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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 01 Description of Vrindavana

                                                                           Kuaumara   Lila


                                                                   Chapter One


                                                            Auspicious Prayers and Description of Vrndavana


I offer my respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Krishna, which are  bound in friendship's constant embrace to the breasts of the Vraja gopis,  and permanently stained with their fine bodily ointments. The radiant pink  color of Krishna's foot soles comes from the kunkuma anointing the upper  part of the gopis' breasts. The dark blue color of His feet riginates  from the musk spread on the lower part of their breasts. The waves of  light emanating from His moon-like nails come from the sandalwood paste  covering the middle portion of their breasts.May the two lotus feet of Krishna, the enemy of Putana, always protect us.  His delicate toes resemble the petals of a pink lotus flower and His  slender ankles resemble the stalk of a lotus. His lotus feet hold the  honey of His devotee's faith. The streams of light emanating from His  toenails resemble the stamens of a lotus. The kunkuma powder from the  budding breasts of Radhika, which clings to His foot soles, resembles the  pollen of a lotus flower.


All glories to the most worshipable Lord Chaitanya Krishna Hari who is  fragrant with the honey of the sweetest love. His method of worship is  like a forest pf golden lotuses. He is an overflowing cascade of nectarean  mercy, a golden mountain of prema, and a lightning flash signifying  vic­tory for the cloud-like assembly of devotees.I offer my respects to Shri Advaita Acarya, the beloved associate of Lord  Chaitanya, who is very affectionate to everyone, including me, and who  destroys the sins of the whole world. I offer my respects to Svarupa  Damodara, Raya Ramananda, and the Gosvamis headed by Rupa and Sanatana.  These exalted personalities fully represent Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu  because they possess the same prema, qualities, compas­sion, pleasure, and  sweetness.

I offer my humble respects to Shrinatha, my guru, who appeared in a  brahmana family like the moon rising from the ocean. Being the object of  Mahaprabhu's love, He was the crest-jewel of the earth. Whoever tasted the  pure Hari-katha flowing from his mouth immediately lost all attach­ments  to worldly pleasures, and desired only to serve Radha and Krishna in  Vrndavana.Shri Chaitanya and His eternal associates have all returned to Goloka  Vrndavana, far beyond the vision of this world. Because of the absence of  qualified hearers of rasa, the skillful writers of rasa have also  disappeared. With them the ability to understand rasa and prema also  vanished. Alas! The fragrance of perfectly composed poetry finds no  shelter.


O Mother Sarasvati! How can I properly praise you? It is not possible for  any living entity to describe your variegated pastimes. Although the poet  may try to firmly bind you and glorify your activities with the ropes of  flowery phrases and other poetic devices, such an attempt will merely  inflate his pride. If by chance the binding becomes loose, then the  natural meaning of the work will at once disappear.O poets, just listen! What is the fault in verses of praise if the  devo­tional poet uses them to bind the Lord in his heart with the ropes of  affection? In answer to this he says, O Sarasvati! By your mercy we can  obtain unlimited joy. Just as one worships the ocean with ocean water,  similarly, we worship you with eloquent words. To repay you for the bliss  you have so mercifully given, I will bathe you in the nectarean stream of  Krishna's pastimes.


Now Sarasvati-devi, please stay here and listen attentively. One may ask  why produce a new literary work when new poets always find faults with the  great works of the previous poets? One scholar will find defects in  another's work, and then another learned man will find defects in his. But  one should ignore the critics. Since every living entity cherishes his own  life, he will not see any defects in his own actions. Similarly, although  a lamp cannot illuminate its own base, it removes the darkness from four  directions.Just as smoke precedes the light of fire, similarly, a man often displays  some defects before he exhibits perfection. You may say that this literary  work has no other purpose than to show off my ability to overpower the  reader with poetic embellishments. However, the words of an expert poet  can inspire the heart even without resorting to literary ornaments. Just  as even without bathing, a person becomes purified by glancing at a sacred  river. Words remain independent and faultless until the poet combines them  into verses. Similarly, even though a poetic work may be endowed with  attractive ornaments, qualities, and mellows, some people will only see  the faults in it. One should reject such a deceitful mentality that acts only to find faults  in another. O faultfinder! O one with a deceitful tongue! You are like a  «veeper man whose only job is to clean up a place full of the dirty  objects aiscarded by others. We, therefore, are reluctant to touch you.  Deceit is like finger nails or hair. In cutting or removing them no one  feels any pain, and when growing they give only distress. Truly I say that  a man cannot become liberated until he gives up the quality of deceit.


Now that the faultfinders have been duly warned, I, Kavi-karnapur, admit that I have written Ananda Vrndavana Campu for my own plea­sure.  Overflowing with Krishna's sweet glories, this work will saturate the minds  of thirsty sadhakas with immeasurable transcendental bliss. A skill­fully  strung garland always looks beautiful regardless of the number of flowers.  And what more can be said if those flowers exude a sweet fra­grance? The  object of this poetic Work is to inundate the reader with the fragrant  qualities and pastimes of Shri Krishna the beautiful.


The Forest of Vrndavana


Now I will describe the form, qualities, and position of the  transcenden­tal forest of Vrndavana, which overflows with all wonderful  attributes. Though the forest of Vrndavana contains the matchless essence  of the majesty of Vaikuntha (vaikuntha-saram), there is no limit to its  great sweet­ness (na vai kuntasaram). Although its splendor (yapra-bhuta)  seems to arise from the field of cit-sakti, or spiritual energy, it  eternally manifests in newer ways (nava-prabhuta) at every moment. Though  it is unadulter­ated (akrtakam), it is also the giver of bliss (krtakam).  Though it is perfect by the svarupa-sakti of the Lord (prakrti-siddham),  it is not created by the maya-sakti (aprakrti-siddhim).


Though its form is eternal (nitya-bhutam), it is a dwelling place of  Krishna's eternal associates (anitya-bhutam), or a dwelling place consisting  of spiri­tual elements. Though filled with sweet tasting fruits and other  objects, and with varieties of rasas like srngara rasa (su-rasa-arthd),  this forest is difficult to attain for the devatas (sura-sartha). Though  it is covered with wonderful trees luxuriant with verdant leaves  (vipallava), there is not the slightest possibility of calamity or  dangers. Vradavana's trees are eter­nally manifested and always replete  with flowers and fruits. Though these trees are the places of Krishna's  pastimes (lila-ayatana), they are filled with branches (ali-ila-yatana)  resounding with the humming of bumblebees.Although Vrndavana is covered with many kalpa-vrksas (mandara-bahulam), it  is also a pleasant place for good people (amandaram). It is splendid with  bakula trees laden with leaves and fresh flowers (navakula). It is  resplendent with tamala trees bending down in many rows (nata-mala). What  more can be said of Krishna's lovers who are like creepers endowed with the  ripe fruits of their breasts that are white from the candana covering them  and red from the scratches of their lover afflicted by the strong blows of  lust. Krishna is surrounded by His beloved gopis who appear like creepers of  love. Similarly, Vrndavana is decorated with a variety of splendidly  beautiful trees such as tala, bael, karanja, cinnamon, and red sandalwood.  As Krishna is full of mercy (karuna), the forest is full of karuna trees. As  an assembly of sages is adorned with exalted persons like Sandilya and Lomasa, similarly, the forest of Vrndavana is decorated  with trees of bad, Java, khadira, and jatavamsi.


