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By Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura
O Goddess of Vrindavana! O ocean of youthful splendour! O limitless ocean of beauty! O You who are ocean of wonderful qualities and an ocean of sweet pastimes! O ocean of good fortune! You who are ocean of loving amusement! O ocean of compassion! Please hear what I am about to submit to You. I wish to be Your maidservant. By rendering service to You in the company of your lover, surrounded by the circle of Your cowherd girlfriends, I will make You happy. This is my only request. I want nothing other than this.
Having decorated Your body with various ornaments, I will take You to meet with Your lover, Whose face You will refuse to look at, due to feelings inspired by Your left-wing feminine nature. But I will then catch hold of the end of Your sari and forcibly bring You to Shri Hari. If You become angry with me and scold me because of this I will undoubtedly be transported to the limits of ecstasy, seeing this mood of Yours to be like a shower of nectar.
Externally though, I will then fall at Your feet in submission, seeing that You have become angry with me. But at the same time, unknown to You, I will signal to Your paramour from the corners of my eyes that He should now seize this opportunity to quickly embrace You with His two arms. I will then accomplish the highest perfection of my eyes by watching You being held in that embrace with Your bodily hairs standing on end like a coat of armour, which, though supposed to protect You, nevertheless causes Your body to thrill with such rapture the You fall even further into the depths of that embrace.
Shri Krishna catches hold of Your hand and says to You: “O life of My life! Please adorn this flower bed with your mystifying presence.” The sound of those words, which resembles the honey-soaked pollen of a flower, I will drink through my ears while You, Your voice choked with emotion, reply to Him “O Madhava! I am a chaste girl! Please let Me go!” When I hear these words of Yours I will come to Your rescue, taking Shri Krishna to task by reprimanding Him severely.
When Shri Krishna again intercepts You, who are so contrary, on His chest with His two arms, then Your body will become moistened with the tears f Your ecstasy. Again and again you try to rise up, which causes the locks of Your hair to become disheveled, and You braids loosened. The perfection of my life will then be accomplished by seeing You in this sweet state of affairs.
After I have spent some time entertaining You with various expressions of the fine arts, You finally take Your seat on that bed made of flowers. Then, as Shri Krishna, Who is very accomplished at wanton play, indulges in various pastimes of enjoyment with You while experiencing the greatest happiness, You at first resist by saying: “No! No! No!’ My ears will thus become perfect through drinking the nectar of that scene through the vines surrounding the two of You.
While You are both distracted in Your pastimes of loving playfulness, I will sit outside and pull on the rope which is fitted to a fan within the kunj, thus creating a gentle breeze to give relief to You, Whose bodies are now decorate by beads of perspiration produced from the labour of love’s play. When I hear the cooing sounds that You are both making to each other, a gentle smile will blossom forth form my face.
Then Rupa Manjari and the other manjaris will tell me: “Now you can leave the fan and go to pick flowers, grind sandalwood paste and other such services.” I will immediately accept this order on my head, but will not feel the least bit discontented that I have to leave the happiness of seeing the most cherished pastimes of that moment. In order to properly execute my prescribed service I must necessarily become the object of mercy of Tulasi Manjari. In this way I will serve You in the happiness of love.
I will string flower garlands and clean Your necklaces and other ornaments. I will also make small paint brushes with which to fashion various tilaka pictures like the horned shark and other. I will also prepare camphor, saffron, sandalwood and aguru pastes for anointing Your fair and dark forms. Then along with the other sakhis I will sit down to prepare very tastefully designed packets of pan with cloves and betel nuts.
Having engaged in intense battle under the direction of the forces of Cupid, You clothes and ornaments have all become disarranged. I will then ready myself to dress and decorate You again. Simply by the glance of Shri Rupa Manjari and the other sakhis I will know to bring the garlands and other things before You.
O Goddess of Vrindavana! When Shri Krishna again gazes upon You after I have adorned Your graceful body from head to toe and so comes forward, yearning to touch You, I will chastise Him with false anger, my head thrown back and my eyebrows contracted in a formidable frown, all the while challenging Him with loud shouts.
Lalita devi, who has just arrived, comes forward to joke with You, expecting to find You both in a disarrayed state after You loving playing. When, however, she sees that You are dressed quite nicely, not realizing this has been accomplished by the skillful arts of Shri Rupa Manjari and the other sakhis, she is astonished, thinking that You must not have enjoyed together. At this time, Shri Krishna addresses her: “O Lalita! I came here to extract the thorn of Shrimati Radharani’s chastity, but this mischievous maiden of yours prevented Me from doing so.” Taking these words of Krishna to be just like the sweetest honey, the bee of my heart will relish the topmost nectar.
