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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Once upon a time, the illustrious and powerful King Vrsabhanu met with his ministers to discuss inviting Vrajaraja Nanda and his family for a visit. With all intelligence Vrsabhanu Maharaja submissively upheld the family traditions, and executed them in a wonderful beautiful way. He desired to celebrate the festival in grand style, and He wanted Radhika, the embodiment of the art of cooking, to prepare Her finest dishes.

He sent a nursemaid’s daughter named Sucarita, who possessed good character and auspicious qualities, to convey his plan to Radha. Coming before Radha, Sucarita said, “Your parents want You to prepare a grand feast for the upcoming visit of the king of Vrndavana. I will not leave here until I see You depart for Your father’s palace.” As the sakhis happily worship Radhika, She fills them with joy in return.

Sucarita also addressed the other sakhis attending Radhika, “Listen Syame! Radha’s father wants you to give up your pretension of laziness and help the other sakhis. It will be good for you to uphold the etiquette of family traditions. O Visakhe! You should also bring your friend Lalita who always exhibits a playful nature.”

Smiling, Lalita replied to Sucarita, “O auspicious one! Why are we suddenly invited to a festival?”

Sucarita replied, “It is not a surprise event. When the king of Vrndavana celebrated Krishna’s birthday he invited everyone to participate. After attending this mahotsava, King Vrsabhanu got the idea to hold a similar festival in his palace. So naturally he thought to invite the king of the cowherd men who possesses pure consciousness. After riding in the chariot of the mind for long time, this joyful festival is about to be held. It will definitely be an ecstatic event.”

Syama-sakhi said, “O one who excels all in good qualities! No doubt it will be a wonderful festival. Who will not enjoy great bliss by attending this rewarding festival? We must immediately start preparing, since this is the order of Radha’s father.”

Then all the gopis went to the magnificent palace of King Vrsabhanu. It seemed that the embodiment of all joyous festivals had manifested there. King Vrsabhanu welcomed the sakhis, “Are you all feeling happy?” After Radhika paid obeisances, He smelled Her head and said, “O auspicious one! Please use all Your cooking skills to make very delicious and tempting preparations. Surely Your lotus hands will attain perfection by cooking this feast. Tomorrow the king of the cowherd men, his wife, family, and Krishna and Balarama will take their meal here.”

Lalita said, “O father! Have you collected all the necessary ingredients?”

King Vrsabhanu replied, “Not just today, but for many days we have been arranging for this mahotsava. For a long time I have been eager to observe this. Now all the ingredients have been procured in unlimited amounts. You cannot see the end of them. Enter the storeroom and see for yourself. Please consider if all the proper divine articles and items have been assembled. If the best of anything remains to be collected, then please tell me and I will immediately get it.”

All the effulgent, slender-waisted sakhis like Lalita, Visakha, and others expert in the art of cooking met and joyfully entered the enchanting kitchen. After paying obeisances to Mother Kirtida the sakhis inspected the ingredients.

Meanwhile, Krishna returned from the forest with the cows. Seeing her approaching son, Mother Yasoda, who is glorified by all the demigods like Lord Siva and Brahma, anxiously desired to speak to Him. In a lovable, unpretentious way Krishna cast fresh, sidelong glances to reciprocate with each one of His friends. He walked with the gait of a lordly elephant in rut.

Yasoda said in a sweet voice, “O Vatsa! The honorable King Vrsabhanu, who is opulent with the wealth of many bulls, desires to host You tomorrow at his palace. After consulting his ministers and associates he sent an invitation. My darling, You should go there tomorrow to reciprocate with his loving request. Your friends will stay back to tend the cows. So tomorrow You need not go to the forest.”

Krishna, the ocean of compassion, said, “How is it possible for Me to go alone and eat without My friends? What is the use of such an invitation.” Yasoda, who fully knows the laws of social etiquette, replied, “Do not be distressed in Your mind. If You cannot give up Your attachment to Your friends, then just stay home with them.”

After she said this, Krishna, who removes the distress of everyone in the universe, forgot about going to the forest. Contemplating the upcoming festival, Krishna remembered the sweet name, form, and qualities of Radhika. As Krishna fixed His mind on Radhika, His affection for Radha increased more and more. Then Krishna meditated on all the wonderful preparations that Radha would make on the order of Her father. 

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

“Then Krishna, the destroyer of demons, smiled gently and spoke just according to the time and circumstance, ‘The young girls of Vrndavana are naturally proud. Why should they come here on the orders of Batu (nickname for Kusumasava or Madhumangala) who is simply a brahmana entertaining everyone with his jokes and silly behavior? Therefore, O best among the birds! In order to comfort your mistress, why don’t you fly to her. Hearing your pure, soft, and sweet request, that Bakula sakhi will accept your bakula garland.’

