Sri Gopala Campu
To Satisfy the Desires of Vraja’s People, Lord Krsna Takes Birth
1. O Sri Krsna, O Sri Krsna Caitanya, O Lord accompanied by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, O Lord attained by Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, O Lord dear to the residents of Vraja, please protect me.
2. In the best of the scriptures is described glorious Goloka Vrndavana, which has two features, one feature manifested in the material world and the other not manifest there. Goloka Vrndavana, which in its unmanifest feature is known as Gokula and has the form of a lotus flower of cintamini jewels, which is said to be the palace-city of the gopa king, a palace with seven great courtyards, which is the place where Krsna performs His morning duties and other pastimes, which is the place where in the gopa-kings splendid assembly gloriously arrived two boys born in a dynasty of great, all-knowing, eloquent, charming poets, which is the place where Vraja’s king and all the other people were very eager to hear the two boys speak. Now that pastime will be described.
3. On another morning, at brahma-muhurta, Krsna hosted a breakfast for all His friends. One by one, everyone ate. Then King Nanda said, “Son, at sunrise take the cows to the pasture. Let them eat the peerless grasses, and, on my order, at the appropriate time You also enjoy Your lunch.”
4. Krsna’s breakfast is described in these words:
Sitting on a jewel throne in the palace, joking and laughing, and enjoying the foods the young gopis cooked and Yasoda and Rohini served, Krsna and Balarama enjoyed a festive breakfast with Their friends and kinsmen.
5. With tears and a smile Rohini watched and listened as Krsna and Balarama enjoyed pastimes with Their friends. Then King Nanda said to Krsna, “Son, the boys in Your company are now honoured by the presence of the poet's two boys.”
6. Krsna bowed before His mother. She gave permission. Then Krsna and Balarama went to Their friends. Krsna and Balarama shone like the moon, and Their friends blossomed like a host of flowers.
7. Then Krsna and Balarama entered the eastern, the fifth, portal of the great assembly house, an assembly house decorated with a host of pillars and filled with a thousand people, an assembly house glorious with lattice windows, slanting, descending aisles leading to the centre, and four mosaic-paved areas in the four directions. Happily sitting on jewelled thrones in the midst of two mosaic areas, Krsna, Balarama, and the boys shone with great splendour.
8. Sitting in the northern part and facing south, King Nanda and his associates shone with great splendour. Sitting in the west, surrounded by His glorious associates and at King Nanda’s right was Krsna. Sitting in the west and facing the east were many brahmanas and priests who do good to others. Sitting in the south were many glorious cowherds.
9. In the centre of the assembly-house was a glorious raised platform visible from every direction. Their palms folded, the poet's two sons stood on that platform. On their left and right the people of Vraja honoured them.
10. Sitting on a high jewelled throne surrounded by his brothers and subjects, showered with flowers, honoured by the saintly people, and casting on Krsna’s face a thirsty glance like a shower of nectar, King Nanda shone with great splendour in the assembly.
11. Sitting on a glorious throne with soft moon-cushions, and surrounded by Balarama, Dama, and other friends, and casting a smiling glance at all His associates in the assembly even now Sri Krsna is manifest before our eyes.
12. The colours of Krsna’s form are described in these words:
Krsna’s dark complexion, red eyes, and yellow garments combine to make a kaleidoscope of colour manifest like a host of smiling, laughing, dancing actors on the stage of the eyes of the devotees.
13. It is also said:
“There is a dark moon.‘
“There is a monsoon cloud.”
“There is a lamp lighting the world.”
“There is a host of lightning flashes that does not disappear, but stays steadily before our eyes.”
“The lightning stays but the stars are all hiding.”
“Fool, we are not looking at the sky.”
Gazing at Krsna’s form, speaking these words, the poets joked among themselves.
14, One poet described Krsna’s form in these words:
“On top is a swarm of black bees. Below the bees is a blue lotus flower. Below the lotus flower are the clear dark waters of the Yamuna. O my friend how have all these come together before us?”
15. Then sent by Krsna and Balarama, and with glorious King Nanda’s permission, saintly Sridama entered the inner rooms of the palace, rooms like lotus petals, rooms with walls made of emeralds. Climbing higher and higher in the palace, and keeping His eyes cast downward he entered those rooms, rooms decorated with a great network of lattice windows. Taking Queen Yasoda and the other ladies with him, he came to the doorkeeper of the assembly house. With a glance he explained everything. They all entered and Sridama returned to the side of Krsna and Balarama.
16. Then, eager to please everyone with many waves of playful jokes, Madhumangala also entered and immediately went to his glorious friends.
17. Queen Yasoda is described in these words:
Sitting on a jewel throne, surrounded by her sisters-in-law, served by the young girls of the family, and from the latticework gazing at the splendid moonlight of her son’s face, Krsna’s mother shone with great splendour.
18. King Nanda sweetly said, “O Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha, we wish to hear you speak.”
19. Folding their hands, Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha said, “My lord, on what topic shall we speak?”
20. King Nanda said, “You know everything. Please narrate something that will fill us with wonder.”
21. The two boys said, “A wise person's command should be followed. We boys accept your command. Please listen.”
22. King Nanda said, “Sometimes one is a speaker and other times one is a listener.”
23. Then, folding his palms earnest Madhukantha recited this delightful introductory verse:
24. “Glory to the all-opulent, all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead. Glory to Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, Pariksit, Ugrasravah-suta, and Saunaka Rsi, who are the speakers of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the deliverers of all the worlds. To tell others of Their glories, I now bow down before Them all. ”
25. “Let the two musicians sing and strike their drums. As my brother listens, I will now speak.”
