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Sri Krishna Jayanti -- Celebrating Sri Krishna's Birthday

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We are now celebrating Sri Krishna Jayanti, the sacred birthday of Sri Nandananda Sri Krishnacandra!


I'll be posting selected nectar from various places over the following two days to come, something from Ananda Vrindavan Campu which has beautiful descriptions of Sri Krishna's birth celebrations during prakata-lila, and let's see what more I find.


The following text is Sri Siddha Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja's description of Janmastami celebration in nitya-lila, describing both Mahaprabhu's celebration during Navadvipa-lila and the actual annual Vraja-pastimes on this occasion.

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<font face="Georgia" color=#151D63><center>



As Described by Sri Siddha Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja in his Gutika



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Krsna's birthday festival takes place on the eighth day of the dark lunar quarter of the month of Bhadra, corresponding with the month of August, sometimes September. Siddha Sri Krsna dasa Babaji here narrates both the celebration in Navadvipa in Gaura-lila and the celebration in Vraja in Krsna-lila.  


On the first day of the dark lunar quarter of the month of Bhadra an orchestra (playing different drums as well as wind-instruments like Sanai) sits down in Nanda Maharaja's house and starts playing auspicious music. From that day on until the sixth day (sasthi) arrangements are being made to beautify the palace of Nanda Maharaja and the whole village of Nandisvara. A wonderful canopy adorned with jewelled strings is hung over the courtyard, each door and gate is flanked by banana-trees and jugs filled with mangoes and flags are flapping here and there. The houses of all the citizens and all the marketplaces are also beautified like this. The royal roads and all the other pathways are sprinkled with fragrant water, so that newcomers can understand that there is a great festival going on in each and every home.


In the evening of the sixth lunar day Sri Nanda Maharaja sends his invitations  - to the men through Sri Subhadra (the cousin of Krsna and the husband of Kundalata) and to the women through Dhanistha (the daughter of one of Krsna's wet-nurses). Sri Subhadraji first goes to Vrsabhanupura, or Varsana, and tells Maharaja Vrsabhanu: "The day after tomorrow is Krsna's birthday, and on this occasion Sri Nanda Maharaja has invited you, saying: "This abode is yours, enjoy it as if it's yours, I don't know anything (in terms of 'yours' and 'mine')! Please come tomorrow morning to Nandisvara and make this invitation a success!" In the same way Dhatri-kanya Dhanistha extends Mother Yasoda's invitation to Mother Kirtida. The same kind of invitation is announced in Yavata (the abode of Abhimanyu, Sri Radhika's husband) and to all other friends and relatives.


(On saptami, astami and navami, that is, on Janmastami and the preceding and following days, Krsna does not go out to herd the cows and Sri Radhika dwells in Nandagrama).






In Navadvipa, on the seventh day of the dark lunar quarter of the month of Bhadra, Mahaprabhu performs His usual morning-duties and then sits down to listen to the Srimad Bhagavata-discourse with His devotees. Knowing Mahaprabhu's mind Gadadhara Pandita, the Bhagavata-lecturer, describes how Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja and his relatives come from Varsana to Nandisvara to celebrate Sri Krsna's birthday festival. Upon hearing this Mahaprabhu and His devotees all become absorbed in the mood of Vraja.



<center>VRAJA DHAMA : SAPTAMI LILA</center>

On the seventh day of the dark lunar quarter everyone in Vrsabhanupura finishes their morning duties, bathes, dresses, ornaments and takes a light breakfast before departing to Nandisvara, taking garments and ornaments along as presents for Krsna's birthday. Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja and his brothers mount elephants and leave Varsana, accompanied by musicians and soldiers. Sri Kirtida Mata and her sisters-in-law, wet-nurses and other relatives also depart in topmost bliss, sitting in covered palanquins, carried by four bearers each. Sridama-candra, Sri Radhika's brother, mounts his own horse and departs for Nandisvara with his soldiers and musicians, followed by Sri Radhika and Her sakhis in palanquins and Candravali and the yuthesvaris (gopi-groupleaders) in different vehicles. As Vrsabhanu Maharaja and his brothers gradually approach Nandisvara town Nanda Maharaja and his brothers hear their music and come forward to greet them. The guests dismount their elephants and greet Nanda Maharaja and his brothers by embracing them, addressing them and offering obeisances to them. Nanda Maharaja keeps the soldiers outside and takes the guests inside, giving each of them a proper place to stay. In the same way Sri Yasomati Mata and her sisters-in-law greet Sri Kirtida Mata, Sri Radhika, and the sakhis and yuthesvaris with the proper respect and affection, take them inside the palace and show them their respective guest rooms. Then everyone takes rest in their own abode while the servants and maidservants are engaged in their services.


After this Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja, Kirtida Mata, Sri Radhika and all the sakhis and yuthesvaris take a small snack. Then, on the order of Mother Yasomati, Sri Radhika and Her sakhis engage in cooking different sweets, rice and vegetables, that are offered to Nanda Maharaja's Narayana-deity by Madhumangala. After this offering is done arati is performed for the deity. Servants are dancing, singing and playing musical instruments and everyone present is very blissfully witnessing this. After arati everyone offers prostrated obeisances unto the deity and on the order of Mother Yasoda Madhumangala puts the deity to rest and calls everyone for prasada. On the large yard Sri Nanda Maharaja sits down to eat on the eastern side with his brothers Abhinanda and Upananda, Vrsabhanu Maharaja and his four brothers, Sridama, Balarama, Subhadra and Gobhatta on his right and Sunanda and Nandana, his other two brothers, Sri  Krsna, Subala, Ujjvala, Kokila and others on his left. Sri Krsna's maternal uncles sit facing Nanda Maharaja and Abhimanyu and other cowherders sit facing Maharaja Vrsabhanu. On the southern side all the local brahmanas are sitting and all around the inhabitants of Nandisvara are seated. Sri Radha and Her sakhis serve the side of Nanda Maharaja and Syamala, Candravali and other yuthesvaris are serving Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja's side. They diligently serve sweetmeats, rice and vegetables. Everyone present eats with great pleasure, absorbed in joking and laughter, and after eating they wash their mouths, chew betelleaves and retire to their individual bedrooms, where their servants render them all the services that are suitable for the time of the day. Sri Radha washes Her hands and feet and becomes immersed in transcendental bliss by beholding Krsna's beauty through the window as He lays down to rest. After that Yasomati Mata calls Sri Radhika and the yuthesvaris and makes them sit down on the courtyard. Sri Radha and Her sakhis sit in one line, Candravali, Syamala and others sit in another line and Yasomati Mata, Kirtida Mata and other elderly gopis sit in yet another line while Mother Rohini, Tungi Mata and Kundalata are serving. After blissfully eating and washing their mouths all the ladies go to their individual bedrooms and take rest, being served by their maidservants, who fan them and serve them betelleaves. After this the (local) maidservants and the manjaris (Sri Radhika's maidservants) also eat in order. After eating the ambrosial food remnants of all the gopis the sadhaka dasi cleans the eating place and the plates and then goes to Sri Radha to massage Her lotus feet and render similar services.


