Mathura-mandala Parikrama, Part 18
BY: SUN STAFF
Sep 28, 2011 CANADA (SUN) By Srila Narahari Chakravarti Thakur.
The Wrestling Sport of Radha-Krishna
Radha asked Krishna in Her soft voice, "How do You play with Your friends at this place?' Krishna answered, "I dress as a wrestler and I wrestle with My friends. No one knows wrestling like Me and I win very easily." Lalita smiled and requested Krishna again and again to show them His wrestling in His wrestler's dress. They all then changed into wrestler's costumes, but Krishna was very proud of His dress. Radha smiled sweetly when She saw Krishna's wrestling costume, and They both entered the wrestling arena. There was no question of winning or losing in that wrestling match and Kandarpa, the god of love, was satisfied to watch the game.
This pastime is described in Vraja-vilasa-stava as follows: "I sing the glory of Bhandira, where charming Shri Radha, being eager to wrestle with Krishna, dressed Herself and Her sakhis in wrestling costumes. For the pleasure of Madana, She then cheerfully wrestled with Bakari, the enemy of Bakasura, who was also dressed as a wrestler.'
In this way, various wonderful pastimes were performed in Bhandiravana. Who can describe them all?"
Just see Ara-grama and Munjatavi near Bhandira, where Krishna swallowed the forest fire to rescue the cows and cowherd boys. Bhandari-grama is on the other side of the Yamuna. In Tapovana the daughters of the cowherd men performed tapasya. At Gopi-ghata they bathed in the Yamuna. The gopis joyfully worshiped Katyayanidevi at Cira-ghata. They put their clothes here on the bank of the Yamuna as they entered the water for bath. Krishna secretly stole their clothes and climbed into a kadamba tree to see the fun. When the gopis realized they had no clothes, they were greatly ashamed and bade Krishna to return their clothes while remaining in the water. After revealing His mind, Krishna jubilantly returned their clothes. The gopis then dressed themselves, but only after they had dedicated themselves to Krishna.
Here at Nanda-ghata Nanda and the other cowherd men took their bath in the Yamuna River. After fasting on the Ekadashi, Nanda was entering the Kalindi to take his bath on the Dvadashi. While bathing, a servant of Varuna abducted Nanda, but Krishna easily rescued him. As Nanda had become afraid in this place, Krishna's great grandson, Vajra, the son of Aniruddha, named this place Bhaya. Leaving Bhaya behind, Shri Raghava continued his tour of the holy places around Mathura.
See here Vatsavana where Brahma stole the calves. The Vraja-vilasa-stava gives this description: "I sing the glories of Vatsa-harana-sthali where Brahma, being inquisitive about the glories of Lord Krishna, stole the calves and cowherd boys. To satisfy the long cherished desire of the mothers of the calves and cowherd boys, Krishna then manifested Himself as calves and cowherd boys to eat the food given by their mothers."
In Unai, Krishna and His boyfriends ate all sorts of food. In Balahara, Brahma felt delighted as he stole all the cowherd boys. [Balahara comes from: bala, meaning boys and hara, meaning stolen]. In Parikhama, Brahma wanted to test [pariksha] the power of Krishna. At this place, Sei [sei means that] which is known by all, Brahma was bewildered by Krishna's maya. After stealing the cowherd boys and calves, Brahma kept them hidden. But when he returned to Krishna, he saw those same boys and calves. Being overwhelmed he repeatedly said, 'Those are these, or these are those?' That is why the name of this place is Sei. In Comuha-grama Brahma approached Krishna and, repenting his audacity, offered prayers to the Lord.
The Vraja-vilasa-stava describes: "I sing the glories of the place called Bhirucaturmukha. It was here that Brahma repented for his offense of stealing the cows and cowherd boys and fell on the ground at the feet of Mukunda, the gently smiling son of Maharaja Nanda. With his eyes filled with tears, he sang the glories of the Lord."
In Aghavana Krishna killed Aghasura, but people now call the place Sapauli [Sapauli means the place of snakes].
In the Vraja-vilasa-stava it is stated: "May Sarpa-sthali be my protector, for it was here that the powerful Murari watched as His friends entered into the burning, poisonous stomach of the sinful Aghasura. He followed His friends, who are more dear to Him than His own life, and being angry at the demon, killed the giant snake in order to rescue them."
In Jayeta-grama the demigods glorified Krishna, "Jaya! Jaya! All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead!' and then showered Him with flowers. Krishna killed Aghasura in a clever [siyana] way, therefore this village was given the name Soyano or sometimes Sehona. See the two villages Taroli and Varoli which were named by the gopas.
Then Raghava took Narottama and Shrinivasa up a small hill called Krishna-kunda tila and as they looked in all directions they felt intense pleasure. Raghava showed them Maghera village, which was previously called Maghahera and the tamala forest where Radha and Krishna used to meet.
In Atasu-grama, the saint Ashtavakra performed austerities. Shakrasthana was later named Shakaroya. This place is famous because it was here that Shakra [Indra] became afraid after causing the terrible rain in Vraja. In Varahara village Krishna played with His friends by assuming the form of Varaha. See Harasali-grama where Krishna performed His rasa.
From Vraja-vilasa-stava comes this description: "May that Rasa-sthali, which is the precious gem of the three worlds, be our protector. While dancing with the radiantly beautiful wives of the cowherd men, Krishna left them and went with Radha to a solitary place to decorate Her with flower ornaments and engage in divine loving play with Her."
After describing the various holy places, Shri Raghava returned to Nanda-ghata with Shrinivasa and Narottama.