26. Singing, dancing, and dramatically acting the different parts, Madhukantha told the following story.
The Story Begins
27. “The famous Vrsni dynasty is described in the Vedas, Puranas, and other scriptures. That dynasty’s crowning garland, who was named Sri Devamidha and who was the abode of great virtue, resided in the city of Mathura. He was the crest jewel of all religious persons. He had two wives. His first wife was a ksatriya, and his second wife was a vaisya. These two wives each bore a son. The sons were Sura and Parjanya. From Sura Vasudeva and other sons were born. Following the injunction, ‘One accepts the caste of ones mother,’ Parjanya became a vaisya. He was the master of many cows. He made his home in Brhadvana. From childhood he worshipped the brahmanas. He showered on them all they desired. He was affectionate to the Vaisnavas. He followed the Vedas. For his whole life he worshipped Lord Hari. Accepting his mother's caste he became famous and glorious as the crowning garland of the vaisyas. According to the definition given by wise pundits he became an excellent cowherd, a master of many cows.”
28. The definition of a cowherd is given in these words of Manu-samhita:
“The child of a brahmana father and an ugra mother (born from a ksatriiya and a sudra) accepts the sub-caste known as avrta. The child of a brahmana father and anambastha mother (born from a brahmana and a vaisya) accepts the sub-caste known as abhira (cowherd). The child of a brahmana father and an ayogavi mother (born from a sudra father and a vaisya mother) accepts the sub-caste known as dig-gana.”
29. In another place it is said:
An ambastha is a person born from a brahmana father and a vaisya mother.
“In the Padma Purana, in the beginning of the Srsti-khanda, it is said that a brahmana who performs a yajna may be in a situation where he accepts as a wife the daughter of the gopa for whom he performed the yajna. This kind of gopa dynasty will be seen in Lord Krsna’s pastimes. This is clearly explained in the Srsti-khanda. In this way the acceptance of the twice-born vaisya caste is explained.”
30. Then, in his heart Snigdhakantha thought, “Some people may doubt that Krsna was a twice born vaisya.” In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.8.10) King Nanda tells Garga Muni:
“Please perform the purifying process of Krsna’s second birth.”
Lord Krsna also tells King Nanda (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.24.20-21):
“The proper duty of the vaisya community is agriculture, trade and the protection of the cows...We belong to the vaisya community, and our proper duty is to farm, or to trade with agricultural produce, to protect cows, or take to banking.”
“Srila Sukadeva Gosvami described the cowherd people’s home in these words (Srimad-Bhagavatam):
“Every residential house in Vrndavan was decorated for the worship of the sun-god and the fire-god and for reception of guests, cows, brahmanas, and demigods. Every home was illuminated with light and incense arranged for sancitification.”
“On the other hand Vidura, although born as a sudra, became, because of his activities, more than a brahmana.”
31. He said, “Then? Then?”
32. Madhukantah said, “Because he was very kind and good, Parjanya became an extraordinary vaisya. That is not surprising. Protecting his home area, being always kind and generous to others, and giving in charity a flooding ocean of milk, he was glorious like a monsoon cloud. He was glorious like Prahlada, true to his promise like Dhruva, and magnificent like Prthu. To his enemies he was like Bhisma. To his friends he was like Lord Siva. He was exalted like Lord Brahma and effulgent and powerful like Lord Hari Himself. He was filled with a great host of virtues. Many thousands of gopas and their brahmana priests took shelter of him. Seeing his host of virtues and seeing that he was the tilaka mark and king of the cowherd people, King Ugrasena and others in the Yadu dynasty greatly honoured him. His five sons headed by Upananda, delighted the world.
33. The poets praised him with these verse:
“Parjanya is glorious like a monsoon cloud. He is like a cloud filled with bliss. Accompanied by his sons headed by Upananda, he delights people.”
34. “Among farmers Parjanya is glorious. His great glory is not surprising.”
35. Parjanya is praised by the following comparison:
“As, according to Vedanta-sutra, the Supreme Brahman appears in five forms, forms that begin with His Anandamaya form (the form of spiritual bliss), so Parjanya also appears in five forms, the forms of his five sons, sons headed by Upananda.”
36. Parjanya is also praised by the following suggestion:
“By naming his sons Upananda, Abhinanda, Nanda, Sannanda, and Nandana, Parjanya has give a perfect commentary to explain the word Nanda(joy).
37. As of all kinds of decorations of having splendid garments is the best, so of all kinds of opulences the opulence of having a good son is the most glorious. Of Parjanya’s five sons the middle son (Nanda) is most glorious. His opulences have no end.
38. Some say that Nanda is like Arjuna, but I do not Parjanya’s middle son, the delightful Nanda is like Pandu’s son Arjuna. Compare to his gentle, kind and noble brothers, Nanda is in the middle only when we consider the sequence of the brother’s births. Nanda is affectionate not only to his brothers and kinsmen, rather he is affectionate to everyone. Of course he dearly loves his parents and his brothers. It is not that different people are ever rivals for his affection. Therefore Nanda's eternal spiritual virtues are very wonderful.
39. The most important virtue is devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12)explains:
“All the demigods and their exalted qualities such as religion, knowledge and renunciation become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.”