Later Sri Radha gets up from bed, meets Krsna for the usual Yogapitha Milana in Gupta Kunda and returns to Nandisvara Pura again. After taking some rest She prepares some sweets, is dressed and ornamented by Her maidservants and then goes on abhisara on the pretext of offering surya puja. After then playing Her usual pastimes with Krsna at Radhakunda She returns to Nandisvara in the afternoon. The other pastimes of the day are also as usual (nityavat).





(Mahaprabhu takes His meal and takes rest)</center>

In Navadvipa Mahaprabhu is absorbed in the bhogarati-kirtana of the householddeity Lord Narayana with His devotees. Then, when Mother Saci calls Him, He ends the kirtana and eats and rests as usual. The rest of His pastimes are also as usual.


<center>Thus ends the Saptami lila</center>






In Navadvipa, on the morning of the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadra, Mahaprabhu takes His usual morning bath, sees the arati-ceremony for Lord Narayana and then sits down with His devotees to listen to a Srimad Bhagavata-lecture given by Sri Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami. As Gadadhara describes the lila of Krsna's Janmastami-abhiseka Mahaprabhu and His devotees all become absorbed in Vraja-bhava.



<center>VRAJA-DHAMA: ABHISEKA</center>

In Nandisvara, on the astami-day, Sri Radha is bathed, dressed and ornamented by Her maidservants as usual. Then Kundalata comes and says: "O Radhe! Come and behold Sri Krsna's abhiseka-ceremony!" Hearing this, Sri Radhika takes Her sakhis and manjaris along and comes to the place of the abhiseka. The young and old villagers, men and women and all others who are called also arrive at the spot.


Sri Krsna is also bathed as usual, after which His servants dress Him with a white garment, place a pearl in His nose, hang a golden necklace around His neck, place armlets on His arms, bangles on His wrists, a belt with small bells around His waist and golden anklebells on His feet. Then Krsna goes to the bathing platform and sits down on a golden chair studded with jewels. Musicians play different instruments, brahmanas chant Vedic hymns, women chant 'Jaya Jaya!' and bards and panegyrists recite different praises. Sri Bhaguri Rsi recites the abhiseka-mantras and the servant boys perform the abhiseka. First of all they bathe Krsna with Mahausadhi (herbal) water and then gradually with pancagavya (five kinds of dairy-products) pancamrta (five kinds of nectar), a hundred jugs of water, then with a thousand streams of water and finally with sankhodaka (water from a conchshell). Then they dry Him off and dress Him in His Pitambara, after which Krsna sits down on a jewelled seat on His srngara vedi (altar for ornamentation), where He is ornamented by His servants.



<center>NAVADVIPA: ABHISEKA</center>

In Navadvipa Mahaprabhu sits down on the bathing platform, immersed in transcendental bliss. The servant-boys bring the paraphernalia for the abhiseka and Sri Advaita Prabhu performs the abhiseka according to the prescribed rules. Then the servants dry Mahaprabhu off and dress Him in His Pitavasa. Then Mahaprabhu takes His seat on a jewelled throne in His srngara-mandapa (pavilion for ornamentation), where the servants arrange His hair, put His tilaka on, adorn Him with sandalwood-pulp, garlands and jewelled ornaments and place a mirror before Him. Then Svarupa Damodara performs the arati of Mahaprabhu. After this, Svarupa Damodara Gosvami gradually sings kirtana-songs about Sri Krsna's dressing, ornamentation and breakfast. All the devotees who hear it then become absorbed in Vraja-bhava and relish the mellows of these pastimes.




In Nandalaya Krsna sits on His srngara mandapa, where His servants decorate His hair and place a golden, jewel-studded crown with peacock-feathers on His head. They make gorocana tilaka on His forehead and leaf pictures on His cheeks, hang a pearl in His nose, Makara-earrings on His ears, a jewelled necklace around His neck, Angada-ornaments on His arms, bangles on His wrists, a sash of small bells around His waist and jewelled anklebells on His feet. Bhaguri Rsi worships Krsna seven times with Durva-sprouts in his hand and all the brahmanas offer blessings. Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja and others bless Krsna and offer Him golden trays with clothes and ornaments, Sri Kirtida Mata and other elderly ladies with motherly love offer their gifts and bless Krsna, and Sri Radhika offers Krsna a golden tray with garments and ornaments and hangs a jewelled necklace around His neck. In the same way Candravali and the other yuthesvaris offer different presents. Then Krsna donates a milk cow-with-calf, with gold-plated horns and silver hooves, bedecked with golden cloth and decorated with different ornaments, to Bhaguri Rsi. Sri Nanda Maharaja also gives thousands and thousands of cows in charity to the brahmanas. Then Krsna descends from the altar and offers His obeisances to Paurnamasi-devi and the other brahmanas. Then He bows down to His mother and father and to Sri Vrsabhanu Baba and Kirtida Mata, as well as to all His other superiors, that are like His father and mother. Then Sri Krsna is called by mother Yasoda to come to the dining room with His friends to take a snack. Sri Radha and Her girlfriends and yuthesvaris also all take a snack, after which mother Yasoda engages them in cooking. Meanwhile hundreds of brahmanas are engaged elsewhere in cooking large amounts of food.


Yasomati comes to inspect all the preparations and then orders Madhumangala to offer them to the household-deity, so Madhumangala comes and offers a little bit of each preparation to Lord Narayana. After the bhoga he performs arati and then puts the deity to rest. Then on different courtyards the Dadhikada-game  commences. On the outer yard Sri Nanda Maharaja plays with Maharaja Vrsabhanu, his brothers and all the other elderly cowherders and on another yard Balarama and Krsna and other cowherdboys become mad with playing Dadhikada.


