[ Translation by Kushakrata Dasa ]
1 Let me glorify Vrajabhumi, the place where Sri Krishna enjoys transcendental pastimes. Simply by drinking with their ears the nectarean description of Vrajabhumi, the liberated souls abandon the bliss of impersonal Brahman and yearn to attain the land of Vraja.
2 With a pure heart let me worship Vrajabhumi, which is the form of the sweetness of meditation on Sri Krishna, which is eternal, transcendental, blissful, and peerless, and which, although it cannot be understood by ordinary people, is easily understood by its residents.
Note: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has concealed the names of Sri Krishna Caitanya, Nityananda and Advaita in the first two lines of this verse.
3 A poet’s poem becomes famous because of its quality of being poetic. I shall boldly declare that this poem of mine is the most poetic and best of all poems, for it glorifies the transcendental land of Vraja.
4 I yearn to be able to write as well as Lord Caitanya’s Rupa Gosvami, but I cannot write as well as he, and neither can I write as well as his followers who wrote many wonderful, perfect books, which everyone should read and remember. Compared to their books my little book can hardly be considered poetic.
5 Millions of material universes and even millions of spiritual Vaikuntha planets are not very significant in comparison to Vrindavana, where Sri Krishna enjoyed lunch with His friends on the Yamuna’s sandy bank, and enjoyed many other transcendental pastimes.
6 Sri Krishna’s friends and associates, who enjoy pastimes with Him as equals, reside in this perfectly spiritual abode of Vrindavana.
7 All these associates of the Lord have spiritual bodies, although their forms and activities appear ordinary and material to the conditioned souls. These associates of the Lord are enchanted by Lord Krishna’s charming pastimes in Vraja.
8 Although their forms and actions are filled with spiritual knowledge, the people of Vraja know Krishna as their friend and relative: an ordinary person. This is not at all surprising.
9 Although they are the most exalted, by the influence of the potency of pure devotion to the Lord they think themselves the most lowly and insignificant. I have with my own eyes seen how the people of Vraja think themselves ordinary even though the great saints worship them.
10 Defeated by their humbleness, Sri Krishna eternally enjoys pastimes in their midst. In their presence He manifests a limitless flood of the sweetness of the most confidential transcendental mellows.
11 Even though it appears to be material, the opulent sweet nectar shower of Lord Krishna’s pastimes is worshipped by the great devotees.
12 I pray that by the mercy of its inconceivable residents I will attain the place that bears the auspicious names Vrindavana, Gokula-dhama, Gostha, and Vraja.
13 Vrindavana cannot be understood by conditioned souls, for although it may appear to be material, all its villages, forests, and cow-pastures are perfectly spiritual.
14 Some portion of transcendental Vrindavana becomes visible in this world at the time of Lord Krishna’s manifest pastimes. Conditioned souls think Vrindavana is material, although actually it is spiritual, and beyond their ability to understand or describe.
15 The devotees declare that Nandisvara Hill, the form of Lord Siva is now shining as Nanda Maharaja’s capitol, is an endlessly beautiful crown decorating Vrindavana.
16 On its eastern, northern, and southern sides people free from all unhappiness reside. On its summit is Nanda Maharaja’s palace, which the Purana’s describe as existing since ancient times.
17 Nanda Maharaja’s capitol is enclosed by a great wall built of sapphires. The homes within the capital are made of emeralds, with coral pillars, golden roofs, and crystal windows.
18 Nanda Maharaja’s palace is made of glistening sapphires, with lapus lazuli roofs and large gates made of rubies.
19 In the centre of Nanda Maharaja’s palace is a courtyard. The royal treasury is in the western part, Lord Balarama’s residence in the northern part and Lord Krishna’s residence in the southern part of the palace.
20 In the eastern part of the palace is a temple where, in order to obtain auspiciousness for his son, Nanda Maharaja serves His Deity, Sri Narayana.
21 South of the treasury and west of Lord Krishna’s residence is the little kitchen where Sri Radhika enjoys cooking pastimes.
22 South of Krishna’s residence and the kitchen is a secluded garden, where there is a pleasant lake and many hidden courtyards and cottages.
23 The cowherds’ many beautiful homes rest on two sides and Nandisvara Hill is splendidly manifest behind them. Lord Siva repeatedly offers respectful obeisances to the hill.
24 Each cowherd’s home is surrounded by an impassable jewel wall with many jewel entrance-ways and many gates studded with pearls and other jewels.
25 Seeing these cowherd men’s homes, human beings proclaim them more wonderful than the residences of the demigods, demigods proclaim them more wonderful than the residences in Vaikuntha, and the Vaikuntha-vasis proclaim them more wonderful than the sweetest nectar.
26 Within the walls of each cowherd man’s compound were the homes of a gatekeeper, priests, and other associates.
27 Around the cowherd men’s homes are many other houses, a marketplace, and roads leading in many directions.
28 Near the entrances of the city are many cross-roads and marketplaces.
29 In these marketplaces are many stores where jewel necklaces, splendid flags, pearl necklaces, and blossomed-flower garlands as large as trees are offered for sale.
30 Filled with fragrant spring flowers, these marketplaces are like many hills of aromatic substances.
31 There is a jeweller’s shop glistening as a mine full of precious gems, and there are other shops where aromatic substances such as musk and kunkuma are sold.
32 I shall now describe the bliss of Sri Vrindavana-dhama just as Paramananda Kavikarnapura has done in his book Ananda-Vrindavana-campu, and many other great poets have also done in their books. I shall describe it a little bit, just as someone unlearned in music may strum a lute and pick out a few melodic fragments here and there.
