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Wanderings in the Forest
(10:48 a.m. - 3:36 p.m.)
Then, Radha and Krishna, the generals of king Anuraga's (constant passion) army, being surrounded by Their silimukhi ('honeybees' or 'arrows') soldiers and keeping the elephant named Cupid ahead of Them, came to the autumnal forest. Shri Krishna told Shri Radhika, "O restless eyed One, look at this auspicious, beautiful pond with this golden lotus flower in it surrounded by dancing honeybees and khanjana birds. This pond is like a mirror reflecting Your face. The clouds make these ponds yellow in the rainy season and give them their own smooth blue color in the autumn. O Sakhi, have the ponds and the clouds now made friends with each other? The clouds gave up all their water to the ponds, that were like ascetics whose water and clay had dried up from the summer heat. Then these clouds became white and vanished in the sky. Look, O dear One! The honeybees give up their taste for all the other flowers out of attatchment to the malati flowers. Tell Us truly, sakhi, did your mind become afflicted (with lust) because of that?"
Hearing Madhava's joking words, Shri Radhika, the jewel of ladies, smiled and slightly contracted the pupils of Her lotus-like eyes. Madhava drank the nectar of these lotus-like eyes with His eyes, that swelled out of eagerness. Then, Hari accepted a lotus flower in His lotus-like hand from from Vrinda. He looked at it, kissed it and praised it greatly, saying, "O lotus flower, you've defeated everyone on earth with your fragrance!"
Shri Radhika became a little envious, so Hari told Her, "Sakhi, why do You frown when I praise this lotus flower? Your face is glowing slightly reddish! O restless eyed One, is it because Your pride was diminished? Anyway, after smelling both this lotus flower and Your face I will know who smells the best, and I will sing the glories of that one with My flute!" Saying this, Hari kissed Radhika's face in an unseen way and said in amazement, "Ahaha! Sakhi, Your face smells incomparably nice! O fair faced One, don't be vainly angry with Me."
To pacify proud and angry Radhika, Hari told the lotus flower, "O damn you, fool! Aren't you ashamed to blossom in front of the face of this girl who has defeated you in beauty and fragrance? O cheater, you're acting according to the nature of one who was born from the mud!
"Radha, Your face is more fragrant than the lotus flowers, that can be seen in the wind, who teaches the vines and the branches of the tree how to dance at every moment. Although these vines and trees gave thier honey to the wind as a reward, the wind is not interested in it. O angry girl, listen! Instead, the wind makes the edge of the veil over Your lotus-like face dance to get its precious fragrance, thinking, 'Today I have become fortunate!'"
Lalita said, "Why didn't You leave that honey from Radhika's lotus-like face, whose slightest whiff of fragrance even gives You topmost bliss? Today You devoured me with this anxiety, O Krishna!"
Krishna replied, "Sakhi, don't be sad. Is there any loss if just once, five or six drops fall undrunk from the rivers of sweetness that constantly flow in all directions from Shri Radhika's pond-like face?"
Saying this, Krishna lowered His eyebrows and forcibly embraced Shri Radhika's body with His snakelike left arm, freely drinking the nectar of Her lips. Seeing the faces of the Yugala Kisora, the sakhis were very satisfied.
Krishna and His anuragina gopis (that were very much in love with Him) wandered through every kunja, over every road and by every pond, river or hill until they arrived in Shri Vrindavana, the crown jewel of all forests, which is surrounded by the Yamuna river, where the swans and cakravaka geese give joy to one's lotus-like ears with the sounds of their quarrels, where the trees constantly bear ripe fruit and where the hilltops are all nicely rounded.
The many crystal, saphire, coral and gold bathing ghats were reflected in the water of the Yamuna and appeared to the viewer to be like pairs of ghats. Near the ghats are beautiful kunjas with flower gardens where the honeybees sweetly sing and where wagtail birds dance in many beautiful ways. The bakula, karavira, kesara, kadamba and kubjaka trees with the fresh alika, kunda, kataki, campaka, atimukta (madhavi), jata, lotus, mountain jasmine and golden yutjika vines are like householders that do their duty giving charity of jackfruits, mangoes, guvaka, langali, gostati, bananas, pomegranates, kolis, dhavas, nimbas, pippalas, banyan beads, kimsuka and other fruits and flowers.
