Part Two Chapter Six
Chapter Six Abhista-labha (The Attainment of Desires)
1 Sri Gopa-kumara said: Following Narada's instruction, in a sweet voice I chanted Lord Krsna's dear holy names and I sang of and meditated on His pastimes here.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that "here" means "in Vrndavana".
2 When I saw the places of the Lord's pastimes my heart became filled with love and my body displayed the symptoms of ecstasy. In my heart I am embarrassed. How can I tell this to others?
3 Tormented, I passed my days and nights pitiably crying in pain. Soon I did not know whether I was filled with bliss or drowning in an ocean of pain.
4 I did not know whether I was in the flames of a forest fire or in the cooling nectarean waters of Sri Yamuna.
5 Sometimes I thought I must have fallen into the hand of a demon. I was always drowning in an ocean of pain. Even the slightest fragrance of happiness would not touch me.
6 Thus I lived in this grove that decorated Vrndavana forest. One day, as I was drowning in an ocean of weeping, I fainted.
7-8 Then I met the crown jewel of all merciful persons. With a hand holding a flute He wiped the dust from my limbs. Again and again this most wise person playfully shook me. He flooded my nostrils with His unprecedented sweet fragrance.
9 I reverently gazed at His lotus face. I quickly got up. My heart filled with joy, I tried to touch His exquisite yellow garment.
10 Making playful melodies on His flute, that best of heroes moved behind me and then fled into the forest. I ran after Him, but I could not catch Him.
11 He disappeared. Not seeing Him, I fainted and fell into the current of the Yamuna. As I was carried along I became unconscious and I opened my eyes.
12 I saw that, carried by a vehicle rising faster than the mind and travelling along a very wonderful path, I had arrived at a very splendid, flawless place.
13 Collecting my thoughts, I happily saw Vaikunthaloka, within where were Ayodhya and many other places, and I became filled with wonder. Then, carried along, I left them all behind.
14 Then I came to effulgent Goloka, which was above all the worlds, and which I had long desired. Here was the circle of Mathura. Everything was as it had been on the earth.
15 In the circle of Mathura I went to Mathura City. Gazing at it I became filled with joy and wonder.
16 There I heard that, imprisoning Devaki, Vasudeva, and his own father, Kamsa had usurped the kingdom.
17 Afraid of the demons, the Yadavas could not be happy or act as they wished.
18 They found themselves troubled by Kamsa day and night. Some fled, and some took shelter of him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.1-4.
19 Being also afraid of him, I left, bathed in Visranti-tirtha, and quickly went to beautiful Vrndavana.
20-1 There, in Goloka, which the demigods, kings of the planets, and their associates could not approach, seeing a country glorious as the sunrise, where there were the ways and customs and human language of Bharata-varsa's Arya-varta, I became filled with wonder and I plunged in an ocean of bliss.
22 In a moment I saw cowherd men going here and there and elderly gopis picking flowers.
23 Everyone there was extraordinary, different from any people I had seen before. It seemed that someone had stolen the treasure of their hearts.
24 Simply by seeing them I became like them. Carefully composing myself, I approached them and asked them this question.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the words "became like them" means that Gopa-kumara also became very agitated.
25-6 O people served by great bliss beyond what the great paramahamsas can desire, O people to whom the loving devotees of the goddess of fortune's husband pray for mercy, please look, look with kindness on this poor person come to you for shelter. Tell him: Who is the king of this place? Where is His palace? By what path (does one go to Him)?
27 O fortunate ones, please be kind to me, who with plaintive words asks: O saintly ones, please give me a sign in answer.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that they did not answer Gopa-kumara's questions. He thinks they may be observing a vow of silence, so he asks that with a gesture of their hands they somehow answer his questions.
28 Please hear the words of troubled me. You must be overcome with love for that charming person.
29 Again and Again with plaintive words asking everyone I saw, I went to the different places in Vraja.
30 Moving my eyes in all directions, far away I saw a palace filled with great sweetness.
31 On that side, and also everywhere, I heard the beautiful singing of gopis, the sounds of them churning yoghurt, and the tinkling of their ornaments.
32-3 Suppressing the bliss I felt in my heart, I approached an elderly man who was emotionally singing "Krsna! Krsna!" and crying. I carefully listened to the broken words he spoke.
34 Simply by hearing the words "This is the palace of Krsna's father, the gopa-king Nanda" I fainted, overcome with happiness.
35 In a moment brought to consciousness by the kind elderly man, I ran ahead and came to the palace gate.
36 There I saw millions and millions of wonders never seen, heard of, or imagined by anyone.
37 O best of the brahmanas, I could not understand whether all the people were filled with bliss or overcome with sorrow.
38 Whether I heard the gopis songs I did not know whether they cried in the greatest happiness or the greatest sorrow.
39 As I looked at this place, which I had ascended higher and higher to reach, I thought "I am in the material world".
40 Then I understood: "I am above all material and spiritual worlds. I am above the material and spiritual worlds".
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "loka" here means "the fourteen material worlds" and the words "aloka" and "ati-loka" mean "what is beyond the fourteen material worlds".
41 An elderly lady came. I bowed down before her and with sweet words asked: "Where does the son of Nanda enjoy pastimes today?"
Srila Sanatana Gosvami reminds us that this conversation was at the entrance to Nanda's palace.
42 The elderly lady said: He who gives life to us people of Vraja, in the morning went to the forest with His cows, friends, and elder brother to enjoy pastimes. Now, in the evening, He will return.
43 Their eyes fixed on the path, all the people of Vraja now stand by the Yamuna's shore. Even the trees, eager to see Him, stretch their leaves and branches high. He will come by this path.
44 Sri Gopa-kumara said: It was as if I was suddenly bathed with great streams of nectar. With a single glance I saw the path she showed.
45 I was stunned with bliss. My legs could no longer move. With a great effort from far away I could hear the sound...
46 ...of cows mooing, and playful, sweet flute melodies filled with many charming waves of sound, that enchanted the people of Vraja...
47 ...made the trees shed tears that were a great flood of nectar, made the people of Vraja shed streams of tears from their eyes, made milk flow from the breasts of the elderly mothers, and made the swiftly moving Yamuna become motionless.
48 Whether this flute flows with poison or nectar I do no know. Whether this sound is harder than a thunderbolt or softer than nectar I do not know. Whether it is hotter than fire or cooler than the moon I do not know. Because of it everyone in Vraja has become mad. Now they have fainted unconscious.
49 Then I saw some of the women of Vraja coming from the palace carrying in their hands articles for offering arati. Others carried on their heads ornaments and delicious foods.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that in their hands they carried lamps, and other things, and on their heads they carried garlands, ointments, fresh butter, sweet rice and other things.
50 As they hastily and confusedly ran in the direction of the cows' mooing and the flute's music, some of the women stumbled and fell.
51 Some had put their ornaments in the wrong places, some had forgotten to tie their belts and hair, some, stunned as trees, stayed in their homes, and some fainted and fell to the ground.
52 Some, their faces wet with tears, had fainted and were being carried by their friends. Others, overcome with love, came there and said to their friends: "Look! It is He!"
53-4 Continually singing His names and pastimes, decorated with wonderful beauty and colourful garments, and their good fortune robbing Goddess Laksmi of her pride in being fortunate, they ran to the Yamuna's shore. As if pulled by someone, I ran behind.
