The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
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  By Edwin Arnold

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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" 

CANTO 10 - part II:

Summum Bonum 

Chapter 24 Krishna Defies Indra in Favor of the Brahmins, the Cows and Govardhana Hill

Chapter 25 Lord Krishna Lifts Govardhana Hill

Chapter 26 Lord Indra and Mother Surabhi Offer Prayers

Chapter 27 Nanda Recapitulates the words of Garga before the Puzzled Gopas

Chapter 28 Krishna Rescues Nanda Mahârâja from the Abode of Varuna The Rasa Play: Krishna Meets and Escapes the Gopîs at Night

Chapter 29 The Rasa Play: Krishna Meets and Escapes the Gopîs at Night

Chapter 30 The Gopîs Search for Krishna gone with Râdhâ

Chapter 31 The Songs of the Gopîs in Separation

Chapter 32 Krishna Returns to the Gopîs

Chapter 33 The Râsa Dance

Chapter 34 Sudars'ana Delivered and S'ankhacûda Killed

Chapter 35 The Gopîs Sing of Krishna as He Wanders in the Forest

Chapter 36 The Bull Arishthâsura defeated and Akrûra Sent by Kamsa

Chapter 37 Kes'i and Vyoma Killed and Nârada Eulogizes Krishna's Future

Chapter 38 Akrûra's Musing and Reception in Gokula

Chapter 39 Krishna and Balarâma Leave for Mathurâ

Chapter 40 Akrûra's Prayers

Chapter 41 The Lords' Arrival in Mathurâ

Chapter 42 The Breaking of the Sacrificial Bow

Chapter 43 Krishna Kills the Elephant Kuvalayâpîda

Chapter 44 The Wrestling Match and the Killing of Kamsa

Chapter 45 Krishna Rescues His Teacher's Son


 Chapter 24

Krishna Defies Indra in Favor of the Brahmins, the Cows and Govardhana Hill

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord staying in that very place [of Vraja] accompanied by Baladeva also, saw how the gopas were very busy arranging for a sacrifice to Indra. (2) Though the Supreme Lord, the Soul of All Seeing All, knew what that meant [see B.G. 9: 23], bowed He down humbly and inquired He with the elders lead by Nanda [His stepfather]: (3) 'Tell me, dear father, what all this fuss is that came over you, were does it lead to, for whom is it done and by what means is this sacrifice to be accomplished? (4) Please tell me of it, I have this great desire to hear o father; surely can the activities found here of the saintly equal to all - equal in what is theirs or of others or who is a friend and enemy or neutral - not be something to be secretive about, is it? (5) An indifferent person is just like an enemy to be avoided while an ally is to be treated like one's own self so they say. (6) Knowing and not knowing also, do the people perform these activities; for the wise arises the perfection with their work as for the foolish that does not occur. (7) That being so, I ask you, whether this conjoined action of yours is something discussed [in he scriptures] or just a custom; that you should explain clearly to Me.'

(8) S'rî Nanda said: 'The rain its great lord is Indra, the clouds are his personal representatives, they provide the rain for all living beings that like milk is the gratifying life-force. (9) For his liquid discharged do we and other people too with various items and fire sacrifices worship him, that master controller of the clouds, my dear son. (10) With the remnants of it people susta in their lives the threefold way [religiously, economically and sensually]; he is the superhuman being bringing the fruits for those who in their human actions are after results. (11) Anyone who rejects this religious duty handed down by tradition is a person who because of lust, enmity, fear and greed for certain cannot achieve the splendor [see B.G. 10: 36].'

(12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing Nanda's words and also what the other residents of Vraja said, spoke Lord Kes'ava to His father in a way that made lord Indra angry. (13) The Supreme Lord said: 'It is of karma that a living entity takes birth, it is by karma alone that he meets with destruction; happiness or unhappiness, security and fear are all the result of karma. (14) If there is some controller awarding the results of what others have done, does it still depend on he who performs [that sacrifice]; of the one also there who actually does not perform [for Indra] is he for sure not the master! (15) So what do living beings, who each follow the path of their own karma, have to do with Indra who for human beings fails to make a difference in what is given by their own natures? (16) A person indeed is under the control of his own nature - his nature he follows based on what all of this world with its gods, demons and people means as a fix for him. (17) The higher and lower bodies that the living beings obtain and give up as a consequence of their actions, make their karma their enemy, friend or impartial judge; that karma alone is their controller, their guru [see also B.G. 8: 15 & 16, 4.29: 26-27 and 7.7: 46-47]. (18) Therefore should one, in keeping to one's duties performing effortlessly, be of worship for the karma of one's own nature [see varnâsrama]; by that karma one lives, it is that karma no doubt that is someone's worshipable deity. (19) Like an unfaithful woman with her lover, does one not gain any real benefit resorting to another entity but the entity [that worshipable deity] one derives one's life from. (20) The learned live by the Vedas, the ruling class by protecting the earth, the vaishyas live on trade and the s'ûdra of serving the twice-born [the former three, see also 7.11: 21-24]. (21) Farming, trading, cow-protection and the fourth of banking is said to be the fourfold occupational duty [of the vaishya]; among these is the one we are engaged in the constant care for the cows. (22) Of the goodness, passion and ignorance as caused by maintenance, creation and destruction [see guna] was by the mode of passion [the moving around] this universe generated and is there from the dyadic the world its variety. (23) The clouds impelled by that passion pour down their water everywhere and by that water they simply maintain the population, so what would Indra then do? (24) The cities, the cultured lands nor the villages their houses are ours, we are the forest people dear father, we always live in the forests and on the hills. (25) Let's therefore make a begin with a sacrifice for the cows, the brahmins and the hill [Govardhana], and may this be carried out with the ingredients for the sacrifice for Indra! [see also footnote 10.8*3] (26) Let's cook all sorts of preparations and soups, beginning with sweet rice, porridge, rolls and cakes and let's have all sorts of dairy products. (27) Feed the fires properly with food well prepared by the brahmins learned in the Vedas; them you should reward with cows. (28) As is proper to each should also be thought of dogs and outcasts and others fallen souls, grass must be given to the cows and the mountain should be presented offerings. (29) Nicely adorned having eaten our fill should with us in our best clothes and smeared with sandalwood pulp the cows, the brahmins, the fires and the hill [always kept to the right] be circumambulated. (30) This is what I think o father, may that be done if you please, as this for the cows, the brahmins and the hill is a festival also to My liking.'

(31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing these words by the Supreme Lord, by the Time in person, spoken with the intent to break the pride of Indra, accepted Nanda and the elder men them as excellent. (32-33) And so they executed all that Madusûdhana spoke of: they settled for the successful course of reciting with the items available; the hill, the brahmins they all together respectfully paid tribute; the cows, bulls and calves were presented with grass and then was the circumambulation of the hill performed. (34) The cowherd woman nicely ornamented riding wagons yoked with oxen sang, together with the twiceborn chanting their benedictions, the glories of S'rî Krishna. (35) Then, to instill faith with the gopas, assumed Krishna another form saying 'I am the hill' and devoured He the abundance of offerings with the immensity of His body [see vapu and footnote*]. (36) Unto Him together with the people of Vraja brought He by Himself to Himself His obeisances: 'Oh, just see, how this hill manifest in person has bestowed upon us the mercy!'.  


*: S'rîla Prabhupâda writes to this (Krishnabook ch. 24): "The identity of Krishna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krishna in the temples. Devotees therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship."


Chapter 25  

Lord Krishna Lifts Govardhana Hill

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Indra then who realized that the worship of his self had been rejected, o King, got angry with the gopas lead by Nanda who had taken to Krishna as their Lord. (2) Clouds carrying the name Sâmvartaka to put an end to it all were sent forth by Indra who indeed falsy thinking himself the supreme controller enraged spoke the words: (3) 'Just see the great extend of the bewilderment of these forest dwelling cowherds about their wealth; they, having taken shelter of a mortal like Krishna, have committed an offense against the gods! (4) Abandoning the spiritual knowledge they try to cross over the ocean of material existence in the name only of profit-motivated ritual sacrifices that are inadequate to serve them as boats. (5) Taking shelter of Krishna, this prattling, arrogant child ignorantly thinking Himself so wise, have the gopas acted in dislike against me. (6) Bring them and their animals destruction whose hearts, barred by Krishna, are intoxicated by their welfare and may their of their riches maddened, false pride be removed. (7) I also will, riding my elephant Airâvata, follow along to Vraja accompanied by the wind-gods, moving there with great power with the purpose of destroying Nanda's cowherd community[see e.g. also: 6.11 & 12].'

(8) S'rî S'uka said: 'The clouds thus commanded by Indra did, released from their bonds, with all their power torment Nanda's cowherd village with great downpours of rain. (9) Illuminated by bolts of lightening, roaring with thunder gave they, propelled by the wind-gods, a fearsome downpour of hailstones. (10) As the rain released by the clouds incessantly poured down in vast columns, could the high and low of the earth being submerged no longer be seen. (11) Plagued by the abundance of rain and excessive wind went the gopas and gopîs shivering of the cold to Govinda for shelter. (12) Covering their heads and covering their children with their bodies approached they, pained by the rains, trembling the base of the Supreme Personality of Godhead His lotusfeet: (13) 'Krishna, o Krishna, o Greatest Fortune, You are Your own master, o Lord, please protect the cow-community against Indra being angry with us, o Protector of the Devotees [see also 10.8: 16].'

(14) Seeing them out of their wits under the attack of the hail, the rain and the extreme winds, considered the Supreme Lord Hari the anger of Indra to be responsible for this: (15) 'Because I rejected his sacrifice is Indra flooding for destruction with these unusually fierce out-of-season rains and great winds full of hailstones. (16) To counteract that properly shall I by My yogic power arrange for the defeat of the pride-of-wealth and the ignorance of those who are as foolish as to consider themselves falsely the Lord of the World. (17) My eradicating the impure of the false prestige of those who think themselves to be the Controller is certainly not intended for those enlightened beings who are endowed with goodness, it is intended for their relief [see also B.G. 14: 14]. (18) It is therefore to Me to protect by My yogic power my own family, the cowherd community that took shelter with Me as their master; this is the vow I have taken [see also B.G. 9: 22].'

(19) Thus having spoken took He, Vishnu, with one hand [His left one] Govardhana hill and held it up as easy as a child does a mushroom. (20) The Supreme Lord said then to the gopas: 'O mother, o father, o residents of Vraja, as you like, please enter with your cows the free space below this hill. (21) You shouldn't feel afraid that of the wind and the rain the mountain would fall from My hand; you suffered enough fear and to deliver you from that have I thus provided for you.'

(22) Thus with their minds pacified by Krishna entered they the space were they were comfortable with their cows, wagons and everyone belonging to them. (23) Putting aside the pain of hunger and thirst and all considerations of personal happiness, upheld He before the eyes of the residents of Vraja the mountain for seven days without moving from His place. (24) Seeing the result of Krishna's mystic power was Lord Indra most amazed and stopped he broken in his determination, with his false pride brought down, the clouds. (25) With the sky empty of clouds, the sun risen and the fierce wind and rain laid down, addressed the Lifter of Govardhana the cowherds: (26) 'Please go forth from here together with your property, women and children; see the end of your fear, o gopas, the wind and rains have ceased and the high water is as good as over.'

(27) Then did the gopas, each taking his own cows come out, with their belongings loaded on the wagons and the women, children and old people slowly following. (28) And as all of them living beings were looking on put the Supreme Lord Almighty that hill down back where it stood before. (29) The residents of Vraja each to their own position came forward shining with the surge of their pure love for Him while the gopî's showed joyfully with embraces and all that their great affection, presenting Him with yogurt, whole grains and water the best of their blessings. (30) Yas'odha, Rohinî, Nanda and Balarâma, the Greatest of the Strong, beside themselves of love embraced Krishna offering Him all benedictions. (31) From heaven the godly, the perfected, the saints, the heavenly singers and venerable ones recited the Lord's praises, satisfied showering a rain of flowers, o descendant of Prithâ. (32) Resounding conchshells and kettledrums played the demigods in heaven and sang the Gandharva's led by their chief Tumburu, o ruler of men. (33) O King, then, surrounded by the loving animal tenders, went Krishna together with Balarâma off to where they were grazing their animals and as they went sang the gopîs about all His likewise deeds being happy with Him who had touched their hearts.


Chapter 26 

Nanda Recapitulates the Words of Garga Before the Puzzled Gopas

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopa's witnessing the activities like this [lifting of the hill] of Krishna, could not comprehend His heroism and approached [Nanda] astonished as they were: (2) 'Considering the no doubt extraordinary activities of the boy, how could He deserve a, for Himself contemptible, birth among worldly men? (3) How can a boy of seven years mighty as an elephant playfully with one hand hold up the best of all hills like it was a lotusflower? (4) As a young child with hardly its eyes open sucked He from the breast of the greatly powerful Pûtanâ [the poisoned milk] along with her life-air, like the force of time does with the life span of a material body [see 10.6]. (5) He, a few months old lying crying beneath a cart, with His feet upward turned over the cart that struck by the tip of His foot fell in pieces [see 10.7]. (6) One year old sitting down was He taken away into the sky by the demon Trinavârta whom He, seizing his neck, tormented and killed [see 10.7]. (7) Once busy stealing butter bound His mother Him to a large mortar by which He, on His hands moving between the two arjuna trees, caused their crash [see 10.10]. (8) Surrounded by the boys together with Balarâma grazing the calves in the forest tore He with His arms apart the beak of the murderous enemy Baka [see 10.11]. (9) Vatsa, as another calf entering among the calves to kill Him, was killed by Him for a sport making him fall [throwing him in a tree] for kapittha fruits [see 10.11]. (10) Together with Balarâma and His companions and killing the ass-demon [Dhenuka] turned He the Tâlavana forest auspicious that was full of ripe fruits [see 10.15]. (11) After arranging that the terrible Pralamba would be killed by the most powerful Balarâma, released He the animals of Vraja and the gopas from the forest fire [see 10.18 & 19]. (12) Defeating his pride subduing the chief of the snakes [Kâliya], with his so very poisonous fangs, sent he Him with force away from the lake of the Yamunâ, the water of which He freed from poison [10. 16 & 17]. (13) Dear Nanda, how can it be that all of us inhabitants of Vraja can't give up our feelings of love for your son who from His side is likewise naturally towards us? (14) Considering his, as a boy of seven years old, lifting the big hill has thus with us, o master of Vraja, raised uncertainty about your son [what kind of tricks is He pulling?].'

(15) Nanda said: 'Please listen to my words dear gopas; let go of your doubt concerning the boy, this is what Garga in the past told me referring to this child [see also 10.8: 12-19 for the same verses]: (16) Three colors indeed were by your son assumed in accepting bodies according each yuga [*]; white, red and also yellow. At present He is black. (17) 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. (18) 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. (19) 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] (20) 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]. (21) 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. (22) 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! (23) Garga this way speaking gave me his advise and went home; I [since] consider Krishna, who frees us from all obstacles, an expansion of Nârâyana.'

(24) Thus hearing the words of Nanda about what Garga had said worshiped the residents of Vraja, enlivened by Nanda and with their perplexity gone, Lord Krishna. (25) The demigod causing rain, angry of seeing his sacrifice disrupted, made the cowherds, animals and woman suffer with lightning bolts, hail and winds; seeing Himself as their only shelter smiled He out of compassion and picked He, a small child, the hill up with one hand like it was a mushroom to protect the cowherd community - may He, the Indra of the Cows, the destroyer of the conceit of the great king of the sky, be satisfied with us!

Footnote :

 * These colors will later in the eleventh canto in verses 11.5: 21, 24, 27 and 34 of the Bhâgavatam be explained [see also another site about it].


Chapter 27

Lord Indra and Mother Surabhi Offer Prayers

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After having held the hill Govardhana to protect Vraja against the rains came from the world of the cows mother Surabhi [the celestial cow] to Krishna as also Indra. (2) In seclusion [*] approached he Him ashamed of having been offensive and touched he His feet with his helmet that shone like the sun. (3) Having heard of and witnessed the power of this Lord Krishna, whose immeasurable potency had put an end to his arrogance of being the lord of the three worlds, spoke he with folded hands as follows.

(4) Indra said: 'Your majesty of transcendental goodness being of peace and the illumination of penance destroyed the passion and ignorance born from illusion; in You is this continuous stream of the material qualities, to which one is bound being out of control, not present. (5) How, o Lord, would there [in You, as I thought, see 10.25: 3] be the causes of being entangled - the greed and all of that - that symptomize an ignorant person; still You are the Supreme Lord who in defense of the dharma wields the rod to chastise the wicked! (6) The father, the guru, You are of the entire universe, the Original Controller and the Insurmountable Time of use as the rod, who, by Your own will taking up transcendental forms, endeavors to eradicate the self-conceit of the ones who imagine themselves to be the lord of the universe. (7) Fools like me who think themselves to be the master of the universe do, seeing You fearless at the time [of confrontation], quickly part of their arrogance, by Your lesson for the wicked indeed fully taking to the path of gentlemen no longer in this being puffed up. (8) You as such o Master, please therefore forgive me, who, unaware of Your influence, of his rulership bathed in arrogance and fell in offense with a foolish intelligence; let my consciousness thus never be so foul again o Lord. (9) Your descent into this world, o Lord of the Beyond, is there for the existence of those who serve Your lotus feet o Godhead and for the nonexistence of warlords who with the many disturbances they give rise to constitute a great burden. (10) My obeisances unto You, the Supreme Lord and Original Personality, the great Soul S'rî Krishna, the son of Vasudeva; my reverence for the Master of the Servants of the Absolute Truth. (11) For Him my obeisances who to the desires of the ones belonging to Him assumes bodies, whose form is the purest spiritual knowledge and who is the seed of all and everything and the indwelling soul of all living beings. (12) O Lord when the sacrifice was frustrated was I fiercely arrogant and angry and endeavored I for the destruction of the cowherd community, o Supreme Lord, with rain and wind. (13) You, o Controller showing Your mercy have shattered my rigidity and rendered my attempt fruitless; to You, the true self and spiritual master, I have come to take shelter.'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'With Krishna this way glorified by the munificent Indra smiled the Supreme Lord at him and spoke He as grave as the clouds the following words. (15) The Supreme Lord said: 'The arresting by Me of your sacrifice I engaged in to show you My mercy so that You, as the king of heaven so greatly intoxicated with the opulence, would remember me for ever. (16) Him, who blinded of his power and wealth is conceited and does not see Me with the rod in My hand, will I, desirous to promote him, prepare a fall from his affluent position [see also B.G. 9: 22]. (17) O you all of might, o Indra, all fortune to you, may you, executing my order, void of pretense soberly remain engaged in your responsibilities.'

