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Jiva Goswami's Madhava-mahotsava - Translated by Bhanu Swami

Jagat - Sat, 15 May 2004 01:17:53 +0530

Jiva Goswami's Madhava-mahotsava

Translator: Bhanu Swami
Editor and Publisher: Mahanidhi Swami

I have already complained on another thread that I was unhappy to discover that no credit had been given to Haridas Das for the work he did, first of all in discovering the manuscript of Madhava-mahotsava, and second of all in writing the first Sanskrit commentary and then making a Bengali translation, without which this English translation would have certainly been impossible. Not only that, but the introduction to this edition also appears to have borrowed heavily from Haridas Das's Bengali introduction. So, before commenting on this book, I am restating this in the hope that Bhanu Maharaj, whom I know to be a gentle soul imbued with true Vaishnava spirit, will correct his oversight in some future edition.

The reason I say this, and indeed repeat it, is not to cast aspersions on Bhanu Maharaj. Rather it is out of a recognition that this book is not easily accessible. Even though I have spent years studying Jiva Goswami's writings, I had great difficulty in understanding many verses in Madhava-mahotsava from the Sanskrit alone without the help of any commentaries or translations. Thus though I have had a copy of the Puri Das edition for years, and have been able to relish portions of it here and there, I was limited in my enjoyment without Haridas Das's edition. So this is the first time I have been able to go through this work from beginning to end. So I am grateful to Bhanu Maharaj for having made this great effort and shared his translation with the English-speaking Vaishnava world, but I would hope that he gives the recognition that is due Haridas Das, who was a true Mahatma and a great servant of Vaishnava Sahitya.

I am going to make a small criticism of this translation: I think that we still have not entered a phase where the English renditions of Sanskrit texts like these have been achieved in a satisfactory way. This book is unfortunately no exception, and though some verses have been very well done, others seem somewhat turgid in their rendering. In general, a little more attention is needed to improve the text's readability. In most cases, problems could have been solved with a little more editing--for example, using the "'s" possessive instead of "of" is a typical rule that needs to be followed more often.

There are a number of other small mistakes that have crept into the translation itself, but on the whole it is an excellent first effort, and I hope that a thoroughly revised edition will follow at some time in the future that will be truly worthy of Sri Jiva's original.


So now that's out of the way, the real reason I decided to post here was to introduce this jewel of a book to the devotees. In many places in the writings of the Goswamis, the gopis and Krishna's sakhas, or even Radha and Krishna themselves, bicker about who is really the most important of the two of them. Is it Krishna, who is Govinda, the Lord of the Cows, who was directly anointed by Indra and Surabhi after he held Govardhan aloft for seven days, or is it Radha, who is known as Vrindavanesvari? But if Radha is indeed the Goddess or Empress of Vrindavan, when did this actually happen?

The following verse is found in the Padma Purana:

vRndAvanAdhipatyaM ca dattaM tasyAH pratuSyatA |
kRSNenAnyatra devI tu rAdhA vRndAvane vane ||
Krishna was so pleased with Radha that he gave her rulership over Vrindavan. Radha is everywhere known as “the Goddess,” but in Vrindavan forest she appears as herself. (PadmaP 5.77.39)
According to Jiva (MM 1.18), there are similar references in the Brihad Gautamiya Tantra and Matsya Purana, but it is really in the Dana-keli-kaumudi that we get the first inkling of the festive coronation ceremony where this took place. Here is the relevant portion of that play:
Champakalata: O noble sir! You are not really all that noble. You don’t know the whole story and yet you prattle away.

Lalita: (in Sanskrit)
He hears nothing, though it has been announced
loud and clear a hundred times;
he remembers nothing, though he has seen
with his very own eyes.

The Sruti and Smriti are the two eyes of knowledge;
He is devoid of either, so don’t speak unkindly to him.
Vrinda Sakhi Nandimukhi, surely you remember the great party we had when Radha was crowned queen of Vrindavan?

Nandimukhi: Vishakha! Is there anyone in this whole wide world who could forget such a great festive occasion?

Chitra: Even though I myself was there to see the great event, my ears are itching to hear about it. It was so wonderful!

Nandimukhi: My dear Chitra, I will tell you how it all came about. First Vrinda heard a heavenly voice telling her that Radharani must be crowned as queen of Vrindavan. She went and told this to Paurnamasi.

Vrinda: (to herself) In fact, it was Mukunda himself gave this order by means of the heavenly voice. That is why I went to see Paurnamasi.

Nandimukhi: Then Paurnamasi called the five principal goddesses and they appeared on the strength of her ascetic powers.

Arjuna: Which five goddesses were those?

The famed goddess, daughter of Devaki,
who rebuked Kamsa before disappearing into the sky.
The others were the two wives of the Sun God,
his daughter Yamuna, and Ganga Devi,
as she appears in her form as Manasa Ganga.
Chitra: And then what happened?

Nandimukhi: Then Chaya, the Sun God's second wife, said, “We cannot disobey you, O divine lady. We will do whatever you tell us. But we are not very happy because we think that Radha is much greater than this land of Vrindavan, which is only sixteen krosas in length.” On hearing this, Bhagavati Paurnamasi gave Ekanamsa a glance, and that goddess began to speak: (switching to Sanskrit) “My dear sister, please listen...
All the amazing powers of the Vedas,
of the sacrifices, of the holy places, of the holy incantations,
of austerities, of heaven and all the dwellers of heaven,
of the great mystic powers,
of even both the spiritual energy and Vaikuntha,
are present in the district of Mathura.
But O beautiful one! Vrindavan is more swollen
with power than even Mathura.
Chitra: And what happened after that?

Nandimukhi: Then, while everyone was feeling a joyous excitement, the sky burst with a downpour of flower petals. Radharani looked up and said, “O revered Paurnamasi! Look to the heavens! I see my dear friend Saraswati lingering in the sky with a wonderful looking box in her hands. She seems undecided about whether to come here or not, since she has not been invited. I think we should ask her to come.” So, on Bhagavati Paurnamasi's invitation, Saraswati descended from the clouds. She opened her box in front of Radharani and said...

Vrinda: (interrupting Nandimukhi out of excitement and enthusiasm)
The goddesses asked me to give you these things:
The beloved wife of the lotus-born Brahma
sends this garland of lotus flowers;
Sachi Devi gives you this golden throne;
the wife of Kubera gives these jewels and ornaments,
while Varuna's wife sends this parasol;
this pair of yaktail whisks comes from Vayu's wife;
Svaha sends this set of regal clothing
while Dhumorna makes a gift of this gem-studded mirror.
Chitra: And then what?

Vrinda: Then,
As the sky became heavy with the deafening sound
of the heavenly denizens' musical instruments,
and as the Gandharvas led by Tamburu
began to sing in the midst of the clouds;
and as the troupe of Apsaras began to dance in the firmament,
the beautiful wives of the gods
began enthusiastically to perform Radha's abhishek,
installing her as the queen of the Vrindavan forest.
(Vrinda looks shyly at Nandimukhi) Go on, go on.

Nandimukhi: Then, as Krishna, the crown prince of Vraja, looked on happily, Bhagavati Paurnamasi gave the order and those goddesses, along with all the deities of the world-purifying tirthas, and you, Radharani's friends, began to pour water mixed with flowers and perfumes from jeweled pitchers over Radharani, who was sitting on her golden throne. Thus was she consecrated Queen of Vrindavan.

Champakalata: And then what?