55 Then from far away I saw Him. His hand was glorious with the sweet flute. He quickly ran from His friends and cows, said "O Sridama, now I have found my friend Sarupa, who is a brilliant sun shining on the lotus flower of your family", and gracefully continued walking.
56 He was decorated with forest ornaments, a moving kadamba garland, and a peacock-feather turban. His fragrance filled the directions. His blossoming lotus face was handsome with a playful smile.
57 His lotus eyes glistened with merciful glances. His only real ornament was His own wonderful handsomeness. The fingers of His lotus hand pushed back the moving locks of His hair decorated with dust raised by the cows.
58 To beautify the surface of the earth, He touched it with His soft lotus feet as He danced gracefully.
59 Splendid with the sweetness of youth, His handsomeness made all the directions glorious. The ocean of His many glories charmed the hearts of His eternal dear friends there.
60 Controlled by the love of His helpless devotees, He ran to me. I fainted with love by seeing Him. He embraced my neck, and then suddenly fell to the ground.
61 In a moment I became conscious. I carefully freed my neck from His embrace. I saw Him fallen to the ground, unconscious, covered with dust, and muddying the path.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord was muddying the ground with streams of tears.
62 The gopis came there and said: "Who has come here? What has he done to the goal of our lives? Alas! Alas! Now we people of Vraja are all dead!"
63 Crying and lamenting in many ways, and saying, "Perhaps he is a servant of the magician Kamsa", they gathered around Krsna.
64 The gopas quickly came. Seeing the situation, they cried pitifully.
65-6 Hearing the sound of crying, the people of Vraja: Nanda and the gopa men, Yasoda, who dearly loved her son, the other women, and the maidservants, fainting and stumbling as they came, all ran there, crying out "Alas! Alas!"
67 Then the cows, bulls, calves, black deer, and other animals all came there and, seeing what had happened to Krsna, cried in agony.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the animals all considered Krsna the Lord of their life.
68 Gently making sounds of love, their faces bathed with tears, approaching Him again and again, and smelling Him, they licked Him again and again.
69 Crying as they flew in the sky above, many grieving birds made a great sound.
70 Their hearts filled with pain, the unmoving trees and plants suddenly became withered and dry. How can I say it in words? All moving and unmoving beings became as if they were dead.
71 Tormented, drowning in an ocean of sorrow, confused about what I had done, placing my head at His feet, and crying, I lamented again and again.
72 Handsome Balarama, whose fair complexion was decorated with blue garments, who was dressed and decorated as His younger brother was, and who was only slightly older than He, with great fear quickly came from far away.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Balarama's complexion is the colour of a white lotus flower.
73 Balarama, the leader of the wise, cried at first, but then He became peaceful at heart. He looked about. He took my arms and carefully placed them around the neck of His younger brother.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Balarama looked about to find the cause of His brother's fainting.
74 He made my hand stroke Krsna's handsome limbs. He made me call out to Him with wonderfully sweet words. He made me lift Him from the ground.
75 At once He opened the charming lotus eyes that had been sealed by streams of tears. Seeing me, He happily embraced and kissed me, but then, looking around, He became embarrassed.
76 Having attained me, a friend more dear than life He had not seen for a long time, taking my hand in His left lotus hand, asking me wonderful questions, bringing happiness to all the people of Vraja, and walking as gracefully as an elephant, the handsome Lord entered the village of Vraja.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives "O dear friend, are you well? Are you happy?" as an example of Krsna's questions.
77 Unhappy in his absence, unable to go anywhere without Him, and hoping to see the Lord in the morning, the forest deer passed the night at the entrance to Vraja village.
78 Again and again flying over Vraja, the birds gazed at Krsna. Unable to see Him at night, weeping and crying out, they left.
79 At the insistence of Nanda, who was full of love for His sons, the two brothers did not stay to talk to the cows after they were milked, but went directly home.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda said, "Son, you must be tired from wandering in the forest. Go home with Your older brother. Bathe and perform Your other duties. I will stay and talk to the cows. Don't delay. Your mother is lamenting. She will rebuke me. Please honour the promise I made her. Go home at once."
80 Their limbs and garments bathed in the streams flowing out of love from their eyes and breasts, again and again Yasoda and Rohini offered arati to each limb of the two boys.
81 With her hair she offers arati to her son. She embraces Him and lovingly kisses Him. Will she hold His head to her breast or her waist?
82 Filled with love, He brought me to His mother and made me bow down before Her. Seeing that her son loved me, she was as affectionate to me as she was to Him.
83 Then, ignoring all other duties, some gopis came there on a certain pretext.
84 Seeing that the two mothers were making arrangements to bathe the two brothers, the mischievous Lord said to the gopis:
85 "O mothers, We two brothers are tortured with hunger. Please quickly prepare our meal, bring father, and We will eat."
86 Hearing these pleasant words, the gopis said: "O Sri Yasoda, queen of Vraja, O Queen Rohini, you need not do this. We will do this duty.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the duty here is the bathing of Krsna and Balarama.
87 "You two quickly prepare Their meal. We will nicely bathe Them at once."
88 Sri Yasoda said: "Girls, quickly bathe the older boy first and send Him to fetch Nanda so he may also eat."
89 Sri Sarupa said: Praising mother Yasoda's pleasing words, some gopis quickly bathed Balarama and sent Him (to get Nanda) as Yasoda and Rohini went into the kitchen.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Sarupa is Gopa-kumara's original name in the spiritual world. From now on he will be identified as Sarupa.
90 One by one removing Sri Krsna's wonderful ornaments, they scrubbed His limbs with their own washcloths.
91 Alerting me with a signal, from far away He tossed into my open hand the flute, which was like the gopis' rival, for which they begged, and which they tried to grab from His lotus hand.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the signal was the Lord's dancing eyebrow. The gopis begged, "Give it to me! Give it to me!"
92 Then they anointed Him with excellent oil and carefully and expertly massaged Him with the soft touch of their lotus hands.
93 Still, either because He was so very delicate and sensitive, or perhaps out of playfulness, He cried out with a pained expression on His face.
94 Hearing this cry of pain, and at once coming out, she who had placed all her love in her son alone asked, "What happened? What happened?"
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Mother Yasoda came out from the kitchen.
95 Seeing Her son's smiling face, she went back to the kitchen. Afraid, smiling, and singing songs, the gopis finished massaging Him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the gopis smiled because they knew that Krsna only pretended to cry in pain, but they were also afraid that Mother Yasoda would again come from the kitchen.
96 Then, with clear, warm, and fragrant Yamuna-water from jewelled jars, they playfully bathed Him.
97 Then, with wonderful garlands, scented ointments, garments, and many ornaments all brought from their own homes, according to their own liking they dressed Him as a dancer-actor.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "yatha-ruci" may also be interpreted to mean "according to Krsna's liking".
98 Then they fed Him some food they had hidden, and then, with the offerings that are said to be proper to give again and again offering arati to Him, they placed the offerings on their heads.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the gopis may have themselves brought the hidden food out of love for Krsna, or the hidden food may have been arranged by Mother Yasoda's own desire. The arati offerings include camphor and a lamp.
