The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
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  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/ 


"The story of the fortunate one" 



Summum Bonum 


Chapter 1 The Advent of Lord Krishna: Introduction

Chapter 2 Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krishna in the Womb

Chapter 3 The Birth of Lord Krishna

Chapter 4 The Atrocities of King Kamsa

Chapter 5 Krishna's Birth Ceremony and the Meeting of Nanda Mahârâja and Vasudeva

Chapter 6 The Killing of the Demoness Pûtanâ

Chapter 7 Krishna Kicks the Cart, Defeats Trinâvarta and Shows Yas'odâ the Universe

Chapter 8 The Name Ceremony, His Pranks and Again the Universe Within His Mouth

Chapter 9 Mother Yas'odâ Binds Lord Krishna

Chapter 10 The Deliverance of the Sons of Kuvera

Chapter 11 A New Residence, the Fruitvendor and Vatsâsura and Bakâsura Defeated

Chapter 12 The Killing of the Demon Aghâsura

Chapter 13 Lord Brahmâ Steals the Boys and Calves

Chapter 14 Brahmâ's Prayers to Lord Krishna

Chapter 15 The Killing of Dhenuka, the Ass Demon and Poison in the River

Chapter 16 Krishna Chastises the Serpent Kâliya

Chapter 17 The History of Kâliya and His Swallowing a Forest Fire.

Chapter 18 Lord Balarâma Slays the Demon Pralamba

Chapter 19 Again Swallowing a Forest Fire

Chapter 20 The Rainy Season and Autumn in Vrindâvana

Chapter 21 The Gopîs Glorify the Song of Krishna's Flute

Chapter 22 Krishna Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopîs

Chapter 23 The Brahmin Wives Blessed



 Chapter 1

The Advent of Lord Krishna: Introduction

(1) The honorable king said: 'Your Lordship extensively both described the dynasties of the kings of the sun- and moongod and the exalted and wonderful characters of their members [*]. (2) Please describe us Lord Vishnu who appeared as an incarnation in parts [that is: the full of Him along with His plenary expansion Sankarshana here being Baladeva] in the line of the strictly dharmic, well-behaved Yadus you also described, o best of the muni's. (3) Be so kind to tell us all about whatever the Supreme Lord, the Cause of the Manifestation, did after descending in the Yadu-dynasty. (4) The hearing [through the paramparâ] of the pleasing vibrations of the glorification of the Lord Praised in the Verses is the right medicine by which the mind is released from the material disease of its desires; a person, unless he is a killer of animals, can by such descriptions heard or sung keep himself away [from the falsehood, control himself, see also B.G. 2:44]. (5-7) My grandfathers [the Pândavas] on the battlefield with imperishable fighters like Devavrata [Bhîshma] and other great commanders that were like timingilas [shark-eaters], in the past by the boat of Him crossed as easily the so very difficult to overcome ocean of Kaurava soldiers as one steps over a calves hoofprint. This body of mine, the only seed of the Kurus and Pândavas left, was, doomed to perish by Asvatthâmâ's weapon, by Him, cakra at hand, protected, positioned within the womb of my mother who also had taken to the shelter of Him [1.8: 11 and 1-12: 7]. O man of learning, please describe the glories of the Lord that appeared as a normal human being, of the giver of death and eternal life as one says, of Him who in forms of Time is the Original Person inside as well as outside of the complete of all embodied beings. (8) Balarâma, who is Sankarshana, from you we know as the son of Rohinî; how can He without switching bodies be connected with the womb of Devakî? (9) Why went Mukunda, the Supreme Lord from the house of His father to Vraja and where did He, the Master of Vishnu's adherents, situate Himself with His relatives? (10) Residing in Vraja and the city of Mathurâ, what did He do and why did He, the killer of Kesî, kill Kamsa the brother of His mother, which is something right against the scriptures!? (11) For how many years did He, assuming a human body, live with the Vrishnis and lived He in the city of the Yadus [Dvârakâ]; and how many wives were there with the Master? (12) O sage, knowing all are you capable of expounding on the activities of Lord Krishna; describe to me, full of belief and surrender, in detail this all and everything there's more to say. (13) Not even the difficult to bear hunger or my forsaking of water hinders me anymore drinking the nectar of the talks about the Lord emanating from your lotus mouth.'

(14) Sûta [see: 1.1] said: "O son of Bhrigu [Saunaka], the mighty son of Vyâsa, the chief among the pure devotees, thus hearing his pious questions paid the one blessed by Vishnu his respects and began to describe the topics of Krishna that put an end to the darkness of Kali-yuga [compare 1.7: 2-8]. (15) S'rî S'uka said: 'Your fully fixed intelligence, o best of the saintly kings, is the result of the uninterrupted attraction in your listening to the talks about Vâsudeva [Krishna thus as the son of Vasudeva]. (16) Like the world is purified by the [Ganges] water from His toes [5.17:1], are the three kinds of persons of the speaker, the inquirer and those attending purified bathing in the talks about Vâsudeva. (17) Mother earth overburdened by the endless numbers of the conceited, needless, daitya military forces [9.24: 67] and their fake nobles [once] went to take shelter with Lord Brahmâ. (18) Assuming the form of a cow appeared she before the Almighty greatly distressed weeping piteously [see also 1.16: 18] and submitted she her complaints. (19) Lord Brahmâ, understanding all, thereupon approached together with her, the godly and the Three-Eyed One [Lord S'iva] the shore of the milk-ocean [wherein Vishnu resides, see also 8.7: 36]. (20) Reaching there worshiped they with full attention with the hymns for the Original Person [the purusha-sûkta] the Supreme Personality, the God of Gods and Master of the Universe taking care of all.

(21) The lord of the veda [Brahmâ] in trance heard a vibration of words in the sky [see also 1.1: 1] and said to the servants of the three worlds, the demigods: 'Hear from me what the Original Person His order is, o immortal souls, and resume your duties immediately without delay, as is told. (22) Before we came here knew the Personality of God of the distress of the earth; He will by your good selves as His parts expand Himself in the family of the Yadus, and thus taking birth live on the earth for the time that He, the Lord of Lords, by His own potency of Time is diminishing the planet its burden. (23) In the house of Vasudeva will the Supreme Lord, the original transcendental person, personally appear and so should [also] the wives of the godly, in order to please Him, all take birth. (24) The part of Vâsudeva before known as the fully independent Ananta with the thousands of hoods [Sankarshana, see also 5.25] will as the Lord to the Lord appear [as Baladeva] with the desire to act for His pleasure. (25) The grace of Vishnu [Vishnu-mâyâ], as good as the Supreme Lord by whom all the worlds are captivated, is with all her different potencies by the Master being ordered to appear as well to manage His affairs [see also B.G. 9: 12 & 13].'

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'After thus informing the immortals returned the almighty master of the founding fathers, having pacified mother earth with sweet words, to his own supreme abode. (27) S'ûrasena the king of the Yadus [see 9.23: 27] went to live in the city Mathurâ where he enjoyed the former kingdoms of Mâthura and S'ûrasena. (28) Mathurâ, intimately connected to the Supreme Lord Hari, was from that time the capital for all the kings of Yadu [see also the bhajan Sâvarana S'rî Gaura Mahimâ]. (29) It was in that place of God that a while ago the divine character of Vasudeva, after he had married Devakî, with his newly wed wife mounted a chariot to return home. (30) Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena held, to please his sister for the occasion, the reins of the horses in the midst of thousands of golden chariots. (31-32) With her leaving home had koning Devaka, fond of his daughter, as a dowry given away to her four hundred elephants hung with gold, ten-thousand horses along with eighteen hundred chariots and a hundred maidservants young and beautiful complete with jewelry. (33) O dearest King, conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums vibrated in concert to wish the best for the departure of the bride and bridegroom. (34) Being on their way, addressed a voice from the beyond Kamsa who held the reins: 'The eighth child from this girl you are carrying you fool, will kill you!'

(35) Thus addressed took he, who mischievous and sinful had degraded the Bhoja-family, up a sword against his sister grabbing her by her hair with the intention to kill her. (36) To pacify him who was ready to commit such a heinous and shameless crime then spoke Vasudeva, that greatly fortunate soul. (37) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'A man of so many qualities, such a brilliant star among the heroic Bhojas as your good self, how can you kill your sister, a woman notably, at the time of her marriage [see also 1.7: 53-54]? (38) Along with the body born is there death for all who took birth, o hero; whether one dies today or in a hundred years, in the end is each living being sure to die [see also B.G. 2: 27-28]. (39) When the body has to return to the five elements receives the indweller according his own karma automatically another body when he gives up the former frame. (40) Like a person walking changes from standing on one foot to indeed the other and like a caterpillar on a plant [goes from one leaf to another], fares the same way the living entity undergoing the karmic consequence [see also B.G. 2: 22 and 2: 13 ]. (41) If one in the situation of a dream, when one in one's consciousness is fully absorbed by the mental images, has to surrender in one's thinking, feeling and willing to what one has seen or what one has heard of, then what would that be when one has to forget one's present body [see also 4.29: 60-79 and 5.26]? (42) The mind driven by God or deliberation in guesswork goes from this position to the other so that in the end, to the change in thought, feeling and action, the embodied one at the time of death takes his birth according the material mode he is subjected to, [B.G. 13: 22, 14: 14-15 and 6: 34-35]. (43) Like indeed with the luminaries seen in water or other liquids that reflecting by the driving wind give distortions in different shapes, becomes the same way the person, the living entity in the situation created by his own imagining to the modes, bewildered according his own attachments [see also 5.5: 4 and B.G. 9: 12-13, 12: 5]. (44) Therefore cause no harm to anyone, a person angry with someone should with this said, if he desires his own welfare, act in fear of [the interests of] others. (45) This innocent woman, your younger sister, completely depends on you like she was your own daughter - do not kill her; she's good news for you and worthy your care and compassion!'

(46) S'rî S'uka said: 'He pitiless, could by the attempts of good advise this way not be stopped or pacified, o son of Kuru, as he pursued the path of the man-eaters [the râkshasas]. (47) Aware of his resolve thought Vasudeva deep on how he, with the threat of death at hand, could withhold him and so he came up with this other way. (48) By an intelligent person should, as long as he is in control of his faculties, death be avoided, but there is no offense if that for the embodied one is not possible. (49-50) So he thought: 'If I promise to deliver my sons to this man of death I might set my innocent Devakî free, whether this mister Death should take rebirth or not should die; if not then the opposite might happen, but the ways of providence are hard to foretell [wouldn't he die by my son's hand?]. This situation might happen again in the future but with what I have for the moment I can save her life. (51) Fire in a piece of wood can stay there or lead to a conflagration, that's providence, there is no other reason for its cause; the same way can one for sure not make out what would be the cause of being in a body or getting out of it. (52) After contemplating this way, paid the godloving man with all the intelligence in him, the sinner all respect, submitting it to him in praise. (53) With a big smile externally posing himself as being happy before the cruelhearted, shameless man spoke he with a mind full of anxiety and sorrow. (54) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'From Devakî have you indeed, to that which the voice from the beyond vibrated, nothing to fear, o sober one; I'll deliver you all the sons born from her as it were they from whom your fear has risen.'

(55) S'rî S'uka said: 'Kamsa, admitting to the truth of what he said, was for the time being stopped from killing his sister so that with him more at ease Vasudeva was happy to get home. (56) In due course of time thereafter gave Devakî, the mother of all divinity [see 4.31: 14 and B.G. 10: 2], year after year birth to indeed [as said in 9.24: 53-55] eight sons and a daughter. (57) Very afraid not to be true delivered Ânakadundubhi [or Vasudeva, see 9.24: 28-31] to Kamsa with great pain Kîrtimân, the baby firstborn. (58) What would be too painful to the saintly, what is dependence to the learned, what would be forbidden to the lower grade and what is there hard to forsake for the selfrealized? (59) O King, seeing that Vasudeva was unperturbed, truthful and certain of himself, was Kamsa contented and said he with a grin on his face: (60) 'Take this child with you, my fear indeed is not there from him, it is from the eighth pregnancy of you with your wife that my death was destined.'

(61) 'Very well' said Ânakadundubhi, taking his son back en then left not attaching much value to the words of him who had no character or selfcontrol. (62-63) Beginning from Nanda [Krishna's foster-father] were all in Vraja, all the cowherds and inhabitants and women, as well as the Vrishnis beginning with Vasudeva and Devakî and the yadu-women, both in truth gods from heaven indeed, o scion of Bharata; and so were even all the relatives, friends and well-wishers following Kamsa [see also verse 22 and B.G. 6: 41-42]. (64) All this was communicated to Kamsa by the all-powerful Nârada [**]; approaching him he told him that all the daityas and such who burdened the earth were going to be killed [see verse 17 and also 9.24: 56]. (65-66) After the rishi his departure thought Kamsa that all the Yadus were divine and that thus any child born from Devakî could be Vishnu. So in fear of his own death arrested he Vasudeva and Devakî confining them at home in shackles and killed he each of their newborn sons one after the other not knowing whether it would be the 'Never-born' Lord or not [***]. (67) Mothers, fathers, brothers, friends or anyone else are put to death by kings like him who on this earth are driven by envy and greed. (68) He, well aware that in a previous life he as the great asura Kâlanemi [literally: 'rim of the wheel of time'] personally had been killed by Vishnu [see 8.10: 56], again born in this world became inimical with the [as Nârada told him by Vishnu blessed] Yadu-dynasty. (69) His own father Ugrasena, the king of the Yadus, Bhojas and Andhakas was by him, the all-mighty, subdued [also imprisoned] so that he all by himself could enjoy the states of S'ûrasena.  

 Footnotes :

*: To recall what was described in the previous chapters: Lord Râma appeared in the sûrya-vams'a of Iksvâku or sun-dynasty and Lord Krishna appeared in the candra-vams'a or moon-dynasty.

**: An additional verse in this chapter of S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam is accepted by the Madhvâcârya-sampradâya, represented by Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha. The verse is as follows:

atha kamsam upâgamya
nârado brahma-nandanah
ekântam upasangamya
vâkyam etad uvâca ha

atha: in this way; kamsam: unto Kamsa; upâgamya: after going; nâradah: the great sage Nârada; brahma-nandanah: who is the son of Brahmâ; ekântam upasangamya: after going to a very solitary place; vâkyam: the following instruction; etat: this; uvâca: said; ha: in the past.
"Thereafter, Nârada, the mental son of Lord Brahmâ, approached Kamsa and, in a very solitary place, informed him of the following news."

***: Svâmi Prabhupâda comments: 'Formerly an asura named Kâlanemi had six sons, named Hamsa, Suvikrama, Krâtha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahantâ. They were known as the shad-garbhas, or six garbhas, and they were all equally powerful and expert in military affairs. These shad-garbhas gave up the association of Hiranyakas'ipu, their grandfather, and underwent great austerities to satisfy Lord Brahmâ, who, upon being satisfied, agreed to give them whatever benediction they might desire. When asked by Lord Brahmâ to state what they wanted, the shad-garbhas replied, "Dear Lord Brahmâ, if you want to give us a benediction, give us the blessing that we will not be killed by any demigod, mahâ-roga, Yaksha, Gandharva-pati, Siddha, Cârana or human being, nor by great sages who are perfect in their penances and austerities." Brahmâ understood their purpose and fulfilled their desire. But when Hiranyakas'ipu came to know of these events, he was very angry at his grandsons. "You have given up my association and have gone to worship Lord Brahmâ" he said, "and therefore I no longer have any affection for you. You have tried to save yourselves from the hands of the demigods, but I curse you in this way: Your father will take birth as Kamsa and kill all of you because you will take birth as sons of Devakî." Because of this curse, the grandsons of Hiranyakas'ipu had to take birth from the womb of Devakî and be killed by Kamsa, although he was previously their father. This description is mentioned in the Hari-vams'a, Vishnu-parva, Second Chapter. According to the comments of the Vaishnava-toshanî, the son of Devakî known as Kîrtimân was the third incarnation. In his first incarnation he was known as Smara and was the son of Marîci, and later he became the son of Kâlanemi. This is mentioned in the histories.'


Chapter 2  

Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krishna in the Womb

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: said: 'Under the protection of the mighty king of Maghada, Jarâsandha [see 9.22:8], was there with the assistance of Pralamba, Baka, Cânûra, Trinâvarta, Aghâsura, Mustika, Arista, Dvivida, Pûtanâ, Kes'î, Dhenuka, [Narakâsura] and such and asura kings like Bâna, Bhaumâsura and more of those, a systematic persecution of the kings of Yadu. (3) They, harassed, sought shelter in the countries of the Kurus and Pancâlas, the Kekayas, the Sâlvas, the Vidharbas, the Nishadas, the Videhas and the Kos'alas. (4-5) Some of their relatives though began to follow the same policy that he, the son of Ugrasena [Kamsa], had with his killing of six of the children born from Devakî. The seventh one, a plenary expansion of Vishnu, who was celebrated with the name of Ananta, was [thus] as an embryo in the womb of Devakî the cause of as well pleasure as sorrow. (6) The Supreme Lord who is also the Supersoul of each living being [see also B.G. 10: 11], understanding the fear for Kamsa of the Yadus who sought Him as their supreme refuge, directed His spiritual potency [Yogamâyâ] as follows. (7) 'O Devî, so auspicious, go to Vraja beautiful with her cowherds and cows, where Rohinî and other wives of Vasudeva, are living in the cowherd-community [Gokula] of Nanda in seclusion out of fear for Kamsa. (8) In the womb of Devakî there is the embryo known as [Ananta-] S'esha that is a plenary expansion of Me; make a smooth transfer attracting Him out of her into the womb of Rohinî [*]. (9) Then will I with My full potency make My share becoming Devakî's son, o all-auspicious one, while you also will appear as the daughter of Yas'odâ, the wife of Nanda. (10) The people [the s'âktas as opposed to the vaishnavas] will with incense worship you as the fulfillment of all their desires in different forms of sacrifice, as you for all that is longed for are the one capable of bestowing the blessings. (11-12) Depending on the place on earth [**] will you be given different names like Durgâ, Bhadrakâli, Vijaya, Vaishnavî and Kumudâ, Candikâ, Krishnâ, Mâdhavî, Kanyakâ [or Kanyâ-kumâri], and Mâyâ, Nârâyanî, Îs'ânî, S'âradâ and also Ambikâ [***]. (13) For changing wombs will the people of the world address Him [the son of Rohinî] indeed with the name of Sankarshana, for His bringing pleasure to the people [making them devotees] is He called [Bala-]Râma and for His great physical strength is He called Balabhadra.'

(14) Thus instructed by the Supreme Lord she responded with 'So be it' and 'Om', thus accepting His order and after circumambulating Him came she straight down executing just as was told [compare B.G. 16: 24]. (15) When Devakî's embryo by the slumber of yoga [or Yogamâyâ, see B.G. 2: 69] was transferred to Rohinî lamented everyone 'Alas, the baby is lost' [thinking it was a miscarriage]. (16) The Supreme Lord, the one love of all who always puts an end to the fear of His devotees, then with all the potency of His grace entered the mind of Vasudeva [see also 3.2:15]. (17) He, carrying the spiritual effulgence of the Original Personality, shone like the sun and became difficult to behold or approach for each and everyone. (18) Thereafter was He, the Blessing of All the Universe Infallible in All His Parts, from mind to mind by the Son of S'ûrasena [Vasudeva] fully transferred so that the Supreme Soul and Cause of all Causes was carried by his devî [Devakî] who bloomed of happiness like the eastern sky ['with the transference of the light of a setting sun to a rising moon']. (19) That Devakî with in her womb having the Sustainer of All the Universes, could, as the flames of a fire confined in the Bhoja-house, not distribute her light just like it is with the knowledge of a person unable to express himself [*4]. (20) Kamsa seeing her, who with the beauty of the radiance of having the Invincible One within her cleared the entire atmosphere with her brilliant smiles, said to himself: 'The one who now has entered the womb of Devakî for sure is the Lord who is going to kill me; she never before looked like this! (21) How must I, considering that the Holy Example will not give up His prowess, proceed now not to neglect my interest? The killing of a woman, of my sister, especially when she is pregnant, will for ever vanquish my fame and opulence and shorten my life span. (22) Such a one is dead even being alive who lives his life with much cruelty; when the body is finished will all human beings condemn him and will he with his bodily concept of life [see also 7.5: 30 and 5.5: 5 and B.G. 16: 18-21] no doubt enter the deepest darkness [andhatama, see also 3.20: 18 and 5.26: 9].'

(23) Thus contemplating the ghastly idea of murder, refrained he, keeping himself under control, from following that course. Persisting in enmity he awaited the moment the Lord would be born. (24) Sitting or lying down, wherever he was, ate, walked or went thought he [in hate thus] of Hrsikes'a, the Lord of the Senses, thinking the whole world to be Him and nothing more. (25) But Lord Brahmâ, Lord S'iva arriving there with the sages, Nârada and other godly personalities and their followers all together with their transcendental prayers pleased Him, the Blessing of All: (26) 'The truth of the vow [see 9.24:56 and B.G. 9.22], the truth of the Supreme, the truth in the threefold [of e.g. past, present and future] You are; You are the source of all truth pervading all truths, who of the truth of the elements and of all [the relative] that is held true is the original truth; of each sacred truth being the origin is everything true pertaining to You, whom we offer our full surrender. (27) One in dependence [on matter], two in the fruitful [happy/unhappy], three in its roots [the modes] four in tastes [the purushârtha's], five in knowing [the senses], six in conditions [of lamentation, illusion, old age, death, hunger and thirst], seven in layers ['the bark' or the koshas], eight in its branches [the elements, mind, intelligence and ego], with nine apertures, with the tenfold in its covering ['the leaves' or the ten airs, see 7.15: 42] and with two birds [the soul and Supersoul] in it, is indeed that body [individual as also the complete] the original tree. (28) You as the One and All art of this visible universe indeed the Original Source, Yours is the conservation upon annihilation; those whose intelligence is covered by Your mâyâ see You not in the manifold - not those do see who are void of spiritual learning. (29) Assuming all sorts of forms You nevertheless remain the intelligence above them when You for the sake of each living being everywhere, moving or nonmoving, as the transcendental happiness again and again annihilate all the inauspiciousness non-devoted that hinders the truthful. (30) Fully engaged in a constant meditation upon You as the abode of the complete of consciousness, o Lotus-eyed One, does one, by that one-pointedness as practiced by the greatest, board the boat of Your lotus feet that reduces the great ocean of nesciene to a calves hoofprint [compare 10.1: 5-7]. (31) Personally crossing the fierce ocean of darkness that is so hard to overcome, o Light of the World, do the ones with plenty of love for the fallen souls [the advanced devotees] leave behind them the boat of Your lotus feet in this world as they head for the ultimate of You, ever so kind to the followers [see also B.G. 6: 44]. (32) All others, o Lotus-eyed One, who, in the illusion of being liberated variously speculate with an impure intelligence - even though they are successful in severe practices of penance -, fall in neglect of Your feet, down from the highest position back into the material world again [see also B.G. 8: 15-16 and 5.6: 11]. (33) Unlike the non-devotees do they, the followers of devotion o Mâdhava, not fall away from the path because they, unto You, are fully attached so that protected by You they move without fear over the heads, o Master, of those who march in opposition [see also 1.5: 17 and B.G. 18: 78]. (34) For the purpose of maintaining does Your Lordship existing beyond the modes accept a form for the benefit and welfare of all the embodied who, as human people united performing to the Veda, in austerity and fully absorbed in Your worship make You their offerings [see also B.G. 3: 9 & 18: 3]. (35) If the pure of existence, o Source of the World, would not be this constant of You, how could the wisdom have become that drives way the ignorance; the ignorance is completely vanquished by the awakening of that quality of You that Your Lordship exhibits and for which there is no alternative. (36) The name and form of You cannot be ascertained by the words and theses of those who look into the mind [only], o Lord, they indeed are still realized in their action [see also 1.3: 37-38, 4.18: 5 7.15: 58 and B.G: 6: 24 & 18: 55]. (37) Constantly hearing, reciting, remembering and contemplating Your auspicious names [see 7.5: 23-24] and forms is he who is of an undivided attention in action at Your lotusfeet not able to imagine [a reality apart from You, see also 6.17: 28-31]. (38) It is the fortune of us here, o Lord, to have with this earth as the place of Your Lordships feet the asura-burden removed; due to the causeless mercy of the appearance of You as the Controller will we be as fortunate as to witness in heaven as well as on earth the marks of Your [with the conch, the lotus, the club and the disc] transcendentally decorated lotusfeet. (39) For You there is no birth or death o Director of Our Lives, however, the cause of appearing without the pleasure of Your pastimes is out of the question; the birth, death and maintenance of the normal souls is by the external energy so arranged because of You, our Shelter Against All fear. (40) As a fish, as a horse, as a tortoise, as a lion, as a boar, as a swan [or selfrealized sage], as a king and as a man of learning among the godfearing [like Lord Vâmana] has Your Lordship appeared as avatâras; please now save us and the three worlds, o Controller, diminish the earth's burden, o Best of the Yadus, all our prayers are for You [see also 1.3]. (41) [and towards Devakî:] To our fortune, o mother is the Supreme Personality with all His energies now seen in your womb, so, for the Supreme Lord His auspiciousness for all, never fear the Bhoja-master [Kamsa] fixed on being killed by Him, the protector of the Yadu-dynasty who will become Your son.'