40. Hearing these words from Madhukantha’s throat, Sriman Upananda whispered to Sriman Abhinanda, “How did he get the power to understand the hearts of others?”
41. Filled with wonder Abhinanda said, “Then? Then?”
42. Madhukantha said, “Then a great gopa named Sumukha offered his daughter to Nanda. With her many virtues this girl entranced all her relatives. Her glories filled the thoughts of all who heard of her, what to speak of all who had seen her, what to speak of all who were devoted to her. When Nanda marries this girl, joy filled everyone what to speak of the couple's parents and kinsmen.”
43. All glorious Parjanya filled everyone with joy. He himself was always joyful. He was devoted to his family and always intent on serving Lord Krsna’s lotus feet. He desired to make his eldest son the tilaka mark of his family. Thus he asked his eldest son, Upananda, to call an assembly of Vasudeva and the kings and Garga Muni and the brahmanas.
44. Thus commanded by his father, fortunate Upananda called Vasudeva and the others to the assembly. In that assembly Upananda embraced his middle younger brother, Nanda, made him the tilaka mark of the family, crowned him king of Gokula and worshipped him.
45. The younger brother, Nanda, shyly withdrew. Everyone was surprised. Parjanya, the affectionate father, looked on with glistening eyes. Upananda said, “I do not act thoughtlessly. I am conquered by my brother’s love. He has all virtues. Therefore what I do now is right. I am not his equal. We are all his subordinates He should control us.
46. “Furthermore, even Lord Narayana, the Supersoul who stays in the hearts of all, accepts this arrangement. Look. In this assembly every eye is like a black bee hovering at the lotus flower of Nanda’s face. This arrangement is right. Therefore it is right that I bear the name Upananda (Nanda’s follower). It is appropriate because Nanda is our king.”
47. At that moment flowers fell, and from the sky came calls of “Glory! Glory!” Gazing with wide-open eyes, everyone in the assembly also called, “Glory! Glory!”
48. Then Snigdhakantha said, “O sweet-voiced Madhukantha, whom all the worlds want to hear, between the eldest Upananda and the youngest Nanda, three brothers stand. Who is the middle one of these three brothers. What is his nature? Please describe him.”
49. Madhukantha said, “In this verse I will speak a glorious riddle, a riddle that will fill your thoughts with happiness.”
50. Snigdhakantha said “Please say that riddle.”
51. Madhukantha said: "Which person, even though he gave me the greatest treasure by accepting me as his son, still does not stop treating me as a friend?"
52. Eagerly and happily, Snigdhakantha at once said, "The answer is: Nanda.
53. Then Madhukantha said, "You understand that riddle. Now her this: "The people yearn to attain even a
small fragment of his many virtues. They happily worship him for his glories. He is Nanda, the king of
Vraja. He delights King Vasudeva. He is Vasudeva's friend. He cannot bear to be parted from
54. The nectar moon of Madhukantha's words brought great waves to the jewel-filled nectar ocean of the
devotees' hearts. Were they hearts or treasure-houses filled with jewels? Madhukantha did not know.
55. Then Snigdhakantha said , "Then? then?"
56. Madhukantha said, "So he would attain the opportunity to worship Lord Krsna's lotus feet, glorious
and fortunate Parjanya entered the land of Vrndavana. When his sons asked about the final truth taught
by all the scriptures, These were their questions and answers:
57. "What is the root of fear?"
"Destiny, which brings future events we cannot foresee, is the root of fears."
"Where can we find shelter from these dangers?"
"A devotee of Lord Krsna gives shelter."
"What should we pray to attain?"
'One should pray for devotional service to Lord Krsna and His devotee."
"Where is happiness?"
"Happiness is in spiritual love for Lord Krsna."
58. "Accompanied by his wife, parjanya came to Vrndavana. then, standing in Nanda's assembly as
Bhisma stood in the assembly of wonderful fighters, Upananda affirmed that his own name meant 'the
follower of Nanda'. Accepting Upananda's words, Nanda accepted everyone there as his eternal
subjects. He ruled over them and protected them.
59. "Nanda's actions were wonderful:
"Nanda was always respectful to his father. In his country religion was never in distress. In his country prosperity was never crippled. In his country propensity always grew more and more.
60. "Everyone in Vraja lived at the height of propensity. Still, one worry gradually blossomed amongst them. "Our king, who is more dear to us than life, has no children," they thought. In the course of time this worry troubled Upananda and everyone else. Then Nanda and Yasoda, the rulers of Vraja, became overwhelmed with the desire for a child. As time passed that desire grew stronger and stronger."
61. Snigdhakanta said, "Why did Nanda's friends and kinsmen not perform a yajna to give Nanda children? Why were intelligent Nanda and Yasoda so upset that they had no children? They were already king and queen of Vraja. Why did they yearn for children? Why did that desire become stronger and stronger as time passed?"
62. Madhukantha said, "A yajnas was performed, but it brought no result."
63. Snigdhakantha said, "Why? Why was there no result?"
64. Madhukantha said, "In private glorious Nanda and Yasoda spoke about this. Nanda said, 'Dear wife, Why do my grief-stricken relatives perform yajnas and other ceremonies so I may have children? My heart yearns to have a glorious son. Why is that desire not fulfilled? My heart cannot say. If merciful Lord Narayana, who is attained by the followers of the Vedas, is kind to me, then I will certainly have a glorious child. Perhaps my desire is like a parijata flowers fools imagine to float in the sky.'"
65. Then Snigdhakanta thought, "Krsna is more sweet and charming than Lord Narayana Himself. It is not wrong to say this. This truth is confirmed by Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.12) in these words:
"The Lord appeared in the mortal world by His internal potency, Yogamaya. He came in His eternal form, which is just suitable for His pastimes. These pastimes are wonderful for everyone, even for those proud of their own opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha. Thus His (Sri Krsna's) transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments.'"*
66. Then Snigdhakantha openly said, "Then? Then?"
67. Madhukantha said, "Then Yasoda, Nanda's beautiful wife, said, "What reply can I give?"
68. "Then Nanda said: " 'I see a dark boy with large restless eyes. I see Him playing, and I see him sitting
on your lap, and I see Him drinking milk from your breast. when I see Him am I dreaming or am I awake? I do not know. O saintly wife, please tell me the truth: Do you also se Him in your heart?'
69. "Yasoda said, 'O glorious husband, I have also seen this child in my thoughts, but I was too shy to tell you. This desire can never be attained. We should not keep it in our hearts.'
70. "Nanda said, 'Although it is my destiny to be childless, I will take shelter of Glorious Lord Narayana, the controller of the worlds. With His help my desire will be fulfilled. This I know. What has never been seen or heard of before He can place before everyone's eyes. He can do any impossible deed.'
71. "Yasoda said, O master, we should serve Lord Narayana?'
72. "Nanda said, 'Good. What service shall we perform?'
73. "Yasoda said, "We could follow the dvadasi vow.'
74. "Nanda happily said, 'What you say is good. The desire to follow this vow has now sprouted in my heart. We will follow it.'
75. "When the two of them decided in this way, the demigods made a great sound of dundubhi drums, a sound that filled all directions."
76. Hearing this description of his thoughts and desires, Nanda felt his heart melt. To the young poet he gave a gift of his own glistening ornaments. His wife, glorious Yasoda, gave the poet a great necklace of sapphires.
77. Snigdhakantha earnestly said, "What happened then?"
78. Madhukantha said, "When Nanda and Yasoda had passed a year of following this vows, in the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared before them both in their dreams. He said, 'O devotees very attached to Me, why are you so troubled? A delicate boy dark and glorious like an atasi flower will become your son. You will be able to gaze on Him always. To increase your love for Him, this boy becomes your son kalpa after kalpa. Following My order, you appeared in your amsa-kala forms as Drona and Dhara in the world of the demigods cannot attain, you took birth on the earth in this place, a place glorified in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.34). Please know that your glorious desire will soon be fulfilled.'
79. "After speaking these words, the glorious Supreme Personality of Godhead at once disappeared. Suddenly awakening, Nanda and Yasoda became as if plunged in an ocean of nectar. Telling each other what they had seen, they were filled with wonder."
80. In his heart Snigdhakantha thought, "Now my questions are answered. When He said, 'You two will attain Him as your son', that is what the Supreme Lord meant. That is what Garga Muni meant when he said (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.14): " 'For many reasons, this beautiful son of yours sometimes appeared previously as son of Vasudeva. Therefore, those who are learned call this child Vasudeva.'*
81. "Love is the only way one can attain a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself says (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.11): " 'I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service.'*
"The Lord also says (Bhagavad-gita 4.11): " 'All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly."*
"In this way a devotee attains love for Krsna, love like the love of a parent for a son, a love called 'vatsalya'.
82. "Vasudeva's paternal love for Krsna is sincere, intense, and glorious. King Nanda's eternal parental love for Krsna is even more pure and glorious. By mediating on Krsna, Vasudeva and Devaki attained Krsna as their son. This is the sages' opinion, as confirmed by these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.16-17 and 18-19): " 'Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who vanquishes all fear of His devotees, entered the form of the supreme Personality of Godhead within the core of his heart, Vasudeva bore the Lord's transcendentally illuminating effulgence, and thus he became as bright as the sun.'*
" 'Thereafter, accompanied by plenary expansions, the fully opulent Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is all-auspicious for the entire universe, was transferred from the mind of Vasudeva, became beautiful by carrying Lord Krsna, the original consciousness for everyone, the cause of all causes, within the core of her heart, just as the east becomes beautiful by carrying the rising moon.'*
"Nanda and Yasoda also mediate on Lord Krsna in their hearts. Therefore their position was not different from that of Vasudeva and Devaki. Nanda and Yasoda have great devotion to Lord Krsna, Therefore, O Nanda and Yasoda, Krsna is your son as much as He is Vasudeva's son."
83. Then Snigdhakantha openly said, "Then? Then?"
84. Madhukantha said, "Seeing that Nanda and Yasoda were unhappy, the elders of Vraja gathered around them and praised them.
85. "At that moment a saintly ascetic lady accompained by a brahmana came to that place. Seeing the lady's great splendour and glory, everyone stood out of respect. Treating her like a honoured guest, they said, 'Who are you? You are like Goddess Yogamaya herself. Who is the boy with you? He is like Narada Muni in the form of a boy."
86. "Smiling, the lady said, 'My name is Paurnamasi. I am a widow, an ascetic who practices meditation. I am also a astrologer. I can see the future. This brahmana boy is named Madhumangala. He is saintly like Narada Muni himself. We both have special, secret knowledge.'
87. "The people of Vraja said, 'Why are you so kind to us poor people?"
88. "Paurnamasi said, 'We know that you have uncommon power and glory.'
89. "The people said, 'How is that ?'
90. "Paurnamasi said, 'King Nanda, who is the root of your lives, will have a son that delights the worlds.'
91. "Shedding tears and the hairs of their bodies erect with joy, everyone said, "Our forest of Brhadvana is a very holy place. Stay here and we will build you a leaf-cottage by the Yamuna's shore."
92. "Paurnamasi said, 'The goddess of the Vedas spoke to me in a dream. She should not speak anything untrue. She spoke the word Krsna. That means a very powerful and glorious person named Krsna will take birth in this place on earth. This person's qualities will be eternally new and fresh. His transcendental knowledge and other virtues will be beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature. He will possess all wealth and all glory. His devotees will renounce material wealth and glory. He will subdue all that oppose Him. By your mercy I will happily stay here in this place.'
93. "Everyone happily offered obeisances to Paurnamasi. Going to the Yamuna, its dark waters more splendid than a forest of blue lotus flowers, they built for Paurnamasi a cottage of leaves.
94. "Her heart withered by cruel Kamsa's ferocious words, Rohini complained to Vasudeva, and Vasudeva sent her to Vraja. Riding on a horse, Rohini secretly entered the land of Vraja at dusk. Seeing chaste Rohini's arrival as an auspicious omen, everyone in King Nanda's assembly became happy at heart. Overcome with joy, Rohini and Yasoda embraced. They were like the Ganga and Yamuna flowing together.
95. "Then it was the month of Jyaistha. Seeing that Rohini was three months pregnant, Yasoda became very happy.
96. "On the delightful full-moon evening of the month of Magha, Yasoda served King Nanda and then, exhausted, fell asleep. In a dream she had a vision.
97. "In that dream a young boy was hiding behind a young girl. Placing His place in King Nanda's heart, the boy entered Yasoda's heart. The boy stayed in Yasoda's lotus heart. Then the young girl entered Yasoda womb. King Nanda also saw these bewildering activities. At first he was unhappy. Then he shook away that unhappiness and felt joyful."
98. In the heart Snigdhakantha thought, "This is all true. The truthful sage know this boy is the son of Nanda's and Yasoda. Considering all this, I agree with their conclusion." Then Snigdhakantha openly said, "Then? Then?"
99. Madhukantha said, "Seeing that Yasoda was now pregnant, all the women of Gokula became joyful. It is said: "Yasoda's face was effulgent. Her breast and belly had grown large. The word in everyone's ears was that she was now pregnant.
100. "Krsna now stayed in Yasoda's womb. Glistening like a lamp in a crystal base, He filled her with light that shone within and without.
101. "Wise Queen Yasoda thought profound thoughts and had a host of virtues. Peaceful, she controlled her tongue and senses. Still, there were some things she intently desired.
102. "Krsna present in her womb, she had the longings of a pregnant women. She longed for sweet-rice with fragrant camphor, sugar, ghee, and tulasi.
103. "Then Goddess Yogamaya suddenly ended Rohini's seven-month-old pregnancy and placed in Rohini's womb an unborn child taken from Devaki's womb. Then, in the fourteenth month, the month of Sravana, when the auspicious star Sravana conjoined with the moon, joyful Rohini gave birth to a handsome son glorious with all transcendental qualities. She was like a glorious moon effulgent with moonlight. She was like a lioness who has given birth to a very powerful cub. She was like a fresh lotus-lake in which a fragrant white lotus flower has bloomed. She was like pure knowledge that has given birth to all-auspicious glory.
104. "Rohini gave birth to a son with a glorious face, lighting-flash eyes, dark-cloud hair, a white autumn-cloud form, and great glory and prowess. Her son was very glorious and transcendental.
105. "Her son's form was fair and powerful without limit. The astrologers said, 'This boy will be the elder brother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will be the protector of the cows, and the killer of Dhenukasura, Pralambasura, Dvivida, and a host of demons. His arms will be long, His name will be Rama. In a past life He enjoyed pastimes with Lord Ramacandra.'
106. "Sent by Vasudeva, learned brahmanas named Sarma performed the nama-karana and other ceremonies for Balarama.
Still, there was a sadness in Vraja.
107. "From the time of Balarama's birth a dull sadness was be seen in Vraja. For this sadness there was only one remedy. The remedy was the infant that appeared in Queen Yasoda meditations.
108. "After some days that infant entered Yasoda's womb. In the eighth month of Bhadra, on a Wednesday, during the auspicious astrological yoga named harsana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, shaking away the darkness of this world, appeared in this world to delight Nanda and Yasoda.
109. "They also say: "The demigods made everything glorious and auspicious on the night of Lord Krsna's birth. In this way they served the Lord.
110. " They also say: "Even when it is not Satya-yuga, one may still meditate. Even when it is not Treta-yuga, one may still perform yajnas. Even when it is not Dvapara-yuga, one may still perform Deity-worship. Even when it is not Kali-yaga, one may still chant the holy names of Lord Hari. Even when it is not springtime, Jasmines and other flowers may still bloom. Even when it is not summertime, mangoes may still ripen. Even when it is not autumn, clouds may still be beautiful. Even when it is not autumn, rice may still be harvested. Even when it is not winter, there may still be cold weather. Even when it is not daytime, lotus may still bloom. Even when the astrologers learned in the jyotih-sastra do not know it, the stars may still be auspicious. Even if the spiritual masters do not teach it, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is still present everywhere. In the same way, even though Yasoda was unaware of it, Lord Krsna was born as her son.
111. "First this will be said: "Beautiful stars shone in the sky. Clouds rumbled over the ocean. There was a glorious shower. On that day the beauty of autumn was a guest on earth.
112. "Furthermore: "At that time, even though it was not their season, madhavi, jati, ketaka, kumuda, and ambuja flowers bloomed in the four directions.
113. "The wise acaryas say this was not suprising, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the treasure-house of all wonders, had taken birth at that moment.
114. "They who could see into the future might say these words: 'Krsna face is like the king of graceful, smiling blue lotus flowers. Krsna's eyes are like the king of graceful black bees resting in the king of white lotus flowers. Krsna's nose is like the king of sesame flowers splendid like the kings of dark monsoon clouds. Krsna's lips are like the king of lips red like red sindura, girija, roses, bandhuka flowers, or bimba berries. Krsna's ears are like the king of splendor of blackness that rule over dark anjana ointments. Krsna's arms and hands are like the king of branches bearing blossoming twigs. Krsna's chest marked with Srivatsa is like the king of dark clouds embraced by an unmoving lightning flash.
115. "Furthermore, Krsna's eyes defeat the maha-padma lotus, His eyes defeat the padma lotus, His defeats the shark, His smile defeats the kunda jasmine, His neck defeats the conchshell, the soles of His feet defeat the turtle. His glorious complexion defeats the sapphire. All His feature dwarf these seven famous treasures, which begin with the maha-padma. What more need be said? These seven rare treasures, which are difficult to attain, stay always with Lord Krsna. Of this there is no doubt.
116. "Something extraordinary occurred at the time of Krsna's birth. It is said: "To please Lord Krsna, who is purchased by kindness, Goddess Yogamaya assumed the form of an infant girl and took birth as Krsna's elder sister."
117. Snigdhakantha then thought of these verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.4.9 and 10.5.1): "The child, Yogamaya-devi, the younger sister of Lord Visnu, slipped upwards from Kamsa's hands and appeared in the sky as Devi, the goddess Durga with eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.”*
"Nanda Maharaja was naturally very magnanimous, and when Lord Sri Krsna appeared as his son, he was overwhelmed by Jubilation."*
Thinking of this and other verses affirming that Krsna is in the truth Nanda's son of Devaki and Vasudeva?"
118. He openly said, '"O saintly one, if Krsna is Nanda's son, why does everyone think Him the son of Devaki and Vasudeva?"
119. A little startled by Snigdhakantha's words, Madhukantha thought, "Devarsi Narada said, 'If there is talk of Krsna among love-filled people of Vraja, then Krsna's powers and opulences should be hidden.' That was the conclusion of Garga Muni also. That conclusion is not surprising."
120. Then Madhukantha openly said, "Narada will not mind if I now reveal the secret of Nanda's son. Rather, by revealing it in this assembly I will attain perfection. Lord Krsna Himself is reflected in the loving hearts of the love-anointed people of Vraja. Controlled by His devotees love, Lord Krsna manifests himself. In the absence of love He does not manifest Himself. Before those who love him as parents love a son, Lord Krsna appears as a son. He does not appear in that way before others. Before devotees who love Him as a son, He takes birth as their son.
121. "Once every kalpa in every lifetime of Brahma, Krsna appears before Nanda, Yasoda, and the people of Vraja, People who love Him dearly, to give them a chance to love Him as Nanda's son. He will not appear before other persons even for a single sesame-seed worth of time.
122. "This is described by the demigod Brahma in these words (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.35): " 'My
Lord, sometimes I am puzzled as to how Your Lordship will be able to repay, in gratitude, the devotional service of these residents of Vrndavana.'*
"Lord Narayana Himself said (in paragraph 78 of this chapter): " 'O devotees very attached to Me, why are you so troubled? A delicate boy dark and glorious like an atasi flower will become your son. You will be able to gaze on Him always. To increase your love for Him, this boy becomes your son kalpa after kalpa.'
"In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.8.19) it is also said: " 'In conclusion, therefore, O Nanda Maharaja, this child of Yours is as good as Narayana. In His transcendental qualities, opulence, name, fame, and influence, He is exactly like Narayana. You should all raise this child very carefully and cautiously.'*
"From these words spoken by Garga Muni we may make these assumptions: 'Goddess Yogamaya, who has the power to make any impossible thing possible and who is the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, arranged that Lord Krsna became the son of Nanda. Yearning to have a son like the Lord Himself, Nanda had worshipped the Supreme Lord. Although Nanda, his heart full of love for his kinsmen, gave no thought to his future son, this was merely an action of Yogamaya to help the Lord's pastimes while yet He could not be seen in Vraja. As Yogamaya acts, so Mahamaya and the other potencies of the Lord follow. When Garga Muni here says, 'gopayasva' (protect this child very carefully and cautiously), he means 'With the potencies given by the Lord Himself, please protect this boy. Garga Muni also says (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.15):
" 'For this son of yours there are many forms and names according to His transcendental qualities and activities.’*
"Lord Krsna enjoys tasting the nectar of loving relationships with His devotees. Lord Krsna every desire, whether eternal and important, of a fleeting whim, is attained without any effort. In this way, to enjoy pastimes with His affectionate devotees, Lord Krsna appeared before them in His two-armed form, and then eventually disappeared also.
123. "The four-armed Narayana manifested in the heart of Vasudeva and Devaki came out of their hearts and stood before them. The nyaya states: " 'One fruit becomes the cause of another fruit.'
