Hari-kathaArticlesColorful Exchanges - Govinda-lilamrta

Colorful Exchanges – Govinda-lilamrta

2nd chapter

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains here how Kṛṣṇa went to the cowshed. The dynasty of Surabhi in heaven gives pure nectarful milk to all the demigods. When Kṛṣṇa came in this world, all the heavenly cows came to Vraja. Cows have place of all the demigods in their bodies. Cows give gold and minerals to the living entities through their milk to help all.

When Kṛṣṇa goes to the cowshed, the demigods watch from the sky as Kṛṣṇa respects and serves the cows. The cows come on all four sides as if to arrest Kṛṣṇa. They think, “May Kṛṣṇa look at me, may He drink my milk.”

Kṛṣṇa knows the names of all the cows. He calls them all and milks them one by one. At the time of milking, Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās and the cowherd men brought big pots and them carried the pots in a line to Nanda-bhavana where the milk is separated. The milk has different aromas and so forth. Some is very thick and some cow’s milk smells like jasmine, rose and other flowers. There are different varieties of taste and smell in milk according to the cows.

Yaśodā Mātā understands which milk has come from which group of cows and separates it all when it comes to Nanda-bhavana. With some milk she makes sweets, with some she makes paneer and with some she makes sweet rice. She arranges everything properly.

After milking one cow, Kṛṣṇa moves from to the next. Kṛṣṇa sends the milk to Nanda-bhavana. The one year old calves reside in a different cowshed. But they are also waiting for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa goes to the other cowshed. Before, He tells the cowherd men, “This milk will not all go to Nanda-bhavana. Send some for the one-year-old calves.”

The calves wake in the morning, but they don’t eat any grass or straw. They don’t wait for the mother’s milk, they wait for Kṛṣṇa’s love. Kṛṣṇa milks, and then sends this milk to the older calves. This is like the devotees taking caraṇāmṛta after the Lord is bathed. Kṛṣṇa milks the cows and then some goes to Nanda-bhavana and some is sent to the calves. Yaśodā Mātā saves enough milk for her cooking and then sends the rest back. Many gopa families are there. Yaśodā Mātā distributes it all to the different families in Vraja. Then milk goes to the calves. Yaśodā Mātā also sends a lot of milk to Yāvaṭa.

Mukhara is the grandmother of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. She came for Rādhārānī’s darśana in Yāvaṭa from Varsānā. Jaṭilā has a very crooked mood and is a great cheater.

When she saw Mukhara coming, she thought, “Mukhara must be bringing a lot of wealth.”

When she met with Mukhara, Jaṭilā said, “Your son Vṛṣabhānu is wealthy, long-lived and has so much opulence. Your granddaughter daily worships the sun, and then daily She gives so much in charity and has made my family very poor.”

Jaṭilā is very greedy. By saying this to Mukhara, she means, “Give us some wealth.”

Yaśodā Mātā sends them wealth, and Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja sends so much, and others give, but Jaṭilā’s mind is not peaceful, she wants more and more wealth and whatever she gets, she hides away and then pretends they are very poor.

“I have many cows, but they only give a little bit of milk. My son’s wife Rādhā daily goes to worship the sun. One day Paurṇamāsī Devī told me, ‘If you desire wealth and for your son to have a long life, then send Rādhā daily to worship the sun.’”

Mukhara said to Jaṭilā, “Rādhā has to walk very far, daily coming and going. She must become tired. She is skinny and has no good health. Also, She has to first walk all the way to Nanda-bhavana and cook there, and then She walks all the way back and then departs to worship the sun. She works so hard all the day long and is becoming very weak and sick. Do you have no kindness for Her? She works from the morning, and then comes back and goes again to work. Why do you make Her work like this? Is it wealth you want? My son will give you so much, more than you can ever use. Just don’t disturb my granddaughter.”

