Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Upon reaching Vrndavana the cowherd men formed a temporary settlement. Using their hundreds of bullock carts, they made a boundary wall in the shape of a half circle (chatikar) extending from Kaliya-daha on the bank of the Kalindi to Govardhana Hill, and North to the region of Nandisvara. At that time, Nanda Maharaja’s capital of Nandisvara and all its good qualities had not yet manifested. As fire can merge within fire and water can merge within water, similarly, the transcendental qualities of Nanda’s old capital of Mahavana entered into the temporary new capital city at Chatikara.
Since the wealth of these two cities was one in all respects, then how can I separately describe the wealth of Vrndavana? The varieties of exotic birds singing and flying about there increased the enchantment of Vrndavana. Deer and other animals roamed throughout the richly foliated forests. The banks of the Yamuna glistened attractively, and the gorgeous Govardhana Hill added a unique touch of majestic charm. Seeing the natural and abundant beauty of Vrndavana delighted the hearts of all Nanda’s followers.
When Vrajaraja Nanda entered his private quarters, Upananda, Sunanda, and other respected leaders entered their homes, the cows relaxed in their goshallas, and the florists, pan sellers, and merchants went into their shops. The Vrajavasis could not conceive that everything had happened perfectly by the will of the Lord. Beginning with the Pulindas (aborigines), all the people in Vrndavana felt blissful just by performing their usual domestic duties. As the cows enjoyed the plentiful supply of fresh sweet grass, they soon forgot all about the pastures of Mahavana.
Without their knowledge, the Vrajavasis had inherited the storehouse of Kuvera’s wealth and the eight jewels of mystic perfection. Concealing His unlimited opulence (aisvarya), Krsna continued to perform His amazing pastimes in the role of an innocent child. Sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances Krsna revealed His hidden opulences.
After living in Chatikara for some time, Krsna displayed His pastime of tending cows (go carana). Although he had many gopas to care for hif nine lacs of cows, the King of Vrndavana had to yield to the repeated requests of his mischievous son. Under the influence of Yogamaya Nanda Maharaja decided to engage his beloved son Krsna in tending the cows.
Nanda and Yasoda forever exist as the unparalleled examples of transcendental parental love. Hearing that her husband considered engaging her tender son in such demanding work, Yasoda protested, “How can you ask your son, who is still on His mother’s breast, to accept such a painful engagement?”
Then that wonderfully splendid boy who displays a sweet variety of enchanting pastimes spoke to His mother, “Mother, do not interfere with My cherished desire to tend the cows. I will not listen to your words or consider your feelings regarding this.” Impatient due to His childish nature, Krsna continued, “Mother please give Me permission. My friends and I will experience great fun tending the cows. Is there anyone in this world who would not enjoy such work?”
Hearing Krsna’s words, mother Yasoda kept quiet and gave up her attempt to stop Him. Vrajaraja Nanda was surprised by his wife’s sudden silence regarding this matter. Then he chose an auspicious day for Krsna to take out the cows. That day Balarama and all the cowherd boys met in the goshalla. After selecting some calves for Krsna, Nanda Maharaja handed Him a red stick for controlling them.
Seeing His mother and father following Him into the forest, Krsna asked them to return home. He said, “We are experienced in tending calves. Do not worry about us.” His parents said, “Alright, but for today do not wander far with the calves and come home soon.” After preventing Nanda and Yasoda from going any further, Krsna, Balarama, and the other boys showed their expertise in tending the calves.
Krsna’s ecstasy grew day by day as He joyfully tended the calves. As Krsna wandered about, He covered Vrndavana with the syama blue color of His bodily effulgence, which shone more brilliantly than a cluster of blue lotus flowers. From all directions in the heavens the demigods watching Krsna’s wonderful pastimes with the calves fell unconscious in boundless joy. Both the celestials and the Vrajavasis enjoyed the fun. The astonishing pastimes of Krsna and Balarama continually filled their parents with delight.
Everyday before sunrise the kind-hearted Yasoda, who knows’ all moral laws and can purify everyone in the three worlds, tenderly woke up Krsna. After cleansing His mouth, she rubbed Krsna’s with fragrant oil, bathed Him, anointed His eyes with kajala, smeared His body with sandalwood pulp, dressed Him, and decorated Him with valuable ornaments. Then she happily fed Krsna many tasty, nourishing foods.
Yasoda followed behind Krsna when He went out with the cows. Brimming with parental love, Yasoda said, “Krsna I will go with You to a particular place and then return home.” After a short time, however, Krsna spoke some considerate words to prevent Yasoda from going any further. A splendid flower garland swung on Krsna’s chest as He walked with His brother and friends. Everyday they took the calves to a place full of succulent grass. After tasting the fresh green grass the calves would jump around in jubilation. Krsna passed His days absorbed in various childhood pastimes with His calves and friends.
Every morning Yasoda prepared delicious food for Krsna and sent it out to the forest. That food parcel contained enjoyable items that could be licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked. The preparations were also warm and appealing. Upon receiving it, Krsna, Haladhara, and cowherd boys sat down in a circle and ate the food while laughing and joking. After eating they continued tending the cows. The ankle-bells of Krsna filled the forest with captivating sounds, and the touch of His tender lotus feet stimulated the heart of Mother earth.
In the late afternoon Krsna returned from the pastures with the boys and calves. Yasoda, the wife of the crest-jewel of Vrndavana, eagerly waited to receive her beloved son. Looking toward the forest and listening attentively, she swelled with anticipation over His return.
Engaging the household servants in other duties, mother Yasoda personally did the service of cleansing Krsna’s face and limbs when He came home. After feeding Him some nourishing foods, she laid Krsna to rest on a jeweled inlaid bedstead.
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.