(42) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way having offered prayers unto the Original Personality whose form is Transcendental [or Vishnu] returned all the demigods with Brahmâ and S'iva in front of them to their abodes.

Footnotes :

*: Svâmi Prabhupâda comments: 'Symbolically, mother Devakî's constant fear of Kamsa was purifying her. A pure devotee should always fear material association, and in this way all the asuras of material association will be killed, as the shad-garbhâsuras were killed by Kamsa. It is said that from the mind, Marîci appears. In other words, Marîci is an incarnation of the mind. Marîci has six sons: Kâma, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Mâtsarya (lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy). The Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in pure devotional service. This is confirmed in the Vedas: bhaktir evainam dars'ayati. Only bhakti can bring one in contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Devakî, and therefore Devakî symbolically represents bhakti, and Kamsa symbolically represents material fear. When a pure devotee always fears material association, his real position of bhakti is manifested, and he naturally becomes uninterested in material enjoyment. When the six sons of Marîci are killed by such fear and one is freed from material contamination, within the womb of bhakti the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears. Thus the seventh pregnancy of Devakî signifies the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After the six sons Kâma, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Mâtsarya are killed, the S'esha incarnation creates a suitable situation for the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, when one awakens his natural Krishna consciousness, Lord Krishna appears. This is the explanation given by S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura.'

**: The names by which Mâyâdevî is known in different places have been listed by Vallabhâcârya as follows. In Vârânasî she is known as Durgâ, in Avantî she is known as Bhadrakâlî, in Orissa she is known as Vijayâ, and in Kulahâpura she is known as Vaishnavî or Mahâlakshmî. (The representatives of Mahâlakshmî and Ambikâ are present in Bombay.) In the country known as Kâmarûpa she is known as Candikâ, in Northern India as S'âradâ, and in Cape Comorin as Kanyakâ. Thus she is distributed according to various names in various places.

*** S'rîla Vijayadhvaja Tîrthapâda, in his pada-ratnâvalî-tîkâ, has explained the meanings of the different representations. Mâyâ is known as Durgâ because she is approached with great difficulty, as Bhadrâ because she is auspicious, and as Kâlî because she is deep blue. Because she is the most powerful energy, she is known as Vijayâ; because she is one of the different energies of Vishnu, she is known as Vaishnavî; and because she enjoys in this material world and gives facilities for material enjoyment, she is known as Kumudâ. Because she is very severe to her enemies, the asuras, she is known as Candikâ, and because she gives all sorts of material facilities, she is called Krishnâ. In this way the material energy is differently named and situated in different places on the surface of the globe.

*4: S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu said:

yâre dekha, târe kaha 'krishna'-upades'a
âmâra âjnâya guru hanâ târa' ei des'a

"Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord S'rî Krishna as they are given in Bhagavad-gîtâ and S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." (Cc. Madhya 7.128)


Chapter 3  

The Birth of Lord Krishna

(1-5) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then there was the supreme hour all-auspicious and most suitable with the constellation of Rohinî rising and all the stars and planets in a favorable position. Everywhere was peace, the multitude of stars twinkled in the sky and the cities, towns, pasturing grounds and mines were at their best. With the rivers crystal clear, the lakes beautiful with lotuses and flocks of birds and swarms of bees sweetly singing their praise in the blooming forests, blew the breezes with a gentle touch fragrant and dust free and burned the fires of the twice-born steadily undisturbed. The minds of the saintly, oppressed as they had been by the asura [Kamsa and his men], turned perfectly contented when in that situation the kettledrums together resounded with the Unborn One to be born. (6) The superfine and the men of heaven sang; the perfected and the demigods were praying and the [vidyâdhara-]women of knowledge in great jubilation danced together with the dancing girls divine. (7-8) The sages and the godly joyous showered the finest flowers and the clouds rumbled mildly like the ocean waves when in the deepest dark of the night [at midnight] Janârdana, the Worlds Well-wisher, appeared from the [as an expansion of Krishna] divine form of Devakî; Lord Vishnu, the One residing in each his heart had manifested complete in every respect, like the full moon in the east. (9-10) That wonderful child was, resplendent with lotus-like eyes and four arms holding the different weapons, decorated with the S'rîvatsa-mark, the shining Kaustubha around His neck, His yellow garments and a beautiful hue like that of rainclouds. Vasudeva saw Him brilliantly decorated sparkling with a Vaidûrya-studded helmet and earrings to the beauty of profuse scattered locks of hair, an exquisite belt around the waist and bands and bracelets on His arms. (11-12) He, Ânakadundubhi, struck with wonder upon seeing the beautiful countenance of the Lord as his son, at the time overwhelmed by great jubilation dreamt of holding a festival to the descendent of Krishna at which he could distribute a ten thousand cows to the twice-born.

(12) Understanding He was the Original Personality, offered he, with under His influence his fears dispelled, thereafter prayers to the child, falling down with folded hands, o son of Bharata, enraptured as he was by His beauty that illumined the place all around where He was born. (13) Vasudeva said: 'Fully aware I am of You, my Lordship, as directly the Original Person transcendental to the material of nature, as the absolute understanding and blissfulness [sat-cit-ânanda] in its true form, the intelligence that watches over each. (14) You for sure are known as Him who, after in the beginning by His personal energy creating this world consisting of the three modes [see B.G 7: 4-6], then indeed seem to have entered [as avatâras] without actually having entered [see also 7.12: 15 and B.G. 9: 11]. (15-17) It is like one knows the elements of matter that in their untransformed state are caught in many combinations [of molecules] that together indeed make up the entire universe; after on their association being created they appear as if they entered, but that entering cannot be since they, in this matter of creation, were there with You from the beginning. This way seen, departing from true intelligence and its attributes, o my Lord, are You, although having arrived with the objects of the senses and the modes of nature, not determined by the material qualities since You [in fact] are situated everywhere; there is no such thing as a within and a without to [the complete of] You because, with all belonging to You, You are the root of everyone and everything [see also B.G. 9.4-6]. (18) Anyone who in the position of being a discernible object continues to act as if he would have an existence for himself separate from the original self or soul is a fool; he is a person who, of false identification, is rejected as stupid for he is without proper analysis and not of a full consideration of 'that' [or tat]. [see also B.G. 18: 16, B.G. 7: 4-5 and *]. (19) O Almighty Lord, the birth, remaining and ending of this all is, so conclude the scholars, there from You, who art unsullied, free from inclinations and free from the modes; in You, the Controller, the Supreme Brahman, is there no contradiction in one's being ruled by the modes You are watching over [see B.G. 9: 10]. (20) You as such, to maintain the three worlds by Your own potency, assume the white [of goodness] as well as the color belonging to the creative, the red of being charged with passion and the color of darkness in the ignorance about the ultimate of destruction. (21) You here on this planet o Mighty One have now as the Complete of Control appeared in my home to ward off the wild men - and annihilate their armies - that by the millions all over the world unenlightened pose as kings and statesmen [see also B.G 4:8]. (22) But this one so godless [Kamsa] who after hearing about Your taking birth in our home killed all the brothers born before You, o Lord of the Godly will, informed by his lieutenants of Your appearance now for sure directly take up his weapons.'

(23) S'uka said: 'After observing that this son of theirs had all the characteristics of the Supreme Personality, offered Devakî, afraid of Kamsa but also greatly surprised, prayers unto Him. (24) S'rî Devakî said: 'Being the substance of God are You sometimes called imperceptible, the original, the Brahman, the light, the freedom above the modes, the changeless and the measure of goodness; You are the one undivided, void of material motives, who is directly that Lordship, Vishnu, the light of the Supersoul [compare: B.G. 14: 27]. (25) With the cosmos at its end after millions and millions of years when the primary elements merge with the subtle and everything manifested by the force of Time turns unmanifest, is Your Lordship, the One with the Many Names, the only one to remain. (26) This Time so powerful, by which, from the smallest measure up to the measure of a year, this entire creation works, is said to be the movement of Him, the Authority of the Unmanifest that is You, the secure abode, the Supreme Controller whom I offer my surrender. (27) The mortals afraid of the serpent of death run for all places but cannot attain fearlessness; by the luck though of obtaining the lotusfeet do they now sleep undisturbed and flees death away from them. (28) O Lordship, could You, in Your form as the One dispelling all the fears of Your servants, protect us against the terrible son of Ugrasena we fear so much and, please, as this Original Personality attended to in meditation, be not directly visible to those who look with a material vision [compare B.G. 11: 8]. (29) O Madhusûdana, because of Your appearance I'm moved with fear apprehensive of Kamsa; may Your taking birth from my womb escape the attention of that great sinner. (30) Withdraw, o All-pervading One, that supernatural four-armed form which is adorned with the attributes of the conch, lotus, disc and club. (31) The entire creation with all in it is by the transcendental Original Personality of Your Lordship easily sheltered and kept within Your body at the time of devastation; it is really impossible to think that within this human world, o God, it so happened that this form has entered my womb!'

(32) The Supreme Lord replied: 'You in a previous age became known as Pris'ni, o chaste lady, and he [Vasudeva] was at the time a prajâpati known as Sutapâ, an impeccable pious person. (33) When the both of you then were commissioned by Lord Brahmâ to create offspring, were you next of severe austerities keeping your senses fully controlled. (34-35) Enduring the rain, the wind, the blistering sun and the severe cold and heat to the seasonal changes, were by means of practicing restraint the contaminations cleared out of the mind; eating withered leaves and air only you became pure and peaceful and performed in serenity My worship praying for a boon from Me. (36) With your so of severe penance practicing the most difficult austerities passed a twelve thousand celestial years of simply thinking of Me. (37-38) By this determination of heart and constant, faithful service and penance o sinless one, did I, proclaimed the most favorable bestower of boons, very satisfied with the both of you, then appear in this form before you eager to fulfill your desire and was I asked, when you were requested by Me to open your minds for a boon, to become a son like I am now. (39) As a man and wife without a son did you, for the sensual life to achieve this so strongly attracted to My divine energy, never ask Me for liberation from this world [see also 4.9: 30-35]. (40) After My departure, having received the benediction, you engaged in enjoying sex and was by the both of you the desired result achieved of having a son like Me. (41) Not finding anyone else in this world equal to you in character and qualities became I your son and am I thus known as Pris'nigarbha. (42) From the two of you I appeared through Kas'yapa from Aditi once more and was, celebrated as Upendra, because of being a dwarf also known as Vâmana [see 8.17-22]. (43) Accept for true, o chaste lady, that I with you for the third time indeed in this same appearance [now in full as Krishna], again by the forms of the two of you, have taken My birth. (44) This form [fourhanded] has been shown to you to remind you of My previous appearances, otherwise would the spiritual understanding of My identity not arise with this mortal image. (45) Treating Me with love and affection will the two of you in the constant awareness of Me as being as well your son as the Spiritual Supreme, both obtain My transcendental abode.

(46) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus having spoken remained the Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord silent while He before the eyes of His parents by His own energy assumed the form of an ordinary human child. (47) And thereafter, when the son of S'ûrasena as instructed by the Supreme Lord carefully carried away his son from the place of delivery, took precisely at that time that he wished to take Him outside Yogamâyâ [see 10.2: 6-12], the unborn of transcendence, her birth from the wife of Nanda. (48-49) By her influence had the guards as well as the rest of the people, fast asleep lost consciousness of all their senses and had also all the doors and the gates firmly constructed and sealed by bolts and chains of their own opened wide like darkness does before the sun, when Vasudeva appeared bearing Krishna. The clouds mildly rumbling showered rain but followed by S'esha Nâga were the rains stopped by the spreaded hoods. (50) Because of Indra's constant showers was of the deep waters of Yamarâja's younger sister, the Yamunâ, the surface foaming of the forceful waves but the whirling, agitated, fierce stream gave way just like the ocean had before the Husband of Sîtâ [Lord Râma, see 9.10: 13-15]. (51) The son of S'ûrasena reaching the cow-village of Nanda found all the cowherds there fast asleep and with them slumbering placed he his son on Yas'odâ's bed and picked he her daughter up to go back to his own residence. (52) He there placed the female child on Devakî's bed binding himself again with the shackles for his feet so that he remained bound as before. (53) Yas'odâ, Nanda's wife, who also had delivered a child had no idea what it precisely looked like as overwhelmed by sleep of the hard labor her memory had left her.

Footnote :

*: Svâmi Prabhupâda comments: 'If we regard this world as false, we fall into the category of asuras, who say that this world is unreal, with no foundation and no God in control (asatyam apratistham te jagad âhur anîs´varam). As described in the Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gîtâ, this is the conclusion of demons.'


Chapter 4

The Atrocities of King Kamsa

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'With the outer and inner doors of the building closed like before, awoke all the guards of the prison upon hearing the crying of the newborn child. (2) They then hurried to submit that to the king of Bhoja who with great anxiety was awaiting the time that Devakî would deliver. (3) He quickly got out of bed saying 'The Time has come' and went with this in mind without delay, with his hair on his head disheveled, to where the mother was.

(4) The chaste Devakî miserable in distress said to Kamsa, her brother: 'This one is meant for your son, o good one, she is a woman not to be killed. (5) Many little ones as bright as fire have by you, to what you heard from above, been killed, my brother, leave me this one daughter as a gift. (6) I'm still your younger sister, isn't it? Poor off without my children, o master, dear brother, you owe me so needy this last child.'

(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Clasping her baby in tears she pleaded most piteously but he very cruel tore it with a growl away from her hands. (8) Taking the child by force wanted he, holding the newborn child of his sister by the legs, to dash it against the stone floor, self-centered as he was out of his wits with the familial affection. (9) But it slipped midair out of his hands and appeared the very instant in the sky as Devî [Durgâ] the younger sister of Vishnu, with all the eight weapons to her mighty arms [see also 8.12: 40]. (10-11) Adorned with sandalwood pulp, flower garlands, valuable jewels and being nicely dressed held she Vishnu's weapons: a bow, a lance, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conch, a lotus and a disc. Hailed by the perfected, the venerable ones and the singers of heaven, the dancing girls, the excellent [uragas, the 'divine snakes'] and the specially talented did she, being served with all kinds of presentations, say: (12) 'What's the use of killing me o fool, He, your former enemy [see 1.68] who will kill you, has already been born [and is now] somewhere else, do not unnecessarily kill any more poor ones.'

(13) The goddess with the immense power of mâyâ this way addressing him indeed became known with different names in the different places on earth [see 10.2: 10&11]. (14) Kamsa hearing the words spoken by her was struck with wonder and forthwith released Devakî and Vasudeva saying humbly: (15) 'Alas, my dear sister and brother-in-law, like a man-eater with his own kids were, because of my sins, your sons killed by me. (16) I am indeed such a one void of mercy cruelly denying relatives and friends; what world am I, behaving like a brahmin-killer, heading for breathing here or in the hereafter? (17) Also heaven can speak a lie, not just human beings; just because of believing the prophecy did I, the greatest sinner, kill all those children of my sister! (18) O blessed souls, do not lament over your sons; all who are born are suffering because of their own acts [see footnote 3 ch.1] and hence is it to the will of God not always given to live in one place. (19) On earth all that is made from earth appears and disappears, similarly it so happens that heartening the soul one in this undergoes changes but that, like the earth itself, one does not change [compare 10.3: 15-17]. (20) When a person without knowledge of the difference [between body and self] has the idea that he is the body, then is such a one, unified with his casing, of false oneness in opposition with others and is he unable to escape from being caught in the cycle of rebirth. (21) With me wishing you the best, do therefore not lament over the sons that because of me found their death; isn't so that everyone to what is given is confronted with what he did himself? (22) As long as he who has not learned to know himself thinks about himself in terms of killing or being killed is he, for the time that he is of that misconception, a fool bound to worldly responsibilities without an end [see also B.G. 3: 9 & 18: 17 and nitya-mukta]. (23) Please forgive me my atrocities, you're both saintly caring for the fallen souls!' and saying this with tears rolling down his cheeks clasped the brother-in-law the feet of his relatives.

(24) With belief in the words of Durgâ releasing them from their shackles, he proved Vasudeva and Devakî his family-heart. (25) Towards her regretful brother was Devakî then relieved of her anger and so gave Vasudeva also his anger up saying to him with a smile: (26) 'You're right, o graceful one, in what you said about the embodied soul that driven by ignorance separates his interests from those of others. (27) It is lamentation, jubilation, fear, hate, greed, illusion and madness what people, who see [the immediate cause of] everything as being separate, get, killing one another when they of those distinctions do not see what the real situation is with the Lord [who is the remote cause].'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Kamsa thus in purity answered by the appeased Devakî and Vasudeva, took leave and entered his palace. (29) When the night had passed called Kamsa for all his ministers and informed them about all that the 'Slumber of Yoga', Durgâ, had said. (30) Hearing what their master had to say replied the daitya opponents of the godly, who indignant towards the demigods were not so expert [see also B.G. 9: 12]: (31) 'Well, if this is so, o King of Bhoja, then let us right now kill all the children about ten days old or younger in every town, village and pasturing ground. (32) What can the godly afraid to fight do, always so nervous to hear the sound of your bowstring? (33) Slain here and there, pierced by the many of your arrows, have they, fearing for their lives, fled away willfully escaping from the battle field! (34) Some types of heaven very poor bereft of all their weapons folded their hands before you with all their hair and clothes in disarray and some said things as 'We've become so afraid of you!'. (35) And you with them, who scared to death without their chariots forgot about their weapons, do not kill any of those who with their bows broken as a pacifists are more attached to other things than fighting. (36) What of the position taken by the godly so powerful? Away from the fighting they can boast! What of Lord Hari? He's hiding in the heart! What to fear from S'iva either? He's living in the forest! And what of Indra? He's not much of a hero! And Brahmâ then? He always meditates! (37) Still, you maintain, should the godly as enemies not be overlooked; so let us, your loyals, uproot them! (38) Like with a neglected disease of the body that by men in its acute stage cannot be treated anymore and like it is with senses that are not controlled from the beginning, becomes similarly a great enemy too strong to control. (39) The root of it all is Vishnu, in Him do the godly find their traditional duties and is there the brahminical with the cows, the learned, the penances and the sacrifices for which they get paid [see also 7.5: 31]. (40) Therefore, by all means, o King, will we put an end to the brahmins so eager with the brahminical, those repentants so busy with their sacrifices and cow-business for some milk! (41) The learned and the cows, the Vedas, the austerity, the truthfulness and sense control, the calm, faith, mercy, the tolerance as well as the sacrifices are all part of Hari. (42) He indeed is the leader of all the suras and truly the enemy of the asuras; He's the one in each heart under whose shelter all the godly, including their controller [S'iva] and the four-faced one [Brahmâ], exist; really, the only way to strike Him is to persecute all His seers.'

(43) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way void of intelligence for long deliberating with his evil counselors accepted Kamsa, who as a demon was ruled by the Lord of Death, it to be best to persecute the brahmins. (44) With his consenting with the dânavas to fight the repentant, spread the lovers of destruction, who could assume any form they wanted, in all directions and returned Kamsa to his residence. (45) Full of a passion of the deepest darkness did they, all practically fools, undertake the persecution of the truthful with the shadow of death already over them. (46) Of a person trespassing against great personalities are the benedictions of a long life, beauty, fame, religion, talents and heaven as well, all destroyed.'   


Chapter 5  

Krishna's Birth Ceremony and the Meeting of Nanda Mahârâja and Vasudeva

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nanda overjoyed that a son had been born, broad of mind invited the learned conversant with the Veda, cleansed himself with a bath and dressed himself up. To celebrate the birth [in jâtakarma*] had he the mantras chanted and arranged he as well for the worship of the forefathers and demigods as prescribed. (3) To the brahmins he donated countless fully decorated milk-cows and seven mountains of sesame seed, covered with jewels and gold-embroidered cloth. (4) By time, by bathing, by purification ceremonies, by austerity and by worship becomes in charity and contentment all that one has purified, but the soul is purified by selfrealization. (5) Under the constant vibrations of bheryis and dundubhis [drums] uttered the learned, the storytellers, the reciters and the singers words that purified all and everything. (6) All of Vraja was cleaned; all doorsteps, the courtyards and the interiors were washed and a variety of festoons and flags decorated arches with garlands, pieces of cloth and mango-leaves. (7) The cows, bulls and calves were smeared with turmeric-oil and decorated with a variety of mineral colors, peacock feathers, cloth, golden ornaments and flowers. (8) O King, the cowherds [the gopas] gathering were dressed with the most precious ornaments and garments like coats and turbans and took all kinds of gifts with them. (9) The cowherd wives [the gopîs] were also glad to hear of mother Yas'odâ giving birth to a boy and gave personally their best appearing in festive dresses with their eyes made up and wearing jewelry and such. (10) With their most beautiful lotuslike faces and decorations, saffron and fresh kunkum, hurried they with swaying bosoms and hips hither with offerings in their hands. (11) The gopîs wore dazzling jeweled earrings, strings of gold coins around their necks and had their vestments colorful embroidered while on their way towards Nanda's house a shower of flowers fell from their garlands; with the raiment and their swinging bangles, earrings, breasts and garlands were they a feast to the eye. (12) All for long offered blessings to the newborn one like 'pâhi' ['be protected'] and sprinkled with prayers the Unborn Lord with turmeric-oil. (13) With the arrival in Nanda's cow-community of Krishna, the Unlimited Controller of the Entire Universe, vibrated a diversity of musical instruments in a great festival. (14) Rejoicing threw the gopas with curds, milk and buttermilk and smeared they one another with the butter. (15-16) To offer his child the best prospects was that noble soul, Nanda, being of the greatest mind towards them as well as towards the storytellers, the reciters, the singers and others who found their livelihood by their education, for the purpose of satisfying Lord Vishnu of worship with whatever they could wish for and use as for clothes, ornaments and cows [see also 7.14: 17]. (17) The greatly fortunate Rohinî [the mother of Baladeva hiding out there, see 10.2: 7] was also made happy by the guardian that was Nanda and was busily going around beautiful with her dress, garland and the decoration of a necklace. (18) O King, from that time on became the cow-lands of Nanda opulent with all riches as they, as the residence of the Lord, by His transcendental qualities had become the place for the pastimes of Ramâ [the Goddess of Fortune, see 8.8: 8].

(19) Nanda, after entrusting the cowherd men the protection of Gokula [the cow-village], went to Mathurâ to pay of his profit his yearly taxes to Kamsa, o best of the Kuru-dynasty. (20) Vasudeva, when he heard that his [younger step-]brother Nanda [**] had left, so he learned to pay his tribute to the king, went to where he stayed. (21) Seeing him [Vasudeva] all of a sudden he pleased got up as if his body had found new life and overwhelmed with love and affection embraced he his dear friend. (22) With all honors welcomed, asked about his health and assigned a place to sit informed he [Vasudeva], so very attached, after his own two sons saying the following, o ruler over the world. (23) 'Dear brother Nanda what a great fortune has befallen you now perchance to have gotten the son for which you, so advanced in age, were so desperate, having none. (24) What a great fortune also to have you today here, it is like a rebirth; despite of being around in this world of birth and death is it so very hard to meet one's beloved once again! (25) Like things afloat in a river carried away by the force of the waves do we, intimately living together, not remain in one place diverging in our karmic ways. (26) Is everything hale with the cow-business, is there enough water, grass, plants and all that in the great forest where you are living now with your friends? (27) O brother, does my son, living with His mother in your house, consider you His father and is He a sweetheart under the care of you both? (28) A persons three enjoined aims of life [of regulated lusts, income and rituals] have their authority in the being together, but that is not so if that togetherness has become difficult, then they run futile.'

(29) S'rî Nanda said: 'How regrettable it is that the many sons you had with Devakî were killed by Kamsa and that also the one remaining child, the youngest, a daughter has gone to heaven. (30) From the One Unseen indeed do things come to an end, the Unseen One is the ultimate for each alive; that destiny is one's ultimate truth and he who knows that will not get bewildered.' 

(31) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'Now you've paid the king his yearly tax and we have met, should the both of us not stay here in this place for long, something might have happened in Gokula!'

(32) S'rî S'uka said: 'With that advise excusing himself yoked Nanda and his companions their oxen to their bullock-carts and left they for Gokula.'

* The jâtakarma birth ceremony, which can take place when the umbilical cord, connecting the child and the placenta, is cut, entails the touching of the tongue of the new-born trice with ghee preceded by introductory prayers. The birth ceremony for Krishna is also called Nandotsava.  The day of yearly celebrating His birth is called Janmâstamî [the eight day of the month of Bhadra (August-September)].



Chapter 6

The Killing of the Demoness Pûtanâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nanda on his way [home] thought that the words of the son of S'ûra [Vasudeva] were not without a purpose and so he took shelter of the Lord apprehensive of difficulties ahead. (2) As arranged by Kamsa [see 10.4: 43] was there a ghastly murderess that roamed the cities, towns and villages killing small babies. (3) [Now,] Wherever one does one's duty and has the listening and all [of bhakti] can't there, by the Protector of the Devotees, be no question of cries for murder of ogres and bad elements. (4) That one called Pûtanâ, who could travel by air, once flew to the village of Nanda, converted herself by mystic power into a beautiful woman and entered there just moving about as she desired. (5-6) With her hair arrangement with mallikâ [jasmine] flowers, her very big breasts and hips that outweighed her slim waist, with her fine apparel and the earrings she wore, the brilliance and great attraction of her face surrounded by her black hair and with her appealing glancing at everyone, she attracted with her beauty the attention of everyone in Gokula; to the gopîs it seemed that she, so ravishing with a lotus in her hand, was the goddess of beauty who had come to see her Husband. (7) The baby-murderess there in the house of Nanda unchecked looking for children saw lying the Child Putting an End to all Untruth whose unlimited power was covered, just like fire hidden within ashes. (8) Understanding she was out for killing babies closed He as the Unlimited Soul of the Animate and Inanimate His eyes as she, unaware like one who holds a sleeping snake for a rope, placed Him, her own death, on her lap. (9) Acidminded trying like a mother was she like a sharp sword in a nice scabbard the way she was seen in the room by the two mothers who impressed under the influence of her beauty stood nailed to the ground. (10) She horrible placing Him on her lap pushed right there her breast, as a weapon poisoned, in His mouth, but in response squeezed the Supreme Lord her painfully hard with both His hands and sucked He, vehemently, both the poison and the life out of her. (11) Stressed in all her being, loudly wailing she cried out 'Help, help me; enough!' and spread wide open her eyes, sweating profusely and persistently tossing her legs and arms. (12) The sound of her made the earth with its mountains and outer space with all its stars above and worlds below in all directions tremble with people falling flat to the ground to the vibrations afraid to be hit by lightening. (13) Thus squirming, tormented at her breasts, gave she with her mouth wide open and her arms, legs and hair all spread out, her life up; she then expanded to her original demoniac form falling down in the pasturing grounds o King, like Vritrâsura being killed by the bolt of Indra [see 6.12]. (14) Her body in the process of falling down smashed all trees twelve miles around, o King, as it most wonderfully was gigantic.

(15-17) The gopas and gopîs who in their hearts, ears and heads were already shocked by the loud yell were terrified to see that massive body of which the mouth had teeth as high as a plow, the nostrils were like mountain caves, the breasts were as boulders, the wild hair scattered looked like copper, the deep eye sockets were like blind wells, the thighs were like river banks with the limbs as bridges and the abdomen was as a dried up lake. (18) On top of it was there also the child, fearlessly playing, which quickly by the gopîs, all thrown in excitement coming near, was picked up. (19) Together with Yas'odâ and Rohinî performed they, in order to assure the child full protection against all dangers, the waving around of a cows tail. (20) With cow urine was the child thoroughly washed and again covered with dust thrown up by cows, after which they for the child's protection as well applied the Holy Name in twelve places with cow-dung [*]. (21) The gopîs took a sip of water [âcamana] and after placing the letters of the [following **] mantra on their own bodies and two hands, they then proceeded so with the child: (22-23) 'May Aja protect Your legs, may Manimân protect Your knees, may Yajña protect Your thighs, may Acyuta protect You above the waist, may Hayagrîva protect Your abdomen, may Kes'ava protect Your heart, may Îs'a protect Your chest, may Sûrya protect Your neck, may Vishnu protect Your arms, may Urukrama protect Your mouth and may Îs'vara protect Your head. May Cakrî protect You from the front; may the Supreme Personality of Gadâdharî, the carrier of the club, protect You from the back; and may the killer of Madhu and Ajana, the carrier of the bow and the sword protect Your two sides. May Lord Urugâya, the carrier of the conchshell, protect You from all corners; may Upendra protect You from above; may [the One riding] Garuda protect You on the ground; and may the Supreme Person of Haladhara, protect You on all sides. (24) May Your senses be protected by Hrisîkes'a, Your life-air by Nârâyana, may the Master of S'vetadvîpa protect the core of Your heart and may Your mind be guarded by Yoges'vara. (25-26) May Pris'nigarbha protect Your intelligence, may Your soul be protected by Bhagavân, may Govinda protect You when You play and may Mâdhava protect You in Your sleep. May the Lord of Vaikunthha protect You when You walk, the Husband of the Goddess of Fortune protect You when You sit down and may Lord Yajñabhuk, the fear of all evil planets, protect You enjoying life. (27-29) The demoniac women, devils and haters of children that are like bad stars; the evil spirits, hobgoblins, ghosts and spooks, the ogres, monsters and witches like Kotarâ, Revatî, Mâtrikâ and Pûtanâ who drive people mad, are the ones who bewilder the memory and give trouble to one's body, life-air and vitality. May those nightmare-beings causing so much difficulties attacking the most wise and the children all be vanquished, scared off by the chanting of the names of Vishnu'.

(30) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way were by the elderly gopîs bound by maternal affection all measures taken to ward off the evil. Next gave mom Him the nipple and put she her son in bed. (31) In the meantime came the gopas headed by Nanda back from Mathurâ and when they in Vraja saw Pûtanâ's body were they all struck with great wonder [and said]: (32) 'It must be so, o friends, that Ânakadundubhi has grown into a great master of yoga or something, this indeed we can see now because this is the kind of situation he predicted!' (33) The mass of the body was with the help of axes by all the inhabitants of Vraja cut in pieces and, taken away a long distance, thrown down, covered with wood and burned to ashes. (34) While the body was being burnt proved the smoke emanating to be as serenely fragrant as aguru incense because, being sucked by Krishna, it had instantly been freed from all contaminations [see also 1.2: 17]. (35-36) If Pûtanâ, that child murderess and she-devil hankering for blood, despite of her lust to destroy, after offering her breast to the Lord, could attain the supreme destination, then what to speak of those with faith and devotion who have an affinity like indeed His affectionate mother(s) to whom Krishna, the Supreme Personality, is the dearmost? (37-38) With His lotus feet, which the devotees always have in their hearts and which are held in devotion by those praised everywhere [like Brahmâ and S'iva], trod the Supreme Lord her body and her breast and went she, albeit a murderess, taking the position of a mother, to heaven; what would that mean to the motherly cows of whose teats Krishna enjoyed the milk? (39-40) From all in love of child that the milk was flowing that He, the Supreme Lord, the bestower of Oneness, Giver of Liberation and son of Devakî, drank to His satisfaction; from all those who constantly made Krishna their maternal concern, may one never think, o King, that they would turn back to the material ocean where one lusts in ignorance [see also B.G. 4.9].

(41) Smelling the fragrance of the smoke emanating wondered all the inhabitants of Vrajabhûmi: 'From where is this coming?' and thus speaking with one another reached they the cow-village. (42) Getting there were they greatly surprised to hear what the gopas all had to say about the havoc Pûtanâ had created and how she had died and what all for the good of the baby was done. (43) Nanda taking his son on his lap as if He had returned from death, simple and straight smelled His head and achieved the highest peace o best of the Kurus. (44) Any mortal who with faith and devotion should hear of this wonderful Krishna childhood pastime of the salvation of Pûtanâ will grow fond of Govinda ['the Protector of the Cows'].  


* Waving a cows tail around a child is an occult rite in which the tail of a cow is regarded as the seat of Laxmi, the godess of fortune. This is also true for the urine, dust, the milk and dung of the cows that with their products are held sacred. The urine has antiseptic qualities, the dung serves as fuel and the milk brings all health and wealth.

** With the mantra one asigns the first letter or seed-letter of the names of the Lord mentioned in the next verse, followed by anusvâra and the word namah.



Chapter 7

Krishna Kicks the Cart, Defeats Trinâvarta and Shows Yas'odâ the Universe

(1-2) The honorable king said: 'The different pastimes of the avatâras of the Supreme Lord presenting us the Lord, our Controller, are most pleasing to our ears and inspiring to our minds, o master. Whoever hears of them will in the ground of his being very soon find purification from the unsavory, ardent desires and as a person devotional with the Lord as well find friendship with the people who have Him as the one and only. If you like, please speak to us about all pertaining to Him. (3) Tell us more about Krishna; the pastimes in which He here in our human society acted mimicking a human child are so wonderful!' [*]

(4) S'rî S'uka said: 'At the time the moon stood in the constellation of Rohinî [after three months] could He turn Himself upward in His crib and was a celebration with a washing-ritual organized by the mothers who gathered with music, song and hymns that were chanted by the brahmins to which mother Yas'odâ performed the bathing ceremony. (5) After Nanda's wife and the other members of the household were done were the learned who had done their duty presented with food, garments, garlands and cows and was the child, with drowsy eyes, for the time being laid down. (6) To the utthâna [or 'turning upward']-ceremony busy with providing the guests from all over Vraja to their taste, did she truly not hear any of the cries of her child that wailing to be fed angrily kicked around its legs. (7) Struck by His delicate feet tender as a leaf turned the cart underneath He was put over so that all the bowls and plates and sweetness in them fell down, the wheels and axle got dislocated and the pole was broken [**]. (8) All the ladies and men of Vraja with Yas'odâ and Nanda first who had assembled for the utthâna-ceremony, witnessing that wondrous event marveled on how the cart by itself indeed could have been damaged so badly. (9) The children told the dumbfounded gopas and gopîs that it suffered no doubt that, as soon as the child cried, it with one leg had dashed it apart. (10) Unaware of the inconceivable power of that small baby couldn't they believe it; the gopas thought it was all child-prattle what they said. (11) Mother Yas'odâ, picking up her crying son, thinking it had been a bad planet called for the learned to perform a ceremony with vedic hymns and gave the child her breast. (12) After some stout gopas had put the cart back together again and had placed the pots and everything back on it, performed the priests with curds, rice, kus'a-grass and water the rituals to the fire sacrifice. (13-15) Of those endowed with the perfect truth who are free from discontent, untruth, false pride, envy, violence and self-conceit do the blessings never go in vain [see also B.G. 18: 42]. With this in mind taking care of the child according the Sâma, Rig and Yajur-veda and purifying it with the help of water mixed with herbs asked Nanda the leading cowherd so liberal and good, after the child was bathed, those finest twice-born for auspicious hymns to be sung and were those souls of rebirth after the oblations by him served with a most excellent meal. (16) To assure his son all the best gave he them, and was he also welcomed to give, the best quality of milk cows nicely decorated with flowers, and gold chains. (17) The sages joined in whatever they pronounce bring one, as experts in the mantras, all the blessings as the valid words they use for sure never at any time will be fruitless.

(18) One day [with Him about a year old] when Yas'odâ with Him sitting on her lap was fondling Him, could she because He became as heavy as a mountain peak no longer bear the child's weight. (19) Of Him to her astonishment being as heavy as the universe [see garimâ] was the gopî sorry to place Him on the ground; she took shelter of Nârâyana and engaged herself in household duties. (20) A daitya named Trinâvarta, an hireling set up by Kamsa, swept in the form of a whirlwind away the little one sitting there. (21) Vibrating with a heavy sound covered he massively roaring all of Gokula with dust penetrating every nook and corner and was everything hidden from sight. (22) For an hour or so was all of the cowland by the heavy dust plunged in darkness and could Yas'odâ not spot Him where she had put Him on the ground. (23) Not seeing themselves or each other anymore were they by the sands thrown up disturbed and confused. (24) The helpless woman thus by the clouds of dust of the strong whirlwind seeing nothing, worrying about her son lamented pitifully and fell to the ground like a cow having lost her calf. (25) Hearing her crying the other gopîs all with their faces full of tears wailed along crying in sympathy on not finding Nanda's son when the fierce duststorm of the whirlwind had ceased. (26) The force of Trinâvarta having assumed the form of the whirlwind wore off when, having swept away Krishna, reaching the top of the sky he couldn't get higher with Him getting heavier and mightier. (27) Finding Him, heavy as a stone, overruling his fury had he with Him strangling his neck to give it up being incapacitated in front of the wondrous babe. (28) With Him grasping him by the throat popped out the eyes of the demon as he choked and lifeless together with the child fell to the ground. (29) The gathered sobbing gopî's saw that terror with all his limbs scattered before them, fallen from the sky down upon a slab of rock, like Tripura felled by the arrows of S'iva [see 7.10].  (30) Totally surprised to find Krishna in good health sitting on the chest of the man-eater who had taken Him away in the sky, picked they Him who was saved from the mouth of death up and delivered they, as Nanda's gopîs and gopas overjoyed rejoicing in bliss on the retrieval, Him to His mother. (31) [They said:] 'How greatly wonderful indeed this baby that taken away by the ogre left us but now has returned unscathed; now that that nasty demon from his own sins has been killed in contest may any devout soul find relief in sameness and fearlessness. (32) Of what prolonged austerity have we been, what was our worship for the One in the Beyond, and what was the public service [pûrta], service in piety [ishta] charity [datta] or other love for our fellow man as a result of which the child that was practically lost, again to our piety is present here to the fortune and pleasure of all His folk?' (33) Having witnessed the different amazing events in the great forest repeated the herdsman Nanda over and over in astonishment how true the words of Vasudeva had been [see also verse 10.6: 32]. 

(34) One day the mother hoisted the little one up on her lap to feed Him from her breast, from which of her great affection oozed the milk. (35-36) O King, when it was almost done and mother Yas'odâ looked the satisfied and smiling child in the face as she patted it softly, saw she when it yawned the following: the sky, the planets and the earth, the luminaries in all directions, the sun and the moon, fire, the air and the seas with the continents, the mountains, their daughters the rivers, the forests and all creatures moving and nonmoving [see also B.G. ch 11]. (37) When she all of a sudden saw the entire universe, o King, started she, stifled with deer-like eyes, to tremble all over having falling in great amazement.


* At the beginning of this chapter, two extra verses sometimes appear:

evam bahûni karmâni
gopânâm s'am sa-yoshitâm
nandasya gehe vavridhe
kurvan vishnu-janârdanah

"In this way, to chastise and kill the demons, the child Krishna demonstrated many activities in the house of Nanda Mahârâja, and the inhabitants of Vraja enjoyed these incidents."

evam sa vavridhe vishnur
nanda-gehe janârdanah
kurvann anis'am ânandam
gopâlânâm sa-yoshitâm

"To increase the transcendental pleasure of the gopas and the gopîs, Krishna, the killer of all demons, was thus raised by His father and mother, Nanda and Yas'odâ."

S'rîpâda Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha also adds another verse after the third verse in this chapter:

vistareneha kârunyât
vaktum arhasi dharma-jña
dayâlus tvam iti prabho

"Parîkchit Mahârâja then requested S'ukadeva Gosvâmî to continue speaking such narrations about the pastimes of Krishna, so that the King could enjoy from them transcendental bliss."

** Swami Prabhupâda comments: 'Krishna had been placed underneath a household handcart, but this handcart was actually another form of the S'akathâsura, a demon who had come there to kill the child. Now, on the plea of demanding to suck His mother's breast, Krishna took this opportunity to kill the demon. Thus He kicked S'akathâsura just to expose him. Although Krishna's mother was engaged in receiving guests, Lord Krishna wanted to draw her attention by killing the S'akathâsura, and therefore He kicked that cart-shaped demon.'


Chapter 8

The Name Ceremony, His Pranks and Again the Universe Within His Mouth

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Garga the family-priest of the Yadus, highly elevated in penance, o King, went on the request of Vasudeva to Nanda's cow-community. (2) Seeing him he very pleased of worship with folded hands stood to welcome him knowing him as one beyond the senses [adhokshaja] and prostrated to offer his obeisances. (3) With the greatest hospitality and the sweetest words he had the sage seated and pleasing him this way he said: 'O Brahmin so complete of realization, what can I do for you? (4) The moving of the great towards the common people, the simple-minded householders, never must be considered to happen for any other reason but to their best interest. (5) Any person is able to understand his past and future from the knowledge beyond the ken of ordinary man about the course of the luminaries that you've so graciously laid down to the scrutiny of each [in a book on astrology]. (6) You indeed as the best of all the knowers of the Brahman are the brahmin by birth [*] to be the guru for each; so please perform the name-ceremony [the samskâra] for these two boys [Krishna and Balarâma].'

(7) S'rî Garga said: 'I am the teacher of example of the Yadus so everyone knows; always have the sons with me undergone the purification rites, but in your case one would consider that as being done for the son of Devakî. (8-9) Kamsa, that great sinner, with your friendship with Vasudeva in mind and the fact that the eight' child of Devakî can't be a girl, might, having heard the message from Devakî's daughter [Durgâ 10.4: 12], even contemplate to kill it and therefore is it not wise for us to do that.'

(10) S'rî Nanda said: 'Perform without him or with even my own relatives knowing about it right here in a remote place, in the cow-pen, the purificatory second-birth-rites with the benedictory chanting of the classical hymns.'

(11) S'rî S'uka said: 'With this urgent request performed the man of learning for the two boys in secret seclusion the name-giving ceremony for which he had come. (12) S'rî Garga said: 'This indeed is the son of Rohinî who with His transcendental qualities is there to the pleasure of all his folk and thus will he be called Râma; so too will He be known as Bala for His extraordinary strength and for His not standing apart in attraction of both the families [of Nanda and Vasudeva, see also 10.2: 8] as Sankarshana [the unifier]. (13) Three colors indeed has your son assumed in accepting forms according the yuga: white, red as well as yellow and now He is Krishna [Blackish see **]. (14) Some time before was this child born of Vasudeva and therefore will about this child of yours the ones who know thus also speak as the all-beautiful Vâsudeva. (15) Of this son of yours there are many names and forms to the nature of His qualities and activities; I know of them, but not so the common folk. (16) This child will always act to what is most beneficial to you all in being a nanda-gokula cowherd; by Him will you all easily overcome all dangers [*3]. (17) In times before were by Him, o King of Vraja, the pious who were disturbed by the rogues of a faulty rule protected so that they, with the bad ones defeated, could flourish [see also 1.3: 28]. (18) Like the ones close to Vishnu with asuras, will those persons who unto this child are as greatly fortunate as to act in affection not be overcome by enemies. (19) Therefore, o Nanda, take the greatest care raising this child: in His qualities, opulences, name and fame is this son of yours as good as Nârâyana!'

(20) S'rî S'uka said: 'After Garga thus fully informed them on the Supreme Soul [that came in two] and had parted for his own place considered Nanda himself, being blessed with all good fortune, most happy. (21) A little time later were in Gokula Râma and Kes'ava [Krishna] crawling around on their hands and knees enjoying their childhood. (22) They, crawling around like snakes in the mud of the cowplace, dragging their feet behind them, produced a sweet sound with their ankle bells but charmed by the sounds enthusiastically following other people, got they afraid and returned they quickly to their mothers. (23) Closing their by the mud charmingly colored bodies in their arms allowed their mothers, of the great affection for each of their sons offering the milk flowing from their breasts, them to drink and when they, as they were sucking, looked into their mouths were they delighted with the greatest ecstasy to find the teeth upcoming. (24) From within their houses watching the children play outside in Vraja forgot they laughing their household duties amused to see how the both of them catching the tails ends of the calves were dragged around by them. (25) In their restless playing engaged with the cows, with fire, with animal beaks, with swords, water, birds and thorns were the mothers put off when they, doing their household duties, couldn't find a way to check them. (26) Within a short time, o King, began Râma and Krishna in Gokula without the help of their knees with ease to walk around on their legs alone. (27) But then awakened the Supreme Lord the heavenly bliss with the ladies of Vraja in His together with Balarâma happily playing with other kids in Vraja. (28) The gopîs with eyes for Krishna eager just to hear again and again about His childish pranks assembled in the presence of His mother and said: (29) 'Once He untimely released the calves and smiled upon the anger aroused; some or another way He stole and ate from the pots the palatable curd, milk and butter and gave the monkeys each a share to eat; if they don't want to eat He breaks the pot and when He can't find any He gets angry at the people of the house and goes pinching the babies. (30) Hung out of reach He devises a way piling up things or turning over a mortar and knows He His way to the contents making a hole in the hanging pot. He knows His way around in a dark room with enough light to see from the shining jewels on His body and awaits the time the gopîs are busy with their household affairs! (31) He's so naughty that He sometimes freely urinates in a clean spot in our houses and that cunning, resourceful thief now sits there like a nice boy!' Being there discussed the gopîs all these things, but seeing Him sitting before them looking afraid with His beautiful face, could the gopîs happy to see Him with their complaints against Him only smile and rejoice and could they truly not be angry with Him. (32) Once when He was a little older came Balarâma and the other kids of the neighborhood to tell His mother: 'Krishna has eaten earth!'

(33) Yas'odâ anxious about His welfare took Krishna chiding by the hand and looked worried into His mouth to inspect Him and said: (34) 'Why You unruly boy have You secretly eaten dirt, what is it that I hear from Your older brother and all Your playmates?'

(35) 'O mother I didn't eat any dirt, they have it all wrong; if that what they say would be true, then look right now into My mouth!'

