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Shri Radhika Goes to Nandisvara to Cook for Krishna
Pratah Lila cont. (6:00 a.m. - 8:24 a.m.)
Shri Radhika told Kundalata, "Sakhi, by Vrajesvari's grace you have quickly come here. Your arrival is as beautiful as the moon rise in the east at nightfall (a full moon). I understand that Queen Yashoda showers Me with nectar with this order! If I had not gotten this order to cook for Krishna, My mind would be so sad that it would have been better for Me to leave My body. O Rasavati ('humorous girl' or 'good cook'), I see you have come to take Me there for cooking, but first go to My superiors and ask them for permission and then quickly come back."
Drinking the nectar of fair eyed Radhika's words, Kundalata blissfully smiled and said, "Sakhi, You Know it all, so don't delay and come along with me and take Your friends along! Sakhi, don't worry about Your superiors. It won't be the slightest difficulty to get their permission, because Vajresvari Yashoda controls them with a matchless shower of wealth of barley and cows. And all the people of Vraja are unconditionally favorable to Krishna, the prince of Vraja, who is dearer to them than millions of lives, so there's no fear of them either. Sakhi, Queen Yashoda (Savitri) is eager to collect incomparably tasty things to cook for Krishna, not considering personal gain or loss, fame or infamy, her own purpose or that of others. Sakhi, whatever You cook belittles the nectar from heaven! This is known throughout Vraja! Who is not astonished by Your skill in cooking? O Lotus Eyed One, Ever since Durvasa Muni bestowed his blessings on You (that whatever You cook will increase Krishna's strength, bliss and longevity) not one day has passed that Vrajesvari did not ask You to cook for her son. Yashoda thinks there is no other reason that her tender boy defeated all those horrible demons than because of eating the food which is prepared by Your spotless hands. O Moon Faced One, Knowing Vajresvari's heart I tell You that every day she is afflicted by feelings of separation from You as she is by separation from her son."
Shri Radhika replied, "Sakhi Kundalata, what you said is not improper, but, O wise girl, It's not right for girls reputed for their chastity to go to other people's yards. And your cousin-in-law, Krishna, is a debaucher with the housewives at every moment, so I don't want to go to His house!
Hearing this, Kundalata told fair-eyed Radhika, "O nicely thighed one, my cousin is not like you just said. You call Him a debaucher because He is so good looking, but with You He will be alampati ('a decent boy' or alam=useless and pati=garments, viz. He will consider Your clothes to be useless and take them off!) Just trust me and come with me. What to speak of Krishna's yard, You know the aparangana ('own yard' or 'other's yard')! That is proper for a housewife like You and Krishna shivers (of erotic bliss), knowing You to be aparangana ('someone else's wife ' or 'His own wife' [a+para]).
Hearing this, Shri Radhika replied, "Stop joking, O wise one! I'm not going there, stop your waywardness! I have My honor not to leave the path of chaste housewives' duties and virtue."
Understanding Shri Radhika's purpose, Kundalata replied, "Sakhi Radha, You don't have to ask me to protect Your virtue as a housewife! That will surely be accomplished. You are helped by the blessings of Durvasa Muni, the best of munis. So don't delay, and go to Vraja (Krishna's abode Nandisvara)!"
Hearing Radhika and Kundalata's joking discussion, Jatila suddenly appeared and said, "O chaste Kundalata, you are always the object of my confidence. O Radha, although it is improper for a chaste girl to put even one step outside of her husband's house, especially to go to the house of that great womaniser, Bakadvisa. Still, I tell You to go there, because the words of Paurnamasi, who knows everything, cannot be ignored. I can also not refuse the repeated humble requests of the wife of the king of Vraja, so I'm sending You to her home. But, don't worry. The Supreme Lord, Hari, will protect You! O fair faced one, the Lord of the world, Shri Hari, protects the whole universe. He will not desert chaste girls like You, who stick to their principles. By handing You over to His hands, I became free from anxiety!"
