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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Chaitanya Mangala > Chaitanya Mangala > Shesha-khanda > Chapter 2

Chapter 2

South India and Vraja Mandala Pastimes


Please listen to Shri Gaurahari's pastime of visiting Sapta-tala. Seeing the serene tala trees, Lord Chaitanya smiled and ran to touch them. The sky filled with the jubilant sounds of "Jai! Jai! All glories! All glories !" The seven tala trees were previously celestial Gandharavas who got cursed to become trees on earth. The Lord liberated them with His transcendental touch.

Overcome with the ecstasy of love of God, Gauranga felt no disturbance from.traveling. Neither was He aware of the passage of days and nights. Next the Lord came to Setubandhu. Gauranga danced blissfully like a mad lion while going around the siva-linga there known as Ramesvara.

Paying obeisances, He affectionately cried out, "Shri Rama! Laksmana!" In great joy He sometimes called "Hanuman! Angada! Sugriva, My friend! Vibhisana!" Drowned in divine love of God, Gaurahari lost all sense of direction. Totally forgetting Himself, Mahaprabhu danced madly with the devotees.

Next, Gauranga spent Caturmasya on the side of the GOdavari River. From there Lord Chaitanya came back to Orissa. Absorbed in remembering Lord Jagannatha, Gauranga visited Alanatha. Vishnu Dasa, an Oriyan Vaishnava, joined Mahaprabhu's party. Lord Chaitanya became very happy to once again see the all-attractive form of Lord Jagannatha. Raising His arms over His head, He constantly chanted "Hari-bol ! Haribol!"

Locana Dasa says that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was relishing unlimited bliss upon His return to Purusottama- ksetra.


The Mental Road to Kanai Natasala


Listen to the wonderful transcendental pastimes of Lord Gaurahari which are unparalleled in the three worlds. One day Nrsimhananda meditated about an elevated road made of coral, pearls, gold, jewels and various gems. For the pleasure of Krishna, he was conceiving of a road extending all the way to Mathura. Before Nrsimhananda could finish his road, the Supreme Lord came to take him back home, back to Godhead. Nrsimhananda felt sorry because he had only completed the road as far as Kanai Natasala.

Aware of this road, Lord Chaitanya suddenly changed course and moved along that pathway. None of His associates knew where Gauranga was going. Soon Gaura reached Kanai Natasala and returned to His original path. The Lord's mysterious movements caused Paramananda Purl to inquire about them.

Explaining everything, Lord Chaitanya said, "Nrsimhaanda created a lavishly decorated, elevated road within his mind to facilitate My journey from Purusottama-ksetra to Mathura. To fulfill his devotional desire, we traveled on this raised road." Locana Dasa relishes relating the blissful inconceivable pastimes of Shri^Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

In Nilacala, Lord Chaitanya and His followers tasted the ecstasy of Hari-nama sankirtana day after day. Gradually, devotees from different countries came to stay with Lord Gauranga. One day Gauranga suddenly decided to visit Mathura. His eagerness grew to the point of madness. When Lord Chaitanya began the journey, His ecstasy intensified and He started running like a lion. His associates couldn't keep pace.

When Gaurahari went through Jharikhanda forest, He made the birds, beasts, trees and stones cry along with Him. Forgetting their natural enmity, the deer and tigers danced around happily. All the forest animals attained the perfection of life by receiving the rare gift of Krishna-prema directly from Lord Chaitanya.

Gradually, Gauranga reached the holy city of Varanasi, the home of many elevated sannyasis. He paid respects to Visvesvara Siva and walked on to Prayaga, where He took darsana of Bindu Madhava. At Prayaga, the compassionate Lord Chaitanya met Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, and empowered them to spread Krishna consciousness. After taking darsana of Aksaya-vata, Lord Chaitanya bathed in the Triveni [confluence of Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati].

Determined and moving like a mad elephant, Mahaprabhu moved on towards Vrndavana. From Prayaga He came to Agravana [Agra]. He visited the asrama of Jamadagni Muni. He also saw Renuka-grama which was named after Jamadagni's wife, Renuka. It was the birth place of Parasurama-- the great warrior among the Dasa Avataras.

After taking darsana of the river Yamuna, who always flows towards Vrndavana, Mahaprabhu went to Raja-grama. At last Mahaprabhu entered Gokula [Vrndavana]. Now He went completely mad in love of God. Gauranga's heart flooded with Krishna-prema. With great endeavor He checked His feelings.


Lord Chaitanya Tours Vraja-mandala


In ecstasy, Lord Chaitanya saw the forest of Mahavana. In the distance loomed the celestial city of Mathura-puri. At this point Lord Chaitanya almost fell unconscious, due to the intensity of His rapture.