Nandimukhi: Raising her hand [for silence], Saraswati spoke: “My mother Savitri sent this fragrant garland out of affection for Radha.” But Ekanamsa took the garland and threw it around the neck of Krishna, the joy of Gokula.

Then the Sun's daughter, Yamuna, smiled and wrily said, “It is amazing how those who feel affection for their friends and kinfolk so easily forget their duty, for here we see that even these clever women are acting without judgment because of such affectionate feelings.”

Upon hearing this, Ekanamsa, who lives in the Vindhya mountains, asked, “Yamuna Devi, what impropriety has taken place?”

Yamuna Devi answered, “Respected lady, why did you give the garland that was intended for our sister Radha to your own brother, Krishna?” When she heard this, Ekanamsa took the garland from Krishna's shoulders and placed it on Radha, saying, “Here, take this garland. It was meant for you.”

Vrinda And then?

Nandimukhi: Yamuna Devi laughed slyly and said, “We have no more need for this garland, which has touched a hard heart.” And she took it away from Radha and placed it back around Krishna's charming neck.

Lalita: Then Ekanamsa took the musk from Krishna's chest and made a tilaka mark on Radha's forehead with it.

Vrinda: (ecstatically) And Bhagavati Paurnamasi joyfully sang out:
O trees, filled with flowers, sport joyfully
with your wives, the creepers that embrace you;
O birds, plays games in the air with the bumblebees;
O beasts! display your full grandeur.

This Srimati Radharani, along with her generals, the sakhis,
will rule over your kingdom, with the pure Vrinda Devi
as her viceroy and garden keeper.
(trembling rapturously)
The kunda flower bush sprouted hundreds of buds,
the colorful malati creeper opened fresh leaves and shoots;
the jasmine vines smiled charmingly with their flowers
and the champa vines blossomed, though it has no branches.
Lalita: It seems that you have forgotten what Yamuna Devi said then.

Nandimukhi: What do you mean? How could I possibly forget what she said right there in front of us. She said, “From this day onwards, my friends Lalita and the other gopis can freely pick flowers in this woodland garden, for it is theirs.” Ekanamsa responded, “But Yamuna, the prosperity of the flowers depends on the coming of spring (Madhava).”

Vrinda: (looking at Radharani with excitement)
Devi Ekanamsa put tilaka on her forehead,
while Saturn's mother Chaya arranged her tiara,
the daughter of Vishvakarma, Samjna, plaited her hair,
while her friends, the sakhis, decorated her with ornaments;
she was fanned on either side by the two holy rivers,
the Ganga and Yamuna, who held chamaras in their hands.
And Brahma's daughter held the parasol over her head.
Surely you have not forgotten this scene?
Radha: (embarassed) Stop it, Vrinda.

Krishna: (to himself)
So greatly did I desire to gaze upon her!
Yet when I looked, I was made shy by the presence of the goddesses,
so I lowered my head.
Then I saw her reflected in my Kaustubha jewel
and became so joyful and unsteady
that I thought I was going to fall over.
Subala: (aside) Arjuna, the place where Radha was ceremoniously bathed in this way became known as Unmada-radha (Umrao), because of the thrill she felt on the occasion.

Madhumangala: (aside) Dear friend, everything is coming back to me. These gopis are not telling lies.

Radha: Vrinda Devi, calculate eight years worth of taxes for the use of the forest.

Vrinda: (smiling) O Queen of Vrindavan! There are an unlimited number of cowherds, each tending a troupe of countless cows. What need is there of troubling ourselves with calculations? The fees due for the use of the forest are infinite in amount.

Lalita: Visakha! The empress of these woods orders you to first take, by force if necessary, the jewels decorating the Brahmin boy who thinks he is so clever.

Madhumangala: (aside) Comrade, I don't think it will be easy to come to terms here. I think the best thing for us to do is run.

Krishna: Madhumangala, you are like a dog in a cowpen, barking at everyone. Don't be afraid of being flogged by Lalita. I am here in front of you, protecting you like the Sudarshan Chakra.

Radha: (as though embracing Krishna with her sidelong glance) Subala! You don't have to be ashamed. Pay up your forest taxes.

Krishna: (looking at her and smiling)
Radha, you are the ruler of only one forest,
but Manmatha the Great is master of all twelve forests.
And this too is only a minor aspect of his empire,
for he is the deity of everyone residing in all these universes.
Thus you are nothing better than a tributary king
while he is the reigning monarch.
Listen to the beneficial advice I give you
and stop being so stubborn about paying him his due.

Vishakha: Alright, Subala. I accept that. But even so, how can a simple toll-keeper, who is a mere subordinate to the ruler of these gardens, exact toll fees from the queen of even a single wood?

This is the extent of the account in DKK. Most of the event described here are covered in one of Madhava-mahotsava's nine chapters. More to follow.
Jagat - Sat, 15 May 2004 19:00:48 +0530
Three other places where Radha's abhisheka is mentioned:

sakhyAsmAkaM vRndayA vardhitaM yad
vRndAraNyaM khyAtim etad vidhAtrA
mahyaM dattaM tat-saratnAbhiSekaM
rAjAnaGgas tvaM ca pAteti satyam
Srimati Radhika said, “This forest has attained renown as Vrindavan, for it has thrived under our sakhi Vrinda's care. But Lord Brahma turned it over to me with a jeweled crowning ceremony. Thus, it is only true to say that King Cupid is its protector (and not its actual sovereign ruler). (Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, Govinda Lilamrita, 9.52)
sArdhaM mAnasa-jAhnavIm upanadI-vargaiH saraGgotkaraiH
sAvitry-Adi-surI-kulaiz ca nitarAm AkAza-vANyA vidhoH |
vRndAraNya-vareNya-rAjya-viSaye zrI-paurNamAsI mudA
rAdhAM yatra siSeca siJcatu sukhaM sonmatta-rAdhA-sthalI
On the order of Lord Brahma, who spoke from the sky, Paurnamasi and the demigoddesses like Savitri joyfully sprinkled the waters of the Manasa Ganga and other sacred rivers on Radha’s head to consecrate her “Vrindavanesvari,” queen of the beautiful forest of Vrindavan. That happened in this place, known as “Unmatta-radha-sthali” (Umrao). (Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami, Vraja-vilasa-stava, 61)
prItyA maGgala-gIta-nRtya-vilasad-vINAdi-vAdyotsavaiH
zuddhAnAM payasAM ghaTair bahu-vidhaiH saMvAsitAnAM bhRzam
vRndAraNya-mahAdhipatya-vidhaye yaH paurNamAsyA svayaM
dhIre saMvihitaH sa kiM tava mahA-seko mayA drakSyate
O patient Radha, when will I see the great coronation ceremony lovingly conducted by Paurnamasi herself, in which you are officially consecrated as sovereign Queen of Vrindavan with pots of clear, scented water and a great festival of auspicious music and dancing? (Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami, Vilapa-kusumanjali, 87)
Why is this book called Madhava Mahotsava?

One may ask why the book is entitled Sri Madhava Mahotsava since it is all about Radha’s abhisheka? There are several reasons:

(1) The first reason, stated at the beginning of the book (1.9) is that it takes place during the spring. Madhava is the name given to the spring or to either of spring's two months, Chaitra (BhP 10.65.16, madhu) or Vaisakha (Harinamamrita-vyakarana 1.103). There seems to be distinction between "madhu" and "mAdhava" in this respect. Haridas Das seems to favor Chaitra month, but he does not give specific reasons for that choice here.

