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

Paurnamasi - Searching through the sources

Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:15:35 +0530
(1) Gaudiya-vaishnava Abhidhana

According to Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika (69-71), Paurnamasi's father was Surata Deva and her mother Chandrakala. Her husband’s name was Prabala, her brother Devaprastha. Her son is Sandipani, Krishna’s guru. Her grandson is Madhumangala, her granddaughter Nandimukhi.

(ibid. 89-91) She is light-skinned, wears a saffron cloth. Her hair is white. All of Braja, from Nanda Maharaj on down, respects her. She is Narada Muni’s dear disciple, and on his order left Avantipur and her son Sandipani and came to Braj, where she is completely absorbed in love for Radha and Krishna. Her favorite service is to remove the obstacles to the two lovers’ meeting.

Sources not verified.
Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:26:56 +0530
2. Gopala Champu

(Note contradictory information).
(a) Paurnamasi enters the assembly hall to hear Krishna’s pastimes in Nitya Goloka (Gopala Champu, Purva 2)
[28] Next arrived Krishna’s personal energy, known in the assembly of perfected beings as Yogamaya, who is shown to have authority over the activities of the Lord in the most authoritative treatise on bhakti, the Bhagavata Purana, where it is said, “The Lord took shelter of his Yogamaya.” When not revealing her true identity, she appears in the form of an ascetic woman with the name Paurnamasi. Everyone respectfully bowed down to her with humility, shyness and the appropriate formalities. She joyfully responded by giving blessings to all.

NOTE: Here Jiva clearly states that Paurnamasi is Yogamaya, something which has not been made completely clear in Rupa’s plays. Ergo, wherever the name Yogamaya appears in GC, it is to be understood as Paurnamasi exercising her magical powers, until of course she takes an active personal role in later chapters. She is the primary go-between in most Gaudiya Vaishnava works, manipulating events in order to bring Radha and Krishna together. In Ramananda Raya's Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka, her name is given as Madanika. She addresses Radha as “sakhi” (1.43), though Radha addresses her as "Arye" (1.43). In the context of Sanskrit literature generally, she appears to be historically related to the Jain nuns who appear in Kalidas's Malavikagnimitra and Bhavabhuti's Malati-madhava. Rupa also seems to accept this etiology: Cf. UN 7.64: (dUtI-prakaraNa) linginA tApasIvezA paurNamAsIvad IritA.

(b) Paurnamasi comes to Braj (Gopala Champu, Purva 3)—
[71] While they were gathered together, an ascetic woman suddenly appeared with a Brahmin who recently finished his studies with his guru. When the Vrajavasis observed the signs of great power in her, they made no mistake in etiquette, but rose up and gave her the proper respect due a visitor of her stature. After doing so, they asked, “Who are you? You appear to be Yogamaya, the internal potency of the supreme God himself. And who is this young man, who appears to be Narada in a fresh new form?”

[72] The ascetic woman smiled and answered, “My name is Paurnamasi. I am an ascetic woman who wears saffron cloth. I have never married and am able to divine the future. And this young man is named Madhumangala. He is a graduate and is indeed graced with Narada Muni’s nature. Because of our mystical powers, we always remain of the same age that you now see us being.”

[73] The assembled residents asked, “How have you come to so favor us unfortunate souls with your presence?”

[74] She answered, “Because we know of your great glory.”

[75] They asked, “Whatever do you mean?”

[76] She replied, “He who is the root of your lives, Sriman Nanda, is about to have as his son the one who gives joy to the entire world.”

[77] All the Vrajavasis shivered in excitement and tears came to their eyes as they asked, “This Brihad Vana where we live is becoming a holy place. Therefore we will have a nice cottage constructed for you by the Krishna, where you will be able to find repose.”

[78] Paurnamasi answered, “I see this invitation to be an inspired statement like a new Veda, and like the revealed scriptures no one will ever be able to make it otherwise. You have said, “by the Krishna” intending the Yamuna River, which is also known by that name, but I have understood as “by Krishna," for indeed that will be the boy’s name. When that most powerful child takes his birth, the world will be freed of demons, but there will also be an ever-freshness in his qualities. The possession of the great virtues of learning, etc., will be insignificant in relation to him. Possession of great amounts of material prosperity will be meaningless in his devotion. All contradictions will be reconciled when he is born. Therefore we are resolved to stay here for your pleasure.”

[79] The Vrajavasis were delighted to hear this and they praised her and went with her down to the Yamuna, whose waters had a hue more beautiful than that of a blue lotus flower. They there completed a house of leaves in which they bade her take up residence.

[80] On that very day, in the flawless light of late evening, Rohini secretly arrived in her beloved Vraja on the back of a mare. [Her husband] Vasudeva had sent her there in great distress, for his mind had been withered by the passionate anger of Kamsa. When his greatly devoted wife arrived in Vraja, all the members of King Nanda’s retinue were as joyful as they would have been at the appearance of a flock of birds considered to be an auspicious augury. Enchanted with the bliss of meeting, Yashoda and Rohini embraced like the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna, giving joy not only to each other but to the rest of the Vrajavasis.
© Gopala Champu (Chapter 5: Putana)

After Putana has been killed :
[81] Then repeating the words, “He will save, he will save” (or "He will be saved") with great concentration, the matted-locked prophetess Paurnamasi came in from behind, without having been noticed by a single person. She was greeted respectfully by everyone who arose and placed her at the front of the assembly, and was offered a seat, etc.