In the inner quarters of the house Vrajesvari Mata, Kirtida Mata and their sisters-in-law are playing, and on another inner yard Sri Radha, Candravali and other yuthesvaris are maddened by the Dadhikada-game, which is accompanied by dancing, singing and the playing of musical instruments. Mukhara and other elderly gopis are dancing in the middle, wielding sticks. Everyone throws yoghurt, milk, ghi, buttermilk, butter, oil, turmeric, liquid sandalwood, vermilion, water and kesara (pollen tubes) at each other. Out of excitement everyone forgets who is superior and who is junior; everyone tries to pelt everyone else with yoghurt and milk. The thrown yoghurt and milk streams through the drains like a virtual river, and when the pollen-tubes and the butter form balls in the drains and thus cause them to clog, small lakes of milk and yoghurt are being formed on the yards. Later, when these stoppages are removed, the released milk and yoghurt streams away as fast as rivers. When the demigods in the sky see this festival of bliss they shower flowers and some of them assume human forms and dance amongst the cowherders. Other demigods assume the form of birds and eat up the stoppages of butter. The singers, players and the male and female dancers dance in ecstasy and the bards and panegyrists consider themselves blessed by singing the glories of Gokula and Sri Krsna.


After completing the Dadhikada-game in this way everyone proceeds to Pavana Sarovara and begins to play in the water of this lake. In the northern Ghata (bathing place) are Vraja Raja Nanda, Maharaja Vrsabhanu and others, in the eastern Ghata Balarama, Krsna and Their cowherd boyfriends, in the southern Ghata Vrajesvari Yasoda, Kirtida Mata and others and in the western Ghata Sri Radha, Candravali and others are playing in the water, splashing each other. When they climb back on the shore their servants and maidservants wipe off their bodies, massage them with oil and give them another bath. After this they dry them off and dress them in dry, fresh clothes. When everyone returns to the palace Nanda Maharaja presents each person, according to his social status, with clothes and ornaments and Vrajesvari does the same with the lady-guests. Everyone is then dressed and decorated with these gifts by their own servants or maidservants. After this, Nanda Maharaja first seats the brahmanas on the courtyard and feeds them the most exquisite sweets and fried things. After the brahmanas have eaten Mother Yasoda has the brahmacaris call everyone for the feast.




Mahaprabhu sits on the srngara mandapa with His associates, absorbed in the Vraja-bhava, while in the inner courtyard Laksmipriya, Visnupriya and others are preparing different kinds of sweets, fried things and vegetables for the offering to Lord Narayana. Then, on the order of Mother Saci Isana Dasa comes and says: "O Mahaprabho! The offering for Lord Narayana is ready! Mother is calling You to do the offering!" Hearing this, Mahaprabhu roars and returns (from Vraja-bhava) to external consciousness. The devotees also return to external consciousness and Svarupa Damodara ends his descriptive kirtana. Then, on Mahaprabhu's order, Gadadhara Pandita offers the bhoga to Lord Narayana. Mahaprabhu and His devotees sit down in the Narayana-temple and become absorbed in singing about Radha and Krsna and Their friends eating in Nandisvara in Vraja.




Vrajesvari Mata orders the brahmacaris to call everyone for the feast and Vrajesvara Nanda sits down with Vrsabhanu Raja and his sons, friends and fellow-villagers on the large courtyard and blissfully starts feasting, just like the previous day. After eating they all wash their mouths and chew betelleaves before retiring to their individual rooms to lie down and digest the feast. Everyone is then served by their own servant or maidservant as is required at that time of the day.


Meanwhile Vrajesvari Mata serves Kirtida Mata, Sri Radhika and all the other gopis a feast on the inner yard of the palace, just like the previous day. The ladies also wash their mouths, chew betelleaves and retire to their individual rooms to lie down and digest the food.


Vrajaraja then offers the brahmanas clothes, ornaments and monetary donations and honours them before they leave. After this he offers clothes, ornaments and monetary donations to the bards, panegyrists, dancers and singers and serves them a great feast, and then he also feeds and honours the beggars and destitutes before they leave. Then he goes to his own room and takes rest. Sri Radha and Krsna and Their sakhis then perform Their daily midday pastimes just as on the previous day or on any other day.




In Navadvipa Mahaprabhu and His devotees end their song about the feast in Vraja-lila. Gadadhara Pandita takes the enjoyed offering from the altar, washes the mouth of the deity and performs aratrika. Mahaprabhu and His devotees then offer prostrated obeisances to the deity and go to the veranda of Mahaprabhu's bedroom and sit down there. Then, after the usual meeting in the Yogapitha they wander through the forests and go to Sri Advaita Prabhu's house in the afternoon, where they have been invited. There they have darsana of the arati of Prabhu Sitanatha's deity Sri Madana Gopala and perform kirtana. After enjoying fruits and milk-products they all take rest in the house of Sri Advaita Prabhu. After this they perform their usual nocturnal pastimes such as abhisara (love-journey) and return to Sri Advaita Prabhu's house again at night's end to take rest.


<center>Thus Ends the Astami Lila</center>






In the morning Mahaprabhu wakes up in Sri Advaita Prabhu's house, performs His morning-duties, bathes, is dressed and ornamented and takes a snack before going to hear a discourse on Srimad Bhagavata and becoming absorbed in Vraja-bhava. After hearing the Bhagavata-lecture the Lord views the arati of Sriman Madana Gopala and performs kirtana in front of the deities. After the deity is put to rest the Lord performs the Nandotsava Kirtana and plays the Dadhikada-game with His devotees. Then He performs His famous Nagara-bhramana (wandering through the town of Navadvipa), dances, sings and plays Dadhikada in the house of each devotee before returning to the house of Sri Advaita Prabhu. Then all the devotees go to the Ganga for a holy dip and watersports and again return to the house of Advaita Prabhu, who presents Mahaprabhu, Nitai Cand and all the other devotees with gifts of clothes and ornaments. After taking prasada all the devotees take a little rest and then they have the usual Yogapitha-meeting and wander through the forests of Nadiya. In the afternoon Mahaprabhu returns to His own home. After this all of Mahaprabhu's pastimes are as usual. In the evening Svarupa Damodara, knowing Mahaprabhu's mind, describes Radha and Krsna's evening-pastimes in Vraja. Hearing this all the devotees become absorbed in Vraja-bhava.