Hearing old Jatila's words, Shri Radhika fell silent and covered up the ocean of laughter that swelled within Her, looking at Her friends from the corners of Her big blue eyes. Shri Radhika pretended to be unwilling to go while She was in Jatila's presence, but She actually considered fate to be favorable to Her, because Jatila was so eager to send Her to Nandisvara. Offering Her humble obeisances unto fate, She then set off with Her friends like Lalita. As She went out of the door and walked through town, Shri Radhika made the alleys shine like gold and jewels with the reflection of Her effulgent body, clothes and ornaments, and Her nice fragrance pervaded all the directions. Shri Radhika was slightly averse to the people that coming and going down the road. She lowered Her eyes and covered Her lotus-like face with Her veil, keeping to one side of the road. In this way, She looked very sweet. But when She travelled on a lonely path, Shri Radhika forgot where She went or where She came out of ecstacy, and engaged in frivolous talks.
The sakhis then said, "Radha, we are far from Your village now and we're approaching the abode of the king of Vraja. Will the desires of Your cataka bird eyes be fullfilled now?" Hearing these words from Her friends, Radhika was overwhelmed by ecstatic symptoms like goose bumps and inertia. Seeing that this obstructed Her progress on the road, Kundalata told Her, "O fair faced One, did You become so afflicted because Krishnachandra did not cross the path of Your eyes? I am aware of Your chastity and Your friends can testify to it. O Abale (weak girl), still You are unable to keep Your heart at ease? You must control Yourself for a while! I will engage Giridhari (Krishna, who lifted of Govardhana Hill) in carrying the heavy mountains on Your chest."
Lalita said, "O ignorant Kundalata, our very chase friend fearfully flees from that direction where Giridhari dwells. Alas! Why are you forcibly blemishing Radhika and why are you engaging Her like this? Mother Jatila has entrusted this girl to you and now you want to make Her act indecently? Don't you recognize anyone as your equal?"
Kundalata said, "Sakhi, there's no need for anymore useless talk! Look at the only one You desire in Your heart, sitting on that new jewel studded crystal dais. Look! After milking His cows and wrestling with His friends, Krishna now looks out with a anxious heart for You and Your friends to come, knowing that You will come. Sakhi, carefully look at Your lover, who maddens all the housewives of Vraja by embracing them with the aura of His luster. Is He standing in this three fold bending form because He can not carry the weight of His own abundant sweetness? Intoxicated honeybees buzz around His swinging garland of forest flowers. The makara earings that swing on Krishna's very soft cheeks are expert in teaching His eyes how to dance. He pleases all directions with the luster of His golden cloth that is swung by the wind, and with the bluish waves of His bodily luster. Your Beloved One places His left arm, that defies the beauty of an elephants trunk, on the shoulder of His dear friend, twirling a lotus flower, that belittles His own luster, around in His right hand to subdue all the gopis."
When Shri Radhika drank these nectarean words through the cups of Her ears, She became completely enchanted and Krishna's fragrance streamed in and out of Her nostrils. She began to shiver, and Her body became studded with goose bumps and sprinkled with tears of ecstasy. Calmly She said, "Sakhi, is there no other way to enter into Nandisvara? My feet can't walk any farther! What shall I do?"
Lalita said, "Radha, because You act on the order of You superiors there will be no fault in You, so don't be shy or afraid. It's not your fault if you walk past this debaucher!"
Being addressed like this, Shri Radhika walked on before Krishna. When Radha and Krishna saw each other, they thought, "What is this?" Their bodies emitted waves of great beauty that inundated the sakhis. Even Sarasvati (the goddess of knowlege) cannot describe this shower of sweetness. How amazing! Shri Radhika's moon-like face drank the nectarean rays of the cakora bird, Aghadamana (Krishna), and the cataka bird, Radhika, showered the Girid-hari cloud with rains of erotic rasa (Note: usually cakora birds drink the rays of the moon, and the clouds rain down on the cataka birds). Then, the gopis cleverly covered thier faces with their veils with their left hands, relishing the nectar of Priyatama's lotus-like feet with their lowered eyes as they walked on carefully. As Radhika and Her girlfriends passed by through the town gate, their veils slipped off their heads and Hari cast His Lotus-like eyes on their effulgent buttocks.
