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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 11 Summer and Other Seasons

Chapter Eleven


Pastimes in Summer and Other Seasons


The arrival of the summer season brought a suitable time for Krishna to  relish refreshing pastimes with Shri Radha. But when Krishna played with  Balarama and the cowherd boys at this time, He felt the scorching heat of  summer manifesting within Himself as the burning pain of separation from  Radhika. Before telling the next pastime, I will describe the summer  season in Vrndavana. During the summer, the pathways become hard and dry from the blis­tering  heat of the sun. A person's fingernails become brittle and crack. But  inside the caves of Govardhana, where Krishna secretly enjoys with His  beloveds, there is always a soothing and cooling atmosphere due to its  natural springs and small ponds of water. The waves of the Yamuna me­ander  lazily by her blistering banks of sand. People also move slowly due to the  heat. Profuse perspiration brings relief from the sizzling sunrays.  Everyone forgets the discomfort of perspiring by smelling the pleasing  fragrance of sirisa flowers. The tops of the trees hang down to form  natu­ral canopies, which shade the footpaths and kindly protect the  Vrajavasis from the pinching rays of the sun.  In Vrndavana's cool shady groves the vanadevis (forest maidens) are busy  making delightful arrangements for Radha-Krishna's confidential pas­times.  Scattered here and there are various kunjas (natural cottages) made of  groups of lush bushes, trees, and vines that have entrance doors on one  side. The vanadevis keep a variety of pleasurable substances such as pan,  candana, and pots of cool sandal-scented water inside the kunjas.. There  are also containers of refreshing drinks like madhu and mango nectar  waiting to satisfy the Divine Couple and relieve Their fatigue.


The Killing of Pralambasura


One summer day the brilliantly powerful brothers Krishna and Balarama,  surrounded by Their associates and displaying wonderful grace and beauty,  came to Bhandiravana forest to enjoy pastimes. The moment the Lord desired  to enjoy a particular pastime, all the necessary paraphernalia  au­tomatically appeared. Nourished by eating the fresh green grass and  sat­isfied by drinking the crystal clear water from the valleys of  Giri-Govardhana, the cows relaxed peacefully in the dense shade of the  ban­yan trees. The gopas wore garlands of freshly blossomed mallika  flowers and natural earrings made from sirisa flowers. They tied garlands  of kurci flowers in the'r nau"- Adorned with these attractive fragrant  flowers, they tied garlands of kurci flowers in their hair. Adorned with these attractive fragrant flowers, the two brothers, Balarama and Damodara played happily with Their friends.One boy sang in a very sweet voice. Some boys played musical instru­ments while others danced. Sometimes Krishna vibrated His flute while Balarama danced. At other times, Krishna danced to the singing of Balarama and His friends. In a melodious tone Krishna called the gopas, "Ho! Ho! My brothers! Now stop your dancing because we are going to play a new game."


While running to meet their friend, the gopas replied, "O Damodara! What sort of game do You want to play?"

Krishna said, "Listen! Let us divide ourselves into two parties. One party will go with the powerful Balarama and the other party will side with Me." Thus Krishna divided His friends into two parties in order to hold a contest of strength. The boys in Balarama's party followed Him like loyal soldiers and the other boys accompanied Krishna. The losing party had to carry the victors on their backs. Krishna's party lost, and even though Krishna carries the whole universe in His belly, He had to carry Shridama on His shoulders.Under the influence of time, Pralambasura, the deceitful one, disguised himself as a cowherd boy and secretly mixed with Krishna's friends. Being defeated in the contest, Pralambasura had to carry the victorious Baladeva, who looked extremely enchanting and effulgent with sandalwood paste daubed on His golden white body. Taking Balarama on his shoulders, the demon carried Him to the edge of the Bhandiravana forest. Pralambasura thrilled with the thought; "I have accomplished my mis­sion. Like a thief I have broken all the rules of the game and stolen a valuable jewel."

At first Balarama was amazed at the extraordinary power of His carrier, but then He instantly understood the situation. Smiling mildly, Balarama called out to His playful younger brother, "O Damodara! Hey Manorama! Just as insanity robs one's intelligence, this demon is trying kidnap Me. O You of infallible will power! What should I do now? Hey relisher of mel­lows! Without hesitating any longer, please give Me proper instructions."

Krishna felt somewhat amused to see and hear all of this. Then in a thun­dering voice He assured Baladeva, "Give up all Your fears. Why are You submitting to illusion? Just remember Your own divine power and slay the demon."

Using His unrivaled strength, which far exceeded the power of the thun­derbolts Indra uses to cut the wings of mountains, Balarama, the elder brother of Madhusudana, smashed the demon's head into little pieces with His fist. With tremendous power the Lord drove the demon to the kingdom of Yama. Before departing, the demon assumed a huge grotesque  form. The Vrajavasis thought that Balarama, whose complexion is whiter than fresh camphor, looked like the full moon sitting on top of the dome­like covering of the universe as He sat upon the demon's shoulders.The demon's body had a dark smoky color. But due to profuse bleeding his hideous body now looked like a cluster of clouds in the reddish sky at sunset. Covered completely in blood, Pralambasura slowly fell to the ground. While falling he appeared like the sun setting behind the Vindhya Mountain, which is covered with red asoka flowers. The splendid demi­gods, who are expert in glorifying others, showered flowers on the head of Balarama to celebrate His victory over the demon. The notorious demon named Pralamba had displayed great tantric magic. But eventually he perished under the fierce blows of Baladeva whose chariot bears the symbol of a palm tree. In front of everyone, Balarama humbly accepted the name Pralambaghna (one who removes all sins from the heart) honorably bestowed upon Him by Lord Indra. Thereafter Balarama met with His brother Damodara, who always gives joy to others and is dear to all the gopas. Proud of His recent accomplishment, Balarama felt unlimitedly blissful within His mind. But He became confused upon seeing the bewildered faces of the cowherd boys when He rejoined Krishna who was resting in the shade of a beautiful banyan tree named Bhandiravat.


Krishna Swallows the Munjatavi Fire


Once upon a time while Damodara, Balarama, Shridama, Sudama, Subala and the  other gopas rested beside the Yamuna, the cows, attracted by the fresh  sprouted grass, wandered deep into a nearby forest named Munjatavi. For no  apparent reason the birds sleeping in the trees suddenly startled, filled  with fear, and darted from the treetops when the cows entered the forest. Krishna, whose eyes are colored like pink lotus flowers and who is the inner  guide of all living entities, noticed that the gopas had become  ap­prehensive about the safety of the cows. In a mood of love Krishna  compas­sionately addressed them, "Hey friends! Look! Where have our cows  gone? Only the light of happiness shines in this forest full of birds and  deer. So there is really no need to worry about the cows. Nevertheless,  since we cannot see any of them right now, let us go find the cows and  rejoice again in their company."

After the beautiful Lord spoke, the gopas, who are expert in herding cows,  looked for partially chewed grass, fresh hoof prints in the soil, and any  other signs of the cows' movements. Following these signs, they walked  through the densely foliated forest. Reaching the end of their desire to   search any longer, the cowherd boys became doubtful and apprehensive about  the safely of the cows. They resembled people who become full of distress  and lamentation after not finding any happiness in life.Suddenly the gopas saw a powerful forest fire devouring all the dry reeds  and grass in its path. Their eyes burned from the blustery hot winds  gen­erated by that fire. Overwhelmed with sadness and anxiety, the cowherd  boys looked at each other with tear-filled eyes. Their movements resembled  a bewildered man who prays when facing difficulty. Not finding the cows,  the gopas just kept thinking about them.Meanwhile, seeing no sign of their masters, no escape from the fire, and  no hope for survival, the cows cried in fear. Upon returning to the  Bhandiravat tree, the gopas reported the results of their search. Krishna  responded by promising to personally save the cows from imminent death.  Although Krishna is the Supreme Brahman and a cintamani gem fulfilling the  desires of all, He assumes the form of an ordinary human being.Dashing into the Munjatavi forest, Krishna summoned the cows with a sweet  tune from His flute. Then He called them individually with His melodious  voice, "Hee! Hee! Hee! Hey Dhavalike! Hey Candani! Hey Nandini! Hey Mukte!  Hey Indu-tilake! Hey Kasturi! Hey Karpurike! Hey Pinge! Hey Rangini! Hey  Dhumale! Hey Kinjalike! Hey Syame! Hey Ketuki! Hey Candrike! Hey  Shavalike! Hey Kasmirike! Hey Campake! Hee! Hee! Hee!"


- The transcendental vibration of Krishna's magnificent murali enchanted the  entire universe and attracted the cows. Hearing the gentle sound of  Krishna's sweet flute reassured the cows of their imminent rescue.  Over­whelmed with joy, the cows eagerly waited for Krishna. But since they  were trapped in a ring of fire they could not see their savior. In  desperation they cried in response to Krishna's call. Their voices choked  with fear, the cows continually vibrated a piteous "Humba! Humba! Humba!"

Though far beyond the comprehension of munis, jnanis, and impersonalists,  Krishna is easily seen by His pure devotees. Hearing the wailing of the cows  in the distance, Nandanandana, Haladhara, and Their gopa friends felt  reassured that they were nearby. The brilliant effulgences and radiant  smiles of the cowherd boys dispelled the deep darkness of the forest as  they rushed toward the cows. The rising tidal wave of jubilation cleansed  all anxieties from their bewildered minds. Then by the arrangement of Providence, the boys found the cows stand­ing  helplessly unprotected in the middle of a blazing fire. "Alas! Look how  they are suffering! They are in great danger and very close to death,"  thought the cowherd boys. The greatly distressed cows immersed their minds  in thoughts of Krishna while staring at Him with shining, tear-filled eyes.  Being the limitless ocean of compassion, Krishna felt very much ag-

grieved to see their agonized condition. The raging flames of the fire reached so high into the sky that even a  torrential downpour could not extinguish them. Before immediately  swal­lowing that uncontrollable forest fire, Krishna, whose face is  incomparably beautiful, addressed His followers, "O friends! Just close  your eyes, for­get about this illusion, and be happy again." The cowherd  boys, their long hair hanging attractively over their shoulders, closed  their eyes while Krishna displayed a drop of His unlimited opulence.Krishnacandra, who can do anything, held His cupped hands to His lotus mouth  and drank the forest fire as if were liquid ambrosia. It appeared that His  majestic power personified had swallowed the fire. Usually it takes a  torrential downpour to stop a forest fire. But Krishna, however, who easily  extinguishes the blazing fire of material existence, put out the fire with  a sidelong glance. Out of compassion for the cows, Krishna saved them with a  mere touch of His own energy.


Krishna attracts worldly people to His transcendental pastimes by show­ing  His majestic opulence from time to time. As one presses pulp to ex­tract  the essence, Krishna's pastimes reveal the essence of the Absolute Truth.  This is not surprising since Krishna is the Supreme Parabrahman, the  embodiment of all power who energizes the sun, moon, and fire. At the same  time He is full of variegated personal energies. At one moment Krishna kills  the demon Bakasura, and the next moment He relishes inti­mate pastimes  with the gopis. Sometimes He covers His sweet personal aspect, and  displays the inestimable power of His unlimited majestic opulences.  Besides acting as the resting place of Brahman, Krishna shelters all types  of energies. Therefore, swallowing a tiny forest fire is an insig­nificant  feat for such a wonderful personality as Krishna, who is the com­bined form  of complete sweetness and majesty. What scholar would not become totally  captivated when trying to understand the inconceivable truth of Shri Krishna?

