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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura > Krishna Bhavanamrita Mahakavya > Krishna Bhavanamrta > Chapter-VII

Chapter 7

Pastimes in the Pastures

Purvahna Lila  (8:24 a.m. - 10:48 a.m.)


The cowherd boys that were eager to go out to the pastures with Krishna told their mothers, "Oh mother, why do you keep me here for putting on my tilaka and ornaments? What should I do? Why can't I get out of the house? All my friends are meeting with Krishna at this time of the morning. My friend Krishna, who is an ocean of love, waits for me, looking out for me to go with Him to the forest."

The mothers replied, "Vatsa, why are you so upset? I only have the tranquilizing, protective, stone left to put on your wrist. I don't hear the cows going out, yet. It's not forenoon, yet, and your friends haven't left their homes, yet! Why are you so restless? If you go unornamented you'll look like a beggar, and your friends, who have been decorated with jewels and golden ornaments, and who have been bathed by their mothers, will laugh at you!"

Even though their mothers were being naturally affectionate, the boys considered them impediments. When they heard even the slightest sound from near the road, they anxiously looked in that direction for their friends to come. Then Vasudama, Sudama, Kinkini, Subala and other boys gathered together from different places, like the waves of an ocean reaching the Krishna-shore.

Then, one cowherd man came and loudly said, "Listen, boys! King Nanda, who stays in the barn says, 'Let Acyuta happily sleep a little more. Don't awaken Him so roughly. I personally let loose the cows. Just wait a minute. And then go.' "

Hearing this, all the cowherd boys joyfully joined king Nanda in the barn, while more intimate friends like Subala went up to see Krishna in His bedroom. Then, the servant boys like like Raktaka, Patraka and the rest, whose love for Krishna never decreases and who are expert in their service, came to mother Yashoda, who gave one of them some gladdening sweetmeats for her son. That boy kept the sweets in his wooden basket on his shoulder, considering them as being more precious than billions of hearts. Another servant boy brought in a wonderful moonstone jug filled with camphor scented water, covered by a wet, crimson sheet, that was colored like his attachment to Krishna, covering the clear whole water of his mind, that was outwardly manifest as matchless jewels of fortune (like the jewels on the jug). Another servant boy held a round crystal box filled with pan, under his arm, as if he were wearing his favorite deity, the moon. Another servant boy carried many kinds of garments and ornaments for the Lord, which were like herbs that enchanted the demigoddesses.

When Hari heard His friends talking near the mountain cave where He sat with lightning-like Radhika, He loosened Himself from Her tight embrace and went to see them. When Krishna's friends saw that He was dressed in Radhika's fresh kunkum-like dress, they took Him to be a cloud embraced by restless lightning strikes, that were unable to let go of Him. Seeing this, the boys began to shower Krishna with their smiles, that were like moon white flowers. After they ornamented His limbs they brought Him back to the palace, where they began to dress him for going out to the gostha (pastures). They hung the Kaustubha gem, whose rays extend here and there to punish the sun's rays, around His neck, and they adorned His head with a crest of peacock feathers, that shone like a brilliant rainbow. Then they hung restless strings of pearls that resembled a row of baby cranes, and a fragrant garland of forest flowers surrounded by blissful honeybees, around His neck. In this way Krishna, who removes the affliction of the people of Vraja, inundated the area of His mother with water (her tears and breast milk) of bliss, as He appeared before the town gate.

Then Vrajesvari, Yashoda, came out crying with Ambika, Kilimba, her sisters and sisters-in-law, being followed by Shri Radhika and Her friends. When the news 'Mukunda goes to the forest' went around, it clearly entered the ear holes of the villagers like 'the sun is setting!'. The cowherd boys then said, "Friends, take the cows out on the path to the forest without delay! We're going to fight for fun with Hari on the slope of Govardhana Hill today!"

The Brahmins blessed Krishna with hand fulls of Dharba grass and peacefully sprinkled Him with drops of water that were sanctified by mantras from the Rig Veda.

Parjanya, Krishna's grandfather, told the cowherds, "Take me to Krishna somehow or other, so that I can cool off my eyes with the nectar of my grandson's lotus-like face, without which I cannot live!"

"O Visarade (expert girl)!" one gopi told another, "find some trick by which we can deceive our old mother. I'm going down the secret path to the cottage in the trysting kunja."

"Sakhi, what to do now? I hear that Hari is going to the forest through the town gate! I'm so eager to see Him, but my body is stunned of ecstasy, I cannot climb the watchtower! There's no need to make up my hair! Let my chest remain uncovered! If I cannot see Madhava even once my life will leave me! Alas! Let my husband give me intolerable punishment, let my superiors see me, I'm going to Krishna! Time will stand still when He goes into the forest!"

One sakhi told her obstructing mother-in-law, "Oh ugly faced one, why are you screaming!? Am I the only one going out of your house? Look here! Whose bride is not running out of her house, and which mother-in-law is there to stop her?"

Then Krishna, who has eyes like forest lotuses, went out of the barn into the forest with His cows and His friends, spreading a saphire luster that astonished everyone. At that time, even the slightest feeling of separation from Krishna afflicted Nanda and Yashoda, who followed their son with their eyes full of tears that sprinkled the soil of Vraja. Mother Yashoda and Rohini, understanding that they would not see their boys for a long time, forgot all bodily activities and they became stunned like statues. Father Nanda embraced his son within his heart, after which he quickly became stunned and enchanted.