Falling down on the road, Gaurahari cried out, "Akrura! Akrura!" Overwhelmed in separation from Mathura, Lord Chaitanya lost external consciousness. For three days He lay in the dust of Vrndavana immersed in Vraja-bhava. Passers-by wondered about His identity. Krishnadasa, an exalted Mathura brahmana, thought, "Where has such a personality come from? I'm so fortunate to see His feet. He seems to be Sukadeva or Prahlada."

Returning to external consciousness, Lord Chaitanya asked, "O brahmana, who are you? What's your name?"

The brahmana said, "My name is Krishnadasa."

Hearing this, Gauranga laughed slowly and deeply. 'Then He said, "You know everything about Krishna. Your name gives Me great satisfaction, so you will be My guide to the dhama. Mathura-mandala is Krishna's favorite place of pastimes. Since you're born here and are a great devotee, surely you know the different places of Krishna's pastimes. Now please show these places to Me."

Krishnadasa said, "I don't know all the places, but I do know the twelve forests." Gauranga smiled and then empowered him with full knowledge of the dhama.

Instantly the brahmana said, "My Lord, I will show You all of the lila-sthanas [places of pastimes] here. I'll tell You the pastimes from Kfishna's birth to the killing of Kamsa. I understand that You are actually the son of Nanda Maharaja. Somehow You have given me knowledge of all the places and pastimes of Shri Krishna in Mathura-mandala."

Happy with the brahmana, Lord Chaitanya placed him on His lap and started singing the glories of Lord Krishna. The whole night, Gauranga stayed at Krishnadasa's house talking about Mathura.

Krishnadasa said, "In Mathura-mandala, the Yamuna River is most fortunate because Krishna performed many pastimes on both her banks. There are five forests on the eastern side of the Yamuna; seven on the western side. Krishna did pastimes on both sides, yet only the devotees understand their meaning.

"Kamsa's palace in Mathura sits on the Yamuna. Eight miles north of that lies the forest of Vmdavana, where Shri Krishna had many rasafilled pastimes. Kumudvana lies to the southwest, bordering Mathura. Khadira-vana is in the north. Talavana and Madhuvana are situated about four miles south of Mathura.

"Kamyavana is not far from Mathura. Kaliya-daha is on the western bank of the Yamuna. Govardhana Hill stands majestically, forty miles west of Mathura. Bahulavana forest exists northwest of Mathura. These are the seven forests located on the western bank of the Yamuna.

"Now I' 11 describe the five forests on the eastern side of the Yamuna. Mahavana lies near the Yamuna, eight miles from Mathura. West of Mahavana is a forest named Visva. Two miles north of Mahavana is Lohavana forest.

"Bhandiravana forest stands farther north on the eastern bank of the Yamuna. Bilvavana and Bhadravana are located beside the Yamuna. Shri Krishna enjoyed many blissful pastimes in these twelve forests. Now I'll show them to You,"

The next day Lord Chaitanya did His morning duties according to the Vedic regulations for a sannyasi. He was feeling restless, eager to begin. He called Krishnadasa and they started their parikrama.

Krishnadasa, "Lord Chaitanya, just see this forest which surrounds Mathura in three directions. The Yamuna flows from the east to the south. See the two gates on the north and south sides of the fort.

"Look at Kamsa's palace placed in the southwest comer of Mathura city. There are two doors on the east and north sides of Kamsa's palace and a sitting place in the north. See the prison standing in the northwest comer of the palace, and the latrine in the southern part.

"Listen carefully to this story. In fear of Kamsa, Vasudeva took away his son Krishna. Suddenly, while Vasudeva was carrying his son, Krishna passed urine in his lap. Here Vasudeva quickly sat down. Krishna finished passing urine on this stone which is called Mutra-sthana. [Vrajavasis say that Devaki washed Krishna's urine soaked clothes in Potra Kunda, the pracina [old] janmasthana, which is behind the present day Janmasthana].

"Look at the house of Uddhava to the north." While hearing this, Lord Chaitanya started crying. His body erupted in horripilation from head to toe, making His bodily hairs stand erect like a kadamba flower.

Lord Chaitanya said, "Now I've reached the house of Uddhava. According to your realization, tell me about Krishna's pastimes here. Here Krishna onced talked with His intimate devotee. I feel great pain to remember this ."

Krishnadasa, "East of Uddhava's house is the home of Kamsa's washerman. East of this is the residence of the flower gardener. Kubja's house is to the south. Beyond that starts Kamsa's wrestling arena. The house of Vasudeva stands to the southeast." Gauranga felt great happiness within His mind to hear these things. His voice faltered and His face flushed with a reddish hue.

