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Playing on Swings in the Rainy Season
(10:48 a.m. - 3:36 p.m.)
Surrounded by the sakhis, Krishna came out of the kunja and the honeybee-like glance of His beloved One drank the honey of His sweetness. It was as if millions of Cupids, being defeated by Krishna in beauty, worshipped a drop of the beauty of His toenails. Looking at Radhika, Krishna placed His left arm on Her shoulder, making Her shiver with ecstasy, like a golden lotus flower shivering on the high waves of an ocean of sweetness.From both sides sakhis handed Radha and Krishna betel leaves. Shri Radhika took one with the fingers of Her left hand and put it in Krishna's mouth. Krishna took one with His right hand and put it in Radhika's mouth. Krishna held His left arm on Radhika's shoulder and from there He wanted to touch Her bosom with His left hand, but She slapped Him with Her hand. It looked as wonderful as a lotus flower trying to relish a chakravaka goose swimming in a pond of natural beauty, being obstructed by a red lotus flower. Radha and Krishna walked over a path which was shaded by trees.
Occasionally the sun afflicted Radhika, making Her perspire, so Krishna shaded His dear One's beautiful face by bending over so His crown covered the sun. Radha and Krishna looked like a rain cloud and the lightning on earth, on top of which were two moons (Their faces), that shown even in daytime, always causing the blue lotus eyes of the fair sakhis to blossom. Seeing the moons of Radha-Krishna's faces rise, the chakravaka geese became sad, the peacocks blissfully began to dance, the swans became afraid and the male cakora birds became very happy. These contradicting moods of joy and sorrow are a natural creation of Lord Brahma.
Slowly, slowly Radhika and Krishna walked over the path that was shown to Them by Vrinda, bringing Them to the play forest named Varsa Harsa, the joy of the rainy season. Being defeated billions of times by Radha and Krishna, Who were like the raincloud and the lightning on the ground, the raincloud and lightning in the sky thought, "We're not qualified to stay above Radha and Krishna, but where shall we go? The whole firmament is pervaded by Their splendor." Thinking in this sad way, they became white from crying drops of rain (as clouds become white in the rainy season). They looked like a blue umbrella inset with gold, serving to protect Radha and Krishna from the summer heat. These showers were like two of the symptoms of sattvic ecstasy, crying and suddenly turning pale. They offered praise to Radha and Krishna with the soft, faltering voices (another symptom) of their rumbling.
When Radha and Krishna played in the Kadamba forest, the trees with their thousands of gradually ascending bluish branches, and their golden flowers that showered honey with love, conquered the beauty of the rain clouds and the lightning. The very long jeweled platforms between these kadamba trees gave pleasure to Krishna day and night, being showered by honey from the flowers in the trees that was protected by ever wakeful honeybees. On each side of these platforms two pillar-like trees were standing, whose branches embraced each other above the platforms, supporting emerald balconies where flower garlands were hung. From these beautiful branches beautiful red ropes inset with pearls were hanging. They were holding up the swings, that each had two golden seats on them, that were swung by a soft breeze.
The maidservants artfully picked the stems off fragrant flowers, and spread the blossoms over the seats of the swings, covering these petals with soft, thin sheets. With their nice fragrance and softness these swings were able to attract Shri Krishna. Shyama saw the best of these swings, one with a flag on it, and climbed on it. It was as if ecstasy personified sat down on the swing that was served by the goddess of beauty.
To get completely showered by the rain, Krishna pulled His beloved One, who held His hand, on the swing and placed Her facing Him, like bliss personified facing a sleepless pond of love. The maidservants served Radha and Krishna by throwing flowers, performing arati to Their lotus-like faces, singing, straightening Their necklaces and Krishna's turban and serving Them pan and garlands.
The prana sakhis (maidservants), standing on each side of the swing, tied up their veils with their sashes, stepping back and forth to push the swing, bending their bodies as they pushed. Two other fortunate sakhis stood on each side of the swing, holding tasty betel leaves in their hands, which they put in Radha and Krishna's lotus-like mouths whenever the swing slowed down. Other advanced maidservants, who had sweet characters and who were floating in a current of divine love, showered Radha and Krishna with the best flower petals from their hands.
The goddesses in the sky praised their own fortune of seeing Radha and Krishna'a swinging pastimes. They became stunned from ecstasy and, although their hopes for attaining a gopi-body were unfullfilled, they eagerly showered flowere on the Yugala Kisora. The clouds also joyfully showered their rains, that turned into honey when it collided with the flower shower. These honey drops looked like pearls when they fell on the gopis' bodies, and made friends with the pearls that were already there. The sweet songs of the gopis pervaded the sky and the fragrance that came out of their opened mouths stirred the honeybees, that offered praises to these gopis.