“Mukhare,” Jaṭilā said, “My son is not wealthy, he is very poor. Tell your granddaughter to worship the sun peacefully, not with a restless mind. She should only think of the welfare, wealth and long-life of my son. Her mind is very restless, when She worships, She looks to this side and that, and doesn’t worship properly. If one worships the gods properly, they immediately become pleased and bestow the fruits of worship. But Rādhā has been worshipping for so long, without any result.”

Mukhara was very disturbed. She felt great pain. Rādhārānī only rests a little bit in the early morning, but Jaṭilā makes Her get up and clean the house. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī has to clean and cook in Yāvaṭa, and then She goes and cooks in Nanda-bhavana. She comes back and picks flowers for making into garlands to worship the sun.

“Rādhā should worship in your own house,” Mukhara said. “There is no need to go here and there.”

Viśākhā Devī heard the request of Mukhara Devī. The sakhīs went and said, “Mukhara, wait here awhile. We will go and massage Rādhā, change Her dress and then decide what to do. She is not feeling well. Please don’t speak so loudly.”

But why is this old lady Jaṭilā disturbing Śrīmatī? Jaṭilā desires that Śrīmatī Rādhārānī may go anywhere as long as She brings back wealth.

Mukhara thought, “I will take Śrīmatī back to my Varsānā. I won’t allow Her to stay here any longer. She is made to suffer here so much.”

Viśākhā heard this request of Mukhara. She said, “She works at midnight and carries water and performs all other household duties. Now She is tired and has not left Her bed.”

Rati-manjari came and caught the feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Rati-manjari had brought a blue colored shawl from Nanda-bhavana. Why? In Nanda-bhavana, Yaśodā Mātā had seen this blue colored cloth on Kṛṣṇa and become disturbed, thinking, “Where did this cloth come from?”

She thought that many demigods and apsarās came daily to Nanda-bhavana and offered Kṛṣṇa flowers and danced and so forth. Therefore Yaśodā Mātā said, “From today I will request the priests for raksa-kavacas to protect my son. At night He is not able to sleep from the disturbance of higher powers.”

When she saw the blue-colored cloth, she thought, “This must be imbued with mystic power that disturbs my son.”

In Nanda-bhavana, Kundalatā said to Yaśodā, “In the morning you close all the ventilators and windows so that light cannot come in Kṛṣṇa’s room. In this lighting you can’t tell the color of this cloth, whether it is blue, yellow, red or black. You should open the windows and let some light in, then you can tell the real color of the cloth.”

As Yaśodā Mātā went to open the windows, Kundalatā snatched up the blue cloth and passed it to Rati-manjari.

Rati-manjari then ran back to Yāvaṭa. Jaṭilā and Mukhara were eager to see Rādhārānī, and requested the sakhīs again and again to wake Rādhārānī and ask Her to come out. But the sakhīs said, “She is not feeling well, She is very weak.”

Why? Rādhārānī didn’t have Her own cloth. She was wearing the yellow-colored shawl of Kṛṣṇa. If Rādhārānī came out of Her room, then Jaṭilā and Mukhara would be suspicious, and say, “Where did this yellow cloth come from? And this doesn’t have the scent of Rādhārānī.”

The sakhīs did not allow Mukhara or Jaṭilā in the room because the bed of Rādhārānī was disarranged and there were flower petals and colored unguents on Her cloth.

Rati-manjari came running from Nanda-bhavana with the blue shawl of Rādhārānī. She slowed down just before entering Yāvaṭa and walked in with a serene air, gliding into the room of Rādhārānī past Mukhara and Jaṭilā. Then she caught Rādhārānī’s lotus feet and said, “Vṛndāvaneśvarī has sent You this cloth, quickly don it.” Then Rati-manjari took the yellow cloth on Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and went to run back to Nanda-bhavana.

