Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 4 Chapter 11

Eleventh Sarga

Hearing Śrī Kṛṣṇa's Pastimes
Beginning with the Arrival of Akrūra


Kṛṣṇa Dāsa continued, "Thus the Lord enjoys His eternal pastimes (nitya-līlā) in the lands of Vraja. Now I will describe some of His occasional pastimes (prakaṭa- līlā) that are manifest only in the material world. Kindly hear further as they are narrated.


"Being sent from Mathurā by Kasa, Akrūra travelled by chariot on the road to Śrī Vṛndāvana. Along the way, he constantly remembered Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, feeling most eager to see Them.


"This is the very spot where many thoughts crowded Akrura's mind, where tears of love fell from his eyes, and the hairs of his body thrilled with ecstasy as he saw Rāma and Kṛṣṇa's blessed footprints and the divine signs of Their lotus feet.


"Finally seeing Rāma and Keśava, Akrūra rose from the chariot, fell like a rod upon the earth, and took the dust of Vraja on his head.


"Akrūra was honoured by Them and was led with great respect to Their own home, where the great soul Nanda Mahārāja also offered him a worshipful welcome as an honoured guest, presenting him with palatable food, drink and other pleasing articles.


"When Mahārāja Nanda along with Rāma and Kṛṣṇa heard of King Kasa's wish, he called an assembly of all the cowherds to prepare for the journey to Mathurā.


"When Yaśodā Mātā heard this news, she gazed upon Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, who bestow supreme happiness, with consummate maternal affection. Then taking Their hands, she embraced Them and spoke with urgency to Śrī Hari:


"`Are You two now abandoning me, desiring to go to Mathurā? If I do not see Your lotus faces, how can I continue to live?'


"They replied, `It is not so! No! Not so! Mātā, you must understand that We two always stay at your breast. This is the truth! Yes, the truth! Have no doubt of this!'


"Hearing these words, Yaśodā was overcome by love and kissed the faces of the two boys. Then she composed herself, thinking happily that Rāma and Kṛṣṇa were always embracing her.


"Then, even while she was thinking in that way, Yaśodā suddenly felt utterly helpless, and her heart burned intensely with grief. Feeling that all the worlds had now become devoid of life, she inquired of her female servants, `Who is this messenger of the king come from afar to the door of Nanda? Appearing like Yama- rāja, he is now choking the life-breath of all the people of Vraja!'


"After hearing that Kṛṣṇa was leaving, all the women of Vraja, whose every endeavour was dedicated to Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, exhibited through various ecstatic emotions the auspicious symptoms of divine madness.


"All the while, these young ladies of Vraja, whose eyebrows were very eloquent, glanced charmingly upon their respective Lords, and their hearts became unsteady out of love.


"Just by seeing Him, Kṛṣṇa's lovers became completely filled with great bliss. How can their glorious symptoms of prema ever be completely described?


"To all the leaders of the respective groups of gopīs, maidens whose personalities epitomized unalloyed love, Rāma and Kṛṣṇa offered words of comfort, saying, `Soon, I shall return.' Showing submissiveness, They took the gopīs' hands in Their hands, and taking pleasure in their company, They kissed and embraced them.


"Then together with Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, who were the sole source of happiness for the residents of Vraja, Akrūra crossed the Mānasa Gaṅgā lake and went from Vraja- pura toward the city of Mathurā.


"After travelling some distance, Akrūra stopped and entered the Yamunā to take bath, and he saw that Rāma and Janārdana were both seated on the chariot. But within the water he saw Them again in supremely opulent forms, and he bowed down to Them in great wonder. Then he travelled with Them to Mathurā, all the while hearing many varieties of topics from Them.


"Having slain the washerman named Sudurmukha, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma appropriated heaps of his cloth and took it to the home of Sudāmā, the garland- maker.


"Then Sudāmā prepared attire from the cloth for the two brothers and for Their company. Thereafter Kubjā, the hunchback woman, decorated Their bodies with the pulp of sandalwood.


"After transforming Kubjā into a woman filled with exquisite beauty, the Lord broke the sacrificial bow. Then Mādhava went with Rāma to the cart of His family and was fed by His mother.


"That night, Hari and Rāma, who cherish Their devotees, lay at Nanda Rāja's bosom, and cherished by him They slept happily."


Hearing these narrations of the deeds of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Śrī Gaurāṅga perceived and experienced each of Their pastimes as it occurred, and thus He became immersed in that particular rasa. Kṛṣṇa Dāsa was mystified to behold this.

Thus ends the Eleventh Sarga entitled "Hearing Śrī Kṛṣṇa's Pastimes After the Arrival of Akrūra," in the Fourth Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.