Sri Camatkara Chandrika (A Moonbeam of Sheer Astonishment)


Krsna Plays at Annoying Radharani
Orissan Pata-chitra, c. 1970

Oct 25, CANADA (SUN) — The last of a four-part presentation of 'Sri Camatkara Chandrika' by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

(Meeting in the Disguise of a Female Singer)

One day, Sri Radhika is pouting in such a greatly proud mood that Sri Hari could do nothing at all to pacify Her. Indeed, He tried many different methods, but no remedy was able to satisfy Her unfavorable huff.

Finally, He consults with Kunda-lata, His sister-in-law. Together, they dress Him up with the clothing and ornaments of a beautiful young girl. Then He chit-chats with Kunda-lata in the sweetest feminine voice which puts to shame that of a cuckoo, and gradually approaches the home of Jatila.

While walking along the secluded path, the universe-enchanting anklets adorning His divine lotus feet begin to vibrate. When the smiling, deer-eyed Sri Vrisabhanu-nandini spots from afar such an uncommonly attractive, beautiful young girl accompanying Kunda-lata, then Her mind becomes most mystified and charmed with fascination. When all of the other sakhis behold the rarely seen, super excellent astonishing beauty of the girl, they also become stunned with sheer amazement.

Srimati Radharani then speaks very jubilantly to Kunda-lata, “Hey Kunda-lata! Come, come----tell Me why have you suddenly arrived at this unusual time of the evening? And who is your companion, this beautiful young girl? Where has she come from? And what is her name? Kindly tell Me everything.”

Kunda-lata: “Hey Radhe! Her name is KALAVALI, the artful maiden. She heard all about Your divine holy name, Your divine qualities and Your glorious fame, and she has now come from Mathura just to have Your darshan. Her singing and musical abilities are so highly developed that she can conquer even the celestial songs of Brihaspati. What more can I say? You should now hear her sing Yourself, and thus become a witness of her incredible artistry.”

Sri Radha: “From whom has she learned such knowledge of singing?”

Kunda-lata: “She has learned singing from Brihaspati, the guru of Indra, the King of the Demigods.”

Sri Radha: “How was it that she had the chance to meet him?”

Kunda-lata: “Once, Brihaspati came down from the heavenly planets to attend the sacrificial assembly of Angirasa Muni and other brahmanas in Mathura. At that time, he stayed in Mathura for one month, being received and honored with great respect by all the citizens. During that stay, he once sang a celestial song in the midst of the sacrificial assembly. My dear friend Radhe! This most intelligent girl heard that difficult song and instantly memorized it. The next day, she sang that very same celestial song in a solitary place, exactly duplicating it note for note. The guru of the immortals, Brihaspati, heard her repeating that song and became most astonished. He addressed a Mathura brahmana, ‘My dear brahmana! Who is that girl that is singing my song? Although she is a resident of the mortal world, she heard a very difficult celestial song once from my mouth and instantly memorized it - please bring her before me immediately!”

“Following the order of Brihaspati, the brahmana went and brought her before him. Then Brihaspati said to her, “Oh most intelligent girl! You have matchless intelligence, and your voice conquers the sweetness of the cuckoo’s! Therefore, I will instruct you in the celestial musical science of Gandharva-vidya. Aho! My goodness! A voice and intelligence such as yours is never found amongst human beings, nor even amongst the Kinnara women of the heavenly planets.”

“Oh Radhe! Brihaspati thus instructed this girl in the classical arts of music during the period of his stay for one month in Mathura. Thereafter, when the time came for his return back to the heavenly planets, he took her along to the world of the celestials and then gave her more instructions in Gandharva-vidya for a whole year. She has returned to Mathura on the surface of the earth just yesterday, and she has come here to Vraja just now at dusk. So here she is right before Your very eyes; now You may examine her abilities and good qualities.”

Sri Radha: “My dear Kalavali! Please sing us a little song!”

Kalavali: “Vrindavanesvari! Which raga shall I sing?”

Sri Radha: “Malava raga is proper to be sung at this time of the evening.”

Kalavali: “Oh lovely-faced one! Which key and pitch shall I sing in? Please order me.”

Sri Radha: “It’s not possible to sing the intervals between the notes due to the natural defects of the throat. It’s only possible to sing the finer in-between notes purely when the singing is accompanied by the vina. Therefore sing and use the musical embellishments of tune, range, ornament, tone, melody, rhythm and lyric. Kindly sing a sweet song.”

Kalavali: “Oh Radhe! Who in this entire universe knows singing other than Yourself? Anyway, I will try to sing a simple, unprepared song. Please listen.