Inspired and blissful over the whole pastime, Brahma and other demi­gods  showered flowers from the celestial gardens. The flower shower ap­peared  like the falling of an unlimited number of teardrops mixed with kajala.  Krishna pleased the demigods by happily accepting their prayers. By the  arrangement of Yogamaya no one saw Krishna swallow the forest fire. Afterwards Krishna returned to the gopas who were relaxing with the cows in  the cool sweet shade of Bhandiravat. Smiling mildly, Krishna said, "Now you  understand why I asked you to close your eyes. Now open your eyes and look  at Me."

The gopas opened their eyes and exclaimed, "O look! What happened? Did we  go crazy? Where is that forest fire? Was it just a dream? Somehow we are  just sitting here peacefully under the banyan tree with the cows."Feeling  astonished, the cowherd boys became silent.


The cows felt happy and secure now that the forest fire was extinguished.  Seeing Krishna, whose feet are the supreme objects of worship and the  epitome of purity, the cows became overwhelmed with joy. The cows cried  while repeatedly licking and smelling the Lord's transcendental body due  to intense affection. Reciprocating with them, Krishna compassionately  fondled the cows with His delicate pinkish palms.


Returning to Nandagrama with the Cows


Indicating his desire to disappear behind the mountains, the sun  gradu­ally diminished his painful scorching rays. The scent of honey from  the lotus flowers blossoming in the lakes refreshed the air with a sweet  fra­grance. Smelling it, the bees went mad with desire to taste it. The  atmo­sphere felt pleasant and the ground was soothing to touch.Gathering  the herds of cows, the gopas walked along with Krishna, who played sweet,  gentle tunes on His murali while driving the cows home. Bellowing happily  as they moved, the cows fixed their eyes in the direc­tion of Nandagrama.  As they passed through the various villages along the way, Krishna cast  sidelong glances toward the gopis, who stood on their rooftops to greet  Him as He walked by. The Vrajavasis took immense pleasure in seeing their beloved Krishna and  Balarama after the long summer's day. Krishna's beautiful dark blue curly  locks peeking out from the edge of His limestone-white turban en­chanted  the eyes of everyone. The dust rising from the hooves of the cows created  an auspicious atmosphere. Gentle breezes added a comfortable sensation.  The breeze, purified by the touch of Krishna's transcendental body, soothed  and satisfied all the Vrajavasis as they watched the return­ing boys and  cows.Drinking the sweet vibration of Krishna's flute with the cups of their  ears, the deer hurried to the edge of the forest to see Him. The birds  that felt empty in His separation and the trees that had become lean and  thin again rejoiced upon hearing Krishna's reassuring flute. Krishna entered a  joyful mood as He approached the border of Vrndavana. Rows of excited  bumblebees formed a garland of blue sapphires to adorn the neck of  Vrndavana. The bees went blind from smelling the sweet fragrance of  lotus-eyed Krishna. And although a strong wind crushed their pride in  fly­ing, they tried their best to follow Him.Enthusiastic to return home,  Haladhara ran down the long road into Vrndavana. Krishna, the radiant prince  of Vrndavana, who is the abundant treasure house of beauty endowed with  unlimited varieties of good for­tune, however, lagged behind while  returning from the pasturing ground.He deliberately walked slowly like an  intoxicated baby elephant in order to create some distance between Himself  and His brother Balarama. Krishna was suddenly maddened with bliss as a  result of His deep-rooted affec­tion for the Vraja gopis. Now without any  shame or fear of His elder brother, Krishna unhesitatingly fixed His eyes on  the candrasalikas (small rooftop rooms for panoramic viewing). Standing in  the candrasalikas, the gopis filled the sky with the countless full moons  of their faces glowing with love. The blue lotuses of their eyes covered  the broad lakes of their chests. Colorful rainbows from their dazzling  jewelry illumined the sky. The black bees of their darkened eyebrows  restlessly circled the flowering creepers of their smiles. The rivers of  their liquid beauty flowed down to touch the ground below.


The gopis thought continuously of Krishna within their hearts while  sepa­rated from Him during the day. Although Lord Siva held poison in his  throat, the gopis could not contain the intense hankering of their hearts  to see Krishna. Forcefully surging from their hearts, this fervor choked  their voices and made them lose external awareness. As the day gradually  met the evening, the gopis, forever bound to Krishna by unbreakable ties of  love, became agitated with the desire to see Him. Seeing Krishna in the distance with His ever fresh, youthful body  glisten­ing like a dark blue cloud, the gopis immediately blossomed in  ecstatic love. Krishna wore a colorful turban decorated with a peacock  feather jut­ting out the side. Suddenly Krishna glanced directly at the  gopis standing in the candrasalikas. At that moment the gopis appeared to  be drinking the sweet nectar of Krishna's gorgeous form with the cups of  their eyes; touch­ing Him with their hands; and licking Him with their  tongues. Krishna trans­formed into the black kajala around their eyes, the  blue lotuses over their ears, the sapphire necklaces on their chests, and  the musk ointment smeared on their bodies. Stunned in love, the gopis just  stood motionless like figures drawn on a painting.

Viewing the situation, Krishna's dear friend Kusumasava said jokingly, "O  dear friend! For many days we have not seen anything so astonishing. When  You disappear in the forest like the sun sinking into the water, the gopis  in the candrasalikas look like lotuses growing in the sky sustaining their  life in the waters of love. When You reappear as the moon throwing its  rays on the earth, they blossom in delight like night blooming lotuses.  There is nothing more amazing anywhere on the earth. In Brahma's en­tire  creation you will not find a more astounding or attractive scene." After  saying this, Madhumangala cleverly pointed out the beloved daughter of  Vrsabhanu.


Though glancing at all the gopis, Krishna especially noticed the attractive  lotus face of Radhika, which pleases the eyes, exceeds all description,  and is beautified with ecstatic love. Their meeting ended the day's long  sepa­ration as They satisfied each other with sidelong glances. The nectar  of love for each other constantly flowed in Krishna's heart and in the  hearts of the gopis. With great anticipation the Vrajavasis awaited the return of Krishna and the  cows. First they saw the dust clouds in the distance created by the hooves  of the cows cutting the earth. Then they heard the bellowing of the cows  and saw the gopas coming close behind. And finally they beheld the bright  blue effulgence preceding the jewel-like prince of Vrndavana. Overwhelmed with the desire to lick their calves, the cows tried to run,  but the heavy weight of their full milk bags checked their forward  move­ment. Becoming jubilant upon hearing Krishna's flute, their eyes rolled  in ecstasy. Though their voices faltered when they mooed, they produced a  pleasing sound as they entered Vrndavana. The touch of Vanamali's cows  purified the earth. The rays of the sun shined in the house of Nanda and  Yasoda as they welcomed their beloved son. Moved by limitless joy, Yasoda  rushed to embrace Nandanandana. Finally seeing Him after the long day of  His playing in the forest overwhelmed Yasoda with happiness and re­moved  the pangs of separation. Rejecting all rules of formality, she took Krishna  through the lion gate and directly into the palace courtyard.


Krishna's lips bathed in the beautiful light of His radiant teeth. The  cow­herd boys accompanying Krishna felt happy and pleased in heart. With  great animation they spoke excitedly to Vrajesvari Yasoda, "O mother!  Today a demon disguised himself as one of us and tried to kidnap  Haladhara. But your son Balarama easily killed this malicious character.  Then a ter­rible forest fire threatened to devour the cows, the very  source of our wealth. But Krishna promised to save them, and did by  performing the im­possible task of destroying that fire." After reporting  this, the boys re­turned to their respective homes.

Due to Yasoda's deep motherly affection, milk automatically poured from  her breasts as she embraced Krishna whose body surpasses the beauty of a  monsoon cloud. A festive mood pervaded the house as Yasoda led Krishna to  His room. Raktaka, Patraka, and other house servants, with hearts full of  affection, served Krishna by bathing and dressing Him.

A brilliant necklace glowed on Krishna's chest. A yellow silk dhoti as  beau­tiful as stationary lightning enwrapped His exquisite form. The  sandal­wood pulp on His body appeared like snow sprinkled on the land of  Vrndavana. Ridiculing the radiance of the sun, the kaustubha gem, which is  the king of all jewels, reigned over the kingdom of Krishna's broad chest.  His earrings outshone the brilliance of Venus and Jupiter. The luster of  Krishna's face far surpassed the pleasing full moon in autumn. The turban  resting on His head looked like an intoxicated swan.


Krishna chewed on betel nuts scented with camphor to remove the fatigue of  the hot summer's day. The pan represented the intoxicating mellow of the  gopas' love-filled hearts. Krishna, the best of respected persons, stole the  minds of the gopas and filled them with ecstatic sweetness of sakhya  bhava. Krishna's jewel inlaid shoes did not touch the earth as He stepped  outside to walk to the goshalla. His tightly wrapped yellow dhoti moved  slightly in the gentle breeze as He walked along the royal road before the  lion gate. The light from its inset candrakanta jewels illuminated the  road that had been decorated with garlands to honor Shri Krishna's return.  These jewels perspired drops of cooling nectar which in turn made the wind  moist and refreshing. Everything became even more pleasing due to the  nectar shower of the rising full moon.


The Gopis Watch Krishna Milking the Cows


The white hue of the pure-minded cows sitting along the road, which looked  as white as powdered camphor, easily surpassed the glow of the full moon  to create a satisfying sight for all. The beautiful white bodies of the  cows could only be distinguished from the lustrous setting by their thick  horns that appeared blacker than a swarm of bumblebees. Sitting there  peacefully the cows felt boundless joy. Desirous to milk the cows, the  gopas met with Krishna, who tastefully performs all artistic feats and  derives pleasure from all that He does. Moving His lotus eyes in all  direc­tions, Krishna milked the cows with great fun and affection.he news  that Krishna was milking the cows entered the ears of the gopis like a lusty  elephant trampling the lotus flowers of their minds. Their minds  captivated by Madan-mohan, the gopis ignored their relatives and  courageously climbed the watchtowers to see their beloved. One gopi  en­thusiastically clutched another's hand and pulled her up the stairs. As  the doe-eyed gopis gazed in the direction of Krishna and the cows, the sky  filled with the blue lotus flowers of their ardent, loving glances.