<center>VRAJA DHAMA</center>

In the morning in Nandisvara Sri Radha and Her sakhis wake up as usual, perform their morningduties, bathe and are ornamented and dressed before they go to enjoy the remnants of Krsna's breakfast-snack. Then Vrajesvari orders them to cook. Madhumangala offers these preparations to the deity of Lord Narayana and then puts the deity to rest. Then, as on the previous day, everyone eats, takes rest and has the Yogapitha meeting.


In the evening, after Sri Nanda Maharaja, Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja and Sri Krsna had their snacks Sri Radha and Her sakhis take their snacks. Then Vrsabhanu Maharaja begs permission from Nanda Maharaja to leave and return home. Nanda Maharaja then respectfully says goodbye to them while offering them clothes and ornaments once more.


In the same way Sri Vrajesvari Mata also says goodbye to Sri Kirtida Mata and the other lady-guests by offering them garments and ornaments. Sri Radha and Her sakhis and yuthesvaris offer their obeisances to Vrajesvari Mata and she blesses them while embracing them, kissing them and smelling their heads. Thereafter all the guests mount their own vehicles and return to their individual homes, being followed by Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja for a while.


After Sri Radhika and Her sakhis return home they watch from their moontowers how Krsna milks His cows in the evening. After that the lila is nityavat, as usual.


<center>Thus ends Siddha Sri Krsna dasa Baba's description of Sri Janmastami lila.</center>



<center>Download the file in PDF-format -- click here!</center></font>

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<font color=#F055B0><center>Sri Krishnacandrastakam

by Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami






svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


His abundantly beautiful complexion belittles the splendor of combined rainclouds, black eye cosmetics, and sapphires.

His garments appear effulgent like a rising sun tinted like kunkum powder and enhanced by shining bolts of lightning.

His perfectly-formed limbs are anointed with sandalwood paste mixed with camphor and saffron.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of the cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.




ballavISu vardhitAtma-gUDha-bhAva-bandhanaH

svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He wears shark-shaped earrings that dance very expertly upon His cheeks.

The beauty of the orb of His face destroys the pride of a multitude of moons and lotus flowers.

He causes the knot of His own secret ecstatic love-moods to increasingly tighten amongst the gopis.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.





svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He is eternally engaged in designing ever-fresh variations of His youthful form, mode of dress, and loving pastimes.

He is surrounded by the assembly of His cowherd boyfriends, who excel in giving Him delight by their playful joking words.

Even a single brilliant ray of splendor from His personal pleasure-forest defeats the heavenly Nandana gardens of Lord Indra.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.





svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He is delighted by the friendship of His devotees, whose consciousness is decorated with the golden ornaments of pure love for Him.

He is praised by the great demigods who protect various planets in the universe and who offer obeisances to Him by touching their foreheads to the ground.

He honors the brahmanas with great reverence at specific times of the day.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.





svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He easily removed the pride of Indra as well as the violent anger of Kaliya, and He killed the demons Kamsa and Vatsasura.

With the rainfall of these variegated pastimes, He nourishes the chataka birds who are His devotees.

By performing His pastimes of heroic nature, He delights the residents of His own cowherd community.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.





svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He satisfies Sri Radhika and the other gopis with the nectar of the sportive rasa dance performed in the groves of Vrindavana.

During the various intrigues of those amorous pastimes, He devises many different playful jokes to sustain the assembly of gopis.

He thus delights the minds of all the people in the universe by the glory of His loving pastimes.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.




gopikAsu netra-koNa-bhAva-vRnda-gandhanaH

svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


By revealing His pastimes of the festive rasa dance, He also shows the eternal path of His own pure devotional service.

By His amazing beauty and fascinating mode of dress, He churns the minds of a vast multitude of cupids.

Through the outer corners of His eyes, He casts sidelong glances, aimed at the gopis, that give hints of a host of affectionate ecstatic moods.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.




rAdhikorasIha lepa eSa hAri-candanaH

svAGghri-dAsyado ’stu me sa ballavendra-nandanaH


He becomes excited with desire by suddenly touching Sri Radhika while She is busy picking flowers.

Then He becomes jubilant when He sees Her charming face decorated with the contrariness of pure love.

Verily He is the sandalwood paste that decorates Radhika’s breasts.

May Sri Krishna, the Son of the king of cowherd men, grant me the service of His own lotus feet.


aSTakena yastvanena rAdhikA-suvallabhaM

saMstavIti darzane ‘pi sindhujAdi-durlabham

taM yunakti tuSTa-citta eSa ghoSa-kAnane



It is very difficult for Laksmi Devi and other exalted gods and goddesses to attain even a glimpse of Sri Krishna, who is very dear to Sri Radhika.

But if someone glorifies Him by reciting these eight verses with full attention,

then He who is delighted by the intimate association with Radhika's limbs will become pleased with that person

and engage them in the service of His own lotus feet within the cowherd forests of Goloka Vrindavana.</font>

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<center>Namaste. Here is a sublime 'pada' for the devotees from another board.


This song is from the book- 'Prema-Rasa-Madira' of Sri Kripaluji Maharaj.


A Love-stricken Gopi, who had the Blessed Darshan (Divine Visual

encounter) of her Beloved Shyama Sundar, Lord Sri Krishna,

tells her experience to her intimate friend -


"sakhi, shyaama ki manda, manda musukaan,"


<font color="red">O my dear, what can I say about the sweet, gentle, enchanting 'smile'

of my Shyama Sundar!</font color>


"bisarata naahi sakhi! yekahu china, peetaambara paharaan,"


<font color="blue">Even for one second, my mind cannot give up the delightful

reminiscence of the wavy movements of His dazzling

robe, 'Pitaambara', the yellow silken garment elegantly covering His

divine form!


All my earned virtues of good conduct are of no use for me and my

ardent efforts for self-control have become utterly powerless.</font color>


"maTakani mukuTa laTan ki laTakani, aTakyom tana, mana, praan,"


<font color="red">His charming, jewelled crown with pea-cock feather, His captivating

Lotus-face surrounded by the curly locks of dark hair, have become

the noose and entangled my body, mind and soul.</font color>


"ati rasa bhare nayan so herata, Therata muralee taan,"


<font color="blue">Moreover, His intoxicating looks are ever drowning me in the

Nectar of Amorous Love!