[82] Then Paurnamasi made inquiries by which she learned the full outcome of the poison-woman's activities. Afterward, Nanda Maharaja asked her for leave to make unprecedented gifts in charity on behalf of his son as he had done before. This was carried out with Paurnamasi as the primary object [of the charity].
Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:51:27 +0530
(d) Gopala Champu (Chapter 15)
Paurnamasi plays a big role here, as she arranges the gopis’ marriages. Garga Muni comes to Braj to stop Nanda and the gopas from arranging the marriages of their daughters to Krishna.

[27] Having so concluded, Garga went to the blessed Vraja without any delay. On arrival, he went directly to Paurnamasi whom he found sitting in meditation near her cottage. He told her everything that he had decided, adding, “This then is what I must do. You, on the other hand, are to arrange that the other cowherds’ role as the gopis’ husbands does not turn into fact, but remains only an appearance to the world.”


[40] Now, a certain woman was seen to regularly come out of the depths of the Vrindavan forest, almost daily, to visit and seek advice from that woman who is heard to be Yogamaya herself, merely disguised as an ascetic woman going by the name of Paurnamasi. And although it was not possible to tell whether this person was a human woman who had become a divinity, or a goddess who had become a woman, nevertheless from her salutary influence it can be inferred that she functioned as a forest nymph in order to promote Krishna’s lila and was a creeper of supreme affection for Radha and the other gopis. While she referred to herself as vrindarika (“goddess"), people came to know her by the name Vrinda for short. She had now adopted the habit [of making these regular visits to Paurnamasi] due to being greatly distressed upon hearing the lamentable announcement of the gopis’ marriages.

[41] Although she was seated to mutter her prayers, Paurnamasi quickly rose when Vrinda arrived. She approached Vrinda as she offered salutations and embraced her. Greeting her with words of blessing, Paurnamasi asked, untroubled, “Tell me what brings you here at this irregular time?”

[42] Vrinda said, “Venerable lady, a most calamitous situation has arisen. How is it then that you are not anxious?”

[43] Paurnamasi asked, “What is the situation that should be a cause of anxiety?”

[44] Vrinda said, “Alas, marriage connections to other men are being urged upon those women who are reported to be the beloved of Krishna for all eternity.”

[45] Paurnamasi asked, “How did you come to infer this, then?”

[46] Vrinda said, “The [marriage] preparations have been observed.”

Post Options[47] Paurnamasi said, “These girls will have no marital relation with anyone else [but Krishna], because I shall take countermeasures with my magical powers, creating other women [to deceive their so?called husbands].”

[48] Vrinda said, “But nevertheless, shouldn’t we worry about people criticizing?”

[49] Paurnamasi said. “That situation surely won’t arise either, for the respected sage [Çuka] will sing as follows...
Here Paurnamasi begins to present all the arguments in support of the svakiya-vada.

[51] Vrinda said, “If that is so, then their marriages to other men would be even more distressing. How can you now so neglect your duty, in a manner for which the authorities have not even seen fit to lay down a penalty?”

[52] Paurnamasi smiled and said, “My pretty one, that for which arrangements are being made will not take place. Now put a smile on your face and be off.”

[53] Vrinda happily fell down at her lotus feet and shed tears of joy. Paurnamasi lifted her to her feet and after consoling her in all sincerity, sent her off to the forest.

[54] Then Vrinda spent the [following] two or three days and nights believing in that which she had been told and thus relieved and free from alarm. On the following day, however, she heard once again about the gopis’ weddings having been effected, and so returned quickly to Paurnamasi’s side, her face paling, and stood there looking like the very image of death.

[55] Paurnamasi asked, “What event has taken place that you now appear so agitated in mind?”

[56] Vrinda said, “I am incapable of saying anything. What can I say?”

[57] Paurnamasi said, “Lotus-eyes, you should not worry about anything at all.”

[58] Vrinda laughed harshly and said, “How so, venerable lady?”

[59] Paurnamasi said, “Because their marriage has still not taken place.”

[60] Vrinda said, “But Wise One, [absolutely] everyone is talking only about what they have seen with their own eyes.”

[61] Paurnamasi said, “Where are those girls at the present moment?”

[62] Vrinda answered, “I have also heard it said that in?laws have left them at their fathers’ houses, considering them to be still too young.”

[63] Paurnamasi spoke with affectionate anger, saying, “Why don’t you believe what I tell you, instead of going on constantly repeating nothing but rumors?”

[113] And then their parents [finally] did release this news on the maxim that even this would just have to be borne in exactly the same way as any severely distressing marriage communication can be tolerated ? like swallowing poison ? by force of habit based on gradual exposure, as one learns about it gradually from infancy, as word of it spreads from one to another.

[114] The gopis however became terribly aggrieved as soon as they heard this news and they soon came to the decision that where there was pain, nothing but pain, they should spit out their lives as so much phlegm. [115] Thus each one of them, concealing herself, set out from her home before the early morning and without consciously directing herself, as though guided by an outside force, made for the deep, black waters of the Kaliya Lake, whose billowing waves made a deafening sound. [116] All these weak young girls, though they had all gone independently of each other, met together there. They then began to ask each other who they were. [117] Once they had gathered this information, they inquired as to the purpose of their coming. [118] These girls soon developed an affection for one another, for they observed that the appearance of their eyes, their teeth and their clothes, all revealed that they suffered from the same mental anguish arising from identical desires. They embraced each other out of this affection and began to cry openly and loudly, thus gaining each other’s hearts.

