The Glorious Month of Damodar, Part 27


Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Nov 02, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A drama taking placing in the month of Kartika, by Srila Raghunath das Goswami, in four parts.

Mukta Caritram (History of the Pearl)


Thereafter I said, "Visakhe! Everything you have spoken is perfectly correct."
Subal, "Bayasya! How is that?"

I replied, "On account of the fact that the sages of Dandakaranya took up the observance of very severe penances and austerities after hearing from Narada Muni and the other saintly persons about my auspicious qualities, my beauty and wit, the personified forms of the professors of passionate pastimes.

By reason of this they could then accept birth in the homes of the cowherd men of the forests of Gokul, as the wanton women (brajvilasini) of Braja. Being decorated with an abundance of good qualities, beginning with wisdom and good humour, they are now residing on my chest like a beautiful necklace. There also are to be found these pearls, like so many other liberated souls amongst the best of the sages. Having been similarly attracted by my inconceivable qualities, they have now taken up their residence in the forests of Braja simply to increase my pleasure, multiplying themselves as a multitude of eternally perfected animate and inanimate creatures, bushes, creepers, birds and beasts, thus enjoying the highest happiness themselves."

Subal, "Bayasya! You are glorifying the sadhus."

Lalita smiled slightly, "If in fact you possessed any esoteric powers, then you could have produced pearls regardless of where they were planted or the differences in the soil? If you really have mystic potency, then how is it that you have set up this small business selling pearls, simply for the purpose of accumulating superfluous commodities?"

I responded, "Ayi! Murkhe Lalitike! (Lalita, you dolt!) Puffed up by the treasure of your youth, the way all of you have given up your religious duties and are now wandering here and there, should I, the only son of the King of Braja, the crest jewel amongst the vaisyas, who is so devoted to his religious duties, also renounce my duties like a wilful, wanton and spoiled child? In the scriptures the sages have prescribed the duties of the vaisyas to be agriculture, tending the cows, engaging in commerce and usury [another reading lists law as the third duty]. These four professions have been ascertained in relation to the vaisyas. Since we are vaisyas, these four occupations exist for us. By the practice of even one of these professions, all mystic powers increase. But by engaging in all four of them, my potencies have ascended beyond the perfectional limit."

Nandimukhi smiled, "He swadharma nistha Juvraj! (Oh Prince who art devoted to thy duty!) Your three occupations, agriculture, cow protection and commerce are clearly understood by us. But I have never heard mention of this money lending business." I replied, "Nandimukhi! We are now also undertaking this usury business. Haven't you understood this. At this most needed juncture in time, due to the present shortage of pearls, (that is, their present unavailability), we are duty bound to take up this much desired business, with these young gopis, much perturbed by circumstances beyond their control, simply for the sake of arranging that these pearls might further flourish and prosper."

[There are some hidden meanings here: During the day the gopis are greatly afflicted by separation from Krsna. He is trying to make some provision that they can meet together, even when he is herding the cows and such, so that their agitation will be due to experiencing ecstatic symptoms of love and not due to feelings of want.]

Visakha laughed, "He Subal! Those who are attached to certain actions, though they be blameworthy, will nevertheless praise those activities to the skies. Therefore I suppose it is not terribly surprising that your fine friend here describes his impious activities in such a splendid fashion."

Subal laughed, "Nandimukhi! It is not only in the matter of vast wealth that such great gains have been made. Others' possessions are also continuing to increase at every moment."

Nandimukhi, "Whose? Whose!"

Subal, "For instance, the attractive bodily characteristics of those in the fresh bloom of youth, whose every limb can conquer Cupid [or, the mind] tens of millions of times over; those whose roving eyes, especially very restless at the corners, far surpass the softest lotus flowers; and whose speech is like a shower of the sweetest nectar."

Madhumangal, "Subal! Have you forgotten the other things which have enjoyed similar prosperity?"

Subal, "Please remind me. To whom are you referring?"

Madhumangal, "Shark-shaped (Capricorn) earrings; jewelled anklets; jewelled armlets; rings, etc.; the beauty and pride of those who wear them and especially the playful pastimes of love dalliance itself."

Lalita, "Arja! [Arja- form of address to a respectable person] There is another thing which has also increased. Why are you concealing that?!"

Nandimukhi, "What is that?"

Lalita, "The tasting of the nectar from the lips of chaste young girls."

Srimati Radha laughed, "Lalite! Even Bapu should be able to understand something about this! [Bapu(shman)- abdominous; Madhumangal is very fond of eating prasadam.] Who can enjoy a nice meal without this! [adhoramrit- nectar of the lips is, in other terminology,- saliva].

In those two arms that more than trample the pride of exquisite, perfectly shaped sapphire bolts; in that chest which totally destroys the vanity of an emerald door; in those two thighs that goad the pride of emerald banana trees; in that beautifully expanded face which is the support of the graceful beauty of a hundred, thousand billion full moons of the Sarad season, who remain embarrassed in the face of such exquisite sweetness; in those two feet, the softness of which causes all praise of succulent new leaves to fall to pieces; in all of those delicious bodily limbs, the construction of which bestows well-being and modesty to all symmetrical beauty, most pleasing to the eyes; and in that body which steals away the lustre of a new blue lotus flower, just ready to blossom, lending its radiance to sapphires; pervading all of these, it's (adhoramrita's) dallying presence is a dazzling pastime. The ambrosial, soft, smiling speech of Visakha and yourself is it's perfume, like a soft flower smeared with sandalwood paste."

Madhumangal, "Bayasya! Making You greedy for the delicious lips of young women who belong to others, these extremely shrewd gopis, after saying so many sweet things and enticing You with tall talks about the increasing prosperity of this and that, will simply in the end, take all of these pearls and enter into some inaccessible place, some labyrinthine maze where You will never find them. Then, neither will they give You any more news about flourishing prosperity, nor the asking price for the merchandise. Having myself clearly perceived this, I have, as Your friend, spoken these words for Your benefit. Afterwards, you may do as You please."

Thereupon I had to bite my tongue, "Sakhe! All of these heavenly damsels are chaste and respectable girls. They are very upright and pure in their exchange of love. You have spoken thusly only because you are unaware of all of this. Therefore listen carefully as I explain everything to you-

me with excessive delight by offering the nectar of Her lips to me, Gandharva then came very near to me, and after very tastefully decorating Her breasts with lotus flower pollen that has received it's colour from the best friend of the lotuses, the early morning rising sun, [another reading says She decorated Her breasts with delicate ruby necklaces, the colour of the early morning rising sun], She then spread out her wares on my chest four times. And on the evening of the day before yesterday, Lalita received from me one lodestone, oozing forth with nectar, but only after some dispute did she finally pay me back at a profit of three times. Then, one time around midnight, after drinking the sweet nectar of my lips with great fondness and persistence, Visakha entertained me till early morning, gratifying me to the utmost with the whole wealth of her entire being. I profited many times on that occasion. The others also, beginning with Campaklata, have on many occasions, after eagerly accepting from me their most desired objects, satisfied me immensely in return, some at double my expenditure, some at triple. Amongst all of them, only two gopis display some slightly different business dealings." Nandimukhi, "Who are they?"

I replied, "One of them is Ranganballi. She once agreed to place the two round fruits of her bosom on my chest three times, but then after accepting my two mardan [subduing, strong, manly, male] fruits, she only offered her fruits to me once. The other two that she still owes me, after much delay and procrastination, have to this day still not been paid. Then also, the constant companion of Ranganmala, Tulasi, told me that she would pay me double, but then after accepting a whole bunch of embraces from me, she only teases me, passing the time by saying, 'Now I'll give you. No! Not now, I'll give you then, when...'

However, the price that we had agreed upon has until now, still not been paid."

Madhumangal said, "Ayi Ranganballi! Ayi Tulasi! Even though He couldn't obtain from you any of His own celestial commodities, still, due to His natural simplicity, even people of your manners remain dear to Him, though our dear friend is by nature a spoiled child and used to having His own way. [or, Still, due to His natural simplicity He does not speak ill, even of people of duplicitous ways.] Are you so ungrateful that you do not even fear what the people in general, or at least what God will think of you, that you behave in such a deceitful and cunning fashion with those who are by nature very simple and sincere."

Lalita had a lovely little laugh at hearing all of this, as she retorted, "He Arja Madhumangal! (Oh most venerable Madhumangal!) Is there anyone in this assembly who does not hold dearer than the most ambrosial nectar, the words just uttered by your friend? If it weren't for the fact that his speech smacks heavily of mystic perfection, then his every word, nay every syllable, could be understood to be nothing more than fictitious lies!" [There is a pun intended here- as another meaning of mystic perfection (siddhi) is bhang (a drink made from marijuana), thus, He is intoxicated from drinking bhang and his words reflect this, thus we can understand that his every word, no, every syllable, is nothing more than lies!"]

All of the sakhis laughed uproariously as they each embraced Lalita while exclaiming, "Sadhu Sadhu! Lalite! (Bravo! Well done Lalite!) You summed that up pretty good!" Srimati Radha also embraced Lalita within her mind.

Now Nandimukhi spoke up, "He Mohan! (Oh most charming one!) Whose word do you doubt?! This Ranganmalika is the most beloved of Lalita, and Tulasi is the disciple of Visakha. Therefore it is certain that Lalita and Visakha, after consoling and explaining various things to them, will bring them around to Your way of thinking. Then surely they will present You with the goods remaining in arrears so that the matter will be rectified and You will again treat them as you did before. If for some reason they remain adamant in the matter of presenting You with Your dues, then I'm sure that Lalita and Visakha, because they are so deeply affectionate to Ranganballi and Tulasi, will themselves present You with Your goods. Yet even if they also unexpectedly refuse to come through, they will never again be able to lodge complaints against You, no matter what You do. Otherwise, if You stand in front of the sister of Anangamanjari and begin to whistle very loudly, then they just might get frightened and anxious enough that they will immediately agree to give You whatever you want."

Thereupon the gopis frowned and sent very crooked glances askance at both Nandimukhi and myself.

Now Tungavidya came forward slightly and smiling to herself, said, "Bho! Bho! (Hallo!) He sakhigon! I have a bit of juicy news for you all!"

Everyone replied, "Yes, what is that?!"

Tungavidya, "There is an acarja by the name Kantadarpa [the pride of a lover, or, Kandarpa darpa-the pride of Cupid]. Have you heard of him?!"

Lalita, "I have heard the name but I don't know much about him."

Tungavidya, "Shyamal Misra, the dear disciple of Kantadarpacarja, has written a commentary called Sandhi Catushtoy (Four Sandhis; sandhi- union), on the sutras (aphorisms) of his guru. Have you seen what is described in that commentary?"

Visakha, "Visnu! Visnu! What to speak of seeing this commentary, I have never even heard it!"

Lalita purposefully questioned her, "Tungavidye! Where did you become acquainted with this acarja?"

Tungavidya, "One evening I met here a very beautiful forest goddess (Padma-apsara) coming from Sakhisthali (Candrabali's kunj) who was looking for Shyamal Misra, that she might hear a reading of his commentary."

At this point I spoke up, "Tungavidye! How was that forest goddess of fortune able to come this far [out of the forest]?"

Tungavidya, "By the help of a great flood!"

Everyone laughed to hear this answer.

Lalita, "Then! Then?"

Tungavidya, "Besides Shyamal Misra, there is also the unrivalled [false] pandit of the king, who after first having quoted the precepts of the Narma Panjika (Amusement Almanac) and the Kroy Bikroy Panjika (Commerce Almanac), then produced the Alik Panjika (Imaginary Almanac) and the AdanPradan Panjika (Exchange Almanac) as well. I'm sure you must have heard of these, though they may have been under different names."

Lalita, "Not only have I heard, but I have also had first-hand experience of the same." Tungavidya, "Even more accurate and erudite, exhibiting the sharpest intellect and effrontery, are the commentaries begun at the same time (perhaps as a challenge) by his fellow class-mate, Kuhak (magic) Bhatta."

Campaklata, "Tungavidye! As you are well-versed in all the branches of knowledge, we are all intently desirous of learning from you the subject matter discussed in the definitive statements, called Catushtoy, penned by these well-known authors of scripture."

Visakha, "The meaning of the two titles, Acarja and Bhatta, is clearly understood, but we would appreciate it if you would elucidate the etymological derivation of Misra and Pandit."

Tungavidya laughed, "There are faults as well as attributes. Because there is mixing (misrito), the name is Misra. The word pronounces its own meaning."

Nandimukhi, "What are the faults and attributes?"

Tungavidya, "Any inclination towards improper judgement, of wisdom as opposed to ignorance, or, stupidity as opposed to cleverness, is a fault. An equal disposition, devoid of discrimination and averse to the judgement of good and bad, all due to an excessivity of simplicity, is an attribute."

Lalita laughed, "Consequently the degree (title) is quite appropriate."

Citra, "Now please elucidate the etymological derivation of Pandit."

Tungavidya, "The word panda indicates the intelligence to judge right from wrong; therefore pandit, which is a compound of panda, designates the same. Yet, this pandit, endowed with such honourable sagaciousness, while considering the maxim, 'Of the previous and latter precepts the latter carries more weight,' becomes thus implicated in the intelligence to judge wrong. [The Sanskrit word here is sadasad vicar. Sadasad is a combination of sad and asad or, good and evil, right and wrong. When joined together the entire word means discrimination between good and bad. But, after consideration of the maxim, "between former and latter precepts the latter is more important," then we are left with only asad vicar, or, bad judgement, wherein panda is clearly existing, thus the pandit must necessarily become implicated in the same.]

Citra, "Sakhi Tungavidye! Now please elaborate on the imports of the composition Sandhi Catushtoy and its corollaries."

Tungavidya, "Since among us, Lalita is the most expert in expanding on these subjects, let her be so kind as to delineate these topics before us."

Lalita, "I have never even heard of these discourses. It is Tungavidya who is most familiar with these topics and therefore she is the most qualified to expound upon this subject before us."