How can I still keep my life-breath, when He calls me playing His

Flute (Murali), inviting my soul to join His Blissful sports?</font color>


"nitya vihaara karata vrindaavana, manjula kunja lataan,"


<font color="red">O sakhi, He is tempting me with delight, and showering divine joy by

His amorous daliances in the blessed bowers of 'kunja', and the secret enchanting gardens of 'nikunja' day and night!"</font color>


The Poet-Saint Kripaluji sympathizes with the Gopi's plight in the

concluding verse saying -


"lakhi 'kripaalu' chuTi jaata samaadhina, Shiva Sanakaadika dhyaan."


<font color="blue">"Do not feel so disturbed and helpless!

Even the greatest Yogi, Lord Shiva, Who has vanquished the 'cupid' and

the great Paramahamsas, the eternal celibates like Sanaka kumaras of heaven,

who are ever absorbed in the Nirvikalpa Samadhi of the 'Absolute

Brahman, have also become very perturbed by the Blessed sight of the

All Attractive Blissful Lord, Sri Krishna and have fallen from their

contemplation and given up their Trance!


So what to speak of the fate and state of any other ordinary soul

at the transcendental meeting of her Divine Beloved!!! "</font color>



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<font face="Georgia" color=#514110>




From Kavi Karnapura's

Ananda Vrindavana Campu,

Second Chapter


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Now we will discuss the truth about the transcendental birthplace of Bhagavan and the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna. Once upon a time, Bhumi, the predominating deity of the earth, felt overburdened by different demons posing as members of the royal order. Feeling aggrieved upon seeing her miserable condition, the lotus-born Brahma appealed to Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the maintainer of the universe, saying, "Please deliver Goddess Bhumi who is feeling greatly distressed by these demoniac kings. Only You can remove this terrible influence from the earth."


The time for an appearance of the Lord coincided with two internal desires of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. First the Lord desired to descend on earth to increase the fortune of Yasoda and Nanda. Also at that time Krishna wanted to relish the sweet mellow of srngara rasa (paramour love) while enacting His worldly pastimes. For these two reasons the Lord appeared within the material creation on Bhuloka, (earth planet), along with His parents, friends, and other eternal associates.


Another distinction of Lord Krishna’s earthly pastimes is that when the eternally liberated gopis such as Srimati Radharani, Candravali, and others appeared, the Srutis personified also appeared in the homes of other gopis, because they had previously cultivated the desire to serve Sri Krishna as Vraja gopis. The Dandakaranya sages, upon seeing the svakiya bhava (the sweet conjugal relationship) of Lord Ramacandra and Sitadevi, desired to have the same relationship with their Lord Madana Gopala. Upon attaining perfection in their sadhana they achieved the fortunate position of appearing as gopis in Vrindavana. Yogamaya, Lord Krishna’s pastime potency who possesses unlimited abilities, appeared invisibly in Gokula to arrange this, and perform other difficult tasks on behalf of the Lord.


Sri Nanda, Yasoda, and others appeared in Brhadvana (Mahavana) before the Lord. The gopas, gopis, and other eternally liberated associates appeared after the Lord. Then those who had attained perfection by sadhana, namely the sruti-cans and muni-caris, took birth in Vrindavana.



Learning of Krishna’s imminent appearance, the earth personified, feeling like a wife happily greeting her husband after a long separation, immersed in unlimited joy. At the time of Krishna’s birth the general mass of people tasted the inner bliss that devotees forever relish. Auspicious signs. abounded everywhere. As Visnu’s conchshell Pancajanya opens in a clockwise fashion, similarly, auspicious sacrificial fires glowed in all directions. Pure gentle breezes brought a refreshing coolness like devotees who satisfy and sanctify everyone with their calm, sweet, and affectionate behavior.


The whole atmosphere became as completely purified as the heart of a devotee. The devotees once again found peace and prosperity in worshiping the lotus feet of Lord Hari. Fruits filled the jubilant trees. But the envious demons exhibited various inauspicious signs of degradation such as rapidly aging bodies and symptoms of imminent death. The desire vines of the celestial denizens seemed to be hanging in the air as if eager to produce fruits. At that time all the directions became felt as pure and joyful as the mind of a devotee who has received the mercy of Lord Hari. Just as gems, mantras, or medicines can a remove a poisonous disease from the body of a man, the advent of the Lord relieved the world from the contamination of material existence and the sinful effect of the demons. Happiness gradually replaced the distress in everyone’s hearts.


The bodies of all creatures manifested extraordinary beauty and youthful vitality. Men felt extremely joyful and displayed virtuous qualities. Throughout the world people behaved cordially and interacted amicably. Happiness twinkled in everyone’s eye. At the end of Dvapara-yuga, which completely destroys faults and doubts, an auspicious, favorable, obstacle-free time appeared on the eighth day of the waning moon in Bhadra month. Just at that sweet moment the Rohini Naksatra, along with the good qualities of the moon and an auspicious conjunction of stars called Ayusman, appeared in the sky to give shelter to gentle persons.


As the living entity comes out from the womb of his mother and the moon appears on the lap of the eastern direction, Yogesvara Sri Krishna, the personification of complete bliss, appeared amidst great festivities. As the moon appears in the lap of the eastern direction, which is like a beautiful bride, Krishna manifested the wonderful pastime of His appearance out of His love and compassion for the conditioned souls.


<center>IN MATHURA</center>

Due to austerities performed in previous lives, Vasudeva and Devaki received the opportunity to momentarily relish parental affection for Lord Sri Krishna when He appeared before them in His form as Vasudeva. Thereafter in fear of Kamsa, Vasudeva brought Vasudeva Krishna to Gokula. There the Supreme Lord appeared as Govinda before Nanda and Yasoda, His eternal parents who have been smothering Him with the sweetest form of parental love since time immemorial. The four symbols of Visnu (sankha, cakra, gada, padma) adorned His hands and feet. The flute, flower garland, and kaustubha mani, although present within Him, had not yet manifested.


In fear of cruel Kamsa, Vasudeva decided to transfer all his wives except Devaki to Gokula. He sent Rohini to the house of Vrajaraja Nanda. By the sweet will of the Lord, Yogamaya arranged for the seventh child of Devaki (Balarama) to enter the womb of Rohini. As a result, Balarama appeared in the home of Vrajaraja Nanda before the birth of Krishna.