The Vaishnava calendar calls these two months Vishnu and Madhusudana (the latter having "madhu" in it). It also has a month named Madhava, but it is equivalent to Magha, which falls in the winter and seems to be excluded here.

Chaitra Purnima is remembered for Krishna's "Vasanta Rasa", while Vaisakhi Purnima is known worldwide as Buddha Purnima, but the Vaishnavas celebrate it as Krishna's "Phula Dola" festival. It is also known as "Guru Purnima." There is also this largely irrelevant information about a Madhu Purnima.

It would help if there were a tradition clearly establishing the date. For some reason, there is no institutionalized celebration of Radharani's abhisheka in the calendar, which seems to be an oversight that is in great need of correction. Though I am inclined to trust Haridas Das and go with Chaitra Purnima, verse 3.104 clearly seems to indicate Vaisakha--
Agatya mAna-nilayA atha paurNamAsyA
labdhvAnumodam anurAdhikayA vizAkhA
rAdhendu-kAntam uditAM vasatI-mukhe tAM
kurvaty alaM kuvalaye mudam AcacAra
The night-lotuses will become blissful when the full moon rises in the evening and the Visakha constellation appears along with Anuradha.
This seems decisive to me. One major problem: Vaisakha is part of the hot season, not spring, which includes Phalgun and Chaitra.

(2) The second reason, also indicated by the words mAdhavendum api yat tu manditaM is that Krishna was present on the occasion of the abhisheka and in large part arranged for it to take place

More particularly, this reason is given in the fourth sarga (4.4) --

kintu tvaM bhavati yathA tadAbhiSeke
mAtRRNAM gati-kRta-hrIr na me na tasyAH |
tAsAM syAn mud api yathA tathA vidadhyA
rAjyaM nau samam ucitaM yathA tathA ca ||
In order to avoid Srimati Radhika’s embarrassment due to her naturally shy nature, Sri Krishna instructed Vrinda Devi, “O Vrinda! Make all arrangements such that when the elder women come, they will be happy and Radha and I will not be embarrassed. Arrange all things properly for the event. To avoid Radha’s embarrassment, externally the festival will bear my name (Madhava Mahotsava), though her name will be understood.” (This translation needs work.)
Jagat - Sat, 15 May 2004 22:21:33 +0530

Though Jiva humbly refers to this work as a khaNDa-kAvya or short poetical work (9.99-100), it clearly follows the conventions of the mahA-kAvya (great poetical work). Examples of khaNDa-kAvyas are Hamsaduta and Uddhava-sandesa, mahA-kAvyas are Govinda-lilamrita and the Caitanya-caritamrita-mahA-kAvyam of Karnapura Goswami.

The Sanskrit mahA-kAvya is usually written in eight or more sargas, or chapters. In general, each sarga is written in a single metre. In the Madhava-mahotsava, there are nine such sargas, the first eight of which follow this convention, the last chapter using a large number of obscure metres, some of which I have only found examples of there, and nowhere else. Each sarge in this book is named after Radha, according to the themes found in the chapter.
  1. utsuka-rAdhikA (written in rathoddhatA metre) The first chapter tells of the prospective meeting of Radha and Krishna, so Radha is full of eagerness, i.e., utsuka. 144 verses.
  2. unmanyu-rAdhikA (upajAti of indravajra and upendravajra). This chapter tells of how rumors that Chandravali to be made queen of Vrindavan have been spread by Padma and others, through a misunderstanding of course. Radha becomes angry, therefore “unamanyu.” 106 verses.
  3. utphulla-rAdhikA (vasanta-tilaka). This chapter tells how the difficulties are overcome through the efforts of Vrinda Devi, Paurnamasi and Visakha. Krishna’s true intention to see Radha crowned Queen of Vrindavan are made clear, ergo, Radha is full of joy or utphulla. 119 verses.
  4. uddyota-rAdhikA (praharsini). This chapter describes the adhivasa, or preliminary rituals performed on the eve of the actual abhishek. Uddyota means the first rays of light before dawn. 111 verses.
  5. udita-rAdhikA (indravamsa) Final preparations are made for the abhishek and Radha ascends to the throne. udita means “risen.” 97 verses.
  6. unnata-rAdhikA (drutavilambita). This chapter describes the advent of the many goddesses who participate in the ritual. Radha is elevated (unnata). 148 verses.
  7. utsikta-rAdhikA (mAlinI). This chapter describes the actual abhisheka. Utsika means “drenched.” 168 verses.
  8. ujjvala-rAdhikA (anuSTup). Radha is dressed and ornamented. 173 verses.
  9. unmada-rAdhikA (mixed meters). Radha is joined on the simhasan by Krishna and the conclusion is their appropriate union. 106 verses.
Total verses 1192.
Jagat - Tue, 18 May 2004 22:26:12 +0530
A few things as they come up:
Jagat - Wed, 19 May 2004 09:24:24 +0530
dhruvA dyaur iti pUrvAMze baTubhiH paThite manau |
rAdhAM nyavIvizat tasmin nIrAjya muni-puGgavA ||
While the brahmacharis chanted the first part of the royal consecration hymn from the Rig Veda, Paurnamasi sat Radha down on the throne again and performed arati. (MM 9.35)
Rigveda 10.173 is the royal consecration hymn:

dhruvA dyaur dhruvA pRthivI dhruvAsaH parvatA ime |
dhruvaM vizvam idaM jagad dhruvo rAjA vizAm ayam ||
dhruvaM te rAjA varuNo dhruvaM devo bRhaspatiH |
dhruvaM ta indraz cAgniz ca rASTraM dhArayatAM dhruvam ||
"Firm is the sky and firm the earth; firm are these mountains. Firm is all this world, and firm is this king of all the people. May King Varuna hold your reign steadfast, steadfast the god Brihaspati, steadfast Indra and Agni--may they all keep your reign steadfast."
Jagat - Thu, 20 May 2004 20:49:40 +0530
The story of the Madhava Mahotsava is a little different from the indications given in the various accounts or clues given in other texts.

Chapter 1

Radha is making flower garlands for Krishna in the company of her friends and discussing the possibility of a meeting with Krishna.

AstRtaM kusuma-tulikAsanaM
dAsikAbhir abhitaH sa-sambhramam |
vibhrameNa tad asAv abhUSayad
gAGga-nIram iva pIta-padminI ||
Radhika’s maidservants quickly and attentively made a bed of cotton and flowers for Radha. When she gently sat upon this white bed, she appeared like a golden lotus floating in the Ganga. (MM 1.27)
The feelings of separation start to become powerful, and though the gopis tried to console her, Radha laments her misfortune.

hA nimeSa-lavako’pi duHsaho
yasya kAntim anubhUya jantubhiH |
adbhutaM priyatamAbhimAninI
tasya gandha-rahitApi jIvati ||
Once experiencing Krishna's delightful beauty, no other creature could endure even a moment’s separation from him. Yet I unrealistically think that I am dear to him and so I continue to live, even in his complete absence. (MM 1.46)
Radha berates the flute that pours fuel on the fire of her suffering and laments that Paurnamasi and Nandimukhi seem to have abandoned her. Lo and behold, Nandimukhi appears. She has a message from Paurnamasi, but on her way over she saw Krishna in the forest, and then Yashoda in the village. Nandi repeats Yashoda's words to her, including the following:

hanta nAndi bata mad-vadhU-padAd
rAdhikApagamitApi vedhasA |
tat-pratIti-vibhavaM sadA gatA
man-manaH-sthalam asau virAjate ||

yadyapIha vividhAH kumArikAH
santi sad-guNa-maNi-prasAdhitAH |
bhAti mAdhava-zazIva rAdhikA
sA tu naH sati dRzAM prakAzane ||
O Nandimukhi! Though Destiny has not made Radha my daughter-in-law, the powerful feeling that she really is has firmly fixed itself in my mind. Even though there are so many young women here in Vraja who are decorated with jewel-like virtues, to my eyes, Radha is like the soothing light of the full moon of Chaitra (Madhava) month. (MM 1.62-63)
Then there is a message from Paurnamasi, who expresses her hopes for the union of the Divine Couple (1.72-83).