(18) Then spoke mother Surabhi to Krishna who, peaceful of mind along with her cows begging His attention, offered her respects to the Lord who had appeared as a cowherd boy. (19) Surabhi said: 'Krishna, o Krishna, o Greatest Mystic, o Soul and Origin of the Universe, with You, o director of the world, we have found our master, o Infallible One. (20) You are our Supreme Godhead, You are our Indra, o Lord of the Universe, please be there for the welfare of the cows, the brahmins and those who are godly and saintly. (21) For You as our Indra we shall perform a bathing ceremony as ordered by Lord Brahmâ, o Soul of the Universe, descended as You are to alleviate the burden of the earth.'

(22-23) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus pleading was Lord Krishna by Surabhi with her own milk and the Ganges water flowing from heaven carried by Airâvata's trunk, by Indra in the company of the enlightened and the seers and by the inspired mothers of the gods [the daughters of Aditi], bathed and was the descendent of Das'ara named Lord Govinda. (24) To that place came Tumburu, Nârada and the others, the singers of heaven, the scholars, the perfected and the venerable ones who sang the glories of the Lord that remove the contamination from the world while the wives of the demigods filled with joy danced together. (25) He was praised and covered with wonderful showers of flowers as the emblem indeed of all the gods, after which the three worlds experienced supreme satisfaction with the cows overflowing the earth with their milk. (26) The rivers flooded with all kinds of liquids, the trees exuded honey, the plants ripened without cultivation and the mountains gave up jewels. (27) O beloved of the Kuru-dynasty, when Lord Krishna had been bathed became all those [predators, dishonest people] who, be it by nature, were vicious, my best, free from enmity. (28) Thus having bathed Govinda, the master of the cows and the cowherd community was he [Indra] permitted to take leave and returned he surrounded by the gods and the others to heaven.

* The specific "solitary place" where Indra approached S'rî Krishna is mentioned by the sage S'rî Vais'ampâyana in the Hari-vams'a (Vishnu-parva 19.3): sa dadars'opavishtham vai govardhana-s'ilâ-tale. "He saw Him [Krishna] sitting at the base of Govardhana Hill".


Chapter 28 

Krishna Rescues Nanda Mahârâja from the Abode of Varuna

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Having fasted the eleventh day [of the lunar fortnight] and worshiped the Maintainer of All [Janârdana], entered Nanda the twelfth day the water of the Yamunâ for a bath. (2) A darkminded servant of Varuna seized and brought up him who had neglected that to enter the water during the night was godless timing. (3) O King, not seeing him called the gopas out loudly 'O Krishna, o Râma!' upon which the Supreme Lord finding out that the father was taken away of Him, the Almighty who makes His people fearless, then went to where Varuna was. (4) When he saw that the Lord of the Senses had arrived did he, the presiding godhead of that region [of the waters], elaborately honor Him greatly pleased to have Him present.

(5) S'rî Varuna said: 'Today I may experience the true wealth of the success of my physical presence, o Lord, as those who may serve Your lotusfeet have achieved the transcendence of their material course. (6) My obeisances unto You the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth and Soul Supreme who brought about the creation of this world and in whom mâyâ is of no command. (7) That ignorant servant of mine was a fool not knowing his duty [*] when he brought up this one who is Your father, please forgive me that, Your goodness. (8) Even to me o Krishna, o You who sees everything, please, be of mercy, o Govinda; to You, so caring for Your parents, belongs definitely this one that is Your father.'

(9) S'rî Suka said: 'Thus satisfied took Krishna, the Supreme Lord and Controller of all Controllers, His father with Him and went He to His relatives whom He brought great pleasure. (10) Nanda who had never before met with the mighty opulence of the lord of the realm [of the waters] or witnessed the obeisances they [Varuna and His followers] made for Krishna, spoke amazed to his friends and relatives. (11) They, the gopas, listening eagerly, o King, with Him as their Controller thought: 'Maybe He's preparing us the grace of taking us to His transcendental abode!'

(12) He, the Supreme Lord from His side as the Seer of All understanding the fancy of their perfection compassionately thought this: (13) 'For certain are the people in this world, who in oblivion of desire by their activities wander between higher and lower ends, not aware of their proper destination.'

(14-15) With this consideration showed the Supreme Lord Hari in great compassion the gopas His own abode beyond the darkness of matter: the true unlimited spiritual knowing that is the light [see brahmâ-jyoti] of the eternal absolute which indeed is seen by the sages in trance being removed from the material qualities. (16) They were by Krishna brought to and submerged in the lake of the One Spririt [brahma-hrada] and lifted out saw they the abode of the Absolute Truth the way it was previously seen by Akrûra [3.1: 32, 10.38 & 10.40]. (17) Nanda and the rest seeing that were overwhelmed by supreme bliss and highly suprised of Krishna there being praised by the vedic hymns.


* Prabhupâda's pupils comment to the precise execution of ekâdasi-fasting matters and auspicious times of bathing: 'Of course, Varuna's servant should have been aware of these technical details, which are meant for strict followers of the Vedic rituals.'



Chapter 29

The Rasa Play: Krishna Meets and Escapes the Gopîs at Night

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Though He was the Supreme Lord, decided He, resorting to the inner potency [see yoga-mâyâ], to enjoy those nights in autumn when the jasmine flowers were blossoming. (2) At the time painted the king of the stars [the moon] with his hands the face of the east red giving comfort to all looking for him, just like a lover coming up to his beloved ends the grief when he after a long time is seen again. (3) Seeing how the kumuda lotuses opened to his full round face that, like the face with fresh kunkuma of the goddess of fortune, with its light reddened the forest, played He, colored by the gentle rays of that light, his flute sweetly enchanting the eyes of charm [of the gopîs]. (4) Hearing that song aroused Cupid with the women of Vraja and with their minds seized by Krishna went each of them unknown to the others, with earrings swinging in the haste, to where He, their boyfriend, was. (5) Some left in the middle of milking the cows, some abandoned in their eagerness the milk they had on the stove while others went without taking the cake out of the oven. (6-7) Some put aside the children they were feeding milk and dressed up forgetting the service to their husbands, some left in the middle of having their dinner, some oiled, painted themselves and made up their eyes while others went near Krishna with their clothes and ornaments in disarray. (8) They, checked by their husbands, fathers, brothers and other relatives did, enchanted by Govinda with their hearts stolen, not turn back [to their duties]. (9) Some gopîs who didn't manage to get away, staying home closed their eyes and meditated connected in that love [see footnote* and 10.1: 62 &63]. (10-11) The intolerable, intense agony of being separated from their Beloved removed all the bad minding while the good of them fell to nil of the joy obtained in meditating the embrace of the Infallible One. Even though He was the Supreme Soul thought they Him their paramour, but nevertheless getting His direct association gave they, with their bonds cut, immediately their existence as determined by material qualities up.'

(12) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'They knew Krishna only as their beloved but not as the Absolute Truth, o sage, how could there for them so mindful of the material affair be the ending of the mighty current of the gunas?

(13) S'rî S'uka said: 'About this I spoke to you before [in 3.2: 19 and in 7.1: 16-33]: what, as the king of Cedi [S'is'upâla] could attain perfection even hating the Lord of the Senses, would it be for those who are dear to Him, the Lord in the Beyond? (14) For the purpose of humanity its highest benefit, o King, is there the personal appearance of the Supreme, Imperishable, Inscrutable Lord who free from the modes is the Controller of the Modes. (15) They who constantly exhibit lust, anger, fear, affection, unity and goodwill with the Lord indeed do achieve absorption in Him. (16) You shouldn't be astonished by this in regard to the Supreme Personality Unborn as He is the Master of all Masters of Yoga by whom this world finds liberation. (17) When the Supreme Lord saw the girls of Vraja arriving near Him spoke He, the best of all speakers, with a wealth of words that bewildered them. (18) The Supreme Lord said: 'Be welcome all of you, o fortunate ladies, what can I do to please you? Please tell Me whether Vraja is all right and for what reason you came here. (19) This night is full of creatures fearsome in appearance, so please return to Vraja o slender girls, you women shouldn't hang around here. (20) Surely do your mothers, fathers, sons, brothers and husbands looking for you not see you; don't cause anxiety for your kin. (21-22) You've seen Râka (the goddess of the day of the full moon) resplendent by her moonlight, you've seen the forest full of flowers even more pleasurable by the breeze blowing from the Yamunâ that plays through the leaves of the trees. Go now, without delay, back to the cowherd village, you must serve your husbands, o chaste ones, the calves and the children are crying for you to give them milk. (23) Or else, if you have come with your hearts overtaken by your love for Me, is that indeed laudable of you as all living beings have affection for Me. (24) For woman it indeed is the highest dharma to be diligently of service to her husband, to be simple and honest towards the relatives and to take good care of her family. (25) Provided he didn't fall [from his belief or being unfaithful] should a husband bad-hearted, unfortunate, old, retarded, sickly and poor even by women who desire heaven not be rejected [see also 9.14: 37 and B.G. 1.40]. (26) To be astray weak in adultery is for a woman of class in all cases something contemptible: it harms the reputation, creates fear, and gives trouble. (27) By listening, being in the presence [of the deity and the devotees], by meditation and by subsequent chanting is one of love for Me; not so much with physical proximity, therefore please return to your homes [see also 10.23: 33].'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs thus hearing the words of Govinda unpleasant to them felt, dejected of being disappointed in their strong desires, an anxiety hard to overcome. (29) Letting their faces hang down in sorrow and their bimba-red lips dry up sighing, stood they scratching the ground and bore they, with their tears spoiling their make-up and washing away the kunkum on their breasts, silently the burden of their great distress. (30) With their Beloved not so loving at all addressing them to the contrary, while they for His sake had desisted from all their material desires, wiped they their tears arresting their crying and said they next with their voices choked up in the attachment in agony something back to Him: (31) The beautiful gopis said: 'Your good self, o Mighty One, shouldn't speak so harshly renouncing all sorts of sensual pleasure; please reciprocate with our devotion at Your feet, do not so hard-to-get reject us, be just like the Godhead, the Original Personality that reciprocates with those who desire liberation. (32) O dearest, You as the Knower of the Dharma thus spoke of the duty of woman which would be her loyalty to husband, children and relatives, so be it, but isn't it so that You, o Lord, are the real object of this instruction; You, the Godhead most dear that for all embodied beings art the certain close relative that is the soul? (33) The experts indeed give evidence of the attraction to You who eternally endear them as their very own Self, so what therefore of our husbands, children and relatives who give us trouble? Be merciful to us, o Supreme Controller, do not cut our hopes for You down that we sustained for so long, o Lotus-eyed One. (34) With ease you stole our minds, which were absorbed in our households, as well as our hands that were busy in household work; our feet will not move one step away from Your feet - how can we go back to Vraja, what should we then further do? (35) Please. o Dearest, pour the flood of the nectar of Your smiling glances and melodious songs rising from Your lips, over the fire within our hearts; otherwise will we with meditation place our bodies in the fire that burns of separation and go for the abode of Your feet, o Vriend. (36) O You with Your lotus-like eyes, for the goddess of fortune is it a festival to be at the base of Your feet that, at times held dear by the people dwelling in the forest, we now will touch and from that moment on will we, filled by Your joy, for sure never be able to stand in the direct presence of any other man! (37) Like the goddess, who together even with Tulasî-devî desiring the dust of the lotusfeet, has obtained her position at Your bosom and for whose glance upon them, as it is, the others of enlightenment do endeavor to serve as servants, do we likewise also seek the dust of Your feet. (38) Therefore be of mercy with us, o Vanquisher of all Distress, Your feet we approached renouncing our homes in the hope to worship You, with Your beautiful smiles and glances for which our hearts have burned with an intense desire; o gem of all people, please allow us to serve. (39) Seeing Your hair around Your face, Your earrings, the beauty of Your cheeks and the nectar of Your lips smiling, the glances that make one fearless, the the two of Your mighty arms and looking at Your chest, the only source of pleasure for the goddess, we are delivered as Your servants. (40) What woman within the three worlds, o dearest, would not be completely bewildered by the melody-lines of the songs You draw from Your flute and not deviate in civil conduct upon seeing this grace of the three worlds, this beautiful form of which (even) the cows, the birds, the trees and the deer carry a thrill of joy. (41) You, just as the Godhead, the Original Personality, protecting all gods and worlds, have taken birth as the Godhead, the evident remover of the fear and distress of the people of Vraja, therefore kindly place, o Friend of the Distressed, Your lotuslike hand on the burning breasts and heads of Your maidservants.'

(42) S'rî S'uka said: 'Having heard the gopîs' despondent words laughed full of mercy the Lord of all the Lords of Yoga who had been satisfied despite of His ever being satisfied within. (43) With them all together was He as splendid as the deerlike spotted moon surrounded by the stars, and made He as the Infallible Lord so magnanimous in His glances and proofs of affection their faces blossom with His broad smiles that beamed His jasmine-like teeth. (44) Being sung and singing Himself as the commander of hundreds of women wore He the five-colored [Vaijayantî] garland thus beautifying the forest in which He moved about. (45-46) Together with the gopîs He arrived at the river bank that, served by the waves, was cool with its sand and was pleasant of the fragrance of the lotuses carried by the wind. With the Vraja-beauties stirring up Cupid took He pleasure in throwing His arms around them in embraces and so touching their hair, belts, thighs and breasts with His hands, playfully stroking them with His fingernails and glancing at them, chatted He with them and laughed He. (47) This way receiving from Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the special attention of the Greater Soul, considered they themselves, growing proud, the best of all women on earth indeed. (48) Observing that, due to their fortune, intoxicated state of false pride, disappeared, by way of His grace, Lord Kes'ava from the spot with the purpose to bring it down.


* "The diffent types of gopîs suggested here are also mentioned in the Padma Purâna:

gopyas tu s'rutayo jñeyâ
rishi-jâ gopa-kanyakâh
deva-kanyâs' ca râjendra
na mânushyâh kathañcana

'It is understood that some of the gopîs are personified Vedic literatures (s'ruti-câri), while others are reborn sages (rishi-cârî) , daughters of cowherds (gopa-kanyâs), or demigod maidens (deva-kanyâs). But by no means, my dear King, are any of them ordinary humans.' There is also mention of sâdhana-siddhas and nitya-siddhas: those perfect of spiritual discipline and those born that way.



Chapter 30

The Gopîs Search for Krishna Gone with Râdhâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the Supreme Lord so suddenly disappeared were the young ladies of Vraja as sorry not to see Him as she-elephants missing their bull. (2) The smitten ones who in their hearts were overwhelmed by the movements, affectionate smiles, playful glances, charming talks and other games of enticement of the husband of Ramâ, enacted absorbed in Him each of those wonderful activities. (3) The dear ones lost in the movements, smiles, beholding, talking and so on of their Beloved - who factually thus was speaking through the women their bodies - doing so intimated intoxicated by Krishna's ways: 'He's all in me!'. (4) So all together singing out aloud about Him, searched they like mad hither and thither in the forest and inquired they with the trees for the Original Personality present alike the sky inside and outside: (5) 'O as'vattha [holy fig tree], o plaksha [waved-leaf fig tree], o nyagrodha [banyan], have you seen the son of Nanda, who has gone away after He with His loving smiles and glances stole our minds? (6) O kurabaka [red amaranth], as'oka, nâga, punnâga and campaka, did you see the younger brother of Balarâma pass here who with His smile removes the pride of each girl too haughty? (7) O sweet tulsî, loving Govinda's feet so much, have you seen that most dear Acyuta who carries you together with swarms of bees? (8) O mâlati, jâti, yûthikâ and mallikâ jasmine, have you seen Mâdhava pass by, with His touch giving you pleasure? (9) O mango creeper, priyâla, jackfruit, âsana, o kovidâra [mountain ebony], rose-apple, arka, bel-fruit, mimosa, and mango tree; o kadamba and nîpa and who else of you who for the sake of others live here near the bank of the Yamunâ, please be so kind to tell us, bewildered of mind, the path that Krishna took. (10) O earth, what austerity indeed have you performed to have been touched by Kes'ava's feet with a joy that made your bodily hair [her grasses and such] stand on end? Or do you maybe owe your beauty to the feet of Vâmanadeva [see 8.18-22] or because you were trodden and embraced by the body of Varâha [3.13]? (11) O deer-wife, o friend, have you encountered Acyuta with His Beloved here, with His limbs giving pleasure to your eyes; there's the fragrance in the air of the Master of the Gopîs His garland colored by the kunkum of being in touch with the breasts of His Girlfriend. (12) O trees, when Râma's younger brother walked by, with His arm placed on the shoulder of His sweetheart, holding a lotus and with the tulsî-flowers swarming with bees following blindly of intoxication - did He with His loving glances acknowledge your bowing down? (13) Let's ask these creepers, even though they embrace the arms of their master tree; they sure must have noticed the touch of His fingernails, just see how their skins erupt with joy!'

