Sri Krsna's Vrindavan Associates – Stoka-krsna,
Part Three


Vanquishing Dhenukasura
Bhagavata Purana, Kangra, c. 1840

Jul 28, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — The last in a serial presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates.

Yesterday we discussed the questions which arise when reading various sastric references on the identity of the cowherd boy Stoka-krsna, one of the twelve gopalas of Vraj, and his later identity during Gaura-lila as Purusottama Das Thakur and/or Nagara Purusottama. Today we offer one last consideration on the topic of naming, that is, names of gopas that are very similar to Stoka-krsna.

In the Govinda Vrndavana portion of Gautamiya tantra by Srila Kavi Karnapura, we find an enumeration of the cowherd boys of Vraj, shown below. Stoka-krishna, the sakha we are featuring in this article is named near the top of the list (text 126), along with Krsna's other priya-sakha confidential friends.

It's interesting to note that on the Gautamiya tantra list, we find three separate individuals named Stoka-dama. Two of them (text 135 and 138) are spelled the same way in Sanskrit -- stoka-dama -- while one is shown as stoka-damas, translated to Stoka-dama (text 136). Whether this is possibly an error in translation or manuscript preparation, we do not know.

Also interesting is the inclusion of Stoka-nagara (text 138), in light of the questions presented about names in yesterday's segment. That is, was the Gaura-lila manifestation of Stoka-krsna the person of Nagar Purushottam, or Purushottam Das Thakur? Also, the reference from Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (text 131), that:

    "Nagar Purushottam was previously the cowherd named Daman in Vraja."

So there is a great similarity between many of the names associated with the gopa Stoka-krsna, including Stoka-dama and Stoka-nagara.

While they don't contribute to the confusion arising from Stoka-krsna's names in Vraj and Gauda, we do find four additional names in the Gautamiya tantra list that include the word 'stoka':

    Stoka-govinda (text 134)
    Stoka-bahu (text 135)
    Stoka-nanda (text 142)
    Rasa-stoka (text 144)

As previously mentioned, Srila Rupa Goswami states that stoka means 'small':

    "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)

Therefore, the name Stoka in the four examples above no doubt uses stoka in such a way.

Following is the list of cowherd boys from 'Govinda Vrndavana' -- Gautamiya tantra by Srila Kavi Karnapura

    Text 125

    yatha krishnas tatha ramah subahuh subalo 'pi ca
    shridamah vasudamash ca sudamash ca mahabalah

    "As Lord Krishna is glorious, so also are glorious Lord Balarama and the gopas Subahu, Subala, Shridama, Vasudama, Sudama Mahabala,...

    Text 126

    lavangas ca mahabahuh stoka-krishnah 'rjjunas tatha
    amsuka vrishabhas caiva vrishala jaya-malavah

    ..Lavanga, Mahabahu, Stoka-krishna, Arjjuna, Amsuka, Vrishabha, Vrishala, Jaya-malava,...

    Text 127

    urjasvi ca subha-prastho vinodi ca varuthapah
    rasikas ca madandhas ca mahendras candra-sekharah

    Irjasvi, Subha-prastha, Vinodi, Varuthapa, Rasika, Madandha, Mahendra, Candra-sekhara,...

    Text 128

    rasalas ca rasandhas ca rasangas ca mahabalah
    suranga jaya-rangas ca rangas cananda-kandarah

    ...Rasala, Rasandha, Rasanga, Mahabala, Suranga, Jaya-ranga, Ranga, Ananda-kandara,...

    Text 129

    nandah sunandanandas cancalas capalabalah
    syamala vimalalolah kamalah kamalekshanah

    ..Nanda, Sunanda, Ananda, Cancala, Capala, Bala, Syamala, Vimala, Lola, Kamala, Kamalekshana,...

    Text 130

    madhuras ca rasandhas ca madhavas candra-bandhavah
    surathas ca mahanando gandharvas candra-bandhavah

    ..Madhura, Rasandha, Madhava, Candra-bandhava, Suratha, Mahananda, Gandharva, Candra-bandhava,...

    Text 131

    kandarpa keli-darpas ca rasendrah sundara jayah
    mahendras ca sugandharvah sarasendrah kalalayah

    ..Kandarpa, Keli-darpa, Rasendra, Sundara, Jaya, Mahendra, Sugandharva, Sarasendra, Kalalaya,...

    Text 132

    sumukha yasasindras ca sanandas candra-bhavanah
    rasa-bhringa rasalango vilasah keli-kananah

    ..Sumukha, Yasasindra, Sananda, Candra-bhavana, Rasa-bhringa, Rasalanga, Vilasa, Keli-kanana,...

    Text 133

    anantah kelivan kamah prema-bhringah kala-nidhih
    sabala nagarah syamah sukamah sarasa vidhih

    ..Ananta, Kelivan, Kama, Prema-bhringa, Kala-nidhi, Sabala, Nagara, Syama, Sukama, Sarasa, Vidhi,...

    Text 134

    gaurangah stoka-govindo devendras candra-malayah
    syamangah paramanando rasangas candra-yadavah

    Gauranga, Stoka-govinda, Devendra, Candra-malaya, Syamanga, Paramananda, Rasanga, Candra-yadava,...

    Text 135

    krishnangah stoka-dama ca vibhanga rasa-manavah
    premangah stoka-bahus ca hemanga jaya-yadavah

    Krishnanga, Stoka-dama, Vibhanga, Rasa-manava, Premanga, Stoka-bahu, Hemanga, Jaya-yadava,...

    Text 136

    raktangah stoka-damas ca tri-bhangas ca sunagarah
    pavanendrah surendras ca surathendra jayadvratah

    Raktanga, Stoka-dama, Tri-bhanga, Sunagara, Pavanendra, Surendra, Surathendra, Jayadvrata

    Text 137

    sukhada mohana dama keli-dama sumanmathah
    sucandras candraman indro vijaya jaya-sekharah

    ..Sukhada, Mohana, Dama, Keli-dama, Sumanmatha, Sucandra, Candraman, Indra, Vijaya, Jaya-sekhara,...

    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,...

    Text 139

    kamendrah kamavan kamo 'jitendras candra-cancalah
    dambhah sudambha dambhikah para-dambha vidambhakah

    Kamendra, Kamavan, Kama, Ajitendra, Candra-cancala, Dambha, Sudambha, Dambhika, Para-dambha, Vidambhaka,...

    Text 140

    prema-dambha sugandhis ca sudambha dambha-nayakah
    upanandas caru-nando rasananda vilocanah

    Prema-dambha, Sugandhi, Sudambha, Dambha-nayaka, Upananda, Caru-nanda, Rasananda, Vilocana,...

    Text 141

    jaya-nandah prema-nando darpa-nandah sumohanah
    bhadra-nandas candra-nando vira-nandah sudhakarah

    Jaya-nanda, Prema-nanda, Darpa-nanda, Sumohana, Bhadra-nanda, Candra-nanda, Vira-nanda, Sudhakara,...

    Text 142

    bala-nandah bahu-nandah stoka-nandah yasaskarah
    upananda krishnanando gaura-nanda visaradah

    Bala-nanda, Bahu-nanda, Stoka-nanda, Yasaskara, Upananda, Krsnananda, Gaura-nanda, Visarada,...

    Text 143

    syama-nanda dama-nandah sukha-nandah priyam-vadah
    upakarishnah kala-krishnah bahu-krishnah sukhakarah

    Syama-nanda, Dama-nanda, Sukha-nanda, Priyam-vada, Upakarsna, Kala-Krishna, Bahu-Krishna, Sukhakara,...

    Text 144

    upasama rasa-stokah prema-dama jaya-pradah
    madhu-kantha vikunthas ca sudha-kanthah priya-vratah

    Upasama, Rasa-stoka, Prema-dama, Jaya-prada, Madhu-kantha, Vikuntha, Sudha-kantha, Priya-vrata,...

    Text 145

    rasa-kanthas ca vaikunthah sukandas candra-sundarah
    keli-kanthah prema-kantho vara-kantha rasam-vadah

    Rasa-kantha, Vaikuntha, Sukanda, Candra-sundara, Keli-kantha, Prema-kantha, Vara-kantha, Rasam-vada,...

    Text 146

    jaya-kanthah kala-kantho 'mrita-kanthah kalakarah
    nritya-kendra nritya-sakto nrityaman nritya-sekharah

    Jaya-kantha, Kala-kantha, Amrta-kantha, Kalakara, Nritya-kendra, Nritya-sakta, Nrityaman, Nritya-sekhara,..

    Text 147

    nritya-ranga nritya-tungo nrityanandah suyodhanah
    rasa-candrah kama-candro rupa-candra vimohanah

    Nritya-ranga, Nritya-tunga, Nrityananda, Suyodhana, Rasa-candra, Kama-candra, Rupa-candra, Vimohana,...

    Text 148

    keli-candrah keli-darpah sudarpa darpa-nagarah
    premendrah prema-candras ca prema-rangadaya tatha

    Keli-candra, Keli-darpa, Sudarpa, Darpa-nagara, Premendra, Prema-candra, Prema-ranga, and many other gopas also."

While the names of each one of the gopas is a pleasure to speak, we are happy to find that later on in his Gautamiya tantra, Srila Kavi Karnapura makes one additional statement about Krsna's priya-sakha friend, Stoka-krsna:

    Texts 167-168

    praphulla-pundarikaksho manda-hasyarunodayah

    pulaka-prema-samyukto matsaryadi-nivaritah
    cira-vasa-rasahladah stoka-krishnah prakirtitah

    "The gopa named Stoka-krishna has eyes like blossoming lotus flowers and a gentle smile like the rising sun. He is happy when Lord Krishna is happy. He dances with wild gracefulness. The hairs of his body stand erect in ecstatic love. He is free of envy and other vices. He is always filled with the nectar of happiness."

Mention of the lotus-like gopa, Stoka-krishna is not found in many other pieces of Vaisnava literature, although Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati mentions him in Sri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi:

    "Sridama, Subala, Vrsabha, Stokakrsna, Arjuna, what did you see? My frightened eyes would not enter that forest. A goddess who flooded all the worlds with Her beauty robbed our dear friend of everything He owned." (228)

He is also briefly mentioned in the Bhagavatam:

    Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.31-32:

    "[Lord Krsna said:] O Stoka Krsna and Amsu, O Sridama, Subala and Arjuna, O Vrsabha, Ojasvi, Devaprastha and Varuthapa, just see these greatly fortunate trees, whose lives are completely dedicated to the benefit of others. Even while tolerating the wind, rain, heat and snow, they protect us from these elements.


    Lord Krsna was preparing to bestow His mercy on the wives of the hard-hearted ritualistic brahmanas, and in these verses the Lord indicates that even trees who are dedicated to the welfare of others are superior to brahmanas who are not. Certainly the members of the Krsna consciousness movement should soberly study this point."

And finally, Srila Prabhupada includes a mention of Stoka-krsna in his Krsna book description (Chapter 15) of Sri Krsna and Balarama's pastime, killing the demon Dhenukasura. Among the gopa friends participating in this pastime were Subala, Sridama and Stoka-krsna, who went together to implore Balarama and Krsna to drive the asura out of Talavana forest.

Although no other details are provided in the 10th Canto of Bhagavatam or Krsna book about Stoka-krsna's role in the Dhenuka drama, we read in Sri Garga Samhita, 1.4.11, Text 14, The Liberation of Dhenukasura, that: "Stoka Krishna whipped the powerful demon with a rope. Arjuna and Amsu threw him far away."

And this concludes our presentation of Sri Krsna's Vrindavan friend, Stoka-krsna sakha.

This concludes our presentation of Sri Krsna's transcendental Vrindavan associates


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