They bathed their minds in the river of nectar flowing from the moon­light  face of Krishna. Like independent yoginis, the curious eyes of the gopis  blissfully roamed in all directions as they stood on the rooftops watching  Krishna milk the cows. Nothing could prevent their eyes from staring at  Krishna. Their eyes tried to milk the nectar from the gorgeous face of their  beloved. Though Brahma himself cannot describe this pastime of Krishna milking the  cows, and a sparrow can never reach the stars, still this insignificant  poet cannot resist the temptation to delight in the transcendental  pas­times of Krishna. Therefore he has tried to glorify them by using the  choic­est words. Krishna's turban looked very attractive as it tilted slightly from rubbing  against the belly of the cows. Squatting down and holding the golden milk  pail between His knees, Krishna looked very enchanting in His glimmering  yellow dhoti. While milking the cows His back arched beautifully and His  elbows jutted out to the sides as He squeezed and released the udders with  His bud like fingers. First Krishna moistened His thumb and forefin­ger with  milk foam, and then He deftly pulled showers of milk from one udder after  another. The touch of Krishna's lotus hand felt dearer to the cows than  their own calves. Out of affection for the Lord, the cows freely poured  forth streams of milk. That forceful pouring of milk made a pleas­ant  sound as it filled the deep milking pot. It spilled out on the ground  before a new pot could be brought.


As they stood in the watchtowers glancing restlessly at Krishna, the gopis  succumbed to both anxiety and ecstasy. Now that Krishna had sat down in the  minds of those desirous gopis, their minds became so heavy that even a  thousand chariots could not drag them away from their beloved Lord. Though  shaking in fear of their superiors, the gopis were totally enchanted by  the sweet festival of Krishna's beautiful darsana. The mood of awe and  reverence could not stand before their spontaneous love for Krishna. Even if  the gopis seem hypocritical, they are completely infallible and beyond  mistakes. Those gorgeous gopis looked like golden creepers fashioned by an  expert goldsmith. Feeling compassion for the maidservants standing beside  them in the candrasalikas, they shared the joy rising within their hearts  by conversing with them. "Hey sakhi, listen! The creation of my eyes has attained perfection by the  soothing sight of Syamasundara. I am relishing the palatable elegance of  my Lord whose ever-youthful, dark blue body glows like a fresh rain cloud.  My body is tormented with fever due to opposition from the village elders.  Still I want to make my body fit to be controlled by Krishna who expertly  displays the highest perfection in different arts.


"Just see, even in this condition my intelligence works nicely. Hey  lis­ten, O playful creepers! In the absence of the bees, the clusters of  lotuses lose their joy and luster. Therefore, O best of beautiful girls!  We must now exhibit the strength of our mantra chanting by attracting  Krishna into our courtyards."

Another sakhi replied, "How can we do it?"

The first sakhi answered, "Listen, I will tell you. In our house even the  strongest girl cannot possibly milk the cows. Even for a fearless person,  it is very difficult to control the cows because they are very strong and  frisky. But due to our reluctance to milk them we are not deriving any  wealth from their milk products. Therefore the minds of our superiors like  our mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law are burning with grief like the  blazing sun."

Second sakhi said, "So what does that matter to you? Just ask your guardians why aren't they milking the cows and deriving any milk prod­ucts  from them? Advise them to simply lovingly call out for Krishna. And when the  cows see Him they will automatically surrender their milk.

The first sakhi responded, "But then our elders will ask, 'Who is He and  where does He live?' "


Second sakhi, "You should answer them by describing the wonderful milking  activities of Krishna that you have just seen. O sakhil Then I am sure that  your superiors will immediately respond to your entreaty. Be­cause the  wise and intelligent always respond to a good idea. Krishna alone has the  power to break all psychic inhibitions and fill the mind with  un­precedented delight. He always affectionately cares for everyone. By  His ecstatic pastimes He provides soothing shelter for a tormented mind.  Al­though Krishna is the supremely independent master of all intelligence,  at the present time He submits to the authority and protection of His  affec­tionate parents. Due to His love for all of us, I am convinced that  as soon as our superiors inform Him of our dilemma, Krishna will respond by  rush­ing here to milk our unruly cows." Thus the gopis passed their time  dis­cussing these delightful topics.


Garlanded with wild flowers and surrounded by humming bees, Krishna walked  back to His house after milking the cows. Unlimited qualities deco­rated  Krishna at this time. The necklace adorning His broad chest swung back and  forth like a shooting star. The ocean of joy within Krishna flowed out of  His lotus eyes to flood the lakes of the gopis' hearts. Krishna's unlim­ited  attributes appeared like sharks to devour the tender hearts the gopis.

With the carefree movement of a royal elephant Krishna rocked from side to  side as He walked down the road. Immersed in loving rapture, the gopis  stared with unblinking eyes at His sweet lotus feet as He passed by.  Krishna's presence inflamed their senses with excitement and satisfaction.  But when Krishna left their sight their eyes stopped functioning for want of  anything worth looking at. Within their minds, however, the gopis found  paramount pleasure by lying down with Krishna on the flowerbed of surrender. When Krishna takes the cows to the pastures in the daytime, His lovers  almost die from the severe pain of separation piercing the core of their  hearts. It appears that a virulent poison has spread through their bodies.  This intolerable, burning pain of separation, however, is extinguished by  the two nectar showers of seeing Krishna returning in the cool summer  evening, and relishing His matchless beauty at that refreshing time.

Thus the Lord of unlimited power joyfully passed everyday of the sum­mer  tending the cows in the forest. Surrendered souls can easily perceive this  delightful form of the Lord. By His personal presence Krishna sweetened the  whole world and attracted everyone to His spectacular transcendental  pastimes.


Krishna Pastimes in the Rainy Season


Krishna went to the forest to tend the cows and play various sportive games  in the company of Haladhara and the cowherd boys. Upon enter­ing the  forest they met the fortunate goddess of the rainy season. Seeing the  beauty of the rainy season personified as a heroine, Krishna remarked, "Aho!  Look what a wonderful sight!" Krishna saw the goddess of the rainy season  pervaded by a lusciously sweet fragrance from wearing the pollen of  kadamba flowers. The swarms of bumblebees darting through the air were her  provocative glances cast at Krishna. She wore effulgent, attractive blue  garments in the form of freshly formed, glistening rain clouds. The gentle  rumbling of radiant rain clouds filled the forest with the sweet sound of  her elegant voice. She offered newly sprouted barley grass as a bed for  Krishna's pleasure. This colorful green bed of fresh grass defeated the  beauty of a collection of the bright­est emeralds. The millions of indragopas (tiny red insects) crawling over the ground  colored the delicate lotus feet of that goddess of the rainy season with  an effulgent red lac. A row of splendid restless cranes adorned her throat  as a pearl necklace. The fanned tails of the dancing peacocks comprised  her beautiful hair. The fragrant air blowing by the arjuna trees laden  with sweet flowers formed her pleasant breath. Her gentle, enchanting face was moistened with tears of tiny raindrops.  Erect petals of bright yellow kadamba flowers formed her hairs that stood  on end due to a rarely perceived ecstasy. She eagerly waited to offer  Krishna a fragrant garland made from the tiny malati flowers on her dangling  creep­ers. Her restless eyes lowered out of respect and timidity when she  of­fered her services to Krishna.


As an expert maidservant, she made wonderful garlands to decorate the  whole forest of Vrndavana with an abundance of fragrant flowers.  Over­flowing with love and affection for Krishna, she desired to serve the  Lord in various ways. Her bodily complexion -reflected the fresh, dark  blue rain clouds decorating the sky. Thus the goddess of the rainy season  pleased the entire world with her sweetness. Just as one gets relief from the scorching heat of summer by taking the  proper medicine, similarly, all the living entities in Vrndavana delighted  with the appearance of the refreshing rainy season. The Vrajavasis felt  that a magnanimous physician in the form of time had awarded them the  personified wealth of the rainy season. The blustering winds appeared to  be the cool breath of the goddess of the rainy season. The grass standing  erect on the ground represented the thrill bumps of the rainy season due  to feelings of ecstatic joy. The peaceful green fields looked very  charming under the beautiful deep blue sky. It seemed that the sun had  retreated to a distant place to fall asleep. And with its disappearance  all the miseries of the hot season also disappeared. The rainy season felt proud of the many peacocks jubilantly dancing here  and there. Seeing the joyful flying of the cataki and gallinule birds made  her smile in happiness. Hearing the delightful voice of the cataki birds  brought her immense satisfaction. The abundant blossoming kadamba flowers  formed the smiling face of the rainy season.


A rich fragrance of musk saturated the entire atmosphere. Profuse rains  bathed the mountainsides and washed the forest pathways of all debris.  Just as the bones of a fat man cannot be seen, similarly, due to flooding,  the islands in the middle of rivers disappeared. Since the whole foresit  had become overrun with a dense growth of reeds, the herds of deer could  no longer sport and play. Fresh grass abounded everywhere to fatten the  joyous cows that no longer wandered to distant pastures.


What more can I say about the beauty of the rainy season in Vrndavana  which brought supreme satisfaction to the playful prince of Vrndavana?

During this time the cows ambled lazily under the shady trees. Krishna  beautified the entire scene by sitting nearby on the root of a tree and  singing a wonderful melody. The cows looked lovingly at Krishna while  munching the plentiful grass. The sound of their teeth cutting the grass  was very pleasing. Becoming fully satisfied from eating the lush foliage,  the cows moved very slowly. They walked peacefully here and there with­out  any disturbance from insects like mosquitoes and biting horse flies. The constant swinging of their tails created a marvelous scene of pure  effulgent beauty. Upon filling their bellies, the cows lost all desire to  eat any more grass. To find relief from the heat of the day, they rested  amidst the soft cooling grass and slowly chewed their cud. Turning their  gentle faces toward Krishna, the cows glanced at Him with love and  gratitude. Krishna took great delight in seeing them.

As the cows rested, Krishna and His boyfriends absorbed themselves in  playing ball with the flower buds of the kadamba trees. Observing the  sweet sporting of Krishna and the cowherd boys, the demigods flying in their  airplanes became totally infatuated. Exhilarated with joy, the clouds  raced across the sky, broke into small pieces, and gradually disappeared.  Due to the increasing heat of the day attractive pearl-like drops of  per­spiration formed on Krishna's sweet lips and lotus face. Though tired  from playing, Krishna looked very radiant and attractive. Stopping His play, Krishna sat down on a large root under the shade of a  tall tree. To free themselves from the offense of subjecting Krishna to such  intense sunrays, the clouds released tiny drops of rain that felt like a  shower of cooling camphor. Gentle, refreshing breezes scented with the  sweet fragrance of malati flowers blew in all directions. In this way, the  season served the Lord who forever enacts the sweetest pastimes.


Standing in a three-fold bending form, Krishna emanated the finest  el­egance. Placing His cow herding stick under His left arm, Krishna looked  very attractive as He leaned on it and crossed His right leg over His  left. The flower garland hanging from His graceful neck gently swung back  and forth. Enchanting tunes and melodies echoed throughout the forest as  Krishna played His celebrated flute. The cows extended their ears to drink  the stream of nectar, and the male deer stood motionless, capti­vated by  the sweet vibration. Krishna's flute song, the very embodiment of transcendental sound,  com­pletely enchanted the minds of the cowherd boys. One boy said to  Krishna, "It is the nature of the mallara raga that You are playing to  indicate an impending rainfall. The rumbling of the clouds resembles the  maudlin mood created by the crying of Your flute. O Krishna! Please tell us  why You are playing so sweetly and artistically? Due to the thick covering  of rain clouds, I am bewildered and cannot tell whether it is day or  night.