(14) The gopîs thus speaking madly got, distraught in their search for Krishna, fully immersed in Him, with indeed each of them acting out the games of their Lord of Fortune. (15) One of them as Krishna drank with another one as Pûtanâ like an infant from her breast, while another acting for the cart was kicked over by the foot of another gopî crying [see chapters 10.6 and 7]. (16) One gopî acting for Krishna was carried away by another gopî imitating a daitya [Trinâvarta, see 10.7] while yet another one crawling about was tinkling with her anklebells as she dragged her feet. (17) Two as Krishna and Râma and some acting like the gopas killed one doing Vatsâsura while an other one with one more did Bakâsura [see 10.11]. (18) Just like Krishna calling for cows far away was one, who playing in imitation vibrated a flute, by the other gopîs praised with 'Good so!'. (19) One of them walked about with her arm placed over a shoulder and declared: 'Look, I am Him, moving so graciously!' and was thus keeping her mind on Him. (20) 'don't you fear that wind and rain, your deliverance has been arranged by Me' thus spoke one with one hand managing to lift up her upper garment [like it was Govardhana Hill, see: 10.25]. (21) O master of men, one that climbed on top of another one declared with her foot on her head: 'O wicked snake, go away, I have taken birth as the one to chastise the envious!' [see 10.16] (22) Then one said: 'O gopas, see the forest fire so fierce; quickly close your eyes, I'll arrange for your protection as easy as that!' (23) One slender gopî tied up by another gopî with a flower garland said: 'There You are, I bind You to the mortar, You potbreaker and butterthief! and with that spoken covered one her face and beautiful eyes pretending to be afraid.

(24) This way asking around in Vrindâvana with the trees and the creepers saw they at one spot in the forest the Supreme Soul His footprints: (25) 'Indeed these are clearly the footprints of the son of Nanda as evidenced by the flag, the lotus, the thunderbolt, the barleycorn and the elephant goad [see footnote*]. (26) Tracing out His path by the various footprints noticed the girls to their dismay the thoroughly intermingled footprints of one of them upon which they said: (27) 'And to whom of us belong these footprints going with the son of Nanda; over whose shoulder has He as a bull with a she-elephant placed His arm? (28) He sure must have been perfectly venerated [ârâdhitah, see Râdhâ] as the Supreme One Lord and Controller by Her since Govinda being pleased, has turned us down and taken Her separate. (29) O girls, how sacred the particles of dust of Govinda's lotusfeet that by Brahmâ, S'iva and Ramâdevi [Lakshmî] are taken on their heads to dispel the sins. (30-31) For us are these footprints of Her more then unsettling because who of us gopîs was taken aside alone, in seclusion to enjoy Acyuta's lips? Look, here we don't see Her feet, the blades of grass and sprouts sure must have hurt the soles of Her tender feet so that Her Love lifted His Sweetheart up. (32) Carrying His consort pressed the footprints much deeper, just see o gopîs, how, burdened by the weight, our so intelligent object of desire Krishna has placed his girlfriend down to pick some flowers. (33) And see these half footprints here; to gather flowers for his Beloved made the Beloved this imprint standing on His toes. (34) Further to arrange the design of Her hair did the affectionate one with His longing girl for sure sit down right here to make his Beloved a crown with them.'

(35) [S'rî S'uka said:] He, although by the Soul perfectly contented and in Himself complete, did enjoy Himself with Her demonstrating the state of being fallen of people in love as also the self-centered of its femininity. (36-37) This way thus showing [Her] for which gopî Krishna had abandoned the other women, the other gopîs who completely bewildered wandered in the forest, thought She also then of herself: 'With Me as the best of all women, is He, rejecting the gopîs that are lead by lust, accepting Me as His Beloved!'

(38) Going then to that spot in the forest said She, getting proud, to Krishna: 'I cannot move on, please carry Me to where You want'.

(39) Thus addressed said He to His Beloved: 'Climb on my back' and with these words Krishna disappeared to the pain of His consort.

(40) 'O Master, o Lover, o Dearest, where are You, where are You? O mighty armed One, please My friend show Yourself to Me, Your wretched maidservant!'

(41) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs not far away searching out the track of the Supreme Lord discovered their unhappy friend bewildered of her separation from Her Beloved. (42) To their utter amazement heard they Her saying that She had received Mâdhava's respect but that He also of Her being demanding had let Her down. (43) They then entered as far as the light of the moon permitted into the forest but finding themselves in the dark desisted the women. (44) Absorbed in Him, discussing Him, imitating Him and filled with His presence simply singing His qualities they no longer remembered their own homes [see also 7.5: 23-24]. (45) Turning back to the bank of the Yamunâ meditated they, all singing together, on Krishna, eagerly awaiting His arrival.  


*  In the Skanda Purâna is found an explanation of these [in total nineteen] marks: 'At the base of the large toe on His right foot, the unborn Lord carries the mark of a disc, which cuts down the six [mental] enemies of His devotees. At the bottom of the middle toe of that same foot Lord Acyuta has a lotus flower, which increases the greed for Him in the minds of the beelike devotees who meditate on His feet. At the base of His small toe is a thunderbolt, which smashes the mountains of His devotees' reactions to past sins, and in the middle of His heel is the mark of an elephant goad, which brings the elephants of His devotees' minds under control. The joint of His right large toe bears the mark of a barleycorn, representing all kinds of enjoyable opulences. A thunderbolt is found on the right side of His right foot, and an elephant goad below that.' see the Vedabase of 10.30: 25 for further info.


Chapter 31

The Songs of the Gopîs in Separation

(1) The gopîs said: 'By Your birth is the land of Vraja more and more glorious and does the goddess of fortune reside there perpetually; indeed o Beloved, may You be seen in all directions, You for whom Your devotees sustain their life airs in search of You. (2) Not being here, o finest of grace, do You, with the beauty of Your glance - which excels the fine beauty of the heart of the lotus that so perfectly grew in the pond of autumn - kill us, Your voluntary maidservants, o Lord of Love; isn't that murder? (3) Time and again, o Greatest Personality, have we by You been protected from all the fearsome: from perishing by the water [of Kâliya, 10.16], from the demon [Agha, 10.12], from the rains, the storm and thunderbolts [of Indra, 10.25] and from the bull and the son of Maya [the incidents with Arishthâsura and Vyomâsura that S'uka discusses later]. (4) O Friend, indeed are You who arose in the dynasty of Your devotees [the Sâtvatas] not the son of the gopî [Yas'odâ]; Your Lordship art the seer, the inner consciousness of all embodied beings, o You with whom Brahmâ digging You up [thus called Vikhanasâ , see 3.8: 16 and 10.14] prayed for the protection of the universe. (5) You who took the hand of the goddess, o best of the Vrishnis, brought fearlessness to those who in the fear of their material existence approached Your feet; please, o Lover fulfilling the desires, place Your lotuslike hand on our heads. (6) O Destroyer of the suffering of the inhabitants of Vraja, o Hero of the women who by His own smile ruins the false smiles of the people, please accept, o Friend, us, Your maidservants indeed; please show Your beautiful lotus face. (7) You who of the embodied surrendered to You remove the sins, who is after the grazers, who art the abode of the goddess, who placed His feet on the hoods of the serpent; please put Your lotus feet on our breasts and cut away the lust in our hearts. (8) O You with Your lotus-eyes, of Your sweet charming voice and words so attractive to the intelligent, are these maidservants, o Hero, losing their minds; please restore us to life with the nectar of Your lips. (9) Your sweet talks as described by the great thinkers do, driving away all sins, bring the wretched back to life and give, charged with spiritual power, upon being heard the spiritual benefit; o how beneficent the persons who with song spread them all over the world [*].

(10) Your affectionate smiles of divine love, Your glances and pastimes we are happy to meditate, but the conversations in secret, which go to the heart, o deceiver, disturb our minds! (11) When you leave Vraja to herd the animals, o master, are we pained, feeling uncomfortable within, o Lover, thinking of the husks, grasses and sprouting plants sharp to Your feet more beautiful, o Master, than a lotus. (12) At the end of the day showing Your bluish black locks and lotus face covered thick with dust, do You time and again bring Cupid to our minds, o Hero. (13) Fulfilling the desires of those who bow down, being worshiped by the one born on the lotus [Brahmâ], being the ornament of the earth and the object proper to meditate upon in times of distress, do the lotus feet give the highest satisfaction; so please o Lover, o Remover of the Anxiety, place Your feet upon our breasts. (14) By Your flute vibrated increases the happiness of love and is the grief destroyed; abundantly kissed [by You] are the attachments to other persons forgotten - please, o hero, distribute to us the nectar of Your lips! (15) When You go to the forest during the day becomes to those who do not see Your curling locks of hair and Your beautiful face, a single moment like an eon; and how foolish is to the ones that may look he [Brahmâ] who created the lids of the eyes! (16) Completely neglecting our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives came we in Your presence o Acyuta, who knows the reasons for our movements; o cheater, how could You abandon the women bewildered by the clear sound of Your flute in the night! (17) Privately chatting finding the lust rising in our hearts with Your smiling face and loving glances and with Your broad chest seeing the abode of the goddess, have our minds, madly craving, over and over been bewildered by You. (18) Your so tender lotus feet we place, o love, gently on our breasts afraid that the forest You roam might be rough to them; we, who consider Your Lordship our very life, are with our minds fluttering concerned for them not to suffer any harm from small pebbles and so.' [see further the S'ikshâshthaka]


 *  The pupils of Prabhupâda here refer to the following story: 'King Pratâparudra recited this verse to S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu during Lord Jagannâtha's Ratha-yâtrâ festival. While the Lord was resting in a garden, King Pratâparudra humbly entered and began massaging His legs and lotus feet. Then the King recited the Thirty-first Chapter of the Tenth Canto of the S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam, the songs of the gopîs. The Caitanya-caritâmrita relates that when Lord Caitanya heard this verse, beginning tava kathâmritam, He immediately arose in ecstatic love and embraced King Pratâparudra. The incident is described in detail in the Caitanya-caritâmrita (Madhya 14.4 - 18), and in his edition S'rîla Prabhupâda has given extensive commentary on it.'


 Chapter 32

Krishna Returns to the Gopîs

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus the gopîs went on singing and speaking crying endearingly out aloud, hankering, o King, for the audience of Krishna. (2) The son of Vasudeva [or S'auri, 'the Son of the Hero'], the Bewilderer of [Cupid] the bewilderer of the mind, appeared directly before them smiling with His lotuslike face, wearing a yellow garment and a garland. (3) To see Him, their dearmost, returned, opened the girls full of affection their eyes wide open and stood they all together up at once as if their life had returned to their bodies. (4) One of them joyfully seized the hand of S'auri with her folded palms while another one put His arm, adorned with sandalwood paste, around her shoulder. (5) A slender one with her hands joined took the remnants of the bethel He had chewed and another one took His lotusfeet and placed them on her burning breasts. (6) One, with frowning eyebrows biting her lips was, beside herself in her love of God, agitated throwing sidelong looks as if she could kill Him. (7) Another one [said to be Râdhâ] with eyes staring relishing His lotus face could, although having the full taste, just like saints meditating on His feet, not get enough. (8) One of them, placed Him through the openings of her eyes in her heart and kept on embracing Him there eyes closed, with her hairs standing on end drowned in ecstasy like she was a yogi. [*] (9) All of them feeling a joy of supreme jubilee at the sight of Kes'ava gave up the distress of their separation, just like people in general do when they meet with a spiritually enlightened person. (10) In the midst of them, who were fully relieved of their sorrow, appeared Acyuta, the Supreme Lord, even more brilliant, my dearest, alike the Original Personality with His transcendental potencies. (11-12) The Almighty One taking them with Him arrived at the soft sandbanks of the Yamunâ that the auspicious river had collected by the hands of her waves. There the kunda and mandara flowers with their bees bloomed fragrant in the autumnal breeze as the moon, plentifully shining, with its rays dispelled the dark of night. (13) By the ecstasy of seeing Him was the pain of the desires in their heart driven away; they attained the ultimate fulfillment of their souls as is revealed by the scriptures in arranging a seat for their dear friend with their shawls that were smeared by the kunkuma of their breasts [see also 10.87: 23]. (14) He, the Supreme Lord and Controller, for whom the masters of Yoga arrange a seat in their hearts, seated there resplendent was, present in the assembly of the gopîs thus exhibiting His personal form, worshiped as the exclusive reservoir of all beauty and opulence in the three worlds. (15) Honoring Him, the inciter of Cupid, with smiles, with playful glances, sporting their eyebrows and massaging the feet and hands upon their laps, offered they their praise, but still somewhat incensed they addressed Him. (16) The fine gopîs said: 'Some reciprocate with those who respect them, some show respect to the [ones acting] contrary and some reciprocate with neither of both; please o dearest, tell us how it factually is.'

(17) The Supreme Lord said: 'Those who as friends mutually reciprocate exclusively for their own sake, are in that endeavor indeed not to the principle, not of true friendship; they are after their own benefit, nothing else. (18) They who devout are of mercy with those who do not reciprocate, the way e.g. one's parents are, are faultless to the principle in this and of real friendship, o slender girls. (19) Some are sure not to reciprocate even with the devout; what indeed should one say of those who do not reciprocate, of the [spiritually] self-satisfied, of the ones who have all their desires fulfilled, of the ingrates and of those who are inimical towards the venerable? (20) I then my friends, do not always reciprocate with those who are of worship so that their [- and your -] propensity may actuate and there with them like with a poor man who acquired wealth, full of anxiety to lose it, is no thought of anything else [see also B.G. : 4.11 and 10. 29: 27]. (21) Thus with your for My sake defying of what the people, the scriptures and your relatives say did I, my dear girls, actually reciprocating indeed with Your compliance unto Me [**], vanish; you should therefore not grumble at your Beloved, my dear ones. (22) Not even living as long as a god in heaven am I able to repay you who so free from deceit are worshiping Me; let that cutting with the difficult to overcome chains of your household lives be returned by its own virtue.  


 * S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura states that the seven gopîs mentioned so far in this chapter are the first seven of the eight principal gopîs of which the S'rî Vaishnava-toshanî in a verse gives the names as being Candrâvalî, S'yâmalâ, S'aibyâ, Padmâ, S'rî Râdhâ, Lalitâ and Vis'âkhâ. The eighth is understood to be Bhadrâ. The Skanda Purâna declares these eight gopîs to be the principal ones among the three billion gopîs and Râdhâ is, as confirmed in the Padma Purâna, Brihad-gautamîya-tantra and the Rig-paris'ishtha, the Lord's most beloved one.

** In fact is intermitted reinforcement as practiced by Krishna so evanescent here, giving the strongest bond so confirms modern psychology; and s0 are there with all His religions everywhere in the world days of materially motivated work where we do not see Him, as He vanishes to the background, and days of prayer where we do meet with Him.


Chapter 33

The Râsa Dance

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs, thus hearing the most charming words of the Supreme Lord gave, with their eager hearts fulfilled by [touching] His limbs, up on the [cherished] distress of their having been deserted. (2) There began Govinda to engage in a dance [a râsa, or sport] in which the faithful jewels of woman satisfied joined in linking their arms together.

(3-4) The festive play commenced with the gopîs in a circle that was decorated with, in their midst, Krishna, the Controller of the Mystic Union, who held the woman, two by two present besides Him, by their necks. At that moment was the sky crowded by hundreds of celestial carriers belonging to the denizens of heaven and their wives who by the eagerness of respecting them in their minds were carried away. (5) Kettledrums then resounded and a rain of flowers fell down while the chief singers of heaven with their wives sang of His immaculate glories. (6) In the circle of the dance there was a great rumor of the bracelets, ankle- and waistbells of the women being together with their Geloved. (7) The Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, there with them appeared as handsomely splendid as an exquisite [blue] sapphire in the midst of golden ornaments. (8) The way they placed their feet, by the gestures of their hands, their smiles and playful eyebrows and their bending waists; by their moving breasts, their clothes, their earrings on their necks and their perspiring faces; with the braids of their hair, their belts tied tight and their singing about Him, shone they as Krishna's consorts as streaks of lightening amidst the clouds. (9) Loudly did they, of whose song the entire universe is pervaded, sing from their colored throats, dancing joyfully, delighting in their dedication to the touch of Krishna. (10) One gopî together with Krishna raising [her voice relative to His] in pure tones of close harmony was praised by Him who pleased exclaimed: 'excellent, excellent!' and another one who vibrated along with a special metre He gave a lot of special attention. (11) A certain gopî [Râdhâ probably], with her bracelets and flowers slipping, stood fatigued by the dance aside and grasped with her arm the shoulder of the Master of the Ceremony ['He who holds the club']. (12) Somewhere else placed one Krishna's arm, fragrant like a blue lotus, upon her shoulder and smelling the sandalwood kissed she it with her hairs erect. (13) Some other one beautiful with the glittering of her, from the dancing, shaking earrings placed her cheek next to His and was given the bethel He had chewed. (14) One of them who with Krishna standing at her side was dancing and singing with tinkling ankle- and waistbells, feeling tired placed Acyuta's auspicious lotushand on her breasts. (15) The gopîs with His arms around their necks having attained the Infallible Lord, the Exclusive Lover of the Goddess of Fortune, as their lover, delighted in singing about Him. (16) With the lotusflowers on their ears, the locks of their hair decorating their cheeks, the beauty of their perspiring faces and the reverberation of the harmonious sounds of their armlets and bells, danced the gopîs, with the flowers braided in their hair scattered, to the hum of the bees together with the Supreme Lord in the arena of the dance. (17) He, the Master of the Goddess of Fortune, thus with embraces, touches of His hand, affectionate glances and broad playful smiles enjoyed the young women of Vraja just like a boy who is playing with His own reflection. (18) From the bodily contact with Him overflowing in their senses was it for the Vraja ladies not easy or possible to keep their hair, dresses and the cloths covering their breasts in good order so that their flowergarlands and decorations were in disarray, o best of the Kurus. (19) Seeing Krishna playing became the goddesses hovering in the sky entranced and restless of amorous desires and fell the moon and his followers [the stars] in amazement. (20) Expanding Himself to as many [appearances] as there were cowherd woman present enjoyed He, though being the self-satisfied Supreme Lord, His Selves playing with them. (21) Of them, fatigued of the pleasure of the romance, wiped He in loving compassion the faces, my best, with His most soothing hand. (22) Greatly pleased by the touch of His fingernails sang the gopîs of the exploits of their Hero, honoring Him with the nectarean beauty of their smiles, glances, cheeks and locks of hair, shining golden in the effulgence of their earrings.