99 With paste of excellent sandalwood, kunkuma, and musk they drew wonderful pictures and designs on His neck, forehead, and cheeks, and in other places also.
100 As He lovingly gazed at them, they carefully steadied Him with their hands to decorate His eyes with black Kajjala.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that because Krsna's loving glances made their hands tremble, they could not do a very good job of decorating His eyes.
101 Again and again He spoke with them about the happiness of their pastimes in the forest, He said many wonderful joking words and He pleased them.
102 Interrupted again and again by their mutual friendship, His decoration did not attain its completion.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that by saying, "This is not good. Take it away and do it again," Krsna interrupted the process of decoration again and again.
103 Her heart filled with love for her son, Yasoda left the kitchen again and again. Seeing what had happened she spoke the following words as if she were angry.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Mother Yasoda was not actually angry.
104 Sri Yasoda said: "O gopi girls, because of your fickleness and childishness His bathing and decoration is still not finished?"
105 Sri Sarupa said: Understanding the playful hearts of the gopis, whose eyes were then fixed on their beloved, an elderly lady said:
106 "O daughter Yasoda, please happily see how these girls have brought handsomeness to your dark son."
107 Hearing these words of her nurse Mukhara, she again left the kitchen. Understanding the joke her nurse had said, she spoke as if she were angry.
108 Sri Yasoda said: "All handsomenesses offering arati to His lotus feet, my handsome dark boy dances again and again on the head of the entire world!
109 "The beauty of all these girls together is not worthy to offer arati to the handsomeness in the tip of one of His toenails."
110 Sri Sarupa said: How can His handsomeness, glory, and sweetness be described? It cannot be compared to anything in this world, nor anything beyond it, nor even the king of Dvaraka!
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that "handsomeness" here means "the handsomeness of His body", "glory" means "the glory of His dark complexion", and "sweetness" means "the sweetness of His smile and other features". That His handsomeness cannot be compared to anything in the material world means His eyes and the other parts of His body cannot be compared to lotus flowers or other things, and also that His handsomeness cannot be compared to that of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu present in the material world. It cannot even be compared to that of the king of Vaikuntha, the king of Ayodhya, or the king of Dvaraka.
111 As Krsna is the crest of heroes, so Radha is the greatest heroine. As Radha is the greatest heroine, so Krsna is the crest of heroes.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Radha, being like Krsna, cannot be compared to anyone else. They are both like each other and unlike all others.
112 Completing the bathing, and seeing that the gopa king had come with Balarama, all the girls hid, and Krsna at once came before him.
113 With the two boys at his sides, Nanda sat down on a golden throne in the dining room and began to eat.
114 Yasoda's son was at his left and Rohini's son was at his right. At Their insistence I faced Them.
115-6 The king of enjoyers then ate a meal that had all good qualities, that had four kinds of food, that Sri Rohini brought from the kitchen in splendid jewelled, golden and silver pots and that His mother lovingly served Him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the king of enjoyers is Krsna.
117 His great golden plate filled with many cups of different kinds of food, He ate a great deal.
118 Sometimes His mother, father, or brother would carefully place some food in His mouth and He would playfully and graciously accept it.
119 As He ate He drank excellent nectar from a golden cup and excellent water from another golden cup.
120-4 In the beginning He ate very sweet warm milk mixed with sugar and ghee, jallebis, pupa cakes, phenika sweets, capatis, many other delicious foods cooked in ghee, and many sweets made of milk and yoghurt, in the middle He ate many exquisite sweet cakes, fragrant soft foods, vataka cakes, parpata cakes, soup, spinach, other vegetables, many milk preparations of the sweet and bitter kinds, and many other spicy, bitter, and salty foods at the end He ate curds with sugar, many kinds of curd and yoghurt preparations, and buttermilk with hing, and He also fed me all these different foods.
125 Glorious with the dancing of His lotus eyes and archer's bow eyebrows, the waves of pastimes of His lotus face, cheeks, charming tongue, red lips, and chewing teeth cannot be approached by words or the mind.
126 From their own homes the gopis brought many sweets cooked with milk, butter and sugar and placed them before Mother Yasoda.
127 With wonderful playfulness He ate them again and again, praising all of them, delighting all the gopis, and with His own hand feeding me some of them.
128 Then Sri Radhika brought a manohara-laddhu filled with sugar and placed it at Krsna's left.
129 Picking it up with the tips of His forefinger and thumb, and then lightly placing it on the tip of His tongue, He suddenly curled His mouth in an expression of distaste.
130 His brother smiled, His mother became angry at Radha, His father was surprised, Radha's bewildered friends felt sick, and Her enemies rejoiced.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Krsna's brother Balarama appreciated the joke, and so He smiled. Radha's enemies are Her rivals.
131 Then He threw it on the plate of me, who was born in Radha's brother's family. When I ate that sublimely delicious sweet I became filled with wonder.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara was related to Radha's brother Sridama. The sweet was not actually bitter, but Krsna thought it appropriate that one of Radha's relatives eat it. It was actually the best of all the foods and out of love Krsna gave it to Gopa-kumara. Why did Gopa-kumara become filled with wonder? Because that sweet was the most delicious.
132 When with moving eyebrows Radha secretly glanced at Him, Krsna pleased Her with a gentle smile and a sidelong glance.
133 Then I understood this pastime, by which He who is the crest jewel of the intelligent delights they who are overcome with love for Him.
134 Then putting some betelnuts in His mouth, playfully chewing them, and glancing at Radhika, He timidly placed the betelnuts in my mouth.
135 Then, reciting mantras for good digestion, His affectionate mother again and again stroked His stomach with her left palm.
136 Then, as Nanda was in the cow-barn, and as intelligent Balarama slept, Krsna, singing songs, wandered in the courtyard of Vraja.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that at this time Mother Yasoda was absorbed in her household duties.
137 After enjoying for a moment pastimes with the beautiful girls of Vraja, out of respect for His mother's call, He went to His bedroom nearby and lay down on His soft bed beautiful as foam.
138 On that very splendid, golden, priceless, bejewelled bed were many soft pillows like spotless full moons.
139 In the lion's part of the palace, in a beautiful bejewelled room fragrant with aguru incense, the bed, decorated with a canopy of pearls, was very beautiful.
140 Intelligent Radha prepared some betelnuts and placed them in Krsna's mouth. Candravali and Sri Lalita playfully massaged His two lotus feet.
141 Some gopis fan Him, some bring Him betelnuts, some a dish for betelnut-remnants, and some golden cups with excellent water.
142 Some sing songs of glorification that please His ears and heart, some play musical instruments, and some joke with Him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "sankirtana" here indicates that the gopis were chanting Krsna's names.
143 Thus served by all the gopis, who were melting with feelings of great friendship, Krsna gave the chewed betelnuts they intensely desired, although each could not see the others receiving them.
144 With these activities pleasing His beloveds, and delighted by Sri Radhika's words of love, Krsna, the crest jewel in the assembly of the most intelligent, at once began His pastimes of sleep.
145 Receiving a hint from Him, all of them drowning in a flood of happiness, went to their own homes.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Krsna's hint was the dancing of His eyebrows.