“Immediately that best of the birds flew to me and said, ‘O Bakula-mala! Do you recognize me? Why are you picking bakula flowers? Why not come see the prince of Vrndavana? I will give you the garland that Syamasundara has made Himself, so you need not toil so hard picking flowers.’

“I replied to that parrot, O best of the parrots! The scriptures are right when they say that one’s good and bad qualities depend on his association. It appears that associating with a person who is wanton by nature, dresses in yellow garments, and is intoxicated from drinking madira-rasa has bewildered your intelligence. Tell me, do you think that any chaste girl will accept a garland from someone who is not her husband?

“The parrot said, ‘Hey listen! He is the supreme person, not just an ordinary person. His lotus feet are very difficult to attain.’ (Inner meaning of parrot’s statements: ‘So why don’t you try to meet Krishna?’)

“I replied Are! Wait a minute! I can see He is just a man. Why are you calling Him the supreme person? Do not try to attract me to Krishna by your word jugglery.”

Bakula-mala continued speaking to Radhika, “The parrot told me that if I understood his words I should take the garland. Since the parrot defeated me, I could not take the dominant role. So I returned to Krishna who wears makara-kundala. Then the mild and sweet brahmana named Kusumasava talked to his dear friend the parrot.

“After their argument ended Kusumasava said, ‘This sakhi named Bakula-mala should take this bakula garland to the mistress of the parrot. Even Laksmi-devi, who has sweet-smelling hands, can rarely obtain such a garland. This bakula garland should be taken to Radhika, the eternal lover of Krishna. By doing this Bakula-sakhi will attain success in accomplishing her task. This Bakula sakhi, who is the personification of Krishna’s sweet love, is expert in this work.’

“At that moment Damodara slightly trembled as He raised His soft, lotus palm, moistened with perspiration. While looking in the opposite direction a sweet nectarean smile appeared on His face. Then He gently touched my hand as He gave me the garland. I returned to my mistress Syama-sakhi and presented this garland which embodies the fragrance of Krishna’s pure love for You. I told her all the details of my meeting with Krishna, and how this garland conveyed His heartfelt desire to meet You. And now my mistress has brought that garland to You.” 

Then Syama-sakhi adorned Radha’s neck with the bakula garland. Radhika felt the thrilling touch of Her beloved by contacting the garland made by Syamasundara’s hands. As a result, Radha’s body surged with ecstatic symptoms and Her cheeks swelled with delight.  Feeling the rising of love, Radhika’s eyes moistened with tears as She looked slightly downward out of shyness. A mild nectarean smile bathed Her gentle lips, which defeated the tenderness of fresh sprouts. Overwhelmed by insurmountable ecstasy, Radharani embraced Bakula-sakhi and fell unconscious.

Lalita-sakhi said, “Hey Syame! It is not only in name, but also in fame and quality that your sakhi Bakula-mala and this bakula garland are the same. Can’t you see that both these bakula-malas are fragrant and freshly youthful? They both enjoyed the touch of Krishna’s lotus hands and got to decorate the neck of our Swamini Radhika.”

Syama-sakhi replied, “You have spoken very sweetly.”

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

“Padma said, ‘O bold one! You are correct. But Candravali got bitten the first time she saw that poisonous black snake named Krishna standing by the bank of the Yamuna. The poison of His love now sears her tender heart.’

“Kusumasava said, ‘The only remedy to counteract that poison is to stop thinking about that snake.’

“Padma said, ‘I am searching for the means to distract her mind.’

“Kusumasava said, ‘It is very difficult to find such a means. Due to its cowardly nature, a mind fearful of a snake can never give up its fear. Similarly, when one’s mind becomes completely attached to Krishna it cannot go anywhere else.’

“Padma replied, ‘Nothing is impossible for one who is full of anxiety. Where there is mind, there must be anxiety. When one loses his mind, however, naturally he gives up all his anxiety. When that anxiety disappears then it can no longer dominate him. Becoming enchanted by a beautiful object can also steal away the mind. Indeed, that anxiety is amazing!’

“Kusumasava said, ‘Go and look for that one who steals the mind (Manohara—Krishna)!’

“Padma said, ‘At present your bakula-mala is that manohara. But that bakula-mala should decorate the neck of Gauri (name for Durga or Candravali).’

“Syamasundara said, ‘Hey my friend Varsa! This sakhi seems to be very clever. She wants to decorate the neck of Gauri with My bakula-mala. But she is not allowing Me to finish the garland.’

“Kusumasava said, ‘O bold one! Your bakula garland is meant for our dear friends. Who else could be qualified to receive it? Therefore sakhi, why not just pick up the bakula flowers lying on the ground and take those with you?’

“Padma replied, ‘How can I even dare to do that? Why are you depriving me in this way? If the prince of Vrndavana is inclined, He will personally give us some flowers.’

“Krishna said to Kusumasava, ‘What she said is perfectly correct. So you should give her some flowers in order to satisfy her sakhi and to perform the worship of Gauri.’ Then Padma, feeling overwhelmed in joy, took some bakula flowers and left.”