"O remover of all.misfortune! Let us go now and return to the village.  Although Your nature is to be gentle and joyful, sometimes You are naughty  and disobedient. The monsoon showers have stopped for now, so put Your  sweet-sounding flute to rest. Let us wake up the sleeping cows and quickly  go home."

Krishna, whose face is more radiant than the full moon, enjoyed the jok­ing  and laughter of His intimate boyfriends. While taking the cows along the  path home He made sweet music on His celebrated flute. Looking in all  directions, Krishna became absorbed in His transcendental pastimes. His  unique matchless elegance put to shame the beauty of blue lotus flowers  and the best of emeralds. His hands, feet, and body moved in waves of  condensed brilliance.

According to scriptures, Krishna is the personification of Parabrahman. As  He strolled gracefully down the path, it seemed as if another rain cloud  moved along the earth. The embodiment of the earth's greatest treasure now  walked on her surface. Somewhat tired from the long day of playing and  tending the cows, Krishna moved slowly as He proceeded to­ward Vrndavana.  The cows also ambled along in a leisurely mood. It appeared that the entire city of Vrndavana bathed in the first shower  of the rainy season. After the rainfall, proud peacocks, famous for their  dancing ability, strutted about the roof tops of every home with their  long, thick, green tail feathers fanned out to dry in the sun. As the sun  set over the city of Vrndavana, its reddish rays, redder than a bimba  fruit, spread across the clear western sky. The red sunrays looked like  the line of sindura on a woman's hair part.


The eighty four thousand jalousie windows within the palaces appeared like  the eyes of the city of Vrndavana, who had now attained the fortune of  relishing the wonderful elegance of Krishna's body as He sauntered into the  city. The holes of these windows seemed like the eyes of Krishna's  thou­sands of cows that constantly drink the nectar of His exquisite  beauty. The splendid flags flying over the city looked like tender green  leaves waving in the wind. Their flapping indicated the intense joy felt  within the mind of the goddess of Vrndavana as she watched Krishna return.


Overwhelmed with ecstasy, the goddess of Vrndavana desired to dance. Due  to the heavy downpour pools of water were lying here and there. The excess  water spilling over the rooftops merged with these pools and made them  overflow. The water, scented by sweet flowers of various creepers, smelled  more fragrant than sandalwood as it rushed through the gutters of the  city. Due to carrying an abundance of white sand that water ap­peared  brighter than camphor. Out of pure love the fortunate goddess of Vrndavana  used this water to wash the feet of Krishna's cows as they en­tered their  respective goshallas.

Krishna, dressed in glittering yellow garments and smiling attractively,  churned the heart of Cupid and dispelled all darkness as He led the cows  into the goshalla. With a loving glance He instantly removed the sadness  rising within the hearts of His companions who contemplated their  immi­nent separation. Consoled, the boys ran off to their respective  homes. Entering the palace, Krishna sat down to eat a variety of palatable  foods. All the wealth of the heavenly planets could not compare to the  opulence of those sumptuous eatables.After being fed wonderful foods and  drinks by mother Yasoda, Krishna laid down to rest on a bed with sheets  whiter than powdered camphor. The buzzing of the bees hovering about  filled Krishna's bedroom with a melodious sound. While enjoying the sweet  smell of the aromatic herbs and dried flowers stuffed in His pillow, Krishna  slowly fell asleep and passed the night.


The Purva-raga of Shrimati Radhika


Before Radhika ever met personally with Krishna, She had already devel­oped  immense attraction for Him. Radharani's relatives, however, barely  perceived the change in Her consciousness due to the infection of Krishna's  attraction. None of the other gopis understood the extent of the pain  Radhika felt in separation from Krishna. Radhika had attained the ulti­mate  state of attachment to Krishna on account of the burning fire of Her growing  love for Him.

As they learned of this burning attraction, Radhika's relatives wondered  how to extinguish this fire and remove Radhika's depression. Radhika's  dearest sakhis tried to restore Her blissful state by waking Her from this  position of unconsciousness. The sakhis drenched the daughter of Vrsabhanu  with the fountain-spray of their tears whenever Radhika's mind burned with  the fire of separation. Despite this display of affection, Radhika  gradually became more and more entangled in the network of love.


And whenever Radhika would return to external consciousness, She realized  that only Krishna's intimate association could cure Her disease. Radhika  maintained Her life with the fleeting hope of some day meeting Krishna, who  is impossible to attain. But gradually Her life dwindled away and rapidly  approached the point of total devastation, the final stage of love in  separation. Being struck by the arrow of Cupid, Radhika's mind stopped function­ing,  Her external senses failed to work properly, and She appeared inert.  Clusters of rain clouds raced across the sky. The horizon appeared like a  devastated woman with closed eyes crying in separation from her lover. The  torrential rain falling from those clouds appeared like profuse tears  rolling down the face of that saddened woman.


Krishna, on the other hand, externally continued to relish different rasas  with His loving mother, father, brother and friends. Together they  en­joyed many happy pastimes. But within His heart Krishna also felt  afflicted due to separation from His most dearly beloved Radhika. To  alleviate this condition, Krishna constantly thought of Radhika and enjoyed  various loving pastimes with Her within His mind. In this way, Krishna  executed His unlimited pastimes of bliss.

One auspicious day during the rainy season the cows grazed on the fresh  green grass growing in a beautiful valley beside Govardhana. The jewels  and precious stones on the surface of Govardhana Hill radiated a  beauti­ful glow. Krishna sat on a throne made of smooth stones next to a  waterfall flowing with fragrant water from the top of the hill. Enjoying  the atmo­sphere, He laughed and joked with His friends. Krishna's boyfriends  played a game using some crystalline stones having a dark blue mirror-like  sur­face.While they pushed and shoved each other, a lightning bolt  suddenly flashed out of the clouds. It seemed that the clouds cast an  angry look just-to stop the boys' playing. Becoming frightened, the boys  ran away. They returned upon regaining their courage. But when the clouds  thundered once more, the boys ran away again. Picking up some creepers,  they pre­tended to beat the clouds in retaliation. The clouds, however,  responded by drenching them with a quick spray of rainwater.At this time  the joyful cowherd boys painted Krishna's body with colored mineral powders.  As His friends surrounded Him and happily danced for His pleasure, Krishna  floated in a river of bliss. Then He wandered around Govardhana Hill  performing various ecstatic pastimes. As Krishna's heart is full of rasa and  decorated with the mark of Laksmi, similarly, Govardhana Hill is full of  beauty and a wealth of fresh fruits and edible roots during the rainy  season. Krishna relished the sweet natural taste of the various fruits and  roots brought by His intimate friends, whose hearts surged with happiness.  Bound by their pure devotion, Krishna easily fin­ished all the foodstuffs  collected from Govardhana Hill.


With His white teeth shining attractively as He smiled in satisfaction,  Krishna easily stole the hearts of every living entity. Krishna's friends  quickly prepared His favorite flavored pan from betel nuts, pure white  lime paste, fragrant juice of banana that smelled like camphor, and the  other items that they had previously collected. Thus being served in  various ways, Krishna enjoyed His pastimes on Govardhana Hill. Krishna took shelter in the caves of Govardhana Hill whenever the clouds  sprinkled water. Sitting there biding His time until the rain stopped,  Krishna appeared like a beautiful baby elephant. The boys entertained that  en­chanting person by playing a game of shouting loudly into the back of  the cave and laughing at the echo. Vibrating deep angry sounds, they said,  "Who are you? What are you saying?" The cave filled with clamor.  Ordi­narily it is offensive to mistreat a giver of shelter. Yet this  irreverent be­havior in the cave did not fault the cowherd boys, but  embellished them with the ability to please Krishna. Indeed, they blessed  the cave by their presence.Meanwhile, outside the cave it appeared that  the rain smiled with its teeth of hailstones falling everywhere. Krishna's  friends ran outside to pick up the particles of ice and bring them back to  the cave. With hands folded as in pushpanjali, they offered the hailstones  as flowers to Krishna's lotus feet.


When the rain stopped, Krishna, whose face outshines the beauty of the full  moon, and the cowherd boys, overflowing with bliss, left the cave and ran  to the top of Govardhana Hill. Krishna sat peacefully on a beautiful emerald  rock that glittered brightly after being washed by the rain. His friends  fanned Him with a pure white camara that saturated the air with the  pleasing fragrance of musk. Hari, who removes all miseries, sat there in  great happiness while gazing at the beauty of the forest, which ap­peared  like a reflection of His own body.Glancing over the earth and splendorous  sky, Krishna called the cows, "Hey Dhavali! Hey Kali! Hey Shavali!" Mooing  in response, the cows ran across the valley to stand beside Krishna. During  the rainy season the forest of Vrndavana looked elegant and effulgent. As  Krishna's body appears to be without qualities when viewed from a distance,  the forest lost its detail when illuminated by the bright clouds. The  expanse of forest resembled Krishna's attractive body, surrounded by buzzing  bees and decorated with a kadamba garland fragrant with honey pollen.

As the brilliance of the Shrivatsa mark beautifies Krishna's body, the forest  served as a beautiful playground for herding the cows and calves. Krishna's  body glowed with golden-yellow cloth and the forest shone with the sun's  rays, rivaling the radiance of the clouds. Impelled by deep attraction,  the doe-eyed gopis desired to embrace the Lord's body. Similarly, the  forest abounded with the furtive glances of the deer, restless with  attraction for Krishna. As Krishna's hands have long delicate fingers, the  branches of the trees were covered with tender fresh leaves.Fragrant herbs  scented the forest. The emerald sprouts covering the ground tinted the  trees with various pleasing colors due to their reflec­tions. Being  shielded from the sun's rays by the thick foliage and spotted with  jewel-like lakes fed by fresh, fast flowing streams, the earth felt cool  and refreshing. Moving clouds resembling clumps of herbs periodically  covered the pleasing sky that wore the sun like an earring. That sky,  spread­ing out in all directions and ringed at its edges by the expansive  forest, appeared to merge with the forest. Playing the purest notes on His flute, Krishna looked like a blue sapphire  pillar standing in the forest. That pillar held the flag of the abode of  Laksmi as He stood amidst the circle of His fortunate and astonishing  cowherd friends. Krishna twirled the edge of His yellow cloth while admiring  the remarkable combination of sky and forest. Then He called out the names  of His cows in deep, clear syllables. Without any fear of attack from  fero­cious animals like tigers, the cows grazed peacefully on the sweet  grass at the base of Govardhana Hill. But as soon as they heard Krishna's  voice, all the cows immediately became stunned and appeared like toy cows. Due to their heavy weight the cows moved forward in a crooked man­ner. Yet  as they got closer to Krishna, they galloped quickly and trampled the grass  under their hooves as they went to their merciful Lord. Crying and mooing  over and over, the cows assembled before Krishna. He ad­dressed them, "Do  not stay any longer." The cows respected the Lord's order and immediately  proceeded to the valley.