146 Then Sridama carefully took me to his own home. What other pastimes Krsna enjoyed that night I cannot say.
147 With great difficulty I passed the night and in the morning I went to Nanda's home. I saw Krsna on the bed, sleeping and bearing the marks of amorous pastimes.
148 Going to His side and showing Her affection for Him in many ways, His honest mother spoke some words to herself.
149 Ah, exhausted from having spent all day protecting the cows in the forest, and finding the happiness of sleep, even now my boy does not wake up.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Mother Yasoda does not suspect that Krsna has spent the entire night enjoying the rasa-dance pastime.
150 Terrible thorns in the forest made these wounds everywhere on all His limbs when again and again He ran here and there.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that these wounds were made by the gopis' fingernails.
151 Alas! The black kajjala from His eyes has anointed all His limbs. He is so overcome with sleep that He does not even know.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that these marks of black kajjala were left by the gopis.
152 He does not even know that He is marked here and there with strains of red betelnuts from His lips. He must have broken His necklaces, garlands, and other ornaments as again and again He turned in His sleep.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the red betelnut stains actually came from the gopis lips and it was the gopis who broke Krsna's necklaces, garlands, and ornaments. Mother Yasoda thinks Krsna broke them as He turned in His sleep.
153 Even bathing did not wash away the kunkuma-coloured Yamuna-bank clay that is now the friend of His body.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the kunkuma actually came from the gopis' breasts. Mother Yasoda playfully calls the kunkuma the "friend" of Krsna's body because it clings there so tightly.
154 Yesterday at sunset the impatient girls did not bathe Him very carefully and thoroughly. They did not wash away all the dirt.
155 These same things Mother Yasoda spoke again and again before the girls of Vraja when they came, their faces shining with fear, smiles and embarrassment.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the gopis were afraid that Mother Yasoda had learned the truth of their pastimes with Krsna at night, they smiled when they heard her words explaining how thoroughly she misunderstood everything and they were embarrassed to see the marks they had left on Krsna's body. Their faces showed the signs of these different responses.
156 Then Krsna ended His pastimes of sleeping. Yasoda and Balarama bathed Him, decorated Him with ornaments, and ate breakfast with Him.
157 The gopis waited a moment to wish Krsna a happy journey to the forest and Mother Yasoda performed her duties to make His journey auspicious.
158 Although their hearts were tortured with the thought of being separated from Him, they sang splendid and auspicious songs and they performed the purna-kumbha ritual.
159 Then, at that place, Mother Yasoda placed on the limbs of both Her son and His elder brother both protective amulets and ornaments proper for the forest.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the amulets included emeralds and tiger's claws.
160 She arranged for elderly brahmana ladies and other ladies to offer blessings. She did everything to prepare for His journey.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the "other ladies" were the elderly gopis.
161 Taking the lunch His mother gave, putting the cows in front, and playing His flute, Krsna set out.
162 Then, each leaving his own home, all His companions came around Him and enjoyed friendly pastimes with Him.
163 Together they played many melodies, sometimes on bamboo flutes, sometimes on horn-bugles, and sometimes on leaf-flutes.
164 In this way He stayed with His brother and with His friends, who carried paraphernalia for His pastimes and who happily sang, danced, and spoke words of praise.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the paraphernalia here includes flags, camaras, parasols, slippers, fans, snacks, nectar drinks, toy balls, cymbals, and mrdanga drums.
165 The older boy was in the front and I was in the rear. Pulled by the rope of love and unable to bear separation from Krsna, the gopis, on some pretext, began to follow behind.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the older boy here is Balarama, and the "I" is Sarupa, who is speaking these words.
166 Seeing it was covered with perspiration, Mother Yasoda affectionately wiped her son's face. The milk flowing from her breasts, she followed Him outside the gates.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that first she wiped it with her hand and then again she wiped it with the edge of her sari. The phrase "outside the gates" here means "outside the gates of Vraja village".
167 Krsna spoke to her and she turned to go home. Craning her neck (to see Him), she took two or three steps and then, overcome, went again to her son.
168 She prepared some betelnuts and placed them in His hand and mouth. She turned to go and, as before, she quickly came to Him again.
169 In the middle of the road she fed her son sweets mixed with fruit and other ingredients and she also gave Him something to drink. Then she began to go home, but again she returned as before.
170 Carefully inspecting her son's garments and other things, she set everything neatly in order. Again she left, and again she returned. Then she instructed her son:
171-2 "Son, don't go far in this impassable forest, and never go where there are thorns". With many sweet words she made Him promise. Then she turned to go, took a few steps, and returned again.
173-4 "Dear Balarama, You stay in front of Your younger brother. Sridama, you stay with Sarupa in the rear. Amsu, you stay at His right. Subala, you stay at His left." With a blade of grass she begged them. Then she gazed at her son.
175 With an agitated heart coming and going again and again, she defeated a surabhi cow very affectionate to its new-born calf.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this means that she was more affectionate to her son than even the most affectionate cow is to its calf.
176 Then, bowing down and grasping her feet, embracing her, presenting many different reasons, and speaking many promises, her son made her turn back.
177 As a painted picture she stood there at the edge of the forest, gazing at her son, the milk flowing from her breasts, and above them many tears.
178-9 With shyness and fear unable to say or do anything, their throats stopped with tears, their eyes flooded with streams of tears, their steps stumbling, and themselves drowning in an ocean of pain without any remedy, the beautiful gopis followed Him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the gopis were afraid because their superiors were present.
180 He charmed the eyes and hearts of these girls, who had come very far from Vraja village. With a great effort He made them return home, although again and again He glanced at them as they left.
181-2 With an anxious heart He craned His neck and again and again comforted them with His glances of love. With the movements of His eyebrows, which carried the message of His love, He embarrassed and even frightened them. They stood, stunned, before His mother.
183-4 Seeing his wife's love for her son, the king of the gopas also became filled with love. Seeing the people of Vraja's great love for His son, he, accompanied by the adult gopas, followed Him for a long way and could not give Him up.
185-6 Even though, seeing many auspicious omens, and seeing that the cows and every other creature were all very happy, he was happy at heart, he was also tormented by separation from his son. He embraced his older son, and then he embraced his younger son, and then he embraced them both again and again. He smelled Their heads and, overcome with love, he shed many tears.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda embraced Balarama and then he embraced Krsna.
187 His son bowed down before him and explained all the duties to be done. He turned to go, gazed at his son, and then stood still and motionless.
188-9 When he saw his two sons were deep in the forest and he could no longer hear any sounds from them, he turned towards Vraja village. Engaging some swift servant-messengers to bring news of the boys, he comforted his wife and the gopis and brought them all to their homes.
190 Singing of Krsna's pastimes, the gopis entered Vraja village. They spent the day thinking of Krsna's company.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.35.2.
191 Even Lord Ananta has no power to describe what they felt. What wise man can describe their suffering?
192-3 When He sent the gopis back, Krsna felt unhappy at heart, but when His friends at once made Him enter beautiful Vrndavana forest, showed Him the beauty of Vrndavana, and also described it in words, His unhappiness went away.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the beauty of Vrndavana forest is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.15.5.
194 Then Krsna enjoyed pastimes with the gopas, and even the moving and unmoving creatures there joined in these pastimes. My heart cannot understand these pastimes. How can my tongue describe them?
195 Herding the cows near Govardhana Hill, He made them drink the Yamuna's water. In the evening He, the master of Vraja, returned to His own Vraja village and enjoyed pastimes with the girls of Vraja.
196 Although the palace of the king of the gopas is splendidly manifest in a place called Nandisvara, the followers of Krsna worship the rasa dance and other pastimes He enjoys in the forest groves.
197 O brahmana, to what may the bliss of living there be compared? How can it be described?
198 They who have experienced this bliss say that because it comes from the glory of pure devotional service to the Lord it is greater than the bliss of they who have attained impersonal liberation and also greater than the bliss of the residents of Maha-Vaikuntha.
199 The bliss felt by the residents of Ayodhya and Dvaraka is greater than that in Vaikuntha. Each is sweeter than the one before.
200 The bliss felt by the residents of Goloka is greater than all others. How can it be described in words?
201 They who are friends of the Lord in Goloka feel that bliss eternally. They can understand it.
202 The residents of Goloka incarnate as eternal associates of the Lord in Vaikuntha. They also appear as reflections among the demigods in the material world.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the appearance of Nanda and Yasoda of Goloka as Drona and Dhara in the world of the demigods is an example of this:
203 To please Lord Vishnu when He wishes to enjoy pastimes there, these demigods descend to the surface of the earth again and again.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Balarama, who appears in Goloka, incarnates in Vaikuntha as Ananta Sesa. He again incarnates as Ananta Sesa among the demigods in the material world, and on earth He again appears as Balarama. The devotee Sridama, who appears in Goloka, appears in Vaikunthaloka as Garuda. He again appears as Garuda among the demigods in the material world, and on the earth he again appears as Sridama. Vasudeva and Devaki, who appear in Goloka, incarnate as Sutapa and Prsni in Vaikuntha and as Kasyapa and Aditi among the demigods in the material world. On the earth they again appear as Vasudeva and Devaki. These are some examples of how the residents of Goloka incarnate in different places in the spiritual and material worlds and how, as demigods in the higher material planets, they incarnate on the earth to please the Lord.
204 As Krsna, the origin of the incarnations of God, is not different from His many incarnations, so the residents of Goloka are also not different from their incarnations.
205 According to the time, place, and mission to be performed, the residents of Goloka appear, sometimes in partial forms and sometimes in fullness. They do this as Krsna Himself does.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives Lord Varaha, who appeared in Satya-yuga to rescue the earth, as an example of a partial incarnation, and Lord Krsna, who appeared at the end of Dvapara-yuga to enjoy pastimes and reveal the nature of pure devotional love, as an example of the Lord appearing in fullness.
206-8 When the Lord incarnates, the residents of Goloka, each attracted by his own rasa with the Lord, also desire to appear, by some pretext, in their own incarnations, and then at the end their incarnations merge into them and become one with them again. This is what the sages say.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives Brahma's benediction (to Drona and Dhara) as an example of the pretext mentioned here. When the Lord's pastimes are completed, the incarnation of Nanda Maharaj merges into the existence of the original Nanda Maharaj in Goloka, and the incarnations of the other residents of Goloka also merge into their sources in the same way.
209 Without doubting, please understand all this according to the explanations previously spoken by Narada.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives the following doubts as examples: If Goloka is actually superior to Vaikuntha, then why do Kamsa and other demons live there? Why do carts and other objects made of wood and other materials, as well as grains of dust and other lifeless things exist in Goloka? Why do Nanda Maharaj and the other residents of Goloka incarnate as the Lord's associates in Vaikuntha?
These doubts were already answered in the beginning of Chapter five, and they will be answered again later on in this book. The first doubt is specifically answered in the beginning of this book. The answer to the second doubt is given in Narada's explanation that everything in Vaikuntha is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. This is also true in Goloka. Therefore the carts and other objects in Goloka are not lifeless, but are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. The answer to the third doubt is that in order to assist the Lord in His pastimes, Nanda and the other residents of Goloka incarnate in spiritual forms that are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. In this way they are among the Lord's eternally dear associates in Vaikuntha.
210 O best of the residents of Mathura, please listen and by Lord Krsna's power I will tell you something wonderful about Goloka.
Sri Sanatana Gosvami explains that although the glory of Goloka is beyond the sphere of words and the mind, by Lord Krsna's mercy it can be described.
211 In Goloka there are millions and millions of young, adolescent, and old gopas. Each one thinks: "I, and no one else, am most dear to Krsna".
212 In the course of their daily activities they constantly associate with Krsna. They are all very pure. Each one is like that.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the words "each one is like that" mean that each one, in truth, is most dear to Krsna.
213 None of them is ever satisfied. The many varieties of the thirst of their love for Krsna, which is the mother of humbleness, always increase.
214 Krsna's great kindness, love, and attachment are seen to be always placed in each of the millions and millions of gopis.
215 For these reasons and for hundreds of other reasons people like myself can understand that noone in any place is more dear to Krsna than they.
216 When Krsna's special love to a certain gopi is seen, then it is understood that she is the most dear to Him.
217 Although each gopis is most dear to the Lord, and although they all experience the many blisses of enjoying pastimes with Him, the gopis do not think the Lord loves them.
218 Each gopi thinks: "When will I be fortunate to be the least of Krsna's maidservants?'
219 O Lord, even the great souls cannot understand the great wonder of their deep love.
220 One day, as He was enjoying pastimes by the Yamuna's shore, Krsna, the son of Nanda, heard that Kaliya had again come to his lake.
221 At once going there alone and climbing a kadamba tree, He dove into the lake, making the waters very turbulent.
222 Playing in the water by wonderfully swimming back and forth, and making many loud sounds, Krsna approached the demon, who at once wrapped his coils about the Lord. Playful Krsna then showed something.
223 Not seeing Krsna, who had left their company, the gopa friends became as if they had died. Tormented by the desire to find Him, they saw His footprints, and followed them to the lake.
224 When they saw Krsna could not move, His friends fainted. When they could not see Him at all because He was covered by the waters, they no longer wished to live.
225 Standing by the shore, the cows, bulls, calves, and other domestic animals from the village, as well as the wild animals from the forest, all cried, fixing their eyes on Krsna's face and screaming in agony.
226 Crying pitifully, the birds flew over the lake and dived into the waters. The trees and other plants became dry and withered. Many great calamities happened.
227 Sent by the Lord, an old man ran to Vraja village. Crying, and terribly calling out "Alas! Alas!", he described what had happened.
228 Seeing many fearful calamities, the people of Vraja left their homes and hurried to find Krsna.
229 The old man's broken words were like a thunderbolt falling on them.
230-1 In His home Balarama called out "It's a lie! A lie!" consoling the people of Vraja, who had become like running corpses. He carefully convinced Mother Rohini to stay at home, and then He also ran with the others.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Balarama knew how powerful His younger brother was. Balarama gave Mother Rohini the task of cooking Krsna's meal, and in this way He kept her at home.
232 He quickly came to the lake. Seeing His younger brother in that state, He could not remain peaceful, but He cried in the agony of love.
233 He lamented again and again, His cries breaking wood and stone. In a moment He fainted, as Nanda and Yasoda had already done.
234 Then everyone let out a great, painful, terrible cry that made the entire world cry also.
235 Awakened by this great sound, Balarama, the crest jewel of the sober, with a great effort regained His peaceful composure.