Following this nyaya it is seen that Krsna first appeared in a four-armed Narayana form before Vasudeva and Devaki and then later appeared in His original two-armed Krsna-form before Nanda and Yasoda. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.8.14) it is said:
" 'For many reasons this beautiful son of yours sometimes appeared previously as the son of Vasudeva.'*
"Afraid of cruel Kamsa, Devaki wished four-armed Lord Narayana would appear before her. At the same time, accompanied by Goddess Yogamaya, two-armed Krsna appeared in Yasoda womb. When the two-armed and four-armed forms met, the four-armed Narayana-form entered the two-armed krsna-form. Manifesting her form, Goddess Yogamaya was present in Yasoda's womb. Manifesting her formless feature, she became the wind that pushed infant Krsna from Yasoda's womb. In this way Yogamaya was like a fragrant breeze that, although invisible, still makes a lotus flower move to and fro. Goddess Yogamaya also put Yasoda into a state of bewilderment.
124. "From within the womb, Yogamaya made Yasoda bewildered about the new-born child. Then Yogamaya herself took birth. Then she, Yogamaya who had transferred Balarama from Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb, lay on the bead in the maternity room."
125. In his heart Snigdhakantha thought, "In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.9) Lord Krsna said to Yogamaya: " 'O all-auspicious Yogamaya, I shall appear with My full six opulences as the son of Devaki, and you will appear as the daughter of mother Yasoda, the queen of Maharaja Nanda.'*
"The demigod Brahma said to the demigods (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.1.25): " 'The property of the Lord, known as Visnu-maya, who is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will also appear with Lord Krsna. This potency, acting in different capacities, captivates all the worlds, both material and spiritual. At the request of her master, she will appear with her different potencies in order to execute the work of the Lord.' "*
"In the first of these quotes Lord Krsna uses the word 'amsa-bhagena' in the sense 'accompanied by My four-handed Narayana form". In the second of these quotes the demigod Brahma uses the word 'karyarthe' (to execute the work of the Lord) means 'to attract the people of the world with His charming features'. The sages who know the truth of Lord Krsna give this explanation (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.38.32):
" 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krsna and Balarama) appeared personally for the welfare of His creation. "*
"Here the word 'amsa-bhagena' means accompanied by His various forms'.
126. "Goddess Yogamaya established the relationship of King Nanda and Lord Krsna. That is the final conclusion. Even though He is all-powerful, Lord Krsna still submits Himself to His devotee's desire. He does not merely follow His own whim. "
127. Filled with wonder, everyone then said, "So it was. What happened then?"
128. Madhukantha said, "Then, following Lord Krsna's command, Yogamaya arranged that four-handed Lord Narayana took birth from Vasudeva, and she also arranged that because of Vasudeva's fear, Lord Narayana changed Himself into the two-handed form of Krsna to Yasoda. There he saw Yasoda's infant boy and infant girl. Seeing Krsna's four-handed form, Vasudeva understood that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He doubted that Krsna was his own son. He had no power to say how his son was first four-handed and then two-handed. Vasudeva could not understand anything of what just happened."
129. Snigdhakantha said, "He did not understand. Still,he place his son there and, taking the girl with him, left. That is why the names Agama-sastras and other scriptures call Lord Krsna by the names 'Nanda-nandana', 'Nandatmaja', 'Nandaja', 'Nanda-tanaya' (Nanda's son), 'Ballavi-nandana' (a gopi's son), and many other like names."
130. Smiling, he continued, "At first it may not have been accurate to say that Krsna is Nanda’s son. But in the course of time it became accurate. It became the truth."
131. Smiling, he continued, "Tell us how Krsna father Vasudeva came to Vraja."
132. Madhukantha said: "The shackles fell from Vasudeva's feet. The prison guards fell asleep. Sesa became like an umbrella. The Yamuna became shallow like a field covered with water. In this way Vasudeva carried Krsna to Nanda's home. Now I have told you everything. Of whom shall I speak now?"
133. Snigdhakantha said, "Tell us King Nanda's glories."
134. Nanda’s glories are described in these words:
“Captured in the mystic net of descriptions of Krsna, the people of Vraja think they now see Lord Krsna’s pastimes with their own eyes. Tears fill their eyes. They are stunned. They are overcome with love. Who has the power to describe their good fortune.?”
135. Snigdhankantha again said, “Then? Then?”
136. His eyes begin to shed tears of joy, Madhukantha said, “Placing this great jewel in Vraja, Vasudeva left. Pushed by Yogamaya, Yasoda awakened and saw her new-born son.”
137. It is said in the Visnu Purana:
“Yasoda awakened and saw her new-born son dark like a blue lotus petal. She was very happy.”
138. It is also said:
“Gazing at there new-born son, His body more glorious than the most glorious sapphire, His face defeating the moon. His eyes more graceful than the most graceful lotus flowers, His hands and feet more charming than new petals on kalpavrksa trees in Vaikuntha, and His soft and sweet infant cries entrancing the whole world, stunned Yasoda looked like a painted picture.”
139. “Is this boy the king of the kingdom of dark splendour? Is He the most splendid of all oceans of handsome splendour? Is He the personified good fortune of all who are graceful and glorious? Is this boy a fruit that has grown from the tree of my limbs?” As Yasoda asked herself these questions, the new-born infant Krsna cries, “Om! Om!”
