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May Pavan Sarovar Protect Me

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May Pāvan Sarovar, which is surrounded by kadamb trees and swarms of buzzing bees, and where the lotus-eyed gopīs repeatedly and lovingly come on the pretext of fetching water to blissfully meet the Prince of cowherds there, protect me.


kadambānāṁ vrātair madhupa kula jhaṅkāra lalitaiḥ
parīte yatraiva priya salila līlāhṛti miṣaiḥ
muhur gopendrasyātmajam abhisarantyambuja dṛśo
vinodena prītyā tad idam avatāt pāvana saraḥ

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā:  In this verse, Raghunath Das Goswami praises Pāvan Sarovar.

Pāvan Sarovar is situated in the peerless abode of extraordinary natural beauty, Sri Nandishwar Giri (the hill upon which Nandgaon is situated).

pāvanākhyaṁ saraḥ krīḍā kuñja puñja sphurat taṭam (Radha-Kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā) “Sri Krishna’s lake is known as Pāvan. There are many lovely arbours on its banks.”

To give an indication of the beauty of Pāvan Sarovar, Das Goswami says: kadambānāṁ vrātair madhupa kula jhaṅkāra lalitaiḥ parīte – “Pāvan Sarovar is surrounded by kadamb trees and swarms of buzzing bees.”

This is simply a slight indication of the actual beauty of the place. Factually, Sri Govinda’s playgrounds are endowed with a wonderful, transcendental beauty that is able to delight even Sri Govinda, who is Himself the embodiment of transcendental bliss. Śrī-Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatīpād has written:

divyāneka vicitra puṣpa phalavad vallī tarūṇāṁ tatir
divyāneka mayūra kokila śukādyānandam ādyāt kalāḥ
divyāneka saraḥ sarid giri varaḥ pratyagra kuñjāvalīr
divyā kāñcana ratna bhūmir api māṁ vṛndāvane’mohayat
(Vrindavan Mahimāmṛta 2.2)

“Vrindavan’s trees and vines, with their many divine and wonderful fruits and flowers, the many divine peacocks, cuckoos, parrots and other birds that sing in a way that maddens with transcendental bliss, the many divine lakes, rivers and mountains, the beautiful new arbours and the divine golden and jeweled grounds, simply enchant my mind!”

These lakes are filled with clear water that is covered with white, black, red and golden lotus flowers as well as kahlāra flowers, there are many singing waterbirds, like cakravāks, ducks, cranes, kuravas and swans, and there are swarms of sweetly-humming bumblebees, who are attracted to the fragrance of the aforementioned flowers.

Pāvan Sarovar is the most important one of these lakes. The banks of this large lake are covered with large kadamb trees that are filled with swarms of humming bees. In this lake, Sri Krishna eternally bathes and plays water sports. When they see his world-enchanting Form, all the mobile and immobile beings are enchanted. The lotus-eyed beauties of Vraj repeatedly go to Pāvan Sarovar on the pretext of fetching water, knowing that they will meet their hearts’ thief Sri Hari there.

Das Goswami says: “On the pretext of fetching water, the lotus-eyed Vrajasundarīs come again and again to Pāvan Sarovar to meet Krishna”. This love-journey is the inevitable result of passionate love. Wherever there is strong passion, a love-journey is inevitable. A love-journey to Shyam shows a great power of the heart. The heart anxiously comes running to see the desired Beloved. This is called abhisār.

The Mahājans sing: gharamāho rahata rahai nā pāro. ki korobo i sab vighini vithāra “I am staying at home, but I cannot stay there anymore. What can I do? There are so many obstalces!” Nothing – no elders, no family and no moral code – can stop the powerful course of this abhisār. The passionate love of the gopīs, which makes them want to see Krishna, forcibly drags their hearts towards Pāvan Sarovar again and again, where they run on the pretext of fetching water. Sometimes, when there are no elders around, they can enjoy sweet water sports there with Sri Krishna.

Śrīpād says: “May that Pāvan Sarovar protect me”, meaning: “May it bless me by showing me the sweet pastimes of Sri Radha and the Vrajasundarīs!”

madhupa kula jhaṅkāre, mukharita nirantare,
ye kadamba taruvara śreṇī
pāvana sarasī tīre, ghiriyāche cāri dhāre,
śuka pika bhramarera dhvani
jala-bharā chala kori, vraje yoto sukumārī,
yāya tārā sarovara tīre
gopendranandana kṛṣṇa, daraśane yārā tṛṣṇa,
jala pheli yāya bāre bāre
gurujanera agocare, kabhu jalakeli kore,
kṛṣṇa saṅge preme nimagana
duhuka sambhoga keli, sarovare sakhī mili,
kobe mora hobe daraśana

“The bank of Pāvan Sarovar is filled with rows of the most excellent Kadamb trees where swarms of bumblebees are constantly humming and parrots and cuckoos are singing. All the tender girls of Vraj go to the bank of that lake on the pretext of fetching water, being very eager to meet Krishna, the prince of cowherds. They purposely spill their water again and again just so they can keep going back to the lake. Without their elders’ knowledge, they sometimes come and play in the water with Krishna, immersed in ecstatic love. When will I see Krishna’s enjoyment with Shri Radha and Her sakhīs in that divine lake?”


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