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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 16 Rescuing Nanda Baba

Chapter Sixteen

Rescuing Nanda Baba from Varunaloka



The variegated, all-attractive pastimes of Krishna increase the pleasure of  those who derive happiness from hearing the expert narrations of the  Puranas. Upon hearing Krishna's thrilling exploits one realizes that all  other stories are worthless. Because Krishna is an overflowing reservoir of  all good qualities, hearing about His activities gives full satisfaction  to the ears. His splendid all-attractive transcendental form, gracefully  curved from head to toe, is worthy of everyone's respect and worship.  Krishna's pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill enchanted the whole universe.  The simple wives of the Vraja gopas are famous for relishing pastimes with  Krishna that are far more intimate than all the pastimes of Laksmi. On His  forehead Krishna wears brilliant tilaka made from kunkuma, and His curly  dark blue hair is beautified with magnificent ornaments made from bakula  flowers. Krishna defeats thousands of Cupids with His sweet beauty, and He  brings ever-increasing good fortune to the Vraja gopis who are expert in  the sixty-four arts.


Krishna protects the world from the disturbance of proud atheists. Siva and  all the other devatas glorify Him for devastating the demoniac  de­scendants of Aditi. He satisfies the hearts of all observers with the  exquis­ite pearl necklace sitting on His glistening dark-blue chest. He is  called Nandanandana, the beloved son Vrajaraja Nanda. Krishna is also known  as Govinda because He lifted Govardhana (govardhana dhrti) to curb the  pride of Indra, and because His beauty is enhanced by His natural gravity  {govardhana dhrti).

The Supreme Lord passed His days enjoying various loving relation­ships  with the inhabitants of Vrndavana. Krishna and His effulgent com­panions  continued to perform their pleasing pastimes of herding the mul­titudes of  cows. One ekadashi, Nanda Baba, the king of the gopas, happily observed a  fast. The next day on dvadasi he had to break the fast at the right moment  in order to complete his vow. But due to a short breaking period, he  hastily bathed in the Yamuna River at an inappropriate time along with a  few pious friends. Even though he had bathed at an inauspi­cious time,  Nanda Maharaja did not consider it offensive since he had acted only to  honor the dvadasi tithi (time juncture).


Following the rules of scripture, he submerged himself reverently in the  Yamuna. But the servants of Varuna angrily arrested Nanda Maharaja and put  him in great distress for bathing too early in the morning. Nanda Maharaja  had impeccable character, but due to a slight deviation from the rules, he  was seized by Varuna-deva, the Lord of the waters. Unaware of his  destination, Nanda felt completely distraught.Standing on the bank of the  Yamuna, the friends of Nanda Maharaja panicked with fear and confusion.  They shouted, "What has happened? What has happened?" Seeing that they  could do nothing to help him, they approached Krishna, who destroys all fear  and spoke anxiously, "O Krishna, who rewards the pious, punishes the evil,  befriends the distressed, and delivers the bound! Please help us! Please  help us! Something tragic has happened. Some proud persons kidnapped Your  father, who is worshipable by Lord Brahma, while he bathed in the Yamuna.  Oh mighty-armed one! Please save (trayatam) him! Go there and deliver  (atra ayatam) him! Only You can save him from this terrible calamity."


The cowherd men ran helplessly hither and thither on the banks of the  Yamuna. Hearing their anguished cries, Krishna considered, "This is the  irreversible action of the foolish and lowly servants of Varuna." Thinking  like this, Krishna submerged in the Yamuna in order to visit the city of  Varuna to bless him with His presence. For some reason, Krishna felt  attracted to Varuna even though he had improperly treated His father Nanda  Maharaja.