Bakula-mala continued to narrate Krishna’s pastimes to Radhika, “Hey Radhe! I overheard Kusumasava say, ‘O my friend Krishna! If among the young sakhis like Padma and others, a sakhi of Radha’s party comes here she could mitigate the pain in your heart. Then Your bakula-mala will have meaning.’

“After hearing this I moved closer to them on the pretext of collecting fallen flowers. Yet I acted in such a way that they could not tell I was listening to them. Seeing me, Kusumasava said, ‘Hey sakhi! Who are you?’ Immediately after saying this, the parrot perched on his hand said, ‘Aho, look! Here is Bakula-mala, the associate of Syama-sakhi who is a friend of Radhika. She is picking up bakula flowers to make a garland.’

“Kusumasava said, ‘What need is there of a garland? When the shameless young girls of Gokula can create bakula flowers and agitate everyone just by their sidelong glances.’

“The parrot said, ‘Now that you have this garland of bakula flowers you should give it to Syama-sakhi’s maidservant who in turn will give it to my deserving mistress Radhika.’

“Kusumasava said,  ‘Syamasundara! Just see, my words are coming true.’ And the parrot replied, ‘A brahmana’s words are infallible. You should give this bakula garland to Bakula sakhi and she will give it to Radhika.’ 

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

“Then Krishna went for a walk with Madhumangala and entered a forest of bakula trees. Krishna appeared like an ocean of bliss meandering amongst the bakula trees, which were laden with blossoming flowers. Krishna and his friend Kusumasava sat down and strung a garland of delicate bakula flowers. That bakula garland glowed brightly and emitted an extremely sweet fragrance. Feeling very shy and afraid that someone might see me, I hid behind some forest creepers and watched Him for a long time.

“At that time I heard Kusumasava, who was holding the pet parrot of Radhika on his hand, describing to Krishna about how Radha looks at Him with loving eyes. He told Krishna that when He goes out behind the cows, Radhika stands in the watchtower of Her palace and gazes upon Him with great longing. During His birthday festival Radhika spent the whole time simply looking at Him. Radhika stared at Krishna with totally fixed attention the day He subdued Kaliya.

“Hey Radhe! Listen to the other sweet words that Kusumasava spoke. Although his speaking seemed irrelevant, he said, ‘O my dear friend! The garland that You made is very special and You should use it to win the heart of Radhika. May it swing around Her neck and enhance Her beauty.’ Krishna smiled while replying, ‘How will this ever happen? Your statements are as illusory as the will-o’-the wisp.’ Kusumasava reacted to cover up his statements. At first he did not respond but just stood there silently like a picture.

“Just then, Padma-sakhi arrived there like an untimely storm and stood next to Krishna. Carrying the passenger of intense anxiety, the chariot of my mind ran away. But since I was only a short distance away, I overheard everything that Kusumasava said to Padma. He said, ‘Are sakhi! What are you doing here? You appear like the crest-jewel of cunning persons. What brought you to this lonely forest grove? Abandoning all shyness, you stand fearlessly in front of my friend Syamasundara who always tastes varieties of rasas.’

“Then full of pretension, Padma put a proposal before Krishna saying, ‘Listen beautiful one! My name is Padma and I am an intimate friend of Candravali-sakhi. She sent me here to pick flowers for the worship of Mother Gauri (wife of Lord Siva), the pure one. The particular flowers required for her puja only available only in this grove of Yours. Hence, I have come here in order to pick these bakula flowers.’

“Kusumasava replied, ‘It is well known that Gauri (Candravali) is attached to worshiping Gauri-devi (Durga), who is pleased by faith and love. Why didn’t Candravali come herself to pick flowers for her puja?’ 

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 minds of the young gopis of Vrndavana transformed due to their rising desire to enjoy intimately with Krishna. Many impediments prevented their meeting, but the chariots of the gopis’ minds always carried them to thoughts of Krishna. Because of their strong attraction for Krishna they could hardly think or act correctly. Cupid had seized control of their hearts and confounded their minds. They tried their best to hide their feelings, and by discussing among themselves they attempted to relieve the anxiety caused by the pangs of love.

One gopi named Candravali, anxious and overcome by intense love, spoke to her confidant Padma, whose elegance defeats the beauty of a lotus. “O golden-one! Listen my dear sakhi! My heart is totally attached to Syamasundara. My superiors are heavily criticizing me for this and my sister-in-law is poisoning others by speaking ill of me, but I cannot give up my attraction to Him.”

Padma replied, “O lotus-eyed one! You should know that the fresh love of the daughter of Vrsabhanu surpasses all of us. But as yet She has not met alone with Krishna. Before She consorts with Krishna, you should fulfill your heart’s desire by associating with Him first. Once Syamasundara enjoys with you, He will forget all about Her. Come now and I will make all arrangements for your love tryst. When Radha and Syama met that night beside the lake everyone understood the superexcellent position of Their confidential love. But my dear friend, you should know that Krishna’s love has no beginning and no end.” Thus Padma, who is expert in fulfilling the cherished desires of Candravali, encouraged her and made the necessary arrangements for her to meet Syamasundara.

Meanwhile, Radhika sat in a secluded place with Her dear sakhis Lalita and Visakha. The immeasurable weight of Her love for Krishna overpowered Her. While Radhika remained in a lonely place, Syama-sakhi, who is pure and faultless, and Bakula-mala sakhi arrived carrying a bakula garland.

Syama-sakhi said, “O darling of Vrsabhanu! You are the tilaka on the head of all the Vraja gopis and the crest-jewel of all beautiful girls. Who is more fortunate than You? Verily, among all living entities, You are the personification of love. What to speak of all living entities, You attract even the heart of Krishna, who is an ocean of wealth and good fortune. That night on the banks of the Yamuna after the Kaliya pastime convinced me that Krishna was madly in love with You.

“He pleased everyone and filled the gopis with rasa. His enticing form acted like an elephant goad pulling the hearts of the gopis hankering to taste His love. Like a cakora bird relishing the rays of the moon, He drank the nectar dripping from Your moon-like face with His sidelong glances. As far as I am concerned, You are certainly the only object of His love. Seeing Your mutual love my distress is now gone, and my heart is inundated with waves of bliss.”

Radhika replied, “O bold one! Why are you exaggerating so much? Hey sakhi! Where is that housewife in Gokula who has not accepted Kaliya-damana (Krishna) as her only object of love? Kumuda flowers open without the moon, but lilies need the moon’s tender touch to blossom into sweetness. Therefore You should know that Syamasundara is the only sweetheart for all the gorgeous girls in Vrndavana. He does not belong to any one sakhi!”

Syama-sakhi said, “Do not doubt my words and thereby inflict pain upon Yourself. Be satisfied with Your unique good fortune and be convinced that Syamasundara belongs only to You.”

Lalita said, “Syame! Are you speaking just to console Radha, or do you really mean what you say?”

Syama-sakhi replied, “O Lalite! Why don’t you ask my friend Bakula-mala?”

Lalita said, “O my dear sakhi Bakula-mala! Tell the truth. Do not say something just to please me.”

Bakula-mala said, “Hey Radhe! Radhe! This Bakula-mala herself will dispel Your doubts. Just hearing my words will give pleasure to Your ears. This morning that handsome boy passed by me on His way to tend the cows on Govardhana Hill, the source of happiness. For sometime Krishna played joyfully with His intimate companions. 

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

Suddenly some other gopis that had remained awake discussing Krishna’s pastimes cried loudly, “O look! Look! There is a great danger ahead!”

Hearing the commotion, the cows woke up and cautiously looked in all directions. The gopa leaders talked among themselves, “What is happening?” Those who were asleep awoke and shouted in alarm. Looking worriedly toward Krishna, the gopis said, “The nails of His feet are more worshipable than millions of our lives. Let there be no danger to Him!” Judging from their frightened glances, Krishna, the darling of Vrndavana, looked at them with love and assured them in a grave voice, “Fear not! Fear not!”

Speculating about the impending calamity, the people said, “Is Kaliya seeking revenge and racing along the path beside the lake? Or is it a large group of wild elephants charging madly due to intoxication from playing in a mountain pool?” Then someone announced in a loud voice mixed with pain, “Hey look! Come on, there is no way out! Surrounding us is a huge forest fire about to devour us. Fire! Fire!”

On hearing this, Vrajaraja Nanda became afraid, but remembering Gargamuni’s words he immediately approached his son and said, “O my dear son! Please save us! Save us! Just in front of us is an immense forest fire. You are the one and only Lord of Vrndavana. This terrible fire is burning down Your home of Vrndavana, and rushing toward us with tremendous speed. Only You can put out this fire. There can be no more auspiciousness unless it is extinguished.”

Seeing His mother, father, friends, and family members overwhelmed with distress, Madhava said, “Do not fear!” An ordinary forest fire cannot appear in the transcendental land of Vrndavana. However, Krishna, by His own sweet will, manifested a fire to enchant everyone with His amazing pastimes.

The forest fire burned all the dry trees in its path. The leaves on the trees produced a crackling sound as they burned. Frightened animals fled in all directions from the raging fire. Nanda saw the gigantic fire licking the sky with its flames.

While observing the forest fire, Krishna thought, “This devastating fire is killing many beasts and threatening the lives of My friends. I feel compassion for the trees whose leaves are burning to ashes. And it hurts Me to hear the terrified crying of the cows. The thick clouds of smoke have blinded the poor birds flying overhead. Maddened with fear, the deer are running hither and thither. Under these circumstances what shall I do?”

