Verse Two

rudantaṁ muhur netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantaṁ
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātaṅka-netram
muhuḥ svāsa-kampa-tri-rekhāṅka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graiva-dāmodaraṁ bhakti-baddham

SYNONYMS

rudantam – weeping; muhuḥ – incessantly; netra-yugmam – two eyes; mṛjantam – and rubbing both simultaneously; kara-ambhoja-yugmena – with two lotus hands; sātaṅka-netram – with fear-filled eyes; muhuḥ – again and again; śvāsa – heavy sobbing; kampa – trembling; tri-rekha-aṅka – with three curved lines that resemble the ringed grooves encircling the neck of a conch-shell; kaṇṭha-sthita – upon His neck; graiva – necklace; dāmodaram – Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who’s waist (udara) is bound by rope (dāma); bhakti-baddham – bound by loving devotion.

TRANSLATION

[Seeing the stick in His mother’s hand and fearful of being beaten] He is weeping incessantly and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus-like hands. His eyes are extremely restless and filled with fear. He takes heavy breaths again and again that cause the pearls and other ornaments around His neck, which is marked by three gracefully curving lines, to tremble. O Dāmodara, You have been bound by Your mother’s vātsalya-bhakti. [I offer my obeisances unto that Dāmodara].

Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā

tadanantara ‘līlā’-viśeṣaṁ vadan – “kṛtāgasaṁ taṁ prarudantam akṣiṇī karṣantam añjan-maṣiṇī sva-pāṇinā, udvīkṣamāṇā bhaya-vihvalekṣaṇaṁ haste gṛhītvā bhiṣayanty-avāgurat.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.11) ityartham āha – rudantam iti.

[rudantam] mātṛ-haste yaṣṭiṁ dṛṣtvatayā tāḍanam āśaṅkya bhītatvādi-pradarśanena tat-pariharaṇāya krandantam, ataeva karāmbhoja-yugmena netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantaṁ – yugapan mārjayantaṁ, etacca bālya-līlā-viśeṣa-svabhāvataḥ. yad vā – bhayāveśena sadyo’anugacchato’śruṇo niṣkāsanārthaṁ, yadvā, aśrudhārāpasāranārtham iti dik. yataḥ sātaṅke saśaṅke netre api, kim punar mano yasya tam; yadvā, sabhaya-nirīkṣaṇa-netra-yugam ity arthaḥ. tataśca tāḍana-parihārārtham idam api līlāntaram ūhyam. kiñca, muhuḥ śvasena rodanāveśa-kṛtena, kampat kampamānaṁ, tri-rekhāṅke kambuvad-rekhā-traya-cinhe, kaṇṭhe sthitaṁ graivaṁ graiveyakaṁ sarvaṁ grīvābhūsaṇaṁ muktā-hārādi yasya. [dāmodaraṁ] dāma udare yasya; anena ca – “gopikolūkhale dāmnā babandha prakṛtaṁ yathā” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.14) ityuktam.

dāmnodare ulūkhale cobhayato bandhana-muktaṁ, tadevābhivyañjayan bhakta-vaśyatā-viśeṣeṇotkarṣa-viśeṣam āha – bhaktyaiva matuḥ sva-viṣayakayā tasya vā mātṛ-viṣayakayā, baddhaṁ svīkṛta-bandhanaṁ, na tu pāśa-varga-balāt, sarvataḥ samuccitairapy-anantaḥ pāśairnyūna-dvy-aṅgulāpūraṇāt. taccoktaṁ – “tad-dāma-badhyamānasya svārbhakasya kṛtāgasaḥ, dvy-aṅgulonam abhūt tena sandadhe’nyacca gopikā. yadāsīt tadapi nyūnaṁ tenānyadapi sandadhe, tad-api dvy-aṅgulaṁ nyūnaṁ yad-yad-ādatta bandhanam. evaṁ sva-geha-dāmāni yaśodā sandadhatyapi” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.15–7) – ityādi. yadvā, dāmodaratve hetuḥ – bhaktyaiva baddhaṁ vaśīkṛtaṁ, tathāpi sa evārthaḥ paryavasyati. kiñca, “sva-mātuḥ svinna-gātrāyā visrasta-kabara-srajaḥ, dṛṣṭvā pariśramaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ kṛpayāsīt sva-bandhane. evaṁ sandarśitā hyaṅga hariṇā bhakta-vaśyatā, sva-vaśenāpi kṛṣṇena yasyedaṁ seśvaraṁ vaśe. nemaṁ viriñco na bhavo na śrīrapyaṅga-saṁśrayā, prasādaṁ lebhire gopī yat tat prāpa vimukti-dāt. nāyaṁ sukhāpo bhagavān dehināṁ gopikā-sutaḥ, jñānināṁ cātma-bhūtānāṁ yathā bhaktimatām iha.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.18–21) ityeṣām arthaḥ. tathā – “devarṣir me priyatamo yadimau dhanadātmajau, tat tathā sādhayiṣyāmi yad-gītaṁ tan-mahātmanā.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.10.25) – ityāderartho’pi śrī-nārada-bhakty-apekṣayā yamalārjuna-bhañjanādi-tat-tal-līlā-rūpo’nena sūcitaḥ. (2)