The bees hummed in tune with the vibration of Krishna's celestial flute.  Krishna's friends, who are bound to Him in love and forever assist Him in  His playful pastimes, slowly climbed down Govardhana Hill. As Krishna walked  home it seemed as though He stole the minds of the various birds and  beasts who could not go with Him. Thus throughout the rainy season Krishna  and His cowherd boyfriends enjoyed various fun-filled pastimes along with  the wonderful cows of Vrndavana.


Krishna's jeweled ankle-bells chimed sweetly as He strolled gracefully along  the plateau. The purifying dust of Vrndavana now covered the lotus feet of  Krishna, which are worshiped by the jeweled crowns of Brahma, Siva, and  Parvati. Krishna moved in measured steps as He walked behind the cows. He  impressed the soft, moist breast of mother earth with the lotus flower,  elephant goad, conchshell, and other marks on the bottom of His feet. The  touch of Krishna's tender feet relieved mother earth from the painful burden  of demons like Agha, Baka, Putana, and others. Thus Krishna and the sakhas  returned home.

Taking advantage of the rainy season, Yogamaya always created  auspi-ciousness by her incomprehensible actions. At this time she could  easily arrange for Radhika's rendezvous with Krishna because the Vrajavasis  move around less due to the inclement weather. During the beautiful nights  Radhika patiently tolerated all the pains and difficulties induced by Her  intense attachment to Krishna. No one can describe the burden of Her love.  The unlimited desire to meet the beloved of Gokula formed the heart of  Radha. Krishna inundates the universe with His beautiful form, qualities,  and sweet pastimes whenever He manifests His transcendental love for  Radhika. It is the perennial duty of Yogamaya to bring about the union of the  Divine Couple. The actions of Yogamaya are not so astonishing consider­ing  that Citralekha, a mere insignificant and unqualified mystic, easily  transported Aniruddha from his palace in Dvaraka to secretly meet Usa  within her father's impenetrable palace, which even powerful demigods like  Indra could not enter. Each of Krishna's transcendental pastimes gives bliss  in accordance with one's angle of vision. Being eternal, they have nothing  to due with the temporary pleasure derived from adolescence. By the  influence of Yogamaya, the gopis attracted to Krishna in the mood of  conjugal love never witnessed His parental pastimes of sucking Yasoda's  breast. This would not be compatible with the nature of the gopis'  ex­traordinary relationship with the Lord.


Overwhelmed with love, Radhika decided to go out for Her first lover's  tryst with the Lord of Her life. Auspicious signs adorned the night. The  rain clouds overhead looked like a garland of tamala trees stretched  across the evening sky. Radhika and Her confidential sakhis fearlessly  entered the dark forest in quest of meeting the gallant Syamasundara. The  men­acing sound of the palace guards faded into the background as the  gopis made their way deeper into the forest. Rati (Cupid's wife—the  goddess of conjugal play) or Radhika's intense attachment personified as a  mes­senger to lead Radha along the forest path to Krishna.

Actually the unseen power of prema propelled all of Radhika's move­ments.  To prevent Her relatives from discovering Her nocturnal journey,Radharani  wore a blue sari and smeared Her body with musk. Abandon­ing fear,  anxiety, and hesitation Radhika ran into the dark forest as fast as She  could. Although She did not know the way, it did not matter be­cause the  driving force of Krishna prema pushed Her automatically along the forest  path. Only one thought checked the fickleness of Her mind— enjoying loving  union with Syama. By distinct mental changes, Radhika understood that She  had reached the meeting place. In the minds of both Radha and Krishna the  anticipation of union personified as Cupid to direct Them to the exact  meeting place.Radhika's thighs went numb as stone pillars upon arriving at  the en­trance of the kunja. Tears rolled down Her cheeks, Her hands and  body shook, and Her mind lost all sense of direction. To get confidence  Radhika clutched the hand of an intimate girlfriend, and with great  hesitancy en­tered the kunja of Her beloved. But Alas! Alas! She suddenly  desired to run away.Then the sakhis urged Radhika to move closer to Krishna,  and Her bodily limbs slackened a little. She inched forward and then  stopped abruptly. Within Her heart Radhika eagerly desired to embrace  Syamasundara, but externally She feigned unwillingness. What more can be  said? Al­though young and tender, the beautiful sakhis showed the utmost  exper­tise in witty and crafty behavior.


One affectionate sakhi cajoled Radhika, "Hey sakhil Today we beg one thing  of You. Please give Krishna the pleasure of touching You just once. After  this we will never force You to go to Him again. O compassionate one!  Seeing His distress and anxiety, please be kind to Him."

Then the sakhis pushed beautiful, slender-waisted Radhika into the kunja.  Since Radha had not yet been enriched in the art of making love, the sakhi  named shyness personified appeared before Her. When the sakhis started to  leave the kunja, Radhika tried to join them, but Krishna force­fully grabbed  Her hand. The touch of Her beloved evaporated Her desire to go. Being kept  in the kunja, Radhika moved Her eyebrows to inform the sakhis not to leave  Her alone with Krishna. Reassuring Her with their glances, the sakhis  remained by the side of Radhika. Seeing Krishna look wantonly at Her, Radhika closed Her eyes slightly out of  shyness. When Krishna asked what troubled Her, Radhika listened quietly but  did not respond. While holding Her right hand in His left, Krishna reached  out to touch Radhika's body. Radhika blocked His hand and broke away from  Him. Though not afraid, She stood some distance away from Krishna.Externally  Radhika acted contrary to Krishna, but internally She desired nothing but  giving Krishna the pleasure of union. Such are the dealings of new lovers.  The seeming contrary behavior of Radhika increased the delight of Syamasundara's heart. Attaining something that is difficult to  achieve always brings a feeling of great satisfaction. Paramour love,  there­fore, which is so rarely attained, brings the utmost pleasure.Again  Krishna tried to embrace Radhika, but She arched Her eyebrows menacingly,  and tried to get up from the pastime bed. Despite this dis­play of  opposition, Radhika really desired to please Krishna with Her youth­ful  behavior. Everyone knows that the effulgence of a powerful jewel eas­ily  removes the darkness of night. Nevertheless, neither the inducement of Her  sakhis, the enchanting words of Krishna, nor the powerful arrows of Cupid  could convince Radhika to submit. Finally, Krishna conquered Radhika's  fortress of unwillingness. Casting a love-laden sidelong glance and  roaring loudly, Krishna forcibly embraced Radha to His powerful chest with  the speed of lightning.

Krishna drowned in a shower of inconceivable loving bliss. The changing  moods of love expressed by Radhika resembled the soft, soothing tender  rays of the moon passing through its various phases. At one moment,  Radhika appeared to be thrown far away, way beyond the desire of any­one.  Like a flower full of sweet nectar beyond the reach of the bees, Radhika  became unattainable, beyond the touch of anyone's hand.The next moment,  Radhika was a garland of desire-tree flowers adorn­ing the neck of Krishna.  Radha is non-different from Her name, which con­tains an unlimited flow of  intoxicating nectar. One who chants japa of Her name will realize this.  Wrapped within the embrace of the effulgent Prince of Vrndavana, Radhika  lost all anxiety, independence, and fear of the thundering clouds. Totally  overwhelmed in bliss, She forgot every­thing else.Meanwhile, the sakhis  abandoned their shyness and burst out with loud laughing upon seeing their  cherished desire fulfilled. While glancing to­ward Radhika they spoke  amongst themselves in such a way that Radha could hear them. They praised  the roaring of the dark monsoon cloud, "Hey cluster of dark rain clouds!  Due to your beautiful bodily complex­ion you are certainly qualified to  make friendship with Krishna. Indeed, you are the giver of blissful mellows  and are therefore blessed. For this friend of yours has befriended the  freshest and best of beauties. Although it is difficult for us to control  Radhika, simply by roaring your friend forced Her into submission. It is  your good fortune that your friend has achieved such an unprecedented  victory."Pierced by the arrow of the sakhis joking, Radha became shy and  showed opposition toward Krishna. In reality Her heart spun in a whirlpool  of rasa. Radiant with boldness, Krishna held Radhika's braid in one hand and  Her chin in another. With great difficulty Krishna subdued the maddened  force of His ecstasy in order to treat Radha with the greatest tenderness  in Their first meeting. He kissed Radha's cheek so gently that the flower  creeper designs painted there remained perfectly intact. Then He  care­fully kissed Her eyes so as not to smudge Her kajala, which was as  dark as the Yamuna in color. Krishna's soft light touch did not even disturb  one line of any drawing. This compares with the heart of a pure devotee  that al­ways remains undisturbed and free from fault.It is a well-known  fact that Siva lingas are always held in great respect. Similarly, Krishna  respectfully embraced the firm breasts of Radhika to His chest in gentle  way in order not to break Her precious pearl necklace. As one overlooks  the spots on the moon, similarly, Radhika, feeling ecstatic, overlooked  the scratches that appeared on Her lips and breasts as Krishna held Her  blossoming breasts in His lotus hands. Just as it requires cour­age to  hold a highly poisonous snake, similarly, Krishna fearlessly touched the  creeper like hairs near Radhika's navel. Just as one thinks he will become  successful by contacting the waters of the holy places, similarly, Krishna  gently touched the lake of nectar in Radha's navel. As a jnani at­tains  liberation from material bondage with great difficulty, similarly, with  great endeavor Krishna loosened the knot binding Radha's dress.To attain  Brahman realization one must practice negating the things of this world by  saying, "neti, neti" (not this, not this). Similarly, during the exchange  of rasa and bhava in the beginning of conjugal union, only the negative  words, "No! No! No!" came from the mouth of mahabhava Radharani. At this  time, Krishna attacked Radhika with the lightning strikes of His sidelong  glances. As water forcefully cascades from a cloud punc­tured by mountain  peak, a stream of loving tears poured from Radhika's eyes.The water  rushing over the jeweled-rocks on top of Govardhana Hill makes a very  pleasant sound. Similarly, the jeweled bangles around Radhika's wrists  vibrated with a sweet jingling as Her arms trembled in loving ecstasy. As  clouds cover the mountain peaks during the rainy sea­son, similarly, the  broad chest of Ghanasyama covered the mountain-like breasts of Radhika. As  the southern breeze blows gently, similarly, the movement of Radhika's  body slowed down by the appearance of the symp­toms of ecstatic love. As  the hot rays of the spring time sun cause perspi­ration, similarly,  Radhika's body broke out in pearl-like drops of perspi­ration as the bliss  in love increased.Like fresh leaves rustling in the wind, Radhika's  leaf-like fingers trembled slightly as She filled with Krishna's love. As  swelling waves sometimes dis­rupt a reservoir, similarly, Radha's choking  up due to loving ecstasy dis­rupted the fluid movement of Her voice. While  embraced by Krishna, Radhika tried to hide Her emotions by hanging Her head  shyly in a beau­tiful manner. Due to Her fresh youthfulness, Radhika  appeared intoxicated in bliss. With great difficulty She tolerated the  surging waves of madhura rasa moving deep within Her heart. It seemed as  if some inauspicious planet appearing as Her lovers' longing for conjugal  union opposed Her.Meanwhile, the sakhis standing near the door of the  kunja conversed among themselves while observing this wonderful scene. One  sakhi said, "It seems as if Cupid has become bewildered about his duty in  this plea­sure pastime of the Divine Couple. Yet on the other side,  Radhika's long­standing desire for love has now fructified and is filling  Her with grief. Alas! Such are the ways of love. In both the states of  happiness and dis­tress the desires of Radhika's heart have become  unbearable."The sakhis watched Radhika collapse in defeat during Her love  battle with Syama. Radhika's loud forceful exhalations sounded like a  stormy wind. Both Her hair braid and the knot of Her waistcloth, which  upheld the wealth of Her pride loosened. But Radhika tried to protect the  wealth of Her pride by holding up Her waistcloth with one hand. Her  favorite necklaces broke and scattered during the love battle. Despite Her  confu­sion, Radhika hastily tried to redress and ornament Herself.Even  though Radhika felt satiated in transcendental bliss, Krishna still craved  for more lovemaking. With various intimate gestures, however, Krishna  brought Their pastimes of love to a close. Then He personally braided  Radhika's hair and restrung Her broken pearl necklace. After retying the  knot of Her waistcloth, Syama removed the drops of perspira­tion from  Radha's forehead with the cooling touch of His lotus palm. Then He  whispered sweet words of love that filled Radha's heart with endless  joy.Seeing Radhika in that state, the sakhis showed their approval with  af­fectionate glances. They talked about Radhika's recent love festival  with great excitement and just loud enough for Radha to hear. Relaxing a  bit, Radhika casually glanced in the direction of the sakhis. But feeling  shy about Her recent pastimes with Krishna, Radhika, whose face outshines  the full moon, hung Her head down. From time to time Radhika coun­tered  the looks of the sakhis with Her own sidelong glances that said, "Why did  you trap Me with Him and thereby destroy My chastity?"The sakhis jokingly  replied, "The night is almost over, so now let us go home. Let Your  lessons in lovemaking from the guru of conjugal union come to a close. Now  leave Your pleasure bed behind."Pretending to be angry, Radhika curved Her  eyebrows while simulta­neously twirling a play-lotus in Her hand. Then She  replied to the sakhis in a voice mixed with laughter and chastisement.  Even though Radha's mind floated in joy, She showed a touch of anger while  smiling slightly and speaking to the sakhis, "Like You, I have acted as  the heroine in the drama wherein Krishna played the hero. Today I became a  play doll in your hands. I willfully gave up My independence. Although you  have instructed Me in this particular art, I have dutifully followed your  words as if di­rected by Providence. Now please tell Me among the sakhis  who came inside the kunja and who did not come?"