As one pacifies the desires of poverty-stricken persons as soon as they arise, Krishna extinguished the fire as soon as it appeared. It disappeared as quickly as an illusion, a magician’s trick, a flash of lightning, an object in a dream, or as the wealth of an unfortunate person.

Under the shower of Krishna’s merciful glance the trees, shrubs, and creepers returned to their previous state. Not a trace of the forest fire remained. Observing this, everyone said in amazement, “We talked just like madmen. Where is that fire?”

In the evening light, the son of the king of Vrndavana looked very elegant as He entered the town with His cowherd friends. Krishna, the glory of His family, is filled with boundless bliss and always absorbed in exciting pastimes. He is a nectar shower of mercy, and the essence of all good fortune who teaches the laws of love to His devotees.

The people of Vrndavana surrounded Krishna and took great pleasure in praising Him with the prayers of Gargacarya. Pangs of separation overcame the Vraja gopis while waiting for Krishna to return. Although they spent the night like women far from their homes, when they saw Krishna coming they again overflowed with love. 

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

With a pure loving heart Krishna paid obeisances to His parents and all the Vrajavasis.

By taking part in Krishna’s enchanting pastimes they crossed an ocean full of different mellows including fear, curiosity, and bliss. Nanda, Yasoda, and Balarama warmly embraced the beloved of Vrndavana. The cowherd girls cast sidelong glances toward Krishna.

The innocent cows encircled Krishna, and looked at Him for a long time with eyes full of tears and hearts full of delight. While smelling the pleasing fragrance of Krishna’s body the cows felt overwhelmed and happily licked Him. It seemed that the cows inquired about Krishna’s welfare by mooing with choked voices.

Hearing the cheering of His friends submerged Krishna in an ocean of happiness. Then the subduer of Kaliya warmly embraced each of His boyfriends. That sweet Lord, who pleased the Vrajavasis by living with them in Vrndavana, relaxed on the riverbank enjoying with His friends.

Seeing the setting sun, Vrajaraja Nanda announced, “Listen, it is almost night. I see the frightening darkness as a personification of Rudra. My glorious son has restored the purity of this lake by removing the fiery poison. So let us spend the night here in this auspicious place.”

On hearing his words everyone felt happy. The ladies and cowherd girls became ecstatic to again see the beautiful form of Krishna, which is more elegant than a monsoon cloud, ever youthful, full of joy, and attractive to all. By gazing at their captivating Lord the gopis felt relieved of their anguish and mental disturbance that had previously felt like the itching of a skin sore.

Keeping Krishna in the center, the Vrajavasis surrounded Him in five circles. In the first circle nearest Krishna stood Vrajaraja Nanda and the elderly gopas, and next to them Yasoda and the cowherd boys assembled. The young gopis stood safely beside their mothers, and the married gopis remained near their mothers-in-law. The husbands of the loving gopis formed the second circle.

The men in the third circle protected everyone with bows and arrows. Cows and calves comprised the fourth circle. Holding a variety of weapons, Vraja’s famous chivalrous soldiers formed the fifth circle. These five circles made a vyuha around Krishna.

The Vrajavasis spent half of the night discussing the incredible beauty of Krishna and His spectacular defeat of Kaliya. After they fell asleep a sweet and pleasant time arrived.

In the quiet hours of night the eyes and minds of the gopis derived the fullest satisfaction from lovingly gazing at the attractive moon-like face of Krishna. Candravali and other gopi leaders relished a joyous festival for the eyes.

The desire which Radha and Krishna had previously sprouted burst into bloom now that there was an opportunity for fulfillment. Eager to meet, Radha and Krishna extended their necks in anticipation. With Their eyes locked in enchantment They sported with each other through romantic glances.

The lotuses of Their eyes played seductively. First Radha disturbed Krishna’s vision with a sidelong glance. The agitation resembled the shaking of lotus flowers by the skittish movements of a wagtail bird. When Krishna opened the lotus of His sidelong glance, the flower of Radha’s shyness reduced to a bud.

Struck by these lotuses, Cupid’s arrows forcefully returned to the god of love. As the curtain of darkness fell, the rising love between Radha and Krishna appeared as Cupid to envelop Them.

Candravali and other gopis thought, “O! Krishna is only giving His love to the daughter of Vrsabhanu.”

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 ruthless steps of Vanamali Krishna’s tandava dance devastated the serpent.

Blood streamed from Kaliya’s mouths, his eyes popped out, and his hoods completely collapsed. Seeing their husband vanquished and heart broken, the Nagapatnis (wives of Kaliya) felt sorry for him and cried piteously.

Out of affection for him they thought, “Our husband will not survive unless he attains the mercy of the Lord.” Abandoning all fear and shyness, the Nagapatnis put their children on their laps and approached Krishna to petition Him on behalf of their husband.

The Nagapatnis offered prayers to Sri Krishna with sweet voices: “O Lord, all glories unto You! O crest-jewel on the head of the demigods! Who other than You can be the Supreme Brahman? Brahma and Siva constantly glorify You, the unlimited ocean of transcendental qualities.

“The yogis and paramahamsas happily praise and meditate upon Your lotus feet, which are forever massaged by the auspicious lotus hands of Goddess Laksmi. As a swan extracts milk from a watery mixture, the paramahamsas reject the four desirable goals of human life to immerse themselves in the bliss of Your service.

“O Lord, extolled throughout the Vedas! Please hear our prayer. O Lord, You are the personification of eternity, bliss and knowledge! You assume a transcendental body to annihilate all the demons! You are the oldest, the origin of everything, and yet You are an ever-fresh youth. You are the fountainhead of all the Visnu expansions! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! Please give up Your anger and show us Your mercy!

“O Vasudeva, You are the life-giving Lord of all! O Sankarsana, You remove all the miseries of the universe! O Pradyumna, You are the treasure of love for all the Vrajavasis! O Aniruddha, Your Yogamaya potency prevents ordinary people from perceiving You! You are the Supersoul of all the demigods! Ah! You are the life and soul of the Vrajavasis. Be pleased with our prayers, O Lord, for the life of our husband is about to depart.

“Your lotus feet which delight the atmaramas, remove all mental anxieties, and are rarely achieved even in samadhi now stand on the hoods of our husband. O Lord, we have no idea how Kaliya has attained such a rare fortune. This wicked snake deserves to be punished. Only by Your mercy can one give up his wickedness and follow the righteous path. It is impossible for a living entity to do this on his own.

“O Lord! You alone maintain the entire universe created by the three modes of material nature by the mode of goodness, which purifies the mind. You create the world with passion and by ignorance, which is darker than night, You destroy the creation. O mighty armed! It is by name only that Visnu, who rides on Garuda, is called the maintainer, and that Brahma, who sits upon a lotus, is the creator, and that Siva, who sits atop Nandi, is called the destroyer.

“O one who is dear to those who have nothing! Living entities appear by different combinations of the modes of nature. Being born in the mode of ignorance, it is natural for a snake like Kaliya to be crooked. As it is impossible to see a flower creeper in the sky, it also impossible to find gentle behavior or good manners in him. He does nothing good for anyone, and he has no power to overcome Your maya. This is the nature of one who lives in hole.   

“His actions cannot be considered offensive because that is his very nature. So how can You, who are eternally liberated, the ocean of mercy, and full of all opulence, deny him Your mercy? You always treat everyone equally and all Your acts convey auspiciousness. Therefore, please quickly show Your mercy to our afflicted husband. It does not befit You to kill such a lowly living entity. 

“Even Siva, Brahma, Laksmi, and the sannyasis who perform sadhana, meditation, and attentive service cannot understand You. Hence, how can Kaliya, who is bewildered by pride and ignorance, know You? Your playful kicks and dancing on his heads have practically killed him. Although he is a very powerful serpent, he is so weakened that only his life air remains.

“Indeed he is cruel and ill behaved, but nevertheless he is one of Your living entities. Alas! We hope he will not die. Please forgive his offense and return our husband so that we will not become widows.” Thus the gentle beautiful Nagapatnis petitioned the Lord with piteous choked voices.

Krishna responded compassionately by dissipating His anger and reducing the punishment. Smiling sweetly, Krishna replied to the wives of Kaliya, “Do not fear. Although I am very angry, your sweet appeal has satisfied Me. As a monsoon shower extinguishes a forest fire, your pleasing prayers have removed My intense anger.

“As a result I will spare his life. Now I request you to take your husband and return to your original abode. Since your husband’s heads are now decorated with My bliss-giving lotus footprints, Garuda will feel blessed to see them. From now on you need not fear him.”

His false pride broken like a person bent over from carrying a heavy mass of iron, Kaliya felt relieved and happy by the Lord’s assurance of protection. With fear, devotion, and submission Kaliya said, “O Lord! With all Your opulence You appear in this world to crush the demons and award the treasure of prema to Your devotees. As long as the sun and the moon remain, Your beautiful pastimes will give joy to the minds of Your devotees. You always bring immediate auspiciousness to the unfortunate. O abode of compassion!

“The River Yamuna is the ideal place for Your pastimes. Therefore You have rightly punished me for my offense of poisoning her waters. Who could have shown me more mercy than You? Your dancing has decorated my hoods with the splendid marks of Your lotus feet. Now my life has become completely auspicious.

“O younger brother of Baladeva! By Your order I will now return to Ramanaka Island. O Supreme Lord of all the demigods! Due to some misfortune I have offended You. O You who wear makara kundala earrings! Please forgive me for my offensive behavior.”

Concluding his prayer, Kaliya took out some special jewels from his collection and presented a valuable ruby and pearl necklace to Krishna as a gift. Then he and his family offered obeisances to the Lord and left the Yamuna.

