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Gopashtami: The Cowherds’ day

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imageproxy.jpgVrindavan, 15.11.015

Gopashtami falls on 16th November this year. It is the celebration of the first time that the lad Krishna is allowed to take the cows out to graze instead of just the calves.  His Mother bathes and dresses Him and makes all sorts of auspicious arrangements so that His big day will be a success.  She decorates and cleans the floor of the house and waves lights around the boy to protect Him.  She makes sure His big brother and the other boys will be with Him and all the mothers concerned pack up delicious lunches for them to take to the forest.

Of course, for her, His actual leaving with the cows is very painful for she can not bear to let Him out of her sight even for a moment.  When He returns she attends to all His comforts and listens to all the tales of His adventures, asking every detail .Then she hugs Him and gently puts  to sleep Her boy who says that His feet hurt and that He is so hungry that He can not eat~ yet He is anxious to go off again the next morning.

These padas of the Ashta Chaap poets express the great beauty of the love of Krishna’s Mother Yashoda and of the sweet youthful reciprocation of the same - as well as the deepness of the separation she feels when He is away all day.

Raga Devagandhara

prathama gocharana ko dina aja
pratahkala utha jasoda maiyya kino kai saba gaja
gavata gita manohara bani taja gurujana ki laja
larika sakala sanga sankarsana venu bajaya rasala
age dhenu cale govinda prabhu nama dharyo gopala

Translation: Today is the first occasion on which Gopal will take the cows to graze.  Getting up early in the morning, mother Yashoda starts to make all the preparations. Many kinds of musical instruments are playing, proclaiming the occasion, while the cowherds begin to sing in sweet voices forgetting their shyness of their elders. Then, together with all the boys and His brother Balaram, leading the cows, Govindadas’s Lord begins to play a sweet melody on His flute and is known from this day on as Gopal, protector of the cows.

O, Our Sri Krishna Who lives by the Sri Govardhan Peak: we cannot live without You […chorus] Beloved young prince of Vraja. Please show us Your beautiful Face with Your sweet grin, for our eyes are squirming like a fish without water and a single second passes as slowly as an aeon. [1]

The Vraja Lad plays His flute in a scale of seven notes. He ties those lovely notes in with tones of loving mood and the song is very very sweet. [2]

This Sri Krishna, Who appreciates the fine mood of Pure Love, climbs up on the Sri Giriraji Peak and calls out loudly to the cows with a very sweet voice full of affection.. "Come Gaanga,come here Dhumari!" [3]

"O, my Lord, since the day I first saw You nothing else interests me. I cannot sleep at night and I have forgotten all about eating and drinking." [4]

"O, Sweet Lad! my eyes burn for a chance to see You and my ears long to hear Yur voice. My heart craves to meet You, for You are my very life and breath." [5]

"My sweet Love, when I see Your Full-Moon– like Face my heart and soul are pulled towards it just as the lily and the chakora bird respectfully wait to taste the Nectar of Your Form. [6]"

"O, Dear Krishna, my mind wishes to keep You within my eyes. I wish to continuously and without any interruption behold Your Gorgeous Form as the Supreme Dancer." [7]

"Dear Lad,I have given up caring about how the world or my family will judge me. My love for You grows as a lotus bud in the sun." [8]

"Millions of Cupids surrender to Your cheeky way of walking! And Your large Lotus-eyes have captured the heart of the young Ladies of Vraja." [9]

"O, enchanting Krishna, Protector of the cows and Ocean of Joy! You play in the forest bowers. I am  the sweet fragrant Malati flower in Sri Vrindavan and You are the King Bee looking for enjoyment!." [10]

"Darling Boy, I sing this over and over again like the calling of the Chataka bird or the peacock. Please, You are the Son of Nanda, like a fresh new cloud, please shower me with the rain of Your love!." [11]

"Please let me enjoy this joyous residence near You on the Sri Govardhan Mountain for ever and ever." The poet Chaturabhjadas bows down in surrender to the Beautiful Sri Krishna, Upholder of the Sri Giriraji Mountain. [12]    ||82||

 

Raga Purvi

age gaya pachem gaya ita gaya uta gaya
govinda ko gayana maim vasavoi bhavai
gayan ke sanga dhave gayana mem sacuvave
gayana ki khura renu anga lapatavai

gayana som vrajachavo vaikunthahu visarayo
gayana ke heta kara giri le uthavai
chita svami giradhari vitthalesa vapudhari
gvariya ko bhekha dharem gayana mem avai

There are cows in front of Him, cows behind Him and cows here and there. Sri Krishna the Protector of the cows loves to be surrounded by them. He runs with them and gains great pleasure thereby; He even rubs the dust of their hooves on His body. He has filled His Land of Vraja with so many cows that even Vaikuntha is forgotten. It was for the sake of the cows that He held up the Sri Giriraji Mountain. The poet Chitasavami, believing Sri Krishna the Upholder of the Govardhan Hill and Sri Vitthaleshji to be one, says "Look at the Lord; He is dressed as a cowherd boy and is returning to Vraja with the cows." ||83||

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