Posts

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The cowherd boys joked with one another, “O brothers! Let us see who can run the fastest, Krsna or us?” Krsna kept the lead as they raced a short distance. They stopped abruptly, however, upon noticing a peculiar sight. It was a demon, the younger brother of Putana and Bakasura whom Krsna had recently vanquished. Burning with anger and lamentation, the demon had come to Vrndavana to avenge the loss of his relatives.

The nasty, vicious demon assumed the form of a gigantic envious python with a huge mouth extending from the surface of the earth to the heavenly planets. At every moment his hideous body continued to expand. His vast gaping mouth seemed to swallow the whole creation along with all its moving and non-moving living entities. Brahma and all the demigods shook in fright at this embodiment of sin (agha), who was appropriately named Aghasura.

Awestruck and bewildered by what they saw, the cowherd boys said, “O look! What is this strange mountain cave? Just examine closely and try to figure it out. Who on earth will not be curious upon seeing this unusual cave? From long neglect, the cave looks like the deep mouth of a huge snake.

The twin mountain peaks appear like two rows of teeth. The two vines dangling in the breeze by the opening of that cave seem to be the frightening forked tongue of a snake.

“The red oxide dust blowing out of the mouth of the cave, indicating a mine of minerals, seems like his fiery, poisonous breath mixed with reddish-gold sparks. Just smelling that smoke, which appears to be the snake’s breath, gives one a severe headache. The vines and creepers surrounding the cave, which look like hands waving us into it, appear like the ugly veins and arteries around the snake’s gaping mouth.

“The two dazzling ruby boulders resting just above the mountain cave appear like the beautiful eyes of the snake waiting to mesmerize anyone who glances at them. The strong wind coming from the cave, which shakes the trees in the forest, resembles the exhalation of a big serpent.

The smoky glow of the mountain seems like the discoloration of the snake’s body caused by his poison-filled breath. The large cave looks like the massive mouth of the snake. Who amongst us is not overwhelmed with fear upon seeing this mysterious creature?”

Though disturbed with dread and doubt, the cowherd boys decided to enter the mouth of the cave. One boy said, “O brothers! If it is a demon, Krsna will easily kill him and protect us.” All the gopas had firm faith in Krsna. Gazing at the beautiful smiling face of Krsna, they laughed and clapped their hands while walking toward the python.

Seeing that they intended to enter that snake demon, Krsna, the prince of Vrndavana, tried to stop his friends by shouting in a sweet voice that spread through the creation. “Hey boys! Stop! Do not go inside. It is not a mountain cave; it is a snake!” But it was too late. They did not hear Krsna’s words of warning, because they had already fallen unconscious from inhaling the poisonous vapors within the viper’s throat.

Feeling like He had lost some precious jewels, Krsna cried piteously. He only thought how to kill the demon and save His devotees. Then Krsna, fully confident in His unlimited abilities, nonchalantly walked into the demon’s mouth.

Seeing this, the demigods wailed in anguish, “Alas! Alas!” But Kamsa and other demoniac friends of Aghasura rejoiced by cheering, “Ha! Ha! Ha!” Upon hearing the distressed crying of the demigods, Krsna, the master of all mystic yogis, decided to finish the asura.

The heart of the snake shook in fear of his imminent destruction. Although adept in mystic illusions, the demon’s vast intelligence had now become bewildered by his false ego. He tried desperately to close his mouth but he could not. Because of Krsna’s superior mystic power, the snake lost all control over his movements and just sat with his mouth stuck open. The snake felt Krsna to be a hot fiery spark burning his throat.

A second later, Krsna expanded Himself within the throat of the snake until the demon’s body exploded like an over ripe green melon. Krsna’s transcendental body contains unlimited opulences of beauty and perfect action. His elegance rivals the rising moon and His compassion excels the comfort of soothing moonshine.

After killing that ugly demon Krsna revived His friends with the pleasant stream of nectar emanating from His beautiful transcendental form. Then He came out of the demon’s mouth with the cowherd boys and calves. As Krsna left the mouth of the demon, He appeared like the sun rising from behind a mountain.

