Krishna with Lotus Mala
The Splendid Flower Pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna
by Srila Raghunatha das Goswami
Translated by Sriman Kusakratha dasa
sakhi-vrindair vrindarcitam udita-vrindavana-padam
One day, hearing Sri Radha and Her friends enter Vrinda's forest named Vrindavana and happily pick Their favorite flowers, leaves, shoots, and fruits, Lord Krishna approached Them and arrogantly quarreled with Them in the following words.
rahah patacaryah kuruta kim idam yauvata-madat
"My dear thieves, what are You doing in this solitary place? Intoxicated by youthful passion You are destroying My priceless forest. I have no other course but to arrest You for this crime. For the crime of breaking many creepers I shall now arrest all Your bodies, for the crime of picking fruits I shall confiscate Your breasts, and for the crime of picking many budding twigs I shall imprison Your lips."
iti nisamya bhru-bhangam avalokantyam lalitayam anyah sa-smitam ucuh
vadantyah smo nunam tava kitava satyam hitam
Hearing these words, Lalita knitted her eyebrows and angrily stared at Krishna. Some of the other gopis smiled and spoke the following words.
"Dear liar, please listen, for the truth we speak is for Your benefit. Give up this false pride and go at once to Nandisvara-pura. Do You not know of the great prowess of harsh Lalita who can forever destroy Your good reputation in this forest?"
iti visakha-kathitam akarnya sa-darpabhinayam krishnah punah praha
aho sishya evam hi kuruta dharishtyam mayi
Hearing Visakha's speech, dramatically arrogant Krishna said, "O students, do not be so bold with Me. Hearing your disrespectful words all the beautiful vines and cottages have now become very angry. How many times, as Your pious guru, have I not mercifully initiated you in the path of non-violence?"
Note: Lord Krishna accuses the gopis of doing violence to the flowers by picking them.
etan nisamya lajjaya kopam iva vivrinvatishu
sarvasu prasangantarena tam vijetum
svayam yo nirbandhad dhana-vitaranair loka-tatibhih
When the gopis heard these words they became simultaneously angry and ashamed. From among their number Lalita spoke the following words to defeat with logic the arrogant Krishna.
"If a man spends money and employs many workmen to build a garden then that garden becomes his property for as long as he lives. However, You did not build this Vrindavana. Why do You claim Vrindavana as Your property? Furthermore, many other people pick fruits and flowers every day in this Vrindavana. Why do You trouble us and not them? When will You become impartial and equal to all? You are not impartial because You trouble us and not them."
iti visakha-sa-nyaya-kathitam akarnya sa-darpabhinayam sri-krishnah punah praha
akuntham vaikunthe divi bhuvi ca rasayam
After hearing Visakha's words of logic, Krishna spoke the following words with dramatic pride.
"You have not heard that in Vaikuntha, Bhurloka, and Rasatalaloka the Vedas declare that this forest bears My name and is Mine. It is not your fault for intense madness, pride, and youthful ignorance have made you quite deaf."
etad akarnya tiryag vilokayanti radha sa-smitam uvaca
aye ced yan-namnankitam iti bhavet tasya
Hearing this Sri Radha glanced at Krishna with crooked eyes, smiled, and spoke the following words.
"My dear liar, if this forest is Your property, and if it is named after You, then why in all the three worlds is this forest known as Vrindavana: named after our dear friend Vrinda-devi? My dear handsome and eloquent friend. this forest is not named after You."
Note: The word sri-svamin may also be interpreted to mean "O husband of the goddess of fortune." Sri Radha did not intend this meaning when She spoke this verse, but Krishna took it to mean that when He framed His reply.
iti radhayah sa-yuktika-vak-piyusha-mattah sri-krishnah sa-smitam aha
iyam lakshmi-vrindad api madhura-vrinda mama
Intoxicated by Radha's nectar logic, Krishna smiled and spoke the following words.
