Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Carita | Book 4 Chapter 5

Fifth Sarga

Visiting Setu-Bandha Sarovara


Having rested, Bhagavān Gaura then sang with great eagerness and open throat about Śrī Kṛṣṇa's pleasure-pastimes. Filled with the mellows of bhakti and great eagerness, tears of pure love dropped from His eyes.


From moment to moment He would inquire, "Kṛṣṇa Dāsa, tell Me - is this long night now ended? It is giving Me pain."


Kṛṣṇa Dāsa would reply, "He Nātha! Hear from me: The length and breadth of Mathurā Maṇḍala is said by learned men to be 84 krośas.


"I shall show it all to You in sequence. Dear Lord! You are famous as bhakta- vatsala, for You are very kind to Your bhaktas. If Your Grace can maintain steadiness of mind, it will bring happiness to this bhakta."


"Some distance to the north of the kuṇa, please look upon this reservoir of water named Setu-Bandha, which was personally created by Śrī Kṛṣṇa."


Hearing this with great wonder, Śrī Gaura's divine body became covered by pulakas, and He said respectfully, "O Kṛṣṇa Dāsa! Kindly tell Me the story of this lake."


Quaffing through his ears the ambrosial words of Śrī Gaura Candra, and remembering Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Dāsa smiled brightly and replied as follows:


"Śrī Hari, the chief among all rasikas, delights in tasting sweet relishable mellows in the midst of the assembly of gopikās. Once, while sporting like a young elephant within this very lake, He announced, `I am Śrī Rāma Candra, the best of the Raghu dynasty!'


"Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the crest-jewel of all charming goddesses, responded, `You are only a cow-herd's son. Indeed, You wander about tending his herds of cows. A king is the protector of truth and virtue. His task is certainly a very difficult one for others to attempt.'


"`To destroy the demon Rāvaṇa, Śrī Rāma Candra built a bridge to Laṅkā. That was certainly a very glorious achievement. Don't venture to broadcast Your own qualities and compare Yourself to Him, for You are nothing but a thief of the clothes and ornaments of young girls!'


"Then Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the master-mind of uncountable transcendental pranks and the exclusive enjoyer of mischievous rasa-imbued jests, replied to Rādhā, `I am an exquisite jewel of all sublime qualities, and this You know very well, for You are a cowherd's daughter!


"`If someone were to take the great abundance of rocks and trees from the mountains and weave them together upon the water, they could never float. Still, O source of My ecstasy! You may now witness a demonstration of the power of My host of sublime jewel-like qualities!'


"All of Rādhā's sakhīs are the topmost rasikās, and understood the inner meaning of Rādhikā's words, Enthusiastically forming a line and they brought many rocks, trees and so forth from the forest. Śrī Kṛṣṇa used these to form a bridge that floated upon the water of this kuṇḍa, and as everyone looked upon the scene, they bowed down and glorified Him with utterances of `Jaya! Jaya!'


"The pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the company of their gopī friends are imbued with the zenith of relishable rasa, always beginning with the rasa of comedy. All glories to those pleasure-pastimes, which are forever filled with the uninterrupted ever-expanding flow of Their divine prema! The topmost rasikas who hear of these pastimes and thus remember the Divine Couple simply laugh at the idea of achieving happiness through mere transcendental knowledge, and without a qualm they utterly ridicule the thought of liberation." [* words lost from original manuscript.]


Hearing this most astounding and confidential narration of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Śrī Gaura Hari became immersed in the ecstatic moods of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and He danced in joyful abandon.

Thus ends the Fifth Sarga entitled "Visiting Setu-Bandha Sarovara," in the Fourth Prakrama of the great poem Śrī Caitanya Carita.