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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 06 Binding Krishna

Chapter Six

Binding Shri Krishna


Deliverance of the Yamala-arjuna Trees


The following episode occurred one day during Irsna's transcendental  pastimes in Gokula. Though any number of maidser/ants could have done this  chore, Yasoda tactfully engaged them elsewhere in order to show her  expertise in preparing butter. With her own hancs, which appeared as soft  and elegant as lotus flowers, Yasoda personaly churned butter for her  beloved boy.The beauty of her delicate arms put lotus stems tc shame. As  she rhyth­mically pulled the ropes back and forth, the jinglinj of her  emerald-stud­ded bangles resounded like the bells on the feet of a dancer.  As Yasoda's hair loosened and became wet from the exertion )f churning, it  looked like the opened tail feathers of a jubilant peacock When her hair  braid untied, the jewels, flowers, and peacock feathers decorating it fell  on the ground. As shooting stars beautify the dense darkress of night,  similarly, these falling items increased the beauty of the eanh.

The necklace on her raised breasts swung back ard forth with the  move­ments of her blouse. The shining effulgence emanating from her  jeweled-earrings appeared like a constant flow of nectar Bathed in the  sweet mellow of maternal affection, Yasoda's neck and shoulders looked ex­  ceedingly beautiful. The ornamental belt surrounling her highly raised  hips appeared captivating. The radiant gems and tinkling bells on that  belt further increased its elegance. Drenched in a river of devotional  per­spiration, Yasoda's delicate body looked delightful The sweetness of  this scene defeated the beauty of seeing a swarm of inoxicated bees  buzzing  over a blooming lotus flower. A loud sound resembling the roaring  of the ocean rose out of the wide mouth of Yasoda's butter pot. The drops  of yogurt spilling out of the pot and falling on the golden border of  Yasoda's sari made it look even more attractive. As Yasoda passed the time  rememberiig Krishna, she recalled the enchanting look in her son's eyes  whenever He got caught stealing butter. At that time He would proudly say,  "Molher, you should know that I am expert in this art of stealing." Krishna  felt hungry and anxious to drink Yasoda's hreast milk. In a threat­ening  voice, Krishna said, "Either you stop to feed Me or I will break the  churning pot." Suddenly, the one who churns the hearts of everyone in  creation forcefully caught the churning rod. Yascda stopped, sat Krishna  on  her lap, and happily fed Him. While gazing at His loosely hanging curly  dark blue hair, Yasoda's heart swelled with appreciation of Krishna's  wonderfully gentle nature.chen some boiling milk foamed up in a pot.  Fearing it might spill over, Yasoda left her son and ran to the kitchen.  This deeply pierced the core of Krishna's heart. Becoming angry, He picked  up a rock and broke the butter pot. Churned butter flowed in all  direc­tions across the floor.


In a fearful yet playful mood Krishna ran through the butter and romped from  room to room engaging in more mischief. Stealthily entering the milk  storeroom, Krishna quickly ate small amounts of freshly churned but­ter from  various pots. From relishing His favorite food He soon felt satis­fied and  gave up His anger. Then Shri Hari, who is worshiped by all the demigods,  snatched a pot of butter and ran into the courtyard.

The pastimes Krishna enjoyed at this time appeared to be classic  perfor­mances on a dramatic stage. While standing on a grinding mortar in  the courtyard and anxiously looking around for mother Yasoda, Krishna fed  fresh butter to all the assembled children and monkeys. The fortunate  Yasoda, whose jewel-like son benedicts the entire creation, took the  boil­ing milk off stove and returned to Krishna. The fame of attaining. Krishna as her son enhanced the brilliant beauty of  Yasoda's body. She wanted to embrace her son and console Him, but not  finding Him there she became morose. In a mood of lamentation she  frantically searched everywhere for Krishna. She found some broken pots  emitting innumerable streams of yogurt that flowed across the floor  mak­ing it slippery and white in color. Out of anger, Krishna had smashed  many clay pots, which now lay strewn on the floor in hundreds of pieces. Mother Yasoda thought, "Alas! What has happened? Why is this yogurt pot  broken?" At first she could not understand, but upon seeing a small rock  she concluded that Krishna had perpetrated this naughty act. With a look of  surprise mother Yasoda touched the tip of her nose with the index finger  of her beautiful left hand and thought, "How could my child show such  impudence? I tried so patiently to train Him properly, so how could He  behave so horribly."

Although no impurities resided in her heart, Yasoda appeared to mani­fest  a special form of motherly pride. Showing false anger, she thought, "The  glories of my son's transcendental pastimes are unlimited. His every  action increases His own pride and pleasure while simultaneously creat­ing  a festival for one and all. He derives boundless happiness by His  con­stant pastimes of stealing."


