1.Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: In this way, O Maharaja Pariksit, Sri Vrndavana became extremely beautiful due to the exquisitely decorated season of autumn. The lakes, ponds and rivers were filled with clear, sweet water. Gentle and fragrant breezes blew, carrying the aroma of lotus flowers from the lakes. The infallible Nanda-nandana Sri Krsna entered that enchanting Vrndavana forest, accompanied by His cows and gopas.
2.Intoxicated bees were humming here and there amidst the rows of lush green trees filled with beautiful fragrant flowers. All the lakes, rivers and hills of the forest resounded with the sweet and melodious cooing of the flocks of various birds. Madhupati Sri Krsna, accompanied by Baladeva and the gopas, entered that forest and, while grazing the cows, vibrated a mellow, sweet tune upon His alluring flute.
3.The sound of the flute awakens feelings of love toward Sri Krsna and an intense desire to meet with Him. When the gopis heard that sound, their hearts were overwhelmed with prema. The gopis became completely infatuated and, in a secluded place, they began to describe the form and qualities of Sri Krsna and the powerful influence of His flute to their intimate companions.
4.The gopis of Vraja began to describe the sweetness of the sound of Sri Krsna's flute among themselves, but as soon as they remembered the flute, they were overpowered with strong feelings of affection for their beloved, Sri Krsna. Thus they remembered His charming activities, His artistically curved eyebrows, His compelling glance filled with love, and His sweet, mild smiling. Their hearts became filled with an intense desire to meet with Syama. They completely lost control of their minds and at once they arrived before Sri Krsna within their hearts. Their voices became choked up with ecstasy and thus they were unable to describe Him.
5.The gopis began to see Sri Krsna within their minds. Accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends, Sri Krsna entered the charming forest of Vrndavana. His head was decorated with a peacock feather. He wore yellow karnikara flowers over His ears, a golden yellow garment on His body, and a beautiful, fragrant vaijayanti garland about His neck. Sri Krsna exhibited His supremely captivating appearance, just like the best of dancers performing upon a stage. He filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips. The cowherd boys followed behind Him singing His glories which purify the entire world. In this way, the forest of Vrndavana manifested even greater splendor than
Vaikuntha, due to being beautified by the marks of Sri Krsna's lotus feet.
6.O King, the sound of Krsna's flute steals the minds of all living beings, both animate and inanimate. When the young gopis of Vraja heard that sound, they began to describe it. As they went on describing the sound of the flute, they entered a state of ecstatic trance and became completely absorbed in thoughts of Sri Krsna. Within their hearts, they began to embrace Sri Krsna who is the embodiment of all rasa and the reservoir of supreme spiritual bliss.
7.The gopis began to speak among themselves: O sakhis! We think that for those who have eyes, there is but one thing which is a suitable object of vision. Success of the eyes lies in beholding this object alone; we know of no other. And what is that most precious object of attainment for the eyes? It is the vision of the two sons of Maharaja Nanda, Sri Krsna and Baladeva, accompanied by the gopas, as They enter the forest taking the cows, or as They bring them back to Vrndavana. They hold Their flutes to Their lips and look upon us with mild smiles and amorous sidelong glances filled with love. At that time, we drink the sweetness of Their faces.
8.O sakhi! When dark-complexioned Sri Krsna, dressed in yellow garments, and fair-complexioned Baladeva, dressed in blue garments, decorate Themselves with newly grown mango blossoms, peacock feathers, clusters of flowers, and garlands of multicolored lotuses and lilies, Their appearance becomes astonishing. They sit down right in the middle of the assembly of cowherd boys and sing the sweetest of songs. O priya sakhi! At such times, They look just like two incomparably beautiful and expert dancers performing on a dramatic stage. What am I to say of the splendor of Their appearance at such times?
9.O dear sakhis! Although the flute is male, we cannot imagine what sort of sadhana and bhajana he must have performed in his previous births that in our very presence it is drinking the nectar of Damodara's lips, which rightfully belongs to us alone. He is not even sparing a drop of that rasa for us. On the pretext of their blossoming lotus flowers, the rivers, which have nourished the flute with their water (rasa), are exhibiting symptoms of ecstatic horripilation. The trees, who are forefathers of the flute, are equal to the best of men. Seeing their descendant filled with such intense love for the Lord, they have become overjoyed, and tears of ecstasy are flowing from their eyes.
10.O sakhi! This Sri Vrndavana, which is even greater than Vaikuntha, is enhancing the fame of the Earth planet. This is due to being splendidly decorated with the marks of the lotus feet of Damodara Sri Krsna, the son of Yasoda. When Sri Krsna plays a melody on His flute, which captivates the three worlds, the peacocks become intoxicated and begin to dance to its tune. Seeing and hearing this, all the birds, animals and other moving living entities on Govardhana Hill become stunned silent and remain sitting or standing without moving, forgetting all their activities.
11.O sakhi! When our dearmost Nanda-nandana Sri Krsna dresses Himself in a most extraordinary fashion and plays upon His flute, then even the foolish deer, hearing the melody of the flute, approach Nanda-nandana along with their husbands (who are known as the krsna-sara deer) and begin to glance upon Him very affectionately with their large eyes. We know the meaning of their glancing. With their enormous eyes, expanded like the petals of a lotus flower, they are offering worship at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna and accepting His invitation, which He extends by casting loving, sidelong glances. Truly, the lives of these deer are blessed. (Although we are gopis of Vrnda-vana, we are not able to offer ourselves freely to Krsna in the same manner as the deer, for our husbands and elders restrain us and beat us---what an absurdity!)