There are groups of four trees each, each of them entwined by pairs of vines. Their branches entwine each other as they ascend, so the wise men call these places kunjas. These big branches with their flowers, leaves and twigs look like jewelled temples with their balconies, roofs, towers, walls, gates and doors. Some of these kunjas are square, some eight cornered, and some are round, shining to give erotic joy to the eyes and minds of Radha and Krishna, their Master and Mistress. The sukas, sarikas, catakas, peacocks, bees, casas, tittibhas, kalinkas, cuckoos, pidgeons, cakoras, caranayudhas and other birds fill all the directions with their songs, and the ruru deer, the salis, monkeys, buffalos, samurus, shrimaras, camuru deer, kapila cows, rabbits and other animals always lick each other there with equal affection.
The Malayan breeze carried the fiery poison from the snakes' fangs and touched the flowers in the celestial nandana gardens and the bodies of the demigoddesses there, thus becoming polluted. To purify himself, he batheed in the heavenly Ganga and then proceeded to Kailasa, where he bathed in Parvati's pond and smeared himself there with the pollen of the lotus. From there he proceeded to Vaikuntha, where he became ecstatic from getting the honey from the flowers of the playtree of the husband of Kamala, the goddess of fortune. Then he was kissed by the limit of fortune by coming to Vraja, where he became so astonished and blissfull that he took shelter there and resides there now forever.
While Radha and Krishna thus wandered through the autumn forest, Shri Radhika pointed at the deer, the trees and the charming birds that She saw before Her and that enchanted Her mind and Her eyes. She pointed them out to Krishna wih Her index finger, asking Him what their names were. They saw many fresh flowers that They picked with Their own hands and which They strung on the stems of the vines. Thus they made necklaces, bangles and armlets with which They decorated each other.
Krishna said, "Priya, I will adorn You with these ornaments! Why do You keep away Your breasts? Look! I'm not agitated when I touch them. The vedas repeatedly describe Me as steady."
Hearing this, Shri Radhika told Kundalata, "Sakhi Kundavalli, can anybody know the cousin better than the neice? Tell Me the truth. Is your cousin really so glorious?"
Kundalata replied, "Radha, You are glorious Yourself. Therefor, my cousin aspires for Your glorious position. You desire fearles union with Him and fame as a chaste girl at the same time."
Krishna said, "Sakhi, who does not know the Gopala Tapani Upanishad or Durvasa muni, the son of Atri Muni, who is an expansion of Lord Shiva? They praise Me everywhere as a brahmacari (a celibate student)! Spend some time with Me in solitude."
Shri Radhika told Lalita, "Lalita, The Creator surely made the male sex with the essence of naughtiness and shamelessness! You can see that in these male bees that taste the honey of those (female) vines."
Hearing this, Krishna pointed at a tamala tree which was entwined by a golden yuthika creeper and said, "Radha, look! You call males shameless, but look at this female vine openly embracing this male tamala tree!" So, Shri Radhika quickly covered the fresh vine with Her apron.
Thus, Radha and Krishna were immersed in a river of nectarean fun. With jingling ankle bells They entered a golden place in the middle of Vrindavana, where there was an eight petalled lotus flower made of rubies on a jewelled platform, with gems shining like the sun, the lightning and the moon. When that lotus flower appears in the minds of the anuragi devotees, it creates a festival there. They consider their lives to be successful when they drink its incomparably sweet honey. This lotus flower, that showers nice rasa which is rarely obtained even by those who are after it, is situated at the foot of a desire tree, that always makes Krishna and the gopis relish their erotic festival and it is here that they attain an ocean of good fortune. The leaves of this desire tree are like sapphires, the flower clusters like diamonds, the sprouts like coral, the fruit like rubies and all the six seasons serve him, so he removes all the distress of the fair eyed gopis.
When Krishna came there and climbed on the whorl of the lotus flower with Shri Radhika, who is the whorl of the lotus-like group of gopis, the lotus flowers that decorated His ears were dangling. When the gopis opened their mouths, groups of happy bumblebees greedily began to swarm around them. Is it a steady raincloud embracing a bolt of lightning, or a bolt of lightning holding a raincloud, coming to earth to shower the desire tree with all it desired?