Wearing an attractive forest garland hanging to His knees, Krsna looked as gorgeous as a fresh blue rain cloud. At that time everyone saw the spirit soul of the demon, more brilliant than hundreds of suns and moons, merge in the body of Krsna. Who can describe the merciful nature of the Lord? First the demon let Krsna enter his belly, and then Krsna allowed him to merge within His body.

Appreciating the wonderful glories of the Lord, Brahma, Siva, and other demigods offered prayers which sanctified the world as they echoed through the universe. Various drums such as bheris (kettledrums) and dundubhis, and other instruments reverberated in all directions. The wives of the Gandharvas and Vidyadharas sang joyously in high-pitched voices. As the wives of the Siddhas beat mrdangas,

Urvasi and other heavenly nymphs danced ecstatically. The best of the Kinnaras sang sweet melodies. Becoming deaf to all other vibrations, the celestial denizens submerged in the sound waves of that ocean of jubilation. Intoxicated with bliss, they showered flowers from Nanda-kanana on Krsna. What more can be said?

The beat of Siva’s damru drum predominated everywhere. In great euphoria, Lord Siva danced so wildly that he cracked the pot-like covering of the universe. As he danced, the crescent moon on his head poured a stream of nectar. When that nectar touched the skulls on Siva’s necklace, the skulls assumed bodies and danced joyfully with great skill. Astonished by this scene, the demigods exploded with uproarious laughter.

The cowherd boys appeared like they had just left the jaws of death. They felt completely relieved and happy to see the tender lotus face of the peaceful prince of Vraja, which looked more attractive then the rising sun. The transcendental deeds of the Lord completely eclipsed the glories of the sun. One after another the boys embraced Krsna while talking excitedly.

One boy said, “O Krsna! While we played that terrible demon devoured us, and knocked us out with a burning poison. How did You bring us back to life?”

Krsna replied, “I am the perfect antidote to neutralize poison and also kill the poison giver. If a man smells this medicine, he will become joyful and relish it like the taste of honey. Even the dead will come back to life and enjoy sweet rasa if they smell this medicine.”

Krsna’s witty remarks increased the cowherd boys’ loving friendship for Him. Then the cowherd boys, the Lord’s eternal associates, enthusiastically embraced each other. Swelling with pride for his beloved friend, one boy said, “I told you before that Krsna would finish this demon, just as He had previously killed Bakasura.”

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.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

One day before sunrise Krsna asked Yasoda, “You are the Queen of all the people. O auspicious one, today I want to take My meal in the forest. So please do not turn down My request?”

Nandarani shook her head from side to side while saying, “No, No, No!” Though not wanting to oppose His mother, Krsna, who removes all misfortune, took a vow to fulfill His cherished desire and said, “Mother, if you do not allow Me to go, then in the name of Bhagavan I will go anyway.”

Balarama, who is always happy to serve His brother, blew loudly on His buffalo horn and readied the cows for the journey. Hearing Balarama’s buffalo horn, the cowherd boys left their homes and rushed to meet Krsna. Then Krsna, the supreme controller of the three worlds, asked Yasoda, “Please make us happy by giving us a variety of foodstuffs?”

By yielding to her son’s request, Yasoda prepared many kinds of fresh ‘ ‘items for the boys’ forest picnic. She made superbly thick yogurt that appeared like a vast ocean of cream, and heaps of soft, delicate butter that looked like slices of the moon. The rubri appeared like foam on an ocean of kheer.

The chunks of cheese challenged piles of snow. Even the eyes of the demigods bulged joyfully upon seeing the khoya. The attractive cakes looked like the orb of the full moon. The pieces of sugar candy looked as beautiful as a heap of hailstones.

Very pure, fragrant, and pleasing yogurt appeared there. The many types of flat rice mixed with milk and aromatic camphor bathed the tongue in nectar and satisfied the mind. The rich creamy sweet rice defeated the nectar of condensed moonshine. The meal also included fragrant lemon and mango pickles, pdpadam, namkeen, gujha, and other types of savories.

 
The unlimited quantity of foodstuffs competed with Yasoda’s boundless motherly affection. The four types of eatables, which included items to chew, lick, suck, and drink, were expressions of Yasoda’s love and devotion. No one had ever seen such a wide variety of appetizing foods. Being unfamiliar with the unique preparations, which were very rare and not available in the marketplace, no one could properly count them.

Krsna joyfully looked upon all those delectable foods and told His associates, “Just give up your pride and carry all these preparations for our forest picnic.” The cowherd boys submissively agreed to bring everything.

Then Krsna, whose superexcellent, enchanting beauty puts millions of Cupids into distress, continued, “O friends, the hearts of mental speculators will never melt because they are hard and dry. And if you walk behind the calves the dry and hard foodstuffs that you are carrying will not melt.”

Krsna divided the load of edibles equally among his friends. Seeing this, mother Yasoda brought even more food items to distribute. Each boy carried a stick balanced on his shoulder with pots of foodstuffs tied on the ends. After decorating Krsna with a garland of fresh forest flowers, Yasoda handed Him His celebrated flute.

Due to Yasoda’s deep affection for her beloved son, milk automatically dripped from her breasts and wet her blouse. Yasoda and the other mothers walked a short distance with the thousands of boys moving behind the thousands of calves.

Just at that time an astrologer arrived announcing that a yajna must be performed to appease the stars and planets. Taking His mother’s permission, Balarama stayed home to attend to the astrologer.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The cowherd boys raced to their homes to tell their parents all about Krsna’s remarkable pastimes. Though tired and breathing heavily, they tried their best to explain Krsna’s exploits. Due to exhaustion their voices choked up, but their mispronounced words sounded very sweet and satisfying to their parents. The pleasure of hearing about Krsna’s killing Bakasura quickly removed everyone’s anxiety.

The young gopas said, “Mother, listen to the amazing adventure we had today. You will be surprised to hear how Krsna showed His incredible strength. With our own eyes we saw Him easily vanquish a formidable demon. Driven by false ego, Bakasura tried to kill us. His extremely sharp beaks felt as hot as fire.

But just using His bare hands, which are softer and cooler than lotus flowers, Krsna broke that demon’s beaks as easily as a child splits a blade of virana grass. By killing that demon Krsna finished all his devious acts.”

The sweet talks of the cowherd boys filled their mothers’ ears with nectar. At first mother Yasoda felt afraid upon hearing that the demon tried to swallow the boys. As she heard more about Her son’s expertise in killing that awesome demon, Yasoda and the other mothers felt slightly relieved and smiled mildly.

Yasoda thought to herself, “Alas! Even though I left Mahavan to escape the harassment of demons, they are still attacking my son. My son is very bold and restless. But what can I do and where can I go? By destiny I am confused and cannot understand the plan of Providence.”

After bathing and feeding Krsna His evening meal, Yasoda, the abode of maternal affection, said, “From now on just stay home. Please do not go out to the forest. We have so many men to do this work, so now You can stop tending the calves. You need not take so much trouble for this.”

Krsna replied, “But mother, actually all these stories about My heroic exploits are just lies. Do not worry about all these things.” Overflowing with love, Yasoda laid Krsna down to rest on a valuable bedstead.

Krsna’s eternal form is that of a fifteen-year-old youth. However, His kumara and pauganda lilas (childhood and boyhood pastimes) also eternally remain within His body. According to His sweet will, Krsna manifests one particular pastime form or another.

Krsna displays these different pastime periods to fulfill the desires of His devotees, who themselves are wish fulfilling creepers. Although the stages of His childhood, boyhood, and youthful pastimes differ in nature, they do not conflict with each other.

Krsna, the embodiment of transcendental bliss, maintains His eternal kaisora-rupa (form of youth) within Himself. His pastimes, therefore, do not undergo any transformation. In order to nourish His batya-lila (childhood pastimes) Krsna conceals His six opulences and His form of eternal youth by His own sweet will. This is the explanation of Krsna’s pastimes.