As a battlefield is decorated with the movements of foot soldiers and  elephants, Vrndavana is decorated with the branches of the pilu, carmi  trees in Vrndavana also grow in natural clusters. Even without watering or  observing any rules of arboriculture, the trees in Vrndavana produce and  karavira trees. Just as in the battle between the Kurus and the Pandavas,  Arjuna covered Bhisma's body with arrows while surrounded by soldiers like  Sikhandi, Vrndavana is full of arjuna, sara, nagakesara, and bhallataki  trees and abundant peacocks. As Vrndavana is full of to­tally liberated  (atimukta) persons (purusa) devoid of all lamentation (asoka), it is  filled with trees of asoka, purusa, and atimukta. Though all the planets are present in Vrndavana, there are no  inauspi­cious combinations of the Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter,  Mer­cury, Rahu or Ketu. The dazzling light of Krishna's sudarsana cakra ever  protects and illuminates Vrndavana. Since it is the site of Krishna's  eternal pastimes, it is not destroyed by time or subject to material  transforma­tions. It is free from all disturbances. Though many  intelligent devotees reside here, it is inaccessible to mundane scholars.  Ignorant or lazy fel­lows cannot be seen here. Completely devoid of  ignorance, the effulgent forest of Vrndavana grants liberation to all its  inhabitants.


If someone says that in Vrndavana we see the sun and other planets just  like any ordinary place, then I say that actually all these planets are  spiri­tual, but due to the influence of the Lord's Yogamaya they appear to  be material. Thus Vrndavana's effulgence is due to the supernatural power  of its own spiritual Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Ketu, Rahu,  and stars. Though festivals appear at every moment, Vrndavana is be­yond  the influence of time.

          The forest of Vrndavana, which automatically nurtures good  qualities         within its residents, is unlimited but it appears to be  only eighty-four krosas in circumference. Its golden trees, bushes, and  creepers sparkle like em­eralds. Fragrant creepers cover the golden, jewel  inlaid footpaths. Some places abound in crystal trees, bushes, and  creepers standing on earth made of rubies. In other places ruby creepers  entwine crystal houses, golden creepers embrace emerald trees, or emerald  creepers surround golden trees. One can also see crystal creepers crawling  up ruby trees, or ruby creepers embracing crystal trees.

These incredible jewel trees have branches made of other various jew­els.  Many types of jeweled leaves and flowers emitting unique fragrances adorn  the branches. Surrounding the bases of the trees are basins of wa­ter  filled by jeweled waterfalls flowing down jeweled mountains pouring out  jeweled water. The basins are made of different kinds of jewels and  decorated with jeweled birds.

As much as the sun sends scorching sunshine, the trees provide cooling shade. As the rays of the moon fill the mind with joy, so do the roots of  Vrndavana's trees. As a cultured person is well versed in the sixty-four  arts, the trees of Vrndavana are adorned with beautiful bark. As warriors  are decorated with good character, the trees are adorned with beautiful  branches. As an arrow is equipped with a beautiful feather, the trees are  decorated with nice leaves.

As Svargaloka is resplendent with the demigods and the spring is  deco­rated with malati flowers, all the trees are ornamented with  beautiful, fragrant flowers. As karma yoga yields fruits to a flawless  performer, and as an arrowhead has an iron tip, the trees of Vrndavana  always provide abundant fruits. All these trees exist eternally; they have  not grown from any seed. Just as sara trees naturally grow in groups, by  Krishna's desire the abundant fruits and flowers.

Like a perfectly composed poem or an artistic drawing, the trees of  Vrndavana displ,\y a faultless excellence. Vraja's trees always contain  leaf shoots, buds, flowers, unripe, half-ripe, and fully ripened fruits at  the same time. The crystal basins encircling the bases of the trees  perfectly reflect the image of the trees. Though there is no water in  these basins, the birds think there is, and they foolishly try to bathe  there by spreading and shak­ing their wings and dipping in their beaks.


The glitter of the sapphire basins appears like the water of the Yamuna  being moved by the wind. The trees reflected in those basins display  ec­static symptoms as their buds stand on end when they try to embrace the  waves of dark blue effulgence. Bathed in the reddish light of ruby basins,  some trees appear to be dyed red with lac, or as if the sap (rasa) of  attrac­tion to Krishna is oozing out, having no room within their bodies.Though completely spiritual and endowed with various powers, these trees  as well as the Lord Himself appear to be material to the mundane eye. As  women decorate themselves with designs drawn in sandalwood paste, the  creepers of Vrndavana are decorated with leaves and shoots. As independent  women freely embrace their young lovers, the tender creepers wrap around  their favorite trees. The creepers carry the heavy weight of abundant  flowers, like women bearing the pain of longing for their lovers. The  joints of the creepers enhance their beauty and appear like devas shining  in an assembly hall. Though a woman is contaminated in her period, the  creepers remain pure even while flowering.Though the creepers move in crooked ways, they show not cruelty but  kindness to their leaves and flowers. Though fickle, the creepers do not  display the momentary brilliance of lightning, but a permanent brilliance.  The creepers maintain their gravity even after being repeatedly kissed  bythe bees. The wind blows them about but they remain beyond anyone's  touch. The splendid creepers of Vrndavana assist in Krishna pastimes, and  bestow a strong desire to attain the Supreme Lord.


Besides the twelve major forests of Vrndavana, there are smaller for­ests  known as upavanas. In some of these forests there are small coconut trees  having ripe coconuts lying at their roots. Using the roots as pillows, the  coconuts seem to be sleeping comfortably. The narrow trunks of the betel  trees resemble the slim waists of young women, and their abundant fruits  hang down like a woman's heavy necklaces. The naranga creepers hold their  clusters of ripe fruits without letting them fall to the ground. Those  fruits appear like countless planets of Mars (red in color) which outshine  the other planets in the sky.

The lavali creepers dancing gaily in the breeze give pleasure to the eyes.  Hundreds of pomegranate trees blooming with clumps of flowers add an  astonishing grace to the forest. When the ripened pomegranate fruits burst  open and start oozing juice, they look like an elephant's forehead  drip­ping blood upon being clawed open by a lion. In all directions there  are thousands of red flowers filled with bees. These red flowers resemble  the sindura on young women's foreheads.

When parrots perch on the lightweight boughs of flowers, they hang down to  form natural arches. Afflictions such as hunger, thirst, illusion, old  age, disease and death are forever absent in these transcendental ar­bors.  Sweet sap flows continuously from plentiful date trees. Dried grass,  leaves, and other debris cannot be found on the forest floor. Clusters of  grapevines and many attractive groves wait to fulfill the desires of  Vraja's youthful gopis.

Fruit bearing syama creepers add a pleasant sight to the forest. The kama  ranga trees, with their lavish supply of fruits, look like men per­forming  actions to attain heaven. Apsaras like Rambha, cavorting in the celestial  courtyards, have shapely thighs like the trunks of banana trees that grow  throughout Vrndavana's forests. Towering tala trees ornament the forest  scenery, just as a variety of pleasant rhythms (talas) accent a song. Ripe  jackfruits ready to fall saturate the forest air with a heady fragrance,  like karmic workers waiting to descend from heaven after tast­ing the  ripened fruits of many sacrifices. Bountiful bilva trees appear like  numerous dancers in a theatrical performance. The black jama trees  di­minish the light of the forest, as the jambu trees on Jambudvipa reduce  the effulgence of Mount Meru. As Badarikasrama shelters the ascetic  worshipers of Narayana, these forests shelter many jujube orchards.


The Seasons of Vrndavana

The transcendental forest of Vrndavana exists beyond the reaches of time.  Yet it is divided into six sections to display the six seasons. Though  resembling their material counterparts, the six seasons of Vrndavana are  completely transcendental since they nourish the spiritual bliss of  Krishna's pastimes. The six seasons are known as: the joy of monsoon, the  pleasure of autumn, the satisfaction of winter, the happiness of the dewy  season, the beauty of spring, and the auspicious season of summer.



The Monsoon Season


During monsoon season the constant torrential rain showers resemble the  intense pleasure derived from rendering pure, unalloyed devotional  service. As a self-realized person becomes illumined with the eternal  light of bliss, this season illumines the sky with flashes of flickering  lightning which satisfy the heart. The sorrowful wailing of the peacocks  reminds one of Parvati's intense yearning to reunite s with Siva.  Clamoring dahuka birds mimic the conflicting arguments found in eternally  books of logic. As Garuda is eternally endowed with strong wings, the  eason echoes with the cries of cataka birds.

Arjuna trees appear like a second sun to brighten all directions with  their bold red flowers. Rain showers during particular naksatras summon  effulgent emeralds appearing like tender shoots of grass. The camuru deer  mistake the emeralds for shoots of grass and try to nibble on them. When  the indragopa (tiny red insects) crawl on these emeralds, they appear like  tiny rubies moving across a green bodice stretched across the breast of  the earth. Kadamba flowers fill the air with a sweet herbal aroma. Due to  the constant pouring of misty rain, the air always feels cool and  refreshing.

The monsoon season personified exhibits various symptoms Of  tran­scendental joy. Blossoming malati flowers provoke the earth to  laughter. The trees horripilate with kadamba buds, and the sky is pleasant  with ecstatic tears dripping from the rain clouds. The forehead of the  mon­soon season is decorated with the tilaka mark of the indadhanu  creeper. The petals of golden ketaki flowers, more brilliant than  lightning, deco­rate her dark hair. A garland of balaka flowers hangs from  her neck to rest upon the newly formed bulging clouds of her raised  breasts.

The rumbling clouds sound like cataki birds crying in anguish, "Please  give us rain and save our lives." The clouds answer, "Do not lament, I  will rain now." The thundering clouds sound like a revolving grinding  stone powdering a man's pride. The deep growl of the clouds sounds like a  mrdanga imitating the dancing of a love-intoxicated peacock, or the  alluring chanting of mantras by a woman separated from her lover's  embrace.The monsoon season abounds with a symphony of sounds. Everywhere cataka  birds call, tithi birds chirp, daduri birds cry, peacocks wail pite-ously,  clouds roar, and raindrops pitter-patter. The melody of these sweet sounds  is just suitable for lulling a woman to sleep after enjoying her lover.The nourishing waters of this season beautify all the trees and gardens.  The abundant ripened fruits of the mango trees tint the center of the  forest with a golden glow. Surrounding this area is a blackish aura  created by the ripe jama fruits. Beyond this lies a pale yellow effulgence  produced by the sharp, needle-like leaves and flowers of the ketaki tree.  With all these colorful hues the gardens of Vrndavana appear as beautiful  as a painting.



The Autumn Season


The splendorous season of autumn is characterized by lakes full of deep  blue water filled with red lotus flowers that look like the lotus feet of  Vishnu being caressed by the loving lotus hands of Laksmi. Brimming with  water, these lakes are as clean and pure as the sinless heart of a devotee  aspiring for prema. As Narayana is beautified by the presence of the  joy­ful Goddess of Fortune, similarly, the autumn lakes are beautified by  the presence of cakravaka birds and blossoming lotuses.


Groups of lazy swans sport freely in the lakes. Gliding along the water,  they resemble liberated souls (paramahamsas) swimming in the ocean of  spiritual bliss. The cooing herons appear to be echoing the tales of Rama  and Laksmana. Blue lotuses please everyone with their splendid fragrance,  spreading through the land like the fame of the all-attractive Lord. The  white lotuses (pundarika) ornamenting the lakes are like the elephant  Pundarika who decorates the Southeast direction. The bees ravage the honey  of the kumuda lotuses growing in the lake, just as they enjoy the liquid  oozing from the body of Kumuda, the elephant of the Southwest direction.  Red lotuses cast their colors across the autumn lakes like the setting sun  coloring the evening sky with it pastel pinks.

Like an impassioned lady, the autumn season holds these lakes, the  reservoirs of all beauty, to her chest in love. The autumn moon shines  brilliantly like a glinting sword unsheathed before battle. As dharma  fully manifests in Satya-yuga, the bulls, as representatives of religion,  manifest a type of madness during this season as they turn every field  into a play­ground. The large lakes of this season are very beautiful with  warm water on their surfaces and cool water within. They resemble a  peaceful man who keeps cool within, even when harassed by the words of a  fool. The rows of brilliant wispy clouds adorning the autumn sky look like  sandal­wood paste on the limbs of the directions personified as women.  These cloud wisps appear like the white scarf of a young woman waving in  the breeze, or cotton fluff carried by the winds personified as young  girls.


When the groups of pure white clouds reflect in the Yamuna, it appears  like a brilliant white sandbar in the middle of the river, or that the  Ganga (which is greenish-white in color) has taken shelter of the Yamuna  to gain the fortune of bathing Krishna. Three wonderful features fill the  autumn season with bliss, namely the fragrant pollen from blooming  lotuses, the directions becoming darkened from swarms of bees maddened by  the in­toxicating fragrance of the chatina tree, and the wind driven  clouds mov­ing like freely roaming elephants.he autumn season can be seen as a beautiful woman whose waist-belt is the  cooing herons, whose ankle-bells are the sonorous quacking of the ducks,  whose breasts are the cakravaka birds, whose moon-like face is the  half-blooming lotuses, whose eyes are the blue lotuses, whose eyebrows are  the fickle bees, and whose attractive garments are the pollen from-various  flowers.

When the mud {kardama) dries up this season becomes blissful with the  sight of the faces of many brown calves (kapilas). Similarly, when Kardama  Muni renounced his home, Devahuti took pleasure in seeing the face of her  son Kapiladeva. This season is like a king who has a flower bed in the  middle of a forest of land lotuses. Its canopy is the sky overhead  sparkling with the constellations. Its camara whisks are the swaying of  the tall kasa flowers.

In the monsoon season, the elephants of the directions jump on the clouds  and push them down so that the sky appears to touch the treetops. On the  other hand, when the tree branches become free of these clouds, it seems  the elephants of the directions have departed. In their absence the space  above the trees increases.



The Hemanta Season (early winter)


The sweet fragrance of maha-saha flowers characterizes the early win­ter  season. Just as Arjuna is dear to Madhusudana, similarly, this season,  with its blossoming arjuna trees, is very dear to madhusudana (the  honey­bees). Yellow jhinti flowers add additional splendor. Just as Siva  protected Banasura, the son of Bali, similarly, this season gives shelter  to the blue jhinti flowers. Just as Mt. Kailasa holds Siva and Parvati,  this season sup­ports the shining lodhra tree.

Sukadeva, the son of Vyasa, spoke the verses of Bhagavata in many sweet  tunes, similarly, this season resounds with the mellifluous cries of many  happy sukas (parrots.) Haritala birds give life to the season with their  phenomenal speaking abilities just as Harita Muni propounded the  Ayur-Veda. Just as a moment (lava matra) of sadhu-sanga removes false ego  and gives one bliss, the presence of the lava birds in this season brings  great joy to all. Just as a devotee of the Lord attains peace by the  strength of his worship, similarly, the bodies of water in early winter  gradually become cool from the soft footsteps of the approaching cold  season.

The lotuses decrease in number and the nights gradually increase in  length. There is no fault in this, however, because the gopis rejoice  during the long winter nights. Everyone enjoys the brief morning hours  touched by the weakened rays of the sun. The female deer, thinking it is  the rays of the rising sun, become joyful for a short time upon seeing the  ruby studded earth. The deer, thinking them to be the cool rays of the  moon, avoid the areas filled with bright crystal gems.