A parrot in this tree sang, "Aho! The tips of the nails of Madana Mohana, who enchants even Cupid, enchant millions of Cupids. And the corners of His eyes create billions of Cupids who agitate Shri Radhika by shooting their arrows at Her. Shri Radhika also relishes Shri Krishna's luster with the corners of Her eyes. Although the great sages like Sanandana and Parasara do not know the sweetness of Krishna's lovely threefold bending form, the devotees that take shelter of Vraja can hear about this from the clever words of the Suka ('parrot of Vraja' also, a reference to Sukadeva Goswami, the speaker of the Bhagavata Purana). The sweet nectar of Madhava's pastimes, that are described by this suka parrot, is rarely obtained even by the demigods. Suka, the son of Vyas, described it in the Bhagavata, which is the nicest fruit for those who took shelter of the desire tree of the Vedas. Although this nectar is precious, it thus became known to the world. O King of rasikas, Krishna, what can I say about the tenderness of Your feet? When they touch the ground, Your loving gopis shed tears of anxiety, wishing to give You shoes. When You stand in Your charming threefold bending form, You carry Your whole weight on Your left foot. Then, the profuse reddishness on the sole of that foot becomes angry and wants to leave to go tho the heel. There is an indescribably beautiful line between the reddish soles and the bluish upper side of Your feet, whose honey is constantly agitating the honeybee-like eyes of the fair browed gopis. You keep Your left foot on Your right side, so that Your heel can kiss the border of Radhika's sari, which hangs down over Her feet, with great passion. The Creator shows his skill in craftsmanship by smearing the soles of Your feet with liquid vermillion and drawing a flag, lotus flower, and so forth on them. When the housewives of Vraja see this just once, they are enchanted. You eagerly show these signs to Your beloved one, saying, 'Look, Priya! I am the Lord! Why don't You believe Me?' but still She won't give You the proper respect! O moon-like Krishna, as soon as the gopis just once see the beauty of Your knees that are covered by Your dhoti, their uncovered hearts are afflicted by Cupid's heating. O lord, seeing the beauty of Your very broad and round hips, the chaste girls of the world are shivering, being pierced by Cupid's arrows. You are sprinkled by their nectarean smiles and let them be sprinkled by the nectar from Your lips.
"Your navel is like a lake of nectar and the hairs coming up from it are like vines. There is a charming abode of flowers (or 'good hearted people') all around it. O beautiful One, Your lotus-like navel is like the abode of Cupid. How amazing! Usually the lotusflower is on top of its stem, but with You it is under. As soon as the fair browed gopis' eyes fall on this they become blind to the water flowing from them as they are pierced by Cupid's arrows. The very crafty Creator collected the essence of beauty of all the three worlds and made Your three lined belly with that. The wise men, who speak the truth, say that these three lines are joined with Your middle like no other man's waist. When You stand in Your threefold bending form, it looks very beautiful, as if Your very thin waist bends to the lest out of fatigue of carrying the burden of Your broad chest. When You stand in Your threefold bending form, the right side of Your middle shows navalilata, lowness and weakness of the three lines, and the left side puskalavalitva, or nourishment and strength, because it is now able to carry Your bodily weight. Your belly, which is more beautiful than a soft banyan leaf, blows up and falls in along with Your breath, and in some romantic moments it is the stage for moon faced Radhika's jewelled necklace. The vine-like mark of Indira (Laxmi) on Your chest looks like a golden stripe on a grinding slab, and the very thin hair vines showing the footprintt of Bhrigu Muni look like the fibers of a lotus stem. The Shrivatsa sign on Your right chest and the Laxmi sign on Your left chest look like golden and pearl necklaces reflected in a shining sapphire mirror.
The great passion within Your mind comes out in the form of Your Kaustubha gem, which shines like hundreds of moons and suns, pervading the whole world with a reddish glow. The housewives desire to be embraced around their necks by Your arms when they drink the sweetness of Your beautiful neck that has three soft, slightly crooked lines on it, with their eyes and thus they lose their patience. The sproutlike fingers on Your lotus like hands that adorn Your arms, that defy the beauty of snakes, make Your murali flute drink the nectar of Your lips, even if they only slightly dance on its holes. Your lips are sprinkled with drops of the nectar of Your smile and are worshipped by the shining peaks of Your teeth. Although they are known as adhara (insignificant), they are not adhara in their attachment to You. How can they not defeat the bimba fruits in comparison? If the fresh sprout of a sapphire tree was connected with the bubbles of the blackish water of the Yamuna on each side, I could worship Your nose with some kind of analogy! The gopis became blind to the glistening of Your makara earrings that's reflected on both Your soft cheeks as they swing against them while hanging from Your fresh, sproutlike ears, that are at equal height, as it shines in their eyes. Your eyes make the fish, the wagtail birds, the lotus fowers, the cakora birds, the bumblebees and other items successful with mere drops of their natural humors like playfullness (the wagtail birds), attractiveness (the lotus flowers), truthful target (cakora birds) and good taste (the bumblebees). Although Your eyes follow the Vedic injunctions (or 'they extend to Krishna's ears'), they have become mad and began to destroy the vows of all the chaste girls, becoming great debauchers like the honeybees, being immersed in a swelling ocean of constant passion (anuraga).
