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Uddhava visits Vrindavana.
When Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men returned to Vrindavana, it was a very pathetic scene for Mother Yashoda and the gopis. Krishna and Balarama remained at Mathura so that Their parents could properly educate them. Besides this, many of Kansa’s allies were preparing to attack Mathura, and so Their presence was required, for He did not want Vrindavana to be disturbed by His numerous enemies.
One day, the greatly intelligent Uddhava, who was a son of Vasudeva’s brother, Devabhaga, and thus a cousin and beloved friend of Lord Krishna, and who was a direct disciple of Brihaspati, arrived at Mathura.
Upon Uddhava’s arrival, Krishna took him by the hand and said, “Dear gentle Uddhava, go to Vraja and give solace to My parents. Also, I have a message for you to deliver to the gopis, who are suffering greatly in separation from Me. They pass their time by always thinking of Me by the process of lila-smaranam. I alone am their dearmost beloved, and so I take it upon Myself to sustain them in all circumstances. Simply because I had promised to return to them, the gopis struggle to maintain their lives somehow or other.”
Besides desiring to pacify the residents of Vrindavana, Krishna wanted to favor Uddhava by giving him the chance to study the highly elevated ecstatic devotional service practiced by them. Uddhava respectfully accepted his master’s message, mounted his chariot, and set off for Nanda-gokula.
Uddhava arrived at Vrindavana as the sun was setting, just when the cows were returning home from the pasturing grounds. The whole area resounded with the mooing of cows, the sounds of bulls in rut fighting one another for the sake of fertile cows, the reverberation of flute playing, and the singing of the glories of Krishna and Balarama by the cowherd men and women.
The cowherds’ homes appeared most charming, being decorated with abundant paraphernalia for worship of the sacrificial fire, the sun, unexpected guests, the cows, the brahmanas, the forefathers and the demigods. On all sides were forests- full of flowers, echoing with flocks of birds and swarms of bees, and beautified by lakes crowded with swans, ducks and lotus flowers.
When Uddhava arrived at his home, Nanda Maharaja immediately came out to receive him. In bodily appearance, Uddhava almost exactly resembled Krishna, and so, after embracing him, Nanda Maharaja worshiped him as a direct representative of his son. Nanda Maharaja had Uddhava very comfortably seated and then he fed him first-class food.
Nanda Maharaja said, “How is Vasudeva faring, now that he is free and living with his children and other relatives? It is a great fortune that the sinful Kansa has been killed. Does Krishna remember us? Does he remember his mother, his friends, and the village of Vraja? Does He still remember the cows, the forests and Govardhana Hill?”
“Will Govinda ever return to see His family? If He does, then we shall once again be able to glance upon His beautiful face. Again and again, Krishna saved us from terrible dangers, and as we remember these pastimes, as well as His sidelong glances, His smiles and His words, we forget about our material engagements. When we see the places where Mukunda enjoyed His sporting pastimes- the river, hills and forests- our minds become absorbed in Him.”
“I think that Krishna and Balarama must be two demigods who have come here to fulfill some great mission, for this was foretold by Garga Rishi. After all, He killed Kansa, who was as strong as ten thousand elephants, and He also lifted Govardhana Hill, broke a giant bow the length of three tala trees, and easily destroyed so many demons that had formerly defeated even the demigods.”
While thus speaking, Nanda Maharaja became overwhelmed by intense feelings of separation, and thus fell silent. As Mother Yashoda listened, she cried continuously, while milk flowed from her breasts out of love.
Uddhava was overjoyed to witness Nanda and Yashoda’s wonderful loving attachment for Krishna. He replied, “O respectable Nanda, certainly you and Mother Yashoda are the most praiseworthy persons in the entire world, because you have developed such a loving attitude toward Lord Narayana. These two Lords, Krishna and Balarama, are each the original seed of all existence.”
“O most fortunate ones, do not lament, for Krishna will soon return to Vraja, just to satisfy you. Actually, the Lord has no mother, no father, no wife, children or other relatives. He has no material body and no birth, nor is He obliged to do any work. Yet, to enjoy His pastimes and deliver His saintly devotees, He manifests Himself in this world. The Supreme Lord is certainly not your son alone, but is the son, Soul, father and mother of everyone. Nothing can exist independently from the Lord- nothing past, present or future, nothing seen or heard, moving or nonmoving, great or small- for He is indeed everything.”
While thus relieving the distress of Nanda and Yashoda, the night ended (Uddhava had continued speaking all night). The women of the village awoke and began to engage themselves in their various duties. As the ladies churned yogurt into butter, their arms shone with the splendor of their jeweled bangles, which reflected the light of the lamps. Their loud singing of Krishna blended with the sound of their churning, dissipating all inauspiciousness in all directions.
It was the custom of the gopis to come every morning and offer respects to Nanda and Yashoda. When they noticed the golden chariot in front of the house, they wondered, “Who does this belong to? Perhaps Akrura has returned with another cruel intention. Still, being without Krishna, we are no better than dead bodies, so what more harm could he do?”
At this time, Uddhava completed his bath and other morning duties, and returned to Nanda Maharaja’s house.