What more can be said? Frightened by the cold season, Surya Bhagavan, the  sun god, retreats to the Southeast corner and the lotuses disappear.  Female camaru deer glance about and wander here and there. Some­times they  mistake the emeralds lying on the ground to be fresh sprouts of barley.  The astonished eyes of the deer resemble the doe-eyed gopis of Vrndavana.  Frost competes with the heat of the sun for sovereignty over the earth.  When the frost increases, the heat of the sun retreats, and w.hen the heat  of the sun increases the frost retreats. Love pangs increase in the  breasts of unmarried girls during the long winter nights. Whereas, the  married gopis avoid the pains by willingly accepting the loving ad­vances  of their husbands.

Pearl ornaments, being cold by nature, do not adorn the gorgeous gopis at  this time. But they do decorate their hair with kurubaka flowers, and rub  pollen from lodhra flowers into it. Maha-saha flower garlands hang across  their budding breasts. Saffron ointments, which heat the body, serve as  cosmetics. Heavy clouds of incense fill the pastime cottages and heat­ing  spices enhance the tambula. Throughout the Hemanta season the gopis  refrain from mentioning any object reminding them of cold.



The Dewy Season

During the dewy season the dupahariya flowers blossom, reminding one of  the happiness felt upon the arrival of a good friend. As Visvakarma moves  the sun around the zodiac, the kunda flowers begin blooming.  Vaikunthanatha dominates the demons in the same way as the new damanaka  flowers dominate this season. Just as a downpour satisfies the cranes  inhabiting the dry lands, similarly, the appearance of the fragrant  marubak flower brings happiness to all


Just as the ever-increasing glories of Ramacandra ornamented the battle of  Shri Lanka, the brightness of the dewy days increases at every moment to  decorate the season. The welcome rays of the Sun increase the joy of all  by chasing away the chill. Leaving its southern course, the Sun pro­ceeds  northward like a person renouncing his wife to follow the path of  self-discovery.

The mist rising from the ponds, rivers, and canals looks like effulgent  rays coming from hidden underwater jewels. Young female deer mistake it  for smoke and assume the water is on fire. While looking at the splen­did  rising sun, the young deer become stunned and stop eating and drink­ing.  Out of stupidity they take the sun to be a blazing fireball, and see the  dew drops on the grass as pearls dropped in their grazing grounds.  Surya-deva's gentle touch gradually dissolves the dew and the mist.

Dense foliage overhead prevents accumulation of dew beneath the tall  luxuriant trees. In the evening handsome bucks sit beneath these trees and  ruminate without the fear of cold. The setting sun appears like a glowing  hot iron ball sinking into the water and giving off steam. Birds cry out  as they flee from the darkness. Without talking to their mates, they sleep  comfortably amidst the lush growth of the beautiful trees. Due to the  cold, the cakora birds cease flying in the rays of the moon.

Lovers ponder sleeping blissfully in deep embraces. The long nights fa­vor  extended conversations as the rush to sleep recedes. The gopis give up  cosmetics like kunkuma that obstruct a lover's closeness. The loving  em­braces of husbands and wives produce pleasant sensations. Although the  season brings biting cold, the warmth of love prevents the pain. Lotuses cannot bloom in this season. In the morning the women of  Vrndavana, who are endowed with good qualities, warm up their backs by  exposing them to the sun. Bandhujiva garlands adorn their hair, damanaka  leaves hang from their ears, and kundakoraka garlands lie on their chests.  As previously mentioned, they do not wear any pearl jewelry at this time  of the year.


The Spring Season


Mango trees laden with new buds announce the arrival of spring. The sight  is as pleasing as the union of lovers instigated by fresh longing.  Blos­soming madhavi creepers appear along the pathways, as a sadhaka  some­times sighs while traversing the path of self-realization. Asoka  trees ex­ploding with splendid red flowers drive away all lamentation,  like the Lord's devotees who have transcended the misty coverings of  hankering and la­menting. The clumps of fresh buds on the kancana trees  appear like groups of famous pandits studying the scriptures.


The groves of betel trees look like groups of mad elephants in great  contingents bent on war. Sweet scented mandara trees add more beauty to  the season. These trees appear like intoxicated men sauntering about after  drinking liquor. Cuckoos play about the trees, like the restless mon­keys  in Ramacandra's phalanx. Lingering in the air is the fine scent of clove  trees fleeting like the happiness derived from material pleasures.

The large numbers of bakula trees appear like the strong men serving in  the dynasty of Iksvaku. Creepers of blooming mallika flowers beautify the  landscape, just as the seven notes embellish the musical scale. Flowering  karira trees fill the air with an intoxicating aroma, like the liquid  flowing from the heads of love crazed elephants. Flower scented breezes  accent the spring season, just as lust agitates a materially attached man.

Moon rays increase their brilliance with the departure of the cold, and  embrace the spring nights like a person delivered from death. While the  springtime moon glistens sweetly in the clear skies above, the young gopis  enjoy sweet pastimes in the groves below. When the soft breezes caress the  sweet fragrances within the groves, the gopis come to gather flowers.  Attracted by the beauty of the unlimited flowers on the trees, playful  Krishna, wearing a golden necklace, attains the height of bliss from seeing  the gopis in their prime of youth.

Dense swarms of humming bees, eager to taste the pollen of lotuses, darken  the sky as they speed toward the flowers. But seeing the bees bypass them,  the lotus flowers argue among themselves, "Why not drink from me first?  Have I committed any offense to you?" Though the flow­ers offer their  pollen to the bees, the bees do not accept. Instead they become  intoxicated by smelling the fragrance from the lotus mouths of the Vraja  gopis, whose hearts overflow with intense feelings of love.

Seeing the palasa trees devoid of leaves, the bees conjecture, "What  happened to the palasa groves? They are as dry as a parrot's beak." What  else can be said? In this season, the cuckoos, truly the embodiments of  primordial sound, open their beaks to taste the mango and then begin to  coo. At this time, the bees inside the mango buds come out to take rest.  The best of the maddened elephants roams about with the intoxicated gopis  of Vraja whose sweet whispering defeats the soothing sound of run­ning  water. The cuckoos resound like a bell to announce their arrival. Spring  personified looks attractive with her beautiful nagakesara flower  earrings, madhavi creeper neck jewelry, rnalati flowers adorning her  breasts, red palasa bindu, campaka flower bodice, and a red asoka flower  sash around her waist. Various types of tiny creepers appear at this time  of year, which smile with their glittering flowers, cry tears of love in  the form of dripping honey nectar, and horripilate with new buds.


The Summer Season


Blossoming sirisa trees announce the arrival of the summer season. They  make Vrndavana look like the land of Kasmir, which abounds in colorful  flowers giving fragrance throughout the year. Happy mallika ducks cruise  along the brimming lakes. Just as golden ripe paddy beautifies the au­tumn  season, similarly, the fully blossomed patala flowers add a special  splendor to the summer season.The flowering kutaja trees appear like the joyful playgrounds of Lord  Indra. Satapatraka birds highlight the season, just as blossoming lotuses  decorate a lake. Just as smoke on a mountain infers the presence of a  fire, similarly, the sighting of phinga birds indicates the arrival of the  auspi­cious summer season. As the majestic King Virocana illuminated the  dy­nasty of Prahlada, similarly, the sun shines brightly at this time.

Just as Vaishnavas attain relief from material distress by attaining the  lotus feet of Vishnu, similarly, the cooling rays of the moon give great  re­lief from the scorching heat of day. Devotees of the Lord find joy by  absorbing themselves in His humble service, just as one finds happiness by  taking a cool bath in summer. One's sins gradually diminish in the  association of devotees. Similarly, the length of nights gradually  decreases in the presence of summer. As everyone in the universe can find  pleasure by serving Lord Hari, similarly, every living entity relishes the  pleasant breezes of summer. Pious people derive full satisfaction by  spending money on their loved ones. By applying substances such as  sandalwood pulp one feels immense pleasure in this season.

