Madhumaṅgala is always joyful. But he doesn’t reserve his happiness simply for himself. His name is Madhumaṅgala. Madhu means honey, and mangala means auspiciousness. He is very nectarful and sweet. He can alter the bitter or dark mood of anyone, making them joyful like himself. In Vraja-maṇḍala, no one has a bad mood. But, sometimes, if anyone has māna, depression or abhimāna, Madhumaṅgala changes their mood and gives Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness. He has this mādhurya reserved.
He is not silent and peaceful. He is always ready to make everyone glad and happy. Before, his name was Kusumasava. Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī came in this world on the order of God to fulfill His will. She brought Kusumasava with her to Vraja-maṇḍala. Nanda Bābā and the Vrajavāsīs asked where she had come from, and she replied that she had come from Goloka Vṛndāvana. She said, “I have brought this boy. He will be the dear friend of Kṛṣṇa and will distribute sweetness to all the Vrajavāsīs.”
Do the Vrajavāsīs have no sweetness? Yes, but how can this be used for God? Madhumaṅgala teaches this. If anyone thinks, “I am very short, small and weak.” — Madhumaṅgala never gives that person a chance to show his gloomy face to Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, Kṛṣṇa will be unhappy.
If those who are near Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas have a dark face and are always looking down, this is not the symptom of bhajana. One will always be pleased. Separation is another thing. But māna, abhimāna, doubt, sorrow, sadness, or misery, that cannot remain long in Vraja-maṇḍala. It may come for a short time but will fly out very quickly.
Madhumaṅgala doesn’t only act for the happiness of Kṛṣṇa and the sakhās, he pleases the parents of Vraja, the servants and all other Vrajavāsīs by giving everyone sweetness. Besides sweetness, there is no other presentation or paraphernalia to serve God. Sweetness is the only instrument to please God.
Madhumaṅgala goes to the parents and makes them happy. He doesn’t just joke and make drama. Just joking and drama are cheating: inside there is something, and outside there is something else. It is not as it is. If the heart is clean, anywhere one goes, others will automatically be pleased and happy. This is his sweet mood and tendency to serve. He gives everyone a share of service. Therefore, everyone is happy with him.
One morning, Madhumaṅgala entered Kṛṣṇa’s room, where Yaśodā Mātā was standing in concern, looking at the face of her sleeping son. Madhumaṅgala remained silent at her side. After a few moments, Yaśodā Mātā said, “Madhumaṅgala, why are you silent today? Why aren’t you talking? If you don’t say anything, I feel very sad.”
Like when someone gives food, cloth and many gifts to his friend, but if he doesn’t speak, his friend will have no desire to eat, dress, or to do anything else.
When Madhumaṅgala remains silent, Yaśodā Mātā becomes very unhappy and feels as if something is quite wrong.
“Mother,” Madhumaṅgala said, “I’m telling the truth. I know why you are concerned, and I know who disturbs your lālā. Every night He goes out into the forest groves, and there some people disturb Him. I know who they are.”
Kṛṣṇa heard his friend Madhumaṅgala speaking and smiled. He was listening with eyes closed. Yaśodā Mātā saw that many scratch marks and yellow, red and black signs were on Kṛṣṇa’s face and body, and His body had spots of dirt and clay. She became very disturbed.
Madhumaṅgala saw that Yaśodā Mātā was upset and said, “Mother, I know who comes and disturbs your Kṛṣṇa.”
Kṛṣṇa thought, “If Madhumaṅgala tells all My secrets to Yaśodā Mātā, it will cause big trouble.”
Therefore Kṛṣṇa opened His eyes, smiled and looked at His mother. Yaśodā Mātā said, “How has He changed now? If Madhu doesn’t come, Kṛṣṇa remains depressed. Now that Madhumaṅgala came, Kṛṣṇa is very happy.”
Kṛṣṇa rolled over on one side, closed His eyes, and covered His head with a blanket. Why? If His mother carefully checked Him, she would certainly discover the cause of the marks on His body. There was a deep, red sign where the gopīs had kissed Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa thought, “Madhumaṅgala will definitely disclose My secrets. He has a very honest nature and cannot hide anything. But if he tells my mother, then it will cause a big problem.”
Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī arrived in Nanda-bhavana and entered Kṛṣṇa’s room. She has so much affection for Kṛṣṇa. She told, “O Yaśode, don’t worry about your son. Sometimes babies play, and go here and there. This is not for you to worry about.”
Paurṇamāsī laughed and said to Kṛṣṇa, “O Vraja-kula-pate, You have played all night and therefore You are sleepy now. But remember, the cows and calves are hungry and thirsty. The calves will not drink milk without You, and the cows will not eat. So quickly wake up, don’t sleep anymore. Hey Nanda-nandana, please awake. Baladeva and the sakhās are waiting outside.”
Hearing the request of Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī, Kṛṣṇa twisted in His blankets and clenched together His hands, thinking, “Now it is late. I should get up and go.” But, still, He remained laying in His bed.
“Don’t be lethargic,” Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī said. “Get up and come outside.”
“O Devī, I offer you obeisance,” Kṛṣṇa said. “Please bestow some energy upon Me so I can go perform My responsibilities.”
Then Kṛṣṇa slowly got up out of bed and, as He did so, Mother Yaśodā saw rose and jasmine petals fixed to Him, as if they were glued onto His body.
“How is this possible?” she thought. “Where did these petals come from? There are no petals on the bed. So, where did they come from?”
She also saw pieces of a flower crown on His head and thought, “Where did this come from? He wasn’t wearing it when He went to bed last night.”
Yaśodā Mātā saw something else strange. There were many pins that ladies use in Kṛṣṇa’s hair. Why? Kṛṣṇa’s hair naturally falls down over His face. When the gopīs meet with Him at night, they pin all His hair up so they can freely kiss His face without any obstruction.
“Who comes at night?” Yaśodā Mātā thought. “Demigods or heavenly damsels must come to offer Him these flowers while He sleeps. Then, when He rolls, the petals get fixed to His body.”
Yaśodā Mātā went to check Kṛṣṇa’s body, but He quickly scratched off the petals and ran His fingers through His hair, removing the hairpins and giving them all to Madhumaṅgala, knowing that if His mother got close she would recognize the signs from the gopīs on His body.
Yaśodā Mātā asked Him, “What was that?”
“My hair is curly and goes all up in rolls,” Kṛṣṇa said. “So, I put in pins to make it straight.”
Madhumaṅgala danced and exclaimed, “If you give me two baskets of laddus, then I will give you the hairpins. I know whose property these are.”
“Tell me what happened?” Yaśodā Mātā said. “Don’t worry, if it is laddus you want, my store has many.”
Kṛṣṇa motioned His friend from behind, “Don’t say anything.”
Yaśodā Mātā was distressed, seeing that inside Kṛṣṇa’s black hair there was red kunkuma. She said, “Who put this in Your hair while You were sleeping?”
Dust of kunkuma and flower pollen was scattered over Kṛṣṇa’s bed. She thought that flower petals and pollen had been given to Kṛṣṇa to cool His body at night while He slept.
Yaśodā Mātā thought, “While Kṛṣṇa sleeps, demigods must come and serve Him, fanning and sprinkling flower pollen on His body. From tonight, I will place many āsanas for the demigods who come. I’ll give them glasses of water and other nice things.”
She asked Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī, “Do the demigods or others come and serve my Kṛṣṇa? The priests have said that Kṛṣṇa is not ordinary, that He is an incarnation of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Do the demigods therefore come to see Him? Anyhow, I will close the windows and ventilators and put a guard at the door, so that no one can enter and disturb His sleep. They have no etiquette and have disturbed my Kṛṣṇa.”
Then Yaśodā Mātā saw one other thing that surprised her very much. She saw that Kṛṣṇa was wearing a style of earrings generally worn by ladies. “The earrings I gave to Kṛṣṇa have been replaced,” she said. “These ones are duplicates. Who stole the original earrings and where did these ones come from?”
When Kṛṣṇa got up, it looked to Yaśodā Mātā as if He had been decorated as a makeup artist does to an actor before he goes up on stage. She took the corner of her saree and wiped Kṛṣṇa’s face, then looked down at her cloth and saw it had become colored red and yellow. Smelling the piece of cloth, she caught the scent of musk and other fragrances. She thought, “This is very strange. I won’t sleep at night anymore. I will stay up to make sure Kṛṣṇa is not disturbed by anyone.” She took Kṛṣṇa in her lap and lovingly asked Him, “Do You not take rest at night? Who comes to meet with You? Tell me the truth.”
As Yaśodā Mātā stared penetratingly into Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, Madhumaṅgala caught the hand of His friend and said, “Chalo, Sakhā.” He then pulled Kṛṣṇa up and led Him out of the room behind Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī. Outside Nanda-bhavana, all the Vrajavāsīs were waiting in the sky and land to have darśana of Kṛṣṇa.
Seeing Him, they glorified Him — all in their own languages. The brahmanas recited Veda-stutis and blessed Kṛṣṇa, while the birds sang and offered flowers, the cows mooed and peacocks called. Nanda Bābā wept seeing his son. He went forward and embraced Kṛṣṇa, then lifted Him up on his shoulders so that the Vrajavāsīs could see Him more easily. Many elderly Vrajavāsīs had come to see Kṛṣṇa. They blessed Him and prayed for His welfare with their heartfelt love. When the sunlight reflected on Kṛṣṇa’s face, He became even more shiny and effulgent. The sakhās came and crowded around Kṛṣṇa, while the mothers stood behind with many sweets they had prepared for Him. The sakhās were very greedy to meet with Kṛṣṇa, and the mothers desired to take Kṛṣṇa in their laps and feed Him what they had cooked. The servants waited, “When will Kṛṣṇa come to the cowshed. The cows have been waiting without eating.”