(36) 'If so, then open wide', she ordered Him and He, the Supreme Personality, the Lord to whose opulences there's no limit, opened in His pastime of being a human child His mouth. (37-39) Within His mouth she [for the second time, see chapter 10.7: 35-37] saw the whole universe with all beings moving and unmoving and the sky in all directions, the mountains, the continents, the oceans, the surface of the earth, the blowing wind, the fire, the moon and the stars. She saw the planetary systems, the waters, the light, the firmament with all of outer space and all [divinities] bound to change, the senses, the mind and the three modes. Seeing the variety of that along with the time of living of each soul, the natural instincts, the karma, what is all desired and the different subtle bodies, including Vraja and herself within in the wide open mouth of the body of her son, was she struck with disbelief: (40) 'Is this all a dream, a divine phantasmagoria or maybe a delusion of my own intelligence or would otherwise that what I so see be some yogic feat natural to my child? (41) Because I, as far as I can see, may not understand what all escapes the consciousness, mind, action and words, do I surrender myself at the feet of Him beyond my range of vision under whose control I live and of whom I may awaken. (42) In the notion of me as having this husband and that son, to being the wife that would have it all with the ruler of Vraja, to the being entrusted with all the gopas and gopîs with the cows and calves, I have it all wrong since only He is my progress [see 5.5: 8, 7.9: 19 and B.G. 5: 29].' (43) This way understanding her reality as it is extended He, the Controller, unto that first lady of the gopîs [again] His special grace as Vishnu to be attracted to the Almighty in her affection for her son, (44) With the memory [of the vision] abrupt gone seated she, the gopî, touched in her heart her son on her lap with a love restored to what it was before. (45) By the three [Vedas] and also by the philosophical exercises [the Upanishads], by yogic analysis [sânkhya-yoga] and by means of the devotees [pañcarâtras] is the Lord glorified in all His greatness, but she simply considered Him as her son.'

(46) The honorable king said: 'What were the pious activities [see B.G. 7: 16] o brahmin, performed by Nanda and Yas'odâ, whose breast milk the Lord drank, by which they achieved the highest perfection of being so blessed? (47) Not even His own father and mother could enjoy the uplifting childhood exploits of Krishna that remove the dirt of the world and which even today are sung by the intelligent!'

(48) S'rî S'uka said: 'Drona, the best of the godly [the vasus] with Dharâ his wife said in the past unto Lord Brahmâ, just to find out what his orders were: (49) 'May the birth of us on this earth in the Great of God, be there in devotional service with the Lord, the Controller of the Entire Universe, that is the ultimate goal in the world and by which easily a miserable life can be avoided? (50) 'Let it be so' was said to this so that he, the Great One [the Bhagavân to Bhagavân], Drona, the highly distinguished, born in Vraja became celebrated as Nanda and she, Dharâ, appeared as Yas'odâ [compare 10.3: 32-45 and see *4]. (51) O son of Bharata, following that was there of the husband as well as the wife and all the gopas and gopîs, the continuous of devotional service unto the Lord, our Well-wisher who had appeared as their son. (52) To substantiate the words of Brahmâ resided Krishna along with the almighty [or Bala-]Râma in Vraja with His play [His 'lîla'] to their greater pleasure.


 * The Sanskrit says here 'by birth', but the paramparâ stresses the second birth or initiation. Swami Prabhupâda comments: 'No one is born a brâhmana; everyone is born a s'ûdra. But by the guidance of a brâhmana and by samskâra, one can become dvija, twice-born, and then gradually become a brâhmana. Brâhmanism is not a system meant to create a monopoly for a particular class of men. Everyone should be educated so as to become a brâhmana. At least there must be an opportunity to allow everyone to attain the destination of life.' See also 7.11: 35.

** The word 'krishna' means except for 'dark' more. Swami Prabhupâda comments: 'If we analyze the nirukti, or semantic derivation, of the word "Krishna," we find that na signifies that He stops the repetition of birth and death, and krish means sattârtha, or "existence." (Krishna is the whole of existence.) Also, krish means "attraction," and na means ânanda, or "bliss." '

*3 One of the mantra's the Vaishnavas use to offer their food to Krishna is:

namo brahmanya-devâya
go-brâhmana-hitâya ca
jagad-dhitâya krishnâya
govindâya namo namah

'My obeisances unto the godhead of the brahmins always concerned about the cows, the brahmins and the entire universe, unto Krishna, Govinda, my respects.'

*4 To this difference between the privilege of being the actual parents Vasudeva and Devakî and being His foster parents Nanda and Yas'odâ, explains Prabhupâda that there are two types of siddha's, perfected ones or liberated souls: nitya-siddha's and sâdhana siddha's: the ones eternally liberated like Nanda and Yas'odâ who are eternally Krishna's associate or expansions of Krishna's personal body, and those ordinary human beings who acquire a special position by enduring sâdhana, the spiritual practice of executing pious activities and the following of the regulative principles of devotional service.



Chapter 9

Mother Yas'odâ Binds Lord Krishna

(1-3) S'rî S'uka said: 'One day, when the maidservants were engaged with other things, churned and made mother Yas'odâ, Nanda's queen, all the thick of milk [yogurt and butter] personally. For the time she was churning the butter sang she, remembering all the things her son had done, in songs about them. (3) Dressed in linen held by a belt around her shaking hips moved, as she was churning, her breasts, at the nipples wet of her affection for her son, along in harmony together with the bangles on her wrists and her earrings while of the labor of pulling the churning-rope the perspiration ran down her face and fell down with the jasmine-flowers in her hair. (4) Desiring to drink approached the Lord during the whirling her and stopped He, getting affectionate with His mother, the churning rod by catching it. (5) She sweetly allowed Him on her lap to drink from her overflowing loving breasts and watched with a smile how happy He was, but with Him not yet satisfied had she to put Him aside quickly and leave because she saw a pan of milk was boiling over. (6) Thrown into a fit biting His full red lips broke He, in vain tears, with a stone the pot in which the butter was churned and began He hidden from sight in an anteroom to eat from what all was churned. (7) The gopî putting the hot milk from the stove returned to her workplace and saw the churning pot broken. Not finding Him present concluded she with a smile that it had been the work of her child. (8) Standing on top of a turned up mortar was He, afraid as a thief, as He wanted handing out to a monkey a share of the milk-goodies from a hanging pot, while from behind seeing these activities she very slowly approached her son. (9) Seeing her approaching with a stick in her hand He quickly got down from there and fled like He was afraid with the gopî after Him, who not even by the greatest yogîs of penance trying to get access in meditation could be reached [see also B.G. 18: 55]. (10) Though the chasing mother, in her great speed with flowers fallen from her hair, heavy-breasted to her thin waist had to slow it down, managed she finally to capture Him. (11) When she saw Him as the offender remorsefully crying, rubbing the eye-black all over His face with His hands, was she with Him, whom she with His distressed eyes had caught by the hand, just of a mild reproof. (12) Considerate of her sons fright she heartful with her kid threw away the stick and decided to bind Him with a rope not realizing what kind of power she had before her.

(13-14) There is no inside nor an outside to Him, a beginning nor an end; He, as the end as well as the beginning, the internal as well as the external of the entire creation, is the One Totality of that creation. Taking Him, the Unmanifest in the form of a mortal, for her own son bound she, like one does with a normal child, Him to a mortar. (15) When the rope she used to bind her naughty child fell short with a length of two fingers joined the gopî it with another one. (16) When even that one fell short she then tried another one which also, with the joining and joining, would not suffice to bind staying too short with two fingers. (17) Yas'odâ in this manner unsuccessfully proceeding with all the ropes in the household, was, with all the gopîs taking part in the fun, laughing struck with wonder. (18) When He saw how much His mother was sweating with all flowers fallen from her hair and how tired she got, was Krishna so gracious as to agree in His being bound. (19) My best, in this was factually by the Lord exhibited how He, Krishna, by whom indeed the whole universe with all its demigods is controlled, is won over by those [devotees] who fall within the control of His own Self [compare 7.3: 14-21]. (20) Nor Lord Brahmâ, nor Lord S'iva nor the Goddess of Fortune despite of her residing at His side, can achieve from the Giver of Final Liberation the like of the mercy that the gopî obtained. (21) The Supreme Lord, the Son of the Gopî, is not as easily won by those bound to the body [money-people, profit-seekers], by jnânis [book-people, transcendentalists] or mere soul-seekers [escapists, impersonalists] as by those who in this world are of bhakti [of devotional service] [see also B.G. 11: 54 and 18: 16].

(22) Meanwhile, with His mother very busy engaged in her household, observed the Lord two arjuna trees outside who, as the sons of the bestower of riches [Kuvera], had been demigods [guhyaka's]. (23) They formerly had for their madness been cursed by Nârada to become trees; they were known as the very opulent Nalakûvara and Manigrîva.


Chapter 10

The Deliverance of the Sons of Kuvera

(1) The King said: 'Please, o powerful one, describe that abominable act because of which the devarishi got angry and the two [sons of Kuvera] were cursed.'

(2-3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Proud of being elevated to the association of Rudra were the ones born from the Keeper of the Wealth madly fanatic about a beautiful park at the Mandâkinî river [upper-Ganges] near Kailâsa [S'iva's mountain]. Intoxicated from drinking vârunî with their eyes rolling wandered they in the garden full of flowers with women singing songs to them. (4) Entering the Ganges full of lotusbeds enjoyed they the company of the young girls like two male elephants with their she-elephants. (5) It so happened that Nârada, the all-mighty devarishi got to see them, o son of Kuru, and from the demigods maddened eyes he understood what state they were in. (6) Seeing him were their adherents ashamed and covered they afraid of being cursed quickly with their garments the nakedness of their bodies, but they, the two guardians of Kuvera's treasures [S'iva-guhyakas], also being naked didn't. (7) Seeing the two drunk, under the influence blind with their prestige and wealth, pronounced he, to teach the two sons of the light a lesson, a curse telling them the following. (8) Nârada said: 'There is indeed for the one in the mode of passion enjoying the things of the world nothing as perplexing to the intelligence than the arrogance of wealth, the good birth etc. [a nice body, learning and riches] of which one finds women, wine and gambling. (9) Killing the animals in this do the merciless out of control with themselves think that this body doomed to perish wouldn't age, wouldn't die [see also 7.15: 7, B.G. 9: 26]. (10) The body however deemed divine is there after death for the worms and turns into stool and ashes; someone acting so [destructive] harms his own interest - what does he know about the hell awaiting him [see also 5.26: 17]? (11) This body, does it belong to the employer, to oneself, to him who gave the seed, to the mother, or does it belong to the father of one's mother or to him who took it by force, to a buyer, to the fire or to the scavengers even? (12) On this ground who would that person [that Proprietor] to the body, manifested from the unmanifested, actually be that is vanishing? Knowing this, who else but ignorants claiming it as their own, would kill poor creatures [see also 4.11: 10]? (13) For materialists who mad about wealth are blinded is being destitute the best ointment to their eyes as a man in need compared to others much better can see the things as they are [*]. (14) It is like someone who pricked by a pin understands that it is likewise for other souls with a body: he does not wish any creature such pain, but not so a person who was never pinpricked. (15) A poor man free from the falsehood of the self is liberated from all conceit about it; the great difficulty that one in this world may have by providence, that indeed is for him the best austerity. (16) Weak with hunger constantly in need for food [**] are of the body of a man [vowed to or] of poverty the senses less and less dominant and is also the violence [that is the counterpart of the lust (to eat)] diminished. (17) Saintly people indeed may easily seek the company of the poor; the meeting [of the poor] with such honest people reduces the cause of the suffering as well as the hankering so that soon thereafter purification is found [see also 10.8: 4]. (18) Would it be the business of the saintly [the sâdhus], those equal to all whose only interest it is to serve Mukunda, to associate with the rich and proud materialists who seek the company of the nondevoted? They disregard them! [see also B.G. 7: 15] (19) Therefore will I of these womanizing drunkards, who from drinking vârunî arrogantly are blinded with the opulence and out of control with themselves, take away this ignorant conceit. (20-22) Because these two sons of the worldly comforts have become so absorbed in the mode of ignorance and in their pride indifferent to witnesses care for no dress to their bodies at all, do they therefore deserve to become immobile [like trees] so that they do not become like this again. On top of that is it my mercy that their remembrance may continue and is it my special favor that they after a hundred years counted to the gods [: a day is a year] obtain the personal association of Vâsudeva so that they again may live up to the celestial world with their bhakti revived.'

(23) S'rî S'uka said: 'The devarishi having spoken so left that place for nârâyana-âs'rama [his own place], leaving Nalakûvara and Manigrîva to become twin arjuna [***] trees. (24) [and now..] To prove the words of the seer, His topmost devotee, true, moved the Lord [bound to the mortar] very slowly to the spot where the pair of arjuna trees was standing. (25) [He thought:] 'The devarishi is most dear to Me and although these two were born from the rich man will I just so execute to the words as the great soul has stated.' (26) Thus decided got Krishna in between the arjunas and doing so got the big mortar across. (27) The boy dragging the wooden mortar that was tied to His belly behind Him, with great force pulled over the two trees that by His supreme power shook heavily and with trunk, branches and leaves, roots up came down making a tremendous noise [*4]. (28) Right there then came out of the two trees resplendently beautiful, illuminating all directions, two persons like fire personified who offered Krishna with folded hands, head down, their obeisances while they before the Lord of the Whole World completely purified uttered the following: (29) 'Krishna, o Krishna, o Greatest of Yoga, You are the root cause, the Original Person in the beyond of this world, of this creation gross and subtle, that the brahmins know as Your form. (30-31) You are the One for all living beings, You are the master of the living force, of the body, of the soul and the senses; You indeed are the time, the Supreme Lord Vishnu, the imperishable controller. You as the greatest, the cosmic creation ànd the subtle are, consisting of the passion, goodness and slowness, indeed the Original Personality and Proprietor, the knower of the restless mind in all fields. (32) Who, locked up in a body with a mind agitated by the modes of nature, is there to know You who are not confined to a body; who now out here covered by the modes is worthy of You who existed before the creation? (33) Therefore unto You, Vâsudeva, the Supreme Personality, the Origin of Creation, unto You whose own light is covered by the great of Your natural modes, unto the Brahman [the inside and the outside], our respectful obeisances. (34-35) Of the nonmaterial of Your different embodiments as avatâras, we by and by may witness the incomparable, the unlimited strength that is out of reach for the ones [normally] embodied. That same Lordship, that Master Benevolent there for the liberation and elevation of everyone, has now appeared with all His potencies and expansions! (36) Our respects for the Highest Virtue, our respects for the Supreme Auspiciousness; unto Vâsudeva, the Peaceful One, unto the Master of the Yadus, our reverence. (37) May we, who from the mercy of the rishi, that most confidential devotee, as servants could see You, the Supreme Lord in person, resume our lives, o Greatest Universal Form? (38) May our words always concern your pastimes, may our ears hear the talks about You, may our limbs be working for You, may the mind always remember Your lotusfeet, may our heads bow to You the All-pervading One, may our sight be of the truthful [the vaishnavas especially] and may we see them all as being non-different from You!'

(39) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way being glorified by the two spoke the Supreme Lord, the Master of Gokula who by rope was bound to the mortar, smiling to the guhyakas. (40) The Supreme Lord said: 'Everything of what happened in the past of this incident with Nârada is known to Me: what a great favor he did being so kind to you in his condemnation of your being fallen blind in madness about the wealth. (41) Like the eyes of a person facing the sun [are feed from darkness] is one simply by the audience with the saintly equal to all, with persons fully dedicated to Me, freed from all bondage. (42) Now, you reeds [*5] of Kuvera, saturated with love towards Me, return to your home with Me as the Supreme Destination, Me, the Highest of your desire, from whom there is no return [see also B.G. 5: 17].'

(43) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus addressed circumambulated the two Him who was bound to the mortar, offering their repeated respects and took they leave departing in the northern direction [where Kailâsa is].' 


*: Vrindâvana is situated between Nandes'vara and Mahâvana.

**: The kapittha is sometimes called kshatbelphala. The pulp of this fruit is very palatable. It is sour-sweet and liked by each and everyone.

***: The heron is regarded a bird of great cunning, deceit and deliberation and so it stands for the hypocrite, the cheat, the rogue .



Chapter 11

A New Residence, the Fruitvendor and Vatsâsura and Bakâsura Defeated

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The cowherd men lead by Nanda hearing the tumult of the trees falling down went, afraid of the thunder, to the spot, o best of the Kuru's. (2) Discovering there the two arjunas fallen to the ground had they flabbergasted not a clue what the cause of this apparent crash would be. (3) Who would have done this? The kid, dragging the wooden mortar bound to Him by the rope? How could this wondrous thing have happened? Thus they were perplexed. (4) The other kids said: 'He has done it, with the mortar getting across dragging it in between the trees! And there were also two personalities. We saw it with our own eyes!' (5) They couldn't believe what they said, 'That can't be; how could such a small child have uprooted the trees?', but some of them had doubts in their mind. (6) Seeing his son bound by the rope dragging the mortar made Nanda smile and so he set Him free.

(7) By the gopîs encouraged, sang the Supreme Lord at times, playing silly, fooling them as if He'd be an ordinary child under their control like a wooden doll. (8) Sometimes being ordered He would carry the load of a wooden seat, a measure or shoes, making fun with His relatives striking His arms [as if He'd be a man of power]. (9) For the whole world to know Him showed He how much taken in by His servants the Supreme Lord is, endeavoring as a child indeed performing to the pleasure of all of Vraja.

(10) 'O people all around, get your fruits!', thus Krishna heard a fruit vendor calling out, and quickly the Infallible One, the Bestower of all Fruits, grabbing some paddy went over there to buy fruit. (11) What He had to offer had fallen from the palms of His hands, but the fruitlady filled them [nevertheless] with fruits. In exchange was the entire basket of fruits filled with gold and jewels.

(12) After the incident with the arjunas Rohinî Devî once called out for Krishna and Râma lost in their play with the other kids at the riverside. (13) When the sons immersed in their games upon being called didn't show up, sent Rohinî mother Yas'odâ after them with her loving care for the sons. (14) Calling for Krishna, her son and the other boys He so late was still playing with, flowed in her love the milk from her breasts. (15) 'Krishna, o Krishna my lotuseyes, o darling, stop playing, drink some milk; You must be tired and hungry my son!' (16) O Râma, please come right now together with Your younger brother, o love of the family, You sure enjoyed Your breakfast this morning, so You need some more now! (17) O Dâs'ârha ['worthy of service'], the king of Vraja is waiting for the both of You desirous to eat, come here, do us a favor and let the other boys go to their homes. (18) You're all covered with dirt my son, come now and wash; this day is the day of Your birth star, be clean and donate cows to the learned ones! (19) See, look how the boys of Your age, washed by their mothers, are all dressed up, so You also with a bath and having eaten should enjoy now with them in your finest.' (20) Yas'odâ this way in her intense love considering the Highest of them All her son, o ruler of man, took Krishna and Râma by the hand and brought them then home to get them ready to appear.

(21) S'rî S'uka said: 'The elder gopas witnessing the great disturbances in the Big Forest held a meeting with Nanda to deliberate on what was going on in Vraja. (22) There did Upânanda [Nanda's elder brother], the oldest and wisest with the greatest experience, say what to the time and circumstances with Râma and Krishna would be the best thing to do: (23) 'We all who wish our Gokula the best place to be, should leave from here, many things with the evil intent to kill the boys are occurring here. (24) To be specific because, somehow or other, by the grace of the Lord He, this boy, was delivered from the hands of the râkshasî [Pûtanâ] who was out here for killing kids and because of the handcart falling over that missed Him. (25) And then the demon in the form of a whirlwind that took Him away to the sky and next so dangerously fell to the rocky ground, from whom the Controller of the Godfearing saved Him. (26) Nor did that child, nor another one, die from the two trees He got into between; even then He was saved by the Infallible One. (27) As long as the devil is harassing can we not stay in this cow-place and must we for the time being to the interest of the boys leave from here; let us, with all who belong to us, go someplace else. (28) There is another forest named Vrindâvana [the 'clustered forest' *] with young groves which is a very suitable place for gopa, gopî and cow with serene rock-formations, lush and rich with grasses. (29) Therefore let us immediately go there today, waste no time, get all carts ready and all be on our way with the wealth of our cows in front - if you can all agree.'

(30) Hearing that said all the gopas then unanimously 'Right so, right so', and started to assemble the cows and load their belongings. (31-32) The old aged, the children and women with the greatest care came first and next, o King, with all their necessities on the bullock carts departed the gopas complete with their bows and arrows together with the priests and the cows in front of them, loudly vibrating all around with their horns and bugles. (33) The gopîs nicely dressed with the gold around their necks and their bodies decorated with fresh kunkum, while riding the carts with great pleasure sang of Krishna's pastimes. (34) Yas'odâ and Rohinî together seated on one cart beautifully with Krishna and Balarâma were most happy to listen to the stories sung. (35) Reaching Vrindâvana, a place agreeable in all seasons, settled they for the cow compound placing their carts in a semicircle resembling the moon. (36) O ruler of man, when Râma and Mâdhava saw Vrindâvana with Govardhana hill and the banks of the Yamunâ, were they enraptured with the greatest pleasure. (37) All the inhabitants of the cow-community [the new Vraja] thus were delighted with the child-play and broken language of them who in due course of time were old enough to take care of the calves. (38) Close by the lands of their Vraja tended they with the other boys that lived for the cows, the small calves, sporting in diverse ways with all kinds of playthings. (39-40) Sometimes blowing their flutes, sometimes with a sling hurling [for the fruits], sometimes moving their feet for the tinkling [of their ankle bells], sometimes playing cow and bull, roaring loudly imitating the animals fighting with one another and sometimes mimicking the cries of the animals, they wandered around like two normal children.

(41) Some day at the bank of the Yamunâ tending their calves with their playmates arrived there a demon [Vatsâsura] with the intent to kill Krishna and Balarâma. (42) Noticing him who assuming the form of a calf had mixed with the other calves, pointed the Lord him out gesturing to Baladeva, meanwhile inconspicuously slowly getting near him. (43) Catching him by the hind legs along with his tail whirled Acyuta him heavily around and threw He him lifeless on top of a kapittha tree [**] where the body of the demon assumed a giant size and dead together with the tree fell to the ground. (44) All the boys observing this incident were greatly amazed and praised Him high exclaiming 'Well done, good so!', and the gods pleased gave Him a shower of flowers. (45) They, the One Protectors of All the Worlds having turned into protectors of the young, that morning finished their breakfast and wandered along tending the calves.

(46) With each of them having their own group of calves came they one day near a reservoir to drench the animals after which they also drank from the water. (47) For all the boys to see was there situated a gigantic body that, fallen like a mountain peak broken off by a thunderbolt, frightened them. (48) That one was named Bakâsura, a big demon who had assumed the body of a gigantic heron [a baka ***]; getting there he most powerfully all of a sudden with his sharp beak swallowed Krishna. (49) Witnessing the event of Krishna being devoured by the heron were all the boys headed by Râma overwhelmed in all their senses and stood they dumbfounded lifeless. (50) He, that son of a cowherd, Lord of the Lord of the Universe, deep in its throat burned like fire and was instantly angrily released without a scratch whereupon the heron immediately tried again to kill Him with its sharp beak. (51) He with Bakâsura trying again caught that friend of Kamsa with His arms by the beak which He as the Master of the Truthful in service of the denizens of heaven, with the boys watching, as easily tore apart as one splits a blade of grass. (52) At that time, showered the godly of all places jasmine and other flowers and congratulated they Him along with drums, conches and prayers; seeing this were all the cowherd sons wonderstruck. (53) Like with the senses [when they return to consciousness] was, released from the heron its mouth, life restored to all the boys headed by Balarâma and free from the danger embracing Him returned they, after collecting their calves, to Vraja, loudly declaring [there what had happened]. (54) The gopas and their gopîs after hearing of it all were astound and, thrilled with supreme delight, unable to turn their eyes away from the boys at whom they eagerly gazed as if they had returned from death. (55) How amazing that this boy, having faced so many threats of death before, was still around, while all those causes of fear themselves had found their end. (56) Although they came intent to murder this boy, did they, appearing so grotesque in their malice, sure all fail; approaching Him they were all vanquished like flies in the fire. (57) How wonderful that the words of the knowers of the Brahman never ever prove false; that what by the supreme master [Garga] was predicted had exactly so happened [see 10.8: 8-9]! (58) And so were all Nanda's gopas delighted to recount the stories about Krishna and Balarâma and enjoyed they with that their lives not at all running into the pains of the world [see also 1.7: 6]. (59) This way passed they their childhood in the cow-community with different childlike pastimes like playing hide and seek, building dams and jumping about like they were monkeys.  