236 In a moment Krsna's parents became conscious again. Gazing at their son, and crying loudly, they began to enter the lake, but Sri Balarama forcibly stopped them with His hands.
237 Seeing everyone fainted as if they were dead, Balarama became filled with pain. In a voice choked with emotion, He loudly called out to Krsna.
238 Sri Balarama said: These people are not Your associates in Vaikuntha! They are not Your monkey-associates! They are not the Yadavas! They are the people of Goloka! You are their only life and soul! They are dying now! Lord, I have no power to save them!
239 They are now lifeless! Merciful Krsna! Only friend of the people of Vraja! Give up this pastime, or Your gentle heart will become filled with grief!
240 Sri Sarupa said: Crying with many words of lamentation, fainting, their bodies filled with pain, and their hearts destroyed by grief, the gopis entered the lake, as if to go by the Lord's side.
241 Leaving that pastime, freeing Himself from the bondage of Kaliya's coils, and climbing on the serpent's thousands of raised, extended hoods, Krsna stretched out His two lotus hands.
242 Then, bringing His gopi beloveds, Krsna climbed the very wonderful jewelled pastime place of Kaliya's hoods.
243 With splendid singing and instrumental music, dancing with the gopis on these very wonderful dancing-places, Krsna, who is an ocean of playfulness enjoyed the wonderful happiness of the rasa-dance pastime.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda and the others could not see these pastimes.
244 Staying on the shore, and now brought by Balarama to consciousness, Nanda and the others gazed at Krsna and became filled with joy and wonder.
245 After subduing the serpent-king Kaliya, smiling Krsna, forcibly took away the upper garments from the serpent's wives as they offered prayers.
246 Making of these garments a single long rope, piercing the serpent's nose, and threading it, playful Krsna held the rope in His left hand.
247 Then Krsna, playing the flute with His right hand, rode the serpent as one rides a horse, and made it go here and there.
248 Sometimes prodding the serpent with His flute, He made the serpent His carrier, showing it great mercy.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord's mercy to Kaliya is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.16.34.
249 Accepting the priceless jewel-ornament and the garments, garlands, and fragrant ointments the serpent's wives offered, Krsna placed them on Kaliya's hoods.
250 Then, with many lotuses, water lilies, and other flowers the serpent's wives brought from the Yamuna, Krsna decorated both Himself and the gopis.
251 As the serpent king offered prayers with its countless mouths, Krsna emerged from the lake, making His friends and relatives dance with joy.
252 Then, from Kaliya, who was very happy to have attained a very great mercy that even Garuda could not attain, very wonderful Krsna descended with the gopis.
253 Flooded with streams of tears from the happy eyes of Nanda and the others as again and again they embraced Him and offered arati to Him, Krsna, after mercifully giving some instructions, sent the serpent king out of the lake.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord's instructions to Kaliya are given in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.16.60-61.
254 Pleased by a great and beautiful festival of singing, instrumental music, and other festivities celebrated by the happy gopas and gopis, the Lord went to His own home.
255-7 Once, Kamsa's two great demon servants Kesi and Arista, the first assuming the form of a great horse, and the second assuming the form of a bull, both of them so tall their great bodies touched the sky, both of them like death personified, and both of them terrifying the gopas, wreaking havoc in Gokula, and with their roaring making every living entity fall to the ground, came to Vraja.
258 Surrounded by His dear friends terrified of the two demons, Krsna, comforting them and showing them His heroic power, flexed His arm.
259 First the horse came running, and Krsna kicked it far away. Then Krsna went to the bull, pierced its nose, and brought it before the deity of Lord Shiva.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Krsna tied a rope to the bull's nose and brought it before the Shiva-linga in Vrndavana so Lord Shiva could ride it.
260 When the horse came again, very powerful Krsna, jumping on its back, subdued it and, ordering it to go here and there, was very splendid and glorious.
261 With his friends and relatives, Krsna enjoyed riding on the horse, as with pastimes of wonderful leaps of thousand of hands it wandered on the ground and in the sky.
262 In a moment defeating it, bringing it under His control and bridling it, for pastimes of riding Krsna kept the horse in Vraja. In the same way He kept the bull for pulling carts.
263 One day, as Krsna was living in the town of Nandisvara, Akrura came to bring Him from Vraja to Mathura city on Kamsa's order.
264 When they heard this news, even the people in other places, and even the stones, wood, and other inanimate objects cried and broke into pieces.
265 At night hearing this news, all the people of Gokula lamented, crying and fainting again and again.
266 Yasoda, terrified of the demon Kamsa, and thinking her son her very life, with many loud complaints hid Krsna in a secluded place.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that she hid Krsna behind a curtain and other obstacles.
267 In the morning Akrura, with many arguments, convinced Nanda. Then Nanda convinced his crying wife and brought his son outside.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Akrura's arguments included a description of Kamsa's wickedness and Krsna's supreme strength.
268 It was as if Nanda had broken the lives of the gopis as they loudly called out "Alas! Alas!', shamelessly cried, and gazed on Krsna.
269 Then poor Yasoda came outside. Wiping away the streams of her tears, she took her son's hand and as if making a gesture, placed it in the hand of Akrura.
270 She said to Nanda: "I trust no one but you. He who is more dear than life I place in your hand. Keep Him by your side. Return Him here, and place Him again in my hand."
271 When the pious lady, overcome with love for her son, and fainting again and again went, without Krsna, to her home, a great cry rose among the women of Vraja.
272 When this is remembered, even today, the rocks cry out, dry wood sheds tears, thunderbolts break into pieces, and, if it has not already given up its life, the world is at once plunged in an ocean of sorrow.
273 Again and again comforted by honest, simple Yasoda, the women of Vraja, their hearts drowning in an ocean of pain and grief, angrily said to her:
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Mother Yasoda said to them: "I placed Krsna in the hand of Nanda and the hand of Akrura, who is the son of a great sage. Krsna will be returned. Because He was placed in the hands of good people there is no need to fear. They will quickly return Him to me." Mother Yasoda was simple and honest, and therefore she had faith in the words of crooked Akrura.
274 "O merciless one! O fool! How, after placing your own son in the paws of a tiger, can you, alone, enter your empty home, which should now be set in flames?"
275 Pushed by grief, rebuking her and the others, cursing Akrura, calling out to the Lord, and crying pitifully, they ran from their homes.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the "others" here are Nanda and the gopas.
276 With these cries of intense grief and pain they made Akrura, Nanda, the gopa boys accompanying them, and their beloved Krsna standing on the chariot, cry, and they made all the people of Vraja faint.
277 Composing Himself, and seeing that the gopis had become as if dead, He who is the gopis' goal brought them again to life, descended from the chariot, and, unseen by anyone, went with them to the forest.
278 Composing himself, Kamsa's messenger Akrura, not seeing Krsna on the chariot, and feeling morose, convinced Balarama with many eloquent words.
279 He described how only for Krsna's sake Devaki, Vasudeva, and all the Yadavas had suffered.
280 Then Balarama, who is the son of Vasudeva and Rohini, with His uncle Akrura searched for His younger brother Krsna. By following certain signs He came to the right forest grove.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the "signs" here were Krsna's footprints.
281 When Balarama could see Krsna and the gopis from far away, Akrura called out so Krsna could hear his words.
282 Sriman Akrura said: Wicked Kamsa insults your poor, aged parents again and again! Again and again he raises his sword to kill them! They are plunged in fears, lamentations and pain! They are Your devotees! It is not right to ignore them!
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Vasudeva and Devaki, Krsna's parents, are afraid of Kamsa. They lament because they cannot see their son, and they suffer because they hear from Kamsa many lies about their son.
283 All the Yadavas placed their eyes on my path! They suffer greatly! They have no other shelter! They are overcome with grief! Let not their hopes be destroyed! Let not the demigods, brahmanas, and others continue to fear Kamsa!
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the words "placed their eyes on my path" mean that the Yadavas know of Akrura's journey and mission and they are anxiously awaiting its outcome. The words "They have no other shelter" mean that Krsna is their only shelter.
284 Again and again he praises the strength of his arms! He does not think the demigods have any power at all to crush him! He is always worshipped by demon-kings powerful as he!.
285 Sri Sarupa said: Placing blades of grass in his teeth, he spoke many sweet words. He who is named Akrura, and whose actions are very terrible, bowed down before the women of Vraja, one by one.
286 Sriman Akrura said: Don't kill they who were born in the Yadu family! Be kind to them, for they are filled with grief! O goddesses, Krsna's poor parents, who are imprisoned by Kamsa, should be rescued!
287 The gopis said: O, O thief! Liar! Follower of Kamsa! Where are the parents of He who is the son of Nanda and Yasoda? Don't kill Gokula village! Don't crush women!
288 Sri Sarupa said: Hearing of the wicked Kamsa's deeds and of how He Himself was the cause of His relatives' suffering, and seeing that Balarama agreed, Krsna comforted the gopis and, filled with rage and grief, left the forest grove.
289 Akrura was pleased. Encouraged by Balarama, he ran to bring the chariot.
290 Understanding that Krsna would now go to Mathura city, again and again gazing at His lotus face, frightened of the fire of separation from Him, crying, and falling at His feet, the gopis said to Krsna:
291 Lord, we cannot live without You! We have no shelter but You! Lord don't abandon Your maidservants! Please don't go!
292 For Your sake we made the forest our home and our homes a forest. We made enemies friends and friends enemies. We made poison nectar and nectar poison. Without You we will die!
293 Not seeing Your handsome smiling face, Your charming lotus feet, and Your chest worshipped by all splendours, we will slowly die!
294 When, desiring to enjoy gopa pastimes, You go to Vrndavana Forest with Your friends, only by hoping that certainly You will return in the evening, can we somehow, painfully, pass the day.
295 When, following Kamsa's order and in the company of Kamsa's dear friend, You have gone far away to that city, how, filled with many fears, and worrying that You will suffer in a far-away place, will we live?
296 We don't know how hard it will be to kill Kamsa and his followers, or how long it will take to kill the sufferings of the people there, or whether You will remember us there?
297 When the gopis spoke these plaintive words everyone there wept and fainted.
298 Somehow regaining His composure, and wiping the tears from His and the gopis' eyes, the Lord spoke the following words in a voice choked with emotion.
299 The Lord said: I will very easily pacify this impotent Kamsa, who hates Me and My devotees. Have faith that I will soon return. O friends, do not cry and make things inauspicious.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that "pacify" here is a euphemism for "kill".
300 Sri Sarupa said: Then Nanda, the gopas, Rohini, Sri Yasoda, the others, and the animals, all quickly came there.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the "others" included the brahmana priests, the servants, the maidservants, and many others. The animals included the cows, buffaloes, and many other animals.
301 With a great effort turning His glance from the gopis, Lord Hari, with His elder brother, climbed the chariot Akrura had quickly brought.
302 Seeing the gopis crying, fainting, falling to the ground, and turning the dust to mud with their tears, Yasoda cried pitifully.
303 Even though he was also unhappy at heart, Nanda, showing his eloquence, spoke words to comfort her.
304 Sri Nanda said: Don't think I go happily to that city, or that I believe Krsna is someone else's son, or that I will leave Krsna there and somehow return to Vraja without Him, or that I will be eager to stay long in that city.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda here asserts that Akrura's claim that Krsna is Vasudeva's son is a lie.
305 Do I not know that without your son we people of Vraja cannot live for a moment? Know that as soon as Vasudeva and Devaki are released I will return with your son.
306 Sri Sarupa said: Comforted by him again and again with many promises, and now peaceful at heart, Yasoda comforted the gopis with many words.
307 Carefully pacifying them in many ways, she picked them up. The gopas climbed on their carts. Akrura made the chariot go.
308-9 Seeing Krsna leaving, unable to bear His separation, their dried-up mouths crying "Alas! Alas!", their steps faltering and their pitiful wailing filling all directions, the women of Vraja, ran after the chariot.
310 Some grabbed the chariot. Some threw themselves under the wheels. Some fainted. Some could not move.
311 Then the cows, bulls, calves, deer, and other animals, crying, and their faces washed with tears, surrounded the chariot.
312 Making a great sound, the birds flew in a circle above them. The leaves of the plants suddenly withered.
313 The trees and rocks fell from the great mountains, the lotuses withered, and the rivers, now very thin, flowed upstream.
314 Seeing the condition of His most beloved gopis, Krsna became filled with pain and grief. Unable to stop their crying, He Himself became washed in tears.
315 Fearing that Krsna might again jump from the chariot, or faint unconscious and fall from it, Akrura, the elder of the Vrsnis, affectionately held Him from behind.
316 Noticing that Krsna had fainted, Akrura, with the permission of Balarama, Nanda, and the others, with his whip made the chariot's horses, go very quickly.
317 Here and there the gopis would throw themselves before the horses, but Akrura would always make the chariot swerve and not hit them.
318 As the crying gopis looked on, Akrura stole the Lord from them as an eagle steals a piece of meat from kurari birds.
319 Akrura drove the horses so fast that soon no one could even see the chariot.
320 Each climbing on his own cart yoked with great bulls, Nanda and all the gopas quickly followed the chariot.
321 Bringing Him to Brahma Lake, and speaking many eloquent prayers, Akrura woke Krsna and brought Him to His original consciousness.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Brahma Lake is also known as Akrura-tirtha.
322 It is very difficult to hear what happened to the people of Vraja. Alas! Alas! Talk of it breaks thunderbolts and other hard things into pieces.
323 Sri Pariksit said: O mother, speaking these words in a pitiful voice, crying in pain, and overcome with love, Sarupa fainted.
324 With many great efforts the agitated and crying Mathura-brahmana brought him back to consciousness in a moment, and again he spoke.
325 Sri Sarupa said: Then Krsna went to Mathura city, delighted the people there, killed Kamsa and Kamsa's followers, and released His parents.
326 He crowned Kamsa's father, Ugrasena, ruler of the kingdom, brought the Yadavas there from all directions, and comforted the people of the city.
327-8 To please the Yadavas, for whom He was the only goal of life, and who were very unhappy, frightened by the kings that had been Kamsa's friends, Krsna, who is affectionate to His devotees, stayed there with His elder brother. Then Krsna sent Nanda and the other gopas back to Gokula to comfort the people there.
