Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Seven
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Nine

Chapter Thirty-eight
Śṛṅgāra-rasa, Part Two


by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

Vijaya sat in a composed manner after humbly entreating Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī to speak further about sambhoga-rasa, the transcendental mellow of enjoyment in union. As Śrīla Gosvāmī started his response affectionately, Vijaya listened intently with spontaneous concentration.

Gosvāmī, “We have already discussed the two types of kṛṣṇa-līlā: prakaṭa, manifest; and aprakaṭa, unmanifest. The intense yearning stemming from viraha, separation, in vipralambha-rasa, as we have described previously, is a part of the prakaṭa-līlā upon earth. In all the aprakaṭalīlā, eternal unmanifest pastimes—for example the rāsa-līlā dance of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs in the transcendental world of Goloka Vṛndāvana—viraha is practically absent. In the scripture Mathurā-māhātmya, we find narrated that Kṛṣṇa sports with the gopas and gopīs in Vṛndāvana. The word krīḍati—plays, sports—has been used in this context to describe the activities of Kṛṣṇa. By the use of this verb in the present tense, eternal constant activity is clearly indicated. Therefore, in the aprakaṭa-līlā of Goloka Vṛndāvana in the spiritual world, Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes do not include sudūra-pravāsa-viraha, separation by long distance and time.

“There, sambhoga-rasa is perpetual. The romantic exchanges such as embracing, having rendezvous, and so on, between the nāyaka and nāyikā—respectively viṣaya, and āśrayā—that They eternally relish with immense exhilaration, reach ever-new heights and produce a unique concoction of rasa known as sambhoga. Sambhoga is divided into two sections: mukhya, principal; and gauṇa, secondary.”

Vijaya, “What is mukhya-sambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “In the awakened state, when sambhoga is dynamic, it is called mukhya-sambhoga, principal enjoyment, which is further sub-divided into four parts. The sambhoga that occurs soon after pūrvarāga is called saṅkṣipta, simple and brief. The sambhoga that occurs after feelings of māna is known as saṅkīrṇa, restricted. The sambhoga that is relished after a separation, perhaps because of a short journey, is termed sampanna, enriched. And, the sambhoga that is experienced after a long sojourn is named samṛddhimān, opulent, flourishing and perfectional.”

Vijaya, “Kindly further elucidate saṅkṣipta-sambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “The sambhoga that ensues after pūrvarāga is saṅkṣipta, brief. Here, because of tentative emotions such as apprehension and shyness, the nāyaka and nāyikā enjoy brief and furtive kisses, embraces, and so on.”

Vijaya, “Please further clarify saṅkīrṇa-sambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “The sambhoga following māna is saṅkīrṇa, reserved and restricted. Saṅkīrṇa-sambhoga is a blend of opposing tastes, much like a steaming cup of sugarcane juice—sweet, but burning hot. The nāyikā still feels some annoyance with the nāyaka, yet the sweet relish of His touch and kisses binds her heart.”

Vijaya, “Kindly further explain sampannasambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “The nāyikā’s delight in seeing her lover after His return from a short journey is called sampanna-sambhoga, strengthened, enriched union, and is of two kinds: āgati, known arrival; and prādurbhāva, joyous appearance. Coming back as a part of a daily routine, such as Kṛṣṇa returning from grazing the cows as the gopīs feast their eyes upon Him, is āgati-sampanna-sambhoga. The sudden unexpected appearance of Kṛṣṇa amongst the anxious gopīs ready to fully engage the amorous desires of the love-smitten nāyikā is prādurbhāvasambhoga. Prādurbhāva is the most desirable and satisfying state for the nāyikā and creates a festive cascading high tide in the ocean of transcendental bliss.”

Vijaya, “What is samṛddhimān-sambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “Samṛddhimān-sambhoga, opulent, flourishing union, arises after sudūrapravāsa. Independent forces such as superiors or social etiquette impose long separation between the nāyikā and her faraway beloved nāyaka and so their meeting is not always possible. When this situation is reversed and the nāyaka returns, the nāyikā’s joy is a boundless ocean, and the bliss she savours is designated, samṛddhimān-sambhoga. This sambhoga is of two kinds: channa, covered, hidden by immediate circumstances; and prakāśa, freely displayed because of a lack of immediate constraints. Anyway, it is not necessary to elaborate upon these distinctions here.”

Vijaya, “Prabhu, could we go into the subject of gauṇasambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “Sambhoga in the dream state when Kṛṣṇa appears and performs special suitable pastimes is known as gauṇasambhoga. The dreams are of two kinds: sāmānya, general, and viśeṣa, significant; hence, gauṇa-sambhoga is also of two corresponding kinds. The dreams of Kṛṣṇa that occur when the vyabhicārī-bhāva of nidrā is prominent are in this context referred to as sāmānya, general, usual. However, the distinguishing feature of viśeṣa-sambhoga is that the distinct visions of Kṛṣṇa that it affords fully evoke sthāyi-bhāva and all the sañcāribhāvas related to the sambhoga of jāgrata, the awakened state. This indicates an extraordinary parallel between viśeṣa-sambhoga and jāgratasambhoga. Moreover, just like mukhya-sambhoga, the visions of Kṛṣṇa in viśeṣa-sambhoga have the same four divisions: saṅkṣipta, brief; saṅkīrṇa, constricted; sampanna, enhanced; and samṛddhimān, very opulent.”

Vijaya, “This point is a little confusing. In a dream there is practically no actual reality, therefore how can the spiritual fulfilment experienced in this secondary state be almost equivalent to the principal mukhya-samṛddhimān-sambhoga?”

Gosvāmī, “On the spiritual plane, the vision during svapna, the sleeping state, and the meeting during jāgrata, the awakened state, are virtually identical in nature. An appropriate example is the case of Ūṣā and Aniruddha. Ūṣā was in her quarters inside Bāṇāsura’s palace in Śoṇitapura, dreaming of enjoying the embrace of Aniruddha, who was at the same time far away in Dvārakā, himself also dreaming of enjoying with Ūṣā. The exact same thing occurs to Kṛṣṇa and His beloved gopīs. This is, of course, not possible for conditioned souls to experience. The direct and tangible proof of this is that when transcendental, liberated devotees receive ornaments and such in their wondrous dreams, they still possess them upon awakening.

“Thus, the svapna, visionary dreaming, of transcendence is of two varieties: jāgarāyamāna-svapna, the meeting through vision while one is dreaming whilst asleep: and svapnāyamāna-jāgara, the meeting through vision while one is daydreaming whilst awake. The fourth stage in yogic perfection is samādhi, total absorption; however, the gopīs have superseded even this state of consciousness by attaining the fifth level known as prema. Their dreams have nothing in common with ordinary dreams that are mundane by nature and fictitious being conducted by the triple guṇas of the māyāśakti. The dreams of the gopīs, belonging to the realm of absolute reality, are supramundane and transcendental. Thus, Kṛṣṇa’s dalliances are so wonderful and unique that even through a kaleidoscope of dreams, which may even be punctuated with mahā-bhāva, He gives actual pleasure to His beloved gopī lovers.”