Saying this, Kalavali then begins to sing “TA-NA-NA-NA-TA-NA-NA” in a beautiful voice which simply puts to shame the sweet notes of the peacocks and bees. When all of Radharani’s priya-sakhis hear Kalavali’s song and technique of vocal embellishment, then torrents of tears begin to gush from their eyes just like so many flowing rivers; indeed, their teardrops become just like large pebbles and begin dropping onto the ground, making the sound ‘THANAT THANAT’.......

As far as Sri Radhika’s reaction, the sparkling diamond of Her heart, which had become extremely hard due to the presence of Her proud pouting huff against Sri Krishna, immediately begins to soften and melt. Feeling this change of heart, Sri Radha becomes very astonished in great surprise as She exclaims, “Ayi Kalavali!!! Your fascinating song simply belittles the nectar of the gods! Hey Kalavali! I have become completely enchanted by your unique qualities! I now cherish a great desire within My mind----- I fancy that a girl as talented as you should always live by My side! By that, then only will My birth become successful. Oh most qualified Kalavali! Only Sri Nanda-nandana is capable of understanding the glories of your talent. Hey sakhi! If He were to hear your singing, then He would indeed wear you around His neck, accepting you to be a permanent necklace!”

Kunda-lata then says, “Hey Radhe! Please refrain from speaking such unbefitting words to the supremely chaste Kalavali; if You really do have genuine love and affection for her, then just accept her around Your own neck. Don’t consider anything else.”

After this Srimati Radharani, still mystified and enchanted with Kalavali’s singing and heavenly beauty, gets ready to offer a jewelled locket worth 100,000 million gold pieces to Kalavali. Just as She is about to wrap Her arms around Kalavali’s neck in order to fasten the locket, Sri Lalita quickly whispers into Her ear, “Hey Radhe! Who are You just about to embrace? This is Your wicked Lover----the Rogue has come in the disguise of a woman.”

Sri Radha replies, “Hey sakhi Lalite! Oh smooth-complexioned one! You have certainly spoken the truth after thoughtful consideration. But it is not really befitting for Me to offer her simply one small locket; therefore she will be given all of My ornaments.”

Saying this, Sri Radhika then addresses Sri Rupa Manjari, “Hey Rupa Manjari! In My presence, kindly dress this girl up with great care and attention with exotic valuable cloth. Removing her old corset, please cover her raised breasts with a fresh new one."

Kunda-lata then says, “Hey Sumukhi! Lovely-faced Radharani! It is not befitting to undress this young girl right here, in front of everyone. She has come from a foreign land, and she will naturally feel very shy and embarrassed. Whatever gifts You want to give to her, just place them in her hands; then, after she returns to her home, she can put it on without feeling shy. But under no circumstances is it possible for her to dress up here.”

Radharani says, “Sakhi Kalavali! Women are never shy or fearful within an assembly of other women; this is indeed well-known throughout all the lands. Oh sakhi! My dear friend! Not following the easy path of blissful happiness, why are you deliberately placing the thorn-like obstacle of shy hesitation in the way?”

Kalavali says, “Hey Radhe! I will not accept a single necklace, cloth or ornament from You. Hey simple, innocent girl! Am I not the daughter of a well-to-do singer? If You really are pleased with me, then just step close and give me a warm hug, and I will be satisfied with that. I tell You truly that other than a loving embrace, I have no hankering at all for any type of riches.”

Sri Radhika says, “Hey sakhi! My dear friend! Why are you being so difficult? Just put on these clothes and ornaments nicely, without any complaint. If you are not pleased to do so, then we will forcibly help you to put them on. You are a single girl, and we are many sakhis; thus you are totally outnumbered, helpless and incapable of maintaining any opposition to our desire. Just keep this in mind, oh simple innocent girl!’

Saying this, Srimati Radharani then orders Her girlfriends, “Hey assembly of sakhis! In the presence of everyone, help this young girl to change her bodice.”

Hearing this order, two sakhis immediately step forward and untie the back and shoulder-knots that held on the bodice worn by the Kalavali- disguised Krishna. The very second it is loosened, two very large kadamba flowers suddenly pop out and fall from Krishna’s chest onto the floor.

Radharani asks, “Hey dasis! What was it that fell down from her bodice?”