"Vrinda-devi, who is more charming than many goddesses of fortune, is My chaste wife. I swear that it is so. If You do not believe Me, ask her. The Vedas say that there is not the slightest difference between husband and wife, and therefore when the people of the three worlds proclaim that this forest bears the name Vrinda, that word Vrinda refers to Us both."
iti sri-krishnasya vag-amritam apiya radha vrindam prati nicair aha
idam vrinde satyam bhavati na hi kim va kathaya
After drinking the nectar of Krishna's words, Radha turned to Vrinda and whispered: "Vrinda, is this true or not? Please tell Us. It is not true. Had it been true you would have feigned anger and left the assembly of your friends in a moment. With these words We have now defeated this king of liars."
idam karne tasya nigaditavatishv asu sahasam
When Radha's words fell on her ear and she saw the crooked glances of the doe-eyed gopis, Vrinda-devi became red with pretended anger. Moving her crooked eyebrows, in the gopi assembly she gave the following reply to arrogant Krishna.
aye padmashanda vraja-nagara-bhanda vraja-vanad
"O eunuch of Padma, O laughing-stock of the town of Vraja, if You wish to become king of a nice forest, then leave this forest of Vraja without delay. Worship the goddess of Sakhisthali (Candravali) and when she becomes satisfied with You she will give You a grove of jujube trees as Your kingdom."
tata ittham tat-saundaryadi-stavanarabhatya
sri gandharvaya vrindatavyam svatam
yad etad bimbatval lasati mukham asyah kamalato
Eloquently glorifying Radha's beauty and virtues by comparing them to many other things, establishing Radha's sovereignty over Vrindavana, and at last rebuking Krishna, Vrinda-devi again spoke.
"The reflection of Radha's face is more beautiful than a host of lotus flowers. Her eyes are more beautiful than moving lotuses or restless deer. The beauty of Her raised nose is greater than the beak of a young parrot. Her glistening lips are more beautiful than the splendid bandhuka flowers.
aye dantah kundavali-karaka-bijadi-racanad
"Her teeth are praised above the white jasmines and red pomegranate seeds. Her gentle smile is praised above the lotus forest. Her ears are praised above the charming munja ropes. The beauty of Her forehead surpasses the splendid baka flowers.
calac-cilli-valli bhramara-vara-pankter api
"The vine of Her restless eyebrows is more beautiful than a line of black bees. Her kunkuma ointment is more beautiful than a host of ripe jambu fruits. The splendor of Her hair is greater than the feathers of a maddened peacock. Her voice is sweeter than the high notes of the cuckoo.
nitambah sailanam api vipula-bharad ati-guruh
"Her hips are heavier than many mountains. Her raised breasts are more firm than the bilva and other fruits. Her arms are more graceful than flowering vines. Her beautiful hair is more splendid than a glistening black snake.
varoru rambhali-krama-racana-jrimbhad api
"Her thighs are more beautiful than a forest of banana trees. Her movements are more graceful than the movements of a flock of royal swans. Her lotus feet are more beautiful than a forest of blossoming land-growing lotuses. In the town of Vraja She is eternally more generous than a forest of kalpa-vriksha trees.
drisoh premna sasvat ksharad-amrita-nihsyanda-vitatis
"The nectar streams of love flowing continually from Her eyes, and the perspiration that drops from Her transcendental body defeating the splendor of gold, are both greater than the Manasa-ganga, Yamuna, and all other rivers and lakes. Her bodily hairs erect in ecstasy are greater than bunches of newly-blossomed kadamba flowers.
alam gandha-snigdha kanaka-giri-vandya dyutir
"Her splendid complexion is worshiped by the golden mountains. Her bodily fragrance is greater than a host of blossoming golden yuthi flowers. Her breasts are more splendid than a host of incomparable lion-thrones. Her restless eyes are more charming than a swarm of khanjana birds.
param casyadinam vikasana-bharad eshu kila
"My Lord, this forest of Vrindavana is only the pale reflection of the glory of Radha's face and limbs. How then can You claim that is is Your property?
mukhadinam padmadika-puru-padarthah sama-rucah
"The lotuses and other flowers here are as splendid as the face and limbs of Sri Radha. In this world this forest is famous for being as sweet and charming as Radha. This forest is manifested from Sri Radha. This forest is the dear friend of Radha.
"Because this charming forest has a form like Hers it is manifested as Radha's splendid reflection and because it is the place of Her transcendental pastimes it is Radha's friend. In this way this forest in the land of Vraja is eternally Radha's reflection and friend. This is not at all a contradiction."
ado vrinda-nandi-stava-rasa-bharaih poshita-vapuh
Aroused by the nectar of Vrinda's prayers, Radha trembled with a great thirst to dance the dance of amorous love. The dancer of amorous desire arose within Her. Yearning to dance, She glanced at the dancing-master Krishna.
visakha tu sneha-snapana-krita-romanca-vilasad-
Visakha, plunged into feelings of love and the hairs of her body erect with joy, embraced Radha, who was filled with charming shy smiles from Vrinda's prayers. With laughter and crooked eyes Visakha violently rebuked Krishna. With happiness she showered sumanah flowers on Vrinda's head.
etan-madhura-varnanakarnanena svantas tosham bahir vihasya sotprasam krishnah punar aha
tvad-aler angali mama kamana-vrindavana-tanoh
Hearing this charming description of Sri Radha, Lord Krishna became very pleased within His mind. Externally, however, He laughed and spoke the following mocking words.
"The limbs of your friend Radha have stolen the treasure that is the splendor of My charming Vrindavana and made it fade and wilt. O liar, how do you expect to protect your friend with this ruse of claiming that She is identical with Vrindavana?
tavalya evam ced ati guna-gana mat-priya-vanad
"If Her virtues far exceed the glory of Vrindavana, then why does your friend Radha stoop to take a tiny flower here? She is a confirmed thief, and She will never cease hankering after others' property.
prakarais chayato yad ati-vara-bimbasya mahima-
"By glorifying Sri Radha and claiming that Her beauty is reflected in Vrindavana I think you are trying to give Her to Me. How is this possible? Sri Radha is very chaste and faithful to Her husband. Unless he approaches Me and gives Her to Me, how can She become Mine?"
etad-vicitra-rangocchalita-vag-bha\ni-vilasa-sudha-svardhuni-tarangenottarali-krita-hrid-vritti-dridha-naukam sri-radham sa-smitam alokayantishu sarvasu sa-smitam lalita lalapa
pipasarthah kascit kshudita-vivaso vartmani
The playful waves of the nectar Svarga-ganga river of these wonderful and charming crooked words rocked the firm boat of Radha's heart. Seeing this, all the gopis began to smile and Lalita, also smiling, spoke the following words.
"If a person traveling in the desert who is unable to get even a drop of bitter salt-water to allay his thirst, aspires to drink the heavenly nectar praised by Lord Brahma and available only in Indra's capitol Amaravati, then that person becomes a laughingstock in this world."
tato rasika-sekharam vraja-raja-kumaram sa
drig-ancala-vibhramena pasyanti sakhih prati
sphutam kali saibya camara-vanita madhyama-vadhur
To Her friends, who were then gazing from the corners of their eyes at Vraja's prince, who is the crown of all who know how to taste nectar, Sri Radha then spoke the following words.
"This Krishna already has many mistresses. Kali and Saibya are the least important of His mistresses, Padma, who is like a great lotus flower, is in the middle, and the most important is Goddess Candravali, whose beautiful breasts inflame Him with lusty desires. What need has this Krishna for any new mistresses?"
tac-chravanato roshenaiva satopam tasam vasana-haradikam adatum upasarpati sri-vrajendra-nandane sphutam eva campakalata solluntham avadit
vane phulle cillataka-patir ayam badham asakrit
Angry to hear these words, Lord Krishna, the prince of Vraja, boldly approached the gopis and was about to take their necklaces and garments when Campakalata spoke the following sarcastic words.