iti śrī dāmodarāṣṭake dvitīya-śloke śrīla-sanātana-gosvāmī-kṛtā digdarśinī-nāmnī ṭīkā samāptā.

~ Thus ends the Dig-darśinī ṭīkā on the Second Verse ~
Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā Bhāvanuvāda

The excellence of Kṛṣṇa’s extraordinary līlā is depicted in this important verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.11):

kṛtāgasaṁ taṁ prarudantam akṣiṇī
kaṣantam añjan-maṣiṇī sva-pāṇinā
udvīkṣamāṇaṁ bhaya-vihvalekṣaṇaṁ
haste gṛhītvā bhiṣayanty avāgurat

Mother Yaśodā watched as her naughty child cried bitterly and rubbed His eyes with both His hands. The black ointment from around His eyes mixed with His tears and spread everywhere. Seeing her son with His eyes full of fear at the sight of the stick she was brandishing, Yaśodā took Him by the hand and began to gently reproach Him in order to instil fear in Him.

In the stanza beginning with rudantam Śrī Satyavrata Muni fully captured the meaning of this Bhāgavatam verse. In following with the second half of the previous stanza, he continues to establish his worshipful Lord’s supremacy through descriptions of His unique pastimes. Appreciating the same pastime that is described in the above verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he spoke the present stanza thus: “When He saw His mother holding a stick, He became apprehensive, fearing that she would surely beat Him. Now He is hoping that by showing her how afraid He is, He can avoid being punished. So rudantam, He cries bitterly, and karāmbhoja-yugmena netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantam, He rubs His eyes again and again with both His lotus-like hands.”

That He just keeps rubbing His eyes with both His hands is in keeping with the natural behaviour of a child. This is the special characteristic of His balya-līlā and it is one explanation of karāmbhoja-yugmena netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantam, but this phrase also indicates two alternative meanings. The first of these is that there are actual tears that instantly came to His eyes due to His fear. In order to make these tears fall from His eyes, He continuously rubs them with both His hands. The second alternative meaning is that continuous streams of tears are already flowing from His eyes so He rubs His eyes with both His hands to wipe away the tears.

The meaning of sātaṅka-netram is that if even His eyes are expressing that He is afraid of being punished, His mind must be overwhelmed with fear. Otherwise, it may be taken to mean “He is casting His glance in all directions because He is greatly agitated by fear”. His attempt to avoid being beaten by His mother is another of His unique confidential pastimes.

And moreover, muhuḥ-svasena, because of His continuous crying and constant heavy sobs, kaṇṭha-sthita-graivam, the pearl necklace and other ornaments around His neck, which is marked with tri-rekhāṅka, three graceful lines like the ringed grooves on a conch, are also trembling (kampat). Śrī Dāmodara, whose belly becomes bound by ropes, appeared thus. By this description, Śrī Satyavrata Munī has captured the meaning of another verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.14):

taṁ matvātmajam avyaktaṁ
martya-liṅgam adhokṣajam
gopikolūkhale dāmnā
babandha prākṛtaṁ yathā

Just as an ordinary mother in this world may bind her mischievous son, so Mother Yaśodā, simply considering Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be her son, tied Him to the grinding mortar with a rope as if He were an ordinary child.

The above verse mentions that the rope was knotted both at His belly and at the grinding mortar. Thus the sage has revealed Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s unique supremacy by describing His bhakta-vaśyatā-viśeṣa, His special quality by which He allows His devotees to control Him.

Śrī Satyavrata Muni says bhakti-baddham. The meaning is “bhaktyaiva baddham – Śrī Kṛṣṇa is only bound by bhakti and nothing else.” In other words, it was not the strength of all the ropes that was able to bind Him. Rather, He submitted to being bound, on one hand, because of the power of Śrī Yaśodā’s bhakti for Him in the form of motherly affection, and on the other hand, because of His own special quality of willingly being controlled by His bhaktas, like His mother, in the form of His bhakti for her. That is why, even when Mother Yaśodā tied all the ropes she had gathered together, she still failed to bind Him. There always remained an inexplicable gap of two fingers.

This is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.15–7):

tad dāma badhyamānasya
svārbhakasya kṛtāgasaḥ
dvy-aṅgulonam abhūt tena
sandadhe ’nyac ca gopikā

When Mother Yaśodā tried to bind her mischievous child, the rope was two fingers too short, so she added another rope to it. (15)

yadāsīt tad api nyūnaṁ
tenānyad api sandadhe
tad api dvy-aṅgulaṁ nyūnaṁ
yad yad ādatta bandhanam

However, that also was two fingers short. In this way, each and every time she tied on another rope, it was always two fingers short. (16)

evaṁ sva-geha-dāmāni
yaśodā sandadhaty api

Although she had tied together all the ropes in her home, Mother Yaśodā could not bind Kṛṣṇa. (Seeing this, the gopīs started giggling. Utterly perplexed, she, also, began to laugh.) (17)

The other reason that His belly became bound with rope (dāmodaratva) is that “bhakti-baddham – He is completely enchanted exclusively by the bhakti of His devotees.” This meaning actually leads to the previous one: that He becomes bound because of His bhakta-vaśyatā (His willingness to be controlled by His devotees). In regard to this, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.18–21) further states:

sva-mātuḥ svinna-gātrāyā
visrasta-kabara-srajaḥ
dṛṣṭvā pariśramaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
kṛpayāsīt sva-bandhane

She had become exhausted by tying so many ropes together and her body had become covered with perspiration. The flowers woven into her hair had fallen from her loosened braid, and had scattered here and there. Seeing His mother’s fatigue and feeling compassionate, little Kṛṣṇa then allowed His mother to bind Him. (18)

evaṁ sandarśitā hy aṅga
hariṇā bhakta-vaśyatā
sva-vaśenāpi kṛṣṇena
yasyedaṁ seśvaraṁ vaśe

O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, this entire universe, along with the powerful demigods who control it, is completely under the control of the supremely independent Personality of Godhead, Śrī Hari. Yet He has allowed Himself to be bound, in order to show that He is willingly controlled by His devotees. (19)

nemaṁ viriñco na bhavo
na śrīr apy aṅga-saṁśrayā
prasādaṁ lebhire gopī
yat tat prāpa vimuktidāt

The Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who bestows salvation upon all, never showed Lord Brahmā, Maheśvara (Śiva) or even His eternal consort Lakṣmī-devī, who is half of His body, the kindness He showed this gopī, Yaśodā. (20)

nāyaṁ sukhāpo bhagavān
dehināṁ gopikā-sutaḥ
jñānināṁ cātma-bhūtānāṁ
yathā bhaktimatām iha

Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of a gopī (gopikā-sutaḥ), is not at all easy to attain for the aṣṭaṅga-yogīs, who identify themselves with the body and who perform severe austerities. Nor is He easy to attain for self-realized jñānīs, who are absorbed in all-pervading, non-dual knowledge. But these loving associates who are absorbed in serving Him, simply considering Him to be the darling son of a gopī, have easily attained Him. [In other words, although the ascetics and impersonalists undergo great trouble, instead of attaining the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, they merely attain an incomplete, or partial, expansion of Him.] (21)

These verses have conveyed the aforementioned reason for being bound.

Later in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Kṛṣṇa declares:

devarṣir me priyatamo
yad imau dhanadātmajau
tat tathā sādhayiṣyāmi
yad gītaṁ tan mahātmanā

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.10.25)

Devarṣi Nārada is my dear devotee. Therefore, even though these two brothers, the sons of the most wealthy demigod Kuvera, had no devotion for me, still I must fulfil Śrī Nārada’s words by appearing directly before them and granting them My devotional service.

The deep meaning of this statement spoken by Śrī Kṛṣṇa is that He enacted the pastime of delivering the two sons of Kuvera in the form of twin arjuna trees, because He was pleased by Śrī Nārada’s devotion to Him. Indeed, He enacts all His pastimes because He is pleased with the bhakti of His devotees. This is yet another important meaning of bhakti-baddham – He is bound by bhakti.

~ Thus ends the English Rendition of the Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā on the Second Verse ~
Dig-darśinī-vṛtti

On this day, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the personality who causes the three worlds to tremble merely by the movement of His eyebrows, has become overwhelmed by fear of His mother. Seeing the tiny stick in her hand, He is trembling and stammers, “Mother, look, do not hit Me! I did not break the pot of yoghurt.”

•••••

Mother Yaśodā is slightly full-figured. As she was running, her braid came undone, and the flowers woven in her hair began falling out. It is as if the flowers were saying, “Mother, you are not alone; we are also with you.”

Those devotees who make their hearts spotless by endlessly drinking the nectar of devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, imbued with extreme attachment and laced with renunciation of the material world, attain a state of meditating on Śrī Kṛṣṇa deep within their immaculate hearts, which are fully saturated by loving service.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Nārāyaṇa sometimes appears in the meditations of Lord Brahmā (the creator of the universe) and the four Kumāras (the original sages). Still, even in their deepest meditation, they cannot capture Him in the form of Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Yet, Mother Yaśodā actually bound Him – the complete embodiment of all nectarean humours of transcendental love. Unimaginably powerful warriors, despite their greatest valour, pose no threat to Kṛṣṇa. But Mother Yaśodā not only captured Him, she brandished a small stick in her hand and threatened Him, “Shall I beat You now?”

As Kanhaiyā rubbed His tear-filled eyes and tried to hide behind His mother, He cried out, “Mother, do not hit Me!” He did not look directly at her, He only looked fearfully at the stick in her hand.

“You monkey-friend!” she exclaimed. “Cora! Thief!”

To this, Śrī Kṛṣṇa replied, “Mother, there is no cora in My dynasty; there is only a ‘Cora’ in your dynasty.”

“Oh, really?” she retorted. “If You did not steal the butter, then who was feeding the monkeys?”

Kanhaiyā replied, “He who made the monkeys was feeding them.”

“Is that so?” she said. “Tell me frankly, who broke this pot?”

“Look, Mother, when you ran to save the milk, your large ankle-bells hit the pot and it broke.”

“Then how did You get butter all over Your face?” she asked.

“Mother, the monkeys were eating the butter, so I was trying to scare them away. As they were running, they smeared butter all over My mouth.”

Hearing this exchange, all the gopīs began to laugh.

“I am not about to set You free so easily,” Mother Yaśodā said. “I am going to tie You up.”

Mother Yaśodā’s mood was grave. “If I don’t chastise Him,” she thought, “He will become quite a trouble maker.” With this in mind, she decided to bind Him. Although Śrī Kṛṣṇa started to cry, she did not let Him go. She thought to herself, “I will keep Him tied up for a while, and when I have finished churning the yoghurt, I will untie Him and feed Him butter and breast-milk to calm Him down.”

Mother Yaśodā considered, “Kṛṣṇa is khala, a cunning and mischievous thief, and His accomplice is ulūkhala, this grinding mortar. Both deserve to be punished. I will tie them together in such away that Kṛṣṇa cannot untie Himself from the mortar.”

Thinking thus, she proceeded to bind Him.

tad-dāma badhyamānasya
svārbhakasya kṛtāgasaḥ
dyaṅgulonamabhūttena
sandadhe ’nyacca gopikāḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.15)

“When Mother Yaśodā tried to bind her mischievous child, the rope was two fingers too short, so she tied it to another rope.”

She had removed the silk ribbon from her braid in order to bind Kṛṣṇa with it. Other than the gold chain around His waist, Kṛṣṇa was quite naked. Although His tiny waist measured no more than twelve fingers, the ribbon could not be made to bind Him; it was two fingers too short. Mother Yaśodā asked her friend for another rope, but that was also too short. Time and again she gathered and added more rope, but it was always too short – and only two fingers too short – not more, not less.

There is an esoteric meaning in this. One finger represents the sādhaka’s endeavours and the other finger represents the Lord’s mercy. Śrī Bhagavān becomes controlled by His devotee only when both of these elements are present together.

•••••

The Rāmānuja sampradāya is divided in two according to whether they emphasize the Vedic scriptures or the Tamil scriptures. The former are known as Vaḍakalai and the latter as Teṅkalai. They have distinct opinions regarding the means of ultimate attainment. The view of Vaḍakalai Rāmānujas is based on grace arising from a cause. Their stance is compared to markaṭa-nyāya, the analogy of the baby monkey clinging to his mother for protection.

