Sri Krsna's Vrindavan Associates Sudama,
Part Five


At Play while Tending the Cows
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Mar 13, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates.

Today we are presenting more of the pastimes of Sudama gopa, one of Sri Krsna's dear confidential friends in Vrindavan. In Srila Jiva Goswami's Sri Gopal-campu, we find mention of some of Sudama's pastimes. In Chapter Two, 'Dvitiyam Puranam - Pastimes in Sri Goloka', we find a story about the cowherds going with Krsna to an assembly held in honor of His birthday.

This story begins with a scene much like the ones described yesterday, in which Sudama and friends anxiously join Krsna in the morning, preparing to take the cows out:

    "21. Then, at sunrise, Krishna's affectionate and gloriously youthful friends, followers, kinsmen, cowherd associates and sudra servants all met at the entrance of Krishna's charming palace. They all shone with great splendour.

    22. Then, accompanied by servants bearing various articles for His bath, youthful Krishna, the brother of Balarama and the protector of all, entered the bathing room for His early morning bath.

    23. Then Subala and other playful, joking, cheerful, affectionate friends, all sons of vaisya cowherds, came there. Eager for joking words, Krishna stopped to talk with them. He sat down on a glorious seat. Filled with wonder, all the boys affectionately served Him.

    24. The soul and the body are different. The life and the life-force are different. But Krishna and His friends are not different. They are each others life. They are each other's life force.

    25. Morning after morning Krishna enjoys these pastimes in the company of His friends:

    Krishna washing Krishna's glorious face, hands, and feet, the massage of His body with oil, His bath, the washing of His limbs, His being dressed with a pair of garments, His performing acamana, His being marked with tilaka, His performing His morning duties, His being dressed in splendid garments and decorated with jewel ornaments, His wearing a peacock feather, and His carrying a flute, bugle, and a stick all attract my heart.

    26. Even Lord Ananta Sesa praises the servants that massage Lord Krishna's body:

    The servant who, thirsting after the touch of Lord Krishna's body, lovingly place fragrant oils on His head and lovingly massage His feet, arms, and other limbs, attain the same happiness Krishna's parents and gopi lovers attain.

    27. Then, wearing yellow garments, and accompanied by His friends and servants, Krishna entered the courtyard. Standing before His mother. He became like a lifeless statue.


    "He has come!"

    "Glory to His graceful sweetness!"

    "We should offer arati to Him."

    "Please stand before my eyes."

    "May He stand always before my eyes."

    Suddenly seeing lotus-eyed Krishna come before them, the people became filled with wonder. How can I describe the wonder they felt?

    29. The elder ladies had burned in flames of separation from Krishna. Now they were flooded with love for Him. Giddy and restless, and overcome with pure bliss, they came down from the palace porch. As a cow greets her dear calf, so Yasoda greeted her son. As everyone watched, Rohini also greeted Krishna.

    30. Krishna bowed down before the feet of the first one and then the other. Then He honoured all the elder ladies. He pleased them all.

    31. Then, following behind Balarama, came Sridama, Sudama, and the other boys who always played with Krishna. The learned sons of brahmana priest also came. The boys honoured the ladies there as if they were their own mothers, and the boys delighted their sisters and cousins.

    32. Again and again they respectfully stood before each of the elder ladies and spoke respectful words.

    33. The goddess who in the assembly of siddhas, in the assembly of saints who know the conclusions of devotional service, and in the Srimad-Bhagavatam(10.29.1), is famous by the name Yogamaya, who makes arrangements for the Lord's pastimes, and who is the Lord's internal potency, was manifested there as an austere old lady. There her name is Paurnamasi. The boys all approached her. She happily blessed them all.

    34. Her son was a learned brahmana who thirsted to enjoy pastimes of confidential joking words. He was bound to Krishna with ties of friendship. He had no faults. He was like Narada himself. He was decorated with skill in speaking joking words. His name was Madhumangala. Expertly speaking joking words that touched the heart, he delighted everyone. He was like a great treasure standing by Lord Krishna's side.

    35. Holding hands, fair and dark Balarama and Krishna approached Their mothers, embraced them, and smiling, stood in the courtyard before the palace doors.

    36. Then Krishna and Balarama sat on thrones of splendid gold and jewels of many colours. Their glance on everyone was like a shower of nectar.

    37. That day was the birthday of Krishna, Krishna who makes Yasoda glorious. Performing Krishna's birthday abhiseka, the learned boys chanted many mantras.

    38. In the festival the devotees' affectionate and splendid mantras, songs, instrumental music, and calls of "Jaya Krishna" all joined together to make a very beautiful sound. They joined as the rasas beginning with srngara-rasa join to make a beautiful poem, or the six notes of the scale join to make beautiful melodies.

    39. In that festival an arati ceremony, the touch of auspicious words, and many kinds of worship performed by brahmanas presiding over mirrors of ghee, were all offered to Lord Krishna. Krishna was very glorious. Hundreds of His glories filled all the worlds.

    40. Touching the hair of Krishna's head with durva grass and other auspicious things, the brahmana ladies offered their blessings. Tears in their eyes, they prayed that Krishna's every wish be filled.

    41. Her body stunned and her eyes filled with tears, how could Yasoda place tilaka on her son's head? Stunned Rohini could do nothing to help. v42. Krishna's father, mother, uncles, and aunts were all stunned. None of them had the power to decorate Krishna with tilaka.

    43. Entering the inner courtyard, a graceful boy said, "O glorious prince of Vraja, on this festival day we have all come here in the assembly of Vraja's king. Standing before the gates of Your palace, we have brought betelnuts, silk garments and many other gifts for You, gifts we now place before the king of Vraja's lotus feet. Please, it is not right for You to shake Your head and decline to accept these gifts."

    44. Hearing these words Krishna became thoughtful. Agitated, and bowing down before her, he asked His mother's permission to visit Paurnamasi's cottage. Trembling with love, following Balarama, and accompanied by Sridama and His friends, he began to leave as the gopis earnestly kept their eyes on Him.

    45. Everyone became like cataka birds gazing at a host of rainclouds, or like cakora birds gazing at the moon, or like lotus flowers in lakes filled with water, or like unconscious persons suddenly awakened. They were all filled with bliss. When the poets and singers began to chant Krishna's glories, they all stood up.

    46. Their hearts anxious, Nanda and everyone else became stunned. This was right, for the greatest love stays in King Nanda's village."

The story also describes the departure of the boys from the company of the friends, parents and worshipable elders of the Vraja who had gathered to honor Krsna's birthday:

    "67. At this there was an uproar of laughter. Approaching His father, charming Krsna humbly asked, "You have brought Us all to this assembly. Now it is almost time for Sri Balarama, Dama, Sudama, and the other of Us boys to go." Then Krsna went to His mother's room and said to her, "Mother of mothers, please give Us boys permission to depart."

    68. Milk trickling from the flower-buds of her breasts, Mother Yasoda said, "Son, may You live a long life. You boys are like one life in many bodies. Therefore it is not right that I should detain You."

    69. Then Mother Yasoda's friends said, "Child, we are also called Your mothers, but Yasoda is Your true mother. Why do You not love her?" Bowing His head and with a smile mixed with tears, Krsna said, "O My mothers, what can I do? The cows do not know what to do. Without Me they will not even eat a mouthful of grass."

    70. Mother Yasoda said, "What the boy says is true. If we make them stay here, their hearts would break. The boy, His cows, and His friends have made the forest their home."

The story ends with a description of the cowherd boys out in the fields protecting the cows, as they happily take lunch and prepare to return for the day:

    "To lead the cows to the Yamuna, the boys called out "hihi" for the cows to walk and "dhiriha" for them to stop.

    144. The called out "co" for the cows to drink water, "jhiri" for them to stop drinking, and "tiritiri" to make them walk away from the water.

    145. Making the billion cows stay on the river bank, the boys happily bathed in the water. They played and sang.

    146. Then Krsna had the boys eat the fragrant lunches their mothers made for them. Smiling, Krsna made His tongue explore the different flavours of His lunch.

    147. Finished with lunch, Krsna rinsed His mouth, Accompanied by Sridama, Dama, Sudama, Vasudama, and His other friends, His cheeks filled with crushed, splendid, golden-coloured betel mixed with camphor, His handsome face decorated with swinging earrings, and His lotus eyes happily glancing at His friends, the glorious protector of the cows, returned to His home.

    148. Travelling through different forests, allowing the cows sometimes to stop and eat the fragrant grasses, and making the people of Vraja Village more and more anxious in His separation, Krsna slowly walked home with His friends.

    149. Taking the cows with Him, Krsna walked to Gokula. Stopping to rest under a great shade tree, He listened to the prayers, singing, and instrumental music of the demigods and other celestial beings. Again walking, He came to the outskirts of Vraja Village.

    150. His glorious handsome face gazed at by demigods flying in airplanes, by sages learned in mantras, yoga, and other sciences, by people coming before His eyes, and by the cows with their eyes and noses, Krsna playing His flute and casting glances from the corners of His happy, graceful, glorious eyes, walked on one path and then another, and finally entered the village of Vraja.

    151. Glory to the sound of Krsna's flute. Even though the cows' mooing, the cowherd boys' happy talking, the demigods' flood of prayers, and the sages' many quotes from the scripture have all assembled together to make a deafening tumult, the faint sound of Krsna's flute breaks that tumult into pieces.

    152. Hearing the sound of Krsna's flute, the cows and boys in the forest became filled with bliss and the demigods in the celestial worlds became filled with wonder. Krsna had become glorious like the moon. With the sound of His flute He made the cows stunned with bliss."

    (Sri Gopal-campu, Prathamam Puranam, Chapter Two, by Srila Jiva Goswami)

These are just some of the glorious pastimes of Sri Krsna, His confidential gopa friend, Sudama, and the other cowherd boys of Vrindavan.


Series Introduction
Subala Part 1
Subala Part 2
Subala Part 3
Subala Part 4
Subala Part 5
Subala Part 6
Subala Part 7
Subala Part 8
Subala Part 9
Subala Part 10
Ujjvala Part 1
Ujjvala Part 2
Arjuna - Part 2
Sudama, Part 2
Sudama, Part 3
Sudama, Part 4


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