The History of Drumila
Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī describes how Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa meet at Saṅketa in a hidden grove. Saṅketa is situated midway between Nandagrāma and Varsānā, and from here the sakhīs send signals to each other to arrange the meetings of the Divine Couple. For this reason it is called Saṅketa—the place where the signal is given. Near Saṅketa is Hāū Bilāū and the place of Yogamāyā, Paurṇamāsī, and the residence of Lord Śiva. Dadhi-kuṇḍa and Dugdha-kuṇḍa are also nearby. A forest of blossoming kadamba trees surrounds Sañketa. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī does not go there alone, for Yogamāyā Paurṇamāsī warned Rādhārānī that it is not a safe place, and that when She must cross that way She should always be in the company of many of Her sakhīs.
East of Saṅketa is a place called Drumilavana. A demon named Drumila once resided in this forest. He was the real father of Kaṁsa, and was a very lusty and dangerous person who would capture or assault young girls if he came across them. Once Kaṁsa’s mother Padmā, who was just married to Ugrasena, became one of Drumila’s victims. Taking the form of her husband, Drumila seduced Padmā into seclusion and the result of their union was the demon Kaṁsa.
One night, when he was a young man, Kaṁsa had a dream where his father came to him in a spirit form and told him, “I am Drumila, your real father. Ugrasena is not really your father.” In that dream he appeared before Kaṁsa in a hideous ghostly form. As soon as Kaṁsa rose from sleep he went to his mother Padmā and told her, “Tell me the truth, who is my real father? The spirit form of a demon came to me in a dream and told me, ‘Son, I am dead. Now you must do my śrāddha ceremony. Ugrasena is not your father, I am, and I am waiting for you to perform my final rites.’ Now tell me mother, who is my real father?”
Filled with fear, Padmā replied, “When I was young, just after my marriage to your father, I went with my friends to a garden and there a demon came and met me with trickery. He enjoyed me in the form of your father and only afterward did I realize he was a demon. He laughed wickedly and ran away, assuming his true form as he left.” Although the truth was now revealed, neither of them knew how the demon Drumila had died..
Once, during brāhma-muhūrta, Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her sakhīs and mañjarīs were at Prema-sarovara preparing to continue on to Nandagrāma with their many pots filled with milk products and other ingredients for cooking. Prema-sarovara is where the gopīs assemble before going with Rādhārānī to Nandagrāma. No man is allowed to enter that area, and even Kṛṣṇa must have special permission to do so. Today, the demon Drumila approached the girls disguised as Kṛṣṇa and tried to charm them. Rādhārānī knew at once that He was a demon imposter and immediately broke a bangle from Her wrist and threw it at Drumila. The demon saw this bangle speeding toward him and tried to flee but the bangle found its mark and easily slit his throat. He died and then in his spirit went to Mathurā and appeared to Kaṁsa in his dream.
The demon’s home, Drumilavana, remained a dangerous place for some time, filled with followers of Drumila, but they soon left that place and the forest became a meeting place of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
The Gopīs’ Secret Training Grove
Near Prema-sarovara is a forest of kadamba trees atop which tricky Kṛṣṇa likes to hide and surprise Rādhārānī and the gopīs as they walk there. In that kadamba grove a combination of the wild roots and the vines that reach down from the branches of the trees create a thick labyrinth of intricate paths. It is like a maze in which one can easily become lost.
Prema-sarovara is near another secret meeting place of Rādhārānī and Her sakhīs. This particular location is a special place of Yogamāyā and later became renowned as Uddhava-kyārī. This is the place that Uddhava came and found gopīs of Vraja. Udhava-kyārī is where Rādhārānī and the gopīs spent their time after Kṛṣṇa left Vraja. Uddhava met them there and witnessed the exalted moods of Rādhārānī and Her followers.
Before Kṛṣṇa left Vraja, this area was Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s exclusive territory and She would not allow any male—especially not Kṛṣṇa—to enter there. When angry, She would go there and instruct all of Her sakhīs and mañjarīs that no one could be allowed entrance.
It is here that Rādhārānī taught the sakhīs and mañjarīs how to be clever and tricky. Generally, when people cheat others, it is to defeat them or to cause them harm, but Rādhārānī’s trickiness, and the trickiness that She teaches to the gopīs, is only for the benefit of everyone. She teaches Her followers how to serve in a very clever manner, and also how to mislead their elders so that they can arrange the meetings of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Rādhārānī teaches them how to communicate with one another through their behavior, gestures, and eye-movements, so that they can all understand and fulfill every desire of the Divine Couple. Rādhārānī also teaches Her followers the art of speaking in code and with double or opposite meanings. This is called vāka-caturi, or cleverness of speech. Rādhārānī teaches how to make all types of saṅketa, secret signals, so that even if someone who is not in their group sees or hears them they will not be able to understand what they are saying, and even if they do understand something, still they will be led into misunderstanding the gopīs real meaning.
Srimati teaches the gopīs how to dress like sakhās and how to infiltrate Kṛṣṇa’s party and gather secret news. Rādhārānī forbids Kṛṣṇa from entering this place because She administers such secret training to the mañjarīs and gopīs there. She tells the gopīs to never allow Kṛṣṇa into that secret grove and this makes Kṛṣṇa even more eager to enter and find out what Rādhārānī is doing. But despite His best efforts He cannot find a way to get close enough to hear any of their secret meetings. No matter how much He begs the gopīs to tell Him what it is that they are taught there, they never reveal any of Rādhārānī’s secrets, for they are completely loyal to Her alone.
KṚṢṆA Desires DĪKṢĀ from the Gopis
Kṛṣṇa thought, “I must disguise Myself as a gopī and get recruited into this school. Then I will learn all these secrets directly from Rādhārānī.” He asked Lalitā-devī for dīkṣā, but she refused Him saying, “No, I will not give You dīkṣā. Take it from Viśākhā-devī,” but Viśākhā-devī also refused. She said, “I will not give You dīkṣā. I will never give dīkṣā to any man. Men are very restless and when they receive dīkṣā they become very proud. When they attain some power from guru they begin to look down upon others. In the beginning they claim to be a disciple, but very soon they think they are the guru.”
Viśākhā-devī told Kṛṣṇa, “I will never give you initiation. You are a very proud person. Men are always competitive cheaters. They will do anything to win honor and adoration.”
So Kṛṣṇa thought, “From who can I get śikṣā and dīkṣā? Who in Vraja-maṇḍāla will accept me as a disciple? Without initiation I cannot receive any rasa.” He recalled the gopīs performing Kātyāyanī-vrata and how Paurṇamāsi Yogamāyā gave dīkṣā to them. He thought, “I need a guru like the gopīs have. First I will get dīkṣā, and then I can get śikṣā, training from Rādhārānī.”
Vaisnava Thakur ki Jaya! (excerpted from “Sri Sri Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi” please order this wonderful book from www.bhaktabandhav.org)