Krishna felt great pleasure by witnessing these exchanges. He praised  Radhika for exhibiting such an enchanting variety of loving moods. After  hearing the tender words of Radhika, Krishna, who removes the distress of  everyone, who enjoys the rarely attained state of perfect bliss, yet whose  own mind now reeled in distress said, "Oh sakhisl O personified forms of  auspiciousness! By Your mercy I have become free from grief by drinking  the nectar flow of Your words." Then overwhelmed by love and affection,  Krishna showed His appreciation by warmly embracing each of the sakhis.  Radhika happily observed this, and spoke some joking words that filled the  ears with drops of nectar. Radharani said, "O sakhisl Presently, Your  mental illness appears to be cured. Your tendency to find the faults in  others is now gone. You are no longer making fun of others."Surprisingly  enough, the sakhis who performed the joyful service of unit­ing Radha and  Krishna also tasted the same transcendental pleasure as Radharani. Although  their dearest sakhi no longer relished intimate pas­times with Krishna, it  somehow appeared to them that She still enjoyed such conjugal happiness.  Though the night served in the best way possible by being dark, the gopis  called it dosha (full of faults) for they only had another hour to spend  with Krishna. They encountered severe unhappiness over the impending  separation. For soon they would take Radhika out of Krishna's kunja and lead  Her home.After returning to Yavat early that morning Radhika became happy  and amazed upon seeing Syama-sakhi, whose lips were beautified by the rays  of her tender sweet smile. Syama-sakhi started reiterating the previous  night's pastimes so that Radhika could again relish the association of  Krishna. But Radha felt shy and hung Her head in embarrassment when hearing  about Her first intimate meeting with Krishna. Due to having received  Krishna's love, however, Radhika felt that She had attained a priceless  jewel from the ocean of unlimited good fortune.

Syama-sakhi spoke softly to Radhika, "Oh Kalavati! (expert in all arts)  Please tell us why You are acting so shyly because of Your recent  activi­ties? The world has never seen the unique type of bashfulness that  You are showing. Oh, look! What a shame! Everyone will think that You have  enacted a drama full of unending joy. Moreover, Your weary body clearly  tells the story of Your total exhaustion from enjoying Your dearest.


"Your two arms, like the stems of the lotus, hang limply after losing  their strength. Your lips are pallid, devoid of their attractive red  color. The expertly drawn leaf designs on Your cheeks have been broken and  destroyed. Please tell us what new arts You are now studying? What  di­saster has befallen You?"You who are like a fresh tender creeper have  been thrown down sud­denly by a high wind, and trampled like a lotus  smashed by an elephant. You look like a fresh tender sweet garland that  has been ravaged by a swarm of intoxicated bees. Please tell us, O sakhi  Radhe! O embodiment of love! You must have fulfilled that difficult to  attain, long cherished desire of Yours. How could it be otherwise? How  else could the vines of the tree of our good fortune bear fruit?"

Radhika reacted to Syama-sakhi's direct, boldly presented questions by  giving up all deceit and becoming straightforward. Since Syama-sakhi had  now revealed everything, Radharani could no longer hide the facts.  Feel­ing somewhat surprised, Radhika covered Her face with the edge of Her  sari and spoke to Her smiling companion, "O lotus-eyed Syame! How can I  tell you where I have been or where I am going? And where is the path? Who  has led Me to His side and what happened to Me after meeting Him there?  Had I known all these things, O sakhi, then how could it remain unknown to  you?

"Alas! What is that which is beyond the reach of the mind and beyond the  realm of thought? Is it magic, a dream, or just a long period of  bewil­derment? Does He bring pleasure, distress, or both? Or is He beyond  all of these? I cannot tell at all. But He makes My heart palpitate and  then I fall unconscious. Only this much impression remains within Me."

While smiling, Syama-sakhi jokingly said, "O Radhe, whose eyes defeat the  blue lotus! Indeed this is true that one cannot become a master in the art  of love. Therefore, to become somewhat learned in this field one must take  lessons from a guru of conjugal union."

Radhika, who is endowed with good fortune, watched the ocean of Her joy  churn into ecstasy and surge with waves from the rising full moon of  Syama-sakhi's joking words. Tasting a special mellow, Radhika said, "O  beautiful one! From now on I will not go anywhere near Him or even lay My  eyes on Him. O intelligent one! But you can go and take regular les­sons  from that guru of conjugal union. Seeing Your scholarship will give Me  great delight."

While replying to Syama-sakhi the brilliant moon rays of laughing and  joking continually bathed the lips of Radha. At this time, Lalita-sakhi  spoke some charming words, "O Radhe! You are certainly worshipable. Your  proposal that Syama-sakhi learns the art of loving mellows is befit­ting.  But if she stops her studies before mastering the subject, how will the  other students be inspired to go on studying? Therefore, I tell You, oh  slender-waisted Radhe! You should go with Syama-sakhi and also take many  lessons from that guru of conjugal union.


Suddenly Kutila, Radharani's sister-in-law who speaks bitter words,  ar­rived there like the appearance of an untimely windstorm. The sakhis  became very cautious and quiet upon seeing her. Among the sakhis, Lalita,  who is brilliantly perceptive, pretended to be teaching some lessons to  the sakhis as if reading from a textbook. She continued reading without  stopping or changing her voice. Taking charge, Lalita spoke in a hidden  way so that the crooked Kutila could not detect the real meaning of their  discussion.Lalita read, "Upon enrolling in school the student acted  obediently to­ward her teacher and went on taking lessons." Kutila, whose  nature is sharp and cutting, became suspicious seeing the sakhis rejoicing  so much over Lalita's reading.Kutila: "Lalite! What are you teaching  here?"Lalita: "We are teaching the principle of surrender to the  guru."Kutila: "What is the meaning of what you just read about the  disciple and other things?"Lalita: "She learned what her guru taught Her,  but then She left the teachings. Actually that lesson cannot be learned  alone. That is why I told her that it is better to learn along with  someone. Therefore, I instructed Her to take Syama-sakhi along with Her to  learn the lesson."

Kutila: "What is the matter? I see that these days you have become very  busy in associating with other people (inner meaning: associating with men  other than your husbands)."Syama-sakhi: "What do you mean? From their  childhood the sakhis have been joyfully engaged in worshiping the lords of  other planets. So Kutila, why did you say that just these days they are  worshiping or associating with others?"Kutila: "Oh Syame! I see you do not  know that the gopis are strongly attached to Syama (syama  anuraginah)."Syama: "O Kutila! It is well known that from their childhood  these gopis are attached to me (syama anuraginah)."Kutila: "These gopis  are always expert in the art of taking the side of Krishna (Krishna pakha vati  kala)."

Syama: "This cannot be, because the moon diminishes in phases to darkness  (Krishna pakha vati kala) and it loses its beauty."

Kutila: "They all follow Krishna (Krishna varta gah)."Syama: "Arel What? How  is that you are discussing the forest fire (Krishna varta gah) that appeared  the night after Krishna subdued Kaliya?"Kutila: "Are you testing me?  Definitely the gopis are lovers of that one, Krishna, who wears yellow  garments (pitambara anuraginah)."Syama: "Do not speak so rashly. What you  are saying is just the oppo­site of what can be directly seen. It is easy  to see that the gopis like blue cloth with a reddish hue (nilaruna  ambara)."Kutila: "O Syame! In various ways, the gopis are bound by their  love to the son of the King of Vrndavana (vraja raja tanaye). Do you  believe my words?" Syame: "No, you are absolutely wrong! How is it  possible that they will take the silver ornaments of Vrndavana (vraja raja  tanaye), since they already possess valuable jewels?"

Kutila: "The minds of all the gopis have been stolen (harina) by Krishna."

Syama: "What? Why are you talking about deer (harina)! That is why I am  saying, 'O you talkative one.' You are repeatedly speaking witty words  (vidagdha). But you are not qualified to speak like this, so do not speak  anymore."

Kutila: "You are right. I do not have the capacity to speak like a witty  person (vidagdha). If anybody can speak cleverly, then surely you can.  Your witty intelligence (vidagdhi) is burning up (vidagdha) my mind. All  right! Then please tell me why Radhika's body never displayed these  char­acteristics before?

Syama: "There is a devata well known as Candrasekhara who never  com­plains, who makes the deer eyed one fortunate, and who has a half-moon  symbol on his head. This one worships Him with great determination. That  is why Her tender, flower-soft body has become pale and lifeless."

Kutila: "Where is that devataV

Syame: "Well recently He became well-behaved and now resides in Her mind.  Please believe me, you need not worry about Her any longer."