(23) With His garland crushed and smeared by the kunkum of their breasts, entered He, as the leader of the gandharvas being accompanied by the swiftly following bees, being tired, in order to to dispel the fatigue, the water not unlike a bull-elephant does with his wives having broken the irrigation dikes [or the normal rules of conduct]. (24) In the water was He from all sides splashed wet by the girls eyeing Him with love and laughter, my best, and being worshiped from the heavenly carriers with a rain of flowers reveled He, personally always pleased within, there in playing the king of the elephants [see also 8.3]. (25) Just like an elephant dripping rut with his wives He then passed, surrounded by the lot of His bees and women, through a grove to the Yamunâ that everywhere was filled with the fragrance carried by the wind from the flowers in the water and on the land. (26) In this manner spend He, the Truth of all Desire, with His many adoring girlfriends the night so bright of the moon its rays, within Himself reserving the romance of all [nights] of autumn that inspire[s] to poetic descriptions of transcendental moods [or rasas].'

(27-28) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'To establish the dharma and to subdue the ones defiant, descended indeed He, the Supreme Lord, the Controller of the Universe with His plenary portion [Balarâma]; how could He, the original speaker, executor and protector of the codes of moral conduct, behave to the contrary o brahmin, touching the wives of others? (29) What did He, so self-satisfied, have in mind with this assuredly contemptible performance, o best of the vowed, please dispel our doubt about this.'

(30) S'rî S'uka said: 'The transgression of dharma and thoughtlessness, as can be seen with controllers of spiritual potency, does not, as with an all-consuming fire [staying the same], mean they are at fault. (31) Someone not in control sure mustn't even think of ever doing a thing like this; such a one, acting out of foolishness, would be destroyed like one not being Rudra would be with [drinking] the poison from the ocean [see 8.7]. (32) True are the words of the ones in control [with the Lord, with themselves] and what they do should by people of intelligence [only] sometimes be performed, doing of them that which is in accord with what they said [see also B.G. e.g. 3: 6-7, 3:42, 5:7]. (33) For them does by their pious activity [religious excercises] the benefit for themselves not accrue nor will there for those free from false ego [acting] to the opposite be the undesirable reactions, my best. (34) How then can we in connection with the Controller of those who are controlled - all the created beings, animals, human beings and denizens of heaven - speak of right or wrong? (35) The sages, whose bondage of karma by serving the dust of the lotusfeet has all been washed away, are satisfied by the power of yoga and act freely, they, of Him, never get entangled; were indeed would the bondage be of them who to His will have accepted bodies transcendental? [see vapu]. (36) He who within the gopîs and their husbands, indeed within all embodied beings, lives as the Supreme Witness, has assumed His form to sport in this world. (37) Assuming a humanlike body to show His mercy to His devotees, does He accept such pastimes of which one hearing about becomes dedicated to Him [see also 1.7: 10]. (38) Even the cowherds of Vraja, who bewildered by the power of His mâyâ all thought that their wives stood at their side, were not jealous with Krishna. (39) When of Brahmâ a full night had passed went the unwilling gopîs, the sweethearts of the Supreme Lord, on Krishna's advise to their homes.



Chapter 34

Sudars'ana Delivered and S'ankhacûda Killed

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'One day the gopas eager for God went on a trip with bullock carts going for the Ambikâ forest. (2) There bathing in the Sarasvatî they worshiped with paraphernalia devout the mighty demigod Pas'upati [S'iva as the lord of the animals] and the goddess Ambikâ [*], o King. (3) With respect donating cows, gold, clothing and mixed with honey sweet tasting grains to all the brahmins prayed they to that: 'devo nah priyatâm' [may God be pleased with us]. (4) To strict vows subsisting on water only [see 8.16] stayed the highly blessed Nanda, Sunanda [Nanda's younger brother] and the others that night on the bank of the Sarasvatî. (5) Some giant snake in that vicinity most hungry happened to go there slithering on his belly to swallow Nanda. (6) He, seized by the python, shouted: 'Krishna, o Krishna, my dear boy, save this surrendered soul, this huge serpent is devouring me!' (7) Upon hearing his cries rose the gopas immediately and seized they, perplexed to see the snake, firebrands to attack him. (8) Despite of being burned by the torches did the snake not release him but then came the Supreme Lord, the master of the devotees and touched him with His foot. (9) And verily was by the divine touch of the Supreme Lord His foot that badness killed and could from the snakes body being forsaken a by the Vidyâdharas worshiped form [their leader thus] be seen. (10) The Lord of the Senses then questioned that personality who, head down, with his body adorned with a golden necklace, brilliantly shining stood before Him. (11) 'Who might you be so most beautifully shining and wondrous to see? Tell Me what led to this terrible destination of having been forced to assume such a ghastly form [7.13: 11]?

(12-13) The [erstwhile] serpent said: 'I am Sudars'ana, a certain Vidyâdhara well-known for his opulence and appearance, who used to wander the directions in his celestial carrier. Vainglorious having laughed at the sages born of Angirâ was I for my sin of deriding them made to assume this ugly form. (14) They so compassionate of nature for sure with their pronouncing the imprecation have prepared me a blessing since I so, being touched by the foot of the Master of All Worlds, had all my viciousness destroyed. (15) You, the same person who for the surrendered art the Remover of the fear of a material existence, I beg for Your permission [of being allowed to return to my world], o You who by the touch of Your foot freed me from the curse, o Destroyer of All Distress. (16) I am surrendered to You o Greatest of All Yogîs, o Supreme Personality, o Master of the Truthful, please be my command o God, o Controller of all Controllers of the Universe. (17) Seeing You I was immediately freed from the punishment of the brahmins, o You Acyuta, whose name being sung the very instant purifies all hearers as well as indeed the singer himself; and what more then would it mean to be touched by Your foot?'

(18) Thus circumambulating offering his obeisances received Sudars'ana permission to leave His presence so that he could go to heaven and was Nanda delivered from his predicament. (19) To witness that personal display of Krishna's power boggled the minds of the men of Vraja who next at the place finishing their vows turned back to the cowherd village, o King, with reverence recounting [on their way] what had happened.

(20) Some day thereafter [at Gaura-pûrnimâ one says] were Govinda and Râma, whose deeds are so wonderful, in the middle of the night in the forest playing with the girls of Vraja. (21) Their glories were with charm sung by the womenfolk bound in affection to Them, with their limbs finely decorated and smeared, their garlands and their clothes impeccable. (22) Earlier that evening honored the both of Them the moon risen, the stars, the jasmine buds with their fragrance intoxicating the bees mad thereafter and the breeze from the lotuses. (23) The two sang to the mind and ears of all living beings of the happiness, together producing high and low the entire scale of notes available. (24) The gopîs hearing their singing stunned didn't notice, o ruler of man, how their dresses slipped and their hair and flowers got disheveled. (25) As the two thus to their hearts content were amusing Themselves singing to the point of ecstasy, arrived a servant of Kuvera at the scene named S'ankhacûda ['wealthy-crest']. (26) Right before their eyes, o King, drove he the assemblage of women who had Them for their Lords, dauntless under their cries in the northern direction. (27-28) Seeing the ones belonging to them like a couple of cows being seized by a thief and crying 'Krishna, o Râma, help us!', sped the two brothers after them. (29) He seeing the two like Time and Death approaching got afraid and confused left he the woman behind to run for his life. (30) Govinda out for his crest jewel ran after him wherever he fled, while Balarâma stayed to protect the women. (31) Overtaking him like nothing blew He, the Almighty Lord, with His fist simply his crest jewel off together with his head. (32) Thus having killed S'ankhacûda took He the shining jewel to His elder brother and gave He, with the gopîs watching, it satisfied to Him.


* Ambikâ means mother, good woman, a name scripturally associated with the feminine of Ûma and Pârvatî relating to Skanda, S'iva or Rudra, as a term of respect. Ambikâvana is in Gujarat province, near the city of Siddhapura. S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura here quotes authorities who claim that Ambikâvana lying at the bank of the Sarasvatî River [that does not exist any longer], is found northwest of Mathurâ. Ambikâvana is notable for its deities of S'rî S'iva and his wife, goddess Ûma.



Chapter 35

The Gopîs Sing of Krishna as He Wanders in the Forest

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs with Krishna gone to the forest, with their minds running after Him being unhappy, passed their days singing loudly of Krishna's pastimes.

 The gopîs sang:



'Putting His left cheek to the left

of His arm places He,

arching His eyebrows the flute

to His lips stopping the holes

with His tender fingers, o gopîs;


where Mukunda so vibrates

follow in the air the women

together with the perfected,

amazed listening to that

embarrassed of having yielded

to the pursuit of their desires

and forget they the distress

they felt in their minds,

as well as their good order.  



Oh girls what a wonder

to hear this from Nanda's son,

the giver of joy to people

in trouble, when He with

His brilliant smile and steady streak

of lightning [the S'rîvatsa or the goddess] on His chest

has sounded His flute.


The groups of bulls

kept in the pasture, the deer

and the cows pricking up

their ears at a distance

stop with their mouths full their teeth

from chewing and stand frozen

as if they were

a picture drawn.



When Mukunda, with an arrangement

of [peacock] feathers, [mineral] colors and leaves,

in clothing looking like a wrestler,

with Balarâma and the gopas,

dear gopîs, calls for the cows,


is indeed the flow

of the rivers broken

as they just like us,

slighting their piety,

with their arms of water

have stopped, trembling

of love hankering for

the dust of the lotus feet

brought by the wind.



When He as the Original Person

indeed, calling with His flute

for the cows, to the prowess

of His inexhaustible opulences

elaborately is hailed

by His company, moving around

in the forest and on the hillsides,


then do the creepers and the trees,

rich with flowers and fruits,

by themselves - as if revealing

Vishnu - bow down

heavy with their branches,

while out of love raining down

torrents of sweet sap

with the growth on their bodies

erect enthralled.



When He as the most

attractive to see

raises His flute,

grateful acknowledging

the dear, strong humming

bee swarms intoxicated

by the honeysweet [subtle] fragrance

of the tulsî flowers around

His divine garland, oh then,


do the cranes, swans and other

birds in the lake

with their minds seized by

the charm of the song

come forward to pay

Him homage with closed eyes,

keeping silent with their

minds in control.



O Vraja-devis, when He,

being together with Balarâma,

for fun wearing a garland

on His head at the mountain side

gives happiness vibrating

on His flute and makes

the whole world joyfully delight,


then does the deck of clouds,

afraid to offend

such a great personality

in return most gentleminded

thundering and raining

flowers upon his Friend,

offer its shade as a shield.



O pious lady [Yas'odâ],

when your son, an expert

in the various cowherd things

and an original in different styles

of playing, places His flute

to His bimba-red lips

to produce His music

so harmonious in tones,


do the controllers of enlightenment

like Indra, S'iva and Brahmâ

hearing that soundscape,

with the learned going first

bow their heads intimidated

within not being able

to ascertain its essence.



When, honored by His flute,

with the diverse flag, thunderbolt,

lotus and elephant goad markings

of His flowerpetal lotusfeet

the soil of Vraja

with His body, moving

with the grace of an elephant,

is relieved from its pain

created by the hooves [of the cows],


do we, by that walk

in the good of His glances

so playful agitated

by Cupid, in our bewilderment,

like trees transfixed,

not know anymore [of the condition]

of our dresses and braids.



When He, with the garland

of the by Him favored fragrance

of tulsî, counts the cows

on a string of colored beads

and, throwing His arm

over the shoulder of a loving

companion, so now and then sings,


do the wives of the black deer,

the doe, just like the gopîs

who gave up their homely aspirations,

approach that ocean

of transcendental qualities to sit

at His side with their hearts stolen

by the sound that Krishna

produces with His flute.



'O sinless lady

your darling child,

the son of Nanda,

with a garland made of jasmine

to His attire and surrounded

by the gopas and the cows

having a good time at the Yamunâ,


was, as He played there amusing

His companions, honored by the wind

blowing gently in His favor

with the scent of sandalwood

and, encircled by the different

categories of the lesser divinities [the Upadevas],

presented with gifts and offered praise

with instrumental music and song.



Caring about the cows

of Vraja and to His feet

as the lifter of the mountain [see 10.25]

being worshiped was He,

at the end of the day

collecting the herd of cows

and playing His flute with His companions,

all along the path by the entirety

of the exalted gods so high

in His glories praised;


this moon born from the womb

of Yas'odâ, who came

with a desire to answer

His friends desires,

was even fatigued

a feast for the eyes

with His garland and color

powdered by the dust

that was raised by the hooves.



With His eyes slightly rolling

of intoxication, honoring

His well-wishing friends,

His garland of forest flowers,

His face paled like a jujube plum [a badara],

the soft line of His cheeks

and the beautiful show

of His earrings of gold,

is the sporting Lord of the Yadus

in His beauty just like

an elephant all regal;


like the king of the night [the moon]

at the end of the day

arriving with His joyful face,

drives He away, to prove

the Vraja cows His mercy,

the hard to endure

painful heat of the day.' 

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus o King, did the women of Vraja with their hearts and minds absorbed in Him enjoy the day in high spirits singing about Krishna's pastimes.  



Chapter 36

The Bull Arishthâsura defeated and Akrûra Sent by Kamsa.

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Next then came to the cowherd village the bull-demon named Arishtha who had a huge hump and whose body with its hooves made the earth tremble tearing her open. (2) Bellowing very loudly and scraping the ground with his hooves, with his tail upward and with the tips of his horns digging and throwing up clods, was he, with glaring eyes, releasing little bits of urine and stool. (3-4) Of his reverberating roar, my best, lost the humans and cows untimely out of fear their fetuses in miscarriages while the sight of his sharp horns and his hump, to which the clouds amassed confusing it with a mountain, terrified the gopas and gopîs. (5) The animals ran off afraid, o King, abandoning the pasture as they all [crying] 'Krishna Krishna!' went to Govinda for shelter. (6) The Supreme Lord, seeing how the entire cow-community distraught fled in fear, pacified them with the words 'do not fear' and called out to the bull-demon: (7) 'You dull-witted bad creature, what do you with Me, the chastiser of foul miscreants like you, have in mind terrifying these gopas and their animals?!'

(8) Acyuta, the Lord, thus speaking slapped His arms to anger Arishtha with the sound of His palms and stood to it throwing His serpentine arm over a friend's shoulder. (9) He indeed that way did enrage Arishtha who furiously scratched the earth with his hoof and [then] with his tail raised to the clouds attacked Krishna. (10) Pointing His horns straight forward and bloodthirsty staring from the corners of his eyes at Krishna, ran he full speed like a thunderbolt released by Indra. (11) Seizing him by the horns threw the Supreme Lord like a rival elephant him eighteen feet back. (12) Repulsed he quickly restoring charged again sweating all over, mindless in his anger breathing hard. (13) Him attacking He seized by the horns making him trip with His foot so that he slapped down to the ground like a wet garment, after which He struck him with his horn [broken off] till he fell flat. (14) Vomiting blood, excreting a mass of urine and stool and throwing about his legs went he then in pain with eyes rolling to the abode of Death; to which the godly scattered flowers upon Krishna in worship [see footnote]. (15) Thus killing the big humped one entered He, that feast to the eyes of the gopîs, praised by the twiceborn, the cowherd village with Balarâma.

(16) With the demon Arishtha being killed by the Worker of Miracles, Krishna, spoke then to Kamsa the powerful sage Nârada who had the vision of God: [see 1.6: 25-29] (17) 'The girl of Devakî is Yas'odâ's daughter and Krishna and also Balarâma, the son of Rohinî, are from Vasudeva, who afraid placed them with his friend Nanda; they were the two who actually have killed your men.'

(18) Hearing that did the lord of Bhoja, in his senses disturbed of anger, take up a sharp sword to kill Vasudeva. (19) Nârada withheld Kamsa [thus in saying ] that his [Vasudeva's] two sons would bring about his death and understanding that laid he him with his wife in iron shackles [see also 10.1: 64-69]. (20) After the deva-rishi then left addressed Kamsa the demon Kes'i to send him: 'You're the one to kill the two of Râma and Kes'ava'.

(21) Then he summoned for Mushthika, Cânûra, S'ala, Tos'ala and such, his ministers and his elephant keepers, to whom the king of Bhoja said: (22-23) 'Dear mates, Mushthika and Cânûra, please listen to this o heroes, it is indeed in the cowherd village of Nanda that the two sons of Ânakadundubhi are living. My death was predicted to happen by [the hands of] Krishna and Balarâma; brought over here for a game of wrestling they should be killed by the two of you. (24) Build a ring and various stages surrounding it - all subjects in and outside the city should witness how they voluntarily participated in the competition. (25) O elephant-keeper, by you my good man, should the elephant Kuvalayâpîda be taken to the entrance of the arena and my enemies be destroyed. (26) Commence according the injunctions the bow-sacrifice on the fourteenth' [Caturdas'î] of the month and offer in sacrifice the animals fit to the Lord of the Spirits [S'iva], the graceful one. '

(27) Thus having issued his orders called he, so cunning in the doctrine of one's personal interest, for Akrûra ['the one not cruel'], the most eminent Yadu, took his hand into his own and said: (28) 'Dear master of charity please do me a favor, with all respect, there is no one among the Bhojas and Vrishnis to be found who is as merciful as you. (29) Therefore I depend on you, o kindness, who always carries out his duties soberly, just like Indra, the mighty king of heaven, who achieved his goals taking shelter of Lord Vishnu. (30) Go to Nanda's cowherd village where the two sons of Ânakadundubhi live and bring them without delay here on this chariot. (31) The two of them have, by the godly taking shelter of Vishnu, indeed been sent for my death; bring them together with the gopas headed by Nanda with gifts of tribute. (32) Brought here I'll have them killed by the elephant as mighty as the time itself, and if they escape that, then will my wrestlers as strong as lightning put an end to them. (33) And with them two dead will I kill the pained relatives of whom Vasudeva is the leader: the Vrishnis, Bhojas, and the Das'ârhas [see again 10.1: 67]. (34) So also will I [engage with] my old father Ugrasena greedy for the kingdom and his brother Devaka and my other enemies. (35) And thus, o friend, will the thorns of this world be destroyed. (36) With my elder relative [father-in-law] Jarâsandha and my dear friend Dvivida and S'ambara, Naraka and Bâna, who indeed have a strong friendship for me, will I, killing all those conspiring sura kings, enjoy this earth. (37) Knowing this, bring me quickly the young boys Râma and Krishna here to attend the bow-sacrifice and to respect the glory of the Yadu capital [of Mathurâ].'