33 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘matsara: they do not mean ‘envy’, but ‘my lake’. When they say ‘khala’, they do not mean ‘demon’, but ‘a woman’s sash’. When they say ‘mala’, they do not mean ‘defect’, but ‘gentle and delicate’. In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
34 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘pradosa’ they do not mean ‘fault’, they do not mean ‘rascal’, but ‘moon’. When they say ‘rosa’, they do not mean anger, but ‘love’. When they say ‘mosa’ they do not mean a cruel thief, but Krishna’s playfully stealing the gopis’ yoghurt. In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
35 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘danda’, they do not mean ‘the king’s rod of chastisement’, but rather, ‘the handle of a parasol, camara fan, or other similar article’. When they say ‘nivi’, they do not mean ‘handcuffs’, but ‘a ribbon for tying the hair’. When they say ‘adhi’ they do not mean ‘headache’, but ‘ecstatic meditation on the Personality of Godhead’. In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
36 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘panka’ they do not mean ‘mud’, but aromatic ointments such as musk, kunkuma, and sandalwood paste. When they say ‘crookedness’ they do not mean the crookedness of a thief, but the beautiful shape of spiral earrings or some other ornament. When they say ‘hardness’ they do not mean the hard-heartedness of a cruel person, but the hardness of a gem or stone. In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
37 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘rajah’ they do not mean ‘material passion’, but ‘the pollen of flowers’. When they say ‘tamah’ they do not mean ‘ignorance’, but ‘the pleasant darkness of night’. When they say ‘dvandvam’ they do not mean ‘the material dualities of happiness and distress’, but ‘a happy couple’. When they say ‘slowness’ they do not refer to the intellect, but the wind. When they say ‘restlessness’ they do not mean anything inauspicious, but rather ‘great eagerness to see Lord Hari’, or else ‘the charming restless glances of the Lord’. In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
38 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘smallness’ they do not refer to the lack of anything good, but rather to a slender waist. When they say ‘nicagatvam’ they do not mean ‘faith in rascals’ but ‘a stream that can be easily crossed’. When they say the words ‘lamentation, humility, fatigue, bewilderment, sleep and laziness’ they do not mean any inauspicious material traits, but rather the various symptoms of ecstatic love of God.
In this way they never speak anything unpleasant, but everything they say is pleasing and auspicious.
39 When the vrajavasis say the word ‘cows’ they refer to the celestial kamadhenu cows. When they say ‘trees’ they mean kalpa-vrksa trees that fulfil all desires. When they say ‘rocks’ they mean cintamani gems. How is it possible to describe the limitless opulences of Vraja?
40 When the Personified Vedas saw the splendid good fortune of the vraja-gopis, they decided to follow in their footsteps and become gopis also. When Lakshmi-devi saw the charming sweetness of the vraja-gopis, she became bewildered and fainted with envy. Who can describe the transcendental opulences of this land of Vraja?
41 Filled with pure transcendental love, the vrajavasis considered the Supreme Personality of Godhead their intimate friend or relative. Although they were all liberated, transcendental personalities, they appeared just like ordinary conditioned souls. What is not wonderful in this?
42 The vrajavasis are filled with auspicious spiritual qualities. They have no material attributes. What may even seem to be faults on their part are actually auspicious and spiritual when seen in connection to their transcendental rasa with Krishna. Seeing this wonderful condition of the residents of Nanda Maharaja’s Vrajabhumi, the three modes of material nature have become embarrassed. They have relinquished all their pride in being able to control others.
43 That the devotees are eternally filled with all spiritual virtues and always free from material defects or the influence of the three modes of nature is confirmed by many statements of the Smrti, Itihasa, Puranas and Vedas.
44 Someone may ask: ‘If Sri Krishna’s pastimes are all eternal, then why do some people think that they are temporary?’
The devotees learned in transcendental science, reply: ‘These matters are very confidential, and Sri Krishna is unwilling to allow unqualified non-devotees to understand them. For this reason He conceals the truth from them.’
45 Supremely fortunate, the personified deity of parental love, and his form purely spiritual, the king of Vraja, who is named Sri Nanda, lives there in his capitol city.
46 Sri Nanda who is Krishna’s father and the king of Vraja, is liberated soul in a perfectly spiritual body. All the vrajavasis love him as if he were their own father.
47 Staying in Nanda’s home is his pious wife, Yasoda-devi, who is the personified nectar of the treasure of parental love, and who is like a spiritual kalpa-valli vine that has borne as its fruit the precious gem known as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
48 Sri Yasoda, who brings (da) fame (yasah) to the world, and who is filled with the nectar bliss of a mother’s love for Sri Krishna, once angrily bound Him with a rope. In this way she made Krishna’s happiness and her wonderful love increase.
49 Countless cowherd people live in Vraja, some intimate relatives of King Nanda, and others who have barely a scent of family tie with him. All of them, however, are full of love for Lord Mukunda.
50 The saintly cowherd men of Vraja are just like personified forms of devotional service, and their wives are also constantly engaged in Krishna’s service. Some of their sons are Krishna’s friends, and some of their daughters are Krishna’s lovers.
51 Krishna’s contemporary friends are His equals in all respects, and they are all eternally young boys, just like the four Kumaras. What is impossible for they who have dedicated their hearts to Krishna?
52 Some friends are considered very confidential and some fortunate friends perform confidential services. Subala, Ujjvala and some splendid others, who are as good as the gopis, are rich with the sight of Krishna’s splendid conjugal pastimes.
53 All of Sri Krishna’s gopi beloveds are splendidly beautiful. A millionth part of a single ray of light from their lotus toenails defeats the shining of millions of moons. The waves of the ocean of their incomparable glory and supreme good fortune have drowned the Vedas.
