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The Excellences of Hari XXI

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blog-0902495001417739591.jpgNow Krishna came down to the river’s brink,

So that the cows might of the water drink,

A where they found a cool pellucid rill,

Krishna and his dear friends all drank their fill.

Thereafter, as they strayed far from the track,

The rage of hunger did the boys attack;

With plaintive tones they sought the brothers twain,

“O Rama, you who mighty demons tame!

O Krishna, you who foul monsters destroy!

The pangs of hunger gives us much annoy;

Dear lord, we are your friends and devotees,

Wherefore it does behoove you to appease

Our appetite, O you of lotus eyes.”

To his dear friends Govinda thus replies,

For food and drink to save their weary lives,

And musing how to bless some brahmans’ wives;

“Not far from here, dear friends, there is a place,

Where pious brahmans offer sacrifice.

Go there to them, and stand with folded palms,

And in my brother’s name, and mine, beg alms.”

So by Krishna’s direction they were sent,

And to the sacrificial campus went,

And said, “Hail noble brahmans of high birth,

We bow to you, who are like gods on earth;

Know us to be cowherders come to you,

Rama and Krishna’s orders to ensue.

Herding the kine, we have from home come far,

And now we are afflicted with hunger,

And pray you, if it be both right and good,

You give to us some portion of your food.”

The sacerdotal priests their pride display,

And heeding naught, said neither yea or nay.

The boys were disappointed and depressed,

Their steps back to Krishna presence addressed.

Where Krishna told them to approach once more,

But this time of their wives for food implore,

“When you unto those chaste wives shall proclaim,

My elder brother’s, and my own good name,

Those pious ladies, who hold me most dear,

Since they my deeds are always wont to hear,

Accordingly will give, as you desire,

Whatever rice and dainties you require.”

Thus, by his rede, they understood the gist,

That sometimes a poor beggar must persist.

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