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Vraja Vilasa 77: Krishna Vedi where the Dana-lila takes place

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ghaṭṭa-krīḍā-kutukita manā nāgarendro navīno
dānī bhūtvā madana-nṛpater gavya-dāna-cchalena
yatra prātaḥ sakhibhir abhito veṣṭitaḥ saṁrurodha
śrī-gāndharvāṁ nija-gaṇa-vṛtāṁ naumi tāṁ kṛṣṇa-vedīm

I offer my obeisances unto the Krishna-vedī, the place where the youthful amorous hero Sri Krishna, surrounded by his friends, became a toll-collector for King Cupid one morning and jubilantly played the dāna-pastime by obstructing Sri Gāndharvikā and her girlfriends on the pretext of collecting tax from them on their dairy products.


Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises the Krishna-vedī, the place at the Dāna-ghāṭī of Govardhana hill.

It was here that the crown-jewel of amorous heroes Sri Krishna had a lot of fun by dressingHimself wonderfully as a toll-collector and stopping Sri Radharani and her girlfriends on the road on the pretext of collecting tax from them. For the welfare of Sri Krishna-Baladeva Vasudeva had engaged Bhāgurī Rṣi to commence a great sacrifice near Govinda Kund, at the base of Govardhana hill. It was announced all over Vraja that any gopī who would personally take a jug of ghee on her head and donate it to the sacrifice would certainly have all of her desires fulfilled.

Sri Radharani and her girlfriends took golden jugs with fresh and fragrant ghī on their heads and headed towards Govardhana. Hearing this news from a parrot, Sri Krishna and his dearmost friends went to the peak of Govardhana hill and erected a peerless Dāna Ghāṭī (toll-station) there on a large platform called Śyāma Vedī.

jñatvā tāsāṁ gamanam aciraṁ kīra-varyasya vaktrād
smitvā narma priya sakhagaṇair āvṛtaḥ sāvadhānaḥ
śailendrasyopari parilasann udbhaṭa śyāmavedyāṁ
ghaṭṭīpaṭṭaṁ vidadhad atulaṁ ballabādhīśa sūnuḥ

Seeing Sri Radha walking with the charming gait of a swan, decorated with different garments and ornaments, holding a golden jug with ghī on her head, and being surrounded by her girlfriends, Śyāmasundara became enchanted and thought:

phulla campaka vallikāvalir iyaṁ kiṁ no na sā jaṅgamā
kiṁ vidyul latikā-tatir nahi ghane sa khe kṣaṇa dyotinī
kiṁ jyotir laharī sarin nahi na sā mūrtiṁ vahet tad dhruvaṁ
jñātaṁ jñātam asau sakhīkula vṛtā rādhā sphuṭaṁ prāñcati

Is this a blooming Campaka vine? No, because that does not move! Then is it a lightning strike? No, that also not, because the lightning rests in a cloud in the sky! Then is it a riverstream of effulgence? No, that is also not possible, because that has no form! Then I know for sure that it is Radha coming this way, surrounded by her girlfriends!”

Seeing Sri Krishna, premamayī Sri Radha was also astonished and told her girlfriends –

kiṁ navyāmbuda eṣa bhavya-vadanāḥ kiṁ nīla ratnāṅkuraḥ
kiṁ nīlotpala navya mūrtir api kiṁ kastūrikā vibhramaḥ
āsteṣv eṣa na ko’pi hanta yad ayaṁ nastāpaye nirbharaṁ
tasmād gokulacandra eva bhavitā śyāmo’dbhuta kṣmādhare

O fair-faced girlfriends! Is this a fresh raincloud, a fresh sprout of sapphire, a new kind of blue lotus or a musk perfume? No, it is none of these things, because they do not give us so much pain! It must be wonderful Śyāma, the moon of Gokula, there on the hill! (Dāna-keli-cintāmaṇi, 18-20)

Seeing Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, who was overwhelmed by mindstealing feelings of ecstasy, walked on slowly with her girlfriends. Then suddenly Subala came running up to them, stood before them and loudly exclaimed: “O hey you milkmaids! Why are you avoiding this toll-station? Come here and pay your dues!” The proud girls on the road proudly shrugged their shoulders and walked on without even blinking an eye in his direction. At each and every step Srimati extended a net of very powerful influence over Śyāma Nāgara’s mind. Nāgara was enchanted by the sounds of her ornaments! As if bewitched by a mantra, the enchanting toll-collector came running – flute in his hand, a smile on his face, casting sidelong glances. Obstructing the way for Srimati our hero stood there and said: “Pay me my toll!” How beautiful Svāminī looked! How wonderfully she manifested her kilakiñcita-bhāva!

antaḥ smeratayojjvalā jalakaṇā vyākīrṇa pakṣmāṅkurā
kiñcit pāṭalitāñcalā rasikatotsiktā puraḥ kuñcati
ruddhāyāḥ pathi mādhavena madhura vyābhugnatārottarā
rādhāyāḥ kila kiñcita stavakinī dṛṣṭiḥ śriyaṁ vaḥ kriyāt

When Sri Radha is obstructed by Sri Krishna on the road to the Dāna Ghāṭī her glance attains some brightness because of her slight smile, which is caused by her inner joy, her eyelashes are studded with teardrops, the corners of her eyes look ruddy, her glances are sprinkled with lusciousness, but become crooked when she faces Sri Krishna, and the pupils of her eyes are crooked in a sweet mood and thus carry an extraordinary beauty. May this kilakiñcita-bhāva in Sri Radha’s eyes, which is like a bouquet of flowers, bestow all auspiciousness on you! (Dāna-keli-kaumudī, 1)

kila-kiñcita-bhāva bhūṣāra śuno vivaraṇa; ye bhūṣāya bhūṣita rādhā hare kṛṣṇa-mana
rādhā dekhi kṛṣṇa yadi chuite kore mana; dāna-ghāṭī pathe yabe varjena gamana
yabe āsi mānā kore puṣpa uṭhāite; sakhī āge cāhe yadi aṅge hasta dite
ei sab sthane ‘kila kiñcita’ udgama; prathamei harṣa sañcārī mūla kāraṇa
āra sāta bhāva āsi sahaje milaya; aṣṭa bhāva sammilane mahābhāva hoy
garva, abhilāṣa, bhaya, śuṣka rudita; krodha asūyā saha āra manda smita
nānā svādu aṣṭabhāve ekatra milana; yāhāra āsvāde tṛpta hoy kṛṣṇa mana
dadhi khaṇḍa ghṛta madhu marica karpūra; elāci milane yaiche ‘rasālā’ madhura
ei bhāva yukta dekhi rādhāsya nayana; saṅgama hoite sukha pāya koṭi guṇa

Listen to the description of the emotional ornamentation named kilakiñcita-bhāva. When Sri Radha is decorated with these ornaments she steals Krishna’s heart. When Krishna sees Radha and wants to touch her he goes to the Dāna Ghāṭī and tries to stop her there on the road, and when she comes to pick flowers Krishna tries to lay his hands on her in front of her girlfriends. At all these places the kila kiñcita bhāva awakens in her, starting with joy, which is the primal cause of infused emotions (sañcārī bhāvas).

The other seven ecstasies naturally meet with the first one, and when all the eight ecstasies are found together we have mahābhāva. When these eight different delectable ecstasies, like pride, desire, fear, dry weeping, anger, envy and mild smiling come together, the relish satisfies Krishna’s mind. It is as sweet as Rasālā, which contains yoghurt, rock candy, ghī, honey, black pepper, camphor and cardamom. When Krishna sees Sri Radha’s face and eyes endowed with these feelings it makes him millions of times happier than when he directly unites with her. (CC 2.14.169-174)

Because he hankers for the indescribably sweet relish of Sri Radha’s emotional displays like kilakiñcita Sri Krishna initiates humorous pastimes like the Dāna-līlā. Śyāmasundara speaks with the sakhīs, while Svāminī remains silent. The sakhīs say: “We never heard of a toll station near Govardhana hill before!” Śyāma says: “How amazing! They have never heard yet of the king of toll-collectors named Madana (Cupid)! Don’t speak like that again! If King Madana hears it you will have to suffer a great royal punishment!” How many hundreds of memories are awakened of the wonderful erotic flavours of laughing and joking of the enchanting tollcollector with Sri Gāndharvikā and her girlfriends, when seeing Krishna Vedī in this way. Das Goswami says: “I offer my obeisances unto this Krishna Vedī.”

rasikendra cūḍāmaṇi,hoiyā yethā mahādānī,
dāna līlāya kutukita manā.
prātaḥ kāle sakhā saṅge,dāna māge mahāraṅge,
yathā rādhā saṅge vrajāṅganā
madana rājera ājñāte,dāna dāo e ghāṭete,
loiyā yāo dadhi, ghṛta yoto.
eto boli nāgarendra,hāsya kori mṛdu manda,
avarodha koilo gopī patha.
vandi ‘kṛṣṇa vedī’ seho,yathā kṛṣṇa sakhā saha,
nitya raṅge korena vihāra
śrī rādhikā sakhī saṅge,kobe sethā yābe raṅge,
heno dina ki hoibe āmāya?

I praise the Krishna-Vedī, where the crownjewel of relishers becomes a great taxcollector, eagerly desiring to play the Dāna-līlā, and where he always comes in the morning with his friends and has great fun in levying tax from Radha and the Vraja-gopīs. Slightly smiling and saying “Pay me tax of all your yoghurt and ghī on the order of King Cupid, here at this toll-station!”, Nāgarendra stopped the gopīs on the road. When will the day be mine when I can go there with Sri Radhika and her sakhīs?

 

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