Due to the fatal threat of hot sweat, coolness flees from all directions  and takes shelter in the fortress of the gopis' breasts. To find relief  from the intense heat, the creepers and trees fan each other by slowly  moving their twigs and branches. Mercy manifests in the cool water flowing  in the jeweled basins below the shady trees. As a host carefully tends to  his guests, the summer offers these cooling basins to attentively serve  its birds and beasts. In the same way that pious gentlemen provide for the  needy, the shady trees relieve everyone from the heat of summer.

The streams of water flowing from the tops of the jeweled mountains  extinguish the fiery heat caused by the harsh rays of the suryakanta  jew­els. Krishna and the gopis, their ankle-bells chiming sweetly, hold  hands as they meander along the cool forest paths under the shady trees.  Summer sends scorching hot winds that make one feel he is breathing poison  filled air. Not finding any abatement from the heat by contacting the  bodies of water, the wind tries to touch the cool fragrance residing in  breasts of the gopis.

Besides beautifying the night, the summer moon brings full satisfaction to  all. Due to the intense suffering experienced everyday, the very word  "daytime" instills fear in the heart. But everyone appreciates the cool  nights of summer. In this way the summer is glorified. Amidst the lotus  flowers in the lake there is a houseboat covered with a canopy trimmed  with hanging pearls that shake in the wind. It is sprayed by a mist  scented with fine particles of camphor, and buffeted by the pleasant winds  of camaras waved by loving attendants. Radhika and Krishna sleep in blissful  reverie within that charming houseboat.

The summer finds Shri Hari wearing a strand of large pearls bordering His  hairline and forehead. His shimmering golden dhoti blows in the wind.  Garlands of mallika buds, cooling flower ornaments, and sandalwood paste  adorn His attractive transcendental form. As embodiments of the sum­mer  season, the gopis are decorated with ear ornaments of sirisa flowers,  crowns of patala flowers, garlands of mallika flowers, and bracelets of  kutaja flowers. At the end of the day the gopis and the flower-filled  forest of Vrndavana serve the lotus feet of Krishna.


The Six Seasons of Vrndavana

Six distinct seasons manifest in Vrndavana plus three seasons appear­ing  in pairs as autumn and winter, dewy and spring, summer and mon­soon. In  this way Vrndavana features nine seasonal forests. But actually ten  seasonal divisions exist in Vrndavana (the six different seasons, the  three combinations, and the six seasons at once).

In the tenth forest (all six seasons at once) the youthful gopis take  fresh kadamba flowers from the rainy season and fix them in their hair  parts. They twirl autumn season lotuses in their petal like fingers, smear  the pollen of winter lodhra flowers on their cheeks, and put bandhuli  flowers from the dewy season around their necks. They place bunches of  asoka buds from the spring over their ears, and entwine mallika garlands  in their hair from the summer season. Everyday the Vraja gopis beautifully  decorate themselves like this to worship their beloved Lord Krishna.

The ever-increasing natural beauty of the forest kunjas rivals majestic  houses made of priceless jewels. The sweet sounds of bees and cuckoos echo  through the kunjas that are lit by phosphorescent vines. Musk deer scent  the air and camari cows clean the forest floor with their bushy tails.


The Yamuna River

The famous river Yamuna flows through the Vrndavana forest like a garland  of blue lotuses, a moat oikajala, a dark blue sari, or a necklace of blue  sapphires around the neck of Vrnda-devi, the presiding deity of Vrndavana.  Though agitated with waves, the Yamuna holds unlimited lotus flowers in  her pure waters, and always gives premananda to the devo­tees. Herons  continually play in her waters and delighted fish swim in large schools.  Yamuna grants happiness to anyone who surrenders to her or bathes in her  sacred waters.

Yamuna is resplendent with a multi-colored bodice composed of the many  tiny saivala creepers floating on her surface. The male and female  cakravaka birds form her breasts. Her colorful dress is composed of the  pollen from white lotuses. A swarm of meandering bumblebees serves as her  hair braid. She has blue lotus eyes, red lotus lips, and a face of  bloom­ing lotuses. Her hips are her wide banks decorated with a belt of  herons. Sonorous geese sing as her ankle-bells. Yamuna-devi, the  personification of bliss, worships Krishna by constantly offering Him lotus  flowers with her fickle wave-like hands.

The flower-filled trees on her banks reflect in the water to appear like a  second blossoming forest. Seeing the reflections of birds in the water,  the foolish fish come there and nibble at them. At night when they see the  reflections of the stars on the water the small fish, mistaking them for  food, swim up to surface and try to eat them. The shimmering white banks  of the Yamuna appear like streams of camphor, or attractive lightning  flashing in the dark, or sandalwood paste smeared on the limbs of  Vrnda-devi, or malati garlands in the braid of a woman.

On these banks stand flowerbeds situated between emerald green strips of  grass. Attractive kunjas and many beautiful sub-forests containing  cintamani cottages also line the Yamuna's banks. Parrots, cuckoos,  cakoras, and water birds such as ducks, herons, sararis, kuraris, and  cakravakas move about the courtyards surrounding these cintamani cottages  singing happily. They appear like a group of rasika devotees discussing  the de­lightful pastimes of Krishna. Bathing ghatas made of rubies, coral,  emer­alds, and vaidurya gems line the Yamuna's shores. These ghatas appear  like the embodiment of auspiciousness.

The four tall trees forming the corners of the forest cottages have many  leafy branches that hang down to make natural canopies. Two creepers wind  around each of these trees to appear like a pair of embracing lovers. The  creepers entangle with their flowers, leaves, and fruits to make a  wonderful sight. Flowering creepers comprise the walls of the pastime  cottages. The entwined branches of various creepers form the cottage doors  that are surrounded by other fragrant creepers. Varieties of color­ful  flowers hang down to make the domes above the cottages. Dangling flower  creepers move as natural camara fans.



The Glories of Govardhana

An exquisite line of mountains called Govardhana stretches down the middle  of Vrndavana. Giriraja's thousands of peaks appear like the thou­sands of  hands and feet of the purusa avatara. Many smaller hills sur­round these  peaks, and many jeweled plateaus and lakes like Radha-kunda provide  additional beauty. In this way Giriraja appears just like a roman­tic hero  decorated with many jeweled bracelets and earrings. Just as Giriraja  contains many minerals (dhatus) of red clay and arsenics, simi­larly, the  Sanskrit language features a variety of word roots (dhatus).

By the Lord's grace Dhruva traveled beyond Maharloka. Similarly, by the  mercy of the Lord, Govardhana has surpassed the splendor of Vaikuntha and  become famous as the best of mountains. Just as Kartikeya, the commander  who is difficult to conquer, supports the king of heaven, Govardhana holds  many difficult to enter caves. Many snakes surround the valuable  sandalwood trees adorning the Malaya Mountain, but there are no snakes  guarding the unlimited treasures found on Govardhana


Lord Siva holds the moon in his topknot, but Giriraja's peaks touch the  moon. Siva is fearsome, but Govardhana is kind and gentle. As Krishna is  adorned with forest garlands that reach to His ankles, Govardhana is  deco­rated with long lines of forests. Cascading waterfalls caress all  sides of Govardhana. Bhu-mandala is made pleasant by the Loka-loka  mountain range, whereas Govardhana pleases the eyes of all devotees.  Govardhana is made glorious by banyan trees that distribute joy to  everyone. The inte­riors of its caves are the embodiments of bliss. It is  Govardhana's nature to protect the deer and other forest creatures.

