Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 19
Swallowing the Forest Fire
svairaṁ carantyo viviśus
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; krīḍā — in their playing; āsakteṣu — while they were completely absorbed; gopeṣu — the cowherd boys; tat-gāvaḥ — their cows; dūra-cāriṇīḥ — wandering far away; svairam — independently; carantyaḥ — grazing; viviśuḥ — they entered; tṛṇa — for grass; lobhena — out of greed; gahvaram — a dense forest.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: While the cowherd boys were completely absorbed in playing, their cows wandered far away. They hungered for more grass, and with no one to watch them they entered a dense forest.
ajā gāvo mahiṣyaś ca
nirviśantyo vanād vanam
ajāḥ — the goats; gāvaḥ — the cows; mahiṣyaḥ — the buffalo; ca — and; nirviśantyaḥ — entering; vanāt — from one forest; vanam — to another forest; īṣīkā-aṭavīm — a forest of canes; nirviviśuḥ — they entered; krandantyaḥ — crying out; dāva — because of a forest fire; tarṣitāḥ — thirsty.
Passing from one part of the great forest to another, the goats, cows and buffalo eventually entered an area overgrown with sharp canes. The heat of a nearby forest fire made them thirsty, and they cried out in distress.
te ’paśyantaḥ paśūn gopāḥ
jātānutāpā na vidur
vicinvanto gavāṁ gatim
te — they; apaśyantaḥ — not seeing; paśūn — the animals; gopāḥ — the cowherd boys; kṛṣṇa-rāma-ādayaḥ — led by Kṛṣṇa and Rāma; tadā — then; jāta-anutāpāḥ — feeling remorse; na viduḥ — they did not know; vicinvantaḥ — searching out; gavām — of the cows; gatim — the path.
Not seeing the cows before them, Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Their cowherd friends suddenly felt repentant for having neglected them. The boys searched all around, but could not discover where they had gone.
goṣ-padair aṅkitair gavām
mārgam anvagaman sarve
tṛṇaiḥ — by the blades of grass; tat — of those cows; khura — by the hooves; dat — and the teeth; chinnaiḥ — which were broken; goḥ-padaiḥ — with the hoofprints; aṅkitaiḥ — (by places in the ground) which were marked; gavām — of the cows; mārgam — the path; anvagaman — they followed; sarve — all of them; naṣṭa-ājīvyāḥ — having lost their livelihood; vicetasaḥ — in anxiety.
Then the boys began tracing out the cows’ path by noting their hoofprints and the blades of grass the cows had broken with their hooves and teeth. All the cowherd boys were in great anxiety because they had lost their source of livelihood.
samprāpya tṛṣitāḥ śrāntās
tatas te sannyavartayan
muñjā-aṭavyām — in the Muñjā forest; bhraṣṭa-mārgam — who had lost their way; krandamānam — crying; sva — their own; go-dhanam — cows (and other animals); samprāpya — finding; tṛṣitāḥ — who were thirsty; śrāntāḥ — and tired; tataḥ — then; te — they, the cowherd boys; sannyavartayan — turned them all back.
Within the Muñjā forest the cowherd boys finally found their valuable cows, who had lost their way and were crying. Then the boys, thirsty and tired, herded the cows onto the path back home.
tā āhūtā bhagavatā
sva-nāmnāṁ ninadaṁ śrutvā
tāḥ — they; āhūtāḥ — called; bhagavatā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; megha-gambhīrayā — as deep as a cloud; girā — with His voice; sva-nāmnām — of their own names; ninadam — the sound; śrutvā — hearing; pratineduḥ — they replied; praharṣitāḥ — greatly enlivened.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead called out to the animals in a voice that resounded like a rumbling cloud. Hearing the sound of their own names, the cows were overjoyed and called out to the Lord in reply.
tataḥ samantād dava-dhūmaketur
yadṛcchayābhūt kṣaya-kṛd vanaukasām
vilelihānaḥ sthira-jaṅgamān mahān
tataḥ — then; samantāt — on all sides; dava-dhūmaketuḥ — a terrible forest fire; yadṛcchayā — suddenly; abhūt — appeared; kṣaya-kṛt — threatening destruction; vana-okasām — for all those present in the forest; samīritaḥ — driven; sārathinā — by its chariot driver, the wind; ulbaṇa — terrible; ulmukaiḥ — with meteorlike sparks; vilelihānaḥ — licking; sthira-jaṅgamān — all moving and nonmoving creatures; mahān — very great.
Suddenly a great forest fire appeared on all sides, threatening to destroy all the forest creatures. Like a chariot driver, the wind swept the fire onward, and terrible sparks shot in all directions. Indeed, the great fire extended its tongues of flame toward all moving and nonmoving creatures.
tam āpatantaṁ parito davāgniṁ
gopāś ca gāvaḥ prasamīkṣya bhītāḥ
ūcuś ca kṛṣṇaṁ sa-balaṁ prapannā
yathā hariṁ mṛtyu-bhayārditā janāḥ
tam — that; āpatantam — setting upon them; paritaḥ — on all sides; dava-agnim — the forest fire; gopāḥ — the cowherd boys; ca — and; gāvaḥ — the cows; prasamīkṣya — intensely watching; bhītāḥ — afraid; ūcuḥ — they addressed; ca — and; kṛṣṇam — Lord Kṛṣṇa; sa-balam — and Lord Balarāma; prapannāḥ — taking shelter; yathā — as; harim — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mṛtyu — of death; bhaya — by fear; arditāḥ — troubled; janāḥ — persons.
