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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 22 Swing Festival

Chapter Twenty-two

The Swing Festival Pastimes



The stealing of Krishna's flute occurred in the middle of the springtime  Holi festival. On another day, Krishna performed the swing festival (jhulana  yatra), which is the perfect object of meditation for those desiring a  taste of devotion. On that day, the sweet pastimes of Radha and Krishna far  surpassed the sporting of the demigods and their wives in the celestial  gardens. This chapter describes Krishna's ecstatic swing festival, which is  incomprehensible to the three worlds.

The swing festival was held in a special place in Vrndavana, which was  bordered by a line of desire trees of equal height, with round trunks and  branches whose ends intertwined, leaving a bare space in the middle. The  line of trees appeared like a wall of sapphire jewels. Besides the birds  inhabiting those trees, the presiding deities of the forest had placed  vari­ous items in the trees including camaras, silk cloth, long strands of  pearls, jewels, fruits and flowers. A square shaped golden stage stood in  the cen­ter of the decorated trees. In the middle of the stage was a  jeweled kunja with four doors. Four haricandana trees stood as pillars in  the corners of the kunja. The intertwining of the tree's upper branches  formed an over­head canopy. The swing hung on thin golden ropes tied to  the branches of the haricandana trees. This arena appeared in the center.  Each gopi group leader had a personal kunja with a swing in the four  directions radiating from this central arena.


The other arenas, lined with pleasant devataru trees, radiated green all  around and resonated with the singing of young cooing birds. They served  as embodiments of festivity for the entire earth. One swing hung from each  pair of trees, and sitting platforms for the gopis encircled, the bases of  these trees. Golden chains tied securely to the branches of the trees hung  down in straight lines. In the center arena four lines of swings  be­longing to different group leaders faced the four doors of the main  kunja. Herds of deer frolicked about joyfully in the flat, open land  surrounding the kunjas. The hearts of everyone immediately flooded with  joy just by seeing these areas, which were illuminated by cintamani gems  and by trees as brilliant as coral. The top branches of the trees joined  to form natural, pleasing green canopies. Gazing upward forever one could  not find the tops of those tall trees.


The moonlight filtering though the canopies of the trees made small  filaments of light on the forest floor that looked like piles of sesame  and rice. Thinking it food, the female deer tried to lick it. The four  kunja mandapas (raised platforms) were so similar that even the devatas  could distinguish them only by their placement in different directions. In  those areas, the vanadevis had stretched a canopy in preparation for the  swing festival.

The scattered moonlight appeared like pearl belts taken from the dei­ties  of the directions, broken by the steady wind, and broadcast on the earth  out of respect for the land of Vrndavana. It appeared as if all the stars  in the sky, in great bliss, left their positions to come offer respects to  the land of Vrndavana. Pieces of rustling silk cloth from the goddess of  the sky formed the rooftops of the kunjas and hung down quivering like  tongues trying to lick the dust of Vrndavana. The nets of pearls hanging  from that cloth were swinging gently in the soft breeze and pleasantly  resounding like tinkling ankle-bells.

The forest gods had decorated the canopies with strings of various kinds  of fruit, and with fine scented camaras resembling white lotuses born from  the sky, or swans flying up from the lake of moonlight. The swing arena  carried the celestial scent of aromatic aguru fumes, drops of perfume  squeezed from the kalpa druma trees, and piles of camphor dust, which made  lines of white smoke in the sky. Impatient and anxious to begin the swing  festival, the devatas and their wives, the Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Caranas  and Kinnaras played their instruments as they arrived in Vrndavana in  their innumerable celestial airplanes.