hanta yAvad adhayAma rAdhikA-
mAdhaveti madhurAkSarAvalim |
putri tAvad amRtAbhilASuke
suzrute’pi hRdayaM hRNIyate ||
O daughter, the moment I drink the nectar of the sweet syllables “Radha Madhava,” I feel shame for having spent so much time studying the Vedas, which promise different kinds of immortality. (MM 1.77)
Then Nandi recounts her meeting with Krishna, who is also suffering in Radha's absence. He begs her to communicate his feelings to Radha and arrange for a tryst with her. Then Nandimukhi repeats the important message and blessings from Paurnamasi:

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 ||
My daughters! The full sweetness of Radha's beautiful form will be revealed soon in a great festival undertaken by Krishna and His friends, which will cut through the darkness of lamentation, 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. (1.122-123)
Lalita reveals that she has been dreaming of such a festival herself, and the girls excitedly begin talking about it. It is made clear that this festival will be a coronation. They remember the prediction made by Narada:

yarhi bhUSaNa-mukhaM labheta sA
rAjya-vastu nijam aJjasA nijam |
tarhi kRSNa-vipine’bhiSekSyate’
gIyata dyu-muninApi jAtv api ||
Narada Muni once sang, "When Radha obtains her own royal articles and decorations, she will be ceremonially made sovereign over Krishna’s forest." (1.132)
Radha is somewhat indifferent to all this, because for her, the only issue is whether Krishna will be there or if she will be with him.

The chapter concludes with Nandi telling the girls to go on picking flowers, while she goes to help make preparations for the great abhisheka.

dizi dizi rasa-bhaGgair netra-mInotpluti-zrIr
nayana-salila-bindUllAsi-muktAvalIkaH |
dadhad-avihata-gharmair nimnagAH kRSNa-bhRGgI
bhavikam avatu mukhyaM rAdhikautsukya-sindhuH ||
The beauty of the ocean increases with its fish jumping in the waves. The drops of water appear like strings of pearls. The ocean, the shelter of all rivers from various places, is the root of all auspiciousness for the world. In the same way, the ardor of Radha, spreading a variety of pleasures of love in all directions, manifested as the beauty of dancing eyes. Her ardor produced a shower of tears like strings of pearls and uninterrupted waves of perspiration. May Radha’s ocean of longing for the bee of Krishna bestow the most auspicious prema upon you.
Jagat - Thu, 20 May 2004 23:42:26 +0530
Chapter 2

This chapter begins with a beautiful glorification of Vrindavan and the six seasons, which are all manifest there. There is a description of Radha's abhisara as she goes into the forest in the hope of seeing him there. Her state of mind and her visions of Krishna in the various aspects of the forest. She has some amusing back and forth exchanges (tit-for-tat?) with her sakhis.

Radha arrives at the spot where she hopes to meet Krishna, but he is not there. She becomes an utkanthita-nayika and starts looking for him everywhere. Her anxiety once again increases and the sakhis silently watch.

Suddenly, Vrinda Devi's friend Malati arrives on the scene. She tells Radha and her friends about a conversation she has overheard. Padma, Shaibya and other friends of Chandravali are discussing several things that are disturbing to Radha and her group. First of all, it seems that Krishna is off somewhere with Chandravali. Second, her friends are gathering flowers to prepare for Chandravali's abhisheka. And with the supremacy of Chandravali established, they hope to see the bad-mouthed Lalita silenced once and for all.

On hearing these things, Malati comes out of her hiding place and chastises them for their arrogance, proudly defending Radha's supremacy. But Padma and her friends are there in greater numbers and so Malati leaves angrily and comes to Radha to report.

Radha is enraged by everything, but before she goes home, Lalita vows to see her abhisheka.

bhajeta kAmaM bhajate’bhajad vA
candrAvalI kRSNa-vanAdhirAjyam |
ihAtha rAdhAm abhiSektum eva
pravezayAnIti tu mat-pratijJA ||

sarojinInAM sakhi mudritAnAM
kA hAnir AsAM rasa-pUrNam antaH |
ghUrNan muhur yAsyati na prazAntiM
tRSNAkulAtmA madhupaH sa eva ||
“Let Chandravali become the queen of Krishna’s forest! Perhaps it has already happened, or perhaps it is happening now. Anyway, I promise that I will bring Radha into Vrindavan and make her the queen. O friends! Is there any loss to the lotus when it is closed? Its sweetness is still fully present inside. It is only the thirsty bee that does not get any peace, circling about on the outside! (2.95-96)
In other words, though Krishna may presently reject Radha, they should not feel distress because they still possess irresistible sweetness. Eventually he will be forced to come back and beg from Radha to win her favors.

And the chapter concludes:

prakaTayati vidUrAd durlabhaM kAnta-vastu
prathayati nija-tejas-tad-virodhAya bhUyaH |
praNaya-rasa-vilAsAmnAya-dhAmAdbhuto yaH
sa tam avatu bhavantaM rAdhikA-manyu-bhAnuH ||
May the sun of Radha’s anger,
a pastime in the affairs of love,
which reveals rare desirable objects from far off
and spreads its influence constantly against all contrary objects,
protect you.
Jagat - Thu, 20 May 2004 23:58:51 +0530
Chapter 3

This chapter is full of negotiations as Vrinda, Visakha, Malati and Paurnamasi go back and forth between Radha and Krishna to reconciliate them.

First, Vrinda happens on the scene, sent by Krishna. She does not find a friendly reception, as she is Krishna's ally. Nevertheless, she tries to console the angry Radha and her friends.

sAdhAraNatvam adhigacchati rAdhikAyAH
zrI-mAdhavo nahitarAm itarAGganAbhiH |
dhArAM ghRtasya sudhayann api kiM sudhAyA
nAdhyAyati kratu-bhujAM nikaraH sadaiva ||
Madhava absolutely never sees any woman
as being on the same platform as Radha.
If the devas drink the ghee offered in a sacrifice,
does that mean that they have given up thinking of nectar?
In fact, Vrinda says, Krishna was on his way to meet Radha when he unfortunately ran into Chandravali. He was so absorbed in thought of Vrishabhanu's daughter that from a distance he mistook Chandravali for her. Krishna immediately spoke a little word of flattery intended for Radha, but using the word "chandra" in his verse led Chandravali to think that it was meant for her. As Krishna went on, however, it became obvious that he was thinking of Radha, and Chandravali in her turn got angry and started home. But Padma intercepted her and returned her to Krishna, who apologizes for his behavior. But nothing much happens except that he has been prevented from going to meet Radha.

Vrinda meets Malati and the two compare notes. There is some concern about the promise Lalita had made in the previous chapter (2.95). Making Radha queen of Vrindavan has now become a necessity.

vRndAvana-prathita-rAjyam athAbhajantI
tasminn aho viharate nahi rAdhikA cet |
cakSuSmatAM tad idam eva mahAkSayAntar-
vyomAntargata-nirargala-bhAnu-vargaH ||
"If Radha does not become Queen and is prevented from playing [by Chandravali's gang] in this forest of Vrindavan, will it not become like the sun at the final devastation, simply burning the eyes?" (3.24)
Vrinda decides to intervene and to see to it that Radha's abhisheka goes ahead. On their way, however, they run into Krishna again and find him suffering intensely in separation, repenting his offense to Radha.

zuSkA nagA uta nagA dhuta-nirjharAGgA
dIrNA kSamA vidalitA bata me kSamA ca |
hA hA harer vilapitair api tair na kasya
kasyAGgam aGgam uta zeSa-dazAm iyAya ||
The trees dried up and the waterfalls stopped flowing from the mountains. The earth split open and my own composure disappeared. Is there any living creature that will not faint on hearing Hari's lamentations? (3.32)
Krishna faints, but Vrinda happens to see the garland Radha had been making before and had thrown on a tamal tree. As soon as Krishna smelled the fragrance of the madhavi flowers scented by Radha’s own hands, his body was covered in goose bumps. He regained consciousness, opened his lotus eyes, and said to Vrinda, "Plead my case to the sakhis. Take this cloth as a gift for them. Give them my ornaments, for what use are they to me now--they simply burn my flesh! Give them my flute, too, for it only gives me distress!"

Visakha says she will talk with Krishna, but Lalita's heart does not soften. She tells Visakha to give him the following message:

somAbhayApi ghana-kumbha-gaNAndhakAraM
svAraNyam ujjvalayituM yadi vodyato’pi |
kAlAtyayaM kim u karoSi mudhA sa-bASpaH
kiM bhAnujAmbara-ruciM prati rodiSi tvam ||
"If what you want is to brighten the dark forest and its impenetrable groves with moonlight (Chandravali), why do you waste time shedding tears? Are you crying for the reflected light from the sun (Chandravali) or for the effulgence from the cloth of Vrishabhanu’s daughter? If you are in love with Chandravali, then why do you lament for Radha?” (3.56)
Vrinda feels that things are not going anywhere, so she leaves to consult with Paurnamasi. Visakha and Malati go to speak with Krishna. After being told repeatedly what a heel he is, Krishna throws up his hands and says,

vanyA tavaiva suhRdaH sakhi rAdhikAyAH
lIlA tavaiva suhRdaH sakhi rAdhikAyAH |
AtmA tavaiva suhRdaH sakhi rAdhikAyAH
kiM vA mamAnyad iha deyam iti bruvANe ||
“O sakhi! This whole forest belongs to your friend Radha. All my activities belong to your friend Radha. My very soul belongs to your friend Radha alone. What else is left for me to give, please let me know.” (3.73)
Malati finally steps in and clearly states what will pacify Radha and her sakhis--an abhisheka. Krishna enthusiastically accepts the condition:

yasyai vitIrya niyataM hRdayAdhirAjyaM
nAdyApi hanta mama tRpyati bADham AtmA |
rAdhAm imAM prati vanAdhipatA-pradAne
svasmAd api priya-sakhi hriyam eva yAmi ||
O dear sakhi! I have not found satisfaction, even after giving Radha my heart. I am truly ashamed that all I need give Radha is jurisdiction over Vrindavan. (3.82)
Shortly thereafter, Vrinda arrives, followed a little later by Paurnamasi. The queen of ascetics says:
yasmai vratAny akaravaM vara-puSpavantaM
santarpaNa-kSamatamair bakajid-vanasya |
rAdhAbhiSeka-salilair abhilASa-vRkSaM
zIghraM phale-grahitayA tam urIkurudhvam ||
“[I have one simple request.] I have so long performed austerities with the goal of making a desire tree flower in Krishna's forest. Now make this tree your own and quickly make it bear fruit through by watering it with the run-off from Radha's coronation bath, the most potent nourishment it could have.” (3.93)
In the meantime, Radha is in the kalahAntaritA state, feeling remorse for her anger at Krishna. Having finished with Krishna, Paurnamasi arrived there with Visakha, Vrinda and Malati. Wiping Radha's tears, she consoles her:

cintAmaNir vraja-bhuvAM tava nAyakaH sa
zrI-dAtR kRSNa-vipinaM pramadATavI te |
tvat-prema-sindhu-rucidA bata pUrNimAhaM
tvad-vaktra-jAta-vibhavA kim azarma-bIjam ||
“Krishna, who fulfills the desires of all the Vrajavasis, is your lover. His forests, which yield all treasures, are your pleasure groves. And I, Paurnamasi, who expand your joys in the ocean of love, have come to give life to your moon-like face. So what cause is there for lamentation?” (3.110)
Paurnamasi then reveals the reasons for the misunderstanding:
Some time before, Padma had approached Krishna and appealed to him with the following words: "I have long followed vows of penance to the goddess Katyayani hoping that you would make my friend queen of Vrindavan. May she whose name starts with “Chandra” and who is described in the Vedas as the consort of Madhava, and who is the topmost lover, become your queen."

Krishna, knowing full well that only Radha could take that role, deliberately misinterpreted her words. Remembering that in a partial form Radha had long ago appeared as the Gandharva named Chandrakanti, and that she is glorified in the Rik Parisishta (rAdhayA mAdhavo devaH), Krishna said, "Let it be so."
Everything was thus settled.

bakaripu-zuci-pakSe yaH prasanne bhRta-zrIr
akuruta tanu-zIryat-kairavAliM praphullAm |
tanuruha-vana-munnaM mekhalA-RkSa-vRndaM
skhalita-guNam asau vaH pAtu rAdhA-mukhenduH ||
May the moon face of Radha, which pleases the summer sun with its beauty (satisfies the desire of Krishna), which makes the emaciated lotuses bloom (makes the forlorn gopis happy), which makes the trees grow by its shower of nectar (makes the hair stand on end with showers of perspiration), and which reduces the glory of all the stars (loosens the belts of the gopis) protect you all. (3.118)
Jagat - Fri, 21 May 2004 23:53:21 +0530
Chapter 4

Now that Radha’s abhisheka was definitely to take place, all auspicious omens arise and a generalized bliss is experienced in Braja. Krishna ordered Vrinda Devi to make all the necessary preparations.

Vrinda Deva stood in an elevated place and projected her voice so that it seemed to come from the sky. She addressed Paurnamasi, the greatest of yoginis, and told her to prepare the adhivasa ceremony on the eve of the main ritual. She was also to take care of invitations—all the village elders as well as performers like the Gandharva Chandrakanti.

As the celestial voice, Vrinda Devi also calmed Radha's fears:

he rAdhe tvam iha ca mAsma dhArSTya-buddhyA
saGkocIr yad idam azeSa-duHkha-hantR |
zAlInA api kula-kanyakAH sabhAyAM
dRzyante pati-varaNAya vIta-lajjAH ||
“O Radha! Do not be hesitant, thinking you are shameless. For this ceremony will destroy all sorrow. It is commonly seen that women appear publicly without shame at the time of taking a husband.” (4.17)
People started gathering, including Dhanishtha, Kundalata and Nandimukhi. Kundalata (Krishna's sister-in-law, i.e. his cousin Subhadra's wife) recounted the reactions of Nanda and Yashoda and the other elders, who say, "We are now reaping the effects of all the pious acts we have done since childhood, for we will soon see Radha’s beauty at the abhisheka ceremony." Even the crazy Mukhara with her withered body caused everyone to laugh with her joyful dancing. Yashoda and Kirtida embrace out of common parental feeling. Yashoda sent a message for Paurnamasi praising her and telling her to continue with the adhivasa.

