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Radha and Krishna Play Dice and Worship the Sun God
(10:48 a.m. - 3:36 p.m.)
Shri Radhika told Lalita, "Sakhi, just as an elephant plucks lotus flowers, Krishna has forcefully defeated us in the fun of honey drinking, water play, swinging and so on. These are all power games. Lalita, now think of a game we can play that requires some brains. Thus we can swiftly diminish Krishna's pride!"
Lalita said, "Radha, You are Yourself the moonlight for the lily-like dice game, so, O proud girl, what can the darkness of defeat do to us? It won't give us any sorrow."
Being thus advised by Lalita, Radhika told Krishna, "O Mighty Prabhavishnu! O Dearest One! Why don't You accept the challenge of the dancing girls of our desires to defeat You in the clever dice game?"
Krishna replied, "Do You make the dancing girl of the desire to defeat Me really dance in Your heart? But when the king of victory sits down on the throne in the palm of My hand, that dancing girl will swiftly perish!"
Hearing these words of Aghari, restless-eyed Radhika ignored Him with a slight wink of Her vinelike eyebrows and had the dice game board brought by Sudevi. Nandimukhi sat on Krishna's side as witness and Vrinda on Radhika's side. Kundalata conducted the tossing of the dice, Madhumangala advised Krishna on the desired score and Lalita advised Radhika on this. First, the dice stones danced on the stage of Shri Radhika's red lotus-like palm and then they leaped up and down as they fell on the table. Bakari's eyes submerged in the high waves of beauty of Radhika's breasts and armpits, but because He was experienced in holding and tossing the dice, He was not disturbed or contaminated even slightly. Has Shri Radhika become Jayashri, the goddess of victory, throwing Her stones with the right score, sometimes saying 'dasa dasa' and sometimes 'vidu vidu'?
Hearing Radhika say, 'dasa dasa', Krishna said, " Priya, You have thrown vitti, not dasa! You must be jokingly asking Me for dasa (or damsana, for Me to bite You)! Now where is Your talk of victory?" Shri Radhika held Her stones in Her corner and Krishna, who was unable to take His stones from Her corner, thought of a way to spy on Her and out of eagerness to win, began to play by having His stones struck by Her.
When clever Radhika defeated Krishna by throwing the right score, the tender sakhis became very harsh and said, "O Madhumangala, why are you bowing your head now? Where is your shouting of 'hee hee', your dancing and your efforts to sell our bangles to buy Sitopala now?"
Shri Radhika said, "O sakhis, this brahmin boy is fond of Sitopala, so go get some white (sita) stones (upala) from the top of Govardhana Hill and shower his head with them. Let him relish the taste! A-re! Why are you quiet now? Now all your brahminical qualities of muni dharma like tolerance, patience, peace and gravity become manifest!"
Then, when Krishna lost His Kaustubha gem in the next throw, the sakhi's said, "This gem has touched many gopis breasts. How can he be worn by our dear sakhi? It should be swapped for a bangle or purified by washing it many times." To humiliate Krishna, the sakhis said, "This is not the forest for tending cows and killing Bakasura, Vatsasura and Putana! This is a dice game in which clever people's intelligence is tested in the assembly. This Saraswati stream of the sakhis' words uprooted the tree of Madhumangala's cleverness.
Fearfully, he told Krishna, "Friend, give me the Kaustubha gem. I have some work to do. O Son of the King of Vraja, if the gopis attack You when You are alone, then I'll tell Queen Yashoda and I'll let her bind them up with the ropes of punishment and throw them in the dark cave of embarassment!"
Krishna said, "Damn you, fool! Why are you so afraid? Look, I will defeat them. Don't be so stupid as to announce My defeat with your panicky gestures!"
Madhumangala angrily replied, "Even when I speak for Your benefit You become angry! Then let the Kaustubha be taken from Your hand. I'm going! Let these young girls play with You and make You dance around."
With a wink of His eye, Krishna got the support from the assembled sakhis and falsely spoke, "O assembly, I've defeated these whimsical young girls, but just see their harshness."
The assembly of gopis said, "Krishna, if You win, then why didn't You say anything when the gopis attacked Madhumangala?"
Krishna said, "I was astonished!"
Visakha said, "I offer my obeisances to Your eyebrows and Your crooked glances that are like women that became our enemies by ruining our chastity. Now they are demonstrating the falsity of Your words, becoming our sakhis and making us happy, though."
Nandimukhi said, "Give us Your Kaustubha gem, Madhubhidi!", and smiling Kundavalli took it from Aghantaka's chest and hung it on Shri Radha's chest. Then Krishna's reflection fell in the Kaustubha gem on Radhika's chest.
Then Kundalata said, "O Krishna, how beautifully You are reflected between Radhika's breasts! Out of great love this king of jewels keeps You on the breasts of Your beloved One."
While tears rolled from His eyes, Giridhari told His own reflection, "Blesses, O blessed you are, Pratibimba. You are the all beautiful Krishna. I'm simply your reflection. I always desire to be where you are now, between Shri Radhika's breasts!"