In a jubilant mood the gentle goddesses from different forests, carrying  various festival ingredients in their hands, assembled in Vrndavana. With  friendship, kindness, and all good qualities they finished decorating the  swing arena and built an impressive entrance with the best garlands. From  all directions, flocks of joyful birds came fluttering to broadcast the  sweet­ness of the swing festival. They perched peacefully on the twigs and  branches of the trees around the arena. Eager to see the wonderful swing  festival, the birds sang the glories of Krishna while their own hearts swung  in delight. Forgetting all troubles and impelled by curiosity, varieties  of deer gathered in the kunjas. They stood as motionless as figures in a  paint­ing. Appearing as if they had not been attracted to the forest by the sound of  Krishna's flute, had not abandoned their household duties, and not op­posed  their elders, the doe-eyed gopis, like touchstones for pleasurable  pastimes, suddenly manifested out of nowhere, as if coming directly from  the desire trees. Colored with kunkuma, their loins glistened ready for  dancing. They wore fluffy petticoats, covered by fine silk dresses  extend­ing to their ankles. Glittering bodices beautified their breasts.  Their effulgent bodies were adorned with festive colored sashes and  tinkling waist-bells. The soft rounded shoulders of the gopis rivaled the flower bow of Cu­pid.  The gopis had tucked flower arrows in their girdles and held flower bombs  in their hands. In the arena of the artful amusing swing pastimes, the  blissful gopis appeared like the incarnation of Rati (the goddess  over­seeing festive love battles). Some gopis had flower pollen sachets  hidden in their golden waist-belts. Those bags of pollen seemed like the  accumu­lated wealth of their skill in lovemaking, collected over a long  period of time, for purchasing the jewel of Krishna's mind.

Some gopis held thousands of flasks filled with fragrant aguru, musk,  camphor, and sandalwood ointments. These thin, delicate flasks would break  open with a breath. Others carried ingeniously designed syringes filled  with flower essences, kunkuma water, sandal water, and musk wa­ter. The  gopis looked like well-armed soldiers ready for the battle of love.


Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Radhika-Syama to start the festival,  each of the gopis, the jewels among women who are more beautiful that the  soldiers of Cupid, thought that she would swing first. The gopis en­tered  the four areas around the main arena while discussing this among  themselves. Out of excitement they made a din with their loud laughing  that resembled the sweet cooing of the cuckoos.

Krishna entered the swing arena with His left arm resting on Radha's  shoulder holding His flute. In His right hand Krishna twirled a lotus flower  while His bangles chimed happily. A pleasing peacock feather topped His  reddish turban that tilted attractively to one side. Krishna's elegant  ear­rings and ear lotuses swung in the breeze created by the bees circling  His head. Fine cloth kissed His limbs, lit by the jewels of His crown and  brace­lets. Krishna shone attractively with His pearl necklaces tinged red  from the rays of His kaustubha jewel. Light delicate footsteps accented  His graceful yet playful gait. Jeweled anklets and bells adorned His lotus  feet. Krishna, His splendid lips shining, appeared somewhat drowsy from chew­ing  betel nut. Yet His effulgence easily defeated the combined radiance of all  the jewels adorning the ladies in heaven. Krishna's effulgence took the  shape of a jeweled mace to announce His entrance into the bower of jeweled  trees. As Krishna and His servants ascended the dais surrounding the swing,  the birds screeched, "Victory! Victory!"

The trees and creepers felt such rapture that their limbs erupted with  tiny bumps and honey streamed down like a torrent of tears. When the  peacocks stared at Radha and Krishna they thought they were seeing dark rain  clouds flashing lightning. Though knowing Radha and Krishna from before, due  to their unprecedented love, the peacocks madly cried out, "Keo? Keo?"  (Who are these two persons?)


Different celestial denizens joined Krishna and the gopis to celebrate their  jhulana lila. In attendance there were charming Caranas, male and female  Kimpurusas, and the wives of the Siddhas beating expertly on madala and  panava drums with their delicate hands. The spotless heav­enly damsels  from Svarga and the Apsaras directed by Urvasi held camaras as radiant as  waves in the Mandakini River. They showered fragrant flow­ers from the  Nanda-kanana gardens, which glittered like stars as they fell through the  sky. In this atmosphere, Krishna mounted the attractive, comfortable seat of the  swing. Krishna looked like a regal crest jewel sitting on the cotton seat.  The cloth covering the seat was whiter than the foam that appeared dur­ing  the churning of the milk ocean. Shining pillows also adorned the  beau­tiful seat. Seeing that amazingly wonderful swing purified the  vision, and empowered the eyes to see other objects in a fresher way.  While the devatas played sweet music, Mukunda and Radha marveled at the  intricate work­manship of the jeweled lamps illuminating the swing.

Trembling out of ecstatic love, Radhika and Her friends sat beside Krishna,  who rested His left arm on Radhika's shoulder. When the Lord ascended the  exquisite swing and displayed His sweet beauty, which defeated the fickle  currents of a river of nectarean beauty, the devatas and their wives lost  all composure. As the ardent desire of the devatas' hearts to get a closer  view of the Divine Couple moved out of their hearts to express itself, it  choked their throats. With that hope they left the middle sky and  descended to the more favorable lower borders of the sky.