Everyone in the village was joyful, with the exception of Chandravali and her friends. The tatastha (neutral) gopis like Bhadra supported the fun with a friendly mood. The friendly (suhrt) gopis like Shyamala acted as Radha’s assistants in the affairs. The assistant gopis (sahacari) like Lalita became stunned in joy, incapable of doing anything else.

Craftsmen and carpenters were engaged in building the facilities, gold-limbed cowherd women placed broad golden pots on sapphire altars and hung garlands of kadamba flowers.

Paurnamasi directed the bathing and dressing and decorating of Radharani. And when she was dressed, the elder gopis—Yashoda, Rohini, Kirtida, Mukhara, etc.—and the adhivasa was ready to begin.

Paurnamasi began chanting the invocatory mantras, and various mantras from the Vedas and Tantras to counteract all obstacles, but could not counteract the obstacles coming from her ecstatic feelings. She placed a black tilak mark of musk on Radha's forehead. The senior women tied sacred talismans were placed on Radha's body and rakkhi around her wrist and various sacred substances and scents sprinkled on her body.

Then, following local customs, the women, enlivened by the adhivasa festival, gleefully threw butter, yogurt and other substances on each other. Some gopis playfully threw a fragrant mixture of yogurt, ghee, tumeric and fragrant substances in all directions. Some of the bolder sakhis cleverly lured Jatila and doused her with ghee and yogurt. Jatila let out a terrifying scream, and all the sakhis laughed, but Radha only bent her head and smiled slightly because she after saw that her sister in-law Kutila was present there.

Radha visits the arena where the abhisheka will be performed on the next day, and then, after meditating on union with Krishna, returns home with the elders.

nayana-kumuda-vIthim ahni pUrvatra dhinvan
dizi dizi nizi jAgral-loka-padmaM vitanvan |
uSasi punar apUrvAM svIya-lakSmIM vivRNvan
jayati mahasi rAdhoddyoti-mitro vicitraH ||
All glories to Radha! She is glorious like the rising sun in the east, which makes the night lilies of our eyes bloom in the daytime, during the nightime, she keeps the day lotus people awake in every direction. Then at dawn she appears again, radiating her astounding beauty again, as though she had never been seen before. (4.111)
Normally the kumuda flowers blossom at night and the padma lotuses blossom in the day.

This chapter needs to be read again in careful comparison with the Adhivasa descriptions in Haribhaktivilasa 19.
Jagat - Sat, 22 May 2004 00:27:20 +0530
Chapter 5

Morning comes and everyone is excitedly making the final preparations for the abhisheka. Paurnamasi wakes up and does her customary ritual duties. Nanda Maharaj tells the men not to milk the cows, but the cows inundate the land with milk anyway.

The gopis are dejected because Padma has been causing trouble by inciting Jatila to try to keep Krishna away from the abhisheka. "Today by good fortune your daughter in-law will be installed with an abhisheka. But protect her from the eyes of Mukunda. If he happens to see Radha, we cannot be responsible for the consequences. Krishna is fond of flirting and very attracted to women who strictly follow the codes of dharma. Such women suddenly just give up their respect for their elders and run to him. We have heard a celestial voice telling us that Krishna will come to see Radha. Therefore you must prevent this and thus protect your daughter from fear, illusion and obstacles." (5.12-14)

Furthermore, it seems that Jatila wants to bring Chandravali's husband Govardhan Malla, a well-known agent of Kamsa to disrupt the abhisheka But Paurnamasi tells the gopis not to worry, that the two obstacles will eliminate each other, like the demons Sunda and Upasunda.

This is a reference to the Sunda Upasunda story from the Mahabharata (Adi 211). There we are told that once upon a time two brothers Sunda and Upasunda practised such austerities that they acquired much merit for themselves — so much in fact that they ultimately obtained sovereignty over both earth and heaven. Then the god Brahma began to fear lest he should in this way lose all his dominions. In order to prevent this he decided to destroy his two rivals. The method he adopted was to tempt them by sending them one of the maidens of Paradise, a most lovely Apsaras named Tilottama, whom he sent as a gift to the brothers. On beholding her, Sunda seized her right hand and Upasunda her left, each desiring to have her as his wife. Jealousy caused hatred and enmity to spring up in the hearts of the brothers, and the result was that they slew each other. Tilottama then returned to Brahma, who, delighted at her having thus enabled him to rid himself of both his rivals blessed her and said, "In all the world that the sun shines upon, you shall circle around, and no one shall be able to gaze directly at you, because of the brilliancy of your adornment and the excellence of your beauty."

Jatila happens by at precisely this moment, and hearing Paurnamasi's words was illuminated. She further instructs Jatila that previously demons were able to visit Vraja, but that thanks to Krishna that time has long passed.

yasyAgha-hantur bata nAma-dhAmataH
zAntiM gatA dAnava-zAntibhir janAH |
zAntAtmanIhApi puraH-sphurad-dyutau
vRddhe vadhU-parvaNi zaGkitaM kutaH ||
“Krishna is known as the destroyer of sin, and the people of this village have attained peace from the demons through the power and effulgence of his name. What worries could we have on the occasion of your daughter-in-law’s abhisheka, if that peaceful soul is present there in all his glory?” (5.23)
It was then time for the abhisheka rituals to begin. Radharani's beauty is described as she starts off toward the mandap within the Vrindavan forest. Yashoda and Kirtida join to offer Radha into Paurnamasi's hands:

kRSNAz ca rAdhA ca samarpitau sadA
yuSmat-kare devi vizeSato’dya tu |
enAM vana-zrI-maha-bhAvitAGkurAM
jIvAtu-vallIm avituM tvam AzrayaH ||
"O Devi! We have always offered Krishna and Radha to your hands, but today we are especially doing so today. You are the only one who can protect this life-giving herb nourished with the beauty of vana lakshmi (forest goddess) and the upcoming festival." (5.72)
The sakhis describe the forest as the procession heads toward the mandap, led by Paurnamasi. Paurnamasi arrives there first and awaits Radha and her sakhis.

udayam udamitAsau kuJja-puryAH purastAd
akhila-taru-latAlIH phullayantI smitena |
nayana-kuvalayebhyaH sekam etA nayantI
vijayam ayatu vRndAraNya-pUrNendu-lakSmIH ||
All glories to Radha, the full moon Lakshmi of Vrindavan as she rose in the best of groves, bringing the trees and creepers of that gathering into blossom with her moonlight smile, and watering them with the tears from their own eyes. (5.96)
Jagat - Sat, 22 May 2004 03:13:14 +0530
Chapter 6

Radha is excited to be in the Vrindavan forest, where everything reminds her of Krishna. Vrinda greets her and tells her that she has defused a problem from Jatila and Abhimanyu, who had come to the woods, hoping to expose Radha and Krishna's loves. Vrinda had intervened, saying to Abhimanyu, "Look! The gods up in the heavens are laughing at you because you have come to watch your own wife be crowned queen. How shameful!’ He ran off to Kamyavan and then Vrinda went to Jatila and said, "Old woman! Your son has gone mad. He went running off to the Yamuna, muttering something over and over again." So Jatila ran after him, and all negative elements were thus kept away from the auspicious festival that follows.