As soon as Krishna, who enchants the demigods with His beautiful body the  color of a monsoon cloud, saw mother Yasoda coming out of the house,He  jumped up in fear and ran away as fast as possible. Expertly  under­standing the human-like nature Of her son, Yasoda chased after Him  call­ing, "Stop running! Stop! O You foremost cheater in the world!"Krishna  kept looking fearfully back over His shoulder while running away from  Yasoda. Though Yasoda felt fatigued and mentally distressed, her body,  arms, and legs looked very beautiful as she pursued her mischie­vous son.  Full of pride and anger, Yasoda continued shouting to Krishna, "Stop You  thief and liar! How can you carry on like this? Where are You going? Just  stop running and stand where You are!"

Krishna said, "I will stop if you drop your stick." After saying this Krishna  stopped running away, but kept a safe distance from His mother. Yasoda  said, "If You are so afraid of being punished, then why did You break my  yogurt pot today?"

Krishna said, "I will never do it again. Now just drop the stick from your  hand." Yasoda's mind turned into an abode of amazement as she tried to  approach her son. But seeing her angry mood, Krishna quickly ran away again  while speaking in a distressed tone, "Mother! Please drop that big stick  and do not punish Me! O sinless one, if you do this I will come to you."  After hearing Krishna's innocent appeal Yasoda dropped the stick.

Seeing this, Krishna stopped running. Absorbed in watching Krishna's  tran­scendental pastimes, the immortal denizens of heaven felt totally  amazed. One can easily understand how powerful demigods like Lord Brahma,  who lives for trillions of years, became upset and bewildered upon seeing  Krishna's pastime of showing fear before His mother. They could not fathom  how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is feared by fear  personi­fied, ran away in fear of a stick in His mother's hand.


The fine hairs curling over Yasoda's face dripped with perspiration and  her blouse moved from her heavy breathing. Her hair hung loose from  running and her lotus face appeared exhausted. When she caught Krishna's  hand He said, "Mother please do not beat Me." While saying this Krishna  rubbed His tear-filled lotus eyes with His delicate palms which resembled  the petals of a fresh lotus flower.With a choked voice Krishna slowly  uttered some sweet yet indistinct words that came out from His beautiful  mouth like drops of nectar falling from the full moon. Indeed, it was a  marvelous sight to see Krishna becoming overwhelmed in fear and crying  helplessly. Yasoda thought, "If I do not bind Him immediately, He may run  away into the deep forest." Yasoda then brought a grinding mortar and  considered how to bind the one of boundless glories. Observing this, Krishna  beamed an attractive smile.Yasoda ordered some maidservants, "O  Kurangavati and Lavangavati, fetch some smooth soft rope made of jute."  The attempt of Vrajesvari Yasoda to bind Krishna, the ever well-wisher of  the whole creation, immersed her in an ocean of joy. Soon many opulently  dressed elderly gopis, the embodiments of limitless motherly affection,  came there along with sev­eral curious boys with clean, beautiful curly  hair. Mother Yasoda tied many ropes together but they always measured two inches  too short. Surprisingly, no matter how many ropes she collected they  remained two inches too short. She said, "Alas! This small distance seems  to have become as vast as Brahma's universe. The Supreme Lord enacts this  pastime by His personal energy to display His unlimited power."

Observing this wonderful incident, the elderly gopis tried to relieve  Yasoda's anxiety by saying, "O Yasoda! You are the most blessed one in  creation. A minute ago you tied a small golden belt around Krishna's thin  waist, but now you cannot bind him with all the ropes in your house!  Despite the number of ropes you tie together, they always end up two  inches too short. There is some strange cause behind this phenomena, so  you better stop trying to bind your son."

In great astonishment Yasoda addressed the gopis, "O Vraja gopisl I have  no more ropes, so please bring all the ropes stored in your houses." It  was not out of fear that the gopis gave all their ropes to Yasoda, but  they did so in order to see Krishna's glorious transcendental character and  relish His blissful pastimes. Feigning anger, Yasoda took all the  addi­tional ropes and tried again to bind her naughty son. While enjoying  this scene, the doe-eyed housewives of Vrndavana laughed quietly while  se­cretly tasting a special joy in their hearts. All the blissful moods of spiritual love harmonized in Krishna's childhood  pastimes. Though Krishna's hands were very delicate, His eyes soon pained  from continually rubbing the tears falling from them. In a choked up voice  He spoke some richly sweet words that captivated the minds of all.  Fi­nally, Krishna cried in a gentle, honey sweet voice. Empathizing with  Krishna, close friends like Subala also wept along with their bosom friend. Yasoda's heart palpitated with her heavy breathing, her hair loosened, and  the flowers fell to the ground. Perspiring, tired, overwhelmed, and her  labors frustrated, Yasoda sat down to rest and figure out how to tie up  Krishna. A short time later she tried again to bind her matchless son. The  elderly gopis, having lost all desire to return to their homes, stood  mo­tionless while staring at Krishna with unblinking eyes.