[119] Thus even though they were ladies of rank, they automatically yielded up their rank awareness. Sri Radha, who attracted the gaze of all their eyes, stood spontaneously in their midst and then with difficulty openly revealed her own intentions as follows:
[v47] “If this body has been given over to someone else by my parents,
then it is as if it were already possessed by a ghost,
and it would therefore be even more ignominious for it to remain alive.
Fie on this body which is capable of tolerating the misery
of association with another person.
It is rather my duty forcefully to sacrifice it at this holy site
to the younger brother of Balaram.”
[120] It is not necessary to expand on this any further for, accepting the principle that the achievement of the greatest good is fraught with difficulties, Radha and the gopis rose up without further delay and, holding one another’s hands, approached the water. With half the colour gone from their faces, they folded their palms before the Yamunä and uttered the following prayer, their voices choking and their eyes filled with tears:

[v48] “Oh goddess Kalindi, I pray [to you]
that the king and queen of the cowherd settlement be my inilaws,
that the brother of Balaräma become my husband,
that this Vrindavan may always remain my play-garden.
May these girls too, whose hands are bound in each other’s
out of mutual affection,
and who have immersed themselves in your waters, always be my friends.
To this end we have taken shelter of you.”
[121] Then they obtained other help there within the river as follows: [122] A heavenly voice sounded, first addressing Radha and then the gopis within the lake, who had been washed of any reason to continue holding onto their lives on account of their being afflicted with extraordinary obstacles [to the fulfilment of their desires]. The voice renewed their hopes in order to turn them away from the water, saying:
[v49] “Oh foolish daughters of the cowherds!
do not impulsively perform this act of violence.
Listen: you are not about to have, you are not going to have,
you never will have any unpropitious relationship
with any adverse person.”
[123] Thus,
[v50] The divine clouds returned to the heavenly world
after having sprinkled the gopi land-lotuses with the ambrosial message,
who were suffering on account of the drought of separation.

[124] Then, as the gopis looked at one another with eyes widened by surprise, a woman came out of the Yamunä’s depths nearby to them and approached Radha. Then, calling each one of them, she expanded herself into multiple forms and took hold of every one of their bodies so as to clear the channel and place them on the shore. [125] This girl, as beautiful as a blooming blue lotus flower, was the goddess Kalindi herself. When the gopis had been pulled on the shore by Kalindi, the esteemed and benevolent Paurnamasi also arrived there suddenly, accompanied by Vrinda who had received news of all these developments, and Madhumaìgala, who was well pleased by the auspicious turn of events.

[126] Then, as the women of the cowherd settlement showed signs of losing consciousness, with only trees to prop them up, Paurnamasi called each one of them by name and embraced them. Then she calmed them in the very words of the message received from the gods, with further details being repeated by Vrinda and Kalindi. [127] Having brought them back to consciousness, Paurnamasi said, “How could such hardness come upon you who are tender by nature? [128] In fact,
[v51] “The smudge on the moon never leaves it,
but there will never be a blemish on your faces.
The moon also wanes, but your bodies will never deteriorate.
[129] “Furthermore, the three of us must help you all both overtly and covertly, so that you, for whom Krishna is the only husband, will never have to enter the bed of any man for whom you feel no love. [130] Such protection could perhaps be said to be the result of even the slightest amount of feeling for Krishna, so how much greater it will be for you, who have such deep love for him. For Garga promised the king of the cowherds [x.8.13]:

“‘Those men who feel affection for this greatly fortunate [son of yours]
will never be defeated by their enemies, just as the demons
never defeat those who are protected by Vishnu.”
[131] “Therefore, you who are the most auspicious of all women should not worry any further about this, but remain submissive to your seniors and be peaceful.”
[v52] As she calmed them, the multitude of golden-bodied gopis
stood, bowing their heads, under a tamal tree.
They remained there, as though washing its leaves
with the tears flowing from their eyes.
[132] Then Radha and the other gopis followed Paurnamasi, Vrinda and Kalindi for a little distance as they parted, embracing one another. When they saw that they had left, they took solace in their counsels, recovering the desire for Krishna which suddenly welled up in them, and, in the company of the other girls who tenaciously held onto each other’s hands, they returned to the woods near to their own homes on a secret path without any obstacle and without being discovered.
[v53] And, from that day on, you should know that
the gopis headed by Visakha and Lalita became Radha’s friends,
while those led by Padma and Saibya became Chandravali’s.
[133] It is not so strange that this group of companions should from this day on be of increasing support to each other, for they were all completely absorbed in their desire for Krishna. [134] Because for an ordinary person also,
[v54] If good fortune should wish to grant anyone assistance
then she brings all positive circumstances together at the same time.
Then, at the time of attaining a kingdom or whatever,
the various planets, constellations, omens, gods and men,
all appear in an auspicious aspect.

The conclusion of Chapter 15 :

Paurnamasi meets Krishna after the above events, and introduces him to Vrinda and Madhumangala. Left out from this account of Paurnamasi for the time being.
Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 01:08:56 +0530
(e) Gopala Champu, chapter 17

When the gopis come of age, Paurnamasi makes sure they go to their "husbands" homes.

[4] Thus, the gopis somehow got through an autumn which had brought with it such an intense desire for Krishna, who seemed so difficult to attain. Then the month of Margasirsha arrived which heralded the start of the girls’ journey (marga-sirsha) to the houses of their so-called husbands.

[5] The parents of the gopis had previously lost their taste for giving their daughters to anyone other than the conqueror of the Mura demon, and had come to consider their marriages elsewhere to be an illusion arising out of a dream. They did not, therefore, cheerfully greet the in?laws [when they came seeking their girls]. Now they became terrified upon seeing their daughters withering away due to the extreme grief [which beset them at their prospects] and so had not the heart to send them away. [Even so,] they still were afraid that they would face public criticism for neglect of their religious duty [if they didn’t].