Vijaya, “In particular, kindly enumerate some of the varieties of sambhogarasa?”

Gosvāmī, “They are sandarśana, mutual scrutiny upon meeting; jalpa, witty garrulity; sparśana, touching; vartmarodhan, blocking one another’s way; rāsa-līlā dance; yamunā-jale keli, sporting in the Yāmuna; naukavilāsa, pleasure boat-rides; puṣpacaurya-līlā, stealing flowers; dāna-keli, demanding imaginary taxes from one another; kuñje lukocuri-khelā, playing hide-and-seek in the kuñjas; madhupāna, drinking and becoming intoxicated by beverages made from honey; strī-veśa-dhāraṇa, Kṛṣṇa covertly dressing as a gopī; kapaṭa-nidrā, shamming sleep to secretly hear the conversation of the beloved; dyūtakrīḍā, playing dice and extracting penalties; vastra-ākarṣana, tugging at the dress of one’s lover; cumbana, kissing or drinking nectar from the lips of one’s lover; ālingana, embracing one’s lover; nakha-arpana, scratching one’s lover with one’s nails; bimba-adhara-sudhā-pāna, drinking the nectar from the lips of the beloved that are like bimba fruit; and nidhuvana-ramaṇa-samprayoga, conjugal union in the pleasurable resting forest groves.”

Vijaya, “Guruji, apparently there is a difference between līlā-vilāsa, pleasurable playful joyful pastimes, and samprayoga, conjugal union, which of these is more blissful?”

Gosvāmī, “Līlāvilāsa is definitely more satisfying and blissful than samprayoga.”

Vijaya, “What endearing names and expressions do the gopīs use to address Kṛṣṇa?”

Gosvāmī, “With the deepest transcendental affection the joyful sakhīs address Kṛṣṇa with appellations, such as: ‘Hai, Gokulānanda, O personified bliss of Gokula; Hai, Govinda, O joy of the cows, the land and the senses; Hai, Goṣṭhendra-kula-candra, O full moon of the royal dynasty of cowherd-men; Hai, Prāṇeśvara, O Lord of the heart; Hai, Sundarottaṁsa, O crown of beauty; Hai, Nāgara-śiromaṇi, O crest jewel of paramours; Hai, Vṛndāvana-candra, O resplendent moon of Vṛndāvana; Hey, Gokula-rājā, O king of Gokula; and Hai, Manohara, O stealer of the mind and heart.’”

Vijaya, “Prabhu, I understand that the pastimes Kṛṣṇa are both prakaṭa, manifest, upon this supramundane plane of Vraja-gokula and aprakaṭa, unmanifest, upon the transcendental plane of Vraja-goloka and yet both types of līlā are of the same tattva; however, what are the variations that particularly occur in the prakaṭa vrajalīlā?”

Gosvāmī, “The prakaṭa vraja-līlā manifest upon this earthly plane by the Lord’s mercy is of two varieties: nitya, perpetual; and naimittika, occasional. In Vraja-gokula, the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā, eightfold daily pastimes, are nityalīlā, whereas the killing of the Asuras such as Pūtanā and the sudūrapravāsa are naimittikalīlā.”

Vijaya, “Prabhu, could you explain a little of the nityalīlā of the Lord?”

Gosvāmī, “Two authorized versions of this subject are available. One is composed by the ancient ṛṣis in Sanskrit, and the other is compiled by the great Six Gosvāmīs, the disciples of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Which one do you wish to hear?

Vijaya, “I am attracted to hear the version of the sages in Sanskrit.”


niśāntah prātah pūrvāhno madhyāhaś cāparāhnakaḥ
sāyaṁ pradoṣo-ratriś ca kālaṣṭau ca yathā-kṛamam
madhyāhno yāminī cobhau yan muhūrtam ito smṛtāu
tri-muhūrtam itā jñeyā niśānta-pramukhāḥ pare

“‘Līlā is divided into eight time periods of the day: niśānta, pre-dawn; prātaḥ, early morning; pūrvāhṇa, forenoon; madhyāhna, midday; aparāhna, afternoon; sāyam, dusk; pradoṣa, evening; and rātri, night. Rātrilīlā and madhyāhnalīlā are six muhūrtas each whereas the others are three muhūrtas each (one muhūrta is equivalent to forty-eight minutes).’

“Śrīla Sadāśiva, in the Sanat-kumāra Saṁhitā, has ascertained the various devotional services according to the different times of the day or night. They are to be meditated upon at the corresponding time of one’s own day and night as a part of one’s daily bhajana.”

Vijaya, “Śrīla Gurudeva, am I privileged to hear the narrations of Jagad-guru Śrīla Sadāśiva, the world-renowned exponent of bhakti?”

Gosvāmī, “Please listen attentively:

sadā-śiva uvāca
parakīyābhimāninyas / tathāsya ca priyāḥ janāḥ
pracureṇaiva bhāvena / ramayanti nija-priyam

“‘Sadāśiva said, “The young gopīs of Vraja, who pride themselves in being the protagonists in amorous pastimes of the pārakiya mood, are very dear to Kṛṣṇa. They manifest a plethora of transcendental spiritual sentiments for the sole purpose of giving happiness to Kṛṣṇa, their most beloved lover.’

ātmānaṁ cintayet tatra / tāsāṁ madhye manoramām
rūpa-yauvana sampannāṁ / kiśorīṁ pramadākṛtim

“‘O Nārada, you should perceive yourself, in your ātmasvarūpa, spiritual identity, as a beautiful, charming kiśorī, young girl, residing amongst the similarly ever-youthful and delightful gopīs of Vṛndāvana who are steeped in pārakiya sentiments towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Meditate in the following manner: I am an enchantingly lovely, tender, adolescent maiden of intoxicating beauty.’

nānā-śilpa-kalābhijñāṁ / kṛṣṇa bhogānurūpiṇīm
prārthitām api kṛṣṇena / tato bhoga-parāṅ-mukhīm

“‘Knowing myself to be an eternal maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, who is the source of expertise in the many fine arts of giving Kṛṣṇa pleasure, I find my greatest and perennial source of pleasure in dexterously uniting Śrī Kṛṣṇa with His dearest love, Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Even if Kṛṣṇa approaches me directly with amorous proposals I shall decline, because relenting would be tantamount to abandoning the selfless service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā by accepting pleasure unrelated to Hers.’

rādhikānucarīṁ nityaṁ / tat sevana parāyaṇām
kṛṣṇād ‘apy adhikaṁ prema / rādhikāyāṁ prakūrvatiṁ

“‘I shall forever remain the maid-in-attendance to Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the most beloved consort of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. I am exclusively and totally devoted to Her sevā and have more prema for Śrīmatī Rādhikā than for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.’

prītyānudivasaṁ yatnāt / tayoh saṅgama-kāriṇīm

“‘I am eternally engaged in arranging for the daily union of the Divine Couple and remain forever fulfilled by my endeavours in bringing Them this ineffable exultation.’

ity ātmānaṁ vicintyaiva / tatra sevāṁ samācaret
brāhma-muhūrttaṁ ārabhya / yāvat tu ṣyān mahāniśi

“‘In this way, O Nārada, constantly remember your eternal service in your ātmasvarūpa under the shelter of the vraja-gopīs in transcendental land of Vṛndāvana; your service starting from the pre-dawn brahma-muhūrta and lasting ‘till late at night—that is from the niśānta-līlā to the rātrilīlā.’”