Now all the ropes in Vrndavana joined in a fruitless attempt to bind the  master of the universe. It is impossible to tie up bliss, wisdom, power,  and consciousness, so how can anyone tie up Krishna who is made of nothing  but bliss, wisdom, power, and consciousness? How could Yasoda bind one who  has no inside or outside, who is limitless, who has no beginning or end,  who has infinite power, who is the totality of everything, who is  com­pletely full and beyond any contamination, and who is within and  outside of everything? Viewing the situation, the all-powerful Supreme  Lord de­cided to bestow His mercy upon Yasoda.

Even though mother Yasoda eagerly desired to tie up Krishna, she met no  success despite her total exhaustion. The endeavor of a devotee to bind  the Lord can only be successful with the Lord's sanction. All of Yasoda's  work now bore fruit because Krishna, out of compassion for her, suddenly  allowed Himself to be bound. Extending His mercy, He saved His be­loved  mother from further anger and frustration. Yasoda asked the assembled cowherd boys to watch Krishna to prevent Him from  untying Himself arid running away. Then Yasoda and the eld­erly gopis  entered her private chambers. The moment Yasoda left, Krishna stopped  crying, and His face assumed a peaceful and effulgent glow like the  luminous moonshine.


Krishna thought how to use His present bondage to fulfill a prophecy of  Narada Muni. Previously Narada had cursed two intoxicated and inde­cent  demigods named Nalakuvera and Manigriva to become trees. De­ciding to  bestow His mercy upon them, Krishna dragged the grinding mor­tar tied to His  belly along the ground toward those two trees. Krishna's playmates  cheerfully followed Him. From a distance Krishna saw the two trees connected at the root. Simi­larly,  a student will understand that prakrti and purusa originate from one  source. As karma kanda and jndna kanda are separate paths, the two trees  had different trunks. The Sama and Yajur Vedas have various divisions, and  similarly, the two trees had many branches. As a great king has the  qualities of valor and achievement, as a mountain range possesses  steadi­ness, and as a cluster of clouds is laden with showers, similarly,  these two trees displayed an abundance of natural opulence. The demigods embodied in the two trees had become purified by suf­fering  many years in that way, just as clouds abound in the rainy season and as  water becomes clear and pure in autumn. As the universe is vast and broad,  these trees stood stout and strong. Known as a pair of arjuna trees, they  reminded everyone of the great heroes Arjuna and Kartavirya. Like Nakula  and Sahadeva, these two trees were also twins. Seeing Krishna moving towards  the huge trees, His friends said, "Perhaps Krishna cannot tolerate the  scorching sunshine so He is seeking shelter under those shady trees."


While His friends spoke thus, Krishna pulled the mortar over and it got  stuck between the two trees. He who annihilates all pretenders appeared  splendid with His curly hair hanging loosely over His shoulders. Though  Krishna's body is pure and spotless, His character is colored with wonderful  varieties of rasa.

With a slight jerk of the mortar Krishna easily uprooted those huge trees in  a moment. A loud cracking sound filled the air when the trees split open.  As a person pokes a hole in a clay pot, that unique vibration, which  conquered all other sounds, raced through the sky to puncture a hole in  the coverings of the universe. The sound exactly resembled the terrible  noise produced by the fierce thunderbolts crashing at the time of  devasta­tion. Krishna remained calm and joyful amidst the tremendous  tumult.Krishna is eternally free, but He appeared to be bound to a grinding  mor­tar. His character is eternally pure, but it was stained by His  pastimes of stealing.Although He can liberate anyone trapped in material  existence, He was bound by the loving affection of His mother.

At that time two effulgent persons emerged from the trees. Delivered from  their curse, the two demigods offered prayers to Krishna, "O embodi­ment of  eternity and boundless bliss. You appear more attractive than a cluster of  soft, beautiful dark blue rain clouds. All glories to You! All glories to  You! No one can understand the mysteries of Your transcen­dental pastimes.  You have appeared on earth just to enact Your splendid spiritual sports.  Along with Your appearance came many mighty demons eager to fight with  You. However You always exhibited greater power and easily defeated them  in an artistic fashion.

