Lalita Madhava (Playful Krishna)


(Playful Krsna)

Act One Sayam Utsavah

(An Evening Festival)



Dramatis Personae

Men (in order of appearance)


Sutradhara, the play’s producer-director

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Rama (Balarama), elder brother of Krsna

Madhumangala,, joking brahmana friend of Krsna

Sankhacuda, a friend of Kamsa

Uddhava, friend and counsellor of Krsna

Madhava, the role of Krsna in a play

Abhimanyu, pseudo-husband of Radha

Narada, sage of the demigods

Sunanda, a brahmana messenger

Kancuki, a servant in Krsna’s palace

Kratha and Kaisika, two kings

Suparna, bird carrier (Garuda) of Krsna

Bhismaka, father of Rukmini

Visvakarma, architect-sculptor of the demigods

Nanda, father of Krsna


Women (in order of appearance)


Nati, an actress in the play

Paurnamasi, mother of Sandipani Muni and disciple of Narada

Gargi, daughter of Gargamuni

Kundalata, wife of Krsna’s cousin Subhadra

Candravali (Rukmini), sister of Radha

Padma, friend of Candravali

Yasoda, mother of Krsna

Rohini, mother of Balarama

Radha (Satyabhama), beloved of Krsna

Lalita, friend of Radha

Jatila, mother of Abhimanyu

Vrnda, goddess of Vrndavana

Visakha, friend of Radha

Mukhara, maternal grandmother of Radha

Bharunda,, mother in law of Candravali

Madhavi, friend of Candravali

Bhargavi, a brahmani from Vrndavana

Vrddha, mother of Satrajit

Nava-vrnda, goddess of New Vrndavana

Bakula, maidservant of Radha

Sarat, goddess of Autumn

Sukanthi, maidservant of Radha

Tulasi and Malati, two girls

Pingala, friend of Radha

Ekanamsa, goddess Yogamaya


Prastavana (Introduction)


1.         The beautiful moonlike glories of Mukunda give distress to the lotus like faces of the wives of the demons and to their raised breasts, which are like gleaming cakravaka birds.  Those glories, however, are pleasing to all His devotees, who are like cakora birds.  May those glories forever give pleasure to you all.*

2          Let us offer our respectful obeisances to the dark cloud of Lord Krsna, which showers the goddesses of the eight directions with a rain of sweetness, which eternally decorates the gopis with beautiful vine-grown leaves and flowers, and which embraces to its chest the peerlessly splendid moon of Sri Radha.

3          Sutradhara: (After the nandi-slokas are finished) Enough with these pompous words! (Glancing over the audience) Ah! Ah! Lord Siva, who is crowned with the half-moon, who is expert in tasting the sweetness of always living in the groves of Vrndavana, who is the lord of Brahma-kunda’s shores decorated with hosts of great lotus flowers, and who is famous as the master of the gopis, appeared to me in a dream and ordered me to write this play, named Lalita-Madhava, which I am now eager to present to the many Vaisnavas assembled on this holy day of Diwali to worship Govardhana Hill at the entrance of the Madhavi-Madhava temple on the shores of Radha-kunda.

4          The moonlike Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is know as the son of mother Saci, has now appeared on the earth to spread devotional service of Himself.  He is emperor of the brahmana community.  He can drive away all the darkness of ignorance and control the mind of everyone in the world.  May that rising moon bestow upon us all good fortune.*

5          A voice from the sky: What are you saying?  How have you become so bold to try this?

Sutradhara: I must follow this order.  I have the order from my superior. Listen:

6          Who is this audience?  The people in this audience are filled with all good qualities.  Who am I? I am foolish Rupa Gosvami.  I am awed by this exalted audience.  Today I take shelter of they who have taken shelter (Of Lord Krsna).  Today (I pray for) the mercy of He who is an ocean of mercy and a festival of transcendental bliss..

7          (Glancing at the audience before him) O devotees like bumble-bees in the lotus flower of Lord Krsna’s feet, please give your mercy to me.  By resting on the mercy of great souls such as yourselves, I shall become free of all fear.

8          Great devotees are peaceful and filled with spiritual opulences.  They double others’ virtues and are cool to others’ faults.  They are softly shining, cooling stars that decorate the evening sky of Lord Visnu’s feet.

Note: “Dosa” here means both “faults” and “evening” and “visnu-pada” means both “Lord Visnu’s feet” and “sky”.

9          (Placing folded palms to his head) Of the four Sanakadi-kumaras, the perfect souls who in ancient times appeared in this world to describe the path of the swanlike pure devotees, the third one has now descended to teach the devotees the secret nectar of pure devotional service, I offer my respectful obeisances to him, the spiritual master of the world.

Note: Here Srila Rupa Gosvami describes his elder brother, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who was an incarnation of Sanatana Kumara.

10        Now I want the very honourable, elderly queen of actresses, who sings like a demigoddess, to come here on the stage.

11        Nati: (enters) Dear Friend, my heart is not eager to accept this role (as a villainess) in this auspicious play.

12        Sutradhara: Noble lady! What are you saying?  Look! Look! It is now the festive autumn season, the Vaisnavas are all assembled here, Govardhana Hill is (like a volcano) erupting the splendid, pure, transcendental glories of eternal Lord Hari, and furthermore, the charming deity form of Lord Madhava is also present.  Now you should be on your best behaviour.

13        Dear friend, I am chained by shackles of fear that these great souls will become unhappy (because of my part in the play).  I am not worried about the opinions of ordinary people.

14        Sutradhara: Noble lady, great souls are always saved from sufferings.  Even if, somehow or the other, a devotee takes birth (as an animal) in the jungle, (as human being) in one of the directions (of this world), (as a demigod) in the celestial planets, or (even as a resident) of hell, the Supreme Personality of Godhead always brings him to His (lotus) feet.  The Lord never wishes to abandon him.

15        Nati: My son, you speak the truth.  Still, my better discrimination has been robbed by love for a certain person, and I am now bewildered.

16        Sutradhara: Noble lady, please tell: to whom are you bound with love?

Nati: My son, He is a descendent of the Caranas.  His name is Kalanidhi.

17        Sutradhara: Who is he?  I don’t know.  (I only know that name) Kalanidhi means: He who is an expert dancer, endowed with all noble qualities, charmingly youthful, famous in this world, and intent on breaking his enemies in the battlefield.

18        Nati: By the kindness of fate I, an old lady, have obtained an extraordinary daughter-in-law named Tara.  Now I will give Her to Kalanidhi.

Note: Tara is another name of Srimati Radharani.

19        With fear of criticism in this world, and with a desire for praise, with both these motives the creator Brahma created this exquisite girl.

20        Nati: The Kirata-king (Kamsa) desires this girl.  On the pretext of seeing a dancing festival, he has called Kalanidhi to the capital and is now trying to defeat him.

21        Sutradhara:  Please know that I am a learned astrologer.  I shall now explain to you the effect of the heavens on this present moment.  (He thinks for a moment, and then happily says:) Don’t worry.

22        While dancing on the stage after having killed the ruler of uncivilised men (Kamsa), Kalanidhi (Lord Krsna), master of all arts, will at the proper time accept the hand of Tara (Srimati Radharani), who is qualified with all transcendental attributes.*

23        Paurnamasi: (from behind the scenes) Afraid of King Kamsa, and thus unable to directly announce the marriage of Radha and Krsna, a certain person instead tells this story of the dancer and the king of the Kiratas.  By this trick this fortunate person tells me the truth and comforts me, who had been filled with anguish.

24        Sutradhara: (Looking behind the scenes) Look! Look! Famous in this world as Sandipani Muni’s mother and Devarsi Narada’s saintly student, fortunate Paurnamasi, whose white hair is decorated with kasa flowers, now hastily enters the stage as she eagerly talks with Gargi.  Come quickly.  Let us go and see what happens now that this first scene is over.  (They both exit.  Thus ends the introduction).



Scene 1


1          (Paurnamasi appearing as described in the previous text, enters)

Paurnamasi: (repeats Text 23 of the introduction, and then says) Child Gargi, listen: As we drink the nectar of the overflowing celestial Ganges of Radha’s moonlight smile touching the wave-filled Yamuna of Krsna’s sidelong glance at the Triveni of Their rendezvous, a flood of pleasant coolness licks away our sufferings and pleases our hearts.  Crossing over the seven worlds, now we stand above them all.

2          Gargi: O noble lady, you yourself arranged Radha’s marriage with Abhimanyu.  Why would She desire to meet with Krsna?

3          Paurnamasi: Daughter, this (marriage) is an illusion of Maya.  How could the vaijayanti garland of Sri Radha, which was strung with Brahma’s sweet nectar and Mount Vindhya’s austerity flowers, be placed in the hands of an ordinary man?

Note: The word “prthag-janah” (an ordinary man) may also be interpreted to mean “anyone other than Krsna”.

4          Gargi:  What is this “sweet nectar?”

5          Paurnamasi:  It is Brahma’s words “O Mount Vindhya, to fulfil your desire you will have two daughters that will give you a son-in-law who will defeat Lord Siva and whose virtues will fill the world with wonder.”

6          Gargi:  Why did Mount Vindhya desire a daughter and not a son?

7          Paurnamasi: He had become the rival of king Himalaya, who is the father of Gauri and very proud of the opulence of his son-in-law, (Siva).

8          Gargi: He could not tolerate the glory of his own family.  In ancient times He tried to defeat Mount Meru.  He could not rise again after he bowed down to offer respects to Agastya Muni.

Note: Mount Vindhya grew taller and taller until he challenged even his relative, Mount Meru.  Agastya Muni visited Mount Vindhya.  The mountain bowed down to offer respects.  Agastya asked Mount Vindhya to remain in that position until he returned.  Agastya never returned and Vindhya could not raise his head again.  In this way Mount Vindhya’s pride was humbled.

9          Paurnamasi: Yes.  The intelligent are like that.

10        Gargi: How did Radha go from Mount Vindhya to Gokula?

11        Paurnamasi: She was taken by Putana, the kidnapper of children.

12        Gargi: (with fear) Witches that steal children generally eat their victims.  This girl is very fortunate to be saved.

13        Paurnamasi: O daughter, Kamsa ordered her to kill any extraordinary small boys and kidnap any small girls.

14        Gargi: Why did the king ask her to do those two things?

15        Paurnamasi: (He was pushed) by the words of  Devaki’s demigoddess daughter.

16        Gargi: What were those words?

17        Paurnamasi: She said to Kamsa: “This same person who in your previous birth severed your head with a cakra raised in battle, the same person who the sages know as He whose two lotus feet are worshipped by the demigods, the same person who pleases His loving devotees (by showering them) with oceans of the nectar of bliss, the same person who is the root from which the universe (has sprouted) has now appeared (in this world) at the time of the moon’s rising.”

18        She said: “Today or the day after, eight sublimely sweet saktis will appear on this earth.  Two sisters, who are like great palaces of beautiful transcendental qualities, will also appear.  When He defeats Siva, Lord Krsna, the king of kings, will accept the hand of both the girls (in marriage).”

19        Gargi: What happened to the second sister?

20        Paurnamasi: When Vindhya’s chief priest chanted a demon-killing mantra, Putana’s heart became struck with fear.  As she was hastily flying over Vidarbha province the first of her victims dropped from her and fell into a river’s current.

21        Gargi: My father (Sandipani Muni) is omniscient.  Why then, has he said that, (as a result of) a benediction granted by Durvasa Muni, Srimati Radharani appeared from (King) Vrsabhanu’s chest?

22        Paurnamasi: Requested by Brahma, Lord Hari’s yogamaya potency removed these two infant girls from the wombs of the wives of Candrabhanu and Vrsabhanu and placed them in the womb of Vindhya’s wife.

23        Gargi: (With astonishment) did the two fathers know what happened?

24        Paurnamasi: Certainly they understood.  Why would Durvasa Muni not help them?

25        Gargi: How do you know all this?

26        Paurnamasi: (I learned this) by the mercy of my spiritual master’s (Narada’s) instructions, which have also made me attached to Radha.

27        Gargi: Is it true that when the witch Putana was killed you took Radha from her lap?

28        Paurnamasi: (I took) not only Radha, but five other girls also.

29        Gargi: Who were they?

30        Paurnamasi: They were 1. Radha’s moon-faced friend Lalita, 2. Candravali’s beautiful friend Padma, 3. Bhadra, who acts auspiciously, 4. auspicious Saibya, and 5. splendid and cheerful Syama.

31        Gargi: How were these girls placed among the gopis?

32        Paurnamasi: Swiftly and secretly I gave these five infant girls to five gopis in different parts (of Vrndavana).  In a secret place I happily gave virtuous Radha to Yasoda’s nurse, Mukhara, and said: “O elderly one, here is your son-in-law Vrsabhanu’s daughter.”

33        Gargi: This must be the way Radha’s second close friend Visakha, appeared in Gokula (Vrndavana).

34        Paurnamasi: No. No. Jatila found her floating in the Yamuna.

35        Gargi: I did not know that.  Who found the Vindhya’s first daughter as she was floating in the river’s current?

36        Paurnamasi: Bhismaka.

37        Gargi: Alas, the cruelty of fate, who has separated these two sisters.

38        Paurnamasi: My daughter, fate then re-united them.  In this way fate’s mercy may be seen.

39        Gargi: How did that happen.

40        Paurnamasi: Candravali was the granddaughter of Karala.  Jambavan, who lived in the caves of Govardhana Hill and the Vindhya Hills, kidnapped the five-year old Candravali and forcibly took her from Kundina City.  He did this on the orders of (the goddess Durga, who was) staying then in the Vindhya Hills.

Note: This goddess Durga is the daughter of Yasoda.  After Maharaja Vasudeva brought her back to Mathura and after King Kamsa unsuccessfully tried to kill her, she escaped to the Vindhya Hills.

41        Gargi: (aside) I have heard from my father’s mouth that although the (gopis) headed by Candrabhanu’s daughter Candravali, and the (Dvaraka queens), headed by Bhismaka’s daughter, Rukmini, are expansions of the same spiritual potency, nevertheless, their forms are separate and distinct.  Now it is said that with the aid of the yogamaya potency, each gopi is identical with a specific queen, and each pair of gopi and queen is a single person in a single form.  It must be so.  Later I shall perhaps understand it.  What can I understand now of these confidential matters? (Openly) It is not that the yogamaya potency forcibly prevented the marriage of Govardhana and the other gopas with Candravali and the other gopis?

42        Paurnamasi: Yes. The gopas simply thought these girls were their wives.  In fact, they never even saw each other.

43        Gargi: Then it is not at all surprising that these eight girls have such deep love for Lord Krsna.

44        Paurnamasi: What to speak of these eight girls, what doe-eyed girl in Gokula did not love Lord Krsna?

45        Gargi: You say the truth.  More than 16 100 girls in Gokula are now (deeply in love with Lord Krsna).  Five gopis, headed by Candravali, regularly meet together and worship the goddess Durga, chanting the mantra: “O Katyayani (Durga), O Maha-maya (Illusory potency), O mystic yogini, O queen (of this world), O goddess, please make Nanda-gopa’s son, (Krsna) my husband.  I offer my respectful obeisances to you.”

46        Paurnamasi: Garga Muni told the gopis: “Goddess Durga is named ‘Kama’ because she is the personification of the fulfilment of desires.  When young girls worship her, she naturally grants their requests.”  O pious one, because of this advice from Garga Muni, the doe-eyed girls of Vraja now worship goddess Durga.

47        Gargi: Who engaged Radha in worshipping the sun-god?

Paurnamasi: Your father (Sandipani Muni).

48        Gargi: O noble lady, I have heard from my father’s mouth that the association of these girls with their affectionate lover (Krsna) eventually leads to their separation from Him.

49        Paurnamasi: Child, he tells the truth.  Both he and I have arranged that Abhimanyu’s mother, Jatila, and Govardhana’s mother, Bharunda, again and again place obstacles in the way of (Radharani and Candravali) these two crest-jewels of adolescent girls.

50        Gargi: Why do you not bring the two sisters together?  Paurnamasi: I am afraid of wicked Kamsa’s followers, who are always roaming about.

51        Gargi: Does anyone else know of this unusual incident?

Paurnamasi: No one.  I have told only Krsna’s mother (Yasoda) and Balarama’s mother (Rohini).  Only they know.

52        A voice from behind the scenes:  Padma, get up from bed!  Bhadra, stop making this crown of peacock feathers! Syama, stop stringing this flower-garland! Lalita, don’t crush this kunkuma into powder!  Visakha, stop teaching the parrot to recite poetry.  Saibya, stop braiding your hair!  The  dust raised by the hooves of the surabhi cows has now entered the horizon!

53        Paurnamasi: Look! Look!  The dust from cows and calves on the road creates a kind of darkness indicating that Krsna is returning home from the pasture.  Also, the darkness of evening provokes the gopis to meet Krsna.  Thus the pastimes of Krsna and the gopis are covered by a kind of transcendental darkness and are therefore impossible for ordinary scholars of the Vedas to see.*

54        May the sweet sound of Lord Krsna’s flute, His authorised messenger, be glorified, for it expertly releases Srimati Radharani from Her shyness and attracts Her from Her home to the forest.*

55        A voice from behind the scenes: Dhanya, you haven’t decorated your left eye with mascara!  Padma, you’ve placed your armlets on your anklets!  Sarangi, you’ve placed tinkling bells on only one ankle! Pali, your belt is already beginning to slip!  Lavangi, you put tilaka markings (meant for your forehead) on your cheek! Kamala, you put red lac (meant for the soles of your feet) on your eyes! Don’t run (outside) so quickly!  (Krsna’s) sweetly sounding flute is still far away.

56        Gargi: Lord Krsna is as splendid as the darkened (evening) sky.  He is like a moon shining in Vrndavana, surrounded by the stars of the gopas and the splendid white moonlight of the cows.

57        Paurnamasi: (With intense happiness) The dark lustre of Krsna’s body is charming.  He holds a stick in His hand, and His splendid hips are wrapped in a yellow silk dhoti.  The great flood of His transcendental beauty rebukes the blue lotus flower.  Enjoying pastimes with the gopis, He appears like a transformation of the opulence of transcendental love.  Let us go to Yasoda-devi.

(They both exit)

Thus ends the first part of Act 1.



Scene 2


1          (Accompanied by His friends, Lord Krsna enters)

Krsna: Friend Madhumangala, Look! Look! The surabhi cows have lost interest in eating the abundant thick grasses and their voices are now choked up with constant mooing.  They move their necks here and there and their beautiful eyes restlessly wander on the path.  They long to return to Gokula.

2          Madhumangala: This is a great kindness for a brahmana exhausted from wandering in this great forest with these surabhi cows so affectionate to their calves.

3          Rama: Look! Look! After taking three or four quick steps, the cows turn from their calves before them and crane their necks to see Krsna behind them.  They love Krsna more than their own calves.

4          Krsna (Looking westward) The sun is no longer able to move in this sky that now declines to support it.  Its strength diminished by the transformation of time, with weakened rays the sun’s disc rests first on the top of a banyan tree, and now on the western horizon.

5          Rama: Look! Look! Here the tall lotus flowers mock the mountain peaks.  Here is a cloud of cow-dung dust.  We are near Vraja village.  Let us rid ourselves of this fatigue by diving in the Yamuna.

(He exits with His friends)

6          Krsna: Friend Madhumangala, Look! Look! Creating padya-water by making the new candrakanta jewels melt and arghya-water by making jewel-filled waves in the ocean, throwing handfuls of flowers, in the form of glittering stars, to it’s friends, the different directions, and making great waves in the nectar-ocean of transcendental love, the splendid moon now rises.

7          Madhumangala: Dear friend, what is the use of this tiny spotted moon?  Look! In the sky of the network of these vines there are sixteen thousand spotless moons.

8          Krsna: (Looks) Friend, you say the truth.  Although in many ways they are alike, with a single stroke these many moons have clearly eclipsed this one moon (in the sky).  Even though it is filled with ever-fresh nectar, even though it is always very pleasing to the eyes, even though it’s effulgence wilts the forest of lotus flowers, and even though it is very pure and splendid in it’s complete fullness, this moon that bears the mark of a deer is now completely defeated by the beautiful golden faces of the doe-eyed girls of Vraja.

9          Madhumangala: Friend, You listen with rapt attention as in a kadamba-grove to the south, a girl chants a magic spell to attract You.

10        Krsna: Saibya’s little flute, which enchants the entire world, is now playing.  This flute’s pastimes have made My own flute become stunned.

11        (Eagerly going forward) Both Bhadra and her vina are very beautiful.  Both speak sweetly and both have tumbi-gourd breasts.  Both are graceful as new flowering vines.  Both enchant Me and rob Me of My peacefulness.

12        Madhumangala: Wonderful! Wonderful! Friend, some girl is playing a vina in the middle of the Yamuna!

13        Krsna (smiling) Repeatedly reciting the beautiful and spiritual invocation to the drama of transcendental amorous pastimes, Syama’s glorious vina brings Me great happiness.

14        (Happily walking about) With their sweet musical tinkling, the bracelets on Padma’s wrists are now drowning Me in the waves of (transcendental) love.

15        (Glancing in all directions) Why is not even the fragrance of Candravali present here?  Let us go to the garden near Karala’s house (to see if we can find her).  (He begins to walk there).

16        Madhumangala: (Looking ahead) Here comes Kundalata, the wife of Upananda’s son Subhadra.

17        Kundalata: Krsna, why do You not say something to glorify this asoka tree blossoming out-of-season?

18        Krsna: (Glancing at the asoka tree, He says to Himself) Is this (unseasonal blossoming of the asoka tree) not the wonderful expert work of Candravali’s foot?  (With longing) The tinkling of Candravali’s golden ankle-bells are like the cooling of a flock of swans.  They are a series of mystic mantras that delight My ears.  They must have passed through this forest of asoka trees.

Note: It is said that an asoka tree will suddenly burst into bloom when kicked by a beautiful girl.

19        Kundalata: O handsome one, even though Bharunda confined her at home, I have expertly brought Candravali here.

20        Krsna: Why has Bharunda suddenly become so harsh?

21        Kundalata: Not only Bharunda.  Jatila and all the other old gopis also (have become very harsh).

22        Candravali: (enters with Padma) My wicked old (mother-in-law) may rebuke me, and the rahu planet of infamous gossip may devour the moon of my family, still, my friend, the two bumble-bees of my eyes cannot stop yearning to taste the madhvika nectar of Krsna’s lotus face.

23        Krsna (approaching Candravali, He happily says) O slender girl, your face and the playful movements of your eyebrows have defeated the moon and forced him to flee to the sky where he restlessly moves about, unable to find shelter anywhere.  To serve the face that defeated him, the effulgent moon has now assumed the form of your teeth.  Because your teeth are thus many (avali) moons (candra), you are Candravali.

24        Kundalata: On the pretext of being reflected in Your pearl necklace, the expert Candravali I have brought here now embraces Your chest.

25        Krsna: (smiles) Kundalata, why have you brought Candravali?

26        Kundalata: O prince of Gokula, Govardhana-gopa is an illusion.  You are her real husband.  So, now I am Your sister-in-law.

27        Candravali: (resisting with knitted eyebrows) Arrogant woman!  Kundalata is (deliberately) attracting a bee (to bite me).

28        Kundalata: O Brother-in-law, this girl who lives in the forest is simply talking (idly).  This bee of Vrndavana is not very expert, for He has not even (begun to) drink (the honey of) these lotus flowers.

Note: The word “pa-u-malim” may also be interpreted to mean “the friend of Padma”.  In this way the last sentence of this verse may be interpreted: “This bee of Vrndavana is not very expert, for He has not even (begun to) drink (the honey) of Padma’s friend (Candravali).

29        Padma: Liar! Stop! Stop! This bumble-bee wandering in the forest may easily get Visakha’s friend (Radha), but He shall not easily get Padma’s friend (Candravali).

30        Kundalata: Candravali, we know what you want! Why be ashamed? Decorate Lord Hari’s chest with the necklace that is the friend of Your large raised breasts.

31        Candravali: (with jealous anger) Kundalata, you should decorate it with the strand of pearls on your own neck.

32        Kundalata: Madhava (Krsna), put flowers on the vine of Candravali’s ear.

33        Candravali: Don’t block the path of Vraja’s prince when He yearns to see His beloved!

34        Kundalata: Friend, aside from you who is His beloved?

35        Padma: Friend of Radha, stop!

36        Krsna: Lotus-eyed one, when you are not present, suffering never touches My heart, for Radha at once attacks and forcibly enters it. (frightened) Oh! That’s not what I mean.  I mean to say that when you are not present Radha never touches My heart, for suffering at once attacks and forcibly enters it.

37        Padma: Great personalities (as Yourself) never speak lies.  (What You first said was not a lie).

38        A voice from behind the scenes: Kundalata! Yes! Yes! You don’t know how Govardhana has become cruel  and hard as a mountain of stones!

39        Kundalata: To hell with her! To hell with her!  Angry Bharunda has made Govardhana angry!

40        Candravali: (with fear) Friend Padma, the old lady growls like a tigress.  Let us slip away. (Exits with Padma)

41        Kundalata: I will go to (Yasoda-devi), the queen of Gokula. (exits)

42        Krsna: (Begins to walk.  With longing He says) The sweet tinkling of her sash of bells as Visakha’s practices the archery of uninhibited amorous pastimes has become in My heart the stinging sound of Kamadeva’s bow of flowers.

43        (Looking to His left) Friend (Madhumangala), Kundalata spoke the truth.  She was not sweet as Radha is.  I see My mother. (He exits)

44        (Yasoda enters accompanied by Paurnamasi, Gargi, Rohini and others)

Yasoda: Friend Rohini, I don’t know why my son is so late!

45        Kundalata: (enters and says with a smile) Dear mother, don’t be unhappy.  (Your son) is late because many beautiful demigoddesses flying in airplanes in the sky worshipped Him with a shower of smiles and flowers.

46        Rohini: Today I have seen the beauty of two girls (so splendid) even the most lovely demigoddesses become envious seeing them.

47        Yasoda: O noble lady, Candravali, Navamalika, Radha, and Madhavi fulfil all my desires with the great flood of their good qualities.  One boy and one slender young girl especially delight the bumble-bee of my eyes with the honey of Their beauty.

48        Paurnamasi: O queen of Gokula , all the people in Gokula feel in this way.

49        Gargi: O Kundalata, why do you again and again bring Radha to the place of Gokula’s queen (Yasoda)?

50        Yasoda: Durvasa Muni gave Radha the benediction that whoever ate Her expert cooking would live a long life.  When I heard this, I myself arranged (that Radha always cook for my son).

51        Paurnamasi: O queen of Gokula, Jatila is suspicious of Krsna.

52        Yasoda: Why does she suspect my little boy?

53        Kundalata: (in a low voice) It is true the queen’s (Yasoda) son is a little boy.  Still, He lifted Govardhana Hill as if it were a toy ball.

54        Paurnamasi: (Seeing Krsna arrive, she happily says) Here is the person that crowns the kings of the many universes.  Here is the sapphire born from the jewel-mine of Vraja’s queen.

55        Krsna: (enters) Mother, please wipe the tears from your eyes.  Here I am.

56        Rohini: (offers arati with a lamp and other articles of worship, and then says in Sanskrit) Fixing her eyes on the cowpath, Your mother has passed the last six hours of this very long day with great difficulty.  My child, she loves You dearly.  Please her with an embrace.

57        Krsna: (placing His head on His mother’s lap) Mother, give Me My jewel ornament. (Krsna plays as a child).

58        Paurnamasi: Yasoda bathes You, washing away with the milk mixed with the madhvika nectar of her love pouring from the pitchers of her breasts, the covering of dust raised by the surabhi cows’ hooves and the tilaka markings drawn in mineral pigments from the (Govardhana) Hill.

59        Kundalata: (with a playful, joking smile) Krsna, You should drink the nectar-milk from the queen’s breasts.  After all, You must be exhausted from enjoying pastimes with the gopis in the forest.

60        Yasoda: My girl, why do you smile (like this?)  Look! (Krsna) has not yet passed His early childhood.  What is the fault of His drinking (my) breast milk?

61        Kundalata: Noble lady, the queen (Yasoda) speaks the truth.  After all, just today Krsna has played the maha-rasa pastime with the little boys.

Note: The word “balanam” may also be interpreted to mean “of the gopis”.  In the second interpretation, the text reads: “After all, just today Krsna has played the maha-rasa pastime with the gopis.”

62        Yasoda: Noble lady, what is this (pastime) named maha-rasa (Krsna enters embarrassed and glances at Kundalata with knitted eyebrows).

Paurnamasi: (smiling) O queen of the gopas, it is a kind of dance.

63        Kundalata: (concealing her actual intention with the following enigma) A certain caged cakori bird burns with thirst.  O Lord of Radha, You should meet it among the asoka trees. (Krsna moves His eyebrows in assent).

64        A voice from behind the scenes: My heart is tortured because I cannot see the moon of Your face.  O child, quickly come here.  Give Me now the cooling sandalwood paste of Your embrace.

65        Krsna: Here is My father, who wishes what is best for Me.  Let Me please him.  (Accompanied by Yasoda and others, He exits)

66        Kundalata: (walking about) By good fortune Lalita has now brought Radharani to this forest of vanira trees.

67        (Then as described, Radha enters)

Radha: Lalita, you should glorify this evening that makes all directions sprout with happiness.

Note: If the word “asa” is interpreted to mean “desire”, then the verse may be translated: “Lalita, you should glorify this evening, which makes our desires for transcendental happiness sprout.”

68        Lalita: I say it is a beautiful night.

69        Kundalata: (approaches) Lalita, this lotus flower is the smiling side-long glance on this evening’s face.  You do not worship Krsna with this flower.

70        Radha: (Her bodily hairs standing up in ecstasy) Lalita, what is this word Krsna I have heard?  Now a guest of My ears, this word makes mad with bliss.

71        Kundalata: Friend, that is the nature of this extraordinary thing.  Even though again and again it is tasted, it is always as if it was never tasted before.

72        Lalita: Kundalata, it is not only its extraordinary nature, but also the deep love (of the hearer) that makes (this word Krsna) newer and newer at every moment.

73        Radha: Lalita, without my answering you, what further would you say about this?

74        Lalita: All glories to the prince of Vraja, whose bodily lustre mocks the pride of the fresh rain clouds, and the sound of whose flute eagerly breaks the lock of the sashes of the most chaste girls faithfully devoted to their husbands.

75        Radha: (shedding tears) Kundalata, how is it that even though He has become a guest in My fortunate ear, this person has never entered the path of My unfortunate eyes?

76        Kundalata: O thirsty one, early tomorrow evening Visakha will bring You to meet this person.

77        Radha: My dear friend has reminded Me well.  For once your prince of Gokula will appear like a splendid lightning flash that fills the eyes of this unfortunate person with wonder.

78        (Krsna enters)

Krsna: The sweet tinkling of Lalita’s bracelets, which eclipses the sparrow’s singing, now lures My heart into this bamboo grove.

79        (again He listens with rapt attention.  His bodily hairs standing up in ecstasy. He says)

Moving through the air in waves of sweetness, the tinkling sound of Radha’s ankle-bells silences the cooing of the sarasa birds maddened with amorous passion and fills my heart with a host of ecstasies.

80        Radha: (filled with wonder, She says in Sanskrit) O beautiful-faced one, who is this creative person standing before us?  With the sharp chisels of His loving glances, He is splitting the hard stones of many women’s devotion to their husbands.  And with the lustre of His body, surpassing the brilliance of countless emeralds, He is simultaneously constructing private meeting places for His pastimes.*

81        Lalita: Ah, here is the Lord of Your life.

82        Radha: (maddened with love, She again says in Sanskrit) Is this a nectar moon to make the lotus flowers of the gopis blossom with happiness?  Is this a regal festival of youthfulness appearing in Gokula?  Is this a garden of flowers to delight the cuckoo bird of My heart? O slender-waisted one, this person I see splashes My eyes with waves of nectar.

83        Krsna: (filled with wonder) What wonderful mystic power is this?  Again and again it strikes Me with waves of nectar, but yet it also creates a burning thirst within My heart.  Aha! I know.  This is a lake of bliss that overflows it’s banks in the streams of sweetness that are these playful sidelong glances.

84        (again gazing at Radha) Is this really a lake?  (These bodily hairs standing up in ecstasy) are the moss (in this lake).  (These breasts) are two cakravaka birds (now swimming) apart.  (This face, hands and feet) are five lotus flowers (and these arms) are two lotus stems.  (These eyes) are two restlessly moving saphari fishes, and (this very pure love) is the clear water that fills this lake that now stands (before Me).

85        Radha: Ah! I don’t know why I have become so dizzy.  Please hold Me up with your hand.

86        Lalita: Friend, be steady. (She places Radha’s arm on her shoulder).

87        Krsna: (coming nearer) Radha, embarrassed by seeing Your splendid face, the moon has entered the forest of Lord Siva’s matted hair, where he repeatedly bathes in the waves of celestial Ganges, and has become thin with austere fasting to become as beautiful as Your face.  (He approaches nearer).

88        Radha: (signalling with a sidelong glance) Lalita, protect Me!

89        Krsna: When it closes shut He closes shut.  When it blossoms He blossoms.  Krsna is under the dominion of Your dark sidelong glance.

90        Radha: (with a choked up voice) Kundalata, stop this crest jewel of handsome men! I am only an unfortunate girl under the dominion of My elders and superiors.

91        Jatila: (enters) Great trickster, You have made all the young girls of Gokula fall from the path of religion.  Only the young bride of my saintly son has escaped (Your clutches).  Spare us from having even once to say Your name.

(Taking Radha and the other two girls with her, she exits).

92          Krsna: My beloved has gone! Let us go find the cows. (They all exit).



Act Two Sankhacuda-vadhah

(The Killing of Sankhacuda)


Scene 1

1          (Vrnda enters.)

Vrnda: (looking at the sky) Night’s husband, the moon, has become dim, and now desires to rest on the western horizon.  The planet Jupiter has faded, and his friends, the stars, are becoming faint and are beginning to disappear.  Night is now destined to end.

2          (walking about) Now that night is turning (into day) a loud sound rises from the churning of yoghurt (into butter).  This sound must penetrate within the inner rooms in the demigod’s cities and remind them of the festive churning of the milk-ocean.

3          (glancing ahead) Malati’s bracelets tinkle as she churns yoghurt (into butter).  With both hands she earnestly pulls the churning-rope back and forth again and again, making the deep churning pot rumble, and decorating the courtyard with splashing foam.

4          (Looking to her side, and smiling)

Her head bent down, and loosened hair fallen over her shoulders, Pali anxiously stops in the dense darkness (just before daybreak), and moves her trembling eyes in all directions.  She covers her face and fearfully walks from the forest grove to the village of Vraja.

5          (Looking in another direction, she becomes struck with wonder and says:) Syamala now goes to Gokula.  On her hips she wears a silk garment that is the best friend of Lord Krsna’s lotus navel.  On her breasts is a large necklace fond of touching Lord Krsna’s mark of Srivatsa.  On her ears are earrings that are the intimate associates of Lord Krsna’s shark-shaped earrings, and on her cheeks are decorations painted by the hand of Lord Krsna, who carries the Sudarsana cakra.

6          (Looking in another directions, she becomes unhappy and says:) Padma’s braids have not become loosened and her red lipstick, still shines unbroken on her beautiful bimba-fruit lips.  The creeper playfully painted (on her cheek) remains unsmudged.  Her beautiful face displays her grief.  Lord Krsna did not meet her at the appointed rendezvous, and now exhausted Padma slowly walks home.

7          Voices from behind the scenes.  (In the early evening) when the fresh vicakila jasmine flowers were blooming, (our friend Padma) was also blooming (with happiness).  (As the evening progressed and) the sephali flowers began to wilt, (Padma) also wilted (as she patiently waited for You to come).  (At sunrise), when the forest of kuvalaya lotus flowers closed it’s petals, (Padma had given up all hope that You would come, and she) closed her eyes (in despair).  (Krsna) what do You have to say for Yourself?  Please do not make fun of us by this bowing down before us.