Mt. Kailasa, Mt. Meru, or even the best of metaphors cannot compare with  the unlimited glories of Govardhana. Kailasa is composed of silver, and  golden Mt. Meru is born of the material nature. They pale in com­parison  with Govardhana, which is eternally manifested, and made of inconceivably  precious jewels.

Just as dancers enhance the sweetness of theatrical performances, the  sonalu trees increase the sweetness of seeing Govardhana Hill. The streams  flowing by the roots of the many sandalwood trees growing there pick up  the divine fragrance and pass it on to the valleys and grass growing on  Govardhana. When all the different animals such as rums, camaras, gavayas,  gandharvas, srmaras, rohisas, sasa, and sambaras bathe in the parrot-green  colored streams flowing under the densely foliated green trees they appear  to be made of emeralds. No one can tell whether they are real animals or  made out of green jewels.

The crystal rocks of Govardhana reflect the blue rays of its sapphires to

appear like Balarama dressed in blue cloth. The large emeralds reflecting  the golden rocks look like Narayana adorned in His golden dhoti. The  yellow sapphire platforms standing on beds of diamonds appear like Siva  and Gauri. The waterfalls pouring over the emerald cliffs look like Lord  Rama carrying His curved bow. The ruby platforms standing on silver bases  appear like Brahma mounted on his swan. The clear waterfalls rap­idly  falling from the tall peaks of Govardhana carry the reflections of many  multi-colored jewels and appear like long rainbows. The light com­ing from  the various stones and jewels in the plateaus reflect in the sky like a  rainbow. The effulgence from the peaks of vaidurya gems appears like the  tail of a comet streaking over Govardhana, or like a flock of flying gray  birds.

Govardhana offers many thrones made of cooling stones for the sitting  pleasure of Krishna. Its flat, jeweled-studded areas await to serve Krishna's  rasa dance. Its wonderful caves look more enchanting than temples made of  jewels. For serving Krishna there are many flower canopies that pour down  fragrant pollen when shaken by the wind. The dense cool forests provide  soothing relief from the hot sun. Animals such as deer and tigers live  there in peace and harmony.


The Glories of Nandisvara


Not far from Govardhana stands Nandisvara Hill, which is the second body  of Lord Siva. Dhava trees and the blissful pastimes of Madhava fill  Nandisvara with splendor. The parrots perched in the palasa trees vibrate  sweet music throughout the day. Beautiful peaks of varying heights  deco­rate its skyline. An abundance of roots, herbs, and delicious fruits  await the eager hands of the carefree cowherd boys. Just as Vamana's steps  brought the Ganga down on Siva's head, similarly, the water flowing down  from its caves nourishes the fennel shrubs growing on the side of  Nandisvara Hill.


As gentle behavior can break the pride of a coarse man, the thick growth  of yellow jinthi flowers growing on its slopes overpowers the red-colored  rocks of Nandisvara Hill. Lord Siva always holds Parvati on his lap, and  this mountain always holds silajit in its crevices. The splendid capital  of Nanda Baba rests atop Nandisvara Hill. In this place the syllable khala  (deceitful) is only found in words such as mekhala, srnkhala, and  ulukhlala. This syllable, however, is never used alone because there are  no deceitful people in Nanda Maharaja's capital.

The word matsara (my lake) is used to describe one's own lake, but it is  not used to describe envy (matsarya) because this place is devoid of envy.  The word dosakara (having faults) is used to describe the moon and nothing  else because there are no dosakara (faulty) people in Nandisvara. The  syllable mala (dirt) is used only in such words asparimala (fragrance) and  syamaia (blackish), but it is not used separately to connote mala (filth),  because everything there is nirmala (pure and spotless). The word danda  (rod) is used only to connote the handle of a camara or an umbrella, but  it does not connote punishment (danda) because there are no punishable

people there.

The word bandha (knot or bound) is used only to describe the knots of  clothing, but it does not mean imprisoned {bandha) because no one here  deserves to be tied up. The word panka (mud) is used only to describe  cosmetics like kunkuma and candana, because there is no mud there. The  word adhi (mental distress) is used only in such words as samadhi and  upadhi, because there is no such thing as mental distress there. The word  pidha (anguish, or group) is seen only in such words as kusumapidha  (flower chaplet), because there is no pain or agony in Nandisvara.

The word kutila (crooked) is used only to refer to hair locks or one's  glances, because there are no crooked or deceitful people there. The word  cancalata (greedy or unsteady) is used only in relation to necklaces or  the edge of clothing which move back and forth in anticipation of meeting  Krishna. It is not used in reference to unsteadiness of the mind because  there are no unsteady people there. The word raga is used only to  de­scribe the reddish color of the feet and hands, and not to describe  mate­rial attachments.

The word madhya (middle, mediocre) is used only to describe the waist,  because everything in the spiritual world is uttama (topmost). The word  palita (white) is used only to describe a pala (measurement), and not to  describe white hair because no one grows old there. The word raja is used  only in words describing flower pollen, or the dust of a cow, and not in  words like raja-guna because there are no passionate people there. The  word tama (darkness) is used only to describe darkness, and not to refer  to tama-guna (ignorance), because ignorance cannot be found.

The word kathina (hard) is used to describe jewels and gold, and not to  refer to people because everyone is very soft and gentle. The words  dvandva (pairs, argument) is used to refer to a couple of people, and not  to an argument because there are no arguments. The word manda (gentle) is  used only to refer to the wind, and not with such words as manda-bhagya  (unfortunate), because there are no unfortunate people there. The word  ksinata (thin, decrease) refers to the waists of young ladies, and it is  not used elsewhere, because everything is always increasing in Nandagrama.  The word cancafya (fickleness) refers only to the movements of the eyes,  because everyone there is very sthira (steady). The words glani  (exhaustion), sanka (worry), dainya (low, misery) and visada (lamentation)  are used only to describe the ecstatic states within bhava, and not  elsewhere because there are no material conditions of exhaustion, worry,  and so on there. The word chidra (hole, or faults) is only used to  describe the holes in a flute or a pearl, but it is not used to describe  people because there are no faulty people. The word tiksnata (sharp) is  used only to describe glances and nothing else.

The word katuta (pungent, bitter) is used only in relation to particular  spiritual emotional states and not elsewhere. The word samanya (ordi­nary,  similarity) is only used to describe the similarity of objects, because  there is nothing ordinary about Nandisvara. The word durvama (low  qual­ity, impurity) is used only to describe impurity in metals, because  there are no low class people there. Although all the people of Nandisvara  ap­pear to exhibit temporary qualities such as youth and old age to  facilitate their individual rasas, they are actually all liberated souls.  Their so-called youth and old age are beyond the transformations of time.

A high insurmountable wall appearing like the glow of the dawn sur­rounds  all the smaller towns that comprise Nanda Maharaja's capital. The main  gateways are huge, jewel-studded doors. These towns appear like festive  arenas with canopies and colorful jeweled festoons hanging from the  archways. Just as Surya-deva has many large horses shining like diamonds,  similarly, Nandisvara is full of broad sparkling roadways. Just as the  dancing of Siva induces happiness, the sight of its many huge pal­aces  brings joy to the heart. The many small, attractive temples appear as radiant as the rising sun.  Their brilliant golden rooftops rival the splendorous yellow cloth of Lord  Narayana. Beautiful strands of pearls hang from the cornices. The  pin­nacles of the rooftops drive away all fear. Just as the cakora birds  eagerly drink the rays of the moon, similarly, the effulgence of the  moonstones forming the edges of the rooftops attracts the cakora birds.  The jewel-studded verandas surrounding the palaces appear like glittering  moun­tains of jewels. The sacrificial arenas of the palaces are adorned  with flower garlands that resemble Lord Siva accompanied by his decorated wife Parvati. Amongst all the towns, Nanda's village is the chief. The town wall is made  of sapphires and the houses are made of emeralds. The golden rooftops,  coral pillars, crystal walls, cat's eye towers, sapphire sitting  plat­forms, and huge doors studded with large blue sapphires astound the  eye with their beauty. The stunning opulence of Nandisvara puts to shame  the brilliant palaces of the demigods.