54 Even Lakshmi-devi was unable to attain even a small fragment of the mercy the gopis attained. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami confirmed this in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.60):
“When Lord Sri Krishna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favour was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a favour even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily lustre and aroma resemble those of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful according to the material estimation.”*
55 Even the youngest gopi could not renounce pastimes with the Lord. Srimad Bhagavatam (10.33.19) says: “Krishna the supreme mystic, expanded Himself in many forms and stood beside each gopi. He began to dance in their midst.”*
56 Enchanted by their transcendental virtues, the Supreme Personality of Godhead enjoyed pastimes with the gopis. The gopis were also enchanted by the Lord’s transcendental virtues, and they worshipped Him with full concentration..
57 A jewel necklace of virtues crowning the head of the gopis, a golden ketaki flower in the garden of gopis blinded with love for Krishna, and a glittering lightning flash beside the dark cloud of Sri Krishna’s sweetness, Sri Vrsabhanu’s daughter is splendid manifest.
58 Maharaja Vrsabhanu’s daughter is the moonlight of transcendental bliss. Her beauty enchants Sri Krishna, the enchanter of Lakshmi. She is a golden streak on the black testing stone named Sri Krishna’s handsomeness.
59 Sri Radhika is the sweetest nectar churned from the ocean of transcendental beauty. She is the realm of transcendental artistic talent. She is a mine filled with the jewels of all transcendental auspicious virtues. She is the celebrated lover of Sri Krishna, the moon of Vraja.
60 More fair than thousands of fair-complexioned girls, in the Vedas celebrated as ‘dark’ with the intensity of her beauty, Her form exquisitely beautiful, and Her self life-breath of the gopis, Sri Radha is splendidly manifest.
61 Sri Radhika is the lover of Sri Krishna, the moon of Vraja. Some say She is the Supreme Goddess of Fortune, and others say the tantras describe Her as the pastime potency (lila-sakti) of the Lord. The masters of the Sruti-sastra say She is the pleasure-potency (anandini sakti) of the Lord.
62 All His potencies, all His pastimes, all His qualities, and all His handsomeness, sweetness, expertise, and other virtues under Her dominion, Krishna’s lover, Sri Radhika, shines with great splendour.
63 Krishna’s lover, Sri Radhika, who enjoys endless, eternal, sweet, splendidly amorous pastimes with Him, shines with great splendour.
64 Sri Radhika, who is sweeter than even Sri Krishna, who is Himself flooded with handsomeness, virtues, pastimes, and sweetness, shines with great splendour.
65 When She sees Lalita, Visakha, and Her other friends, Sri Radha proudly thinks they are every bit as beautiful, virtuous, and dear to Krishna as She is, and She becomes filled with happiness.
66 Syama-gopi is famous for both her virtues and Her friendship with Sri Radha. With sweet affection She constantly strives to keep Radha’s friendship.
67 One day Radha and Syama met and together skilfully fashioned various garments and ornaments. When these articles were given to Sri Krishnacandra, he asked who had made them. Syama replied that Radha made them all Herself, and Radha insisted that Syama made them unassisted.
68 So deeply in love were they, Krishna’s lovers completely ignored society’s continued contempt. This is certainly very wonderful.
69 The exalted brahmanas in Vraja are the personifications of pure religion. Some preach the religion of the Vedas and some follow the pancaratras.
70 These brahmanas all receive generous charity from the king of Vraja, and perform Vedic sacrifices on his behalf. Some of them are enchanted by the transcendental opulence, and some by the intense sweetness of the young prince of Vraja.
71 The betelnuts, scented oils, flower garlands and other paraphernalia the vrajavasis offer to Sri Krishna are perfectly spiritual, even though offered by ‘human beings’. Even the demigods in heaven cannot attain love like these ‘human beings’ bear for Sri Krishna, the moon of Vraja.
72 In Vraja the surabhi cow barns have crystal walls, enormous gold pillars, and emerald roof-beams.
73 The roofs are made of various jewels, and rubies mark the places where the roof beams meet the pillars of the walls.
74 White as the deity of goddess Sarasvati, and sober and grave as great ascetics, splendid surabhi cows wander in the courtyards of these barns.
75 These surabhi cows are just like cintamani jewels that fulfil all desires. Their happy calves are like pleasant summers. Their mooing is the most beautiful poetry. They lift their ears to hear the sound of Krishna’s flute.
76 The calves look as if they might be the moving rocks on the peak of Mount Kailasa, or the infant children of the moonlight.
77 As they wander over the earth, the calves are like the milk ocean’s bubbles, :Lord Siva’s chuckles, or mamsa-pinda offerings in pure goodness.
78 Are these great boulders from the crystal mountain? Are they tidal waves from the milk ocean? These are the bulls of Vraja. During the day they freely wander, just as liberated souls, and during the evening they sit peacefully at home, just as great sages rapt in contemplation.
79 Proudly mooing from the loose folds of skin about their necks, Vraja’s bulls look like old sannyasis. Then again, their reddish stares make them look like intoxicated persons.
80 South of Nandisvara, on a regal hilltop is Maharaja Vrsabhanu’s home, which is like a brother to Maharaja Nanda’s home.
81 Maharaja Nanda and Maharaja Vrsabhanu are both equal in regal splendour and power. Their capitols are similar, and their son and daughter are equally famous.
82 Midway between Nandisvara Hill and Vrsabhanu Hill is Sanketa, the place of Radha-Krishna’s rendezvous. I meditate on this place. I think it is the personification of the divine couple’s love.
83 To the north of Nandisvara Hill is the district of Vidhuhrdya, where the town of Yavata is located. That populous town is like the crown jewel of all jewel like towns, and it is the home of Srimati Radharani’s parents-in-law.
84 This town of Yavata was built by Maharaja Vrsabhanu for the pleasure of His daughter. She would often sit on the roof of Her palace and gaze at the direction of Her lover’s home, and in the same way He would also gaze at the direction of Yavata-pura.