8          Vrnda: Is this not Padma’s friends rebuking Lord Padmanabha (Krsna)?

9          A voice from behind the scenes: My heart is filled with anguish that burns like a host of fiery torches.  I laid down to sleep, but I could not sleep a wink.  It is only with great difficulty that somehow I have survived this night.

10        Vrnda: Why has noble Paurnamasi come here?

11        Paurnamasi: (Enters She repeats text 9 and then says:) Where is Vrnda, the queen of Vrndavana forest?  Ah, I have found her.

12        Vrnda: (bowing down) O noble lady, why are you so unhappy?

13        Paurnamasi: Uddhava, the crest jewel of advisors has just come from Mathura City and told me the latest news.  Evil king (Kamsa), the black spot in the Bhoja dynasty, called for Arista and Kesi, and respectfully said to them: “My friends, the Putana witch, which kills little girls, was crushed to death in Nanda’s village of Gokula.  A small divine boy killed her as she screamed out in all directions.  I can only guess that in that place there is a small boy who is the cause of great misfortune to me and good fortune to little girls.  Please go to this Gokula-Vrndavana, carefully investigate this matter, and discover the truth.”

14        Vrnda: Then? Then?

15        Paurnamasi: Kesi saw the transcendental glory of Radha and Madhava (Krsna), and he then accurately described it to King (Kamsa).  Kamsa then decided to invade and capture Gokula to get Radha.

16        Vrnda: (frightened) Then? Then?

17        Paurnamasi: Aristasura then advised Kamsa to marry Radha, and the fearless Kamsa sent his intimate friend, the wicked yaksa Sankhacuda, to kidnap her.

18        Vrnda: Your fears are well founded.  If Radha is kidnapped by this demon, the entire world will burn with pain.  Who will not burn with pain if beautiful girls sweetly scented with all virtues are scorched by a demon’s touch?  If wonderful unfortunate Radha is kidnapped that will bring constant unparalleled pain not only to me, but also to the entire world.

19        Kundalata: (hastily enters) O noble lady, (I have seen a) great wonder.  A great wonder.

20        Paurnamasi: What is this wonder?

21        Kundalata: Near Govardhana-malla’s house I just now saw the brilliantly shining sun-god.

22        Vrnda: (blissful) O noble lady, do not worry.  Because of Radha’s constant worship, and because of friendship with Maharaja Vrsabhanu, the sun-god has come here to protect Her.

23        Paurnamasi: This is not the sun-god.  This must be the yaksa sent by Kamsa.

24        Kundalata: This person is so effulgent that the very light from him pains the eyes and makes him very difficult to see.  This cannot be any yaksa.

25        Paurnamasi: This light is not the nature effulgence (of this body).  It comes from some other thing.

26        Kundalata: From what other thing?

27        Paurnamasi: From the jewel of his crown.

28        Vrnda: Where did he get such a splendid jewel?

29        Paurnamasi: He was the leader of the guards watching Kuvera’s treasury-building.  He liked that jewel, so he stole it.

30        Vrnda: Today is Sunday.  Radha will certainly go today to the temple of the sun-god.  You should forbid Her to go.

31        Kundalata: O Vrnda, She has left the temple long ago.

32        Paurnamasi: Kundalata, quickly bring Krsna to Radha’s side.  I will go to get Balarama.  (Paurnamasi exits with Vrnda).

Thus ends the Viskambhaka interlude.

Scene 2

1          Kundalata: (walking about) Here comes Radha with Jatila, Lalita and Visakha.

2          (As previously described, Radha enters).

Radha: (aside) O heart, don’t be aroused.  You will not see Your beloved here.

3          Kundalata: O Radha, it is certainly very auspicious that You have met us this morning.

4          Jatila: (with anger) O restless girl, do not say “Radha, Radha”.  Krsna will hear you and come here.

5          Lalita: (with a smile) Well said, noble lady.

6          Jatila: Lalita, I will go ahead to anoint the sun-god’s temple.  (She walks ahead).

7          Radha: Kundalata, perhaps you know.  Do you know where your cousin, who is very difficult for girls like Me to ever see, is now staying, or where He is enjoying pastimes?

8          Kundalata: Greedy girl, day and night You enjoy transcendental pastimes with Him, and still You long (to see Him again).

9          Radha: Enough with these jokes! You are all very fortunate because you are able, without any stopping, again and again to drink with your eyes the wonderful flood of nectar that is Krsna.  (As for Me,) because I have not performed even the slightest trace of any pious activity, it is very difficult for Me to even hear about Krsna.

10        Kundalata: Radha, Your words are (like) the thirst of those drowning in an ocean of nectar.

11        Radha: O girl who cannot understand the sufferings of others, this one time tell me the truth: is it not a fortunate moment when I am able to briefly see Krsna in a dream?  What is the use of longing for the unattainable?  O Kundalata, be kind! Be kind! Be kind! Be kind! Place on this unhappy, unfortunate person, a sidelong glance from the same left eye You used t drink the nectar moonlight of Krsna.

12        Kundalata: (glancing as if jealous) What is the use of talking to You, a girl chasing another man?  (She runs ahead and approaches Jatila) Noble lady, why did you not arrange in advance for a brahmana to perform the worship ceremony of the sun-god?

13        Jatila: Child, you speak what is right.  Please be kind and fetch one such expert brahmana.

14        Kundalata: As the noble lady speaks, (so I shall act.) (She exits.)

15        Lalita: Radha, look! The noble lady (Jatila) has anointed the temple.  Bow down before the deity of the sun-god.

16        Radha: (bowing down to the deity of the sun-god) O lord, please grant My desire.

17        (Dressed as a brahmana, and followed by Madhumangala and Kundalata, Krsna enters).

Krsna: (secretly glances at Radha)

Srimati Radharani is the Ganges in which the elephant of My mind enjoys pastimes.  She is the shining of the full autumn moon for the cakora birds of My eyes.  She is the dazzling ornament, the bright and beautiful arrangement of stars, on the border of the sky of My chest.  Now today I have gained Srimati Radharani because of the highly elevated state of My mind.*

18        Radha: (from afar momentarily glancing at Krsna, She whispers:) My dear friend, who is this fearless young man?  He is as bright as a lightning cloud, and He wanders in His pastimes like a maddened elephant.  From where has He come to Vrndavana? Alas, by His restless movements and attractive glances He is plundering from the vault of My heart the treasure of My patience.*

19        (Looking again) Alas! Alas! I’ve become mad! Mad! Lalita! Look! Look! When I look at this brahmacari My heart become wounded, devastated.  The (only) atonement for this great sin is (for Me) to enter a blazing fire.

20        Lalita: Ah! You speak the truth, His complexion is like Krsna’s.  That has bewildered You.

21        Radha: (looking again, She says in Sanskrit)

Friend, this person must be Krsna disguised as a brahmana.  Otherwise why would My heart melt with love?  As only moonlight, and nothing else, makes candrakanta jewels melt, (so only Krsna makes My heart melt with love).*

22        Visakha: Ah! You give sweet advice.  This is Krsna.

23        Kundalata: Noble Jatila, look! Here are two brahmanas learned in the scriptures.

24        Madhumangala: O Jatila, I am expert in the worship of the sun-god.  First, however, you must pay me in khanda-laddu candies.

25        Jatila: O fickle brahmana, you are Krsna’s friend.  Go away!  This handsome, dark complexioned brahmacari will direct the girl’s worship (of the sun-god).

26        Krsna: O elderly gopi, this wicked gopa-prince (Krsna) is notorious in the city.  Is it possible for a brahmana to be His friend?  The right thing is to throw him (Madhumangala, who is His friend) out.

27        Jatila: O noble boy, (please begin the ceremony) at once.  Please now offer arghya-water to the sun-god.

28        Krsna: (embracing Radha with a sidelong glance) Beautiful, auspicious girl, what is Your name?

29        Jatila: (in Krsna’s ear) Don’t talk in this way.

30        Krsna: (as if surprised) Indeed! She is very pious.  Her chaste devotion to Her husband is famous.

31        Jatila: The good reputation of Gokula is protected by my girl (Radha) alone.

32        Krsna: O chaste girl, take a copper bowl, and I shall chant a mantra. (Radha trembles as She follows the instruction).

33        Krsna: O worshipable sun-god, I humbly worship you.  O moving eye that nourishes those beneath you, please grant the treasure of your bending sidelong glance to this poor person.  I offer my respectful obeisances to you.

Note: If the word “nibhrtam” is interpreted to mean “in a secluded place”, “radhe” is interpreted to mean “O Radha”, “adhara” to mean “lips” and “capale” to mean “restless yearnings”, the verse reveals the following hidden meaning:

“O Radha whom I worship in a secluded place, O girl whose eyes are restless, O girl whose lips make Me restless with desire, please grant the treasure of Your crooked sidelong glance to this poor person, O Radha splendid as the sun, I offer My respectful obeisances to You.”

34        Jatila: Kundalata, what kind of never-before-heard mantra does this brahmacari recite?

35        Madhumangala: (laughing loudly) O elderly lady considered intelligent among the cowherd women, you may know about the riri-songs (of the gopis), but what do you know about our Vedas? Listen. This mantra, which brings auspiciousness to young girls, is found in the Third Chapter of the Kausumesavi-sakha of the Veda.

Note: Kusumesu is a name of Kamadeva.  The word “kausumesavi-sakha” may be interpreted to mean: “Kamadeva’s book of amorous pastimes.”

36        (everyone smiles)

Jatila: (embarrassed) So be it.  Please nicely worship (the sun-god) so that my son may become master of million of cows.

37        Krsna: O fortunate girl, now that You have worshipped the deity, You should offer arghya-water to the sun-planet shining in the sky. (Radha is reverential).

Note: If the word “ambara” is interpreted to mean “garments” and if “gadha-muda rajiva-bandhave” is divided “gadham udara-jiva-bandhave”, the following hidden meaning is revealed:

“O fortunate girl, not that You have worshipped the deity, You may worship Your noble life’s friend, who stands before You dressed in glittering (yellow) garments.”

38        `Kundalata: (in Sanskrit) The sun is now in the sign Virgo.  Now You should offer him wonderful arghya-water with a beautiful blossoming blue lotus flower.  (Radha glances at Krsna from the corner of Her eye).

Note: If the word “kanya” is interpreted to mean “young girls”, “raseh” to mean  “of a multitude”, “upabhogam” “enjoyment”, “mitraya” “friend”, and “smita” “smile”, the verse reveals the following hidden meaning:

“Your friend, who is expert at enjoying (amorous pastimes) with any young girls now stands before You.  Now You should offer Him wonderful arghya with the beautiful blossoming lotus of Your smile.”

39        Krsna: O beautiful girl, the worship of the sun-god has ended well.  Now You should please Your worshipable deity by offering him a handful of red sumanah flowers.

(Radha offers a handful of bandhuka flowers).

40        Madhumangala: Jatila, sweet candies cooked in ghee should now be given as an offering to the priests.  We have carefully recited (the mantras) without making any mistakes.

41        Krsna: Hungry, talkative brahmacari, stop! The friendship of the residents of Gokula is sufficient payment for Me.

42        Jatila: (happily) O king of the brahmacaris, come to my house, and there you may enjoy a delicious feast I will give the brahmanas.  After that I will give you my jewelled ring.

43        Madhumangala: (happily) O noble lady, because you wish to offer a delicious feast to the brahmanas, (I bless you that) you will become the mother of many sons.

44        Krsna: O elderly lady, please feed this brahmacari.  I will go to Paurnamasi and tell her what My spiritual master Garga Muni told Me.

45        Kundalata: What was that?

46        Krsna: Mother Paurnamasi, your beloved Radha, the daughter of Maharaja Vrsabhanu, is now in grave danger of being filled with doubt.  She should be protected by chanting demon-killing mantras under a kalpa-taru tree.

47        Kundalata: (as if concealing her anguish) O noble lady, by good fortune a kalpa-taru tree is right here within the range of our sight.  Please go.  Feed this brahmacari and then send Paurnamasi back.  We will wait here for a while and guard this disciple of Garga Muni.

48        (Jatila exits with the brahmacari Madhumangala)

Kundalata: (smiling) Radha, I have now fulfilled Your difficult to attain request.  (If You like) You may now reward Me (for this service).

49        Radha: (with a crooked glance) Kundalata, what is this request of Mine?

50        Kundalata: Why do you frown?  I speak of Your (successful) worship of the sun-god.

51        Krsna: Kundalata, make this girl give Me daksina (priestly donation) for performing the worship of the sun-god.

Note: If the word “padmini” is interpreted to mean “the goddess of fortune”, the statement reveals the following hidden meaning:

“Kundalata, make this girl give Me the priestly reward of Her touch.  By touching me She will worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the beloved husband of the goddess of fortune.

52        Kundalata: O Radha, this priest is expert in the worship of the sun-god.  You should satisfy Him with the proper daksina.

Note: If the word “ra-i” is interpreted to mean “amorous pastimes”, the statement reveals the following hidden meaning.

“O Radha, this priest is very expert in amorous pastimes.  You should satisfy Him with the proper daksina.”

53        Visakha: (smiling) Kundalata, you are very expert at rewarding priests.  You should give the daksina.  After all, it is you who called your own expert cousin here to be the priest.

54        Lalita: Visakha, Kundalata, who knows the process of worship, has already given daksina to the priest.

55        Krsna: Lalita, this girl is My cousin whom I should worship.  I cannot be her priest.

56        Radha: O Lalita, the worship-ceremony was very well done.  Why do you all linger here?

57        Krsna: Radha’s company brings me a festival of happiness.  It is like a playfully waxing moon that appears before My eyes and awakens my desire for amorous pastimes.

58        A voice from behind the scenes: O lotus-eyed (Krsna), it is very hard to do when You are so far away.

59        Krsna: (anxiously, in a loud voice) Hallo! What is hard to do?

60        Again the voice from behind the scenes: Even though the cowherd boys have worked very hard searching for the cows.

61        Krsna: Lalita, while I search for the cows, please have My beloved (Radha) wait on Her jewel throne.

(He exits)

61        Lalita: Go now with (quickly) moving feet.

62        Radha; Lalita, have mercy (on Me).  I am very anxious and unhappy.

63        (in Sanskrit) The sun has almost set.  My superiors must be suspicious of what I am doing.  There will be a great scandal.  I am an honest girl from a respectable family.  Your friend is fickle and restless.  He is friendly to all the gopis.  O My friend, I humbly beg you, please do not take Me to a secluded place.

64        Kundalata: Radha, I know Your vow of chastity has not been broken.  Who cares what others think?

65        Visakha: (with love mixed with jealousy) O Kundalata, what other girl is as attracted as you are by the sound of (Krsna’s) flute at morning, noon, and night?

66        Kundalata: (with a joking smile) Because I am so compassionate, generous, and pure-hearted, I shall now give you hundreds of blessings.  I bless you that your vow of chastity will remain forever unbroken, and I bless you that even if your ears are filled with the sweetness of Krsna’s flute-music, Your heart will never for a moment abandon it’s peaceful composure.

(They all go the kalpa-druma tree).

67        Krsna: (enters) Singing Her hunter’s music and spreading the hunter’s net of the waves of Her crooked sidelong glances, doe-eyed Radha has trapped the deer of My heart.

68        Radha: (hiding) Kundalata, look at the good fortune of (Krsna’s) gunja-necklace.

69        (in Sanskrit) O gunja-necklace, although the world knows that your body is very hard, although dry tastelessness is hidden within you, and although your face bears the fault of dark blackness, still you enjoy pastimes on the chest of Lord Krsna.  What fault will love not cover?

70        Kundalata: (in a low voice) Radha, where is there hardness like that of the two hard jewels of Your unfortunate breasts?

71        A voice from behind the scenes: All glories to the unprecedented beautiful star named Radha, which shines in the sky of the chest of Lord Krsna, the crusher of the demons, defeats the necklace of other stars, and with it’s effulgence eclipses the splendid sun and moon!

72        Kundalata: (looks behind the scenes) O Vrnda, because you describe the eclipse of the sun and moon in this way, you do not know the real glory of this star, which is more powerful than even the moon Krsna, who is the master of hosts of stars and has defeated millions of suns.

Note: Kundalata has slipped Candravali’s name (canda-ali-nadhassa) into her words.

73        Two gopi-friends: O tricky girl, your smiling and laughter is all useless.  Why do you embarrass your dear friend (Radha) in this way?

74        Kundalata: (in Sanskrit) O friend, abandon this shyness and enter the forest-grove.  All auspiciousness to You. Fight in Kamadeva’s battlefield.  When the sun rises in the morning Your friends will sing the glories of Your victory in the presence of Lord Krsna.

75        Krsna: (smiles) In this world when thirsty people drink a cool sweet nectar all their thirst becomes vanquished.  What is this flood of nectar beauty flowing from the moon of Radha’s face?  When one drinks this nectar his thirst increases at every moment.

76        Radha: (hiding, She says in Sanskrit) O restless-eyed (friend), as long as Krsna’s lotus face, with it’s blossoming cheeks decorated with swinging shark-shaped earrings, is not far away from My eyes, in My heart I am afraid of My superiors, and in My mind rises concern for the good reputation of My family.

77        Kundalata: O handsome Krsna, please install Radha on this jewelled throne.  (Krsna does that).

78        Lalita: Stop tinkling the sankhacuda bracelets.  Someone may guess (that we are here).

79        Sankhacuda: (enters and hides among the vines).  This girl on the jewelled throne looks like the girl described by Govardhana-malla.  I know that now is my chance.  Now I will do my work.  (He stands in the forest-grove).

80        Krsna: Beloved, please decorate the sapphire chair of My lap for a moment.

81        Radha: O prince of Gokula, this is not proper for respectable girls and for the best of men such as You.  This breaks the rules of religion.

82        A voice from behind the scenes: O granddaughter Radha, where have You gone for such a long time?

83        Krsna: Kundalata, why is Mukhara complaining?

84        Kundalata: (laughs) O charming (Krsna) of what importance is the poverty of old ladies’ complaining to a person like You, an amorous hero who, enjoying pastimes in the forest groves, makes waves of playful sidelong glances?

85        Mukhara: (enters, looking at Radha-Krsna before her, she says to herself) Ah! A great misfortune! Why has this kalpa-lata creeper abandoned a sandal tree to rest on this castor-oil plant?  (openly) My child, You have become a pet-doe for this crest-jewel of debauchees.

86        Lalita: (Playing a trick) Noble lady, look! This Krsna has tricked us and is making fun of us!

87        Mukhara: Debauchee! Stop! Stop!

88        Krsna: (aside) This old lady is very harsh.  For this reason I will now hide.  (He does that).

89        Mukhara: (angrily) Lalita, chase Him! Chase the rascal!

90        Lalita: Aha! why do You flee?

91        Mukhara: (running ahead, she reaches the grove.  In a menacing tone she says:) By good luck we have caught You! O snake (that attacks) the does (of the gopis) by good luck we have caught You!

91        Krsna: (frightened, He says to Himself) How will this almost-blind old lady see Me in this dense darkness?

92        (Mukhara repeatedly turns her head, looking everywhere).

Krsna: (aside) The old lady has seen a flower (floating) in the sky.

93        Mukhara: Ah, it is very dark. (Krsna smiles)

94        Mukhara: (going to another place) Aha! Now we’ve got You!  (looking again she become frightened).  O rascal! Paurnamasi spoke the truth when she said You could assume many forms like those of Nrsimha and Varaha.  You have now assumed the form of this terrifying demon as brilliant as the sun.  This form frightens me.

95        Sankhacuda: By good luck I have escaped the gaze of that boy who was the personification of all powerful heroes. (He slips away).

96        All the gopis: (seeing the demon, they become frightened) Noble lady, save us! Save us!

97        Mukhara: (angrily) Dark Krsna, this is not right!

98        Lalita: Fool! Do you think this terrible demon is Krsna (in disguise)?

99        Sankhacuda: Now in order to fulfil the unfulfilled desire of my dear friend King Kamsa, I will grab the hair of the lotuslike girl on this throne and drag Her away.  (He does it, and then exits with Radha).

100     All the gopis: (perplexed) O Krsna, where are You?

101     Krsna: (leaves the grove and laments): Eager with hundreds of desires, I brought You to this place deep in Vrndavana forest, filled with the sweet fragrances of this full-moon autumn night.  O beautiful one, why has cruel fate, appearing as this tricky demon Sankhacuda, now carried You far away?

102     (angrily walking about) Noble lady, don’t fear.  I will rescue Her.

103     Mukhara: (with fears) O moon-faced boy, may victory attend You.

104     Krsna: (with chivalrous pride) Wicked demon offensive to Sri Radha, I feel great pain because I cannot spend eternity torturing you.  The wicked black night of death now chases you, covering you with all it’s limbs.  How will I (torture you forever if you merely die)?  (He exits)

105     Kundalata: Lalita! Look! Look! (Sankhacuda) has abandoned Radha, and now he is going to fight with Krsna.

106     A voice from behind the scenes: What is child Krsna, as handsome as Kamadeva and delicate as a new sprout on a tamala tree, in comparison to this degraded Yaksa giant, whose arms are like palm trees and whose chest is like a mountainside? Alas, Krsna does not even have an expert friend to help Him! O queen of Vraja (Yasoda), we cannot know how you must be suffering now!

(Hearing this, everyone is overcome with grief).

107     (pulling the curtain aside, Paurnamasi hurriedly enters).

Paurnamasi: Daughter Lalita, don’t be unhappy.  Know that this demon is a spark soon to be extinguished.

108     A voice from behind the scenes: With the chivalrous strength of His arms, powerful Krsna attacked the hideous form of the Sankhacuda demon, who had fearsome curling fangs in his horrible mouth.  In the middle of the forest Krsna, who wears a peacock-feather in His hair, struck Sankhacuda with millions of blows, killed him, and took from his crown a jewel as effulgent as the sun.

109     Paurnamasi: On the pretext of pulling out the jewel, Lord Krsna is fortunately pulled out Sankhacuda’s life.  Today there will certainly be a great feast for the starving jackals of Vrndavana forest.  (Looking again, she becomes delighted) Look! Look! The demon has lost his protection.  Now he has accepted his death.

110     Again, a voice from behind the scenes: With His fist, lotus-eyed Lord Krsna playfully struck the sinful-hearted yaksa and forcibly took from him the treasure of his life-breath.

111     Paurnamasi: (Looking ahead, she becomes blissful) Krsna, who ferociously attacked the demon and angrily threw its crown to the ground and was praised by demigods showering flowers, delights (our) eyes.

112     Visakha: Noble lady, look! Balarama and all of (Krsna’s) friends have come (here).

113     Paurnamasi: The Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krsna) has now given the beautiful regal jewel to Balarama.

114     Lalita: Look! After sending His friends away, Krsna, now alone, approaches Radha.

115     Paurnamasi: O beautiful one, Look! Look! His face glistening with perspiration and His peacock feather crown moving (in the breeze), Krsna now finds Himself embraced by frightened Radha.

116     Krsna: (enters as described) With eyes restless with fear, Radha called out in distress, “O Govinda (Krsna) O prince of Gokula whose eyes rebuke the lotus flowers in the Yamuna, please protect Me!  Please quickly protect Me!” I shall not forget the way She was then…

117     Paurnamasi: (walking) O son of Yasoda, (You have now) removed the arrow of sufferings (in My heart).  (She embraces Radha and Krsna).

118     Mukhara: (With both hands wiping the perspiration from Krsna’s brow).  By the will of providence, O hero, You have protected beautiful Radha.

119     Madhumangala: (enters) O dear friend, Balarama has now given the regal jewel to Radha.

120     Krsna: It is as good as the Kaustubha jewel.  It is the best of jewels.  It is proper that it be placed in Radha’s necklace.

121     Lalita: (It will be done) as You have said.

122     Krsna: Come, Let us please My parents with (the news) of this victory over a demon. (He exits).

(All exit).


Act Three Unmatta-radhika

(Maddened Radhika)


Scene 1 (viskambhaka)

1          (Conversing with Vrnda, Paurnamasi enters).

Paurnamasi: Ah! The darkness of night is now ending.  Look! Look! Frightened by seeing the effulgent sarabha beast of the sun glowing on the eastern horizon, the lion of the moon, like a golden sandalwood ball, now runs to hide beneath the western horizon.

Note: The sarabha beast had four heads, eight eyes, and eight legs, and was so gigantic it would devour elephants in a single gulp.

2          Vrnda: I heard a great sound like the roaring from the depths of an agitated ocean, and so I have quickly come here.  Please tell me: What is it?

3          Paurnamasi: Daughter Vrnda, it hasn’t entered the courtyard of your ears?

4          Vrnda: Noble lady, what is it?

5          Paurnamasi: Yesterday, when peacock-feather-crowned Krsna returned to Vraja village after with unprecedented strength killing Kesi who became a mountain of anger when Aristasura was killed, Akrura, who had been sent by King Kamsa, arrived at the palace of Nanda Maharaja.  Tomorrow morning, when the sun rises on the eastern horizon, the king’s messenger (Akrura) will take Krsna and His elder brother (Balarama) to (Mathura city), the capitol of (Kamsa), the great enemy of the demigods.

6          Vrnda: (silent for a moment, and then with a long, warm, unhappy sigh) If Akrura takes Mukunda (Krsna) to (Mathura) City, the for what purpose shall I beautify the new forest-grove?  For what reason shall I make a bed of flowers, or make the fragrant vines blossom always, even after the blossoming season is past?

7          Paurnamasi: (with anguish) Their lotus eyes filled with anguish, the gopis have stayed awake the entire night, crying with long wails, frightened because of ecstatic love, and always angry at Akrura.  Now that night is over as if it had been only a single moment.  Alas! Sad is the gopis’ fate!

8          Vrnda: (with tears) Alas! By churning the great ocean of Gokula, the Mandara mountain of Akrura has extracted the moon of Krsna, and created the Kalakuta poison of the vrajavasis’ anguished separation from Krsna.

9          Paurnamasi: Child, let us go to the gate of the gopa-king Nanda.  (walking, she looks ahead, and then begins to shed tears) Nanda’s wife, Yasoda, is so agitated she forgot to offer suitable prayers for her son’s safe journey.  She is so perplexed that she forgot to prepare a lunch for Him to take on the road.  She simply embraces Him again and again, cries, and muddies the dust on His body with the stream of tears from her eyes.

10        Vrnda: Did the noble lady hear what Saibya said to her friend?

11        Paurnamasi: What is it, my daughter?

12        Vrnda: She said, “O bewildered girl, I think it is because you are so absorbed in churning yoghurt that you do not hear the pathetic wailing of Vraja village.  O my friend, a wicked messenger of the king is now hurrying Mukunda (Krsna) to (Mathura) City.”

13        Paurnamasi: Child, because you were agitated by Saibya you could not hear Syama’s lament.

14        Vrnda: What you say is true.  Tell me what Syama said.

15        She said, “The sun has now risen and Gandini-devi’s son Akrura stands on the chariot happily reciting prayers for a safe journey.  Alas, when the horses begin to gallop, they will break only the earth with their hooves, and not you, o my heart.”

16        Vrnda: How does Bhadra lament?  Let us listen.

17        A voice from behind the scenes: O bird of my life-breath, even though in your presence your beloved (Krsna) hastily climbed aboard the chariot, still you refuse to abandon this slain body that has become your nest.

18        Paurnamasi: (glancing to the left) My child, Candravali fashioned a garland for Madhava (Krsna) to wear at noontime.  Padma is now speaking to her some words that pierce her like a javelin.  Let us listen.

19        A voice from behind the scenes: Even though Krsna, who carries the Sudarsana cakra, and who is very affectionate to His associates, has already climbed the chariot, you are still intent on stringing this flower garland.  O fickle, deaf Candravali, has the deep, sustained, tumultuous wailing of the gopis not entered your ears?

20        Paurnamasi: (anguished) Hearing from her friend the unpleasant news (of Lord Krsna’s departure for Mathura), Candravali, alas, became overwhelmed.  The half-strung flower garland slipped from her hand, and she at once fainted as if dead.

21        Vrnda: Look! Look! Placing unconscious Candravali in front of the chariot, Padma cries bitterly.

22        A voice from behind the scenes: O girl who has lost all hope, try to understand for a moment.  Look a little from the corner of your eye.  Merciless Akrura, the son of Gandini, is quickly bringing the horse.

23        Paurnamasi: Child, because I cannot see Radha I am very worried.

24        Vrnda: (looking to the right) Alas! Alas! Look! Look! Visakha and the other gopis cannot bear to either tell or not tell Radha the news of Krsna’s departure for (Mathura) City.  They are completely stunned.  They stand together, ear-to-ear, as if they have lost all sense.

25        Paurnamasi: (unhappy) O Radha, when the blinking of Your eyes momentarily interrupted Your seeing Krsna, You would glorify the fish (who were so fortunate that they did not have to bother with this blinking).  O Radha whose heart is wounded by love what will happen to You now that fate is taking Madhava (Krsna) to Mathura City?

26        Vrnda: Look! Look! The tumultuous sounds (of the gopis’ crying) has made restless-eyed Radha run from the path as a (frightened) doe.

27        Paurnamasi: Alas! Alas! Agitated with transcendental madness, Radha now babbles eloquent nonsense running from one language to another.

Note: In Radha’s words (in the next verse) the first two lines are in Prakrit and the second two lines are in Sanskrit.

28        A voice from behind the scenes: Now that I see Vraja’s prince Krsna standing on the chariot with His brother and uncle, who do I stumble and fall to the ground?  Why does the earth move about like this?  Why are the kadamba trees dancing?

29        Paurnamasi: What is Lalita saying?  Let us listen.

30        A voice from behind the scenes: Krsna is now beginning on the path around Govardhana Hill.  O friend Radha, please do not lament.

31        Paurnamasi: Listen to what the girl is saying.

32        A voice from behind the scenes: Now I know everything.  My friend, what will you cleverly hide from Me?  Wretched girl, stop! I will not be unhappy when Krsna is gone.  Why does this shameless breathing again and again move in My throat?

33        Vrnda: O noble lady, Visakha is about to say something.

34        A voice from behind the scenes: After He kills Kamsa, Krsna will again Meet You in the middle of the night.  My friend, You are the most patient and tolerant of all the gopis.  Please don’t be upset.

35        Paurnamasi: Listen to this eloquent gopi’s words.

36        A voice from behind the scenes: Don’t console Me.  Hopeless girl, your mouth is dry praising Me.  Far away, the wheel of Krsna’s chariot again and again breaks the belly of the hard earth.

37        Paurnamasi: Ah! Her heart afraid of lotus-eyed Krsna’s journey, Radha, whose eyes are like cakora birds, has become restless.

38        Vrnda: One moment She cries bitterly, the next moment She rolls about on the ground before the chariot, the next moment Her tear-filled eyes gaze at Krsna’s face, the next moment She places a blade of grass between her teeth and bows down before Lord Balarama and begs Him not to leave Vrndavana.  Is there any person Radha will not throw into the ocean of intense compassion for Her?

39        Paurnamasi: (with tears) Although in the presence of Her gopi-friends She would never for even a moment glance at Krsna with even the slightest fragrance of tears gliding to Her lips, now, without any embarrassment, even before Her superiors (She stares at Him with tear-filled eyes).  Radha makes my heart wilt with pain.

40        As Krsna rides on the chariot, gazing at Radha’s anguished face, how many thick tears appear in His eyes like drops of honey on a lotus flower?

41        Vrnda: Noble lady, the gopis’ life-breath will now follow their master Krsna.

42        Paurnamasi: Look! Look! Here comes someone bearing a message from Krsna.  The message says: “O beautiful, pious gopis, some anguished nights you may see before you again attain My auspicious company?”  In this way Krsna, the killer of Aghasura with ropes of hope tightly bound the deer of the lotus-eyed gopis life-breath.

43        Vrnda: (with anguish) Now that lotus-eyed Krsna has left Vraja to go to Mathura City, the bumble bee will no longer drink honey, the peacocks will not decorate the forests with their lively dances, and the cakravaka birds will refuse to keep company with their wives.

44        Paurnamasi: (following the tracks of the chariot-wheels, she laments) Radha’s pathetic cries of grief plunge the entire world in an islandless ocean of intense pain.  These marks in the all-tolerant earth that appear to have been made by the wheels of the moving chariot have in reality been made from far away by Radha’s cries.

44        Vrnda: Alas! Alas! The pain of separation from Mukunda has unsettled Radha’s mind.  Sometimes She runs about and sometimes She stands still like a painted picture.  Sometimes She laughs and sometimes She weeps bitterly.  Sometimes She is very talkative and sometimes She is silent.

45        A voice from behind the scenes: My dear friend, where is Krsna, who is like the moon rising from the ocean of Maharaja Nanda’s dynasty?  Where is Krsna, His head decorated with a peacock feather?  Where is He?  Where is Krsna whose flute produces such a deep sound?  Oh, where is Krsna, whose bodily lustre is like the lustre of the blue indranila jewel?  Where is Krsna, who is expert in rasa dancing?  Oh, where is He who can save My life?  Kindly tell Me where to find Krsna, the treasure of My life and best of My friends.  Feeling separation from Him, I hereby condemn Providence, the shaper of My destiny.*

46        Paurnamasi: Alas! Alas! This body is now overwhelmed with pity.  I must go at once.

47        Vrnda: Noble lady, I would like to bring Mukhara here.

(They both exit)

(Thus ends the viskambhaka interlude)


Scene 2

1          (Consoled by two gopi-friends, Radha enters)

Radha: O beautiful faced friend, I did not fully drink the nectar of Lord Krsna’s joking words with My ears, I did not fearlessly gaze without restriction on His lotus face.  I did not very firmly embrace His chest, to My heart’s content.  Moment after moment My mind remembers all this as it trembles in pain.

2          Visakha: Ah! Why, even though You know of Krsna’s message promising His return, do You still torture Your friends by plunging Yourself into this blazing fire of grief.

3          Radha: (in Sanskrit) O My friend, the gopis who all have beautiful curved eyebrows, may be convinced that Krsna’s heart is flooded with waves of compassion fro this downtrodden person.  Still, My cruel enemy, the pain of being separated from Krsna, is intent on cutting My heart to pieces.  That enemy will not for a moment allow Me to celebrate a festival of auspicious happiness.

4          (in agony)

The blazing fire of separation from Lord Krsna, the king of Gokula, has broken My heart.  That fire is more painful than the puta-paka fire, more troubling than a strong doses of poison, more intolerable than Indra’s thunderbolt, more sharp than a spear plunged into the heart and more horrifying than the last stage of cholera.

(cries without any inhibition)

5          A voice from behind the scenes: Krsna is many millions of times more dear to Radha than Her own life.  Now that He has gone far away, Her heart has become wounded by many sharp javelins of unbearable grief.  She has become emaciated.  She may roll about on the ground, and She may scream in pain.  O noble, pious (Mukhara), please don’t try to stop Her.  Please don’t try to stop Her.

6          Lalita: (glancing at the area behind the scenes) Vrnda, well done! Well done!  You stopped Mukhara, who was very eager to intervene.

7          Radha: (again seeing a cakravaki bird, She makes the following request) O cakravaki bird, because you have come here from the east you must have seen Krsna.  Please tell Me the news of His activities.  Has someone acted to relieve the Lord’s fatigue travelling on the highway in the chariot?  Has someone decorated Him with leaves, fresh sprouts, and other forest-ornaments?

8          Lalita: Dear friend, look at the king of crows sitting on top of this kadamba tree.  He seems to be a relative of us gopis suffering in separation from our beloved.  He seems to be yearning to go to Mathura City.

9          Radha: (praising the crow) O brother, O crown of all youths, after you leave Vrajabhumi please go to Vrndavana’s king Krsna, offer respectful obeisances to Him, and speak to Him the following message on My behalf: “O moon of all amorous heroes, the flames of separation from You are now beginning to burn the animal of My life-breath in the house of My body.  Please unbolt the firm lock of hope that keeps that animal in the burning building.”

10        (seeing a female parrot on the left) O parrot-friend, I did not know you were a messenger from Krsna.  Tell Me the news.  Has Krsna crushed the sharp thorns of His enemies?  Is He now surrounded by His friends?  Does He call for a chariot (to come here)? Is He now eager to travel west (to the land of Vraja)?