Then, when You come out of the kunj, Your body enveloped in the left arm of Shri Krishna, joking and listening to stories told by the other sakhis, Your bright and cheerful faces shining forth with gaiety, all on Your way to wander about in the forest groves, at that time I will wave my hands and run to catch up with You.
O my Queen! I will sing songs of my own composition in glorification of Your wonderful characteristics and qualities while I spread a cover of flowers along the path You will traverse, in order to make it very soft to the touch of Your lotus feet, and sweet-scented as well. Along with the other sakhis I will continuously cause by throwing them into the air, a rain of flower petals to fall in every direction with Your every step.
O Goddess of Vrindavana! Your dearest one, with His own hands picks some flowers to fashion ear ornaments, necklaces, armlets, a girdle and a tiara with which He will then decorate You, while I busy myself in decorating You with the flowers of my poetry.
The bees who are attracted by the fragrance of the Kadamba trees, have now arrived to chant Your glories, while he moonbeams dance on the surface of the Yamuna, making its waves glisten. You will then begin Your rasa dance with Shri Hari while I play on the vina, which I have become well known for, after taking lessons at Your lotus feet.
O Shrimati Radharani! When You have finished Your rasa dance and are now ready to lie down to rest with Krishna and the other sakhis, within a kunj of new malati flowers, I will bring juicy fruits like pomegranates, mangoes and bananas to distribute to all of You.
O Shrimati Radharani! I will then cause You to lie down in great ecstatic happiness with Your dearmost on a very luxuriant bed of lotuses prepared by Tulasi devi, and which is adequate for Your loving pastimes. When I have got You in a cheerful spirit I will then offer tambula for You to chew.
O Goddess of Vrindavana. I will then massage Your two lotus feet, he fragrance of which causes me to be carried away in the current of an ocean of wonder and charm. With my two eyes I will see them and keep them within my mind always. I will embrace them, and, when no-one is watching, kiss them shyly.
O Shrimati Radharani! At the end of the night, when I see that the long curly locks of hair of Your Dearmost have become entangled with Your necklace and the ornament which hangs from Your nose, then I will go and wake up the parama priya sakhis and bring them there to show them this.
By showing the sakhis this splendid sight I will plunge them into an ocean of ecstatic happiness. In this way I will obtain immense quantities of their mercy. I adore You, Who wake with a start when Your deep sleep is broken by the sound of the sakhis’ ankle bells.
O Goddess! Feeling somewhat ashamed and bashful to see the sakhis there You try to get up but are unable to do so due to the fact that your necklace and earrings are all tangled up in the hair of Your beloved. Unable to disentangle Yourself on Your own, I will then very cleverly and expediently release You from this embarrassing situation by exhibiting the dexterity of my fingers in quickly untangling You from the long tresses of Shri Shyamasundara.
O my Queen! By removing the earrings from Your ears and the ornament from Your nose, they will of themselves become disentangled. O Queen, considering each and every pore of Your transcendental body to be of infinite importance, more than 100 million of my own existences, I will be very attentive not to cause You any pain while doing this.
O My Queen! As You proceed on a solitary path back to Your house, in the company of Your cowherd girl friends, I will stealthily return to surreptitiously observe the activities of Shri Krishna as He tries to beseech Candravali in His favour again, after the fact that she has become offended by His infidelity to her. These details I will then narrate before the assembly of the cowherd girls.
With sweetly scented water I will wash Your face. With twigs of the mango tree I will cleanse Your teeth. With a golden reed I will cleanse Your tongue. After performing these services I will then bring a mirror to show You.
Before beginning Your bath I will dress you in a light white cloth. After removing Your necklace, bracelets and other ornaments I will anoint Your body with a rose coloured oil so sweetly scented that it captivates the mind. Then I will rub freshly powdered saffron and camphor over Your transcendental body.
With highly scented water I will bathe You and then dry Your limbs with a very soft and delicate cloth. I will dry Your hair with the smoke of burning aguru, and then with great happiness I will perfume Your hair.
Thereafter I will dress You in very attractive garments and arrange Your hair with a golden comb. I will braid You hair with jewels and place small flowers in the centre of the braids.
O Shrimati Radharani! In great delight I will decorate Your forehead with tilaka designs and a pearl ornament and then place a diadem on Your head. O my Queen! I will decorate your eyes with collyrium, Your ears with earrings and Your nose with a pearl.
O Shrimati Radharani! I will decorate Your cheeks with tilaka pictures of Capricorn, Your chin with a dot of musk, Your breasts with various kinds of pictures, Your two arms with bracelets and armlets, and on Your head I will place a beautiful ornament encrusted with blue sapphires.
On You fingers I will place jeweled rings, on Your chest a jeweled locket and a lovely blouse embroidered with pearls will adorn Your two breasts. Finally I will worship you by placing around Your neck variously coloured flower garlands.