The young gopis of Gokula and everyone else on the bank of the river fell  into depression when Krishna left for Varuna's abode. Though the gor­geous  Vraja gopis did not always see Krishna, because of their intense at­tachment  to Him and because they stayed in His village, they felt they lived in the  same house as Krishna. Fearing that He had departed for the other world, the  gopis lost all strength and collapsed on the ground. At this perilous  time, one moment seemed like a thousand yugas. In this state the gopis could not hear anything, see anything, or say  any­thing. Their minds went with Krishna and their bodies shook  uncontrolla­bly. In a world full of changes, pure love is the only  constant. Although withering away due to separation from Krishna, Radhika  managed to sus­tain Her life by the power of Her Krishna prema. Even though  they fanned Radha with lotus and tala leaves and sprinkled Her with sandal  water, the priya-sakhis could not reduce Radhika's high fever in  separation from Krishna. Luckily, Her friend named Murccha (unconsciousness)  arrived to extinguish the fire.

Seeing the filaments of cotton held under Her nose moving slightly with  Her breathing, the sakhis understood that Radha still lived. When a smart  sakhi said, "Krishna is coming!" Radha opened Her eyes and returned to  external consciousness with great difficulty. Not seeing Krishna, however,  Radhika just stared into space. Her eyes looked like a pair of blue  lotuses painted on a canvas.Even though Radhika heard Her friends saying,  "Krishna will be coming in a moment," She thought, "If one moment becomes  like one yuga of time, am I to blame for suffering such pains of  separation?" Not seeing Krishna before Her, Radha felt even more anguished.  The hot sparks of fire in Her heart shot forth as tears, mixed with Her  kajala, and dripped in black streams down Her golden lotus face.

Krishna, the ocean of mercy, proceeded to the abode of Varuna. Upon seeing  Him, Varuna humbly and courteously received the Lord. Filled with  affection, he worshiped Krishna with arghya and other articles. Varuna  praised the effulgent Supreme Lord as the reservoir of all exceptional  characteristics, the embodiment of all happiness, and the very form of  concentrated bliss and knowledge.

Varuna-deva said, "O jewel of the womb (garbha ratna) of Devaki! You shine  brilliantly among the devatas headed by Siva! I offer my respects to you.  You descend as an avatara to relieve the earth (ratnagarbha) of her burden  (bharavataraka). Your handsome form and qualities defeat the attraction of  thousands of Cupids. You stand before us as the spotlessly pure and  blissful son of Nanda. The dust {raja) of Your lotus feet has removed my  covering of passion (rajas). All the residents of my city have now become  purified by Your auspicious presence. Today my birth has become  successful.

"Due to possessing fabulous wealth, my knowledge has become cov­ered.  Therefore, I could not understand Your infallible position as the master  of Maya and the controller of all-devouring time. O Madhava! O creator of  all the universes! You should not keep men like me blinded by Your  illusory potency. Even the best muni cannot surpass Your Maya. O killer of  Aghasura! You have all desirable characteristics! Though my ser­vants  think themselves very clever, they do not have a drop of intelli­gence.  They have committed a terrible act by bringing your father here. Yet at  the same time, they have bestowed a great boon upon me. "Indeed, I  offended You, who are so rarely attained by anyone in this world. Due to  pride, I violated the rules of conduct. By keeping the dust of Your lotus  feet as the crown jewel on my head, however, I may nullify the poisonous  fever caused by my severe offense. O Lord of lords! Your splendid  complexion easily conquers the glistening trunk of a young tamala tree.  Siva, the father of Kartikeya, and all the demigods worship You, whose  eyes are beautiful lotus petals, who has a splendidly contoured belly, who  radiates a dazzling effulgence, whose graceful arms extend to Your knees,  and who wears a gorgeous forest garland. I worship that superexcellent  transcendental form."

After praising Krishna, Varuna took sweet, fragrant water in his hands and  washed the Lord's lotus feet, which are the abode of auspiciousness. This  immediately removed all calamities. Varuna said, "O Supreme Per­son! O  subduer of the demons! Please be merciful to me. Please take whatever  jewels You want from my kingdom. Actually, everything here belongs to You.  What more can I say? I also belong to You."All my pious acts have borne  fruit by receiving Your darsana. If the desire to see You arises within a  person, it will not disappear all of a sudden. Therefore, just to taste  the bliss of seeing You, I have safely kept Your father here. O ornament  of the earth! Please forgive my offense. Though the servant may be  forgiven, the master should be punished for the offense of his servant. So  I deserve severe punishment for this act." Having given up his false  pride, Varuna folded hands and stood meekly before the Lord.