11        (frightened and crying) What will My superiors say now?  Now where will (I be able to hear) the nectar sound of Krsna’s flute?  I do not  hear any words that will drive away My grief.  I cannot be peaceful for even a moment.  Alas! Where is the Lord of My life now?  O miserable life, please run out of My throat at once!  No longer can I see Krsna!

12        Visakha: (aside to Lalita) Lalita, quickly do something to stop, even for a moment, the waves of suffering that are drowning our dear friend (Radha).

13        Lalita: (approaches Radha and says in Sanskrit) O lotus-eyed one, we think that clever, playful Krsna is simply playing a joke on us, and these events beginning with Akrura’s arrival are all His joke, for He is not willing to leave Vrndavana at any time, O friend, if You simply search for Him in the forest You will quickly find Him there.

14        Visakha: Well done, Lalita! Well done! You are intelligent.

15        Radha: My friends, this is not impossible.  Let us search (for Him).

16        (After walking some distance, She sees some does.  With tears in Her eyes, She calls to them in a loud voice).

Hello! Hello! O does, the grass is falling, half-eaten, from your mouths.  Is this because charming Krsna has stolen your hearts?  Is it because you have met the wandering guest of Lord Krsna’s sidelong glance, or because you have heard the sweet music of His flute?

17        (Going to another place, She laughs loudly)

O peahens, please give up all duplicity and quickly tell Me: Where is peacock-feather-crowned Krsna hiding in this forest?  Where is Krsna, whose flute music pleases you millions of times more than the thunder of many new rainclouds?

Note: Peacocks and peahens are pleased by the monsoon rains.  The sound of thunder is, therefore, a sound especially welcome to them.

18        Visakha: (eagerly craning her neck) I can see a gunja-necklace in the grove by Radha-kunda.

19        Radha: (With great awe picks up the gunja-necklace, smells it, and trembles) Reflecting the splendour of the king of jewels, you were once on the chest of Krsna, the enemy of the demons.  O gunja-necklace friend, why do you, overwhelmed, now roll about on the ground of this forest-path?

20        Lalita: How is it that by wandering in search of Krsna we have come near Sakhisthali (Candravali’s home)?

21        Radha: O dear friend Candravali (very eager) O Visakha, I have so yearned to see Candravali, who I so rarely see, and who is very dear to Krsna, the prince of the gopas.

22        Visakha: Confined to the house by (her grandmother) Karala she has been wasting away in grief.

23        Radha: I shall go now and pray to Govardhana Hill.  (She takes a few steps, and with jealous rivalry says) O Visakha, why do you cheat Me in this way?  Candravali is here!

24        (She approaches and says with tears and a choked voice)

O friend, have you seen your friend, the independent minded prince of Vraja?  Has He come here with glistening smiling lips, a flute in His hand, a peacock feather in His hair, and timid eyes glancing at these groves of flowering vines filled with buzzing bees blinded with joy?

25        (Hearing the mountain cave echo Her words, She becomes uneasy).  Why does Govardhana Hill cry the same question back at Me? (Bewildered, She goes close to the cave).

26        O beautiful Candravali, suffering Radha can see how Your body has become auspicious from Krsna’s many tight embraces.  Please embrace Me with Your arms fragrant from the touch of Krsna’s flower-earrings.

(She tries to embrace her).

27        Lalita: This is You Yourself reflected in this crystal-stone.  It is not Candravali.

28        Radha: (closely examining it) You aren’t lying.  (looks ahead and happily laughs) Lalita I am fortunate.  Now I shall not give up My body. Look! Look! (pointing with a finger)

29        There, in the far distance, is Krsna, decorated with a peacock feather crown, and embraced by the fair-limbed gopis.

(Radha becomes jealous.  She carefully looks again, and then becomes unhappy).

No. I think it is not Krsna.  It is only a raincloud, lightning, and rainbow resting on Govardhana Hill.

(She faints).

30        Both gopis: Don’t be sad! Don’t be sad!

31        Radha: (becomes revived.  She says with great respect:) O Govardhana Hill, O king of mountains, you are the best of the affectionate servants of Lord Krsna.  I think that Lord Krsna always remains on your lap.  (with plaintive words) Please be kind.  Please open the entrance of one of your caves and let Me glimpse Krsna within.  Please do this and stop the unbearable endless waves of My suffering.

32        (looking again) Why is Govardhana Hill silent?  He simply sheds streams of tears in the form of these murmuring mountain brooks.

33        (She folds Her hands).

O Govardhana, you shine very splendidly in this land of Gokula, your many lofty peaks thrusting into the sky.  Please look in all directions and tell Me where Krsna, the jewel of the cowherd boys, now enjoys pastimes.

34        (walking a little ahead) O restless-eyed friend, is this not the same kadamba tree under which Krsna placed a peacock-feather crown in My hair?

35        (Looking south She begins to cry) Here is the same cave-entrance on Govardhana Hill where Krsna made a very artistic, colourful bed of jasmine flowers.  When I see this place it reminds Me of all the pastimes We enjoyed together here.  O friend, fie on the useless breaths that continue to move in My throat!

36        (distressed) I saw all the forests.  I looked in all of Vrndavana forest.  I carefully searched dense Bhandiravana forest.  I looked in every part of Govardhana Hill.  O Lalita, alas! I have not found even the faintest scent of Your friend Krsna anywhere.

37        Lalita: How many times have You searched for Krsna in the forest-groves and not found Him?  Don’t be depressed.

38        Radha: (Beginning to run, She says in Sanskrit) Well said, Lalita! Well said! Well said! Look! There in the distance are Krsna and Akrura riding on a chariot.  I will grab Krsna by the neck and drag Him down.

39        (approaching nearer, She becomes unhappy) This is not a chariot, but a hill covered with golden flowers.  This is not the gopis’ lover Krsna, but a dark tamala tree.  This is not the king’s messenger Akrura, but a powerful tiger.  O friend, why has the unfriendly creator Brahma made everything wrong?  (She faints).

40        Visakha: (alarmed) Lalita, fan Radha with the edge of your garment while I go to get lotus petals.  (She runs off).

41        A voice from behind the scenes: Seeing Radha’s intense suffering in separation from Krsna, the Manasa-ganga has completely dried up, and Govardhana Hill, which was so tall that the sun-god’s horses would eat the durva grass at it’s summit, has shrunk to the height of 100 arms.

42        Radha: (Regains consciousness and says, in the anger of love) O Radha, give up the wickedness of this false-pride.

43        Lalita: (sighs and lowers her head)

44        Radha: O Radha. The sound of Krsna’s footsteps has come to My ear.  Krsna is now entering this grove of transcendental pastimes.

45        (She falls down at the edge of Lalita’s feet) Krsna has come to this forest-grove bordered by jasmine flowers.  The smiling vines and the buzzing of these bees make you run there.  Madwoman, get up! Don’t hit the friend that touches your feet! Because of your foolishness we are losing a rare and precious opportunity!

46        Lalita: alas! Terrible fate has killed me!  (She cries and wails).

47        Visakha: (hastily arrives) Lalita, what is this?  Please calm down.

48        Radha: (surprised) Friend, are you actually Lalita?

49        Lalita: (with a choked voice) What?

50        Radha: Ah! She speaks the truth.  I am Radha. (She looks around) I have come here to pick forest-flowers for a garland.  I will pick jasmine flowers to make earrings for Krsna.

51        (She anxiously enters a flower-garden) Why are the jasmine buds falling?  Why are the kadamba blossoms breaking into pieces?  Why are the jati buds black?  What has happened to Krsna’s Vrndavana forest?

52        Both Lalita and Visakha: The forest must have been licked by the flames of a great fire.

53        Radha: O Lalita, I don’t know why a great forest-fire playfully licks My heart.  Let’s find your friend, whose glance extinguishes great fires.

54        Lalita: Come, dear friend.  Come.

55        Radha: (jubilant) I can see the surabhi cows! Krsna can’t be far away! (She begins to run).

56        Why do the cows, their eyes flooded with tears, refuse to eat the grass before them?  Why, overwhelmed with emotion, do they lick the calves near their mouths?  Why do they break the directions with their lament? Alas! Alas! Krsna’s surabhi cows on this path are on the verge of death.

57        A voice from behind the scenes: May a black snake angrily bite the chest of King Kamsa, who took away the moon of Krsna, which gives life to the pond of Vraja Village.  Alas! The saphari fish of the gopis are rolling on the dry ground in agony.  The waves of their life-breath are stopping.  What will give them shelter now?

(Trembling with agitation, Radha faints).

58        Lalita: There there.

59        Radha: (opens Her eyes and looks to the sky) O sun-god, Radha offers Her respectful obeisances unto you.  Please fulfil Her desire.

60        Visakha: (with awe) The thousand-rayed sun-god gives a benediction.

61        Radha: (not hearing Visakha’s words) Alas! Alas! Its scattered sweet Krsna-footprints enchanting the world’s eyes and making them wretched, the Yamuna’s shore now walks on the pathway of My eyes and makes My senses burn with pain.

62        Lalita: Ah! On this riverbank let us worship the sun-god and pray to him for the fulfilment of our desire.

63        Radha: (rolls about on the river-bank) O lotus-eyed one, on this Yamuna shore, where again and again You splashed us with waves of pleasure deep with love, why do You not now embrace us who are tormented with pain?

64        Lalita: (looking at the Yamuna) O sister, O crown of the sun-god’s dynasty, I have come here desiring to hear from you news of Krsna, the killer of the Madhu demon.

65        Radha (in Sanskrit) Friend, your ever-new shores are filled with forest groves that rival jewel palaces and that were once the home of Krsna’s pastimes. (She faints).

66        Visakha: Lalita, Krsna once wore this garland.  Place it on Radha’s nose.  (They both do that).

67        Radha: (after a long time She regains consciousness and says in Sanskrit) Lalita, listen.  I saw a frightening dream.  It was so vivid I thought I was awake.  In this dream a wicked messenger of King Kamsa came to Vrndavana and with a chariot Krsna… (She leaves the sentence unfinished).  I pray there will be peace and prosperity in Vraja.  Now in order to become free from the ill effects of this bad dream I will bathe in the Yamuna and then go to see Krsna.

68        Visakha: Let us go to Khela-tirtha, where Krsna eternally enjoys pastimes. (They all walk).

69        (Vrnda and Mukhara enter)

70        Mukhara: My child, what is Radha doing.

71        Vrnda: O noble lady, I will see.  She is bathing in the waters of Khela-tirtha with Visakha.

72        Radha: (gazes at the beauty of the tall waves) O Visakha, well done! Well done! Now I will enter the waters of Khela-tirtha.  Look! There is Your friend Krsna.  He is hiding among the blue lotus flowers.  He is playfully waving His arms.

73        Visakha: Let’s enter the water.  (They both exit).

74        Lalita: (looking on, she becomes grief-stricken) Alas! Alas! Now I am dead! I am dead! My dear friend Radha has drowned in the deep river waters with Visakha.  She will never again rise from those waters.  These two have drowned and now I will become the third.  (She enters the water).

75        Mukhara: (in tears) Fate! Fate! Why have you done this?

76        Vrnda: (crying) Alas! What will happen to Her now? (suffering) Noble lady, Lalita is grief-stricken.  Now she also wants to drown in the water.  Stop her at once! (They both do that).

77        Lalita: (seeing this, she says to herself) Alas! Alas! Here is a great obstacle.  By some trick I will escape from this place, and, because of separation from my dear friends I will jump from the top of Govardhana Hill and on the rocks at the mountain’s base I will crush this hard-as-stone body that would not break from not being able to see its dear friend, (hiding her grief, she openly says) Noble lady, let go of me! I must go and tell this strange news to noble Paurnamasi and her friends.  (She exits).

78        A voice from the sky: What great person in this world is able to describe the splendid flood of this beautiful-eyebrowed gopi’s glory? As splendid as new lightning, She and Her friend have now entered the sun-planet, which even the great sages cannot attain.

79        Vrnda: Noble lady, listen.  The siddha demigods in the clouds are glorifying Radha’s attainment of perfection.

80        Mukhara: (rolling about on the ground) Alas! Alas! O granddaughter Radha, where have You gone?

81        Vrnda: (anguished) As I think of Radha’s death I suffer as if burning in the flames of a putapaka fire.  O lotus-eyed Radha, when He hears of Your sudden, untimely death, what will happen to lotus-eyed Krsna?

82        A voice from the sky: Grief-stricken Lalita, whose teeth are as beautiful as pomegranate seeds, who is a jewellery chest of love for Krsna, and who is the life and soul of Radha, has now jumped from the top of (Govardhana) Hill.

83        Mukhara: Lalita, why have you left us?  (She becomes very agitated).  Vrnda, Now I will enter the Yamuna and cool this body burning in the flames of grief. (She begins to enter the water).

84        A voice from the sky: Elderly one, don’t do it! It is not right.

85        Vrnda: O noble lady, this order descending from the realm of the sun is not to be disobeyed.

86        Mukhara: I will tell all this to noble Paurnamasi.

87        (A deep sound again rumbles in the sky).

88        Mukhara: Child, I could not clearly hear it.  What did the demigods say?

89        Vrnda: Without duplicity please place in your ears these splendid words of the sun-god, who removes the fatigue of the lotus flowers and witnesses the cakravaki birds’ meeting with their lovers.  The sun-god said: “O Mukhara, don’t commit this reckless act of drowning yourself in the water of the Yamuna.  In the future you will enjoy a festival of the nectar of transcendental bliss.”

(They both exit. Everyone exits)

(Thus ends Act 3).



Act Four Radhabhisarakhya-garbhanka-garbhah

(The Play “Meeting Radha”)


Scene 1

1          (Uddhava enters)

Uddhava: Krsna allows Himself to come under the control of His affectionate devotees’ love.  Controlled by their love, even though He is the master of all omniscient sages, He becomes bewildered.  Even though He is the crest-jewel of all omnipotent deities, still He becomes stunned and powerless.  Even though His nature is eternal transcendental bliss, still He becomes filled with anguish.

2          (Looking ahead) Why is Gargi here?  (He approaches her) Noble lady, I offer my respectful obeisances to you.

3          Gargi: (enters) O counsellor, please always flood the world with the nectar of devotional service.

4          Uddhava: To see the coronation of the king of the Yadus the noble lady must have come with Rohini from Gokula.

5          Gargi: No. Not at all.  I came with the queen of Gokula, who was called to see the great festival of the sacred-thread ceremony of Krsna and Balarama.

6          Uddhava: The noble lady did not see the Lord’s extraordinary pastimes in the arena.

7          Gargi: What happened? Tell me.

8          Uddhava: Listen.  Bringing a great festival of happiness to the cakravaka bird devotees, delighting the entire world, eclipsing the shining of the firefly demons, putting the night-blooming Kuvalayapida flower deeply asleep, chasing away the wrestler owls, making the Yadu dynasty lotuses blossom with happiness, and killing the darkness that is the great king of the demons, the Krsna-sun has now risen on the horizon of the arena’s eastern gate.

9          Gargi: Then? Then?

10        Uddhava: His shoulder decorated with a club that was the old elephant’s tusk, and His body anointed with sandalwood paste, aguru, kunkuma, perspiration, and blood and ichor from the elephant, Krsna leaps and dances in the arena.

11        The people saw Krsna in ten ways.  Seeing Krsna in the arena, the demoniac priests curled their lips in distaste, the great wrestlers become red (with anger), Krsna’s friends smiled broadly, the great demons become devastated, the sages become rapt in meditation, His mother wept warm tears, the chivalrous fighters become excited, the hairs on their bodies standing up, the leaders of the demigods become struck with wonder, the menial servants danced, and the girls gazed at Krsna from the corner of their black eyes.

Note: In this verse the ten rasas: 1. bibhatsa (loathing), 2. raudra (anger), 3. hasya (comedy) 4. bhayanaka (terror), 5. santa (peaceful meditation), 6. karuna (compassion), 7. vira srngara (conjugal love), are manifested one after another.

12        Decorated with a garland of nagakesara flowers and having just then crushed Canura’s army of fleeing wrestlers, (Krsna) the lion of the Yadu dynasty, eagerly tore apart (Kamsa) the wicked elephant of the Bhojas.

13        Gargi: By good fortune he who was a great spear plunged into the chests of the saintly devotees is dead.  (She becomes blissful) O counsellor, Paurnamasi, who, never losing Krsna’s association, directly saw the wrestling-arena pastimes, is very fortunate.

14        Uddhava: How can Paurnamasi’s good fortune be described?  Because of her close friendship with Krsna, her son Sandipani has become the spiritual master of the master of all the worlds.

15        Gargi: (in Sanskrit) Even though Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who fulfils everyone’s desires, still Sandipani Muni’s wife would send Him out to gather firewood.  She was like a person who purchases crushed sesame seeds by paying a price of the most valuable cintamani gem.

16        Uddhava: Krsna was teaching how the disciple should act.  Sandipani’s wife did not commit an offense.

17        Gargi: I heard that Krsna brought Madhumangala from the abode of Yamaraja and gave Him to Sandipani Muni as guru-daksina.

Note: Madhumangala is Sandipani Muni’s son.

18        Uddhava: He not only gave Madhumangala as daksina to His spiritual master Sandipani, but He also accepted Madhumangala as His keli-guru (pastime spiritual master) and also gave daksina to him.  I heard of Madhumangala’s great good fortune in Gokula.

19        Gargi: Did you go to Gokula?

20        Uddhava: Yes.

21        Gargi: Why?

22        Uddhava: To bring Candravali-devi.

23        Gargi: Why did you not bring her?

24        Uddhava: (with a tear) Rukmi took her from Gokula to Kundina again.

25        Gargi: How did he hear that Candravali was in Gokula?

26        Uddhava: (He heard it) from the mouth of his friend Sisupala.

27        Gargi: How did Sisupala hear about her?

28        Uddhava: He heard from the mouth of Srutasrava-devi, who lives in Vrndavana.

Note: Srutasrava-devi was Sisupala’s mother.

29        Gargi: When her brother Vasudeva was released from prison she went to see him at her father’s house.  Then I unknowingly told her all the secrets of Gokula.

30        Uddhava: O noble lady, what faults is there on your part?  Fate always places these obstacles in the path of people like myself.

31        Gargi: Why did no one try to stop Maharaja Bhismaka’s son when he took Candravali?

32        Uddhava: At that time Krsna and His relatives were in Mathura City for a long time and (Candravali’s husband) Govardhana, also known as Tosala, had just died.  Who else was there to oppose Bhismaka’s son?

33        Gargi: Noble friend, why didn’t he take the four girls led by Padma?

34        Uddhava: Padma is actually the daughter of King Nagnajit.  Syama is the daughter of the king of Madra, Bhadra the daughter of the king of Keyaya, and Saibya the daughter of the king of Saibya.  After learning these facts from Narada Muni, these four kings, after humbly winning the gopa-king Nanda’s permission, took their daughters (home to their respective palaces).

35        Gargi: Are the girls of Gokula who so devotedly observed the vow of worshipping goddess Katyayani well?

36        Uddhava: (with tears) Their hearts burning with pain, 16 100 gopis offered prayers to the goddess Kama (for Krsna’s return).  As they were praying on the Yamuna’s shore, a very ferocious demon violently kidnapped them all.

37        Gargi: Did your Lord hear of this?

38        Uddhava: He heard, but not the details.

38        Gargi: What details?

39        Uddhava: Of the 16 108 gopis not a single one is still in Vraja.

40        Gargi: What opportunity has He had to understand what has happened in Vraja.  Overwhelmed by Radha’s terrible sufferings, He has not found even a moment’s happiness.

41        Uddhava: Noble lady, you speak the truth.  For this reason noble, earnest (Paurnamasi) has created a diversion to soothe the Lord’s heart.

42        Gargi: What was that?

43        Uddhava: After praying to Bharata Muni, the founder of the art of music, she composed a new musical-drama.  Narada Muni sent it in Tumburu’s hand and Tumburu taught it to the Gandharvas.

44        Gargi: I see some demigods talking with noble Paurnamasi.  They must be Gandharvas.

45        Uddhava: Yes, it is so.  Look! Accompanied by Madhumangala, lotus-eyed Krsna ascends the balcony of the palace of rubies to see the play.

46        Gargi: I will go and bring Mukhara.

47        Uddhava: Noble Paurnamasi and I will bring the actors.

48        (They both exit) Thus ends the viskambhaka interlude.



Scene 2


1          (Krsna, as described, enters)

Krsna: O playful girl, O girl whose eyes are cakora birds, O moon-faced one, O girl whose lips are bimba fruits, O best of all virtuous girls, O crowned queen of all the girls of Vraja, whose eyes are khanjana birds, O Radha, why have the wicked actions of fate brought You to this terrible end?

2          Madhumangala: Dear friend, from this spot it is very difficult for me to see Radha.

3          Krsna: Friend, I am now tortured by hope.  When suffering Mukhara was about to drown herself, a voice from the sun planet mercifully told her (that Radha has already entered the celestial world).  The nectar of those words has now sprouted a single grass-blade of the hope to again meet Radha.  That blade of grass is now violently piercing My heart.

4          (After a moment’s silence, He calls out) Akrura held the horse’s reins about to drive away.  Radha’s heart trembled with unsteadiness.  She cried loudly and tried to climb onto the chariot, but Her friends stopped Her.  She cast a tear-filled glance at Me.  And I was so cruel at heart that I paused for a moment, and then rode away.

Alas! Alas! I did not take that beautiful girl with Me!

5          Uddhava: My Lord, the splendid and expert demigod-actors are assembled.

7          Krsna: Sutradhara, let the music, singing, and dancing begin at once.

6          (Uddhava, Paurnamasi, and Mukhara enter, followed by the actors).

8          Sutradhara: All glories to Radha’s supremely victorious sidelong glance, which with its sweetness makes the beauty of the most splendid lotus flowers wilt, and which with its playfulness easily conquers Lord Krsna, who was Himself garlanded by the goddess of victory victorious in the three worlds.

9          Krsna: (with happiness) This nandi-verse delights My heart.

10        Sutradhara: (glancing to the side) O noble lady, Narada Muni, the spiritual master of the demigods has sent me from Svargaloka to worship Lord Krsna, the friend of the entire universe, with this beautifully written play.

11        Nati: Noble sir, what play is it?

12        Sutradhara: All glories to this play, filled with all good qualities, pleasing to Lord Krsna, the crest-jewel of those expert at relishing transcendental mellows, happy for the residents of Gokula, and bearing the name “The Meeting with Radha”.  Let the auspicious introduction now be sung!

13        Nati: O noble sir, what season of the year shall I glorify in my song?

14        Sutradhara: Noble lady, Look! Look! Leaving the kunda flowers, beauty enters the malika flowers in the forest.  The cuckoos struggle to remember their long-neglected skill in singing the fifth note.  Pale leaves fall from the banyan tree.  A splendid (spring) time trembles with eagerness.

15        Nati: Even thought it is covered with harsh sami-vines, is it not true that this tiny bumble-bee still loves this cluster of madhavi flowers?

16        Sutradhara: (with pleasure) Noble girl, well done! Well done! You have spoken the introduction very well.  The meaning of your words is: Even though old Jatila continually tries to stop Them, Krsna eternally pleases Radha with transcendental pastimes.  (They both exit).

17        (Madhava enters)

Madhava: Accompanied by it’s friend, the southern breeze, beautiful springtime is happy.  Charming with jubilant bees and birds, Vrndavana forest smiles.  If Radha were to Meet Me here, I would be plunged into the crashing waves of the ocean of intensely blissful pastimes.

18        Madhumangala: (laughing) Ha ha! The demigods-actors have created a double of my dear friend Krsna!

19        Uddhava: (astonished) His new flute like a swan in the beautiful lotus flower of His hand, the wonderful beauty of His gunja-necklace eclipsing the splendour of rubies, and the tip of His peacock feather crown moving in the gentle breeze, this dark splendour delights my heart.

20        Krsna: (the hairs of His body standing up with excitement) My dear friend, this dramatic actor appears like a second form of My own self.  Like a picture, He displays My pastimes as a cowherd boy overflowing with wonderfully attractive sweetness and fragrance, which are so dear to the damsels of Vraja.  When I see such a display, My heart becomes greatly excited.  I long for such pastimes and desire a form exactly like the damsels of Vraja.*

21        Now I shall ask this question of you: How can this actor enchant even My heart with the moonlight of this form?

22        Uddhava: Lord, this transformation is possible because of Devarsi Narada’s pure devotion to You.

23        Krsna: (astonished) Am I that actor on the stage, or am I the person observing him  from the audience?  I cannot decide.  With unblinking eyes I stare at the great wonder before Me.

24        Madhava: Now that I am separated from My beloved, these buzzing bees make My head spin.  This scent of honey robs Me of all peacefulness, and these budding flowers fill Me with longing (to meet Her again).

25        Now I with flute-music will place My request before Lalita.

26        (placing the flute to His lips) O Lalita, O girl splendid as the eastern horizon, please bring before My eyes your friend, the splendid young sun that is Vrsabhanu’s beautiful daughter Radha.  Krsna, who holds the cakra, who is your best friend, who is like a cakravaka, the best of birds, tormented by separation from Her, begs you with thousands of plaintive words.

27        Krsna: (astonished) What is impossible for Devarsis Narada’s mercy?  By that mercy this actor is able to reveal the innermost feelings of My heart, which remain always unknown to others.

28        Madhava: (with happiness) Ah! Not far away is ankle-bell tinkling that charms the deer of My heart.  I will enter the cottage of madhavi vines.  (He exits).

29        (Followed by Lalita, Radha enters).

Radha: (eagerly looking ahead) Lalita, look! Look! These waves are auspicious.  A female swan trapped in a saivala vine is now free.  Now that swan meets her lover in the garden of lotus petals.

Note: In this allegory the female swan is Radha, the swan’s lover is Krsna, the saivala vine is Jatila, and the waves are Radha’s eagerness to meet Krsna.

30        Lalita: (smiling) O female swan, this garland of waves has great love for the king of swans.  That is why these waves pull You in this way.  Have faith, and go meet Your lover.

31        Krsna: (with longing) No one has suffered as I.  For a long time I have been tormented by the flames of separation from Radha.  Now lotus-eyed Radha, who is a lake where the swan of My heart enjoys pastimes, has appeared before Me.  (He rises from the throne and goes to embrace the player).

32        Uddhava: Lord, this is a scene in a play.

33        Krsna: (embarrassed and sober) Her face is so beautiful it stops poets from glorifying the autumn moon.  Her restless glance has a sweetness sought by the most charming passionate does.  Her eyebrow is like Kama’s bow.  This charming actress destroys My peacefulness just as Radha does.

34        Mukhara: O granddaughter Radha, You are alive!  (She rushes forward).

35        Paurnamasi: (grasping the edge of her garment) O woman blinded by love, this is a Gandharva-actor in a play.

36        Mukhara: (in tears) O noble lady, (I think) Radha must have left the sun-planet and gone somewhere else.  I think the Gandharvas in Svargaloka have now brought Her to this place (and She now stands before us).

37        Radha: O Lalita, did noble Mukhara see Me as you brought Me from home to pick these flowers?

38        Lalita: Noble Mukhara was not the only one to see.  Jatila also saw You.

39        Mukhara: (choked up with tears) O child, in truth I was very cruel.  I made You burn in the flames of suffering.

40        Madhumangala: (with anger) Old demoness, do not now put on this false show of love.  Whenever you saw me near the boundary of the garden by your house you would bark at me as if you had become a dog.

41        Mukhara: Noble Madhumangala, what could I have done?  I did not know your secret.  Noble Paurnamasi cheated me.

42        Radha: If I was actually seen then tell Me what to do.

43        Lalita: Slowly walking Radha, let’s leave this open road and run on the kadamba-forest path by the Yamuna shore? (They both walk).

44        Radha: Why should I wear these ankle-bells?  They are traitors (announcing My presence to others).

45        Lalita: Jatila is very quick.  We must fool her.

46        Jatila: (enters.  She looks ahead)  Why has Radha, the daughter of Maharaja Vrsabhanu, not yet appeared on the path of my eyes?  Where will I search for Her?  (She looks at the ground and becomes happy)  I see the girl’s footprints.  I know they are Her footprints because they bear the auspicious mark of Her ankle-bells.  I will search for Her on this path.

47        Radha: Last night I saw something very unusual in a dream.

48        Lalita: Friend, what was it?

49        Radha: You were picking flowers in the grove of clove-vines when a Vrndavana-vasi who walked like a mad elephant suddenly put His hand in yours.  As you struggled to escape, He bit your flower lips and pushed His lotus-hand, which seemed to be cupid’s sharp elephant-goad, on your left bunch of flowers (She suddenly stops in the middle of Her speech.  Her hairs are standing up and She bows Her head).

Note: In this statement “bunch of flowers” is a euphemism for “breast”.

50        Lalita: (smiling) O honest girl, as I was drawing pictures in musk on Your breasts, You fell asleep and enjoyed pastimes with this elephant-hero in Your dream.  Tell me clearly: In that perfect opportunity, where the presence of a third person would be very improper, did Your friend, the sash about Your waist, stay, or did she immediately leave that place?

51        Radha: (aside) How has this rascal guessed the truth?  (openly knitting Her eyebrows) crooked girl why do you think I lied to you?

52        Jatila: Those swans are running from the waters of the Yamuna into the forest.  They must be attracted by the tinkling of ankle-bells.  The girl cannot be very far away.

53        Uddhava: aha! The old lady is very intelligent .

54        Lalita: (aside) Madhava (Krsna) may be in this cottage of madhavi vines before us.

55        (Followed by Vrnda, Madhava enters).

Madhava: If the many things that bring a great festival of transcendental happiness to My heart were increased without limit, would they equal the happiness I feel by meeting Radha?  If My desire to associate with Radha is even slightly fulfilled, I taste an unparalleled intense bliss that makes Me at once forget the entire world.

56        Krsna: (glancing at Paurnamasi) O affectionate Paurnamasi, in all ways you are very expert at pleasing Me.  You are more expert than even your spiritual master (Narada).  By the trick of the dramatic performance you have made Me again enter My very rare and difficult-to-attain Gokula-pastimes.

57        Radha: (seeing Madhava, She becomes filled with bliss.  She says to Herself) O My Lord, O raincloud of transcendental bliss, the cakora-bird of My eyes has performed great austerities, longing to attain You.  Please allow that cakora-bird to drink for a moment the difficult-to-attain effulgence of the shining moon of Your face.  (Knitting Her eyebrows, She openly says:) Lalita, this is right?  This is right?  I am an honest girl.  You have cheated Me! (She blows Her nose and pretends to cry).

58        Lalita: Why blame me?  This is the work of destiny.  What can I do?

59        Madhava: (glancing at Radha, He becomes happy) Radha’s eyes continually invade the boundary of Her ears.  Her breasts have stolen the substance of Her waist and bound it with the ropes of tri-bali (three folds of skin at the waist).  Playfully lifting their bows, Her eyebrows have arrested Her feet and ordered them not to move.  In this way the king named childhood has withered and died in the city of Radha’s body.

60        Lalita: (in Sanskrit) O most beautiful friend, please accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is standing before you full of transcendental bliss.  The border of His eyes roam side to side, and His eyebrows move slowly like bumblebees on His lotuslike face.  Standing with His right foot placed below the knee of His left leg, the middle of His body curved in three places, and His neck gracefully tilted to the side, He takes His flute to His pursed lips and moves His fingers upon it here and there.*

61        Jatila: (with bliss) Here is Vrsabhanu’s daughter Radha on my right! (She approaches) O girl expert at uniting lovers, now that my son Abhimanyu is far away, why have you taken this girl here and made Her leave Her house empty?

62        Lalita: (frightened, she says to herself) Alas! Alas! I am burned by this wicked old witch.  (openly) O noble lady, Gargi said that if we worshipped the sun-god with madhavi flowers he would bestow on us million of surabhi cows.  For this reason I brought Radha to this bower of madhavi flowers.  Be kind to us! Be kind!

63        Jatila: (concealing her real intention, she says with pretended affection)  My child, this girl Radha tells my son that you encourage Her to meet with Krsna.  She continually defames you in this way.  Will you forgive Her offense?

64        Lalita: (aside) Aha! This is Jatila’s trick.

65        Madhava: (aside) When the heart yearns for something many great obstacles will stand in its ways.  That is not a lie.  (Glancing at Radha from the corner of His eye, He approaches Her).

66        Jatila: (placing her forefinger on the tip of her nose and shaking her head in astonishment) O debauchee-snake fond of attacking young girls, whom have You come here to bite?

67        Madhava: Fat-lips, I have come here to bite you, the witch of Vraja.

(Uddhava smiles)

68        Krsna: My friend, the sweetly worded prayers of the great sages do not please Me as much as these harsh words of the old ladies of Gokula.

69        Vrnda: Elderly lady, why do you accuse this Krsna-moon, which with the moonlight of His nectar-pastimes sustains the cakora birds of all religious principles, of being a debauchee?

Note: The cakora bird is said to sustain itself by drinking moonlight.

70        Jatila: (laughs ironically and then says in Sanskrit) Who does not know how the glories of Prince Krsna’s adulterous pastimes with other’s wives have so nicely decorated the earth planet.  This debauchee Krsna stops chaste girls on the road and violently scratches their budding breasts with His fingernails. Om! Obeisances to Lord Visnu!

71        Radha: (aside) O wretched fate, how has this Radha offended you?

72        Jatila: O beautiful, bewildered girl, a single crooked sharp glance from this black snake Krsna has the power to shatter thunderbolts to pieces with it’s touch.  You are an austere, chaste girl as delicate as a malika flower.  Why stay here with this Krsna?  Let’s quickly go home.  (Accompanied by Lalita and Radha, Jatila exits).

73        Vrnda: O king of amorous heroes, give up this unhappiness. In order to fulfil Your desire, I will send one female parrot to speak a message to Lalita, and then I will have Visakha inform You of what has happened.  (She exits).

74        Madhava: (with grief) A glimpse of the cooling moon of King Vrsabhanu’s daughter (Radha) was melting this candrakanta jewel until the terrible Rahu planet of that old lady eclipsed it.

Note: The candrakanta jewel melts in the moonlight.

75        (sighs) I will go to the garden of patali flowers near Jatila’s house to find Visakha.  (He walks) Why is Abhimanyu in the courtyard of the house?  I will hide here for a moment.  (He exits).

76        Abhimanyu: (enters) From home I will take gold to purchase 300 cows.  Where has mother gone?

77        Jatila: (enters) Aha! Aha! In a secluded place I overheard a female parrot tell a male parrot that Madhava (Krsna) will go to my house disguised as Abhimanyu.  I will go there and see Him.  (She walks and from a distance sees Abhimanyu at the door.)  Aha! It is true! The rascal has actually come here.  I will go now and bring the real Abhimanyu. (She exits).

78        Abhimanyu: Visakha! Where are you.

79        Lalita: (enters and says to herself) Hearing the words of the female parrot, Visakha has gone to bring Krsna here.  (Embarrassed, openly speaking out in a soft voice) O fortunate one, Visakha is not here.

80        (Accompanied by Gargi, Bharunda and Kundalata, Jatila enters).

81        Jatila: Kundalata, see what a good person your friend (Radha) is.

82        Kundalata: (glances at her, and then lowers her face) O destiny, please protect me, protect me.

83        Bharunda: Noble Gargi, look! Look! Here is your debauchee Krsna disguised as Abhimanyu.  My friend Jatila will not be burned by this trick.

84        Jatila: O noble Gargi, by good fortune now you understand the truth.  The fellow should be brought here at once.  (She walks behind, drags her son there by the hand, and begins to insult him) Debauchee that defiles the young girls of Gokula! Thief that plunders the home of others! Krsna, does Jatila believe that you are actually her son Abhimanyu? (Covering his face in embarrassment, Abhimanyu runs away).

85        Jatila: Debauchee, why do you cover your face? You can’t sell us any of your tricks.  (She forces him to face her).

86        Abhimanyu: (aside) Alas! Alas! Mother has gone insane and she is embarrassing me with these insults.  I should leave this place.  (He goes).

