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

The Mystery of Krishna's Appearance - The dual appearance in Vraja and Mathura

Madhava - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 21:07:18 +0530
Since we are celebrating Janmastami today, let us post in some nectar related with the mystery of Krishna's appearance both in Mathura and Vraja-dhama. I will start with some nectar published in the latest Krishna-kathamrita-bindhu, published by my namesake Madhavananda Das of Gopal Jiu Publications. The first three entries are taken from the e-zine. Feel free to contribute more from any relevant granthas you may have at hand.
Madhava - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 21:14:52 +0530
Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada - Laghu-bhagavatamrita 1.5.452-456

preSThAnandair vraje tais tair Atmano'pi vimohanaiH |
lIlollAsair vilasati zrI-lIlA-puruSottamaH ||452||

To give pleasure to His dear associates, and to even enchant Himself with wonderful varieties of delightful pastimes, Sri Krishna manifested in Vraja.

asamordhena bhagavAn vAtsalyena vrajezayoH |
sutatvenaiva sa tayor AtmAnaM vetti sarvadA ||453||

Because the parental love of Vraja's king and queen is unparalleled, Lord Krishna eternally thinks Himself their son.

kecid bhAgavatAH prAhur evam atra purAtanAH |
vyUhaH prAdurbhaved Adyo gRheSv AnakadundubheH |
goSThe tu mAyayA sArdhaM zrI-lIlA-puruSottamaH ||454||

In ancient times some devotees have said that the Lord appeared in His Vasudev feature in the home Maharaja Vasudev, and at the same time appeared in His original form of Krishna in the village of Vraja. In this way these devotees have said that Sri Krishna and Yogamaya were the twin children of Yasoda in Vrajabhumi.

gatvA yaduvaro goSThaM tatra sUtI-gRhaM vizan |
kanyAm eva paraM vIkSya tAm AdAyAvrajat puram |
prAvizad vAsudevas tu zrI-lIlA-puruSottamam ||455||

Maharaja Vasudev arrived in Vrajabhumi, and when he entered Yasoda-devi's maternity room, he saw only Yasoda's daughter. Taking her, he returned to Mathura. The Vasudev expansion Maharaja Vasudev carried with him, entered the body of Sri Krishna, who had just taken birth as the son of Yasoda. In this way the two forms of Vasudev and Krishna became one.

etac cAtirahasyatvAt noktaM tatra kathA-krame |
kintu kvacit prasaGgena sUcyate zrI-zukAdibhiH ||456||

Because this pastime is very confidential, it is not related in Srimad Bhagavatam. Nevertheless, Sukadeva Goswami and other great devotees have indirectly described it in their writings.

[Srila Rupa Goswami goes on to quote four verses wherein Sukadeva Goswami has described Krishna as the son of Nanda Maharaja: Bhag. 10.5.1; 10.6.43; 10.9.21; and 10.14.1]

[ Bibliography -- Rupa Goswami. Sri Laghu-bhagavatamRta. English translation by Sri Kusakratha Das. The Krishna Library. Los Angeles. 1990. || Rupa Goswami. Sri Laghu-bhagavatamrita. Sanskrit with Bengali translation by Sri Srimad Bhaktivilas Tirtha Swami. Sri Chaitanya Math. Mayapur, West Bengal. 1994. Bengali. || Rupa Goswami. Sri Laghu-bhagavatamrita. Sanskrit from ]
Madhava - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 21:22:40 +0530

Shivai Das - Shivai Das, the author of this song and the next song, was a medieval Gaudiya Vaishava poet. Six of his songs are included in the famous songbook, Pada-kalpa-taru.

svarge dundubhi bAje nAce deva-gaNa |
hari hari hari dhvani bharila bhuvana ||

[When Krishna was born,] in Svargaloka the drums sounded and all of the devas danced. The sound of “Hari! Hari! Hari!” filled the universe.

brahmA nAce ziva nAce Ara nAce indra |
gokule goyAlA nAce pAiyA govinda ||

Brahma danced, Shiva danced and Indra danced. In Gokula all of the cowherd men danced upon obtaining Govinda.

nandera mandire re goyAlA Aila dhAiyA |
hAte laThi kAndhe bhAra nAce thaiyA thaiyA ||

All of the cowherd men came running to Nanda Maharaja’s house carrying bundles tied to sticks on their shoulders, dancing in great ecstasy.

dadhi dugdha ghRta ghola aGgane DhAliyA |
nAce re nAce re nanda govinda pAiyA ||

In the courtyard, everyone was throwing yoghurt, milk, ghee, and buttermilk. Nanda Maharaja danced again and again upon obtaining Govinda.