Citra, "Tungavidye! We would be honoured if you would please explain to us this lore." Thereupon, the favourite of Sri Radhika, Tungavidya, who was too shy to say anything herself, considered that this subject was best breached by another. So she smiled and signalled with her eyes to she who is the apple of Radha's eyes (the emblem of Radha's delight), who though only a tender-aged girl, is the master of the demigods of this earth, the sweetly smiling Tunganarma. Now Tunganarma stepped slightly forward, and while looking at my smiling face, addressed Citra, "Citre! We are not particularly adept in the inner meanings of these abstruse topics, but I was present when that Apsara came here on repeated occasions to very humbly yet eagerly narrate before Tungavidya and ourselves, the subject matter of the four commentaries which she had studied under that most propitious and appropriately named, the eminent Mr. Misra. That which she described before us, even with her body itself, I will now briefly reiterate before you. Please hear me-

First of all she gave an account of the details concerning trysts and assignations; how one personally, or by his messenger, resolves quarrels and complaints; and the alliances and unions that take place between youthful couples.

Then come the four erotic sentiments: touching of the breasts, embracing, kissing and drinking the nectar of one's lips. Also the four amorous passions: bruising with the nails, binding the other person's arms and related sports, covering the cheeks with wanton kisses and biting with expertise.

Then she mentioned the arts of conducting pleasant (or amusing) conversation. This involves some specific techniques applied for the purpose of defeating one's companion, by using prahelika. [Riddles with concealed meanings]."

Citra smiled, "Tunganarman! Having so expertly expounded on these unprecedented and previously unheard topics, please be kind enough to describe to us what is contained in the corollaries and commentaries."

Tunganarma, "Because it is the giver of so much ecstasy, the form of enjoyment known as anandakrit-sambhog, is called as such. It's corollaries are hissing sounds and amorous cries, closing of the eyes, and the appearance of Kalapapriya, the incarnation of Kantadarpacarja. This young prince of mystic potencies, the personification of Kalap-byakaron [a Sanskrit grammar], due to the deliciousness and mystery of the activities which caused his descent, only in an unapparent and unclear fashion, enters into very detailed discussions with the witty and intelligent sakhis, revealing his thoughts through disguised gestures and figurative, ambiguous and paradoxical puns. Only those who are themselves very discerning, astute and gentle, are deserving enough to fully perceive the inner meaning of these discussions."

Campaklata smiled, "Tungavidye! This Bhattapad has only two arms, and they are very delicate at that. How is it then, that he was able to write four commentaries at the same time?"

Tungavidya, "Mugdhe! (Oh enchanted one!) [This could also be translated as: Stupid!] This Bhattapad is such a master magician that he is able to manifest four arms also!" Lalita, "Yes! Yes! On the occasion of the Spring Rasollas (the splendour of Ras) festival, near the Rasasthali (place of the Ras festival), within a kunj in the middle of the forest named Pravistak, with the intended purpose of plundering the precious jewel of beautiful women and deceiving any number of young girls (ballabi brinda), after first veiling his own sweetness and suavity of manners (which would give his identity away), he did indeed manifest four arms by the power of his enchantment."

Visakha, "Actually, all of these activities have expanded from the influence of his magic. While enjoying pleasant and amusing conversation in the assembly of the sakhis, he seeks, through the charms of his erudition, to overcome them, weaving an ever-increasing web of illusion around them with the help of so many prose and poetic devices. As of late, we have also seen, that as his magic continues to grow, his two feet do also. [The word for foot, pad, also means employment; this is a pun which indicates that now he is also trying to expand his activities and influence through doing business.] Sudebi, "Visakhe! How is it that we see in practically all of the four departments of knowledge discussed by this author of scripture, only one profession, throughin and throughout?"

Nandimukhi, "Sudebi! Didn't you hear the brief description that was given by Tunganarma?"

Sudebi, "At that time I was distracted with watching the priyasakhis from Jab (Jabat), and so I did not follow everything. Please be so kind as to explain it all to me again."

Nandimukhi, "Sudebi! Listen carefully! This one young bachelor, of the name Kuhak Bhatta, is, in actuality, all four of these persons. For the purpose of performing his variegated pleasure pastimes, he has, by the influence of his very developed powers of delusion, ascended to the rank of Kantadarpacarja by manifesting one form, and has taken the title Shyamal Misra, by assuming another. Moreover, you should know that Alik-rajpandit (the visionary pandit) is not a distinct personality from Shyamal Misra. This young bachelor, Shyamalacarja is always very religiously inclined. Therefore, in order to experience further exultation of his wanton dalliance, he has assumed this alias of Alik Rajpandit. Having done so, he now delights in his wayward pastimes as much as he pleases, bringing tumultuous ecstasy to his friends and himself, through a variety of amorous diversions."

Thereupon I had to say something, "Hung Ho! (Ho Hallo!) All of these graceful, lovely four armed forms, full of amorous gestures, have appeared due to the influence of my mystic perfections. Consequently, it is only by the power of the inferior magic of these stupid, hot-tempered, female magicians, that they are able to continue to spout out this nonsensical, pack of lies."

They all replied to my remark, "This siddhagoswami (perfected sense-controller) has effected his own imaginary mystic powers by his own influence and now compliments himself before us, after first having assessed his own glorious position with his own mouth."

Finding fervour and strength in numbers the sakhis all laughed in joyous delight.

I said to myself, "Bho! (O ho!) Isn't this astonishing? These talkative young girls (ballabi brinda) have very neatly and methodically summed me up as a specious fool."

Due to my embarrassment I considered the matter carefully, and having come up with a plan, I signalled with my hands that I couldn't hear what they had said, as I smiled to them, "Ayi! [used in addressing a female] Lo! Oh you enchanting and wanton young girls, blinded by your newly found youth. If you are lacking in confidence relating to matters regarding my mystic perfection, then I will exhibit the same in front of all of you, by firstly manifesting my form as a necklace (or forest flower garland) around the neck of Campaklata."

Having spoken thusly I approached Campaklata, as Madhumangal called to me, "He Bayasya! You are a saintly sage! It is not at all proper for you to touch other women!" Being thus dissuaded by these joking words from my friend, I said to him, "Sakhe! Close contact between two perfected persons is only for the purpose of attaining great ecstasy!"

Just as Debarsi Narada has said, 'paramanandalabhay swayuthyameva samsraye'-

"The coming together of friends (those of the same feather or group), is always a matter of great happiness. [Friends always like to meet together to take delight in each others' company.]"

Everyone laughed heartily to hear these words of mine, attaining at the same time various ecstatic symptoms in their bodies (beginning with trembling), due to excessive mirth. Campaklata however, became as though enveloped in a dark cloud of great fear. She immediately fled from the spot, taking shelter in the kunj where Srimati Radhika was present, practically merging into Her body while tightly hugging her from behind. I let the pearls fall through my fingers as I spoke to Citra, "Ayi! Citre! Please come here to hear the price of these pearls. Your dearest friend (pranprestha sakhi) Radhika, has told me that you are very expert at dressing and decorating with various ornaments (sringar), and that you have in a chest many wonderful ornaments for this purpose. Therefore you should tastefully decorate all of my limbs with these ornaments, in as many different ways as you can think of."

[The word sringar means: erotic sentiment; amorous passion; love; coition; toilet; marking with vermilion and sandal paste; and red lead. Therefore, an implied meaning is, "Because I have heard that you are very expert at making love, and that your delicate form is possessed of such exquisite beauty just suitable for accomplishing the same, you should now apply this expertise in decorating my body with such erotic passions."] "I will in turn satisfy you, by decorating those two golden pots on your bosom with crescent moons [marks from my nails] and various scented, flowering creepers. I will in this way also bring the greatest delight to your dear friend (priyasakhi Radhika), to whom you will no doubt describe all of this in your tactful and artful ways."

Citra replied in a huff, completely filled with anger, "Ohe! You have become such a mischievous and grotesque wolf (in sheep's clothing), there being no end to your wrathful and wicked ways. Aye! Oh emperor of the city of the most cunning and knavish knights, famous in all the three worlds as the most arrogant amongst hundreds and thousands of billions of the greatest rogues and cheats that ever existed! Oh you who like to make the forest deer dance, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, in the form of a safe and secluded forest garden. [There are a few other possibilities in the translation of this line: First off, the context is that of a long string of epithets being used to address Krsna. Now here he is being called a nut; which means dancer as well as lewd person. Depending on the juxtaposition of the words, he is either a dancer, the best dancer of the female relatives of the deer, (though this can also be taken in another way, equally laden with sarcasm), or a dancer to entertain the noblest female relatives of the deer, or one who makes them dance. The best dancer of the deer (kul-nut) is sarcastic because, whereas kul is a word denoting aristocracy, nut can carry the connotation of lewdness pertaining to philanderers.]

After you have satisfied them by painting your little pictures, and then sufficiently sung the praises of those gopis, very expert at sringar sadhan and just suitable for your purposes, then you may hastily depart from here, O Swami!"

All of the gopis faces lit up with laughter to hear these words of Citra, as they applauded her enthusiastically.

Thereupon Nandimukhi spoke up, "He Gokul Mangal! Your moon-like face is the only medicine which enables the residents of Gokul to sustain their lives. Suddenly we find ourselves looking at You with sad and longing eyes, You who are the only source of our long lives, and a burning pain is welling up in our hearts, as though a malignant cancer has penetrated to our most vital part. Therefore You must certainly tell us, please, what is the cause of all of this. Then only can Bhagavati Paurnamasi promptly remedy the situation, so that You, who are endowed with such beauty and fortune, will be pleased. Thus will my heart also be blessed."

Having heard this synopsis of the situation, I replied, like one whose mind is fully prostrated, "Nandimukhi! Please hear me. She who possesses such fine intelligence, never before seen or heard of; whose wit and humour are so fascinating that they completely captivate the mind; Who is the personified form, the first acarja of the Veda dealing with the whole diversity of mirthful sports (cutting jokes); the personified Form of the treasure chest of the rarest jewels in the shape of the most auspicious qualities;

Whose sweetly scented speech, like condensed cream of the most fragrant ambrosia, is the life subsistence of Her attendants; Whose exceedingly good fortune is paid homage to by the most fortunate damsels of the heavenly regions, headed by Saci, the wife of Indra; the radiant loveliness of the tips of Whose nails is continually searched out by Indira (Laxmi) and the other fawn-eyed nymphs of fair complexion, as the emblem or source of all beauty; Whose lotus feet are worshipped by hundreds and thousands of Laxmis, the Goddesses of innumerable universes, who are themselves worshipped by all the demigods, men, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and munis; Whose abhishek (coronary bath) is performed on a jewelled singhasan (lion throne) at Mahajogpith, within the forest of Brindaban, the expanse of which completely dwarfs the whole of all the Vaikuntha planets and the spiritual sky itself; the two syllables of whose name, Radha, produced from the churning of an ocean of nectar, are actually the condensed form of the cream of that ambrosia, which was produced in two pots, [the churning of the milk ocean produced only one pot of nectar], and it is the transformation of that ambrosia [in the form of the name Radha] which felicitates and gratifies the fourteen worlds.

The feet of this most renowned Debi, continually perfumed with the sweetest fragrance, infinitely, boundlessly beautiful and incomparably soft, put to shame, by their dawn-like, pinkish colour, the combined elegance of the total aggregate of all red lotus flowers. The service of feet such as these is life itself. But this Radha is not openly and unhesitatingly calling to me, who am expert in all of these branches of service, to bestow upon me this service which I so much long for. Therefore, She doesn't love me. Having determined this, I shall now seek out the aptly named Tungavidya (Tunga- lofty, elevated; vidya- learning, education), who, I have heard from Bhagavati Paurnamasi, is the self-same form as Radha, and request her to immediately initiate me as her disciple, that by this process I might achieve my most cherished object of desire. I will request her to initiate me with the mantra of Mahadebi (Radha). I take shelter of you, the matchless disciple of Bhagavati, that this endeavour may be successful."

Nandimukhi laughed, "He Sulakkon! (Oh you who are endowed with auspicious bodily signs!) In that case, you have to do that which has been ascertained by those conversant with scripture, to be the first duty of an aspiring disciple. You must serve the guru."

I replied, "Very good. But it is also appropriate that the prospective guru and sisya first examine one another. Then, for three nights, in some secluded kunj, let Tungavidya attain her fame by showing her prowess in learning before me. This should be accomplished by coming before me, sometimes as a male, and sometimes as a female. Thereupon I, having naturally become a great believer in her, will very reverently and with the utmost regard, decorate her feet with javak, (a red coloured substance), massage her hips, scratch the itch on her bosom, braid her hair and in this way worship her, rendering whatever other services she may desire, which may even make all the aforementioned services seem very negligible and paltry indeed. If I am able to do all of this, then she will no doubt be very satisfied with me and say, "You have given me the utmost pleasure by your willing, service attitude." Having said this and other similarly sweet things to me, she will then, feeling great delight within her mind, establish me on the dais which is within the kunj, and say, "He Bicakkon! (Oh wise and experienced one!) With your two hands, you should first smear these two golden, auspicious water pots (mangal ghat- auspicious water pots used in ceremonial functions) on my chest with musk and kunkum, and then garland them with necklaces and flower garlands." After having established the two auspicious pots according to the proper formulas, by these instructions and various other mantras, she will then bless me with the mahaprasad from her bosom, by anointing my forehead and other limbs with kunkum tilok. Then with musk, she will write on my chest the syllables of the mantra of Mahadebi, mark my arms with the symbols of Her lotus feet and other auspicious impressions, and then after removing her own one-stringed necklace and placing it around my neck, she will perform anga-nyas on my two breasts, my two shoulders, my two arms and my mouth, with her lips. Thereafter, since I am completely ignorant of all the various parts of the agamas (esoteric scriptures), Tungavidya, who is an agamacarja, will bestow upon me these various ingredients at the proper time and place. After these indispensable antecedents have been completed, she will then continue the preparatory rituals by investing the sixteen syllable mantra with the self-born rishi, the gayatri metre, the presiding Deity Sri Gandharva and the Divine energy of the first mystic syllable with its dot, that the desired perfection may be obtained, namely, the generation of amorous union between the worshipful object and the worshipper."

"Her very being overflowing with exultation, by the banks of Her own kund, in a clearing within the kunj, She is dancing in such an amusing fashion, exhibiting such an abundance of gestures and postures, just to bring delight to her sakhis who are assembled there to watch Her."

"She is very fair and is wearing red-coloured garments, Her face is lit up with a slight smile, Her eyes are extremely beautiful, in fact She is the most exquisite and delectable feast for the eyes. I take shelter of Sri Radhika, my worshipful Deity, who is the most cherished and most devoted worshipper of Shyama-Shyam.

Please cause me, to meditate on my tutelary Deity in this way, for a very long time, by kindly bestowing upon me, who am kami, the king of all mantras, joined at the beginning and at the end with the Kambeej. Make my life a success, by initiating me with this mantra.

Her body, the veritable form of Mahabhab, conceived by the most resplendent cintamani gem and anointed with the love and intimate friendship of her sakhis, shines with an inconceivable lustrous splendour.

She bathes in the morning in waves of the nectar of compassion, at noon in a nectar shower of youthfulness and in the evening in a flood of the nectar of charming loveliness. The Goddess of Fortune, Lakkidebi, languours in lassitude by the side of Her blazing effulgence.

Her graceful form is covered by the silken garment of shyness, decorated with the kunkum of graceful beauty, and dappled with the black musk of erotic sentiments for Shyam. She puts on her natural ornaments, fashioned from the best nine jewels: shivering, tears in the eyes, horripilation (standing up of the bodily hairs), becoming stunned, perspiration, faltering of the voice, blushing, madness and inertness.

She is garlanded with flowers of wonderful qualities, such as Her sweet-tongued speech. Her garments are cleansed and purified with the camphor of Her sometimes sober and sometimes restless moods, brought about by ecstatic emotions.

Her imperceptible and incomprehensible man (amour-propre; pique; feigned resentment out of love) is restrained, confined and concealed within the coils of Her hair. Her brilliant tilok is the emblem of Her immense good fortune. Hearing Krsna's name and qualities are the ornaments swinging in splendour and jubilation from Her ears.

The reddish colour of Her lips is produced from the tambul (pan) of Her great attachment for Krsna. The black ointment of Her eyes (kajjol), is the crookedness of Her loving affairs (prem-kautilya). Her body is perfumed by the camphor of Her sweet smile, while hearing the joking words of the sakhis.

Within the inner apartments of Her bodily fragrance is a bed of pride. Here She sometimes remains, as though unconscious, while wearing the restless necklace of separation from Her lover, beautified by a locket of humiliation.

Her breasts are concealed, bound with a bodice of wounded vanity (sensitive love). The sounds of Her vina, Her fame and beauty, dry up the faces and hearts of Her co-wives (competitors in love).

She has taken up the most amorous posture, leaning with Her lotus hands on the shoulders of Her sakhi friend (adolescence personified), just before beginning to distribute the honey of Cupid's infatuation and intoxication, which is itself the remembrance of the pleasure pastimes of ShyamaShyam.

Please bring this very sombre somebody, who is bowing down before You with a straw in his teeth, back to life, by sprinkling him with the nectar of Your servitorship. He Gandharvike! A truly compassionate person will not reject even a rascal if he is surrendered to them. Hai! (Oh my!) Therefore please, never abandon this person who is similarly surrendered to You.

That person, who recites this stab (hymn), of the name Premambhoj-maranda, produced of Her mercy, will surely attain service at Her lotus feet."

[by Srila Raghunath das Goswami.]

"May this hymn also advise and counsel me."

Thereafter, with these words, "I have received that most cherished object of my desire (kam {beej mantra}) from my Sri Gurudeb," choked up in my throat and my body trembling, I will fall down at her lotus feet. Then she will most certainly pick me up and embrace me, herself thrilling with ecstasy, while she places the remnants of her chewed tambul prasad, saturated with the nectar of her lips, into my mouth. But if you say that I am a brahmacari and therefore it is not proper for me to take tambul (pan), then you may give me the remnants of your own mukhabas, scented with camphor. Thereafter, coming to the realisation that my life is now successful, I will present as dakkina (alms given to the guru after receiving initiation) these most cherished pearls, along with heaps and piles of many other varieties of pearl fruits. By accepting these she will demonstrate that her favour is upon me." The gopis all giggled as they looked at Tungavidya. She was gushing as she tried to conceal her inner ecstasy by knitting her eyebrows into a great frown and giving me a side-long glance laced with her fury. She called out to Nandimukhi, "Ayi! Nandimukhi! You are a perfected renunciant, therefore you should initiate him according to this procedure. If the mantra is received from some perfected person who has developed their mystic powers, then the desired result (kam) will be accomplished very quickly."

Saying this much, she was preparing to leave in a great huff, to go home, when Visakha caught hold of her and brought her back. Visakha laughed as she spoke, "Nandimukhi! Actually it would be a contrary course to initiate this character. For this reason the acarja is angry with you."

Nandimukhi, "Ayi! You liar Visakha. How is it you are prepared to cast these false aspersions against the saintly son of the King of Gokul, Sri Nanda, the best friend of the lotus of religion?"

Visakha, "I'm warning you! This is a big mistake."

Nandimukhi, "What's the problem?"

Visakha, "Left remnants." (Tasted items)

Nandimukhi, "Whose?"

Visakha, "The maidservant's."

Nandimukhi laughed, "And who might this maidservant be?"

Visakha, "There is one lady in the forest of Shyaora, who, by the power of illusion, has taken on the form of a gopika. She was seen going to the house of Candrabali, the wife of the servant of Kungsa, Govarddhan Malla. Indeed, the following conversation was overheard there, "Ayi! Candrabali! You are the dearmost servant of the Goddess of the universe, Candika, and I am also one of the chief associates of Goddess Candi. Due to my overwhelming affection for you, I am desirous of making you one of my sakhis."

Candrabali replied, "That sounds reasonable," and, saying thus, she embraced that person whose friendship she had just accepted. That is the maidservant I am talking about!" Nandimukhi, "But who is that person?!"

Visakha, "This extraordinary Goddess of Wealth is renowned far and wide. I'm sure you must know of her."

Nandimukhi, "What are her remnants that you spoke of?"

Visakha, "The supremely sanctified honey of her black lips, kept in a small oil bottle."

Radhika smiled to hear this and all of the gopis laughed when they saw Radha's smiling face. Nandimukhi, "Ayi! Visakhe! Has anyone seen this?"

Visakha, "Of course! What do you think?"

Nandimukhi, "Who?"

Visakha, "The two gopis Malli and Bhringi, when they were sent by Priyasakhi Gandharva, to fetch some saffron cloth. Just the day before yesterday, they saw all of these sublimely purifying activities going on near Manas Ganga, on the bank of Ushor. Then when they returned they discussed what they had seen with all the other gopis."

Nandimukhi became very thoughtful as she said, "He is the life of all Gokul. How can this fault of His be extirpated?"

Visakha replied, "By observing some rites of atonement."