(38) S'rî Akrûra said: 'O King, your way of thinking to clear out the disagreeable is conclusive; one should act equal to the perfect and the imperfect, it is destiny after all that is the cause of achieving the result. (39) The common man, even though struck by providence, fervently acts to his desires and is confronted with happiness and distress, nonetheless will I do as you ordered.'

(40) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus instructing Akrûra and also sending off his ministers entered Kamsa his quarters, and returned Akrûra to his own residence.'



Chapter 37  

Kes'i and Vyoma Killed and Nârada Eulogizes Krishna's Future

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then as sent by Kamsa [in 10.36:20] did Kes'i, a huge horse with his hooves ripping open the earth, with the speed of mind scattering the clouds, with his manes and neighing frighten everyone crowding the sky in celestial carriers. The Supreme Lord to his whinnying that terrified His cowherd village and the stir of the clouds by his tail, came Himself out to fight and called for Kes'i who searching for Him was roaring like a lion. (3) When he hard to conquer and approach, agressive with a mouth wide open swallowing the sky, saw Him before him, rushed he furiously forward to attack the Lotus-eyed Lord with his legs. (4) Dodging that seized the Lord of the Beyond, sharp to it, him with His arms by the legs to whirl him around indifferently and throw him at a distance of a hundred bow lengths, standing there just like the son of Târkshya [Garuda] throwing a snake. (5) He regaining his consciousness rose in bitter rage and ran, opening wide [his mouth], fast for the Lord who on His turn with a smile put His left arm in his mouth like a snake in a hole. (6) As Kes'i's teeth came in touch with the Lord His arm fell they out as if they had come in contact with a redhot iron and swelled the arm of the Supreme Soul having entered his body up like a sick belly [of dropsy] in neglect. (7) With Krishna's arm thus expanding was his breath arrested and fell he, kicking his legs, perspiring all over, rolling with his eyes and excreting feces, lifeless down to the ground. (8) The Mighty-armed One retracting His arm from the dead body that looked like a cucumber [karkathikâ], was, unassuming in His effortlessly having killed His enemy, from above worshiped by the gods with a rain of flowers.

(9) The devarishi [Nârada], the most exalted devotee of the Lord, o King, said in private to Krishna so effortless in His actions this: (10-11) 'Krishna, o Krishna, o Vâsudeva, immeasurable Soul, o Lord of Yoga, o Controller of the Universe, o shelter of each, o You master and very best of the Yadus; You alone are the Soul of all living beings who like fire hidden in firewood resides within the heart as the Witness, the Controller, the Supreme Personality. (12) As the Refuge of the Intelligence of the Spirit Soul You first produced, by Your energy, the modes of nature and through these [then] this thruth [of the Universe], to the drive of which You create, destroy and maintain as the Controller. (13) You, this one [creator] Himself has for the destruction of the demons [daityas], wildmen [râkshasas] and tormentors [pramathas] imposing as leaders and for the protection of the saintly, descended. (14) To our fortune have You as a sport killed this demon that had assumed the form of a horse of whose neighing the gods so wakeful terrified abandoned heaven. (15-20) The day after tomorrow, will I see Cânûra, Mushthika and other wrestlers as also the elephant [Kuvalayâpîda] and Kamsa been killed by You, o Almighty One. Thereafter will follow [the demons] S'ankha, [Kâla-]yavana and Mura as well as Naraka and will You steal the pârijâta flower and defeat Indra. In Dvârakâ will You, o Master of the Universe, be known for marrying the daughters of the heroic [kings] with the gift of Your valor, the deliverance of King Nriga from his curse, capturing the jewel named Symantaka together with a wife and presenting the dead son of a brahmin [Sandipani Muni] from Your abode [of death]. Next will You kill Paundraka, burn down the city of Kâs'î [Benares] and see to the demise of Dantavakra and the king of Cedi [S'is'upâla] during the great sacrifice [see also: 3.2: 19, 7.1: 14-15]. About these and other great feats that I will see performed by You as You stay in Dvârakâ will the poets on this earth be singing. (21) Then will I see You as the charioteer of Arjuna in the form of Time intend on bringing about the destruction indeed of the complete of the armed forces of this world. (22) Let me approach [You who are] this Supreme Lord, full of the purest spiritual awareness, who in His original identity is completely fulfilled, whose will in none of His exploits is frustrated and who by the power of His potency is ever aloof from the flow of the modes of the illusory energy. (23) For You, the Controller self-contained, who by the creative potency of Your own Self has arranged for an unlimited number of specific situations so that You could enact and now has taken upon Yourself [the burden of] humanity divided [in warfare], I do bow myself down, down to the Greatest of the Yadus, Vrishnis and Sâtvatas.'

(24) S'rî S'uka said: 'The most eminent sage among the devotees thus respectfully of reverence to Krishna, the leading Yadu, recieved permission to leave and went away elated of having seen Him. (25) And Govinda, the Supreme Lord having killed Kes'i in battle, tended the animals together with the cowherd boys so pleased with Him bringing happiness in Vraja. (26) One day, when the gopas were grazing the animals, enacted they at the hillside games of hide and seek playing thieves and protectors. (27) In that were some the thieves, some were the herds while others of them, o King, to that acted as the unsuspecting sheep. (28) A son of the demon Maya named Vyoma ['the sky'], a powerful magician, assuming the disguise of a gopa, played for one of the many thieves and took away almost all those who acted as the sheep. (29) One by one the great demon threw them in a mountaincave the entrance of which he blocked with a boulder so that only four or five remained. (30) Finding out what he was doing did Krishna, the leader of the gopas and shelterer of the saintly, irresistably seize him just like a lion seizes a wolf. (31) The demon resuming his original form as big as a mountain with all force wanted to free himself, but held in the tight grip he debilitated not being able to. (32) Holding Him fast with His arms forced Acyuta him to the ground and while the gods in heaven were watching killed He him like he was a sacrificial animal [strangled him thus]. (33) Breaking the blockage of the cave led He the gopas out their awkward position and entered He, praised by gopa and god, His cowherd village.


Chapter 38

Akrûra's Musing and Reception in Gokula

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Akrûra with his spirits high spending the night in the city of Mathurâ [after 10.36: 40], then mounted his chariot and set off for Nanda's cowherd village. (2) On his way experienced he an exceptional amount of devotion for the greatly fortunate lotus-eyed Personality of Godhead and thought he thus like this: (3) 'What good works have I done, what severe penance did I suffer or of what other worship was I that I today may see Kes'ava? (4) My reaching the presence of the One Praised in the Verses is I think for one with a worldly mind as difficult to achieve as the chanting of the Vedas is for someone of the lowest class. (5) But enough of that, even for a fallen soul like me it certainly may happen to have the audience of Acyuta; sometimes does someone pulled along by the river of time reach the other shore! (6) Today has the impure been uprooted and bears my birth indeed fruit, as it are the lotuslike feet of the Supreme Lord meditated upon by the yogi's that I am going to respect. (7) Kamsa sending me here indeed did me a great service, today being bound to see the feet of the Lord who descended down here; by the effulgence of His rounded toenails in the past many transcended the hard to overcome darkness of a material existence. (8) It is they [those feet], worshiped by Lord Brahmâ, S'iva, the other demigods, by S'rî the goddess of fortune and by the sages along with the devotees, with which He for tending the cows with His companions moved about in the forest that was marked by the kunkum from the breasts of the gopîs. (9) For certain will I behold the beautiful cheeks and nose, the smiles and glances of His reddish lotuslike eyes and the hair curling around the face of Mukunda; indeed are the deer passing me to the right [an auspicious omen]! (10) There is no denying that today I will have the direct result of the sight of Vishnu, of perceiving the Abode of Beauty, who by His own desire to diminish the burden of this earth has assumed the form of a human being. (11) He, though being a witness [like me] to the true and untrue, is void of I-ness and has by that personal potency of Him dispelled the darkness and bewilderment of a separate existence [see also 2.5: 14, 2.10: 8-9, 3.27: 18-30 and 10.3: 18]; He, who [given] by His own creative energy working from the inside, indirectly, by the under His overseeing glances created beings, is approached through the vital airs, senses and intelligence in their bodies [see also 2.2: 35]. (12) The auspicious words, joined with the qualities, activities and the incarnations [of Him and His expansions], destroy all sins in the world and give life, beauty and purity indeed to the entire universe, while words void of these are considered as things beautiful on a corpse. (13) And now has descended indeed in His own dynasty of loyals [Sâtvatas] He who maintains the codes, He who as the chief of the immortals creating delight spreads His fame being present in Vraja as the Controller of whose all-auspicious nature the godly sing. (14) For certain will I today see Him, the destination and spiritual master of the great souls of all three worlds, the real beauty and great feast to all who have eyes, He who exhibits the form that is the desire of the goddess, who is my safe haven of whom all dawns became His auspicious presence. (15) At once alighting from my chariot to the feet of the two Lords, the Principal Personalities to whom even the yogîs meditating hold on for their self-realization, will I for certain bow down to Them as also to the friends living with Them in the forest. (16) And having fallen at the base of the feet will the Almighty place upon my head His very own lotuslike hand that makes one unafraid of the serpent of time of whose swift force the people greatly disturbed search for shelter. (17) Putting into that hand a respectful offering did Purandara [see 8.13: 4] and Bali [see 8.19] as well attain rulership [the position of Indra] over the three worlds; it is that hand which, during the pastime in contact with the ladies of Vraja, fragrant like an aromatic flower wiped away the fatigue [see 10.33]. (18) Toward me, though being a messenger of Kamsa, will Acyuta develop no attitude of enmity; He is the overseer of everything who inside and outside the heart is the Knower of the field [of the body, see B.G. 13: 3], the Knower who with a perfect vision sees whatever that is sought and tried. (19) Fixed at the base of His feet with joined palms will He look upon me smiling affectionately so that with the immediate eradication of all contamination by His glance I will be freed from doubt and achieve intense happiness. (20) As the best of friends and a family member having Him exclusively as my object of worship, will He embrace me with His two large arms whereupon as a result right there my body indeed will become sanctified and my karma-given bondage will slacken. (21) When I, head down and palms joined, have achieved the physical contact, will Urus'rava ['the Lord of Great Renown'] address me with words like 'O Akrûra, dearest relative' and will thus because of the Greatest of All Persons my birth be a success; indeed is he whose birth is not honored like that to be pitied! (22) No one is His favorite or best friend, nor is anyone indeed disliked, hated or contemptible to Him either [see B.G. 9: 29] and still does He reciprocate with His devotees [see also 10.32: 17-22] as they are just like [desire-] trees from heaven that resorted to give whatever is wished for [see vaishnava pranâma]. (23) Furthermore will His elder brother, the most excellent Yadu, smiling at me standing there with a bowed head embrace me, take hold of my hands and take me into His house to receive me with all respects and inquire how Kamsa fares with the members of His family.'

(24) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus pondering over Krishna reached the son of S'vaphalka [see 9.24: 15] on his way with his chariot the village of Gokula as the sun was setting behind the mountain, o King. (25) The prints of His feet, of which the rulers of all worlds hold the pure dust on their crowns, saw he in the earth of the pasture: a wonderful decoration distinguished by the lotus, the barleycorn, the elephant goad and so on [see also 10.16: 18 and 10.30: 25*]. (26) The ecstasy of seeing them greatly increased the excitement of him whose bodily hairs stood on end and whose eyes were filled with teardrops; getting down from his chariot he [then] rolled about in them exclaiming: 'Oh this is the dust from my masters feet!'. (27) It is this that of all embodied beings is the goal of life: to give up the pride, fear and sorrow from being commanded [by mâyâ] within one's sight having the signs of the Lord that one hears about and so on [see 7.5: 23-24].

(28-33) In Vraja he saw Krishna and Râma, who with their eyes like autumnal lotuses were going to where the cows were milked, wearing yellow and blue clothes. The two shelters to the goddess were bluish-dark and fair skinned youngsters most beautiful to behold with mighty arms, attractive faces and a gait like that of an elephant. With their feet marked by the flag, bolt, goad and lotus did the great souls compassionate in their smiles and glances beautify the cow pasture. They whose pastimes were so magnanimous and attractive were freshly bathed and wore jeweled necklaces, flower garlands, had their limbs anointed with auspicious fragrant substances and were spotless in their apparel. The two primeval, most excellent persons, that are Cause and Lord to the universe [see also 5: 25] had for the welfare of that universe descended in their distinct forms of Balarâma and Kes'ava. O King with their effulgence dispelled they, as a mountain of emerald and a mountain of silver both decorated with gold, in all directions the darkness. (34) Quickly climbing down from his chariot prostrated Akrûra, overwhelmed by affection, himself at the feet of Râma and Krishna. (35) Seeing the Supreme Personality was he, because of the tears of joy overflowing his eyes and the eruptions [of ecstasy] marking his limbs, in his eagerness not able to announce himself, o King. (36) The Supreme Lord, the Caretaker of the Surrendered, [nevertheless] recognizing him, drew him with His hand marked with a chariot wheel [the cakra] near and pleased embraced him. (37-38) Then did Sankarshana [Râma] magnanimous embrace him who stood there with his head down, and with His hand taking hold of his two hands took He him with His younger brother into the house. Next inquired He whether he had a pleasant journey and offered He him an excellent seat, according the injunctions - as the reverence to make - washing his feet with sweetened milk. (39) Donating a cow in charity and respectfully giving the tired guest a massage served the Almighty One faithfully him the right food of different tastes. (40) After the meal arranged Râma the Supreme Knower of the Dharma with love further for herbs to serve the tongue and for fragrances and flower garlands to give the highest satisfaction.

(41) Nanda asked the honored one: 'O descendant of Das'ârha, how are you, with the merciless Kamsa alive, that boss that is just like a butcher is with sheep? (42) If he cruel and self-indulgent killed his own sisters babies with her crying, what then to his subjects indeed, I dare say, would that mean for your well-being?'

(43) Thus by Nanda well honored with true and pleasing words put Akrûra aside the fatigue of the road.



Chapter 39

Krishna and Balarâma Leave for Mathurâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Comfortably seated on a couch so much honored by Râma and Krishna did he [Akrûra] thus meet with all he had in mind on the road. (2) What would be unattainable with the Supreme Lord, the shelter of S'rî, being satisfied; yet do the ones devoted to Him, o King, indeed not desire anything. (3) When the evening meal was done inquired the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî about the behavior of Kamsa towards his well-wishing relatives and what his plans were. (4) The Supreme Lord said: 'O gentle one, have you recovered from your trip? All good to you! Are your friends and relatives and other associates all healthy and hale? (5) But what my dear, am I to ask about our well-being, our relatives and the subject citizens, as long as that disease of the family Kamsa, in name our maternal uncle, is insolent? (6) Just see how for my offenseless parents because of Me there was great suffering with him causing the death of their sons and holding them captive. (7) Today has the wish been fulfilled that we may enjoy the good fortune of you, My close relative, seeking My presence, o gentle one; please explain, o uncle for what reason you came here'

(8) S'rî S'uka said: 'On the request of the Supreme Lord described the descendant of Madhu [Akrûra, see 9.23: 29] the inimical attitude and the murder schemes [of Kamsa] towards Vasudeva and the Yadus. (9) He disclosed for the purpose of what message he had been sent as an envoy and what Nârada had told him [Kamsa] about His being born from Ânakadundubhi. (10) Hearing what Akrûra had to say made Krishna and Balarâma, the destroyer of all boldness in opposition, laugh and they told Nanda, their (foster-)father, what the king had ordered. (11-12) The gopas he then on his turn told: 'Gather all dairy, take gifts and yoke the wagons. Tomorrow will we together with all the people under my care go to Mathurâ to offer the king our products and have a great festival', and so had the gopa Nanda it announced by spokesmen all over his domain.