85 Anxious and deferential in the presence of Their elderly relatives, the divine couple would slip away, and on their palace roofs gaze in each other’s direction.
86 The place where Krishna would secretly meet His beloved under a charming fig tree (vata), happily enjoy pastimes with Her, and anoint Her feet with red lac (yava), is named Yavata.
87 By the mercy of Sri Krishna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and my spiritual master, this book, a brief description of the Lord’s splendid abode and nectar pastimes, has been written. The Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani’s first chapter, which describes Nandisvara Hill for the transcendental delight of the entire world, is now concluded.
Note: This verse is a little like a kaleidoscope. Each word in the first line may be interpreted as either a noun or adjective. And according to the interpretation the opening phrase assumes a different meaning. Fro example if ‘sri-krsnena’ is taken as the noun, and the other words as adjectives, the opening phrase means: ‘by the mercy of Sri Krishna, who is the master of the entire world, and who has appeared here as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’. If ‘guruna’ is taken as the noun, the phrase means: ‘By the mercy of my spiritual master, who is the bona fide representative of Sri Krishna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Srila Rupa Gosvami’. If ‘caitanya-rupena’ is taken as the noun, the phrase means: ‘By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Sri Krishna Himself, the master of all the worlds’. If ‘caitanya-rupena’ is taken as the noun, the phrase may also be understood to mean: ‘By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is the representative of Sri Krishna, and the spiritual master of all the Vaisnavas.’
1 Nandisvara Hill is like a monarch in the centre of Vrajabhumi, and around it are many different kinds of forests, where there are many splendid desire-trees, desire-vines, groves, pastime-places, and colourful birds.
2 Passing the mewing peacocks, the young goddesses of Vraja walk along the forest path, holding each other by the hand as they follow their master and mistress at the time of transcendental pastimes.
3 Wild rams have chewed fragrant kakkola berries and wild buffaloes with their horns have torn the bark and branches of fragrant sarala trees. All this has made the Vraja forest very aromatic.
4 Wild elephants have broken the tender young branches of fragrant sallaki trees, and wild buffaloes have spread the aroma of fresh grass by their grazing. All this has made the Vraja forest very aromatic.
5 In some places the ground of the forest is covered with bunches of grapes partly eaten by monkeys and in other places ripe mangoes have fallen on the ground. All this has made the Vraja forest very beautiful.
6 Aborigine girls, wearing nice earrings, their faces, fragrantly anointed with plantain juice and camphor crushed by hand, walk in Vraja’s forest, carrying bunches of peppers and other articles.
7-10 Filled with many rasala trees, panasa trees, amrataka, sriphala, jambhu, palasa, pungasana, coconut, madhuka, punnaga, sirisa, priya, bilva, arjuna, karma ranga, kapittha, lodhra, priya, lavali, asoka, lakuca, karira, campaka, tamala, nava-malika, jatidvaya, rayabilva, kosataki, parkatika, vata, asvattha, sala, khadira, and sami trees, which all have many wonderful splendid fruits and flowers, and also filled with many lavanga vines, and various other beautiful vines, and also filled with many parrots and other birds, as well as many wild beasts, the forests of Vraja are splendidly beautiful.
11 In Vraja there are many splendid ponds, pools, lakes, and rivers, all filled with many white, blue, red, yellow, and multicoloured kahlara, padma, and utpala lotus flowers, as well as many swans and other water-birds.
12 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of camphor dust. In some places it is saffron. In some places it is made of ground musk, and in some places it is made of the aromatic substances used in religious ceremonies.
13 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of emeralds, and in other places it is made of a variety of precious gems. In some places the fresh grasses of Vraja, which are eaten by the cows and other animals, is made of emeralds.
14 In some places the ground of Vraja is golden Jambu river, and in other places it is made of sapphires. Sometimes, when Krishna enjoys pastimes with Radhika, it seems there is only one person and not two. It seems that there is only Sri Krishna enjoying pastimes in a golden place, or there is only Radhika enjoying pastimes in a sapphire place.
15 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of emeralds, and the trees, bushes, and creepers are made of gold. In other places the ground is gold and the trees are emeralds.
16 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of rubies, and the trees and vines are crystal. In other places the ground is crystal and the trees and creepers are rubies.
17 In some please emerald trees are embraced by golden vines, and in other places emerald vines embrace golden trees.
18 In some places ruby vines embrace crystal trees, and in other places ruby trees are embraced by crystal vines.
19 The trees made of jewels. They have many jewel branches, various jewel twigs, and jewel flowers that carry a variety of fragrances.
20 Jewel birds perch on the jewel branches. Jewels fall from the tree and cover the nearby area. They appear like a little jewel irrigation trench around the tree’s roots.
21 From the branches and roots of the trees of Vraja all Brahmas and Sivas emanate. Although the trees of Vraja are as splendid as the sun, they still are wonderful parasols to shade one from the sun’s rays. They shine with the lustre of youth, just as the four Kumaras.
22 The trees of Vraja were never planted or husbanded. They never grew from any seed. They glisten with many leaves and flowers. They bear many ripe, unripe, and ripening fruits.
23 The splendid trees of Vrajabhumi are perfectly spiritual in nature and full of all potencies. They are just like the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as the conditioned souls misunderstand the spiritual nature of the Supreme Lord’s incarnations, in the same way they misunderstand the glory of these trees in Vraja.
24 Decorated with many wonderful leaves and flowers, and entwined about the kalpa-vriksha trees, the splendid vines are just like young girls continually embraced by their lovers.
25 Splendid with many eternal flowers, fruits and eternally sprouting fresh new buds, the vines fulfill all the desires of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees.