Sri Rupa Manjari and all the other dasis simply clap their hands and begin to giggle and laugh in reply. It was obvious to everyone that Sri Krishna was holding the two large kadamba flowers on His chest as false breasts, yet as soon as those flowers fell onto the floor, He pretends to act just like an embarrassed girl and shyly covers His moonlike face with His veil. Due to the sheer buffoonery displayed by this outrageously mischievous prank of their Nagara, everyone present tries to cover their faces with their veils in order to check the big smiles that arose; but still, no one is able to prevent the forceful exclamations of loud laughing and giggling that results.

Sri Radhika then turns Her back on Krishna and staggers over to Her asana. All the sakhis, seeing this ridiculous condition of Sri Krishna, also turn their backs while laughing and laughing. Sri Radha begins to laugh even louder, while trying harder and harder to keep from making any sound. Then Sri Krishna and Kunda-lata also begin cracking up in hysterical laughter. Thus, within that very room, the hasya- rasa, or the transcendental mellow of the most comical joking mood, becomes obviously present in personified form, and verily attains the post as the most luscious object of taste for about 3 hours continuously.

Thereafter, the sakhis begin to speak jokingly, addressing the two kadamba flowers, “Hey pair of big kadamba flowers! On the surface of this earth, you two are so fortunate! This is because in spite of your natural tendency to be freed from any kind of cheating propensity, you have somehow taken shelter of this Rascal Cheater, and you have thus been employed as accomplices in this bogus fraud. You are just innocent flowers of a tree-----you know absolutely nothing of cunning, shrewd behavior. Yet this Rascal has kept you on His chest and thus made you look just like the breasts of a young woman, thereby manifesting His own shameless impertinence. And the only result from all this curious mischief is that by showing us your true innocence in this way, you have thus caused all of us to become deeply immersed and drowned within the nectarean ocean of hasya-rasa!!!”

Then the sakhis say to Kunda-lata, “Hey Kunda-lata! Where has your girlfriend named ‘bashfulness’ gone now?”

Kunda-lata: “It has fallen down in the water which lies beneath the Patala-loka planet, becoming drowned along with Kunda-lata, never to be seen again.”

Lalita: “If Kunda-lata has been drowned and has died along with her own girlfriend named ‘bashfulness’, then who are you?”

Kunda-lata: “Oh, I’m just her shadow.”

Lalita: “Kunda-lata! If you have departed, then how is it that I am now seeing your shadow?”

Kunda-lata: “I have no power to answer this question; may the Goddess of Speech again and again dance appropriately on all of your tongues.”

Lalita: “Hey Kunda-lata! Your tongue has never had any connection with false statements due to your having the good loving association of Brihaspati’s disciple Kalavali since your very childhood. By instructing chaste girls in your own righteous activities, you thus perform great noble deeds (on behalf of Cupid’s interest). This munificent glory of yours is indeed fulfilled today, but instead an agonizing pain and frustration has become evident. Oh most intelligent sakhi Kunda-lata! Today you have proudly come from afar to enter the marketplace of our assembly of sakhis just to sell the knowledge you’ve invented by many different techniques and earned from your Sri Guru, but alas! Alas! You were not able to sell your knowledge in this marketplace at all, but instead you have somehow become the butt of jokes and laughter! Aho!----you certainly must have left home today at an inauspicious moment!”

Sri Krishna suddenly cuts in, “Hey Lalite! If I’m able to fulfill my desire of selling my knowledge in this marketplace, then you have to give me your bodice; if not, then I will give you mine-----this is my wager.”

Lalita: “Can dried-up flowers ever bud into fresh sprouts? When the life has left someone’s body, can any endeavor on the part of others bring it back again? Will anyone continue to worship a proud and arrogant person even after the real truth about his nature is exposed?”

“Hey Svamin! There’s absolutely no necessity of you displaying any more of your mischievous tricks of mind-boggling ingenuity; now you are free to go.”

At this, Sri Krishna picks up the two kadamba flowers from the floor and leaves. Replacing the flowers on his chest as false breasts again, he then goes into Jatila’s quarters. Coming before Jatila, he begins rolling on the ground and cries out loudly, lamenting piteously in a very mournful voice. Seeing all this, Jatila becomes very touched with sorrow; coming forward, She asks, “Hey Putri! Who are you? Why are you crying? From where have you come? What terrible thing has happened? Please wipe the tears from your sad face and tell me everything.”

Kalavali: “Oh Arya! ALAS!! ALAS!!! What should I do now??? I am not able to tell you of the misery, the agony! Oh, I am so unfortunate! Curses on my birth! To hell with my body! Hundreds and hundreds of curses on my very life!!!”

