Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Noticing that Radhika was not serving Krishna, Yasoda told Her, “Without Your help Syama-sakhi will not be able to serve properly. Why don’t You help her serve Krishna.” Although eager to do this, Radhika tried to restrain Her restless heart. Soon, however, a bad star appeared to destroy Her restraint and remove Her fickle modesty. Radharani’s mind is completely saturated with a mood of eternal love and Her blissful form brightens the world with a wonderful effulgence. Although Her hand trembled due to fear, Radhika controlled it and served Krishna. On the order of Vrajesvari, Radhika and Syama-sakhi served Krishna and His friends like Subala and Kusumasava.
“O look!” boasted Kusumasava, “Although I am the best among the brahmanas, still I have become sanctified by honoring this food which has been personally served by the hand of the daughter of Vrsabhanu. Do you know why this is true? Radhika is Maha Laksmi-devi Herself. Is there any woman in the world equal to Her? Hey Krishna, my self-effulgent friend! After relishing the food cooked by Radhika, we no longer want to eat food cooked by anyone else.”
While Radhika served the food with great dexterity and devotion, Kusumasava continued to laugh and make jokes. Speaking in varying tones, he sometimes spoke quickly and then very slowly. With his funny talks and antics, he entertained the entire assembly.
Pretending to be angry, Krishna addressed Kusumasava, “Hey Vacal! (talkative one) Take your meal and stop your mocking and joking. Do not create such pandemonium. Besides what is the use of all your silly talks?”
Kusumasava replied, “Accepting Your instruction, am I supposed to become like a dumb man and just eat silently? Even if I had a hundred mouths, I could not properly glorify the superb quality of this food. It’s taste is just beyond my imagination to explain.”
While eating Krishna gave some food to a parrot that sat between He and Kusumasava. The parrot accepted the offerings with great happiness. Feeling grateful, he extended his neck and looked restlessly here and there as if preparing to speak. Observing the actions of the parrot, Yasoda said, “O best among the dvijas (brahmanas or birds)! Speak out whatever is on your mind.”
The brahmana Batu (Kusumasava) immediately replied in a loud voice, “O just see! Today I have become the best of the twice born.”
Yasoda replied, “I am not speaking to you. I am addressing the parrot.”
The parrot said, “O son of the twice-born (Batu)! Do not show off your word jugglery. You seem to be more crazy and talkative than I am. Do not spoil Krishna’s happy mood by speaking any more nonsense.”
Vrajaraja Nanda said, “From where has this wise bird come? Why did this parrot become morose upon hearing the glories of Laksmi-devi and Radhika?”
Yasoda said, “Just listen to the history of this parrot. It is not fitting to compare Radhika with one of the demigods.”
The parrot said, “Why didn’t you give a suitable reply on my behalf?”
After hearing these talks, Radhika and Syama-sakhi met in the kitchen, removed the veils from their heads, and started joking and laughing. Radhika said, “O Syame! One with a beautiful face! These two twice-borns (Batu and the parrot)are engaged in some nonsense talk about Me. So now you continue serving by yourself.” After saying this Radhika remained in the kitchen.
Not seeing Radha, Yasoda thought, “Perhaps Radhika became shy upon hearing the parrot glorify Her, so She stopped serving.” Yasoda then went to encourage Radhika. Accepting her proposal, Radha served again but in another part of the room. Noticing this, Yasoda approached Radhika and said, “It is natural for a cultured girl to feel shy upon hearing her own glories.
“But my darling, You are not the daughter of Vrsabhanu, but You are the daughter of the ocean. O sweet-faced one! You should serve the same line You did before.” Surrendering to mother Yasoda, Radhika continued serving Krishna and His friends.
Besides enjoying the meal, Nanda Maharaja especially appreciated the cooking expertise of Radhika. Fully satisfied, he laughed and joked with great joy. With great gusto he relished the six kinds of tastes which Radha had presented in a pleasing way. He gave the utmost praise to Radhika for cooking so perfectly.
Balarama and His friends felt full satisfaction. Krishna experienced exceptional flavors while eating the food cooked and served by Radhika. Since all the preparations contained the fragrance of Her conjugal love, Krishna savored the sweet madhurya-rasa of Radhika’s heart with every bite.
Vrsabhanu concluded the festive occasion by joyfully distributing tambula, valuable ornaments, garlands, and sandalwood pulp to all the guests. Radhika enthusiastically served the mothers of Krishna and Balarama, who displayed sublime gravity and kindness, as many sweets as they desired. While relishing the sweets and delighting in Radhika’s service mood, the two mothers conversed among themselves.
Yasoda said, “That expert talker Batu spoke correctly when he said, ‘O friend! After eating food cooked by this server you will not want to eat anyone else’s cooking.’ ”
Excerpt: Sri Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!
Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.