"Even though just a tender boy, You have personally uprooted these two  massive arjuna trees. You are definitely one Without a second. You pour  mercy upon everyone and bestow abundant affection to the fallen. As a  common man enjoys different playful sports, You relish wonderful varieties  of rasa in all Your pleasantly artistic transcendental pastimes.


"Truly You are the embodiment of auspiciousness appearing in Vrndavana to  benedict all the Vrajavasis. The moon, lord of the stars, becomes totally  afflicted upon seeing the beautiful radiance of Your moon­like face. The  natural glow of Your attractive lips surpasses the reddish color of a  bimba fruit. You delight learned sages by cutting the dense vines of  ignorance with the axe of Your mercy. "Human intelligence cannot penetrate the fathomless ocean of Your  transcendental pastimes. But one can attain Your lotus feet by following  pure devotees. The words of the lotus-born Brahma, the blue-throated  Mahadeva, and other demigods are always ornamented with descriptions of  Your transcendental qualities. While Your effulgence alone displays •  complete and unlimited power, You personally perform various playful  pastimes. Strands of jeweled necklaces adorn Your broad chest. Your feet  deride the purity of land lotuses. Although You appear in specific forms  in all four yugas, You have as many unlimited names and forms as there are  stars in the sky. As the white incarnation Your glorious deeds were pure  and faultless.


"O Lord of the three worlds! You quickly satisfy the desires of all the materialistic people who proudly proclaim, "This is mine!' O master! We  offer our respectful obeisances unto You. In this whole creation who can  compare with You? You are one without a second! O Supreme Personal­ity of  Godhead! Who is not bewildered by Your illusory energy? O en­chanter of  all minds! You astonish everyone with Your matchless ability to do the  impossible.

"O bliss personified! O darling son of Nanda Maharaja! As the crest-jewel  among all the immortals who wander through the pleasure groves of  Vrndavana, You perform superexcellent pastimes. Though using the choic­est  Sanskrit slokas, the best of sages fail to properly praise You.

"You exist simultaneously as formless bliss and bliss personified. In  ei­ther gross or subtle forms, You alone exist everywhere. You exhilarate  both Your humble servants and the realized souls. The incessant stream of  consciousness flowing from Your lotus feet looks like a form of the  nectarean Mandakini (celestial Ganges). Please shelter us under Your  splendidly sweet lotus feet, and destroy all attachments preventing this.

"O friend of the distressed! We have no desire other than the desire to  touch the pollen dust on Your lotus feet. Narada's curse turned into our  greatest boon. Association with sadhus who intensely yearn for Your  ser­vice, therefore, always gives good results. May our words perpetually  glo­rify You. May our minds be forever fixed on Your lotus feet. May our  ears be constantly absorbed in hearing Your teachings.

"What more can we say? Now that all our senses are engaged in pleas­ing  You, we can relish the nectar of Your loving service. Narada Muni, that  saintly honeybee who always drinks the nectar of Your feet, has re­leased  rain clouds of mercy upon us by His apparent curse. You, who display Your  attractive pastimes in thousands of universes, have kindly allowed such  fallen souls as us to see them.

"O Lord! Who can describe the immense fortune of Your mother who bound You  to this mortar? What more can we say? Even Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Indra,  and all the exalted sages in the universe do not possess even a fraction  of a grain of the good fortune of mother Yasoda. O om­nipotent one! Even  the greatest jnanis, vedantists, and yogis cannot un­derstand You. But You  quickly avail Yourself to premi-bhaktas intent on hearing Your  transcendental pastimes as Nandanandana.

"O Lord! We want to become completely attached to Your lotus feet. So we  beg You to please reveal within in our hearts the right prayer to attain  this. Alas! Show us how to live righteously by accepting the results of  our good and bad karma."

After speaking thus, the demigods proceeded Northward and disap­peared.  Then the twin arjuna trees crashed to the ground. Their falling made such  a terrible sound that it deafened the village ladies as well as the four  elephants controlling the four directions of the heavenly planets. All the  Vrajavasis felt fearful. The sweet taste of bliss that Vrajesvari Yasoda  and the Vrajavasis had previously relished now suddenly disap­peared.  Becoming bewildered and fearing another calamity, they stopped their  duties and rushed to that place.

When they saw the huge fallen trees they thought perhaps mother earth  offered dandavats to Krishna-kumara with the arms of these tree trunks. The  split open trees looked like the gaping mouth of the lower planetary  system. Its two branches appeared like two huge snakes rising up and  desiring to go in different directions. The two trees seemed like the dead  bodies of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha thrown on the ground by the Lord  Himself. When the Vrajavasis found Krishna, He appeared calm, fear­less, and  free from danger. Though only a child, Krishna looked like a price­less  jewel ornamenting mother earth, and assuring Her of protection by His very  presence.

At that time the Vrajavasis thought, "O what is this? How have these huge  arjuna trees suddenly fallen without being pushed down by the wind? In a  second they could have crushed and killed Krishna. But Krishna just stands  peacefully between them looking as fresh as a newly formed rain cloud. It  is our good fortune that nothing has happened to Him.

"For a long time these two trees have stood here troubling others. Now due  to old age their roots have become rotten, and they toppled over , from  the weight of their leaves and branches. But upon closer examina­tion, we  see this is not the reason because the roots, branches, and leaves are all  fresh and hard." In various ways the Vrajavasis tried to evaluate the  situation.While deeply drinking the pure nectar of Krishna's wonderful  pastimes, Nanda Maharaja's face beamed with transcendental delight. The  mind of Krishna also danced  in jubilation over His recent exploit.  Vrajaraja Nanda untied Krishna from the mortar and placed Him on his lap.  Then the expert and learned Nanda scolded his wife, "Nandarani, You have  made a big mistake!" But suddenly Nanda Maharaja remembered Garga Muni's  prophecy that Krishna equals Narayana, and that all the scriptures pro­claim  His transcendental qualities. Thinking thus, Nanda concluded that no one  but his son could have done this amazing feat.The friends of Krishna said,  "Hey look what Krishna has done. Our spotless hero has done something  impossible. Afraid of His mother, Krishna dragged the mortar over here. Then  it got stuck between these two trees and Krishna uprooted them." None of the  assembled Vrajavasis believed the words of the innocent children.Taking  auspicious articles such as rice, arghya, and durva grass, Nanda worshiped  Krishna, who is the source and bestower of all benedictions and who far  surpasses Narayana in good qualities. Afterwards Nanda brought Krishna back  home to the accompaniment of musicians playing drums and cymbals.



Lunch at Home


One day Krishna, Balarama, and the cowherd boys wandered into the forest and  started playing. Krishna looked as beautiful as a freshly formed rain cloud.  They spent many hours in fun sports and games. Desiring to see Their  beautiful forms and pastimes, Yasoda sent Rohini to bring Krishna and  Balarama back home.

Rohini Devi, a reservoir of unlimited piety and qualities, ran out of the  house to perform this task. Seeing the boys from a distance, she called  out, "Have you forgotten to come home due to Your absorption in play­ing?  You are perspiring profusely and must be famished from so much playing.  Now stop playing and come along with Your enchanting elder brother and  friends. Take Your bath, dress properly, and satisfy mother Yasoda by  sitting down and eating sumptuously.

Krishna, however, ignored Rohini's request and kept enjoying with His  friends. Feeling frustrated, mother Rohini returned home. Then Yasoda ran  to call the boys. "Hey listen Baladeva! King Nanda is starving and will  not eat until You return. Now hurry along."

Yasoda then addressed Krishna, "O my darling son! Today is Your birth­day so  You will be bathed with auspicious articles. You will receive the  blessings of the brahmanas who are the veritable demigods of this world.  Your father has bought opulent clothes for You. Now come home and take  Your meal with Your father and all the assembled brahmanas."

Saying this, mother Yasoda, who walks as majestically as a royal elephant,  caught Krishna's lotus hand and said, "Come along, let us go home." Keep­ing  Balarama in front, Yasoda led Krishna and the boys back home. Yasoda cannot  tolerate that Krishna joyfully plays all day without stopping to eat. Like  all mothers who dearly love their children, Yasoda stopped Their playing  so They could eat Their meal.

Yasoda ordered the maidservants to bring massage oils, bathing pow­der,  clothes, ornaments, and garlands. Taking a soft damp cloth Yasoda cleansed  Krishna by removing all the dust from His body, which resembled a fully  blossomed blue lotus. Yasoda massaged Him with oil, bathed, and dressed  Him. After anointing His transcendental body with fragrant oil Yasoda  brought Krishna before Nanda Maharaja.

Nanda happily picked up his boys, who responded with sweet smiles, and  then sat down to take his meal along with Krishna and Balarama. Yasoda's  servants also bathed and dressed all of Krishna's friends. After feeding  everyone, Yasoda instructed Krishna's playmates before sending them home.  She said, "From now on do not keep playing with my restless son when it is  His time to eat. At that time you should stop and quickly return to your  homes." Out of love for His friends Krishna walked with them for short way  before bidding them farewell.


Bartering for Fruits


One day a fruit vendor, well versed in moral laws, stood outside Nanda's  gate trying to sell fruits. Hearing her calling for customers, Krishna came  out to see. The fruit vendor was enchanted by seeing the two pink land  lotuses of Krishna's feet. In the cup of His small lotus hands Krishna brought  some food grains to trade for fruits. By the time Krishna reached the fruit  vendor, however, most of grains had already slipped out of His hands.

The melodious jingling of Krishna's golden ankle-bells captivated the ears  of fruit vendor. She absorbed her eyes in the full experience of seeing  Krishna, the personified stream of bliss who was more enchanting than a  beautiful rain cloud. Absorbed in the bliss of Krishna's association, that  pious woman filled her palms with fruits and gladly offered them to Krishna.  At that moment the fruit remaining in her basket magically transformed  into costly gems and jewels.


Moving to Vrndavana


One day, Krishna personally entered the hearts of the village leaders and  inspired them. Upananda, Sananda, and other senior men convened a town  meeting to discuss the future of Vrndavana. With warm hearts the people  spoke to Vrajaraja Nanda, "O King of Vraja! We cannot under­stand the  extent of your opulence. We have never seen a more fortunate person than  you."You are the greatest among men. Your son delivers everyone from  distress and lamentation. Since the time of His appearance, many  seem­ingly sad and painful things have happened here in Vrndavana. Just  after His birth the raksasi Putana brought devastation to our village.  Then the Sakatasura demon brought us severe distress. Then came that  horrible hurricane wind demon Trnavarta who tortured everyone. And the  falling arjuna trees almost destroyed us."We want to know the cause of all  these bizarre events. Everyone expe­rienced good fortune with Krishna's  birth. And we personally know that your family dynasty is also completely  auspicious. So by the accumulation of your good deeds a plenary expansion  of the Lord appeared as your very own son.


"We can only guess, therefore, that this place causes these difficulties  and not your illustrious son. Considering these facts, we conclude that  within the next year we should leave this place and move to the forest of  Vrndavana. Vrndavana is full of good qualities and always pleasing  throughout all seasons of the year. It is replete with luxuriant grasses  to please the cows. Not only that, but it is said that for one who attains  Vrndavana, the wealth of the three worlds seems as insignificant as a  piece of straw. "The Goddess of Fortune eternally resides there personally serving all the  residents. Govardhana Hill, which always increases the health of the cows,  also stands there. O learned one! If you approve this proposal, then  please satisfy us by taking us to Vrndavana."

Then the King, whose consciousness is totally pure, replied to the gopas,  "You should understand that I am personally very attached to this  Brhadvana (Mahavana). But if you find defects here, than for your sake I  think we should give up this place and immediately move to Vrndavana."  This suggestion filled everyone's heart with joy. In great excitement they  ordered their families to prepare the bullock carts for the journey.


The groups of carts, fully loaded with village folk and their  parapherna­lia, looked very beautiful. Keeping the cows in front, they  lined up the carts in preparation to leave. As mature bull elephants can  have four tusks, the bullocks had different numbers of teeth depending on  their ages. The youngest bullocks had four teeth, whereas the elder  bullocks had up to nine. The bullocks had gold plated horns shining like  the peaks of Mt. Sumeru. The rounded and nicely shaped jawbones of the  bullocks looked attractive. As a music teacher dances with dexterous  steps, the bullocks moved gracefully on their splendid hooves.As there are  four parts to a poem, similarly, these bullocks had four legs. Nanda  Maharaja had 900,000 white cows in his herd. The restless natures of the   bullocks indicated the depth of their intelligence. Though yoked to the  carts, they were not tied through their noses. Attractive neck­laces of  sweet sounding bells hung from their necks.


Multicolored canopies topped the carts. These canopies had many de­signs  and colors like green, brick red, yellow, white, red and pale yellow.  Colorful curtains made of costly jute covered the sides. Flags fluttered  above the golden domes atop the carts. The flags looked like wonderfully  designed tongues extended to taste the rays of sun. The splendidly  deco­rated carts mocked the flower airplanes of the demigods. Indeed,  these bullock carts established a new standard of excellence among  conveyances.Just as there is no fault in being attached to sadhus, the  carts were fault­less in construction and beautiful to behold. As devotees  become beauti­ful by engaging in Krishna's service, the cakras above the  carts looked as beautiful as cakravaka birds floating in a lake. As the  sons of Kuvera are attached to residing in his capital city of Alakapuri,  similarly, the wooden yokes were attached to the carts. The carts held  many gorgeous pots made of gold, silver, brass, bell metal, and copper. Extending from Brhadvana (Mahavana) to Vrndavana, the long line of cows  and bullocks looked like a separate branch of the Yamuna River. From a  distance it appeared that this long line of moving cows was stand­ing  still. The people thought, "Perhaps the Suradhuni Ganga has appeared here  to speak privately with the Yamuna. Or maybe the unlimited waves from the  milk ocean have come here to take the dust of Vrndavana? Or has Ananta  Sesa renounced his service as Narayana's bed to come see Vrndavana? Could  we be seeing the expanded hood of the king of the snakes? Or is it a  necklace of pearls decorating mother earth?"


