By the causeless mercy of Śrīla Guru-pāda-padma and the rūpānuga Vaiṣṇavas, we are hearing this Govinda-līlāmṛta, which is helpful for the soul and enables one to enter into service of the Supreme Soul. Vṛndā-devī has reserved the pastimes of God for us, so that fortunate people can collect these and get permission to enter vraja-līlā. Otherwise, if one is involved in jaḍa-līlā, mundane rasa, which has covered all places in this world, day and night that jaḍa-līlā will be thought of, even while sleeping one will not be able to forget the mundane nature of this world. If one has relation with jaḍa līlā twenty hours of the day, no taste or desire will come for kṛṣṇa-līlā. If one prays to līlā-śakti and with humility tries to accept Her mercy and enter Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, then Vṛndā-devī will give advice. If one follows her classes, one after the other, he will gradually enter Vraja-dhāma and begin the service of the soul.
Before cow-grazing, Kṛṣṇa plays with His parents and all followers in vātsalya-rasa. Kṛṣṇa is in Nanda-bhavana. One peahen came, named Sundarī. Before, she sat on top of a kadamba tree watching all Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, one after the other, and keeping them in her heart. Now she flew and came to Nanda-bhavana. She invited her husband, the peacock, and together they started dancing. The peahen danced around the peacock, moving on four sides, and the peacock spun with his feathers splayed out like a rainbow. They exclaimed, “Now we are very fortunate, Kṛṣṇa will be coming into our garden-house. It will not be long until He comes!”
One lady-deer, whose name is Raṅginī, left her husband and children, ran very fast and came under a mango tree. She looked to the gate of Nanda-bhavana, thinking, “When will Kṛṣṇa come out?” She was waiting for Kṛṣṇa’s nectarean darśana.
The male-deer saw, “My wife is not present. Where has she gone? Who will protect her?” His name is Suranga. He searched for her, but did not find her. Then he ran towards Nanda-bhavana and found her waiting under a mango tree for Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. The male-deer stood behind his wife and encouraged her. They both had darśana lālasā. The mango tree had many ripe juicy mangoes. They fell to the ground, but no monkeys, birds or others touched them. They have no taste for these fruits. They only have greed for Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. The mangoes exude a wonderful aroma, but none of the animals touch them.
Kṛṣṇa sat up in bed with sleepy eyes. Then He saw, as if in a dream, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī coming- and embracing Him with both arms, saying, “Now is not the time for resting. The sakhās and everyone are waiting outside to meet You.”
Kṛṣṇa saw that the sakhīs and mañjarīs also had come before Him and were smiling at Him. Seeing Śrīmatī Rādhārānī in front of Him, Kṛṣṇa’s strength multiplied many times over. He watched Her with eyes restless like birds. His hair was tousled and in messy curls around His head. Kṛṣṇa yawned deeply and brushed His fingers through His hair. As He did thus, His teeth appeared like a row of white pearls.
Seeing Rādhārānī in front of Him, Kṛṣṇa was very happy. He thought, “Now I should go, but. . . I will first rest a little in the lap of Śrīmatī and then go.”
He had this desire, so He made a muse, saying, “My hair is all open and disheveled. No one has brushed and decorated My hair or given Me a turban. How can I go outside in this state?”
Kṛṣṇa desires to stay there for half an hour more and then go. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s body is the color of a golden lotus, and Kṛṣṇa’s body is the color of a dark Tamāla tree. The golden shine coming from Śrīmatī’s limbs reflects on the blackish body of Kṛṣṇa and causes joy to arise in the hearts of the other gopīs.
Kṛṣṇa desired, “May She touch Me. Then I would be very fortunate and would receive much energy.”
Before, Rohiṇī Mātā and Yaśodā Mātā had bound a turban on Kṛṣṇa’s head. But after resting for a few minutes, Kṛṣṇa’s turban had come off and His hair was in disarray. Smelling the golden lotus of Śrīmatī, He became very happy and looked back and forth with restless eyes. Everyone was in front of Him, therefore He glanced from one gopīto the other.
