Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 14:12 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 14:12


vp.5.7 poisonous vapour combined with the water; and the whole horizon was in a blaze. Krishna, having dived into the pool, struck his arms in defiance 3, and the snake king, hearing the sound, quickly came forth: his eyes were coppery red, and his hoods were flaming with deadly venom: he was attended by many other powerful and poisonous snakes, feeders upon air, and by hundreds of serpent nymphs, decorated with rich jewels, whose earrings glittered with trembling radiance as the wearers moved along. Coiling themselves around Krishna, they all bit him with teeth from which fiery poison was emitted. Krishna s companions, beholding him in the lake, encompassed by the snakes, twining around him, ran off to Vraja, lamenting and bewailing aloud his fate. Krishna"," they called out, "has foolishly plunged into the serpent s pool, and is there bitten to death by the snake king! Come and see." The cowherds and their wives and Yasoda, hearing this news, which was like a thunderbolt, ran immediately to the pool, frightened out of their senses, and crying, "Alas! alas! where is he?" The Gopis were retarded by Yasoda, who in her agitation stumbled and slipped at every step; but Nanda and the cowherds and the invincible Rama hastened to the banks of the Yamuna, eager to assist Krishna. There they beheld him apparently in the power of the serpent king, encompassed by twining snakes, and making no effort to escape. Nanda, as soon as he set his eyes upon his son, became senseless; and Yasoda
vp.5.7 when she beheld him, lost all consciousness. The Gopis, overcome with sorrow, wept, and called affectionately, and with convulsive sobs, upon Kesava. "Let us all," said they, "plunge with Yasoda into the fearful pool of the serpent king. We cannot return to Vraja; for what is day, without the sun? what night, without the moon? what is a herd of heifers, without its lord? what is Vraja, without Krishna? Deprived of him, we will go no more to Gokula. The forest will lose its delights; it will be like a lake without water. When this dark lotus leaf complexioned Hari is not present, there is no joy in the maternal dwelling. How strange is this! And as for you, ye cowherds, how, poor beings, will you live amidst the pastures, when you no longer
vp.5.7 When the mighty son of Rohini, Balarama, heard these exclamations of the Gopis, and with disdainful glance beheld the cowherds overcome with terror, Nanda gazing fixedly upon the countenance of his son, and Yasoda unconscious, he spake to Krishna in his own character: "What is this, O god of gods! the quality of mortal is sufficiently assumed; dost thou not know thyself eternal? Thou art the centre of creation, as the nave is of the spokes of a wheel. A portion of thee have I also been born, as thy senior. The gods, to partake of thy pastimes as man, have all descended under a like disguise; and the goddesses have come down to Gokula to join in thy sports. Thou, eternal, hast last of all appeared below. Wherefore, Krishna, dost thou disregard these divinities, who, as cowherds, are thy friends and kin? these sorrowing females, who also are thy relations? Thou hast put on the character of man; thou hast exhibited the tricks of childhood: now let this fierce snake, though armed with venomed fangs, be subdued (by thy celestial vigour)."
vp.5.11 is on high; enter beneath it quickly, and it will shelter you from the storm: here you will be secure and at your ease in places defended from the wind: enter without delay, and fear not that the mountain will fall." Upon this, all the people, with their herds, and their waggons and goods, and the Gopis, distressed by the rain, repaired to the shelter of the mountain, which Krishna held steadily over their heads; and Krishna, as he supported the mountain, was contemplated by the dwellers of Vraja with joy and wonder; and, as their eyes opened wide with astonishment and pleasure, the Gopas and Gopis sang his praise. For seven days and nights did the vast clouds sent by Indra rain upon the Gokula of Nanda to destroy its inhabitants, but they were protected by the elevation of the mountain; and the slayer of Bala, Indra, being foiled in his purpose, commanded the clouds to cease. The threats of Indra having been fruitless, and the heavens clear, all Gokula came forth from its shelter, and returned to its own abode. Then Krishna, in the sight of the surprised inhabitants of the forests, restored the great mountain Govarddhana to its original site 1.
vp.5.13 Krishna praised by the cowherds: his sports with the Gopis: their imitation and love of hire. The Rasa dance.
vp.5.13 But Krishna, observing the clear sky bright with the autumnal moon, and the air perfumed with the fragrance of the wild water lily, in whose buds the clustering bees were murmuring their songs, felt inclined to join with the Gopis in sport. Accordingly he and Rama commenced
vp.5.13 singing sweet low strains in various measures, such as the women loved; and they, as soon as they heard the melody, quitted their homes, and hastened to meet the foe of Madhu. One damsel gently sang an accompaniment to his song; another attentively listened to his melody: one calling out upon his name, then shrunk abashed; whilst another, more bold, and instigated by affection, pressed close to his side: one, as she sallied forth, beheld some of the seniors of the family, and dared not venture, contenting herself with meditating on Krishna with closed eyes, and entire devotion, by which immediately all acts of merit were effaced by rapture, and all sin was expiated by regret at not beholding him: and others, again, reflecting upon the cause of the world, in the form of the supreme Brahma, obtained by their sighing final emancipation. Thus surrounded by the Gopis, Krishna thought the lovely moonlight night of autumn propitious to the Rasa dance 1. Many of the Gopis imitated the different actions of Krishna, and in his absence wandered through Vrindavana, representing his person. "I am Krishna," cries one; "behold the elegance of my movements." "I am Krishna," exclaims another; "listen to my song." "Vile Kaliya, stay! for I am Krishna," is repeated by a third, slapping her arms in defiance. A fourth calls out, Herdsmen", fear nothing; be steady; the danger of the storm is over, for, lo, I lift up Govarddhana for your shelter." And a fifth proclaims, "Now let the herds graze
vp.5.13 ere they will, for I have destroyed Dhenuka." Thus in various actions of Krishna the Gopis imitated him, whilst away, and beguiled their sorrow by mimicking his sports. Looking down upon the ground, one damsel calls to her friend, as the light down upon her body stands erect with joy, and the lotuses of her eyes expand, "See here are the marks of Krishna s feet, as he has gone alone sportively, and left the impressions of the banner, fife thunderbolt, and the goad 2. What lovely maiden has been his companion, inebriate with
vp.5.13 passion, as her irregular footmarks testify? Here Damodara has gathered flowers from on high, for we see alone the impressions of the tips of his feet. Here a nymph has sat down with him, ornamented with flowers, fortunate in having propitiated Vishnu in a prior existence. Having left her in an arrogant mood, because he had offered her flowers, the son of Nanda has gone by this road; for see, unable to follow him with equal steps, his associate has here tripped along upon her toes, and, holding his hand, the damsel has passed, as is evident from the uneven and intermingled footsteps. But the rogue has merely taken her hand, and left her neglected, for here the paces indicate the path of a person in despair. Undoubtedly he promised that he would quickly come again, for here are his own footsteps returning with speed. Here he has entered the thick forest, impervious to the rays of the moon, and his steps can be traced no farther." Hopeless then of beholding Krishna, the Gopis returned, and repaired to the banks of the Yamuna, where they sang his songs; and presently they beheld the preserver of the three worlds, with a smiling aspect, hastening towards them: on which, one exclaimed, Krishna"! Krishna!" unable to articulate any thing else: another affected to contract her forehead with frowns, as drinking with the bees of her eyes the lotus of the face of Hari: another, closing her eyelids, contemplated internally his form, as if engaged in an act of devotion. Then Madhava,