Krishnadasa continued, "See Ugrasena's house just northeast of Vasudeva's house. Visranti-ghata [Visrama] lies just south of that. A Deity of Gastasrama stays at Visranti-ghata. When Krishna killed Kamsa, He dragged the demon's body creating a canal called Kamsakhali, to the south of the Gatasrama temple. Prayaga-ghata, Tindukaghata, Saptatirtha-ghata, Rsi- tirtha, Mahesa-tirtha, Koti-tirtha, Bodhitirtha, and Ganesa-tirtha exist to the south. These are the twelve ghatas, supreme among all tirthas.

"Just see the place known as Rangabhumi, south of the palace. South of that sits Kamsa-kupa, a well dug by Kamsa to drown Krishna. The well to the southwest is called Agatsya-kunda. Setubandha Sarovara is north of that."

Lord Gauranga cried loudly in ecstasy, and His bodily hairs stood up. Krishnadasa continued narrating the glories of Mathura-mandala. "O my Lord, please listen carefully to the pastimes that Krishna once performed on the banks of this lake called Setubandha Sarovara. Once Krishna came here with Radha and said, 'I am that same Ranganatha [Rama] who killed Ravana with the help of the monkeys.' While listening to Krishna, Radha smiled, thinking that Krishna was lying.

"When Krishna asked curiously about Her laughing, Radha replied, 'Don't tell Me a lie. How did You appear as Lord Rama? That form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead was fully in control of His senses. It's not possible for You to behave like Him. Rama built a bridge across the vast sea with trees and stones. Can You do this now?'

"Krishna, laughing slightly at Radha's challenge, said, 'If I throw trees and stones on the water, they will definitely float.'

"The gopis said, 'Okay we'll bring the stones. You just show us how You'll make a bridge. O Kanai, don't be falsely proud. We've never heard or stones floating on water.'

"Kdshna said, 'Just bring the trees and stones, and I'll build a bridge over this lake.'

"The gopis biought stones and trees and Krishna floated them on the water here to make a bridge. Congratulating Him, the gopis said, 'Good, good.' However, Radharani showed a smile of satisfaction because Krishna had actually built the bridge for Her pleasure. This place is known as Setubandha Sarovara [kunda] ." Lord Chaitanya became happy to hear this pastime of Radha and Krishna.

Locana Dasa also finds great joy in describing the glories of Gauranga.

Krishnadasa went on. "North of Setubandha Sarovara is Saptasamudra-kunda, where Devaki's six sons were dashed to death on a stone. Sarasvati-kunda sits north of the palace. Here is. Dasasvamedha Ghata with Soma-tirtha on its southern part. The Lord's necklaces once fell into a lake south of Soma-tirtha, which has an underground stream called Naga-t/rtha." They visited Samyamana-t/rtha, some other kundas, and then circumambulated the palace.

After traveling through the sacred places in Mathura, Lord Chaitanya begged alms and took rest. The night seemed terribly long, due to the Lord 's intense eagerness to see Vrndavana. The next day the Lord bathed and then continued His ecstatic parikrarna.

Krishnadasa continued. "O my Lord, Mathura-rnandala covers twenty. yojanas [ 160 miles] of land. The twelve forests occupy fortyeight miles. Let's see the places of Lord Shri Krishna's pastimes. Here Narada Muni told Kamsa about Krishna's birth.

"Over here is the place where Kamsa imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki, Krishna showed His four-armed Vishnu form to Vasudeva and Devaki in this place. This is the spot where Vasudeva carded baby Kfishna and baffled Kamsa's sleeping guards. At this place Vasuki protected Krishna with his hoods, as Vasudeva, using a she-jackal as his guide, crossed the river Yamuna.

'This forest is called Mahavana, the site of Nanda Maharaja's palace, where Yasoda gave birth to a daughter. Vasudeva came here with his baby son and exchanged Him for her newborn daughter. Thinking that the daughter was Devaki's, the sinful King Kamsa threw her down on a stone to kill her. But the baby slipped from his hands, rising up in the air as fast as lightning. Nervous and afraid, Kamsa immediately began prayng to her. At this time, Kamsa heard an aerial message predicting his demise.

"From that day on, Kamsa began harassing all religious people. After holding a festival to honor his son, Nanda Maharaja came to Mathura and met Vasudeva. Vasudeva warned him to protect his baby Krishna from the atrocious tyrant Kamsa.

"When Krishna was one week old, He killed the Putana demon. He killed the cart demon when He was merely one month old. Visvambhara Krishna killed the whirlwind demon Tmavarta. At six months, Krishna's name-giving ceremony was performed. While pretending to eat clay, Krishna showed His universal form to Mother Yasoda.

