Krishna Nectar Lilas part 32 “Gopal’s Playing”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Krsna continued to walk along with the calves and cowherd boys. He carried a flute in His tender leaf-like left hand, an elegant stick in His right, and an enchanting buffalo horn tucked in His belt. A peacock feather crown rested upon His splendid curly locks. An attractive gunja mala hung from His neck, a pair of earrings dangled from His ears, and sparkling rings adorned His fingers.

As Krsna ran along with the cowherd boys a vaijayanti garland swung gracefully across His chest, graced with a splendid golden line. Actually Krsna did not like gem-studded armlets, jeweled bangles, and the other valuable ornaments given by His mother. He preferred to wear the simple, natural decorations produced from Vraja’s forest flowers, leaves, unguents, and mineral powders given by His beloved friends.

The gopa boys looked very attractive with the sticks of foodstuffs suspended over their shoulders, and buffalo horns, panpipes, and flutes tucked in their belts. They wore gunja berry ear ornaments and peacock feathers in their topknots. Wrapped in yellow cloth, their thin wastes looked very pleasant and handsome. They wore armlets, bangles, earrings, necklaces, waist-belts, ankle-bells, and jewels tied with black strings looking like creepers.

Krsna absorbed Himself in sporting with His friends and calves. For a long time, Mother Yasoda curiously watched the boys play and wander behind the calves. Driving the calves forward, Krsna walked behind. As peacocks dance jubilantly upon seeing a monsoon cloud and lake bound lotuses open to drink the sunrays, Mahadeva, Brahma, Indra and other self-satisfied demigods hid behind the clouds to view the breath-taking pastimes of Krsna. Lord Brahma was especially enthusiastic to witness the festival of Krsna’s taking out the calves.

Whenever Krsna sped ahead to a distant place, the cowherd boys scurried behind shouting excitedly, “I will touch Him first!” “O no you won’t, I will touch Him first!” Upon reaching Krsna, they impelled Him to choose the winner. The cheeks and lips of the Lord bathed in the nectar of His broad smile as He responded to His friends, “It does not matter who got here first, because somehow you have come here and met Me.”

While rambling through the forest one boy stole another’s boy’s lunch package and passed it to a third. And when the boy discovered his lunch bag stolen, he tried to retrieve it. But the thief would throw it to another. After stealing someone’s lunch bag they quickly took some food from it and replaced it with their own.

The boy who lost his food smiled upon getting it back. Some boys snatched each other’s horns, flutes, or herding sticks. One boy stole a second boy’s gunja mala, and then a third boy would steal the mala from the second, and then a fourth boy took from the third. Finally, after a short time and a few scuffles all the boys recovered their personal belongings. In this way Krsna’s friends enjoyed the festival of stealing.

While the calves grazed in distant places to relish fresh green grasses, the gopas leaned their poles against the trees and rested in the shade with Krsna. Then for the pleasure of Krsna they invented various games. Seeing an intoxicated peacock dancing nearby, the boys mimicked its jerky neck movements.

Contracting their bodies in funny poses, they attempted to imitate the ducks sitting in the marsh. Some boys played with frogs, and when the frogs jumped in the water, the boys immediately dove in after them. When birds flew overhead, the boys ran after their shadows on the ground trying to follow their exact courses.

They scared the monkeys by exactly imitating their facial expressions and pulling their tails. When the monkeys climbed the trees, the boys followed and jumped with them. Some boys sang and danced with exaggerated steps while other boys laughed at their antics.

One boy pretended to be an emperor, and others adopted the roles of his subordinate kings and ministers. A cowherd boy constable caught a boy disguised as a thief while others angrily chided him. One posed as a judge and sentenced that thief. Two boys acting like lambs charged and butted heads while an audience of boys cheered the contest.

One boy roared like a tiger to frighten the innocent cowherd boy lambs. Sneaking up from behind, one boy covered the eyes of a friend with his palms and said, “Guess who?”

As lion cubs frolic in a forest, and as intoxicated baby elephants play with their parents, the cowherd boys of Vraja, the personified forms of bliss, joyfully sported with the Supreme Lord appearing amongst them as a simple village boy.

Krsna, who killed demons while tending the calves, who is inconceivable to peaceful, self-controlled persons, and who is always restless, looked like a dark cloud floating across a moonlit sky as He moved behind the cows. In this way Krsna and the cowherd boys spent their time absorbed in play and merriment.

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.

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