Seeing this, the paramahamsas, avadhutas and learned sages who desire this kind of liberation dance in ecstasy. They have attained a higher bliss than liberation from the soles of Radhika's feet.
The sakhis said, "O footlac, don't lament, thing 'I am unqualified!" The color of your passion reaches as far as Hari's forehead and locks (when He puts Radhika's feet on His head), increasing their beauty. Hearing these words of Her friends, Shri Radhika pretended to be angry. Her eyes became crooked and She anxiously chastised the sakhis.
She said, "Sakhi! Let Me joke about you when you color someone else's head with the lac from your feet! If I ever get that chance, I would also ridicule you. Why are you so silly to joke about Me without reason?"
Rasa manjari then carefully smeared Shri Radhika's body with sandalwood pulp, camphor, kunkuma, musk, etc. But the king of Radhika's natural bodily fragrance accepted this unguent as a mere servant! Tulasi manjari hung an atimukta (madhavi) flower garland around Radhika's neck and placed a cut lotus flower into Her lotus-like hand, making both the garland and the lotus very sweet. Ranganamala placed a jeweled mirror that reflected Her effulgently ornamented body, in front of fair eyed Radhika's face. Seeing Her own sweet effulgent limbs in this mirror, astonishment kissed Radhika's mind and heart. The daughter of Vrishabhanu, knowing the waves of Her Priyatama's thoughts, though to Herself, "Where has this unique ocean of My bodily sweetness come from? How will the rasika (tasteful) honeybee Madhusudana keep His calm when He sees this? If He sees the drops of My unpolished luster, My Priyatama will enter into an ocean of bliss! When will that moment come when He can see this beauty? Why should that unfortunate luster appear in such abundance without being seen by My Priyatama now? Would anybody in this world whose wealth is wasted not lament over that?"
Then, Shri Radhika's friend, The Personification of the Desire to See Krishna, suddenly arrested Her and forcibly took Her to the domain called Loss of Patience. But Radhika became afraid that the assembly of elders would notice it, so She restrained Herself. Then Kundalatika came from Nandisvara on the order of the Queen of Vraja, who is like a desire vine of parental affection, just to give joy to Shri Radhika's bee-like eyes. The sakhis, who are all equal to Shri Radhika in affection, kindness and luster, all became ecstatic when they saw the nectar shower of Radhika and Kundalata's mutual audience and their exchange of smiles.