Hari-kathaArticlesThe Crooked Way - Govinda-lilarmta

The Crooked Way – Govinda-lilarmta

The message and messenger of the eternal world are worthy of great respect. How can this message come without a messenger? It is not possible. If anyone has taste for this message, he will collect spiritual activities from the spiritual world. These pastimes will be tasted by him, and distributed to others as well. They know that this is helpful for many people and other things are not helpful. The guru-varga bring this nectar from the eternal world, and distribute it for us.

The distributors receive double or triple benefit. Therefore, if anyone hears vraja-līlā, and discusses it, then he receives the blessings of God, and all the conditioned souls get benefit, tasting this and crossing māyā. They also then give thanks to that person who distributed to them. Therefore, we should try to follow this program again and again. It is helpful without any conditions. If there is a condition, one will run away and jump in māyā. Where there is no condition, everything will be right and good, but if a little condition comes, or some business mentality, everything will be lost. You will not get double or triple benefit, you will lose, you will be credited. Then you will have increased your anarthas, but received no paramārtha.

Therefore, Śukadeva Gosvāmī told Parīkṣit Mahārāja, “You must follow the Vraja-devīs without condition, with no business mentality. Come and follow. Then māyā or any other curse will not be able to touch you. Don’t be worried.”

Guru and Vaiṣṇavas save all their wealth for sādhakas. How can the sādhaka take this? There is only one way. One must go to the guru-varga. For those who have no knowledge, should pray to lotus feet of God. He will give knowledge which way to go and how to meet with His associates. Just as parents send their children to school, and when they are fully trained, they have good knowledge. Without any study, their life will be spoiled.

Kavirāja Gosvāmī collected this nectar of Govinda’s pastimes from Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, and all the Gosvāmīs. Now, he also distributes and saves this līlāmṛta. If one does not try to enter Kṛṣṇa’s līlāmṛta, he will never enter the family of God. This nectar is very powerful and tasteful and gives pure energy. This is very helpful for one to make relation with the family of God.

In the kitchen of Nanda-bhavana, Yaśodā Mātā sees all the ingredients have been nicely arranged and prepared for cooking, but Śrīmatī Rādhārānī has not yet come.

Yaśodā Mātā addresses Kuṇḍalatā, “Rādhā was given the boon from Durvāsā Ṛṣi that anything She cooks will be pure nectar. Anyone who eats Her cooking will have a long life and become very powerful and full of good qualities. It is a matter of greatest joy that She cooks for my son every day. But why is She late today? Why hasn’t She come? Please go and find out where She is. When She is not here, everything is dry and devoid of power. Please quickly bring Her here.

“My son Kṛṣṇa eats only a very little amount, but when Rādhikā cooks many tasty things, Kṛṣṇa greedily eats it all. It appears that Rādhā has been held back at Yāvaṭa. Quickly go and request Jaṭilā to let Kiśorīji come quickly with Her sakhīs.”

“Don’t worry Vrajeśvarī,” Kuṇḍalatā said, “Rādhā will be here very soon.”

With these words, Kuṇḍalatā went to Yāvaṭa. Arriving there, she requested Jaṭilā, “Please give permission for Rādhārānī to come to Nanda-bhavana and cook as She does every day.”

Kuṇḍalatā is very clever. She knew that Jaṭilā was very greedy and for this reason she brought with her a great basket filled with many costly gifts from Yasoda-mata.

Kuṇḍalatā had this presentation set down before Jaṭilā and said, “Don’t open this basket now. There are many monkeys about. They will steal everything. Open this a little later in your room. ”

But what was really in this basket? While Kuṇḍalatā was hurrying out of Nanda-bhavana she hastily told the servants to bring the basket of gifts. Somehow, there was a mix up and the servant brought the basket that was recently delivered to Nanda-bhavana by the potter. It was full of leaf-plates, small empty clay pots, and other items for distributing prasāda.

