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Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.

After The Felling Of The Arjuna Trees - from Gopala Champu

Jagat - Tue, 11 May 2004 04:21:48 +0530

From Gopala Purva Champu, chapter 8. (Still needs work, what do you know?)

[50] Some distance away, King Nanda and the other cowherds heard the frightening powerful thunderclap-like sound and, debating amongst themselves about what it was, rushed to whence it had come. Arriving on the scene, they described what they saw with great fear in their voices,

[v37] "There was no wind, no rain,
nor any bolt of lightning;
there was no elephant who could be blamed--
so what then felled these two trees? (1)

[v38] "Such a great disaster has taken place,
so why is this place still deserted?
It must be that as a result of that great crash,
the cowherd men and women have all fainted away."
[51] Then they noticed the little cowherd boy Krishna in that very place, still pulling the mortar, unmoved by events and raining happiness with his movements, a glowing smile playing on his face. The men immediately surrounded him and stood there, still asking each other, "How did this happen? Why did it happen?"

[52] Krishna saw his father approaching and started crying. [53] Nanda, though internally fearful, put a smile on his face to calm the child as he quickly untied his bonds.

[54] Kissing the child's face and speaking tearfully, Nanda asked him, though he already knew the answer, "Son, what wicked-minded person bound you so tightly to this mortar?'

[55] Showing his affection to his father, Krishna held him about the neck for a long while and then, pressing closer, whispered in his ear, "Daddy, it was Mother."

[56] Krishna's father knew that Yashoda was distressed, first because she had lost consciousness and then (after regaining it) due to the disgust that she felt for her own actions. For this reason, Nanda did not wish to rebuke her severely, even privately.(2)

But, he did not ask the boys who had been placed as guards what had happened because he considered them to be ignorant and was disdainful of them.

[57] Even so, these boys spoke out spontaneously, "We saw Krishna crawl between the trees as he headed toward the open area in front of the village where he wanted to play. As he went between the trees, the mortar which was lying horizontally on its side got stuck and could not move. After that, the two trees broke with a great crackling sound, and then suddenly fell down.

[58] “After that, we saw two powerful persons with effulgent bodies, ornamented with armbands, crowns and earrings, came out of the two broken trees. They bowed to Krishna from every direction and said some pleasing words to him. Then they left, heading towards the North.(3)

[59] Upon hearing these words, those with parental feelings to Krishna thought, "This is nothing more than the prattling of foolish children." Others' minds, however, were left in a state of uncertainty.

[60] Then, gradually being joined by the other residents of the community either alone or in groups of two or more, the king of the settlement came down to the Kalindi to perform his regular religious duties, his arms beautifully adorned with the little boy. Taking Krishna with him, he went into the water, where he had some brahmins perform auspicious invocations on his behalf. Then he gave out copious amounts of charity before returning to the house where he prepared to take his midday meal.

[61] Yashoda, however, was so beset with unhappiness and shame at what had happened that she insisted on not leaving the inner quarters. Nor woudl she speak with any of the guests. When everyone else had come back after giving up their attempts to change her resolve, Rohini, being aware of the solution, went ahead and served the meal without her, with only the assistance of the respectable kitchen supervisors.

[62] The king of Vraja brought his son and Rama together and took his mealin their company, attentively listening to their gentle, affectionate noises. He then took rest for a while with the two boys, the personification of the greatest joy fulfilled. After his mind had been completely calmed by such a pleasurable rest on his couch, when evening came and the cows had returned, he went to the cowpens and supervised the milking and other duties.

[63] Then he had very white sugar candy brought from the house and after sweetening the milk fresh from the cow with it, he fed it to the boys and their fellows as a substitute for their mothers' breast milk. He also taught them how to fashion cups out of leaves.

[64] Then the king returned to the great house, where he enjoyed the pleasures of the evening meal with the two boys. After this, Rohini and all the respectable women, all goddesses of fortune to their the jewel-like members of his family and desired his lasting happiness, approached him and submitted, [65] "Oh King, Krishna's mother has not eaten all day, and she still refuses to speak to anyone. Since we are waiting on her, we have not eaten either."

[66] The king gave a sad laugh and said, "What can we do? She must see that it is her own fault for being so angry at Krishna."

[67] All the women replied tearfully, "Alas, she is so delicate, both within and without. Such words coming from you will surely cause her much distress."

[68] The King smiled and asked his son, "Will you go to your mother?"

[69] Krishna said, "No, no. I would rather spend the time with you."

[70] Then the King's older sisters-in-law laughed and said, "Whose breast milk will you drink?"

[71] Krishna said, "I will drink milk fresh from the cow mixed with sugar candy."

[72] Everyone asked, "And who will you play with?"

[73] Krishna said, "With Daddy. And I will also go with my brother."

[74] The King asked, "Why don't you go to your brother's mother?"

[75] Krishna spoke with angry tears, "She too left me behind and went away."

[76] Hearing this Rohini started to cry and said softly, "Child, why are you being so unkind? Your mother is so unhappy."

[77] Krishna pretended not to hear these words, but looked at his father's face with tears in his eyes. Meanwhile Rohini gave a signal to Balaram to bring Krishna with him. Balaram first took Krishna's hand, but Krishna let go of it and ran into his father's lap. So doing, he encircled his father's neck with his arms and looked into his face, whose eyes were filled with hot tears, making him completely sympathetic to him.

