BY: SUN STAFF
Bikaner, late 18th c.
Sep 23, CANADA (SUN)
The Cintamani Jewel of Vraja
By Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti
1 Nandisvara Hill is like a monarch in the centre of Vrajabhumi, and around it are many different kinds of forests, where there are many splendid desire-trees, desire-vines, groves, pastime-places, and colourful birds.
2 Passing the mewing peacocks, the young goddesses of Vraja walk along the forest path, holding each other by the hand as they follow their master and mistress at the time of transcendental pastimes.
3 Wild rams have chewed fragrant kakkola berries and wild buffaloes with their horns have torn the bark and branches of fragrant sarala trees. All this has made the Vraja forest very aromatic.
4 Wild elephants have broken the tender young branches of fragrant sallaki trees, and wild buffaloes have spread the aroma of fresh grass by their grazing. All this has made the Vraja forest very aromatic.
5 In some places the ground of the forest is covered with bunches of grapes partly eaten by monkeys and in other places ripe mangoes have fallen on the ground. All this has made the Vraja forest very beautiful.
6 Aborigine girls, wearing nice earrings, their faces, fragrantly anointed with plantain juice and camphor crushed by hand, walk in Vraja’s forest, carrying bunches of peppers and other articles.
7-10 Filled with many rasala trees, panasa trees, amrataka, sriphala, jambhu, palasa, pungasana, coconut, madhuka, punnaga, sirisa, priya, bilva, arjuna, karma ranga, kapittha, lodhra, priya, lavali, asoka, lakuca, karira, campaka, tamala, nava-malika, jatidvaya, rayabilva, kosataki, parkatika, vata, asvattha, sala, khadira, and sami trees, which all have many wonderful splendid fruits and flowers, and also filled with many lavanga vines, and various other beautiful vines, and also filled with many parrots and other birds, as well as many wild beasts, the forests of Vraja are splendidly beautiful.
11 In Vraja there are many splendid ponds, pools, lakes, and rivers, all filled with many white, blue, red, yellow, and multicoloured kahlara, padma, and utpala lotus flowers, as well as many swans and other water-birds.
12 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of camphor dust. In some places it is saffron. In some places it is made of ground musk, and in some places it is made of the aromatic substances used in religious ceremonies.
13 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of emeralds, and in other places it is made of a variety of precious gems. In some places the fresh grasses of Vraja, which are eaten by the cows and other animals, is made of emeralds.
14 In some places the ground of Vraja is golden Jambu river, and in other places it is made of sapphires. Sometimes, when Krsna enjoys pastimes with Radhika, it seems there is only one person and not two. It seems that there is only Sri Krsna enjoying pastimes in a golden place, or there is only Radhika enjoying pastimes in a sapphire place.
15 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of emeralds, and the trees, bushes, and creepers are made of gold. In other places the ground is gold and the trees are emeralds.
16 In some places the ground of Vraja is made of rubies, and the trees and vines are crystal. In other places the ground is crystal and the trees and creepers are rubies.
17 In some places emerald trees are embraced by golden vines, and in other places emerald vines embrace golden trees.
18 In some places ruby vines embrace crystal trees, and in other places ruby trees are embraced by crystal vines.
19 The trees are made of jewels. They have many jewel branches, various jewel twigs, and jewel flowers that carry a variety of fragrances.
20 Jewel birds perch on the jewel branches. Jewels fall from the trees and cover the nearby area. They appear like a little jewel irrigation trench around the tree’s roots.
21 From the branches and roots of the trees of Vraja all Brahmas and Sivas emanate. Although the trees of Vraja are as splendid as the sun, they still are wonderful parasols to shade one from the sun’s rays. They shine with the lustre of youth, just as the four Kumaras.
22 The trees of Vraja were never planted or husbanded. They never grew from any seed. They glisten with many leaves and flowers. They bear many ripe, unripe, and ripening fruits.
23 The splendid trees of Vrajabhumi are perfectly spiritual in nature and full of all potencies. They are just like the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as the conditioned souls misunderstand the spiritual nature of the Supreme Lord’s incarnations, in the same way they misunderstand the glory of these trees in Vraja.
24 Decorated with many wonderful leaves and flowers, and entwined about the kalpa-vrksa trees, the splendid vines are just like young girls continually embraced by their lovers.
25 Splendid with many eternal flowers, fruits and eternally sprouting fresh new buds, the vines fulfill all the desires of the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees.
26 Sri Krsna, the moon of Vraja, enjoys pastimes and also rests in these groves, which are filled with many wonderful trees and vines eternally blossoming with many beautiful flowers, even down to their roots.
27 In the groves of Vraja, the cuckoos and bumblebees sing very melodiously, the plants are all splendidly beautiful, the camari does gracefully move their tails, and the musk oxen diffuse a sweet aroma in all directions.
28 In the groves of Vraja there is a little clearing bounded on four sides by four kalpa-vrksa trees, each covered by two flowering vines. In the centre of this little courtyard is a cottage made of jewels.
29 Four trees are the four pillars of this cottage. Their branches and twigs are its roof, their flowers its domes and spires, the vines clinging to their sides its walls, and the opening among the vines is its door.
30 These beautiful cottages, which are found throughout Vraja’s forests, remove the demigods’ pride in their airplanes, and attract even the residents of Vaikuntha.
31 Vraja’s forests, groves, creepers, trees, birds, beasts, and other living entities all blossom with happiness when Lord Mukunda glances on them and wilt with disappointment when He does not.
32 North of Nandisvara is a forest where Lord Krsna enjoys secret pastimes that are worshipped by six eager demigods in heaven.
33 The Yamuna river passes through that forest and flows near Nandisvara Hill. It winds through Vraja in a very crooked course, searching for Sri Krsna, the moon of Vraja.
34 On the pretext of fetching water and other things, the gopis would go to that pastime forest and meet their beloved Krsna. They call this place gopi-ghatta. Did the Lord agitate the gopis with His pastimes there, or not?
35 A treasure filled chest filled with the glory of Sri Krsna’s pastimes, which decorate the worlds, the Bhandiravana forest of druma and vidruma trees shines with great splendour.
36 In that place are Munjatavi forest and many other beautiful, charming groves and forests where the gopis keep many delightful gardens.
37 In these groves the gopis meet their lover, Krsna, converse with Him, dance with Him, and enjoy unlimited pastimes with Him. In this way all their desires to serve Krsna become fulfilled.
38 Among Vrndavana’s splendid forests, which make the splendours of Vaikuntha seem very pale, the very beautiful forest named Vrndavana-vana is the best.
39 They who offer respectful obeisances to her or bathe in her waters, the Yamuna, which is like a moat of black mascara encircling Vrndavana, transform into pure devotees carrying Lord Krsna in their hearts.
40 The Yamuna river is like a blue lotus flower garland, a sapphire necklace, or a blue sash worn by the goddess of Vrndavana.
41 Passing the seven seas and seven planetary systems, and breaking through the sevenfold covering of the universe, the Yamuna enters the spiritual Goloka planet and wanders here and there to serve Vrndavana by carrying water.
42 Many greedy men will wait at a rich man’s doorstep, hoping to meet him and benefit hundreds of thousands of times over. In the same way the Yamuna flows in a very winding course, greedy to get some of the wealth of Vrndavana forest.
43 The dark nectar current of the Yamuna picks up Lord Krsna and plunges Him and His gopi friends in the dark nectar current of transcendental amorous pastimes.
44 Many charming aquatic creatures, plunged in the nectar of love for Krsna, again and again push their heads above the Yamuna’s waters, hoping for a glimpse of Lord Syama.
45 On the Yamuna’s beautiful shores are jewel staircases, which are like the teeth of the goddess of beauty, and which remind one of Sri Krsna.
46 When they drink the sound of Krsna’s flute, these two jewel staircases melt with love, and the river flowing between them becomes solid and stunned with ecstasy.
47 In the moonlight the Yamuna’s beaches appear to be made of camphor sand. Lord Krsna enjoyed His rasa-lila on these beaches with each place bearing the name of a particular pastime.
48 In the clearings of the splendid groves by the Yamuna’s shore, birds fly here and there, yearning for a glimpse of Lord Govinda.
49 Everywhere in Vrndavana and on the Yamuna’s shores, are trees that are like the Lord’s incarnations, that give the gift of pure love, and that make one remember the Lord, making He who is the moon of Vraja suddenly rise within the heart.
50 Everywhere in Vrndavana and on the Yamuna’s shore are groves of ancient, wonderful mango and other trees, which feed nectar to Lord Krsna’s eyes.
51 In Vrndavana are grape-vines, flower gardens, groves of plantain trees, golden pavements, a mountain of precious gems, and a grove of kalpa-vrksa trees.
52 In some places of Vrndavana there are large groves of a single kind of tree. In other places two or three different kinds of trees grow together, and in other places there are groves that contain a great variety of different trees.
53 Are there any other flowers equal to the mango flowers of Vraja? Where are trees equal in height to the great five branched mango trees growing in Vraja? Even if one were to fashion a great statue of a tree it would be very difficult to make one as high as these mango trees.
54 In some places in Vraja there are groves of tamala trees, and in other places there are opulent and wonderfully colourful groves filled with many different kinds of trees. Krsna’s enemies have never been able to enter any of these groves of Vraja.
55 With many lovely jewel palaces in their groves, Vrndavana and other forests are splendidly manifest everywhere in Vraja.
56 Even if one thinks Vrndavana an ordinary material place, he must still admit that Vrndavana enchants the minds of Vaikuntha’s residents. He must also admit that Vrndavana’s gardens delight the king that enjoys pastimes there.
57 Generally the six seasons come one after another, and the qualities of only one season are manifest at any given time. Here in Vrndavana, He who is the moon of Vrndavana can enjoy the pastimes of any season at any time.
58 In Vrndavana all the seasons are eternal, and they all diligently serve Sri Krsna, the moon of Vrndavana. The gopis decorate Sri Krsna with garlands and other ornaments made from the flowers of many different seasons.