When the pet parrots make friends with the sculpted parrots standing on  the jeweled walls, the delighted women cannot tell them apart. In their  bewilderment, they offer pomegranate seeds to the sculpted parrots instead  of the real ones.Nanda Maharaja, the king of Vrndavana, resides in this  town as the embodiment of paternal affection. Manifesting the pure nature  of the soul, he is the essence of all auspiciousness, a veritable island  amidst an ocean of bliss. By assuming the role of Krishna's father, which he  plays'eternally, he has become endowed with all auspicious qualities. His  v^ife Yasoda resides in Nandisvara as the embodiment of maternal affecfi°n  acting like a desire creeper offering the darsana of Krishna. As a beautiful  flower spreads its fragrance in all directions, the effulgence of Yaso4as  fame illuminates her entire dynasty. Hundreds of honest and gentle cowherd men live in this capital city They  are not attached to their families, but they are completely attached to  Krishna. Although they diligently care for their domestic animals and  maintain themselves by trading in milk and yogurt, they exist totally in  the spiritual world. A few of the cowherd men are intimate relatives  ofNanda Maharaja, but all them are closely related to each other.


The husbands embody religious principles and the wives embody devo­tional  feelings. Their sons are Krishna's cowherd boyfriends and their daugh­ters  are His dearest lovers. Like the four Kumaras, all of Krishna's friends are  eternally youthful. As flocks of birds decorate a forest, Krishna is  sur­rounded by friends of the same age. Krishna and His friends have a  veryclose and intimate relationship resembling the intimacy of flowers  stfuug on a thread. Just as autumn lakes appear clear and joyous and the  dyriasty of Brhaspati shines with glcry, similarly, the blissful  boyfriends of Krishna have clear eyes and brilliantly effulgent hair.

With their musk and sandal scented bodies Krishna's associates look as  beautiful as Supratika, the elephant who holds up the Northeast coffer.  Blossoming lotuses give pleasure in the autumn season, but the smiling  lotus faces of Krishna's boyfriends bring happiness at all times. The  well-proportioned ears of the boys resemble perfectly arranged melodies.  With their elegantly shaped noses the boys smell the wonderful fragrances  of Vrndavana's flowers. The eyes of the cowherd boys flit about like the  fickle movements of the spots on a gambler's dice. Their handsome and  resplendent necks stand out distinctively like Sugriva radiating amongst  Rama's legions of monkey soldiers.


Their long, beautiful arms rival the trunks of baby elephants. Like the  ever-increasing waves of the milk ocean, the chests of the boys are always  swelling with happiness. The waists of the boys are as firm as the sides  of an elephant. Krishna's friends have very strong thighs that give joy to  eevery-' one. They walk on their bare feet, which are as tender as the  rays cf the moon. The cowherd boys of Vrndavana far surpass the demigods^  and they exist eternally as Krishna's beloved associates. Subala, Shridama,  Sudama, and Vasudama are some of Krishna's intimate boyfriends.Now the  intimate girlfriends of Krishna will be described. The delicate feet of  Krishna's gopis resemble poetry full of wonderful rhymes. Their slen­der  ankles move with the speed of the mind. As Sita achieved all  auspi­ciousness by obeying the commands of Laksmana, the gopis have become  all auspicious because of the incredible beauty of their knees. The thighs  of the gopis conquer the splendor of the broad trunks of banana trees used  to decorate a festival site. The sweetness of their graceful hips is more  inspiring than the expert commentaries on difficult passages of the  scriptures.


As one cries upon meeting a long lost friend, seeing their charming  bellies, which are shaped like banyan leaves, brings tears of joy to the  eyes. Just as repeated chanting of the holy name makes one fearless, the  delightful navels of the gopis are endowed with repeated turns. As Krishna  is inclined to give mercy to the fallen, He is also very attracted to the  thin waists of the gopis. The sweet breasts of the gopis defeat the beauty  of the clouds in the monsoon season. As the winter season is endowed with  long nights, the gopis have long graceful arms. Their throats have three  attrac­tive lines resembling a conchshell.

As Laksmi-devi's face is wiped by the fingers of Narayana, the gopis'  faces are tenderly wiped by the fingers of Krishna. Their noses surpass the  beauty of sesame flowers whose fragrance enhances the elegance of spring.  Their captivating lotus eyes resemble the merciful glance of the Lord  bless­ing the world. With their beautiful ears they always drink the sweet  nectar of hari-katha. The splendid curls in their hair put to shame the  effulgence Kuvera's golden city. The hairstyles of the gopis are more  attractive than the western direction that is skillfully designed by  Varuna, its presiding deity. Shrimati Radharani reigns as the best of Krishna's beloved gopis. This  beau­tiful young girl is resplendent with all good qualities such as  mercy, sweet­ness, and vitality. As the crest-jewel among Krishna's lovers,  She possesses all ornaments, and all types of emotional mellows. Radhika  is a golden ketaki flower in a garden oiprema, or a lightning flash in a  cloud of sweet­ness, or a golden line on a testing stone of beauty.  Radhika is the light of the moon of bliss. Her slender arms conquer the  pride of Cupid. Radharani is the splendorous essence of the ocean of  loveliness, and the enchanting smile of those intoxicated by love. She is  a mine of the sixty-four arts, and the precious crest-jewel of all good  qualities. Radhika's complexion is more golden than a thousand Parvatis. Radhika is also called Syama, which means that Her transcendental body is  warm in the winter and cool in the hot season. Her breasts are firm, full,  slightly raised, and very beautiful. Although existing since time   immemorial, Radhika is an ever-fresh young girl. Radharani is the epitome  of beauty and the life and soul of Her girlfriends. Though just an  innocent young girl, Radharani controls all the goddesses of fortune in  the uni­verse. Learned pandits call Her Maha-Laksmi, tantrics call Her  Lila-sakti, and bhaktas call Her Hladini-sakti. Radhika is ornamented by  Her dear friends who display all good qualities and move as Her  reflections.

Among all the young gopis there is one group leader named Candravali, who  is the crest jewel of dalliance. She bestows the bliss of a million moons.  As the material nature is endowed with the qualities of passion and  igno­rance, Candravali has all good qualities. Just as the eye has the  nature to see forms, similarly, her form is the natural embodiment of  beauty. The essence of water is taste (rasa), and she is the essence of  all rasa. Just as flowers distribute their fragrance to everyone,  Candravali gives bliss to all. Padma, Saibya, and others serve as her  dearest companions. There is another gopi group leader named Syama-sakhi,  who is very dear to Radhika. Candravali, therefore, though very prominent,  is merely another gopi group leader amongst the Vraja gopis.

All the brahmanas living in Nanda Baba's capital embody the principles of  bhagavata dharma. They are extremely merciful, and always display sense  and mind control, tolerance, and renunciation. With great skill they  recite sastras like the Bhagavata, and always study the Narada Pancaratra  and other Vedic works that corroborate the Bhagavata. They alone qualify  for Nanda Maharaja's charity, and only they perform the appropriate  ritu­als and ceremonies.

Some of these brahmanas worship the aisvarya aspect of Krishna, and others  adore the madhurya feature of the Lord. After thorough study of the  eighteen branches of knowledge they have become genuinely peace­ful and  fixed in their own realizations. It is not surprising that they have never  been defeated in debate. Though possessing abundant wealth, they always  remain humble and exhibit gentle behavior, friendship, kindness, and  compassion to one and all. Their transcendental attributes are not  by-products of material goodness, passion, or ignorance. What more can be  said of their exalted spiritual stature?