When Jaṭilā opened the cover and saw the contents of the basket, she became very angry and said, “Kuṇḍalatā is cheating me. She said this was wealth and sweets, but is only some small clay pots, and dry leaves. It is all useless.”

She stormed back out of her house, fuming in anger and said, “Kuṇḍalatā, you cheated me! What will I do with these clay pots?”

Back at Nanda-bhavana, Nanda Bābā and Upananda were wondering, “Where did that basket go?”

Sometimes the Vrajavāsīs are mad with love and they become forgetful and unaware of the world around them.

Yaśodā Mātā realized Kuṇḍalatā had gone with the wrong basket, so she sent many other baskets full of nice cloth, jewelry and so forth.

When these baskets arrived in Yāvaṭa, Jaṭilā became very happy.

Jaṭilā at first did not agree to send Rādhārānī, but then Paurṇamāsī Bhagavatī arrived and said, “If you don’t send Rādhārānī, and thus disobey Yaśodā, your son will die, your wealth will be lost, your cows will fall ill and be barren, and your house will burn down to ash. You don’t know Yaśodā, if anyone disobeys her, than his life will be finished. I request you, for your own welfare, please send Rādhārānī.”

Jaṭilā is very greedy, she likes some bribe, when Yaśodā sent these big baskets of wealth, and hearing the instruction of Paurṇamāsī Devī, she said, “Yes, no problem. Now Rādhārānī can go.”

She said to Kuṇḍalatā, “You have come on the order of Vrajeśvarī Yaśodā. Paurṇamāsī has also given some instruction in regards to the purpose for which you have come. But my dear Kuṇḍalatā, I am very worried. My son’s wife is very chaste and sweet. I hesitate to send Her to the home of Nanda Mahārāja due to the presence of that restless son of his. That boy disturbs everyone. However, if I neglect the order Yaśodā it is very dangerous. I know this. Paurṇamāsī instruct me to follow her. My heart is crying about this. I’m very worried. If I send my Rādhā, the crooked black snake Kṛṣṇa may bite Her.

“Take care of Rādhārānī, there is a black snake in Nanda-bhavana. He is very poisonous. If He bites Rādhārānī, then what will happen to Her? What can I do? My Rādhārānī is sweet, chaste and honest. Her good qualities are unlimited. But when She goes to Nanda-bhavana, I become very worried. I am afraid of that son of Nanda, Kṛṣṇa. He is very restless and disturbs everyone. I heard many things bad about Him.”

“Why are you always thinking and remembering Him?” Kuṇḍalatā asked. “He is a very good boy. I know him very well. The sun helps all, but some do not like the sun. When the sun rises, the lotuses blossom, but the owls run and hide. Kṛṣṇa makes everyone happy, but only some people shy away from Him. Anyway He goes, from the cows, deel, peacocks, peahens, and all animals and people are happy with Him. Only you are disturbed with Him? Really, you are like an owl. You cannot see the real Kṛṣṇa and think only of His supposed faults. That is not good and not true. If you are not pleased with Kṛṣṇa, no one will be happy with you. In the daytime the owls hide, and at night they go and steal other’s children and eat them. In the same way, you have met with many bad persons and heard their false criticisms of Kṛṣṇa. Don’t you know how all the cowherd families have so much love for Him! In the morning, thousands of mothers come to see Him. They sing, dance and are so eager to see Kṛṣṇa. Meeting with him, they give Him so many gifts and are so happy with Him. But you never go Nanda-bhavana! Have you never seen Kṛṣṇa? Therefore your heart is not clean. Your heart is dirty and dark, and full of jealousy, therefore you are never happy.”

“I am aged and senior!” Jaṭilā said, “I am more than your mother and grandmother. I have good knowledge! Don’t teach me or give me any advice. Why are you calling me an owl!”
“Why do you find faults in Kṛṣṇa?” Kuṇḍalatā said. “Why should I tolerate this, if anyone criticizes Kṛṣṇa why should I tolerate?”