When lotus-eyed Candravali and other gopi group leaders beheld the  especially intimate feature of Krishna sitting upon the swing, their eyes  sparkled with blissful love. The gopis, adorned with colorful makeup and  tinkling belts, mounted their respective swings and loudly sang sweet  songs in the appropriate tempo. Candravali and her group sat facing  Murari, Bhadra and her associates sat on His right, Syama and her  followers on the left, and Dhanya and her assistants sat behind Murari.


Crowding the four outer yards, other joy-filled gopis sang melodious songs  with the finest artistic skill. Their effulgent complexions conquered a  garden of golden creepers. As they softly vibrated their seven-stringed  vinas, the gopis produced pleasing ambrosial music of unequalled  excel­lence. Holding on with one hand and swinging their bodies, the gopis  moved gaily on the swings as swarms of bees followed them.

With their free hands the gopis took fistfuls of powder from the bags  tucked in their belts and forcefully threw it into the air while their  bangles jingled along. Scattered here and there by the wind, the colored  powders spread a red hue through the sky, like a screen of fresh Java  flowers. The devatas, anguished by this obstruction to seeing Krishna's  pastimes, repeat­edly showered flowers to remove the recurring screen of  dust. It appeared the clouds dripped flower-nectar.

As the manjaris gracefully pushed the swings, Vrnda and others shouted,  "Jai hoi Jai hoi" While blissfully absorbed in swinging, Radha and Krishna  hurled colored powders on the gopis. When Candravali and other sakhis  returned the volley with their powders, Radha and Krishna revealed a unique  state of fresh beauty. As the powders thrown at Krishna blew away in the  wind, the gopis filled their reddened hands with sandalwood powder and  other fragrances to bomb Krishna again.

Radha's friends, who were experts in shooting pichkaris full of sweet  smelling colored water, assembled around the swing of Radha and Krishna.  Suddenly Candravali and her sakhis attacked Radha and Krishna with pichkaris  full of color. With their jeweled-/?/cMa/w loaded with scents and  glittering like the moon, Radhika's sakhis counterattacked Candravali and  her group with a fountain spray of color. Aimed mainly at Candravali, that  spray of liquid scent did not even once touch the bodies of Radha and  Krishna. Gathering their forces, Radha's sakhis, who were eager to win the  battle, shouted, "I am winning! I am winning!" In the pandemonium, a few  more gopis picked up pichkaris and wildly squirted other gopis. In the  excitement to win, some bottles of liquid fell and broke, releasing thick  streams of aguru and sandalwood scented liquid over the ground.

When the flower bombs being forcefully thrown from all directions came too  close to the son of the king of Vrndavana, the gopis deflected them. If,  however, any bomb happened to hit the dark blue body of Krishna, Radhika  happily wiped it off with Her soft hand moistened from perspi­ration.  Feeling disturbed, Krishna lost His composure upon seeing the con­dition of  the gopis. He was afflicted with pride and apprehension.

To increase the pleasure of the doe-eyed gopis who gazed at Him with shy,  downcast eyes like cakoris agitated by the moon, Krishna abandoned all rules  of formal conduct and followed the whims of Cupid. Witty, hu­morous, and  controlled by His consorts, the brother of Balarama, rolling His eyes in  desire, challenged the groups of gopis facing Him on all sides, eager to  play Holi with Him.

Skillful at sport, Hari smashed the gopis in the southern direction with a  deluge of colors. While moving on their swings and firing red powder at  Krishna, the beautiful gopis appeared as victory flags of cleverness. Then  Krishna subdued the playful, blissful girls on the northern side. Next He  defeated the gopis and their associates in the western direction, who kept  swinging the whole time while strongly desiring pastimes of enjoyment.  Their eyes and bodies defeated the beauty of lakes full of lotus flowers.  Then He conquered the elegant, excited women on the eastern side, who were  particularly attractive being seated on swings directly opposite Him.  While swinging and throwing ruby-red powder with His lotus hands, Krishna  shared a seat with Radhika who possesses the limit of all excellent  qualities.

After winning the battle of Holi, Krishna, smiling brilliantly, desired to  please the different groups of swinging gopis. Starting in the eastern  di­rection, He faced each group and dexterously moved His swing in two  different directions. When Krishna swung east or west, He moved the swing  directly towards the gopis in those directions. When He swung to the north  or south, those gopis sat next to Him. In the joy of such counter  swinging, Krishna's necklaces, forest garland, and shining earrings all  joined in the festival.


Shri Krishna enacts two types of eternal pastimes: manifest and unmanifest.  With the description of Radha and Krishna's swing festival, I,  Kavi-karnapura, the crest-jewel of rasikas, conclude the book entitled  Ananda Vrndavana Campu, which parallels the Vrndavana pastimes of the Lord  described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. I have not described the Bhagavatam  chapters about the Gopis Songs in Separation, the Killing of Arista and  Kesi, the Coming of Akrura, and Entering the Arena of Kamsa because I  consider them unsuitable to the sweet mood of madhurya Vrndavana.

The confidential pastimes of Krishna, the embodiment of transcendental  wonder, are eternal by nature and constantly present in their manifest and  unmanifest forms. What is the proof that Krishna's transcendental abode of  Vrndavana exists eternally, though invisible to the material eye? In  answer to this query, the Shrimad Bhagavatam states:


jayati jana-nivdso devaki-janma-vado,

yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam

sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-shri-mukhena,

vraja-pura-vanitdnarh vardhayan kama-devam


"Lord Shri Krishna is He who is known asjana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of  all living entities, and who is also known as Devaklnandana or  Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu  dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as  well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things  inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful  smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana.  May He be all glorious and happy!" (SB 10.90.48)

The eternal nature of Krishna's pastimes is established by using the present  tense in the Bhagavatam verse quoted above. It should be understood that  the eternality of Krishna's pastimes is preserved by His inconceivable  energy (acintya-sakti). This spiritual energy produces both manifest and  unmanifest abodes. One cannot say that Krishna, who possesses inconceiv­able  energy, does not have the power to maintain eternal places of mani­fest  and unmanifest pastimes. Nor can it be said that His young lovers, the  lotus-eyed gopis of Vrndavana, cannot be divided into different groups

such as nitya-siddha gopis and sadhana siddha gopis like the sruti-caris  and muni-caris.

Nor can Vrndavana, the place of His transcendental pastimes, exist in an  unmanifest state. Why can't the pastimes of Hari in Vrndavana be both  manifest and unmanifest eternally? O person fond of arguing! Give an  answer to this one question. Do the manifest and unmanifest pastimes exist  eternally and simultaneously? There are millions of universes, and as a  particular pastime ends in one universe it simultaneously manifests in  another. If they do not start in a particular universe, what is the  ques­tion of disappearing? According to this method, the manifested  pastimes remain eternally, always situated at some particular place. It is  just like the sun, seemingly moving through days and nights, and appearing  se­quentially in all the seven continents.

Although a pastime seems to disappear in one universe, it actually  con­tinues to exist there in unlimited unmanifest forms. It reveals itself  through different characteristics as described in Sanatana Gosvami's  Brhad-Bhagavatamrta. How could one Krishna simultaneously enter different  temples to marry each of the sixteen thousand women along with the  inhabitants of Dvaraka, and also manifest Himself in many forms along with  forms of all His elders such as Vasudeva? Just as Krishna, without any  assistance from His expansions, manifested many forms of Himself and His  associates in Dvaraka, could He not also manifest such things in  Vrndavana?


The Shrimad Bhagavatam conclusively proves that Krishna is full of unlim­ited  powers. Though He stays eternally in Vrndavana (unmanifest), He goes off  to Mathura. In His unmanifest form Krishna stays in Vrndavana and eternally  performs pastimes with the gopis. Krishna also burned in sepa­ration from  the gopis in His manifest form. It is said, therefore, that nothing is impossible or astonishing for the  Supreme Person, Yasodanandana, who is full of unlimited powers and beyond  all conceptions! If Krishna as Devakinandana showed such great­ness in  marrying all the princesses, could He not do much more as Yasodanandana,  His most perfect.and complete manifestation? All such things perfectly  befit the unlimited nature of Krishna.

Kavi-karnapura, the son of Sivananda Sena, whose very life is Shri  Chaitanya, has written this campu with a wealth of poetic knowledge. It has  arisen by the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, and by the pure intelli­gence  attained from remembrance of the lotus feet of Shri Natha.


Shri Shri Gandharvika-Giridhari kijaif