Exclaiming all this, Kalavali then simply lies there on the ground before old Jatila and begins to shiver and tremble. Then, with half- broken syllables she speaks faintly, “Oh Arya! I live in the town of King Vrisabhanu at Barsana, and I am the daughter of Kirtida’s sister. Kirtida is the mother of Srimati Radharani; therefore I am the girl-cousin of Radharani by birth. Thus, since my very childhood, I have had a very close, loving relationship with Sri Radha. And now, I have become very anxious due to our being separated for many days. This is why I have come from my home in Barsana today to see Radharani here in Yavat. But woe is me! Radharani wouldn’t even cast Her glance in my direction when I came before Her! She would not speak to me at all, nor embrace me, nor ask about my well-being, nor smile at me----ALAS!!! If this Radharani, Who is my one and only dearest girlfriend since birth, shows this type of cold-hearted negligence towards me, then I really don’t see any necessity of maintaining my useless life any more! Oh Arya! I am now giving up my life right before your very eyes! Oh Arya! Please, please think it over carefully and try to determine if I had ever committed some offense in order to make Sri Radhika behave with me in such a way! Please make Her swear the truth and tell why She is so angry with me for no reason at all!”

Jatila’s heart immediately becomes softened and melts just to hear such pitiful exclamations and sorrowful lamentations of Kalavali. The old woman feels very sad and speaks sweetly,

“Hey Vatse! Don’t you worry about anything at all! Please feel reassured that everything will be all right! Just by seeing you, I think that there is certainly no offense at all on your part. I am going this instant to set this matter straight. I promise you that I’ll do whatever it takes to make Radharani show Her love and affection for you again; indeed, I will quickly make Her embrace you, I will make Her speak to you, and I will see to it that both of you sleep together on the same bed tonight!”

Saying this, Jatila takes Kalavali along and goes quickly to the palatial quarters of her daughter-in-law Radhika. Seeing all the sakhis present before her, Jatila begins to admonish them in a slightly raised voice, “Lalite! What kind of disgustingly rude behavior has my daughter-in- law been engaged in just now? Her girl-cousin has just come from Her father’s village with great eagerness to see Her----and She has not even spoken a word to show Her loving affection! Tell me----why are such things going on around here?”

Then, addressing Radharani, Jatila begins to rebuke, “Hey Radharani! Just see how this poor young girl’s dress is completely soaked with her own tears! When I saw that, my heart became most disturbed. And when I saw the sad look on her face, then my heart became completely overwhelmed with great compassion. Oh Sucarita! She Whose character is supposed to be flawless! Oh Sad-guna- purna! She Who is supposed to be full of all good qualities! Oh my daughter-in-law! Please be merciful to this girl and give her a warm, tight hug! Ask of her well-being, have a little talk together, and thereby mitigate the sorrowful anguish of her heart. Behave lovingly towards her as before and thus make her blissful; do all this right now for my satisfaction.”

Sri Radha replies, “Hey Arya! You can just return to your quarters now----don’t worry, I will do everything just as you have ordered Me. It is getting late. Now you can happily take rest if you like. There’s no need of you bothering yourself with the petty quarrels of little girls like us. Little girls are all alike----they are very small in age and similarly small in intelligence. From moment-to- moment they fluctuate between joyful playing and fighting. Therefore it is not befitting for a mature adult such as yourself to come here and get involved in the childish affairs of such young girls as us.”

Jatila says strongly, “Hey daughter-in-law! Stand up right now! Don’t You dare say anything more! I gave my word to this girl! Now You step forward and embrace Your girl-cousin right now! Then You should eat Your evening meal together and then sleep together on the same bed! I am Your superior, so You are in no position to transgress my order!”

Sri Radha replies, “Hey Arya! I know that you are very enthusiastic to instruct Me properly, but just listen to one thing-----I assure you that I am telling the truth. This young girl has spoken some very harsh words to Kunda-lata; for this reason, I have become very angry, and I will not even look upon her face. However, if she now makes up with Kunda-lata and becomes pleased once again, then only will I become pleased with her. Thus, only under these circumstances will I carry out the instructions you have given Me.”

Kunda-lata objects, “Hey Arya! Your daughter-in-law is telling lies----Kalavali never spoke any harsh words to me! Therefore I am not angry with her at all!”

Sri Radha clearly says, “Kunda-lata! Why do you fib right in front of our superior, Jatila? If you are actually not angry, and are indeed pleased with Kalavali, then just embrace her right now in front of all of us.”