Krishna compassionately said, "O lord of the waters! I am pleased with your  motives and the statements of your love for Me. Keep whatever wealth you  have. Although I have come from a distant place, because you are My  devotee, this is also My residence." After speaking a few immea­surably  sweet words, the son of the king of Vrndavana, placed His father in front  and calmly went home.All directions erupted with an auspicious uproar upon  Krishna's return to Vrndavana. The minds of Radhika and the gopis submerged  in anxiety and simultaneously floated in liquid currents of nectar.  Somehow the gopis quickly revived Radha, and everyone filled with  boundless happiness.


Showing Brahman to the Vrajavasis



Nanda Maharaja entered a state of confusion after having seen the im­mense  opulence of Varuna's city, the respect he showed Krishna, and after hearing  Varuna's praise of his son. With great animation Vraja Nanda explained all  his experiences to the Vrajavasis. Although the cowherd men felt happy to  hear this, they also felt grave. Without a doubt, they thought that this  cowherd boy Krishna must be the Lord of the universe described in the  scriptures.

During this exchange, they wondered whether Krishna would show them His  great, unlimited aspect as the effulgent impersonal Brahman. Know­ing  their desires, Krishna decided to bestow His mercy. To make them real­ize  that the personal form of Brahman is more blissful than the imper­sonal  Brahman, Krishna temporarily deprived them the taste oiprema. Krishna wanted  to remove any doubts that the Vrajavasis had about their future  destination. Covering their knowledge with the darkness of illusion, Krishna  showed them the brilliant impersonal Brahman. In the Brahman, the gopas could neither taste the bliss of directly  fon­dling Krishna, nor experience the lack of bliss by not fondling Him. The  gopas felt pained on being deprived of their previous realization of  Krishna. Out of compassion, Krishna removed their bewilderment and withdrew  the Brahman effulgence. Then He revealed the Vaikuntha planets, which are  full of auspiciousness, ever increasing bliss, and free from all  anxieties.After binding them up in the witch called liberation, Krishna  removed the illusion from His loving devotees. By this Krishna showed that  His devotees do not attain the painful liberation desired by others. As if  awakening from a trance, the Vrajavasis beheld the pleasing Vaikuntha  realm that is situated far beyond the modes of material nature. They  considered, "Is it possible to hear, touch, smell, or perceive anything in  Vaikuntha?"Although they had experienced merging in the impersonal Brahman  and the happiness of Vaikuntha, when they realized that they could not see  the face of Krishna, whose sweetness surpasses all, they felt a moment  with­out Him to be like a thousand yugas. Without the joy of Krishna's  associa­tion, they felt like miserable wretches without any shelter. In  order to dissipate their suffering and renew their happiness, Krishna, the  reservoir of rasa and cause of all causes, withdrew that vision of  Vaikuntha and revealed His sweet personal form in Vrndavana. Seeing Krishna before them, the Vrajavasis drowned in waves of plea­sure.  They realized that Krishna's ever-fresh and enchanting Vrndavana pastimes on  earth far surpassed the bliss and wonder of merging in the impersonal  Brahman or attaining Vaikuntha. On the other hand, those philosophers,  whose intelligence is infected with bad logic and arguments, have great  difficulty understanding the supremacy of Krishna. What to speak of  miscreants who can neither search for nor attain the Lord. Simply with a  wink, Krishna showed the impersonal Brahman to the resi­dents of Vrndavana.  Seeing this as an obstacle to their loving devotion, Krishna immediately  withdrew it. Therefore, what is impossible for His lila-sakti l