While they talked like this, the rainy season appeared with all its rich  and varied flavors. At that time Candravali, whose face defeats the beauty  of the moon, glowed with attachment to Krishna and the freshness of youth.  She and her sakhis enjoyed Krishna's association. When Candravali  experi­enced ecstatic symptoms due to Krishna's love, the bodies of her  sakhis also displayed the same ecstatic transformations. In their own way  the chaste housewives of Vrndavana also relished the sweet mellow of that  unend­ing love. But since their families acted unfavorably, they hesitated  to show their attachment to Krishna.

By exhibiting various playful arts the lotus-faced gopis enjoyed the  re­freshing association of Krishna. The darling son of the king of Vrndavana  is witty and expert in different arts, especially the confidential art of  lovemaking. Thus during the rainy season, which is full of variegatedness,  Krishna wandered playfully in the hearts of the gopis relishing the finer  sentiments of love.

Every morning during the rainy season Krishna remained with His par­ents and  the cows stayed in the goshallas until it stopped raining. Krishna  reciprocated favorably with His parents by allowing them to fondle and  caress Him. The cows went out to pasture as soon as the sky cleared. In ..    , „i„„„ „,:*i, T^rsna and His attractive cow-

the evening the cows returned along with 1   •. •

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herd boyfriends who would behave cordiallv        .....,.,  ._. __

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the gopis.



The Autumn Season










• „*   „ •*„ „,u„se mmd floods with happiness

The sarad season appeared just a wife, who        ^

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as she anxiously tries to please her husba^         *

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of white mountains appearing as the tee        J   ,     ...

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singing storks formed the waist belt ot aui *

aiii£"& attractive blue eyes of a newly

soming blue lotus flowers appeared like the Qf ^ husband

married girl enchanting the eyes and mind  '

~~   r ii    i j     _.u    ti *ua „„„t„i clear sky overhead resembled

The fully cleansed earth and the crystal     .    /          .

*.  .   .            „ ,,.    „„„„;ng m the lakes exploded their

the pure mmd of a sage. The catkins grow &       *;

F     ^        ,  .     ,, ,.     ..      ,-,    ..„ spreading fame of the Lord.  It

white cottonseeds in all directions like the ^         °.      

seemed as if the moon had been rubbed 0n a P° ?shinf stone * pr°duCe

an extraordinary brilliant effulgence. The^f^ stars in thfe ** aP"

, ...      . /       n,„ K^Jy °f autumn personified,

neared like ointments smeared on the boc\         /^

Fl~     r         ff ,  ,.„,,   «„„.„,„, nhanced the beauty of the for-

The sweet fragrance of chatima flowers e  »

„_       .    r ...     r       .i.        ,     . „f oyrul clouds  gradually reduced

est. The rains falling from the garland of j^    .^ ^       J

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clouds of the rainy season departed, the / b

...    1       ...    .*!.   --     . Mooked like a woman wearing

clouds resembling fine white cloth. The sk  ^^   .          »

.        r      .•   iir.1.  11 .u o   j„   'ations the bnde m the form of

the dress of an ascetic. With all these deco

the autumn season looked exquisitely be*u.     '

        ,       ,            ,     , nends, the joyful waves of the

Due to separation from her ram cloud       '    J 3

I    i  j         *u» oU«^„^°fwater. Many small and slow

river danced no longer due to the shortage f         .

.   ..           , .,        ..      • stream of the river, which dried

movmg rivulets replaced the gushing mam

up in autumn. The transparent river waer ^."f0 *° reveal tne pure

.         ru    l        t-u              ~„   ory birds wandermg along the

tendency of her heart. The various migra   \    ~~       5       f.

...Li     r..    „•„.  i, Aa orated the ground with artistic

dried banks of the river unconsciously d&  6

j         u  .u •  u   i     „^ fca. n„„kmg ducks, storks, cakravakas,

lines drawn by their beaks and feet. Qua    b     '

and intoxicated swans beautified the rive"


The beautiful scenery of the sarad season attracted the denizens of  heaven. Even Sarasvati herself could not describe the extent of  Vrndavana's incredible elegance. Acting as an expert dance instructor, the  wind directed the pure white lotus flowers to gently rock back and forth  in the river. As it passed over the slowly moving water, the wind became  cool and scented with lotus pollen. This gentle aromatic breeze satisfied  and enchanted the minds of everyone. Thus the bride in the form of the  sarad season dressed and ornamented herself in order to wor­ship  Krishna.Krishna found great happiness in the juncture of the rainy and autumn  seasons. Moving with a delightful gait, Krishna pleased all the residents of  Vraja with His darsana as He took the cows out to pasture. The favorite of  Vrndavana affectionately poured His mercy on everyone. As a result, the  Vrajavasis felt great satisfaction seeing Krishna strolling along playing  with His friends. Picking up twigs, wild flowers, mineral dyes, and other  gifts of nature, the cowherd boys decorated their beloved friend while  walking down the road.Krishna's nature will now be compared and contrasted  with the rainy sea­son. As Krishna induces lust in the hearts of the gopis,  similarly, the rains of the rainy season agitate the minds of the flocks  of geese flying and squawk­ing overhead. Just as the rainy season incites  lusty feelings, similarly, Krishna causes His devotees to feel matchless  happiness. The kadamba flowers bloom in the rainy season and now Krishna  wears long aromatic garlands of kadamba flowers. The rainy season is  beautified with the fanned tails of intoxicated dancing peacocks.  Similarly, Krishna looks elegant with His crest of fresh, iridescent peacock  feathers. Lightning bolts enhance the beauty of the dark blue sky in the  rainy season. Similarly, Krishna's gorgeous yellow dress derides the  brilliance of gold rubbed on a testing stone. As the monsoon sky glitters  radiantly, similarly, Krishna possesses a brilliantly handsome aura. Holding  His murali to His ruby lips, Krishna vibrates enchanting sounds resembling  the low rumbling of thunder, which attract the peacocks to dance around  Him. The deer, birds, and other animals never become satiated even after  re­peatedly relishing that sweet sound. The sound of His flute causes the  water trickling out of the mouths of mountain caves to expand into huge  reservoirs. Trees and creepers transform into liquid rasa.

Rivers stop moving, back up, and swell in all directions to flood the  surrounding land with lotus flowers. Although the flooding washes away the  riverbanks, they magically reappear when Krishna plays His flute again.  Joyful Krishna always gives happiness to everyone. At this time He suffers  in separation from the beloved doe-eyed gopis who have shot Him with the  arrows of their sidelong glances. Thus Krishna causes the meeting of the  rainy season with autumn which brings a fresh taste of rasa.

A peacock feather accented the beautiful locks of Krishna's curly dark hair.  Karnikara flowers hung over His ears, which held glittering golden  earrings that dangled attractively on His cheeks. Wrapped in an effulgent  golden dhoti, Krishna looked extremely charming with the vaijayanti gar­land  hanging from His neck. Dressed as the best of dancers, the all-at­tractive  Lord Krishna entered the village of Vrndavana.


The Glorious Flute of Krishna


While ambling along the pathway, Krishna left the wonderful marks of a goad,  lotus, conch, thunderbolt, and the other symbols of His lotus feet on the  breast of mother earth. Holding the flute to His leaf-like lips, Krishna  played a slow raga known as mallavashri just fit for the autumn season.  Krishna's lips, red as bimba fruits, drank the nectar of His flute as His  fin­gers danced deftly over its holes. The abundant flow of nectar  emanating from the belly of the flute spread throughout the atmosphere.  Besides the intended raga of mallavashri, the flute seemed to produce a  variety of personified tunes.

Krishna's face looked very attractive brightened by His beautiful white  teeth shining within His fresh leaf-like lips. Receiving a kiss from  Krishna's dazzling smiling face, the flute enjoyed the same fortune as His  charming lovers. Indeed the murali is devoid of defects, even though full  of holes. It is astonishing that this hard flute softens the hearts of  heartless people, and silences the deer, birds, and other forest animals.  Though derived from bamboo (vamsa) or a good family (yamsa) like the  Candra vamsa dynasty, it infects all chaste women with intense attachment  to Madhupati.Aho! Just see this murali of Murari! Although hollow, it  holds a stream of ragas. It is formed from one section (parva) of a tree,  but it initiates hundreds of festivals (parvani). The sweet sound of the  murali simulta­neously stuns the whole universe and fills everyone with  joy. Murari's sweet flute melodies engage the three worlds in marvelous  pastimes. En­tering within the ears, the vibration of Murari's flute  agitates one's body,mind, and senses.By nature Krishna's flute is simple and  sweet, but according to the mood of the listener it manifests as nectar to  some and poison to others. It causes river water to freeze solid and hard  mountains to melt into rivers of ecstasy. Dead trees spring to life with  fresh green leaves. Sages fixed in Brahman become restless and agitated.  Among relishable objects, the best thing is the sound of Krishna's flute,  which completely maddens qne in bliss. It removes the anxieties of all  people and stops the movements of birds and animals. Thus the sound of  Krishna's flute is a treasure house of wonders. All glories to the  superexcellent vibration of Krishna's flute! Although there were unlimited  groups of gorgeous gopis, they all had the great fortune of achieving the  highest stage of love for Krishna. The gopis had peaceful natures and the  same object of meditation, namely the desire to attain Krishna. These  splendid beauties of Vrndavana prayed only for Krishna supreme friendship.  With great yearning they looked in the direction of the flute and embraced  each other due to the sudden de­rangement of their minds. Overwhelmed with  ecstasy, they uttered some sweet words to describe the transcendental  qualities of Krishna. In this way, the Vraja gopis passed the day glorifying  their beloved with poetic com­positions.

The leaders of each group of gopis spoke two verses of praise. But they  felt apprehensive about revealing their inner moods before the common  people. To avoid explicitly explaining their intimate pastimes with Krishna,  they spoke in a hidden but humorous way.


One gopi said, "How can I properly describe the fortune of one having  eyes. To see Krishna's pastimes in Vrndavana is the ultimate limit of  vision. Wandering in Vrndavana, Krishna pierces the hearts of everyone with  His restless sidelong glances. Those who see Krishna like this feel their  bliss rise to the zenith. The sound of His flute makes the whole world  impa­tient. Those who have seen the inexhaustible beauty of Krishna and  Balarama tending Their cows are the most fortunate people in the world.  But alas! We have been deprived of this good fortune. "Beautiful peacock feathers caress Their crowns and garlands swing from  Their necks to ornament Their elegant forms. Radiant tilaka made from  various colored mineral powders graces Their foreheads. Bouquets of small  creepers and flowers ornament Their bodies. Thus Krishna and Balarama please  the eyes of everyone with their charming beauty as They enter Vrndavana  just like dramatic actors walking onto a stage."


A second sakhi said, "A person is considered fortunate even if he can see  Krishna's lotus face from a distance. One is even more fortunate if he can  kiss Him with the corners of his eyes. Hey sakhi with a sweet face! That  person, however, who drinks the nectar of His lips after He plays the  flute is very fortunate. Hey muralil I am not lying. You hold a special  position. When Syamasundara kisses you, you become overwhelmed and  beautified by the touch of His teeth, glimmering white like the rays of  the moon. You echo the pleasant sounds of His young lovers at the time of  union and thus drive the world mad. Krishna's brightly shining teeth are so  beautiful that they look like ripe pomegranate seeds sitting in the middle  of a lotus flower or precious rubies embedded in the full moon. Of course,  these things are impossible, therefore, nothing can compare with the  beauty of Krishna's teeth."