"Which girl will not shiver from passion when she even once sees Your halfmoon-shaped forehead, which is surrounded by Your curly locks and which is carried by Your eyebbrows, that are like Cupid's bows that shoot halfmoon flower-arrow glances at them? These are not Your hairs, but the whisk of king Cupid, that is made of the fibers of lotus stems marked with musk and erotic rasa. These fibers became crooked because of their association with Cupid. The moon of Your sublime glories, that pervades all Your limbs, becomes embodied in the soft smile that appears on Your face and that illuminates the mind of even Lord Brahma and other Lords of the universe with their rays. O life of all the fishlike gopis of Vraja! O enchanter of the world! Thus I praised You. But how can I praise Shri Radhika, the queen of Your life, who enchants You with even a mere drop of Her luster?
The expert Creator collected the very red downward lotus fowers smeared with liquid vermillion (Shri Radhika's feet), a golden quiver for Cupid's flower arrows (Her shanks), two jewelled boxes (Her knees), two downward pointed banana trees at equal height (Her thighs), a well of nectar (Her navel), the sky (Her waist) surrounded by three circular waves (Her three-lined belly), a lalina leaf with a series of Cupids lines on it (Her pubic hair), two inseparable pomegranates (Her breasts), lotus stems (Her arms) with sprouts (Her hands), a conch shell (Her neck), banduli flowers (Her lips), fresh buds of the kunda flowers (Her teeth), a sesame flower (Her nose), blackbees (Her curly locks), fresh sprouts (Her ears), a full autumn moon (Her face), clouds with the thin drain of the Yamuna (Her hair), to make the young desire play vine named Shri Radhika.
"O Goddess Radhika, I offer my obeisances unto Your toenails, whose rays defeat the shining of the moon! When You shyly bow Your head when You come before Hari, He can still see Your face reflected in Your toenails! When You sit on the Yogapith (a meeting place in Vrindavana), Lalita, who stands on the east, uses a lotus flower to whisk away the honeybees that come to Your lotus-like face. South of Lalita stands Tungavidya and north of her Indulekha, who is playing her vina. South of her stands Visakha, and on her left stands Chitra, who waves a whisk to evaporate the perspiration that arises on You from Your ecstasy of seeing each other, from Your faces. Northwest of You is Rangadevi and her younger sister, Sudevi, is on Your southwest, wiping the tears of love from Your eyes with with her apron, while she cries from love herself also. West of You stands Champakalata, who very blissfully puts betel leaves that shine brighter than the sun, into Your mouths. These girls that try to cross over the oceans of Your forms and pastimes drown, because of carring the big mountain of love in their hearts and they become afflicted. Can my voice possibly describe these countless girls who are grasped by the crocodile named Cupid and whose position is coveted even by Kamala (Laxmi) and Adrija (Parvati)?"
In this way, the expert parrot turned pale while he described Shri Radhika's glories and his voice choked. So, Madhava told Vrinda, the keeper of the Vrindavana forest, to reward him with some juicy grapes. This suka parrot became very fortunate to be praised by the gentle and friendle sakhis like this. He passed the test (pariksit) by describing Radha and Krishna's (bhagavata) sweetness, just as Suka muni described God's (bhagavata) sweetness to king Pariksit in the Bhagavata Purana. After the parrot fell silent, Shri Radhika began to play Her vallaki vina, holding it in Her lotus-like hands as Krishna held His hamsika flute in His lotus-like hands. It was as if They wanted to defeat each other in expertise in singing and playing music! Their music turned water into stone and stone into water. That's quite normal, but even the hearts of the munis in Satyaloka, that were absorbed in non-dual vision, melted and poured down on earth. That was most amazing!
After some time, Radha and Krishna entered a jewelled abode and most happily sat down there on a love bed, where They fulfilled the wishes of Lalita and her sakhis by submerging beneath the waves of the ocean of Cupidity. With great skill the maidservants then made sashes, earrings, necklaces and crowns of flowers, a flower bed, a canopy and a whole cottage of flowers, as well as different kinds of vines, trees, deer and birds for their Master and Mistress. Radha and Krishna sat down, and Their maidservants served Them tasty fruits and roots from the forest there, along with betel leaves.
Thus ends chapter twelve of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravrti's "Krishna Bhavanamrita Mahakavya," called 'Wanderings in the Forest.'