When they were in this situation, Paurnamasi being worried [at the parents’ reactions and] came and instructed them as follows. [6] “Don’t get involved [in this matter]. I will personally speak to your daughters and convince them to go to their in?laws’ homes. I will even take them there myself and see to it that all the formalities are duly observed.”

[7] Paurnamasi was aware that the feelings of the so-called husbands’ male relatives had been ruffled on account of the gopis’ parents’ lack of hospitality. Because she was revered by men and gods alike, she could soothe them by giving them their due respect and then make them do what she had in mind.

[8] Those blessed girls, however, did not accept that they should enter into the houses of those who [merely] considered themselves to be their bridegrooms and there suffer such injustices as the binding of the border of their garments with those of these fellows.

[9] Then Paurnamasi made promises to persuade them, making them believe that they would achieve their desired object and be able to separate themselves from those husbands who were so undesirable to them, something that could not be achieved by remaining in their homes. Thus preventing them from following their various intolerable plans [from doing anything rash] she engaged them in the voyage. On the way she hid them by her own magical powers, substituting them with other women who looked just like them, and then engaged the latter in all the formalities that she had promised she would. Thereafter she made [the original gopis also] go and live there, at which they became very disturbed, for:
[v4] Due to having been separated from Krishna,
the gopis considered their very own bodies to be like prison cells,
so how could their paternal homes have been soothing for them?
If this was the case, then little hope for the home of their in?laws,
which they perceived to be like a fire.

[v5] If those circumstances which were favorable
could be felt to be detrimental when Krishna was far away,
then those which were detrimental
would clearly become like a bed of nails.
[10] Even so Paurnamasi, while she was preparing to leave after having established them in their in?laws’ homes, the gopis had doubts again. In order to calm them she gave them the following instructions, saying, “Whenever you feel that your virtue is being lost, then you should run away somewhere. Again, it is I who will take care of everything by some special mystical power of mine and you will at once find a place to hide, even in the very place where you happen to be standing.”

Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 01:25:59 +0530
(f) Gopala Champu Purva 21

In this chapter, Jiva Goswami recounts the first actual meeting between Krishna and Radha, arranged through Paurnamasi.

[122] In the meantime, Radha was in crisis. She had been unconscious for two watches and her friends had exhausted all the means they knew to revive her when Paurnamasi arrived on the scene accompanied by Vrinda. Seeing Radha’s state, Paurnamasi felt distressed and stated very clearly, [123] “If you bring her alone and place her under the tree by my thatched cottage, even if for only a single watch, I will quickly cure her.”

[124] After Radha’s friends had somehow or other agreed to this proposal and she had been brought to her cottage, Paurnamasi, whose auspicious powers increase with her concentration, sent Madhumaìgala66 to fetch Krishna. When he arrived, Paurnamasi greeted Krishna by giving him a place to sit. Then she smiled and began to gently chastise him, “Very well. What’s done is done, so be it. But now you have to neutralize the effects of your actions.”

[125] Krishna looked down in embarrassment and said, “What on earth are you talking about? What do you mean?”

[126] Paurnamasi answered, “We are suffering too much at this moment to do a lot of explaining. Just touch this girl and free her from her deep faint.”

[127] Krishna asked, “But who is she?”

[128] Madhumaìgala chastised him lovingly:
[v61] “As long as lightning dwells within the cloud,
it may remain unknown to it;
but if it should manifest itself even slightly,
can it go on remaining hidden to the cloud?”
[129] Paurnamasi smiled and looked at both Madhumangala and Krishna’s faces. [130] Krishna then said, “Let this fellow prattle on as much as he likes, for he is quite mad and the making of false accusations is an activity befitting uncouth persons such as he. On the other hand, I am not able to disobey a respectable woman like yourself; but you must give me a reasonable order to follow.”

[131] Vrinda then spoke up, “Krishna, you are the protector of the people of Gokula. This girl possesses all the qualities of the goddess of fortune and so stands out as unique amongst all Gokula’s women. What possible harm could come to you if she were to recover consciousness by sensing your touch? [132] Alas, alas!
[v62] “If you must be indifferent to Radha,
O Krishna, then go ahead, be indifferent.
What can a hard-hearted woman like myself say to you?”
[133] She thought for a moment before continuing,
[v62] “You have abandoned her,
though she exceeds all the goddesses of fortune;
not she you, however.
Thus you remain the one on whose chest
the goddess of fortune makes her home.
We, however, are simple women and do not pretend to understand
lovers’ behavior toward one another.”
[134] Even at these words, Krishna remained silent. [135] Then Paurnamasi said, “You are the life of all the people of Vraja. Why do you remain silent and ignore my request?”

[136] Krishna said, “You are asking me to do something that goes against the principles of religion, and that gives me great pain.”

[137] Paurnamasi said, “I will take responsibility for any sinful reaction. Rather, I will bless you that your piety increases!”

[138] Krishna continued to object, “Why can’t you tell me to do something other than touch her.”

[139] Vrinda said, “Just look at her, then. If by your doing that your visit here bears fruit, then do you think that we shall ask you, the reservoir of the greatest virtues, to do anything else?”