59 In Vrndavana the gardens of all the gopi beloveds of Vrndavana’s moon (Krsna) shine with great splendour. A single ray of those gardens’ splendour eclipses the Brahman effulgence.
60 The animals, birds, trees, vines and all other living entities that reside in Vrndavana yearn to see the rising of Vrndavana’s moon (Krsna).
61 Originally there is only one kalpa vrksa tree in Vrndavana, and the other trees have attained the qualities of kalpa vrksa trees by its association. In the same way, there is only one Sri Krsna, the master of Vrndavana, and by enjoying pastimes with Him His friends have attained qualities like His.
62 Although all the trees in Vrndavana are kalpa-vrksa trees, still one among them is especially glorious. This tree grows next to a jewel palace in a supremely charming grove.
63 This palace has many wings five, six, eight or even nine stories high. Each wing has a courtyard shaped like a lotus whorl with eight petals.
64 The residential quarters of the devotees overlook these courtyards. Within the beautiful palace’s courtyards again there are eight smaller palaces.
65 These eight palaces are placed in the eight directions and in the middle is placed an eternal kalpa vrksa tree, which with its many branches protects the devotees from the enemies of the Lord.
66 This grove with nine palaces is surrounded in all directions by eight other groves, each with nine palaces. Beyond these groves and palaces there are more groves and palaces.
67 In the best of these kalpa-vrksa groves is the splendid palace of Vrndavana’s queen. Around Her palace are the palaces of her gopi friends, and around them are the residences of Her maidservants.
68 Staying in Her palace by Her lover’s side, the queen of the gopis shines with great splendour. The residences of the other gopis are situated around Her palace.
69 Around the central kalpa vrksa tree is a grove with many very wonderful palaces just as Mukunda’s beloved would desire them.
70 This abode of Sri Sri Radha Krsna is called Govinda-bhumi (The abode of Lord Govinda) in the Puranas, and yoga pitha (the transcendental place) in the Tantras. In this book we call it Sri Kunja-raja (the king of groves).
71 To the south is the regal, wonderfully constructed place of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s swing pastimes. The beauty of this place has been eloquently described in the Ananda-Vrndavana-campu.
72 Far to the south is Govinda-kunda, the lake of Lord Govinda, the husband of the goddess of fortune. Around this lake are many groves filled with buzzing bees.
73 To the north is Brahma-kunda, surrounded by many pleasant groves. To the north of Brahma-kunda is an asoka grove that enchants the divine couple and as a thief, has stolen away their peaceful gravity.
74 North of that is Gopisa where, worshipped by them, Lord Siva pleased the gopis’ hearts by giving them the benediction to enjoy pastimes with Lord Krsna.
75 A little north of that, at Vamsivata, which is like a splendid dancer on the Yamuna’s shore, Sri Krsna attracted His beloved by playing the flute.
76 North of that is Nidhuvana, the name of which attracts the ears and heart. Delighting His beloved, Sri Krsna disappeared from the company of gopis eager to enjoy the rasa dance there.
77 To the southwest, in a jasmine garden, is Suryaspada, where Sri Radhika worships the sun-god with a newly blossomed red rose.
78 In the northwest is Bhadrakali-tirtha, where at the base of a kadamba tree the gopis worshipped the goddess for a long time, and where the thief Krsna stole the gopis’ garments.
79 In the southeast is Vighnaraja-tirtha, where Sri Krsna incarnated in the form of a deity of Ganesa. Constantly afraid of separation from their beloved, the gopis earnestly worshipped this deity and became quickly convinced that they would always have Krsna’s association.
80 To the east is Sri Venu-kupa (the flute’s well), which is filled with the waters of love. Sri Krsna pleased His beloved by creating this well with the music of His flute.
81 In the midst of the rasa dance Radha and Krsna left the gopis’ company and enjoyed pastimes in a solitary place. When Radha became thirsty, Krsna created this well (Sri Venu-kupa) by playing His flute.
82 In the grove named Srngara-santi, Krsna decorated His beloved under a vata tree named Srngara-vata, which can be seen and glorified even today.
83 One time, when Sri Krsna had gone a little distance from Vamsivata, a gentle (dhira) breeze (samira) sprang up from His flute playing. That place became known as Dhira-samira-tirtha.
84 Although the entire shoreline of the Yamuna shines with love of Krsna, I think the area of Vamsivata not only shines, but actually dances in ecstatic love.
85 Every evening Vrnda-devi and the other gopis make elaborate arrangements for Sri Krsna to take rest in the beautiful forest palaces of Vraja. When He sees this He becomes struck with wonder.
86 Every morning the gopis bring betelnuts and other gifts. Seeing this, Sri Krsna becomes struck with wonder and His heart begins to melt with love for them. Seeing His love for them, the gopis also begin to melt with love.
87 This book, Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani gives a brief description of Sri Krsna’s abode, the forest of Vrndavana, as it is splendidly manifest in the area around Nandisvara palace. This second chapter has described the beauty of the Lord’s transcendental pastimes, His eagerness to enjoy them, and other topics.