Sri Krsna's Vrindavan Associates – Stoka-krsna


Stoka-krsna Sakha
Painting by Haridas Thakur das

Jul 24, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates.

Today we begin our next presentation on Sri Krsna's transcendental associates in Vrindavan, this time featuring the cowherd boy, Stoka-krsna. The confidential friends of Krsna known as the priya-sakhas are closer to Krsna than some of His boyhood friends, cousins, etc. The priya-sakhas are almost Krsna's age, and their very confidential relationships with Krsna are based on pure friendship.

Included in this group are Sridama, Sudama, Dama, Vasudama, Kinkini, Stoka-krsna, Amsu, Bhadrasena, Vilasi, Pundarika, Vitanka and Kalavinka (Jaiva-dharma, Volume Five).

Stokakrsna sakha is also included in a list of the twelve most important cowherd boys, along with Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Subala, Mahabala, Subahu, Mahabahu, Dama, Arjuna, Lavanga, and Kusumasava.

Elsewhere, in the 'Govinda Vrndavana' portion of Brihad Gautamiya-tantra, which discusses Lord Krsna's gopa friends, we find this list:

    Text 138

    upendrah stoka-dama ca sujayah stoka-nagarah
    vasantas ca sumantas ca rasavan rasa-kandarah

    "Upendra, Stoka-dama, Sujaya, Stoka-nagara, Vasanta, Sumanta, Rasavan, Rasa-kandara..."

Stokakrsna, one of the twelve gopalas, or associates of Nityananda Prabhu, is described in Srila Rupa Goswami's famous Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-Ganoddesa-dipika:

    Krsna's confidential friends (priya-sakha)

    "Krsna's confidential friends are Sridama, Sudama, Dama, Vasudama, Kinkini, Bhadrasena, Amsu, Stokakrsna, Vilasi, Pundarika, Vitankaksa, Kalavinka and Priyaskara. These friends are the same age of Krsna. Their leader is Sridama, who is also known as Pithamardaka.

    Bhadrasena is the general who leads Krsna's childhood friends in military pastimes. Stokakrsna is very appropriately named, for he is just like a small (stoka) Krsna."

    (Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-Ganoddesa-dipika, Part Two, Texts 30-32)

In Sri Garga Samhita we find this description of Stoka-krsna's birth:

    sri-bhagavan uvaca
    sridama subalah sakha
    stoka-krishno 'rjuno 'msus ca
    nava-nanda-grihe vidhe

    "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My friends Sridama and Subala will take birth in the homes of Nanda and Upananda. Stoka-krishna, Arjuna, and Amsu will take birth in the nine homes of Nanda's relatives."

    (Sri Garga Samhita, Chapter Four, Text 1)

The appearance in Vrindavan of the gopa Stoka-krsna is also mentioned by Sri Rupa Goswami in Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-Ganoddesa-dipika, Part One, Text 103-107:

    "Mahavasu-gopa desired to beget a powerful and heroic son and a beautiful daughter. To attain this end the self-controlled Mahavasu engaged Bhaguri Muni in performing a Vedic sacrifice. (103)

    Certain nectarean foodstuffs appeared from that sacrifice and the delighted Mahavasu gave them to his wife, Sucandra-devi. (104)

    As Sucandra-devi was hastily eating the sacred foodstuff on her front porch, she spilled some of it. At that time the doe named Suranga, who was the mother of the doe named Rangini, was wandering in Vrajabhumi. Seeing Sucandra-devi spill some of the foodstuff, the doe Suranga quickly came forward and ate some of it. As a result of eating this sacred foodstuff, both the gopi Sucandra and the doe Suranga became pregnant. (105-106)

    Sucandra-devi gave birth to a son whom the gopas called Stokakrsna and the deer gave birth to the girl Hiranyangi in the village of Vraja." (107)

Stoka-krsna sakha's identify in Gaura-lila is also disclosed, both in Caitanya-caritamrta Adi lila and in Sri Kavi Karnapura's Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika.

    Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila 11.33

    navadvipe purusottama pandita mahasaya
    nityananda-name yanra mahonmada haya

    "Purusottama Pandita, a resident of Navadvipa, was the eighth gopala. He would become almost mad as soon as he heard the holy name of Nityananda Prabhu.


    It is stated in the Caitanya-bhagavata that Purusottama Pandita was born in Navadvipa and was a great devotee of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. As one of the twelve gopalas, his former name was Stokakrsna."

As we will see in tomorrow's segment, there is another reference to Stoka-krsna's name in Caitanya-lila, besides Purusottama Pandita.


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