Chapter 22: Krishna Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopîs
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 2:50 AM

    Chapter 22: Krishna Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopîs

    (1)  S'rî S'uka said: 'During the first month of the winter season [hemanta: Nov./Jan.] observed the unmarried girls of Nanda's Vraja subsisting on unspiced khichrî [a mix of rice and lentils] a vow of worshiping the goddess Kâtyâyanî. (2-3) Rising at dawn bathing in the water of the Yamunâ made they of clay a deity of the goddess to be, opulently as well as simply, of worship, o ruler of men, with sandalwood pulp, fragrant garlands, gifts [of food, clothes etc.], incense and lamps and with presentations of fresh leaves, fruits and bethel nuts. (4) The young girls performed worship chanting a mantra with the words: 'O Kâtyâyanî, our obeisances unto you, o great power, greatest yoginî, o supreme control, please make the son of Nanda the gopa my husband!' [*] (5) In this manner executed the girls for an entire month their vow before Bhadrakâlî being of proper worship with 'May He, Nanda's son become my husband'. (6) Every day, at the break of dawn calling for one another, held they each other's hands singing loudly in their honoring of Krishna while going to the Kâlindî to bathe. (7) One day arriving at the river singing about Krishna, they as usual left their clothes on the shore and enjoyed sporting in the water.
    (8) Krishna, the Supreme Lord, as the Master of all masters of yoga understanding their intention, went there surrounded by companions to assure the girls the result of their activities. (9) Snatching their clothes away He climbed quickly up a Kadamba tree laughing together with the boys making fun saying: (10) 'Come here, o girls, and please take each your own garment as you desire, I'm seriously not joking, since you must be tired of the vow. (11) I've definitely never practiced any lie, that all these boys do know; thus, o slender girls, be sure to make your pick either one by one or all together.'

    (12) With that prank of His saw He how the gopîs, steeped in love for Him, had to laugh looking at one another but being embarrassed they did not come out of the water. (13) Govinda speaking thus had with his joking caught the minds of them who, up to their necks shivering in the cold water, said to Him: (14) 'O You, don't be unfair, act like the one You can also be, as the beloved son of gopa Nanda we know, o dearest, as the one renown throughout Vraja; please give us our garments, we're cold. (15) O S'yâmasundara ['beautiful dark one'] we, Your maidservants will do whatever You tell us to, please return our clothes, o knower of the dharma, or mind, otherwise we'll tell the king about it!'

    (16) The Supreme Lord said: 'If you're My servants mustn't you then do what I told you and with your innocent smiles come out of the water to pick out your garments; I won't give them if you don't, and with the king angry, what can he do about it?' (17) Then came all the girls shivering, pained by the cold, forward from the water, covering their pubic area with their hands. (18) The Supreme Lord seeing them beaten put satisfied about the purity of their love their garments over His shoulder and said with a loving smile: (19) 'Because you, performing a vedic sacrifice, were naked bathing in the water, have you offended Varuna and the other gods; to counteract this sin you must pay your obeisances with your palms joined together over your heads and then take your garments back.'

    (20) With this what the Infallible Lord indicated considered the Vraja girls their skinny-dipping a fall from their vow and intent on successfully completing that vow, as well as an endless number of likewise pious activities, offered they their obeisances unto the directly before them visible result in the form of the Purifier of All Sins. (21) The Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, satisfied to see them bowing down then, being compassionate upon that act, gave them back the garments. (22) Despite of indeed seriously being cheated, denied in their shame, laughed at and made to act like puppets on a string with their clothes being stolen, felt they, joyful to have the association with their beloved, nevertheless no enmity towards Him. (23) Having put on their garments were they, smitten by the association with their beloved, with their minds seized truly unable to move and glanced they upon Him full of shyness. (24) Understanding them as being decided upon the vow with the desire to touch the Supreme Lord His own feet, spoke Dâmodara to the girls: (25) 'O pious ones, understanding your motivation to worship Me do I approve of that as being true and must it come to pass. (26) Of those whose consciousness is fully absorbed in Me does the desire not lead to material lust, the way roasted and cooked grains are not capable of causing new growth [see also e.g. 1.6: 35, 3.15: 20, 7.7: 51-52]. (27) Now go, dear girls, to Vraja; having achieved your desire, will you together with Me one of these nights enjoy in a way that is pure, for you delivered the evidence of this vow by your performance of worship for the goddess.'

    (28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being instructed by the Supreme Lord meditated the young girls with their desire fulfilled, upon His lotus feet, while they with difficulty returned to the cowherd village. (29) Some time later went the son of Devakî in the midst of the gopas at a distance from Vrindâvana to herd the cows together with His brother. (30) With the sun fiercely hot of the season looking at the trees that with their shade served Him as parasols, said He to the boys: (31-32) 'O Stoka Krishna and Ams'u; o S'rîdâma, Subala and Arjuna; o Vis'âla, Vrishabha and Ojasvî; o Devaprastha and Varûthapa, just see these ones so fortunate whose life is only there for the higher purpose of warding off the rain, the wind, the heat and the snow they bear for us. (33) Oh how superior the birth of these trees that, like great souls do, give support to all living entities; for certain will no one in need for them ever leave them being disappointed. (34) By their leaves, flowers and fruits; shade and roots, bark and wood; by their fragrance, sap ashes, pulp and shoots they grant all things desirable. (35) It is to each living being to live up to this perfection of birth in this world: namely to be with one's life, wealth, intelligence and words towards all living beings always of the highest good in one's dutiful activities [see also the Vaishnava Pranâma].'

    (36) From between the trees bowing down with their abundance of leaves, clusters of fruit, flowers and twigs, arrived He speaking this way at the Yamunâ. (37) There the gopas drenched the cows in the crystal clear, fresh and cool, wholesome water, o ruler, and drank they also themselves their fill of the sweet-tasting water. (38) In a grove along the Yamunâ allowing the animals to roam freely, o ruler of the people, said they, plagued by hunger approaching Râma and Krishna, this:'