[140] Krishna looked at Radha and thought,
“Oh my beloved, everything that is dear to me,
to my body, sense, mind, intelligence and life, etc.,
is of no interest to me if you do not care for me.”
Then, as Krishna stood there silently, internally nurturing his desires for her, Madhumaìgala took hold of his hands and led him to the bower by the side of Paurnamasi’s cottage. Then leaving Vrinda sitting on the periphery, entered the bower and sat down respectfully beside Paurnamasi and attentively watched the events which unfolded. [141] Vrinda then instructed Krishna:
[v64] “Krishna, look upon that face,
upon seeing which the moon thinks it sees another moon,
a glass finds it impossible to reflect,
and Lakshmi herself becomes perplexed.”
[142] Then Krishna gazed at her, overwhelmed with emotion, trembling and crying copious tears. The events that followed are still glorified by her girlfriends in song: [v65]

[a refrain] Lying in a secluded place,
on a bed made of branches
Krishna looked at Radha, immobile,
as a result of his own flute playing.

(b) The nectarean rays shining down from her moon face
caused the moonstone of his countenance,
making it melt, or so it appeared
from the limitless torrents that flowed from it.

[c] Radha’s heart, internally worshiping Krishna’s form,
also manifested him externally
as though he were nothing more
than a reflection of what was contained within her.

[d] Saffron powder had been placed upon her
by those who thought that she suffered from disturbed humors;
Krishna thought that his heart’s passion
had been projected externally.

[e] Krishna experienced not only the eight ecstatic transformations,
but a mental transformation also;
yet though he resisted the onslaught of these ecstasies,
he could not help thinking that this was only a statue of Radha.

[f] Take her to be a statue, he became thoughtful:
“In order to examine my love for her,
some magician has created this illusory model.”

[g] Nevertheless, even though he desired her,
he acted as though the illusory model was indeed Radha,
and refused Vrinda’s supplications,
bringing her much frustration as Radha’s suffering continued.

[h] Finally overwhelmed with sympathy
at Vrinda’s repeated pleas,
Krishna placed his delicate foot on her heart,
bringing life back to all those who surrounded her.
[143] This is the sequence of those events: When Vrinda saw that Krishna was being grievously affected by ecstatic transformations, she beseeched him to do that which in fact he desired most, “Oh prince of Vraja, this girl is very much in love with you. Let me explain:
[v66] “O Krishna, this girl guessed that
now that you have reached adolescence,
you would be feeling a desire to enjoy;
she constantly feels your distress within herself,
abandoning any idea of her own happiness.”
[144] “You yourself are aware of this and this is why you constantly play your flute and do so many other things. So you should resolve the problem with due attention.”

[145] Krishna asked in a faltering voice, “What must I do?”

[146] Vrinda answered, “Place your hand over her heart.”

[147] Krishna said, “That is really inappropriate.”

[148] Vrinda said, “Then touch her with your foot.”

[149] Krishna again fell silent. [150] Vrinda then fell down at his feet, pleading with him, “Please don’t delay any longer.” And with that intensely emotional plea, she took one of his feet and placed it on Radha’s chest, as if forcing him to do it . [151] As he placed his foot there, Krishna was overcome with faintness and uncontrollable trembling.

[152] Upon being touched by Krishna’s lotus foot, Radha’s consciousness was restored as though by a magic wand. She opened her eyes and saw him before her. [153] At that very moment,
[v67] Radha’s beautifully-browed eyes
and those of Krishna, the enemy of Mura,
entered into each other, as though into their own reflections.
The beauty of this moment created in them a mutual desire,
the desire to exchange souls.
[154] Krishna immediately became embarrassed and, covering his head with a cloth, quickly exited the bower. He paid his respects to Paurnamasi and was off. But, he was so distraught that he kept stumbling, so that he needed Madhumangala’s aid in walking, as well as his jokes to aid his spirit, before he could manage to rejoin his cowherd friends.

[155] Radha, on the other hand, thought the events had taken place in a dream. She stood up in semi-consciousness, and was affectionately pacified by Vrinda as she cried slightly, wordlessly. Then, though only partially calmed, she also bowed to Paurnamasi before taking Vrinda and heading off to the Vraja where her dear friends were still anxiously awaiting her return at the very end of the afternoon. Even so, her time passed with difficulty.
Jagat - Thu, 29 Apr 2004 01:32:48 +0530
Paurnamasi is not mentioned again until chapter 33, where a preview of the role she will play in the Uttara Champu is given. More to come.

Rather than posting that Uttara Champu stuff here, I'll refer you to the Gopala Champu summary.
Jagat - Sat, 01 May 2004 18:01:15 +0530
zrI-paurNamAsyAz caraNAravindaM
vande sadA bhakti-vitAna-hetum
yasyA manaH sarva-niSevitAyAH
I offer my heartfelt obeisance at the holy feet of goddess Paurnamasi, who ever expands the life and soul of bhakti—the divine love for Radha and Krishna. Her mind is always immersed in the ocean of Krishna’s divine pastimes.

I think that the reference to Paurnamasi as never having married must be a mistranslation, though the word kumAra-zramaNA seems fairly obvious.

Vidagdha Madhava confirms that Paurnamasi is Sandipani Muni's mother:

vahantI kASAyAmbaram urasi sAndipani-muneH
savitrI sAvitrI-sama-rucir alaM pANDura-kacA
surarSeH ziSyeyaM parijanavatI nanda-bhavanAd
ito mandaM mandaM sphuTam uTaja-vIthim pravizati
Wearing a red cloth over her breast, her hair white, as splendid as the goddess Savitri, surrounded by her entourage, Narada Muni's disciple and Sandipani Muni's mother Paurnamasi is leaving Nanda's house and slowly walking toward her own cottage.
The same thing is found in Lalita Madhava--

ambA sAndIpani-muni-pater atra ziSyeti sAdhvI
yAtA loke paricayam RSer vallakI-vallabhasya
kAza-zreNI-dhavala-cikurA vyAharantIha gArgIM
raGge dhanyA pravizati puraH sambhramAt paurNamAsI
Here comes Paurnamasi, the mother of the leader of the munis, Sandipani, who has achieved fame as the disciple of the sage who plays the vina, Narada. Her hair is as white as the kasha flower, and she is deeply engaged in serious conversation with Gargi.(1.13)
Later, in the fourth act, Uddhava is talking with Gargi. Gargi says, "How fortunate is Paurnamasi, who has seen Krishna's pastimes with her own eyes." Uddhava answers, "That's nothing. Thanks to his connection with her, Sandipani Muni became the guru of Krishna, the guru of all the worlds." (4.10-11)