"Tell this saintly girl to inform the king that in this forest of blossoming flowers a certain policeman again and again worships us pious girls with bhoga and other flowers. When the king hears this he will certainly send a nice garland to this Krishna."
iti campakalata-lapitam avadharya smitva sa-siro-dhunanam uvaca krishnah
When Krishna heard Campakalata's words He smiled, shook His head, and spoke the following words.
"The emperor lives nearby and he has ordered Me to always protect this priceless forest. He said to Me: If anyone, either a citizen of our country, or even a foreigner, picks even a single fallen leaf or flower here, then You must at once confiscate his necklaces and clothing.'
ato 'ham yushmakam mani-vasana-haradikam
"For this reason I shall now take your jewels, garments, necklaces, and other valuables, and then I will happily return home. If you think you have not stolen any flowers or leaves, still you must give Me your bodices and belts."
iti solluntham abhashya sodgrivam udvikshya aye dhruvam eta gunavatyo nivyah para-dravyam na rakshayishyanta eva kintu kathineshv eteshv eva tal-lakshanam lakshyate. tatha hi
urojan ucchunan yad abhikalayamy adya divasat
After speaking these joking words, Lord Krishna lifted His neck and, peering at the gopis, spoke the following words.
"Although your belt is full of all auspicious virtues it will not be spared. Today I will see your firm, raised breasts, for I am eager to know if you have hidden My flowers there. If you think there is some offense in My touching you with My hand, then without cheating voluntarily show your breasts to Me."
tad-anantaram bhangya sri-radha-nivyam eva
sandeham ivodbhavya tasyam drishtim
radhe tvan-nava-nivika gunamayi sadhviti
Krishna hesitated for a moment, glanced at Sri Radha's belt, exclaimed "Very good!" and then spoke to Radha the following words.
"O Radha, the saintly gopis jokingly glorify Your new belt, proclaiming it to be very virtuous and saintly. Out of kindness to Me let this belt become free from its firm, tight bonds before My eyes. I promise that I shall tie it back again very firmly."
bhoh pasyata pasyata kritaghnyo 'naya nivya dambha-vrittim acarya mat-surabhi-pushpani svadhastad rakshitani santi yato romavali nama bhramara-panktis tat-saurabhyam anubhuya tad anusaranti vartate. etad-akarnanena bhru-bhangya tam akshipya grihaya gacchantyam balat krishnena vyaghotitayam radhayam tungavidyabravit
sathendra tvam sasvat padakam api hartum
"Just see! Just see! This ungrateful and wicked belt has cheated Me! I know the flowers stolen from this forest must be hidden under this belt. Under this belt I can already see what at first appears to be a line of hairs, but what I know in fact to be a swarm of black bees. These bees must have congregated here because they were attracted by the sweet fragrance of the stolen flowers hidden here."
When Tunavidya-gopi heard these words she knitted her eyebrows and spoke the following words as Krishna forced Sri Radha to go with Him into a nearby cottage.
"O prince of cheaters, because You said You would take only our necklaces, and because You are the son of the king, we at first tolerated what You have done to us. Now it is different. Listen. Because of what we have now seen we have lost all shame. Now we have no recourse but to steal Your dearmost flute and break into pieces. I swear we will do this to avenge our honor."
tatah sri-krishnah sa-darpam upadisann ivaha
aham sakhye dakshash catura-yuva-rajo vraja-pure
Sri Krishna then spoke the following high-handed order.