Mother Yashoda said, "Oh tender boy, if You go into the forest to tend Your cows then we will all follow You. Don't deceive us by going without us. Oh son, don't send us elsewhere, take us with You! We know You cannot tolerate the heartache of Your parents, who are burning in the fire of separation from You. Oh ornament of our town, if You don't take us with You, then these blissful abodes in our town will swallow us by force and we will remain alive in vain. Do You want to hurt us by returning home from the forest only after nine long hours? If You don't want to come home soon, then what shall we do? Where are the soles of Your feet, that are like the spotless and tender leaves of crimson lotuses, and where are the sharp sprouts, thorns and pebbles in the forest soil? Oh, where is Your body, that is as soft as a puppet of butter sprinkled with liquid musk, and where are the scorching rays of the sun that increase their heat at every moment? The life of this unfortunate mother of Yours, that is tearing up her chest, refuses to leave her. It bears the burden of a kingdom of great cruelty! Let the cowherd boys, or king Nanda himself herd the cows. Oh my child, if You don't give up Your eagerness for this, then how can Your friends remain alive? Oh my tender Krishna, why did You take birth in a family of cowherds, where You must walk after the grazing cows? With a body such as Yours, which is softened by the nectar of auspiciousness, You should have been born in a royal family."

Hearing this ocean of faltering words from His mother, Krishna humbly waited before going into the forest and stood in front of her. Mother Yashoda, whose life was almost gone, became aware of this and embraced Krishna, showering Him with the tears of her love.

Mother Yashoda recovered from her swoon, because of Krishna's blissful embrace as Krishna forced her to drink the nectar of parental love. She became overwhelmed with feelings of love as she protected her son's body with the names of Lord Nrisimhadeva, telling Balabhadra, Subhadra, Vardhana and other leading boys that stood before her, "Oh boys, my Krishna is Your younger brother, friend and very life. Don't I know that? Still, this mother cannot remain alive without grinding pulp every day? Although Hari is so tender, He is the leader of all the rowdy boys, and although He is very intelligent, He does not know His limits. Although He is weak, He is also very dashing. Therefore, You should stay around Him to protect Him. He cannot be controlled by His father, His mother or any of His superiors, but He may listen to You. I hope my request to You will not be in vain. If you see Kamsa's cruel demonic servants You should run, leaving even the cows, and quickly take shelter of us! Oh Subala, Ujjvala, Kokila and the other boys, don't play so roughly with your heart's friend, Krishna. Are there no games in this world for men? Oh Raktaka, Patraka and other expert servant boys, I'll tell you about Krishna and Balaram's nature. Listen! Even if They are hungry They're not aware of it, because They're so absorbed in playing and even if Their throats are dried up from thirst They will not feel thirsty"

Then Yashoda told her husband, Nanda, "The road where our boys walk will be scorched by the sun and this mother even stays alive seeing this father staying home in his golden brick home. Even those women whose sons suffer when they go out to tend the cows, but who still shamelessly continue their house duties without dying of compassion, are worshipped in this world."

Then she told Krishna, "Your friends, who see You going into the forest, have become as hard as thunderbolts! But still You gladden them with Your attributes, having a heart as soft as a flower?"

Krishna, who wore these words of His afflicted mother like earrings, revived her by sprinkling her with the nectar from His moonlike smile. Krishna humbly replied, "Mother, you have not seen the forest path. I feel no trouble in tending the cows at all. It's My greatest pleasure! We're playing in the dense, cool shade of the fragrant trees in the forest on the bank of the Yamuna, looking at the cows. It's also no problem for us to keep the cows together. For that, I have My expert new murali flute. And the paths also don't give Me any pain: the camari deer sweep them with their tails, the trees shower them with their honey and the nabhi deer scent them with their navel musk. These paths are flawless, and as soft as cotton! With its fragrant caves and kunjas where the cuckoos sing, the peacocks dance, the honeybees buzz, where the vines with their different flowers are always swung by a soft breeze, and where there are many cascading waterfalls, Govardhana Hill attracts our minds at every step. The joy of your jewelled abodes give Me nothing compared to the joy I feel in these mountain caves! Here, I am adorned with flowers by My Mayas ('friends' or 'girlfriends') and here I lie down in great joy. Why are you so vainly distressed?"

Saying this, Krishna quickly and secretly embraced the eyelashes of the jewel of girls, Shri Radhika, with His eyes. This meeting made the corners of both Their eyes melt. In this way, the corners of Radha and Krishna's charming eyes cleverly briefed over each other's heartaches. This gave the hearts of the Young Couple some temporary relief.

Madhumangala said, "Oh mother, why are you so upset? Listen, I tell you frankly: there's not s drop of happiness in your town compared to the bliss we feel in the forest. We simply eat the ripe and fragrant bananas, jack fruits, mangoes and pomegranates that fall automatically from the trees. Our friend, Krishna, desires to go to the forest to pick the fruits, leaves and flowers from the desire vines. Such a desire cannot be fulfilled in your town."

Although they are very, very hungry, the cows will not set one foot in the forest without Krishna, the destroyer of His friends miseries. But now they began to call Him by mooing, so Acyuta, seeing their condition, carefully stopped His parents from following Him and blissfully began to mark the forest soil with the signs of the disc, the lotus, etc. from the soles of His feet, as He walked on.

While He went into the forest, Hari thought, "Those who love Me feel sad when I leave, so let Me take their minds with Me."

But the Vrajavasis' eyes also thought, "What other objects do we have but Krishna?" so they followed Him. In this way, the Vrajavasis entered their homes like liberated souls that maintain their bodies only as an external custom.