87        Jatila: (runs after him and pulls the edge of his garment).  Thief, I am holding you very firmly.  How can you run away?

88        Abhimanyu: (lowering his head in embarrassment) Noble Bharunda, my mother is possessed by a ghost!

89        (recognising him, they all laugh loudly).

90        Jatila: (Looks at Abhimanyu’s face and then says to herself:) Alas! Alas! What a madmen! What a madman! I wonder if my son has returned yet from his far-away journey?  (Striking her chest without shame, she exits).

91        Bharunda: Child, you mother has definitely gone mad.  She thought you were Madhava (Krsna).

92        (Abhimanyu smiles)

93        Kundalata: O hero Abhimanyu, My friend Radha is faithful and chaste.  She is well-behaved, truthful, and affectionate, and She has Your mother as Her mother-in-law.  Let us go now and tell noble Paurnamasi of Jatila’s unusual dancing.  (The three girls exist).

94        Abhimanyu: Lalita, bring my mother.  I want to go at once.

95        Lalita: (exits and enters again) O hero, the noble lady is ashamed to come before you.

96        Abhimanyu: So be it, I will myself take the gold coins from the bag and go about my business.  (He exits).

97        Krsna: O friend, O king of counsellors, these demigod-actors have brought Me great bliss.

98        Vrnda: (enters) Lalita, run! Run! Look! Angry Abhimanyu is coming back.

99        Lalita: (afraid, she looks) What was terrible to see at first is now very charming and handsome.  This is actually Madhava (Krsna) disguised as Abhimanyu.

100     Vrnda: (Blissfully looking) Abhimanyu’s face and form have become like the splendid brother of a sunset raincloud.  His nose is like the village at the foot of a mountain.  His eyes are deep, His movements graceful, and His garments the colour of a karira flower.  His form is splendid.

101     (Disguised as Abhimanyu, Madhava enters)

Madhava: When will I deeply drink the nectar of Radha’s sweetly beautiful face, with it’s shyly knitted eyebrows and crooked glances going everywhere?

102     (Looking ahead) Lalita, where is that girl, who in the disguise of being your friend is actually the medicinal herb that sustains My life?

103     Lalita: O Radha! Come here.

104     Radha: (She enters, shyly smiling, and says to Herself) I do not like to hear that Abhimanyu has come, but now that this Abhimanyu is My lover Krsna, the news delights Me.  Why should goddess Gauri decline to enjoy pastimes with her husband, Lord Siva, simply because he has drunk some poison?  (Why should I decline to enjoy pastimes with Krsna, simply because He is disguised as Abhimanyu?)

104     Madhava: Lalita, My great treasure has again come into My hand.

105     Lalita: As long as a wicked yaksini does not stop You.

106     Jatila: (enters and says with jubilation) My dear girl, because, fortunately, You are so intelligent, You have placed Yourself on the path that leads to my son’s eyes.

107     (All are struck with awe and wonder).

108     Jatila: Son Abhimanyu, I cannot see very well now that it is dusk.

109     Madhava: (happily smiling) Mother, I shall give you an ointment that will enable you to see everything very perfectly.

Note: If the word “tama” is interpreted to mean darkness, then this statement reveals the hidden meaning: “I shall give you an ointment that will make you completely blind.”

110     Krsna: (with a gentle chuckle) O friend, O king of counsellors, you have brought Me to the shore of the nectar-ocean of My pastimes in Gokula.

111     Jatila: (blissful) Child, why did You call me?

112     Vrnda: Now that the evening is beginning He wants to go and worship the goddess Gomangala.  He begs your permission to depart.

113     Madhava: Mother, your daughter-in-law does not want to go under the caitya tree with Me.

114     Jatila: Daughter Radha, I am Your superior.  You must obey my words.  I order You to go with Your husband at once.

115     Radha: (aside) Ah! How wonderful are the workings of destiny.  (Openly) Lalita, I am feeling ill.  Please tell this to Jatila.

116     Jatila: O saintly daughter, I swear that You are saintly!

117     (Radha glances at Madhava from the corner of Her eye).

118     Madhava: Lalita, tonight we will stay awake all night in the auspicious temple in the forest-grove.  You bring the sandal perfume.  When Radha is nicely decorated I will meet Her there.  (Madhava and all the other actors exit).

119     Krsna: (offers respectful obeisances to Paurnamasi) O noble lady, I am burning with suffering.  I cannot find any peace of mind.  What will I do?

120     Paurnamasi: (aside) Now that the first part of the story is concluded, the part describing Candravali will follow.  Now, on the pretext of travelling to Sandipani Muni’s home, I will go to the city of Kundina.

121     Krsna: O noble lady, I request your permission to climb (the stairs) to My room at the top of the palace.  (With everyone else, Krsna exits).




Act Five Candravali-labhah

(The Attainment of Candravali)



1          (Paurnamasi enters)

Paurnamasi: Many kings, their hearts polluted with the great sin of speaking hundreds of lies to Lord Krsna, now have defiled Vidarbha City by pitching around it their tents, larger than Mount Kailasa.

2          A voice from behind the scenes: As long as there is not the slightest fragrance of pure love for Krsna, which is the perfected medicinal herb for controlling Lord Krsna within the heart, the opulences of material perfection-known as the siddhis, the brahmanical perfections (satya, sama, titiksa and so on), the trance of the yogis and the monistic bliss of Brahman-all seem wonderful for men.*

3          Paurnamasi: (looking with joy) Ah! Expert in chanting the Lord Krsna’s glories, his hand holding a vine, his matted hair reaching down to his shoulders, and his complexion splendid as the autumn moon, here is Devarsi Narada.

4          (Enter Narada.  He recites text 2, which begins with the word “rddha”).

5          Paurnamasi: Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

6          Narada: May Lord Krsna bless you.

7          Paurnamasi: Lord, I heard that Lord Krsna has left Mathura.

8          Narada: Yes, it is true.  After arranging that an uncivilised king (Kalayavana), who was blessed by Lord Siva that no resident of Mathura could kill him, be killed in a cave by fire from King Mucukunda’s eyes, and after again and again thwarting wicked Jarasandha, with His friends and relatives Lord Krsna went to the city of Dvaraka on the hills by the ocean’s shore.

9          Paurnamasi: Lord, now that my body is on fire as it approaches its death, I am very fortunate to see you.

10        Narada: Child, Paurnamasi is splendid in the moonlight.  How splendid then is she in the company of Candravali, who shines as a host of full moons?

11        Paurnamasi: (with tears) Lord, millions of Candravali’s uncommonly ferocious enemies have come near.  How can there be talk of Paurnamasi’s splendour and opulence?

12        Narada: Daughter, your friends are not small people.  Why should you fear these enemies?

13        Paurnamasi: Krsna completely abandoned her, and then her beautiful sister Radha died.  How could one not be afraid.

14        Narada: Does she still grieve for Radha?

15        Paurnamasi: Yes.  Rukmini is very affectionate to her relatives.

16        Narada: Who gave her the name Rukmini?

17        Paurnamasi: Rukmi’s father.

18        Narada: (reflecting for a moment, he says to himself) Are the girls of Dvaraka city and the girls of Vraja village not the same persons, although appearing in different forms?  The girls of Vraja were overwhelmed with love for Krsna.  To please them by reuniting them with their beloved, Yogamaya transformed them into the women of Dvaraka.  They now think their previous existence in Vraja to be like a long dream, and they think Uddhava’s visit and their own journey to Kuruksetra to be only stories.  Aside from these 16 108 there are other gopis also.  Why should I reveal this secret?  (openly) Has king Bhismaka made his decision?

19        Paurnamasi: He wants to give Candravali to Krsna, the king of the Yadus.

20        Narada: Then why are you so upset?

21        Paurnamasi: If Rukmi opposes, what can poor Bhismaka do?

22        Narada: To whom does Rukmi wish to give Candravali?

23        Paurnamasi: He wants to fulfil the desire of Cedi’s King Sisupala (and give her to him).

24        Narada: How did he learn of Sisupala’s desire?

25        Paurnamasi: By Sisupala’s sending this letter-in-verse to Rukmini.

26        Narada: Please read it.

27        Paurnamasi: May your love for youthful Sisupala, who is the best of kings, and whose great virtues delight his father, Damaghosa, awaken.

28        Narada: What did Rukmini decide?

29        Paurnamasi: She changed five words and sent the letter back.  It now said: “I have fallen in love with a young gopa who is the son of a cowherd.  He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Hearing of His transcendental qualities at once fills the heart with transcendental bliss.”

30        Narada: Then? Then?

31        Paurnamasi: Reading this letter, and afraid that Krsna might come, Prince Sisupala brought many demonic kings to Kundina City.  After consulting with me, the distraught girl (Rukmini) sent a brahmana named Sunanda with a letter to Krsna.

32        Narada: What did it say?

33        Paurnamasi: “O dark cloud of Krsna, with the sound of Your thunder please quickly chase away these enemy rajahamsa swans and then sprinkle Your nectar-rain on this thirsty candrakravati bird.”

Note: Rajahamsa swans are frightened by thunder, but candrakavati birds delight in the monsoon rains.

34        Narada: The brahmana-messenger hasn’t returned?

35        Paurnamasi: Yes.  Fate is kind to Rukmi.

36        Narada: (smiles) Your powers fill the entire world with wonder.  Why did you not make Rukmi favourable?

37        Paurnamasi: The madhvika liquor of my powers only made Rukmi doubly intoxicated. Praying to get Cedi’s King Sisupala as his brother-in-law, Rukmi worshipped the family deity Candrabhaga with many agnihotra-yajnas and other ceremonies.  Then the goddess granted his request.

Note: The statement is ambiguous.  If “pratyadidesa” is taken as one word instead of two, the meaning is “The goddess refused his request”.

38        Narada: How was that?

39        Paurnamasi: The goddess appeared before Rukmi and said: “Maharaja Sura’s grandson who, born with four arms filled His mother with wonder will marry your virtuous daughter Rukmini.”

40        Narada: (smiling) You should know that goddess Parvati cheated the wicked Rukmi with these words.

41        Paurnamasi: Lord, how did she cheat him?  Krsna is now far away, Garuda is on the other side of the ocean, Kundina City is polluted by a host of demons, and (Rukmini is surrounded by guards as ferocious as) snakes eager to bite anyone who comes near.

42        Sunanda: (enters) Noble lady, Krsna is not far from Vidarbha City.

43        Paurnamasi: (blissful) Ah! Sunanda! Welcome! You bring a message.

44        Sunanda: What is the use of welcoming me?  Fate is blind to me.  My message-carrying is a failure.

45        Paurnamasi: (frightened) Why?

46        Sunanda: Read this letter from Krsna, who is carried by Garuda.

47        Narada: (reads) “The black cloud of Krsna brings happiness to the sikhini birds, who gaze at Him from the corners of their dark eyes.  He delights the fragrant sikhini birds of Vrndavana forest.”

48        Paurnamasi: Ah! Krsna doesn’t know she is Candravali.

49        Narada: Sunanda, why did you not tell Him?

50        Sunanda: Who is Candravali?

51        Paurnamasi: Embarrassed before the demon kings, Rukmi hid the fact that his sister had lived in Gokula Village and was named Candravali.

52        Sunanda: Rukmi hid this from even his friends.  How was a person like me to know it?

53        Paurnamasi: Then why does Krsna, the master of Garuda, now decorate Vidarbha with His presence?

54        Sunanda: Because of the beautiful invitation of the two devotees Kratha and Kaisika.

55        Paurnamasi: Why did these two kings invite Him?

56        Sunanda: Lord Brahma ordered them: “O Kratha and Kaisika, auspiciousness unto you both.  You are so powerful that no king can transgress your order.  The two of you, accompanied by all pure-hearted kings, should jubilantly crown Krsna emperor of the entire world in a sacred coronation ceremony.”

57        Paurnamasi: By good fortune I will see this great, great festival.

58        Sunanda: Noble lady, it was already done.

59        Paurnamasi: How was it?

60        Sunanda: Lord Krsna, who is always victorious over the demons, sat on great, beautiful jewelled throne.  As Lord Siva and the other jubilant demigods repeatedly glorified Him with prayers, all the kings performed the ritual bathing-ceremony with glistening waterpots.  In this way Lord Krsna, who is always victorious over the demons, was crowned the emperor of all kings.

61        Narada: Lord Brahma answered Mount Vindhya’s prayer (that Krsna become his son-in-law).

62        Paurnamasi: Lord, order me, and I will got to Krsna to learn the truth.

63        Kancuki: (tossing the curtain aside, she enters) Noble lady, the king of Vidarbha sends this message: “I requested the two kings (Kratha and Kaisika) to ask Lord Krsna, the king of all kings, to kidnap Rukmini.  Today, along with you, I wish to see the sacred feet of Lord Krsna.”

64        Paurnamasi: Lord, it is now accomplished.  Please give me permission (to go now).  (She exits with both of them).

65        A voice from behind the scenes: Even in the hearts of the renounced sages the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not place the slightest ray of light from the tip of His toenails. How wonderful it is that the merciful Lord decorates my auspicious couch and allows a person like me to massage His lotus feet with flower-bud hands!

66        Narada: These are the prayers of Kratha and Kaisika.

67        (The sound of a conchshell is heard from behind the scenes).

68        Narada: (gazing with happiness) All glories to Lord Krsna who, grasping the conchshell with both hands, placing it to His lotus mouth, blowing it., and remembering how He once drank the breast-milk of mother Yasoda, becomes stunned and motionless!

69        (Looking again) Followed by Kratha and Kaisika, He is coming here!

70        The moonlight of the moving Kaustubha jewel shining, His four arms splendid with the friendship of the Kaumodaki club, Sudarsana cakra, Pancajanya conchshell, and lotus flower and His form decorated with glistening ornaments, Lord Krsna, who defeated Kamsa and who is now accompanied by Garuda, reminds me of His opulence in Vaikuntha.

71        Now I will ascend into the sky and watch the Lord’s pastimes from there.  (He exits).

72        (Lord Krsna as described, enters)

Krsna: O kings, watered by the auspicious streams of nectar in My coronation, the splendid vine of your fame has grown beyond the gardens of the demigods and entered the spiritual world, where it now blossoms with many flowers to decorate the thoughts of the goddess of fortune.

73        The two kings: (with humbleness) As many atoms pass through an open window, so a great host of universes passes through a single pore of Your body.  O Almighty Lord, how can we actually glorify You?  Our praises are like glorifying an emperor by calling him a wonderful village-chief.  Your glories fill us with wonder.

74        Krsna: O great kings, I am very pleased with you.  Please ask some benediction from Me.

75        The two kings: Lord, although we have heard from Garuda that poor Rukmini has not performed any austerities to attain the good fortune of serving You directly, please be merciful to her.  Please don’t be a cause of fear for her.

76        Krsna: What kind of mercy?

77        The two kings: Defeat Jarasandha and the other demon kings, and take her from Kundina City.  Do it today when she leaves the palace to worship goddess Candrabhaga (Durga).

78        Krsna: Kings, I will kidnap her.  Her destiny will be fulfilled.

79        (The two kings offer their respectful obeisances to Lord Krsna and then exit).

80        A voice from behind the scenes: O Krsna, when the great sage Narada was chanting Your glories and playing the vina, the bluish line on the neck of Lord Siva disappeared.  Upon seeing this, Gauri, the wife of Lord Siva, suspected Lord Siva of being someone else disguised as her husband, and out of fear she immediately left his company.  Upon hearing the chanting of Krsna’s name, Lord Balarama saw that His dress had become white, although He was generally accustomed to a bluish dress.  And the cowherd girls saw all of the water of the Yamuna River turn into milk, so they began to churn it into butter.*

81        Suparna: This is Narada offering prayers from the sky.

82        Krsna: O friend, O king of birds, look! Look! As if they were the expanded hoods of the great serpent Taksaka, the white parasols of the demon-kings cover the clouds.  Seeing these parasols from far away, and thinking the great serpent has come, the universes are now trembling in fear.

83        Suparna: These serpent-hood parasols will not be able to defend themselves from even a single playful blow of the wing of this insignificant servant Garuda.  Let my friend, the Sudarsana cakra, who burns like the great fire at the end of the kalpa, stay far away.  (I will take care of this myself).

84        A voice from behind the scenes: Rukmini, the princess of Kundina, is a perfect match for lotus-eyed Krsna, O friend, cruel fate is not friendly to her.

85        Suparna: This is the lamentation of the women in Kundina City.

86        A voice from behind the scenes: What is the dull-witted son of Maharaja Damaghosa in comparison to beautiful Rukmini?  A splendid garland of newly-blossomed malika flowers should not be placed around the neck of a donkey.

87        Suparna: This forest-flower garland will decorate the neck that holds the Kaustubha gem.  It will decorate no other neck.

88        A voice from behind the scenes: All glories to Lord Krsna, the splendid moon risen from the ocean of the Yadu dynasty.  He is a boundless treasure-house of the art of attracting all young girls.  When even soldiers in battle glimpse Him far away in the palace, they tremble with amorous desire and become at once transformed into women.

89        Krsna: (glancing to the left) Is this the poet Mauktikacuda from Mathura reciting a Bhogavali poem?

90        Again from behind the scenes: All glories to Krsna’s handsome chest more splendid than a necklace of glittering sapphires, dark as a young tamala tree, decorated with thick kunkuma, and playfully and eternally glistening as a monsoon cloud decorated with bunches of blossoming stars and splendid with a stationary lightning flash!

91        Krsna: (perplexed) O dear Radha! O desire vine of  Vrndavana forest! O friend of Visakha! Where are You now?  (He trembles and leans against Suparna).

92        Suparna: (aside) Even a person like me will drown in the difficult-to-approach shore of the deep ocean of Lord Krsna’s pastimes.  What ordinary person will understand it?  (openly) O Lord, please calm down! Please calm down!

93        (Krsna becomes calm and sighs).

94        A voice from behind the scenes: Holding Dhatreyi by the hand, surrounded by the excited elderly brahmana ladies, and also surrounded at some distance by many soldiers, Rukmini, the princess of Vidarbha is now going to the temple of goddess Parvati.

95        Krsna: O friend Suparna, the villain Rukmi has placed guards all around Durga’s temple.  Come, let us enter the temple disguised as dancers.  (They exit).

96        (As described, Candravali enters)

Candravali: O Madhavi, I have heard that my brother has started a sacrifice of ten million offerings of butter to worship goddess Bhadrakali (Durga).

97        Madhavi: O princess, the brahmana ladies say that.

98        Candravali: (aside) I have heard of this deep lake of butter.  Now I will go see it.

99        Madhavi: Princess, why did the Supreme Person, Lord Krsna, who loves you, not ask to marry you?

100     Candravali: (in Sanskrit) My brother has now become my enemy, the auspicious goddess Durga ignores me, and my beloved Lord Krsna has completely forgotten me.  O wicked, cruel fate, everything has gone against me.

101     Madhavi: Let us enter the temple and pray to goddess Candrabhaga (Durga).

102     Candravali: Noble Bhargavi, bow down before goddess Candrabhaga (Durga).

103     Bhargavi: Goddess Candrabhaga (Durga), please make the princess of Vidarbha happy by giving her the benediction she desires.

Note: The word “vara” may also mean “husband”.  Interpreted this way, the phrase may read: “by giving her the husband she desires.”

104     Candravali: (complains in Sanskrit) O goddess, since my childhood I have worshipped you with great faith and ardent devotion in order to obtain Lord Krsna.  Now please immediately give me the result of my worship.  Out of kindness, please direct me on the path that leads to Lord Krsna.

105     Madhavi: Look! Look! Goddess Rudrani (Durga) is suddenly smiling with a very merciful expression.

106     Candravali: Noble Bhargavi, you stay here and pray to goddess Sarvani (Durga), and I will go to the pond of butter and circumambulate the sacred fire.

107     (Disguised as dancers, Krsna and Suparna enter),

108     Krsna: When I was a cowherd boy I would often amuse Myself by dancing.  That art of dancing has now become the expert counsellor who has taught us how to enter this great fortress.

109     Suparna: O Lord, our disguise as dancers covers the eyes of our enemies and delights the eyes of all the women here.

110     Krsna: Friend, greatest of all birds, look! There are many auspicious omens.

111     Suparna; The goddess of victory, whose face is like a glorious moon, whose eyes are like beautiful lotus flowers, and who is earnestly glorified by the great sages in the heavenly planets, has abandoned Cedi’s king Sisupala and his royal allies, and, O crusher of the Mura demon, is now eager to approach You.

112     Krsna: Friend, look! Look! The great heroes never defeated in battle roar as lions.  The singers and musicians make a great sound, and the best of the brahmanas loudly recite many prayers.  This city of Kundina is deafening the entire country.

113     Suparna: (looking ahead) Rukmini, the daughter of the king of Kundina is now leaving the temple of Mrdani (Durga).

114     Krsna: This girl is the most beautiful.  She eclipses the beauty of other girls.  They no longer seem beautiful in comparison to her.  (turning His face) Friend, bring this girl and the two kings (Kratha and Kaisika) here on the tip of your wing.

115     Suparna: (gazing in wonder) Pretending to appear from the ocean of milk churned by the demigods, goddess Laksmi took birth from the ocean of beauty.  Although Laksmi is exquisitely beautiful and opulent, and although she eternally fills all eyes with wonder, she is not as beautiful as princess Rukmini.

116     Krsna: Friend, it is so, but what does it matter?  Krsna is not enchanted by mere beauty.

117     Candravali: Madhavi, I request you: Please take care of the young bakula tree I planted with a seed from Vrndavana.

Note: Rukmini here hints that she wishes to commit suicide because she cannot attain Krsna.  She is concerned that her pet tree will be protected after she is dead and can no longer care for it.

118     Madhavi: Princess, calm down.  Calm down.  Wait for (the messenger) Sunanda.  The goddess of night has only half come.

119     Candravali: Fool! By staying in the palace I cannot attain that auspicious nectar lake of immortality.

Note: The lake of immortality here is the sacrificial fire.  Rukmini wants to commit suicide by jumping into that fire.

120     (Shedding tears, she says in Sanskrit) I was never able to really understand You.  Still, You mercifully accepted me in Vrajabhumi.  Why have You now given up my company and gone to another country?  O Krsna, O treasure-house of all transcendental qualities, why have You forgotten me?

121     (A tumultuous sound behind the scenes).

122     Krsna: The women in the city are making a tumultuous sound.

123     Suparna: Lord, look! Look! Up there are the faces of doe-eyed women that climbed to the palace roof to see You.  Lotus-eyed one, Candravali is there among them!

123     Krsna: (with longing) O dear Candravali, O friend of Padma,, how have I been so cruel to forget you?  Today when I return to Dvaraka I will send messengers to find you.

124     Candravali: When I see this lake of burning butter I become happy.

125     Krsna: (with doubt) Friend, why am I now sprinkled by a stream of tinkling sounds I have heard somewhere before?

126     Suparna: As I told You, my Lord, in all the three worlds I do not see anyone but You who can purchase the priceless jewel of this beautiful girl.

127     Krsna: Let Me look at her.  (He looks from the corner of His eye).  Ah, how is it that this girl is decorated with the same charming sweetness borne by the gopis who enjoy pastimes in Gokula?  How is it that this girl maddens My heart?  (He again glances with love).  Ah! She is My beloved!

128     (Agitated) This host of moons that melts the candrakanta jewel of My heart, brings great tidal waves to the ocean of My love, makes the lotus flowers of My eyes blossom with happiness, and makes the small plants of My body’s hairs stand up with joy, is Candravali! Today I have attained My Candravali!

Note: The moon makes Candrakanta jewel melt, the ocean become filled with turbulent waves, lotus flowers blossom, and small plants sprout.

129     I will go close and gaze at her sweet beauty.  (He walks).

130     Madhavi: (seeing Krsna, she says to herself) From whence has this king of dancers, who is more handsome than all the men in the three worlds, come?

131     Candravali: O fire-god, please take this person, whose only shelter is Krsna, to the two lotus feet of Krsna, who is more handsome than millions of cupids.  (She bows down to offer respects to the fire).  O noble Paurnamasi, why have you come here?

132     Krsna: (unhappily says to Himself) alas, she has decided to commit suicide by jumping into the fire.  Now she is circumambulating the fire.  I will go up to her and stop her by holding her in My arms.

133     Candravali: (agitated, she sheds a stream of tears) O sister Radha, we will never meet again!  O dear friend Padma, where have you gone?  O mother Yasoda, O Queen of Gokula, I will never see you again!  O Lord of my life! O Krsna…(She becomes overwhelmed and her voice becomes choked up).

134     I pray that birth after birth my eyes may attain Krsna’s lotus face filled with the honey of His gentle smile and decorated with the beauty of His graceful shark-shaped earrings.

135     Krsna: (hastily embraces her on the neck) Doe-eyed girl, do not set the universes on fire!

136     Madhavi: (angry) Bold, impudent young dancer, let go of this great princess!

137     Krsna: (in tears) O moon-faced girl, this person clinging to your neck loves you.  Unable to attain Him, you thought your beautiful body worthless as a blade of grass.  O queen of My life, be merciful to Me!  Please stop! Don’t enter the fire!  I am your lover.  This tears My chest apart with fear.

138     Candravali: (not hearing) Madhavi, let go! Let go!  Don’t make me suffer like this!  There are so many obstacles now.  (She pulls a ring from her finger).  Place this jewel ring on the pathway of the Supreme Person’s eyes.  (She places the ring on Krsna’s finger.  Filled with doubt she says to herself) This hand is very hard to touch.  (She wipes away streams of tears.  She stares at Him and cries out) The master of my life embraces me and speaks to me! (Fainting with happiness, she falls to the ground).

139     Madhavi: (blissful) Ah! The actions of destiny are full of wonder.

140     (Followed by Bhismaka, Paurnamasi enters).

141     Paurnamasi: Beautiful Candravali has searched for her charming, unconquerable lover Krsna, who pushes away all kinds of suffering and whose feet are handsome as blossoming lotus flowers.  Finding Him, she has fainted.  She is like a sapharika fish wriggling on the dry land who has suddenly found a large reservoir of water.

142     (Approaches) Child Candravali, Paurnamasi, the mother of Sandipani Muni, is very happy that you have attained the mercy of Krsna.  Rise up (With both arms she picks her up).

143     Candravali: (looks ahead, and then says to herself) Why has my father, the king of Vidarbha, come here? (embarrassed she places Paurnamasi between her father and herself).

144     Krsna: (with wonder) Noble lady, how have you come here?

145     Paurnamasi: Krsna, I have come here because I love Candravali.

146     Bhismaka: (with respect) Jambavan unknowingly did me a great favour when he brought my daughter here from another place, for now You, the Supreme Lord whose lotus feet the great sages place within their hearts, will become my daughter’s husband.

147     Paurnamasi: O king of Kundina, in truth you are the crest jewel of pious men.  Now Candravali, the moonlight that makes the lotus of your dynasty blossom with glory, should be given to Lord Krsna, the king of kings.

148     Krsna: (aside) Candravali is Radha’s sister.  By accepting Candravali without also accepting Radha, who is more dear to Me than My own life, My heart does not offend Radha.

149     Bhismaka: (humbly) O husband of the goddess of fortune, my girl’s relatives have a request that I will now place before You.  Please agree that without my daughter’s permission You will not accept the hand of any other girl.

150     (Krsna glances at the face of Paurnamasi).

151     Paurnamasi: Krsna, of all the girls of Gokula, bungling fate has left only Candravali alive.  In making this promise what is the loss?

152     Krsna: King, so be it.

153     Suparna: King, please listen.  To attain the association of my friend Krsna, Rukmini, the princess of Vidarbha, very humbly prayed to Lord Narayana, the husband of goddess Laksmi.  O moon among kings, for this reason you should abandon this terrible demand.

154     Bhismaka: So be it. (respectfully approaching) O Lord, kindly accept this girl as your maidservant.  (He gives Candravali).

155     Krsna: (respectfully accepting) O king, give Me permission that I may now leave for Dvaraka.  (He exits with His associates).

156     A voice from behind the scenes: Horses! Horses! Chariots! Chariots! Elephants! Elephants! My quiver! My quiver! My bow! My bow! My sword! My sword! How terrible! How terrible! Hurry! Hurry! A lusty cowherd has kidnapped her! Kidnapped the princess!

157     Bhismaka: Why are the kings running about and shouting?  (glances behind the scenes) why has Balarama come with the armies of the Yadu dynasty?

158     (listening, Bhismaka smiles)

A voice from behind the scenes: O wretched clowns disguised as kings, in what hole are you hiding?  I can crush the entire universe into pieces and Lord Krsna will not be angry with Me!  O pet deer of Saci, why do you laugh so loudly?  The crest jewel of your pride is about to fall before Balarama!

159     Again a voice from behind the scenes: Crooked Dantavakra cries in fear.  The cowardly jackal Jarasandha is speechless.  He turns his chariot and flees.  Lord Krsna raises His sarnga bow, laughs and kills His enemies in a ferocious battle with merciless kings.

160     Bhismaka: (blissful) Now my anxiety is gone.

162     A voice from behind the scenes: Binding him with torn cloth and half-shaving his head, Krsna, who is expert in battle, mocks the prince of Kundina.

163       Bhismaka: (anxious) This son, who is the black-spot of our family, should now be consoled so the proud fellow



Act Six Lalitopalabdhih

(The Attainment of Lalita)


Scene 1



1          (Uddhava enters)

Uddhava: Even though Indra and the demigods pray to Him to become unafraid of the demons, still Krsna builds a fort in the sea out of fear of insignificant Jarasandha, and even though His great intelligence has masterminded the entire universe, still Krsna approaches me for advice.  Who can understand the transcendental pastimes of inscrutable Lord Krsna?

2          (reflecting) Ah! Now I am very anxious at heart to see Devarsi Narada.

3          (Turning to the sky) What do you say? Lord Narada is in the Sudharama assembly house.  Very well I will go there.  (walks) Ah!, here is Lord Narada.

4          Narada: (enters) To taste the waves of ever-fresh bliss in Lord Krsna’s heart, in the world there many kinds of devotional love.  Let us glorify the greatness of the love in the gopis’ hearts.  Even Lord Krsna, the controller of everyone’s senses does not have the power to understand their love.

5          (Looking ahead, he becomes blissful) Here is famous Uddhava.  His body decorated with tilaka, his shoulders with the cakra and other signs, his neck with incomparably tulasi beads, and his head and body with Krsna-prasadam, he is like a flooding  stream of pure devotion for the Lord.

6          Uddhava: Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances.

7          Narada: (greeting him with an auspicious benediction) O king of counsellors, why do you look so dejected?

8          Uddhava: Lord, because I offended Krsna’s lotus feet.

9          Narada: You are a desert where the seed of offenses can never sprout.  Even if, by destiny, some offense sprouts there, Krsna will never take it seriously.

10        Uddhava: Lord my rashness forced Krsna deep in a dangerous forest.

11        Narada: What did you do?

12        Uddhava: On behalf of Lord Krsna I made a request to insignificant King Satrajit.

13        Narada: What was your request?

14        Uddhava: I asked that he give both his jewel-like daughter and the syamantaka gem to Lord Krsna.

15        Narada: (aside) Wonderful! Wonderful! This rashness will now fulfil the desires of the other gopis.  (openly) Then your request went in vain.

16        Uddhava: He agreed, but still a great calamity occurred.

17        Narada: Even though he did not deny the request, still Satrajit was offensive to Lord Krsna.

18        When a person with a pure heart follows the instructions of the great devotees in this world, he attains a host of good qualities, although a person with a sinful heart will not at once attain the same result.  If a doe-eyed young girl sprinkles a bakula tree with nectar from her mouth, the tree will immediately sprout many new buds.  What will happen if she sprinkles an atarusaka plant?  (No new buds will sprout.  Even though Satrajit followed Lord Krsna’s order, he remained an offender).

Note: When a bakula tree is sprinkled with nectar  from the mouth of a young girl, the tree immediately sprouts many new buds.

19        Uddhava: Because although he gave his jewel-like daughter to the infallible Personality of Godhead, he declined to give the syamantaka jewel, Satrajit destroyed both his brother Prasena and his own good reputation.

20        Narada: I heard Prasena died while hunting.

21        Uddhava: Yes, it is true.

22        Narada: Then Krsna went to find Prasena.

23        Uddhava: I sinned against Lord Krsna, who is the enemy of Canura, and whose transcendental pastimes are like a brilliant sun that chases away the darkness of ignorance in this world.  I am very unhappy.  I beg you, bless me and relieve me of my sin.

24        Narada; O bumble-bee drinking nectar at the flower of devotional service to lotus-eyed Lord Krsna, even the devotees’ reckless activities are a source of pleasure for the Lord.  if this is true for the devotees in general, then how much more true is it for you, who are so dear to the Lord?  Today will be a great festival.  You will have an auspicious opportunity to see the Lord’s extraordinary and wonderful Vrndavana pastimes.

25        Uddhava: Lord, you know better, why do you uselessly tease me in this way?  Lord Krsna is now wounded by many arrows of grief.  How is it possible for Him to return to Vrndavana?

26        Narada: What is the cause of this arrow of grief?

27        Uddhava: The younger girl… (His voice become choked in the middle of these words, and he is unable to continue speaking).

Note: Of the two sisters: Radha and Candravali, Radha is the younger.

28        Narada: (laughing) If a person who has the power to see cannot see the glittering ring of his finger, thinks it lost and laments for it, then what can we do to help him?

29        Uddhava: (with wonder and bliss) Lord, the blossoming vine of your words agitates the bumble-bee of my mind.  Tell me openly: Is the younger goddess still alive?

30        Narada: Alive? What are you saying?  At this moment She decorates the city of Dvaraka.

31        Uddhava: (his hairs standing in ecstasy) How did She get there?

32        Narada: To his friend, childless Satrajit who, praying for undying wealth and the best child, worshipped him with all his heart, the sun-god gave two gifts: the jewel of the invincible Sankhacuda demon, and the younger girl (Sri Radha), who is now known by the name Satyabhama.

33        The sun god affectionately said to Satrajit: “Following Narada’s direction, give this very beautiful girl in marriage to the most exalted famous husband.  In this way you will become supremely famous in this world.  Worship this syamantaka jewel and it will give you eight bharas of gold every day.”

34        Uddhava: How did the sun-god get this jewel?

35        Narada: When Radha entered the sun-planet, She gave it to him as if it were a handful of flowers.

36        Uddhava: Why did Radha go to the sun-planet?

37        Narada: The sun-god said to his daughter, the Yamuna River: “O daughter, because She can no longer see Lord Krsna, your friend Radha has given up Her body at sunset.  Bring Her to me at once.”  Obeying her father’s orders, the Yamuna brought the grieving Radha to the sun-planet.

38        Uddhava: What is the news of Visakha?

39        Narada: Desiring to establish a relationship with Lord Krsna, the sun-god sent his daughter, Yamaraja’s younger sister, the Yamuna River, to Gokula, where she became known as Visakha.

40        Uddhava: Yamaraja’s mother (Samjna) must have become very affectionate to Visakha’s (her daughter’s) friend Radha.

41        Narada: Yes.  It was by Samjna’s request that her father Visvakarma, the best of architects, constructed Nava Vrndavana at Dvaraka.  She said to him:

42        “O architect that decorates the worlds. so the stream of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s sweetness may flow there, please build in Dvaraka another Vrndavana splendid with bhandira trees, filled with many trees and vines, with the Yamuna nearby, and decorated with the beauty of Govardhana Hill.”

43        Uddhava: Why did Visvakarma’s daughter make that request?

44        Narada: Radha asked her.

45        Uddhava: What did she say?

46        Narada: She said, “Alas! Alas! Sinful, wretched fate violently took Me far from Vrndavana, where I would have satisfied my heart by seeing the places where Krsna,, the crowning garland of the gopas, enjoyed pastimes.”

47        Uddhava: O Radha, fortunately the sun-god whose eyes gaze at all the three worlds, has protected us.

48        O Radha, would Your painful life have continued by building a sturdy bridge of hopes to carry You across the ocean of Vrndavana filled with the deep and eternally increasing waters of Lord Krsna’s pastimes?