329 (Krsna said:) "Father, with the gopas please go to Gokula at once, so the people there do not die in My absence."
330 I will stay here briefly to please my friends so unhappy at heart, and then I will quickly return to Vraja.
331 Sri Nanda said: I will never believe that You are someone else's son and You will go to live somewhere else. When You say "I will return", I believe You.
332 Save us! Save us! Don't leave us! Don't leave us! Go where You like. We will go with You.
333 Because of my promise, Your mother and the people of Vraja are still alive. O dear one, if I am hard-hearted and return without You, they will die in a moment.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda had promised the people of Vraja that he would not return without Krsna.
334 Sridama said: O Lord, how can we, who could barely stay alive when You hid for a moment behind a tree, a vine or something else in Your pastimes of herding the cows in the land of Vraja, survive if You stay for a long time in a far-away place.
335 Sri Sarupa said: When the Lord, hearing their unhappiness, became silent, Vasudeva, fearing the Lord would want to go to Vraja, spoke.
336 Sri Vasudeva said: Brother Nanda, Your son will be perfectly happy staying in Vraja with His elder brother. He will not be happy anywhere else.
337 However, this is the time for Them to accept the sacred-thread. Let Them become brahmacaris, go to another place, and study. Afterwards They will return to Vraja.
338 Seeing Krsna smile at Vasudeva's words, Nanda filled with tears, and not smiling, left.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that with this smile Krsna hinted that He wanted to do as Vasudeva said. Nanda understood the hint, convinced that Krsna would certainly return to Vraja to be with them, left.
339 Accompanied by the Yadavas, the Lord followed the king of the gopas. As the weeping gopas one by one held His neck, the Lord wept loudly.
340 Seeing that Krsna was unhappy and wanted to go, Vasudeva and the other intelligent Yadavas turned Him back with many logical arguments.
341 By Krsna's desire Nanda and all the other gopas went to Vraja. Hearing that Nanda had come, the people of Vraja happily came to meet him.
342 Out of grief and embarrassment covering his face with a cloth, very morose, and crying, Nanda went to his home and lay down on the ground.
343 Not seeing the Lord, the people of Vraja became filled with pain. Filled with many fears, they did not know what to do. Their mouths dried and withered, they could not even ask about Him. Then, from an elderly gopa they heard the news of the Lord.
344 "Alas! Alas! Alas! Alas!" Krsna's mother and the other women cried in agony. Alas! Alas! Alas! Alas! How can I describe what they felt?
345 Sri Pariksit said: O mother, his heart burned by these activities, Sarupa, the best of the cowherd boys, again fainted.
346 The great brahmana carefully brought Sarupa to consciousness again. Fearing he would faint again, Sarupa did not say anything more about this topic.
347 Seeing that the Mathura brahmana was very eager to hear the rest of the story, the great soul Sarupa, carefully pacifying his heart, spoke.
348 Sri Sarupa said: Deciding that there was no other way to remove their grief, Krsna, who is conquered by His devotees' love, quickly returned to Vraja.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Krsna made this decision after hearing the words of Uddhava.
349 Merciful Krsna, who is the crest jewel of the wise, restored the lives of the people of Vraja. He enjoyed pastimes with them, and they forgot all their sufferings and the roots from which their sufferings grew.
350 If someone sometimes would remember or speak of the Lord's absence from Vraja, the person would think: "I was frightened and lamented greatly because I saw a very bad dream."
351 Their senses attracted and charmed by the sweetness of Gopala's pastimes, after a time the people of Vraja could not remember the Lord leaving them.
352 O friend, after some time, as if he had never come before Akrura came again and took his chariot to Vraja.
353 Again he took away the life of Vraja. The people there attained the same condition as before.
354 Again Krsna went to Mathura city, killed Kamsa, and returned to Vraja as before. In this way He enjoyed pastimes.
355 Again and again He goes to Mathura city and, as before, again and again He returns and enjoys pastimes in Vraja.
356 Again and again He subdues Kaliya. Again and again He lifts Govardhana Hill. Again and again the Lord enjoys many wonderful pastimes that enchant the devotees' hearts.
357 Poisoned by great love for Sri Krsna, the people of Vraja think these events never happened before.
358 Separated from Him, and meeting Him again, their love for Krsna grows very great.
359 For the eternal residents of Vraja the news of these pastimes is far away. Even newcomers like myself cannot remember them.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that by the Lord's mercy the eternal residents of Vraja forget these pastimes.
360 How can they who are always plunged in a great ocean filled by streams of the Lord's charming sweetnesses and are unmaddened by attaining the great treasure of pure love for Him, not forget?
361 Ah, plunged in an ocean of love for His dear devotees, even the Lord Himself, the crown of the wise, has not the power to understand His own opulences, what He has done, and what He will do.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that even Lord Krsna forgets that these pastimes have happened again and again.
362 These pastimes, where the Lord's lotus feet are served by His personal associates, are eternal, spiritual, and full of knowledge and bliss.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord's pastimes appear like those of an ordinary human being. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.31. Sri Vishnu Purana also explains:
"By His own wish the Lord of the universes enjoys pastimes like those of a human being."
363 O brahmana, thus I have described to you the extraordinary and supremely exalted flood of sweetness that is Goloka's glory.
364 The Mathura brahmana said: When Krsna went to Mathura city, where did you stay? How, attaining His feet after a long time and with great endeavour, could you wish to go somewhere else?
365 By the Lord's order everyone like me stays in Vraja with Nanda and the others who are like Him.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Nanda and the others have the same nature as the Lord Himself.
366 It is the nature of Goloka that they who live there never wish to leave it, even if they cannot have Krsna's company there.
367 Torment felt there dances again and again on the heads of all happinesses. Grief felt there is better than the greatest bliss.
368 Staying there always, attaining an eternal result beyond what I could desire, and my heart always feeling fulfilled, I never became satiated.
369 With my senses and limbs I cannot, for even a moment, leave Krsna's lotus feet, which are anointed with kunkuma from the Vraja-gopis' breasts.
370 In this very poor person the Lord's mercy has placed faith in His sweetness. What by others cannot be spoken, I have somehow said.
371 Staying for a long time in Goloka, I came to see that it was the same as beautiful Mathura-mandala in the material world.
372 Mathura-mandala is also filled with the same gopas, gopis, birds, worms, hills rivers, trees and everything else.
373 It is eternally decorated with the same pastimes of Sriman Krsnacandra.
374 Sometimes I stay there and sometimes here. Now I do not see any difference between them.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that "there" and "here" refer to Goloka in the spiritual world and Mathura-mandala in the material world.
375 Only when coming from one and going to the other may I see be a slight difference. Attached to both places, I do not know any difference between them.
376 Neither my eyes, ears, nor mind touch any place other than these two abodes.
377 My heart does not think: "Lord Sri Krsna also stays in other places, and His devotees also stay in other places."
378 When sometimes I see the residents of Vaikuntha or other places, I see them as being tormented by separation from Sri Krsna.
379 Sometimes I see that their love is not like the love the people of Vraja feel. From that I feel distress, love, and then the highest happiness.
380 I offer my respectful obeisances to the people of Goloka, who eternally see the glories of that abode, and who are worshipped by the residents of all the worlds. How can I describe them in words?