26 Sri Krishna, the moon of Vraja, enjoys pastimes and also rests in these groves, which are filled with many wonderful trees and vines eternally blossoming with many beautiful flowers, even down to their roots.
27 In the groves of Vraja, the cuckoos and bumblebees sing very melodiously, the plants are all splendidly beautiful, the camari does gracefully move their tails, and the musk oxen diffuse a sweet aroma in all directions.
28 In the grove of Vraja there is a little clearing bounded on four sides by four kalpa-vrksa trees, each covered by two flowering vines. In the centre of this little courtyard is a cottage made of jewels.
29 Four trees are the four pillars of this cottage. Their branches and twigs are its roof, their flowers its domes and spires, the vines clinging to their sides its walls, and the opening among the vines is its door.
30 These beautiful cottages, which are found throughout Vraja’s forests, remove the demigods’ pride in their airplanes, and attract even the residents of Vaikuntha.
31 Vraja’s forests, groves, creepers, trees, birds, beasts, and other living entities all blossom with happiness when Lord Mukunda glances on them and wilt with disappointment when He does not.
32 North of Nandisvara is a forest where Lord Krishna enjoys secret pastimes that are worshipped by six eager demigods in heaven.
33 The Yamuna river passes through that forest and flows near Nandisvara Hill. It winds through Vraja in a very crooked course, searching for Sri Krishna, the moon of Vraja.
34 On the pretext of fetching water and other things, the gopis would go to that pastime forest and meet their beloved Krishna. They call this place gopi-ghatta. Did the Lord agitate the gopis with His pastimes there, or not?
35 A treasure filled chest filled with the glory of Sri Krishna’s pastimes, which decorate the worlds, the Bhandiravana forest of druma and vidruma trees shines with great splendour.
36 In that place are Munjatavi forest and many other beautiful, charming groves and forests where the gopis keep many delightful gardens.
37 In these groves the gopis meet their lover, Krishna, converse with Him, dance with Him, and enjoy unlimited pastimes with Him. In this way all their desires to serve Krishna become fulfilled.
38 Among Vrindavana’s splendid forests, which make the splendours of Vaikuntha seem very pale, the very beautiful forest named Vrindavana-vana is the best.
39 They who offer respectful obeisances to her or bathe in her waters, the Yamuna, which is like a moat of black mascara encircling Vrindavana, transforms into pure devotees carrying Lord Krishna in their hearts.
40 The Yamuna river is like a blue lotus flower garland, a sapphire necklace, or a blue sash worn by the goddess of Vrindavana.
41 Passing the seven seas and seven planetary systems, and breaking through the sevenfold covering of the universe, the Yamuna enters the spiritual Goloka planet and wanders here and there to serve Vrindavana by carrying water.
42 Many greedy men will wait at a rich man’s doorstep, hoping to meet him and benefit hundreds of thousands of times over. In the same way the Yamuna flows in a very winding course, greedy to get some of the wealth of Vrindavana forest.
43 The dark nectar current of the Yamuna picks up Lord Krishna and plunges Him and His gopi friends in the dark nectar current of transcendental amorous pastimes.
44 Many charming aquatic creatures, plunged in the nectar of love for Krishna, again and again push their heads above the Yamuna’s waters, hoping for a glimpse of Lord Syama.
45 On the Yamuna’s beautiful shores are jewel staircases, which are like the teeth of the goddess of beauty, and which remind one of Sri Krishna.
46 When they drink the sound of Krishna’s flute, these two jewel; staircases melt with love, and the river flowing between them becomes solid and stunned with ecstasy.
47 In the moonlight the Yamuna’s beaches appear to be made of camphor sand. Lord Krishna enjoyed His rasa-lila on these beaches with each place bearing the name of a particular pastime.
48 In the clearings of the splendid groves by the Yamuna’s shore, birds fly here and there, yearning for a glimpse of Lord Govinda.
49 Everywhere in Vrindavana and on the Yamuna’s shores, are trees that are like the Lord’s incarnations, that give the gift of pure love, and that make one remember the Lord, making He who is the moon of Vraja suddenly rise within the heart.
50 Everywhere in Vrindavana and on the Yamuna’s shore are groves of ancient, wonderful mango and other trees, which feed nectar to Lord Krishna’s eyes.
51 In Vrindavana are grape-vines, flower gardens, groves of plantain trees, golden pavements, a mountain of precious gems, and a grove of kalpa-vrksa trees.
52 In some places of Vrindavana there are large groves of a single kind of tree. In other places two or three different kinds of trees grow together, and in other places there are groves that contain a great variety of different trees.
53 Are there any other flowers equal to the mango flowers of Vraja? Where are trees equal in height to the great five branched mango trees growing in Vraja? Even if one were to fashion a great statue of a tree it would be very difficult to make one as high as these mango trees.
54 In some places in Vraja there are groves of tamala trees, and in other places there are opulent and wonderfully colourful groves filled with many different kinds of trees. Krishna’s enemies have never been able to enter any of these groves of Vraja.
55 With many lovely jewel palaces in their groves, Vrindavana and other forests are splendidly manifest everywhere in Vraja.
56 Even if one thinks Vrindavana an ordinary material place, he must still admit that Vrindavana enchants the minds of Vaikuntha’s residents. He must also admit that Vrindavana’s gardens delight the king that enjoys pastimes there.
57 Generally the six seasons come one after another, and the qualities of only one season are manifest at any given time. Here in Vrindavana, He who is the moon of Vrindavana can enjoy the pastimes of any season at any time.
58 In Vrindavana all the seasons are eternal, and they all diligently serve Sri Krishna, the moon of Vrindavana. The gopis decorate Sri Krishna with garlands and other ornaments made from the flowers of many different seasons.