Yaśodā Mātā thought Kṛṣṇa was resting in His room. She had closed the ventilators and curtains and left the room. Now she was outside guarding the door so that no one would disturb Kṛṣṇa. But from a hidden door in Kṛṣṇa’s room, the gopīs entered and Yaśodā Mātā had no idea they were there. She opened the door a short time later and saw her baby Kṛṣṇa talking and playing with the baby gopīs. She thought, “Kṛṣṇa is tired. He should rest peacefully.” But coming nearby, she also became full of bliss. She thought, “Oh, now Kṛṣṇa is healthy and strong. He will soon depart for the forest.”
She told the baby gopīs, “Now decorate and dress Kṛṣṇa. It is time for Him to depart for the forest.”
Yaśodā Mātā left the room, after instructing the gopīs to quickly help her lālā get ready to go. When she left, Kṛṣṇa thought, “Oh, I will not go now. I will rest a little more.”
Kṛṣṇa lay with His head in Śrīmatī’s lap, while the sakhīs fanned Them and mañjarīs combed and decorated Kṛṣṇa’s hair. Śrīmatī sometimes closed Her eyes and tried to leave Kṛṣṇa, but then He called out, “Mā, Mā, Mā.” As if calling His mother, but this mā means, “No, no, don’t leave Me.” He is tricky and called like this as if to call for His mother to come. Really, Kṛṣṇa is saying, “Don’t go.”
The sakhīs and mañjarīs took Śrīmatī Rādhārānī away and jokingly insulted Kṛṣṇa, saying, “There is no need to stay here any more with this rascal.”
Why did they leave? The sakhās had entered Nanda-bhavana and were searching for a means to enter Kṛṣṇa’s room and play with Him. Hence, the sakhīs and mañjarīs took Rādhārānī away into the kitchen. As the sakhās entered His room, Kṛṣṇa became shy and quickly covered Himself with His yellow shawl. The sakhās came in, laughing and smiling, and said, “Why does Your body have many marks of unguents? Who has been here? Why are You so tired, Sakhā? It looks like someone has been scratching Your body with nails. And why is Your cloth wrinkled and displaced? Where did one of Your earrings go? Your necklace and vanamāla garland have been broken. A few minutes before they were on very nicely.”
Now Kṛṣṇa was covered with many marks of red kunkuma, scratches and black mascara from the gopīs. The mascara made Kṛṣṇa’s black body become even more black. The sakhās teased Him, saying, “Oh, this flower garland You wear is very old. It appears like someone has saved this for You. How is it Your bed is all upset, the blankets scattered and crumpled. Don’t stay here any more, Sakhā. This place needs to be cleaned. Let’s go!”
The sakhās understood that someone had just been present in the room and had hidden all of a sudden, hearing their approach. The sakhās thought, “We will quickly take Kṛṣṇa away with us.”
Kṛṣṇa is like the full moon and, just before, it was like He was surrounded by many brilliant stars. Signs of the gopīs were still present, like star-trails. But all the stars had disappeared and Kṛṣṇa was alone, the full moon of Gokula. Kṛṣṇa appeared morose, as if He were a setting moon.
The priya-narma sakhās and preṣṭha sakhās understood from Kṛṣṇa’s face that He was very shy and restless and was feeling like He had lost something valuable.
Vṛndā-devī changed this pastime. The next pastimes were to begin. Therefore she called Sārika and Śuka, and they described the coming pastimes by the wish of līlā-śakti. Śuka and Sārī announced, “Many seniors, guru-jana, are present here. Rādhārānī and the sakhīs will not be here any longer. Jaṭilā and Kutila will think, ‘Three hours have passed, and Rādhārānī has still not returned from Nanda-bhavana.’ Abhimanyu has come with a lot of milk from the cowshed. It is time for Śrīmatī to go for worshipping the sun. She should not be late.”
Many people were there walking on the pathways of Vraja. How could Rādhārānī go to worship the sun? She never moves through the main roads of Vraja, where She could be viewed by the people in general. She goes through hidden paths in the forest.