Vijaya, “What are the specific engagements in the niśāntalīlā, pre-dawn pastimes?”

Gosvāmī, “In the Śrī Sanat-kumāra-saṁhitā, we find recorded:

śrī-vṛndā uvāca
madhye vṛndāvane ramye / pañcāśat-kuñja-maṇḍite
kalpa-vṛkṣa nikuñjesu / divya ratnamaye gṛhe

“‘Śrī Vṛndā Devī says, “In the middle of the Vṛndāvana forest, surrounded on all sides by fifty forest groves, lies an enchanting leafy kuñja formed by wish-fulfilling desire trees, within which stands a bower-cottage decorated with divine precious gems.’

nidritau tiṣṭhatas talpe / niviḍāliṅgitau mithaḥ
mad-ājñā-kāribhih paścāt / pakṣibhir bodhitāv api

“‘Upon a bed of fragrant flowers, within the bower-cottage, Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa lie asleep, intimately entwined in an embrace of the deepest love. To rouse them I order the forest birds to create a melodious dawn chorus of warbling and singing.’

gāḍhāliṇgana-nirbhedam / āptau tad-bhaṅga kātarau
no matiṁ kurvatas talpāt / samutthātuṁ manāg api

“‘However, feigning sleep, they refuse to separate from each other’s embrace, which would terminate their stolen moments of bliss. So the Divine Youthful Couple remain as They are, fretting at the very thought of having to acknowledge the wakefulness of morning.’

tataś ca śārikā-śabdaih / śuka śabdaiś ca tau muhuḥ
bodhitau vivdhair vākyaiḥ / sva-talpād udatiṣṭhatām

“‘Thereafter, the female parrot, Sārikā, with her group of female parrots, and the male parrot, Śuka, with his group male parrots, incessantly chatter with each other, repeatedly trying to stir the love-smitten Divine Couple, who at last disentangle Themselves, stretching and sitting up upon the bed of fragrant flowers.’

upaviṣṭau tato dṛṣṭvā / sakhyas talpe mudāṇvitau
praviśya kurvanti sevāṁ / tat-kālasyocitām tayoḥ

“‘Seeing Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa sitting up sleepy-eyed and blissful upon the flower bed, the joyful, smiling sakhīs approach the Divine Couple and begin various services appropriate to the time and mood.’

punaś ca śārikā-vākyair / utthāya tau sva-talpataḥ
āgatau sva-sva-bhavanaṁ / bhīty-utkaṇṭhākulau mitaḥ

“‘Meanwhile, Śuka, Sārikā, and the other pet parrots pointedly continue their discussion. Overhearing their talks, the Divine Couple realize the need of the moment, abandon Their flower bed, and hasten to their individual homes, overcome with bhayarasa, fear, and utkaṇṭharasa, anxiety.’”

Vijaya, “Kindly narrate the prātaḥlīlā, early morning pastimes.”


prātaś ca bodhito mātrā / talpād utthāya sa tvaraḥ
kṛtvā kṛṣṇo danta-kāṣṭhaṁ / baladeva samanvitaḥ

“‘In the later morning, the call of Yaśodā Maiyā stirs Kṛṣṇa from His slumber. He lazily stretches out His body, brushes His teeth with a twig, and rinses His mouth.’

mātrānumodito yāti / gośālāṁ dohanotsukaḥ
rādhā ‘pi bodhitā vipra / vayasyābhiḥ sva-talpataḥ

“‘Then, with His mother’s permission, He goes to the gośālā with Balarāma, eager to milk the cows. Meanwhile, O Nārada Muni, Śrīmatī Rādhikā is being awakened from sleep by Her sakhīs in Her own palatial home.’

utthāya danta-kāṣṭhādi / kṛtvā ‘bhyaṅgaṁ samācaret
snāna-vedīṁ tato gatvā / snāpitā lalitādibhiḥ

“‘Getting up, she brushes her pearl-like teeth with a twig and rinses her mouth, then her sakhīs massage her with various scented oils. Next, she is led away by Lalitā Devī and other principal sakhīs to sit upon an elevated seat in the bathing chamber and receive a pleasant and fragrant bath.’

bhūṣā-gṛhaṁ vrajet tatra / vayasya bhūṣayanty api
bhūṣaṇair vividhair divyair / gandha-mālyānulepanaiḥ

“‘Then Rādhikā enters the chamber of dress and ornamentation where the sakhīs smear Her body with perfumed pastes and oils, dress and decorate Her with finery and invaluable jewellery, entwine fragrant flower-strands round around Her neck and black tresses, and cool Her brow with sandalwood paste.’

tataś ca sva-janais tasyāh / śuśrūṣāṁ prāpya yatnataḥ
paktum ahūyate sv-annaṁ / sa sakhī sā yaśodayā

“‘In this way, the sakhīs render all kinds of expert services to Rādhā, completely satisfying Her. At about the same time, Yaśodā Maiyā sends for Rādhikā to come to Nanda-bhavan and cook for Kṛṣṇa.’

nārada uvāca
katham ahūyate devi / pākārthaṁ sā yaśodayā
satīṣu pākatṛīṣu ca / rohiṇī pramukhāsv api

“‘Surprised, Nārada Muni asks, “Why does Yaśodā Devī send for Rādhā when so many expert cooks such as Rohiṇī Devī are present in Nanda-bhavan?”

śrī-vṛndā uvāca:
durvāsasā svayaṁ datto / varas tasyai mudā mune
iti kātyāyanī-vaktrāt / śrutam āsīn mayā purā

“‘Vṛndā Devī replies, “O great sage! I have heard from Kātyāyanī Devī that Śrīmatī Rādhikā had received a blessing from the powerful mystic, Durvāsā Muni.’

tvayā yat pacyate devi / tad-annaṁ mad-anugrahāt
miṣṭaṁ syādv-amṛta-spardhiṁ bhoktṛr āyuṣkaraṁ tathā

“‘The sage Durvāsā had blessed Her, saying, “O Devi! By the power of my boon, whatever you cook will taste more nectarean than the ambrosia of immortality tasted by the Devas; furthermore, such foodstuffs will certainly increase the longevity of one who takes them.”

ity āhūyati tāṁ nityaṁ / yaśoda putra-vatsalā
āyuṣmān me bhavet putraḥ / svādu lobhāt tathā sati

“‘Yaśodā Maiyā, knowing of this boon, wants her son, Kṛṣṇa, to eat the cooking of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Being full of parental love and care for Kṛṣṇa, Yaśodā always prays for Kṛṣṇa to have a long life and relish palatable food; therefore, daily she calls for Śrīmatī Rādhikā to cook.’