Another sakhi said, "The murali is acting very boldly because he is  tast­ing the lips of Krishna, which are dear to His paramours and meant only  for the gopis' enjoyment. But the murali must be very fortunate, because  even without endeavoring he has easily obtained this rarest jewel. Before  His evening bath Krishna kisses His flute and imbibes a sweet rasa. The  union of Krishna and His flute produces a nectar that makes the Yamuna  ecstatic, turn solid, and burst forth with blossoming lotuses. Feeling  proud of their son the flute, the bamboo trees along her bank shed tears  of love in the form of honey dripping down their trunks."Another gopi,  desiring eternal association with Krishna yet fearing im­pending separation,  said, "The fortunate earth holds a position higher than Brahmaloka. She is  supremely worshipable because Krishna marks her with His splendid footprints  like an independent lover drawing de­signs on the breasts of His beloved.  The endless flow of nectar from Krishna's flute has transformed the heart of  mother earth. As one in ecstasy experi­ences erect bodily hairs and  thrill-bumps, similarly, the grasses covering the earth stand straight up  in shoots. The glories of Vrndavana are far beyond the comprehension of a  person like me. Here the peacocks, feel­ing joyful at heart, begin gently  dancing when they hear the sweet sound of Murari's murali. Stunned by that  sound, the soft leaves of the creepers blowing in the wind become  motionless."Another gopi group leader, longing to see Krishna, said, "O  sakhil The deer and doe must have performed severe penances and  austerities in order to always hear Krishna's melodious flute and see His  gorgeous face with their large innocent eyes. Now we can appreciate the  extent of their fortune. Hey sakhil Aho, look! Even the female parrots are  more fortu­nate than we are. Without any fear or inhibition they enjoy the  lotus face of Krishna, which sends forth the nectarean sound of His flute,  along with their husbands. Hence they have achieved the highest perfection  of the eyes.


"The wives of the demigods and their husbands, who are deeply at­tached to  them, are very fortunate because they have already developed love for  Krishna. Therefore, they are always attracted to the captivating form of  Krishna, and feel extremely impatient upon hearing His enchant­ing flute.  Losing all composure, the demigoddesses become unsteady. And even while  flying in the sky their hair braids loosen and the knots of their  waistcloths slacken. In this agitated condition of love, they forget to  drop soothing flowers, and shower Krishna with tears of love instead.

"When the cows hear Krishna's flute they cock their ears in rapt attention  and close their eyes in bliss. The sound of Krishna's flute enters their  ears like a constant flow of nectar. In such a state the cows appear like  statues painted on a canvas. As the cows become inert from the captivating  sound, their teeth look very beautiful with the half-chewed sprouts  hanging out of their mouths. While holding their mothers' udders the calves neither  suck milk, nor let go, or swallow the milk already in their mouths. The  pleasing sound of Krishna's flute steals the minds of the cows and fills  them with satisfaction. At that time mother earth happily drinks the milk  auto­matically streaming from the cow's udders."

"Hey sakhil Abandoning their usual flighty nature, the birds of Vrndavana  listen attentively to the sweet sound of Krishna's flute while relishing the  beauty of His transcendental form. With their eyes closed in meditation on  the music, they look just like sages steeped in bliss. Hey sakhil They  have stopped flying, singing, and eating. Becoming fully ab­sorbed in  tasting the pleasant sound of Krishna's flute, the birds have fluffed out  their feathers due to ecstatic feelings of devotion.

"Listening to the sweet sound of the murali, the Yamuna and other riv­ers  are intensely agitated and spinning in whirlpools. It seems they have been  struck by Cupid's arrows and affected by a type of epilepsy. The swans and  cakravakas rolling in the waves of the river look like the disar­rayed  clothing of the river. The sandy banks look like the unclothed hips of the  river. The bubbles on the surface seem like foam forming on the mouth of  the river.

"Hey sakhil The rivers, shivered in ecstasy from hearing Krishna's flute,  are holding lotus flowers in the hands of their waves to offer  Himpuspanjali. In the mood of His lovers, the rivers respectfully offer  cool water to hap­pily bathe Krishna's feet, and remove the heat of walking  on the burning earth of summer. The clouds, acting like friendly sakhis,  cool down the hot air by pouring tiny drops of water upon His head.

Observing that every living entity was nicely serving Krishna except  her­self, one sad gopi said, "Even the cloud, which is an unconscious  entity, can show his affection by moving here and there to act as an  umbrella shielding Krishna from the scorching rays of the sun. When Krishna  plays His flute, the clouds remove the fatigue of cow herding by pouring  tiny streams of water from all directions, which seem like a shower of  camphor dust. Just see, only we have been cheated from tasting the  sweetness of serving Krishna, which is being relished by everyone in the  universe."

Then the best of the gopis, thinking like this and feeling an arousal of  enchanting love at the same time, said, "Just see the fortune of the  Pulindas (aborigine women). They thoroughly enjoy smearing their faces and  breasts with the kunkuma fallen onto the grass from Krishna's feet that once  adorned the breasts of His dearest sakhi. To relish Krishna's sweetness is  the object of everyone's desire. Though the Pulindas are mere aborigines,  we can­not say that they do not deserve such fortune. It is quite proper  that the Pulinda women have genuine attachment to Krishna. Such signs of  greed indicate the extent of one's real attachment to Krishna. Though one  feels totally unqualified for such attainment, the greed for Krishna  remains."

While speaking of the Pulindas, that gopi remembered the fortune of  Govardhana Hill, and revealed to a friend Her intense desire to meet  Krishna. She said, "This Govardhana Hill enhances Madhava's pastimes by  supplying roots, fruits, water, mineral colors, and caves to hide in. In  this way Govardhana is the best servitor of the Lord. It is known that by  serv­ing a great devotee one can attain Vishnu. By his selfless service  Govardhama has brought Krishna under his control."

Then that chief among the gopis indicated Her desire to meet Krishna by  speaking to a friend. "O sakhil It is our opinion that Krishna fulfills the  desires and relieves the thirst of those who take shelter of Govardhana  Hill. This fact is also supported by sastric evidence."

The unmarried gopis headed by Dhanya-sakhi showed their great for­tune by  manifesting their ongoing strong attachment to Krishna. The as­tonishing  power of their yearning for Krishna revealed itself in newer and newer ways.  But this secret longing for Krishna created a sense of bewilder­ment in  their minds. Even experts in loving affairs cannot understand the  intensity of the gopis' desire. Just hearing the flute song of Krishna  parci-lyzed their senses, hands, and feet. The unpredictable nature  oiprema put them in this embarrassing position. Overwhelmed in love for  Krishna, they embraced each other and spoke as follows, "O sakhil The sound  of Krishna's flute is a powerful yogi trans­forming the nature of reality  with his mantra. It makes the conscious be­come unconscious and gives life  to the lifeless. O sakhil Look! All the aquatics, birds, and deer remain  stunned like statues. The trees, earth, and mountains melt into liquid and  the hairs on their bodies stand erect,"Seeing the flute's ability to  drastically alter the state of other moving and nonmoving entities, the  gopis worried about upholding their vows.The gopis said, "Can any young  woman possibly stop the low sound of that resonating flute which the enemy  of Kaliya started playing upon at­taining youth? It is so terrible that it  brings about a state of death like that induced by drinking poison. Rather  than stopping it, we simply be­come play things in the hands of that  flute. That flute sound is the blem­ish on our family. But if we cannot  hear it, then we die in the pain of separation.

"Agonized by this painful separation, we absorb our minds in remem­bering  the prince of Vrndavana, the Lord of our hearts. His fickle mind is always  agitated by lust. So everyday He proudly displays the attracting power of  His flute song and enjoys a festival beneath the trees of Vrndavana. But  still the residents of Vrndavana always offer Him the greatest respect.  With the sweetness of His bodily effulgence He pleases all living entities  and satisfies the world

"When will we smell Krishna's sweet lotus face framed by the thick, glossy  locks of His dark blue hair? His eyebrows dance on His broad forehead and  His nose is beautifully raised. When an object falls into an ocean of  sweetness, it also manifests sweetness. Similarly, the yellow rope draped  attractively on His turban, which Murari uses for tying cows, has become  joyful by contacting His blissful form."Moreover, the young gopis, who  worship the tambula scented lips of Krishna that are bordered by His cheeks,  are supremely fortunate. His danc­ing makara kundala (earrings), studded  with jewels and flowers, cast re­flections on His cheeks like sparkling  bubbles of water. What woman does not desire to embrace the broad chest of  Krishna, which is adorned with a forest garland, the marks of Laksmi and  Shrivatsa, and brilliant jewels and pearl necklaces?

"Whose lake of the heart would not become agitated by His two arms, which  hang at His sides like the trunks of a pair of intoxicated baby  el­ephants, desiring to snatch the nectar beauty of His knees? Within our  hearts we hold His waist which is surrounded by three graceful folds of  skin. Although measuring only the size of a fist, Krishna's thin waist is  ex­ceedingly powerful and makes us very weak."The line of hairs extending  from His navel to His broad chest resembles a row of beautiful kalpa-taru  trees. They look like the fine hairs on the back of a bumblebee, or a  black snake that bites our chest when we tightly embrace Him. His elegant  feet, marked with a lotus, goad, and thunder­bolt defeat the beauty of red  lotus flowers. His toes sparkle from the effulgence of His jeweled inlaid  anklets. When will those feet be the or­nament on our breasts?"Thus,  Dhanya-sakhi and other beautiful young gopis disclosed their in­tense  craving to meet Krishna. Since maha-prema had arisen within them, they  manifested so much longing that their throats choked up from the life airs  rushing out of their bodies. Tossed by the insurmountable waves of desire  to meet Krishna, they spent the days of autumn in great difficulty. In this  way, the winter season quickly arrived and the gopis began to wor­ship  Katyayani.Dhanya-sakhi and other Vraja kumaris (virgins) came to the banks  of the Yamuna to worship Goddess Uma (Katyayani) during the first month of  the winter season known as Margasirsa. At this time, the ripened rice  paddy in the fields displayed a mixed color of red and brown. Bent in  humility, the rice paddy expressed its desire to drink the water made  fra­grant from the white lilies blooming nearby. The newly sprouted barley  spread a red and brown color across the fields. The growth of anise and  bunches of coriander sweetened the earth. Spinach bloomed in house­hold  gardens. Fields abundant with sugar cane spread in all directions.


The first month of winter displayed immense splendor with its wealth of  agricultural products. The Vraja kumaris like Dhanya-sakhi, who pos­sessed  unlimited affection for Krishna, played the part of sadhakas seeking to  perfect the purity of their love for Krishna. Taking the vow, "May the  virtuous son of Nanda Maharaja become our husband," they secretly  wor­shiped goddess Katyayani in order to attain Krishna.