Vrinda gives Radha a tour of the forest flower palace, which is surrounded by various rooms and leads her to the abhisheka mandap where the ritual is to be held. This is an extensive description (6.17-41) and sometime I will look at it closer to see how it compares with other similar accounts.

In this main concourse, Paurnamasi is already seated, chanting mantras and offering oblations into a sacrificial fire. Her invocations bring five goddesses-- Uma, Yamuna, Manasa Ganga, and the wives of the sun, Chaya and Samjna—down from the heavens. They sprinkle parijata flowers on Radha’s head and bless her. Then they pay their respects to Paurnamasi and the sakhis and stood motionless with tears and goose bumps manifesting on their bodies.

Paurnamasi asks them to perform the abhishek, but Chaya has qualms: "“O Devi! We take your order to be inviolable, but we have a doubt in our hearts that interferes with our joy. We have heard from the mouths of the personified Vedas that Lakshmi herself cannot compare to Radha. It would give us the greatest satisfaction if Radha became the ruler of the whole universe instead of onlyl these mere five yojanas of Vrindavan."

On Paurnamasi's sign, Uma glorifies Vrindavan: "All things necessary for attaining the highest spiritual beatitude are found here in this forest. Lord Brahma himself saw all the brahmandas present within this land. In order to enjoy pastimes the Lord sometimes infuses his own shakti into places that are not his own eternal dhamas, so what can we say about Vrindavan, where his energies are all eternally present? All inconceivable powers and spiritual love are eternally present in Vrindavan, and Radhika is completely qualified to be named queen of this place. Such honor is certainly befitting her.” (6.62-69)

Radha feels anxiety at Krishna's absence and Paurnamasi sends Vrinda Devi to fetch him.

Then the goddess Saraswati " the presiding deity of the beauty of flowers" appears holding a casket which contain gifts from the other heavenly goddesses: "Savitri is offering this lotus garland, Indrani this golden asana. The wife of Kubera gives you jeweled ornaments; the wife of Varuna a golden danda. Vayu's wife is offering two white camaras; Svaha, the wife of Agni, two pieces of cloth; and the wife of Yamaraja, a jeweled mirror. The demons previously stole these treasures worthy of Vrindavan. The devas conquered the demons and retrieved these items. Now, they have given them all to us. But the radiance of these treasures diminishes our glories, so we felt unworthy to enjoy them ourselves. For this reason we have brought them here where they may find newer and newer beauty when associated with that of Radhika.” (6.79-81)

Paurnamasi accepts the gifts on Radha's behalf. All the great holy rivers and tirthas created a lake of holy water. While heavenly musicians and dancers made a joyful noise. The eight sakhis and Kundalata went and began filling pots with the water from the lake. They carried nine pots, each one made of a different great "jewel" (The nava-ratna: padma—coral, mahä-padma—ruby, sankha—pearl, makara—diamond, kacchapa—cat’s eye, mukunda—emerald, kunda—yellow sapphire, nila—blue sapphire, and gomeda.)

The next activity is kumbha-sthapana. Krishna quietly arrives with his friends just as Radha is mounting the throne with the royal insignia, attracting Krishna's mind.

sva-mahasi hasitAbhAnUrjitA pUjitAsu
pratihari sarid-AbhA tatra citrAyamANA |
api mada-kRta-ghUrNA-jAta-lAvaNya-pUrNA
kalayatu laltAlyAm unnatiM netra-lakSmIH ||
Spreading a smiling countenance at her own festival, humbling the most worshipable women, offering various emotions like a river to Hari, and overflowing with beauty generated from a whirlpool of pride, may the remarkable eyes of Radha, the intimate friend of Lalita, be forever glorified.
Jagat - Sat, 22 May 2004 03:47:06 +0530
Chapter 7

Krishna begins to play the flute. Then everyone became a musical performer. Individuals in each group took up dancing and singing according to their style, and then exchanged styles with other groups.

Radha's worship starts. Uma offers padyam, saying: "O Radha! We are approaching you now and will also come in the future with a desire to participate in your pastimes on the banks of the Yamuna. So you need not pay any respects to us.” All the sixteen articles are offered.

The Gandharvas come, including Chandrakanti. Paurnamasi acts as acharya, orchestrating events. Though the inhabitants of Gokula ignored the beauty of thousand-eyed Indra, they all desired to have Indra’s thousand eyes to witness the joyful abhisheka more and more.

There are nine abhishekas in all, each described in detail with their symbolic significance. For example, Vrinda performs the sixth abhisheka, saying: “O Radha! Protect these forests, endowed with six seasons, using the six qualities of the ruler. For this purpose we bathe your six limbs (two feet, two hands, head and waist) in the sixth abhisheka.”

sura-pura-vara-nArI-lekhayA sAbhiSiktA
rahasi mahasi vRndAraNya-rAjyAsane’pi |
bhuvana-yuva-vadhUnAm Urdhva-sUtsikta-dhAmA
svajana-bhajana-bhavyaM sArvabhaumIyam avyAt ||
May this supreme woman Radha, thus bathed by the goddesses in this secret festival that placed her on the royal throne of Vrindavan, the most glorious of all young women in the fourteen worlds, protect your service in the mood of the sakhis.
Jagat - Sat, 22 May 2004 13:26:04 +0530
Chapter 8

Chapter eight starts with Radha being dried and dressed. The heavenly women praise Radha were like the performers of sandhya vandana, praising the sun in the early morning. They performed arati to Radha using the light of their own chintamani jewels, circling her with countless gems as well as their eyes, rather than the moon, which seemed inadequate.

In her in status as the newly enthroned Queen of Vrindavan, Radha wanted to distribute gifts to all. Radha stole the hearts of the citizens with her mercy, just as the moon wants to distribute its nectar, shines everywhere and melts the moonstone. First Radha gave Paurnamasi a, small box made of buds, engraved with her name and filled with flowers. gurudaksina.

The jewel of her affection was enough to satisfy the brahmacharis, but Radha gave them a multitude of real jewels. Though giving one jewel to each would have been sufficient, Radha gave each one as many as he could carry. While distributing the jewels, Radha’s effulgence expanded and seemed to follow after each brahmachari. The brahmacharis were more satisfied with Radha’s wealth of humility than the gifts given by generous sponsors. While giving gifts to the brahmacharis, Radha glanced at Krishna, indicating that she was offering him as well. In this way, they achieved the highest realization.

Paurnamasi gave her blessing to Radha,

rAdhe nityaM sakhI-netra-kairava-zrI-vikAsIni |
sevyA pUrNimayA vRndAraNya-sAmrAjyam Azraya ||
“O Radha! You are the moonlight that pleases the eyes of all the sakhis. Now take shelter of this kingdom of Vrindavan where you will always be served by me, Paurnamasi.”
Directed by Paurnamasi, the chief elders gave their blessings to Radha. While giving blessings, their own prosperity increased.

Now that she was queen, Radha gave the order to free all prisoners. But when she said this, an astounding event occurred: Krishna was taken prisoner in his mind. And though all creatures in Vrindavan are liberated, they are in eternally caught up in the bondage of prema.

Vrindavan had been made beautiful on the day Indra and Surabhi had bathed Govinda, but with Radha’s bath, it displayed an even more astonishing beauty.

Radha follows Paurnamasi into the central chamber of the spring forest cottage where she worshiped Vishnu. The heavenly women laughed and Krishna smiled in embarrassment. Then they sat Radha on a cushion upon an ivory seat, and sitting around her, offered madhuparka, etc. Radha worshiped her guru, Paurnamasi, and Chaya and Samjna, the gurus for those knowledgeable of the planets.

