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Vraja Vilasa 13: Krishna’s grandfather Parjanya

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Aho! I bow down to Krishna’s paternal grandfather, who takes great pleasure in speaking joking words into Krishna’s ears. His name is Parjanya (“rain cloud”) but he makes a complete mockery of countless clouds from the pride in having such a grandson.


VERSE 13:

parjanya-nāmā nija-naptṛ-garvaiḥ
parjanya-lakṣāṇy abhito vinindan
yo narma tanvan ramate’sya karṇe
namāmy aho kṛṣṇa-pitāmahaṁ tam

Aho! I bow down to Krishna’s paternal grandfather, who takes great pleasure in speaking joking words into Krishna’s ears. His name is Parjanya (“rain cloud”) but he makes a complete mockery of countless clouds from the pride in having such a grandson.

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: Raghunath Das Goswami is an eternal companion of the Lord, therefore he has direct visions of the sweet feelings of the Vraja associates. Although all the forms of the Lord are certainly full of rasa, this is a mere rasāṁśa (a fragment of transcendental flavour), for rasa finds its ultimate culmination in Sri Krishna, who is the akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti, the embodiment of all nectarean transcendental flavours. Similarly, although all the companions of the Lord have sweet love for him in their own right, which makes them relish the sweetness of the Lord, their bhāva is called bhāvāṁśa (a fragment of bhāva), for the culmination of this bhāva is only found in Krishna’s companions in Vraja, the abode of pure sweetness.

In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami describes the sweet love of Sri Krishna’s paternal grandfather, the gopa Parjanya, who is mentioned in Radha-Kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (15-18):

pitāmaho harer gauraḥ sita keśaḥ sitāmbaraḥ;
maṅgalāmṛta parjanyaḥ parjanyo nāma ballabaḥ
yaḥ surarṣe nideśena lakṣmī-bhartur upāsanām;
variṣṭho vraja goṣṭhīnāṁ sa kṛṣṇasya pitāmahaḥ
purā nandīśvare cakre śreṣṭha santati kāṅkṣayā;
vāg mūrtā tatovyomni prādur āsīt priyaṅkarī
tapasānena dhanyena bhāvinaḥ pañca te sutāḥ;
varīyān madhyamas teṣāṁ nanda nāmā bhaviṣyati
nandanas tasya vijayī bhavitā vraja-nandanaḥ;
surāsura śikhā-ratna nīrājita padāmbujaḥ

Krishna’s grandfather Parjanya is like a rain cloud of auspiciousness. His complexion is golden and his hair is white. He is respectable by the whole community of Vraja. In the past he worshipped Lakshmi-Narayana at Nandishwar, on the advice of Devarshi Narada, because he desired to have great sons. After performing many austerities a very lovely voice in the sky spoke: “O Parjanya! As a result of your blessed austerities five sons will be born to you. The middle one is the greatest and he will be known as Nanda. The son of this Nanda will be supremely victorious and he will delight all of Vraja. Both demons and demigods will worship his lotus feet by touching their jeweled crowns to them.

After attaining such a jewel-like grandson Parjanya became so proud that he mocked hundreds of thousands, or indeed all the rain clouds. Although Parjanya was himself already adorned by all great qualities, his name really became accomplished when he became a cloud that showered all auspiciousness by having Krishna come in his family descendance.

In Gopāla-campū, Shrila Jiva Goswamipada describes Parjanya’s glories this way:

sa ca śrīmān parjanyaḥ saujanya-varṣyenārjitena nijaiśvaryenāpi vaiśyāntara-sādhāraṇyam atītāya tac ca nāścaryam; yataḥ svāśrita-deśa-pālakatā mānyatayā vadānyatayā kṣīra-vaibhava-plāvita-sarva-janatā-labdha-prādhānyatayā ca parjanya-sāmānyatām āpaḥ – yaḥ khalu prahlādaḥ śravasi, dhruvaḥ pratiśruti, pṛthur mahimani, bhīṣma durhṛdi, śaṅkaraḥ suhṛdi, svayambhū garimaṇi, haris tejasi babhūva

It is not a miracle that Parjanya has become the greatest of all vaishyas because of his saintliness and his self-earned wealth. By showering all the people with the milk-stream of his dedication to the protection of his land and his generosity he has become most respectable, just like a rain cloud. He was like Prahlāda in certainty, like Dhruva in reliability, like Prithu in greatness, like Bhishma in destroying enemies, like Shankara in friendship, Brahma in glory and Sri Hari in prowess.

Therefore his glories naturally defeat the clouds, and on top of that, the form and attributes of his grandson Sri Krishna defeated the clouds in all respects. Sri Krishna had made a mockery out of the clouds with his peerless bluish luster and his extraordinary shower of nectarean attributes and pastimes.

muktā hāra baka pāṅti, indra-dhanu piñcha tati,
pītāmbara vijurī sañcāra
kṛṣṇa nava jaladhara, jagat śasya upara,
variṣaye līlāmṛta dhāra

Krishna is like a fresh rain cloud that showers the crops of the world with the nectarean streams of his pastimes. His pearl necklace is like a row of ducks, his peacock feather crown is like a rainbow and his yellow cloth is like a lightning strike.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta)

When Krishna was seven years old he thwarted the Indra yajna and promulgated the Sri Govardhana sacrifice. This made Indra angry and caused him to send his clouds of universal destruction to Vraja to destroy it. Then Sri Krishna lifted Sri Govardhana for seven days and nights, holding it steadily on his left little finger to protect the Vrajavāsīs from hail, rain and thunderclaps and give them great delight. Then Parjanya jokingly mocked the clouds, saying: “O hey, clouds! My name is also Parjanya, or cloud! What audacity you have to try to inundate my kingdom as long as I am here! Let me first see you defeating this little grandson of mine, and then I will argue with you!”

Raghunath Goswami says: “Parjanya speaks sweet, delightful and funny words into Sri Krishna’s ears.”

Sri Krishna is most delighted when his grandfather speaks these joking words, that’s why he always very eagerly hangs around his neck to hear them. There is no end to Rasamaya’s (all-delicious Krishna) desires for these rasamaya joking words. Although the Upaniṣads describe him as full of taste, full of fragrance and full of form, he is still so desirous for the love of the people of Vraja!

Blessed is Vraja Dham! Blessed is the Vraja Lila!

So Sri Raghunath says: “I always offer my obeisances unto Parjanya, Sri Krishna’s paternal grandfather!”

śrī kṛṣṇa āmāra pautra’ ei ahaṅkāre;
megha gaṇe divā-niśi ye avajñā kore
yāhāra mukhera vāṇī korite śravaṇa;
śrī govinda atiśaya ullasita hon
śrī kṛṣṇera pitāmaha śrī parjanya nāma;
luṇṭhita hoiyā pade koriye praṇāma

“Sri Krishna is my grandson!” With this pride he slights the clouds day and night. In obeisance I roll at the feet of Krishna’s grandfather Parjanya, whose words he is greatly delighted to hear.”


Commentary of Sri Radhakuṇḍa Mahānta Paṇḍita Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named ‘Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā‘ (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Śīla.

© Translated by Advaita Das in 1994

The post Vraja Vilasa 13: Krishna’s grandfather Parjanya appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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