Hearing this, Kunda-lata remains silent. Then the deer-eyed Radharani speaks with very clever genius, “Hey Arya! You think it over and then decide-----between Kunda-lata and I, just see who is telling a lie. Then you can chastise whoever is at fault. Why is it that these two won’t embrace one another? Look at the obvious facts----if Kunda-lata cannot tolerate to embrace this young girl Kalavali, then that is a sure sign of her anger. This can be the only reason-----there is no doubt about it.”

Jatila says, “My daughter-in-law certainly speaks the truth! Kunda- lata obviously shows her displeasure by not forgiving Kalavali. Oh! Kunda-lata! Girl of cultured behavior! I will certainly do whatever is required to make you pleased with Kalavali. Although I am your worshipable superior, still I beg you with folded hands----please come forward right now and, looking me in the face, just embrace this girl Kalavali. There’s no need for any further words in this matter at all. Alas! Alas! I swear upon my head!”

Hearing this statement, Kunda-lata still remains silent and motionless. Seeing this, Lalita and all the other sakhis begin to prod her, “Hey Kunda-lata! Arya has given her oath! Don’t you have any fear or respect for that? How does this show your real intelligence? Come on, come on-----Embrace Kalavali!”

Saying this, all the sakhis plus Jatila and Kutila together combine together and forcibly make Sri Krishna and Kunda-lata embrace.

At that time, all the sakhis feel an unending explosion of the hasya- rasa within their consciousness. Just as if old Jatila was not present, they all begin to laugh and laugh uncontrollably. Trying hard to keep from making any sound, they all cover their faces with their veils; but still, they all bend forward and stoop down again and again, becoming absolutely doubled-up in the greatest maha-bliss.

Afterwards, Jatila addresses her own daughter-in-law, ''Hey Sri Radhika! Now You may speak loving words and converse with Your own cousin----just embrace her without any fuss.

Saying this, Jatila suddenly grasps both Sri Krishna’s and Sri Radha’s hands and quickly brings Them together, locking Them together in a deep, magnificent embrace. Immediately upon this, Sri Sri Radha- Krishna’s tears of pure ecstatic bliss begin to flow profusely, drip dripping onto the ground.

Seeing this, Jatila says, “Hey two cousins! So many tears are flowing due to Your mutual embrace----just use the corners of Your cloth to wipe away each others’ face. Now You can simply make each other happy. Take some nice food together, and then You may pass the night lovingly on the same bed. I am going now to take rest myself.”

Saying this, the old woman Jatila leaves for her own quarters to retire for the night. As soon as she leaves, Sri Krishna addresses all the sakhis with the greatest proud arrogance,

“Bho, bho sakhis! Now the knowledge I’ve brought has become most condemned! By finally selling it, I have now obtained the perfect fulfillment of all My desires! Namely, all of you have now been conquered by Me!”

Lalita replies, “Hey Rasika-nagara! You truly, truly have attained Your desire by enjoying Your own sister-in-law Kunda-lata; thus You have indeed won the greatest victory in the end after all. And after You have thus made a mockery of the rules of decent social behavior, I now give You full encouragement----whatever unfulfilled desire that is still leftover in the mind of the half-enjoyed Kunda-lata, then I beg You to kindly make that complete!”

Kunda-lata angrily says, “Hey Lalite! Do you think that a pure minded brother cannot embrace his own sister? Or that a pure-minded father cannot embrace his own daughter? You are all obviously pierced from head to toe by the arrows of Cupid, and you are thus engrossed in such amorous pangs! For that reason, you see everyone else in the world to be just like yourselves!!!”

Saying this in great rage, Kunda-lata then storms out of the room in great haste. Seeing this, each and every sakhi also rushes out to try and pacify her. This leaves the young Couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna alone and unprotected in the room; indeed, only the Flower Archer remained just to give exclusive protection to Yugala-Kisora........

sa-bhru-vibhanga kutilasya saroja-sidhu
madyan madhu-vrata-vilasa-susaurabhani
samprapya jala-vivaresu jughurnur eva
presthalayah prati-padam pramadormi-punjai

“Thus all the dear sakhis situated outside catch a whiff of the fragrance of divine sports produced by the mad Madhusudana-honeybee as He wildly drinks the nectarine lotus face of the crooked eyebrow-decorated Radharani------fixing their eyes by the holes of the latticed window, all of those sakhis are dashed to and fro while floating over the repeatedly billowing ocean-waves of sheer blissful insanity....while their consciousness reels excitedly from every moment-to-moment..........

ENTITLED GAYIKA VESE MILANA (The Meeting in the Disguise of a Female Singer)

(A Moonbeam of Sheer Astonishment) by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura


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