[78] The King observed the child's deep inner feelings of affection for his mother and, in order to bring them out, lifted his hand a little and said to him, "If you order me, then I will give her a good lesson." But Krishna did not like that and blocked the movement of Nanda's hand.

[79] Then the King laughed again and, knowing that Krishna's mother's heart too had been completely softened on account of her affection for her child, said, "Son, if your mother goes on like that, what will you do?" Jokingly he used the word in a meaning opposite to that of living, intimating, "If your mother dies, what will you do?'

[80] Krishna, true to his nature as a little boy, felt a great desire to be reunited with his mother rise up in him and said tearfully, "Where is mumy? I must go to her," and anxiously went to sit on Rohini's lap.

[81] Then while everyone was laughing, Krishna went into his mother's room, taken by Rohini who was riding on waves of great joy. Once there, Krishna flung his arms around his mother's neck, simultaneously laughing and crying with happiness. And then,

[v39] Placing her chin on her child's head
Yashoda made a indistinct lowing sound like a cow.
Then her heart melted and she burst into tears,
causing all her companions to cry as well.
[82] After they had greatly consoled her, the daughter of Sumukha became peaceful and the color returned to her face,(4)

[83] For the next three days, she still would not come into her husband's presence out of shame. On the fourth day, however, she was brought by her little cowherd boy, who pulled her by the corner of her dress in obedience to his father's order.

From that day on, Krishna began to be called Damodar(5) by the womenfolk of the village who said, "He is the same black-skinned one who steals our minds.(6)

[v40] Who in this world is sufficiently expert,
of all men who know the world,
to glorify the queen of the cowherd settlement?
For we have it on Shukadeva's authority
that not even Brahma, nor Shiva, nor Lakshmi has attained
to a fraction of a fraction [of her glories].
[84] Those words of praise are like the echo of the booming kettle drum of her glories that was struck by Shuka, the son of Vyasa, and which still reverberates throughout the three worlds. The original verse of praise he spoke is this:

Not Brahma, not Shiva, not even Lakshmi,
who has taken refuge in his body,
ever attained the same grace from the giver of liberation
as did this cowherd woman.(7)


1 This verse is a direct quote from HV 51.28 which has not been picked up by the editor P. It is also quoted in DharmakIrti's RUpAvatara in the KAraka-prakaraNa. Like most of the quotes from ViP and HV found in GC, it was originally quoted in full by Sanatan in VT (11.3).

2 Jiva deliberately contradicts HV 51.35 here. tato yazodAm garhan vai nandagopo viveza ha.

3 The firsthand account is found in BhP 10.10.28ff.
tatra zriyA paramayA kakubhaH sphurantau
siddhAv upetya kujayor iva jAta-vedAH |
kRSNaM praNamya zirasAkhila-loka-nAthaM
baddhAJjalI virajasAv idam UcatuH sma ||
The northern direction indicates the abode of Kubera, the father of the two personalities, Nalakuvara and Manigriva. Cf. BhP 10.10.43.

4 zrI-sumukha-kanyA; Cf. PUrva-campU, 3.30.

5 This detail is not found in BhP, but in HV 51.36, sa ca tenaiva nAmnA tu kRSNo vai dAma-bandhanAt | goSThe dAmodara it gopIbhiH parigIyate || Also, ViP 5.6.21: tayor madhya-gataM baddhaM dAmnA gADhaM tathodare | tataz ca dAmodaratAM sa yayau dAma-bandhanAt ||

6 The construction of this sentence lends itself to the possibility that the cowfolk knew Damodar as one of the twelve names of Vishnu after whom the full moon days (and their corresponding months) are named. Though this is likely Jiva's intention, it is in fact unlikely that the months were so named before Krishna and subsequently Vishnu, were given the epithet Damodar, which are first found in the Vaishnava pancharatra and samhita literature. Cf. also Caitanya-caritAmRta 2.20.198-201. Damodar is there specified as a form of Aniruddha.

7 The complete verse which was promised in 7.50 should probably have appeared here in the text. Perhaps it was so well known that Jiva did not feel it necessary to quote it. It has nevertheless been translated in full. It appears in BRBhAg ii.7.130, KRSNaS 146, 151, PrItiS 100, 175, etc., etc. nemaM viriJcir na bhavo na zrIr apy aGgasaMzrayA | prasAdaM lebhire gopI yat tat prApa vimuktidAt ||
Jagat - Tue, 11 May 2004 05:31:55 +0530

zrutim apare smRtim itare
bhArataM anye bhajantu bhava-bhItAH
aham iha nandaM vande
yasyAlinde paraM brahma
Some may worship the God of the Upanishads, some the One described in the Smritis, and yet others may bow down to the God glorified in the Mahabharata, quaking with the fears of life and death in this world. But I will place my head at the feet of Nanda and Yashoda, in whose back yard the Supreme Brahman is crawling about in the form of a baby boy.
What pride there is in this statement! Pride in a concept of God that envisions him in that all-attractive form as a child, who is seen in the beauty of every baby, but also pride in the glory of the devotees who serve him in this form. Remembering this verse brings one the joy of life in this world, the delight of parenthood. What love there is in these simple lines! (Padyavali 126, CC 2.19.96)
Advitiya - Thu, 27 May 2004 18:25:13 +0530
Here I am to rent a cloud so that I can be delivered as well !

I really enjoyed reading this article. I'm sure that many others have enjoyed as much as I did. Hope to relish more of these pastimes.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 17 Jun 2004 03:09:16 +0530
More more, I prithee, more Gopala champu translated in so sweet a style.