Ananda ha-ila baDa Ananda ha-ila |
e dAsa zivaira mana bhuliyA rahila ||

Although everyone experienced great happiness on the occasion, Shivai Das has forgotten and remains behind.

[ Gokulananda Sen. Pada-kalpa-taru. Syamacharan Li-brary. Calcutta. 438 Gaurabda (1924). Bengali. Volume one, page 944-945.]
Madhava - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 21:27:10 +0530
Shivai Das

yogamAyA bhagavatI devI paurNAmasI |
dekhilA yazodA-putra nanda-gRhe Asi ||

Paurnamasi, who is yogamaya, and who is also known as Bhagavati Devi, came to the house of Nanda Maharaja and saw the new-born son of Yasoda.

sabe sAvadhAna kari yazodAre kahe |
bahu puNye e hena bAlaka mile tohe ||

With much care she said, “Because of Yasoda's many pious activities she has gotten this son.”

bahu AzIrvAda kaila haraSita haiyA |
rUpa nirakhaye sukhe eka diThe caiyA ||

With great pleasure, Paurnamasi offered many blessings. She happily gazed at the newborn child without wanting to look at anything else.

e dAsa zivAi bale aparUpa heri |
dekhiyA bAlaka-ThAma yAGa balihAri ||

Shivai Das, beholding this wonderful scene, says that the vision of that childhood form of Krishna is beyond description.”

[ Gokulananda Sen. Pada-kalpa-taru. Syamacharan Library. Calcutta. 438 Gaurabda (1924). Bengali. Volume one, page 946.]
Madhava - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 21:30:30 +0530
I believe Visvanatha describes the dual appearance in Mathura and Vraja at some length in his Sarartha-darshini. Could someone with the tika at hand post it in?
jijaji - Mon, 06 Sep 2004 22:02:26 +0530
user posted image

Jai Sri Krishna Jayanti..!
Madhava - Tue, 07 Sep 2004 04:46:21 +0530
Happy Janmastami again, everyone! Would someone with the resources like to post some nectar in this thread?
Madhava - Tue, 07 Sep 2004 04:57:29 +0530
Here is a thoughtful summary of the narrations surrounding Krishna's birth in the third chapter opf Gopala-campu found at Jagadananda's website.

Chapter 3: Krishna's birth, the fortune that fulfilled the desire of people of Vraja

In this chapter, the two brothers, Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha, begin their narration of Krishna's life. In this chapter Madhukantha takes the main role of speaking while Snigdhakantha asks questions and provides asides and footnotes to his speech. Taking up a Vraja-centred approach which places the Vrindavan Krishna in a position of ontological superiority over the Krishna of Mathura, Jiva does not follow the familiar narrative sequence found in the Puranas, but rather gives an account of Nanda and Yashoda's family background, their desire for a son and the fulfilment of that desire. The chapter contains a number of scholastic arguments to support this contravention of the traditional view.

First Jiva describes the assembly hall and the seating arrangements. When everyone is in place, Nanda asks the two young bards to begin. Madhu- and Snigdha- make their introductory prayers (the nandi) which include an obeisance to the tradition of BhP reciters.

zrImAn yo bhagavAn svayaM vijayate brahmA surarSir mahAn
vyAsas tat-prabhavaH parIkSid api yAv ugrazravaH-zaunakau |
zrImad-bhAgavata-prathA-praNayinas tAn vizva-nistAriNaH
zrI-goSThasya mahiSThatAM prathayituM kamrAn namaskurmahe || (GCP 3v10)

The victorious husband of the goddess of fortune,
Narayan, is the original supreme lord.
He, Brahma, the sage amongst the gods,
Narada, the great Vyasa, his son Shuka,
as well as Parikshit, Ugrashravas and Shaunaka,
are the ones who established the traditions
of the Bhagavata Purana.