One sakhi asked Radhika, "When Hari saw You passing by, He became very happy and Madhumangala hung a garland of golden campaka flowers around His neck. Did You see that? Do You understand this hint?"
Shri Radhika said, "Sakhi, do you think that everybody is like you? Do you want to make every girl a campaka garland around Krishna's neck?" In this way, She passed through the big gate, slightly smiling and frowning at Her girlfriend.
The walls of Nandisvara are made of crystal, the roofs and gates of gold and jewels, fastened with diamond bolts. Statues of beautiful women made of jewels, carry the chandeliers. Birds of jewels sit up in jeweled trees entwined by vines made of jewels. The rays of the sun are reflected in the jeweled pots hanging over the verandas and many artificial peacocks are dancing on the flags on top of the pots. The abode of king Nanda is so full of regal opulence, it defeats the abode of Indra, the king of heaven, in opulence.
On the northern side of the palace is Balaram's room, on the western side King Nanda's storehouse, and on the eastern side the jeweled temple of king Nanda's ishtadeva, Lord Hari (Laxmi Narayana) which was worshipped by the best brahmanas. On the south is Krishna's bedroom, with its matchless saphire balcony and on all sides of the pond are many groves. Hari's mother saw Radhika and Her friends enter into her abode and she happily considered this daughter of the sun (Vrishabhanu) the goddess of beauty of all the the three worlds, illuminating her home. When Shri Radhika humbly bowed down to her, mother Yashoda quickly lifted her up and embraced Her, smelled Her head, and lovingly showered Her with her loving tears, inundating Her in a river of blissful nectar.
Mother Yashoda blessed Radhika, saying, "O moon faced one, glory to You! May You give joy to my mind's eye for a Hundred years!" The mind of mother Yashoda, who is a matchless vine of parental affection, was also enchanted by Radhika's girlfriends, whom she blessed in the same way. Yashoda, whose heart melted with affection, saw that Radhika and Her friends were shy when she had some sweet, soft savories brought and served to them by Dhanista. After fondling Radhika, she brought Her to the kitchen.
She said, "O lotus faced one! O giver of fame to mother Kirtida! The creator made You so expert in cooking! Please come into my kitchen and cook, engaging Your friends like Lalita, etc. I have plenty of all the ingredients You may need, in my house. Since You, being the goddess of fortune Herself, cast Your glances on my home, there is no scarcity of anything! Whatever different ingredients for cooking You have seen or heard of are all in my house. Go inside with Dhanista and take whatever You need!
Saying this, Yashoda went to get her son to bathe Him. The sakhis got absorbed in their own duties and the maidservants served Shri Radhika by fanning Her, and so forth. Shri Radhika washed Her hands and feet and took off all the ornaments and necklaces that might disturb Her while cooking. She offered Her obeisances to Rohini, Haladhara's (Balarama's) mother, and entered into the nicely smelling kitchen.
Rohini said, "O daughter, You are an expert cook! I just cooked something to lessen the burden of Your duty. Now, You may cook what You like. Hearing this, Shri Radhika shyly lowered Her lotus-like face, but Rohini embraced Her as if She were her own daughter and fondled Her, forcibly seting Her on a dais covered with a white sheet that stood just before the stove. The fire burned on cedar and aloewood. Next to that was a pile of different vegetables, cut and put into different pots, ready to be put into the cooking pot for making a nice preparation.
Sometimes Radhika checked if the fire was burning well, sometimes She added wood to the fire, and sometimes She lifted the lid to see if it was cooking nicely and stirred the preparation, making Her belly, breast and arm vibrate along with Her garments. Acyuta came from his room and looked through the window of the kitchen to relish the sweetness of this scene with His eyes. Intoxcated by desire, He said something to Madhumangala, just to attract Radhika with the sound of His voice. When this very sweet sound entered the cups of Shri Radhika's ears, it forcibly took Her mind off Her cooking. But nevertheless, She managed to cook very nicely. The sakhis, being eager to hear Krishna's ascertainment of a meeting place with Priyaji, walked here and there in His vicinity, casting sly, meaningful glances at Him. Krishna, knowing that the time was right, clearly expressed His desires to them.