Nandimukhi, "Then let Bhagavati determine the proper penance, so that Purusottam can be acquitted of His crimes. Then after some provision is made for His purification, you can initiate him."

Campaklata spoke up, "Mughe! The method of atoning for this sin has already been explained in the Ujjval Mani Sunghita. You must never have seen this book and only for this reason you brought up Bhagavati's name."

Nandimukhi, "So who here knows this Sunghita?"

Campaklata, "Only priyasakhi Gandharva."

Nandimukhi, "But she is not here amongst this assembly just now. Therefore how can this penance be performed without excessive delay?"

Visakha, "This Lalita is the second Gandharva, Her very self-same form. Having studied this Sunghita under Gandharva [Radha], along with all of it's related treatises, she is now quite proficient in this subject due to the fact that she continually reads it again and again. Therefore she can easily determine what is a proper settlement."

Nandimukhi sarcastically replied, "Sakhi Lalite! After carefully considering the matter, please be so kind as to instruct us in these affairs regarding atonement."

Lalita smiled, "Priyasakhi! If the guilty party comes himself into the midst of this assembly and notifies those of us present, giving a complete and straightforward account of his crimes, and if he feels repentant for what he has done, then that is itself atonement. In this way have the wise and learned authors of the Puranas decreed:

'Whoever feels remorse for his crimes after having confessed them before a council, is fully pardoned. This is the encomium given by the munis in the dharma sastras.' Hearing this, Nandimukhi looked at me with emphatic intention. I then came before Lalita, with Subal and Madhumangal, but as I expressed my desire to say something, ...

Visakha said, "He Birbor! (Oh best of heroes!) Lustful persons have neither shame nor antipathy (self-mortification). Because of this, your naturally libidinous nature, you have done whatever you have done. Yet now, after careful consideration, you should divulge everything here in front of Lalita."

This time I wasn't laughing, and spoke as one thoroughly regretful of his past misdeeds, "Lalite! Four days ago, when I was looking for some of my cows who had strayed away, I came to Gauritirtha, where I saw, coming out of my Gauri Mandir, one of the highly perfumed attendants of Gauridebi. Suddenly she came and struck me on my left breast and then, after taking me within the Madhabi grove, she forced the remnants of her chewed tambul between my trembling lips. What more she did I cannot exactly say, because I was in a state of shock, and now cannot remember everything very clearly.

Then again, just the day before yesterday, I came to the bowers (nikunja) by the side of Radha Kund, bringing with me a variety of flower garlands all strung with golden thread. While absorbed in thoughts of my sweetheart, Gandharva, I wandered into Mandar Uddan (the Slow and Gentle Gardens) just by the side of Mala Haron Kund (the Lake of Stolen Garlands), near the City of Hills. There, who should appear on the scene but that same carcika (highly perfumed one), who again forcefully kissed me on the cheeks and entrusted the nectar of her lips unto my mouth.

Now, that these two sinful and wicked activities might be annulled, please give your permission for me to drink the honey remnants of Her lotus mouth."

Madhumangal laughed, "Bayasya! This is indeed an excellent means of atonement. Especially since it contributes to the further increase and expansion of the sinful activity itself!"

I replied, "Murkha! (You fool!) Fie on you! (You can go to hell!) Don't you even know that the best medicine to counteract poison, is poison itself. For example:

'A boil burns with a pain produced of heat (fire), but it is again by fire that this pain is checked.' And also-

'Those who are intelligent know that the best remedy for a soft foot, pierced by a thorn, is to remove that thorn with another thorn.'

In pursuance of these proofs, the best means of righting the wrong of tasting someone's remnants, is to again taste someone else's remnants (ucchista bhojan)."

Madhumangal, "Since you are the only physician qualified to cure the disease of such sins as these, why then do you bother going after Lalita to seek her compliance?"

I replied, "Sakhe! Even though one may be extremely knowledgeable about a variety of subject matters, still in matters pertaining to his own personal affairs he might have some uncertainty. Therefore, the medical treatment of a doctor is best effected by other doctors." Lalita laughed, "He Deb! Alliance with a debi (demigoddess) is accomplished only by another deba (demigod). We are only human beings. How will we even be able to perceive this debi?"

I replied, "Ayi! Lalite! Having accepted a human form, isn't she present somewhere very close by?"

At this their curiosity was greatly stimulated, yet they remained very apprehensive as they all began to whisper to each other, "Who is he talking about?"

Radha said to herself, "Does this crest jewel amongst the most cunning of all charlatans think that he'll really be able to get away with exhibiting his amusing activities in front of the eyes of all those assembled here?"

Visakha, "Deb! Please tell us. Where is this debi? Only if you tell us can we then, after properly praising Her by the recitation of various hymns and prayers, bring Her into the midst of this assembly and then quickly see to the execution of your affairs (religious rites)." I replied, "Visakhe! That debi is present within your assembly, resembling as she does a streak of lightning. Though you possess very beautiful eyes, like the expanded petals of a lotus, I think you must be blind."

Having heard these words of mine, filled with the deepest profundity and gravity, Lalita and the other sakhis were completely filled with apprehension. In other words, they were all thinking, "He is probably referring to me!"

While thus absorbed in the midst of various doubts and hesitations, all the while looking each other up and down, Visakha interjected, "He lampat! (You debauch!) Is that debi Campaklata?"

I replied, "Na. Na."

Visakha, "Then Jyestha?"

Me, "No, not Jyestha."

Subal spoke up, "Then it must be either Rangadebi or Sudebi."

Me, "Nope. Neither of them."

Visakha, "Then it must be the pardon officer herself, Lalita."

I replied, "Visakhe! It is not Lalita either."

Visakha, "Not this one. Not that one. Not so-and-so. Then what! Has she just vanished from here?"

I replied, "Dhurte! (You impostor!) You know who it is! Just think!"

Lalita said, "Hai, Hai! (Oh my!) Sakhi Visakhe! Hurry up! This poor lecher can't wait much longer. Let him get his business over with."

Visakha acted like she was thinking for awhile, and then said, "Lalite! The person whom I am thinking of is neither a debi (demigoddess) nor a human being."

Nandimukhi, "Then who is there within this assembly who is neither a debi nor a human being?"

Visakha, "A fairy!"

Lalita, "Who is that?"

Visakha smiled, "That scurrilous Padma (with the snake goddess Manasa) has been engaged in some very unpleasant acts."

Tungavidya, "Sakhi Visakhe! Why do you defile her by saying, 'That sankhini!' She is very devoted to Goddess Katyayini and has performed much service for her. By the mercy of Katyayini debi she has become non-different from the debi herself, though she remains concealed."

Hearing this Madhumangal and the others laughed. Then I said, "Visakhe! If, due to the excessive bashfulness of the party in question, you would like to appoint someone else, then in that case I can divulge another name."

Visakha, "Let's hear it!"

I said, "You are that carcikadebi." (perfumed, anointed goddess).

Seeing that all the other gopis got quite a laugh out of this, Visakha's lips were trembling as she replied, "Aye! Cancal! (You're so fickle!) Bancak! (Cheat!) He gop nisthur! (Oh most cruel of all the cowherds!) Oh you who smeared turmeric all over the body of the wife of Gobardhan Malla, the servant of that demon Kungsa! When it comes to wisdom, you are just like a great mass of molasses! Because you are so devoid of finesse in the fine art of cleverness, and so greedy for [her] affection, you are reduced to wandering around in the groves of jujubes (berries) looking for someone to play with. Oh worthless husband of Padmasankhini (female ghost associate of the snake goddess Manasa). Oh best of the merchants, greatest of the cheaters who like to deal in goods captured with the five arrows of Cupid! Though you think you are so clever, you are totally lacking in the necessary skills required for one to perform in this arena. Go and perform your impertinent activities in the chipped rice and molasses market, within the forest of Sakhot (Shyaora)! Go on! Get out of here right now!"

Sri Radha, in Her soft and gentle voice, began to praise Visakha, "Priyasakhi! Visakhe! May you be victorious! You have given me the greatest satisfaction by expressing externally, exactly what I was thinking within my mind!"

Rangadebi said, "Sakhi Visakhe! Why are you getting so angry? Sakhi Lalite! While he was supposed to be confessing all of his crimes before us, full of shame and remorse, he took the forest of Sakhot, to be a bower of Madhabi creepers; the dry, salty land on the banks of Manas Ganga, to be the Manda Gardens on the banks of Mala Haron Kund; and the tasted remnants of the ghostly associate of the snake goddess, to be the nectar of the lips of Visakha. This clever cheat, while saying one thing, actually implies a different, hidden meaning. In this way he has ascribed the different qualities of other objects to you. Therefore, it still remains for you to prescribe his proper atonement."

Lalita laughed, "He arja Madhumangal! Sakhe Subal! Come here and hear what we have in store for your friend."

Citra, "Sakhi Lalite! If the offender has any property, then the rule is that his penance should be levied at an increase of four times. Besides that, for the sons of kings it should be six times. Remembering these injunctions from the Smriti sastras, you should arrange for his penance."

Lalita, "Mugdhe! The law is that for the sons of kings it should be double six times (or twelve times). This, I know, is sanctioned in the Sunghita. How did you come up with six times?" Citra, "You are the one who is most proficient in this sastra. Whatever you have understood is certainly the truth. But there have been a number of incidences when this young prince has saved our lives, for instance, when he picked up Gobardhan hill, when he saved us from the forest fire, and when he thrashed Sankha Cura. In light of this, maybe we should not be so quick to count all of his faults. We could be a little lenient by settling up at six times."

Lalita, "Fine! This is the provision I am recommending in accordance with your request. First off, in the matter of delivering him from his sins, he will have to take some ritual baths. This should be performed in ManasGanga for three days. Then, to undo the evil influences upon his mouth, for twenty-one days he shall have to take a dose of the five kinds of nectar (pancamrit) from the lips of Malli and Bhringi. Later on we can arrange his acquittance at the rate of twelve times."

Madhumangal pretended to be very angry at this, "Lalitike! The King of Braja and the Son of his Queen are the veritable bridge of true religion. He is the medicine which sustains not only the life of myself and His other friends, but of all the residents of Gokul. Yet you have now undertaken to destroy His caste by making him taste the remnants of this cetika (servant girl) and pulinda (mleccha) girl. Therefore I can see no other recourse but to go and immediately inform His mother and father. By bringing them here I will deliver Him from this dangerous dilemma. This will also serve to further increase our friendship."

Saying thusly, he muttered to himself as he prepared to run off, but Subal caught hold of him and dissuaded him from going.

Lalita, "Anarja bato! (What a low-born plebeian you really are!) You are simply ignorant of the glories of these two sakhis, our priyasakhi Radha's minister of loving affairs and the one named Bhringi. Perhaps then, you should hear of their greatness from your Nandimukhi." Nandimukhi, "Brother Madhumangal! There is a very beautiful mountain of the name, Gobardhan, where is to be found Radha Kund, very dear to Krsna. As Radhika is most dear to Sri Krsna, Her kund is similarly as dear to him. Far superior to Vaikuntha is Madhupuri (Mathura). In spite of that, Brindaban is even far more excellent as the scene of the Ras festival, a marketplace of ecstasy, the epitome of eternal enjoyment. There is situated the mountain, Gobardhan, whose existence is also fully dedicated to flooding the Lord of Gokul with oceans of the nectar of love. Radha Kund is situated there, by the slopes of Giri Gobardhan. Is there any conscientious soul, averse to worldly pursuits, who will not serve Radha Kund? In light of all this, plus the fact that the guru of Bhagavati, Sri Debarsi, along with many other great sages and eminent saints, has described the residents of the caves upon Sri Gobardhan, near the southern bank of Radha Kund, in very glorious and majestic terms; and as well, Sri Sukdeb himself has described the Purnnas, Pulindyas, Urugayas, and so forth, as being exceptionally fortunate; therefore, will not the supremely sanctified pancamrit, liquefied by the lips of these two daughters of the king of the Pulindas, Malli and Bhringi, destroy the effects of sinful activities? I have more to say! Listen carefully-

Sometimes Visakha and her friends, though they are themselves pranayi-sakhis (loving friends, lovers), behave towards the new, Youthful Couple of Braja just as if they were maidservants. Then sometimes, they feign shyness and thus obtain the highest ecstasy, by engaging Ranganmala and her friends in their most cherished services, that they might listen to the extremely funny conversations that take place between these gentle and soft-spoken gopis, unaware of the intricacies of conjugal affairs."

Taking this opportunity, Sri Gandharva summoned Tulasi by a gesture of Her eyes, and then, with the little finger of her right hand, more beautiful than the sweetest scented Campak flower (which is of course more beautiful than beauty itself), she took some sindur (red lead, vermilion) from the part in her hair, and with this began to compose a letter, according to her own feelings, so that the letters of the words themselves became a herald of the scent and loveliness of a bunch of golden Ketaki flowers. This letter she placed in Tulasi's hand, to be delivered to Lalita and the others. Thereupon, Lalita, after touching the letter to her head, went off to read it in secret with the other sakhis. She smiled as she handed it to Nandimukhi. Nandimukhi reacted as though it was a matter of great exultation and smiled as she began to read the letter, after first holding it to her heart, "Blessings and prosperity on you all. Sri Nandimukhi, Sri Lalita, Sri Visakha and all of my pran prestha sakhis, after first embracing you and exchanging hundreds and thousands of millions of jokes, a certain lady has something to announce.

He who achieves the highest happiness while wandering around Gobardhan Hill with his cows and friends, such as Sridama, Subal, Bhadrasen and others, and who is the dearmost son of the King of Braja (Brajaraj), more beloved by him than his own life, hundreds and thousands and millions of times; and who attains the topmost pleasure, playfully lying on the soft mattress, scented with various flowers, which is actually the motherly affection that the Queen of Brajaraj feels for her son; on the bed inlaid with a great variety of valuable jewels, which are really the manifestation of her life force, multiplied hundreds and thousands of millions of times; within the vast temple, constructed from hundreds and thousands of millions of golden bricks, which are, in reality, nothing more than her body itself; to the image of the little toe of his left foot, I offer arati, taking ten million (arbud) of my pran pararddha (life force multiplied hundreds and thousands of millions of times) and then again, taking that pran pararddha arbud and multiplying it again by hundreds more pararddhas (hundreds and thousands of millions) to fuel the wick of the ghee lamp. My heart is melting like fresh butter to hear that One whose tender and delicate body is so attractive, as though fashioned from a bouquet of blue lotuses, perfumed with fresh musk, the lustre of which is like cream, and Who is dhir lalit (that hero, devoid of anxiety, very polite and meek and who is expert at singing and dancing), will have to engage in such severe penances.