Although Krsna showed His manifold opulences when He killed Putana, irnavarta, and other demons, He quickly hid these powers in order to Preserve the sweet mellow of vatsalya-rasa (parental love). Therefore the influence of Krsna’s divine majestic powers (aisvarya) remain in the background so that He can relish the sweet flavor (madhurya) of His Vrndavana pastimes with His intimate loving servants.

Within Krsna’s transcendental body of eternity, knowledge, and bliss the various mellows of parental affection, friendship, and paramour love reach perfection. Why does Krsna perform these pastimes? To favor His devotees, who are fixed in the moods of vatsalya, sakhya, and madhurya bhavas, Krsna allows Himself to come completely under their control. The various pastime periods of Krsna are eternal and beyond judgement and argumentation.

At this time Krsna accepted the flute as His dearest musical instrument. He astonished the people of Vrndavana with the incredible artistry and expertise of His flute playing. Commenting on this, the Vrajavasi housewives said, “O dear Krsna, Your lips that previously tasted only Your mother’s breast milk, now relish the soft notes of Your flute. Which guru has taught You to play so sweetly? O darling Krsna, if You play Your melodious flute again, I will adorn Your face with tilaka.” In response Krsna played exquisitely on His flute to please the hearts of all.

Krsna’s magnificent dark body glistens like a tamala tree. With His bright yellow dhoti He looks like a wild elephant cub covered with saffron. A garland of fragrant wild flowers swings over Krsna ankles while He roams and sports from forest to forest just like as baby elephant. Every day Brahma, Siva, Indra and other demigods descend to Vrndavana to have darsana of Sri Krsna.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

As Krsna enacated His human-like pastimes, He looked very attractive with a necklace hanging on His chest when He awoke just before sunrise. After taking breakfast Krsna met His playmates and prepared to leave for the day.

Following the principles of vaisya dharma, Krsna and His powerful brother Balarama collected the calves and went out to the forest everyday. They brought the thirsty calves to a reservoir of clear, cool water, and left them on the banks to feed on the fresh sprouts and soft shoots of grass.

At that time Krsna, the beautiful, enchanting cowherd boy who performs wonderful pastimes and protects the whole creation, saw an unusual demon in the shape of a gigantic duck. Kamsa had sent this demon to kill Krsna. He was known as Bakasura, the demoniac brother of Putana, As a good tantric can see the future, Bakasura understood that Krsna fit the description of Kamsa’s dreaded enemy.

Bakasura immediately opened his ferocious beak in an attempt to swallow the Lord. His lower beak lay on the ground and his upper beak pierced the heavenly planets. It seemed he intended to devour all the living entities on earth and in heaven. Krsna’s friends felt great anxiety as they beheld that fearful monster.

The playmates of Krsna said, “O brother, this creature cannot be a bird because he is about to swallow us all in his deadly mouth. Seeing its aggressive behavior, it must be a demon in the form of a huge duck, so we should quickly run from here. His body is taller than the peak of Mt. Kailasa. It will be very difficult for us to escape from his gaping mouth.

To assure His dearest friends of His protection, Krsna glanced at them with a delicate smile that captivated their minds and satisfied their hearts. Krsna, the undaunted one who awards fearlessness to everyone in creation, smiled at the boys and moved near the demon. In a second that dreadful duck swallowed Krsna. Seeing this seemingly irreversible calamity, Balarama and the boys exclaimed, “Alas! Alas! What a disaster!”

The demigods observing from the sky fell unconscious. As a camel spits out fresh mango leaves immediately after chewing them, or a man experiences a fiery feeling in his sinuses if he takes water up his nose, similarly, that demon felt a burning sensation from swallowing Krsna and tried to spit Him out.

The demon suffered immense distress as Krsna simultaneously constricted and expanded his throat with a violent force. While rapidly flapping his wings in an attempt to eject Krsna from his throat, the demon felt his life airs rushing out of his heart.