*: Vrindâvana is situated between Nandes'vara and Mahâvana.

**: The kapittha is sometimes called kshatbelphala. The pulp of this fruit is very palatable. It is sour-sweet and liked by each and everyone.

***: The heron is regarded a bird of great cunning, deceit and deliberation and so it stands for the hypocrite, the cheat, the rogue .



Chapter 12

The Killing of the Demon Aghâsura

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'One day in His mind contemplating a picnic in the forest woke the Lord early in the morning His comrades and the calves, blowing His horn nicely to make them rise, and departed they from Vraja with their groups of calves in front of them. (2) The many of His accompanied by the boys offered a most attractive sight as they all happy, beautifully shining walked out with their prods, horns, flutes and with each their own group of calves in front that could number over a thousand each. (3) Krishna along with the countless calves He had assembled of His own, then, here and there [in the forest], enjoyed engaging in their boyish games.

(4) Though with gems, shells, gold and pearls already adorned used they also fruits, green leaves, bunches of beautiful flowers, peacock feathers and colored minerals to deck themselves. (5) Snatching away one another's belongings did they throw them at a distance from the one concerned and were they by those seeing him coming tossed further, but then again with a laugh returned. (6) If Krishna walked away with eyes for the beauty of the forest had they fun trying 'me first, me first' to touch Him. (7-11) Some blew their flutes, some vibrated their horns, some hummed along with the bumblebees and others imitated the cuckoos. Some ran after the shadows of the birds, some walked elegant with the swans or sat with the ducks as silent or danced with the peacocks. They searched for young monkeys and hopped with them between the trees the way they were skipping from tree to tree. They jumped along with the frogs getting wet in the water, laughed at their shadows and mocked their own echoes. This way enjoyed they the merit of their previous lives in friendship with Him who for those entangled in mâyâ is the Supreme Divinity, who for the transcendentalists who accepted to serve, as a consequence is the spiritual happiness [see * and 1.1: 2, 1.7: 6 and 2.1: 6]. (12) Not even for many lives being of penance do yogis apt in self-control achieve the dust of His lotusfeet; how fortunate then are the inhabitants of Vraja to whom He indeed personally being present had become the object of their direct vision?

(13) And then did he, named Agha ['the bad one'], appear there, a great demon unable to bear the sight of their happy pastimes whose life's end was awaited invariably by all the immortals despite of their drinking the nectar. (14) Seeing the boys headed by Krishna thought Aghâsura, sent by Kamsa, who was the younger brother of Bakî [Pûtanâ] and Bakâsura: 'This indeed is the killer of the two born along with me; so for their sake, let me now kill Him and His boys! (15) When these for my brother and sister have become the sesame and water to their death-rites, will all the inhabitants of Vraja with the strength of their life gone all together be dead; don't they consider those living beings actually the very embodiment indeed of their love and life?' (16) Thus decided assumed he the wondrous body of a very, very large python extending for miles and occupied he, mountain high and with a mouth spread open like a mountain cave, at that time most crooked the road to swallow the picnickers. (17) With the inside of his mouth gaping, rested his lower lip on the earth and touched his upper lip the sky; his teeth were like mountain peaks and within was it as dark as could be, his tongue resembled a broad road, his breath was like a warm wind and his fiery looking was as fire. (18) Seeing him in that position they all thought it Vrindâvana at its best; it was in their sporting indeed [to act] as if they were looking at the form of a pythons mouth: (19) 'Look o friends, a dead python laying before us to swallow us all with its snake mouth spread open, don't you think? (20) Really, as clear as the sun, there is the upper lip and below, that big bank is his lower lip with that reddish glow... (21) On the left and right, those caves, they just resemble the corners of the mouth, and those peaks there, they look exactly like the animals teeth. (22) The broad path, long and wide, is like the tongue and the darkness in between the mountains, that's indeed the inside of his mouth. (23) Just notice how the hot wind coming out like fire indeed is like his breath smelling as bad as burned matter from the dead meat inside of him. (24) Would this animal be here to devour all who dare to enter? If so, then will he just like Bakâsura by Him immediately be vanquished!' and to that looking at the gleaming face of Krishna, Baka's enemy, they loudly laughing, clapping their hands entered the mouth.

(25) Overhearing them this and that way beside the truth talking without really knowing what it was, did Krishna, thinking that the rakshasa He knew as very real was feigning, arrive at the conclusion that He, the Supreme Lord, the Complete of all living beings situated in the heart, should withhold His comrades. (26) Meanwhile all the boys and their calves had entered the belly of the demon, but they were not devoured; the rakshasa, thinking of his dead relatives, was waiting for Baka's enemy to enter. (27) Krishna, the source of fearlessness for each, seeing them was amazed and compassionately felt sorry the way things were turning out as they, who had none but Him, now helplessly had ran out of His control and were as straws in the fire of the belly of Aghâsura, that death personified. (28) What to do now; this rogue shouldn't exist, nor should the innocent loyals come to die; how could He have both at the same time? Gathering His thoughts did the Lord, the Seer of the Unlimited, knew what to do and entered He the mouth. (29) At that time behind the clouds exclaimed all the gods in fear 'Alas, alas!' and became Kamsa and the other maggot friends of Aghâsura jubilant. (30) Hearing that did Krishna, the Supreme Lord who indeed never is vanquished, immediately expand Himself [see siddhi] within the throat of the demon who tried to crush the boys and the calves in his belly. (31) With that action were all openings blocked and popped out the eyes of the giant squirming and wrestling; the life-air arrested within the completely stuffed body then broke out and left through the top of the skull. (32) When all life-air had left the body and Krishna saw that all the boys and calves were laying dead, brought He, Mukunda, the Supreme Lord, them back to life and reappeared He, accompanied by them, from the mouth. (33) Issuing from the lusty body there was a most wonderful light that of its own illumined all the ten directions; it waited remaining in the sky until the Supreme Personality came out and then entered, for all the gods to see, His body [sâyujya-mukti]. (34) Next everyone most pleased did his own thing in worship celebrating His glory [see also 1.2: 13]: flowers were showered, the singers of heaven sang, the heavenly girls danced, all the demigods played their specific instruments and the brahmins offered prayers. (35) The Unborn One [Brahmâ] nearby in his abode hearing the wonder of those for everyone so very auspicious prayers, sweet sounds, songs and cheers for the One Supreme Lord, very soon came there to witness the glorification of God which amazed him.

(36) O King, the python skin, dried out, for a long time was a marvel of Vrindâvana and became as a cave a sporting place. (37) This incident of death and rebirth about the deliverance of His associates and the python, taking place when the Lord was five years of age [kaumâra], was only one year later [pauganda] by the boys in Vraja disclosed as if it had happened that very day. (38) The fact that by the little association with the Supreme Personality of the Brahman, of the apparent and nonapparent, who for the people was of mercy as a child, also Agha was freed from all material contamination and was elevated to merge with the Supersoul, was not so astonishing at all, however difficult it is for those far removed from the truth to attain. (39) If they, who [like Aghâsura] somehow only once or even by force got His image installed in their hearts, by Him are granted the destination, what then indeed for those in whom He is ever present as the remover of the illusion, always granting each and every soul so sure the resultant pleasure?'."

(40) S'rî Sûta [see 1: 12-15] said: "He [Parîkchit] who was protected by the God of the Yadu's [Yâdavadeva or Krishna] this way, o twice-born, hearing about the all-wonderful activities of his savior [see 1.8], inquired thus fixed in his consciousness with the son of Vyâsa even more after those so meritorious deeds. (41) The honorable king said: 'O brahmin what happened in another time, was described as if it had happened right then, how could that be; how could what the Lord did at five years of age by all the boys be described at His sixth? (42) I'm burning with curiosity for you o great yogi to tell me about it, o guru, as for now this of the Lord seems to have arrived from nothing but illusion indeed [yoga-mâyâ]. (43) Being but a mundane ruler are we most blessed in this world o teacher, as we may always drink from the nectar of your sacred talks about Krishna'."

(44) S'rî Sûta said: "When he, the man of penance, this way indeed was questioned by him had he, the moment he was reminded of the Infinite One, completely lost contact with his senses; with difficulty slowly regaining his external vision he then replied the Lord His most outstanding, very best adherent."  


*: S'rîla Prabhupâda comments: 'The secret of success is unknown to people in general, and therefore S'rîla Vyâsadeva, being compassionate toward the poor souls in this material world, especially in this age of Kali, has given us the S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam. S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam purânam amalam yad vaishnavânâm priyam (Bhâg. 12.13.18). For Vaishnavas who are somewhat advanced, or who are fully aware of the glories and potencies of the Lord, S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam is a beloved Vedic literature. After all, we have to change this body (tathâ dehântara-prâptih). If we do not care about Bhagavad-gîtâ and S'rîmad- Bhâgavatam, we do not know what the next body will be. But if one adheres to these two books - Bhagavad-gîtâ and S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam - one is sure to obtain the association of Krishna in the next life (tyaktvâ deham punar janma naiti mâm eti so 'rjuna [Bg. 4.9]). Therefore, distribution of S'rîmad- Bhâgavatam all over the world is a great welfare activity for theologians, philosophers, transcendentalists and yogîs (yoginâm api sarveshâm [Bg. 6.47]), as well as for people in general'.



Chapter 13  

Lord Brahmâ Steals the Boys and Calves

(1)  S'rî S'uka said: 'Although you hear the pastimes of the Controller over and over, are you most fortunate in your good questioning, o best of the devoted, because of the renewal. (2) It is this that sets apart the truthful who accepted the essence of life: that which is the aim of life, is of their understanding, is of all their minding, appears in actual conversation, because of the Infallible One, every time nevertheless to be new to them, just like every woman seems to be new to a womanizer. (3) Please listen carefully o King, though confidential shall I expound to you, for even the hidden things are by gurus described to a loving disciple.

(4) After saving all the boys and calves from the mouth of that deadly Agha, brought the Supreme Lord them to the river bank and spoke He these words: (5) 'Oh how beautiful this bank is, dear friends, with all its opportunity to play, its soft and clean sands, the aroma of the lotuses in bloom attracting the bumblebees and the sounds of the chirping birds all around in the mass of trees! (6) Let's eat here, it is late now and we're weak with hunger; after drenching the calves in the water, can they at ease eat from the grasses nearby.' (7) As said allowed they the calves to drink from the water, took they them to the tender grasses, opened they their lunch bags and enjoyed they happily together with the Supreme Lord. (8) In a wide circle facing inward with a happy face grouped the boys of Vraja around Krishna sitting down in the forest as beautiful as the petals and leaves of the whorl of a lotus flower. (9) To serve as a plate to enjoy did some use flower petals while others used bunches of leaves, twigs, fruits, their own packets, bark or a slab of rock. (10) Each of them showing the others their own different type of nice food, amused they themselves making fun having their lunch with the Lord. (11) With His flute tucked in at His belly and the horn and the prod at His left, took He the rice with curd and palatable fruits between His fingers keeping Himself in the middle of His associates sitting around and made He them laugh telling jokes of His own. Thus emulating the inhabitants of heaven enjoyed the Enjoyer of the Offerings in His childplay. (12) O scion of Bharata, while the Infallible One this way was eating together with the calf-tenders so close, had the calves looking for grass entered deep into the forest. (13) Seeing that said Krishna, the Fear of Fear, to the boys caught in anxiety: 'O friends, don't give up your seat here, I'll bring the calves right back here!' (14) Saying this went Krishna, the Supreme Lord, with a bit of food in His hand, out to look for the calves of His friends everywhere in the mountains, the caves, the bushes and the bowers.

(15) He born from the lotus [Brahmâ] residing in the beyond was very charmed by the Lord His enchanting of the boys and just to see more of it took He the boys and their calves to hide them elsewhere, o man of the Kuru bond. This authority from heaven who before had witnessed the deliverance of Aghâsura had grown very astonished of the All-potent Personality [see footnote*]. (16) After seeing neither the calves nor the cowherd boys searched Krishna every nook and corner of the forest. (17) Not finding the calves or their caretakers anywhere in the woods understood Krishna, aware of everything going on in the universe, immediately that this was the work of Vidhi [Lord Brahmâ]. (18) Thereupon did Krishna, to give pleasure to the mothers [of boy and calf] and to him as well, [expand] Himself, as the Controller managing the whole universe, to the both of them. (19) Alike the cowherd boys and their tender calves the same in the size of their legs and hands, with likewise bugles, flutes, sticks and bags and such; with the same ornaments and dress in all respects; with exactly their character, habits, features, attributes and traits; of the same playing and such; in every detail as Vishnu expanding in words and physique alike assumed the Unborn One their identity in every respect. (20) He Himself personally as the cows and calves with the commanding cowherds He was also, thus engaged Himself, the Soul of All, in different ways enjoying Himself as He entered Vraja. (21) Separately bringing Himself as different calves to different cowsheds applied He Himself as different individuals and entered He expanded that way, o King, the different houses. (22) Their mothers from the flutes resounding directly rose and lifted them as feathers up in their arms to hug and give them, being wet of affection, suck with their nectarean tasting breast milk; thus in respect with the Supreme God fed they their sons. (23) After Mâdhava in the evening came home, o ruler of man, and had finished what he had to do, did they take care by massaging, bathing, oiling, decorating, chanting mantra's for protection, marking with tilaka and sumptuously feeding [all the boys He was]. (24) The calves then taken to their sheds very soon were called together by their loudly mooing mothers who, followed by each their own calf, by them were licked over and over and fed with the milk flowing from their udders. (25) Cow and gopî were in this of motherly affection as usual, except that there was an increase of love for them they didn't feel before, as well as a direct return from them that, having Him for their son, was without the bewildering [of the 'I' and 'mine'] though. (26) For one year step by step increased with all inhabitants of Vraja the creeper of affection for their children without a stop as they indeed, unlike before, were as much [of love] with Krishna [now]. (27) This way did the Supreme Soul by Himself in the form of the cowherd boys tending Himself as the calves, maintain Himself for a whole year, playing happily in the community and the forest.

(28) One day, when save for five or six days a whole year had passed, entered the Unborn Lord, with Balarâma taking care of the calves, the forest. (29) Then, nearby Vraja looking for grass with their calves, were they from not too far spotted by the mother cows pasturing on top of Govardhana hill. (30) Seeing them they next under the control of love forgetting themselves as a herd of cows broke, despite of the difficult path, with their necks to their humps in gallop away from their caretakers, heads and tails up and dripping milk as they loudly lowing speeded for them. (31) All the cows with their calves uniting at the foot of the hill, despite of having calved again, licked their limbs and fed them hungrily with the milk flowing from them as if they were the calves just born. (32) The gopas frustrated of trying to stop them on the difficult and dangerous path, felt greatly ashamed of having gotten angry when they, reaching there, saw their sons with the cows and calves. (33) With their minds bathing in a mood of utter, transcendental love melted by that great attraction their anger away; lifting their boys up in their arms to embrace them obtained they, smelling their heads, the highest pleasure. (34) Thereafter, overjoyed with the embraces, tore the elderly gopas themselves with difficulty slowly away, with tears in their eyes of the thought of them. (35) When Balarâma saw the abundance of love and the constant attachment of all in Vraja, however grown away from the mother breast, could He not understand the reason for this and pondered He: (36) 'What is this wonder happening? The divine love [prema] of all here in Vraja, including Me, for the children and Vâsudeva, the Soul of the Complete, is of an unprecedented increase! (37) Who would be behind this, what is its origin; is it a divine being, is it a woman or a she-devil? In any case must it be the special grace [mâyâ-devî] of My Sustainer; who other than Him could be My bewilderer?' (38) Thinking it over saw He through the eye of transcendence all the calves along with their companions as [none other than] the Lord of Vaikunthha. (39) 'These boys are no [incarnated] masters of enlightenment, nor are these calves great sages, You o Supreme Controller alone are manifesting in all the diversity of existence; how can You as well be everything existing, tell me. what exactly is Your word to this?'; and with that rhetoric arrived Baladeva by His mastery at an understanding of the situation [**].

(40) The selfborn one [Brahmâ] after so long a time returning, though it was but a moment to his own reckoning [see kalpa], saw that one year later the Lord along with His expansions was playing like He did before. (41) [He said to himself:] 'Because the many of all the boys in Gokula along with their calves are fast asleep on the bed of my deluding power can it not be so that they today would have risen again. (42) Therefore I wonder where the ones here came from; they are different from the ones bewildered by my power of illusion, yet there is the same number of them for a whole year playing together with Vishnu!' (43) This way for a long time contemplating the difference between them could he, the selfborn one, by no means make out who now was real and who not. (44) And so was even he, the one unseen, by his own mystic power de facto bewildered - he indeed who wanted to mystify Vishnu who Himself, being above all misconception, mystifies the whole universe. (45) Like the obscurity of fog during the night and the light of a glowworm during the day will a person of a lesser mystic potency destroy in himself the ability trying to employ it against a great personality. (46) And as he, the one self-born, watched them were calf and cowherd the very moment seen by him as having a complexion of rain clouds and being dressed in yellow silk. (47-48) With four arms, with the conch, the disc, the club and the lotus, with helmets, earrings, necklaces and garlands of forest flowers; with the srîvatsa, the jewel to their conch-striped necks and with bracelets around their wrists; with ornaments at their feet and bangles on their ankles appeared they most beautiful with their belts and rings around their fingers. (49) From head to toe were all their limbs covered by strings of fresh, soft tulsî offered by those of great merit [see also 10: 12 7-11]. (50) With their smiles bright as moonshine and the clear glances of their reddish eyes were they, like the modes of [white] goodness and [reddish] passion, the creators and protectors of the desires of their own devotees [compare 10.3: 20]. (51) The laudable Primal Being [of Vishnu thus] was by the first being [of Brahmâ] down to the smallest clump of grass, with forms moving and not moving, variously worshiped with dance and song. (52) Each of them was surrounded by all the glory of the perfections [siddhi's,being like the smallest etc.], the mystic potencies with Ajâ [***] in front and the twenty-four elements of the creation with the complete of them [the mahâtattva] first. (53) They were being worshiped by the timefactor [kâla], the individual nature [swabhâva], reform [samskâra], desire [kâma], fruitive action [karma], the modes [guna] and others of whom, with each having assumed a form, the greatness was defeated by His glory [see also B.G. 13: 22]. (54) They being nothing but eternity, spiritual knowledge, the unlimited and the blissful, around in forms of the One Rapture, were in their glory of a greatness that was even out of reach for the seers engaged in philosophy [see also 1.2: 12 and *4]. (55) Thus saw the selfborn Brahmâ, all at the same time, the complete of them as expansions of the Supreme Absolute Truth [para-brahman] by whose effulgence all of this, moving or not moving, is manifested. (56) Then by their glare stunned in bliss and jolted in all his eleven senses, fell the one selfborn silent just like a child's doll in the presence of the village deity.

(57) Understanding that the lord of Irâ [Brahmâ's consort Sarasvatî] thus was mystified by the refutation of all the irrelevant, by that [Supreme Brahman] known in the Veda's, by that selfmanifest blissfulness above the material energy superseding his own glory and that he could not fathom what this all was, tore the One Never Born [Krishna] all at once away the veil of yogamâyâ [see also 7.7: 23]. (58) Then, with his external consciousness revived, stood he like a dead man with difficulty up and opened he his eyes to behold this universe along with himself. (59) That instant indeed looking at all sides in the different directions saw he situated in front of him Vrindâvana dense with its trees and pleasing in all seasons sustaining the inhabitants. (60) There, in that residence of the Invincible One do man and beast, by nature inimical, live together like friends and has all anger, thirst and all that fled away. (61) There saw he, the one residing in the beyond [Brahmâ], Him, the Absolute Truth without a second, the Supreme unlimited of unfathomable knowledge, in having assumed the role of a child in a cowherd family, just as before all alone searching everywhere for His calves and boys with a morsel of food in His hand [*5]. (62) Seeing this he quickly came down from his carrier and fell with his body to the ground like a golden rod with the tips of his four crowns touching His two feet and performed he bowing a bathing ceremony with the pure water of his tears of joy. (63) Over and over thinking of what he had previously seen, rose and fell he for a long time again and again at the feet of Krishna, the greatness there present. (64) By and by then getting up again wiped he his eyes looking up at Mukunda and with his head bent over, a trembling body and faltering extolled he Him humbly with folded hands and a concentrated mind.



Chapter 14  

Brahmâ's Prayers to Lord Krishna

(1) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'My praise for You, o Son of the Cowherd King, o worshipable Lord whose beauty stands out with a body, a resplendent face and soft feet as dark as a raincloud, clothes as bright as lightening, guñjâ[-seed]-ornaments [at Your ears], peacock feathers, a garland of forest flowers, a morsel of food [see 10.13: 14], a rod, a bugle and a flute. (2) O Godhead even with directly before me indeed this body of Yours so of mercy with me, that to the desire of Your devotees has manifested but at the other hand is not a product of matter at all, am I, Brahmâ, with my inward mind not able to fathom Your greatness, not even mentioning the experience of Your soul of happiness. (3) Though unconquerable do You nevertheless give You Yourself won to those in the three worlds who regularly exercising their body, words and mind, in keeping their material positions, have their ears to the topics relating to You as described by the truthful who, living simply, offer their obeisances completely having given up the endeavor of [speculative] knowledge. (4) The path of bhakti most beneficial that is rejected by those, o Almighty Lord, who struggle exclusively for the achievement of knowledge, remains for them nothing but trouble alone, just as empty husks are for those threshing. (5) Long before in this world, o Greatest, was there many a yoga-adept who unto You having offered all his endeavors came to understand what is achieved by one's specific duties; it is by devotional service indeed that in the cultivation of the hearing and singing with ease Your Supreme Destination is achieved o Infallible One![see also 7.5: 23-24] (6) Nevertheless, o Complete of Existence, is only he able to understand the potency of You as being without material qualities [nirguna] who is spotless with a mind and senses free from agitations and who, following Your love as someone with no other instruction for himself, verily is unattached to this or that form; and not otherwise. (7) In time might great scientists succeed in counting all the particles in the universe of the earth, the sky, the snow and the light of the stars, but who would be able to count the qualities of You, the Self of All Qualities [gunâtma], who descended for the benefit of all beings? [compare 8.5: 6] (8) Earnestly hoping for Your compassion and enduring the things for sure resulting from his own fruitive actions, will therefore anyone, who offers unto You in heart, words and body his obeisances, live up to the position of liberation, for he then is candidate for the mercy [see also 1.5: 17, 1.19: 32, 2.1: 12, 3.33: 6, 4.20: 11, 4.29: 38 etc.]. (9) Just see, o Controller, how I so contemptible with You, the Unlimited, Primeval Supersoul, just to see the might of You, the Deluder of All Deluders, have expanded my illusory power; was the extent of what I desired indeed not just like a spark relative to the fire? (10) Therefore, o Infallible One, my excuses, I, born from passion, indeed am an ignoramus who haughty thought himself unborn a separate controller; my eyes were blinded by the darkness of ignorance - does someone like me, in acceptance of You as his master, not deserve Your mercy? (11) Where am I with my material nature, those seven measures of this body of the totality of matter, the false ego, ether, air, fire, water and earth that surrounds me like a pot? What is this compared to the Unlimited Universes that like atomic dust move from the openings and pores of Your body, Your greatness [see also 1.3:3 and 3: 11]? (12) O Lord from the Beyond, does the mother count it as an offense when a child kicks its legs within the womb - what all labeled with designations as existent or nonexistent would there actually be outside of Your abdomen? (13) For certain are the words indeed not untrue that state that Brahmâ, the 'selfborn' [aja*5], with the three worlds at their end in the oceans of water of the deluge, came out of the lotus stem growing from the abdomen of Nârâyana; have I not emanated from You? [see 3.8] (14) Are You not Nârâyana the Soul of all living beings? You are the Teacher Within the Heart, the Witness of all Worlds, the Nârâ-yana: the part [or lead] of God relating to man, that source from which the waters originated - that is what You truly are and not so much Your specific form [mâyâ]. (15) If that transcendental body of You sheltering the entire universe is situated upon the water, why then was it not seen by me o Supreme Lord or why were You, when You were not properly seen by me in the heart, at the other hand then suddenly again to be seen [see 3.8: 22]? (16) In this incarnation indeed do You by Your power over deluding energy scare away the Illusion of this entire, created universe that is externally visible and also there within Your abdomen, as You factually have demonstrated to Your mother [by opening Your mouth see 10.7: 35-36 & 10.8: 37-39]. (17) As the cosmic complete is here externally, was all of this including Yourself manifested inside of You; how could this be without the influence of Your inconceivable potency? (18) Has by You not just today been shown to me how, except for Yourselves, this all is based on Your bewildering potency? First were You there all alone and then You became all of Vraja's boys and calves, You next even became a same number of fourhanded ones that together with me are served by all and then You became an equal number of universes [10.13: 53]; and now You remain the One Infinite Absolute Truth without a second... (19) To those unaware of Your position understanding it the material way do You, by Yourself expanding Your mâyâ, appear for the matters of creation as Me, as Yourself for the purpose of maintenance and as the Three-eyed One [Lord S'iva] in the end. (20) Among the enlightened and the seers, o Controller, as well indeed among the human beings, the animals and the aquatics also, do You, factually unborn, o Master, o Creator, take birth to be of mercy with the truthful and to chastise the untruthful mad of illusion [see also B.G. 4: 8]. (21) Who, o Greatest Supreme Lord, o Supersoul and Controller of Yoga, knows where, how, how many or when in the three worlds the pastimes of Your Lordship, the play of Your spiritual energy [yoga-mâyâ] thus is expanding? (22) Therefore is this cosmic complete, being untrue [asat, temporary] in its form, just like a dream, wherein the awareness is covered by a load of repeated miseries, whereas within You there is indeed the conscious, eternal, happiness of which the countless appearances brought about by the illusory energy appear as if they were true [sat, permanent, see also B.G.: 2: 16 and **]. (23) The One Soul You are, the Original Personality, the Oldest, the Truth, the Light from Within without a beginning and an end, the eternally undiminishing, unimpeded happiness free from impurities, the Complete Without a Second undying and free from designations. (24) You as such described indeed are the very Soul of all souls, so may see those who received from the radiating spiritual master the perfect vision of the confidential philosophy; it is they who easily cross over the ocean of an untrue worldly existence. (25) With those who do not understand You indeed as being the Supreme Soul arises just because of that a totally material life that by spiritual knowledge then again disappears just like with a rope [its appearance as] a snakes body appears and disappears. (26) Designations of being bound to matter or liberated rise from not knowing, actually are the two, not separate [but the same in the sense of being bound to non--illusion] when one, like with days and nights before the sun, properly distinguishes by the true knowledge of the pure, transcendental, spirit soul of which the awareness is unimpeded [as-it-is, free from mâyâ]. (27) Oh how ignorant the foolishness of persons who think of You, the Original Soul, as something else and indeed of Yourself again as to be searched [as someone being] outside! [see B.G. 18: 16] (28) The truthful, from the inside rejecting what is not 'that' [see neti neti 7.7: 23], search indeed after You, o Unlimited One; would even a man of truth, caught in the unreal of the snake so close by, [directly] be able to appreciate the real of the rope? [see also 10.6: 8, and B.G.: 18: 37] (29) Therefore is it so my Lord that one, being favored but a trace of the mercy of Your lotusfeet, in fact knows the sure truth of the greatness of the Supreme Personality, and not anyone else however long speculating. (30) May it therefore be so o Master, that, in this birth, a next one indeed or even one we rather not think about, there is that greatest fortune by which I, in becoming just one of Your devotees, are fully of service at the lotus buds of Your feet? (31) How fortunate Vraja, the cows and the gopîs are from whom You, to Your full satisfaction, have been drinking the nectarine breast milk in the form of the calves and boys, o Almighty Lord, whose satiation as yet by no vedic sacrifice could be equaled. (32) What a fortune, o what a fortune for Nanda and the gopas and the other inhabitants of Vraja, to have as their friend the Supreme Abode of Bliss, the Complete, Absolute and Eternal Truth. (33) And however great the good of their fortune all might be, o Infallible One, we, the eleven [***], S'iva and all other gods indeed, o wonder, are as fortunate as to drink again and again by the cups of the senses of these devotees the nectarean, intoxicating honey of Your Lotusfeet. (34) Even whatever birth here in this forest would bring me that greatest fortune, but bathing in the dust of the feet of any of them whose life indeed is completely to the Supreme Lord of Mukunda His feet; the feet of which the dust even until now is sought by the S'rutis [the Vedas]? (35) What else thus but You, the source of all benedictions indeed, O Godheid, will You give as a reward to these members of the cowherd community whose homes, wealth, friends, dear ones, bodies, children, life-air and minds are all dedicated to You - our mind thinking of anything else falls in illusion, as You even made sure that Pûtanâ disguised as a truthful one and also her family members [Bakâ and Aghâ] could reach You, o divine personality. (36) As long as people are not Yours Krishna, are the attachments and such thieves, is the home a prison and is the infatuation as shackles to their feet. (37) Though completely transcendental do You imitate on this earth that what is material in order to learn the people of surrender to know Your different types of spiritual happiness, o Master. (38) There are people sure with many words - let those people, what's the use o my Lord, Your opulence lies not within the range of my body, mind and words [see B.G. 2: 42-44]! (39) Permit me to leave o Krishna, You know everything, You see all, You alone are the master of all universes, I offer you this universe. (40) S'rî Krishna, upon the lotus of the Vrishni-dynasty You bestow the pleasure; of the sees of the earth, the demigods, the brahmins and the animals You cause the increase; of the lack of righteousness You dispel the darkness; of the ogres on earth You are the opponent; for as long as the sun shines, till the end of time, do I, o worshipable Lord Supreme, offer You my obeisances.'

(41) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus extolling the Wealth of the World, circumambulating Him three times bowing down to His feet, wished the creator of the universe to return to his abode. (42) The Supreme Lord giving the one born from Him the permission then brought the calves from where they were before to the rivershore where just as it was His friends were all present. (43) Though one year had passed and they, without the Lord of their lives, had been covered by Krishna's mâyâ, thought the boys for themselves it half a moment, o King. (44) What o what do persons bewildered by mâyâ not forget in this world; deluded thereof in the consciousness is the entire universe constantly made to forget itself. (45) The friends said to Krishna: 'Have You returned quickly, we didn't even eat a single thing, please come here and nicely take Your meal.' (46) Then, smiling, took the Lord of the senses His meal with the cowherd boys whom He, returning home together from the forest to Vraja, showed the skin of the python Aghâsura [see 10.12]. (47) With His body decorated with a peacock feather, flowers and colors from the forest, loudly playing together the bamboo-flute and the horn beautifully, calling out for the calves and with His companions singing His purifying glories, entered He as a feast to the gopîs their eyes the pasture grounds [near Gokula]. (48) 'Today has He, the son of Yas'odâ and Nanda, killed the great snake and have we thus been saved from it', so sang the boys in Vraja.'

(49) The king said: 'Please explain, o brahmin, how could there be so much unparalleled love for the child of someone else that Krishna was, exceeding even the love [the gopas and gopîs had] for their own offspring?'

(50) S'rî S'uka said: 'For each living being in truth, o ruler of man, is one's own self the dearmost, the others, children, wealth and so on are dear only based on that. (51) Therefore o best of kings, is the love of embodied beings for each his separate self thus not the same as for that which belongs to them like sons, wealth, homes and so forth. (52) To those persons who factually speak of the body as being themselves [see also ahankâra], o best of kings, is the body just as dear and is thus for sure what is related to it not as dear. [see also B.G. 2: 71] (53) If the body [though] figures as a thing possessed will it as a consequence not be as dear as the soul, for isn't the desire to stay alive strong even when this body is growing old? (54) Therefore is for all embodied beings [the self of] one's own soul indeed the most dear, the factual purpose for all this universe with its created beings. (55) Krishna in this you should know as the Soul complete of the living beings, who by His own potency appearing as a human is here for the benefit of the entire universe. (56) Those who in this world know Krishna as He really is understand the stationary and moving as being forms of the Supreme Lord, the complete, the essence outside of which nothing at all is found here [compare B.G. 7: 26]. (57) The Supreme Lord is of all entities indeed the reason of existence, of Him they have their stability; what thing could be ascertained as separate from Krishna? (58) For those who have taken to the shelter of the lotus buds of the feet, that are like a boat, the feet that for the greatest are the refuge of supreme piety famed for opposing Mura [the demon], are they the Supreme Abode [of Vaikunthha] where none of the material miseries are found and is, with every step taken, the ocean of material existence [as the water in] a calf's hoofprint [compare 10.1: 5-7 and 10.2: 30].

(59) This all for which you requested, concerning that what the Lord did in His fifth year and was declared at at His sixth, I described to you. (60) The person who hears or sings these pastimes of Lord Murâri annihilating Aghâ, with His friends taking lunch in an open spot in the forest, and the other-worldly [multiple-Vishnu]-form He assumed with the selfborn one so elaborate in offering his prayers, will attain the all-inclusive of his interests [spiritual perfection]. (61) *4


*: Based on this verse does S'rîla Prabhupâda in the Caitanya-caritâmrita, Âdi-lîlâ, Chapter Two, Text 30 state that Krishna is considered the real source of all other expansions of the Vishnu-forms and other demigods sprouting from them: 'Lord Krishna is Nârâyana, the father of Brahmâ, because Lord Krishna's plenary expansion Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu, after placing Himself on the Garbha Ocean, created Brahmâ from His own body. Mahâ-Vishnu in the Causal Ocean and Kshîrodakas'âyî Vishnu, the Supersoul in everyone's heart, are also transcendental expansions of the Supreme Truth."

**: In his commentary on Vedanta-sûtra, quotes S'rîla Madhvâcârya the following statement from the Vedic s'ruti-mantras: 'satyam hy evedam vis'vam asrijata'. "This universe, created by the Lord, is real."

***: The 'eleven' pertains to the demigods ruling over the senses of action and perception plus the mind: the Digdevatâs over audition, the Vayus over the tactile, Surya over sight, Varuna over taste, the As'vinîkumâras over the olfactory, Agni over speech, Indra over the hands, Upendra over the feet, Mitra over the defecation, Prajapati over the organ of generation and Candra over the mind. S'iva is the demigod presiding over ahankâra, false ego.

*4: There is a last verse to this chapter identical with the last one of chapter eleven: verse 10.11: 59.

This way passed they their childhood in the cow-community with different childlike pastimes like playing hide and seek, building dams and jumping about like they were monkeys.  

[translated by the pupils of Prabhupâda as]: In this way the boys spent their childhood in the land of Vrindâvana playing hide-and-go-seek, building play bridges, jumping about like monkeys and engaging in many other such games.

Probably does this verse present in the original Sanskrit not belong here and has it accidentally been transferred from chapter 11 in the process of manual copying through the ages.

*5: In this chapter is Brahmâ just as Krishna called the unborn one or aja; not to get confused is it here translated with 'selfborn', svâyam-bhu, another name for Brahmâ as the one directly born from Nârâyana, while Krishna contrary to what it seems in His descending in a material form factually the never born primeval source is [see also footnote *** to the previous chapter].


Chapter 15

The Killing of Dhenuka, the Ass Demon and Poison in the River

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, when they in Vraja attained the age of boyhood [six to ten], were the two, rendering Vrindâvana most auspicious with their footprints, old enough to be cowherds and commissioned to tend the cows along with their friends [*]. (2) Surrounded by the gopas who were chanting His fame did Mâdhava ['the Sweet Lord'] sounding His flute, with the help of Balarâma keeping the animals in front, eager to play enter the forest rich with flowers and nourishment for the cows. (3) The forest charming was filled with the sounds of bees, animals and birds, had a lake with water alike the minds of the great and had a fragrance carried by the wind of hundred-petalled lotuses; the sight of it made the Supreme Lord decide to play there. (4) He, the Original Personality seeing the beauty all around of the stately trees with the tips of their branches touching His feet with their heavy load of fruits, flowers and reddish buds, with joy at the brink of laughter spoke to His elder brother. (5) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh Best of the Gods, these, at Your lotusfeet that are worshiped by the immortals, are presenting with their heads bowing down offerings of flowers and fruits so that they find salvation from the ignorance that prepared them their births as trees. (6) Despite of Your hiding in the forest, o Original Personality, do these bees as the most intimate great sages among Your devotees not abandon You as their personal deity, o Sinless One, with their all the way singing in worship of You, the place of pilgrimage for all the worlds! (7) These peacocks, o Worshipable One, are dancing with joy; these doe are pleasing You with their glances as if they were the gopîs and the cuckoos do vedic prayers; they're all so fortunate with such a saintly nature indeed to see You, as residents of the forest, arriving at their home. (8) Blessed is now this earth, her grasses and bushes receiving the touch of Your feet; the trees and creepers struck by your fingernails; the rivers, mountains, birds and animals with the mercy of Your glances; and the gopîs in Your arms to the desire of the Goddess of Fortune.'

(9) S'rî S'uka said: 'Lord Krishna this way satisfied with all of Vrindâvana so beautiful took delight in together with His companions pasturing the animals at the river banks below the mountain [Govardhana]. (10-12) Sometimes, while on their way His companions together with Balarâma sang of His fame, sang He along with the humming bees blind of intoxication, imitated He sometimes the chattering broken speech of the parrots and then the charming cuckoos of a cuckoo; sometimes He cooed along with the swans and sometimes He danced hilariously in front of a peacock; with a voice like the clouds [rumbling] He sometimes by their names called out for the animals strayed away and spoke endearing affectionately with the cows and their protectors. (13) Together with the other creatures, the cakora-birds, the curlews, the ruddygeese, the skylarks and the peacocks He cried out in imitation as if He were afraid of the tigers and lions. (14) Sometimes when His elder brother tired of playing used the lap of a gopa for a pillow, would He personally relieve Him by massaging His feet and do other services. (15) Holding hands with one another laughed and praised they the cowherd boys as they danced, sang, moved about and wrestled at times. (16) Now and then of the wrestling fatigued lay He worn out on beds made of twigs and leaves, taking shelter at the base of a tree with the lap of a gopa for a pillow. (17) Some of them, all great souls, massaged His feet while others, free from all sin, fanned Him nicely with fans. (18) Others would, with their hearts slowly melting of love, sing befitting the occasion, o great King, [songs] appealing to the mind of the Great Soul. (19) In His activities pretending to be a cowherd this way with His mystic potency hiding His personal opulence, enjoyed He whose tender feet are attended by the Goddess of Fortune, notwithstanding His feats as the Controller, like a villager with the villagers.

(20) The gopa S'rîdâmâ, a friend of Râma and Kes'ava, and others like Subala and Stokakrishna [one day] with love said the following: (21) 'Râma, o Râma, o Mighty-armed One, o Krishna, Destroyer of the Wicked, not far from here there is a very great forest full of palm trees [called Tâlavana]. (22) Many fruits there fall from the trees and lie around, they are kept back however by Dhenuka, the evil one. (23) He, having taken the form of an ass surrounded by other companions as strong as he is, is such a mighty demon, o Râma, o Krishna! (24) Human beings have been killed by him, the people are afraid to go there, o Killer of the Enemies, and all kinds of animals and flocks of birds have abandoned it. (25) There are fragrant fruits we've never tasted yet of which the aroma spreading is that strong that it is noticed everywhere. (26) Please o Krishna give them to us, whose minds are craving of the fragrance; the desire is so strong, o Râma, let's go there if You think it a good idea.'

(27) Thus hearing the words of their friends went the two masters, willing to do their friends the favor, surrounded by the gopas laughing [compare 3.28: 31-33] to the Tâlavana forest. (28) Balarâma entering by His strength shook like a mad elephant with His two arms the trees to all sides so that the fruits came to fall. (29) Hearing the sounds of the fruits falling ran the donkey demon forward making the earth together with its trees tremble. (30) Meeting Him he stroke Balarâma's chest fast with his two hind legs and then ran about giving an ugly ass bray. (31) The furious, crying beast approaching Him again angrily hurled with his back forward his two legs at Balarâma, o King. (32) He seized him by the hooves, whirled him around with one hand and threw him, with the life slung out of him, in the top of a palm tree. (33) With that striking the big palm tree shook its large crown and broke it down along with another one shaken besides it that on its turn took down a next one and a yet another one. (34) Balarâma in His play throwing the corpse of the donkey made all the trees touching one another shake as if blown by a hurricane. (35) This is not so surprising of the Supreme Lord who indeed is the Unlimited One Controller of the Universe upon whom it long and wide is resting like a piece of cloth on its threads. (36) Then, enraged about the death of their friend, attacked the asses that were Dhenuka's intimates Krishna and Râma. (37) One after the other were they, attacking Krishna and Râma o King, easily seized by their hind legs and thrown into the palm trees. (38) The earth covered with the heaps of fruits and the lifeless daitya bodies in the tree tops shone forth like the sky with the clouds below. (39) Hearing of that very great triumph showered the gods and alike a rain of flowers, playing music and offering prayers. (40) Now that Dhenuka was killed were the fruits of the palm trees eaten by the people no longer afraid and grazed the animals in the forest.

(41) Krishna with His lotus petal eyes - about whom it is so auspicious to hear and to chant -, returned with His elder brother to Vraja, glorified by the gopas following Them. (42) The gopîs with eyes hungry to see Him came all together forth to meet Him, with the dust in His hair thrown up by the cows, the peacock feather, the forest flowers, His charming eyes and beautiful smile, His flute sounded and His glories sung by the gopas. (43) Entering the cowherd village He heartily welcomed the vraja-ladies their veneration in which, bashful, humble and laughing they, like bees eyeing for the honey, with sidelong glances drank in the face of Mukunda, their release, in doing so giving up the grief of separation that they had suffered during the day. (44) Mother Yas'odâ and Rohinî most affectionate catering to the desires of their two sons presented them at the right times the finest offerings. (45) The weariness of the road vanished by bathing and massaging and such, after which they being dressed with a charming cloth around their waist were decorated with divine garlands and fragrances. (46) Offered delicious preparations ate they their fill and thus pampered by their mothers fell they happily in their fine beds asleep in Vraja.

(47) O King, Krishna, the Supreme Lord thus acting in Vrindâvana, once, without Balarâma, went in the company of His friends to the Kâlindi [the Yamunâ. see also **]. (48) The cows then and the gopas distressed of the glaring summer sun drank tormented of thirst from the water of the river, but it was spoiled by poison. (49-50) By fate made the mere touch with that poisoned water them loose their consciousness so that they all fell down lifeless at the waterside, o best of the Kurus. Seeing them in that predicament brought Lord Krishna, the Controller of all Masters of Yoga, by His glance - which is as a shower of nectar - those who had accepted Him as their master back to life. (51) Regaining their senses, they again stood up from near the water and all became most surprised looking at one another. (52) They came to the conclusion that they, having drunk the poison and fallen dead, o King, due to the merciful glance of Govinda again had risen to their strength.


*: It is stated in the Kârttika-mâhâtmya section of the Padma Purâna:

s'uklâshthamî kârttike tu
smritâ gopâshthamî budhaih
tad-dinâd vâsudevo 'bhûd
gopah pûrvam tu vatsapah

"The eighth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kârttika is known by authorities as Gopâshthamî. From that day, Lord Vâsudeva served as a cowherd, whereas previously He had tended the calves."

**: The Kalinda is the name of a mountain on which the river Yamunâ rises.



Chapter 16  

Krishna Chastises the Serpent Kâliya

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Black Lord [Krishna], the Almighty One, seeing the black waters contaminated by the black snake wanted the purification of the river and put an end to that serpent.'

(2) The king said: 'How did the Supreme Lord subdue the serpent in the deep waters and how could it reside there for so many ages o learned one, please explain. (3) O brahmin, who can be sated partaking of the nectar of the magnanimous pastimes of Him, the Supreme Unlimited Lord, as a cowherd boy acting to His own will.'

(4) S'rî S'uka said: 'To the Kâlindi of Kâliya [the name of the serpent] there was a certain lake that boiled of the fire of his poison; birds flying over it would fall into its waters. (5) In contact with the poisonous vapor from the waves carried by the wind died all plant and animal life on the shore. (6) Seeing the river by him contaminated with the fearsome power of the strong poison, climbed Krishna, who descended to subdue the wicked, up a kadamba tree, slapped His arms, tied His belt and jumped into the poisoned water. (7) By the force of the fall of the Essential Person did all the water of the serpents lake, in turmoil of the snake vomiting poison, flood on all sides, so that its fearsome waves came to flow over a hundred bow lengths; how immeasurable that strenght was! (8) My best, with his eyes hearing, noticing the sound that He, playing with His mighty arms like a mighty elephant swirling around the waters, produced, came he forward unable to tolerate the trespassing of his abode. (9) He playing not afraid of anyone, so attractive in yellow garments and most delicate like a glowing white cloud, with the s'rîvatsa, His smiling beautiful face and with feet like the inside of a lotus, was by him with anger bitten in the chest and enveloped in his coils. (10) Seeing Him, immobilized in the grip of the snake its coils, were His dear friends, the tenders of the animals [and all who happened to be present further], greatly disturbed and fell they, bewildered in their intelligence, in pain, remorse and fear down as they had offered themselves, their relations, their wealth, wives and objects of desire to Krishna. (11) The cows, the bulls, the she-calves, cried out loudly in great distress, with their eyes fixed on Krishna, afraid lamenting in shock.'