The long line of carts topped with glittering golden domes and  multicol­ored flags flapping in the wind looked like a vast wall  containing many tall golden doors surrounding a city palace. They looked  like a small moun­tain range appearing as the offspring of Mt. Kailasa,  Mt. Sumeru, and the Himalayas coming to play with the Yamuna. Taking  compassion on this tiny mountain chain, Indra withheld his anger and  refrained from cutting off their wings with his thunderbolt. The furrows  left in the earth by the wheels of the carts looked like the walls of a  castle rising in the air but having no support. One time mother Bhumi took  the form of a cow to beg Krishna to remove the distress she felt from the  burden of demoniac kings. It seemed that mother earth had again appeared  in her original form as a cloud of dust. Rising in the sky above the carts  she seemed to be reaching for Brahmaloka. In this way people viewed the  long line of bullock carts moving toward Vrndavana. Many cowherd men simultaneously shouted orders to different people. All  the words merged into a mass of indiscernible noise. Except with hand  gestures, communication was impossible in the clamor. The combined  vibrations of carts, people, drums, and the bellowing of cows silenced all  other sounds. At last all those sounds merged quietly within the ethereal  element. Learned men proclaim that sound is by-product of ether. Boarding their cart, Yasoda and Rohini appeared like two valuable jew­els.  The cart itself looked like a mountain cave enacting a pastime of  displaying its storehouse of costly jewels in the form of these two lovely  ladies. Their sons Krishna and Balarama shone as the embodiments of  bene­diction for the three worlds. With their all-auspicious sons sitting  on their laps the two mothers achieved all perfection, and looked very  beautiful at the same time. Yasoda and Rohini simultaneously glorified  Krishna, but from a distance it seemed they were quarreling. Hundreds of armed sentinels stood guard around the carts. When the bullock  procession left Mahavana it looked like the personified wealth of the  capital had suddenly risen to touch the sky. It seemed that the god­dess  of the city personally lead the way to beautify the journey. All that was  left of the capital was the land. At that time the advance party of Nanda  Maharaja returned from Vrndavana to join the procession.


Since such a vast party could not cross the Yamuna before sunset, they  decided to camp on the banks of the river. The elderly cowherd men, even  without receiving Vrajaraja Nanda's order, erected their tents and  prepared for the night. Invisibly, the goddess of the city helped everyone  quickly establish his habitat.Please hear about that splendid city which  arose on the bank of the Yamuna. A kaleidoscope of colorful tent canopies  covered the ten direc­tions. The cowherd men expertly erected walls made  of cloth to surround that temporary city of tents. As in an ordinary city,  they made four path­ways bisecting the four directions. They also  established footpaths and marketplaces to facilitate the residents. While sitting under the evening sky chewing their cud, the numerous white  cows looked like a collection of soothing moon rays or a small lake of  milk. As more and more cows sat amongst them that lake expanded to appear  like the ocean of milk. Sunanda, Upananda, and other respected relatives  met and conversed with Nanda in his tent. Afterwards they went to their  own tents. Meanwhile they unloaded all the necessary items from the carts. After  unyoking the bulls, the caretakers fed them and let them take rest. The  servants busied themselves buying and selling different products while the  kitchen helpers cleaned and prepared for cooking. After spending twelve hours moving across the sky, the weary sun god  happily met with his wife in the form of the westerly direction. Birds  chirped excitedly and soared through the sky before securing themselves in  their nests for the night. The peacocks flew up to perch in the treetops.  Due to frolicking all day, the deer felt tired and walked lazily along the  Yamuna.Intoxicated honeybees trapped themselves in closing lotus flowers. As a  woman conceals herself before running off for a lover's tryst, the  presid­ing devls of the directions covered their faces with the blue veil  of dark­ness. Night blooming red and white lotuses welcomed the evening  with blissful smiles. Separated from their lovers, the cakravaka birds  wailed piteously.