In the first act of the Lalita Madhava, Gargi says that Paurnamasi arranged Radha's marriage with Abhimanya, but Paurnamasi says that this is all an illusion. In the conversation that follows, Paurnamasi does not seem to play a direct role in all the complex machinations of gopi movements that result in their identification with Krishna's Dwaraka queens, but she knows of them. Generally, throughout Lalita Madhava, Paurnamasi's role is somewhat mysterious, but she is always following the action somehow.

In the fourth act, it is said that she goes to Bharata Muni, the founder of the dramatic arts, and asks him to personally write a play for Krishna. She has some Gandharvas learn the roles and brings them to Dwaraka to put on the play for Krishna. At one point in the play, Krishna says, "Paurnamasi, affectionate one (vatsale), you have always known how to entertain (vinodayitum) me." Later, on seeing Radha in the play, Krishna loses all sense of reality and wants to embrace her, but Paurnamasi stops him and tells him, "No, Krishna, this is just a play."

At the end of the act, Krishna says, "Bhagavati, you have enkindled my feelings of separation and I am unable to control my emotions. What should I do?"

Paurnamasi does not answer him but says mysteriously, "I have now taken care of my first business, but now must take care of Chandravali. So on the pretext of going to visit Sandipani, I will go to Kundina (Chandravali Rukmini's home)."

Paurnamasi introduces and describes the background of the fifth act, but once again does not play any direct role. Then in the tenth act, Paurnamasi comes to Dwaraka with the Vrajavasis headed by Nanda. With the exception of Radha's attempted suicide, the chapter mostly consists of the consolidation of the Dwaraka/Vrindavan identities. Though we hear right at the beginning of the act that she has arrived in Saurashtra, she only enters Dwaraka with Nanda and Yashoda later on (10.103=v.12). She goes with Yashoda to Rohini's quarters to cheer her first. This is where their reunion with Krishna takes place.

When Krishna embraces his mother, Mukhara observes to P, "Though I have heard from you that Krishna is the lord of the countless universes, he looks once again just like a cowherd to me." There is some recollection of past suffering in his absence. Paurnamasi herself expresses this:

kas tAn pazyan bhavad-upahRta-snigdha-piJchAvataMsAn
kaMsArAte na khalu zikhinaH khidyate goSThavAsI
unmIlantaM nava-jaladharaM nIlam adyApi matvA
ye tvAm antar-mudita-matayas tanvate tANDavAni
What Vrajavasi does not suffer internally when they see the peacocks who used to provide feathers for your headdress? Those peacocks used to think that you were a new monsoon cloud when they saw you, and this would set them dancing with joy.(LM 10.16)
Krishna inquires from her after his sakhas, and she tells him that they are waiting impatiently to see him in the Sudharma assembly hall. Taking her permission, Krishna goes there. And so on with the reunions.

When they see Krishna coming, Paurnamasi asks Navavrinda where her friend Satyabhama is. At this point, no one but Krishna really knows that she is Radha. Navavrinda tells Paurnamasi that she is in the Madhavi Mandap, to which Paurnamasi replies, « Well you’d better quickly get her off to Kundina Nagar before Krishna sees her. » Curious statement, to which Mukhara answers, « I’ll go fetch her right away. »

The commentary of Narayan fortunately explains that Paurnamasi is making reference to the agreement that Krishna made with Chandravali before Bhishmaka not to marry any other woman without her permission.

Mukhara sets off to get Radha, who is meanwhile coming on stage with Pingala. Radha hears them talking and asks Pingala who’s there. Pingala says, « Rukmini (Chandravali’s) family has come to visit and they are all finding fault with you. Radha responds, « Alas, I wish I were dead. » and she starts crying.

Mukhara stops in her tracks and Paurnamasi asks her why. Mukhara says, « I am reluctant to say what I am thinking. » Evidently, she has recognized Radha.

Paurnamasi, « Foolish woman. Speak fearlessly. » Mukhara whispers something in here, finishing aloud, « So that’s it. » P. chastises her, « What are you prattling on about? Be quiet. How could we ever be so fortunate? »

Yashoda asks, « What did she say? »

Paurnamasi : « A complete impossibility. »

Mukhara whispers in P’s ear again. P. « Silly woman! I know, I know. You have been misled by the wonderful jewel. »

Nevertheless, they all approach Radha, who recognizes them. Paurnamasi: ahaha bho! kathaM vatsaiva sA me rAdhikA! and she bursts into tears.

Within a short time, Chandravali also recognizes Radha and gives her permission to marry Krishna also.

eSA sAdhvI ciram udayate devi daivI prasiddhir
vinyastAyAM madhuripu-kare rAdhikAyAM bhavatyA
dhinvan bhAvI bhuvanam anayoH prema-saubhAgya-ghaNTA
nirghoSAkhyaH pariNaya-vidhau ratna-dhArAbhiSekaH
O Chandravali ! By allowing Krishna to take Radha's hand, her divine reputation as a pure and faithful woman will spreat through the universe, like the sound of a bell annoucing the good fortune of their love, the jewelled abhishek of their marriage rite.
When Nanda comes forward to express his delight to Paurnamasi, the two "sisters" (Chandravali and Radha) step out from behind her to pay their respects.