When the mother monkey moves about with her baby, she makes no effort to hold him. Instead, the baby clings on to her as she leaps from tree to tree, and if he falls, his mother will never accept him again.

Conversely, the view of Teṅkalai Rāmānujas is based on causeless grace. Their stance is compared to mārjāra-nyāya, the analogy of the cat carrying the kitten in her mouth. The mother-cat picks her kitten up with her teeth and carries him about. The kitten does not make any effort, and goes wherever she takes him.

Thus the followers of the Vaḍakalai school strive for the grace of Bhagavān by their own efforts, and conversely, the followers of the Teṅkalai school rely solely on faith in the causeless grace of Bhagavān, considering their own endeavours ineffective.

The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school asserts that both views are necessary. The following analogy is given to illustrate this stance. A person who has fallen into a well will cry, “Please help me! Pull me out!” Then, from above, someone may lower a rope into the well and say, “I am lowering down a rope. Catch hold of it and I will pull you out.” However, if the person in the well does not catch hold of the rope, he will not be freed. From his end, he must hold on to the rope, and from above, he must be pulled out.

In this example, the person in the well cries out for help and later firmly catches hold of the rope. These endeavours are the means of his deliverance. In other words they are his sādhana. From above, the person who is trying to pull him out is bestowing causeless mercy. For someone helplessly fallen in the well of material existence, Śrī Bhagavān’s causeless mercy descends, just like this rope, and by performing sādhana, one takes hold of that rope and achieves service to His lotus feet.

Mother Yaśodā did not give up in her attempt to bind Kṛṣṇa; she kept trying. All the gopīs began to clap their hands and say, “O Mother, the creator has not written on this boy’s forehead that He will be bound, so how can you tie Him up?” Mother Yaśodā felt ashamed. “This is so embarrassing,” she thought. “I have not been able to bind the child that came from my own womb.”

Taking shelter of Bhagavān Śrī Nārāyaṇa, she silently began to pray: “O Nārāyaṇa, please help me. If I cannot bind this boy today, it will be so shameful for me. Protect my honour.” Her face had become reddish like the rising sun, and drops of perspiration had begun to roll down her face, like pearls. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.18) describes this as follows:

sva-mātuḥ svinna-gātrāyā
visrasta-kabara-srajaḥ
dṛṣṭvā pariśramaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
kṛpayāsīt sva-bandhane

Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw that His mother’s body had become drenched with perspiration. The garlands woven into her braid had fallen out, and she had become utterly exhausted. Seeing His mother’s fatigue, little Śrī Kṛṣṇa compassionately allowed Himself to be bound.

Sādhakas should perform sādhana-bhajana with the same unwavering determination and hard endeavour. Then Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s heart will melt and He will be compelled to bestow His sublime devotional service upon them. Indeed, when Kṛṣṇa saw his mother’s firm resolve, His heart melted and His topmost potency – His mercy, the totality of all His powers combined – then manifested as His bhakta-vātsalyata, His affection for His devotees. At that very moment, His aiśvarya-śakti (His potency of supreme majesty) disappeared and He allowed Himself to be bound.

Mother Yaśodā made an intense endeavour with unflinching resolve. Following her example, sādhakas should try to melt Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s heart and by practising devotional service that is imbued with characteristics like sincere loving emotions (bhāva), great enthusiasm and anxiousness (utkaṇṭha), a deep sense of closeness and relationship (sambandha), a feeling of possessiveness (mamatā) and intense affection for Him (prīti), they should compel Him to engage them in loving service to Him.

•••••

Regarding the previously mentioned verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam beginning with sva-mātuḥ, an important point must be considered. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains in his commentary on this verse:

Kṛṣṇa’s waist measures only twelve fingers, and the length of the rope continually increased. Why, then, could His mother still not bind Him? Kṛṣṇa was thinking, “My important daily activities of stealing butter and playing with My friends will be stopped, so My mother should not tie Me up.” Immediately, His aiśvarya-śakti, which makes the impossible possible, manifested herself within Him and proceeded to serve Him. Consequently, although the size of His waist remained the same, and although the rope was made so long, His mother could not bind Him.

The vraja-gopīs who were witnessing this pastime along with Mother Yaśodā could not understand its mystery. Why was the rope two fingers too short?

Śrī Kṛṣṇa could not be bound by ordinary rope because all arrangements for His pastimes are made exclusively by His own intrinsic potency, yogamāyā. Furthermore, there is no outside or inside of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, nor is there any beginning or end of Him. He exists eternally in His svarūpa, both before the creation of the phenomenal universes and after their total destruction. In the interim, He pervades all the universes, residing within each of their atoms, yet all the while He remains akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrtiḥ, the original form of condensed transcendent nectar in its totality. In fact, raso vaiḥ saḥ – He is nectar. Thus, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being forever beyond the purview of mundane sense perception, is thoroughly inconceivable. Yet, Mother Yaśodā simply regards Him as her son.

Thinking of Him in that way, she behaves with Him in such a natural and seemingly ordinary way that her relationship with Him may even appear to be like a relationship from this world. But because of that simple loving relationship, she was actually able to bind Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa can never be bound by someone who has not abandoned all separate interests for selfish enjoyment, which are in opposition with the tendency to please Him. He will only become bound by someone who cultivates uttamā-bhakti, which is the inherent function of one’s perfected constitutional identity and which is uninhibited by fruitive acts, mystic yoga and dry knowledge. Therefore, Śrī Bhagavān’s power of compassion and mercy, the topmost among all His potencies, only becomes manifest by the performance of such uttamā-bhakti. In its presence, His aiśvarya-śakti, the power by which He displays His supreme majesty, becomes powerless. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifests His mercy potency, He is controlled of His own accord.

In their previous lives, Devakī and Vasudeva performed extremely severe penances, but even they could not bind Śrī Kṛṣṇa. What, then, can be said of others who try to bind Him? He may willingly come under the control of a sādhaka when He sees them eagerly perform loving service to Him with great persistence, but He cannot be attracted by austerities alone. He is only attracted by sincere love.

Before the advent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, bhakti was evident within the world, but not bhakti-rasa. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī fulfilled the inner desire of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Within the sacred texts he compiled, especially Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu and
Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇī, he perfectly delineated the meaning of bhakti-rasa, describing all of its divisions and subdivisions in full detail. Śrīman Mahāprabhu has propagated bhakti-rasa through His most confidential associates: Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda,
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, my own śrīla gurudeva – Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja – and others.

•••••

Mother Yaśodā wound the rope around Kṛṣṇa’s belly, tied Him to the grinding mortar, and then went to churn the yoghurt, her mind remaining on her son all the while. Just then, Dāma, Śrīdāma, Sudāma, Madhumaṅgala and Kṛṣṇa’s other sakhās arrived. Mother Rohiṇī also returned to Nanda-bhavana from the house of Upananda, along with her son Śrī Baladeva Prabhu, who then entered the group of sakhās. When He saw that His little brother was tied up and that He was crying, He became furious. Tears mixed with black cosmetic ointment were streaming from Kṛṣṇa’s eyes. On one side, where the ointment had totally washed away, it looked like the clear river Gaṅgā. And on the other, where His tears were dark from mixing with the ointment, it looked like the blackish Yamunā. Thus the two rivers were cascading on to His chest. Enraged, Baladeva Prabhu asked Kanhaiyā and the sakhās, “Who bound Him?!” Baladeva Prabhu thought, “Whoever has bound My Kanhaiyā, I will punish this very day!” Then Madhumaṅgala whispered into Baladeva’s ear, “It was Mother Yaśodā who bound Kṛṣṇa.” As soon as He heard Mother Yaśodā’s name, He became silent.

After a few moments, He tried to open the knot. However, He was unable to untie Mother Yaśodā’s strong knot. This is because the love of devotees in vātsalya-rasa (parental love) is superior to the love of devotees in sakhya-rasa (friendship). Incidentally, had Baladeva Prabhu been situated in His form as Anaṅga Mañjarī, wherein He is devoted to Kṛṣṇa in the highest rasa, madhura-rasa (conjugal love), He could have untied the knot. But although all the sakhās kept working together to untie Kṛṣṇa, they were not successful.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa gradually stopped crying. Even He was unable to set Himself free. “Come on,” the sakhās told Him, “we will tip over the grinding mortar and drag it out of the courtyard and play.” At that moment He remembered the incident that occurred long ago between the two sons of Kuvera and His dear devotee, and He thought:

devarṣir-me priyatamo yadimau dhanadātmajau
tat-tathā sādhiyiṣyāmi yad-gītaṁ tan-mahātmanā

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.10.25)

Devarṣi Nārada is My most dear devotee. Therefore, even though these two brothers, the sons of the most wealthy demigod Kuvera, had no devotion for Me, still I must fulfil Śrī Nārada’s words by appearing directly before them and granting them devotional service to Me.

Kuvera was the dear friend of Devarṣi Nārada, and his two sons were Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva. One day, while they were bathing in the Mandākinī (celestial Gaṅgā) with heavenly damsels, their intoxication from being wealthy, beautifully figured, youthful and of noble birth, became further inflamed by drinking wine. At that time Devarṣi Nārada passed by. When the ladies saw that he had come, they hurried out of the water, dressed themselves and offered him obeisances. But Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, blinded by arrogance, did not offer obeisances. In fact, they stood there naked and mused “Where has this person come from?” Ignoring the great sage, they shamelessly proceeded to call for the heavenly damsels to return.

When Śrī Nārada beheld the degraded behaviour of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, he was overwhelmed with compassion for them. Outwardly, he feigned anger and shouted a curse: “Your behaviour befits that of trees. So be it! Become trees.”

Upon hearing the curse uttered by Devarṣi Nārada, they were filled with fear. Falling at his feet and weeping, they begged for pardon. “How can we be delivered?” they asked.

Śrī Nārada replied, “Both of you will become twin arjuna trees near the house of Nanda Mahārāja in Gokula. At the end of Dvāpara-yuga, Svayam Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, will deliver you in the course of enacting His childhood pastimes.”

When Śrī Kṛṣṇa remembered His devotee’s curse, He was overwhelmed with compassion for the two sons of Kuvera. Just to deliver them, He dragged the heavy grinding mortar toward the extremely large arjuna trees, with all of His friends. The trees were fused at their base, but somehow Śrī Kṛṣṇa passed between them. The grinding mortar, however, became lodged between the trees. As soon as Śrī Kṛṣṇa tugged at the grinding mortar with some force, the two trees were completely uprooted. At once, they began falling over and finally struck the ground, producing a deafening crash.

Then, from within the ancient trees, two divine personalities emerged. They circumambulated Śrī Kṛṣṇa and submitted prayers in glorification of Him. After they begged to be forgiven for their offence, Śrī Kṛṣṇa explained:

“It is the unfailing result of seeing Śrī Nārada that even such rogues as the two of you are able to see Me face to face, and the sum total of all the sins you have committed in your countless births has fled far away from you. May you attain bhāva-bhakti for Me.”

By Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s causeless mercy, they resided in Goloka Vṛndāvana from that point onward. They became the famous reciters, Madhu-kaṇṭha and Snigdha-kaṇṭha. Thus, as Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s special associates, they eternally narrate His unlimited pastimes in the assemblies of Śrī Nanda Bābā or the gopīs.

That which cannot be obtained even after accumulating pious credit (sukṛti) for millions of lifetimes, can be achieved very quickly by the causeless mercy of śrī guru, Vaiṣṇavas and Śrī Hari. The devotees who are expert in relishing the loving moods of the vraja-gopīs are the treasure-house of lobhamaya-bhakti, devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa that is full of intense longing. Among them, some exemplify one’s own desired mood and are affectionate towards oneself (sa-jātīya-snigdha). If one gets their association then he should realize that they are the most dear friends of his soul. With his life and soul he should serve them and endeavour to purchase their mood.

But how can such moods be attained? When a person hankers for the same relationship (sambandha) that these great rasika devotees have with their svāminī, Śrī Rādhā, and with Her companions, and when he hankers to have the same deep, possessiveness (mamatā) for Her, and the same intense inclination to serve Her (seva-vasanā), then he can attain these moods. Only then can one truly serve such rasika personalities, and then is one’s life successful. There is no other way.

•••••

Nanda Bābā came running after he heard the deafening crash made when the massive arjuna trees fell. He saw Kanhaiyā, still tied up, standing between the fallen trees. Nanda Bābā was shaken to see Kṛṣṇa standing so close to the fallen trees and thought, “Today, Śrī Nārāyaṇa has given us so much protection. What would have happened if Kanhaiyā had been underneath these trees when they fell!?”

Mother Yaśodā also came running. When she saw the horrible scene she entered into shock. Aghast, she thought, “Alas! What has happened?”

Nanda Bābā asked the children, “How did this happen?”

In their broken language, the children explained, “Bābā, as soon as Kanhaiyā pulled the grinding mortar against the two trees they fell over and two very beautiful people came out. They looked like demigods. They folded their hands and offered prayers to Kanhaiyā. Then they circumambulated Him and went north.”

But Nanda Bābā was not convinced. He took Kṛṣṇa on his lap. Kṛṣṇa had been keeping silent till now, but as soon as He sat on His father’s lap, He burst into tears and began to wail. When Nanda Bābā and the cowherd boys saw Kṛṣṇa crying, tears also started streaming from their own eyes. Nanda Bābā pacified his darling son, and untied the knot.

The knot that bound Kṛṣṇa was factually made of vātsalya-rasa, not rope. Consequently, only His associates in vātsalya-rasa or madhura-rasa (conjugal love) had the power to untie such a knot. Kṛṣṇa’s friends in sakhya-rasa and His servants in dāsya-rasa or those situated in a passive or neutral relationship with Him in śānta-rasa could not have untied the knot tied by Mother Yaśodā. Even within vātsalya-rasa there is a gradation. The love of Mother Yaśodā, who actually bound Kṛṣṇa, is superior to the love of Nanda Bābā, who released Him.

When Mother Yaśodā saw what had happened to her Kanhaiyā, she could not move; she simply stood there like a statue. She could not even cry. Nanda Bābā made Kanhaiyā a little peaceful and then gave Him a sweet laḍḍu from his cloth bag.

“Kanhaiyā,” he asked. “Tell me, who tied You up?”

“Mother,” Kanhaiyā replied.

Becoming silent, Nanda Bābā then resolved to punish Mother Yaśodā with the greatest punishment a loved one can give. For the entire remainder of the day, Nanda Bābā did not speak a single word to her. In a grave mood He took Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in his arms and went to bathe in Brahmāṇḍa-ghāṭa. After everyone had bathed, he returned with them to the gośālā (the grand shelter for the cows). Meanwhile Mother Yaśodā had become as dry and lifeless as a piece of dry wood.

In the gośālā, Nanda Bābā filled Kṛṣṇa’s and Balarāma’s bellies by giving Them rock candy and squirting milk into Their mouths directly from the cows’ udders. When they came home, Mother Rohiṇī served them the food she had prepared and Nanda Bābā silently fed the children. After They had finished, he took some himself. Then they returned to the gośālā.

In the evening, Upananda’s wife came to Nanda Bābā along with Mother Rohiṇī and the other older ladies of Vraja. Mother Rohiṇī told Balarāma, “Go now, and bring Kṛṣṇa.”

That day, however, Kṛṣṇa had given Balarāma such a push that He fell quite far backward. Finally, Upananda’s wife and Mother Rohiṇī spoke to Kanhaiyā.

“Look, Kanhaiyā,” they said, “Your mother is crying so much; go to her.”

“No. I will not go,” He answered.

“Then come to me,” Rohiṇī said.

But Kanhaiyā answered strongly, “No! I won’t go near you. When Mother was tying Me up I called to you so loudly, but you did not come. I won’t even go near you.”

“With whom will You eat?” asked Mother Rohiṇī.

“With father.” He answered.

“With whom will You play?” she asked.

“With Dāu Bhaiyā – My big brother Balarāma.”

“But with whom will You sleep?”

“With father.”

Rohiṇī said, “Until now, You have always slept next to Your mother, but today You will sleep by Your father? Your mother is crying for You.”

Then Nanda Bābā said, “Should I beat your mother?” Upon hearing these words Kanhaiyā stopped His father’s raised hand in answer.

Then Rohiṇī said, “And if Mother suddenly dies, then…?” As soon as Kṛṣṇa heard this, He burst into loud sobs and ran into Mother Rohiṇī’s lap. She brought Him to Mother Yaśodā and when she placed Him on Yaśodā’s lap Yaśodā began to weep loudly. Śrī Kṛṣṇa also cried. Nanda Bābā’s heart melted and he began to cry. Rohiṇī and all the other resident of Vraja who were gathered there also began to cry. Weeping filled the entire atmosphere. Finally, the respected elders of Vraja pacified everyone.

That night, when it was time for dinner, Nanda Bābā told Kanhaiyā, “Go and bring Your mother to me.” Śrī Kṛṣṇa immediately went and caught hold of His mother’s veil and, although she hesitated to go, Kṛṣṇa brought her to Nanda Bābā. She served dinner to everyone and they all took their meal with great joy. Thereafter, Mother Yaśodā took Śrī Kṛṣṇa up in her arms and went to her bedroom.

~ Thus ends the Dig-darśinī-vṛttī on the Second Verse ~

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