As the day's heat abated and evening approached, no one could clearly  distinguish the forms of the men or the cows. Under the dim light of the  twinkling stars the shadows of the cows appeared to be fat and short,  while those of men looked long and tall. As the starlight increased, the  shadows of the humans grew larger and larger. Just as a charitable man  distributes his compassion to one and all, the many lamps in the campsite  diffused their light in all directions. Posted sentries guarded all the  roads. The natural beauty of evening appeared like a goddess eager to  serve Shri Krishna. Satisfied by eating their fill and seeing their calves standing nearby,  the cows stood peacefully while the cowherd men milked them. The milking  of so many cows produced a tremendous sound that resembled the vibra­tion  created at the time of churning the ocean of milk. Krishna derived great  pleasure from hearing that beautiful, sweet deep sound. While milk­ing the  cows the gopas loudly called their names, "Hee! Hee! Dhavali! Shavali" and  the cows responded by mooing. The men affectionately fondled and caressed  the cows as they gathered around them. After taking their evening meal the Vrajavasis relaxed and happily  wan­dered about the campsite. The sentries showed off their techniques for  staying awake through the night. Seeing this, the Vrajavasis felt  confident of their expertise, so they returned to their tents for a  peaceful rest. Three hours before sunrise the wives of the gopas woke up, bathed, dressed  in clean cloth, and performed vastu-puja. Then they churned but­ter while  singing many enchanting songs glorifying Krishna. The sound of the gopis'  jeweled bangles and ankle-bells blended harmoniously with the deep,  melodious sound emanating from the large churning pots. That auspicious  vibration easily removed all misfortune from the universe. The directions  amplified that sound by responding with their echoes. Consid­ering it  improper to spend any more time with their husbands, the demi-goddesses  woke up at once. Then they listened with rapt attention to the sweet sound  of the gopis churning butter.As the sun rose everyone prepared to cross the Yamuna River, the daugh­ter  of the sun god. Following Vrajaraja Nanda's order, the gopas called the  cows by making the sound "Hee! Hee!" Mooing in response, the cows entered  the water. As they swam across the Yamuna, the cows exhaled strong breaths  of air. The heavy, water-soaked tails of the cows hung motionless under  the water. Keeping their heads and humps above the water, they flowed with  the currents and finally reached the Yamuna's opposite shore.

The horn-less, light-bodied calves felt great happiness as they quickly  swam across the river. Crossing from all directions in front of their  moth­ers, the calves reached the opposite shore. The gopas carried the new  born calves across the Yamuna by hanging them around their necks, and  holding their soft legs with their left arms while using their right arms  to swim. The mothers of the calves followed behind crying anxiously.The tall humps on the backs of the mature bulls made waves as they moved  through the Yamuna. As if in an angry mood, the bulls turned their necks  and butted these successive waves with their horns. A capti­vating scene  manifested there. Despite the strong current, the bulls held their heads  high and straight, breathed heavily, and quickly crossed the Yamuna. All  the innumerable cows made it safely across the Yamuna. But they appeared  exhausted from the journey, so they stood in rows on the Yamuna's sandy  banks, which looked as white as transparent cam­phor dust. The groups of  white cows beside the Yamuna looked as attrac­tive as the river  Jahnavi.The boats plying on the water looked like the nagapatnis rising up  from Patalaloka to playfully extend their jewel-bedecked hoods above the  Yamuna. It seemed  that from the day the Vrajavasis arrived in Vrndavana,  Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods, had made all arrangements to  make them happy. The beautiful clear sky looked like a stream of the Ganga  meeting the Yamuna. Various aquatics sported within the Yamuna.


Many highly decorated golden boats, exhibiting the epitome of artistic  craftsmanship, cruised along the Yamuna. The best among those boats had an  ornamental cabin topped with beautiful flags gently flapping in the  breeze. Krishna and Yasoda, Rohini, and their maidservants boarded that  boat. Krishna enjoyed watching the rows of small waves in the Yamuna. The  wonderful effulgence of Krishna's body enhanced the beauty of the Yamuna and  made it look like a sparkling gem. Leaving Yasoda's side, Krishna leaned over the edge of the boat. While  supporting Himself with His left hand Krishna stretched His right hand under  the water to touch the bottom of the boat. Anticipating some dan­ger, the  two mothers tried unsuccessfully to stop Krishna from His frivolous splay.  With great concern, Nanda boarded the same boat, quickly picked up Krishna,  and sat Him on his lap. Undisturbed, the boatman continued rowing steadily  across the Yamuna.

The remaining men and their families boarded other boats and happily  crossed the river Yamuna. After ferrying all the people, the boatman used  boarding platforms to load all the bullock carts and cross the river  again. Vrajaraja Nanda satisfied the boatmen with valuable clothes and  orna­ments.