Shri Radhika, seeing Krishna's beloved face reflected on Her bosom, cursed Her blouse from stopping His touch and Her shyness for stopping Her from looking at Him. She was stunned and immersed in bliss.
Kundalata then said, "O oceans of rasa, play again! This time, put Your embraces at stake."
So, They played again and Krishna, who won by cheating, became eager to collect His prize. When Radhika resisted, Mukunda said, "O proud girl, why do You frown and contract Your body? I have won by proper means! Although You are sukala, or naturally generous, You have become such a miser, now."
After Krishna collected His prize, They played again, putting kisses at stake. This time Radha won, showing great impudence. Krishna smiled and kept His cheek close to Radhika's lotus face, saying, "Sakhi, I'm defeated in this assembly. Collect Your prize of kisses."
Hearing this, Shri Radhika and Her sakhis looked at Him and laughed, covering their mouths with their veils. When the laughter calmed down somewhat, Shri Radhika said, "O brave boy, I did not defeat You!"
Then Krishna said, "So be it!" and repeatedly kissed Her cheeks by force.
Radhika angrily told Kundalata, "Kaundi, darling of your cousin-in-law, after ascertaining this dirty prize you are laughing. Why don't you play with Krishna?" and stopped playing.
Wide eyed Kundalata said, "Sakhi, now I play for Krishna's flute and Your vina. This time You will win this dice game."
Then, Radhika indeed won. So She said, "O Krishna, give Me Your flute." Krishna felt in His sash, but He could not find the flute. So, He asked Madhumangala where it was.
Madhumangala said, "Where am I, a wanderer of the forest for so long, and where are You, roaming around here like mad, just for fun? Where am I, religion personified, and where are You, attached to gambling, drinking and women? Your Kaustubha gem is already lost. Now You also lost Your enchanted weapon, the flute. Now You can blissfully sing the 'ri ri' song with Your mouth, wherever You go!"
Lalita said, O noble one, well spoken! Now that the flute is gone, how will your friend attract the gopis into the forest? And, how will He pass the time? You're in big trouble!"
Madhumangala said, "What do you say, Lalita? You alone have love for Krishna and you alone are merciful to me. O blessed one, you will have to solve this poor brahmin's problem." Hearing this, the fair eyed gopis laughed.
Lalita angrily said, "O twice born one, she who accepts you as priest and gives you the divine remnants of offerings to Durga, that Chandravali, the friend of Padma, mounts your shoulders and comes into this kunja to relieve the erotic affliction of your friend, Krishna."
Krishna said, "Lalita, stop joking and tell Me where My flute is!"
Lalita said, "How do I know?"
Krishna said, "Lalita, you are My shelter! Did your friend, Radhika, steal it?"
Lalita said, "Vishnu!! No one of us steals other men's property!"
Krishna: "Then did you take My murali when it fell from My sash while we were swinging?"
Lalita: "Madhava, I swear on the sun that I did not take it."
Krishna: "Then did you steal it while we were drunk?"
Lalita: "Acyuta, I swear on Lord Vishnu that I did not take it!"
Krishna: "Then did you take it while we played in the water?"
Lalita: "O lotue eyed One, I swear to You I did not take Your flute."
Krishna: "Then where has it gone?"
Lalita said, "O assembled sakhis, behold this fun."
Kundalata said, "O cousin, You lost Your flute during the dice game! If You cannot pay Your prize now, Radhika will bind You up with the ropes of Her vine-like arms and bring You to King Cupid. What argument do You have against that?"
Nandimukhi said, "Radha! Aho! If You bind the son of the king of Vraja with these ropes, we cannot bear to see His suffering. So spare us and just take His yellow scarf."
Madhava told Madhumangala, "Friend, you have studied astrology, so look in your charts to see who took my Murali?"
After some study, Madhumangala said, "Krishna, Lalita took it!"
Lalita said, "O crooked one, I didn't do it!"
Then Giridhari said, "Alright, then open your blouse and your braid and let Me see. Otherwise, what fear would I have (to look for it Myself)?"
When Lalita heard this threat, her garments shook and Hari came up to her, held her braid and opened her blouse with His nails, which made her wink at Him, towards Radhika. Thinking that Radhika had the flute, Hari then went to Her, but Radhika winked towards Visakha. Then, coming to Visakha, she again hinted to Him towards other sakhis. Which gopis blouse was not ripped open in this way?
Then one forest nymph came and said, "Jatila has arrived in the Surya temple!" Hearing this, the gopis at once gave up their blissfull sports and went to see Jatila with fearful eyes.
Seeing Radhika, Jatila asked Her, "O daughter, why are You so late?"
Shri Radhika said, "We went to bathe in the Manasa Ganga."
Jatila: "Why didn't I see Kundalata there?"
Radhika: "She went to get My priest."
Jatila: "Why didn't she come here all this time?"
Radhika: "Look, there she comes with the priest!"