Jaṭilā and Mukhara had slowly crept into Rādhārānī’s room behind Rati-manjari, and as Rati turned to run back to Nanda-bhavana with Kṛṣṇa’s yellow Pītāmbara, Jaṭilā and Mukhara saw the cloth in Rati’s hand and said, “Hey Viśākhā! Yesterday Kṛṣṇa was wearing this cloth. How did it get here? How was Rādhā wearing this? What is the reason?”

“Oh old ladies,” Viśākhā said, “Your eyes are diseased and you can’t see anything properly. You are half-brained and always have doubt for the innocent. You don’t know anything. Get out!”

Rati-manjari hid the yellow cloth as Viśākhā said, “Hey Mukhara, good words never come from your face. Your eyes are very restless to find guilt and you only think day and night, ‘Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa.’ You always chant His names, therefore you only see His color of cloth and His smells and think that everything is related to Him. I think You must have some secret relation with Kṛṣṇa. You are old, but your nature is very bad. You always think about Kṛṣṇa. Why don’t you think of any other. You must have been with Kṛṣṇa just last night.”

The sakhīs did not remain silent. They spoke very bold. But Mukhara was no lesser. She appeared old in body, but her spirit was young and energetic. She said, “Does my body have any sign of Kṛṣṇa? Does my body have any cloth of Kṛṣṇa? Alas, alas! Where has this cloth come from?”

Viśākhā told, “Your brain is very small and weak. You don’t know that when the morning sunlight comes in the windows it meets with the golden body of Śrīmatī, and then that golden color reflects everywhere, along the walls and cloth of the room. Just see the color of Śrīmatī’s body? Her body is golden and like a mirror. When the sun reflects off Her body, it casts a yellow light upon everything in the room.”

Mukhara looked around and saw, “Really, Rādhā’s room is full of golden objects.” But she looked down and saw that her own cloth was normal.

“What you say may be true, but if so, why hasn’t the color of my cloth changed and become golden?”

“You are dark and full of doubts. Because of your bad nature your cloth doesn’t change.”

“Oh Viśākhā, why are you insulting me here? You girls are very strange.”

“No, you don’t understand. I am trying to change your nature so that you see things properly. Old lady, your brain is damaged, for you are calling a blue cloth yellow. You always have doubt for Rādhārānī, this is not good for you.”

The other sakhīs came and defended Viśākhā, then what could Mukhara do alone against them all?

The sakhīs and mañjarīs surrounded Rādhārānī and arranged a wooden seat and gold pots with water, ointments, oils, and so forth for Śrīmatī’s bath.

The sakhīs gave Śrīmatī an āsana. Lalita-sakhi put all the ornaments down and Mukhara checked each one.

Mukhara asked, “Where did this ring come from? This was not given by Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja or I.”

“Many demigods come and give gifts to Śrīmatī,” Lalitā replied.

Mukhara checked Her crown, bangles and other ornaments.

She asked, “Why is this ankle-bell thin? Before it was very thick. How did it change?”

Then Mukhara saw Rādhārānī was wearing a kaustubha-maṇi necklace and said, “Where did this come from?”

“Last night Śrīmatī worshipped Nīla-Mādhava,” Lalitā said. “Nila Mādhava came and gave Her a kaustubha maṇi. If you touch this jewel to any iron pot, the pot will fill up with gold.”

“Yes, I will check.” Jaṭilā brought an iron pot and touched it to the kaustubha jewel and saw it become filled with gold.

She began to dance and shouted, “Kutila, go call Abhimanyu. Tell him Suryadeva has become pleased with us and Nila Mādhava has given a kaustubhamaṇi touchstone. He must call many guards to protect this jewel. Now we are very rich and Rādhā won’t have to go work for Nanda Mahārāja any more. She won’t even have to go worship the sun.”

The sakhīs smiled and thought, “Now a bigger problem has come. We gave her so much gold thinking she would be pleased and not disturb us any longer, but instead she will make more trouble.”

Kutila went to Abhimanyu, who thought, “Before my sister and mother were half-mad, but now they have gone completely mad. Day and night they have doubt for Rādhā, are very greedy for wealth and think only, ‘Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa.’ I won’t go.”