"My friends, although you have obediently given your necklaces to Me, and although I have kindly allowed you to follow Me for some distance, I am now asking you to leave. I am the intelligent prince of Vrajapura, and I carefully guard my blossoming forest of Vrindavana. I know all about the psychology of friendship, and I know that this thief, the treacherous Radha, is not actually your friend. You should at once leave Her company, for She is not fit to associate with you."
evam akarnya lalitantah sushthu pramudita sakuta-bhangyaha
punar garvam kuryan na hi vita sathasmat-pura
When Lalita heard these words she became very happy at heart, although she pretended to rebuke Krishna with the following words, which carry a hidden meaning.
"Rake! Liar! in our presence You proudly advertise Yourself saying `I am the intelligent prince of Vraja.' Don't be so proud. the great queen Radha is Your superior in every respect. You worship Kamadeva, who in turn worships the nectar mellows of amorous pastimes, which in turn worship our friend Radha. Because Radha is worshiped by the object of the object of Your worship She is Your superior. She is now displeased with You and She will now burn You to ashes with Her anger."
Note: The last part of this verse is deliberately ambiguous and may also be understood to mean "Radha has become inflamed (pratapati) with amorous desire. She is more agitated than You (tvad-upari)"
kutila-drishtya sa-hasa-lajjaya tam avalokayantim sri-radham prati sri-krishno vyajahara
mudha-vadam radhe na srija nija-mattali-lapanad
As Sri Radha gazed at Him with a shy smile and crooked eyes, Lord Krishna said the following words.
"My dear Radha do not speak nonsense, misled by the words of Your mad friends. With all humbleness I declare that You are the most chaste and saintly girl in Vraja. Give up the company of these ferocious girls and come with Me. To pay the tax You owe the owner of this forest at once enter this cottage and give me the flower garland of Your mercy."
tac chrutva sa-bhru-bhangam sri-radha bhangyaha
tvam asam vaidagdhi-ghatita-vapusham samsadi
Hearing this, Sri Radha knitted Her eyebrows and spoke the following crooked words.
"Don't uselessly make the comedian of Your crooked jokes dance before these intelligent and sophisticated girls. Leave this forest. Go to Your own place, and there play the buffoon with Your comedian friends."
tatah krishnah smitva sa-sautiryam uvaca
Lord Krishna then smiled and spoke the following arrogant words
"O gopis who devotedly eat the remnants of My meals in Vraja, who has given you the power to destroy My forest? To pacify the ruler of this place you must now enter the very dark room of this cave on the king of mountains."
tad akarnya sa-smita-garvam visakhabravit
bhavadrik-sampujyojjvala-kulavad etat pitri-padaih
Hearing this, Visakha smiled and proudly spoke the following words.
"You should worship the members of Radha's splendid noble family. Her father personally gave virtuous, lotuslike Radha to Abhimanyu, the best of the farmers, and now You, O rake, are forcing Abhimanyu to taste the remnants of what You have already enjoyed."
"By continually drinking the madhvika nectar flowing from Padma-gopi's fat lips You have become black-hearted. O rake, please consider what has happened. Worship Your maternal aunt Jatila, the moon of all saintly women, and Your life will become auspicious."
tac chrutva sa-narma-bhangyoktya daviyah-sambandham khyapayan krishnah sadram alalapa
asav asman-matur janayatri-prasu-pautra-vanitety
Hearing this, Lord Krishna described His distant relationship with His aunt with mock reverence in the following crooked words.
"At every moment I meditate on and bow down before My mother's sister, Aunt Jatila. To attain her saintly blessings I humbly follow her footsteps in Vrajapura."
As Sri Radha walked, Her anklets tinkling, Sri Krishna, the lifter of Govardhana Hill ferociously attacked Her breasts with His hands just as a powerful lion from the king of mountains might attack with its claws the bulging frontal lobes of a regal elephant.
By worshiping Srila Rupa Gosvami, the limping bumblebee of the words of me, a blind man, is now able to smell a little of the fragrance of the honey of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna's playful and splendid flower-quarrel pastimes, which are filled with the sweet fragrance of the joking words of Radha's friends. The dust of the feet of the incomparable Srila Rupa Gosvami is the goal of my life.