vp.5.13 ing amongst them, conciliated some with soft speeches, some with gentle looks, and some he took by the hand; and the illustrious deity sported with them in the stations of the dance. As each of the Gopis, however, attempted to keep in one place, close to the side of Krishna, the circle of the dance could not be constructed, and he therefore took each by the hand, and when their eyelids were shut by the effects of such touch, the circle was formed 3. Then proceeded the dance
vp.5.13 moon of autumn, a mine of gentle radiance; but the nymphs repeated the praises of Krishna alone. At times, one of them, wearied by the revolving dance, threw her arms, ornamented with tinkling bracelets, round the neck of the destroyer of Madhu: another, skilled in the art of singing his praises, embraced him. The drops of perspiration from the arms of Hari were like fertilizing rain, which produced a crop of down upon the temples of the Gopis. Krishna sang the strain that was appropriate to the dance. The Gopis repeatedly exclaimed, "Bravo, Krishna!" to his song. When leading, they followed him; when returning, they encountered him; and, whether he went forwards or backwards, they ever attended on his steps. Whilst frolicking thus with the Gopis, they considered every instant without him a myriad of years; and, prohibited in vain by husbands, fathers, brothers, they went forth at night to sport with Krishna, the object of their affection. Thus the illimitable being, the benevolent remover of all imperfections, assumed the character of a youth amongst the females of the herdsmen of Vraja; pervading their natures, and that of their lords, by his own essence, all diffusive like the wind: for even as in all creatures the elements of ether, fire, earth, water, and air, are comprehended, so also is he every where present, and in all.
vp.5.14 ONE evening, whilst Krishna and the Gopis were amusing themselves in the dance, the demon Arishta, disguised as a savage bull, came to the spot, after having spread alarm through the station. His colour was that of a cloud charged with rain; he had vast horns, and his eyes were like two fiery suns: as he moved, he ploughed up the ground with his hoofs: his tongue was repeatedly licking his lips; his tail was erect; the sinews of his shoulders were firm, and between them rose a hump of enormous dimensions; his haunches were soiled with ordure, and he was a terror to the herds; his dewlap hung low, and his face was marked with scars from butting against the trees. Terrifying all the kine, the demon who perpetually haunts the forests in the shape of a bull, destroying hermits and ascetics, advanced. Beholding an animal of such a formidable aspect, the herdsmen and their women were exceedingly frightened, and called aloud on Krishna, who came to their succour, shouting and slapping his arm in defiance. When the Daitya heard the noise, he turned upon his challenger, and fixing his eyes and pointing his horns at the belly of Kesava, he ran furiously upon the youth. Krishna stirred not from his post, but, smiling in sport and derision, awaited the near approach of the bull, when he seized him as an alligator would have done, and held him firmly by the horns, whilst he pressed his sides with his knees. Having thus humbled his pride, and held him captive by his horns, he wrung his
vp.5.18 Grief of the Gopis on the departure of Krishna and Balarama with Akrura: their leaving Gokula. Akrura bathes in the Yamuna; beholds the divine forms of the two youths, and praises Vishnu.
vp.5.18 Having given orders accordingly to the cowherds, Akrura, with Kesava and Rama, retired to rest, and slept soundly in the dwelling of Nanda. The next morning was bright, and the youths prepared to depart for Mathura with Akrura. The Gopis, seeing them about to set forth, were much afflicted; they wept bitterly, their bracelets were loose upon their arms, and they thus communed together: "If Govinda depart for Mathura, how will he return to Gokula? his ears will there be regaled with the melodious and polished conversation of the women of the city. Accustomed to the language of the graceful females of Mathura, he will never again endure the rustic expressions of the Gopis. Hari, the pride of the station, is carried off, and a fatal blow is inflicted upon us by inexorable destiny, Expressive smiles, soft language, graceful airs,
vp.5.18 elegant gait, and significant glances, belong to the women of the city. Hari is of rustic breeding, and, captivated by their fascinations, what likelihood is there of his returning to the society of any one amongst us? Kesava, who has mounted the car to go to Mathura, has been deceived by the cruel, vile, and desperate Akrura. Does not the unfeeling traitor know the affection that we all here feel for our Hari, the joy of our eyes, that he is taking him away? Unkind that he is, Govinda is departing from us, along with Rama: haste! let us stop him! Why talk of telling our seniors that we cannot bear his loss? What can they do for us, when we are consumed by the fires of separation? The Gopas, with Nanda at their head, are themselves preparing to depart; no one makes any attempt to detain Govinda. Bright is the morning that succeeds to this night for the women of Mathura, for the bees of their eyes will feed upon the lotus face of Achyuta. Happy are they who may go hence without impediment, and behold, enraptured, Krishna on his journey. A great festival will give pleasure to day to the eyes of the inhabitants of Mathura, when they see the person of Govinda. What a blissful vision will be seen by the happy women, of the city, whose brilliant eyes shall regard, unchecked, the countenance of Krishna! Alas! the eyes of the Gopis have been deprived of sight by the relentless Brahma, after he had shewn them this great treasure. In proportion as the affection of Hari for us decays,
vp.5.24 Krishna having by this stratagem destroyed his enemy, returned to Mathura, and took captive his army, rich in horses, elephants and cars, which he conducted to Dwaraka, and delivered to Ugrasena, and the Yadu race was relieved from all fear of invasion. Baladeva, when hostilities had entirely ceased, being desirous of seeing his kinsmen, went to Nanda s cow pens, and there again conversed with the herdsmen and their females, with affection and respect. By some, the elders, he was embraced; others, the juniors, he embraced; and with those of his own age, male or female, he talked and laughed. The cowherds made many kind speeches to Halayudha; but some of the Gopis spoke to him with the affectation of anger, or with feelings of jealousy, as they inquired after the loves of Krishna with the women of Mathura. "Is all well with the fickle and inconstant Krishna?" said they: "Does the volatile swain, the friend of an instant, amuse the women of the city by laughing at our rustic efforts (to please him)? Does he ever think of us, singing in chorus to his songs? Will he not come here once again to see his mother? But why talk of these things? it is a different tale to tell for
vp.5.24 him without us, and for us without him. Father, mother, brother, husband, kin, what have we not abandoned for his sake? but he is a monument of ingratitude. Yet tell us, does not Krishna talk of coming here? Falsehood is never, O Krishna, to be uttered by thee. Verily this is Damodara, this is Govinda, who has given up his heart to the damsels of the city, who has no longer any regard for us, but looks upon us with disdain." So saying, the Gopis, whose minds were fixed on Krishna, addressed Rama in his place, calling him Damodara and Govinda, and laughed and were merry; and Rama consoled them by communicating to them agreeable, modest, affectionate, and gentle messages from Krishna. With the cowherds he talked mirthfully, as he had been wont to do, and rambled along with them over the lands of Vraja 1.
vp.5.25 WHILST the mighty sesha 1, the upholder of the globe, was thus engaged in wandering amidst the forests with the herdsmen, in the disguise of a mortal having rendered great services to earth, and still considering what more was to be achieved Varuna, in order to provide for his recreation, said to his wife Varuni (the goddess of wine), "Thou, Madira, art ever acceptable to the powerful Ananta; go therefore, auspicious and kind goddess, and promote his enjoyments." Obeying these commands, Varuni went and established herself in the hollow of a Kadamba tree in the woods of Vrindavana. Baladeva, roaming about, came there, and smelling the pleasant fragrance of liquor, resumed his ancient passion for strong drink. The holder of the ploughshare observing the vinous drops distilling from the Kadamba tree, was much delighted, and gathered and quaffed them 2 along with the herdsmen and the Gopis, whilst those who were skilful with voice and lute celebrated him in their songs. Being inebriated with the wine, and the drops of perspiration standing like pearls upon his limbs, he called out, not knowing what he said, "Come hither, Yamuna river, I want to bathe." The river, disregarding the words of a drunken man, came not at his bidding: on which

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