"Holding the manthana-danda, Krishna danced over here. At this place Krishna climbed up on a ulukhala [grinding mortar]. Breaking the pot hanging from the rafters, He stuffed His mouth with butter. Leaving the boiling milk spilling over the pot, Yasoda came running. Mother Yasoda tied Krishna to the mortar to punish her son for stealing the butter. Here Krishna mercifully delivered Yamalarjuna.

At this spot, Krishna traded some rice kernels for a basket of fruit. Just see the village of Gokula, situated south of Mahavan. Damodara and His gopa friends used to tend calves there. See the enchanting Deity of Gopisvara, Lord Siva. Here is Sapta-samudra-kunda, and the house of Ayana is located on the western side bf the village.

"Sundara Gopa's house stands south of it, and Upananda's house stands in the middle of the village. The forest where Ravana did austerities lies to the west. North of that is the asrama of Durvasa Muni.

"See before You the charming forest of Lohavana. Over there is the incomparable forest of Bhandiravana. At this place Nanda Maharaja once asked Radha to take Krishna from his lap and carry Him home. Following Nanda's order, Radharani embraced Krishna and kissed Him affectionately.

"Krishna scratched Radha's breast with His nails. Radha was surprised by His behavior. Although She didn't express it, Radharani felt intense love for Krishna. Here Krishna dug a well [Venu-kupa] to serve His thirsty friends."

Gaurachandra, hearing all these wonderful pastimes, became overwhelmed with ecstatic love of Krishna and fell unconscious. After some time the Lord came back to external consciousness, and asked Krishnadasa to continue.

Krishnadasa, "One day Upananda, Nanda Maharaja and other cowherd men decided to leave Gokula due to Kamsa's atrocities. The next morning, they loaded all their belongings on their bullock carts and headed for Vmdavana along with the gopis, cows and children. At this time, with a turban on His head and a stick in His hand, Krishna started taking out the cows."

Locana Dasa says Lord Chaitanya stayed in Bhadravana and Bhandiravana for two months while feeling tremendous joy within His heart.

Krishnadasa, "After leaving Gokula the cowherd men crossed the Yamuna and went to Chattikara [in Vrndavana]. Here they arranged their bullock carts in a semi-circle. They tied the calves to the roots of a kapitha tree. At this Kapitha tree, Krishna killed the Vatsaka [Vatsasura] demon by holding his tail and hind legs and smashing him on the ground.

"Over here Bakasura tried to pierce Krishna with his beak and swallow Him. Immediately, Krishna came out of his mouth and killed the demon by bifurcating his beak. Krishna loved to entertain His friends by perfectly imitating the various forest animals. When Krishna played with the gopas He carried a flute, stick and buffalo horn. Sometimes Krishna would run along the ground trying to catch the shadows of the birds flying overhead."

Hearing this, Lord Chaitanya became absorbed in Vraja-bhava, forgetting everything else. Crying and making sounds like a peacock, He started running around like a little boy. Gauranga's body filled with horripilation, and His eyes reddened due to the deluge of ecstatic

emotions. He called out, "O Brother! O Brother! .... Shridama! Shridama!"

Overcome by sakhya-bhava, Gaurahari embraced a tree, and then ran hither and thither in the friendly mood of a cowherd boy.

Remembering His beloved cows, the Lord repeatedly called, "Syamali! Dhavali !" Then He said angrily, 'Tll kill that rascal Dhenukasura!"

Completely unconscious of His surroundings, Lord Chaitanya sometimes cried and lost control over His body. Krishnadasa thought that Gaurahari must be Yaduvira [hero of the Yadu dynasty]. After some time,. Gaurachandra returned to external consciousness. He told Krishnadasa to continue the Vraja parikrarna. Krishnadasa, "At this place Krishna killed Aghasura, the younger brother of Putana and Bakasura. Although now not visible, the river Yamuna used to flow here. Here Lord Brahma kidnapped all the boys and 'calves. Krishna stayed here at Govardhana for one year. The bewildered Brahma offered many wonderful prayers to the Lord at that time. Balarama killed Dhenuka and ate tala fruits over here. "Beside the Yamuna at Kaliya-daha, Krishna jumped from this kadamba tree onto the heads of Kaliyanaga. He subdued that vicious viper and drove him from Vrndavana. But Krishna felt cold from being in the water. So nearby at Dvadasaditya-ghata, twelve suns" came down to warm Him up. Just see the Deity of Kaliya-damana. "This is the place where Krishna swallowed a forest fire to save His cows and friends. Over here, Krishna once stood on Shridama's shoulders in the mood of Lord Narayana riding on the back of Garuda. At this spot, the demon Pralamba snatched Balarama and carried Him away on his shoulders. Effortlessly, Baladeva killed him by striking the demon's head with His fist.