<center>IN VRAJA</center>

Lord Hari, who is bliss personified, appeared in the home of Nanda Maharaja, the king of Vrindavana for three reasons: to engage the self satisfied sages in devotional service, to please the devotees by performing sweet transcendental pastimes, and to relieve the earth’s burden caused by the demons. At the time of His majestic birth Krishna employed His inconceivable powers to appear in a body of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Everyone in the maternity room swelled with joy upon seeing the Lord’s exquisite transcendental form that looked like a creeper of beauty.


Mother Yasoda resembled a lake of spiritual ecstasy in which a brilliant blue lotus of personified bliss had appeared. Neither the wind nor the bees relished the fragrance of that blue lotus. That unborn lotus was never touched by the waves of the modes of nature. Even Lord Brahma could not see it, what to speak of ordinary men.


After Yasoda and her family members fell asleep in the maternity room, Hari cried beautifully like a newborn baby. His crying sounded like the maha-vakya omkara announcing the auspicious arrival of His pastimes. Omkara is a transcendental vibration that had previously emanated from the mouth of Lord Brahma. When the ladies of Vrindavana heard the sweet sound of Krishna’s crying, they woke up and ran to see the Lord. With the mellow of their matchless overflowing affection they anointed His body.


The natural fragrance of Krishna’s body smelled just like musk. After the ladies bathed Krishna in sweet ambrosia, He looked cleansed and beautiful. Then they smeared His body with fragrant sandalwood pulp. The presiding deity of the house sent a campaka flower resembling the flame of a lamp into the maternity room to worship that ornament of the three worlds. With the strength of His little arms, delicate as the tender leaves of a tree, Krishna made all the lamps in the maternity room look like a garland of lotus flower buds.


The ladies of Vrindavana saw baby Krishna like a blossoming flower made of the best of blue sapphires, or like a newly unfurled leaf of a tamala tree. Krishna looked like a fresh rain cloud decorated with the musk tilaka of the goddess of fortune of the three worlds. The ointment of the greatest auspiciousness lined His eyes. His presence filled the maternity room with good fortune. Although a mere baby, Krishna had a head full of curly hair. To hide the unique signs on His hands (goad, fish, conch etc.) the Lord folded His delicate petal-like fingers into His lotus palm. At that time Krishna laid on His back with His eyes closed.


Mother Yasoda awoke amidst the joyous chattering of the elderly gopis. Leaning over the bed she admired her gorgeous son. But upon noticing her own reflection on Krishna’s body, she imagined it another woman. Thinking that a witch had assumed her form to kidnap Krishna, Yasoda became bewildered and yelled, "Get out of here! You go away!" Spontaneously she cried out to Nrsimhadeva to protect her precious son. Beholding Krishna’s tender face, Yasoda showered tears of affection that looked like an offering of a pearl necklace.



Yasoda saw Krishna’s body as a mound of dark blue musk, softer than the butter churned from the milk ocean. Overflowing with nectar, His charming body appeared like the foam of milk, but being dark blue in color it seemed the foam was full of musk juice. Admiring the supremely delicate form of her son, Yasoda worried about His safety and feared the touch of her body might hurt his tender body.


As she leaned over the bed Yasoda bathed Krishna with the milk dripping from her breasts. The elderly gopis instructed Yasoda how to caress the baby in her lap, and affectionately push the nipple of her breast into Krishna’s mouth to feed Him. Due to Yasoda’s intense love, personified bliss flowed from her breasts as steady streams of milk. When milk sometimes spilled out of Krishna’s bimba fruit red lips onto His cheeks, Mother Yasoda would wipe His face with the edge of her cloth. After feeding her son, Yasoda gazed affectionately at Him in wonder.


She saw her child’s body as made of dazzling blue sapphires. His mouth resembled a red bimba fruit and His hands and feet looked like exquisite rubies. Krishna’s nails shone like precious gems. In this way, Yasoda thought her child was completely made of jewels. Then she perceived that His naturally reddish lips looked like bandhuka flowers, His hands and feet resembled java flowers, His nails looked like mallika flowers. Yasoda then thought, "Krishna’s whole body seems to be made of blue lotus flowers. He does not appear to be mine." After thus deliberating within herself Yasoda became stunned in amazement.


The beautiful, soft curly hairs on the right side of Krishna’s chest resembled the tender stems of a lotus. Seeing the mark of Srivatsa on His chest, Yasoda thought it was breast milk that had previously spilled out of His mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove these `milk stains’ with the edge of her cloth. Struck with wonder, Yasoda thought this must be the sign of a great personality. Observing the sign of Laksmi (a small golden line) on the left side of Krishna’s chest, Yasoda thought a small yellow bird had made a nest amidst the leaves of a tamala tree. Could this be a streak of lightning resting on a rain cloud, or could it be the golden streaks marking a black gold-testing stone? Krishna’s delicate, leaf-like hands and feet, glowing pink like the rising sun, looked like clusters of lotus flowers floating in the Yamuna.


Sometimes Yasoda saw the curly, dark blue locks of baby Krishna as a swarm of bumblebees surrounding His face. Intoxicated from drinking too much honey nectar, the bees just hovered in the sky. His thick, beautiful blue hair appeared like the dark night. The two lotus eyes of Krishna looked like a pair of blue lotus buds. His cheeks resembled two huge bubbles floating in a lake of liquefied blue sapphires. Krishna’s attractive ears looked like a pair of fresh unfurled leaves growing on a blue creeper.


The tip of Krishna’s dark nose appeared like the sprout of a tree, and His nostrils looked like bubbles in the Yamuna River, the daughter of the sun god. His lips resembled a pair of red java flower buds. Krishna’s chin rivaled a pair of ripe, red jambu fruits. Seeing the extraordinary beauty of her son fulfilled the purpose of her eyes and submerged Yasoda in an ocean of bliss.


<center>THE JOY OF NANDA MAHARAJA</center>

The elderly Vrajavasi ladies addressed Vrajaraja Nanda, "O most fortunate one, you fathered a son!" Previously Nanda Maharaja had felt deeply aggrieved over his long-standing inability to obtain a son. His heart was like a small lake that had completely dried up during a long hot summer. But when Nanda Maharaja heard of his son’s birth he felt as if the dry lake of his heart had been blessed with a sudden downpour of nectar. The gentle sound of Krishna’s voice removed all his grief and lamentation. Now he bathed in the rains of bliss, swam in the ocean of nectar, and felt embraced by the joyful stream of the celestial Ganges.


