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PRANKS of Krishna Part II

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<font color="brown"> A MOONBEAM OF SHEER ASTONISHMENT </font color>

<font color="#666666"> by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. </font color>


<font color="blue"> SECOND PRANK </font color>


~~<font color="red"> Meeting in the Disguise of Abhimanyu </font color>~~


Once, in the cold month of Magh (January-February), Sri Radhika began to follow an auspicious vow of bathing daily in the Yamuna River early in the morning. Thus, every day just before dawn, She rose from bed and went with Her girlfriends to bathe in the Yamuna. Seeing this going on, Kutila (the dull-brained, crooked sister of Abhimanyu) began to develop a suspicion within her mind.


One day, just after Sri Radhika leaves with Her friends at the end of the night to go to the Yamuna, Kutila makes some excuse to go to the home of Sri Nanda at Nanda-gram. She wants to check up and see what Sri Krishna is doing at that time of the morning. Arriving at the palace, she asks some resident for the latest news about Sri Krishna. The resident of Nandagram replies,


"Our Youthful Prince of the Pastures has just gone to the Yamuna for a morning bath, following the order of His mother."

Hearing this, the doubt within Kutila's heart simply increases. Therefore she immediately leaves for the bank of the river. Not knowing exactly which direction that Sri Krishna had gone in for enjoying sweet, relishable pastimes with Sri Radha, Kutila begins to trace out His path by following the trail of His extraordinarily divine footprints, which are always clearly visible in the soft earth of Vrajadhama.


Gradually she comes just before the forest bowerhouse within which Sri Krishna is enjoying with Srimati Radharani. Seeing Kutila coming closer and closer, Sri Radha's dear maidservant named Tulasi fearfully enters into the bower - and sees that Sri Radha is deeply immersed in joyful pastimes of jokes and laughter along with Her Beloved, completely surrounded by Lalita and all the assembly of Her girlfriends. It seems as if They are attaining boundless supreme bliss - so Tulasi dasi, becoming extremely blissful just to see Them enjoying in this ecstatic way, suddenly exclaims, "Attention, attention oh Goddesses of Vraja! Please hear this message which simply announces the greatest misfortune for the festival of the Flower Archer (Cupid) today! Kutila has come from Vraja to spy on Sri Krishna and witness this festival; slowly but surely, she is gradually approaching this very spot !!!"


Immediately upon hearing this, the entire assembly of girls look this way and that with fearful, restless eyes as they loudly exclaim, "WHERE? WHERE? ALAS!! TELL US !!"


Tulasi says, "Seeing her just in front of the Chattikara forest, I have rushed here as fast as possible! By now, Kutila must be right in front of the very bower!"


Hearing all this, Sri Krishna calmly says, "Oh Gopis! Don't you worry at all - just wait here for a minute and see what will happen next; I'm leaving here now, and I will don the disguise of Abhimanyu. Thus I will cheat Kutila with My tricks of sheer genius - and moreover, I will take the fun from there and execute even more mischievous pranks."


Saying this much, He goes to a lonely place. Taking clothing and ornaments suitable for copying Abhimanyu's mode of dress from Vrnda, the Goddess of the Forest, He covers up all of His own distinguishing features. Then He begins to walk down the same path as that which Kutila was searching.


Aho !!! Is a clever person, highly advanced in the arts of craftsmanship and taste, ever unable to serve His own purposes with great skill ???


After walking for a short distance, Sri Krishna then meets up with Kutila. The Lover of Women, Who is the Abode of Tasteful Artistries, then begins to question her. Making His voice just like Abhimanyu's, He asks, "My dear sister Kutila! Why have you come so far away from Vraja so early in the morning?"


Kutila: "My dear older brother! I've come to search out your wife, Radha."


Sri Krishna: "Where has She gone?"


Kutila: "Coming out this way on the plea of observing a vow to bathe every morning in the Yamuna during this cold season, She must be somewhere close by here."


Sri Krishna: "Where is that woman-thief, Sri Krishna?"

Kutila: "He has also come this way to bathe in the Yamuna; for this reason, our mother Jatila has sent me to find out what those two are up to. Now, what should I do? Please order me."


Sri Krishna: "Dear sister! Today I was hitching up one of My young bulls to the plow for training. Suddenly, he broke the plow and ran off somewhere. I have come this way while searching for that young bull, and now it seems as if I have lost him. This troubles my heart somewhat, but in comparison I am just unable to tolerate the agitating anxiety that I feel over the sheer debauchery caused by that woman-thief toward my Wife. From here, I'm going straight to Mathura right now, and I will see to it that the befitting measures are taken by King Kamsa. Oh most intelligent sister! Before I go, just listen to one plan: I'll hide right here in this grove, and you go and look all around for Sri Radhika; if you find Her alone, without Sri Krishna, then just bring Her here by making up some excuse. Or, if you catch Her with Krishna, then come here and get Me, and I will secretly observe Their vulgar activities from a distance."