Then Kundalata came with Krishna, who was dressed as a brahmin boy and told Jatila, "Today I couldn't find a brahmin boy anywhere in Vraja, even after a long search. But now I've found this disciple of Garga muni from Mathura, who knows all sciences. Even the scholars and the intellectuals praise this boy as the best of brahmacharis. Very eagerly I've brought Him here! Please accept Him as priest for your daughter-in-law"
Jatila told the priest, "O best of brahmins, simply on seeing You I feel blessed! Engage my daughter-in-law in worship. Then, all my desires will be fulfilled."
Krishna, who wore a white robe, who kept a book and darbha grass in His hands, whose eyes were peaceful and whose sweet voice could embody the songs of the Sama Veda, told Jatila, "O old one, although it is improper for a brahmacari to look at women, I will nevertheless help your very chaste daughter-in-law, whose body is covered with garments, to worship the sun (or Me), who fulfills all desires."
Krishna pronounced a blessing and told shy Radhika with the lowered eyes, "O chaste girl, accept Me as the performer of the service of the Lord of the day, the sun, Mitra (Your friend, Me). Now collect Your paraphernalia and remember Mitra, please him tremendously. I wil pronounce the mantra 'om jaya sarva vyapakeshwara' (glory to the all pervading Lord) jagaddhitakarin (the benefactor of the world) bhaskara (the Radiant One) iksana tamonuda (the destroyer of the eyes' darkness) sasvat padminigana vikasaka (who always causes the lotus flowers, or the gopis, to blossom) bhano dharmadaya (O sun, who grants religious merit) paramartha savitre (O transcendental sun) kamadaya (fullfiller of desires) mahase astu namas te (all obeisances unto you, O Great One!)"
Jatila said, "O best of brahmins, My son, Abhimanyu, will give You millions of cows! May You live long and free from trouble! I pray for this boon for You."
Aghasatru (Krishna) said, "So be it."
Madhumangala said, "I will recite prayers to the sun god," while his eyes fell on the ample food offerings.
But, Jatila said, "You fool! Friend of a debaucher! What are you doing here? This charming bluish boy will do the puja for my daughter-in-law every day from now on!" At the end of the puja, Jatila gave gold in charity, but Hari did not accept it, so Madhumangala took the gold and ate the food.
Krishna told Radhika, "O most chaste girl, just say bhavaste namah (homor to the effulgent One), do parikrama (walk around the temple in a circle) and offer Your obeisances with Your head on the ground."
So Radhika did so, Her heart filled with sentiments towards His ambrosial cleverness. But while She offered Her obeisances, Krishna's flute fell out of Her braid, making a sound like 'thanat!' But She didn't realize it.
Then Jatila said, "What is this, what is this ?!", took the flute and shouted, "hum! hum!" with reddish eyes of anger, chastising doe-eyed Radhika like a snake.
Shri Radhika said, "Arya! Today this flute just fell from the slope of Govardhana Hill! That's where I got it from. Because it gives Me so much trouble, I wanted to throw it into the Yamuna. Why are you so angry?"
Jatila said, "O polluted, lowborn girl! You're always trying to cheat me. I will tell the assembly of elderly gopis about You and we will consider a suitable punishment for You and that lusty boy."
Krishna said, "O old one, why are you angrily shouting at your daughter-in-law? I don't understand. I'm your benefactor, so tell Me everything frankly, even if it is embarassing."
Jatila said, "Arya, o son of a brahmana, do You know the king of Vraja?"
Krishna said, "Yes, he is famous even in Mathura Puri!"
Jatila: "He has one son..."
Krishna: "Yes. He has killed Aghasura, Bakasura and Kesi! I know Him"
Jatila: "Listen, He has the tendency to wreck the gopis chastity. There's no one, except my daughter-in-law who's managed to remained pure. He attracts them with the enchanting songs of His flute into the forest, where He...Om Shri Vishnava Namah!"
Hearing Jatila's words, Krishna smiled and said, "Really? What is this flute like? Give it to Me!" He took it in His hand and looked at it as if He'd never seen it before.
Jatila said, "Arya, O expert One! If You like, You can take this jewelled flute with You, out of Vraja, to Mathura. Let the chaste girls here be fixed in their family duties. Now, if You will follow me, I will quickly return to my home with my daughter-in-law. O ocean of qualities, please come here every day to do surya puja for us. Be kind to Your devotee and her daughter-in-law."
In this way, the nectar vine of Aghari's pastimes, that pervades the three worlds, blossoms in Vraja at midday. I have picked the flowers that are very dear to the fair eyed gopis and that Cupid uses to make arrows that pierce their hearts. Anyone who is pierced like that becomes happy in Krishna's company! After Jatila honored Hari, who was clad as a brahmin boy, she went home with Radhika and Her sakhis. Krishna also went home, holding hands with His dear friends, occasionally looking behind Him to see Shri Radhika, until He had returned to His cows and cowherd boy friends.
Thus ends chapter fifteen of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravrti's "Krishna Bhavanamrita Mahakavya," called 'Radha and Krishna Play Dice and Worship the Sun God.'