Eager to see his son, Nanda’s body thrilled with astonishment and waves of ecstasy as he stood outside the maternity room. Because he had accumulated heaps of pious activities, it appeared that the King of Vrindavana was now shaking hands with the personification of pious deeds. Anxiously standing in the background, Yogamaya induced Nanda Maharaja to enter the maternity room. He rushed in to see his son, the personified seed of condensed bliss. It seemed that all the auspiciousness of the three worlds now resided within Krishna, the original cause of everything. Nanda saw his son as a perfectly charming person. The kajala around Krishna’s eyes looked like lines on a black creeper of beauty. As the very embodiment of Nanda’s good fortune, Sri Krishna bloomed like a beautiful flower in a garden of desire trees.


The aparajita flower is compared to the body of the Queen of Vrindavana. Her son is like the representative of the Upanisads that are compared to the fruit of the desire creepers. By seeing his glorious son Nanda felt that he had attained happiness, perfection, and the fulfillment of all his desires. Meeting that embodiment of bliss overwhelmed Nanda with immeasurable satisfaction. He stood motionless, stunned; his hair stood erect and tears flowed from his eyes. He appeared like a person carved in stone or a figure drawn in a painting. For some time Nanda Maharaja remained in this semi-conscious state like a sleeping man about to awaken.


<center>THE FESTIVAL IN VRAJA</center>

Upananda, Sunanda, and other relatives felt extremely joyful while observing the best of brahmanas perform the rites of purification for Krishna’s birth. To insure his son’s welfare Nanda Maharaja donated newborn calves to each and every brahmana, thus turning their homes into abodes of surabhi cows. These cows had gold and silver plated horns and hooves, and jeweled necklaces adorning their necks. In addition, Vrajapati Nanda filled the courtyards of their homes with hills of gold, jewels, and sesame seeds. While Nanda distributed charity, the kamadhenus, touch-stones, and desire-trees lost their power to produce valuable items. Even the jewel-producing oceans lost their stock of jewels, and the goddess of fortune, the abode of lotuses, had but one lotus in her hand. The auspicious news of Krishna’s wonderful appearance spread in all directions by word of mouth. Delight danced in the hearts of Nanda, his brothers Upananda and Sunanda, and all the other gopas.


The gopas brought many varieties of delicious dairy products such as milk, yogurt, butter, wet cheese, and hard cheese in jewel-studded pots. The pots were tied to the ends of bamboo poles with jute straps and carried on their shoulders. Bedecked with many precious jeweled ornaments, the gopas appeared very handsome. They dressed in beautiful yellow cloth defeating the brilliance of lightning, and held staffs topped with gold and jewels in their lotus hands. As a great ocean spreads its waves in all directions, the birth of Krishna filled the Vrajavasis with unbounded bliss. The gopas and gopas enjoyed a grand festival by happily eating and by splashing each other’s bodies with a mixture of yogurt, butter, milk, and condensed milk.


The society girls visiting Nanda Maharaja’s house experienced more happiness than they had ever felt since their birth. Their minds saturated with joy and satisfaction. Hearing the delightful description of Krishna’s birth carried away the chariots of their minds and made them abandon all other duties. They became possessed with the desire to see Krishna.


Sparkling rubies hung from the necklaces adorning the society girls. Their diamond-studded armlets shown more beautifully than drops of crystal clear water. Their jewel inlaid golden bangles boasted unparalleled elegance. For this unique festival they took out some highly ornamental waist-belts from their jewel boxes and tied them around their hips. The sweet jingling of the waist-bells resting on their broad hips enhanced the beauty of these society girls. They attracted the minds of everyone with their bulky golden anklets, loosened hair braids, and graceful gait, which resembled the smooth gliding of swans. Their minds entered a state of enchantment as they gazed upon the captivating beauty of Krishna’s transcendental body. To worship Krishna they brought golden trays full of auspicious articles such as fruits, flowers, yogurt, durva grass, uncooked rice, and jewel bedecked lamps. They covered the offering plates with splendid yellow silk cloth and held them in their soft lotus hands. Their jeweled ankle-bells vibrated pleasantly as they walked.


Beholding the astounding beauty of the delicate baby, the society girls considered the purpose of their eyes fulfilled. They perceived Krishna’s perfect birth to be like the appearance of the leaves of an important herbal medicine. Krishna resembled a blue lotus floating in the lake of His parent’s affection. After bestowing their blessings for Krishna’s prosperity, they worshiped Krishna with fresh flowers and a constant shower of loving glances. With great enthusiasm the society girls glorified Vrajesvari Yasoda since she had attained the essence of all good fortune by having Krishna as her son.


Leaving the maternity room, the society girls entered the assembly hall of Nanda Maharaja’s palace. Their faces looked exceedingly beautiful as they sung melodious songs, which resembled the soft sweet humming of bees moving amidst a cluster of lotus flowers. All the guests bathed in a nectar shower produced by these soothing sounds. Overwhelmed with love, they filled their lotus palms with fragrant oil, turmeric paste, and fresh butter and started smearing each other’s faces and bodies. They looked very attractive with their smiling faces and glittering white teeth.


Their red lips seemed more beautiful than red bandhuka flowers. This incredible display of elegance smashed the pride of the goddess of fortune of the three worlds. Carried away with joy over Krishna’s birth, they fearlessly threw cheese balls, butter, and yogurt at each other. One could mistake the white balls of cheese for hailstones, solidified moonlight, or white mud from the floor of the milk ocean. Then they showered each other with buttermilk, aromatic oils, and water mixed with turmeric.


Cymbals, damru drums, bherries, and big drums vibrated auspicious sounds in specific melodies. A celestial concert of precise poetical meters, proper rhythms, and metrical compositions suddenly manifested there. The musical ensemble inspired the society girls to sing and dance in mirth and merriment. Though not good singers, by the will of the Lord they sang with great virtuoso. Their wonderful songs filled Nanda Maharaja’s heart with joy. The combined vibrations of brahmanas’ chanting Vedic hymns, the recitation of Puranic lore, and the panegyrists’ prayers transformed the ethers into sabda brahman.