49        Then? Then?

50        Narada: Then Sani’s mother Chaya slowly said:

51        “O Radha, O newly blossoming-lotus-faced girl who fills the three worlds with transcendental bliss, do not be unhappy.  Your beloved Lord, who is the object of the saintly devotees meditation, eternally resides in this sun-planet.”

52        Uddhava: Did Visakha not answer?

53        Narada: Why should she not answer?  She laughed and said: “O mother Suvarna, please listen, and I will tell you something.

54        “Once Lord Sri Krsna manifested Himself as Narayana with four victorious hands and a very beautiful form.  When the gopis saw this exalted form, however, their ecstatic feelings abated.  a learned scholar, therefore, cannot understand the gopis’ ecstatic feelings, which are firmly centred upon the original form of Lord Krsna as the son of Nanda Maharaja.  The wonderful feelings of the gopis in ecstatic parama-rasa with Krsna constitute the greatest mystery of spiritual life.”*

55        Uddhava: Did Your lordship say anything to instruct Satrajit?

56        Narada: Yes.  I said to him: A lion will kill Prasena and take away the Syamantaka jewel.  Jambavan, the king of the Bhallukas will then defeat the powerful lion.  Eventually the supremely independent Lord Krsna will take your valuable jewel.  O Satrajit, you are sinful.  You will drown in an ocean of suffering.”

57        Uddhava: Then? Then?

58        Narada: Then Satrajit said: “A person burning in a fire can be saved by the intervention of the fire-god Agni.  In the same way, although I have offended Lord Krsna, I will be saved by taking shelter of Lord Krsna.”

59        Uddhava: What did your lordship say then?

60        Narada: I said to him: “As long as all-powerful Lord Krsna, whose words are like a lion’s roar, and who is crowned supreme monarch by Lord Siva and all the demigods, does not come, O crooked-hearted Satrajit, then carefully keep your long suffering daughter Satyabhama in the palace.”

61        Then he sent his mother to take Radha into the palace’s inner apartments.

62        Uddhava: (blissful) O ocean of mercy, with the nectar-medicine of these words you have completely cured the fever of my anxiety.

63        Narada: Deeply wounded by the javelin of grief, Paurnamasi went to Gokula, where she could not relish hearing this good news.

64        Uddhava: Without her, who will take care of young Radha?

65        Narada: I think there is a girl student of Visvakarma who can do that.

66        Uddhava: Who is that very qualified girl?

67        Narada: She is famous Nava-vrnda, expert in the science of gardening, she makes gardens where the flowers bloom eternally, regardless of season.  She lives in Dvaraka.

68        Uddhava: Does this goddess of the forest know the truth about Radha?

69        Narada: Yes.  “Nava-vrnda” is the perfect name for her.  The sun-god’s wife Samjna was kind to her and told her all about Radha.

70        Uddhava: What did she say?

71        Narada: She said: “The gopis in Vrndavana are all very dear to Krsna, the first bloom of the flower of wonderful pastimes even the goddess of fortune cannot attain.  Radha, who is the best of the gopis, now stays in Dvaraka on the earth planet.  O goddess, (go there) and serve Her, for service to Her is all auspicious.”

72        Uddhava: (with tears) Lord, when these young gopis enter my memory, my thoughts burn with pain.

73        Narada: Don’t be unhappy.  When the demigoddess Kama-devi saw the condition of the gopis in separation from Krsna, she arranged that the demon Naraka would kidnap them all.  The gopis now stay with Kama-devi in the valley of Manigiri Mountain.  They worship her with incense and other articles, and she, pleased with their exalted worship, reassures them with sweet words.

74        Uddhava: (with bliss) Lord! Look! Look! Satrajit’s mother now follows a covered palanquin into the palace!

75        Narada: Come, let us go to the Sudharma assembly house and wait for Lord Krsna.

(They both exit).

(Thus ends the viskambhaka interlude).




Scene 2


1          (Radha, following Satrajit’s mother, enters).

2          Radha: (turning to the sky, She says in Sanskrit) How many girls are born in the many different countries of the earth?  Among them all no one is as hard-hearted as I, for even though I am separated from Krsna, I still remain alive.  I say: Shame on My futile hopes! Shame on My mind and heart!  Shame on My life-breath!

3          (turning to Vrddha) Noble lady, why is this person brought here in the palace?

Note: By the words “this person”, Radha refers to Herself.

4          Vrddha: Granddaughter, it is by the request of Devarsi Narada, who possesses great wealth in austerity.

5          Radha: (aside) I have heard that he (Narada) is the spiritual master of noble Paurnamasi and he is affectionate to us also.  It is by Narada’s advice that the noble sun-god made Satrajit My foster-father.

6          Vrddha: Granddaughter, come here and I will place You in the hand of noble Rukmini-devi.

7          (Accompanied by her entourage, Candravali enters).

8          Candravali: Friend Madhavi, why is noble Krsna, gone so long in his search for the syamantaka jewel?

9          Madhavi: Princess, some other business must have detained Him.

10        Radha: (aside) The sun-god said to Me: “Child, until Lord Krsna ties the syamantaka jewel on Your wrist, the secret of Your previous name (Radha) should be hidden.”

11        Candravali: (looking) Ah! Who is this old lady coming here with a girl like the goddess of unprecedented beauty?

12        Radha: (seeing Candravali, She says to Herself) This queen is like a great flood of charming sweetness!  She is as beautiful as the young girls of Gokula!

13        Vrddha: (approaching) O Queen Rukmini, my son Satrajit offended Lord Krsna in the syamantaka jewel affair, and to make amends he now gives his daughter Satyabhama to Him.  Please be very friendly and affectionate to Her.

14        Radha: (aside) The old lady may talk as she likes, it is only by the sun-god’s order that I have come here.

15        Candravali: Noble lady, I am honoured to have a friend like Her.  You go home.  I will take care of Satyabhama.

16        Vrddha: As the queen speaks, so be it. (exits).

17        Candravali: (whispers) Friend Madhavi, look! Look! The great ocean of Satyabhama’s beauty will flood Lord Krsna.  Even though I am very steady and sober, I am rocking to and fro in the waves of that ocean.

18        Madhavi: O queen, you speak the truth.  This girl has certainly overwhelmed you.

19        Candravali: Stop praising me!  There is no beauty equal to this.

Note: In the previous text the word “vibbhamam” may mean either “overwhelmed”, or “beauty”.  Candravali assumed that Madhavi has intended the second meaning, and had said: “This girl makes you seem all the more beautiful.”

20        (looking again, she says in Sanskrit) Her eyes are peaceful.  Her breathing makes the redness of her flower blossom lips bow down to offer respect.  Her two cheeks kiss the beauty of the conchshell.  The beauty of this girl fills me with wonder.

21        Madhavi: This girl will fall in love with some man, just as Amba, the princess of Kasi did.

Note: Amba wished to marry the brahmacari Bhisma, who rejected her.  She tried with great austerity to gain vengeance by killing him.

22        Candravali: (in Sanskrit) This slender girl acts like one in love with Krsna and separated from Him.  O dear friend, how is it that even Her sufferings enhance the sweetness of Her beauty?

23        Come here.  Let us examine the contents of Her heart.  (approaching Her) O friend Satyabhama, I swear, my heart feels great affection for You.

24        Radha: (aside) She does not speak a lie.  My heart also feels the same affection for her.  (openly) O queen I am honoured.

25        Candravali: Sister, why do You seem so unhappy at heart?

26        Radha: O queen, My father sent Me here very suddenly.  Therefore I feel uncomfortable.

27        Candravali: Don’t be anxious.  I will personally place You in the king’s hand.

28        Radha: (humbly) O queen, if you are actually affectionate to Me, then please don’t ever speak this way again.  (speaking these plaintive words, She bows down).

29        Candravali: Friend, speak.  Do You wish to live here?

30        Radha: O queen, this person is safe only in a place where even the name of a man is not heard. Let Me stay in such a place and keep My purity intact.

31        Candravali: (concealing her happiness) Madhavi, fortunately what we would like to do, she requests.  Go and bring kind-hearted Nava-vrnda here.

32        Madhavi: (aside) This is good advice, the king will never enter Nava-vrndavana.  I will not disclose this secret.  I will faithfully execute the queen’s order, and I will bring Nava-vrnda. (exits).

33        Radha: (aside) How is it that this queen is just like My sister Candravali?

34        (Madhavi enters with Nava-vrnda).

35        Madhavi: O queen, Nava-vrnda has come.

36        Candravali: Nava-vrnda, look.  Here is my friend Satyabhama.

37        Nava-vrnda: (glancing at Radha, she becomes anxious, and says to herself) This is a garment once worn by Lord Krsna!  Why is the queen very solemnly presenting Radha before me?

38        Radha: (aside) Ah! Is this Nava-vrnda? (She approaches)

39        Nava-vrnda: (aside) Alas! alas! Alas! I have rashly given my promise!  Now I am doomed.

40        Radha: (shedding tears, She says to Herself) Ah! Is this that yellow garment?  (Gazing at the garment, She becomes agitated).

41        Nava-vrnda: (aside) As Radha gazes for a long time at Lord Krsna’s splendid golden garment, She anxiously struggles to conceal the ecstatic love awakening in Her heart.

42        Candravali: (with doubt) Nava-vrnda, why did Satyabhama become so agitated simply by seeing this cloth?  Please ask her.

43        Nava-vrnda: O slender-waisted girl, as You stare with wide-open eyes at this splendid golden cloth, why does Your body become covered with upright hairs like blossoming kadamba flowers, and why do Your eyes become filled with tears that seem like broken strands of crystal gems?

44        Radha: (concealing Her actual intention) Nava-vrnda, I see you as My sister.  For this reason I am a little excited.

45        Nava-vrnda: (aside) Candravali’s struggle to hide Radha from Krsna is useless.  The effulgence of the regal Kaustubha jewel does not stay anywhere but on lotus-eyed Krsna’s chest.

46        Candravali: (taking Radha’s hand) Nava-vrnda, this is my sister.  I place Her in your hand.

47        Nava-vrnda: O queen, you are very kind to me.

48        Candravali: Sister Satyabhama, go now with Nava-vrnda to my favourite courtyard garden of flowering vasanti vines.  There the gardener Bakula will tend to Your needs.

49        Radha: My queen, please sometimes remember unfortunate Radha.

50        Candravali: (anxious) Ah! What did You say?

51        Radha: (She anxiously says to Herself) Alas! Alas! a grave blunder! (openly) O queen, I said: “Please remember this unfortunate worshipper of you.”

Note: The word “radha” also means “worshipper”.

52        Nava-vrnda: (Walking with Radha, she says to herself:) This charming slender girl will now live in Lord Krsna’s palace.  Soon She will be in His hands.  Who tells the bumblebee of a newly blossoming lotus flower filled with the sweet fragrance of honey?

(She exits with Radha)

Note: No one needs to inform a bumblebee of the presence of a flower filled with honey, the bee will become attracted to it and find it of its own accord.  Even thought Candravali tries to conceal Radha from Lord Krsna, she will not succeed.

53        Madhavi: My queen, why should we worry? Krsna’s promise will be remembered.

54        Candravali: Friend, what chaste wife can be callous and unloving to her husband?

55        A voice from behind the scenes: Decorate the sides of the path with plantain leaves.  Sprinkle scented water in the courtyards.  Have the beautiful women create a charming atmosphere by showering flowers.  Lord Krsna, the moon of the Vrsni dynasty, the joy of the eyes of the world, has now come.

56        Madhavi: O queen, by good fortune Lord Krsna, the king of Dvaraka, has come.  Go to your dressing room (and prepare to greet Him).  (They both exit).

57        (Followed by Madhumangala, Krsna enters).

58        Krsna: (unhappy) Radha is splendid yellow kunkuma anointing My body.  She is a fragrant garland of campaka flowers draped around My neck.  She is golden mascara decorating My eyes.  If I must remain separated from Her, I say: To hell with My life!  Now that I am separated from Her, My nights break (and I lie awake thinking of Her).

59        Madhumangala: (seeing the jewel in Krsna’s hand) Dear friend, the syamantaka jewel was formerly the ornament around Radha’s neck.  How did the sun-god get it?

60        Krsna: My friend, following Garga Muni’s instructions, Radha used to daily offer water to the sun-god.  She must have given the syamantaka jewel, filled with waves of effulgence, to him.

61        Madhumangala: Look! Look! The jewel is unusually bright!

62        Krsna: Friend, this jewel is a person alive with intense transcendental bliss.  It is not ordinary or material.  (He places the syamantaka jewel on His chest, shed tears, and says:)

63        This jewel is very fortunate.  When I madly tugged at Radha’s bodice, and She tried to cover (Her breasts) in the thick forest-darkness, this jewel, understanding My wishes, smiled and, sending out waves of light, embarrassed Radha.

64        Madhumangala: Dear friend, I heard that You got this great jewel from Jambavan.

65        Krsna: Yes, it is true.

66        Madhumangala: How did You get it?

67        Krsna: Seeing Me as an enemy that entered his cave, and afraid that I would take the syamantaka jewel from him, the bhalluka-wrestler Jambavan began to fight with Me.

68        Madhumangala: Then? Then?

69        Krsna: After a long time wise Jambavan understood who I am.  He stopped the fierce battle and very happily said: :You must remember how We built a bridge across the terrible ocean, and how We playfully tossed about the ten heads of the demon Ravana.  You cannot forget this pastimes.  Your coming here to take away this jewel is merely a trick to bring some happiness to Your old servant.

70        Madhumangala: Then? Then?

71        Krsna: Seating Me on a jewelled throne in a golden palace, Jambavan, the king of the bhallukas, went to this treasury to get the jewel.  A moment later an elderly lady approached Me and said: “Son, if You forcibly take the syamantaka jewel, the Jambavan’s daughter will be so aggrieved that she will at once give up her life, and if Jambavan does not allow You, his worshipable Lord, to take the jewel, then he will break His promise to You, and there will be ill-feeling between You both.  In this way Jambavan is now sinking into the mud of a great dilemma.  If You do not extend Your hand to rescue him, I do not see how he can find a solution.”  Then I said to her, “O elderly one, Jambavan thirsts after the great quantity of gold this jewel produces.  (That is the real reason).  Why would his daughter want to give up her life (over this jewel)?”  The nurse then said: “No, my son, No!…

72        :When this lotus-eyed girl saw the king of the bhallukas had brought this jewel, whose brilliance rivalled the light of the sun, she became completely overwhelmed.  She lost all her peaceful composure.”

73        “Even now the girl presses the syamantaka jewel to her large breasts, smells it, placing it against her nose, sighs and places it to her tear-filled eyes, and, her limbs trembling, embraces it as if it were her very dear friend.”

74        Madhumangala: Then? Then?

75        Krsna: My mind then became overwhelmed with wonder and curiosity and I said to her, :Mother, why is this girl so attached to the jewel?”  The elderly nurse replied, “Son, who knows?…

76        “I asked her why she was so attached to the jewel.  She replied by knitting her eyebrows, repeatedly sighing, bursting into tears, and covering her moonlike face with the edge of her sari.”

77        Then I asked her, “Mother, how does this girl pass her days?”  The nurse then replied: “The beautiful girl has fashioned a very splendid pair of Deities named Radhika and Madhava.  Day after day she speaks to these Deities, describing the sweetness of the love They bear for each other, and happily convincing Them to meet as lovers.  She spends her days speaking like this and shedding a flood of tears.

78        As I heard this description My heart became filled with wonder, and I sweetly said to her, “Mother, what are these Deities like? I am very eager to see them.”  The elderly nurse then said, “Son, of all handsome couples who are like crowns decorating the universe, this couple is the most wonderful…

79        “The male Deity looks like You.  The sight of You makes that smiling male Deity immediately enter the pathway of my memory.  I do not know at what sacred pilgrimage place that fortunate girl of that female Deity resides.  Having seen that Deity, its beautiful form always stay in my memory.”

80        Madhumangala: Then? Then?

81        Then she entered the palace and excited Jambavati’s heart by saying: “Child, of your two Deities the dark-complexioned man is very playful .  He has stepped out of His Deity form and, accepting the form of a moving human being, is now sitting on a throne.  It is very wonderful.  You should see Him.”

82        When she heard this, Jambavati placed the jewelled Radha-Deity in the nurse’s hand and at once hid behind a tree, stealthily gazing at Me with great eagerness.  Then, her complexion turned pale.  Losing all shyness, and breaking into tears, that doe-eyed girl timidly fell before My feet.  (He becomes overwhelmed).

83        Madhumangala: (at once extends his hand) Dear friend, take my hand.

84        Krsna: (in a faltering voice)

Then I could understand that this girl (Jambavati) under the tree is actually Lalita, the Deity is Sri Radha, and the syamantaka jewel is Sankhacuda’s crown-jewel.  These facts made Me agitated with great  wonder.

85        Madhumangala: O! O dear friend! This is like a man who begs for some sour cereal and gets a priceless mountain instead.  (raising his voice) Oh! My heart is trembling with happiness.  Please hold me up.

86        Krsna: Friend, calm down for a moment and listen.

87        Madhumangala: (composes himself) Then what happened?  What happened then?

88        Krsna: Even though I tried to console her with many sweet words, beautiful-necked Jambavati cried with a wide-open throat and said to Me, “When will I again serve Her?  When, Her hair decorated with fragrant jasmine flowers, and Her eyes closed in the happiness of sleep as She embraces You in the forest-cottage courtyard scented with the lotus flowers of the Yamuna, will I again fan Her with a fan of newly-sprouted leaves?”

89        At that moment I became overwhelmed with intense longings.  My chest became streaked with tears and after a long silence I said.  “O Lalita, I remember how one time in Her presence I said to you, ‘Just now I carefully closed My eyes, pretending to be sound asleep, and just now She approached Me and repeatedly kissed My bimba-fruit lips.” When She heard me say these words to you She becomes overwhelmed with embarrassment. I remember how sweetly knitted eyebrows decorated Her face at that moment.”

90        Madhumangala: Then? Then?

91        Krsna: When Jambavan become aware of all that happened, he happily approach Me and said, “Because I am the close friend of Sugriva, Sugriva’s friend the sun-god is always very kind to me.  Once, on his order, I visited a certain mountain and there I saw this girl descending through the air from the top of that mountain.”

92        Then Jambavan, the crowning garland of the bhallukas, placed both the syamantaka jewel, and his daughter Jambavati decorated with golden garments, into My hands.  Afraid of breaking the agreement I made with the king of Vidarbha, I hid beautiful Jambavati in a cave of Mount Raivata.  Please carefully conceal the jewel of this great secret in the treasury of your heart.  Do not let this secret ever approach even the pathway of anyone’s guessing.

93        Madhumangala: I will not tell anyone.

94        Krsna: (agitated) As I was busy pleasing My friends, the fire of separation from Radha remained subdued and peaceful, but now that I see Lalita’s intense love for Her, that fire has suddenly become a great conflagration.

95        (He feels the pain of separation) Draw a flaming red eye in kunkuma on My forehead.  Make this necklace of pearls look like the king of serpents draped across My chest.  Except for My neck, make My entire body white by dusting it with camphor powder.  In this way Cupid will think I am Lord Siva.  Then he will be afraid and he will no longer attack Me in this way.

96        Madhumangala: His suffering is great.  I do not see any remedy to counteract it.

97        Krsna: Aside from again seeing the forest of Vrndavana, which repeatedly witnessed the pastimes I enjoyed with My beloved, there is no remedy.  Give this syamantaka jewel to Satrajit.  I will now go inside this palace.  (They both exit.  Everyone exits).



Act Seven Nava-Vrndavana-sangamah

(Meeting in New Vrndavana)


1          (Attended by Bakula, Radha enters)

Radha: Even the fragrance of Krsna is now far away from Me.  Each moment has become for Me a great eon of suffering.  The wicked burning ghee of hope has set My life-breath on fire.  Where can I find relief?

2          Bakula: O Satyabhama, even though Nava-vrnda kindly told me Your secret, still there is something I would like to ask You.

3          Radha: Ask as you like.

4          Bakula: Our king is the crest jewel of all handsome men.  He is the monarch who controls all the three worlds.  If You but say the word then, even if by doing it I become the enemy of queen Rukmini, I will tell Him about You.

5          Radha: (In Sanskrit) The king of Dvaraka may rule the three worlds, and He may also be extremely handsome.  Still, what is He to Us?  Please stop.  Why do you deliberately try to ignite the fire of My curse on you?  Even with the strength of millions of clear logical arguments you will not give Me the power to pull Myself from the lotus feet of the prince of Vraja.

6          Bakula: Friend, You should ask Nava-vrnda what is the right thing to do.

7          Radha: Where did Nava-vrnda go?

8          Bakula: The queen called her to the inner rooms of the palace.

9          Radha: Alas! Wicked destiny has placed Me under this person’s control.

10        (enters)

Nava-vrnda: Friend Satyabhama, don’t lament.  Look! Look! This madhavi vine first falls at the feet of this badari bush and then, resting on that bush climbs to embrace her lover, the mango tree.  A chaste woman whose heart is determined to meet the lord of her life does not find it painful to be dependent on someone else in the course of attaining her goal.

11        Radha: What are these ornaments in your hand?

12        Nava-vrnda: Indra’s wife Saci gave these celestial flower garlands, necklaces, silken garments and other gifts to our queen Rukmini, and Rukmini is now dividing them among her friends.  She will also give a portion to You.

13        Radha: What is the use of these ornaments?  They are only fuel to feed the fire of My suffering.

14        Nava-vrnda: Friend, you may use them to worship the sun-god.

15        Radha: The sun-god told Me: “Child, enter the new Vrndavana created in the midst of Dvaraka City on the ocean’s shore and enjoy pastimes with the Lord of Your life.”

16        Nava-vrnda: O girl with beautiful eyes, the words of the great demigods never go in vain.

17        Radha: (in Sanskrit) Friend, Krsna now rules the city of Mathura, and I am a prisoner in the emperor’s capitol.  It is not possible to meet My beloved.

18        Nava-vrnda: Why lament?  The movements of time are very difficult to understand.  Look! Now that autumn has begun khanjana birds have suddenly appeared on the shores of the lakes and streams.  They are now playing there.

Note: Nava-vrnda hints that when the proper time comes Radha will meet Her beloved.

19        Radha: As a khanjana bird does not like to stay where there is no lake or stream, so a noble person does not like to stay in a prison, where he is not free.

20        Nava-vrnda: (laughing) O bewildered girl, why do You think the king of Vraja has lost His freedom?

21        Radha: (angry) O pet monkey in the emperor’s garden, stop! Stop!

22        Nava-vrnda: (laughing) O simple-hard-hearted girl, know that the emperor (of Dvaraka) is the king of Vraja.

23        Radha: (excited) Is this the truth?

24        Nava-vrnda: (aside) Alas! How I have slipped and forgotten my vow? (openly) He is not only addressed as the emperor, they also call Him Ramacandra and Upendra.  They even call Him King of Vraja.

25        Bakula: For this reason I say: Give up Your attachment for this other man and just give all Your energy to please the emperor.

26        Radha: (in Sanskrit) Krsna wears a peacock feather crown in His hair and a large gunja necklace around His neck.  The flute placed to His mouth bring us great happiness.  My heart will not accept any man except Krsna, the most handsome man in the universe.

27        Bakula: Friend, You are a fool.  That is why You so deeply love this hard-hearted man.

28        Radha: (agitated in Sanskrit) Fool, don’t talk! Friend, even though He be harsh and neglect Me for thousands of years, never, even after countless births, will My heart become bewildered and give up the loving service of My most beloved Krsna.

29        Nava-vrnda: Bakula, stop! She is faithful to Her lover.

30        Radha: (in Sanskrit) Now that Krsna, the master of Gokula, is no longer here, these vines where I so long stayed, these forests groves where I walked, and these shores of the Yamuna where in the past I spent so much time wandering, have all combined to torture Me.

31        Nava-vrnda: Bakula, see how much She suffers.  Please go and make for Her a bed of lotus petals under the kadamba tree by the Yamuna’s shore.

32        Bakula: As my dear friend says.  (She exits).

33        Radha: (in Sanskrit) I am now broken by the pain of separation from My friends in Vraja, who are all more dear to Me than My own life.  I believed the words of the sun-god, and they gave Me hope.  What sufferings did these vain hopes not being Me?

34        Nava-vrnda: Where is Your dear friend Visakha?

35        Radha: After asking permission from her father, beautiful Visakha came to this earth.  Now it is only Lalita who torments Me.  (She cries).

36        Nava-vrnda: Where did You hear of Lalita’s fate?

37        Radha: As I was ascending to the heavenly planets I heard it from the demigods.

38        Nava-vrnda: Radha, last night as You were sleeping You spoke to Lalita in a dream.

39        Radha: What did I say.

40        Nava-vrnda: You said, O Lalita, the vine of desires in Akrura’s heart has now borne it’s fruit.  Alas! Alas! Look! Krsna has climbed the chariot.”  O slender girl, when I heard You say these pathetic words in Your sleep I thought the rain falling outside was disguised tears of the weeping goddess of night.

41        Radha: (unhappy, in Sanskrit) After My long struggle last night Krsna in a dream entered the courtyard of My eyes.  Alas! How did cruel Akrura so quickly come there on his chariot?

42        (enters)

Bakula: Ah! I have made the bed.  Come. (The three girls walk).

43        Nava-vrnda: (frightened) Don’t go there.  Turn back this moment.  Dear friend, there is an asoka tree in front of You.  O lotus faced girl, if Your foot touches it, this tree will at once burst into flower, and this place will at once be filled with villain bumblebees buzzing as Indra’s thunderbolt.

44        Radha: (She turns back in embarrassment and says in Sanskrit) O friend without the auspicious sight of Lord Krsna, I have no love for this unfortunate, wretched life.  Without Him I will not continue to remain alive.  If these cruel chains of hope did not bind Me, I would happily give up billions of such lives.

45        Bakula: This is the bed.

46        Radha: (lies down on the bed and says to Herself) It is very difficult for Me to remain alive in this Vrndavana.  I must find some remedy.  (openly) Nava-vrnda, because I cannot perform My regular activities I have become very unhappy.

47        Nava-vrnda: Friend, what regular activities.

48        Radha: (in Sanskrit) O charming girl, By Narada’s order, at My father’s house We used to worship a Deity with a handsome face decorated with a flute it played.  It has crooked restless eyes, a peacock feather on its head, and a form bent in three places, in the full bloom of youth, and with a splendour dark as a monsoon cloud.

49        Nava-vrnda: (aside) I can understand She yearns to see Krsna’s form.  I will show Her the sapphire Krsna-Deity Indra’s sculptor Visvakarma made to decorate the land of Vrndavana.  (openly) Friend, now I will go (to bring) Your worshipable Deity and show Him to You.  (She exits).

50        Radha: (looking ahead, She says in Sanskrit) These new karnikara flowers by the Yamuna’s shore, the same kind of flowers peacock-feather-crowned Krsna placed in My hair when He left the arena of the rasa dance with Me, now make Me burn with pain.

51        (enters)

Nava-vrnda: Friend, come at once and see the Deity.

52        Radha: Nava-vrnda, bring an offering for the Deity.

53        Nava-vrnda: Bakula, from the cottage of vasanti vines please bring the celestial garland and cloth the queen gave us.  (Bakula exits).

54        Nava-vrnda: (smiles) Friend Radha, others may worship Krsna by offering Him flowers and fragrant incense and by reciting prayers and bowing down before Him, but You, O girl whose sweet voice is like the cooing of the cuckoos, and the girls of Gokula like You, worship Him with crooked sidelong glances, embraces, and many kinds of amorous pastimes.

55        (walking) Look! Your worshipable Deity eagerly stands before You.

56        Radha: (filled with intense longing, She gazes at the Deity from a distance, and then says in Sanskrit) Ah! Now the splendid very dark effulgence of this person, a moon that is the friend of the lotus gopis, shines in My presence.  Now all the pain I suffered to remain alive in this body has become worthwhile.

57        (She walks up to the altar and says in a choked up voice) O moon-faced one, My dear friend has again come to Me.  My desire to see Him scorched My body and wounded My heart with a monsoon of pain.  My life-breath yearns to meet Him in Vrndavana and enjoy pastimes with Him in a cottage by the Yamuna’s shore.

58        (Filled with love, She speaks to Krsna) Before You were so tender and affectionate and I thought You were My property.  Now You are so harsh I dare not be so proud to think I belong to You.

59        Nava-vrnda: (aside) Ah! These are waves of the ocean of love.

60        Radha: (aside to Nava-vrnda in Sanskrit) Charming, artistic jokes He does not speak.  With the two pillars of His arms He does not bind Me in an embrace.  Instead, with bent eyebrows and the slight trace of a playful smile, this crest jewel of all villains simply licks Me with His crooked glance.

61        Nava-vrnda: This is the inscrutable joke of the best of mischievous lovers.  Rebuke Him with the corner of Your eye and mock Him with many crooked words.

62        Radha: (Staring at Him with crooked eyes, She says in Sanskrit) For so long You have the company of this Kaustubha jewel, the friend of Indra’s thunderbolt.  That is why this hardness has entered Your heart.  This person is swallowed up by a host of sufferings.  You have the power to give Her relief.  Why do You cheat Her instead?

63        (aside to Nava-vrnda) Look! This is wrong! This is wrong! Even though Krsna, who wears a garland of forest flowers, is as soft and gentle as a blue lotus flower, He still kisses this harsh, hard flute.  I will take it from Him.

64        Nava-vrnda: (aside) It will not be good for Her to pull away the flute.  With a trick I will teach Her the truth.  (with a playful smile she openly says) O beautiful bewildered girl, why do You uselessly say He is soft as a blue lotus flower?  You should say that He is hard as sapphire.  O girl with a lotus face, if You do not believe my words, then just press Your breast against His broad chest.

65        Radha: (She places a hand on the chest and at once becomes upset) What? It is true.  This is a Deity made of sapphire.  (reflects) Alas! Alas! Overwhelmed by intense longing I forgot everything.  I thought this statue before me was Krsna.

66        (enters)

Bakula: Take, take this garland, cloth and fragrant ointment.

67        (Radha takes them and shows a desire to decorate the Deity with them).

68        Nava-vrnda: When You approach Your lover You become very charming and beautiful.  Friend, (You are like) the spring season, which cannot fully display its glory without the company of the poetic cuckoo bird.

69        (enters)

Madhavi: Princess Rukmini sent me to learn how Satyabhama is doing.  This is New Vrndavana forest before me.  Let me enter it.  (She walks) Ah! The Lord must have entered this Vrndavana.  I can see His footprints, marked with conch, disc and other symbols.  I will finish the matter at hand and then bring princess Rukmini to this place.

70        (Trembling and shedding tears, Radha decorates the Deity of Lord Krsna).

71        Madhavi: I see a garland of blue lotus flowers that fell from the Deity.  (She picks it up with Her hand.  Agitated, She loudly calls) Friend Bakula, where are you?

72        Nava-vrnda: (anxious) Satyabhama, Madhavi is nearby.  Run from this place at once.

73        Radha: My thirst to see Him is not satisfied.  Let’s quickly return.

74        (The three girls exit).

75        Madhavi: (seeing Her) Why is Satyabhama here?  (approaching) Friend, I have come here to pick jasmine flowers.

76        Radha: (smelling the fragrance, She says to Herself) From where has this sweet fragrance suddenly come?  It makes My heart tremble.

77        (Seeing the garland in Madhavi’s hand, Radha says to Herself) This is the glorious sweet fragrance of the blue lotus garland worn by Krsna, the sun who is the friend of the lotus flower gopis.  What other fragrance can violently agitate My heart and senses in this way?

78        Madhavi: (struck with wonder, she says in Sanskrit) As You smell the sweet fragrance of this garland of blue lotus flowers, why do You suddenly tremble?  Why do the hairs on Your body stand up?  Why are You overwhelmed?

79        Radha: (aside) I must conceal the truth.  (openly) Madhavi, when I saw the garland of blue lotuses I remembered the many snakes I saw today in Kaliya lake and for a moment I was overcome with fear.

80        Nava-vrnda: (aside) That is a very good answer.

81        Radha: (aside) The garland must have been offered to this Deity.

82        Madhavi: Friend Satyabhama, now I will go to the jasmine-pavilion and pick flowers.

83        Everyone: This way.  This way, dear friend.  (They exit).

84        (Followed by Madhumangala, Krsna enters).

85        Krsna: (anxious) Shining as a suryakanta stone, this Kaustubha jewel on My chest tortures My heart with rising flames of light.  Within a moment My garland of forest flowers has wilted and My sandalwood ointment dried and turned to dust.

86        (Glancing to the left) Dear friend, how far is Vrndavana forest?

87        Madhumangala: (in Sanskrit) She has the splendour of many beautiful campaka flowers.  Her voice is filled with the sweet sounds of many jubilant cuckoos.  Within Her are the graceful motions of many swans.  She is beautiful with many black deer.  Look at Her! (He is interrupted in the middle of his words).

Note: The word “krsnasaradhika” was intended by Madhumangala to mean “filled (adhika) with black deer “(krsnasara)”.  Krsna, however, interpreted the words to be “krsna sa radhika” which mean “O Krsna (krsna) this is (sa) Radhika (radhika)”.  What Madhumangala intended to be a description of Vrndavana forest, Krsna interpreted to be a description of Radha.  Krsna interrupted Madhumangala before he could finish.

88        Krsna: (bewildered and extremely eager) Friend, where is She?  Where is She?

89        Madhumangala: (pointing with his finger) Here is Your beloved.

90        Krsna: (bewildered) Friend, I don’t see Her.  At once show Her to Me!  Where is My Radhika?

91        Madhumangala: Krsna, I was describing Vrndavana forest.

92        Krsna: (He reflects for a moment and then sighs) Why is it that simply by hearing the syllables of Her name I become overwhelmed with the desire to find Her?

93        Golden complexioned Radha used to beautifully decorate all My limbs with these fragrant jasmine flowers.  Look! Now these same jasmine flowers have become transformed into the sharp arrows of cupid, and the buzzing bees within these flowers have changed into dangerous wrestlers.  Now both these arrows and wrestlers are violently attacking Me.

94        (walking) Covered by many blossoming vines and filled with newly budding twigs, these trees on the Yamuna’s shore expertly imitate the beauty of Radha’s earrings.

95        Madhumangala: (struck with wonder) Friend, this spring season is now in its youth.  Why does it not show the signs of youth?

96        Krsna: Friend, you speak the truth.  The cuckoos and bees have taken a vow of silence, the new sprouts on the mango trees have suddenly stopped, and the blossoming buds on the asoka trees have also stopped.  Has the goddess of spring fallen asleep on the Yamuna’s shore?

97        Madhumangala: Look! Here is a bed of lotus flowers made by a girl separated from her lover.

98        Krsna: Perhaps to save this girl’s life one of her friends made the goddess of spring unconscious.

99        (looking, He becomes filled with anguish) Fashioned with many lotus flowers and sprinkled with the nearby Yamuna’s gentle waves, this empty bed sets My limbs on fire.  It tortures My heart and makes My thoughts tremble.

100     Madhumangala: Now that You have glorified the bed You should praise the forest-cottage ahead of us.

101     Krsna: (He walks.  He eagerly gazes and becomes filled with wonder) Is this a graceful Deity of Me decorated with forest flowers?  (He goes close to the Deity).  This must be the art of Visvakarma, the master of all sculptors.

102     Madhumangala: (eager) Oh! Oh! After a long time I have found my dear friend.  You are a great king.  You are not a brahmana boy as I.  (inspecting Dear friend, look! Some girl has very lovingly worshipped this Deity.

103     Krsna: Friend, your perception is good.  This carelessly placed flower garland proclaims that this girl was overwhelmed with emotion.  This broken sandalwood paste declares that She was crying a monsoon of tears.  This crooked tilaka marking states that Her hand was trembling.  The way this slender girl worshipped the Deity speaks of Her great love.

104     A voice from behind the scenes: This way, dear friend.  This way.

105     Krsna: Friend, now the girls who worshipped this Deity are returning.  Take the Deity into the forest.  I will assume the same charming decorations the Deity had.  I will stand on the altar as it did, and I will see the great love and faith these girls whose beautiful lips are red as bimba fruits.  (They both act accordingly).

106     (Accompanied by two gopi-friends, Radha enters).

107     Radha: (she looks ahead and the hairs of Her body stand erect) Ah! The Deity is so sweetly handsome.  It creates the same wonderful impression of directly seeing Krsna.

108     Bakula: (aside to Nava-vrnda) Nava-vrnda, look at how handsome the Deity is.

109     Nava-vrnda: (smiling) Bewildered girl, Satyabhama’s madness of love has also entered you.  You also think that this Deity is actually Krsna.

110     Krsna: (struck with wonder and happiness) Ah! Who is this kalpa-lata vine that enchants My heart?

111     (with great desire) Her teeth very beautiful , curling locks of black hair dancing at the corners of Her eyes, and the beauty of Her lotus face eloquently proclaiming the torment in Her heart, a very beautiful girl has entered the pathway of My eyes.

112     (looks again and becomes struck with wonder) Ah! Ah! Is this Radha, who is more dear to Me than My own life?  (Struggling to check a flood of tears, He reflects).

113     This girl must be an illusory Radha the celestial sculptor Visvakarma made to bring me some happiness in this beautiful Vrndavana.  How is it possible for Radha to pass the fortifications of Dvaraka City and then enter the inner rooms of My palace?

114     Radha: (gazing as Krsna’s moonlike face) Ah! Ah! I am filled with such a strong desire to meet Krsna.  I am so bewildered I think this statue of Krsna is Krsna Himself.  (Crying a stream of tears, She folds Her hands and says) O reflection of Krsna, is the real lotus-eyed Krsna well and happy now?

115     Krsna: (jubilant) O illusion of Radha created by magical spells, Krsna is indeed very happy at this moment.  He is happy because, Your features exactly resembling the extraordinary features of Radha, and You are now asking about His welfare.

116     Radha: (struck with wonder) Well done, Nava-vrnda! Well done! Well done! This statue is so expertly crafted it is even able to speak sweet words.

117     Krsna: Ah! This magical mirage of Radha is very wonderful.  Radha is clearly reflected in this very place.

118     Radha: (jubilant and struck with wonder) The sweet fragrance of this statue delights My nose.  The splendid colour of this statue, dark as a monsoon cloud, attracts My eyes.  The charming words spoken by this statue make My ears tremble with happiness.  Ah! This statue is exactly like Krsna Himself!

119     (in a plaintive voice) O statue of Krsna, this Radha begs You with millions of sweet words: Please become a living, moving person and give some happiness to the pain-filled eyes of this poor girl.

120     Krsna: O sculptor I have become very fortunate.  (He cries a stream of tears).

121     Nava-vrnda: Friend, with the edge of Your sari You should wipe away the tears from the lotus face of Your beloved.

122     (Radha shyly does that).

123     Nava-vrnda: (aside) This statue of Krsna feels intense happiness by the touch of Radha’s body.  The statue’s eyes are filled with tears, and it now leans against the kadamba tree behind it.  How are these things possible?

124     Radha: Oh! Oh! The statue has come to life.  (She faints).

125     (A tumultuous sound comes from behind the scenes).

126     Bakula: (agitated) Nava-vrnda, why are the peacocks fleeing and crying in fear?

127     Nava-vrnda: Rukmini must have come to Vrndavana with her friends, who wear tinkling bells on their ankles.  Thinking the tinkling sounds are warblings of the most graceful swans, the peacocks are now fleeing in fear and embarrassment.  Rukmini is coming.  You must quickly take Satyabhama away from this place!

128     Bakula: You speak well.  (She takes up the fainted Radha and exits).

129     Madhumangala: (emerging from the forest) Wonderful! Wonderful! O dear friend, in truth You have become a motionless statue.

130     Krsna: (looks ahead) Alas! Alas Where has the magical statue created by Visvakarma gone?  (He is filled with wonder).  Nava-vrnda, can you bring back this magical statue that filled the universe with wonder?

131     Nava-vrnda: Why not?

132     Krsna: (eagerly) O friend, bring the statue at once!

133     Nava-vrnda: My Lord, Queen Rukmini is approaching.  I am afraid of her.  I will flee from her as the cakravaki bird flees moonlight.

134     (Accompanied by her friends, Candravali enters).

135     Candravali: O Madhavi, the fire of grief for my lost sister Radha has not become extinguished even today.  It still burns.

136     Madhavi: Princess, it is Your nature to be very affectionate to others.  How will you be able to extinguish this fire of love?

137     Candravali: Friend, my husband spent all of last night calling out “O Radha! O Radha!” in His sleep.

138     Madhavi: His heart must be upset by something He saw in last night’s dream.  He must have entered Vrndavana forest to cheer up His unhappy heart.

139     Candravali: You speak the truth.

140     Madhavi: O princess, look! Your husband has come to this forest-grove.

141     Candravali: (gazing with crooked eyes) I can see that He is very happy in this Vrndavana forest.  I think He must have tasted some sweet nectar He did not know before.

142     Madhavi: (looking) Princess, He must have met charming Satyabhama.

143     Candravali: O friend, it is true! It is true! On His body is the same celestial cloth I gave to Satyabhama.  I will approach Him and learn the truth.  (She approaches). All glories, all glories to my husband!

144     Krsna: (concealing His real feelings).  Beloved! How fortunate that you have come to Vrndavana just at this time!

145     Candravali: (gazing at Krsna, she become struck with wonder.  She whispers to Madhavi) Now that He is decorated with these forest-ornaments, Krsna shows great waves of sweetness never seen in this world.  Still, bitten by the snake of jealous anger, my heart cannot become happy, even by gazing at the sweetness of Krsna.

146     (smiling) Lord, You are very fortunate.  Now You are trembling with happiness by enjoying a great festival of association with Your new lover.

147     Krsna: (laughing) Beloved, say “old lover”.

148     Candravali: (suspicious) Who is this “old lover”.

149     Krsna: Beloved, please don’t be suspicious.  These vines of Vrndavana forest are my “old lover”.  It is nothing more.

150     Madhavi: Your husband speaks the truth.  The desire vine gave Him this flower garland.

151     Krsna: Madhavi, don’t unnecessarily mark pure-hearted Candravali with the black spot of these suspicions.  This garland was made by Madhumangala’s artistic skill.

152     Candravali: (with a meaningful smile) O noble Madhumangala, is this red garment also the product of your artistic skill?

153     Krsna: (aside) My queen must have seen this garment before.  (openly) My queen, the goddess of this forest gave this cloth to Me.

154     Madhavi: Lord, please give Your permission so the queen may return home.

155     Krsna: My queen, don’t believe Madhavi’s lies.

156     Candravali: O Madhavi, Sarasvati, the goddess of truth has come on my side.

Note: This is a reference to previous speech, where the ambiguous word “madhaviyam” may mean either “of Madhavi”, or “of Madhava (Krsna)”.  If the second meaning is accepted, then Krsna may be understood to have said “My queen, don’t believe Krsna’s lies.”  In the present statement Candravali claims that the goddess of truth forced Krsna to admit He was lying.

157     Krsna: (aside) Even with My own words My queen attacks Me.

158     Candravali: Krsna! (She stops in the middle of her words and then continues in a much more timid fashion).  O noble husband.

Note: Candravali is worried that she is becoming too bold.

159     Krsna: (with a blissful smile) Beloved, you have already given Me a flood of sweet nectar to drink.  What is the use of giving Me this well-water of “O noble husband?”

Note: Krsna prefers Candravali’s angry words, which He calls a flood of nectar, to her sweet politeness, which He calls well-water.

160     Candravali: I am not such a fool that Your blissful pastimes will make me unhappy.

161     Krsna: I burn with pain because the harsh sunlight troubles your body.  O queen, please bring Me to the shade of a sandal tree and make Me cool again.

162     Madhavi: My Lord, this princess has a very hard heart.  She can easily bear any great heat or any great suffering.  Right before Your own eyes she thought the blazing sacrificial fire in the temple of Candrabhaga was a pool of water for water pastimes.

163     Krsna: (aside) Well done! Madhavi! Well done! Now you have shown your love for her.  Now you have acted as a true friend.

164     Candravali: O noble husband, now You may enjoy pastimes with this lover so dear to Your heart.  I am going into the palace.  (Accompanied by her friend, she exits).

165     Krsna: Friend, this is a great calamity.  My queen is angry.

166     Madhumangala: Don’t talk like that.  I did not see that the queen was angry at all.

167     Krsna: Friend, a thoughtful girl will hide her anger.

168     The sweet moonlight of her smile is not eclipsed and the sweetness of her words has not turn bitter.  Still, the warm sighs visible on the bodice that covers her raised breasts proclaim the anger hidden in her heart.

169     Now my wish is to please her and make her happy.  (They both exit).

(everyone exits).



Act Eight Nava-Vrndavana-viharah

(Pastimes in New Vrndavana)


1          (Accompanied by Nava-vrnda, Visvakarma enters).

2          Visvakarma: Lord Krsna’s palace, where the leaders of the demigods, eager to enter, beg the doorkeeper with respectfully folded hands, and where the doorkeeper has them wait at the doorstep, and at the right moment allows Brahma and Siva to enter, enchants my heart.

3          (Glancing at his side) Child, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna was bewildered into thinking that Satyabhama was a statue, and Satyabhama was Herself bewildered into thinking Krsna was a statue.  Their bewilderment was My work.  (smiles) Then again, They were not bewildered.  They were only overwhelmed by the nectar of Their love-in-separation.

4          Nava-vrnda: When the royal counsellor Uddhava expertly informed Them about the secret of Their actual identities, both Radha and Krsna became overwhelmed with the desire to enjoy pastimes together.  Yearning to meet with Radha, Krsna, whose eyes are like two red lotus flowers, approached Queen Rukmini in the inner rooms of the palace, and after doing many things to satisfy and please her, said: “Goddess, in all the three worlds, what would you like?  Beloved, please command Me.  With great respect I will do everything to please you.  In this way give Me the sweetness of your mercy.”

5          Visvakarma: Then? Then?

6          Nava-vrnda: Then, understanding the desire of the queen’s heart, Madhavi said: “My Lord, what wonderful thing in the entire world is not already present in Your palace?  Still, one day, from the beak of a swan flying in the sky a very wonderful lotus flower fell here.  Princess Rukmini wishes many of these lotuses so she may string a great garland of them.”

7          Visvakarma: Yes, my child.  I know.  I told Him to collect the lotus flowers named Sura-saugandhika.  Accepting this advice from my mouth, lotus-eyed Krsna has set out for the Khandava forest.

8          Nava-vrnda: Lord Krsna then collected these lotus flowers, and placed them in the hands of Madhumangala, who gave them to Madhavi.  Now, on the pretext of some other business, Krsna has entered the palace to beg a favour from His queen.

9          Visvakarma:  Where were you going just now?

10        Nava-vrnda: To see you.

11        Visvakarma: Why?

12        Nava-vrnda: Aware of the great fame of your wonderful artistic craftsmanship, Queen Rukmini asked you to create many very beautiful and pleasing garments and ornaments so wonderful even in the city of the king of the demigods no one has seen the like of them before.  Has the noble gentleman completed them yet?

13        Visvakarma: Not only for Queen Rukmini, but I also made them for Satyabhama.

14        Nava-vrnda: Noble sir, Queen Rukmini will be upset.

15        Visvakarma: Daughter, don’t worry.  I said to Queen Rukmini: “O goddess, because Satyabhama is the sun-god’s daughter, She is also my granddaughter.  Therefore I must make ornaments for Her also.”  I will give you the two boxes of ornaments.

(They both exit)

(Thus ends the viskambhaka interlude)

16        (Krsna enters).

Krsna: Because of the pain of separation from My beloved Radha, My eyes bathe My chest in tears, moistening the fragrant sandal paste ointment there.  Burning with the pain of separation from My beloved Radha, My chest then dries that moistened sandal paste.  In this way My eyes and chest are engaged in a fierce battle over that sandal paste.  Alas! Even in hundreds of dreams I cannot attain the rare festival of the sight of My beloved.  One day will My Radha unexpectedly come here and surprise Me with an embrace?

17        (looking ahead) Queen Rukmini, the daughter of the king of Kundina, decorates the jewelled entrance-way of the palace.

18        (Attended by Madhavi, Candravali enters)

Candravali: Madhavi, my noble husband comes.  Bring the garland of sura-saugandhika flowers.

19        Krsna: (approaches) O queen, you are like a beautiful regal swan that wonderfully spreads its wings in the lake of My heart.

20        Candravali: (with feeling) O Madhavi, He has spoken nicely.  Why do you smile to hear His words?

21        Madhavi: Princess, I smile to think of the duck that also stays in that lake.

22        Krsna: Ignorant Madhavi whose only wealth is a beak that itches for a quarrel, stop!  You cannot change Candravali’s love.

Note: If the word “tamo-mayi” is interpreted to mean “O Rahu-planet”, and the word “uparanjayitum” to mean “is eclipsed”, then the statement may be understood to mean:

“O Rahu-planet Madhavi whose only wealth is a beak that itches for a quarrel, stop!  You have no power to eclipse the many moons of Srimati Candravali.”

23        (He glances at Queen Rukmini) O fair-complexioned one, My heart is deeply in love with You.  My heart cannot live for a moment without you.

24        Madhavi: Princess, you strung this garland of sura-saughandhika flowers with your own hand.

25        Candravali: (takes the garland) Noble husband, may this garland become the wife of Your Kaustubha jewel.  (She places the garland on His chest).

26        Krsna: O beautiful girl, My broad chest is a palatial home for you.  In the palace of My chest the Kaustubha jewel resides with your garland as his wife.  In truth, he can take no other wife.  (Embarrassed Candravali bows her head).

27        Krsna: (with love and respect He touches her hand)  Today I have promised to visit a certain ascetic woman, who is continually engaged in meditation on the Supreme Lord.  Please give Me permission to visit her today.  O girl whose complexion is as fair as kunkuma, please allow Me to keep My promise to her.

28        Candravali: As it pleases my noble husband.

29        Krsna: (aside) The obstacle is broken.  Now I will go to New Vrndavana.  (He exits).

30        (enters)

Nava-vrnda: My queen, here are two boxes of ornaments.  The first one is for the queen.  It bears this special mark.  The second is for Satyabhama.

31        Madhavi: (aside) He must have made better ornaments for his own granddaughter.  I will switch the boxes and decorate princess Rukmini with the ornaments of the second box.  (openly) Nava-vrnda, give me both boxes.  I will have the second box sent to Satyabhama.  (Nava-vrnda does that).

32        Candravali: Now I will go to bathe in the palace lake, (Accompanied by her companions, she exits).

33        Nava-vrnda: This is the auspicious time for me to have springtime, the king of seasons, crown the forest of Vrndavana.  For this purpose I will go there.  (She walks).

34        A voice from behind the scenes: Seeing the Lord enjoying pastimes by happily walking with His beloved in the forest-garden filled with flowers, all the seasons become happy and, bringing all their opulences, at once appeared at that place.

35        Nava-vrnda: Why, decorated with forest flowers, and making Vrndavana forest all-perfect by His presence, does Lord Krsna, who enchants the entire world, now follow beautifully decorated Radha?

36        (Looking again, she becomes struck with wonder).  Their sweet words the cooing of cuckoo birds on its branches, Their handsomeness its trunk, Their amorous desires its many new shoots, Their perspiration it’s pearl fruits, Their tears it’s honey, and even Their pastimes the birds that make it tremble even though it never moves, the desire tree of Sri Radha-Krsna’s transcendental bliss shines with great splendour.

37        (As described, Radha and Krsna enter).

38        Krsna: I was searching for some sign of You, and now I have found you Yourself, the supreme goddess of fortune of all the worlds.  I was like a person who wanders over the entire universe in search of a handful of chick-peas, and finds a monsoon-shower of gold instead.

39        Nava-vrnda: (seeing Radha) Ah! ah! Her eyes filled with tears, She is not able to see lotus-eyed Krsna.  The vines of Her arms completely stunned, She has no power to embrace Him.  Her voice choked up, She cannot speak.  Although doe-eyed Radha has finally met Krsna after a very long time, these obstacles still remain to separate Her from Him.

40        Krsna: (comes close to Radha) One moment My heart burns in the flames of separation, and the next moment it is aroused by the kiss of amorous desire.  O girl whose breasts are like waterpots, please throw on Me Your glance filled with the flowers of ever-new playfulness, flowing with nectar, and flooded with waves of the dancing of Your restless graceful eyebrows.

41        Radha: (embarrassed) Nava-vrnda, I am definitely dreaming.  Now I plunge again and again into the ocean of happiness.  When I waken will I not again and again weep with an open throat?

42        Nava-vrnda: Dear friend, You have just awakened from a terrible nightmare.  Listen.  In this forest of New Vrndavana there are many trees, who all feel a great festival of happiness to be watered by many hundreds of glistening streams created by mountains of candrakanta jewels melting in the moonlight.  With the playful humming of many swarms of bumblebees blinded by the sweet fragrance of the blooming lotus flowers, this forest of New Vrndavana seems to be calling out to us.

Note: The candrakanta jewel is said to melt when exposed to the moonlight.

43        Krsna: Nava-vrnda, well done! Well done! This is unprecedented.  Accompanied by all their jubilant friends and associates, all the seasons have gathered together in this one place.

44        Nava-vrnda: Friend Radha, look! Look at this tree growing in the lap of this hill.  Even though it has no branches, the beauty of its many flowers eclipses the stars and fills the peacocks with happiness.

Note: If the word “nilakantha” is taken to mean “Lord Siva”, if “sumanah” is taken to mean ” a happy heart”, if “taraka” means “the demon Taraka”, if “saila-bhuvah” means “the goddess Parvati”, and if “visakhayate” means “become like the demigod Karttikeya”, and then this verse reveals the following alternate meaning:

“Friend Radha, look! Look at this tree! It is like the demigod Karttikeya, who sits on Parvati’s lap, who delights Lord Siva and who with a cheerful heart killed the demon Taraka.”

45        Radha: (filling with longing, She says to Herself) Alas! Where is My dear friend Visakha?

46        Krsna: (aside) The words of Nava-vrnda reminded Her of Her friend Visakha, that made Her unhappy at heart.  I will describe Visakha to Her.  (openly) Beloved, listen for a moment to this wonderful news.  Today, carrying a sura-saugandhika flower, and accompanied by Arjuna, the son of Pandu, I entered the Khandava forest.  As Arjuna was hunting deer with his Gandiva bow, two birds were taken away by two eagles.  The first bird said: “O parrot friend, I will never again taste the delicious moonlike lotus roots parrot then said: “O friend, I will never again enjoy the oranges that look like so many red mars planets in Radha’s phala-sastra sacrifice.”

47        Radha: (struck with wonder) Then? Then?

48        Krsna: Hearing this, I eagerly released the two birds.  Then I began wandering in the forest, where I met a very peaceful old lady.  I asked her.  “Who are you?”  She replied, “This lake was created for the birds by the performance of a sacrifice. It is filled with fragrant sura-saugandhika lotus flowers created by severe austerities.  Here is also a garden filled with nectar-sweet fruits.  I am a Pulinda woman.  I am the protectoress of these two places.”  I asked her, “Who performed the sacrifice that created this lake?”  She answered, “A girl who possesses great wealth in austerity.  She followed a vow to live submerged in the water of that lake.  Now that vow is completed, she has begun a vow to live in the forest.  The name of this vow is “Radhabhista-sadhana (The vow to attain the desire of meeting Radha).”

49        Radha: Then? Then?

50        Krsna: Then that old lady told Me of the mountain cave where the girl stayed.  I went there and the girl, engaged in practising austerities, her complexion spotted, her body covered with dust and clothed in tree-bark, her hair matted, and her lotus hand holding a string of rubies, entered the pathway of My eyes.

51        She also saw Me, and at once began to loudly cry.  Speaking with broken words, she said, “O playful prince who enjoys pastimes in the city of Gokula’s king Nanda, O black bee who at once flies into the lotus flowers of the gopis’ hearts, O dark musk anointing Radha’s breasts, again You have entered the pathway of my eyes!”

52        I was struck with wonder.  I asked her, “Who are you?”  In a choked voice she said, “O Lord, I am Your unfortunate maidservant Visakha.”

53        Radha: Alas! Alas! O dear friend Visakha, I am unfortunate! I am very unfortunate!

54        Krsna: Streams of hot and cold tears simultaneously flowed from My eyes into My yellow garment.  Stunned and motionless, I leaned for a moment on Visakha’s shoulder.

55        Wishing to please her, I made her happy by telling the good news of Your arrival.  The now beautifully dressed slender Visakha I then happily brought to Dvaraka City.

56        Radha: (eager) O handsome one, I bow down to offer respects to You.  Please let Me see Visakha.

57        (Krsna glances at the face of Nava-vrnda).

58        Nava-vrnda: Visakha said to me, “Alas! My father’s words have killed me!  He said that as long as my dear friend Radha was separated from the syamantaka jewel, I would not be allowed to see Her.  That is why I entered the waters of the mountain stream.”

59        Radha: It is true! It is true! Mother Samjna said to Me: “Child Radha, when the syamantaka jewel is placed in Your hand, all Your desires will be fulfilled.

60        Nava-vrnda: My Lord, look! Look! The jasmine flowers are smiling.  The kadamba flowers have opened wide.  The jati flowers seem to be laughing.  O Krsna, look! The parnasa flowers have appeared.  The priyangu flowers are beginning to bloom.  The opulences of all the seasons have become manifest at all the same time.

Note: These flowers bloom during different seasons.  At this time, however, they were all in bloom simultaneously.  Ordinarily, of course, that would never happen.

61        Krsna: Beloved, look! Look! Somewhere a cuckoo sings.  Somewhere a cricket cries.  Somewhere a peacock dances.  Somewhere a regal swan coos.  Somewhere a kikhi bird warbles.  Somewhere a haritaka bird calls.  This meeting of all the seasons brings great pleasure to Me.

Note: These creatures appear during different seasons.

62        Nava-vrnda: Lord, look! Look! Blowing past the Malaya sandalwood forests filled with sharp-fanged snakes, and dipping into the lotus filled waters of the Pampa river, a breeze has now entered Vrndavana forest to render service to you, the master of Garuda.

63        Krsna: (glances at the tree) O kadamba trees, is everything well for you?  O priyangu vines, are you happy now?  O pilu trees, is everything good for you now?  O mango trees, have you become prosperous now?  O madhavi vines, have you become fortunate now?  At last Radha’s friend Krsna now enters among you and follows your path.

64        Nava-vrnda: Lord, now that its cave has become a palace for Your meeting with Radha, Nandisvara Hill has become very happy.

65        Krsna: (glancing at Radha) O slender waisted girl, do You recognise this restless-eyed doe now standing on the peak of Nandisvara Hill?  Thinking it to be a clump of grass, this doe used to fearlessly and repeatedly bite the vine that was Your emerald necklace.

66        Radha: How could I not recognise her?  This is My dear friend, the doe named Rangini.

67        Krsna: O beautiful one, there is a large stone splendid as an autumn cloud.  I used to sit on that stone and watch the great wrestling pastimes of the cowherd boys.

68        Radha: Nava-vrnda, what is this tree?   With its beautiful flowers it seems to mock the flowers of the nagakesara tree.

69        Nava-vrnda: O simple girl, this is a kubjaka tree.

70        Radha: (picks a cluster of flowers and gazes at it.)  Ah! Ah! a demon bee is hiding there.

71        Krsna: O girl whose eyes are like the frightened eyes of a doe, let go of the twig that holds this bee.  O girl with the beautiful eyebrows, in this world kubja trees are famous as places of fear.

72        Nava-vrnda: (aside) As Radha listens to the words of Her Lord, She also glances at me from the corner of Her crooked, smiling eyes.  (openly) Friend, You should ask lotus-eyed Krsna Yourself.

73        Krsna: Nava-vrnda, don’t be afraid.  You tell Me what your friend wants to say.

74        Nava-vrnda: She wants to say, “My Lord, the touch of these kubja flowers brings great pleasure to this bumble-bee.  Why should I be afraid?”

Note: If the word “madhusudana” is interpreted to mean “Lord Krsna, the killer of the Madhu demon”, and the word “kubja” to mean “crooked girl”, then the statement may be interpreted to mean:

“My Lord, this crooked girl brings great pleasure to Lord Krsna.  Why should I be afraid?”

75        Krsna: (smiling) Your friend is frightened for no good reason.  Look! The Krsna-bumblebee is not staying with the crooked girl after all.  He has left her and now He flies into the fragrant forest of Radha’s face.

76        Radha: (frightened) O, O restless bumblebee, stop! Stop! Bold rake, I will hit you with this toy lotus.

77        Krsna: Look! Look! This bumble bee is no longer pleased with the palasa flower.  Now he thinks the priyangu flower is useless.  He will not stay in the vasanti flower.  He is not happy with the kumuda flower.  He will not go to the lavali flower.  The fragrance of Your face has made him blind with the most intense kind of happiness.

78        Nava-vrnda: Presenting to Lord Krsna the pitchers of water that are its flowing streams, the parasols that are its trees, the resting places that are the sphatika stones, the ornaments that are its glistening mineral pigments, and the mirrors that are its many jewels, this king of mountains, the hill named Govardhana, is now splendidly manifest before us.

79        Krsna: O slender one, look at the jubilant intoxicated peacock playing on the top of Govardhana Hill.  On the pretext of very enthusiastic dancing that peacock would sometimes drop a feather that was actually intended as the gift of an ear-ornament to You.

80        Radha: O Tandavika, O king of peacocks, may you prosper always.

81        Krsna: Beloved, do You remember the path from Govardhana Hill to the Yamuna?

82        Radha: How could I not remember?  (in Sanskrit) The circle of campaka trees ahead of us leads to a row of punnaga trees.  Next is a grove of jamb trees, and then a great kadamba forest.  In this way there is a broad path, lined with many many beautiful trees, leading from the slope of Govardhana Hill to the Yamuna river.

83        Krsna: (smiles) Come.  Let Us go to the Yamuna by this path.  (Everyone does that).

84        Nava-vrnda: Its gracefully moving waters filled with lotus flowers, the splendid Yamuna River, the sister of the demigod Yama, makes my eyes dance with joy.

85        Krsna: The Bhandira tree before us happily bends in the breeze, its leaves defeating all peacock feather rivals.  With hundreds and millions of very great branches, it is the king of all trees on the Yamuna’s shore.

86        Radha: (in Sanskrit) Spreading a charming sweet fragrance, surrounded by agitated bumblebees and bearing many beautiful flowers, these multitudes of jasmine vines enchant My heart.

87        Krsna: (repeating what Radha said) Spreading a charming sweet fragrance, surrounded by agitated bumblebees and bearing many beautiful flowers, these multitudes of jasmine vines enchant My heart.

88        Nava-vrnda: Ah! By rubbing against Your necklace, the garland of sura-saugandhika flowers has now fallen from Krsna’s chest.  Look! A swan has picked it up in her beak and is flying away with it.

89        Krsna: Why is she flying to the pond inside the palace?

90        Nava-vrnda: Even a liberated soul free from all material desires cannot renounce the happiness of yearning to live in Vrndavana.  What then can be said of other creatures not so exalted as this?  They must all long to stay in Vrndavana.

Note: If the word :ati-mukta” is taken to mean “the vine named atimukta”, then the verse may be interpreted in the following way:

“Even the exalted atimukta vine cannot renounce the happiness of yearning to live in Vrndavana.  What then can be said of other creatures not so exalted?  They must all long to stay in Vrndavana.”

91        Krsna: Beloved, never before have atimukta and malati flowers bloomed in such a beautiful way.  When I was in the home of My guru I learned the art of making crowns of flowers.  I will pick some of these flowers and make for You a crown of flowers more beautiful than any crown ever made.  (He walks for some distance and then becomes struck with wonder).  What is this on the jewelled wall that enchants My heart with its sweetness?  (He looks again) Ah! How have I become reflected here?

92        (agitated) Who manifests an abundance of sweetness greater than Mine, which has never been experienced before and which causes wonder to all?  Alas, I Myself, My mind bewildered upon seeing this beauty, impetuously desire to enjoy it like Srimati Radharani.*

93        (Goes ahead) With bumblebees as its unblinking eyes, this splendid, unfading malati flower is like a beautiful demigoddess come to earth.

Note: Unlike ordinary mortals, the demigods and demigoddess have no need ever to blink their eyes.

94        (enters)

Candravali: Madhavi, surely a swan brought this garland of sura-saugandhika flowers from Vrndavana.

95        Madhavi: Yes, I thought this garland brought the sweet fragrance of a girl’s meeting with her lover.  That is why I brought you here.

96        Candravali: (looking at her own limbs) Oh! Why am I decorated with Satyabhama’s garments and ornaments?

97        Madhavi: (lying) Princess, I made a mistake.

98        Candravali: (looking ahead) Friend, look! There is my noble husband.  He is not very far away.

99        Madhavi: That is not your husband ahead.  It is only the reflection of Him on that wall of sapphires.

100     Candravali: Ah! This reflection is so wonderful! (She walks ahead) Ah! I see my noble husband picking flowers.  I will approach Him alone.  (She does that).

101     Krsna: (seeing Candravali, He becomes blissful and says to Himself) Why has Radha, the queen of My life, come here?  (openly) Beloved, why have You come here from so far away?

102     (He glances at her and the hairs on His body stand up) O girl whose restless eyes are like two restless khanjana birds, please have no doubt in your heart.  I vow before all My elders that I speak to You the truth.  You alone are My beloved.  You alone are the medicinal herb that sustains My life.

103     Candravali; (happily says to herself) By remaining silent I will observe His real feelings.

104     Nava-vrnda: (staying among the vines) Ah! Why has Queen Rukmini come here disguised in Radha’s garments and ornaments?  He thinks she is Radha.  I will send Him a message in verse with that parrot, and then He will no longer make that mistake.  (She writes on a ketaki leaf, and then tosses the leaf behind the scenes.  She looks again and becomes jubilant).  Fortunately the parrot dropped the leaf letter in Krsna’s hand.  He is now looking at it.  Let me hide.  (She exits).

105     Krsna: (looks at the petal-letter and reads it to Himself) O king of the bumblebees, please know that what You mistakenly think is a garland of new karnikara flowers is actually a garland of kairava buds just beginning to blossom and anointed with kunkuma paste.

106     (Glances at Candravali and then says to Himself) Well done, Nava-vrnda! Well done! At the perfect time you have rendered the perfect service.  No one has served Me this well before.  (openly) O Queen, why are you so indifferent?  Why do you not splash Me with waves of mercy from your heart?

107     (He respectfully gazes at her)  With the opulences of your coolness and your sweet fragrance you eclipse both candras (the moon and the camphor).  O Candravali, please use your opulences to make the limbs of My body happy.

108     Madhavi: (Staying within the vines, she becomes very happy and says to herself) The garments and ornaments fashioned by Visvakarma have brought the sweetness of her good fortune.

109     Krsna: O beloved, please embrace your friend who is now tossed by waves of amorous desire.  (At first He is affectionate, but then He suddenly shrinks back with feigned fear)  Alas! How horrible! By mistake I have committed a great offense.  This is not My queen.  This is some other girl.  (He reflects) Yes.  I know.  This must be the granddaughter of Visvakarma.  Today he pointed Her out to Me from far away.

110     (On some pretext Candravali displays the garland).

111     Krsna: (aside) Ah! This calamity was created by that swan.  (openly) Wonderful! This is wonderful! How has this girl obtained the sura-saugandhika garland I lost by the Yamuna river?  Now I will go into the palace and tell this unprecedented story to My queen.  Now even the slightest bud of the fraction of a strain of any offense will no longer even glance at Me from the corner of its eye.  (He exits).

112     Madhavi: (approaching) Princess, what does all this mean?

113     Candravali: These are the symptoms of a great flood of intense, spontaneous, sincere love.

114     Madhavi: Princess, this lover is very cunning.  It is very difficult to understand what He is doing.  Come.  Let us see Satyabhama.

115     Candravali: (She glances at Radha, becomes agitated, and then says in Sanskrit)

The symptoms of a great calamity that were formerly present in this girl has now disappeared.  The satisfaction on Her face bears witness to the happiness hidden in Her heart.  Her glittering eyes move to and fro.  This beautiful girl shows all the symptoms of having attained the great treasure that is the association of Lord Krsna.

116     Radha; (Looking, She becomes unhappy, and says to Herself)  Alas! This cakravaka bird is about to meet Her blue lotus flower.  Why has this envious swan come?

117     Candravali: (Smiles) Friend Satyabhama, tell the truth.  When Krsna presses You to Him with His strong arms does the Kaustubha jewel stay between You?

118     Radha: My queen, what purpose do you serve by scolding this tormented person?

119     Madhavi: Plunged into the turbulent nectar waves of the celestial river of this girl’s beauty, the elephant that is the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot remember even His own self.  How can He remember the placid little lake that is Princess Rukmini?

Note: If the word “suradarangini-e” is divided “sura-rangini-e”, then it may be interpreted to mean “of the amorous girl”.  In this way the statement may be interpreted:

“Plunged into the violent nectarean waves of the beauty of this amorous girl, the elephant that is the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot remember even His own self.  How can He remember the placid little lake that is princess Rukmini?

120     Candravali: (smiles and says with irony) O greedy friend, why, without even telling me, have You devoted Yourself to these harsh austerities?

121     Radha; O queen, this person has taken shelter of you.  Instead of protecting Her, you simply mock Her.  For a superior is this right?

122     (In Sanskrit) I am simply a weak girl, dependent on others.  My relatives have placed Me in your house.  The master of your house is a restless rake who likes to destroy the chastity of pious girls.  I will certainly not survive in this place.  O queen, please give to Me the boat of your mercy so I will be able to cross beyond this danger.

123     Candravali: (aside) She speaks the truth.  (openly) My friend, what do You wish?

124     Radha: O queen, until I have completed My vow of austerity with the syamantaka jewel, please protect Me.

125     Candravali: Friend, have faith.  Because I always keep clever Madhavi by my side Krsna will never be able to cheat me with one of His tricks.

126     Madhavi: Beautiful one, I will send the box of ornaments Visvakarma intended to give to You.

127     Candravali: Friend, please go to the pavilion of madhavi vines and I will go with Madhavi into the palace.  (She exits).

(Everyone exits).



Act Nine Citra-darsanah

(Looking at Pictures)


1          (Nava-vrnda enters).

Nava-vrnda: (looks ahead and says with joy) Purifying the waters of the streams and lakes, expertly revealing the sweetness of the moon, and filling the regal swans with happiness, Sarat, the goddess of autumn, who is like goddess Bhakti-devi herself, has now come before us.

Note: If the word “bhuvana” is interpreted to mean “the world”, “vidhu” to mean “Lord Krsna” and “paramahamsa” to mean “the swanlike devotees”, the verse may be interpreted in the following way:

“Purifying the world, expertly revealing the sweetness of Lord Krsna, and filling the swanlike devotees with happiness, goddess Bhakti-devi, appearing as the autumn season, has now come before us.”

2          (enters)

Sarat: Friend Nava-vrnda, where have you been?

3          Nava-vrnda: Goddess Sarat, I went to my master.

4          Sarat: Why?

5          Nava-vrnda: To carry the order of Lord Krsna.

6          Sarat: What was His order?

7          Nava-vrnda: To build 16 000 palaces on Mount Raivata.

8          Sarat: What is the reason for that?

9          Nava-vrnda: On the pretext of an invented quarrel, Narakasura, the powerful son of the earth goddess, Bhumi-devi, kidnapped 16 100 lotus-eyed girls from the village of Vrndavana.  Lord Krsna, the master of all transcendental pastimes, then killed that uncivilised demon, who had troubled the entire universe.  In this way the Lord rescued those girls, whose eyes were all filled with tears.