"Just ahead of You is Vrndavana which is full of the most enchanting munjatavi and isika trees. In this area, the cows once wandered out of sight, so Krishna called them back with His flute. Hearing that sweetest of all sounds, the cows quickly ran toward Krishna. Some calves stopped sucking their mother's udders, and some cows stopped munching on the tasty grass.

"Not only the cows, but all the birds, beasts and animals of Vrndavana would become charmed by the sweet captivating sound of Krishna's murali [flute]. At this place Krishna rescued the boys and cows by swallowing a second forest fire. These are just some of the many places where Krishna enjoyed His transcendental pastimes."

Locana Dasa says that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu felt great happiness as He toured Vraja-mandala.

Krishnadasa, "This place is called Cira-ghata, where the unmarried gopis executed vows and worshiped Katyayani-devi in order to become Krishna's maidservants. Keeping their clothes and ornaments on the bank, they would bathe naked in the Yamuna. One day, Hari suddenly came and stole their clothes. He climbed up this kadamba tree, sat on the branch and smiled mischievously. After the gopis satisfied Krishna, He returned their clothing and ornaments.

"Near here, for Krishna's pleasure, the cowherd boys begged food from the wives of the yajnic brahmanas. This is Nandisvara, the hill where the cowherd men took shelter after leaving Gokula to avoid the demon Kamsa. They built their homes here.

"At the age of seven, Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill to protect the Vrajavasis from the ravages of Indra. This is Manasa Ganga which flows from the northeast side of Govardhana Hill. Krishna would levy taxes on the gopis when He ferried them across the river in His boat.

'This narrow path through the hill was previously used by the people of Gokula and Mathura. On top of this hill is Dan-ghati where Krishna enjoyed His lila of taxing the gopikas." Seeing the milk-stained stones, Lord Chaitanya became overwhelmed with Vraja-bhava. His entire golden body become covered with a reddish glow. He fell on the ground and rubbed the stones with His lotus hands.

Staring with unblinking eyes, Lord Chaitanya sometimes embraced the stones. Sometimes He paid obeisances. At other times He cried out, "Radha! Radha! Give me some tax," and fainted in the dust of Vrndavana. A moment later the Lord awoke, and placed one of the stones in His lap.

Krishnadasa, "My Lord, we still have many more places to see. Please try to contain Yourself and don't get so excited. Look! Just east of Govardhana Hill is the Kusuma forest. South of the hill, Krishna and the gopis performed rasa-lila on the rasa-mandala there." At this point,


Gauranga interrupted Krishnadasa, asking him to clearly describe the Shri Rasa-mandala:

Krishnadasa, "Here Radha and Krishna enjoyed the rasa dance." .Gauranga became impatient and entered into a mood of lamentation. In a voice choked with tears, He chanted the names of Radha and Krishna. His eyes reddened and moistened, He uttered, "Shri Rasa-mandala !" and fell on the ground. A second later, Gauranga stood up, raised His arms over His head and made roaring sounds. While laughing slowly and deeply, He said over and over again, "Radha and Krishna enjoyed the rasa-lila here."

Krishnadasa was astonished to see Lord Chaitanya's extraordinary display of ecstatic love of God.

Krishnadasa, "On top of this hill, Radha once performed Kadambavilasa. Just see Indra-aradhana [Aniyora] and the place of the Annakuta festival. Because Krishna stopped his worship, the proud Indra forgot his real position. Humiliated by 'a mere cowherd boy', Indra tried to punish the Vrajavasis for their insubordination. He attacked and tormented them with his rain clouds, high winds and thunderbolts.

"The Deity named Hari Raya lives on top of the hill. Gopala Raya resides on the southern part of Govardhana Hill. At that place Shri Kxishna once relished some pastimes. Destroying Indra's pride, Had climbed the hill. Indra worshiped Krishna as the Supreme Lord above all the demigods.

"Sarvapapaharana-kunda is on the southern side of the hill. Also on Govardhana Hill are Brahma-kunda, Rudra-kunda, Indra-kunda, Suryakunda and Moksa-kunda. Bathing in these five kundas gives the same results as bathing in all other kundas. One time during Dvadasi, Nanda Baba bathed too early in the Yamuna. In order to get darsana of Shri Krishna, Vamna-deva kidnapped Nanda. See Brahma-kunda where baby Krishna bathed. North of here is the Asoka forest.

"One time, on the full-moon day of Kartika, these Asoka trees, although out of season, burst full with flower blossoms." Hearing this, Lord Chaitanya looked at the Asoka forest. Instantly, all the trees filled up with fruits and flowers, although it was not the proper season. Krishnadasa smiled and became bewildered upon witnessing this amazing scene and smelling the wonderful scents.

Krishnadasa, "Mahaprabhu, Your sannyasa is false." Then Krishnadasa became stunned and fell silent at Gauranga's feet. Being urged by Lord Chaitanya, Krishnadasa began speaking again.


The Rasa Dance


Krishnadasa, "Here Krishna performed the rasa dance. Under this kalpa-taru, He played His flute so enchantingly that the gopis became irresistibly attracted, even though they were staying thirty-two miles away. Hearing the flute, they became mad to meet the Lord. They were so overwhelmingly attracted that they practically fell unconscious.

"Discarding their womanly shyness, fear and family prestige, they ran madly toward Krishna. Their hair, dresses and ornaments were completely disarrayed. The powerful agitations of Cupid forced them to rush to Krishna. They couldn't avoid it. Krishna captivated all the cowherd women of Vraja. Just see Govinda Raya on Your left."

Gaura Raya's heart became drowned in ecstatic love of God by hearing these topics from Krishnadasa. As He dove in the ocean of Vrajabhava, the waves of His prema flooded the land and sky. Roaring loudly, Gauranga filled the atmosphere with a shower of nectar. The birds and beasts went mad in ecstatic love of Krishna. Though out of season, flowers bloomed in the trees, cuckoos cooed melodiously, and bees buzzed everywhere.

Praising the rasa-lila, Gaurahari smiled gently and cried out, "Vamsi! Wonderful! Wonderful!" Sometimes Lord Chaitanya talked to the gopis as if He were speaking in a dream. Suddenly, in the mood of a boy, He danced while laughing slowly and deeply. Seeing all this, Krishnadasa became overwhelmed and fell down at Gauranga's feet, crying.

Krishnadasa, "I've never seen such a person in the three worlds. I'm so fortunate to meet Him, but I'm about to lose Him." As Krishnadasa said this, Gauranga came back to His senses and said, "Krishnadasa, tell Me what happened."

Krishnadasa, "Here Krishna told the gopis about the duties of women. To test and increase the intensity of their love for Him, Krishna spoke like this. Shri Krishna said to the gopis, 'Why have you, most beautiful ones with slender waists, come out to this lonely forest in the dead of night? For what have you so fearlessly come here? Do you want to enjoy the company of another's husband?

'It's not My business to see or touch another man's wife. So go back to your homes and serve your husbands. The essence of a woman's duty is to please her husband. The supreme occupational duty of a woman is to serve her husband, be he sick, old, poor or ugly.

'O Vraja girls! Go back to your homes. A chaste woman never neglects to perform the proper religious duties. I am religion personified, so I never do anything agai_nst religious principles. Without understanding My mind, why are you acting like this?'

Krishnadasa, "On hearing this, all the gopis hinted. They appeared stunned like painted pictures in a frame. They became speechless and breathed slightly; their bodies were ablaze with agitation due to the fire of Cupid.

"Sometimes they breathed heavily due to the fire of separation. Their bodies shivered, they cried showers of tears. Becoming unsteady due to lust, they stared at Krishna from time to time. Overcome with loving feelings, they couldn't express their desires.

"One gopi managed to speak on behalf of the others. In madness she said, 'How can we, helpless women, control ourselves after looking at Him who enchants the whole world with His matchless beauty? We are chaste housewives. But hearing Kxishna's mind-enchanting flute has forced us to break our vows.'

'You know nothing and we know nothing. Still, Your captivating charm has lured us ladies to You. You are the supreme husband among all husbands. You are self-satisfied. What will be our destination if we leave You now?

'You are our sole enjoyer and our only husband. How can You see us serving another husband? O Lord of our lives, You are our only shelter. You are the supreme bliss--the embodiment of all happiness for us.'


Krishnadasa, "Due to their loving ecstasy, the gopis spoke the truth. Hearing them, Krishna also became full of ecstatic love. He looked lovingly at the gopis who now felt indescribable happiness. Then the gopis surrounded Krishna, the jewel of the Yadus. The golden gopis looked like lightning flashing in a monsoon cloud.

"Over here, Krishna killed Sankhacuda, the spy of Kuvera, by striking him on the head. The Lord took the valuable jewel decorating that demon's head. In this place, Krishna killed Aristasura by holding his horns and feet and thrashing him on the ground.

"After hearing from Narada, Kamsa imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki. One of Kamsa's demoniac followers took the form of an ugly black horse named Kesi. This powerful demon harassed and frightened the Vrajavasis. Thrusting His left arm into Kesi's mouth, Krishna easily killed that demon by suffocating him.

"Here a demon, disguising himself as a lamb, stole the cowherd boys and hid them in a mountain cave. Krishna killed that demon and rescued His friends. After throwing Bhaumasura down on the earth, Krishna continued playing.

"The palace of Nanda Maharaja stood majestically on top of Nandisvara Hill. The forest of Kamyavana lies to the west. Just see the slippery rock slide that the boys loved to use in the afternoon. Just north of Nandisvara is Pavana Sarovara. Krishna used to tie His calves to these bamboo pegs."


Krishna Goes to Mathura and Kills Kamsa


"Kamsa sent Akrura to Vrndavana to collect Krishna. On his way to Vrndavana, Akrura absorbed himself in thoughts of Krishna. All his desires became fulfilled when he saw Krishna's footprints. Upon meeting Krishna and Balarama, Akrura fell down on the ground, offering obeisances. Taking Akrura in the house, They welcomed him with love and affection.

"Akrura told the boys everything about Kamsa's atrocities. In the morning, Nanda Baba announced that they would go to Mathura to meet Kamsa. This is the place where Krishna and Balarama boarded Akrura's chariot to go to Mathura.

"Over here, the gopis almost cried themselves to death when they heard the news. Devastated by strong feelings of separation, they threw themselves down on the ground. Their faces were full of tears. Their hair, clothes, and ornaments were disheveled. Who can possibly describe the gopis' distress at this time? They looked like dead bodies lying on the ground.


"Krishna sent a message from Mathura to pacify the gopis. He said, 'Within a few days I'll return to Vrndavana. All of you are My very life. Without life, the body can't exist. After killing the wretched Kamsa I will come back. Don't be aggrieved.'

"Here on the banks of the Manasa Ganga, the cowherd men stopped their bullock carts to take rest. Later they bathed in the Yamuna, rested, and ate some fruits before arriving at Kamsa's palace in the evening. Krishna came a short time later.

"At this place Kamsa's subjects cried out, 'Alas! Alas! They are mere boys; They are no match for these two wrestlers. Kamsa's doing a great injustice.'

"According to their individual consciousness, the different people saw Shri Krishna differently as He entered Kamsa's wrestling arena. In shock, Kamsa saw Krishna as death personified. The wrestlers saw Krishna as a lightning bolt, the yogis saw Him as the Absolute Truth, the Yadus as their supreme worshipable Deity, the unintelligent as the Supreme Lord's universal form, the cowherd men as their relative, and the women as Cupid in person. The spectators saw Krishna according to their individual desires.

"Canura and Mustika, two wrestlers hired by Kamsa, fought against Krishna and Balarama. Krishna killed Canura and Balarama killed Mustika. Using Their fists, they killed many other fighters. Krishna smashed Salva on the ground to kill him. ^

Making a violent sound, Balarama broke the stage with His leg. The remaining wrestlers fled in fear of the awesome cowherd boys. Disgusted and enraged, Kamsa ordered his men to quickly oust Krishna and Balarama from the palace. They were told to arrest Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men, and kill Vasudeva, Devaki and Ugrasena.

"In a split-second, Krishna jumped up on the royal dais and challenged the wretched Kamsa. Kamsa raised his sword; but Krishna, roaring like a lion, grabbed him by the hair and threw him down on the ground. Visvarupa [Krishna] straddled Kamsa's chest and killed him with His unlimited weight.

"Kamsa became fortunate by having Krishna sit on his chest. The people praised Krishna, "All glories! All glories to the Lord!" The demigods showered flowers in great happiness. Krishna dragged Kamsa's dead body by the hair, and then threw it away. "Kamsa's eight brothers, agitated over his death and seeking revenge, furiously attacked Krishna and Balarama. In the blink of an eye, Balarama annihilated them all. This place is called Kamsa-khali because Krishna dragged Kamsa's dead body through this village. Here at Visranti-ghata Krishna and Balarama took rest. Balarama kindly consoled the wailing wives of Kamsa who were overcome by lamentation.

"Krishna and Balarama released Vasudeva and Devaki from prison. Becoming saturated with joy, they affectionately kissed their sons. They enthroned Ugrasena and bade farewell to Nanda Maharaja." Locana Dasa says that hearing about Krishna's heart-less act of leaving Nanda Maharaja fills everyone with fear.

Krishnadasa, "Akrura tried to take Krishna and Balarama to his house. Refusing the offer, The)r said, 'On returning to Vrndavana We'll stop in your house.' Seeing Krishna's delay in the city, the cowherd men waited for Him in their bullock carts just outside of Mathura on the banks of the Sarasvati.

[translators note: At this point, for some reason, Locana Dasa Thakura reverses the time-flow of events. For the next several paragraphs, he tells pastimes that occurred before the death of the wicked King Kamsa, which has already been described.]

Krishnadasa, "In order to visit the various places, Krishna and Balarama stayed for some time in Mathura. Once They begged some clothing from a washerman named Durmukha. The sinful Durmukha refused and spoke vile words to Krishna. Krishna reciprocated with Durmukha by beheading the demon with His fingertips.

"Taking his best clothes, the boys dressed themselves lavishly and visited Sudama malli [flower garland-maker]. Sudamajoyfully welcomed the Lord and washed His lotus feet. After offering a sweet and fragrant flower garland, Sudama recited suitable prayers to glorify Lord Krishna.

"One day, on the road, Krishna met a hunchback woman named Kubja. He amused Himself by joking with her. Kubja affectionately received Krishna and Balarama in her home bY smearing aromatic aguru paste on Their bodies. Being 'satisfied with her service, Krishna immediately transformed ugly Kubja into an attractive young gift by His transcendental touch. Infatuated with lust, Kubja cast aside her shyness and expressed her desire to enjoy with Krishna. Hari pacified Kubja with sweet words and then left.

"This place is called Dhanur-yajna, where Krishna broke the sacrificial bow, and used the pieces to kill Kamsa's demoniac followers. In the evening Krishna, Balarama, Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men went to Kamsa's palace on invitation from King Kamsa. That night Kamsa had a nightmare.

"The next day, he ordered His men to build three raised platforms; one for himself and two for Vasudeva and Devaki. Kamsa made these platforms so that Vasudeva and Devaki could clearly see the death of their sons. Many other raised seats were built around the wrestling arena for Kamsa's courtiers. That sinful Kamsa also dug a special well to dispose of Krishna and Balarama after killing Them.

"Sitting on his royal dais, Kamsa ordered his servants to bring Krishna, Balarama and the cowherd men into the wrestling arena. He wanted to judge their prowess. Hearing the war whoops from the wrestlers, Krishna and Balarama ran excitedly to the arena.

"At the main gate Kamsa had posted an elephant, as big as a mountain, to kill the boys. Incited to madness by his envious keeper, the huge beast charged Krishna. Easily, Krishna grabbed its trunk, climbed upon its back and killed the keeper. Then Krishrea snapped off the elephant's tusks, whirled him around by his tail, and flung him thirty miles away. Kamsa quivered in fear when he heard that Krishna had playfully killed his elephant.

"The cowherd men were afraid for the boys when They met King Kamsa. Kamsa said to his wrestlers Canura and Mustika, 'Now I want to see you wrestle.' Krishna and Balarama fought and killed Canura and Mustika respectively."

In Kali-yuga, Lord Chaitanya toured Mathura-mandala and heard all abbut the glories of the Supreme Lord Krishna from Krishnadasa. Falling at Shri Gauranga's feet, Krishnadasa said, "I feel very aggrieved. Please don't deceive me. I now know definitely that You are that same Krishna. O Gauranga! Please be kind upon me."

Lord Gauranga said, "By your mercy, My mind has become purified. I wanted to see Mathura, and by your mercy I got to see that rasa-filled land. May Shri Krishna give His mercy to you."


Krishna Returns to Vraja as Gauranga


All the Vaishnavas eagerly gazed at Gauranga. Although they saw Lord Chaitanya only once, they could not forget Him. Due to transcendental affection, they couldn't control themselves. Old men, boys, women, men and even the fools all agreed that Lord Chaitanya was surely Lord Shri Krishna Himself.

One Vrajavasi said, "Krishna has returned to Mathura to see His places of pastimes." Another said, "If He isn't Krishna, then why does He stand in a three-fold bending form and call out the name of Radha?"

The Vraj avasis stayed with Gauranga throughout the day and night. They didn't want to leave Him for even a second. Lord Chaitanya saw each and every tree and lila-stharta [pastime place], one after the other. Everything in the forest of Vrndavana is completely full of love.

Lord Chaitanya manifested Himself in each and every house in Mathura-mandala. Some saw Him as a child, others saw Him enjoying His youthful pastimes. Someone heard Him pl.aying His enchanting flute. Another, maddened in prerna, embraced Gauranga as her husband. Everyone considered Him to be his own.

When Gaurahari wandered in the forest, the trees, creepers and flowers melted in ecstasy. The bees, cuckoos, and peacocks quickly came near the Lord. They raised their heads to relish the nectar of Gaurachandra's face. The Lord reciprocated with all the creatures by glancing lovingly at them.

Everyone knew that Gauranga was actually Krishna in the disguise of a sannyasi. Thus, Mahaprabhu finished His tour of Mathura and returned to Nilacala. Locana Dasa takes great delight in describing Gauranga's blissful pastimes in Mathura-manda/a.