Around You two lovely hips I will place jeweled ornaments around the ankles of Your two lotus feet ankle bracelets and bells and the toes of those lotus feet I will decorate with rings that make a sweet jingling sound. O my Queen! Even though the soles of Your two lotus feet are tinged with a rose-coloured hue, I will dye them with lac dye which has obviously amassed heaps of religious merit.
O my Queen! Though Your transcendental body is naturally very fragrantly scented, still I will smear newly ground saffron al over Your limbs to perfume them. I will place a blue lotus flower in You hand for You to play with and then I will bring a jeweled mirror so You can see Yourself.
Seeing You wonderful beauty You feel it might present a tempting allurement before the bee-like eyes of Your beloved, and this makes Your body very restless. With every particle of my mind, heart and soul I will now offer arati to You with a camphor lamp and water gathered from the tears falling from my eyes.
O my Queen! When Kundalata arrives at Your house, having been sent by Mother Yashoda to bring You to prepare Krishna’s breakfast, and You set off with her and the other sakhis to go to Mother Yashoda’s house, I will run behind carrying Your container of tambula, a jeweled face and other such articles.
Arriving at the Queen of the cowherds house You will attain all well-being by bowing down at her feet. She will nevertheless come out of the house to greet You by smelling Your head. After You have first had darshan of her transcendental body, veiled with shyness and moistened by the tears from her eyes, I will also bow down to offer her my obeisances with devotion.
Mother Yashoda will tell You: “O beautiful one, O Radha! You are the personified form of penance, austerities and divine contemplation, the crest jewel of the house of Vrishabhanu. In my house You are also the personification of good fortune, because You have received a boon from Durvasa Muni that whatever You cook is like nectar, thus You are the cause of the good health of my son and His complete freedom from the attack of any disease.” To hear these words of Mother Yashoda addressed to You gives me such intense satisfaction that a broad smile must necessarily appear on my face.
O my Queen! By the restless movement of Your eyes I can understand tat You are very desirous to see Your dearest, Who is at this moment being anointed with carious unguents and colognes before His bath. By some artifice I will the bring You to a vantage point from which You can get a glimpse of Him.
After washing and drying Your feet I will the remove some of Your jeweled necklaces and flower garlands which might get in the way when You’re cooking. At this time, having become very delighted with me fort my stratagem which enabled You get a glimpse of Shri Krishna You will say: “O My maidservant, these ornaments are for you. Please keep them for yourself.” These words of Yours are such a source of elation for me that at that time I appear to be like a madhavi flower in the full bloom of Springtime.
After You have completed cooking a variety of the four kinds of foodstuffs, such as sweet rice, spinach, soup and fried things, all which surpass the taste of nectar, Mother Yashoda directs You to serve the prasadam. To this You reply out of shyness: “No! No! No!” again and again. This sight I will relish with great satisfaction.
O Queen of Vrindavana! To see Your dearmost satisfied by eating the preparations You have cooked for Him immediately transports You to the furthest reaches of exultation, as Your eyes, peeping through the lattice work of the verandah, drink the lustrous beauty of Your beloved’s face. I will completely immerse my mind at this time in the waves of splendiferous brilliance which shine forth from Your rapturous face, begotten by the ecstasy produced from the attack of Cupid’s arrows.
Mother Yashoda declares: “O my daughter, O personified form of auspiciousness. This is Your house. Do I see any difference between You and my son?” The gentle smile that comes to Your lips upon hearing theses words of the Queen of Vrindavana I will eternally relish in my heart.
Thereafter, when Shri Krishna goes out to the forest in the company of the cowherd boys, followed by His father and the other elders crying tears of fear at the impending separation from their darling, You remain watching the graceful loveliness of Your beloved until He is out of sight. You then proceed to Your guru’s residence. I will accompany You as You proceed from there to the forest under the pretext of going to worship the Sungod.
Once in the forest, after You have caught sight of Your paramour, You being to pick flowers while I stand beside You with a flower basket made of leaves. When Shri Krishna accost us with some scathing remarks, asking: “Who is the thief?” I will reply: “No-one!” My only wish is to be able to remember You as You offer Your eyes to Shri Krishna at this moment.
“O thief! Let Me see how many flowers You have stolen. Come on, show Me!” When Krishna speaks to me in this way I will hide the flower basket behind me. Seeing this He comes and forcibly puts His hand on my arm which causes me pain.
“O my Queen! I am Your maidservant! Please save me now!” Feeling very distressed I call out to You, my voice trembling with anxiety, praying that You give me shelter. In answer to this You accost Shri Krishna with these words: “O You cunning rascal! Why are You giving grief to My friend?” Then You come and catch hold of His arm, freeing me, and giving me shelter.
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