Abhimanyu and others take many fruits, butter, milk and other things by bullock cart to sell in Mathurā. Jaṭilā and Kutila arrange many things to sell. She likes Rādhārānī to go worship the demigods, thinking that when the gods are happy they will benedict Her — and then the cows will give a lot of milk, orchards will produce many fruits, and gardens will be full of nice flowers. Then Jaṭilā will sell everything in Mathurā. This is her desire.
Śuka gives advice to Kṛṣṇa, “You should go through this area of the forest with the cows, then You will receive a nice darśana. The cows can graze in this area, the grass and water are nice, and there is a good area to play.”
Śuka and Sārī both give advice for the further pastimes of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s hand has a flute. When He comes out, He plays on His vaṁśī and addresses everyone in Vraja. He gives the message of His vaṁśī, distributing His love to the sakhās, cows, calves, deer and all Vrajavāsīs. When He plays His flute, He makes one request, “You have all been waiting for Me for a long time. Please excuse Me.”
The sakhās hear this and begin to dance and play more, overjoyed to meet with their best friend.
When Kṛṣṇa comes amongst them, the sakhās give many gifts to Kṛṣṇa, like flower garlands, sandalwood paste and so forth.
Kṛṣṇa ventures into the forest with the sakhās and sees that in a nearby garden He is passing many sakhīs are present, hiding in kuñjas.
Rati-mañjarī made earrings with flowers and gave them to Rādhārānī in the kuñja. Rādhārānī accepted and wore them. Rūpa-mañjarī came and gave Śrīmatī a shawl, which Rādhārānī accepted with love. Guṇa-mañjarī came with tāmbūla for Rādhārānī to chew. Śrīmatī took this and distributed to Her friends. Manjulali brought flower garlands and sandal paste for Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
The sakhīs brought a blue-colored cloth and gave it to Kṛṣṇa, and gave a yellow shawl to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Then all began to smile and laugh. “Oh! How have They exchanged clothes? Kṛṣṇa’s yellow shawl is with Śrīmatī, and Her blue shawl is with Kṛṣṇa!”
Rādhārānī thought, “The blue-colored cloth is like the sky.”
Kṛṣṇa thought, “It looks like the sun has risen and covered Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s body with a yellow shine. She is gold, and when there is some yellow-colored cloth on top of Her She becomes even more beautiful.”
Kṛṣṇa comes by the kuñja kuṭīra, where the gopīs are present, on a narrow path through the jungle. Inside the kuñja, the mañjarīs hold Śrīmatī steady as She falters in separation from Kṛṣṇa. Outside, the sun has fully risen and shines brightly along the busy pathways of Vraja. Lalitā and Viśākhā tease Kṛṣṇa from inside the kuñja kuṭīra.
The sakhīs say, “When will the sun go back to his den? He comes out and disturbs everyone with his glare. If the sun left and the moon came out, it would be very nice.”
Kṛṣṇa is like the moon. When He comes into the company of the gopīs, they become very pleased. When any other object appears to keep them distant to Kṛṣṇa, they are angry towards this obstacle to their meeting.
While going past the kuñja kuṭīra, Kṛṣṇa stops for a minute and considers, “I will not go further with the cows. I will stand here and listen to the gopīs. They are speaking very sweetly. What do they want to say?”
The gopīs say, “This kuñja kuṭīra is very green and dark; the sun’s evil rays cannot enter inside. We are protected here in our sheltered bower.”
Kṛṣṇa hears this and says, “O Padmi, O Kaumudini, what are you saying?”
Some lotuses blossom at night; but when the sun rises, the lotus petals fold closed. The lotus waits for the moon to rise and then again blossoms. When the sun is out, life is very strange and painful for the night-blossoming lotus.
The gopīs say, “In the dark night, Syāma moves everywhere freely, matching the color of a dark moon night. But in the daylight, Syāma is shy and cannot meet with us. The dark moon nights are very good. There is no sun or bright moon to keep us apart. Then Kṛṣṇa comes and gives us darśana.” The sakhīs talk amongst themselves like this.
It is spring season in Vraja, and the trees have sprouted small reddish-green leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers. Everything is well and favorable in the gardens of Vraja; but if Kṛṣṇa is not present in the kuñja with the gopīs, all Vrṇda-devī’s decorations of Vraja become useless.
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja