I worship Śrī Nanda Mahārāja, the king of Gokula, who every day satisfies the brāhmaṇas by respectfully giving them sweets, drinks, divine cows and jewels in charity for the auspicious growth of his son, and who affectionately asks them for blessings to his son’s well-being, being totally absorbed in thoughts of Him.
putrasyābhyudayārtham ādara-bharair miṣṭānna-pānotkarair
divyānāṁ ca gavāṁ maṇi-vraja-yuṣāṁ dānair iha pratyaham |
yo viprān gaṇaśaḥ pratoṣayati tad bhavyasya vārtāṁ muhuḥ
snehāt pṛcchati yaś ca tad-gata-manās taṁ gokulendraṁ bhaje ||9||
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: While describing Śrī Nandīśvara Giri, Śrī Raghunātha remembers Nanda and Yaśodā and thus he praises them in the next two verses.
In Vrajarāja and Vrajeśvarī, the summit of pure, sweet parental love for Kṛṣṇa rests, bereft of any whiff of awe and reverence towards Him; this is clearly known from scriptures like Śrīmad Bhāgavata. Even if a huge mountain of aiśvarya falls into the boundless ocean of this parental love, it won’t have any impact. Hence, when praising Śrī Nanda, it is first said: “Every day he satisfies the brāhmaṇas by respectfully giving them sweets, drinks, divine cows and jewels in charity for the auspicious growth of his son.” (putrasyābhyudayārtham ādara-bharair miṣṭānna pānotkarair divyānāṁ ca gavāṁ maṇivraja-yujāṁ dānair iha pratyaham )
Even when he sees Kṛṣṇa’s matchless prowess, Śrī Nanda Mahārāja is unswerving in his sweet parental love for Him. Rather it nourishes his conception of Kṛṣṇa as his son – this is elaborately described in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.
When Śrī Nanda Mahārāja returned from Mathurā after the killing of the witch Pūtanā, he saw Pūtanā’s huge corpse with his own eyes, and he had heard about these kinds of troubles in advance from Vasudeva Mahāśaya, but still the ocean of his parental love swelled when he saw Pūtanārī (Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Pūtanā) as Śrī Bāla Gopāla.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says: “One of the signs of parental love is the smelling of the head.” (anubhāvāḥ śiroghrāṇam, BRS 3.4.41)
On the day of the Autthānika Parva (the festival to celebrate that the child is able to stand up), Śrī Nanda-Nandana lay under a big cart and was crying for His mother’s breast. He kicked His tender feet up into the air and knocked the huge cart over, thus killing Śakaṭāsura, the infamous cart-demon, with His inconceivable power.
The cowherd boys then went to Nanda and the cowherd men and they told them: “Nanda-nandana has overturned the cart by kicking it with His feet!”, but they did not believe it.
Rather, Śrī Nanda Mahārāja became very worried about Kṛṣṇa’s safety and had the Veda-knowing brāhmaṇas perform all kinds of auspicious rituals for the welfare of his son.
We can see that out of parental love, Śrī Nanda and the cowherd men acted similarly like this after the killing of Tṛṇāvarta and the breaking of the Yamalārjuna trees.
When Śrī Kṛṣṇa lifted Girirāja Govardhana for seven days and nights in front of the Vrajavāsīs’ eyes, the cowherders were astonished to see His inconceivable prowess, but when they told Śrī Nanda Mahārāja about this inconceivable prowess, it could not reverse his feelings of pure sweetness at all. Rather, he destroyed their doubts by quoting Garga Muni, who had told him previously that the power of Śrī Nārāyaṇa had been infused into his son so that He would be able to protect them from all calamities and havoc. When the cowherders relished the nectarean words of Śrī Nanda emanating from the ocean of his pure parental love, their own ocean of sweet love, in which a mountain of Kṛṣṇa’s display of prowess had been thrown and temporarily made waves, returned to its natural, peaceful status. They also were reassured that Śrī Kṛṣṇa was simply the son of Śrī Nanda and this awareness made them float in the ocean of topmost transcendental bliss.
During Māthura viraha (when Kṛṣṇa had left Vraja to go to Mathurā), the crown jewel of all wise and learned devotees, Śrī Uddhava Mahāśaya, saw the great parental love of Śrī Nanda-Yāśodā, he became astonished and exclaimed:
Just to remove their distress, Śrī Uddhava Mahāśaya had told them in many different ways that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, but that could not slacken their parental love even slightly.
We have said many times that according to the devotees’ love a particular aspect of the Lord’s nature arises. Thus the Lord forgot all about His own majesty, being subdued by Śrī Nanda Mahārāja’s pure parental love, and so He just considered Himself to be Śrī Nanda-nandana, the son of king Nanda, and although He is the All-worshipable One, He devotedly held the dust of His father’s lotus feet on His head. The Lord, whose feet are worshipable by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, brought His father his slippers by carrying them on His head, thus making father Nanda float in an ocean of transcendental bliss.
Hence Śrīpāda Raghunātha says: “I worship this king of Gokula, Śrī Nanda Mahārāja, who daily offers different kinds of sweetmeats, jewels and decorated cows to satisfy the brāhmaṇas for the welfare of His son, and who affectionately asks the brāhmaṇas for Kṛṣṇa’s well-being, because he is totally absorbed in thinking of his son.”
putrera kalyāṇe yini ati samādare;
nānā-vidha miṣṭānna ratna thālā bhare
sudivya gābhī-gaṇe ratna alaṅkāre;
bhūṣita koriyā dāna kore brāhmaṇere
putra snehe tad-gata cintita antare;
maṅgala jijñāsā sadā kore brāhmaṇere
putrera maṅgala lāgi vyākulita yini;
gokulendra śrī nande bhajana kori āmi
“I worship the King of Gokula, Śrī Nanda, who very respectfully offered jeweled plates with different kinds of sweetmeats and divine cows decorated with jeweled ornaments to the brāhmaṇas, and asked them for his son’s welfare, being completely absorbed in thoughts of Him and very anxious about His well-being.”
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