Now if this lad of delicate limbs is agreeable, and is still in a penitent mood as regards his previously committed crimes, then the actual prescribed means of his deliverance is by tantra. Having forgotten this part of the Ujjval Sunghita, Lalita had made some separate arrangement for drinking pancamrit, only for the purification of his mouth. In any case, if he can now be made blameless through this system of tantra, by both purifying his mouth and destroying his various other sinful activities as well, then I will be beside myself with bliss. It would be superfluous to say more.

Please convey my loving embrace upon Malli and Bhringi, who are as dear to me as my own life.

I would just like to emphasize one point in closing- This young prince is supremely pure, and at the same time, addicted to luxury. Therefore, with his lotus feet he should tread on a flowering creeper taken from an Ashok tree, and the nectar that exudes from those flowers should be used, in the measurement of twenty-four gandushas, to wash his face. Then pancamrit should be administered to his smiling and camphor scented lips, very gently and lovingly causing him to drink it. In this way, the sins of this tender young child can be very quickly driven away, effecting his great happiness at one and the same time."

Having heard these words, like nectar to my ears, my mind was transported to the very outer reaches of ecstasy, as I looked towards the kunj wherein Sri Radha was seated. Lalita laughed to see this as she said, "Even though it is true that the sinful reactions of a wicked man are destroyed by his repentance, there still remains something further to be said. Namely, 'If there remain any properties, then the penance should be multiplied four times.' Moreover, 'Especially for the sons of kings it should be twelve times.' Then, 'In the case of minor injunctions and specific ones, the specific injunction is always more important.'

According to this logical proof, the proper penance for him is calculated at two times six (or twelve) which I had again divided up into two separate penalties. Nevertheless, the order of one's elder (gurujon) is not to be questioned, even if it may be inconsistent. Thus, taking this order upon my head, I will cause his sins to be expiated by the process of tantra."

Then I said, "The learning of the sisya is superior to even that of the guru."

At this, Lalita made a face which perfectly revealed her thoughts, as she said, "Nandimukhi! He who has thoroughly satisfied the lotus eyes of the residents of Gokul with his liquid loveliness and who plays at the celebrated place known as Parasali, this foolish black deer, has abandoned this playful lovely doe (Goddess of Youth), the constant companion of paramrastarangini rangini, to repeatedly run after that apparition, the resident of Sakhisthali and confidante of Saibya. This restless and senseless bumblebee, has forsaken the lovely jasmine flower, the friend of the Campak creeper (Campaklata), that has filled the four directions in and around the nikunj bhavan (bower residences) surrounding Radha Kund with the sweetest fragrance, to relentlessly and recklessly pursue the scentless kusmanda creeper (kusmanda means pumpkin, as well as false conception) that grows in one corner of the yard of Gobardhan Malla, by the side of it's friend the river (Padma), which flows in the dry, sandy and saline soil nearby. Because of this, the ineptness and tactlessness of this dim-witted dolt, the constant companion of Brindabaneshwari, namely Her naturally pleasant and agreeable repose, has superficially been saddened and made gloomy, thus the sentiments of conjugal love are not being nourished. Therefore, this ignorant and inexperienced bumblebee needs to be enlightened about the foolishness of his ways, so that he deserts that pumpkin creeper, devoid of the scents of fine sentiments, and instead becomes the devoted follower of the Goddess of Brindaban. Then Her dear friend (priyasakhi), in the form of Her amorous pleasure, radiant with contentment, will undoubtedly fulfil His most cherished desires."

In this way, having been made to drink such a variety of sweet and intoxicating beverages, all scented with the flavour of conjugal affairs, Satyabhama said, "Prananath! Though I am drowning in this ocean of nectar, I am not in the least bit feeling satiated!"

Krsna replied, "Priye! It is as if your question has caused the appearance of my dear friend, the King of the Season Springtime, who used to accompany me in my sublime pleasure pastimes within the forests of Gokul." Saying thusly, he heartily embraced Satyabhama.

Satyabhama joyfully replied, "Then! Then?!"

Krsna said, "Then Subal laughed as he spoke to me,

"Priyabayasya! Priyasakhi Indulekha, by various hints and gestures, sent me here to inform you that her life has been made explicitly uneasy by the constant ranting and raving of her husband Bhasshor. Therefore I am requesting you to settle the price for her pearls, and then, after presenting them to her, send her swiftly home that she might properly perform her household duties."

I replied, "Sakhe Subal! You have spoken correctly. This Indurekha is so attached to me in loving affection, that even though she is very afraid of her husband, still, she is not able to give up my company. Therefore, please listen carefully to the following assessment of the price she must pay. The aptly named Indurekha (Impression of the Moon), unable to tolerate separation from me, should manifest two bodies. One of these can remain in the dark sky of my heart, being etched there with the sharpened nail of her finger. Then I, who am also incapable of enduring separation from her, will rise up, by the power of my mystic science, like two half moons on the mountains of her chest. There she can keep me within the folds of her cloth, like a poor man keeps a valuable gem that he has found. Thus will she realise the topmost ecstasy, by occasionally stealing a glance at me, situated upon the hairs of her body, standing on end. Or, I could remain in the heart of Indulekha, by remaining there as a lovely, dark deer."

Her lips trembling, Indurekha shot me a very crooked and tortuous glance the sight of which made Tungavidya laugh as she said to me, "He Nagor! (Oh great gallant!) This Rangadebi is also very appropriately named! Therefore, let us hear the evaluation of the price she is to pay."

I replied, "Sakhi Rangadebi! Previously, during our Ras dance, I was especially delighted while continuously absorbed in watching your dexterity in dancing. Now, within the lonely and secluded compound of this nikunja mandir (bower temple), I am eager to experience that dancing once again. Therefore, please come here and make those two golden waterpots on your bosom dance on my chest in the ways that you are so adept, so that I, having been highly pleased by you, may reward you with the nectar of my lips, the most coveted treasure of all the gopis, and thus bestow upon you too, the highest happiness."

"Ore bhandasekhor! (Oh summit of buffoonery!) Get out of here! Get out of here!" she said, as she looked askance at me. Then she ran and hid behind Visakha.

Sudebi laughed, "He Rasik Sekhor! (Oh summit of wit and merrymaking! {Relishing rasas- mellows of ecstatic love}) It is clearly felt that Rangadebi will quickly achieve perfection by relishing this mahaprasadam, that which is eternally enjoyed, emancipated and worshipped by the gopis. Thus it is hoped that she will bestow perfection on all of us also."


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