Krsna escaped from the mouth of the demon just as the moon slips out from the mouth of Rahu, or as the sun escapes from the grip of a dense monsoon cloud. Krsna appeared like a lion cub coming out from the mouth of a mountain cave, or a devotee attaining deliverance from the dark well of material existence.

Surprisingly, Krsna’s clothing and ornaments had not become the least bit sullied from passing through the saliva filled throat of that demon. Looking fresh and beautiful, Krsna whispered some loving words to awaken His friends who had fallen unconscious on the banks of the Yamuna.

Renewing his deadly attack, Bakasura tried to pinch Krsna in his beaks. Krsna grabbed the demon’s beaks and split them in half just as easily as a child splits a blade of grass. Rivers of blood flowed in all directions. The two pieces of his dead body looked like twin mountain peaks lying on the ground.

The denizens of the higher planets happily showered flowers from Nanda-kanana (Indra’s celestial gardens) upon Bakari (Krsna). Celebrating the victory, the Gandharva and Kinnara women danced and cried in jubilation. Their teardrops, which washed away their kajala and fell through the sky, appeared like celestial honeybees dancing amidst the flowers falling from heaven. Dundubhi drums resounded everywhere proclaiming the triumph. Astonished by this wonderful pastime of Krsna, Vaivasvata Manu and many other sages offered prayers.

Witnessing this transcendental feat, Krsna’s playmates immersed in divine joy. The boys felt that they had regained their lives upon seeing Krsna, the lord of their hearts, walking confidently like a royal bull elephant.

Being late afternoon, the cowherd boys collected their calves and returned to Vrndavana along with their charming friend. The soft artistically shaped palms of Krsna’s beautiful hands resembled kadamba flowers.

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.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Once upon a time a demoniac follower of Kamsa, a devout worshiper of Durga, disguised himself as a calf to mix with Krsna’s calves. Just as an open well concealed by tall grass waits to trap an unsuspecting bull elephant, this demon pretended to be a friend, though actually he was a thief. Krsna, the crest-jewel of omniscience, immediately recognized the asura imposter and said to Balarama, “Hey Douji! Does this calf belong to Vrndavana? Or is it a man disguised as a calf?” The playmates of Krsna could not determine the calf’s identity.

With His left hand, which resembled a gentle lotus flower, Krsna caught the demon by the hind legs, whirled Him overhead like a firebrand, and smashed him to death in the top of a kapittha tree. Assuming a huge, grotesque form, the demon immediately died. Krsna gave Brahman liberation to that demon, who was a former mystic yogi. Brahma, Siva, and the other demigods appreciated Krsna’s effortless act of killing Vatsasura and came to congratulate Him. An expert such as Krsna can easily perform impossible tasks; therefore such deeds are not at all astonishing.

Krsna, the vanquisher of all demons, looked exceedingly attractive while engaging in His pastimes. The life of the lotus flowers gradually faded away with the diminishing rays of the sun. Seeing the sun slipping behind the dark curtain of the sky, Krsna called His calves and returned home. Although the character and pastimes of Krsna defy comprehension, they perfectly suit His age and charming personality as the beautiful cowherd boy of Vrndavana.

When the boys and calves approached the edge of town, their respective mothers happily greeted them. Nanda, Yasoda, and the Vrndavana gopis received Krsna, Balarama, and their own children with an outpouring of love and affection. But the boys resisted when their mothers tried to pick them up and carry them home. The cowherd boys excitedly told Yasoda how Krsna sent a big demon to the house of death without even fighting him. As usual upon arriving home, Krsna was massaged with oil, bathed anointed with sandal pulp, and dressed. Then Krsna ate His evening meal with His father and retired for a pleasurable rest.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Yamuna Crossing

Three hours before sunrise the wives of the gopas woke up, bathed, dressed in clean cloth, and performed vastu-puja. Then they churned butter while singing many enchanting songs glorifying Krsna. The sound of the gopis’ jeweled bangles and ankle-bells blended harmoniously with the deep, melodious sound emanating from the large churning pots.

That auspicious vibration easily removed all misfortune from the universe. The directions amplified that sound by responding with their echoes. Considering it improper to spend any more time with their husbands, the demi-goddesses woke up at once. Then they listened with rapt attention to the sweet sound of the gopis churning butter.

As the sun rose everyone prepared to cross the Yamuna River, the daughter of the sun god. Following Vrajaraja Nanda’s order, the gopas called the cows by making the sound “Hee! Hee!” Mooing in response, the cows entered the water. As they swam across the Yamuna, the cows exhaled strong breaths of air. The heavy, water-soaked tails of the cows hung motionless under the water. Keeping their heads and humps above the water, they flowed with the currents and finally reached the Yamuna’s opposite shore.

The horn-less, light-bodied calves felt great happiness as they quickly swam across the river. Crossing from all directions in front of their mothers, the calves reached the opposite shore. The gopas carried the newborn calves across the Yamuna by hanging them around their necks and holding their soft legs with their left arms while using their right arms swim. The mothers of the calves followed behind crying anxiously.

The tall humps on the backs of the mature bulls made waves as they moved through the Yamuna. As if in an angry mood, the bulls turned their necks and butted these successive waves with their horns. A captivating scene manifested there. Despite the strong current, the bulls held their heads high and straight, breathed heavily, and quickly crossed the Yamuna.

All the innumerable cows made it safely across the Yamuna. But they appeared exhausted from the journey, so they stood in rows on the Yamuna’s sandy banks, which looked as white as transparent camphor dust. The groups of white cows beside the Yamuna looked as attractive as the river Jahnavi.

The boats plying on the water looked like the nagapatnis rising up from Patalaloka to playfully extend their jewel-bedecked hoods above the Yamuna. It seemed that from the day the Vrajavasis arrived in Vrndavana, Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods, had made all arrangements to make them happy. The beautiful clear sky looked like a stream of the Ganga meeting the Yamuna. Various aquatics sported within the Yamuna.

Many highly decorated golden boats, exhibiting the epitome of artistic craftsmanship, cruised along the Yamuna. The best among those boats had an ornamental cabin topped with beautiful flags gently flapping in the breeze. Krsna and Yasoda, Rohini, and their maidservants boarded that boat. Krsna enjoyed watching the rows of small waves in the Yamuna. The wonderful effulgence of Krsna’s body enhanced the beauty of the Yamuna and made it look like a sparkling gem.

Leaving Yasoda’s side, Krsna leaned over the edge of the boat. While supporting Himself with His left hand Krsna stretched His right hand under the water to touch the bottom of the boat. Anticipating some danger, the two mothers tried unsuccessfully to stop Krsna from His frivolous play.

With great concern, Nanda boarded the same boat, quickly picked up Krsna, and sat Him on his lap. Undisturbed, the boatman continued rowing steadily across the Yamuna.

The remaining men and their families boarded other boats and happily crossed the river Yamuna. After ferrying all the people, the boatman used boarding platforms to load all the bullock carts and cross the river again. Vrajaraja Nanda satisfied the boatmen with valuable clothes and ornaments.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Tent City

Many cowherd men simultaneously shouted orders to different people. All the words merged into a mass of indiscernible noise. Except with hand gestures, communication was impossible in the clamor. The combined vibrations of carts, people, drums, and the bellowing of cows silenced all other sounds. At last all those sounds merged quietly within the ethereal element. Learned men proclaim that sound is by-product of ether.

Boarding their cart, Yasoda and Rohini appeared like two valuable jewels. The cart itself looked like a mountain cave enacting a pastime o displaying its storehouse of costly jewels in the form of these two lovely ladies. Their sons Krsna and Balarama shone as the embodiments of benediction for the three worlds. With their all-auspicious sons sitting on their laps the two mothers achieved all perfection, and looked very beautiful at the same time. Yasoda and Rohini simultaneously glorified Krsna, from a distance it seemed they were quarreling.

Hundreds of armed sentinels stood guard around the carts. When the bullock procession left Mahavana it looked like the personified wealth of the capital had suddenly risen to touch the sky. It seemed that the goddess of the city personally lead the way to beautify the journey. All that was left of the capital was the land. At that time the advance party of Nanda Maharaja returned from Vrndavana to join the procession.

Since such a vast party could not cross the Yamuna before sunset, they decided to camp on the banks of the river. The elderly cowherd men, even without receiving Vrajaraja Nanda’s order, erected their tents and prepared for the night. Invisibly, the goddess of the city helped everyone quickly establish his habitat.

Please hear about that splendid city which arose on the bank of the Yamuna. A kaleidoscope of colorful tent canopies covered the ten directions. The cowherd men expertly erected walls made of cloth to surround that temporary city of tents. As in an ordinary city, they made four pathways bisecting the four directions. They also established footpaths and marketplaces to facilitate the residents.

While sitting under the evening sky chewing their cud, the numerous white cows looked like a collection of soothing moon rays or a small lake of milk. As more and more cows sat amongst them that lake expanded to appear like the ocean of milk. Sunanda, Upananda, and other respected relatives met and conversed with Nanda in his tent. Afterwards they went to their own tents.

Meanwhile they unloaded all the necessary items from the carts. After unyoking the bulls, the caretakers fed them and let them take rest. The servants busied themselves buying and selling different products while the kitchen helpers cleaned and prepared for cooking.

After spending twelve hours moving across the sky, the weary sun god happily met with his wife in the form of the westerly direction. Birds chirped excitedly and soared through the sky before securing themselves in their nests for the night. The peacocks flew up to perch in the treetops. Due to frolicking all day, the deer felt tired and walked lazily along the Yamuna.

Intoxicated honeybees trapped themselves in closing lotus flowers. As a woman conceals herself before running off for a lover’s tryst, the presiding devis of the directions covered their faces with the blue veil of darkness. Night blooming red and white lotuses welcomed the evening with blissful smiles. Separated from their lovers, the cakravaka birds wailed piteously.

As the day’s heat abated and evening approached, no one could clearly distinguish the forms of the men or the cows. Under the dim light of the twinkling stars the shadows of the cows appeared to be fat and short, while those of men looked long and tall. As the starlight increased, the shadows of the humans grew larger and larger.

Just as a charitable man distributes his compassion to one and all, the many lamps in the campsite diffused their light in all directions. Posted sentries guarded all the roads. The natural beauty of evening appeared like a goddess eager to serve Sri Krsna.

Satisfied by eating their fill and seeing their calves standing nearby the cows stood peacefully while the cowherd men milked them. The milking of so many cows produced a tremendous sound that resembled the vibration created at the time of churning the ocean of milk. Krsna derived great pleasure from hearing that beautiful, sweet deep sound.

While milking the cows the gopas loudly called their names, “Hee! Hee! Dhavali! Shavali” and the cows responded by mooing. The men affectionately fondled and caressed the cows as they gathered around them.

After taking their evening meal the Vrajavasis relaxed and happily wandered about the campsite. The sentries showed off their techniques for staying awake through the night. Seeing this, the Vrajavasis felt confident of their expertise, so they returned to their tents for a peaceful rest.

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.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Exodus to Vraja

One day, Krsna personally entered the hearts of the village leaders and inspired them. Upananda, Sananda, and other senior men convened a town meeting to discuss the future of Vrndavana.

With warm hearts the people spoke to Vrajaraja Nanda, “O King of Vraja! We cannot understand the extent of your opulence. We have never seen a more fortunate person than you.

“You are the greatest among men. Your son delivers everyone from distress and lamentation. Since the time of His appearance, many seemingly sad and painful things have happened here in Vrndavana. Just after His birth the raksasi Putana brought devastation to our village. Then the Sakatasura demon brought us severe distress. Then came that horrible hurricane wind demon Tmavarta who tortured everyone. And the falling arjuna trees almost destroyed us.

“We want to know the cause of all these bizarre events. Everyone experienced good fortune with Krsna’s birth. And we personally know that your family dynasty is also completely auspicious. So by the accumulation of your good deeds a plenary expansion of the Lord appeared as your very own son.

“We can only guess, therefore, that this place causes these difficulties and not your illustrious son. Considering these facts, we conclude that the next year we should leave this place and move to the forest of Vrndavana. Vrndavana is full of good qualities and always pleasing throughout all seasons of the year. It is replete with luxuriant grasses to please the cows. Not only that, but it is said that for one who attains Vrndavana the wealth of the three worlds seems as insignificant as a piece of straw.

“The Goddess of Fortune eternally resides there personally serving all the residents. Govardhana Hill, which always increases the health of the cows, also stands there. O learned one! If you approve this proposal, then please satisfy us by taking us to Vrndavana.”

Then King Nanda, whose consciousness is totally pure, replied to the gopas, “You should understand that I am personally very attached to this Brhadvana (Mahavana). But if you find defects here, then for your sake I think we should give up this place and immediately move to Vrndavana.” This suggestion filled everyone’s heart with joy. In great excitement they ordered their families to prepare the bullock carts for the journey.

The groups of carts, fully loaded with village folk and their paraphernalia, looked very beautiful. Keeping the cows in front, they lined up the carts in preparation to leave. As mature bull elephants can have four tusks, the bullocks had different numbers of teeth depending on their ages. The youngest bullocks had four teeth, whereas the elder bullocks had up to nine.

The bullocks had gold plated horns shining like the peaks of Mt. Sumeru. The rounded and nicely shaped jawbones of the bullocks looked attractive. As a music teacher dances with dexterous steps, the bullocks moved gracefully on their splendid hooves.

As there are four parts to a poem, similarly, these bullocks had four legs. Nanda Maharaja had 900,000 white cows in his herd. The restless natures of the bullocks indicated the depth of their intelligence. Though yoked to the carts, they were not tied through their noses. Attractive necklaces of sweet sounding bells hung from their necks.

Multi-colored canopies topped the carts. These canopies had many designs and colors like green, brick red, yellow, white, red and pale yellow. Colorful curtains made of costly jute covered the sides. Flags fluttered above the golden domes atop the carts. The flags looked like wonderfully designed tongues extended to taste the rays of sun.

The splendidly decorated carts mocked the flower airplanes of the demigods. Indeed, these bullock carts established a new standard of excellence among conveyances. Just as there is no fault in being attached to sadhus, the carts were faultless in construction and beautiful to behold. As devotees become beautiful by engaging in Krsna’s service, the cakras above the carts looked as beautiful as cakravaka birds floating in a lake.

As the sons of Kuvera are attached to residing in his capital city of Alakapuri, similarly, the wood yokes were attached to the carts. The carts held many gorgeous pots mad of gold, silver, brass, bell metal, and copper.

Extending from Brhadvana (Mahavana) to Vrndavana, the long line of cows and bullocks looked like a separate branch of the Yamuna River From a distance it appeared that this long line of moving cows was standing still.

The people thought, “Perhaps the Suradhuni Ganga has appeared here to speak privately with the Yamuna. Or maybe the unlimited waves from the milk ocean have come here to take the dust of Vrndavana? Or has Ananta Sesa renounced his service as Narayana’s bed to come see Vrndavana? Could we be seeing the expanded hood of the kjng of the snakes? Or is it a necklace of pearls decorating mother earth?”

The long line of carts topped with glittering golden domes and multicolored flags flapping in the wind looked like a vast wall containing many tall golden doors surrounding a city palace. They looked like a small mountain range appearing as the offspring of Mt. Kailasa, Mt. Sumeru, and the Himalayas coming to play with the Yamuna. Taking compassion on this tiny mountain chain, Indra withheld his anger and refrained from cutting off their wings with his thunderbolt.

The furrows left in the earth by the wheels of the carts looked like the walls of a castle rising in the air but having no support. One time mother Bhumi took the form of a cow to beg Krsna to remove the distress she felt from the burden of demoniac kings.

It seemed that mother earth had again appeared in her original form as a cloud of dust. Rising in the sky above the carts she seemed to be reaching for Brahmaloka. In this way people viewed the long line of bullock carts moving toward Vrndavana.

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.