10        Sarat: (struck with wonder) Are these girls the gopis of Gokula?

11        Nava-vrnda: How can there be any doubt?  Even a small shrub of the faint reflection of devotion to Krsna is never without fruit.  What then of the unprecedented festival of bliss that is the immortal tree of the gopis’ love?

12        Sarat: Then why did we hear that these girls are the daughter of various kings?

13        Nava-vrnda: Narakasura became enchanted by the charming beauty of these girls.  To deceive the goddess named Kama-devi, he spread a false rumour that these girls were all the daughters of kings, and they were going to be given in marriage to the eligible bachelors among the demons.

14        Sarat: That is true.  That is true.  Kama-devi wanted to take all the gopis to Dvaraka City.

15        Nava-vrnda: Then angry goddess Kama-devi sent Maharaja Indra to Dvaraka.  Indra entered Dvaraka and asked the Lord to kill Narakasura.

16        Sarat: Ah! All the girls of Gokula have met in this place.  Only four other girls, headed by Padma remain.

Note: The four girls are Padma, Saibya, Bhadra and Syama.

17        Nava-vrnda: O honest one, these four girls have already come.

18        Sarat; How did they come?

19        Nava-vrnda: Krsna, the best of the gopas, playfully subdued seven powerful bulls in a single moment and then married Maharaja Nagnajit’s daughter (Padma, Mitravinda) whose eyes were plunged in an ocean of love for Him.

20        Saibya was overcome with the intense thirst that was her love and Bhadra was stricken with poison from the snake of her desire to enjoy amorous pastimes with Krsna.  Meeting them with the nectar of His smiling glance, Krsna abducted them both from the svayamvara-ranga.

21        Standing at the base of the lofty pillar, and gazing at the reflection in water of a fish moving in a circle, even without directly seeing the fish, Krsna easily cut it apart with a single arrow, and attained King Matsya’s daughter (Syama) as His bride.

22        Sarat: (joyful) By the kindness of fate I will again see the happiness of Gokula.

23        Nava-vrnda: Friend, now please decorate Vrndavana forest with the beauty of spring.  Look Krsna and Radha are coming here.

24        Sarat: How did Krsna get Queen Rukmini to allow Him to come here?

25        Nava-vrnda: Learning that Queen Rukmini was for that moment not attended by Madhavi, Krsna approached her, pleased her with many charming pastimes, and when a smile blossomed on her shining face, said:

26        “The demigod Brahma has invited Me to visit Satyaloka.  My queen, I wish to go there.  Please give Me your permission.”

27        Sarat: Friend, this is a mistake.  A mistake.

28        Nava-vrnda: What is the mistake?

29        Sarat: Madhavi sent the kinnari named Sukanthi, who is a disciple of Devarsi Narada, to bring the box of ornaments to Radha.

Note: Sarat fears Sukanthi will see Krsna’s secret rendezvous with Radha and later inform Madhavi of it.

30        Nava-vrnda: Don’t worry.  This girl is full of love for Satyabhama.

Note: Because she is affectionate to Radha, Sukanthi will keep the secret of Radha’s rendezvous with Krsna.  She will not reveal it to Madhavi.

31        Sarat: Then I can trust her.  I will go now.  (She exits).

32        (engaged in pleasing Radha, Krsna enters).

33        Krsna: O beautiful one, Your bimba fruit lips have eclipsed the sweetness of nectar.  Your face is like a fragrant lotus flower.  The sweet sound of Your voice has crushed the pride of the cuckoos.  Your limbs are cooling as sandalwood.  You are the wealthy owner of a great treasure-house of transcendental beauty.  O Radha, when I approach You, all My sense become filled with bliss.

34        (looking in all directions) among these splendid white lotus flowers a great beauty has come.  In the darkness of night, which is the enemy of the devotees, defeat has appeared.  among the small stars fading has come.  I think that the moon, which is Siva’s regal crown, must now be rising on the eastern horizon.

35        Nava-vrnda: (approaches) Look! Free from any tinge of redness, gradually removing the darkness of the world, and spreading its nectar shining to the farthest corner, the splendid, expert Vaisnava moon enters the pathway of the sky.

Note: If the word “tamah” is interpreted to mean “the darkness of ignorance”, viragah” to mean “free from all material desires”, “kalanidhi” to mean “expert”, “visuddhah” to mean “pure”, “rucim” to mean “attraction”, “amrta” to mean “impersonal liberation”, and “visnu-pada” to mean “the lotus feet of Lord Visnu”, then the verse may be interpreted in the following way:

“Look! Free from any tinge of material desire, gradually removing the darkness of ignorance in the material world, and throwing far away the desire for impersonal liberation, a pure, expert Vaisnava enters the path to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu.”

36        Krsna: Grieving in separation from his beloved, this exalted cakravaka bird calls out, “O my beloved Kokavati!”  O friend Kaustubha jewel, spread your rays of light (so he may meet his beloved).

Note: Male and female cakravaka birds remain together during the day and separate at nightfall.  They spent the night apart and meet again at sunrise.  Lord Krsna here asks the Kaustubha jewel to spread its light so the cakravaka bird will think the sun has risen and again be able to meet his beloved.

37        (with curiosity Radha looks).

38        Krsna: Look! Look! With its effulgence bright as the midday sun, the Kaustubha jewel licks up the flood of darkness on the Yamuna’s farther shore.  Even though it is night, the male cakravaka bird thinks it is day.  Overcome by deep yearnings of love, he meets his beloved.

39        (Carrying the box of ornaments in her hand Sukanthi enters)

Sukanthi: Ah! How fortunate!  Here is the Lord enjoying pastimes with Satyabhama.  I will hide among these vines and watch.  (She does that).

40        Nava-vrnda:  O girl whose teeth are beautiful as jasmine flowers, Your eyes are made of two candrakanta jewels.  When the moon of Krsna’s face begins to rise, these two jewels melt into tears.  How could it be any other way?

Note: The candrakanta jewel melts when exposed to the moonlight.  Radha’s eyes are here compared to these jewels because Her eyes melt into tears when the moonlike face of Krsna appears before Her.

41        Radha: (Struck with wonder) Why are the padma lotuses blooming in the moonlight.

Note: Padma lotuses bloom during the day and close their petals at night.

42        Krsna: The crystal palace before Us has become like a great pond, and the rubies there have become like lotus flowers that bloom day and night.

43        A voice from behind the scenes: Intelligent Madhavi has now entered Vrndavana forest… (the statement is interrupted in the middle).

Note: If the word “madhavi” is interpreted to mean “spring”, and “sumanasvini” to mean “with many beautiful flowers”, then the statement means “Springtime, with its hosts of beautiful flowers, has now entered Vrndavana forest.”  This second meaning is the meaning intended by the speaker, whereas the listeners interpret these words in the first way.

44        Krsna: (agitated) Ah! Queen Rukmini is coming!  It is best we flee from her.  (They all exit in different directions).

45        Again the voice from behind the scenes:…This spring has bunches of flowers to decorate Krsna, who is Himself the supreme decoration of the entire world.

Note: These two lines complete the verse begun in Text 43.  They affirm the interpretation that the verse as a whole refers to spring and not Candravali’s friend Madhavi.  Radha and Krsna fled needlessly.

46        Sukanthi: Alas! Alas! The regal Kamarupa parrot in Madhumangala’s hand has made a disturbance.  Satyabhama has entered a cave.  I will follow Her.  (She does that).

47        (Enters)

Radha: Ah! Ah! Someone has seen Me!  Some girl is coming here!

48        Sukanthi: My lady, don’t worry.  It is Your maidservant, Sukanthi.

49        Radha: (joyful) Sukanthi!  I know it is you.  I know.

50        Sukanthi: My lady, why is Your clothing wet?

51        Radha: Thinking it was land, I fell in water.

52        Sukanthi: Madhavi sends these ornaments.  Please accept them.

53        Radha: Look! There is some kind of picture on this stone wall.  Do something so I can see it.

54        Sukanthi: I will go outside and find some way for You to see it.

55        Radha: And I will remove these wet garments.  (She takes some dry garments and exits).

56        Sukanthi: (as she exits) Is that Lord Krsna and Madhumangala over there?

57        (Krsna enters)

Krsna: Where is the trouble-making parrot that was in your hand?

58        Madhumangala: It flew into that pomegranate tree.

59        Krsna: Come.  Let us search for My beloved, who is more dear to Me than life.

60        (He feels the breeze).  O saintly breeze, you carry no dust.  You come from the south.  You carry out the orders of the spring season.  O friend, O breeze from the Malaya Hills, I beg you, tell Me: Where is My lotus-eyed Radha?

Note: If the word “rajas” is interpreted to mean “passion” then the first sentence may be interpreted to mean “O saintly breeze, you are not influenced by the mode of passion.”  If the word “daksinya-caryam” is interpreted to mean “kindness”, then the second sentence may be interpreted to mean “You are always very kind and gentle.”  If the word “madhavasya” is interpreted to mean  “of Krsna”, then the third sentence may be interpreted to mean “You carry out the orders of Lord Krsna.”  In this way the entire verse may be interpreted to mean:

“O saintly breeze, you are not influenced by the mode of passion.  You are always very kind and gentle.  You carry out the orders of Lord Krsna.  O friend, O breeze from the Malaya Hills, I beg you, tell Me:  Where is My lotus-eyed Radha?”

61        Madhumangala: Ah! Speak softly!

62        Krsna: (walks) O doe, the walking young vine that is the beautiful girl Radha must have passed through this forest because, O friend, I see you have accepted Her as your guru and taken initiation from Her in the art of playful, sweet, restless glances.

63        (Sees the pomegranate tree ahead).  O parrot, in this part of the forest have you seen a girl with a beautiful golden complexion and eyes like the eyes of a doe?  I am searching for Her.

64        Madhumangala: Friend, by repeating Your question, the parrot has given You his answer.

Note: Lord Krsna’s statement is ambiguous and can also be interpreted to mean what Madhumangala said was the parrot’s reply when it repeated Lord Krsna’s words:

“O Krsna dressed in yellow garments, in this part of the forest you have been searching for a girl with a beautiful golden complexion and eyes like the eyes of a doe?  Today I have seen Her.”

65        Sukanthi: (approaches) All glories, all glories to Lord Krsna!

66        Madhumangala: (afraid) Noble lady, why have you come here?

67        Sukanthi: To hear sweet words such as the answer to Your question.

68        Madhumangala: Noble lady, you heard the answer to this question?

69        Sukanthi: Not only that.

70        Madhumangala: What else?

71        Sukanthi: I will tell Queen Rukmini what I have seen.  (She begins to walk).

72        Krsna: (agitated) O noble Sukanthi, do not trouble the queen’s mind.  Accept from Me the boon that you will be very expert in singing and music.

73        Sukanthi: By the mercy of Queen Rukmini, the celestial singers and musicians of Parvati already worship my feet.  What use is Your boon to me?

74        Krsna: Then you make a request.  What would you like?

75        Sukanthi: My Lord, I have one request.

76        Krsna: Say what you would like.

77        Sukanthi: A certain Vidyadhari whom I worship wishes to see a painting on the wall of a dark mountain cave.  I beg that Lord Krsna show His kindness by illuminating that picture with the effulgence of His Kaustubha jewel.

78        Krsna: (smiles and begins to walk) Friend Kaustubha, O king of jewels, well done!  Well done! Even without My asking you have fulfilled My desire.

79        Madhumangala: Ah! Ah! In the middle of this cave it is bright as midday.

80        (Radha enters)

Radha: (looking at Herself)  Why did Madhavi send Me Queen Rukmini’s clothes?

81        Radha: (walks and then sees Krsna)  This little saphari fish wished only a small handful of water.  Still, this new cloud voluntarily showers it with monsoon rains.

82        Madhumangala: (aside) O friend, because of a wicked maidservant’s daughter that girl that lives in the forest I have fallen into a great danger.

83        Krsna: Friend, what danger?

84        Madhumangala: (angry) You ask me?  Look to Your left.

85        Krsna: (looks and then becomes agitated) How did Queen Rukmini come here?

86        Radha: (aside) Alas! Alas! Queen Rukmini has entered the cave.  (She hides).

87        Krsna: (aside) Intense jealous anger made her hide.

88        Madhumangala: (whispers) Wretched Kinnari, is it right to trick your dear friend Krsna in this way?

89        Sukanthi: (aside) Seeing Satyabhama dressed in Queen Rukmini’s garments and ornaments, Krsna thought She was Rukmini and became afraid.  I will go and tell this to Her.  (She approaches Radha and says to Her) My lady, the truth of what just now happened is this…(She tells Her).

90        Radha: (smiles) Tease Madhumangala.

91        Sukanthi: (walks) O noble Madhumangala, Queen Rukmini is very angry now.  In her anger she said something about you.

92        Madhumangala: What is that?

93        Sukanthi: She said: “This so-called brahmana Madhumangala dared enter the inner rooms of the palace.  For this reason I will now bind him with ropes and put him in prison.”

94        Madhumangala: (frightened) O friend, now You have become grave and silent as a pillar.

95        Krsna: Friend, I am struck with wonder because this nice girl has abandoned her natural gentleness.

96        (He reflects) A naturally gentle person may sometimes become angry.  Even the all-tolerating earth may sometimes give up its tolerance and become agitated.

97        Sukanthi: (aside) What is the use of this arrogance before Lord Krsna?  I will tell Him the truth.  (openly) O noble sir, the girl was Satyabhama.  It was not Queen Rukmini.

98        Madhumangala: The words You have heard from this foul-mouthed girl are the ultimate in sarcasm.

99        Krsna: Sukanthi, because Queen Rukmini loves you so dearly, you are now glowing with pride?  Why are these words you have spoken so poor in sense?

100     Madhumangala: (in Sanskrit) O low-class, hard-hearted girl, you have a voice of poison.  Why are you called Sukanthi (sweet voiced)?  Perhaps you are deliberately misnamed, as when something horrible is sarcastically is called “auspicious”.

101     Krsna: (walks and tries to pacify Radha) O Queen, please be kind to Me.  Please be kind.

102     Radha: (smiles) I am not a goddess.  Look! I am a human girl.

Note: The word “devi” means both “queen” and “goddess”.  Thinking that Radha was Queen Rukmini, Krsna addressed Her as “devi”, meaning “O queen”.  When Radha did not accept the address “queen”, but interpreted the word “devi” to mean “goddess”, Krsna could immediately understand that She was Radha and not Queen Rukmini.

103     Krsna: (happy) Sukanthi, I am not able to give you a sufficient reward for this favour.

104     Madhumangala: You low-class horse-mouthed girl, did you learn this crooked art of deceiving others from Devarsi Narada?

105     Krsna: Beloved, come here and look at this picture.

106     Radha: This is the artistic skill of Nava-vrnda’s teacher, Visvakarma.

107     (enters)

Nava-vrnda: Friend, look at this wonderful picture.  Here, one after another, are the beautiful pastimes of Mathura-mandala.

108     Madhumangala: First is the festival of Nanda-mahotsava (Krsna’s birthday celebration).

109     Nava-vrnda: By throwing fresh butter in the Nanda-mahotsava festival, the bodies of the cowherd people attained a glistening lustre, and by gazing at the wonderful child Krsna, their hearts were filled with love.

Note: The word “sneha” is used here to mean both “glistening with oil” and “love”.  The bodies (“bahih”) of the cowherd people were “sneha” in the first sense, and their hearts (“antah”) were “sneha” in the second sense.

110     (Pointing with her forefinger) What pure-hearted saint is able to attain the same fate as the witch Putana?  Lord Krsna became like a sapphire necklace on her throat.

111     Krsna: When I broke the pot-laden cart with My flower-petal toe, mother and father in the courtyard nearby became overwhelmed with anxiety.  I always remember them in that way.

112     Nava-vrnda: This is the dance of the Trnavarta whirlwind.

113     Krsna: The wicked whirlwind demon cruelly covered the eyes and hearts of My friends in Vraja with a blinding darkness.

114     Madhumangala: Here Yasoda-devi, the queen of Gokula, begins to personally churn butter.

115     Radha: O queen of Gokula, I offer My respects to you.

116     Krsna: (with pathos) My childhood mischief made My loving mother very anxious.  When I see her in this way My heart becomes like a pool of melted butter.

117     Nava-vrnda: My guru, Visvakarma, composed the following verse: “O Yasoda-devi, O queen of Vraja, the same all-powerful Lord Krsna who binds the demigod Brahma and all other living entities in the three worlds with the three unbreakable ropes of the modes of nature, you have bound with a few slender ropes.  How can I describe the great power you possess?”

118     Madhumangala: This is the breaking of the two arjuna trees.

119     Nava-vrnda: Why did the two guhyaka demigods leave without untying Krsna from the mortar?

120     Krsna: (with tears) My mother tightly bound Me with the strong rope of maternal love.  Although i can release all living entities from the bonds of repeated  birth and death, still I have no power to untie My mother’s ropes.  If I have no power, what can be said of the power of others to untie these ropes?

121     Nava-vrnda: You are the giver of amrta (nectar) to the vatsas (calves).  It is proper, therefore, that You give amrta (liberation) to a vatsa (Vatsasura).  Why then are You both the mitrabaka (protector of Your friends) and amitrabaka and not mitrabaka (amitrabakata)?

122     Krsna: (glancing at Radha) I used to spend My days in a great festival of herding the calves with My cowherd friends on the Yamuna’s shore.  O moon-faced girl, My heart yearns to enjoy those days again.

123     Nava-vrnda: For our own benefit again and again  we bow down before the lotus feet of the surabhi cows and gopis.  Even though He is the master of an ocean of milk, Krsna, became greedy to drink the sweet milk of love in their hearts.  He happily accepted the position of their son.

124     Krsna: Here You may gaze on the dead body of the serpent Agha, which is like a great mountain cave that is a playground for the cowherd boys.  Even though the serpent is dead, the air still enters its mouth, and inflates it (making seem alive).

125     Nava-vrnda: Look! Look! With the best verses of the four Vedas coming from his four mouths, the demigod Brahma offers prayers to his father, Krsna, whom all living entities yearn to see with their own eyes.

126     Madhumangala: By looking at this fragrant Talavana forest I feel like a man brought back to life.

127     Nava-vrnda: (looking at Balarama) You are certainly very extraordinary.  Although You are the protector of the dhenus (cows), still You killed Dhenukasura, and although (the sole of Your foot) bears the mark of a palm tree, still You took pleasure in breaking the palm trees of Talavana.

128     Krsna: This is a sacrificial altar under a banyan tree.  Displaying His great prowess, noble Balarama killed the sacrificial animal named Pralambasura on this altar.

129     Nava-vrnda: (aside) I think, understanding how Radha would suffer  (to see it), the demigod Visvakarma did not portray the pastime of subduing Kaliya.

130     Krsna: O girl with the beautiful voice, this is the forest of tall munja grasses.  In this place the tips of the grasses one time became suddenly lit by the flames of a forest fire.  Seeing this the cowherd boys pathetically huddled around Me, appearing like a garland of lotus flowers I wore at that moment.

131     Nava-vrnda: This is the place where Krsna stole the gopis’ garments.

132     Krsna: Beloved, who is this girl standing behind Visakha and placing folded hands over Her head?  I do not recognise Her.

133     Radha: (embarrassed, She says to Herself) He knows it is Me in the picture.  He is teasing Me.  (Openly) She is Padma.

134     Krsna: O lotus-eyed girl, who is on Padma’s left?

135     Radha: (with jealous anger) Why must You show off in this way?

136     Krsna: When I said,, “O beautiful girls, please place both hands over your heads and take back your garments.”  You stared at Me with crooked eyes, Your lips trembled, You slightly smiled, You knitted Your eyebrows, and You cried, I remember Your face.

137     Radha: Who are these women carrying earthen pots on their heads?

138     Nava-vrnda: They must be the wives of the brahmanas who performed sacrifices.

139     Krsna: I threw My naturally charming gentle smile far away and I carefully concealed the waves of restless glances in My eyes.  Still, the wives of the brahmanas burned in a smoke-filled fire of love for Me.

140     Madhumangala: (feeling hunger, he says in Sanskrit) Dear friend, do You remember how we ate many kinds of foods offered by the wives of the brahmanas?  We ate many jalebis curling like peacock feathers.

141     Nava-vrnda: Look! This is the lifting of Govardhana Hill.

142     Radha: (in Sanskrit) The hearts of all the gopis burned with pain in the thought that Krsna was carrying the heavy burden of Govardhana Hill, and at the same time they became filled with a great festival of happiness by seeing their beloved Krsna day and night.  In this way two contradictory emotions were simultaneously present in the gopis’ hearts.

143     Nava-vrnda: A verse written on the mountain wall.  It says: “Krsna’s shyness was manifested when He lifted Govardhana Hill by the little finger of His left hand.  All of the gopis were observing Krsna’s wonderful achievement, and Krsna was also smiling at seeing the gopis.  When Krsna’s glance went over the breasts of the gopis, His hand began to shake, and upon seeing His hand shake, all of the cowherd men underneath the hill became a little disturbed.  Then there was a tumultuous roaring sound, and they all began to pray to Krsna for safety.  At this time Lord Balarama was smiling, thinking that these cowherd men has been frightened by the shaking of Govardhana Hill.  But, seeing Balarama smile, Krsna thought that Balarama had understood His mind in observing the breasts of the gopis and He immediately became bashful.”*

144     Krsna: (glancing at the cave of Govardhana Hill, the king of mountains, He smiles and says) O lotus-eyed girl, do You remember the wonderful pastime when by cheating I defeated You in the gambling match and You gave Me the prize of two embraces You had wagered before the witnesses of all Your gopi friends?

145     Radha: (She looks ahead and becomes embarrassed) In this picture why do We not wear necklaces as We sit on the summit of Govardhana Hill?

146     Krsna: Have You forgotten?  O friend, after enjoying many amorous pastimes We fell asleep in a grove by the shore of Your lake (Radha-kunda).  As We slept Lalita carefully removed our necklaces.

147     Nava-vrnda: From the bonds of repeated birth and death You rescue even Your enemies, if only they have the opportunity to see you directly.  Why, then, should it be considered surprising that You rescued Nanda Maharaja from the bonds of Varuna?

148     (She points ahead) On this earth planet the best place is Bharata-varsa.  In Bharata-varsa the best district is Mathura Puri.  In Mathura Puri the best place is Vrndavana forest.  In Vrndavana forest the best place is along the shore of the Yamuna. On the shore of the Yamuna the best place is the arena of the rasa dance.  The rasa-dance arena is filled with dust that touched the two feet of Lord Krsna, the lover of the gopis.  The great sage Narada worships those particles of dust with all his heart.

149     Radha: (struck with wonder) Oh! Oh! I can hear the sweetness that is the sound of the flute.

150     (Overwhelmed with bliss, She takes a few steps and then becomes mad).  Mother, I hear the flute in the forest.  It enchants the entire world.  My heart is trembling.  I will leave now.  Even if you carefully latch the door with a great bolt, how will you block the path I take to make My life-breath leave this body?  (She becomes overwhelmed).

151     Krsna: (agitated) Ah! By entering the pathway of Our ears, the two syllables “ra-sa” plunge Our hearts in the ocean of amorous pastimes and make Our heads spin in the whirlpool of transcendental bliss.

152     Nava-vrnda: Friend, although this is only a picture, for You it is the real rasa dance.

153     Radha: Ah! Ah! What picture is this.

154     Krsna; O Radha, do You remember those autumn nights We passed like a moment in the forest gardens?  Our ever-fresh amorous pastimes overwhelmed You with a pleasure that chased away all Your shyness.

155     (He trembles) We spent so many days enjoying a great festival of pastimes with Your friends in the gardens by the Yamuna.  O Radha, will those incomparably happy days ever come again?

156     Nava-vrnda: This is a beautiful picture of Ambikavana forest, where Sudarsana attained the mercy of Lord Krsna, who released him from the body of a great serpent and gave him the body of a demigod decorated with splendid earrings.

157     Madhumangala: This is Sankhacuda.

158     Radha: (frightened) Save Me!  Save Me! (She embraces Krsna).

159     Krsna; (enjoying the embrace) Well done, brother Sankhacuda! Even though I violently killed you, you still arranged this unprecedented pleasure for Me.

160     Nava-vrnda: Look! Look! When Aristasura playfully shook his head, Siva became frightened and hid his own bull Nandi in a cave of Mount Mandara.  Look at this wonderful event!  Lord Krsna playfully killed the bull-demon Arista.

161     (Again pointing) How wonderful!  On the shoulders of the lotus-eyed gopis Your arm became like a blue lotus flower, although it also became like a thunderbolt to break apart the demon Kesi.

162     Krsna: Here the goddess of liberation accepted Vyomasura as her husband.

163     Madhumangala: This is Akrura… (He is interrupted in the middle of his words).

164     Radha: Ah! Ah! What will I do?  (She faints).

165     Krsna: (with respect, fear and haste, He embraces Her) O delicate one, don’t be unhappy.  It’s only a picture.

166     Radha: (controlling Her feelings) Ah! The suffering I felt!  Though it’s only a picture, it brings Me pain.

167     Nava-vrnda: This is the journey to Mathura.

168     Krsna: Nava-vrnda, let us stop looking at this picture of Akrura’s journey.  Let us look at the wonderful beauty of the next picture.  When the painful crying of My beloved walks on the pathway of My memory, My heart breaks.

169     Nava-vrnda: To the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who killed Kamsa’s washerman, who blessed the weaver, and who accepted a garland from His dear devotee, the florist Sudama, I offer my respectful obeisances.

170     Krsna: (smiles) Beloved, look! Look at the red betelnuts.  I am both pleased and stained red by them.

Note: The word “ranjitah” means either “reddened” or “pleased”.  “Ubhayatah” means “in both ways”.  Krsna here says that He is “ranjitah” in both ways.

171     Radha: Why did You skip this picture?

172     Krsna: (aside) Why was I not able to hide this picture?  Now She is looking at the servant-girl Kubja.

173     Radha: Nava-vrnda, who is this girl tugging at the edge of Krsna’s yellow garment in the middle of the royal road?

174     (Nava-vrnda smiles and bows her face down.)

175     Krsna: (smiles) this is a very intelligent messenger-girl.  She is very affectionate to You.  Even though You did not send her, she tugs at My garment and begs Me to return to Vraja.

176     Radha: The universes are filled with Your glories.  What can You hide from Me?

177     Nava-vrnda: Look! Look! Thinking the Lord’s service their first duty, the bumblebees leave the great regal elephant Kuvalayapida, who fed them with a flood of dana, and worship Krsna’s flower garland.

178     Aha! Look! Although the dark raincloud of Krsna removes the painful heat of the summer’s day, it also frightens the swans that are the wrestlers of Kamsa.  Although this cloud brings life to the entire world, it does not bring any good to Kamsa.

179     Radha: Who is this person Krsna dragged by the hair from the throne?

180     Nava-vrnda: He is a wicked king.

181     Radha: (happy) This pleases Me very much.  This is very good.

182     Krsna: There are no longer any shadows.  The first part of evening must now be over.  Let us go to the shore of the Yamuna.

183     (Everyone leaves that place).

184     Krsna: Nearby is the pedestal where My statue stood, and near that is the forest-cottage between a mango tree and tamala tree.  That cottage is the ideal place for Our pastimes.

185     (looking to the left)

Reflected in the water of the Yamuna, in the shore paved with rubies and in the Kaustubha jewel, Your face O moon-faced girl, has made a host of moons suddenly appear in this forest place.

Note: The use of the word “candravali” in this verse augurs the appearance of Candravali in the next moment.

186     (Accompanied by Madhavi, Candravali enters)

Candravali: Madhavi, I am overwhelmed by the suffering of being separated from Lord Krsna.  Now I have entered Vrndavana forest.  All I can do now is gaze at the sapphire statue of Krsna.  I have no other recourse.

187     Madhavi: Princess, I have heard although Lord Krsna began His journey at an auspicious moment, He has not yet left this planet for Brahmaloka.  He is still here, somewhere in this place.

188     Candravali: Friend, you speak the truth.  His fragrance is here.  He must be here.

189     Krsna: (approaching the entrance to the forest grove) Beloved, come quickly.  In a moment We will taste the happiness of rest.

190     Nava-vrnda: (aside) Why is Radha suddenly overcome by the jealous anger of love?  She knits Her eyebrows, bows Her head, and hides behind this mango tree.

191     Candravali: (eagerly craning her neck) Ah! Look! Look! My noble husband is at the door of this forest cottage.

192     Krsna: In this garden I will now enjoy pastimes without any fear.  Queen Rukmini, the daughter of king of Vidarbha, is far away in Dvaraka City.

193     Candravali: Madhavi, He must have seen me.  He said, “Rukmini, the daughter of the king of Vidarbha.”

194     Madhavi: You are hiding in the vines.  How can He see you?  He yearns to be with you.  At this moment He must be gazing at you in a meditative trance.  Slip up to Him unobserved.  Surprise Him and give Him some happiness.

195     Krsna: Is it not proper that this splendid golden necklace rest like a new vine around My neck and heart?

Note: If the word “tarala” is interpreted to mean “restless”, “aloka” to mean “glances”, “mayi” to mean “considering of”, “guna” to mean “qualities”, and “rukmini” to mean “the golden complexioned girl”, then the verse may be interpreted in the following way:

“Is it not proper that restless-eyed, virtuous, golden-complexioned Radha rest like a golden vine around My neck and heart?”

If the word “rukmini” is interpreted to mean “Queen Rukmini”, then the verse may be interpreted in this way:

“Is it nit proper that restless-eyed, virtuous, golden-complexioned Rukmini rest like a golden vine around My neck and heart?”

196     (Candravali approaches Krsna, gazes at Him from the corner of her eye, and then stands before Him).

197     Krsna: (with joy and wonder) Ah! You hid behind that mango tree.  How did you come from behind the roots of this tamala tree?

198     (Candravali sees the face of Nava-vrnda and becomes frightened).

199     Nava-vrnda: My Lord, Queen Rukmini is now standing before You.

Note: If the word “divyati” is interpreted to mean “plays”, then these words may be interpreted in this way:

“My Lord, this is Radha pretending to be Queen Rukmini.”

Here Nava-vrnda intends the first meaning and Krsna interprets her words in the second way.

200     Krsna: Nava-vrnda, not only is she dressed like her, but she also is silent and grave, just as she is.

201     Candravali: (aside) These words make me very suspicious.

202     Krsna: (looks at Nava-vrnda) To Me why does Satyabhama…(the words are only half spoken and Nava-vrnda closes her eyes).

203     Candravali: (Sadly, in a low whisper) Ah! Now I know the depth of His love.

204     Krsna: (looks at her and then says to Himself) Ah! Is this Queen Rukmini?  It is.  I will try to cover what I said.

205     (openly)

Why is the chaste and gentle-hearted Queen Rukmini displeased with Me now?  Unaware of the reason, My heart is filled with pain.

206     Candravali: Madhavi, where are you?

207     Madhavi: (approaches) Here I am.

208     Krsna: (frightened, He says to Himself) O young mango tree, please spread your body very wide so Rukmini will not see the beautiful girl hiding behind you.

209     Madhavi: Princess, look at your double at the root of this mango tree!

210     Candravali: (looks at Her with crooked eyes) You are right,  (She bows her head in embarrassment).

211     Krsna: (aside) My friend the mango tree does not help.  So be it.  I will enlist deception into My cause.

212     (openly) Lift up your face with its dancing eyes.  The moon in the sky is embarrassed when he sees your face.  When I see you are wilting before Me I become racked with pain.  You are more dear to Me than My own life.

213     Madhavi: My Lord, You should know it’s not proper for You to speak to this girl with these soft words of love.  After all, she is not Satyabhama.

Note; If the word “sacca” is interpreted to mean “real”, instead of being a shortened form of Satyabhama’s name, then these words may be interpreted in the following way:

“My Lord, You should know it’s not proper for You to speak to this girl with these soft words of love.  After all, this girl is not real.”

Here Madhavi intends the first meaning and Lord Krsna interprets the words in the second way.

214     Krsna: Well done, Madhavi, well done!  You have now dispelled the fear in My heart.  This queen Rukmini is merely an illusion created by the magician Nava-vrnda.  The real girl is sitting at the root of this mango tree.  (He reverentially approaches the mango tree and speaks the following words of consolation).

215     Washed by the flood of the nectar of kindness in your heart, you have left the palace and come here of your own accord.  O Rukmini, O daughter of the king of Kundina, why, so suddenly, and for no reason, have you become so angry with Me?

216     Nava-vrnda: My Lord Queen Rukmini stands by Madhavi side.

217     Krsna: Nava-vrnda, then is this girl under the mango tree the illusion?

218     Nava-vrnda: She is not an illusion.  She is a friend of Queen Rukmini.  Her name is Satyabhama.

219     Krsna: Ah! How great are the flooding streams of Queen Rukmini’s kindness!  She is so kind she gives to her friends the nectar of possessing a form as beautiful as her own.  I am bewildered to see such kindness.

220     Radha: (aside) My only recourse is to leave.  (Accompanied by Nava-vrnda, She exits).

221     Candravali: (with a sarcastic smile) Madhavi, as I gaze at Lord Krsna’s lips dark as black mascara, splendidly red as a newly blossomed flower, and beautiful as bimba fruits, I become filled with joy.

Note: Candravali hints that Krsna’s lips have become marked with mascara by kissing Radha’s eyes in Their amorous pastimes.

222     Krsna: Queen Rukmini. don’t be suspicious.  My lips are blackened from smelling black musk from Govardhana Hill.

223     Candravali: My Lord, I have carefully studied this subject since early childhood.  Why take so much trouble to teach me?

224     Madhavi: Princess, the time for worshipping the demigods is now passing.  We must go.  Please ask the king of Dvaraka to forgive us for leaving so soon.

225     Krsna: Madhavi, you are strange.  Although your heart is free from guile.  Your actions are not at all like those of a respectable girl.

Note: If the word “jihmagi” is interpreted to mean “snake” and the word “na kulinam” is considered to be the single word “nakulinam” (of mongoose), this statement of Lord Krsna may be interpreted in the following way:

“Madhavi, you are strange.  Although your heart is like the heart of a snake, your actions are like the actions of a mongoose.”

The snake and mongoose are bitter enemies.  Both, however, are extremely ferocious.

226     (He folds His hands in prayer) O queen more dear to Me than My own life, please be kind.  The darkness of Rahu cannot touch the moon.  O Candravali, how can the darkness of anger touch you?

227     Madhavi: What is the need of speaking so many nice words?  After all, this girl is not Satyabhama.

228     Krsna: Friend, you speak the truth.  Queen Rukmini is not an angry person at all.

Note: In the previous text Madhavi said that Rukmini is not Satyabhama.  Krsna interprets the word  “satyabhama” here not as a personal name but as an adjective describing Rukmini.  “Satya” means “nature” and “bhama” means “angry” or “passionate”.  Krsna here affirms that Rukmini is certainly not “satyabhama” (angry by nature).

229     Candravali: My Lord, seeing Your reluctance makes me sad at heart.  Please become happy.  You may now enjoy Your pastimes without any fear.  Now I will go into the inner rooms of the palace.  (Accompanied by her friend, she exits).

230     Krsna: Queen Rukmini has gone to the palace.  Let Us also go.

231     Casting millions of waves of sidelong glances at My face, Her face pale and Her voice silent as She saw that Her pastimes with Me would be interrupted, and bowing Her head and hiding Her transcendental form behind a mango tree when She saw Queen Rukmini, Radha has entered My heart.  (He exits).

232       (everyone exits




Act Ten Purna-manorathah

(All Desires are Fulfilled)


1          (Two girls enter)

2          Tulasi:  Friend Malati, has the good news entered the pathway of your ears?

3          Malati:  Friend Tulasi, what news?

4          Tulasi: With her relatives and Nanda, the king of Vraja, noble Paurnamasi has come to Saurastra province.

5          Malati: (blissful) Oh! I will go to Madhavi-courtyard and tell Radha the good news.

6          Tulasi: O pious girl, Radha isn’t at Madhavi-courtyard.

7          Malati: Then where is She?

8          Tulasi: On the day Radha and Krsna looked at pictures, Queen Rukmini noticed signs of conjugal pastimes on Radha’s body.  Rukmini brought her into the palace and cruelly teased Her.

9          Malati: What did she say to tease Her?

10        Tulasi: She said, “I think these wounds on Your breasts and lips were made by parrots that thought Your breasts pomegranates and Your lips bimba fruits.  I think Your jewel necklace must have been broken by peacocks who thought it a snake.  O sister, Your staying in the forest brings great pain to my heart.”

11        Malati: Let her laugh.  Satyabhama may be in a subordinate position.  Still, She is more fortunate.

12        Tulasi: You speak the truth.  Look! Look! The thousand rays of light from His Kaustubha jewel eclipsing the thousand rays of sun, Lord Krsna stands in the rear of the palace.  He plans a meeting with Radha.

13        Let us go to our garden.  (They exit).

14        (Thus ends the viskambhaka interlude)

15        (Accompanied by the buffoon Madhumangala, who carries a golden rod where a parrot is perched, Lord Krsna enters).

16        Krsna: (filled with longings) Although She is inflamed with love for Me, because She is imprisoned by Queen Rukmini, My beloved cannot dispel the darkness of My heart.  She is like a burning lamp covered by a pot, and thus unable to light up the house.

17        Madhumangala: Oh! Don’t speak so loudly.  Queen Rukmini’s servants are everywhere.

18        Krsna: Friend Kaustubha, your shining may alert Rukmini’s maidservants to My presence here.  For now, please do not shine so brightly.

19        (enters)

Nava-vrnda: My Lord, Queen Rukmini has sent me.

20        Krsna: Nava-vrnda, what is it?

21        Nava-vrnda: For the king of parrots.

22        Krsna; Friend, give the king of parrots.

23        (Madhumangala places the rod with the parrot in Nava-vrnda’s hand).

24        Krsna: (filled with longing) My beloved Radha is known in this place as Satyabhama, the daughter of King Satrajit.  Her limbs are splendid, beautiful and fragrant.  Her cheeks are illumined by the splendour of Her earrings.  O Nava-vrnda, My heart yearns to see Her.

25        Nava-vrnda: My Lord, this desire will be very difficult to fulfil.  Cheated so many times, Queen Rukmini has become a careful student of the art of palace intrigue.  Professing great love, she has made Satyabhama like her own shadow.

26        Madhumangala: Amazing! This Kaustubha jewel is so restless that even though You restrain him, he still insists on illuminating the palace.

27        Krsna: Friend, this is not the effulgence of the Kaustubha jewel.  Why rebuke him?

28        Nava-vrnda: Noble Madhumangala, this is Satyabhama’s friend Pingala coming with the syamantaka jewel.

29        (enters)

Pingala: (shyly glances at Krsna) My Lord, King Satrajit sends this regal jewel to Princess Satyabhama.

30        Krsna: (places the jewel over His heart and becomes joyful) Ah! Now the touch of the friend of My beloved gives Me the way to meet Her.

31        Madhumangala: How is that?

32        Krsna: I will disguise Myself as a girl and carry the jewel, walking behind Pingala.  I will worship Queen Rukmini, and with her permission I will spend the night giving pleasure to doe-eyed Radha.

33        Nava-vrnda: In truth, it will be very difficult for her to understand this trick.

34        Krsna: Nava-vrnda, it is almost sunset.  You go to the inner rooms of the palace.  I will go to a secluded place and disguise Myself as a woman.  (Accompanied by the two of them, He exits).

35        Nava-vrnda: (walking) Accompanied by her attendants and her right side decorated with Satyabhama, Queen Rukmini has not entered the jewelled palace.

36        (In that way Candravali enters)

Candravali: (with a playful smile) Friend Satyabhama in this place I have treated You with friendship and great respect.  Why have You become unhappy, as a doe always remembering the happiness of staying in the wildflower gardens of the forest?

Note: If the word “vana-mala” is interpreted to mean “Lord Krsna, who wears a garland of forest flowers”, this statement may be interpreted to mean:

“Friend Satyabhama, in this place I have treated You with friendship and great respect.  Why have You become unhappy, as a doe-like girl always remembering the happiness of staying with Krsna, who wears a garland of forest-flowers.

37        Radha: (with a meaningful laugh) My queen, here I am with all happiness.  Why should I desire wildflowers?

Note: As in the previous verse statement text, the word “vana-mala” may be interpreted as a name of Lord Krsna, in which case the statement may be interpreted:

“My queen, here I am filled with all happiness.  Why should I desire Lord Krsna.”

38        Nava-vrnda: (approaches) My queen, this is the king of parrots you heard about brought here from the country of Kamarupa.

39        Candravali: (joyful) I am very pleased.  He is handsome indeed.

40        Nava-vrnda: My queen, he is very intelligent and well-behaved also.

41        Candravali: Servant, make the king of parrots happy with pomegranate fruit.

42        Servant: As the queen orders.  (He exits with the parrot).

43        (Followed by Pingala and Lord Krsna, who is disguised as a woman, Madhumangala enters).

Madhumangala: (walking) My queen, Maharaja Satrajit sends these two girls to present the syamantaka jewel to Satyabhama.

44        Candravali: (looks at Krsna, and says to herself) How beautiful She is.  (Openly) Who is this beautiful dark-complexioned girl whose splendour makes this entrance way seem to be made of sapphires?

45        Nava-vrnda: My queen, this is a very fortunate girl Rathangi.  She is Satyabhama’s friend.

46        (Radha recognises Krsna.  She smiles).

47        Madhavi: Noble Madhumangala, this dark-complexioned girl veils Her face even here, in the woman’s quarters of the palace.  Why is She so shy?

48        Pingala: She is naturally very shy.

49        Nava-vrnda: (glances at Queen Rukmini) Although She is very eager to speak, friend Rathangi is shy to speak in your presence.  Satyabhama is also very eager to associate with her friend Rathangi, so please send Them both to the golden palace and there they may talk in private.

50        Candravali: Friend Satyabhama, please go to the golden palace and embrace Rathangi.

51        Radha: (smiles) As the queen orders.  (Accompanied by both Lord Krsna and Her own associates, She exits).

52        Candravali: Madhavi, I heard that my sister Radha has a great jewel brilliant as the sun.

53        A voice from behind the scenes: (quoting Krsna’s speech in text 16) “Although She is inflamed with love for Me, because She is imprisoned by Queen Rukmini, My beloved cannot dispel the darkness of My heart.  She is like a burning lamp covered by a pot, and thus unable to light up the house.”

54        Candravali: (glancing in the direction of behind the scenes) What is the parrot saying?

55        A voice from behind the scenes: (quoting Krsna’s speech in Text 24) “My beloved Radha is known in this palace as Satyabhama, the daughter of King Satrajit.  Her limbs are splendid, beautiful and fragrant.  Her cheeks are illuminated by the splendour of Her earrings.  O Nava-vrnda, My heart yearns to see Her.”

56        Candravali: (unhappy) Aha! I have heard exactly what I need to hear.

57        Again from behind the scenes: (quoting Krsna’s speech in text 32) “I will disguise Myself as a girl and carry the jewel, walking behind Pingala.  I will worship Queen Rukmini and with her permission I will spend the night giving pleasure to doe-eyed Radha.”

58        Candravali: Madhavi, did you hear that?

59        Madhavi: Not only heard.  I have also seen.

60        Candravali: As long as Satyabhama stays in this palace how can there be any good for me?  Ah! By some intrigue I must send Her to the palace of the king of Kundina.

61        Madhavi: The princess has spoken well.

62        Candravali: Ah! This is great skill in the art of deception.  Even though we are not easily deceived, still we were deceived.  Come.  Let us go to the golden palace.  (She exits).

63        (Krsna and Radha, who is accompanied by Her associates, enter).

64        Krsna: (blissful) O beautiful one, open these eyes that fill restless cakora birds with wonder.  Give Me the nectar of this smile that eclipses the sweetness of the moon.

65        Radha: (embarrassed) My handsome one, why speak these words?  Your love exists only in Your mouth.

66        (In Sanskrit) The great dindima drum of Your love for Me used to fill the entire world with wonder.  Now that same drum is silent.

67        Krsna: Beloved, don’t say that.

68        My dear girl with the fascinating eyes, even if I am attacked by many beautiful-eyebrowed girls who are expert archers with their restless, crooked sidelong glances, how can I find happiness for even a moment without You?  I cannot.  I am like the sky.  Even if the moonlight and all the stars try to illuminate the sky, it never becomes really bright until it is filled with sunlight.  In the same way it is not possible for Me to come bright with happiness without You.

Note: The word “vrsabhanuja” means both “sunlight” and “Radha, the daughter of Maharaja Vrsabhanu.” “Somabha” means both :star” and “the gopi named Tara”.  For this reason that last two lines of this stanza contain a hidden meaning.  They may also be interpreted:

“Neither Candravali, Tara, nor their intimate friends can make Me happy without the presence of Radha, the beautiful daughter of Maharaja Vrsabhanu.”

60        Nava-vrnda: Girl with the beautiful face, this is not empty flattery.

70        Krsna: Beloved, as I gaze at Your face, no simile to compare You to anything else has the power to rise in My heart.

71        The lotus flower is not worthy to be placed at Your feet.  The jewel mirror is not equal to the nail of Your big toe.  O passionate one, even a splendid host of moons is not qualified to perform arati to Your face.

Note: If the word “candravali” is interpreted to be a proper name, the last sentence of this verse may be understood to mean:

“O passionate one, even beautiful Candravali is not qualified to perform arati to Your face.”

This reference to Candravali is a harbinger that announces her appearance in the next moment.

72        (Accompanied by Madhavi, Candravali enters).

Candravali: Madhavi, did you hear that?

73        Madhavi: Yes.

74        Krsna: (looking ahead) Look! Look! Queen Rukmini is not far away!

75        (Everyone respectfully stands up).

76        Candravali: (approaches) Ah! Satyabhama! I have come to see the wonderful regal jewel Your father Satrajit, sent You.

77        (Nava-vrnda takes the jewel from Krsna’s hand and shows it to Candravali.)

78        Candravali: I heard this king of jewels appeared from the churning of the milk ocean.

79        Madhumangala: It was like that.

80        Candravali: At that time another wonderful thing also appeared.

81        Nava-vrnda: My queen, what was that?

82        Candravali: When the demigods forcibly took the pot of nectar from Dhanvantari’s hand, my noble husband appeared in the unprecedented form famous by the name Mohini.

83        Krsna: (aside) Queen Rukmini recognised Me.  That is why she is suddenly talking about Mohini.

84        Candravali: The word “mohini” means “enchanting”.  Her name is very appropriate, for She completely enchanted even Lord Siva, the king of the yogis.  If She enchanted him, then how can we describe Her power to enchant us?

85        Everyone: (aside) How did Queen Rukmini learn this secret?

86        Candravali: (with a smile) Friend Satyabhama, is there some way we can see this form of Mohini?

87        (With knitted eyebrows Radha angrily glances at Krsna).

88        Krsna: (aside) In truth, these words of deception are now useless.  (openly) My queen, in order to test whether you would recognise Me or not I wore this disguise.

89        Candravali: (with artificial respect) Oh! Oh! This is my noble husband.  (She bows her head).

90        Madhumangala: O dear friend, by recognising You our Queen Rukmini has now defeated You.  Now what has become of Your pride of being so clever?

91        Madhavi: Noble Madhumangala,, you have thrown the thunderbolt of Indra at a person already bitten by a poisonous black snake.

92        Candravali: Foolish Madhavi, why are you so unhappy?  This is a great festive occasion.  You should drink the sweet nectar that is the handsomeness of Lord Krsna.

93        Radha: (aside) Alas! Alas! Now I must taste the suffering of being under the control of Queen Rukmini.

94        Candravali: My Lord, the foolish desire to see the syamantaka jewel has brought Me to offend You.  I am very unfortunate.

95        Krsna: My queen, scold Me as much as You wish.  Your mercy is My only shelter.

96        A voice from behind the scenes: (quoting Krsna’s speech in text 56) “Aha! I have heard exactly what I need to hear!

97        Madhumangala: The parrot in the servant’s hand recites these words.

98        Krsna: (aside) The intelligent parrot caused all this trouble.

99        Again the voice from behind the scenes: (quoting Candravali’s speech in text 60) “As long as Satyabhama stays in this palace how can there be any good for me?  Ah! By some intrigue I must send Her to the palace of the king of Kundina.

100     Radha: (unhappily sighs and says to Herself) Well done, O parrot! Well done! Well done! I am indebted to you.  Now I will enter Kaliya Lake, which fulfils even the most difficult desires, and there I will immediately present My body as a sacrificial offering to the snakes there.  (Accompanied by Nava-vrnda and Pingala, She exits).

101     Candravali: My Lord, there is one thing I would like to ask.

102     Krsna: My queen, please order Me as you wish.

103     Candravali: My Lord, by presenting so many obstacles to Your enjoyment of pastimes, I have committed a great offense to You.  Please be merciful to me.  Please give me permission to live in Vraja, the kingdom of Nanda Maharaja.  By staying there I will make You happy.

104     A voice from behind the scenes: Riding in the comfortable seat in the rear of a golden cart, surrounded by friends and relatives, with Yasoda and Rohini at his right and left, and greedy to immediately embrace Krsna, Nanda Maharaja, the king of Vraja now enters the path that leads to the gates of Dvaraka City.

105     Krsna: (blissful) Friend, simply by Queen Rukmini’s wishing We have now attained King Nanda and all his relatives.  Come, let Us go to him.  (They both exit).

106     Candravali: Krsna’s relatives have come at the perfect time.

107     A voice from behind the scenes: Surrounded by friends, and with Paurnamasi showing the way, Vraja’s queen Yasoda went to Rohini’s palace.

108     Madhavi: How fortunate! How fortunate! Saintly Rohini has heard of your sufferings.

109     Candravali: Let us go and offer respects to our elders.  (They walk) These are the inner rooms of Queen Rohini’s palace.

110     A voice from behind the scenes: Ah! With the two streams flowing from both her eyes and breasts Yasoda-devi, the beautiful wife of the king of cowherds, lovingly bathes her son.

111     Candravali: My noble husband is now seated on the lap of Gokula’s queen Yasoda.  Let me stand here for a moment.

112     (Yasoda, Paurnamasi, Rohini, Mukhara and others enter).

113     Yasoda: (smelling Krsna’s head and shedding tears) O my son, You have forgotten me.  For such a long time I have not seen You.

114     Krsna: (with tears) Mother, why do you speak in this way?  I am already embarrassed  Why embarrass Me more?

115     Mukhara: O noble Paurnamasi, even though I heard from you He is the master of millions of universes, still, for me Krsna is the cowherd people’s hero.

116     Krsna: (smiles) Noble Mukhara, your words go to My heart.  Please bless Me so that again I will be happy.

117     Paurnamasi: After a long time the seed of my good fortune has finally sprouted.  Today I have seen Lord Krsna seated on the lap of Mother Yasoda.

118     Krsna: Mother, do the animals and birds I used to feed and protect bring happiness to you now?

119     Paurnamasi: Krsna, why do You speak the word “happiness”, when the word You should speak is “pain”?

120     Yasoda: (in Sanskrit) You used to affectionately feed an orphaned fawn with overflowing pails of milk from the surabhi cow Kapila.  Unable to see You now, this deer is filled with anguish.  He cries in all directions and His sounds are like a tiger’s roar striking the hearts of the people of Vraja.

121     Paurnamasi: O Krsna, O enemy of Kamsa, the people of Vraja become filled with anguish when they see the peacocks that used to offer their feathers for Your crown.  Even now, when those peacocks see a dark raincloud they think it is You, and they begin to dance, their hearts filled with joy.

122     Krsna: (after a moment’s silence) O noble lady, are My friends well and happy?

123     Paurnamasi: Longing to see You, they have gone with Vraja’s king Nanda to the Sudharma assembly house.  Please quickly go to them and fulfil all their desires.

124     Krsna: As the noble lady orders.  (He walks and then says to Himself) Lalita and Padma will certainly come here to offer respects to Mother Yasoda.  (He exits).

125     Candravali: This is the opportunity to approach her.  (She does that).

126     Paurnamasi: (with happiness) O queen of Vraja, here is Candravali.  (She approaches and embraces her with both arms).

127     Yasoda: (affectionately) My child, by my good fortune I can see you again.  (She places her arm around her neck).

128     Candravali: (offers respectful obeisances to Mother Yasoda, and then begins to shed tears) Mother, who is more merciful than you?  You gave me the great good fortune of touching your feet.

129     Yasoda: Child, have you forgotten our home in Gokula?

130     Candravali: Mother, you are more affectionate to me than millions of mothers.  What girl is so wretched she cannot remember the auspiciousness of the place where you live?

131     Mukhara: (embracing Candravali) O Radha, I have not see You for such a long time! (She cries with an open throat).

132     Yasoda: O Mother, why do you speak these two syllables “ra-dha”.  These syllables are two bolts that unlock the great city of suffering.

133     Candravali: O sister Radha, I am blind! I am wretched! Even once I did not recognise You!

134     Rohini: O child, O most beautiful girl in the three worlds, where did You go?

135     Paurnamasi: Alas! Only because I am hard as Indra’s thunderbolt am I still alive.

136     Rohini: (with peaceful composure) Dear friend Yasoda, Candravali is overcome with grief.  Forget your own suffering and console her.

137     Yasoda: (embraces Candravali) Mother Candravali, don’t be unhappy.  There is no remedy for this situation.

138     (Two servants enter, and then, after a moment, Lalita and Padma enter).

139     Padma: (glancing to the left, she becomes filled with wonder) Who is this girl?  I have not see anyone beautiful as she.  I feel I have seen her before.  (She approaches and begins to shed tears) o beautiful one, seeing you, I remember my dear friend Lalita, and I am overcome with love.

140     Lalita: (with a broken voice) Friend, are you Padma?

141     Padma: (with emotion) Oh! Are you Lalita?  (She embraces her with both arms).

142     Lalita: (firmly embraces her and shed tears) Why was our dear friend Candravali separated from you?

143     Padma: Friend, I am very unfortunate.

144     Servant: This is noble Rohini’s palace.  The two noble ladies may enter here.

145     Both girls: We have come to offer respects to Queen Rohini.

146     Rohini: Noble lady, who is this girl?  She looks exactly like Lalita.

147     Paurnamasi: (overcome with emotion) Ah! Ah! It is noble Lalita, who is dear to Radha as Her own life.

148     (Everyone runs to her).

149     Lalita: Ah! How have Gokula’s queen Yasoda and all my other friends from Gokula come here?  (Crying, she falls at the tips of everyone’s feet).

150     (Crying, everyone lifts her up.  They embrace her neck.)

151     Candravali: O friend Lalita, you are still alive! (She embraces her).

152     Lalita: (with joy and wonder) Is this my friend Candravali?  (She embraces me) Meeting you with my friends and relatives from Gokula, is finding a splendid cintamani jewel in an ocean of nectar.

153     Candravali: Lalita, you are my sister.  Now I have found you.

154     Lalita: O friend Radha, I will no longer see You! (She embraces Mukhara and cries).

155     Padma: (embraces Candravali) O dear friend, I am so fortunate to see you!

156     Paurnamasi: Look! As she embraces Padma, Rukmini melts with tears.

157     Lalita: (struck with wonder) Noble lady, I have heard that Rukmini is in truth My dear friend Candravali.  Is it true?

158     Paurnamasi: Yes.

159     Lalita: Why did the sun-god sent the girl named Satyabhama here?  Her sufferings are known to everyone.

160     Paurnamasi: My child Candravali, from the mouth of Balarama’s mother Rohini we heard of your anxiety.  Please don’t be anxious.

161     Yasoda: Child, you stand in place of Radha.  Why should you be unhappy in our presence?

162     Candravali: Friend Lalita, listen. (in Sanskrit) The beautiful sight of Radha, which is more dear to me than my own life-breath, does not for a moment enter the pathway of my eyes.  Instead, the sight of another girl is my constant companion.  The sight of this girl fills my heart with unbearable pain.

163     (Bakula hastily enters)

Bakula: Although again and again I tried to stop Her, Satyabhama is now entering snake-infested Kaliya Lake.

164     Paurnamasi: Fortunately the strong winds that bring pain to the lotus flowers have now entered the mouths of the snakes.  The snakes are stopped.

165     Bakula: I saw what happened.  Nava-vrnda told Krsna.  Filled with anguish, Krsna follows Her.

166     Everyone: Why must we delay any longer?  Let us go to this lake that is the home of snakes.  (Stumbling as they walk, they exit).

167     (Being appealed to by Pingala, Radha enters).

168     Radha: (in Sanskrit) Because I am completely controlled by this woman, Krsna’s company cannot bring any happiness.  why should I be afraid to be separated from Lord Krsna?  At this moment the only path I can take leads to death.

169     Pingala: Princess, it is not proper for You to do this reckless act.

170     Radha: (with contempt) Friend, tossed by great waves and filled with venomous, glistening black snakes, this Kaliya lake eternally brings pleasure to My eyes.

171     (Her left eye trembles.  She speaks the following rebuke in Sanskrit) The wretched spider of My left eye trembles.  That spider is now weaving a web of hope to trap the insect of My life.

172     Pingala: This is a sign proclaiming all will be well.  Please wait and stay alive a little longer.

Note: For a woman, trembling of the left side of the body is considered a harbinger of good fortune.

173     Radha: Why should I trust these sweet words of hope spoken by the monkey of My eyes?  (She descends into the water).

174     (Accompanied by Nava-vrnda, Krsna enters)

Krsna: After a long separation the bird of My life-breath finally takes shelter in the dark shade of the fragrant vine of Your body.  Now You are throwing that delicate slender vine into the blazing fire of the poison of these snakes.  O hard-hearted girl, why do You have not even the slightest fragment of mercy upon Me?  (He plunges into the lake).

175     Nava-Vrnda: My Lord, this king of jewels removes all inauspiciousness.  (She ties the jewel around Krsna’s wrist).

176     Radha: Alas! Alas! Even the snakes refuse to bite this wretched person!  (She follows the snakes).

177     Krsna: (hastily approaching) Reckless girl, why have You done this inauspicious act?  (From behind He places both arms around Her neck.)

178     Radha: (overwhelmed with grief, She does not hear Krsna’s words.  She suddenly becomes joyful).  Now I am fortunate.  Now two snakes have wrapped themselves around Me.  (She becomes pleased by the touch of the “snakes”).  At the right time even the most harmful danger can be very pleasing.  The touch of these snakes bring Me great pleasure.

179     Now I touch the poisonous black snake.  Now destiny is kind to Me.  Now all My sufferings will begin their journey to endless night.

Note: If the word “krsna” is interpreted to mean “Lord Krsna”, the verse may be interpreted:

“Now I touch Lord Krsna.  Now destiny is kind to Me. Now all My sufferings will begin their journey to endless night.”

180     Nava-vrnda: Fortunately She is now beginning to recognise Krsna’s arm.

181     Radha: (slightly opening Her eyes) This is strange.  This snake, which has a head decorated with colourful jewels, refuses to bite Me.

182     Nava-vrnda: O beautiful one, a coiled, jewelled snake touched by the pure Malayan breeze is different from Krsna’s arm, which is marked with the sign of Sudarsana, cakra, decorated with a jewel, and anointed with splendid sandalwood paste.

Note: The ambiguity of the words “cakrankitasya” and “nirmala-malayaja-parisilinah” enables them to modify, in different ways, both “krsna-bhujagasya” and “krsna-bhujasya”.

183     Krsna: Beautiful one, why do You try to make the eyes of the entire world barren and useless by giving up this incomparably beautiful body, which frightens goddess Laksmi with its boundless sweetness?

184     Radha: (She tilts Her neck and gazes at Krsna) Alas! Alas! I have died  once, and I am dying a second time.  For he sake of this worthless person, You have thrown Lord Krsna, who delights the three worlds, into this lake of serpents.

185     (Arriving on the shore, Krsna places the jewel in Radha’s hand, and rebukes Her with a smile of reproach).  Merciless girl, voluntarily and with great love, You offered many benedictions to these serpents.  Why do You refuse to offer any benedictions to this one serpent who is passionately in love with You?  Come.  Let Us go to the pavilion of madhavi vines.  (Accompanied by Pingala, They both exit).

186     (Accompanied by Paurnamasi and other women, and crying, Yasoda enters).

Yasoda: Alas! Alas! I am very unfortunate! Even though the cruel Kaliya serpent was defeated once, it has returned again to torment me.

187     Nava-vrnda: (aside) My strategy to free Radha from the control of others is now successful.  (openly) O noble ladies, please be comforted.  Please be comforted.  Give up your unhappiness.  Lord Krsna, who carries a flag marked with the insignia of Garuda, has rescued Satyabhama and carried Her to the shore.

188     Everyone: (their voices become choked)  Well done! Well done! (They become peaceful).

189     A voice from behind the scenes:  There is the demigod Brahma, who was born from a lotus flower, and who is the spiritual master of the three worlds.  Following behind him is Lord Siva, who is crowned with a crescent moon and who rides his powerful bull Nandi with goddess Parvati by his side.  Siva now enters Dvaraka City to see Lord Krsna, the king of the Satvatas.

190     Nava-Vrnda: Look! Look! Lord Krsna has come to please Parvati’s husband, Siva.

191     (Observing Lord Krsna from a distance, everyone becomes happy)

192     Paurnamasi: Nava-vrnda, where is your dear friend Satyabhama?

193     Nava-vrnda: There in the pavilion of jasmine flowers.

194     Paurnamasi: While Krsna is absent let us quickly send Satyabhama to Kundina City.

195     Mukhara: I will go and bring Her.  (She walks).

196     (Accompanied by Pingala, Radha enters)

Radha: Ah! Who is talking here?

197     Pingala: Queen Rukmini’s relatives are speaking badly about You.

198     Radha: Alas! I am not able even to die! (She covers Her face and weeps).

199     (Mukhara gazes at Radha from a distance, becomes struck with wonder, and then returns).

200     Paurnamasi: Mukhara, why have you come back?

201     Mukhara: Noble lady, there is something I wish to tell you, but I am afraid to speak.

202     Paurnamasi: Bewildered woman, why should you be afraid?  Tell me what is on your mind.

203     Mukhara: It is like this…(Shedding tears, she whispers in her ear in a faltering voice).

204     Paurnamasi: (with contempt) O speaker of incoherent nonsense, be silent! Why does destiny treat you in this way?

205     Yasoda; O noble lady, what did she say?

206     Paurnamasi: Queen of Gokula, it is impossible.

207     (Mukhara again whispers in her ear).

208     Paurnamasi: Fool! I know, I know.  The syamantaka jewel has cast a spell on you and turned into a fool.

209     Mukhara: Granddaughter Lalita, you come and look.

210     (Lalita glances at the face of Paurnamasi).

211     Paurnamasi: Let us all go there.  What’s wrong with that?

212     (everyone walks).

213     Paurnamasi: (Going a little ahead of Lalita and Mukhara, she becomes suddenly filled with emotion).  How is that, even though I cannot clearly see Her, this very beautiful girl awakens such compassion and wonder in my heart?

214     Lalita: (She approaches and says in a choked voice) O slender girl, why are You crying?

215     Radha: (She removes the edge of Her sari from Her face.  She suddenly calls out) Oh! Oh! Is this My dear friend Lalita?  Oh! Is this affectionate Paurnamasi?  Oh! Is this noble Mukhara?  (Overcome with happiness, She falls to the ground).

216     (Lalita utters an inarticulate sound of joy, embraces Radha and then faints in happiness.)

217     Paurnamasi: Oh! Oh! Is this my child Radha?  (She loudly weeps).

218     Mukhara: Granddaughter, I have found You again!  (She becomes mad with happiness).

219     Yasoda: (Accompanied by Rohini, she runs there and says in a choked voice) O child, You are alive!  (She kisses Her face).

220     Candravali: (trembling) Is this my sister Radha?  She falls and embraces Radha’s neck.

221     Paurnamasi: Ah! A crystal stream of pure drinking-water has suddenly appeared before they who are dying of thirst in the desert.

222     Radha; (She offers respectful obeisances to everyone’s feet, and eagerly says) IS My sister Candravali well?

223     Candravali: (tightly embracing Her) My sister! I, I am wicked, wretched Candravali.  (She cries).

224     Radha: (with bliss and reverence She falls at her feet) Ah! Ah! Wretched fate is mocking Me!

225     (Krsna enters)

Krsna: (joyful) After such a long time, now again I can think of myself as a resident of Gokula.  Now I am overcome with happiness.

226     Yasoda: (touching Krsna) My son, it is very fortunate that You and this girl have both emerged from this lake of serpents unharmed.

227     Nava-vrnda: Queen of Gokula, those snakes were an illusion created by magic.

228     (Everyone gently laughs and smiles).

229     Lalita: Radha, where is Visakha?

230     Nava-vrnda: Look! Visakha is happily coming here from the river.

231     (All the women approach Visakha and embrace her.  Visakha offers respectful obeisances to the feet of her superiors.  She then embraces Radha).

232     Lalita: O friend Visakha, am I actually seeing you again?

233     (They tightly embrace each other).

234     Candravali: (aside to Paurnamasi) Nobly lady, repeating my words, please beg my noble husband to accept the hand of my sister Radha.

235     Paurnamasi: My child, of all gentle, kind and sincere girls, you are the best.  Please listen.  When you place Radha in Lord Krsna’s hand, then your pure transcendental fame will be established eternally.  At the wedding ceremony of Radha and Krsna the shower of jewels and the ringing of bells proclaiming the auspiciousness of Their love will delight the entire world.

236     Candravali: (jubilant) O noble lady, that is my desire also.  You and Gokula’s queen Yasoda please arrange that it be done.

237     (Paurnamasi informs Yasoda).

238     Yasoda: Son, child Candravali has something to ask You.

239     Krsna: Mother, let Me.  What desire of hers will I now fulfil.

240     Yasoda: It is something like that.

241     Krsna: As My mother orders.  (She comes close and whispers something in His ear).  My queen, this burden is very heavy.  I cannot carry it.  Please give Me a different order.

242     Candravali: (with the anger of love)  In this situation it is good for You to be timid.  (She takes Radha’s hand) O Lotus-eyed Krsna, in front of all of us, please accept this girl, my sister, Radha and please love Her very dearly.  (She places Radha’s hand in Krsna’s ).

243     Krsna: (in a soft voice) My queen, what person would not yearn to attain your good wishes?  (He reverentially accepts Radha).

244     A voice from behind the scenes: Guided on the path by King Raivata, and his left hand placed in the hand of the hand of the king of Govardhana, the king of the Vindhya Hills, who heard the news from the mouth of Jambavan, now enters the city of Lord Krsna.

245     Paurnamasi: Look! Look! Holding Balarama’s hand, and accompanied by the heroes of the Vrsni dynasty, Maharaja Vasudeva enters the extraordinary wedding arena.  Attended by the beautiful ladies of the Yadu dynasty, and with great respect bring Revati with her, Queen Devaki also enters the arena.

246     Nava-vrnda: Look! Look! Holding Bhadra’s right hand and Saibya’s left, eager Syama has come.

247     A voice from behind the scenes: Now that, by cheerfully consenting to Krsna’s marriage with Radha, Queen Rukmini has dissolved the restriction placed by her father, clever, smiling Garuda has entered with 16 100 unmarried girls.

248     Yasoda: Ah! From all directions destiny is suddenly very friendly.

249     Paurnamasi: Look! Look! With Sridama at his right and Subala at his left, jubilant Nanda Maharaja enters.

250     (As described, Nanda enters)

Nanda: Noble Paurnamasi, now that my long-cherished desire is fulfilled, I consider my life a complete success.  (He embraces Krsna)

251     (With Paurnamasi between them, the two sisters offer respectful obeisances to Nanda, the king of the cowherd people).

252     Nanda: Children, You are both devoted to Krsna, and  You both consider Him more dear than Your own life’s breath.  May You both be blessed with all good fortune.

253     Paurnamasi: Accompanied by many chaste women, Arundhati and the chaste Lopamudra meet on the path.

Note: Arundhati is the wife of the sage Vasistha and Lopamudra is the wife of the sage Agastya.

254     Nava-vrnda: Indra, the king of the demigods, being his wife Saci, the daughter of Puloma, Siva’s friend Kuvera, bringing his wife Rddhi, Surya’s son Yamaraja, bringing his wife Dhumorna, Varuna, the king of waters, bringing his wife Gauri, Surya, bringing his wife Samjna, the daughter of Visvakarma, Marut, bringing his wife Siva, Agni, bringing his wife Svaha and Candra, brining his wife Rohini, have all come to Dvaraka.

255     A voice from behind the scenes: Kubja, made many scented cosmetics.  happy at heart, the florist Sudama made many flower garlands.  By making many beautiful garments, the tailor created a very charming scene.  Filled with people overcome with perfect happiness, the city of Dvaraka has become very splendid and glorious.

256     Lalita: Visakha, by seeing the reunion of the divine couple, your life is now all-successful and all perfect.

257     Paurnamasi: Son of Yasoda, we have all the ingredients for the abhiseka ceremony.  Now the wedding arena may be decorated.  Decorate it first with Radha, and then with the other girls, one by one.

258     Krsna: (Welcome everyone, and then whispers to Radha) O Radha, queen of My life, ask a favour of Me.  What may I do to please You?

259     Radha; (blissful, She says in Sanskrit) In this forest of Vrndavana I have found My beautiful, charming and affectionate gopi friends, I have found My sister Candravali, and all her friends.  I have obtained Yasoda-devi, the queen of Vraja as My mother-in-law, and I have also attained Your company, which brings Me the greatest happiness.  What can be more pleasing to Me than all these things?

260     Still, please grant this one benediction.  To those persons who reside in the profoundly sweet land of Vrndavana and who for a long time yearn with a steady heart to someday attain You, please O master of Gokula, appear before their eyes as their youthful friend.

261     O Lord who places the glistening flute to Your handsome mouth, please also grant this benediction.  In the district of Mathura, where the many forests bear the sweet fragrance of places where You enjoy pastimes, and which is auspicious, splendid and endowed with all kinds of sweetness, please always enjoy transcendental pastimes with us gopis, whose hearts are overcome with love for You.

262     Krsna: Beloved, so be it.

263     Radha: How will that be?  (Krsna casts a concealed glance to the right).

Note: In the preceding verse Radha asked Krsna to enjoy pastimes with Her in Mathura (Vrndavana).  Krsna immediately agreed,  In this statement Radha asks: “We are now in Dvaraka.  How will we go to Vrndavana from here?”

264     (Tossing aside the stage-curtain, Ekanamsa hastily enters with Gargi).

Ekanamsa: Friend Radha, do not doubt.  At this moment You are standing in the beautiful and opulent abode of Gokula (Vrndavana), although by the power of time I have arranged it in a different way.  This truth You will be able to see directly within Your heart.  Please understand that You are in Vrndavana and Your Krsna is standing by Your side.

265     Gargi; (aside) Now the words I heard from my father’s mouth have borne fruit.

266     (Considering all this Radha is overcome with emotion).

Gargi: Friend, compose Yourself.  Compose Yourself.

(Radha composes Herself, and then stares at Krsna with crooked eyes).

267     Krsna: Beloved, what else may I do to please You?

268     Radha: (smiles) Unseen by outsiders, let Us both decorate this land of Gokula (Vrndavana) in Our original transcendental forms.

269     Krsna: Beloved, so be it.  Come.  Let Us arrange that Your sister Candravali’s request will not have been spoken in vain. (Accompanied by everyone, They exit).






1          In this play the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the hero.  More handsome than cupid, His transcendental pastimes make Him the most charming and playful person.

2          This Lalita-Madhava is filled with the 64 arts, with puns, with various literary ornaments and with musical poetry.  They who are learned and intelligent will worship this Lalita-Madhava.

3          In this Saka year 1459 (A.D. 1537) in the month of Sukra (May-June), on Sunday, the 14th day of the moon, after offering my respectful obeisances to Lord Krsna, I have completed this book in the forest of Bhadravana.

4          Standing on the shore, in all directions I have freely sprinkled the nectar water of the stream of transcendental mellows.  I pray the exalted devotees will forgive me.


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