To these persons who have saved the universe
we offer our obeisances [for the sake of this blessing]:
[that we may] establish the supreme majesty
of the glorious cowherd settlement.

The narrative then begins with an account of Nanda's family tree, explaining the relation which exists between it and Vasudeva's family in Mathura. Nanda's father, Parjanya, retires and leaves Nanda's eldest brother Upananda in charge of the community. Upananda then abdicates in favour of Nanda, citing their names as an indication of his own subservience to him (upa signifying "below").

Nanda and Yashoda discuss their desire for a son and perform austerities to that end. At the end of one year's rigorous following of the dvadashi rules, Narayana comes in a dream and tells them that the beautiful child upon whom they meditated was indeed devoted to them and would soon be born to them. Paurnamasi, a woman ascetic and disciple of Narada, arrives in Vraja with the Brahman boy Madhumangala in expectation of Krishna's birth. Rohini is sent to Vraja by Vasudeva. Balarama is transferred by Yogamaya into Rohini's womb and is then born.

The beauty of Krishna's mother in pregnancy and the auspicious signs prevalent at the time of his birth are described. Vasudeva and Devaki have a four-armed son, in accordance with the object of their meditations. Before recounting this part of the story, however, Madhukantha remembers his guru Narada's warning not to reveal to the Vrajavasins that Krishna is God, but rather to tell them that whatever glories he possesses are due to Nanda's devotion to Narayana and the resultant blessing of the god. As a result of these blessings, the child is always accompanied by Yogamaya, Narayan's personal energy, and this accounts for Krishna's miraculous abilities. Madhukantha allows that these things can be said because the residents of Vraja already know them through Garga (BhP x.8, below, i.6). The story of the exchange of children takes on a different form from that found in BhP:

yadA nRzaMsa-kaMsa-bhiyA svAvirbhUta-caturbhuja-rUpAcchAdana-pUrvaka-dvibhuja-rUpAvirbhAvanAya zrI-devakIcchA jAtA, tadA tasya yad apUrvaM dvibhuja-rUpaM pUrvaM mAyayA saha zrI-yazodAyAH svAntaram AyAtaM, tad eva tatra sannidhAnam avApya caturbhujaM rUpam antarbhAvya svayam AvirbabhUva | yatra sAkAratayA mAtR-garbha-sthitApi mAyA nirAkAratayA tUrdhva-gatyA tanvA tad-vAhanatAm AgatA | gandavAha-zreNI nIla-kamala-dalam iva tatra sarvAlakSitatayA tat prApitavatI | yA khalu pUrvaM tad-AkarSeNa dharSeNa paraM mAtaram api mohena mlApitavatI | (GCP 3.102)

When out of fear of the wicked Kamsa Devaki's desire arose that Krishna should manifest a two-armed form and conceal the four-armed form in which he had been conceived, then that new two-armed form which had previously entered into Yashoda along with Maya came to Mathura and materialized, assimilating the four-armed form. Maya had been situated in a particular body (that of a little girl) within the womb of Yashoda, but in a formless form she acted as his conveyor, carrying him bodily through the air just like the winds which carry odours move the petals of a blue lotus. Without being noticed, she first brought him there by boldly seizing him and then gave the mother Yashoda herself the semblance of the physical distress of childbirth.

Next Maya gave Yashoda the illusion that the physical shape (i.e. Krishna's form) in her womb had been born to her, and then removing herself out of the womb appeared [as a baby girl] lying down on the maternity bed. In other words, she did what she had done in transferring Samkarshana from Devaki's womb to that of Rohini.

Although Jiva seems to be making a deliberate distinction between Maya and Yogamaya, we know from BhP that the Yogamaya who did the work of transferring Balaram from Devaki’s womb is the same person who is born of Yashoda. The identification with Paurnamasi is ambiguous at this point, and certainly Nanda and the others never indicate overtly that they know she is Yogamaya or anything more than an elderly human ascetic to whom they give special respect, e.g., after the birth of Krishna (GCP 4.28). The multi-polarity of Yogamaya’s identity is evident in later chapters also. Cf. GCU 32.58ff.

After this, Vasudeva exchanges the combined Krishna (i.e. his own son and that of Nanda) for Yogamaya according to the familiar narrative found in the HV, etc.