Although the oil-sellers, tambula salesmen, goldsmiths, pot makers,  weavers, and blacksmiths have spiritual forms, they behave like ordinary  humans. Commanding the respect of all pious men, they freely distribute  their wealth wherever needed. They do not have material bodies, nor do  they experience the sufferings of ordinary mortals.The bees of the monsoon  season give joy to all the flowers, yet others do not appreciate them.  They resemble Vrndavana's Pulinda women (wan­ton aborigines) who are also  not much appreciated, but because of their devotion they have secured the  praises of the demigods.Rows of huge goshallas spread out in all  directions in Nanda Maharaja's capital. The four long crystal walls of  these goshallas are topped with emerald beams, and golden crossbeams that  extend beyond the walls. In all corners are ruby cornices firmly attached  to the emerald beams. The rooftops have sparkling jeweled surfaces which  make them look like jew­eled mountain peaks. Just as a wise man is without  pride, these goshallas are devoid of pillars. As the intelligence of a  friendly person is pure and broad, the goshallas are very clean and  expansive.

Just as a king's palace has numerous doors, the goshallas have many  splendid doors, and they are dust-free and devoid of breezes. Standing in  the yards of the goshallas are the best of cows, which are as white as the  full moon and have horns as dark as peaks of blue sapphires. The thick  bushy tails of these cows resemble the long hair of the ladies of  Vrndavana. Upon seeing Krishna the cows overwhelm with joy and lift up their  tails. This looks as splendid as the effulgence of Bhagavan's cakra as it  cuts down the demons.


Just as a person bows down to respect the holy waters of a tirtha,  simi­larly, the heads of the cows hang down due to the heavy, thick folds  of skin under their necks. Their full milk bags resemble the rotund body  of Ganesh. Like the mind, these cows are independent and cannot be easily  bound. Sadhakas gain happiness by engaging in austerities, and the cows  feel delighted when they are milked. The cows of Vrndavana are called  kamadhenus because they fulfill all desires just like cintamani gems. As  the summer season is ornamented with blooming kutaja flowers, the cows are  decorated with happy calves.

Literary embellishments increase the sweetness of skillfully written  po­ems. Similarly, the varieties of multi-colored cows beautify the  goshallas. The goshallas are alive with herds of calves jumping about.  These ador­able calves look like clumps of foam from the milk ocean, spots  of moon­light cast on the ground, or like ice boulders from Mt. Kailasa  tumbling along the earth. They are the purest of offerings to the  demigods.

The huge bulls look like crystal boulders or big waves in the ocean of  yogurt. Sleeping peacefully in their pens, they look like ancient sages in  meditation. Like liberated souls, they freely wander here and there. Their  huge horns resemble the tusks of the directional elephants. The high humps  on their backs resemble the parasol and fans held above a king.

With their red eyes and slow movements they appear stunned like  in­toxicated persons. When the bulls let out a loud bellow it sounds like  the boisterous talk of proud men. The skin folds flapping around their  necks resemble the long blankets draped over the backs of renunciates. Due  to reflecting the light from the domes of the jeweled palaces, it looks  like their horns are multi-colored. When a whirlwind stirs up the jeweled  earth

Auspicious to cover the bulls with jeweled dust, they appear distinguished like the  personifications of dharma. All the cows of Vrndavana are expansions

from Goloka.


The capital of Nanda Maharaja is decorated with rows of shops made of  jewels, which spread out from the crossroads in neat rows. They are  equipped with many bright flags that appear like the victory flags of a  triumphant king. As oysters are decorated with pearls, the shops are  or­namented with long strands of pearls. These shops, which have wide  ve­randas resembling the thick new leaves appearing in spring, are the  dwell­ing places of the merchants. Some shops smell like the spring  season, and others are scented with sandalwood, aguru, and kasturi just  the ointments on a lover's chest. Some shops are heavy with the scent of  ripe paddy fields, and others are as effulgent as a mine of jewels. Surrounding the town are many rows of small forest groves filled with  varieties of multi-hued trees, resembling beaches covered with colorful  coral. Just as a commander is equipped with many types of elephants and  troops, these forests have many types of kunjas and bowers. With their  many dangling creepers, the forests resemble renunciates engaged in  aus­terities. Just as rasikas derive pleasure from the playful pastimes of  Krishna, similarly, these forests please the birds by providing playgrounds  for their pastimes. The vanadevis wander hand in hand along the forest paths softened from the  sap constantly dripping from the trees. The forest bulls relieve their  itching by rubbing their humps against the trees. This action forms lac  dust which mixes with the honey flowing down the trees to form a "natural  lac" which looks very beautiful when it sticks on the lac covered feet of  the forest goddesses. The whole forest is sweetly scented from the juice  of the kakkola berries spilling out of the mouths of the wild rams as they  contentedly ruminate. The air is also scented from the aromatic bark of  the devadaru trees rubbed off by the horns of wild buffaloes.

The sides of the hills are strewn with branches of the salaki tree (a  fa­vorite food of elephants) broken by the tusks of the wild baby  elephants. And the ground is covered with bunches of half-eaten grapes  scattered by families of monkeys. The aborigine women who wander through  these thick forest groves have dark blue marica flowers adorning their  ears, and the juice of camphor flowers smeared on their hands. Their  mouths are fragrant from chewing tambula.

Besides the previously described forest of Vrndavana, there are many other  forests such as Kamyavana and Lohavan. The rasala trees and other exotic  vegetation in these forests create an extraordinary atmosphere. There are  many trees such as mango, coconut, arjuna, banyan, palasa, yellow sal,  bael, jambu, asoka, bakula, naga-campaka, golden campa, sirisa,


lodhra, piyala, salaki, pilu, kadamba, karavira, and tamala. Vines and  shrubs include nava-mallika, kanaka-yutika, labanga, madhavi,  sthala-padma, mallika, kandali, and tulasi Lakes full of crystal clear water covered with water lilies, and white,  blue, and red lotuses lie scattered throughout these forests. These lakes  resound with the singing of herons, ducks, swans, cranes, ospreys, and cakravakas.From the descriptions in the first part of this chapter it is understood  that Vraja-mandala, although completely spiritual, is situated within the  material world. A person afflicted with jaundice sees a white conch as  yellow due the disease's effect on his vision. Similarly, a person with  mun­dane vision sees Vrndavana as a material place. Out of His independent  will the Supreme Lord desired to appear in this world as the baby son of  two personalities named Nanda and Yasoda, the eternal embodiments of  parental affection. What is impossible for the lila-sakti (pastime  potency) of Krishna who is the origin of all avataras and the ocean of all  pastimes? One may object asking why does Krishna perform pastimes in the  mate­rial world? The only reason is to give pleasure to His devotees. In  order to reveal the mood of parental affection arising from the activities  of babyhood and so on, Krishna agreed to become the son of Nanda and Yasoda.  Accepting their care and attention, the omnipotent Lord cov­ered His  majesty with an unprecedented sweetness. By exhibiting all the different  stages of boyhood such as kumara, pauganda, and kaisora, the Supreme Lord  Krishna appeared like an ordinary human being. But through­out these stages  Krishna remained in His original form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Although madhurya rasa is predominant in Vrndavana, the previous verse has  only mentioned parental affection. The reason for this is thai all the  pastimes with the cows, gopas, and gopis also go on eternally in the  spiritual world. But Krishna's babyhood pastimes and the pastimes of kill  ing demons exist only in the Gokula in the material world. Thus one shouk  understand that the sweetness of bhauma-lila is not available in the spiritual world.