(12) Most fearsome ominous disturbances then arose in Vraja in three kinds: in the sky, upon the earth and in the living beings, announcing imminent danger. (13-15) Seeing these signs were the cowherds, headed by Nanda, agitated by fear knowing that Krishna had gone herding the cows without Balarâma. They, not knowing His prowess, were with their minds absorbed in Him, their very breath of life, from those bad omens overwhelmed by pain, grief and fear. All of them, the children, the elderly and the ladies, my dear, as a cow with her calf, feeling wretched went anxiously out to look for Krishna. (16) The Sweet Supreme Lord of Balarâma seeing them that distressed gently smiled and didn't say a thing knowing well the power of His younger brother. (17) They in search for their dearmost Krishna followed the path marked by the symbols of the Lord His footprints to the bank of the Yamunâ. (18) Here and there dispersed between other footmarks on the cow path seeing the lotus, barleycorn, elephant goad, thunderbolt and flag adorned footprints of the master of their community, hurried they along, my best. (19) Seeing Krishna motionless within the lake enveloped in the coils of the snake body, the cowherd boys by the watermasses overflown out of their wits and the animals around them crying it out, experienced they in distress the greatest despair. (20) The gopîs with their minds so attached to Him, the Supreme Personality Unlimited, remembering His loving smiles, glances and words, were now that their most dear was seized by the serpent, tormented by the greatest agony and saw, deprived of their darling, all the three worlds as empty [see also siksâstka verse seven]. (21) They, with the mother of Krishna fixing her vision upon her son equally pained, held firm retaining their flood of sorrow and recounted each of them the stories about the Darling of Vraja, standing there like corpses transfixed towards Krishna's face. (22) Nanda and his men seeing Krishna, their life and soul, were by the All-powerful Lord Balarâma who knew well the might of Krishna, denied to enter the lake. (23) Observing His cowherd folk, who had none but Him, together with the woman and children in utter despair on His behalf, so He understood, remained He so for a while reflecting the way of the mortals and then rose up from the bonds of the serpent. (24) Expanding Himself was He by the serpent pained by His transcendental body given up; he raised high his hoods in anger, breathed heavily through his nostrils that were like two vessels of boiling poison and looked, standing still with his firebrand eyes fixed, the Lord in the face. (25) He with his double-pointed tongue to and fro between his two lips and his look indeed so terrible full of poisonous fire eagerly spying for an opportunity to strike, was by Him playing, encircled, moving around like the king of the birds [Garuda]. (26) This way moving around him wore He him out and made He him bend down his high raised shoulders; climbing on top of the broad heads, began He as the Original One, the First Spiritual Master of All the Arts, to dance, with His lotusfeet in touch reddened by the many jewels on the heads. (27) Taking notice of Him engaged in dancing arrived then that very moment His servants the heavenly singers and perfected souls, the sages and the venerable ones with their wives who all with great pleasure accompanied Him with two-sided clay drums, tabours and large drums, songs, flowers and other forms of praise. (28) Whichever of the one hundred-and-one heads he had that wouldn't bow down, my best, were right away kicked asunder; the Lord who with His feet coming down exerts punishment on those who are evil made the serpent, still moving but with his life running out, spit horrible [poisonous] blood from his mouth and nostrils so that he experienced the greatest anguish. (29) His eyes exuded poison and whichever vomiting head that would rise breathing heavily in anger, was, dancing, with His foot forced down in submission by Him, each very instance of which He with flowers was worshiped as the Original Person. (30) Profusely vomiting blood with his numerous hoods broken and his body defeated by His peculiar dancing, o ruler of man, remembered he the oldest person, Lord Nârâyana, the spiritual master of all moving and nonmoving entities and turned he within his mind to Him for shelter. (31) Seeing that the serpent was fatigued of the heavy weight of the heels of Lord Krishna in whose abdomen the entire universe is found and that his umbrella-like hoods were shattered by His trampling, approached his wives, distressed and with their clothing, ornaments and locks of hair in disarray, the Original Lord. (32) They, totally upset within their minds approaching for shelter, laid their bodies and children on the ground before Him, the Lord and Refuge of All Creatures, and bowed down saintly folding their hands together to solicit the liberation of their sinful husband.

(33) The wives of the serpent said: 'Fair is factually the punishment for this person who acted in offense; You descended in this world to subdue, with an equal vision to sons and foes, the wicked and administer punishment in contemplation indeed of a positive outcome. (34) This chastising of the untrue You inflicted upon us is actually mercy because dispelling their contamination, as You did with his appearing as a serpent, You even being angry are of grace in accepting the ones embodied. (35) Of what austerity properly performed has he in his former lives been, free from pride and thinking of others, religious or else of compassion with all people, by which You, the Good Self of all living beings, are satisfied? (36) We don't know what of him led to this result o Lord of ours; to be qualified to touch the dust of Your lotusfeet is something for which the goddess of fortune, the best of all women, has performed austerities, has given up all desires for a long time keeping to her vow. (37) Heaven nor rulership over all, not to be the topmost creator nor the master of the world, not the perfections of yoga or freedom from rebirth do they desire who have attained the dust of the feet [see also siksâshtaka verse 4]. (38) He, born from ignorance under the sway of anger, has achieved that what is so difficult for others to achieve; by it [the dust] manifests for the ones encapsulated wandering within the cycles of material existence all opulence itself. (39) To You, the Supreme Lord of the Original Person, the Greater Soul, the Shelter of All that Exists and the Supreme Cause primordial, the Supreme One of the Beyond, our obeisances. (40) To the Ocean of Spiritual Knowledge and Wisdom, to the Absolute Truth of an unlimited potency, unto Him free from the modes and free from transformations, unto You the Prime Mover, our reverence. (41) To the Time, to the Secure of Time, to the Witness to the divisions of Time, to Him in the Form of the Universe, to the One Watching It Over, to its Creator; to the Final Cause of the Universe [our reverential homage]. (42-43) Of the created of the senses, the life-air, the mind, the intelligence and the consciousness You are the ground of perception, that Ultimate Soul that by the modes of nature causes the misconception of falsely identifying one's true self with its cover. Our obeisances for the Unlimited Lord supremely subtle, fixed in the center, the Omniscient One sanctioning the diverse philosophies, the One Potency of expressing ideas and words. (44) Our respects again and again to the basis of all authoritative proof, to the author of the revealed scriptures, to the source of the passages inciting and restricting. (45) We bow before Lord Krishna and Lord Râma [Sankarshana], the sons of Vasudeva, and to Pradyumna and Aniruddha [see 4.24: 35-36]; our obeisances to the Master of the Sâtvatas. (46) Our salutations to Him who, manifesting the various qualities, disguises Himself by the modes and [yet] by the functioning of the modes can be ascertained; He who by His devotees is known as the separate witness to the modes. (47) O Controller of the Senses, let there be unto You, so inscrutable in Your pastimes displayed for the realization of all creation, our obeisances; unto You, acting so silently to the silent. (48) Unto Him the Knower of the Destinations Higher and Lower, the Regulator of All things, unto You, standing apart from the universe and yet the universe itself, the Overseer of That and Root Cause of this all, our worship. (49) You indeed are the Almighty Lord of Creation, Maintenance and Destruction of this universe who, beginningless with the potency of Time by the modes art the employer uninvolved; awakening by Your glance the distinctive dormant characteristics of each of them [modes] You play Your game impeccable. (50) The peaceful, the restless and those born in slowness are of it [the Time] Your material manifestations in the three worlds; [but] the peace-loving ones and the saintly out here that are dear to You, You now desiring to maintain the dharma are sure to protect. (51) For once should by the master the offense committed by his own subject be tolerated; You o Peace Personified, should forgive it this foolish one [our husband] who failed to understand You. (52) O Supreme Lord have mercy, the serpent is breathing his last; we women are pitied by the saintly, the husband [thus] should be restored to life. (53) Please tell us, Your maidservants, what should be done; by Your command faithfully executed will one for sure be freed from all fear.'

(54) S'rî S'uka said: 'He, the Supreme Lord, thus extensively praised by the wives of the snake, let go of him whose heads were defeated by His trampling feet. (55) Slowly with difficulty regaining his senses and life-air spoke Kâliya, breathing out loudly, wretched and submissive to Krishna. (56) Kâliya said: 'We so vicious and ignorant by birth are with a constant anger of a nature that is difficult to give up for normal folk who thereof take to the untrue, o master! (57) This universe created by You, o Sustainer of the modes and the variety of creation, is of wombs and seeds there in forms and mentalities, personal natures, different talents and physical strengths. (58) And we out here o Supreme Lord are by the species of the serpents absorbed in anger; how can we on our own give up Your deluding matter so impossible to forsake being bewildered? (59) Let there be the certain of that what You, of Your good self as the cause in that, the Knower of All, the Controller of the Universe, will arrange for us, be it of favor or of punishment.'

(60) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus hearing the words then spoke the Supreme Lord working like a human being: 'You, serpent, must not stay here any longer; go directly to the ocean with your folk, your children and women; let the wealth of the river be enjoyed by the human beings and the cows. (61) Any mortal being who remembers this command of mine for you and sings at the beginning and end of the day will not get afraid of you. (62) He who at the place of this pastime of Mine bathes and with the water gratifies the gods and all, will, observing a fast with his worship, be freed from all sins. (63) Afraid of Garuda you abandoned the island Ramanaka and took shelter of this pool; but now that you are marked by My feet will he not devour you.'

(64) The honorable sage said: 'Freed by Krishna the Supreme Personality whose actions are so wonderful, o King, worshiped the serpent together with his wives Him with pleasure and reverence. (65-67) With the finest clothing, strings of flowers and jewels most valuable as also with ornaments, heavenly scents and ointments and a wreath of lotuses worshiping and satisfying the Lord of the Universe, was he by Him with Garuda in His flag permitted to leave; with Him contented as He was circumambulated and respected by him and his wives, children and friends. As he went to the island in the sea became that very instant the nectarean water of the Yamunâ by the grace of the Supreme Lord, who for His pastimes had assumed a human form, free from poison.


Chapter 17  

The History of Kâliya and His Swallowing a Forest Fire.

(1) The king said: 'Why did Kâliya give up Ramanaka, the abode of the serpents, and what caused the enmity of Garuda towards him alone?

(2-3) S'rî S'uka said: 'The snake people of sacrifice here [in Nâgalaya] were in the past appointed to monthly pay tribute to the serpents at the base of a tree, o mighty armed one. The serpents to the moonphase each presented their own portion to Garuda, the great power over them, to have themselves protected. (4) Conceited under the influence of his venom and strength ate Kâliya, the son of Kadru, in defiance of Garuda that offering himself. (5) Hearing about it, o King rushed that great master and devotee of the Supreme Lord with great speed forward to kill Kâliya. (6) Attacking so fast falling upon him, who armed with poison had raised his many hoods and full size looked fearsome with his tongues and terrible eyes, he was bitten by his weapons, the fangs. (7) He, the son of Kadru, warding off the grandson of Târkshya [see 6.6: 21-22], the carrier of Madhusûdana of a formidable prowess, who full of anger was moving swiftly, was struck by his left wing that glowed like gold. (8) Beaten by Garuda's wing entered Kâliya utterly distraught a hard to reach lake of the Kâlindi where he wouldn't go.

(9) Garuda there once was denied a creature of the water, his normal sustenance, by Saubhari Muni [see 9.6]; but being hungry he had the temerity to eat it. (10) Seeing the fish living there wretched, most unhappy because the king of the fish had been killed, spoke Saubhari to set things right, out of compassion for them: (11) 'If Garuda ever enters this lake to eat the fish will he immediately lose his life; so be it as I speak!' (12) That only Kâliya knew, no other serpent, and so dwelled he afraid of Garuda there from where he by Krishna was expelled.

(13-14) When the cowherds [then] saw Lord Krishna rising up from the lake, godly garlanded, scented and clothed, with many a fine jewel covered and decorated with gold, revitalized they all to their senses and embraced they affectionately Him filled with joy. (15) When Yas'odâ, Rohinî and Nanda, the gopîs and the gopas, o son of Kuru, rejoined with Krishna regained they all their functions and so it happened with even the dried up tries. (16) And Râma embracing Acyuta, the Infallible One, laughing out of love knowing His omnipotence, raised Him on His lap to admire Him from all sides and with the cows, the bulls and the she-calves looking they attained the highest pleasure. (17) The learned and respectable personalities came up to Nanda along with their wives and said: 'Seized by Kâliya your son has now by divine ordinance been freed. (18) Give for the sake of Krishna's safety in charity to the twiceborn', and Nanda, happy of mind, o King, gave them cows and gold. (19) The chaste Yas'odâ who had lost and retrieved her son, the One of Great Fortune, raised Him on her lap and hugging let go an incessant torrent of tears.

(20) That night, o best of the kings, remained the cows and the people of Vraja, weakened of thirst, hunger and fatigue, there at the shore of the Kâlindi. (21) Then, in the middle of the night, arose of the summerheat in the forest from all sides a conflagration that closed in and began to scorched the sleeping Vrajasis. (22) The people of Vraja next woke up and in distress of being burned turned they for shelter to Krishna, the Controller, who by His potency had appeared like a human person [compare 10.8: 16]. (23) 'Krishna, Krishna, o Greatest of Fortune; o Râma of Unlimited Power, this most terrible fire is about to devour us who belong to You! (24) Please protect us, Your people, Your friends, against that insurmountable fire of Time [of death], o Master, we impossibly can think of abandoning Your feet that drive away all fear.' (25) This way seeing the desperation of His people, swallowed the Lord of the Universe, The Unlimited One who possesses endless potencies, that terrible fire.    



Chapter 18  

Lord Balarâma Slays the Demon Pralamba

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thereafter [after the forest fire] entered Krishna surrounded by his happy-natured folk singing His glories Vraja so beautiful with its herds of cows. (2) Sporting this way in Vraja by the illusion of the cowherd-disguise, approached the summer season that by living beings is not very favored. (3) Notwithstanding this was Vrindâvana, in which the Supreme Lord of Kes'ava together with Râma personally were staying, manifesting the qualities as if it was the time of spring. (4) There did the constant noise of the waterfalls cover that of the crickets and were the groups of trees embellishing moistened by their spray. (5) Of the rivers and lakes transported the breezes over the waves and currents the pollen of the kahlâra, kañja and utpala lotuses so that there, for the people living in the forest, was not the tormenting heat of the sun or the forest fires to the summer season, but the growth of an abundance of grass. (6) The water of the very deep rivers drenched the shores, giving muddy banks on all sides, over which the fierce sun with its venomous rays could not take away the juice and greenness of the earth. (7) The forest full of flowers most beautiful resounded with all sorts of animals and birds singing, peacocks and bees and the cooing of cuckoos and cranes. (8) Intend on playing entered there Krishna, the Supreme Lord sounding His flute in the company of Balarâma, the gopas and the cows. (9) With fresh leaves, peacock feathers, bunches of small flowers, garlands and colorful minerals as their ornaments were Krishna, Râma and the gopas singing, dancing and romping about. (10) As Krishna danced, sang some of them, some played on flutes, cymbals and horns while others offered praise. (11) Disguised as cowherd folk did the demigods [see 10.1: 22] worship Krishna and Râma in their form of cow-protectors just as professional dancers cheer to another dancer, o King. (12) Whirling, jumping, throwing, slapping and dragging they played, sometimes, wrestling, holding each other by the locks of their hair. (13) At times when the others danced were they the singers and played they the instruments, themselves being of praise, o King, saying: 'How good, how good this is!'. (14) Now and then played they with bilva fruits and then with kumba fruits or with palmfuls of âmalaka [myrobalan] fruits; they played tag [aspris'a] or blindman's buff [netra-banda] and such games and sometimes mimicked the animals and birds. (15) Then they jumped like frogs, told all kinds of jokes and then they were swinging or pretended to be kings. (16) The two this way with common human play roamed the forests, mountains, rivers and valleys, bowers, lakes, and groves around.

(17) As Râma and Krishna together with the gopas were herding the animals in that forest arrived there the demon Pralamba in the form of a gopa with the intent to kidnap Them. (18) Knowing him, since He of Das'ârha was the Supreme Lord omniscient, accepted He, thinking of killing him, to be friends with him. (19) Next calling together the gopas said Krishna, the knower of all games: 'O gopas, let's play and divide us in two matching teams'. (20) To that appointed the gopas Râma and Janârdana their leaders so that some belonged to Krishna's group while others joined with Râma. (21) They engaged in several games of 'carrier and carried' [harinâkrîdanam] that were known by the rule that the winners could mount the defeated that then had to carry them. (22) Carrying and being carried tended they meanwhile the cows and went they, led by Krishna, to a banyan tree named Bhândîraka [*]. (23) When Râma's party with S'rîdâmâ, Vrishabha and others had won the contest would each of them be carried by Krishna and the members of His party, o King. (24) Defeated carried the Supreme Lord Krishna S'rîdâmâ; was Vrishabha carried by Bhadrasena and carried Pralamba [the asura] the son of Rohinî [Râma]. (25) Considering Krishna invincible set that foremost demon in great haste off carrying [his passenger Râma] beyond the finish line of dismounting. (26) As he held Him high lost the demon his momentum with Him [growing] as heavy as the king of the earth and the planets [mount Meru], and resumed he his original body with a covering of golden ornaments, shining just like a cloud flashing with lightening that carries the moon. (27) Seeing that body fast moving in the sky with blazing eyes, frowned eyebrows, the rows of his terrible teeth, his wild hair, his armlets, crown and his earrings, got the Carrier of the Plow, stunned about the effulgence, a little frightened. (28) Then remembering Himself, did the fearless Balarâma, moving away from the company like He was being kidnapped, angrily strike him hard with His fist on the head as fast as the king of the gods would hit a mountain with his thunderbolt. (29) Struck split his head right away open and fell he, giving up blood from his mouth, lifeless to the ground with a loud noise sounding like a mountain hit by Indra's weapon. (30) Seeing Pralamba killed by the self-evident power of Balarâma were the gopas most astonished and expressed they the words 'Good so, well done!' ['sâdhu, sâdhu']. (31) Pronouncing benedictions praised they Him, so deserving, as if he had returned from death and embraced they Him with their hearts overwhelmed by love. (32) With the sinful Pralamba killed heaped the demigods, utterly satisfied, garlands of flowers over Him, and offered they prayers exclaiming 'Bravo, excellent!'  

* S'rîla Sanâtana Gosvâmî quotes the following verses from S'rî Harivams'a (Vishnu-parva 11.18 - 22), which describe the banyan tree:

dadars'a vipulodagra-
s'âkhinam s'âkhinâm varam
sthitam dharanyâm meghâbham
nibidam dala-sañcayaih
nîla-citrânga-varnais' ca
sevitam bahubhih khagaih
phalaih pravâlais' ca ghanaih
âdhipatyam ivânyeshâm
tasya des'asya s'âkhinâm
kurvânam s'ubha-karmânam
nirâvarsham anâtapam
nyagrodham parvatâgrâbham
bhândîram nâma nâmatah

"They saw that best of all trees, which had many long branches. With its dense covering of leaves, it resembled a cloud sitting on the earth. Indeed, its form was so large that it appeared like a mountain covering half the sky. Many birds with charming blue wings frequented that great tree, whose dense fruits and leaves made it seem like a cloud accompanied by a rainbow or like a house decorated with creepers and flowers. It spread its broad roots downward and carried upon itself the sanctified clouds. That banyan tree was like the lordly master of all other trees in that vicinity, as it performed the all-auspicious functions of warding off the rain and the heat of the sun. Such was the appearance of that nyagrodha tree known as Bhândîra, which seemed just like the peak of a great mountain."



Chapter 19

Again Swallowing a Forest Fire

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'As the gopas were absorbed in their playing wandered their cows far off and entered they, grazing on their own, hungry for grass the thickets. (2) The goats, cows and buffalo going from one part of the forest to the other entered a cane-forest and cried it out thirsty of the heat. (3) The gopas led by Krishna and Râma not seeing the animals then felt sorry not to know where they were and searched out the cows their trail. (4) From the blades of grass broken by the hooves and the teeth of the cows followed they the hoofprints of the cows on the path all being anxious about the loss of their livelihood. (5) In the Muñjâ forest they found their cows and other animals who, having lost their way, were tired crying of thirst, whereupon they all turned back. (6) They, when they heard the sound of their names shouted by the Supreme Lord with a voice aloud as the rumbling clouds, answered overjoyed. (7) Then, on all sides suddenly appeared a huge and terrible conflagration that licking threatened all beings in the forest moving and non-moving with a gruesome storm of sparks driven by their charioteer, the wind. (8) That forest fire falling upon them from all sides made the gopas and the cows, looking about in fear, address Krishna and His Strength Balarâma for shelter, the way all people troubled by the fear of death seek the Supreme Personality: (9) 'Krishna, o Krishna, o Greatest Hero, o Râma of a never failing power, please save us, the surrendered scorched by the forest fire. (10) It, for sure, can never be so that we, Your friends, o Krishna, having You, the perfect knower of all natures, for our Lord, deserve it to be let down suffering!'

(11) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord Hari hearing the pitiable words of His friends thus said: 'don't be afraid, just close your eyes'. (12) 'All right', they said and having closed their eyes delivered the Supreme Lord, the Controller of Yoga, them from the danger taking the terrible fire in with His mouth. (13) And when they then opened their eyes again were they amazed that, with themselves and the cows being saved, they were brought to Bhândîra [the banyan, see 10.18: 22, that was ten miles away so one says]. (14) Witnessing the deliverance of themselves from the burning forest as a consequence of the yogic power of Krishna His internal control over the deluding material energy, thought they of Him as being an immortal. (15) Krishna together with Râma and the cows going, sounding His flute and praised by the gopas, returned late that afternoon to the cowherd village. (16) With the young cowherd girls rose the greatest happiness to see Govinda present, as for them being without Him but or a moment seemed to take a hundred ages.


Chapter 20

The Rainy Season and Autumn in Vrindâvana

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The cowherd boys described to the ladies [of Gokula] the amazing actions of the two by whom they were delivered from the forestfire and indeed Pralamba had been killed. (2) The elder gopas and gopîs also surprised on hearing that considered the two of Krishna and Râma as messengers of God that had come to Vraja.

(3) Then with flashes of lightening at the horizon and rumbling skies commenced the rains giving life to all living beings. (4) The sky covered by dense dark clouds accompanied by lightening and thunder was with its light diffused like the spirit soul being manifest with its material qualities. (5) For eight months had the sun with its rays drunk the wealth of the earth in the form of water and now had the time arrived proper for its release. (6) Great clouds full of lightening agitated by the fierce winds released, just like the persons of mercy in this world, indeed their gratification of all life. (7) Dried of the heat was the earth, sprinkled by the divine, fully replenished just like the sensually motivated body of someone of penance is after obtaining the fruits of that practice. (8) Of the darkness could in the evening twilight the glowworm shine but not the luminaries just like in kali-yuga of the sins the heresies are shining and certainly not the Vedas. (9) Hearing the resounding of the rain clouds emitted the frogs, that before were lying silent, their sounds just like the ones of Brahmâ do after their routines [see niyama]. (10) The rivers dried up insignificant strayed from their courses like does the body, the property and the riches of a person that is controlled by his senses. (11) Emerald of the green of newly grown grass, reddish of indragopa insects and affording the mushrooms shelter, became the earth just like the opulence of men. (12) The fields rich with grains gave the farmers joy while making others, who falsely proud do not understand the will of God, feel sorry [not to have things by grace]. (13) The creatures of the water and the land, all new of the water in recourse, took on attractive forms like one does with rendering service to the Lord. (14) The rivers meeting with the ocean in turbulence made waves blown up by the wind just like the mind driven by desire is with an immature yogî bound to the material qualities. (15) The mountains struck by the rainfilled clouds stood undaunted under their attack like the minds are of the ones dedicated to the Lord in the Beyond when faced with trouble. (16) The roads out of use faded away grown over by grass just like written texts that, not studied by the brahmins, wither away under the influence of time. (17) The lightening in the clouds that are the friends of all the world did, fickle in its friendship, just like a lusty woman does with virtuous men, not keep its position. (18) When the [rain-]bow of the great Indra unstringed yet being determined appeared in the sky was it as if the Supreme Personality Free from the Modes had appeared within the by the modes determined manifest of nature. (19) The moon not shining forth had its light covered by clouds radiating [thereof], just like the living being covered by false ego is illumined [from within] by his own luster. (20) Because of the arrival of the clouds cried the peacock joyous in celebration just like the distressed do within their homes getting happy upon the arrival of the devotees of Acyuta. (21) The trees having drunk the water through their feet assumed various bodily features [like blossoms, leaves and sprouts] like it happens when, previously emaciated and fatigued of austerities, one may [finally] delight in the object of one's desire. (22) The cranes stayed at the banks of the restless lakes, my best, much like citizens feverishly keep themselves busy in their homes indeed with a mind perturbed. (23) When Indra showers his rains break of the floodwater the irrigation dikes just as the false theories of the heretics in Kali-yuga breach with the path of the Vedas. (24) The clouds driven by the winds released their nectarean water over all living beings like kings from time to time, encouraged by the brahmins, do with their donations in charity.