Kubja the perfumer and Sudama the florist come to make their offerings at the wedding and Paurnamasi (10.254) instructs Krishna to delight the goddess of the occasion by gracing Radha first and then the other gopi/queens. And that is about all for Lalita Madhava.

It's hard to put a finger on Paurnamasi's role. She does not overtly play the part of a goddess, and seems to be a participant in the lila like anyone else. She is taking an active role in bringing the lovers together in any way she can, but what exactly she is doing to achieve those ends is not quite clear. She knows all along what is what with this confusion of identities, but she does not say anything, not even at the end when Mukhara recognizes Radha; rather she makes a kind of joke, to provoke the sentiments, though she knows that the conclusion of the affair is imminent.

Jiva in Gopala Champu was obviously influenced strongly by the Lalita Madhava, though his story is quite different. Nevertheless, the grand dénouement of the marriage has numerous similarities. In both, Paurnamasi is the one who knows what's going on and explains to everyone. One gets the feeling that Yogamaya in GC and Ekanamsa in LM are her expansions, who show the divine power, which Paurnamasi can dissimulate in order to experience the vatsalya-rasa for the Divine Couple.
Jagat - Sun, 02 May 2004 18:41:41 +0530
In Gopala-champu, Uttara 33.5--Paurnamasi is said to have demonstrated her Yogamaya potencies in full.

Here is the song the women sang at the adhivasa ceremonies, the day before Krishna's marriage to the gopis. It is to be sung to the same tune as "zrita-kamala-kuca-maNDala" in the Gita Govinda.

rAdhA-rAkA-zazadhara muralI-kara,
gokula-pati-kula-pAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||1||
rAdhA-bAdhA-mocana mukha-rocana
vidalita-gokula-kAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||2||
rAdhA-parikara-puNyada naipuNyada
gokula-ruciSu vizAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||3||
rAdhA-sukRta-vazIkRta maGgala-bhRta
tilakita-gokula-bhAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||4||
rAdhA-nija-gati-dharmada puru-zarmada
hata-gokula-ripu-jAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||5||
rAdhA-jIvana-jIvana go-vraja-dhana
gokula-sarasi-marAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||6||
rAdhA-moda-rasAkara sarasija-vara
gokula-maNDala-nAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||7||
rAdhA-bhUSaNa bhUSaNa gata-dUSaNa
gokula-hRd-ratna-bhUpAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||8||

This is actually a very good song, with good repetition, alliteration, etc. Krishna in connection with Radha. zrita-kamala is one of the best songs in the Gita Govinda. This is a pretty good pastiche. It's pretty easy as far as Sanskrit goes--it's just names of Krishna, most of which should be fairly accessible.
Jagat - Sun, 02 May 2004 18:50:09 +0530
I've kind of had this thing for Paurnamasi. When in Nabadwip, one year I did the Katyayani-vrata in which I went every day to Pora Ma Tala in the middle of the night and did my japa sitting by the big banyan tree. It was a pretty interesting experience, but I did not do the vow perfectly, so Sri Jiva Prabhu of Srivas Angan told me I failed to achieve the results. But

"nehAbhikrama-nAzo'sti pratyavAyo na vidyate /
svalpam apy asya dharmasya trAyate mahato bhayAt //"
Jagat - Mon, 03 May 2004 05:55:59 +0530
I should say a word or two about this song's meter. The trouble with finding a tune for these songs is that one likely does not understand the meter. So when I say it is the same as zrita-kamala, you probably ask yourself how.

The songs in Gita Govinda are written in what is called moric metre, like a lot of ancient Greek and Latin poetry. Morés are a calculation of syllables that goes by weight rather than number. So, a long syllable is worth two moré, a short syllable one. The most common unit in Sanskrit consists of 4 moré, but it can occasionally be 2, 3, 5 or even 6. Although a unit of four moré can be short-long-short, this is not so favored and some consider it to be wrong. The customary unit can be either two longs, two shorts + a long, a long + two shorts, or four shorts.

zrita-kamalA-kuca-maNDala, dhRta-kuNDala he
kalita-lalita-vana-mAlA, jaya jaya deva hare

The first line has five units (1) four shorts, (2) two shorts + long (3) 1 long + 2 shorts (4) 2 shorts + long (5) 2 shorts + long. (The "he" is usually given in most editions.) The second line has (1) four shorts (2) four shorts (3) two longs; then (1) four shorts and (2) a group of six (deva hare) = long short short long.

Jiva's song follows the moric schema, but differs in the individual units.

rAdhA-rAkA-zazadhara muralI-kara (he),
gokula-pati-kula-pAla jaya jaya kRSNa hare ||1||

The first line has five units (1) two longs, (2) two longs (3) 4 shorts (4) 2 shorts + 1 long (5) 2 shorts + long. (The "he" is usually given in most editions.) The second line has (1) 2 longs + 1 short, (2) 4 shorts (3) two longs (a final syllable is often counted as long by default); then (1) four shorts and (2) a group of six (deva hare) = long short short long.

Note that the ends of each strophe are the same both in moric and standard metric calculation.

