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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimas Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.11

Translation: The gopis say, “Blessed are all the less intelligent deer because, on hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, they and their husbands do the best worship by glancing affectionately at Nandanandan, who is gorgeously dressed.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Such is the glory of Vrindavan that all the jivas taking shelter there are very dear to Sri Krishna. Now, let us describe the good fortune of the animals in Vrindavan. The does are without discrimination yet as they wander through Vraja they are directly seen by Krishna.

The Vraja-gopis mention Nanda’s name because their minds are bewildered by uncontrollable agitation. They performed Krishna’s worship with glances filled with affection. Love is the greatest treasure in worship. In great astonishment the gopis speak with lamentation. “O! We do not have such good fortune!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.12

Translation: The gopis say, “When the devatas’ wives flying in vimans with their husbands see Krishna, whose form and qualities fill all women with joy, and when they hear Krishna’s venu-gita, their hearts are agitated by Cupid, and they become so bewildered that the flowers fall out of their hair and the ropes holding up their undergarments loosen.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Both the animals on the ground and the devatas flying in the sky have become supremely fortunate by seeing Krishna whose all-attractive form and qualities immediately incite anuraga in all women. The devis hear Krishna’s flute playing a raga drenched in madhurya-rasa.

They came along with their husbands since they didn’t have the adhikari for direct association with Krishna. Just by seeing Shyam the Svargadevis became intensely afflicted with lust for Krishna. Their enchantment was further enhanced by hearing Krishna’s venu-gita. Hearing and seeing  were both causes of bewilderment. 

This is the anubhava called mottayita which is the appearance of desire in the heart from the arousal of the sthayi-bhava from remembering or hearing about Krishna.

The gopis pine, “We are most unfortunate for not having seen Krishna, the astonishing ocean of all auspiciousness, who bewilders the foolish female deer and the most intelligent wives of devatas. Or, we are most unfortunate for not seeing Krishna as He wanders in the forest, whereas they are fortunate.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.13

Translation: The gopis say, “Using their upraised ears as cups, the cows drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute-song flowing out of from His mouth. The calves, their mouths full of milk from their mothers’ moist nipples, with tear-filled eyes, stand still as they embrace Krishna within their hearts.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Other gopis speak three verses to hide their amorous emotions by describing the cows which have maternal affection for Krishna. “Even cows that are famous for not being able to distinguish good from bad, are relishing the sound of Krishna’s flute coming from His moon-like mouth which is endowed with more nectar than billions of nectar-filled moons.

“Krishna is the fullest embodiment of the highest bliss. In astonishment the cows simply stand, stunned, overcome by sattvika-bhava. Govinda indicates the master of the cows. They touch Krishna with affection. Some calves have mouthfuls of their mothers’ milk flowing from their mouths. Other calves are chewing grass.

“They all start crying as they embrace Govinda in their minds. Since their eyes are covered with tears, they can only see Krishna in their minds. We however are most unfortunate since we cannot even see Krishna.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.14

Translation: “O Amba! In this forest all the birds have risen onto the budding branches of the trees to see Krishna. With closed eyes, like sages, they are simply listening in silence to the sweet vibrations of Krishna flute, and they speak of nothing except Krishna.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: In astonishment, the gopis say, “O mother!” (amba)

It is the nature of those immersed in prema to make such statements. Since no mother is present, the gopis address their friends in this manner.

The gopis say, “What to speak of the good fortune of the cows protected by Krishna, how can we describe the fortune of these forest birds? Most of the birds are like this, but some like the peacocks are like the greatest devotees because they are dancing in prema, not just sitting in the tress.

“The birds climb on the branches of trees in order that they can see Krishna or so that Krishna can see them.  But the buds create obstacles to seeing Krishna, so they listen to Krishna’s venu-gita with half-closed eyes.” This indicates lassitude because of intense prema.

“No words except the words of the flute are sensed by their minds, ears or voice. Thus, they are fortunate.”