12.O sakhi! Not to speak of the deer, when the wives of the demigods see Sri Krsna, who is a treasury of all beauty and character and a festival of bliss for all young women, and when they hear the sweet, variegated melodies He plays upon His flute, their intelligence becomes stunned and they fall down unconscious in their airplanes, right in front of their husbands. How do I know this, O friend? Just hear! When their hearts become possessed of an intense desire to meet with Sri Krsna, they become so bewildered that they cannot even detect that the flowers braided in their hair are falling upon the surface of the earth. What's more, they don't even know that their saris are slipping from their waists and falling to the ground.
13.Some other sakhi said: O friend! Why are you speaking about the devis? Have you not seen the cows? When our dearest beloved Sri Krsna fills the holes of the flute with the sound flowing from His mouth and the cows hear that sweet music, they turn their ears upward and indiscriminately drink that nectar with the cups of their ears. In this way, they are tasting the sweetness of that music. Why is that so, O friend? Taking beloved Govinda into their hearts through the doorway of their eyes, they seat Him there and embrace Him within their minds. Just see for yourself, the truth of my words! Tears of joy are gushing out from their eyes. The condition of their calves is indeed strange. Even though milk is flowing automatically from the udders of the cows, the calves, while in
the midst of drinking that milk, suddenly hear the sound of the flute. At that moment the calves are neither able to spit out nor swallow the milk which they have taken in their mouths. They also take Sri Krsna within their hearts and embrace Him. By obtaining the touch of the soft limbs of Sri Krsna, their eyes overflow with tears of joy, and they stand still, exactly as they were.
14.O sakhi! Never mind this ordinary talk about cows and calves. Have you not seen the birds of Vrndavana? To call them birds is certainly a mistake. Truly speaking, most of them are exalted rsis and munis. They are sitting quietly in the beautiful green trees of Vrndavana, upon branches that are sprouting many charming new blossoms. But these rsis and munis do not close their eyes. They gaze continuously with unblinking eyes at the sweetness of Krsna's form, and taking in His sidelong glances laden with love, they become delighted. Ignoring all other types of sounds, they begin to hear Krsna's captivating voice and the music of His flute which enchants the three worlds. My dear sakhi! How fortunate their life is. (Alas! How unfortunate we are. Our birth has become spoiled, our eyes useless. Where lies our fortune to behold the beautiful form of Krsna?)
15.Some other gopi said: O sakhi! Why do you speak of the devis, cows and birds? They are all animate living beings. Have you not seen the inanimate rivers? By the whirlpools that are seen in them, it is understood that within their hearts surges an intense desire to meet with Syamasundara. The flow of the rivers has been stopped by this intense emotional agitation. They have also heard the sound of our beloved Krsna's flute. Just see! Just see! With the arms of their waves, they have caught hold of His lotus feet and are presenting offerings of lotus flowers. They are embracing His lotus feet just as if they were offering their hearts to Him.
16.O sakhi! These rivers also belong to our Vrndavana. Therefore, it is not very astonishing that they have offered their everything at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. Please consider the clouds for a moment. When they see the prince of Vraja, Sri Krsna, and Sri Balarama, accompanied by the cowherd boys, herding the cows in the heat of summer, and when they hear Sri Krsna playing very sweetly on His flute, their hearts overflow with love. The clouds begin to hover above them. By extending their body, the new black clouds (Syamaghana) become an umbrella to give shelter to
their friend Ghanasyama. Moreover, when the clouds begin to rain tiny drops of water upon them, it seems that they are showering them with beautiful white flowers. Yet this is but a pretext; for by doing so, they are, in fact, offering their life and their everything.
17.Some other Vraja gopi said: O sakhis! We consider the young aborigine women (Pulindis) to be truly blessed and successful because they possess extraordinary attachment (anuraga) for Sri Krsna within their hearts. When they see our dearmost beloved Krsna, then an intense desire to meet with Sri Krsna is aroused within their hearts. Their hearts are struck with the disease of love. At that time, they smear their breasts and faces with the reddish kumkuma powder collected from the grass of Vrndavana. The beloved gopis of Krsna adorn their breasts with this kumkuma powder. It then becomes affixed to Sri Krsna's lotus feet. When Syamasundara walks about Vrndavana, the
grass becomes covered with this powder. The supremely fortunate Pulindi girls then smear their breasts and faces with this powder. In this way they alleviate the anguish of their love.
18.O sakhis! This Giriraja Govardhana is the best of all the devotees of Sri Hari (Sri Harideva). How fortunate he is indeed! Have you not seen how elated he is to obtain the touch of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, who is prana-vallabha, dearer to us than life, and those of Sri Baladeva who is nayanabhir ama, the source of delight for the eyes? Who can adequately praise his fortune? Just see how graciously he receives all the cows and cowherd boyfriends of Krsna and Balarama. He supplies cool, clear and sweet water for bathing and drinking, soft green grass for the cows, caves for them to rest in, and fruits and roots for them to eat. Truly, this Giriraja Govardhana is blessed.
19.Another gopi says: O sakhis! The movements of these two youths (Krsna and Balarama), one dark and one fair (Syama-Gaura), is certainly unique. On Their turbans, They have rolled up one type of rope for binding the legs of the cows at the time of milking. On Their shoulders, They hang another type of rope for catching the cows who run away. They play on Their flutes and sing sweet songs with the cowherd boys as They lead the cows from one forest to another. At such times, to say nothing of the human beings, even the other moving living entities such as the animals and birds, as well as the rivers, become stunned and the nonmoving trees shiver with ecstasy. What more shall I tell you of the extraordinary wonders of the flute?
20.O Maharaja Pariksit! Everyday the gopis, being deeply immersed in prema, discuss among themselves the innumerable pastimes of Sri Krsna who plays in the forests of Vrndavana. By doing so, they enter a state of ecstatic trance of meditation upon Him. In this way, the pastimes of the Lord continuously manifest within their hearts.