śvaśrānumoditā sāpi / hṛṣtā nandālayaṁ vrajet
sva-sakhī-prakarā tatra / gatvā pākaṁ karoti ca

“‘Śrīmatī Rādhikā first takes permission from Her mother-in-law and then joyfully proceeds to the house of Mahārāja Nanda accompanied by Her sakhīs to prepare the kitchen and breakfast.’

kṛṣṇo ‘pi dugdhvā gāḥ kāścit / dohayitvā janaiḥ parāḥ
āgacchati pitur vākyāt / sva gṛhaṁ sakhibhir vṛtaḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa follows a similar morning routine. On the orders of His father, He milks a number of cows with His friends and oversees the milking of the remaining cows by other gopas and then returns home with His friends.’

abhyaṅga-mardanaṁ kṛtvā / dāsaiḥ saṁsnāpito mudā
dhauta-vastra-dharaḥ sragvī / candanākta-kalevaraḥ

“‘After returning home with His friends, He is undressed, oiled properly, and bathed by His joyous servants. He is then dressed with a fresh dhotī, sandalwood paste is applied to His beautiful body, and He is garlanded with fragrant flowers.’

dvi-vastra-baddha-keśaś ca / gṛīvābhālo-parisphuran
candrākāra-sphurad-bhālas tilakāloka-rañjitaḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa is adorned with two garments; one covers His lower body and the other His chest. Caressing His forehead and cascading down around the graceful nape of His neck, the wavy black locks of His hair are gathered in charming fashion that wonderfully expands the sweetness of His beauty. Beautiful tilaka is placed upon His effulgent moon-shaped forehead, delighting all.’

muktāhāra-sphurad-vakṣo / makarākṛti-kuṇḍalaḥ

“‘Golden bangles and bejewelled bracelets decorate His wrists and forearms, upon His fingers rings glitter, a diffused halo is spread by the exquisite necklace of shimmering pearls around His elegant neck and broad chest, and with makara, shark-shaped, sparkling earrings dangling from His earlobes and swinging to caress His cheeks, He presents an enchanting sight indeed.’

muhur ākārito mātrā / praviśed bhojanālayam
avalambya karaṁ sakhyur / baladevam anuvrataḥ

“‘Now, He is ready for breakfast and Yaśodā Maiyā calls repeatedly; at last, catching hold of the hand of a sakhā, Kṛṣṇa follows His elder brother, Balarāma, into the dining-room.’

bhuṅkte ‘pi vividhānnāni / mātrā ca sakhibhir vṛtaḥ
hāsayan vividhair-hāsyaiḥ / sakhīṁs tair hasati svayam

“‘They all sit in a circle and take a breakfast of their favourite dishes prepared by Rādhikā and Her sakhīs. Throughout the meal, Kṛṣṇa and the sakhās enjoy themselves thoroughly by making jokes and witty remarks, causing everyone to laugh in great mirth.’

itthaṁ bhuktvā tathācamya / divya-khaṭṭopari kṣaṇam
viśramet sevakair-dattaṁ / tāmbūlaṁ vibhajann adan

“‘After the meal, Kṛṣṇa takes ācamana and distributes tāmbūla made by the servants to His friends. Chewing His tāmbūla, He then lies down upon a grand bed to rest.’”

Vijaya, “That brings us to the pūrvāhṇa-līlā, forenoon pastimes.”

Gosvāmī, “Yes.

gopa-veśa-dharaḥ kṛṣṇo / dhenu-vṛṇda-puraḥsaraḥ
vrajavāsi-janaiḥ prītyā / sarvair anugataḥ pathi

“‘Kṛṣṇa, wearing gopa-veśa, the dress of a cowherd boy, leads the cows and calves to the grazing grounds outside the village. All the vraja-vāsīs, immersed in love and affection, are unable to bear His separation and so follow behind Kṛṣṇa at some distance.’

pitaraṁ mātaraṁ natvā / netrāntena priyā-gaṇam
yathā-yogyaṁ tathā cānyān / sa nivarttya vanaṁ vrajet

“‘Before parting, Kṛṣṇa speaks sweetly to His mother and father and respectfully touches their feet. At the same time, He furtively sends meaningful sidelong glances to His beloved gopīs, thrilling their hearts. Then with pleasing parting words He takes leave of everyone else who has followed Him and proceeds to the forest with His sakhās and the cows.’

vanaṁ praviśya sakhibhiḥ / kṛīdayitvā kṣaṇaṁ tataḥ
vihārair vividhais tatra / vane vikṛīḍato mudā

“‘Having entered the forest, Kṛṣṇa then delightfully sports with His friends, creating and enjoying many kinds of games for some time.’

vañcayitvā ca tān sarvān / dvitraiḥ priya-sakhair vṛtaḥ
sāṅketakaṁ vrajed dharṣāt / priyā-sandarśanotsakaḥ

“‘Then, after engaging the cowherd boys in various duties, Kṛṣṇa quietly slips away along with a selected few priya-sakhā friends. Suddenly, He feels ebullient for He is on His way to a rendezvous with the gopīs and His most dearly beloved, Śrī Rādhā.’”

Vijaya, “Now begin the madhyāhnalīlā, mid-day pastimes?”

Gosvāmī, “Yes.

sāpi kṛṣṇe vanaṁ yāntaṁ / dṛṣṭvā sva-gṛham āgatā
suryādi-pūjā-vyājena / kusumādyāhṛti-cchalāt

“‘After seeing Kṛṣṇa enter the forest and disappear out of sight, Rādhā returns to Her home. The love-smitten gopīs are already pining for Kṛṣṇa, so on the pretext of collecting flowers for sūryapūjā…’

vañcayitvā gurūn yāti / priya-saṅgecchayā vanam
itthaṁ tau bhau-yatnena / militvā sva-gaṇais tataḥ

“‘…Śrī Rādhā tricks her elders and accompanied by Her sakhīs also enters the very same forest eager to meet her priyatama, Kṛṣṇa. Thus hoodwinking everyone and surmounting all obstacles, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa joyfully meet in the lush groves of the Vṛndāvana forest.’

vihārair vividhais tatra / vane vikṛīḍito mudā
hindolikā-samārūḍhau / sakhībhir dolitau kvacit

“‘In joyous abandon, They play many games, make amorous innuendos, flirt with one another, and relish the precious stolen moments together. The sakhīs urge Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa to sit upon a flower-decorated swing; the sakhīs then swing the Divine Couple and pass coquettish comments.’

kvaciḍ veṇuṁ kara-srastaṁ / priyayāpahṛtaṁ hariḥ
anveṣayann upālabdho / vipralabdho priyā-gaṇaiḥ

“‘Stealing the flute away from an unwary Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā slips it to Her sakhīs and makes signs for them to hide it. Kṛṣṇa runs from tree, to nook, to cranny, and from one sakhī to another, trying to locate His flute. Śrī Rādhikā and Her sakhīs are greatly amused and joyfully laugh as Kṛṣṇa goes from one to the other, begging for His flute.’

hāsito bahudhā tābhir / hāsitas tatra tiṣṭhati
vasanta-ṛtunā juṣtaṁ / vanaṁ khaṇdaṁ kvacin mudā

“‘The sakhīs laugh and make witty remarks that the most attractive Kṛṣṇa tries to counter by jokes and teasing rebuttals. Finally, after much fun and hunting, the sakhīs return the flute to Kṛṣṇa. Then Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa followed by the sakhīs enter the part of the forest where the groves of tree bowers are perennially in the bloom of spring.’

praviśya candanāmbhobhiḥ / kuṅkumādi-jalair api
niṣiñcato yantra-muktais / tat-paṅkair limpato mithaḥ

“‘There Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa take large silver syringes and playfully drench each other with scented coloured waters made from vermillion and other pigments. Sometimes, they smear each other’s limbs and bodies with sandalwood, kuṅkuma, and many hues of fragrant pastes, as is done in the spring festivals.’

sakhyo ‘py evaṁ viṣiñcanti / tāś ca tau siñcataḥ punaḥ
vasanta-vāyu-juṣṭeṣu / vana-khaṇḍeṣu sarvataḥ

“‘In the delightful beauty of the forest, the sakhīs all join in and assist in the līlā, especially trying to colour Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa with the fragrant waters. At the same time, all are soothed by the gentle springtime breezes of the forest.’

tat-tat-kālocitair nānā-vihāraiḥ sa-gaṇair dvija
śrāntau kvacid-mūlam / āsādya muni-sattama

“‘In this way, O most exalted of the munis, Nārada, the Divine Couple, along with the sakhīs, joyfully pass their time in blissful plays, befitting the time, place, and Their mood. Eventually, exhausted from such hectic dalliances, Rādhikā and Kṛṣṇa seek the cooling shade of a large tree and sit down beneath it…’

upaviśyāsane divye / madhu-pānaṁ pracakratuḥ
tato madhu-madonmattau / nidrayā militekṣaṇau

“‘…upon a divine throne. Catching Their breath, They begin to drink refreshing honey-nectar. However, as the sweet beverage starts to affect Them, They become intoxicated, Their eyelids droop shut and soon They fall off into a light restful sleep.’

mithaḥ pāṇi-samālambya / kāma-bāṇa-prasaṅgatau
riraṁsur viśataḥ kuñje / skhalat-pādābjakau pathi

“‘Later awakened by the arrows of Kāmadeva, Their erotic urges having been aroused, They enter the inner kuñja of the forest clasping one another’s hands as Their lotus feet stumble upon the path.’

kṛīḍataś ca tatas tatra / kariṇī-yūthapau yathā
sakhyo ‘pi madhubhir mattā / nidrayā pīḍitekṣaṇau

“‘Overcome and almost debilitated by intense lusty desires, They converse in broken, intoxicated words almost incomprehensibly and engage in amorous plays just like the mating King and Queen of the Elephants. Also drunken by the honey beverage and peering through sleepy, bleary eyes, the sakhīs stumble out of the grove sanctum…’

abhito mañju-kuñjeṣu / sarvā evāpi śiṣyire
pṛthag ekena vapuṣā / kṛṣṇo ‘pi yugapad vibhuḥ

“‘…through different exits to other kuñjas nearby in order to leave the Divine Lovers alone. Through the agency of His inconceivable potency, Kṛṣṇa expands Himself to as many Kṛṣṇas as there are gopīs and approaches each gopī individually.’

sarvāsāṁ sannidhiṁ gacchet / priyayā prerito muhuḥ
ramayitvā ca taḥ sarvāḥ / kariṇīr gaja-rāḍ iva
priyayā ca tathā tābhiḥ / kṛīḍārthañ ca saro vrajet

“‘Like a kingly elephant infatuated with lust in the midst of many she-elephants, Kṛṣṇa begins to enjoy untiringly with each gopī, while simultaneously being most attentive to the pleasure of His dearmost, Śrī Rādhā. Later, after such divinely transcendental love sports, Kṛṣṇa enter a lake with Rādhikā and the sakhīs for water-sports.’

vṛnde śrī-nanda putrasya / mādhurya-kṛīḍane katham
aiśvaryasya prakāśo ‘bhūt / iti me chindi saṁśayam

“‘Śrī Nārada Muni interjects at this juncture, inquiring, “O Vṛndā Devī, how is it possible that in Nanda-nandana Kṛṣṇa’s nectarean mādhuryakṛda, conjugal pastimes, aiśvarya in the form of multiple expansions can manifest itself? Kindly dissipate my doubts.”

mune mādhuryam apy asti / līlā-śaktiḥ hares tu sā
tayā pṛthak kṛīḍaṁ gopa-gopikābhih samaṁ hariḥ

“‘Śrī Vṛndā Devī replies, “O sage, Nārada, in Śrī Kṛṣṇa absolute and complete mādhurya reposes, which is actually His līlāśakti—the potency through which He performs His unlimited pastimes in Vraja. Expanding Himself, He is able to be simultaneously with His many gopa friends and sakhīs, playing with each of them separately.’

rādhayā saha rūpeṇa / nijena ramate svayam
iti mādhurya-līlāyāh / śaktir na tv īśatā hareḥ

“‘However, in His original form Kṛṣṇa gives pleasure to Rādhā. All this is achieved through the employment of His mādhurya-līlā-śakti and not the aiśvarya-śakti.’

jala-sekair mithas tatra / kṛīḍitvā sva-gaṇais tataḥ
vāsaḥ srak-candanair divyair / bhūṣaṇair api bhūṣitau

“‘After entering the lake, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and the sakhīs become absorbed in water-sports, splashing, jostling, and bathing each other in the lotus filled lake. Thereafter, upon the bank, the sakhīs decorate Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa with beautiful garments and ornaments, sandalwood paste and fresh fragrant flower garlands.’

tatraiva sarasas tīre / ivya-maṇimaye gṛhe
aśnataḥ phala-mūlāni / kalpitāni mayaiva hi

“‘They are then escorted inside a gem-studded bower-cottage on the bank of the lake and seated comfortably upon a beautiful throne mounted with pearls and rubies. Then, I, Vṛndā Devī, offer Them fruits, berries, and herbal drinks that I have personally prepared.’

haris tu prathamaṁ bhuktvā / kāntayā parisevitah
dvitrābhiḥ sevito gacchec / chayyāṁ puṣpa-vinirmitām

“‘Śrī Kṛṣṇa takes first, served by Śrī Rādhā Herself and surrounded by the sakhīs. Kṛṣṇa then lies down upon a grand bed, decorated with streamers of flowers. At this time only a handful of intimate sakhīs are engaged in…’

tāmbūlair vyajanais tatra / pāda-samvāhanādibhih
sevyamāno hasaṁs tābhir / modate preyasīṁ smaran

“‘…preparing and offering tāmbūla, fanning, massaging His feet, and so on. Kṛṣṇa, luxuriating in their tender pampering, falls asleep thinking of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, His most beloved gopī, who Herself is most happy and satisfied to see Kṛṣṇa resting so contentedly.’

śrī-rādhāpi harau supte / sa-sakhī moditāntarā
kānta-dattaṁ prīta-manā / ucchiṣṭaṁ bubhuje tataḥ

“‘Having gone outside the bower-cottage while Kṛṣṇa rests, Rādhikā and Her sakhīs with great love and delight relish together the remnants of the food and drinks just offered to Kṛṣṇa.’

kiñcid eva tato bhuktvā / vrajet śayyā-niketanam
draṣṭuṁ kānta-mukhāmbhojaṁ / cakorīva niṣā-karam

“‘After taking just a little of the remnants, Rādhikā’s mind suddenly goes elsewhere. Just as a female cakorī bird feels impatient to see the lotus-like face of the King of the Night, the Moon, Rādhikā is anxious to again behold the blooming lotus-like countenance of Her beloved paramour, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so she hastens back to beside the bed in the bower cottage.’

tāmbūla-carvitaṁ tasya / tatratyābhir niveditam
tāmbūlāny api cāśnāti / vibhajantī priyāliṣu

“‘Rādhikā stands there awhile with Her eyes feasting upon Kṛṣṇa’s tranquil handsome face and His bimba-fruit-like lips, further reddened by the chewing of tāmbūla, then She takes the tāmbūla remnants and returns to distribute it amongst Her sakhīs, taking some Herself.’

kṛṣṇo ‘pi tāsāṁ śuśrūṣuḥ / svacchanda-bhāṣitaṁ mithaḥ
prāpta-nidra ivābhāti / vinidro ‘pi paṭāvṛtaḥ

“‘However, Kṛṣṇa, having awoken and dying of curiosity to discover what the sakhīs and Rādhikā are discussing in intimacy, completely covers Himself with a sheet, feigning deep slumber.’

tāś ca kelī-kṣaṇaṁ kṛtvā / mithaḥ kānta-kathāśrayāḥ
vyāja-nidraṁ harer jñaṭvā / kutaścid anumānataḥ

“‘The sakhīs are under the impression that Kṛṣṇa is actually sleeping, so they freely talk about Him, His romantic exploits and other very confidential matters, all within His hearing. They enjoy themselves, making witty repartee, freely laughing and joking. Yet, somehow or other, they come to understand intuitively that Kṛṣṇa is only pretending to be asleep and has ingeniously overheard everything that they have said.’

vyudasya rasanāṁ dadbhiḥ / paśyantyo ‘nyonya-mānanam
līnā iva lajjayā syuḥ / kṣaṇam ucur na kiñcana

“‘Immediately they are embarrassed and clamp their lips together, pressing their tongues between their teeth, overcome by beautiful feminine shyness. Bashfully, they look askance at each other and sit quietly for some time, unable to speak.’

kṣaṇād eva tato vastraṁ / durīkṛtya tad-aṅgataḥ
sādhu-nidrāṁ gato ‘sīti / hāsayantī hasanti tāḥ

“‘However, soon they recover their sportive mood and exchanging clever glances they silently glide over to the flower bed, suddenly lifting up the bedsheet covering Kṛṣṇa. “So this is how You have a good sleep!” Playfully they tease Kṛṣṇa, and all start laughing.’

evam tau vividhair hāsyai / ramamānau gaṇaiḥ saha
anubhūyaḥ kṣaṇaṁ nidrāṁ / sukhañ ca muni-sattama

“‘O best of the munis Nārada, in this way the time flits by in joyful fun, as Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa, and the sakhīs enjoy jesting and laughter, immersed in mutual divine love. Eventually, they fall of into an idyllic sleep for some time.’

upaviśyāsane divye / sa-gaṇau vistṛte mudā
paṇīkṛtya mitho hāraṁ / cumbāśleṣa-paricchadān

“‘Awakening intoxicated with bliss, they all move to a large sprawling divan and sit comfortably upon it with an air of carefree exuberance. Deciding to play a game of dice, they set down the rules, the stakes being jewellery, clothes, kisses, and embraces.’

akṣair vikṛīḍatah premnā / narmālāpa-puraḥsaram
parājito ‘pi priyayā / jitam ity vadan mṛṣā

“‘Jesting and immersed in prema, they roll the dice. Within a short while, Kṛṣṇa is defeated by Rādhā, but demands the necklace of His beloved, falsely claiming that He is the winner.’

hārādi-gṛahaṇe tasyāḥ / pravṛttas tādyate tayā
tathaivaṁ tāḍitaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ / karotpala-sarorūhaiḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa approaches Rādhā, looking to take away Her necklace, but Rādhā declines and chastises Him for cheating with a light slap of Her lotus hand.’

viṣaṇṇa-mānaso bhūtva / gantuṁ ca kurute matim
jito ‘smi cet tvayā devi / gṛhyatām mat-paṇīkṛtam

“‘Now looking sobered up and feigning that He might have to leave, Kṛṣṇa says, “O Devi! If you are the real winner, then I shall certainly award you my wager, so be ready to accept.’

cumbanādi mayā dattam / ity uktvā ca tathācaret
kauṭilyam tad-bhruvor draṣṭuṁ / śrotuṁ tad-bhartsanaṁ vacaḥ

“‘Here are the kisses and embraces that I wagered,” Kṛṣṇa declares and despite Rādhā’s embarrassed protestations He plants a winner’s kiss upon Her beautiful lotus lips. Desiring to behold Rādhā’s crooked eyebrows and hear Her words of chastisement to Her beloved Śyāma …

tataḥ śārī-śukānāñ ca / śrutvā bāgāharaṁ mithaḥ
nirgacchatas tataḥ sthānād / gantu-kāmau gṛhaṁ prati

“‘…the pet parrots of the Loving Couple, Śuka and Sārikā, and their respective flocks appear and soon engage in a vigorous verbal battle. In loving glorification, they insistently dispute the respective virtues of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Suddenly, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa fall silent listening to the parrots, as if this were a sign for Them to prepare for home.’

kṛṣṇaḥ kāntām anujñāpya / gavām abhimukhaṁ vrajet
sā tu sūrya-gṛhaṁ gacchet / sakhī-maṇḍala-samvṛtā

“‘Kṛṣṇa bids farewell to His beloved Rādhikā, heading back to rejoin the cows, while Rādhikā also walks away with Her sakhīs in the direction of the Sūrya Mandira to offer worship there.’