Hearing these instructions, the extremely crooked-natured Kutila then begins to search each and every bower from Kaliya-ghat on up to Kesi-ghat. Coming before a flower-garden just by the side of Kesi-ghat, she suddenly sees that Girl Who emits purely sweet, natural fragrances, She Who is served slowly and majestically by all of Her surrounding girlfriends, She Who is the flowering of the creeper of Divine Fame for Her mother Kirtida - Sri Radhika.


Sri Lalita, seeing Kutila nearby, then asks her: "Oh Kutila! Have you come to bathe in the Yamuna?"


Kutila: "No."


Lalita: "Then what for?"

Kutila: "I have come just to learn of you activities."

Lalita: "Very good. So learn all that you can."

Kutila: "Lalita! I have already learned all that I have to know!"


Lalita: "So let us hear what that is from your own mouth."

Kutila: "There's no need for me to say anything more, because the fragrance of Hari at this place tells the whole story!"


Hearing this, Lalita cleverly takes the word "hari" to mean "lion", (a sanskrit synonym), and replies, "Kutila! If you smell the fragrance of a lion, then this means that without a doubt a fearsome lion is hiding somewhere nearby! Oh! We are just weak, innocent young girls, and we have now become terrified! Running away from here this instant, we shall now rush home as fast as possible!!! You have really done us a great favor today be coming here and warning us of this great danger!!!"


Kutila's anger is stoked up upon hearing this insulting statement, and she starts burning with rage as she exclaims, "Ayi!!! You so-called chaste girls!!! You broadcast the fame of your family dynasties from forest to forest - do you think that you can then return home so innocently??? First you just open up the door on this kadamba-tree grove right now - I want to see what is inside!"


Lalita simply laughs and laughs, and says, "Kutila! Some demigod of the forest has closed the gateway of his own bower-house with doors made of reeds, and has gone elsewhere. Therefore, it is not proper for us to open the door to this kadamba grove. Who is such a bold woman who will dare to open the door of someone else's house and willfully accept such a sin upon herself?"


Kutila then babbles nonsensically with eyes reddened with fury: "Lalita! You are in fact just a weak, innocent young girl as you say, and for this reason you have never entered into another's house; but you know quite well how to cause others to enter into her own home - and you have now become self-effulgent as the teacher of that scripture!"


With this, Kutila quickly storms up to that bower-house and furiously kicks in the door made of reeds and flowers. Rushing inside, she sees Sri Krishna's broken flower garland and Sri Radhika's broken pearl necklace scattered upon a flower bed. Grabbing those remnants, she takes them outside and angrily shows them to Lalita while saying: "Lalita! You all bathe in the Yamuna during this month of Magh according to the scriptural rules; you reap the auspicious benefit; by this, you purify your parents and your forefathers and you also perform ritualistic worship of the sun every day according to the proper rules on the bank of the Yamuna ( the Daughter of the sun); now you can just return home this instant - tell me what kind of dharma are you actually desirous of performing day and night??? Tell me, my ears are very anxious to hear your explanation!"


Hearing this kind of taunting statement by Kutila, the spotlessly pure-faced Radharani becomes a bit provoked and says, "Kutila! Why are you so angry for no purpose? That necklace is not Mine - it belongs to your brother, Abhimanyu. I swear it. Just calm down."


Saying this, Radharani then begins to chastise Kutila with loud, piercing screams while shaking Her head, moving Her eyebrows, and waving Her index finger angrily.


Then, Kutila retreats back to a safe distance, becoming very fearful by seeing Sri Radhika present there with so many daringly outspoken, bold girlfriends. Then Kutila turns and calls out: " Hey, you unchaste girls! Disgrace of your families! If you don't feel like going back home, then just stay in this forest and rule your own kingdom - but I'm going right now to show this necklace and garland to my mother and Paurnamasi; thus I will personally see to it that all of you are properly punished."


Sri Radha Says, "Kutila! Wherever your fickle mind goes, you can just run along and follow it madly if you like - but why do you speak such harsh words to us? Just go from house to house to show everyone that necklace and garland - does that scare Me at all? NO! - because those things just don't belong to Me. Don't waste your time by throwing such false accusations upon us."


Hearing this, Kutila angrily says, "I am going to Vraja", and storms off hastily. Then, entering the forest, she sneaks slowly and quietly to the secret place where Sri Krishna is hiding in the disguise of Abhimanyu. Coming before Him, she blurts out, "Dear brother! Just look at this! I found Sri Krishna's broken flower garland and Sri Radhika's broken pearl neclace upon a bed of sensuous love. I have also seen Radhika and Her girlfriends in a solitary place, but that woman-thief was not present there."