140. “Yasoda gazed at her son. She tried to call her friends, but she could not. Tears streamed from her eyes to her neck. She was stunned. She was overcome with love for her son.”
141. “Touched by Yogamaya, the people of Vraja wakened from their sleep. Now the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present amongst them.”
142. “Krsna was like glorious moon that with its cooling light made the lotus forests and the hearts of Vraja’s people bloom with joy.”
143. “The new-born child did not stay only on His mother’s bed. He was also reflected in the glistening mirrors of His affectionate kinsmen’s hearts.”
144. “As cataki birds gaze at a moonsoon cloud, the ladies of Vraja gazed at the reflection of Lord Krsna in their hearts. Quickly they came to see Him.”
145. “Rohini and the other ladies gazed at the infant boy. They were like cakori birds gazing at the newly risen full moon.
146. “Thinking of how to awaken her from trance, the ladies gazed at Mother Yasoda as she, stunned, gazed at her new-born son.
147. “With their eyes the ladies gazed at the dark infant boy. With their hearts they were filled with doubt. “s He a demigod?’ ,they thought. The idea that this could possibly be an ordinary human child refused to walk on the pathway of what they could believe.”
148. “The ladies thought, ‘Is this a great garland of blue lotuses? Is it a gigantic sapphire? Is it a great Vidura jewel? We don’t know what it is? It appears to have the form of a new-born infant boy. As we gaze on this boy all our senses are stunned. Our eyes are fixed on Him alone.’
149. The ladies thought, ‘This boy s actually a dark tamala leaf fragrant with musk, anointed with glistening handsomeness, anointed with the splendour of His own glorious form, bathed in the nectar of His own handsome face, anointed with beautiful sandal and camphor of His mothers glances, and decorated with the ornaments of His own glorious handsomeness.’ The ladies gazed at the infant boy, His delicate limbs like a tamala leaf and musk. To attract their hearts, with His hand the boy played with His few strands of curly hair. Then He made His hand into a tiny fist. The ladies gaezed at Him when, as if tossed to and fro by the Yamuna’s waves, He moved His hands and feet.
150. The ladies gazed at new-born Krsna:
“Gazing at new-born Krsna, the delighted ladies whispered among themselves. They had forgotten all their household duties. One peaceful hearted lady placed her trembling hands on the new-born child.”
151. Now the ladies could see the infant was a boy:
“They said, ‘Aha! Now He touches His head. Now He rubs His eyes. Now He touches His chest. Now He rests His hands on His chest.’ Saying these words, the beautiful-eyed ladies gazed at new-born Krsna.”
152. “Again and again everyone’s eyes rested on the child. No one grew tired of gazing on Him. Shedding a shower of nectar tears, delighted Mother Yasoda offered to her new-born son a nectar shower of milk from her breast.”
153. “Everyone carefully watched as the infant was bathed and various ritual were performed.”
Following Rohini’s request, an elderly brahmini went to tell the delighted Nanda. His face filled with a joyful smile, and his hair and garments white, Nanda quickly came.
154. Filled with ecstatic love, everyone in the assembly stood with folded hands before Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha. Madhukantha said:
“O King of Vraja, your son is the greatest treasure of this exalted assembly. Simply by hearing of His birth pastimes, everyone here is now filled with bliss.”
155. King Nanda respectfully worshipped Madhukantha and Snigdhakantha. Placing his hand on their heads, he blessed them. Taking his own ornaments, he decorated them.
Everyone there offered gifts to them. King Nanda said to them, “Please stay as my guests and enjoy a feast with us.” Then Nanda said to everyone, “Please come again. Morning after morning please assemble here.”
156. Following His father’s instructions, Krsna took His lunch-packet, honored His mother, gave His company to the two poet boys, and went to the forest to look after His cows. Then the people in the assembly returned to their homes.(Translated by Kusakratha Das)
See http://www.granthamandira.org/categories.php?cat_id=25 for the complete Sanskrit text.
The preparations for Janmashtami begin on Saptami, which for most of us would be today. Happy celebration!
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Nandotsava and relishing the nectar of Nanda's deeds on the occasion of Sri Krishna's birth. Stay tuned!
From Krsna -prema-tarangini.
uttarila giyA yadi nandera mandire/
sire hAt diyA gopI AsirvAd kare//
"cira-jivi hao, bApu, sarvatra kalyAna"/
dhAnya-durvA diyA sire kaila samvidhAna//
taila-jala-haridrAya kariyA secana/
dadhi-dugdha-ghrta-madhu kaila varisana//
krsnera mahimA gopi gAya ucchasvare/
vividha bAjana bAje nandera mandire//
krsna Asi' nanda-ghare hailA upasanna/
Anande prabhura guna gAya gopi-gana//
When they arrived at Nanda's home, the cowherd women, placing their hands on his head, pronounced blessings on the babe saying, " May you live long O child, and may you be blessed with all good fortune". Holding some Dhanya and Durva grass over the babe's head, they conclude the rite. Then, having sprinkled him with a mixture of oil, water and tumeric, they showered him with curds and cream, and ghee and honey. The cowherd ladies loudly sung the praise of Krsna, and Nanda's palace was resonant with the joyous sound of diverse musical instruments. Now Krsna had appeared in Nanda's house, great was the rejoicing, and in rapturous delight the merry cowherd women sang the lord's glories.
(From the Nativity depicted in Sri Bhagavatacarya's Krsna-prema-tarangini, a Bengali versification of Srimad Bhagavat)