Tag Archive for: Bhootanatha—A Ghost Story

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Every day when Govinda takes the cows out to pasture, all the Vrajavasis eagerly come out to marvel at Krishna’s incomparable beauty. Especially all the newlyweds stand in their doorways, on the rooftops or peer through the lattice windows to catch a glimpse of Shyama. And with love-thirsty eyes Manohara is also always searching for new hearts to steal.

One particular newlywed gopi girl was very restless, hankering to have darshana of Krishna whom she had heard so much about. Her mother-in-law forbid her from going, however, and warned her that if she goes she would be bitten by a black snake whose poison is impossible to remove. The mother-in-law and her daughter then went to see Krishna and she was left behind. Opening the front door a crack, that new gopi peeked out and saw Krishna in the distance playing His flute and filling the entire area with showers of pure nectar.

Sri Krishna knows the pure hankering of every devotees’ heart, so when the time is right He mercifully grants His sweet darshana. In order to see that newlywed gopi, Krishna played a trick by twisting the tail of a calf. Somehow or other…that calf ran straight to her door. Following the calf, Shyama appeared directly before that new gopi, gave His beautiful darshana, stole her heart in an instant and slipped away.

Dumbstruck, the newlywed just stood there motionlessly for fifteen minutes or so. Upon returning and observing her condition, her envious sister-in-law said, “Just see, I warned you. That black snake Syamasundara has bitten you!” Shaking the girl out of her trance, she managed to bring her inside the house.

To bring her back to consciousness, the sister-in-law engaged her in preparing butter. But she got the pots mixed up and started “churning” mustard seeds instead of yogurt. Seeing this, the sister-in-law shouted, “Hey! What are you doing you paagal? I’m going to tell my mother about you!” The mother in-law came and told her to take a water pot and fill it at the well, and also take her other son’s child with her.

Arriving at the well, she tied the rope for lowering the water pot into the well around the neck of the child instead. Just as she was about to drop the kid down the well, someone shouted, “Wait, stop! What are you doing?” Running over there, he took the rope from her hands and saved the child.

At that time, one gopi said, “It appears she’s possessed!”

Another gopi who knew everything, said, “But it’s not just any ordinary ghost,

It’s the ghost of Nandanandana!”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!