Immediately the water transformed into the sweetest nectar. After Kaliya left, the prince of Vraja, who ever enacts fresh and effulgent playful pastimes, climbed up on the bank of the Yamuna. The golden bangles on His lotus hands glistened attractively and His shimmering dhoti defeated the brightness of lightning. 

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

Therefore, to remove the acute distress of His father, mother, and other relatives, Krishna decided to free Himself from the serpent the moment Balarama, who glowed like pure moonlight, finished speaking. Enwrapped in the thick coils of that black snake, Krishna looked as exquisite and striking as the full moon embraced by the branch of a dark tree. Releasing Himself from Kaliya’s clutches, Krishna lifted His lotus face and cast a blissful smile toward the Vrajavasis.

Conchshells blasted from the assembly house of the demigods, the dundubhis pounded “dhun! dhun! dhun! dhun!” and the bheris (kettledrums) reverberated deep rhythms. The thunderous combination of these sounds of victory threatened to break the eardrums of all listeners.

Gradually the Vrajavasis regained their lives upon hearing the auspicious drums of the demigods. As they pushed themselves up from the ground with their arms, they heard that joyous celestial music spreading in all directions and saw Lord Balarama standing nearby.

Everyone shivered in fright upon noticing that extremely fierce serpent, whose body looked blacker than iron and who spewed foam and fiery sparks from His mouth. The effulgence of the gems on his hundred heads diffused throughout the sky. Sparks shot from His burning eyes and his gaping mouth resembled a pan full of boiling ghee.

Raising his hoods high, Kaliya pounced on Krishna. The pride intoxicated Kaliya appeared to be licking the upper limits of the sky with his two hundred tongues. To enact yet another playful pastime Krishna slipped from Kaliya’s grip and mounted his broad serpentine heads, which resembled a garden of large swaying creepers.

Pointing toward Krishna, Balarama said, “Look at Krishna! His tender body and eyes beautified with kajala appear before you as personified death for the Kaliya serpent. His priceless jeweled ornaments sparkle a million times more than the fiery sparks dancing inside Kaliya’s poisonous mouth.

Krishna has all the power to finish this demon, and He is artistically dressed with a turban, earrings, yellow cloth, and a fragrant forest garland. His beautiful curly hair has loosened during the fight to free Himself from the grip of the serpent. Tightening His cloth, Krishna is revealing a desire to kick down the heads of Kaliya and enjoy a dance there.

“Look, just to please all of you, Krishna is determined to extinguish the dazzling gems on the hood of the serpent. Krishna’s body glows with a desire to dance and diminish the radiance of those jewels. Understand this deeply and try to realize the purport of My words. Do not worry anymore about this insignificant calamity.”

Krishna smiled and relished the mellow of laughter while Baladeva spoke. The Vrajavasis forgot their lamentation upon hearing Balarama’s reassuring words. Although still overwhelmed with fear due to seeing the gigantic size of the king of the snakes, they blossomed with happiness upon seeing Krishna whose gleaming joyful eyes looked as pleasing as kunda flowers.

Before enacting His dramatic dance on the hoods of Kaliya, Krishna cast a sidelong glance to enliven His friends and relatives, who brimmed with affection and complete attachment to Him. Accompanied only by His mind, Krishna displayed amazing skill as the best of dancers and the savior of His devotees. 

The Siddhas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and other demigods immediately arrived there to show their respect and appreciation for Krishna’s unique dance performance. This joyful group of demigods exhibited their talent in music, singing and dancing by playing sweet melodies on mridangas, murajas, panavas, and panas.

Sri Krishna, the unlimited reservoir of wonder who is expert in all artistic skills, appeared to be cruelly smashing down Kaliya’s heads with His feet. But actually Krishna showed him the greatest mercy. The demigods delighted in the variety of fast, slow, and medium dances shown by the Lord as they kept time with the right rhythms. The instruments of the demigods softly sounded thiya-ta-ta, ta-ta-thiya, thai-thai-thai, thaiya-ta-ta. They also played loud and high-pitched sounds.

The demigods brought out newer and newer melodies by combining different notes, sounds, and rhythms. Responding accordingly, Krishna nimbly stepped from one hood of the serpent to another. The demigods, however, could not keep up with the unique self-styled dancing of the Lord.

Krishna, the supreme controller, moved rhythmically on the hoods of the serpent, and expertly danced in such a way to crush and suppress each of his hoods. As the beat drung-drung-drung, drimi-drimi, tung-tung-tung boomed faster and louder, Krishna’s brilliance increased more and more as He stomped on the serpent’s heads.

The extraordinary expertise of Krishna’s dancing crushed the pride of the Apsaras and Gandharvas. Although feeling embarrassed, they tried their best to keep pace with Krishna. Defeated in their attempt, they just danced delightfully on their own. The resounding sounds of dundubhis, the deep reverberations of kettledrums, the chanting of hymns by the sages, and the showering of flowers from Nanda-kanana exhilarated the Vrajavasis and depressed the demons.

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 three types of fearful omens, namely those on the earth, in the sky, and in the bodies of living creatures, which announce imminent danger, descended upon Vrndavana at that moment.

Jackals shrieked harshly at the sun, smoke and dust as dark as the horns of a buffalo blanketed the sky, and the sun appeared dull and lackluster. High winds howled in every direction and violent earthquakes shook the earth.

Afflicted by the inauspiciousness, the left side of men’s bodies (hand, eye, thigh), and the right side of women’s bodies trembled. Anxiety seized the atmosphere and disturbed everyone’s minds with grief and discontent.

Perceiving all these inauspicious omens in his village, Nanda Maharaja and the gopas understood that a devastating time had assailed the earth. The hostile unfavorable atmosphere submerged their hearts in the mud of fearfulness. Although they had innumerable experiences of the unlimited majesty of Krishna, due to the covering potency ofYogamaya, they knew only His sweet intimacy. Forgetting about the Lord’s omnipotence, they simply worried about the safety of Krishna.

While lamenting over the disturbances some of the learned gopas said, “O! How dreadful! Due to negligence and naivete our innocent Krishna has wandered alone into the dense forest which is infested with various demons that always bring calamities.

“And He has gone there without the company of His intelligent, powerful elder brother Balarama. Without our beloved Krishna we cannot live. But since we cannot fathom the actual situation from here, let us invoke good fortune by chanting, ‘Siva! Siva!’ ”

Overwhelmed with fear and lamentation, the Vrajavasis quickly left their eating and drinking and rushed out intent on finding Krishna. The whole village joined in that procession from one year-old babies to elderly men. They followed the path marked by Krishna’s footprints, which bore the unique symbols of a flag, barleycorn, thunderbolt, lotus flower, and elephant goad.

Nanda and Vrajesvari Yasoda, Balarama, the elderly gopas, and all the children hurried along the path to the bank of the Yamuna River. From a distance they saw Krishna trapped in the lake, motionless within the coils of the venomous black serpent. Stepping closer, they immediately understood the situation just by seeing the facial expressions of Krishna’s friends lying unconscious on the bank. Witnessing this, the Vrajavasis succumbed to anguish and confusion.

Though standing on the bank, they felt they too were drowning in the poisonous lake. Their hearts burned just like a person afflicted by poison. The women fell on the ground like creepers thrown down by a high wind, and the men toppled like uprooted trees. They sprawled out in all directions beside the lake.

Filled with panic and shock, Nanda Maharaja cried out in a voice choked with tears, “O my darling son! Why have you suddenly done this? O dearest of all, please come back to us.” Gripped with lamentation, the cowherd men fell down unconscious on the ground around the King of Vrndavana.

Yasoda swooned with equal distress and sadness. Sympathizing with her and wailing piteously like kurari birds, the elderly gopis collapsed on the ground next to the Queen of Vrndavana.

At first the young gopis could neither cry nor lament as they stared at Krishna with unblinking eyes glittering with love. Then their piteous wailing strained the atmosphere, and the downpour of their tears muddied the bank of the Yamuna. Taking shelter in the embrace of the sakhi of personified unconsciousness, they fell flat on the ground like creepers and trees cut down by a hurricane.

Though fainting, the gopis retained their life airs by recounting the pastimes of the beloved of Vrndavana. Even in that miserable state the gopis somehow maintained their existence. Indeed, intense lamentation permeated the atmosphere.

Seeing the extent of Krishna’s influence, Haladhara (Balarama) looked on with amazement. Then Balarama said, “O father, because Krishna is so dear to you, your heart is burning and you are overwhelmed with lamentation. Nevertheless, you need not be in anxiety for this body that is existing due to Krishna’s mercy.

“O Mago! (Yasoda) Do not cry or lament anymore. Please hear My words and be patient. O Vrajavasis! You should not be so grief-stricken now that you have ascertained the extent of the danger.

“You are unaware of the magnitude of My younger brother’s valor which always increases the joy of others. I am the only one who knows the extent of His transcendental identity. Among the greatest demigods, who can understand even a fraction of His opulence? Please be steady in your intelligence.

“For the lion-like Krishna it is a paltry achievement to subdue the demon Kaliya. Just as the wind cannot conquer a mountain, or as darkness can never cover the sun, or as a clump of reeds can never extinguish a raging forest fire, similarly, Krishna, who wears makara earrings, is not the least bit afraid of this tiny water snake. Therefore give up your grief. Any moment now My brother will finish this lowly snake and come out of the water. You can have complete confidence in My words.”

By His illusory energy Krishna bewilders both the demons and the demigods. He possesses unlimited transcendental opulences and has a most elegant form. He relishes His own prowess within and without, and everyone knows His boundless power. To the surrendered soul He is an ocean of happiness. 

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.