Radha's beauty is described again. Samjna, the daughter of Vishwakarma, dressed Radha’s hair; Samjna rubbed Radha’s hair with a fine cloth and separated the strands using the edge of a jeweled comb. The combination of hair and comb was like long lasting lightning flashing in storm clouds. Using her hands, Samjna made a part, which produced the height of beauty. She then braided Radha’s hair, by which Mukunda's mind became bound. Whatever bliss Samjna attained by her service was also attained by Chaya, her co-wife, since they were one in heart. Smelling Radha’s head, Samjna withdrew and Chaya continued the work. Chaya finished combing Radha’s hair, applied scented oil, garlands, and jewels, which glittered like stars in the night sky. When Chaya applied sindhura on top of Radha’s head, it appeared that Cupid’s arrow had pierced Krishna’s heart and stained it red. When Chaya offered a great jewel to Radha’s hair part, it lit up Krishna’s lotus eyes. She then placed a crown atop Radha’s hair, which possessed the light of the sun and moon. As the stars and moon appear in the red tinged evening sky, from the edge of Radha’s red cloth the crest jewel glittered like stars and her face shone like the moon. Chaya Devi then said, “Later I will apply tilaka.”

When the screen of gopis dispersed, Saraswati desired to present Radha with a blue lotus garland from Savitri, her mother. Parvati took the garland from her hand, and laughing placed it on Krishna’s neck, as if by mistake. Then Yamuna asked her, “Why have you offered this garland to your brother--such is the power of fraternal love.”

Laughing, Parvati (Durga) replied to Yamuna, “I am always making mistakes.” She then took the garland from Krishna’s neck along with a necklace and put them both on Radha, saying, “Please accept your garland.”

Radha’s lotus face, floating above the heavenly garland of blue lotuses, was like a king pressed by crowds of followers on both sides. Wearing all her ornaments, Radha gave life to the ornaments. If the ornaments were removed, Hari would still be attracted to Radha.

“What is the use of a necklace touched by another man?” Saying this, Yamuna removed the necklace from Radha and put it on Hari.

“Greedy Yamuna, showing her boldness, is exchanging Radha’s garland with Hari’s necklace.” Saying this, Parvati took some musk from Krishna’s chest and placed it on Radha’s forehead as tilaka. The joking of these two caused the whole assembly to laugh. Unseen to all, showers of flowers fell from the sky.

vraja-vana-gaNa-rAjye rAja-paTTAbhiSikter
adhikam adhigata-zrIr maJju-kuJjAsana-sthA |
hari-mukha-vidhu-lakSmyA sAndritair atra bhAvair
maNibhir api samantAd ujjvalA pAtu rAdhA ||
May Radha, whose beauty increased from the abhisheka and attaining the queenship of Vrindavan, sitting in the attractive forest grove, made more dazzling by heaps of jewels, and by moods of love made more intense by the beauty of Krishna's moon-like face, bestow protection on all. (8.172)
Jagat - Sat, 22 May 2004 14:03:15 +0530
Chapter 9

In this last chapter, there is more worship of Radha on her throne. The brahmacharis chant the royal consecration hymn from the Rig Veda.

The forest goddesses led by Vrinda all swear their loyalty to her. The spirits of the trees, herbs, lakes, rivers, creepers, mountains and tirthas all arrive in Radha's royal assembly hall in celestial bodies endowed with all good features.

Krishna is given another throne next to Radha, rather than being allowed to sit next to her on the same seat, as a sign of respect to her superior position. Though the Divine Couple were seated separately, they were quite close together and visible to the people. Radha and Krishna themselves and all others believed that they were sitting on the same throne.

Paurnamasi tells Krishna, “Radha is shy before her elders, so you should assign posts to the sakhis and make Radha happy.”

So Krishna appoints Lalita the crown princess, or second-in-command, giving meaning to her name Anuradha. He appoints Visakha Radha's chief minister, and the other sakhis are also awarded various posts. Vrinda is made chief-protector of the forest.

Paurnamasi, whose face had changed color with her joy, addressed all the moving and non-moving creatures in a choked voice, “O trees! Live happily with your wives the creepers and bestow all desirable objects on everyone. O best of birds! Join the bees in always filling the atmosphere with song. O beasts! Gambol in these woods with pride in Radha, who has now become Queen of Vrindavan! Served by her leading sakhis, she has assumed control of Krishna and Vrinda. Now led by its glorious queen, the forest of Vrindavan has become pure suitable for divine love.”

Radha worshiped Paurnamasi, the wives of the sun, and the three brahmacharis. Then the singers, musical artists, and Puranic panegyrists entertained the assembly. Portraying Radha's life and pastimes, dancers swayed in bliss and sometimes became frenzied while performing the tandava nritya. Poets glorified her in a long hymn of praise.
“O Vrishabhanunandini! Your kingdom is the playground of Krishna. Your friends are dearest to Krishna and he is your beloved. You are the ruler of the earth. Your powers overwhelm my mind, so how can I sing about your unlimited qualities?”
Radha and Krishna shower gifts on the performers.

Radha becomes eager to be alone with Krishna. So Paurnamasi, knowing her desire, tells the heavenly women, “You have wonderfully bathed Radha in the assembly hall, and Radha has bathed you in streams of beauty and nectar. May shy Radha now attain the utmost pleasure of union with Krishna. You have rendered excellent services and can now return to Svargaloka.”

The goddesses show respects to Paurnamasi and the Queen of Vrindavan and then leave. Paurnamasi then sends notice to all the elders that Radha will be spending the night in her kingdom and leaves to join them.

Krishna joins Radha on her throne, but the sakhis object. Krishna says, "You foolish girls! Radha has been crowned my queen!” A quarrel ensues, and the sakhis threaten to complain to Paurnamasi, saying, “Such quarreling is not suitable for this festive occasion. In the future she will judge all affairs.” But Vrinda Devi, humorously defuses the situation by saying, “It does not matter what we say, for our Queen Radha will now subdue the forest lord Krishna by her own actions.”

Krishna boldly pulls Radha to his chest and as she weeps and smiles simultaneously, he tightly embraces her with both arms. The flood of tears and perspiration pouring from the Divine Couple appeared to nourish the crop of goose bumps sprouting all over their limbs. Their bodies were simultaneously paralyzed and trembling. Their voices choked up as they approached the point of fainting. But clashing together like clouds and lightning, Radha and Krishna again tasted their blissful union as they drenched everyone in a shower of nectar.

And this is how Madhava Mahotsava ends.

vraja-vipina-mahIkSit-pITha-pRSThe priyAGke
priya-vinihita-nAnA-bhAvam addhA lihAnA |
mhur iha pulakAdyAkIrNa-mohaM vahantI
vitaratu vara-lakSmIM rAdhikodyan-mada-zrIH ||
May Sri Radha, who is endowed with the most intense bliss, who experiences continuous happiness, whose body is covered with bumps of joy, and who tastes the sweetness of various emotions inspired by her beloved while sitting on his lap on the royal throne in the forest of Vraja, bestow supreme beauty to everyone. (9.105)

There is a lot of moving around that needs to be analyzed a little more closely. The translation is sometimes confusing on this point. The 19th chapter of Hari-bhakti-vilasa in order to compare the adhivasa and abhisheka rituals.

This summary skips a lot of the descriptive and poetic portions, which are of course, the main thing. Alam ativistareNa.

Jai Vrindavaneshwari Radhe !