The joy of Krishna’s birth celebration taxed the drains of Nanda’s capital city as they swelled to the brim with milk, yogurt, and other auspicious liquids. Soon rivers of this nectar flooded the streets of the town and permeated the entire atmosphere with a sweet fragrance. Disguising themselves as birds, the demigods descended to Vrajapura to happily drink the flood of nectar. The Vrajavasis decorated their cows with gold and jeweled ornaments. Then in great excitement they smeared them with oil, fresh butter, and turmeric paste. Beholding Krishna in their hearts, these fortunate cows looked like the essence of the earth’s suspiciousness. The whole world resounded with their jubilant bellowing. Absorbed in the ecstasy of Krishna’s birth, they forgot about eating and drinking.


The festival drowned the gopis in an ocean of joy. After offering oil, vermilion, garlands, and utensils in charity to all the assembled gopis, Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, asked them to bless Krishna. Upon completion of the sacrifice, Upananda and the other relatives felt constant happiness while taking their baths. Keeping the King of Vrindavana in the front, Nanda’s relatives offered opulent cloth, jeweled ornaments, tambula, garlands, and sandalwood pulp to the guests. Then they humbly requested all in attendance to bless that wonderfully auspicious boy who had just appeared in Vrindavana.



<center>Thus ends the second chapter of Ananda Vrindavana Campu describing the Lord's appearance


(Adapted from the edition published by Mahanidhi Swami in 1999)</center>

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The following text from Sri Ananda Vrindavan Campu describes the festival arranged by Nanda Maharaja in celebrating Sri Krishna's birthday.





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From Kavi Karnapura's

Ananda Vrindavana Campu,

Eight Chapter



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One year Nanda Maharaja organized a grand festival (nandotsava) to celebrate Krishna’s auspicious birthday. Krishna sat upon a celestial golden throne and all the Vraja gopis came to worship Him. The loud pounding of the bheri drums, the “dhinta dhinta” sounds from the mrdangas and dundubhis, the boll from the madalas, and the skillful beats on the dolaks announced the auspicious festival of Krishna’s birthday. The joyous vibration of the occasion was enhanced by the excited voices and jingling anklebells of the elderly gopis as they greeted the various guests.


The learned brahmanas bathed Krishna with thousands of streams of pure water poured from crystal pitchers while purifying the environment with perfectly enunciated mantras. This added waves of attraction to Krishna’s already gorgeous body. They dried Krishna with a fine linen cloth, dressed Him in a yellow silk dhoti and caddar, decorated Him with glittering gems, and anointed His forehead with tilaka made of gorocana. After fixing His jeweled bracelets and armbands, they tied some durva grass around His wrist with turmeric soaked thread.


Following the local customs of such blissful festivals, the merciful Yasoda blessed Krishna by showering flowers upon His head. The elderly gopis sang traditional Vraja bhasa songs and waved lamps respectfully before the Lord. He, who is kind to His friends and the object of the gopis’ love, sat quietly on His asana accepting arati. Then with great, enthusiasm the Vrajavasis joyfully offered gifts to Krishna and gave Him a variety of creamy milk sweets.


To properly complete the festival, Yasoda had her servants invite the general public. Yasoda offered palatable food to the wives of the village leaders, the married women and the young girls of Vrindavana. Nanda Maharaja invited the cowherd men such as Sananda, Upananda, and their wives to take the sumptuous foods cooked by Rohini, the crest-jewel among women. When the cowherd men arrived Yasoda honored their youngest sons by worshiping them and offering pearl necklaces.


Though pained by separation from their husbands because they had to accompany their mothers-in-law to the festival, the newly married gopis put on ornate and elegant ankle-length dresses. The tender faces of these newlyweds glowed splendidly under the fine fabric of their veils. Feeling intensely attracted to Krishna; the gopis disclosed their loving sentiments by offering Him their sidelong glances in charity. Their bangles fell silent as they embraced Krishna with their eyes. They felt as if they were beholding a bouquet of beautiful flowers. No one noticed the auspicious meeting of Krishna and the gopis.


Though they had seen Krishna before, the young unmarried gopis like Dhanya-sakhi just stood with their mothers and gazed timidly upon Him as if it was the first time. While bathing in the lake of Krishna’s exquisite beauty, the unmarried gopis expressed their desire to be His wives by offering Him mental flowers scented with camphor. They became shy, however, when Krishna accepted their proposal with a favorable glance. No could detect the infinite bliss the gopis now relished within their hearts.


At that time, Krishna’s pet parrot left His side and landed on the lotus feet of a gopi whose heart throbbed with love. Hoping to develop a relationship with Krishna, that excited gopi respectfully welcomed the parrot. Understanding the hint of the parrot, Krishna cast the fresh lotus garland of His glance toward Radha, the daughter of Vrsabhanu. Krishna’s glance seemed to say, “O parrot! I saw this gopi Radha looking at Me from the watchtower as I took the cows to the forest.”


No one else saw this secret exchange of sweet love. Understanding that Radha’s body had become slender due to Her purva-raga, Krishna looked upon Her with great compassion. Then Yasoda, shining with all auspicious qualities, smiled gently and took lotus-faced Radhika and the other gopis to another room to feed them.


After worshiping His best cows with scents and garlands, Vrajaraja Nanda escorted his guests to a wide jeweled veranda and sat them down on wooden seats. Then he bathed their feet, performed acamana, and offered arghya. Nanda arranged for Rohini and the wives of Sananda and Upananda to respectfully serve them first-class food and drink on gold plates. At the conclusion of the meal, Nanda personally gave them betel nut, cardamom, scents, garlands, and ornaments. After the elderly men, children, and babies had eaten the feast, the married women and girls sat down in two rows to eat. Radhika and others received respect according to their position. Yasoda swam in an ocean of happiness as she personally served the gopis. In a voice that sounded as sweet as pattering raindrops of nectar, Yasoda spoke to each guest, “Please do not feel shy. Just eat to your heart’s content.”


Yasoda affectionately served everyone, and then honored them with offerings of betel nuts, garlands, ointments, sindura, and gold embroidered cloth. Finally, Yasoda, the crest jewel of good fortune, embraced each of the gopis before sending them home. Smiling broadly, Yasoda distributed the remnants of the feast to the sinless residents of the village. Nanda Maharaja presented gifts to the dancers and musicians while Yasoda blessed them with her upraised palm. Upon concluding the festival, Yasoda thought holding such a festival everyday would surely fulfill all her desires. For a moment she felt a touch of sadness, fearing that she may not have fully satisfied all the guests.


<center>Thus ends an excerpt from

the eighth chapter of Ananda Vrindavana Campu

describing the Lord’s birthday celebration


(Adapted from the edition published by Mahanidhi Swami in 1999)</center>

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