(25) Thus was that forest most resplendent, having ripe dates and jambu fruits around which the cows and boys were crowding, entered by the Lord and Balarâma in order to play there. (26) The cows because of their so very heavy udders moving slowly came quickly upon being called by the Lord, being wet at their udders out of affection. (27) Sometimes when it rained entered the Supreme Lord a hollow tree or a cave and enjoyed He eating roots and fruits. (28) He observed the joyful girls living in the forest with its trees dripping sweet sap and the waterfalls of the mountain resounding from nearby caves. (29) The yogurt-rice brought from home He in the company of Sankarshana ate together with the boys partaking on a stone near the water.

(30 -31) On a grass patch sat the bulls, ruminating with their eyes closed, with the calves and the cows tired by the weight of their milkbags. To see the riches of the rainy season, that had expanded from His internal potency, always gave the Supreme Lord pleasure and made Him offer His respects.

(32) With the two of Râma and Kes'ava dwelling this way in Vraja manifested the season of fall itself in full with a cloudless sky, the clearest water and a gentle wind. (33) In autumn the lotuses regenerated and regained the bodies of water their original state, like the minds of the fallen are restored by the practice of devotional service. (34) Just like devotional service for Lord Krishna clears all inauspiciousness with all the status groups [âs'ramas], removed the autumn season the contamination from the water, the muddy condition from the earth, the crowding of the animals [in their pens] and the clouds from the sky. (35) The clouds having giving all they had shone forth with a pure effulgence like sages who, having given up on all desires, are pacified being freed from all propensities. (36) Then the mountains released their pure water and then they did not so, just as the nectar of spiritual knowledge only at times is bestowed by the jnânis [the spiritual philosophers]. (37) Those moving in the shallow water [the fish] indeed did not appreciate the water getting less [after the rains] just like foolish people in the family setting do not appreciate the day by day diminishing of their life span. (38) They, moving in the shallow water, as a consequence of the autumn sun experienced hardship like a man destitute miserly does being absorbed in family life without the control over his senses. (39) Gradually the land had to give up its mud and had the plants to give up their unripe condition just like the sober ones have to give up on the egotism and possessiveness of being focussed on the non-spiritual of the material body and what belongs to it. (40) The waters became motionless as did the ocean quiet with the arrival of fall, just as when the self desisting, of a sage completely forsaking, gives up the sacred work [see also avadhûta and 7.13]. (41) With sturdy irrigation dikes contained the farmers the water of the rice-fields as yogîs do in the stopping of that consciousness that flows out through the senses. (42) The suffering of all creatures because of the rays of the autumn sun was taken away by the moon like the suffering, based on the false identification with the body or with [the missing of] Mukunda - as the ladies of Vraja do -, is driven away by wisdom. (43) The cloudless sky in the fall shone brilliantly clear and starry just like the mind endowed with goodness does directly experiencing the purport of the Vedas. (44) The moon and the stars shone forth in the sphere of the sky unbroken alike the master of the Yadus, Krishna, did on earth surrounded by the circle of the Vrishnis [see family-tree]. (45) Embracing the wind not too cold and not too hot from the flower-filled forest could the people forget the hardship, as could not the gopîs whose hearts were stolen by Krishna. (46) The cows, the doe, the she-birds and the women found their fertility in autumn just like deeds in service of the Controller are followed by their respective mates the good results. (47) O King, the lotuses bloomed abundantly with the rising of the sun except for the night-blooming kumut lotus, much like the populace, except for the thieves, indeed does without fear before a [righteous] king. (48) In the towns and villages with harvest rituals and other mundane celebrations and great festivals shone the earth ripe with her grains as an expansion of Him being rich with the two [of Krishna and Balarâma] that were so completely the Lord Supreme. (49) Like the ones perfected finding their subsistence [or form aspired] when the time is ripe, could the merchants, the renunciates, the kings and the initiates, [who before were] checked by the rains, [now] go out to achieve their goals.'



Chapter 21

The Gopîs Glorify the Song of Krishna's Flute

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus entered Acyuta with the cows and gopas [the place] ventilated by the breezes sweet of the fragrance from the lotus filled lakes with its waters clear of the season of fall. (2) Between the blooming trees played the Sweet Lord His flute vibrating along with the maddened bees and flocks of birds, while He, traversing the lakes, rivers and hills, was tending the animals in the company of Balarâma and the cowherd boys. (3) As the ladies of Vraja heard the song of the flute, which brought the flourishing in mind [of all existence], revealed some of them in confidence their intimates what they thought of Krishna. (4) Commencing with that description were they, remembering all that Krishna did and getting excited in rapt attention, no longer capable of proceeding, o ruler of man. (5) With a peacock feather on His head, with the body of the best of dancers, a blue karnikâra lotus behind His ears, wearing golden yellow colored garments and [decorated] with the vaijayantî garland ['of victory' with flowers of five different colors], filled He the holes of His flute with the nectar from His lips as He entered Vrindâvana forest so enchanting of His footprints while His glories were being sung by the group of cowherds. (6) O King, hearing the sound of the flute, that steals the minds of all living beings, embraced all the women of Vraja each other in their describing Him.

(7) The gopîs said: 'O friends, we who have eyes know no better outcome but this: to imbibe the loving glances radiating from the faces of the two sons of the king of Vraja playing on their flutes, who with their mates drive the cows through the forest. (8) With mango sprouts, peacock feathers, with garlands of flower buds, lotuses and lilies combined with the colorful garments they dress up with, shine the two magnificently forth in the midst of the tenders of the animals, just like two master dancers in an assembly on a stage so now and then singing. (9) O gopî's, how meritorious must the deeds have been of this flute of Krishna just to enjoy on its own the nectar of the lips to which the gopî's are entitled, leaving only the taste remaining, [as bamboo fed] from the rivers jubilantly shedding from its roundness tears [of joy] alike its [honey dripping] forefathers, the trees. (10) Vrindâvana, o friends, spreads the glories of the earth because it received the treasure of the lotus feet of the son of Devakî to which the hearing of Govinda's flute maddens the peacocks - in whom we find the dancing - and to whom all other creatures stand stunned looking down from the hillsides. (11) How fortunate are the doe, however ignorantly born, who may hear the sound of the flute of Nanda's son so nicely dressed, the way they, in the company of their black husbands, performed worship with their affectionate glances. (12) For all women is it a festival to observe Krishna with His beauty and character and to hear the clear song of His flute; of the wives of the godly who are out in their heavenly vehicles slip, agitated by the thought having fallen in bewilderment, the flowers tied in their hair and slacken their belts. (13) The cows raise their ears high to catch in those vessels the nectar of the sounds emitted from Krishna with His mouth to the flute and the calves, with mouths full of milk exuded from the udders, stand still with in their eyes and minds Govinda touching them and filling their eyes with tears. (14) O mothers, for sure are the birds in the forest [as] great sages out there to see Krishna, who, rising to the branches of the trees with all their wealth of creepers and twigs, eyes closed hear the sweet vibrations of the flute that silences the rest. (15) The [female] rivers then perceiving that song of Krishna, run because of their minds steeped in love in whirlpools with their currents broken, seizing and holding firm in the embrace of their wavy arms the two feet of Murâri, carrying to them offerings of lotus flowers. (16) Seeing in the heat of the sun Him all the time loudly playing His flute in herding Vraja's animals together with Râma and the gopas, expanded out of love for his friend a cloud high up to make his body a parasol with great numbers of [cool droplets descending like] flowers. (17) The women of the Pulinda tribe [the aborigine people of Vraja] find full satisfaction with the lotus feet of the Lord Glorified by the Great, when they, seeing its reddish kunkuma sticking to the grass that before decorated the breasts of His girlfriends, feeling tormented at the very thought, are able to give up that pain in smearing it upon their breasts and faces. (18) And oh, this hill [Govardhana], o friends, is the Lord His best servant because it, of the touch of the lotus feet of Krishna and Râma, is jubilant of respect with offers of drinking water, tender grass and edible roots to the cows, the calves and the cowtenders. (19) Wondrously are, leading the cows with the cowherdboys freely to each place in the forest, by the vibrations of the flute its sweet tones, o friends, of the living entities the ones that can move stunned and the otherwise immobile trees stirred to ecstasy by the two there recognized by the ropes [*] they have for binding the rear legs of the cows.'

(20) This way picturing one another the pastimes of the Supreme Lord wandering around in Vrindâvana, attained the gopîs the full grace of that.'


* S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura explains that the ropes of Krishna and Balarâma are made of yellow cloth and have clusters of pearls at both ends. Sometimes They wear these ropes around Their turbans, and the ropes thus become wonderful decorations.


Chapter 22

Krishna Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopîs

(1)  S'rî S'uka said: 'During the first month of the winter season [hemanta: nov./jan.] observed the unmarried girls of Nanda's Vraja subsisting on unspiced khichrî [a mix of rice and lentils] a vow of worshiping the goddess Kâtyâyanî. (2-3) Rising at dawn bathing in the water of the Yamunâ made they of clay a deity of the goddess to be, opulent as well as simple, of worship, o ruler of men, with sandalwood pulp, fragrant garlands, gifts [of food, clothes etc.], incense and lamps and with presentations of fresh leaves, fruits and bethel nuts. (4) The young girls performed worship chanting a mantra with the words: 'O Kâtyâyanî, our obeisances unto you, o great power, greatest yoginî, o supreme control, please make the son of Nanda the gopa my husband!' [*] (5) In this manner executed the girls for an entire month their vow before Bhadrakâlî ['the goodness of the age of quarrel'] being of proper worship with 'May He, Nanda's son become my husband'. (6) Every day, at the break of dawn calling for one another, held they each others hands singing loudly in honor of Krishna while going to the Kâlindî to bathe. (7) One day arriving at the river singing about Krishna they as usual dropped their clothes on the shore and enjoyed sporting in the water.

(8) Krishna, the Supreme Lord, as the master of all masters of yoga understanding their intention, went there surrounded by companions to assure the girls the result of their activities. (9) Snatching their clothes away He climbed quickly up a kadamba tree laughing together with the boys making fun saying: (10) 'Come here, o girls, and please take each your own garment as you desire, I'm seriously not joking, since you must be tired of the vow. (11) I've definitely never before said anything untrue, that all these boys do know; thus, o slender girls, be sure to make your pick either one by one or all together.'

(12) With that prank of His saw He how the gopîs, steeped in love for Him, had to laugh looking at one another but being embarrassed they did not come out. (13) Govinda speaking thus had with his jesting caught the minds of them who, up to their necks shivering in the cold water, said to Him: (14) 'O You, don't be unfair, act like the one You can also be, as the beloved son of gopa Nanda we know, o dearest, as the one renown throughout Vraja; please give us our garments, we're cold. (15) O S'yâmasundara ['beautiful dark one'] we, Your maidservants will do whatever You tell us to, please return our clothes, o knower of the dharma, or mind, otherwise we'll tell the king about it!'

(16) The Supreme Lord said: 'If you're My servants mustn't you then do as I told you and come out here with your innocent smiles to pick out your garments; and with Me not giving them having the king angry, what can he do? (17) Then came all the girls shivering, pained by the cold, forward from the water, covering their pubic area with their hands. (18) The Supreme Lord seeing them beaten put satisfied with the pure of their affection their garments over His shoulder and said with a loving smile: (19) 'Because you, performing a vedic sacrifice, were naked bathing in the water, have you offended Varuna and the other gods; to counteract this sin you must pay your obeisances with your palms joined together over your heads and then take your garments back.'

(20) With this what the Infallible Lord indicated considered the Vraja girls their skinny dipping a fall from their vow and intent on successfully completing that vow, as well as an endless number of likewise pious activities, offered they their obeisances unto the directly before them visible result in the form of Purifier of All Sins. (21) The Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, seeing them bowing down then gave them, compassionate with that act, satisfied the garments back. (22) Despite of indeed seriously being cheated, denied in their shame, laughed at and made to act like puppets on a string with their clothes being stolen, felt they, joyful to have the association with their beloved, nevertheless no enmity towards Him. (23) Having put on their garments were they, smitten by the association with their beloved, with their minds seized truly unable to move and glanced they upon Him full of shyness. (24) Understanding them as being decided upon the vow with the desire to touch the Supreme Lord His own feet, spoke Dâmodara to the girls: (25) 'O pious ones, understanding your motivation to worship Me do I approve of that as being true and must it come to pass. (26) Of those whose consciousness is fully absorbed in Me does the desire not lead to material lust, like roasted and cooked grains are not capable of causing new growth [see also e.g. 1.6: 35, 3.15: 20, 7.7: 51-52]. (27) Now go, dear girls, to Vraja; having achieved your desire, will you with Me enjoy these nights which, with the evidence of this vow of your performing the worship for the goddess, will be pure '

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being instructed by the Supreme Lord meditated the young girls with their desire fulfilled, upon His lotusfeet, as they with difficulty returned to the cowherd village. (29) Some time later went the son of Devakî in the midst of the gopas at a distance from Vrindâvana to graze the cows together with His brother. (30) With the sun fiercely hot of the season said He, looking at the trees that with their shade served Him as parasols, to the boys: (31-32) 'O Stoka Krishna and Ams'u; o S'rîdâma, Subala and Arjuna; o Vis'ala, Vrishabha and Ojasvî; o Devaprastha and Varûthapa, just see these ones so fortunate whose life is only there for the higher purpose of keeping off the rain, the wind, the heat and the snow they bear for us. (33) Oh how superior the birth of these trees that, like great souls do, give support to all living entities; for certain will no person in need ever go away disappointed by them (34) By their leaves, flowers and fruits; shade and roots, bark and wood; by their fragrance, sap ashes, pulp and shoots they award all things desirable. (35) It is to each living being to live up to this perfection of birth in this world: to be with one's life, wealth, intelligence and words towards the embodied always of the highest good in one's dutiful activities [see also the vaishnava pranâma].'

(36) This way speaking arrived He, from within the midst of the trees bowing down with their abundance of leaves, clusters of fruit, flowers and twigs, at the Yamunâ. (37) There the gopas drenched the cows in the limpid, fresh and cool, wholesome water, o ruler, and drank they themselves their fill of the sweet-tasting water. (38) In a grove along the Yamunâ freely tending the animals, o ruler of the people, said they, plagued by hunger approaching Râma and Krishna, this:


* The distinction between the internal of yoga-mâyâ and thje external, or illusory, potency of the Lord of mahâ-mâyâ is described in the Nârada-pañcarâtra, in the conversation between S'ruti and Vidyâ:

jânâty ekâparâ kântam
saivâ durgâ tad-âtmikâ
yâ parâ paramâ s'aktir
yasyâ vijñâna-mâtrena
parânâm paramâtmanah
mahûrtâd deva-devasya
prâptir bhavati nânyathâ
ekeyam prema-sarvasva
svabhâvâ gokules'varî
anayâ su-labho jñeya
âdi-devo 'khiles'varah
asyâ âvârika-s'aktir
yayâ mugdam jagat sarvam
sarve dehâbhimâninah

"The Lord's inferior potency, known as Durgâ, is dedicated to His loving service. Being the Lord's potency, this inferior energy is nondifferent from Him. There is another, superior potency, whose form is on the same spiritual level as that of God Himself. Simply by scientifically understanding this supreme potency, one can immediately achieve the Supreme Soul of all souls, who is the Lord of all lords. There is no other process to achieve Him. That supreme potency of the Lord is known as Gokules'varî, the goddess of Gokula. Her nature is to be completely absorbed in love of God, and through Her one can easily obtain the primeval God, the Lord of all that be. This internal potency of the Lord has a covering potency, known as Mahâ-mâyâ, who rules the material world. In fact she bewilders the entire universe, and thus everyone within the universe falsely identifies himself with the material body." See also 8.12: 40 for Durgâ.


Chapter 23

The Brahmin Wives Blessed

(1) The gopa's said: 'Râma, o Râma, o mighty-armed one, o Krishna, destroyer of the wicked, this hunger is troubling us; something should be done to appease it.'

(2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus informed by the gopas spoke the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, wishing to satisfy some brahmin wives devoted to Him, the following: (3) 'Please go to the sacrificial arena of the brahmins who, desiring heaven, to vedic injunction are now performing a sacrifice named Ângirasa. (4) Going there, dear gopas, ask for food telling them that you've been sent by the Supreme Lord My elder brother and also in My name.'

(5) With this order of the Supreme Lord going there asked they as was told, petitioning with folded hands fallen down like sticks to the ground before the brahmins: (6) 'O earthly gods, all good to you please listen, we, sent by Râma, you must understand, have arrived here following the orders of Krishna. (7) Râma and Acyuta graze Their cows not far from here and being hungry in want ask they you to supply Them with food, o twice-born; so if you have any faith, then please donate, o finest knowers of the religion. (8) From the beginning of a sacrifice until the end of sacrificing the animal, o lovers of the truth, is it, except for when it is a [Sautrâmani-] sacrifice to Indra [*], not even for an initiate an offense to enjoy [or hand out] food.'

(9) Thus hearing of the Supreme Lord His supplication did they, in trivial pursuit foolishly thinking to know it better with their ritualistic activities, nevertheless take no heed. (10-11) Though place and time, the items used, the hymns, the rituals, the priests and the fire, the godly presiding, the performer of the sacrifice, the performance and its dharmic result all make up the directly visible of the Absolute Truth of Him, the Supreme Lord beyond the senses, saw they Him in their borrowed intelligence as an ordinary person. (12) With them not even giving them a yes or no either, did the gopas thus discouraged, o chastiser of the enemies, turn back to inform Krishna and Râma about it. (13) Hearing that laughed the Supreme Lord, the Controller of the Universe, and addressed He again the cowherd boys to show them the ways of the world: (14) 'Communicate to the wives that I together with Sankarshana have arrived; they will give you all the desired food, as they with their intelligence reside in affection with Me.'

(15) Going then to the house of the wives bowed the gopas, seeing them sitting there nicely ornamented, with reverence to the chaste woman of the twiceborn and said humbly: (16) 'Salutations to you, o wives of the learned ones, please hear our words: not far from here we roam with Krishna by whom we have been sent here. (17) Tending the cows with the gopas and Râma He came a long way; He with His companions being hungry should be given food.'

(18) When they heard that Krishna was nearby whom they, with their minds enchanted by His stories, were always eager to see, gave that a lot of excitement. (19) Like rivers flowing towards the ocean were the four types of [chewed, sucked, licked and drunk] edibles in all tastes of food brought and taken out in vessels to their all beloved. (20-21) Though their husbands, brothers, sons and other relatives didn't want to think about it, directed they themselves, for so long having heard and longed for Him, to the Supreme Lord Praised in the Scriptures, who by the ladies was spotted wandering with the gopas and His elder brother in a grove beautiful with blooming as'okas near the Yamunâ. (22) With His dark complexion, golden garment, garland of forest flowers, peacock feather, colored minerals, sprigs of buds, was He, dressed like a dancer on a stage, with His hand over a friend's shoulder and with the other twirling a lotus, smiling with His lotus face, His hair over His cheeks and lilies behind His ears. (23) Over and over having heard of the glories of their dearmost, the gem to their ears in whom their minds were submerged, embraced they Him, now brought within the sight of their open eyes, for a long time and gave they up the inner distress, o sovereign of the people, that had resulted from their physical identification. (24) As the overseer of the vision of all creatures understanding that they, getting there to see Him in person, in that state had broken with all worldly expectations, spoke He with a smile upon His face. (25) 'You're most welcome o finest of grace, please sit down, what can I do for you; how becoming of you to go here to see Me! (26) People of discrimination aware of what's good for them most certainly perform directly unto Me, their dearmost Self, in unrelenting devotional service that is proper without ulterior motives. (27) What else indeed would be as dear as that object of love of which the contact engendered the dear of one's life force, intelligence, mind, relatives, body, wife, children, wealth and so forth? (28) Therefore go to the sacrificial arena where your husbands, the different types of twice-born souls are, so that they together with you as householders will be able to finish their sacrifices.'

(29) The wives answered: 'You shouldn't speak so harshly this way, o Almighty One, please be true to Your [scriptural] promise that having obtained the base of Your lotusfeet we, shunning all relations, may carry upon our hair the tulsi-garland kicked away by Your foot. (30) Our husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, other relatives and friends won't take us back and how indeed would other people then respond? Therefore can there for us, whose bodies have fallen at Your feet, be no other destination o Chastiser of the Enemies; please grant us that!'

(31-32) The Supreme Lord said: 'Your husbands will not be bad of jealousy nor will your fathers, brothers, sons or other people; even the demigods will, on My word, regard you favorably. (33) Hearing, attending [to the deity or the gathering of devotees];, meditating and singing about Me, you are of love for Me, not so much with physical proximity, therefore return to your homes.'

(34) S'rî S'uka said: 'Having said this to the wives of the twice-born went they back to the place of sacrifice where their husbands not being spiteful together with them completed the performance. (35) One of them, held back with force by her husband, embraced, hearing from the others about the Supreme Lord, Him within her heart and gave up the body that was the basis of karmic bondage. (36) The Supreme Lord, also known as Govinda, fed with that very same food in four types the gopas after which He, the Almighty Himself, took a share. (37) And so did He in His pastimes with His transcendental appearance plow along the human ways delighting with the cows, the gopas and the gopîs whom He pleased with His beauty, words and actions. (38) Thereafter the learned ones came to their senses and felt great remorse in having been so offensive because of their conceit with the humble request of the Lords of the Universe that had appeared like human beings. (39) Seeing in their wives toward Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the excellent flight of devotion that with them was totally lacking, condemned they themselves lamenting: (40) 'To hell with all of our threefold births [biological, brahminical and ritual], our vows, our extensive spiritual knowledge, our lineage and our expertise in the rituals, when we have turned against the One Beyond the Senses. (41) Verily the Supreme Lord His mâyâ that even deludes the greatest yogis has been the cause that we the twiceborn, the spiritual teachers of society, have been bewildered concerning our own true interest. (42) Just see how of even these women there for Krishna, the spiritual teacher of the universe, is an unlimited devotion which has broken the bond of death known as family-life. (43-44) On their part there were no purification rites of rebirth, they didn't stay with the guru or even executed austerities, nor were they of philosophical inquiry into the true nature of the self or of any special cleanliness or pious actions; nevertheless are they, contrary to us - however full of all that purification we are, firm indeed in their devotional service for Krishna, the Lord Praised in the Verses and Master of all Masters of Yoga. (45) Oh, how He, through the words of the transcendental souls of those cowherd boys, brought in mind the ultimate destination there for us who indeed of our infatuation in our household affairs were bewildered in our own true self interest. (46) For what other reason would He, the Master of Liberation and all other benedictions satisfied in every respect, with us, the ones to be controlled, be of this pretense? (47) With His request [for food] that bewilders the human beings, does, forgetting about others and putting an end to the faults [of pride and fickleness e.g.] in her own being, the goddess of fortune worship Him in a constant longing to touch His feet. (48-49) Constituting the place and time, the items used, the hymns, the rituals, the priests and the fire, the godly presiding, the performer of the sacrifice, the performance and its dharmic result, [see verse 10-11] has He, the Supreme Lord of Vishnu, the Master of the Yogamasters, indeed directly visible taken birth among the Yadus, but despite of having heard of this did we foolishly fail to understand. (50) Unto Him the Supreme Lord Krishna of unbounded intelligence, of whose illusory power we with bewildered minds are wandering along the paths of fruitive action, we offer our obeisances. (51) He indeed, our Original Personality of Godhead whose influence we with our minds bewildered of mâyâ cannot fathom, should forgive us our offense.'

(52) Thus thinking over their own offense against Krishna wished they after their exercise of contrition then to see Vraja but, afraid of Kamsa, did they not go there.


 Thus ends the first part of the tenth Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam named: 'Summum Bonum'.


Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/ 

For this original translation next to the Sanskrit dictionary a one-volume printed copy has been used with an extensive commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. ISBN: o-91277-27-7 . See the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam treasury: http://bhagavata.org/treasury/links.html for links to other sites concerning the subject.

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