The word munayah refers to atmaramas like the Kumaras who have become birds to see Krishna. When they hear the sound of Krishna’s flute which they have never experienced before, that enchanting sound attracts them away from their brahma-samadhi. These sages have surpassed the branches of the Vedas and given up study of the Vedas. Their consciousness of their bodies has disappeared (milita-drsha—closed vision). The have become silent on all topics except Krishna. What else can they deliberate on?

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

A disciple of Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami shared an intimate friendship with Sri Lokanatha Gosvami. Inspired by Lord Caitanya, they were the first and most senior devotees to settle in Vrndavana. Before the arrival of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis they tried to uncover the lost holy places of Radha Govindaji.

Unlike the aggressive approach of modern scientists to discover the unknown, Bhugarbha and Lokanatha Gosvamis found Sri Krsna’s pastime forests by the humble method of surrender. They simply wandered around Vrndavana calling out the names of her twelve forests, “Bhandiravan, Kamyavan, Mahavan, Talavan … ” And Srimati Vrnda Devi (the maintainer of the forests and an expansion of Krsna’s pastime potency) revealed the exact location of each and every forest.

It is told that to avoid material distractions Bhugarbha would perform his bhajana underground. So, he received the name Bhugarbha (bhu means earth, garbha means cave, womb, hidden place) He is Prema manjari or Bhadra Rekhika in Radha Gopinatha’s nitya nikunja lila. His samadhi stands near Sri Rupa Gosvami’s in the Radha Damodara temple courtyard.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnava Biographies and samadhis in Vrndavana by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Nimbarkacarya

Accurate biographies are difficult to find, yet authorities agree that Sri Nimbarkacarya preached Krishna consciousness about three-hundred years before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

In Navadvipa Dhama Mahatyam, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Nimbarka had previously worshiped Lord Siva in Bilva Paksha, Rudradvipa (Navadvipa). Lord Siva appeared before Nimbarka instructing him to take initiation from the four Kumaras, who were meditating nearby. Nimbarka received Radha Krishna mantra and continued living in Navadvipa.

Following the teachings of the Sanat-Kumara Samhita, he worshiped Radha and Krishna with great love. Soon Radha and Krishna appeared before Nimbarka. Then the Divine Couple displayed Their unified form as Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Lord Gauranga said, “Nimbarka, in the future when I begin My sankirtana movement I will personally preach the perfect transcendental philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. I will take the essence of the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja, Vishnuswami.

“From you, Nimbarka, I will take two important principles:

(1) The necessity of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani.
(2) The high esteem of the Vraja gopis love for Sri Krishna.”

Lord Gauranga disappeared after instructing Nimbarka. Shedding tears of ecstasy, Nimbarka left Navadvipa to begin his preaching mission.

In Caitanya lila, Nimbarka reappeared as Keshava Kasmiri and received love of Godhead directly from Nimai Pandit.

There are striking similarities between the Gaudiyas and Nimbarkas. The followers of Nimbarka accept the six forms of surrender, practice the nine limbs of bhakti, and believe in the dasa mula (ten cardinal points of Gaudiya philosophy). They also worship Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.

They worship Srimati Radharani as the topmost devotee, and they accept the gopis love for Krishna is supreme. With beads, bhajans, and kirtans the Nimbarkas chant their version of the maha-mantra:

Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna
Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe,
Radhe Syama Radhe Syama,
Syama Syama Radhe Radhe
.

In Vrndavana, about one mile from Govardhana, there is the village of Nimgaon, named after Nimbarkacarya, who lived there from childhood and later performed bhajana there. Many of Radha-Krishna’s pastime places in Vrndavana are now maintained by the Nimbarka sect.

In Mathura-Vrndavana, innumerable devotees follow Nimbarka’s path of bhakti. The Sriji Mandir, just off Loi Bazaar in Vrndavana, serves as the center of Nimbarka sampradaya.