So when singing, one uses the same tune, but takes care to double the length of the long syllables. It's admittedly easier with a lot of shorts, but deliberately stretching out Radha's name should be a pleasure...
Jagat - Wed, 12 May 2004 23:33:07 +0530
sA mRSA patitayAbhimAninaH
saGgamAt khalu mayA ca rakSyate |
mAyayeti satataM nijA tanU
rAdhayA bata tayA ca rakSyate ||
Through my magical powers, I protect Radha from physical contact with the man who falsely thinks he is her husband. For this reason Radha has been able to protect her own body. (Madhava Mahotsava 1.72)
Jagat - Wed, 12 May 2004 23:49:35 +0530
bADham adbhuta-guNair yuvAM varau
rAdhikA-madhuharAbhidhau bhuvi |
yau vikRSya mama vRtti-kandalIM
dUrataH sva-vipine babandhatuH ||
“O Radha and Madhava! You surpass the whole earth in superexcellent qualities. You have dragged me and all my senses from afar and bound us in your own forest of Vrindavan. (1.76)
hanta yAvad adhayAma rAdhikA-
mAdhaveti madhurAkSarAvalim |
putri tAvad amRtAbhilASuke
suzrute’pi hRdayaM hRNIyate ||
When I drink the nectar of the sweet syllables “Radha Madhava,” O daughter, repulsion rises in my heart for even the exalted Vedas, which seeks either the immortality of heaven or of liberation. (1.77)
pUrNimA-ruci-bharasya pUraNe
bhAti gokulam anabhra-puSkaram |
mAdhavaH svayam adabhra-candramAs
tvaM tu putri vara-zArada-prabhA ||
As the sky splendidly celebrates the purnima tithi with a full display of light rays, Gokula shines with Radha and Madhava. The vast expanse of Gokula has become the perfect place to fulfill the desires of Paurnamasi. Madhava is the full moon and you are the splendid autumn light. (1.78)
rAdhike kati na santi gokule
kRSNa-saGga-vibhavA varAGganAH |
kintu mAdhava-rates tvayA vinA
netarA bhavati cakravartinI ||
O Radhika! There are so many desirous women in Gokula qualified for Krishna’s association, but you alone can perfectly satisfy Madhava’s desires. (1.79)
tvAM hariM sumukhi rakta-padminIM
saGgamayya nikhilA kSaNAvalI |
tvat-prasAda-valitA na kiM bhavet
kintv atRpty-alibhir Azu rudhyase ||
Sumukhi Radha! If I can bring about the union of the red lotus heroine and the sun (Hari), then all the phases of time will receive your blessings. If this happens the unsatisfied bees will besiege you. [Inner meaning: Your elders, like frustrated envious scorpions will obstruct your meeting with Madhava.] (1.80)
Bhanu's translations.
Jagat - Thu, 13 May 2004 00:33:11 +0530
Paurnamasi's blessings:

yena tAmasa-kulaM vilekhyate
yena daiva-padavI suraGkhyate |
yena vizva-vasatiH suraGghyate
yena gokulam atho vibhAsyate ||

tena citra-mahasA mahIyasA
kRSNa-pakSa-mahitena putrikAH |
rAdhikA madhura-mUrti-mAdhurI
sAmprataM prathayiSISTa vo dRzaH ||
The sweetness of Radha will be revealed in a great festival undertaken by Krishna and His friends. Destroying all lamentation and the deepest darkness, this festival will establish the goal of worship of all the devas, give auspicious lineage, and protect the spiritual path. It will protect the night, the universe, and the wealth of the house. This festival will illumine Vraja, inspire poets and give splendor to the rays of light.(Madhava Mahotsava 1.122-123, Bhanu Swami's translation)
Jagat - Thu, 13 May 2004 01:34:44 +0530
As I read through Madhava Mahotsava, I am struck by the way that Vraja is a women's world. It is the antaHpura of creation. It is the world where there is no more need for heroics and heroism is out of place. Radha is Queen and Paurnamasi is High Priestess. Vrinda Devi is Prime Minister.

The presence of Radha at the adhivasa manifested so much auspiciousness that when Paurnamasi recited the shanti paths (prayers of invocation), the eyes of the assembled devotees became more and more dissatisfied. Indra ordered the Maruts to shower flowers in such a way that the ghee lamps would not be disturbed. They enhanced the suspiciousness by dropping heavenly flowers like parijata and mandara.

As the clamor of a variety of excellent drums widened everyone’s eyes with anticipation, Vrinda Devi offered the coronation garlands to Radha, who graciously accepted her lordship over the forests. The chakora birds of the sakhis’ eyes gave up the moon to gaze upon the moon-like face of Radha. And the pupils of their eyes, like jewel lamps, danced here and there.

In order to remove all obstacles in Radha's path, Paurnamasi continuously chanted Vedic and Tantric mantras. Due to extreme joy, however, she became bewildered and could not perform the remedial measures for counteracting faults in the ceremony. Paurnamasi then offered arghya to worship Radha, whose beauty causes trembling in the body. This solidified the auspicious nature of the festival. “As the white moon, which worships your toenails, cannot stand in the same place as your face, then let this black musk from the navel of the deer mark your forehead instead.” Thinking in this way, Paurnamasi anointed Radha’s forehead with musk. (Madhava Mahotsava 4.70ff)
Jagat - Tue, 22 Jun 2004 15:41:30 +0530
Somehow I missed this one:

vinyAsa-vijJAM vraja-vanditAGghrim
zrI-paurNamAsIM zirasA namAmi

I bow my head down to Sri Paurnamasi, who is worshiped by the entire universe for her compassion and venerated by the people of Vrindavan, for she is wise in the ways of using her powers to increase Radha and Krishna's enjoyment of loving exchanges.

That's a little rough. If anyone wants to improve on rAdheza-keli-prabhutA-vinoda-vinyAsa-vijJAM, feel free.