Hearing this, the Abhimanyu-disguised Sri Krishna says "Oh sister! Very good - you've done well. I'm leaving right now for Mathura, and I will take this necklace and garland and show them to King Kamsa. But there's one important thing to consider - It's not wise to bring this greatly scandalous disgrace upon our own home; therefore, I will use some clever trickery before the assembly of the Yadus, and I wil inquire thus of My dear cowherd boyfriend Govardhana Malla. "Dear friend! That Son of Maharaja Nanda has brought your wife Candravali to a secluded forest bower and forcibly polluted her. Look - here's their broken necklace and garland as evidence.


"After telling him this, I will place these things into his hand and say further, "My friend Govardhana! Just as Krishna has enacted this outrageous debauchery with your wife Candravali, in the same way I have seen Him displaying an increase of similar social atrocities with each and every household - I tell you frankly. You just go right now and inform King Kamsa of all this. Have him send 100 footsoldiers and 10 guards on horseback to Nanda- gram today at noontime; arresting Nanda along with his Son, bring them to Mathura and give them their just reward!


"Oh sister Kutila! After I tell all this to my friend Govardhana Malla, I will return home to Yavat just before noon, because I will have to arrange for the honorable reception of the royal guards who will come. You just go home now, and remain with mother Jatila. When your Sister-in-law Radhika returns home, don't say a word to Her about any of this - for if this secret plan is exposed and the word gets out, then Nanda will be able to escape in time to flee to another state along with his Son, Krishna."


Instructing Kutila thus, the Abhimanyu-disguised Sri Krishna then starts walking on the southbound forest path toward Mathura. Kutila returns home to Yavat, and gradually Sri Radha and Her girlfriends all return to their own respective quarters.


Then Krishna waits for 2 or 3 hours, passing the time playing here and there in the forest. Then he goes to Jatila's home and begins to call out in a loud voice like that of Abhimanyu, "Oh mother! Where are you? Oh Kutila! Where are you? Come quickly and hear the news - I have just returned from informing the King of the situation here; soon 100 footsoldiers and 10 guards on horseback are coming. But listen - that Debauchee has taken on my mode of dress and is coming to our home! Coming to know of this, I have returned home in an unnoticed way. Sister! Lock the front door and wait with mother upstairs on the veranda, armed with clods of dirt. Keep on the lookout for that Woman-polluter coming down the path. Thus, even if he tries to climb the wall, he won;t be able to enter the house. When you see him, then chastise him immediately with the foulest harsh language.


"Do you realize the simple nature of your Daughter-in-Law Radha? If She were to even smell the bodily fragrance of that woman-thief then She would become mysteriously compelled to go out of the house. Therefore, I will stay with Her downstairs and prevent Her from getting out."


Saying this, Sri Krishna goes into the lower rooms and begins to enjoy more pastimes with Sri Radhika. A little while later, the real Abhimanyu comes toward the house on his way home from some cowherd duties he was tending to. As soon as he comes before his own house, Kutila immediately takes up clods of dirt in her hands and screams at him from the rooftop balcony, "Oho! You are so bold to destroy the righteousness of the chaste girls of Vraja! And you are also desirous of entering into my brother's home - Hey you fickle rascal! You have come before our house, so I will now break your head with these dirt-balls and give you your just reward! Hearing all about your social atrocities and outlandish debauchery, King Kamsa has become very, very angry and has sent many soldiers to make you and your father happy! They will arrive here very soon --- When they arrest and take both you and your father away to the capital Mathura, clapping you in a jail-cell as tight as a womb, then only will your fickleness cease!"


Observing the strange behavior of his own sister, Abhimanyu becomes very confused and begins to think, "My sister Kutila has been seized by some kind of powerful ghost; I'd better bring a mantra-doctor to exorcise her." Resolving thus, he becomes perplexed by various anxieties and goes to the edge of the village to see the exorcist.


In this way, Sri Krishna, the amazingly astonishing Jewel of Jewels, then begins to sport many more mischievous novel pranks in Jatila's own house along with Jatila's own Daughter- in-law Sri Radhika...


* * * * * * * *

He Who has no fruitive gain

other than sporting with another's Wife...

will such a Sri Krishna

not be triumphant in His endeavors ???

* * * * * * * *


(Meeting in the Disguise of Abhimanyu)

* * * * * * * *

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Thank you for such a wonderful pasttime that permeates through the heart like 'wild fire'. I do have a question /images/graemlins/smile.gif


Isn't it true that every one in vraja is a great devotee of krishna. So, are Kutila and Abhimanyu also krishna's servants but they just act that way and receive a certain bliss?


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