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By Mahanidhi Swami

Kamyavan (aka Kaman or Kamvan) is one of the twelve major forests of Vraja Mandala, wherein Sri Krishna lived for some time and engaged in many blissful pastimes with His beloved gopas and gopis. There is one lovely secluded place there named Luk Luki Kunda where Madhava and the sakhis played a game of hide and seek (luka chipi).

The Vraja ramanis cover their eyes with their palms and count from 1 to 100. Swiftly, Krishna runs away and hides in a hilltop cave known as Luk-luka Kandara. The sakhis search everywhere for Shyama but to no avail. Becoming worried, the gopis fret, “O, Where has Krishna gone, leaving us behind?” Sad without Shyama, the sakhis sit down and start meditating on their Sweet Darling.

Unseen, Krishna exits the cave and climbs to the hilltop. Shyama plays an enchanting melody on His flute which glides into the hearts of the gopis to break their contemplation. Following the sound, the gopis see Shyama on the hilltop and they eagerly run to meet Him. Ananda Khanda Bhagavan ki jai!

Madhava’s mesmerizing murali melted the rocks below Krishna’s feet to capture Krishna’s beautiful footprints for time eternal. Even today, a yatri can bless his eyes with the darshana of Damodara’s lotus footprints on this hilltop called Charana Pahadi in Kamyavan.

Hide and Seek

While walking alone in the forest one day, Radha-Govinda decide to play a fun game of hide and seek. At that time, Radha says, “Shyama, I will go hide, and I bet You cannot find Me without My sakhis’ help. “O yes I will find you!” replies confident Shyama.

Kishori goes and hides while Shyama looks here, there and everywhere for Her. Not finding Radha, Krishna becomes very upset and desperately asks the vines, “O Latas! Where is My Praneshvari?”

With their leaf-like hands the latas point to Sriji’s hiding place. When Shyama finds Her, Radha asks, “Did one of My sakhis reveal My hiding place to You?” Krishna replies, “There are no sakhis here, but Vraja vines helped Me, so now I am indebted to them.”

A sadhaka prays: “O Radha! O Shyama! For countless lifetimes I have been searching for You. Where are You hiding? How and when will I ever find Your hiding place?”

Then one very find day, Sri Guru came and pointed to my heart, saying, “The darling Playful Pair are THERE—in the cave of your heart!”

Radha-Madhava’s luk-chipi lila ki jai!

Sri Guru Krpa hi kevalam ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!