Kuṇḍalatā could not tolerate hearing any criticism of Kṛṣṇa and gave a strong answer. She said, “Everyone in Vraja likes Kṛṣṇa, but only you don’t like Him. You collect His faults and guilt, saying, ‘He is bad, He is restless.’ Because of this offense you will never be pleased.”

“Don’t worry,” Kuṇḍalatā said, “I have a strong mantra to protect Her. She will be safe. I will cover Her with a shawl and Kṛṣṇa will not even see Her.”

Jaṭilā said, “Dear Kuṇḍalatā, you are famous as a chaste lady in Gokula. Don’t give me any curse. Excuse me. I simply want to protect my Rādhārānī. She is going to the house of another to cook, I feel it is not good. People say, ‘You send your son’s wife to do some business, making some money.’ And when She goes to the house, maybe people insult Her and this is disrespect to me. I am simple-hearted and offer Rādhārānī into your hand. Nandanandana is very restless, may He not watch my Rādhā. Please protect Her. Then I will be very happy.”

Jaṭilā came to Rādhārānī next and said, “My dear Rādhe, You should go to Nanda-bhavana and please Yaśodā. Please quickly come back with Kuṇḍalatā. Don’t stay there for a long time. Then you will go to worship the sun. Remember this. Don’t waste time or be delayed.”

Rādhārānī happily heard the order of Jaṭilā and thought, “Now I will go to Nanda-bhavana.”

Internally She was very happy, but outside She said, “I don’t have any desire to go there. It is late. I will have to walk all the way there and then back. I will become tired, and then I’ll have to go to sūrya-pūjā, again walking back and forth.”

Jaṭilā became very worried, “If Rādhā doesn’t go, Yaśodā will curse us. Also, she will not send any wealth or nice foodstuffs. What will happen to us?”

“I am your daughter-in-law, and will not leave your house,” Rādhārānī said. “Why should I go to the house of another? I came to your house; I will serve here. But you are sending Me to this and that house, and everyone insults Me, saying, ‘She is not a chaste girl, She goes to many houses and serves and talks with many people. I won’t go.”

“Please go,” Jaṭilā pleaded.

“Send your daughter Kutila,” Rādhārānī said. “She will go and cook. She has no work here. She can go cook, clean and come back. She should go earn your desired wealth. But I won’t go.”

“O Kuṇḍalatā,” Jaṭilā said, “Please tell Rādhā to go. Why is She reluctant now? You are Her guardian. Why is She afraid? Please take Rādhā there. Otherwise I will call my son and he will send Rādhā there by bullock-cart. She will not have to walk then.”

Jaṭilā request Rādhārānī to go again and again. Finally She agreed and Kuṇḍalatā was happily brought Śrīmatī Rādhārānī from Yāvaṭa on the pathway to Nandagrāma.

Kuṇḍalatā protected Rādhārānī carefully and said, “Your face is more beautiful than any lotus. A fierce and powerful bumblebee is hiding in this forest ready to attack You. Cover Your face otherwise He will bite Your face and the pain of that mark will never leave. The bumblebee is on top of a kadamba tree, and He will fly and come here.”

Another gopī said, “He is very black and has a sharp whiskers and legs. He will catch You and if You try to pull Him off, He will cling to You. Be very careful!”

Kuṇḍalatā said, “I have a relationship with this bumblebee, He is the younger cousin brother of my husband. He is very restless. There are many beautiful lotuses, but this bumblebee only likes You, the best of lotuses. Therefore carefully protect Yourself.”

Rādhārānī covered Her face with a shawl, and hurriedly moved through the forest surrounded by Her sakhīs.

Suddenly Kṛṣṇa appeared from out of the forest foliage and said, “O Kuṇḍalatā, please give Me a momentary darśana of She who has covered Her face. If you don’t give Me darśana, My life and all austerities will be completely useless. Simply give some darśana. I don’t want anything else. I have been waiting from early morning on top of a nearby kadamba tree. I only want to have Her darśana, but you covered Her face from top to bottom and on all four sides you a guard of your friends. Brahma, Śiva and the demigods chant mantra, glorifying Her, and praying for even darśana of the effulgence coming from Her toenails, and they pray to attain Her footdust. I gave up even Vaikuṇṭha for Her darśana. If you don’t fulfill My wish, I will have no other recourse.”