The moon of bliss gradually waxed during Radha and Krishna's swinging festival, in which Their necklaces, earrings and garlands danced, Their waist bells and ankle bells became suitable instruments for making music, and Their faint smiles became the audience of all this. Radha and Krishna's lotus-like eyes swung on the waves of the swelling ocean of each other's bodily luster. Seeing this, the sakhis gained a great wealth of bliss. That desire, which worked unfavorably for the developement of the pastimes by agitating Radha and Krishna's minds, could not disturb this swinging festival at all. The sages say that this is because of the power of the lila shakti (playpower, personified by Vrindadevi).
The branches of the tree on which the ropes of the swing were hanging began to swing along and the leaves and flowers could thus serve Radha and Krishna by fanning Them. The flower garlands hanging in these branches, that were strung in many different ways, also swung along and the honeybees were unable to catch them, though they carefully tried. These bees looked very beautiful as they buzzed and wandered along with these swinging garlands.
Radha and Krishna wanted to swing faster, so They kicked off more speed with Their feet, giving Their sakhis lots of loving bliss with Their expert rising and descending. They looked very funny as They swung up and down. When Krishna was below, Krishna's flower garland embraced Her blouse. This vision made the sakhis very happy. Radha and Krishna saw Their own reflections in each other's bodies without seeing each other. This made Them very sad, and They sighed deeply. This breathing then dimmed the shining of Their mirror-like bodies, and, not seeing Their reflections anymore, They became very happy.
Then, the ocean of playful sports, Shri Krishna Himself, began to push the swing faster, just for fun, making it go so high that Radhika's buttocks touched the leaves on the branches of the kadamba tree. Then She became afraid that She would fall and said, "Aha! Don't swing anymore! No more!" When Madhava heard this He began to laugh and, instead of slowing down, He began to push the swing even faster! Shri Radhika's braid loosened, Her veil slipped off Her head and Her ornaments were dishevelled. Seeing that She could not break off the speed of the swing anymore with Her feet, because She needed them to keep Her sari from blowing up. Krishna began to laugh. His eyes were satisfied and again He increased the speed, so that Radhika gave up Her seat and embraced Him around the neck. Krishna also embraced Her. In this way, the bodies of the Yugala Kisora, that looked like one blue lotus flower and one golden campaka flower, became one. From that union, the fragrance of these flowers also emanated, piercing through the heavenly planets and ultimately reaching the nostrils of Padma, the goddess of fortune, and other residents of Vaikuntha.
Seeing Radha and Krishna on the swing without any support from Their hands, the sakhis came and stopped the swing. Shri Radhika got off and mingled with Her sakhis, telling them how Krishna played with Her. Then She took the chief of Her eight sakhis, Lalita, seated her next to Krishna on the swing and began to sing with love. Krishna did with Lalita what He previously did with Radhika. After doing the same thing with Visakha and all the other sakhis, Krishna got off the swing. Then He expanded Himself into many forms, sat on each swing in one form and took two sakhis with Him on each swing, lifting them up with His arms and swinging with them. What is, after all, not possible to do for Krishna, the ocean of love? Each gopi saw that Krishna was sitting on the swing with her alone, drinking the honey from her lotus-like face. That is not so astonishing, for what is impossible to do for the desire-potency of the son of the lord of Gokula.
There was a lotus shaped swing on which Mukunda climbed, with His dear gopis, as soon as Vrinda showed it to Him. The central whorl of the lotus had pillows on it. Krishna placed His left arm on Radhika's shoulder as the eight primary sakhis sat down on the eight surrounding petals, and the sixteen secondary sakhis sat on the sixteen outer leaves. In great bliss, Vrinda brought tasty dates, rose apples, grapes and other kinds of fruit. The sakhis ate what Radha and Krishna left on Their plates. Before this, they drank a juice whose taste defied the pride of nectar and afterwards, Radha and Krishna and the sakhis lovingly gave each other golden, shining, betel leaves.
Nandi and Vrinda were happy to push the lotus swing. The faces of the maidservants lighted up in bliss while they sang different songs. Through the swinging play, Krishna attained victory over the gopis and gained the jewels of their kisses and embraces. Then He took them off the swings and wandered with them from forest to forest.
Seeing Radhika's face, Krishna thought, "Shri Radhika's beautiful face, with Her soft smile that casually opens itself, reminds Me of the buds of the yuthi flower," and He picked some of these yuthi flowers, strung a garland of them, and wore them on His chest. The rainclouds in the sky resembled Krishna's bodily luster. The lightning resembled the gopis' luster and the red indragopa worms on the ground resembled the red prints of the gopis' footlac. When the Krishna-cloud showered its matchless rains everywhere, the flowers and vines bloomed up and the corn-like gopis became incomparably beautiful and experienced great bliss. The monsoon-forest was also immersed in showers of joy of erotic rasa.
Thus ends chapter eleven of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravrti's "Krishna Bhavanamrita Mahakavya," dealing with Radha and Krishna's pastimes on the swing in the rainy season.