Chapter 5: Krishna's Birth Ceremony and the Meeting of Nanda Mahârâja and Vasudeva
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 3:32 AM
    Chapter 5: Krishna's Birth Ceremony and the Meeting of Nanda Mahârâja and Vasudeva


    (1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nanda was a man of great devotion. Overjoyed that a son had been born, he invited the scholars conversant with the Veda, cleansed himself with a bath and dressed himself up. In order to celebrate the birth [with a jâtakarma ceremony*] as was prescribed he took care that the mantras were chanted and also arranged for the worship of the forefathers and demigods. (3) To the brahmins he donated countless fully decorated milk cows and seven mountains of sesame seed, masses of jewels and gold-embroidered cloth. (4) Material things are purified by time, by washing and bathing, by rituals, by penance, by worship, by charity and by contentment, but the soul is purified by self-realization. (5) The scholars, the storytellers, the reciters and the singers uttered words that purified everyone and everything, while the bherîs and dundubhis [drums] sounded constantly. (6) All of Vraja was swept, the doorsteps, the courtyards and the interiors were sprinkled with water and a variety of festoons and flags decorated gates that were made with garlands, pieces of cloth and mango leaves. (7) The cows, bulls and calves were smeared with turmeric oil and decorated with a variety of mineral colors, peacock feathers, cloth, golden ornaments and flowers. (8) Oh King, the cowherds [the gopas] gathering there carried all kinds of gifts and were dressed in the most precious garments with costly ornaments, coats and turbans. (9) The cowherd wives [the gopîs] were also glad to hear that mother Yas'odâ had given birth to a boy and personally gave their best by appearing in festive dresses with eye make-up and wearing jewelry and such. (10) With their lotus like faces most beautifully decorated with saffron and fresh kunkuma, they with offerings in their hands hurried hither with swaying bosoms and hips. (11) The gopîs wore brilliantly polished jeweled earrings, strings of golden coins around their necks and colorfully embroidered clothes. It was a feast to the eye to see them with their swinging bangles, earrings, breasts and garlands thus being dressed going to Nanda's house while a shower of flowers fell from their hair. (12) They all for a long time pronounced blessings for the newborn one like 'pâhi' ['be protected'] and sprinkled the Unborn Lord with turmeric oil while saying prayers(13) With Krishna, the Unlimited Controller of the Entire Universe, arriving in Nanda's cow community, many different musical instruments vibrated in a great festival. (14) The gopas rejoicing threw curds, milk and buttermilk at each other and smeared with butter. (15-16) In order to offer his child the best prospects and to satisfy Lord Vishnu, Nanda, that noble soul, warm-heartedly honored the gopas, the storytellers, the reciters, the singers and all those who found their livelihood by their education, with whatever they could wish for and could use as for clothes, ornaments and cows [see also 7.14: 17]. (17) The greatly fortunate Rohinî [the mother of Baladeva, see 10.2: 7] was congratulated by Nanda and Yas'odâ and she also, beautifully dressed and adorned with a garland and a necklace, moved around busily [being engaged in receiving guests]. (18) Oh King, from that time on the cow lands of Nanda became opulent with all riches, for they, now being the residence of the Lord, were by His transcendental qualities transformed into a place for the pastimes of Ramâ [the Goddess of Fortune, see 8.8: 8].

    (19) Nanda thereafter entrusted the protection of Gokula [the cow village] to his cowherd men and went to Mathurâ to pay Kamsa the yearly taxes over his profit oh best of the Kuru dynasty. (20) Vasudeva who heard that his [younger step-]brother Nanda [**] had arrived [in the city] - as it turned out to pay his tribute to the king -  thereupon went to his camp. (21) When Nanda all of a sudden saw him before his eyes, he very pleased rose to his feet as if his body had found a new life. Overwhelmed by love and affection he embraced his dear friend. (22) Welcoming him with all regards, he assigned him a seat and informed about his health. Vasudeva, attached as he was, then asked about his two sons, saying the following oh ruler over the world. (23) 'Dear brother Nanda, advanced in age and having no son, you were desperately longing for one. What a great fortune now to have gotten a son! (24) What a great fortune also to see you here today, it is like a rebirth. Despite of being around in this world of birth and death, it is so very hard to meet again your loved ones! (25) Like things that afloat in a river are carried away by the force of the waves, we, intimately living together, do not stay [together] in one place because our karmic ways are diverging. (26) Is everything alright with your cow business? Is there enough water, grass, plants and such in the great forest where you are living now with your friends? (27) Oh brother, does my son who with His mother lives in your house, consider you His father and is He a sweet boy under your loving care? (28) A person's three goals of life as described in the Vedic literatures [the regulation of one's lusts, income and rituals], find their consequence and belief when one is together. But that is not so when that togetherness has become difficult, then they lose their meaning.'

    (29) S'rî Nanda said: 'Kamsa killed, alas, the many sons you had with Devakî and also the one remaining child, the youngest, a daughter went to heaven. (30) Fate determines the end of all things, providence is elevated above every living being and the unseen is the ultimate truth of all souls. He who knows this will never get bewildered.'

    (31) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'Now that you have paid the king his yearly taxes and we have met, the both of us should not spend more days in this place. Something might have happened in Gokula!'

    (32) S'rî S'uka said: 'After that advise of Vasudeva Nanda and the gopas excused themselves, yoked their oxen to their bullock carts and then left for Gokula.'