59 In Vrindavana the gardens of all the gopi beloveds of Vrindavana’s moon (Krishna) shine with great splendour. A single ray of those gardens’ splendour eclipses the Brahman effulgence.
60 The animals, birds, trees, vines and all other living entities that reside in Vrindavana yearn to see the rising of Vrindavana’s moon (Krishna).
61 Originally there is only one kalpa vrksa tree in Vrindavana, and the other trees have attained the qualities of kalpa vrksa trees by its association. In the same way, there is only one Sri Krishna, the master of Vrindavana, and by enjoying pastimes with Him His friends have attained qualities like His.
62 Although all the trees in Vrindavana are kalpa-vrksa trees, still one among them is especially glorious. This tree grows next to a jewel palace in a supremely charming grove.
63 This palace has many wings five, six, eight or even nine stories high. Each wing has a courtyard shaped like a lotus whorl with eight petals.
64 The residential quarters of the devotees overlook these courtyards. Within the beautiful palaces’ courtyards again there are eight smaller palaces.
65 These eight palaces are placed in the eight directions and in the middle is placed an eternal kalpa vrksa tree, which with its many branches protects the devotees from the enemies of the Lord.
66 This grove with nine palaces is surrounded in all directions by eight other groves, each with nine palaces. Beyond these groves and palaces there are more groves and palaces.
67 In the best of these kalpa-vrksa groves is the splendid palace of Vrindavana’s queen. Around Her palace are the palaces of her gopi friends, and around them are the residences of Her maidservants.
68 Staying in Her palace by Her lover’s side, the queen of the gopis shines with great splendour. The residences of the other gopis are situated around Her palace.
69 Around the central kalpa vrksa tree is a grove with many very wonderful palaces just as Mukunda’s beloved would desire them.
70 This abode of Sri Sri Radha Krishna is called Govinda-bhumi (The abode of Lord Govinda) in the Puranas, and yoga pitha (the transcendental place) in the Tantras. In this book we call it Sri Kunja-raja (the king of groves).
71 To the south is the regal, wonderfully constructed place of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s swing pastimes. The beauty of this place has been eloquently described in the Ananda-Vrindavana-campu.
72 Far to the south is Govinda-kunda, the lake of Lord Govinda, the husband of the goddess of fortune. Around this lake are many groves filled with buzzing bees.
73 To the north is Brahma-kunda, surrounded by many pleasant groves. To the north of Brahma-kunda is an asoka grove that enchants the divine couple and as a thief, has stolen away their peaceful gravity.
74 North of that is Gopisa where, worshipped by them, Lord Siva pleased the gopis’ hearts by giving them the benediction to enjoy pastimes with Lord Krishna.
75 A little north of that, at Vamsivata, which is like a splendid dancer on the Yamuna’s shore, Sri Krishna attracted His beloved by playing the flute.
76 North of that is Nidhuvana, the name of which attracts the ears and heart. Delighting His beloved, Sri Krishna disappeared from the company of gopis eager to enjoy the rasa dance there.
77 To the southwest, in a jasmine garden, is Suryaspada, where Sri Radhika worships the sun-god with a newly blossomed red rose.
78 In the northwest is Bhadrakali-tirtha, where at the base of a kadamba tree the gopis worshipped the goddess for a long time, and where the thief Krishna stole the gopis’ garments.
79 In the southeast is Vighnaraja-tirtha, where Sri Krishna incarnated in the form of a deity of Ganesa. Constantly afraid of separation from their beloved, the gopis earnestly worshipped this deity and became quickly convinced that they would always have Krishna’s association.
80 To the east is Sri Venu-kupa (the flute’s well), which is filled with the waters of love. Sri Krishna pleased His beloved by creating this well with the music of His flute.
81 In the midst of the rasa dance Radha and Krishna left the gopis’ company and enjoyed pastimes in a solitary place. When Radha became thirsty, Krishna created this well (Sri Venu-kupa) by playing His flute.
82 In the grove named Srngara-santi, Krishna decorated His beloved under a vata tree named Srngara-vata, which can be seen and glorified even today.
83 One time, when Sri Krishna had gone a little distance from Vamsivata, a gentle (dhira) breeze (samira) sprang up from His flute playing. That place became known as Dhira-samira-tirtha.
84 Although the entire shoreline of the Yamuna shines with love of Krishna, I think the area of Vamsivata not only shines, but actually dances in ecstatic love.
85 Every evening Vrnda-devi and the other gopis make elaborate arrangements for Sri Krishna to take rest in the beautiful forest palaces of Vraja. When He sees this He becomes struck with wonder.
86 Every morning the gopis bring betelnuts and other gifts. Seeing this, Sri Krishna becomes struck with wonder and His heart begins to melt with love for them. Seeing His love for them, the gopis also begin to melt with love.
87 This book, Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani gives a brief description of Sri Krishna’s abode, the forest of Vrindavana, as it is splendidly manifest in the area around Nandisvara palace. This second chapter has described the beauty of the Lord’s transcendental pastimes, His eagerness to enjoy them, and other topics.
1 Govardhana Hill is like a flag of intense sweetness placed in the opulent land of Vrindavana. As the king of mountains Govardhana Hill offers very pleasing royal service to the young prince of Vraja.
2 The rocks of Govardhana Hill are many kinds of splendid jewels that provide thrones, couches, and other kinds of furniture for Sri Krishna, the supreme monarch of all nectar mellows.
3 Govardhana Hill’s beautiful forests and caves are Krishna’s nectar pastime palaces, each one perfect for the supreme good fortune of His beloved and Her friends.
4 Govardhana Hill’s trees and vines serve Sri Krishna by offering Him blossoming branches with sweet fruits, and flowers filled with honey, nectar and fragrant pollen.
5 The red, vermilion, yellow and other coloured pigments of Govardhana Hill decorate Lord Krishna’s transcendental body for the pleasure of His beloved gopis.
6 The musk left by deer, as well as the kunkuma, camphor, and aguru naturally produced by Govardhana Hill, were all used to give a sweet fragrance to the transcendental body of Lord Krishna.
7 There is a pleasant grove of sandalwood trees on Govardhana Hill. Although snakes generally flock to sandalwood trees, no snakes ever come here, or if sometimes a snake may come it is not poisonous, or if sometimes a poisonous snake may come its poison is automatically counteracted, and it can do no harm. As the best servant of Lord Hari, Govardhana Hill has made this wonderful arrangement for the Lord’s pleasure.
8 One time a contrary fawn-eyed gopi left Sri Krishna. A short time afterwards She saw a snake on the road. Frightened, She took shelter of Lord Krishna, embracing Him and begging for protection. As Lord Hari’s best servant, Govardhana Hill made all these nectarean arrangements for His pastimes.
Note: This verse may also be translated in the following way:
Rejected by a certain contrary fawn eyed gopi, Sri Krishna said: “I have just been bitten by one of Govardhana Hill’s snakes”. When the gopi heard this, she became repentant and came before the Lord with many apologies. As Lord Hari’s best servant, Govardhana Hill made all these arrangements for His pastimes.
9 The rocks of Govardhana Hill are all precious gems. Some are sapphires, some emeralds, some rubies or crystals. They provide the perfect backdrop for Lord Krishna’s pastimes.
10 If, while walking on Govardhana Hill, Krishna’s elder brother Balarama sees a series of golden stones, He thinks: ‘the daughter of King Vrsabhanu must have just now walked before Me’, and He changes course to avoid an awkward situation. In the same way, if She sees a series of crystal stones, She thinks: ‘Balarama must have just now walked before Me’, and She changes Her course.
11 If, on Govardhana Hill, which is the best of Lord Hari’s servants, Sri Krishna sees a golden stone, He takes it to be His beloved. In the same way, His beloved sees a sapphire, She assumes it is Her lover.
12 The gopis’ necklaces, ornaments, red foot cosmetic, betelnuts, and other paraphernalia gaze on the beauty of Govardhana Hill’s groves and caves. Who would not become enchanted by the beauty of Govardhana Hill?
13 Sri Krishna is the sapphire and the gopis the golden necklaces ornamenting Govardhana Hill. The pastimes of Krishna and the gopis are the sons and daughters of Govardhana Hill. Who is able to describe the glories of Govardhana Hill?
14 The peacocks dance enthusiastically, the bees and cuckoos sing melodiously and may other birds chirp a rhythmic accompaniment, as they all gaze on the serve to Lord Hari done by Govardhana Hill, the best of Lord Hari’s servants.
15 The land around Govardhana Hill in all directions is filled with many lakes, groves, and other charming places of Lord Krishna’s pastimes. Many lovely streams flow from Govardhana Hill onto these lands in all directions.
16 To the eat is Dana-nivartana-kunda. When Sri Radhika’s handsome beloved remembers it, He begins to tremble, and the hairs on His body stand erect.
17 To the east of that is Candra-sarovara, where the divine couple enjoyed many rasa dances. The memory of this place makes Them dance in ecstatic love.
18 Southeast of Govardhana Hill is Sanksarsanananda-sarovara, and to the east of that is Gauri-tirtha, which is scrupulously avoided by Gauri’s husband, Lord Siva.
19 The nectar flood of supreme good fortune rising from His eternal pastimes with Her has made Her beloved supremely learned in the philosophy of forest-pastimes.
20 In between Sankarsana-sarovara and Dana-nivartana-kunda is Anandaraja-tirtha, where the Mahanna-kuta festival delighted the young prince of Vraja.
21 West of that are two splendid places in the mouth of Krishna’s pastimes. They are Sri Dhana-ghata and Sri Sumani-ghata, where the divine couple playfully talked and joked.
22 At this place the divine couple enjoyed the playful quarrel pastimes known as dana-keli. Who would not be astonished by this pastime? When this pastime enters the ears it makes both the body and mind dance.
23 Govardhana Hill resembles a gigantic peacock that has Govinda-kunda as its tail. The Manasa-ganga, where the divine couple eternally enjoys boat-sailing pastimes, enters into the waters of Govinda-kunda.
24 If one hears about the divine couple’s boat-sailing pastimes, he will become stunned in ecstasy and it will not be possible for him to stop hearing about them.
25 On the Manasa-ganga’s shores are many madhavi-vine pavilions with nectar beauty that shines in the three worlds. There the divine couple enjoys splendid pastimes that are eternally remembered in the world’s hearts.
26 With its nearby forest groves and the limitless nectar-trickling flowers in its waters, Kusuma-sarovara shines with great splendour. Is it the handsome face of Govardhana Hill, the king of mountains?
27 This lake is known as Kusuma-sarovara because of the many blossoming flowers, destined to become gopis in the future, that grow in its waters. Simply by one bathing in this Kusuma-sarovara, Narada Muni attained a gopi-form. This fact is directly confirmed in the words of the enchanting Supreme Personality of Godhead.
28 The Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally enjoys pastimes on Govardhana Hill. He personally lifted Govardhana Hill with His own hand to protect His cowherd associates. Who is able to describe the glories of Govardhana Hill, the best of Lord Hari’s servants?
29 Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are Govardhana’s two love-filled eyes. Because it nourishes the gopas, gopis, and surabhi cows with Lord Madhava’s sweetness, it shines with the name ‘go-vardhana’.
30 Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda are two great floods of the nectar of beauty. They are two great oceans of splendour. They are two beautiful roots from which sweet devotional service grows.
31 They are two jewel-mines of love. They are two seeds from which grow the jewel-vines of transcendental pastimes. How did they become two splendid and nectar-sweet lakes?
32 By seeing these two lakes, Radha and Krishna believe They are present in them. It is as if They directly see each other there. The wise say that by approaching these lakes one directly approaches Radha and Krishna.
33 Longing to meet, but forced to remain separate, Radha and Krishna assumed the forms of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. In this way They becomes splashed with the nectar of meeting each other.
34 I think that when Radha saw Krishna She melted with ecstasy and thus assumed the liquid state of the waters of Radha-kunda, and in the same way when Krishna saw Radha He also melted in ecstasy and became the waters of Syama-kunda. In this way these two lakes bear the names and qualities of the divine couple.
35 Out of great kindness to the people, so they could directly taste Their sweetness, Radha and Krishna have become these two lakes. Shining with happiness, the devotees bathe in these two lakes.
36 I think these two lakes are the divine couple’s love. They who are fortunate bathe there. Because bathing there is like bathing in Their transcendental love, these two lakes bear the names of the divine couple.
37 Spelled backwards, the word sara (lake) becomes rasa (nectar). They who are aware of this great secret bathe in these two lakes.
38 Wishing to see Their sweet pastimes in the forest, the two lakes have become the divine couple’s two pet cakora-birds.
39 Limitless beautiful Sri Radha-kunda is filled with the divine couple’s great love. On every side are the groves of Radha’s friends and the humming of many bees.
40 To the north is a jewel lotus garden named Lalita-pramada. To the north is a flower garden named Visakha-pramada.
41 To the east is Citra-pramada, a wonderful garden of colourful flowers. To the southeast is Purnendu-kunja, the delight of Indulekha-gopi.
42 To the south is Prema-kunja, the delight of Campakalata-gopi. Sri Radha slips away from the protection of her mother-in-law Jatila to meet Krishna in this grove.
43 In the southwest is the sapphire studded grove named Nila-nikunja, the delight of Sri Rangadevi-gopi. Once Radha’s mother-in-law Jatila happened upon the divine couple sitting together in this sapphire grove. Jatila could not see Krishna, whose bodily lustre camouflaged Him against the background of sapphires. Jatila thought Radha was sitting alone. She glorified Her daughter-in-law and quickly left.
44 To the west is Aruna-kunja, the red-flower-filled grove that is the delight of Tungavidya-gopi. To the northwest is the tree grove of Marakata-kunja (grove of emeralds), which is the delight of Sudevi-gopi.
45 Placed over the waters in the middle of Radha-kunda is a wonderful jewel palace where Ananga-manjari with great love serves the divine couple. Without love and devotion who is able to know about this palace?
46 All the groves, paths, and various places around Radha-kunda are filled with the nectar of Lord Govinda’s pastimes. All these places are elaborately described in Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami’s book Sri Govinda-lilamrta.
47 To the south and west of Nandisvara Hill are Kamyavana Forest and many other beautiful places, such as Pramatta-radha-tirtha, where the divine couple enjoy many confidential pastimes.
48 When the fragrance of the divine couples’ pastimes of sweetness enter this place, the powerful goddess of the pastimes of supreme opulence hides.
49 At the place known as Lanka-kunda, Lord Mukunda delighted Sri Radhika by narrating Lord Ramacandra’s pastimes of bridging the great ocean and travelling to Lanka.
50 As Sri Sri Radha-Madhava converse during the wonderful lukayana pastimes in Kamyavana, They manifest a great transcendental sweetness that astonishes Their gopis friends.
51 Because of its many charming (kamya) forests, groves, and lakes, where Lord Krishna relishes the sweetness of His pastimes, this place is known as Kamyavana.
52 By a lake there, at the place the people call Santanu-vasa, is a sun-god deity Sri Radha worships. On the pretext of seeing him She gives that deity a chance to see Her.
53 One a mountain there named Chadi-sila (roof of rocks) Krishna enjoyed many wonderful pastimes. There Krishna wept tears of joy. There Krishna played guessing games and spoke many playful words.
54 Nanda Maharaja made his new home there. Disguised as a small lake, the ocean of jewels stood at his doorstep. Nearby were Lalita-kunda and other charming lakes where the Lord enjoyed pastimes.
55 There the gopis drank the nectar of the divine couple’s playful conversation and saw the divine couple maddened by Their mutual touch. The gopis came from all directions (viccheda-ga) to see the divine couple, and therefore this place became known as vicchedata-tirtha.
56 There Lakshmi-devi performed severe austerities to become a gopi. Although she remained Lakshmi and did not attain her goal, she nevertheless had the opportunity to speak with her beloved Krishna.
57 There Lord Krishna manifested the milk ocean, expanded Himself as Ananta Sesa, transformed Himself into Ksirodakasayi Vishnu and then sat down on the body of Ananta. Sri Radha them became the beautiful Lakshmi-devi, who with humbly bowed head began to massage Lord Vishnu’s lotus feet. This sight greatly delighted Radha’s onlooking gopi-friends.
58 In the twelve forests of Vraja are many pastime-groves, where Lord Krishna, the moon of Vrindavana, enjoys with His beloveds, and where the opulence is so great it makes tears flow down Goddess Lakshmi’s chest.
59 The Vedas explain that there are 24 important gardens in Lord Hari’s Vraja. Among them is Kokila-kanana, which is filled with the singing of cuckoos.
60 The peerless and supremely sweet land of Vrindavana is the blissful abode where the Supreme Personality of Godhead enjoys pastimes. It is the incarnation of the Lord’s form and is non different from Him. I have briefly described this land of Vrindavana in this book, Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani, which is completed in this, the last verse of the Third Chapter.