The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Yamuna
BY: SUN STAFF
Balarama draws Yamuna with His Plough
Aug 23, 2014 CANADA (SUN) The last in a serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 185.
In our final segment of this series, which concludes with a glorification of the sacred Yamuna, we offer the story of Lord Balarama's chastisement of Yamuna Devi, narrated by Srila Prabhupada in chapter 65 of Krsna Book, 'Lord Balarama Visits Vrndavana':
"While Balarama was in that happy mood, He desired to enjoy the company of the gopis in the water of the Yamuna. Therefore He called Yamuna to come nearby. But Yamuna neglected the order of Balaramaji, considering Him to be intoxicated. Lord Balarama became very much displeased at Yamuna's neglecting His order. He immediately wanted to scratch the land near the river with His plowshare. Lord Balarama has two weapons, a plow and a club, and He takes service from them when they are required. This time He wanted to bring the Yamuna by force, and He took the help of His plow. He wanted to punish Yamuna because she did not come in obedience to His order. He addressed Yamuna: "You wretched river! You did not care for My order. Now I shall teach you a lesson! You did not come to Me voluntarily. Now with the help of My plow I shall force you to come. I shall divide you into hundreds of scattered streams!"
When Yamuna was threatened like this, she became greatly afraid of the power of Balarama and immediately came in person, falling at His lotus feet and praying thus: "My dear Balarama, You are the most powerful personality, and You are pleasing to everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot Your glorious, exalted position, but now I have come to my senses, and I remember that You hold all the planetary systems on Your head merely by Your partial expansion of Sesa. You are the sustainer of the whole universe. My dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are full of six opulences. Because I forgot Your omnipotence, I have mistakenly disobeyed Your order, and thus I have become a great offender. But, my dear Lord, please know that I am a surrendered soul unto You. You are very much affectionate to Your devotees. Therefore please excuse my impudence and mistakes and, by Your causeless mercy, may You now release me."
Upon displaying this submissive attitude, Yamuna was forgiven, and when she came nearby, Lord Balarama wanted to enjoyed the pleasure of swimming within her water along with the gopis in the same way that an elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephants. After a long time, when Lord Balarama had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After taking bath in the Yamuna, Lord Balarama, dressed in blue garments and decorated with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord Balarama's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planets. The river Yamuna still has many small branches due to being scratched by the plowshare of Lord Balarama. And all these branches of the river Yamuna are still glorifying the omnipotence of Lord Balarama."
Pastimes on the Yamuna
Finally, we offer three verses of glorification of the holy Yamuna, from the Sri Padyavali of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
Vrindavanam gacchata uddhavasya vakyam
Uddhava's Words on Arriving in Vrindavana
iyam sa kalindi kuvalaya-dala-snigha-madhura
pura yasyas tire sa-rabhasa-sa-trishnam mura-bhido
gatah prayo gopi-nidhuvana-vinodena divasah
iyam-this; sa-this; kalindi-the Yamuna River; kuvalaya-lotus; dala-petals; snigdha-glistening; madhura-charming; mada-with joy; andha-blinded; vyakujat-warbling; tarala-restless; jalaranku-of jalaranku birds; pranayini-the favorite place; pura-formerly; yasyah-of which; tire-on the shore; sa-with; rabhasa-joy; sa-with; trishnam-thirst; mura-bhidah-of Lord Krishna, the killer of Mura; gatah-spent; prayah-for the most part; gopi-with the gopis; nidhuvana-amorous; vinodena-with pastimes; divasah-the days.
This is the Yamuna, very beautiful with many blue lotus petals, and the favorite place of restless, warbling jalaranku birds blinded with happiness. On this shore Lord Krishna's days were mostly spent in passionate and blissful amorous pastimes with the gopis.
pureyam kalindi vraja-jana-vadhunam stana-tati-
tanu-ragair bhinna sabala-salilabhud anudinam
aho tasam nityam rudita-galitaih kajjala-jalair
idanim yate 'smin dvi-guna-malinabhun mura-ripau
pura-formerly; iyam-this; kalindi-Yamuna River; vraja-jana-vadhunam-of the vraja-gopis; stana-of the breasts; tati-of the surface; tanu-of the bodies; ragaih-with the musk ointment; bhinna-broken; sabala-spotted; salila-the water; abhut-became; anudinam-every day; aho-ah!; tasam-of them; nityam-always; rudita-from crying; galitah-fallen; kajjala-of mascara; jalaih-by the water; idanim-now; yate-has gone; asmin-now that; dvi-guna-doubled; malina-dark; abhut-has become; mura-ripau-Lord Krishna, the enemy of the Mura demon.
In the past the Yamuna would every day become muddied with the black musk anointing the vraja-gopis bodies and breasts. Now that Krishna has left the water is twice as muddy, but this time with the mascara washed away by the gopis' constant tears.
idam tat kalindi-pulinam iha kamsasura-bhido
yasah-srinvad-vaktra-skhalita-kavalam gokulam abhut
svarabhir gopibhir disi disi samudghurnam anisam
idam-this; tat-that; kalindi-of the Yamuna River; pulinam-the shore; iha-here; kamsasura-of Kamsasura; bhidah-the killer; yasah-the glories; srnvat-hearing; vaktra-from the mouths; skhalita-fallen; kavalam-morsel; go-of cows; kulam-the herd; abhut-became; bhramat-wandering; venu-of the flute; kvana-the sound; sravana-by hearing; masrna-glistening; uttara-wide open eyes; madhura-sweet; svarabhih-with the sounds; gopibhih-by the gopis; disi disi-in all directions; samudghurnam-trembling; anisam-day and night.
This is the shore of the Yamuna. In this place, when the cows heard the glories of Krishna, the grass fell from their mouths. When the gopis in different places heard the sweet sounds of Krishna's flute, their beautiful eyes opened wide and they trembled continually.
This concludes our series, 'The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma' by HDG Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Author of Jaiva Dharma
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