Sri Nimbarka Acharya ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, transcendental treatise, the amala-purana, which showcases the absolutely selfless, divine love of Srimati Radharani, one can find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by mentioning the same Bhagavatam verses that they used to substantiate their sublime instructions. To emphasize the importance of these particular verses for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the same Bhagavatam verse is often mentioned two, three or more times in the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta.

This series of posts presents these verses, along with selected tikas of our acharyas and the compiler. We will cover the beautiful truths, tattvas, of Krishna, Radha, Vaisnavas, Sri Guru, Bhakti Sadhana, Nama, Prema and more.

Human Means Helping Others

One intensely hot summer day in Vraja, Sri Krishna voiced His loving appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful, luxuriant trees of Sri Vrindavan, saying:

“O Sridama, Subala, Vishala, Vrshabha, and Ojasvi! Just see how these trees have completely dedicated their lives for the benefit of others by freely offering their leaves, flowers and fruits, their shade, roots, bark, wood, and their fragrance, sap, ashes, pulp and shoots. Anyone who asks anything from a tree never goes away disappointed.”

Then Bhagavan Sri Krishna addressed all humanity saying:

etavaj -janma -saphalyam
dehinam -iha -dehishu
pranair -arthair -dhiya -vaca
shreya -acaranam -sada

“Human life will be successful if one always helps others with one’s life, wealth, intelligence and words (prana-artha-dhiya-vaca).” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.33-35)

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:
Here Sri Krishna makes the point that helping always others produces success in life. If one cannot give one’s life, then give wealth, if not wealth, then intelligence and if not intelligence, then words.

Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:
One should use one’s life to serve others.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das comments:
There are two kinds of actions one can perform, shreyas and preyas, or acts that give  ultimate or immediate benefit. Unfortunately, most everyone is working very hard to get money and enjoy.

But here the Bhagavata directs us to act for permanent benefit, shreya -acaranam -sada, by using our life, money, intelligence and words to HELP OTHERS!

Vishnu -Purana (III.12.45) says:

praninam -upakaraya
yad -eveha -paratra -ca

karmana -manasa -vaca
tad -eva -mati -man -bhajet

“By one’s work, thoughts and words, an intelligent person must perform actions that will help all living entities in this life and the next.”

To encourage us to help others, the Srimad Bhagavatam recounts the story of a sage who donated his whole body, mind, words and BONES to benefit the devatas who were harassed by the atheists.

Following the order of Bhagavan Sri Hari, the devatas begged Dadhici Muni for his body. Dadhici Muni, however, just to hear about dharma from the devatas, jokingly refused to give his body. But then Dadhici donated his body to Indra who made a thunderbolt from Dadhici’s bones to vanquish Vrtrasura.

During this incident, Dadhici Muni instructs Indra, the other devatas, and all of us, “O devatas! One who has no compassion for suffering humanity (bhuta-daya) and does not sacrifice one’s impermanent body for the higher causes of dharma or eternal glory is certainly most lamentable.

“A person who does not help others by one’s body, relatives and wealth, which are perishable, is in a miserable, difficult situation.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.10.8-10).

We humbly encourage everyone to please think about these teachings, and start today helping a needy person by giving money, food, clothing; or by speaking kindly, remind them of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and encourage them to sing Krishna’s divine names.

In these times of doubt, fear, prejudice and hate let us all become more tolerant, loving, kind and helping. Sarve sukhino bhavantu: “May everyone be happy!”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! 

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, transcendental treatise, the amala-purana, which showcases the absolutely selfless, divine love of Srimati Radharani, one can find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by mentioning the same Bhagavatam verses that they used to substantiate their sublime instructions. To emphasize the importance of these particular verses for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the same Bhagavatam verse is often mentioned two, three or more times in the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta.

