After the rAsa dance, life in the cowherd community took on an entirely new atmosphere. Krishna and the gopis were costantly finiding new ways to meet each other and express their love.
One day the powerful mystic Durvasa came to Radha’s village. Everyone knew Durvasa was prone to become angry at the smallest thing, and so they hid to avoid any possibility of receiving his curse. But Radha was not afraid. She greeted him nicely and lay flat on the ground in obeisance.
“Dear girl, I am most pleased with you,” said Durvasa. “I bless you that your cooking will always taste like ambrosia and whoever eats it will never become ill.”
Word of this blessing reached Krishna’s parents. Nanda and Yoshoda, and they came to see Radha’s family to ask that she be allowed to cook for Krishna. Out of friendship with Nanda they agreed, but Radha’s mother-in-law Jatila was not happy. Knowing of Krishna’s tricky ways and how he was always trying to meet with Radha, Jatila did her best to prevent Radha from going to Nanda’s house.
One day when Jatila had stopped Radha from seeing Krishna, she felt an unbearable pain. She uttered a cry and fell down on the ground in a swoon. One of her close friends ran to Jatila to tell her.
“Mother, come quickly! Radha has been bitten by a snake.”
Jatila rushed to her daughter-in-law, who was lying completely inert on the ground. “What shall we do? Who can help?” she cried anxiously.
Just then Radha’s friend Campakalata came into the house with a young girl. “This is the daughter of the sage Garga. She is expert in healing snakebites. Leave her alone with Radha and she will deal with the poison. She knows many effective mantras.”
“Very well. I will wait outside.”
Jatila left the room and as soon as the door was shut, the girl began speaking loudly from within the room, “Ah, there you are, you wicked snake. I see you. Why have you come here? What made you bite this young girl?”
Jatila, who had her ear pressed to the door, heard a deeper, hissing voice answer, “I have come from Mount Kailash to destroy Jatila by killing this girl, who is her life and soul.”
“Why? What has Jatila done?”
“She will not allow Radha to cook for Krishna. This is a great mistake.”
“But is it too late to save Radha?”
“If Jatila promises to never again prevent Radha from cooking for Krishna, I will retract my poison and she will be saved.”
Jatila had heard enough. She burst into the room. “I promise! I promise! Radha will go every day to Nanda’s house . Just please do not let her die!”
As soon as she said this, the color returned to Radha’s face and she sat up. Jatila ran to her and helped her stand. “Dear girl, you are well. You must go and cook for Krishna straightaway.”
Radha then left with her friend and the girl who had “cured” her. As soon as they were out of sight, the so-called girl revealed herself to be KRISHNA in disguise.
(from Beauty, Power & Grace by Krishna Dharma)