What is the meaning?

Kṛṣṇa implied, “I will block your pathway, calling all My strong companions. They will come in front of you and block the pathway, doing a hunger strike, and not letting you pass. Then you will be forced to give darśana. How do you want to go forward?”

Kuṇḍalatā and Viśākhā Devī understood. Kṛṣṇa went to see Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s beautiful decoration. A brilliant effulgence was coming from under Her shawl, like the rising of the sun. After Rādhārānī bathes and dresses, Her beauty is so effulgent.

Govinda is waiting with the sakhās for Her darśana. The sakhās were waiting on the four sides. Yaśodā Mātā had come down from the top of Nandisvara hill, and was thinking, “When is Kiśorī coming?” Rohiṇī and all the servants in Nanda-bhavana were waiting for Rādhārānī to come with gheelamps to perform Her ārati and water to wash Her feet.

She was coming with Her many thousands of sakhīs and mañjarīs. They were slowly and gracefully walking while singing and playing. The mañjarīs were throwing flower petals on the pathway.

When the sādhaka remembers this pathway from Yāvaṭa to Nandagrāma, as Śrīmatī walks with Her entourage, the heart melts and service tendency naturally manifests. One will pray as Dāsa Gosvāmī did, thinking, “I will sprinkle flower petals, fragrant water and perfumes on the road.”

Kṛṣṇa was waiting for Her darśana. Viśākhā Devī had brought mukunda modaka and govinda-manohara laḍḍus in baskets. Madhumaṅgala saw these, he stole the basket and began to run away.

The sakhās said, “Brahmaṇas are very greedy only to eat. This is their worship. They know only how to worship their stomachs!”

Everyone began to laugh and joke. Then Rādhārānī opened Her face a little bit and the sakhās began to sing, “Jaya! Jaya!” They were very happy that She gave darśana. Did everyone offer praṇāma? No one offers obeisance in Vraja-maṇḍala or gives any thank you. They sang—

jaya rādhe śrī rādhe!
vṛṣabhānu-nandinī rādhe rādhe!
aṣṭa-sakhī śiromaṇi rādhe rādhe!
kānu-māna-mohinī rādhe rādhe!
govindānandinī rādhe rādhe!

Then She began to smile, “I am Kānu-man-mohinī? Govindānandinī?” She asked.
Śrīmatī laughed and said, “I am Vṛṣabhānu-rāja-nandinī. That is good. No more. ”
The sakhīs shouted, “Stop! No more singing.”

Yaśodā Mātā saw from a distance that a big saṅkīrtana had started. The sakhās were singing loudly, walking and running along with Kṛṣṇa.

Yaśodā Mātā thought, “The sakhās are making Her more late by making such a ruckus.”

When Śrīmatī arrived in Nanda-bhavana, She touched the feet of Yaśodā Mātā and with deep affection Yaśodā Mātā embraced Rādhārānī to her chest, smelled Her head, and bathed Her with tears.

Yaśodā Mātā then embraced each of the sakhīs one after the other. She knows that the boys are very naughty and restless. Sometimes they put many stone pieces on the way, or make the pathway muddy with water so they cannot pass easily through. Then how can the gopīs go? When the gopīs ask for help, the sakhās will take them one after another in their arms and cross them over. Sometimes they put big stones, then how can the gopīs cross pass them? Then the sakhās push the stones to one side and make only room for one of the gopīs to pass through. Kṛṣṇa is very tricky.

Therefore, Yaśodā Mātā asked, “Was their trouble on the path?”

When Rādhārānī heard this, She began to shiver. It was like pearls were dropping from Her cheeks.

If you remember these eternal pastimes, and become present there, you will realize this. It is not possible to explain everything with worldly language. All these moods cannot be expressed.

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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