kiyad dūraṁ tato gatvā / parāvṛtya hariḥ punaḥ
vipra-veśaṁ samāsthāya / yāti sūrya-gṛhaṁ prati

“‘However, once out of sight, Kṛṣṇa changes direction and, disguising Himself in the attire of a brāhmaṇa, also goes to the Sūrya Mandira.’

sūryañ ca pūjayet tatra / prāthitas tat-sakhī-janaiḥ
tadaiva kalpitair vedaiḥ / parihāsa-viśāradaiḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa is not immediately recognized by Rādhā or the sakhīs. Unsuspectingly, they request Him to conduct the worship and make offerings to Sūrya Deva on their behalf. Thereupon, Kṛṣṇa recites several lines of a fictitious and fabricated mantra that sounds very comical.’

tatas tā vyathitaṁ kāntaṁ / parjñāya vicakṣaṇāḥ
ānanda-sāgare līnā / na viduḥ svaṁ na cāparam

“‘O Nārada, the intelligent and perceptive sakhīs immediately detect the false Vedic incantations and quickly deduce that the pūjārī is none other than Kṛṣṇa Himself, drawn there unable to bear separation from Rādhārāṇī. Understanding this, they lose themselves in ineffable ecstasy, drowning in the ocean of prema.’

vihārair vividhair evaṁ / sārddhayām advayaṁ mune
nītvā gṛhaṁ vrajeyus tāḥ / sa ca kṛṣṇo gavāṁ vrajet

“‘O Muni, Nārada, Over a period of two and a half praharas (approximately seven and a half hours), the variety of these wonderful pastimes unfolds, after which Kṛṣṇa goes back to join His friends and the cows in the grazing grounds of the forest, and Rādhā and the sakhīs return to their respective homes.’”

Vijaya, “Kindly continue with the next kāla, the aparāhnalīlā, afternoon pastimes.”

Gosvāmī, “Yes,

saṅgamya sva-sakhīn kṛṣṇo / gṛhītvā gāḥ samantataḥ
āgacchati vrajaṁ karṣan / tatratyān muralī-ravaiḥ

“‘Vṛndā Devī continued, “O Nārada, Kṛṣṇa rejoins His sakhās and to call back the scattered herd of cows, He plays upon His muralī flute, the sweet sound of which attracts and exhilarates the hearts of all the vrajavāsīs. Expertly playing His flute, Kṛṣṇa with His friends leads the large herd of cows back to Vraja.’

tato nandādayaḥ sarve / śrutvā veṇu-ravaṁ hareḥ
go-dhūli-paṭala-vyāptaṁ / dṛṣṭvā vāpi nabha-sthalam
kṛṣṇasyābhimukhaṁ yānti / tad-darśana-samutsukāḥ

“‘As Kṛṣṇa approaches the palace of Nanda Mahārāja, the faint sound of His flute is heard in the distance. The tinkling of the cowbells, the dust cloud raised by the weary hooves of the cows, and the enchanting sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute signal His return, spontaneously drawing all the vrajavāsīs to hasten in His direction, deeply yearning to see Him.’

rādhikāpi samāgatya / gṛhe snātvā vibhūṣitā
sampādya kānta-bhogārthaṁ / bhakṣyāṇi vividhāni ca
sakhī-saṅgha-yutā yāti / kāntaṁ draṣṭuṁ samutsukāḥ

“‘After returning home, Rādhikā is bathed and appropriately ornamented and dressed by Her sakhīs. She goes to the kitchen and prepares another feast for the fatigued and hungry Kṛṣṇa. Then, together with Her sakhīs and in anxious expectation, Rādhikā half walks, half runs to the limits of Vraja, thus joining the ardent throng of vrajavāsīs waiting to welcome Kṛṣṇa.’

rājamārge vraja-dvāri / yatra sarva-vrajaukasaḥ
kṛṣṇo ‘pi tān samāgamya / yathāvad anupūrvaśaḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa’s arrival is greeted with tumultuous fervour as all the vrajavāsīs gather on both sides of the royal road. Kṛṣṇa personally returns the greetings of every vrajavāsī, offering respect and affection according to age, social status, and so on.’

darśanaiḥ sparśanair vācā / smita-pūrvāvalokanaiḥ
gopa-vṛddhān namaskāraiḥ / kāyikair vācikair api

“‘To some He smiles, to others He speaks sweet words, some He embraces, and to others He gives meaningful glances. He treats the senior vrajavāsī gopas with deference, displaying appropriate words and actions.’

sāṣṭāṅga-pātaiḥ pitarau / rohiṇīm api nārada
netrānta-sūcitenaiva / vinayena priyāṁ tathā

“‘O muni, Nārada, to Nanda Mahārāja, Yaśodā Maiyā, and Rohiṇī Maiyā, Kṛṣṇa offers prostrate obeisances. To His most beloved Rādhā and the sakhīs, Kṛṣṇa responds with modest covert sidelong glances, overflowing with prema.’

evaṁ taiś ca yathā-yogyaṁ / vrajaukobhiḥ prapūjitaḥ
gavālayaṁ tathā gāś ca / sampraviśya samantataḥ

“‘In response, the various vraja-vāsīs offer blessings, sweet words, worship, and so on. Then Kṛṣṇa accompanies the cows and carefully puts them safely inside their enclosures.’

pitṛbhyām arthito yāti / bhrātrā saha nijālayam
snātvā bhuktvā kiñcid atra / pitrā mātrānumoditaḥ
gavālayaṁ punar yāti / dogdhu-kāmo gavāṁ payaḥ

“‘Requested by Their parents, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma enter the house, bathe, put on fresh clothes, and enjoy a small repast of tasty foods and refreshing drinks. It is now time to begin the last milking of the day, so the Divine Brothers, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, eager to be there, go to the gośālā.’”

Vijaya, “That must be the end of aparāhnalīlā, afternoon pastimes, and the beginning of the sāyamlīlā, pastimes at dusk, Gurudeva?”

Gosvāmī, “Yes.

tāś ca dugdhvā punaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ / dohayitvā ca kāścana
pitrā sārddhaṁ gṛhaṁ yāti / payo-bhāra-śatānugaḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa milks several cows Himself and helps His father supervise the milking of the thousands of cows. At the end of the milking session, Kṛṣṇa accompanies His father back to Nanda-bhavan at the head of a large group of cowherd helpers carrying pots containing thousands of gallons of fresh milk.’

tatrāpi māṭr-vṛndaiś ca / tat-putaiś ca balena ca
sambhukte vividhānnāni / carvya-coṣyādikāni ca

“‘Returning home, Kṛṣṇa sits with His father, uncles, elders, cousins, and brother, Balarāma, plus the sakhās, and together they all enjoy pre-dinner appetizers, consisting of edibles to be chewed, sucked, licked, and drunk.’”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the pradoṣalīlā, evening pastimes at the first part of the night.”

Gosvāmī, “Yes,

tan-mātuḥ prārthanāt pūrvaṁ / rādhāyāpi tadaiva hi
prasthāpyante sakhī-dvārā / pakvānnānī tadālayam

“‘Before Yaśodā Maiyā has to ask, Śrīmatī Rādhikā sends over to Nanda-bhavan the sumptuous dinner She has cooked with the help of Her sakhīs.’

ślāghayaṁś ca haris tāni / bhuktvā piṭrādibhiḥ saha
sabhā-gṛhaṁ vrajet taiś ca / juṣṭaṁ bandhu-janādibhiḥ

“‘Sitting with His father, brother, and other sakhās for dinner, Kṛṣṇa while relishing the delicacies praises with many clever words the different preparations and quality of cooking, knowing well that the delicious feast been sent by His beloved, Śrī Rādhā.’

pakvānnāni gṛhītvā tāḥ / sakhyas tatra samāgatāḥ
bahūny eva punas tāni / pradattāni yaśodayā

“‘Afterwards, Kṛṣṇa accompanies the joyful entourage of His father, friends, and relatives into the splendid assembly hall, where speech-makers, ballad singers, and dancers are waiting to entertain with wonderful song and dance.’

sakhyā tatra tay dattaṁ / kṛṣṇocchiṣṭaṁ tathā rahaḥ
sarvaṁ tābhiḥ samānīya / rādhikāyai nivedyate

“‘At the same time, Yaśodā Maiyā makes a large package of all the food preparations sent by Rādhā and gives it to the sakhīs who had brought the dinner. The gopī Dhaniṣṭhā secretly obtains and adds Kṛṣṇa’s personal remnants to the package, which soon arrives at the house of Rādhikā, where the sakhīs offer everything to Śrīmatī in a secluded place. With the deepest affection, in return Rādhikā distributes Kṛṣṇa’s remnants to all the sakhīs and they sit together, relishing every morsel with great delight, immersed in prema.’

sāpi bhuktvā sakhī-vargā yutā tad-anupūrvaśaḥ
sakhībhir maṇḍitā tiṣṭhet / abhisarttuṁ samudyatā

“‘Having enjoyed the remnants, the sakhīs dress and prepare the joyful Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī very charmingly for Her nocturnal abhisāra, lover’s rendezvous, with Her beloved Śyāma.’”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I am most keen to hear the rātrilīlā, pastimes in the night.”

Gosvāmī, “Certainly,

prasthāpyate mayā kācid / ata eva tataḥ sakhī
tathābhisāritābhiś ca / yamunāyāḥ samīpataḥ
kalpa-vṛkṣe nikuñja ‘smin / divya-ratnamaye gṛhe
sita-kṛṣṇa-niśāyogyā / veśayitvā sakhī-yutā

“‘Śrī Vṛndā Devī says, “I send a dūtī to Śrī Rādhā to confirm whether it is the fortnight of the waxing or the waning moon, and after consultation with this dūtī, Śrī Rādhā chooses accordingly the colours of Her dress and jewellery, which are darkish during the kṛṣṇa-pakṣa, waning fortnight, and light during the śukla-pakṣa, waxing fortnight. Rādhikā then secretly accompanies Her sakhīs to the bank of the Yāmuna, where she enters the divine nikuñja, love-grove palace, which is beautifully furbished with all the gems and divine wealth of Goloka and well shaded by the leafy bowers of many kalpavṛkṣa desire trees.’

kṛṣṇo ‘pi vividhas tatra / dṛṣṭvā kautūhalaṁ tataḥ
kātyāyanyā manojñāni / śrutvāpi gītakāny api

“‘Meanwhile, Kṛṣṇa relaxes in the assembly hall of His father, watching various expert entertainers performing marvellously and listens captivated to the enthralling strains of the kātyāyanīsaṅgīta.’

dhana-dhānyādibhis tāṁś ca / prīṇayitvā vidhānataḥ
janair ārādhito mātrā / yāti śayyā-niketanam

“‘In appreciation, after the performances Kṛṣṇa offers gifts of wealth and grains to the satisfaction of the artistes and then sits upon a splendid throne to receive the love and worship of the devoted subjects of Śrī Nanda Mahārāja. After a while, He appears a little tired and so is escorted by Yaśodā Maiyā to His bedroom.’

mātari prasthitāyān tu / bahir gatvā tato gṛhāt
sāṅketitaṁ kāntayātra / samāgacched alakṣitaḥ

“‘After putting Kṛṣṇa to bed, Yaśodā Maiyā leaves His bedroom and goes to rest in her own room. Feigning sleep, Kṛṣṇa waits a while before—yearning to meet His beloved—He quietly slips out of the room, taking care to be completely unnoticed.’

militvā tāv ubhāv atra / kṛīdato vana-rājiṣu
vihārair vividhai rāsa-lāsya-gīta-puraḥsaraiḥ

“‘Kṛṣṇa heads straight for the secretly pre-appointed love-grove upon the banks of the Yāmuna. Once there, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, joyfully together once more, enter the splendid forest with the sakhīs to enjoy many delightful pastimes of singing and rasa dancing and various performances of dance and drama.’

sārddhaṁ yāma-dvayaṁ nītvā / rātrāv eva vidhānataḥ
viśve suṣupatuḥ kuñje / pakṣibhis tāv alakṣitau

“‘For two and half praharas, ‘till late in the night, Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa and the sakhīs become absorbed in these pastimes of the rāsalīlā and eventually bathe in the Yamunā. Finally, exhausted and wishing to be alone together, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, employing the yogamāyā potency, slip unnoticed from the midst of the sakhīs and happily enter the welcoming bowers of Their love kuñja, unnoticed by the sleeping birds.’

ekānte kusumaiḥ klipte / keli-talpe manohare
suptāvatiṣṭhatāṁ tatra / sevyamānau nijālibhiḥ

“‘In that solitary place, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa lie down upon a beautifully decorated floral bed and enjoy divinely captivating amorous pastimes. Later, while resting, they are gently served by a small select group of intimate sakhīs.”

“Vijaya, I have thus narrated the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, within which is found all the ingredients and subtleties of rasa. Whatever I have explained earlier about rasatattva is present within these esoteric pastimes. Now, meditating upon and entering these pastimes by the grace of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, render the specific devotional services of your particular relationship within your group at the assigned times and places.”

Hearing these topics, the learned paṇḍita Vijaya entered a deep trance of ecstatic divine love. Tears of prema flowed incessantly down his cheeks, his body horripilated constantly as within his heart he felt overwhelming spiritual emotions. His voice faltered when he attempted to speak and he lay down, offering obeisances at the feet of Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, becoming oblivious of the external surroundings for some time. Slowly, when he had regained consciousness, he got up and gingerly made his way back home. From that day on, Vijaya was immersed in nothing other than the rasa welling up in constant waves within his heart.

Thus ends the thirty-eighth chapter of the Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Śṛṅgāra-rasa, The Perfection of the Conjugal Mellow, Part Two

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Seven
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Nine

Share this chapter!