Abhimanyu continued peacefully plowing his field. Kutila returned and told Jaṭilā, “He said he is busy and won’t come.”

Then Jaṭilā stood at the gate of Yāvaṭa with a stick while inside Śrīmatī was bathing in Her room, taking off Her ornaments one by one.

Kakkhaṭī came with a group of monkeys, ran past Jaṭilā and stole the necklace with the kaustubhamaṇi. Then ran off with it. Jaṭilā began to weep and lament, saying, “Everything is lost.” She beat her head against the stone pillars. “Alas, alas,” she exclaimed. “My Rādhā stayed up all night serving Nila Mādhava, and finally He was pleased and bestowed this Kaustubha maṇi, but now it has been stolen! Alas! Alas!”

She chastised her son, “Abhimanyu, why didn’t you come?”

Kakkhaṭī ran with the kaustubha jewel into the jungle and from there went to Nanda-bhavana and placed this in Kṛṣṇa’s bedroom.

The previous night, the sakhīs had taken Kṛṣṇa’s kaustubhamaṇi and decorated Rādhārānī with it.

As Śrīmatī bathed, She removed Her ornaments made with jewels and flowers. She has two sakhīs, one named Manjhista and one was named Rangavati. They were daughters of washer-men and washed Śrīmatī’s cloth. They came and carefully took Śrīmatī’s silken cloth inlaid with gold, pearls and many costly jewels. The two girls brought Śrīmatī new cloth and washed the previous day’s cloth, mixing in perfumes of jasmine and other flowers. They also bring oil and comb Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s hair and decorate it with flowers. She has one sakhī named Nalini who is the daughter of a barber. She smeared and massaged ointments and oil on Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s body and colored Her feet with red alta. Nalini knows how to wash and comb the hair and again decorate it. With small gold pots she brought perfumes made from the essence of flowers. After Rādhārānī’s first bath, Her sakhīs smeared a paste on Her body and then bathed Her again, then used oil, and again dried Her body, then they gave fragrances and brushed and decorated Her hair. Finally, they gave Her nice dresses.

In the meantime, Jaṭilā and Kutila had struck out into the forest to search for the monkey that stole the kaustubha necklace. As they returned unsuccessful, Jaṭilā lamented, “We have lost everything.” She thought, “From tomorrow Rādhā must lock all Her ornaments in a chest before She bathes.”

When Jaṭilā returned, she saw that the pot filled with gold was also gone.

She said to Rādhārānī, “I thought the sun was pleased with You, but now I understand he has not been satisfied. Quickly go and worship the sun, then he will give you much wealth.”

Lalita-devi said, “Okay, Yaśodā Mātā has sent a box of gifts. Abhimanyu brought it for Śrīmatī. I will open that now.”

“No, this is not good,” Jaṭilā said.”

“Then what will Rādhārānī wear?” Lalitā asked. “If a monkey took away thousand year old ornaments what is the harm? We will give Her new ones.”

“No, I don’t give permission.”

“Then I will give Śrīmatī all my own ornaments,” Lalitā said.

“As will I,” Kundalatā said.

“And I.” “And I,” other sakhīs chimed in.

They opened their earrings, bangles, rings and so forth, and Jaṭilā became very happy. “This is good,” she said. “You are real friends. You are ready to give everything you possess. Your hearts are very clean.”

Jaṭilā is only attached and fixated with wealth. Now Jaṭilā was no longer sad and crying. “Good, you are sympathetic. If anyone lost something valuable, if others don’t help her, this is not friendship. Okay, anyhow, go worship the sun and tell him to give back the kaustubha-maṇi. When you are gone, I will go search again in the forest. I will give the monkeys food and many sweets to bribe them so that they will bring back the jewel. If this doesn’t work, I will ask Paurṇamāsī for dīkṣā in a mantra that can return the jewel.”

Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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