This series of posts presents these verses, along with selected tikas of our acharyas and the compiler. We will cover the beautiful truths, tattvas, of Krishna, Radha, Vaisnavas, Sri Guru, Bhakti Sadhana, Nama, Prema and more.

Bhakti Brings Good Qualities

The Bhagavata says that all good qualities reside in a devotee who is engaged selflessly in Sri Krishna’s service:

yasyasti -bhaktir -bhagavaty -akincana
sarvair -gunais -tatra -samasate -surah
harav -abhaktasya -kuto -mahad -guna
mano-rathenasati -dhavato -bahih

The devatas and all their good qualities constantly dwell in one who has pure bhakti for Bhagavan Sri Krishna. However, there are no good qualities in the non-devotee who chases after temporary material objects with desires for sense pleasure. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.12)

Sri Jiva Goswami

Sri Radha has the highest degree of pure love for Sri Krishna. Thus, all good qualities and opulences are present within Radharani. (Krishna Sandarbha 190)

Visvanatha Cakravartipada

This verse praises the devotee who attains bhakti and all its good qualities by association. Good qualities always reside within devotees who distribute Hari-katha and relish the sweetness of Sri Krishna.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das 

Bhagavan Sri Krishna personally mentions the twenty-eight qualities of a Krishna bhakta in Srimad Bhagavatam (11.11.29-31):

(1) Krpalu. A devotee is merciful to others by helping them become Krishna conscious.

(2) Akrta-droha. A devotee never uses the mind, body or words to injure any living entity.

(3) Titikshu. A devotee tolerates all and forgives and forgets any offense against oneself.

(4) Satya-sara. One who lives by truth and whose strength comes from truthfulness.

(5) Anavadya-atma. One free from envy, jealousy and the tendency to agitate or criticize others.

(6) Sama. A devotee remains steady and equal in happiness or distress, fame or infamy.

(7) Sarvopakaraka. Endeavoring as far as possible for the spiritual welfare of others.

(8) Kamair ahata-dhi. One’s intelligence is not disturbed by material desires.

9) Danta. Controlling the senses.

10) Mridu. Devotee is gentle and sublime.

(11) Shuci. Clean, pure and well-behaved

(12) Akinchana. A devotee is free from possessiveness.

(13) Aniha. A devotee is free from worldly affairs.

(14) Mita-bhuk. Controlled eater.

(15) Shanta. Peaceful by controlling the mind.

(16) Sthira. Remaining steady in one’s duty.

(17) Mat-sharana. Accepts Bhagavan Sri Krishna as the sole shelter.

(18) Muni. A devotee is thoughtful and confronts all problems with steady Krishna consciousness.

(19) Apramatta. One who is cautious and sober.

(20) Gabhiratma. Grave and unchanging.

(21) Dhrtiman. Remaining steady and patient even in distress.

(22) Jita-shad-guna. One who conquers the six material qualities, namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death.

(23) Amani. A devotee is without desire for prestige.

(24) Mana-da. A devotee offers all respects to others.

(25) Kalya. A devotee is expert in making people understand the truth of Krishna bhakti.

(26) Maitra. A devotee is the true friend of everyone.

(27) Karunika. A devotee always shows compassion to others.

(28) Kavi. A devotee is completely learned.

Ultimately, the most important quality is # 17, mat-sharana or Krishnaika-sharana, taking complete shelter of Krishna because Krishna can easily award all good qualities to a sincere devotee.

Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami described one great Vaishnava of his time: “The chief pujari at the Govindaji temple in Vrindavan was Haridasa Pundit. His reputation as a virtuous man spread throughout the world. Haridasa was polite, tolerant, peaceful, generous, grave, sweet in his words and endeavors, as well as sober.

“Haridasa was respectful to everyone and acted for the welfare of all. His heart was free from duplicity, envy, and malice.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.24-27)

We pray to the compassionate guardians of devotion like Sri Haridasa Pujari to bless us all with the shelter of Radha Govinda Yugal.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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.