(13) The cowherd-girls then who heard that Akrûra had come to Vraja to take Râma and Krishna to the city, got totally upset. (14) With some of them created that in their hearts such a great pain that they with their beautiful faces sighing turned pale while of others the knots in their hair, their bracelets and dresses came to slip. (15) With others, fixed in meditation on Him, ceased, just like with those who have attained the realm of self-realization, all the sensory functions having no idea of this world anymore. (16) Still other women fainted, thinking of how S'auri sending His loving smiles would touch the heart and express Himself in wonderful phrases. (17-18) Thinking about the movements so charming, the activities, the affectionate smiles, the glances removing all unhappiness, the jesting words and mighty deeds of Mukunda, joined they in fear of the separation greatly distressed in groups speaking deeply absorbed in Acyuta with tears on their faces. (19) The fine gopîs said: 'O providence, where is your mercy to bring together the embodied in love and friendship with your leaving each of us to his devices unfulfilled in his aims; how useless you toy with us like a child! (20) Having shown to us the face of Mukunda framed in black locks, His fine cheeks and straight nose and the beauty of His modest smile dispelling the misery, you're not doing any good making them invisible. (21) By the name of Akrûra [meaning 'not-cruel'] you for certain are cruel; the Perfection of All Creation, the perfection of the enemy of Madhu, that you once gave our eyes to see you indeed just like a fool alas take away. (22) Alas, now that He has taken up a new love, does the son of Nanda, in a second breaking with His friendship, have no eyes for us who under His control in direct service to Him were made to give up our homes, relatives, children and husbands. (23) Happy the dawn after this night when undoubtedly the hopes have become true of the women of the city [of Mathurâ] who will drink in the face of the master of Vraja entering there with a nectarean smile crept into the corners of His eyes. (24) However subservient and intelligent Mukunda may be, once His mind is seized by their honey-sweet words, o girls, what chance have we that He, moved by the enchantments of their bashful smiles, will return to us rustics? (25) Today will there certainly be a great festival to the eyes of the Dâs'ârhas, Bhojas, Andhakas, Vrishnis and Sâtvatas and all others out there who on the road may see the Darling of the Goddess, the reservoir of all transcendental qualities that is the son of Devakî. (26) The name of such an unkind person, a person as extremely cruel as this, shouldn't be 'a-krûra' as he without an excuse takes from the presence of us people [of Vraja] utterly miserable, away the One Dearer than the Most Dear. (27) This one, He who, to the indifference of the elders, so coolly has mounted the chariot, is by these besotted gopas followed in their bullock-carts; today providence is not working in our favor. (28) Let's go to Him and stop Him, He cannot do this to us, the family, the elders and our relatives who not even for a half a second can miss the association of Mukunda; separated by that fate our hearts will be broken! (29) For us who to the charm of His loving affection, attractive smiles, intimate discussions and playful glances and embraces, were brought to the assembly of the râsadance [10.33], passed the night in a moment; how, o gopîs, can we now get over the insurmountable darkness of being without Him? (30) How can we ever exist without Him, that Friend of Ananta [Râma] who at the end of the day, surrounded by gopas entered Vraja with His hair and garland smeared with the dust of the hoofs and who, playing His flute, smiling from the corners of His eyes, with His glances stole our minds?'

(31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus speaking hopelessly unsettled of the separation, forgot the ladies of Vraja, in attachment thinking of Krishna, all their shame and cried they out aloud: 'O Govinda, o Dâmodara, o Mâdhava!'.

(32) As the women thus lamented then set at sunrise Akrûra, having performed his morning duties, out with his chariot. (33) The gopas headed by Nanda following Him then in their wagons brought along an abundance of offerings and clay pots filled with dairy products. (34) The gopîs to that, following Krishna hoping for some pacifying words to comfort them, stood waiting. (35) Seeing them thus lamenting as He was leaving, consoled the Greatest of the Yadus them full of love giving the message: 'Keep courage' [*]. (36) Sending their minds after him for as long as the flag was visible and the dust of the chariot could be seen, stood they there as painted figures. (37) They without hope of ever seeing Him returning full of sorrow went back spending their days and nights singing about the activities of their Beloved.

(38) With the chariot swift as the wind arrived the Supreme Lord together with Râma and Akrûra, o King, at the Yamunâ, the defeat of all sin. (39) After touching the water there, drinking the sweet liquid effulgent like jewels from His hand, moved He up to a grove and mounted He with Balarâma the chariot. (40) Akrûra then with the permission of Them staying put on the chariot went to a pool of the Yamunâ and performed his bath according the injunctions. (41) Immersing himself in that water reciting perennial mantras saw Akrûra the same two of Râma and Krishna together. (42-43) He thought: 'How can the two sons of Ânakadundubhi present on the chariot be here; let's see if they're still there', and rising from the water saw he Them sitting where he left Them. Again entering the water alone he wondered: 'Was it perhaps a hallucination of me seeing Them in the water?' (44-45) And again in that same place saw he the Lord of the Serpents [Ananta or Balarâma], the Godhead with the thousands of heads, hoods and helmets, clad in blue and white like the filaments of a lotus stem, situated as if He were mount Kailâsa with its white peaks, with the perfected, the venerable ones, the singers of heaven and the ones of darkness bowing their heads. (46-48) On His lap there was, like a dark cloud clad in yellow silk, the Original Personality with the four arms in peace; with reddish eyes like the petals of a lotus; an attractive cheerful face with a charming, smiling glance; fine eyebrows, ears and a straight nose; beautiful cheeks and red lips; a broad chest and high shoulders; stout, long arms and a conchshell-like neck; a deep navel and a belly with lines like those of a [banyan] leaf. (49-50) Tight were His buttocks and hips, like an elephant's trunk His two thighs and shapely his two knees and attractive the pair of shanks He had. High were His ankles, reddish the rays emanating from his toenails and glowing like flower petals the soft toes surrounding the two big toes. (51-52) Adorned with a helmet bedecked with great and precious gems, with bracelets, armlets, a belt, a sacred thread, necklaces, ankle bells and earrings, carried He an effulgent lotus, a conchshell, a disc and held he a club in His hands to the s'rîvatsa on His chest, the brilliant kaustubha jewel and a flower garland. (53-55) By His attendants Nanda and Sunanda first, by Sanaka and the others [the kumâras], by the leading demigods headed by Brahmâ and S'iva, by the foremost twiceborn [headed by Marîci] and by the most exalted devotees lead by Prahlâda, Nârada and Vasu, was He, according each their different type of loving attitude, praised in sanctified words and served by His [feminine] internal potencies of fortune [S'rî], development [Pushthi or also strength], speech [Gîr or knowledge], beauty [Kânti], renown [Kîrti], contentment [Tushthi or renunciation - these first ones are His six opulences]; comfort [Ilâ, bhû-s'akti, the earth-element or sandhinî] and power [Ûrjâ, expanding as Tulasî]; His potencies of knowing and ignorance [vidyâ and avidyâ, leading to liberation and bondage]; His internal pleasure potency [S'akti or hlâdinî], his marginal potency [ca or jîva-s'akti] and His creative potency [Mâyâ].

(56-57) Seeing this greatly pleased, stood he [Akrûra] there, enthused with supreme devotion, with the hairs on his body erect and with his eyes and body getting wet of loving ecstasy. Getting himself together offered the great devotee with his voice choked his respects bowing his head down and joined he his hands attentively praying slowly.

* The Sanskrit root to the verb used here is âyâsya, meaning agile, dexterous, valiant, and is by some translators interpreted as returning. But since Krishna will not return to Vraja but by sending Uddhava later on as also by Balarâma who once comes back, has been chosen here for the literal: 'mind to be valiant' of the 'âyâsye iti' for: 'keep tight, hold on, keep courage, stay strong'.


Chapter 40 

Akrûra's Prayers

(1) S'rî Akrûra said: 'I bow down to You, o Cause of All Causes, Lord Nârâyana, o Original Inexhaustible Person from whose navel generated the lotus on the whorl of which Lord Brahmâ appeared from whom came about this world. (2) Earth, water, fire, air, ether and its domain; the mystifying total of matter [see footnote 10.13: ***] and her place, the mind, the senses, the objects of all the senses and the demigods are all the [separate secondary] causes of the universe that have generated from Your [transcendental] body. (3) They, under the direction of the material realm, do because of its inertia not know the true identity of the Supreme Self, the Soul of You indeed; the unborn one [Brahmâ] seized by the modes of material nature is bound to follow them; he does not know Your true form superior to the modes [see also 10.13: 40-56]. (4) It is certainly for You, the Supreme Personality and Controller with oneself, with others, with the greater of nature and with the saints, that the yogîs perform sacrifice. (5) Some brahmins in respect of the three sacred [agni-traya] fires indeed worship You by means of the mantras and the three Vedas elaborately with various rituals for demigods of different names and forms. (6) Some in the pursuance of knowledge in resignation of all fruitive actions attain peace by the sacrifice of cultivating knowledge in worship of the embodiment of knowledge [the guru, the Lord; see e.g. B.G. 4: 28; 17: 11-13; 18: 70]. (7) And others, whose intelligence is purified through the principles [the vidhi] that You offer, worship You filled with thoughts about You indeed as the one form that has many forms. (8) Yet others worship also You, the Supreme Lord, by following the different presentations of many teachers in the form of S'iva to the path layed out by Lord S'iva. (9) All indeed, even though they as devotees of other divinities have their attention elsewhere, do worship You, who as the Controller comprises all the gods [see B.G. 9: 23]. (10) Like the rivers that, filled by the rain springing from the mountains, from all sides enter the ocean, o master, do similarly all these paths [of the demigods] end with You [see B.G. 2: 70; 9: 23-25, 10: 24 and 11: 28]. (11) All the conditioned living beings from the immobile up to Lord Brahmâ are in this entangled in the qualities [gunas] of goodness [sattva], passion [rajas] and slowness [tamas] of Your material nature [see B.G. ch 14]. (12) My obeisances to You, aloof in Your vision, who as the consciousness and Soul of everyone and as the Witness to the flow of the material modes as constituted by your lower energy, makes Your way among those presenting themselves as gods, humans and animals. (13-14) One thinks of fire as Your face, earth as Your feet, the sun as Your eye, the sky as Your navel and the directions as Your sense of hearing; heaven is Your head, the ruling demigods are Your arms, the ocean is your abdomen and the wind Your vital air and physical strength. The trees and the plants are the hairs on Your body, the clouds are the hair on Your head, the mountains are the bones and nails of the Supreme of You, day and night are the blinking of Your eye, the founding father is Your genitals and the rain is considered Your semen [see e,g, also 2.6: 1-11]. (15) Within You, their Inexhaustible One Personality comprising all mind and senses, originated together with their rulers the worlds including the many souls that crowd them just like the aquatics that move about in the water indeed or the small insects in an udumbara fig.

(16) For the sake of Your pastimes in this world You manifest various forms by whom the people, cleansed indeed of their unhappiness, full of joy sing Your glories. (17-18) My respects to You the Original Cause who in the form of Matsya [the fish, see 8.24] moved about in the ocean of dissolution and to Hayagrîva [the horsehead, see 5.18: 6]; my obeisances to You, the slayer of Madhu and Kaithaba; to the huge master tortoise [Kûrma, see 8.7 & 8] who held the mountain Mandara my reverence and all hail to You in the form of the boar [Varâha, see 3.13] whose pleasure it was to lift up the earth from the ocean. (19) Obeisances to You the amazing lion [Nrsimha, see 7.8 & 9] , o Remover of the fear of the saintly wherever and to You who as the dwarf [Vâmana, see 8.18-21] stepped over the three worlds. (20) All honor to You, the Lord of the descendants of Bhrigu [Paras'urâma, see 9.15 & 16] who cut down the forest of conceited nobles and my obesicances to You the best of the Raghu-dynasty [Lord Râma, see 9.10 & 11] who put an end to Râvana. (21) My obeisances to You Lord Vâsudeva, my obeisances to the Lord of the Sâtvatas and to Lord Sankarshana [His in ego], Pradyumna [His in intelligence] and Aniruddha [His in mind, see further 4.24: 35 &36]. (22) My obeisances to Lord Buddha [He as the awakened], the Pure One, the bewilderer of the demoniac descendants of Diti and Dânu and my respects for You in the form of Lord Kalki [the Lord to come 'for the foul'] the annihilator of the offensive meat-eaters [mlecchas] posing for kings [see also 2.7].

(23) O Supreme Lord, the individual souls in this world are bewildered by Your deluding material energy [mâyâ] and are to the false conceptions of "I" and "mine" [asmitâ] made to wander along the paths of fruitive activities [karma]. (24) Also I am, concerning my body, children, home, wife, wealth, followers and so on, deluded in foolishly thinking that they, more of a dream, would be true, o Mighty One. (25) Taking pleasure in the temporal that is not the real self and in [things that are factually] sources of misery have I indeed with a mind turned backwards lusted in duality and have I, absorbed in ignorance, failed to recognize You as the One most dear to me. (26) Like a fool overlooking water covered by the plants growing in it, indeed running after a mirage, have I the same way turned away from You. (27) I, with a of desires and profitminded labor pitiable intelligence, couldn't find the strength to check my disturbed mind that by the so very powerful, willfull senses was dragged from here to there [see B.G. B.G. 13: 1-4, picture & 5.11: 10].

(28) Being so am I approaching Your feet, that together with Your mercy are impossible to attain for the ones impure, o Lord, keeping in mind that, when it of a person happens that his wandering in the material world comes to a stop, the [stable] consciousness will develop by worship of the true [the devotees, association, teachers, scriptures and natural time] of You, whose navel is like a lotus. (29) My obeisances to the Embodiment of Wisdom, the Source of All Forms of Knowledge, to Him. the Absolute Truth of unlimited potencies, predominating over the forces that control the person. (30) My reverence for You the son of Vasudeva, in whom all living beings reside and my homage o Lord of the Senses to You; please protect me, o Master, in my being surrendered.


 Chapter 41  

The Lords' Arrival in Mathurâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'While he [Akrûra] was praying withdrew Krishna, the Supreme Lord, having shown His personal form in the water, Himself the way an actor winds up his performance. (2) When he saw it disappeared, emerged he quickly from the water, finished his ritual duties and went all-surprised to the chariot. (3) Hrisîkes'a asked him: 'Have you seen something miraculous on the earth, in the heavens or in the water? We gather you did!'.

(4) S'rî Akrûra said: 'Whatever wonderful things there are out here on the earth, in the sky or in the water, are all in You who comprises everything; what would I not have seen seeing You? (5) Beholdng You, the One Person in whom are found all wonders of the earth, the sky and the waters, o Absolute of the Truth, what else would amaze me to see in this world?'

(6) With those words drove the son of Gândinî [Akrûra] the chariot forward thus to bring Râma and Krishna to Mathurâ at the end of the day. (7) The people of the villages here and there on the road approaching, pleased to see the sons of Vasudeva, o King, couldn't take their eyes of them. (8) Nanda, the gopas and the rest of the inhabitants of Vraja who by then had arrived at a park outside the city, were staying there to wait for Them. (9) Catching up with them said the Supreme Lord, the Master of the Universe, to the humbly smiling Akrûra taking his hand into His own: (10) 'You enter ahead with the chariot the city and go home as we from our side will alight here and thereafter will see for the city.'

(11) S'rî Akrûra said: 'How can I without the two of You enter Mathurâ, o master? don't let me down o Lord, o Caretaker of the Devotees, I'm Your devotee! (12) Please come, let's go with Your elder brother, the gopas and Your friends, and make it so, o Lord of the Beyond, that our house has a master. (13) Please bless with the dust of Your feet the home of us so attached to household rituals and may with that purification my forefathers, the sacrificial fires and the demigods be satisfied. (14) The great king Bali bathing the two feet became glorious [see 8:19] and achieved unequaled power and the destination indeed reserved for the unalloyed devotee. (15) The water washing from Your feet purely spiritual has purified the three worlds and the sons of king Sagara [9.8], with Lord S'iva taking it on his head [9.9], went to heaven. (16) O God of the Gods, o Master of the Universe about whom one pious hears and chants, o Best of the Yadus, o Lord Praised in the Verses, o Nârâyana, may there be all homage to You.'

(17) The Supreme Lord said: 'I will come to your house accompanied by My elder brother; killing the enemy amidst the Yadus [Kamsa] will I grant my well-wishers the satisfaction.'

(18) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus addressed by the Supreme Lord entered he, Akrûra, somewhat disheartened the city to inform Kamsa of the success of his mission and then went home. (19) Thereafter in the afternoon joined by the gopas entered Krishna together with Sankarshana [Râma] Mathurâ to take a look around. (20-23) He saw it with its high main gates and doorways of crystal, its doors of gold and immense archways with copper and brass and with its storehouses and its inviolable moats, beautified by public gardens and attractive parks. The intersections with gold, the mansions with their pleasure gardens, the assembly halls of the guilds and the houses their columned balconies and ornate paneled rafters were bedecked with vaidurya gems, diamonds, quartz crystals, sapphires, coral, pearls and emeralds. It vibrated of the pet doves and peacocks sitting in the openings of the lattice windows and on the gem-studded floors and on its avenues, streets and courtyards sprinkled with water there [for a welcome] were scattered garlands, new sprouts, parched grains and rice. The doorways of the houses were nicely decorated with pots full of yogurt smeared with sandal paste, ribbons and flower petals, rows of lamps, leaves, bunches of flowers, trunks of banana trees and bethelnut trees and flags. (24) As the sons of Vasudeva entered there surrounded by their friends, hurried the woman of the city to crowd at the side of the king's road and climbed they also eager for a look on top of their houses, o King. (25) Some had put on their clothes backwards and forgotten one of the pair of their ornaments putting on one earring on their ears or one set of ankle bells only; other ladies made up one eye but not the other one. (26) Some had abandoned the meals they were taking or didn't finish in their excitement their massage, their bathing or did, hearing the rumor, get up not finishing their nap or as mothers put aside the infant they were feeding milk. (27) Walking like a bull elephant in rut, stole He boldly with the glances of His lotuslike eyes and game of smiles their minds affording their eyes a festival with His body, that source of pleasure to the Goddess of Fortune. (28) Seeing Him whom they repeatedly had heard about melted their hearts receiving the honor of being sprinkled by the nectar of His glances and broad smiles and embraced they through their eyes within themselves with goose pimples their idol of ecstasy, giving up their endless distress [of missing Him], o subduer of the enemies. (29) Having climbed the rooftops of their mansions showered the attractive women with faces blooming with affection like lotuses Balarâma and Kes'ava with flowers. (30) With yogurt, barleycorns and pots with water, fragrant substances and other items of worship were the Two joyfully at several places worshiped by the twice-born. (31) The woman of the city said: 'Oh what great austerity have the gopîs performed indeed constantly seeing these Two, who for the human society are the greatest source of pleasure.'