As the cows and cowherd boys stared at the forest fire attacking them on all sides, they became fearful. The boys then approached Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma for shelter, just as those who are disturbed by fear of death approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The boys addressed Them as follows.
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahā-vīra
he rāmāmogha vikrama
prapannāṁs trātum arhathaḥ
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa; mahā-vīra — O most powerful one; he rāma — O Rāma; amogha-vikrama — You whose prowess is never thwarted; dāva-agninā — by the forest fire; dahyamānān — who are being burned; prapannān — who are surrendered; trātum arhathaḥ — please save.
[The cowherd boys said:] O Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Most powerful one! O Rāma! You whose prowess never fails! Please save Your devotees, who are about to be burned by this forest fire and have come to take shelter of You!
nūnaṁ tvad-bāndhavāḥ kṛṣṇa
na cārhanty avasāditum
vayaṁ hi sarva-dharma-jña
nūnam — certainly; tvat — Your; bāndhavāḥ — friends; kṛṣṇa — our dear Śrī Kṛṣṇa; na — never; ca — and; arhanti — deserve; avasāditum — to suffer destruction; vayam — we; hi — moreover; sarva-dharma-jña — O perfect knower of the nature of all beings; tvat-nāthāḥ — having You as our Lord; tvat-parāyaṇaḥ — devoted to You.
Kṛṣṇa! Certainly Your own friends shouldn’t be destroyed. O knower of the nature of all things, we have accepted You as our Lord, and we are souls surrendered unto You!
vaco niśamya kṛpaṇaṁ
bandhūnāṁ bhagavān hariḥ
nimīlayata mā bhaiṣṭa
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; vacaḥ — the words; niśamya — hearing; kṛpaṇam — pitiful; bandhūnām — of His friends; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ — Hari; nimīlayata — just close; mā bhaiṣṭa — do not be afraid; locanāni — your eyes; iti — thus; abhāṣata — He spoke.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Hearing these pitiful words from His friends, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa told them, “Just close your eyes and do not be afraid.”
bhagavān agnim ulbaṇam
pītvā mukhena tān kṛcchrād
tathā — all right; iti — thus speaking; mīlita — closing; akṣeṣu — their eyes; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; agnim — the fire; ulbaṇam — terrible; pītvā — drinking; mukhena — with His mouth; tān — them; kṛcchrāt — from the danger; yoga-adhīśaḥ — the supreme controller of all mystic power; vyamocayat — delivered.
“All right,” the boys replied, and immediately closed their eyes. Then the Supreme Lord, the master of all mystic power, opened His mouth and swallowed the terrible fire, saving His friends from danger.
tataś ca te ’kṣīṇy unmīlya
punar bhāṇḍīram āpitāḥ
niśamya vismitā āsann
ātmānaṁ gāś ca mocitāḥ
tataḥ — then; ca — and; te — they; akṣīṇi — their eyes; unmīlya — opening; punaḥ — again; bhāṇḍīram — to Bhāṇḍīra; āpitāḥ — brought; niśamya — seeing; vismitāḥ — amazed; āsan — they became; ātmānam — themselves; gāḥ — the cows; ca — and; mocitāḥ — saved.
The cowherd boys opened their eyes and were amazed to find not only that they and the cows had been saved from the terrible fire but that they had all been brought back to the Bhāṇḍīra tree.
kṛṣṇasya yoga-vīryaṁ tad
dāvāgner ātmanaḥ kṣemaṁ
vīkṣya te menire ’maram
kṛṣṇasya — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; yoga-vīryam — the mystic power; tat — that; yoga-māyā — by His internal power of illusion; anubhāvitam — effected; dāva-agneḥ — from the forest fire; ātmanaḥ — of themselves; kṣemam — the deliverance; vīkṣya — seeing; te — they; menire — thought; amaram — a demigod.
When the cowherd boys saw that they had been saved from the forest fire by the Lord’s mystic power, which is manifested by His internal potency, they began to think that Kṛṣṇa must be a demigod.
gāḥ sannivartya sāyāhne
veṇuṁ viraṇayan goṣṭham
agād gopair abhiṣṭutaḥ
gāḥ — the cows; sannivartya — turning back; sāya-ahne — in the late afternoon; saha-rāmaḥ — together with Lord Balarāma; janārdanaḥ — Śrī Kṛṣṇa; veṇum — His flute; viraṇayan — playing in a specific way; goṣṭham — to the cowherd village; agāt — He went; gopaiḥ — by the cowherd boys; abhiṣṭutaḥ — being praised.
It was now late in the afternoon, and Lord Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by Balarāma, turned the cows back toward home. Playing His flute in a special way, Kṛṣṇa returned to the cowherd village in the company of His cowherd friends, who chanted His glories.
kṣaṇaṁ yuga-śatam iva
yāsāṁ yena vinābhavat
gopīnām — for the young cowherd girls; parama-ānandaḥ — the greatest happiness; āsīt — arose; govinda-darśane — in seeing Govinda; kṣaṇam — a moment; yuga-śatam — a hundred millenniums; iva — just as; yāsām — for whom; yena — whom (Kṛṣṇa); vinā — without; abhavat — became.
The young gopīs took the greatest pleasure in seeing Govinda come home, since for them even a moment without His association seemed like a hundred ages.