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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-10 > Part-1 > The meeting of Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva



The meeting of Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva.



     After learning that a male child had been born to Yashoda, Nanda Maharaja jubilantly bathed and dressed and then called for the learned brahmanas to perform the birth ceremony.

     There are some minor controversies regarding Krishna’s birth. Some authorities say that Krishna must have appeared as the son of mother Yashoda because Yogamaya is described as His younger sister. The jata-karma (birth ceremony) can take place when the umbilical cord, connecting the child with the mother’s placenta, is cut. Since Vasudeva brought Krishna to Nanda Maharaja’s house, this cutting of the umbilical cord by him could not have occurred. There may not even have been any such cutting of the umbilical cord, but in the appearance of the Supreme Lord such things are still regarded as factual. Varahadeva appeared from Lord Brahma’s nostril, and thus Brahma is considered His father. In any case, without regard for material understanding, we can simply accept that Nanda Maharaja’s celebration of Krishna’s birth was proper. This ceremony is well known even today as Nandotsava.

     The brahmanas came and recited the Vedic mantras, which purified the environment by their vibration.

     Everything can be purified according to Vedic culture. Unless purified, anything that we use will infect us with contamination. By the passing of time, land and other possessions are purified. By bathing, the body is purified. By cleansing, unclean things are purified. By austerity, the senses are purified. By offering them in charity to the brahmanas, possessions are purified. By satisfaction, the mind is purified, and by Krishna consciousness, the soul is purified.

     There were those who recited the Puranas and the histories of royal families. There were singers and dancers, who were accompanied by musical instruments. The cows, bulls and calves were smeared with a mixture of tumeric, oil and various minerals. They were covered with cloth, garlanded, and peacock feathers were placed on their heads.

     The cowherd men dressed themselves very opulently with coats and turbans, and decorated themselves with valuable ornaments. Carrying presentations in their hands, they came to Nanda Maharaja’s house.

     Vrajapura, the residence of Nanda Maharaja, was fully decorated with flags and gates that had been made with flower garlands, pieces of cloth and mango leaves. The courtyards and entrances had been nicely swept and washed.

     The gopis (wives of the cowherd men) were very pleased to hear that mother Yashoda had given birth to a son, and so they began dressing very meticulously. Their lotus-like faces were extraordinarily beautiful, being decorated with saffron and kunkum, and their eyes were decorated with black ointment. They had full breasts and hips, which moved as they hurried to mother Yashoda’s house, carrying presentations in their hands.

     On gold plates, the gopis carried gifts of gold coins, jeweled necklaces, nice cloth, newly grown grass, sandalwood paste, flower garlands, and other similar offerings. Because they lived a very natural life in the village, the women developed a natural feminine beauty. In modern civilization women do not live naturally, and so their hips and breasts do not develop a natural fullness. Because of artificial living, women have lost their natural beauty, although they claim to be independent and advanced. The description here is quite a contrast with life in the Western countries, were topless, bottomless beauty may be easily purchased in clubs and shops, and for public advertisements.

     The gopis were decorated with brilliant earrings, lockets and bangles; their dresses were of varied colors; and from their hair, flowers fell in showers onto the street. Of course, it must be remembered that all of the gopis were not ordinary women- they were expansions of Krishna’s pleasure potency and His eternal associates.

     After arriving at Nanda Maharaja’s house, the wives and daughters of the cowherd men went and offered blessings to baby Krishna, saying, “May You become the King of Vraja and long maintain its inhabitants.” They then sprinkled a mixture of tumeric powder, oil and water upon the Lord, and offered prayers.

    In great happiness, the cowherd men enjoyed the festival by splashing one another with a mixture of yogurt, condensed milk, butter and water. Indeed, they threw the mixture on the women as well, and the women reciprocated, while the men began to smear butter all over one another’s bodies.

Learned astrologers calculated the horoscope of the child and then Nanda Maharaja gave charity to the brahmanas, for the pleasure of Lord Vishnu. He gave two million cows, fully decorated with cloth and jewels, as well as seven hills of grain covered with jewels and cloth that was decorated with golden embroidery.

     Nanda Maharaja then gave charity to the sutas, magadhas, vandis and others, according to their position, and thus everyone became very satisfied.

     Rohini, the mother of Baladeva, had also been greatly honored by Nanda and Yashoda. After decorating herself very gorgeously, she busied herself wandering here and there, receiving the women guests.

     Thereafter, Nanda Maharaja appointed some of the cowherd men to look after Gokula, and then he went to Mathura, so that he could pay the yearly taxes to King Kansa.

Actually, Nanda’s only concern was the welfare of his newborn child. For the protection of the child, he had worshiped the demigods and forefathers, and had given charity to everyone’s satisfaction. Similarly, he not only wanted to pay the taxes but also give Kansa some presentation so that he also would be satisfied. Nanda had already heard how the killing of babies was going on, and so he advised the cowherd men to protect his child carefully.

     When Vasudeva heard that his dear friend Nanda Maharaja had come to Mathura, he went to where he was staying.

According to Madvacharya, Vasudeava and Nanda were stepbrothers. Vasudeva’s father, Shurasena, had married a vaishya girl, and from her Nanda was born. Later on, Nanda also married a vaishya girl, Yashoda. Thus, Krishna and Balarama, who always carries a plow in His hand, took charge of vaishya activities. Balarama represents krishi-raksha (farming) and Krishna, go-raksha (cow protection).

     Seeing Vasudeva arrive, Nanda was overjoyed, and so he quickly got up and embraced him, being elder. After being seated, Vasudeva inquired about the welfare of his two sons, indirectly: “My dear brother, at an advanced age, you were sonless and hopeless of having one. Therefore, now that you have gotten a son, it is a sign of great fortune.”

     “It is also good fortune that I am seeing you. Indeed, now that I am released from prison, I feel as if I have gotten a new life. Just as many sticks and straws that are floating together may be swept apart by the force of a river’s current, so even family members may not stay together because of the effect of their past deeds, and the waves of time.”

     “My dear friend Nanda, is the place where you are living favorable for the cows, being full of water and nice grass? I hope that there is no inconvenience or trouble.”

     “My son, Baladeva, considers you and your wife to be His mother and father. Is He living peacefully in your home, along with his real mother, Rohini? When one can live with his friends and relatives, his activities of dharma, artha and kama are a source of pleasure. Otherwise, if his friends and relatives are not properly situated, these three can give no real happiness.”

     Vasudeva knew very well that Yashoda had given birth to a female child, whom he had stolen and replaced with Krishna. By his inquiries, Vasudeva wanted to find out if Nanda had learned of this. Seeing that Nanda accepted Krishna as his own son, Vasudeva felt relieved, knowing that Kansa also could not have understood the real truth. Vasudeva felt separation from Krishna, and because Kansa would certainly try to kill the child by sending numerous demons, he inquired about the safety of Nanda’s residence.

     Nanda Maharaja replied, “King Kansa killed so many of your children, and your daughter went up to the heavenly planets. Everyone is certainly controlled by destiny, which gives us the results of our fruitive activities.”

     Vasudeva said, “My dear brother, because you have already paid your taxes and seen me, do not stay here much longer. You had better return to Gokula quickly, for I know that there may be some disturbances.”

     After hearing this, Nanda Maharaja took permission from Vasudeva, and then, along with his associates, the cowherd men, yoked the bulls to their carts and departed for Gokula.