(32) The elder brother of Gada [Balarâma see 9.24: 46] approached a certain washerman engaged in dyeing and asked him for first class clean garments. (33) 'Please, best man, give the two of Us some suitable clothes; for you donating them to the two of us deserving, will there be the highest benefit, that suffers no doubt!'

(34) He, requested by the Supreme Lord absolute and full in every way, insolent spoke angered very much falsely proud as a servant of the king. (35) 'Isn't it impudent of You, who roam the mountains and the forests, to want to put on garments like these that are the king his things? (36) Get lost you fools, don't beg like this if you want to live, I swear, people as bold as You are by the king's men arrested, killed and looted!'

(37) He thus bullying angered the son of Devakî who with the side of one hand hit his head down from his body. (38) When all his assistants fled down the road in all directions and left behind the bundles of clothes, took Acyuta the garments. (39) Throwing away on the ground several of them dressed Krishna and Balarâma Themselves with a set of clothes to Their liking and gave They the rest to the gopas. (40) Next came a weaver affectionate with Them and arranged their dress suitably with ornaments and pieces of cloth in various colors. (41) Krishna and Râma with each His own specific high quality outfit and nice decorations looked as resplendent as young light and dark elephants at a festival. (42) The Supreme Lord pleased with him [the weaver] granted him sârûpya [the beatitude of His likeness, see also mukti] with in this world the same supreme opulence, physical strength, influence, memory and sense-control.

(43) Then went the Two of Them to the house of Sudâmâ ['well-giving'], the garland-maker, who seeing them stood up and then bowed down with his head on the ground. (44) With seats for Them he brought water to wash their feet and hands and presents and such, and performed he for the Two worship with garlands, betel-nut and sandalwood paste. (45) He said: 'Our birth has been worthwhile and the family has been purified, o master, and with me are my forefathers, the gods and the seers satisfied indeed by the arrival of You. (46) You two indeed, the Ultimate Cause of the Universe, have with Your plenary portions descended here for the protection and the happiness of the world. (47) On your part indeed there is, even though reciprocating with those who are of worship, no bias in Your vision being equal to all living beings as well-wishing friends, as the Soul of the Universe. (48) You Two should order me, Your servant, what I should do for you; this indeed is for anyone the greatest blessing: thus to be engaged by You.'

(49) S'uka said: 'With that consideration, o best of kings, presented Sudâmâ steeped in love garlands made of fresh and fragrant flowers. (50) With those beautifully adorned gave the two benefactors Krishna and Râma who together with their companions were satisfied, the surrendered one bowing down all that he wished for. (51) And he chose for unshakable devotion to Him alone, the Supreme soul of the Complete, for friendship with all living beings and to be blessed with transcendence. (52) Thus granting him the benediction and prosperity, a thriving family, strength, a long life, renown and beauty, left he together with His elder brother.' 


Chapter 42

The Breaking of the Sacrificial Bow

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Walking the king's road saw Krishna a woman carrying a tray with ointments for the body; she, hunchbacked [*], young and with an attractive face was by the Bestower of the Essence with a smile asked where she was going: (2) 'Who are you with your nice thighs? Ah ointments!, or please tell Us honestly for whom they are meant dear woman; please offer the two of Us that body-ointment and following will there soon be your supreme benefit.' 

(3) The maidservant said: 'O handsome One, I am a servant of Kamsa known as Trivakrâ ['three-bend'] respected indeed for my work with ointments that prepared by me are very dear to the chief of the Bojas, but who else but the two of You would deserve them?'

(4) With her mind overwhelmed by the beauty, charm and sweetness of the talking, the smiles and glances gave she them plenty of ointment. (5) They then with adorning Their bodies in colors other than their own that proved to be of the highest quality, being anointed appeared beautiful. (6) To demonstrate the result of seeing Him decided the satisfied Supreme Lord to straighten the crooked back of Trivakrâ who had such an attractive face. (7) With both His feet pressing down on her toes took He with His hands hold of her chin and raised Acyuta, pointing two fingers upwards, her body. (8) She then straight by Mukunda's touch all of a sudden had become a woman most perfect with evenly proportioned limbs and large hips and breasts. (9) With that endowed with beauty, quality and good feelings addressed she, to the roused idea of sleeping with Him, with a smile Kes'ava by pulling the end of His upper garment. (10) 'Come o hero let's go to my house, I cannot bear to leave You here, please have mercy, o Best of All Men, with me whose mind is jumping.' 

(11) This way beseeched by the woman glanced Krishna at Balarâma who was looking and then at the gopas and said laughing to her: (12) 'I will go to your house, o beautiful eyebrows; having accomplished my purpose will that for us, travelers on the road far from home, dispel all worries as you are the best shelter.' 

(13) Leaving her with these sweet words was He, walking the road with His brother, by the merchants honored with various offerings of betel nut, garlands and fragrant substances. (14) With Him before them couldn't the women think of themselves any longer being agitated by Cupid and stood they as if drawn with their clothes, bangles and hair in disorder. (15) Then with the residents inquiring after the place where the bow was, entered there Acyuta where He saw the bow as amazing as that of S'iva [see also 9.10: 6-7] (16) The bow, guarded by many men and worshiped in supreme opulence, was by Krishna, with force defying the guards who warded Him off, picked up. (17) Before the men their eyes lifted He in a second it easily with His left hand and pulling its string, broke Urukrama ['giant-step'] it right in the middle like He was an elephant eager for a piece of sugar cane. (18) The sound of the breaking bow filled all directions of the sky and the earth, of which Kamsa hearing it came to tremble with fear. (19) Wanting to catch Him were He and His comrades surrounded by the guards who taking up their weapons enraged shouted: 'Grab Him, kill Him!'. (20) Seeing their evil intentions Balarâma and Kes'ava thereupon each of Them taking a piece of the bow vehemently struck them down.

(21) After they also slew an armed force sent by Kamsa, walked the Two out of the gate of the arena happy to observe the exciting riches of the city. (22) The citizens witness to that amazing heroic act of Them considered Them for Their strength and boldness the finest gods. (23) At will strolling about began the sun to set and went Krishna and Râma accompanied by the gopas to the place outside the city where they had their wagons. (24) The words about benedictions in Mathurâ that by the gopîs, tormented by feelings of separation, were spoken when Mukunda left [10.39: 23-25], came all true for those who had the full scope of the body of this paragon of male beauty, the shelter for whom indeed the goddess of fortune, abandoning others worshipping her, was hankering. (25) After each of Them had bathed His feet and eaten boiled rice with milk, stayed they there, [though] aware of Kamsa's scheme, quite comfortably that night. (26-27) But Kamsa, merely by word of the play of Govinda and Râma breaking the bow and killing his army of guards, for a long time wicked-minded remained awake afraid to see waking and [later] in his sleep so many bad omens and messengers of death. (28-31) He couldn't see the mirror-image of his own head and for no reason saw he the heavenly bodies present in a double image; in his shadow he saw a hole, the sound of his breath he couldn't hear, he saw a golden hue over the trees and couldn't spot his own footprints. In his sleep was he embraced by ghosts, rode he a donkey, swallowed he poison and saw he someone going about naked, smeared with oil wearing a garland of nalada flowers [indian spikenards] and more of such omens. Seeing these forebodes of death asleep as well as awake was he all-terrified in his anxiety not able to fall asleep again.

(32) When the night had passed, o descendant of Kuru, and the sun rose from the water, had Kamsa as planned the great wrestling festival carried out. (33) The king's men ceremoniously vibrated in the arena musical instruments and drums and decorated the galleries with garlands, flags, ribbons and arches. (34) Upon them to their comfort came to sit the citizens and the people from the suburbs headed by the state officials and the brahmins who with the royalty were allotted special seats. (35) Kamsa surrounded by his ministers sat, positioned in the midst of his governors, trembling at heart on the royal dais. (36) As the musical instruments were played in the meters appropriate came and sat down the prominent, proud and richly ornamented wrestlers together with their instructors. (37) Canura, Mushthika, Kûtha, S'ala and Tos'ala enthused by the pleasing music all took their place on the wrestling mat. (38) The gopa Nanda leading the cowherds called forward by the king of Bhoja [Kamsa] presented his offerings and sat down in one of the galleries.


* The pupils of Prabhupâda elucidate: 'According to S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura, the young hunchbacked girl was actually a partial expansion of the Lord's wife Satyabhâmâ. Satyabhâmâ is the Lord's internal energy known as Bhû-s'akti [see 10.39: 53-55], and this expansion of hers, known as Prithivî, represents the earth, which was bent down by the great burden of countless wicked rulers. Lord Krishna descended to remove these wicked rulers, and thus His pastime of straightening out the hunchback Trivakrâ, as explained in these verses, represents His rectifying the burdened condition of the earth.'


Chapter 43

Krishna Kills the Elephant Kuvalayâpîda

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Krishna and Râma having washed up, o chastiser of the enemies, next, hearing the vibrations of the kettledrums, went to take a look. (2) Reaching the gate of the arena saw Krishna standing there the elephant Kuvalayâpîda, directed by his keeper. (3) Tightening His clothes and tying together His curly locks, spoke He with words grave like the rumbling clouds to the elephant keeper: (4) 'Elephant keeper, o elephant keeper, give way to us, move aside right now or else will I send you with your elephant today to the abode of Yama [the lord of death].'

(5) Thus threatened goaded the angered elephantkeeper the furious elephant toward Krishna, of time, death and Yamarâja the excel. (6) The master elephant running forward violently seized Him with his trunk, but striking him He slipped away from it and disappeared between his legs. (7) Infuriated not seeing Him spotted he Him by his sense of smell and took he hold of Him with the end of his long nose, but using force He came free. (8) Grabbing him by the tail dragged He as easy as Garuda with a snake that mountain of power for a twenty-five bow-lengths. (9) Acyuta with moving him to the left and to the right was also moved about by him, just like a calf with a young boy [at its tail] would [see also 10.8: 24]. (10) Then coming face to face, slapped He the elephant with His hand, ran away and thus hitting him at each step, made He him trip. (11) He, running, played to fall to the ground, but then He suddenly got up so that he [the elephant] angrily came to strike the earth with his tusks. (12) With his prowess foiled got that lord of the elephants into a frenzy of frustration, but urged on by his keepers, charged he furiously Krishna again. (13) The Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, confronting him in attack seized him firmly by his trunk and made him fall to the ground. (14) As easy as a lion jumping on the fallen one, yanked the Lord out a tusk and killed with it the elephant and his keepers.

(15) Leaving aside the dead elephant entered He, sprinkled with drops of the elephant's blood and sweat and holding the tusk on His shoulder, the arena with His lotuslike face shining of the fine drops that had appeared of His own perspiring. (16) Surrounded by several cowherdboys entered Baladeva and Janârdana the arena, o King, with the elephant's tusks as their chosen weapons. (17) For the wrestlers He was lightning, for the men He was the best, for the women He was Cupid incarnate, for the cowherds He was a relative, for the impious rulers He was a chastiser, for His parents He was a child, for the king of Bhoja He was death, for the unintelligent He was the gross of the universe, for the yogîs He was the Supreme Reality and for the Vrishnis He was the most worshipable deity - these ways understood He entered the arena together with His brother [see * and rasa]. (18) Within Kamsa, who saw Kuvalayâpîda killed and the two of Them invincible, then mounted a great fear indeed, o ruler of man. (19) The two mighty armed Lords the way they were dressed with garments, ornaments and garlands like two actors in excellent costumes, shone, present in the arena, with an effulgence that stroke the minds of all onlookers. (20) Seeing the two Supreme Personalities opened the people sitting in the galleries, the citizens and the people from outside, o King, by the force of their joy, their eyes and mouths wide and drank they in their faces, never getting enough of Them with their vision. (21-22) As if drinking with their eyes, licking with their tongues, smelling with their nostrils and embracing with their arms, spoke they among one another commemorating the beauty, qualities, charm and bravery indeed to that what they had seen and heard: (23) 'These two surely are direct expansions of Hari, the Supreme Personality, who have descended to this world in the home of Vasudeva. (24) This one certainly indeed was, born from Devakî, brought to Gokula where He lived hidden all this time growing up in the house of Nanda. (25) Pûtanâ as well as the whirlwind-demon were by Him put to death, and so He also dealt with many others: the Arjuna trees, S'ankhacûda, Kes'î, Dhenuka... (26-27) The cows and their tenders were by Him saved from the forest fire, Kâliya the serpent He subdued, Indra was sobered up by Him, for seven days He held with one hand the best of all mountains delivering all the residents of Gokula from rain, wind and hail... (28) The gopîs seeing His always cheerful, smiling face and glance ever free from fatigue could transcend all sorts of distress and live happily... (29) They say that by Him this Yadu dynasty will grow very famous and, protected in every way, will achieve all riches, glory and power... (30) And this brother of His, the lotus-eyed Râma, He's of all opulence and killed Pralamba, [and we think...] Vatsâsura, Bakâsura and others...'

(31) As the people were thus speaking and the musical instruments sounded, spoke Cânûra, addressing Krishna and Balarâma, the following words: (32) 'O son of Nanda, o Râma, You two heroes are well-respected and skillful at wrestling; the king hearing of it wanted to see that and called for You. (33) Citizens indeed when they in mind, deeds and words perform to the pleasure of the king will acquire good fortune, but opposite to this it is different. (34) The gopas obviously always very happy tend their calves in the forests and playing and wresting graze the cows. (35) Therefore, let the two of You and us act to the pleasure of the King who embodies all alive, so that all living beings will be satisfied.'

(36) Hearing that spoke Krishna words befitting the time and place [see also 4.8: 54] in welcome of the wrestling that He Himself also considered desirable: (37) 'As subjects of the Bhoja king, must We also, even though wandering in the forest, always execute whatever pleases him, for that will confer upon Us the greatest benefit. (38) We young boys will as it should contest with those equal in strength; the wrestling match should take place so that the members of the assembly in this arena are not affected with a break of principles.'

(39) Cânûra said: 'You and Balarâma are no boys or youngsters, You're the strongest of the strong just for sports having killed the elephant that had the strength of a thousand elephants! (40) Therefore should the two of You fight with those who are strong, there's sure no injustice in that; Your prowess against mine, o descendent of Vrishni, and Balarâma with Mushthika.'


* Thus one speaks of ten rasas, attitudes or moods toward Krishna: fury [perceived by the wrestlers], wonder [by the men], conjugal attraction [the women], laughter [the cowherds], chivalry [the kings], mercy [His parents], terror [Kamsa], repulsion [the unintelligent], peaceful neutrality [the yogîs] and loving devotion [the Vrishnis].  


Chapter 44

The Wrestling Match and the Killing of Kamsa

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord assenting to that [what Cânûra had said] then confronted Cânûra and so did the son of Rohinî with Mushthika. (2) Seizing their hands with their hands and locking their legs with their legs, pulled and pushed they each other with force to attain the victory. (3) With their fists against the two opposing ones, did they, knees against knees, head by head and chest by chest deal one another their blows. (4) Wheeling, shoving, crushing and throwing down, releasing, running in front and running behind, offered they each other resistance. (5) Lifting and carrying, pushing off and holding each other fast wanted they, harming themselves, the victory.

(6) Feeling pity about that fight between the weak and the strong assembled, to speak amongst themselves, all the women in groups, o King: (7) 'Alas, how great this lack of responsibility on the part of these people who, present in the king's assembly, are out to join the king in watching a fight between the strong and the weak. (8) At the one side the appearance of these two mountains of master wrestlers, all with limbs as strong as lightning, and at the other side those most tender limbs of the two youth's not having attained maturity yet! (9) This association indeed certainly came to break with the dharma and there where unrighteousness has mounted, one should not remain for a moment longer! (10) A wise person should not attend an assembly where the members entertain deviance in sin, for then repressive and ignorantly saying the wrong things a man incurs sin. (11) You should see how Krishna's lotuslike face of darting around his foe is as wet of the exertion as the whorl of a lotusflower is with droplets of water. (12) Can't you see how Râma's face with eyes like copper in the anger with Mushthika is even more beautiful, laughing in His absorption? (13) How meritorious indeed the tracts of Vraja where the Primeval Original Personality in this disguise of human traits, with a wonderful forest variety of flowers, together with Balarâma, vibrating His flute and moving about in various pastimes, was herding the cows, with His feet worshiped by the lord on the mountain [S'iva] and the goddess of fortune. (14) What austerities have the gopîs performed to be allowed to drink in through their eyes the form of such a One essence of unequaled, unsurpassed loveliness perfect in itself, ever new and hard to reach as the only abode of fame, beauty and opulence? (15) They, the fortunate ladies of Vraja, while milking, threshing, churning, smearing [with the dung], swinging on swings, with crying babies, sprinkling and cleaning and so on, fondly thinking sing about Him, choked up with tears and have, by their consciousness of Urukrama, all they wish for. (16) Hearing Him playing the flute, together with the cows early in the morning leaving and late in the evening returning to Vraja, hurry the women outside to the road to see in utter piety the smiling merciful face and glances.'

(17) As they were thus speaking decided the Supreme Lord, the Controller of Mystic Power, to kill His enemy, o hero of the Bhâratas. (18) Their parents [in prison] hearing of the women the words of concern for their sons, overwhelmed with sorrow burnt in distress not knowing how strong their kids were. (19) As Acyuta and His opponent fought each other with all the different wrestling techniques, did just so Balarâma and Mushthika. (20) Due to the crushing, lightning hard blows dealt by the hands and feet of the Supreme Lord, was Cânûra more and more feeling pained and exhausted, completely broken. (21) He with the speed of a hawk falling upon Him, both his hands clenching to fists, struck the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva enraged upon His chest. (22-23) Like an elephant hit with a garland not moving an inch of his blows, seized the Lord Cânûra by his arms and whirled He him around several times to throw him with great force down to the earth so that he, crashing like a massive festival column, with his clothes, hair and garland all scattered, lost his life. (24-25) Likewise did also Mushthika, after striking the powerful Lord Balabhadra with his fist, receive a violent blow from His palm so that he trembling, giving up blood from his mouth, right where he stood lifeless fell to the ground, like a tree struck down by the wind. (26) Then was Kûtha, appearing on the scene, nonchalantly with a left fist playfully killed by Râma, the best of all fighters, o King. (27) Next then did both S'ala and Tos'ala, struck in the head by the toes of Krishna and torn apart, come to fall. (28) With Cânûra, Mushthika, Kûtha, S'ala and Tos'ala killed fled all the wrestlers remaining in the hope to save their life. (29) Gathering with Their young cowherd friends sported They [Krishna and Râma] together with them, playing musical instruments and dancing about tinkling with Their anklebells. (30) Except for Kamsa rejoiced all the people over the accomplishment of Râma and Krishna while the best of the learned and the saintly exclaimed 'Excellent, excellent!'.

(31) With the best of his wrestlers killed and running, silenced the bhoja king his instrumental music and spoke he the words: (32) 'Expel the two sons of Vasudeva behaving so badly from the city, take the gopas their wealth and tie up that crooked fool Nanda! (33) And Vasudeva so stupid, Ugrasena, my father the foul ignoramus, and his followers, should, all siding with the enemy, be killed right away.'

(34) With Kamsa thus raving indeed extremely mad, jumped the Imperishable Lord with ease up to swiftly climb upon the high royal dais. (35) Seeing Him, his own death, approaching, got he, smart enough, up from his seat immediately and took he up his sword and shield. (36) Kamsa, sword in hand moving about left and right as quick as a hawk in the sky, was by force of the irresistible and fearsome strength seized like a snake by the son of Târkshya [Garuda]. (37) Grabbing him by the hair, slipped his crown and hurled the One with the Lotus Navel him down from the high platform into the wrestling ring after which He, the Independent Support of the Entire Universe, jumped on top of him. (38) Like a lion with an elephant dragged He him dead along the ground before the eyes of all the people of whom then arose a loudly sounded 'Ooo..h, ooooh', o King of the humans. (39) Since he, constantly anxious of mind, had seen Him, the Controller with the cakra in His hand, before him wherever he drank or ate, walked, slept or breathed, achieved he therefore that same so difficult to achieve form [see also sârûpya 10.41: 42 and 10.29: 13]. (40) His eight younger brothers Kanka, Nyagrodhaka and the rest, infuriated ran forward in attack to make Him pay for their brother. (41) Thus rushing ahead ready to strike were they beaten down by Balarâma, who like the lion king with the animals wielded His club. (42) Kettledrums resounded in the sky, Brahmâ, S'iva, the other gods and the ones empowered pleased chanted praises and showered flowers upon Him as their wives danced.

(43) The wives, o Emperor, grieving over the death of their well-wishers approached there with tears in their eyes beating their heads. (44) Embracing their husbands lying on the heroes bed, lamented the women loudly shedding a river of tears: (45) "Alas, o master, o dearest, o defender of the holy duty, o kindness, o you so full of compassion; together with your being killed have we, your household and offspring, been killed. (46) Bereft of you, the master, does this city just like us, o most heroic of men, not appear as beautiful with the festivity and bliss all ended. (47) The terrible violence you've committed against innocent living creatures brought you in this condition, o dearest; how can he who causes harm to other living beings end well? (48) He who is neglectful of this One, Him who of all living beings in this world is for certain the origin, maintenance and disappearance, can never prosper in happiness.'

(49) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, the Sustainer of All Worlds, consoling the wives around the king, as enjoined arranged for the funeral rites for the deceased. (50) Thereafter did Krishna and Râma as well free their father and mother from their fetters, proving their respect by touching their feet with their heads. (51) Devakî and Vasudeva in recognition of [Them as] the Controllers of the Universe paying their respects with joined palms, apprehensively didn't embrace their sons.'


Chapter 45

Krishna Rescues His Teacher's Son

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'With His parents arriving at the idea that He would be the Supreme Personality said He to Himself 'This should not be so' and thus expanded He the personal illusory potency [of His yogamâyâ] which bewilders the people. (2) Approaching them together with His elder brother, the Greatest of the Veritable [the Sâtvatas], said He, to gratify them, with humility bowing down to His parents respectfully: 'Dear father and mother! (3) There has, o father who because of us were always in anxiety, indeed for the two of you never been anything of the toddler-age, the boyhood and youth of your two sons [see *]. (4) As ordained by fate could we, deprived of residing in your presence, not experience the pampered happiness of children staying in the home of their parents. (5) To the parents from whom one is born and by whom one is maintained, is a mortal person never, not for a lifespan of hundred years, able to repay the debt, as they are the source of the body that is there for all goals of life [purushârthas, compare 10.32: 22]. (6) A son who, of them capable with his resources and wealth, does not provide for their sustenance, will after death be made to eat his own flesh indeed [see also 5.26]. (7) Being capable of but not maintaining one's mother and father, the elderly, one's chaste wife, one's very young child, the spiritual master and the learned one seeking shelter, is one dead as one breathes [see B.G. 11: 33]. (8) Therefore were the two of Us, because of Kamsa who was always disturbing, with a mind for nothing unable to honor you and have we uselessly spent these days [of youth]. (9) Please forgive us the fact that, o father and mother, under the control of others from our part not being at your service, the hardhearted one [Kamsa] caused such great pain.' 

(10) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus bewildered by the deluding power of Him, the Lord and Soul of the Universe appearing as a human being, raised they Them upon their laps to experience the joy of embracing them. (11) Bound by the rope of affection crying a river couldn't they say a thing, o King, being overwhelmed with their throats full of tears. (12) The Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, thus consoled His parents and made His maternal grandfather Ugrasena, King over the Yadus. (13) He then told him: 'With Us, o great King, as your subjects please take command, as because of the curse of Yayâti [see 9.18: 42] one from Yadu should not sit on the throne. (14) When I am present attending to you as a servant, will the demigods and all belonging to them bow down to offer you tribute; and what then to say of other rulers of men?'

(15-16) All His close relatives and other relations, the Yadus, Vrishnis, Andhakas, Madhus, Dâs'ârhas, Kukuras and other clans, who disturbed in fear of Kamsa had fled in all directions, were honored and consoled, for living in foreign regions had made them weary. He, the Maker of the Universe, arranged for their homes and gratified them with valuable gifts. (17-18) Protected by the arms of Krishna and Sankarshana enjoyed they in their homes perfectly the fulfillment of their desires as because of Krishna and Râma the fever [of a material life] had ceased, now that they day by day saw the loving, always cheerful, beautiful lotuslike face of Mukunda with the merciful, smiling glances. (19) Even the eldest were youthful and full of strength and vitality, there [in Mathurâ] drinking in with their eyes repeatedly the nectar of Mukunda's lotusface. (20) Next, o great King, were the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, and Sankarshana approached by Nanda and this is what They, embracing him, said: (21) 'O father, by the great affection and the fondling by the two of you, were we greatly maintained, indeed is for parents the love for their children greater even than the love they have for themselves. (22) He is father and she is mother who nourish as their own children the sons who were abandoned by their family that was incapable of maintaining and protecting them. (23) Please, all of you, go to Vraja, dear father, We will come [with the appearance of...] to see you and your kin aching of love, after making our friends here happy. (24) Acyuta thus appeasing Nanda and the folk of Vraja, then respectfully honored them with clothing, jewelry and pots and such.' 

(25) Thus addressed by the two of Them embraced Nanda Them, engulfed by affection, with tears filling his eyes and went he with the gopas to Vraja. (26) Then had the son of S'ûrasena [Vasudeva], o King, by a priest and brahmins for his sons the second-birth-initiation properly performed. (27) He donated to them in worship, to their full ornate, for remuneration cows with golden chains and ornaments complete with calves and garlands of flowers of flax. (28) He, magnanimous, gave them in charity the cows that were stolen away by Kamsa, which he had donated in his mind on the day that Krishna and Râma were born [see 3.10-11-12]. (29) After by initiation having attained the twice-born status, took They, sincere in Their vows from Garga, the preceptor of the Yadus, the vow of celibacy [to be a student, see also gâyatrî and brahmâcârya]. (30-31) As the Lords of the Universe of all being the origin and in knowledge being omniscient did They, by their humanlike activities concealing the impeccable knowledge that was achieved from no other source, then desire to live at the school of the guru native to Kâsî [Benares] named Sândîpani who dwelt in the city of Avantî [Ujjain]. (32) The spiritual teacher to that circumstance getting Them in self-restraint, was by Them, who approaching for service respected him as if he were the Lord, indeed with Their devotion used to set an irreproachable example for others. (33) Their highest one of the twiceborn satisfied with their pure love and submissive acts taught as their guru Them all the Veda's with their corollary literatures and philosophical treatises, [**] (34) the Dhanur-veda [military science, archery] along with all its secrets [the mantras], the dharma [codes of human conduct, the laws] and the nyâya [the methods of logic] as also ânvîkshikîm [the knowledge of philosophical debate or tarka] and the six aspects of râja-nîtim [political science, see ***]. (35-36) As the best of all first class persons and of all knowledge the promulgators did They, o ruler of man, fixed in concentration fully assimilate, simply having it related once, in as many days and nights the complete of the sixty-four arts [*4] and offered They satisfied their preceptor, o King, compensation [gurudakshinâ]. (37) The twiceborn man, in due consideration of that amazing greatness of Their superhuman intelligence, o King, after consulting with his wife, arrived at the wish for his child that had perished in the ocean at Prabhâsa [see also 1.15: 49, 3.1: 20, 3.3: 25]. (38) Saying 'So be it' mounted the two great charioteers of unlimited prowess then a chariot and walked they, reaching there, up to the shore to sit down for a moment, upon which the ocean in recognition brought Them offerings of tribute [compare 9.10: 13]. (39) To him said the Supreme Lord: 'At once present Us the son of our guru, a young boy, whom by you with a mighty wave has been seized here.' 

(40) The person of the ocean said: 'It was not I who took him away, o Lord, it was a powerful daitya named Pañcajana, o Krishna, a demon who roams in the water assuming the form of a conch. (41) By him living here has he indeed been taken away'.

Hearing that hurried the Master into the water and killed He him, but the boy He couldn't find in his belly. (42-44) Taking the conchshell, that had grown as a part of the demon, returned He to the chariot and left He for the beloved city of Yamarâja [the Lord of death] known as Samyamani [*5]. On His way being accompanied by Him who has the Plow for His Weapon [Balarâma], blew Janârdana loudly on the conchshell [see also B.G. 1: 15] whose sound was heard by Yamarâja, the restrainer of the ones born. Overflowing with devotion performed he elaborate worship for Them and said he humbly, bowing down to Krishna who dwells in each his heart: 'What can I do for the two of You, o Vishnu, who appeared as human beings? 

(45) The Supreme Lord said: 'Please bring the son of My guru taken from here to suffer the bondage of his karma, o great King; it is My command that should be given priority'. 

(46) 'Let it be so' he said and brought forth the preceptor's son. The Best of the Yadus then gave him back to Their guru whom They so said: 'Please make a another wish'. 

(47) The honorable guru said: 'I am completely fulfilled, my Boys, by the remuneration for the guru of the two of You; what else would there for the spiritual master of Persons like You be left to desire? (48) Please go to Your home, o heroes, may Your fame purify and may the words of Your delight [the mantras, the vedic hymns] be ever fresh ['never die away' or 'never be forgotten'] in this life and in the next!' [see also: 10.13: 2]

(49) Thus by Their guru permitted to leave, reached They on their chariot fast as the wind and thundering like a cloud their city. (50) The citizens seeing Râma and Janârdana, not having seen them for many days, all rejoiced like ones who having lost their wealth had regained it.


* S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî points out: 'The kaumâra stage lasts until the age of five, pauganda up to age ten and kais'ora to age fifteen. From then on, one is known as yauvana.' According to this statement, the kais'ora period ends at the age of fifteen. Krishna was only eleven years old when He killed Kamsa, according to Uddhava's words: ekâdas'a-samâs tatra gûdhârcih sa-balo 'vasat. 'Like a covered flame, Lord Krishna remained there incognito with Balarâma for eleven years' (Bhâg. 3.2.26) ... The three years and four months that Lord Krishna stayed in Mahâvana were the equivalent of five years for an ordinary child, and thus in that period He completed His kaumâra stage of childhood. The period from then to the age of six years and eight months, during which He lived in Vrindâvana, constitutes His pauganda stage. And the period from the age of six years and eight months through His tenth year, during which time He lived in Nandîs'vara [Nandagrâma], constitutes His kais'ora stage. Then, at the age of ten years and seven months, on the eleventh lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, He went to Mathurâ, and on the fourteenth day thereafter He killed Kamsa. Thus He completed His kais'ora period at age ten, and He eternally remains at that age. In other words, we should understand that from this point on the Lord remains forever a kis'ora.'

**: These are the so-called angas and Upanishads. The six angas are: s'iks'a (phonetics), chanda, (prosody), vyâkarana (grammar), jyotisha (astronomy), kalpa (content and rules for the rituals) and nirukta (etymology).

***: The six aspects of political science are: (1) sandhi, making peace; (2) vigraha, war; (3) yâna, marching or expedition; (4) âsana, sitting tight or encampment; (5) dvaidha, dividing one's forces or separating one's allies; and (6) sams'aya, depending on allies or seeking the protection of a more powerful ruler.

*4: The Lords learned: (1) gîtam, singing; (2) vâdyam, playing on musical instruments; (3) nrityam, dancing; (4) nâthyam, drama; (5) âlekhyam, painting; (6) vis'eshaka-cchedyam, painting the face and body with colored unguents and cosmetics; (7) tandula-kusuma-bali-vikârâh, preparing auspicious designs on the floor with rice and flowers; (8) pushpâstaranam, making a bed of flowers; (9) das'ana-vasanânga-râgâh, coloring one's teeth, clothes and limbs; (10) mani-bhûmikâ-karma, inlaying a floor with jewels; (11) s'ayyâ-racanam, covering a bed; (12) udaka-vâdyam, ringing waterpots; (13) udaka-ghâtah, splashing with water; (14) citra-yogâh, mixing colors; (15) mâlya-grathana-vikalpâh, preparing wreaths; (16) s'ekharâpîda-yojanam, setting a helmet on the head; (17) nepathya-yogâh, putting on apparel in a dressing room; (18) karna-patra-bhangâh, decorating the earlobe; (19) sugandha-yuktih, applying aromatics; (20) bhûshana-yojanam, decorating with jewelry; (21) aindrajâlam, jugglery; (22) kaucumâra-yogah, the art of disguise; (23) hasta-lâghavam, sleight of hand; (24) citra-s'âkâpûpa-bhakshya- vikâra-kriyah, preparing varieties of salad, bread, cake and other delicious food; (25) pânaka-rasa-râgâsava-yojanam, preparing palatable drinks and tinging draughts with red color; (26) sûcî-vâya-karma, needlework and weaving; (27) sûtra-krîdâ, making puppets dance by manipulating thin threads; (28) vînâ-damarukavâdyâni, playing on a lute and a small X-shaped drum; (29) prahelikâ, making and solving riddles; (29a) pratimâlâ, capping verses, or reciting poems verse for verse as a trial of memory or skill; (30) durvacaka-yogâh, uttering statements difficult for others to answer; (31) pustaka-vâcanam, reciting books; and (32) nâthikâkhyâyikâ-dars'anam, enacting short plays and writing anecdotes.(33) kâvya-samasyâ-pûranam, solving enigmatic verses; (34) paththikâ-vetra-bâna-vikalpâh, making a bow from a strip of cloth and a stick; (35) tarku-karma, spinning with a spindle; (36) takshanam, carpentry; (37) vâstu-vidyâ, architecture; (38) raupya-ratna- parîkshâ, testing silver and jewels; (39) dhâtu-vâdah, metallurgy; (40) mani- raga-jñânam, tinging jewels with various colors; (41) âkara-jñânam, mineralogy; (42) vrikshâyur-veda-yogâh, herbal medicine; (43) mesha-kukkutha- lâvaka-yuddha-vidhih, the art of training and engaging rams, cocks and quails in fighting; (44) s'uka-s'ârikâ-pralâpanam, knowledge of how to train male and female parrots to speak and to answer the questions of human beings; (45) utsâdanam, healing a person with ointments; (46) kes'a-mârjana- kaus'alam, hairdressing; (47) akshara-mushthikâ-kathanam, telling what is written in a book without seeing it, and telling what is hidden in another's fist; (48) mlecchita-kutarka-vikalpâh, fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry; (49) des'a-bhâshâ-jñânam, knowledge of provincial dialects; (50) pushpa-s'akathikâ-nirmiti-jñânam, knowledge of how to build toy carts with flowers; (51) yantra-mâtrikâ, composing magic squares, arrangements of numbers adding up to the same total in all directions; (52) dhârana-mâtrikâ, the use of amulets; (53) samvâcyam, conversation; (54) mânasî-kâvya-kriyâ, composing verses mentally; (55) kriyâ-vikalpâh, designing a literary work or a medical remedy; (56) chalitaka-yogâh, building shrines; (57) abhidhâna-kosha-cchando-jñânam, lexicography and the knowledge of poetic meters; (58) vastra-gopanam, disguising one kind of cloth to look like another; (59) dyûta-vis'esham, knowledge of various forms of gambling; (so) âkarsha-krîda, playing dice; (61) bâlaka-krîdanakam, playing with children's toys; (62) vainâyikî vidyâ, enforcing discipline by mystic power; (63) vaijayikî vidyâ, gaining victory; and (64) vaitâlikî vidyâ, awakening one's master with music at dawn.

*5 Samyama means , self-control, restraint, holding together, the integration of concentration [dhâranâ], meditation [dhyâna], and absorption [samâdhi] in yoga.


 Thus ends the second 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 and the Vedabase of the BBT offering the work that Svâmi Prabhupâda's pupils did to complete his translation of the Bhâgavatam, has a one-volume printed copy 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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