Yaśodā Mātā requested Nanda Baba, “Quickly take lālā to milk the cows, then come back to Nanda-bhavana for breakfast.”
Kṛṣṇa jumped down from the shoulders of Nanda Bābā and went dancing, joking, playing and running around with Madhumaṅgala and His friends, moving one step forward to the cowshed and five steps in another direction. Kṛṣṇa ran with the sakhās, their heads looking up into the sky.
Madhumaṅgala said, “Look at the sky. It is like a great lake full of sparkling fish that are the stars, and the sun is a fisherman coming over the horizon trying to catch the fish-like stars with his light and heat. Therefore the stars have fled out of sight like fish disappearing deep into a lake at the sight of a coming fisherman.”
What is the purport? Many mañjarīs and sakhīs were present with Kṛṣṇa in the night, but when the sun rose, they all disappeared out of sight. When Nanda Baba and the elders all woke and came, Kṛṣṇa’s sakhīs and mañjarīs no longer remained present. Why? When a fisherman comes with his net, the fish hide in the deepest parts of the water.
“Sakhā,” Madhumaṅgala said, “Look at the sun rising. He is not good for You, me or anyone. He is like a lion roaring, instilling fear in the hearts of all gentle creatures. He is very strange and is like the lion that races to catch and eat deer. You should protect the deer.”
When the sun rises, the sakhīs and mañjarīs become very shy and do not come in front or meet with Kṛṣṇa. They cannot meet with Kṛṣṇa face to face; therefore, the sun is like a big lion, and the sakhīs and mañjarīs are like deer.
“How can You protect the helpless deer?” Madhumaṅgala asked. “Do You know, Sakhā?”
Madhumaṅgala gave some hint to Kṛṣṇa indirectly. He said, “O Kṛṣṇa, the sky is like a lady who wears many glittering ornaments, which are the stars. The moon comes from the womb of the sky. But in the morning the lady-sky hides her child, the moon, and all her ornaments.”
In the night, when the moon has risen, all the plants, creepers and flowers are nourished, peaceful and very happy. They know that in the daytime many people will come in the forest and gardens to disturb them. But, at night, they rest peacefully, without any disturbance. In the daytime, the senses see many things and try to acquire objects of this world. But, at night, the senses sleep.
Madhumaṅgala continued, “O moon-faced one, O lotus-eyed beauty, many people are eagerly waiting to see Your face. But when the sun rises, everyone is disturbed; and when the moon is full, all are very happy. But the moon has hid in the sky. The moon is teasing You, indicating that You should also hide.”
The other sakhās heard how Madhumaṅgala joked with Kṛṣṇa and changed His mood. Madhumaṅgala knows Kṛṣṇa was very happy in the night with the gopīs and feels separation from them in the day. Madhumaṅgala thinks, “If I can’t change Kṛṣṇa’s mood, then He will be depressed throughout the day. He won’t talk with His friends and won’t do anything. He will just sit mournfully, remembering His pastimes in the night. So, Madhumaṅgala thought, “Anyhow, I will change His mood.”
He said, “Now we will go to the forest, Kṛṣṇa. There will be a nice program there today.” Madhumaṅgala chatted to Kṛṣṇa on the way to the cowshed, explaining all the fun ideas he had planned out for the day.
Baladeva came with Madhumaṅgala to the cowshed. On one side, Bṛhaspati is the Guru of the demigods, and on the other, Śukrācārya is the demon’s Guru. Both came together means? What is this program?
On one side, there was Madhumaṅgala and the sakhās, and on the other side, Abhimanyu, Govardhana Malla and the other party had come. Baladeva Prabhu and Kṛṣṇa went to milk Dhavali, Pisangi, Yamune, Kalinde and many other cows.
The cows licked Kṛṣṇa, while the calves hinted to Him, “You drink first, then we will.”
But Kṛṣṇa said, “No, no, you take. Then I will take your prasādam.”
But the calves responded, “No! You take first, and I will take your prasādam.”
“No! This is not helpful for anyone,” Kṛṣṇa said. “If anyone takes cows’ milk before their own calves, that person will be cursed. You should take first. You have a relation with your mothers. I am not her son.”
The cows heard this. All understood. Now tears flowed from their eyes. Then Kṛṣṇa stroked the cows. “No, no,” He said, “I didn’t mean it. You are all my mothers.” The cows all had the desire for Kṛṣṇa to drink their milk. Kṛṣṇa understood their hearts and said, “Okay.” Then the calves sucked on one breast of their mother, and Kṛṣṇa took another in His mouth and drank. Then He rubbed their udders with oil. After the calves drank milk, the cowherd men came and milked the cows. Kṛṣṇa moved from one cow to the other.
Demons have one nature and follow their Guru, Śukrācārya. The demigods have another nature. The demigods have respect and faith for the Lord, and the demons only know cruelty. When cruel people go to milk, cows become afraid and don’t give their milk. If a soft-hearted person goes to cows, the cows will automatically give everything.
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja