The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the story of krishna begins which is chapter 69 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the sixty-ninth chapter of the Patala-Khanda (Section On The Nether World) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 69 - The Story of Kṛṣṇa Begins

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The sages said:

1. O glorious one, we have duly heard from you the (description of) Rāma’s horse-sacrifice. Now tell us the greatness (i.e. glory) of noble Śrīkṛṣṇa.

Sūta said:

2-3. O best sages, (please) listen to the nectar-like story of Śrīkṛṣṇa. I shall tell you what Pārvatī asked the lord of beings. Once goddess Pārvatī with her mind affectionate towards Śiva, having saluted him with reverence, said these words to him:

Pārvatī said:

4-5. The place of Viṣṇu staying without and within the crores of universes, is beyond them, is the chief one, the best one, and excellent. There is no place superior to the one which is Kṛṣṇa’s charming place, dear to him. O great lord, I desire to hear it all. (Please) tell it.

The lord said:

6-15a. The highest, excellent secret place dear (to Viṣṇu) is more secret than a secret place, is holy, is very wonderful, and gives great joy. O goddess, it is great, very difficult to reach among all the places that are difficult to reach; it is full of all power, and is concealed among all places. This place of Viṣṇu is the chief among the places of the Sātvatas, is extremely difficult to reach, is eternal, is called Vṛndāvana, and is situated above the universe. It is the complete Brahman, happiness and glory, is eternal, is bliss, and is imperishable. Vaikuṇṭha is a part of its portion; on the earth there is Vṛndāvana itself. Whatever is the glory of Goloka is settled in Gokula. Whatever glory is (found) in Vaikuṇṭha is settled in Dvārakā. Whatever is the glory of that highest Brahman, it always resorts to Vṛndāvana. In the forest Kṛṣṇa’s abode is especially great among them. Since that which is named Māthuraka is solely dear to Viṣṇu, therefore in the three worlds the earth is blessed. His own abode, named the region of Māthura, is superior; it is a concealed, multiform place, situated within a city. The Māthura region is of the form of a thousand-petalled lotus. Due to the roaming about of Viṣṇu’s disc, the wonderful abode of Viṣṇu (has come about). Its pericarp and petals are extensive, and has sprung up with secret trees.

15b-23a. The twelve groves are important. In the order of importance they are: Bhadra, Śrī, Loha, Bhāṇḍira, Mahā, Tāla, Khadīraka, Bakula, Kumuda, Kāmya, Madhu(vana) and Vṛndāvana. They are twelve in number. Seven of them are (situated) in the west of Kālindī. The five on the east are (together) called Pañcavana (i.e. the five groves). There is a great, secret grove called Gokula and also Madhu(vana)-Vṛndāvana. This latter is called the place of Kṛṣṇa’s sport-delight. (Then there are:) Kadamba, Khaṇḍana, Nandavana, Nandiśvara, Nandanandanakhaṇḍa, Palāśa, Aśoka, Ketakī, Sugandhamānasa, Kaila, Amṛta, the place of his eating (food); Sukhaprasādhana, Vatsaharaṇa, Śeṣaśāyika; the village Śyāmapūrvodadhi, so also the city Cakrabhānu; Saṃketa, Dvipada, dusty due to the sports of children; Kāmadruma, Sulalita and the grove Utsuka. It is a place of the enjoyment of pastimes of various kinds, so also of the enjoyment of many sports; Nāgavistāraviṣṭambha (literally, stopping of the expanse of the serpent), and having secret trees growing in it.

23b-51. The great place called Gokula is the thousand-petalled lotus. The great place in it, its pericarp, is the excellent abode of Govinda on a golden seat and is adorned with a golden pavilion. The petals have sprung up in (i.e. from) the pericarp in due order in the (main) directions and intermediate directions. The petal which is said (to be situated) in the south is the best and the best among the best (i.e. most) secret places. In that petal is a great seat inaccessible to the Vedic and sacred texts. It is difficult to obtain even for the lords of the meditating saints, is the soul of all, and is Gokula. In the south-east there is the second petal, a secret petal. It is Saṃketa, Dvipada; in that region two huts are situated. In the east there is the third petal, an excellent and chief place. It is said to be hundred times more meritorious than the contact with all holy places like Gaṅgā. In the north-east is the fourth petal, and the place is on the seat of the inspired sages. A cowherdess would obtain Kṛṣṇa as her husband at that place due to her worshipping Kātyāyana. It is said that snatching off of the garments and ornaments (of the cowherdesses) took place there. In the north is said (to exist) the fifth petal, the best of all petals. Here itself is the petal resembling Karṇikā (literally, the pericarp), called Dvādaśāditya (i.e. having twelve suns). In the north-west is the sixth petal. Kālīhrada is said (to be situated) there. It is said to be the best of the best petals, and the chief place. In the west is said (to exist) the seventh petal, the best of all petals. It gives the desired boons to the groups of the wives of Viṣṇu. Here even a demon obtained salvation difficult to be obtained by gods. Here only is the petal called Brahmadala deluding Brahmā. In the south-east is said (to exist) the eighth petal (called) Vyomaghātana. The killing of Śaṅkhacūḍa took place there. It is the place of the enjoyment of many sports. The eighth petal is well-known, and is said to be situated within the Vṛndāvana-forest. The glorious Vṛndāvana is on the south of Yamunā. There is seen the place of Śiva-phallus, called Gopīśvara. Outside it is the sixteenth petal, glorious and full of beauty, which, due to going round it in order, is said (to exist) in all directions. It is a great place, a great abode, named Svadhāmādhava. The first petal is the greatest, and its greatness is like Karṇikā (the pericarp). There is the Karṇikā on the Govardhana mountain which is lovely and is ever the abode of pleasure, is a grove full of great sports where Kṛṣṇa would be the lord of the Nityavṛndākānana. Kṛṣṇa became (there) a cowkeeper. What is the use of further talking much? The third petal is called Sarvaśreṣṭhottamottama. The fourth petal is called Mahādbhutarasasthala. There is the beautiful grove (called) Nandīśvara, and there is said (to exist) abode of Nanda. The fifth petal is called Karṇikādalamāhātmya. Here Gopāla (i.e. Kṛṣṇa) engaged in tending the cows, dwells. There, which is said to be the sixth petal, is said (to exist) Nandavana. The seventh lovely petal is called Bakulāraṇya. The eighth is Tālavana where the cows were killed. The ninth charming petal is called Kumudāraṇya. The tenth (called) Kāmāraṇya is the chief and the cause of all. There is Brahmaprasādhana (lit. decoration of Brahmā), and the manifestation of the disguise of Viṣṇu. It is the place of the pleasures of (i.e. due to) Kṛṣṇa’s sports, and is said to be preeminent. The eleventh petal is called Bhaktānugrahakāraṇa. A bridge is constructed here; and the place is full of many groves. The twelfth lovely and charming petal is Bhāṇḍīra; there Kṛṣṇa was engaged in sports and was surrounded by Śrīdāman etc. The thirteenth best petal is known as Bhadravara. The fourteenth petal is called Sarvasiddhipradasthala. There is Śrīvana, which is charming, and is the cause of all splendour; it has a part of Kṛṣṇa’s sports and enhances glory, beauty and fame. The fifteenth excellent petal is known as Lohavana. The petal resembling Karṇikā is said to be the sixteenth petal.

52-55. There is said to be a secret, excellent, great grove. (Kṛṣṇa) surrounded by keepers of calves (i.e. young cowherds) is engaged in child-sports. The murder of Pūtanā etc. and the breaking of twin Arjuna trees (took place) there. The young Gopāla, five years old, the ocean of love, joy and pleasure, and called Dāmodara, lives there. This is said to be a well-known petal, and best and excellent of all petals. The sport of Kṛṣṇa (takes place here). It is called Kiñjalkīvihāradala. It is also called Siddhapradhānakiñjalka.

Pārvatī said:

56. I desire to hear the importance and the wonderful secret of Vṛndāraṇya. O great lord, narrate it.

The lord said:

57-59. O most beloved one, I have told you the best, greatest mystery, the secret of secrets, and the rare of the rare. O goddess, it is watched over in the three worlds, and well-honoured by the lord of gods. It is desired by Brahmā and others; the place is resorted to by gods and inspired sages. The best among the meditating saints are devotedly always intent upon meditation on it only. There is the continuous singing and dancing of gandharvas and celestial damsels.

60-69. The glorious Vṛndāvana is charming and is an abode of complete joy and pleasure. There are many desire-yielding gems; and the water is full of the taste of nectar. The big tree there is surrounded by Kadamba trees. There is the lady Lakṣmī, the man Viṣṇu, produced from the tenth part of it. There (one sees) Kṛṣṇa, of the age of a boy, always of a joyful figure, walking dramatically, with a face having continuous sweet but indistinct talk, with the forest resorted to by devotees of Viṣṇu, of a pure nature, and full of love, engaged in the joy of the complete Brahman, full of the thoughts about him; being inspired by his image; (the forest was) charming due to the sweet notes and humming of the intoxicated cuckoos andbees, having the music of pigeons and parrots, with thousands of intoxicated bees, rich with the dance of the enemies of serpents (i.e. peacocks), full of all amorous joyful sports; it was full of the pollen of flowers of various colours; it had the full moon always rising, and served with the sun having cold rays; it was without misery, free from grief, and old age and death. It was free from anger, free from jealousy, unbroken (i.e. complete) and without ego; it had the nectar of full joy; it was the ocean of full love and happiness. The great abode was beyond (all) qualities and was of the nature of full love, where due to horripilation tears were shed by trees etc.; then what can be said about Viṣṇu’s devotees having consciousness! It was Vṛndāvana on the earth due to the constant contact with the dust of Kṛṣṇa’s feet.

70-78. The Vṛndāvana is the seed-vessel of the lotus having a thousand petals, by the touch of which the earth is blessed in the three worlds. On the earth Vṛndāvana is a greater secret than a secret (i.e. the greatest secret) and a charming (place). It is an inexhaustible, unchangeable abode of Govinda, containing greatest joy. It is non-different from Govinda’s body, and is the abode of the joy of (reaching) the complete Brahman. There salvation is had by the touch of the dust(-particles). What can be said about its importance? Therefore, O queen, by all means, keep in mind that forest. In the Vṛndāvana parks, (one sees) Kṛṣna having a boy’s body. Kālindi went round its pericarp. The water of Kālindī is pleasant due to sports, is deep, and attractive due to fragrance; it was mixed with the nectar of joy; it is the dense place of honey; it is bright with many colours due to flowers like lotuses and blue lotuses. The water is lovely; it looks beautiful with birds like the ruddy geese with various sweet and indistinct notes; it is very lovely due to the waves. On both of its sides (there is a pericarp) which is lovely and fashioned with pure gold, said to be a crore times more meritorious than Gaṅgā (Gaṅgākoṭiguṇa). In the pericarp (Karṇikā) there is the Koṭiguṇa where Kṛṣṇa is engaged in sports. Kālindī, Karṇikā and Kṛṣṇa are not different from one another. They (just) have one body.

Pārvatī said:

79. O you not having a beautiful body, I desire to listen to the wonders of Govinda. O you treasure of compassion, tell (them to me).

The lord said:

80-107. In Vṛndāvana adorned with lovely sprouts and beautified with the foliage of the branches of good trees extending over a yojana, in a charming abode there is a very bright seat for abstract meditation. It is fashioned with eight angles and is charming due to various lustres. On it is an auspicious throne (decked) with rubies. There is an eight-petalled lotus lying comfortably in the pericarp. It is the great abode of Govinda. How can its greatness be described? A man should meditate upon Kṛṣṇa who is served by the group of cowherdesses remaining in (i.e. following) the advice of Govinda (i.e. Kṛṣṇa) who has the (proper) age and form for the divine station of the cowherds, who is the lord of Vṛndāvana, who is the chief of the station of the cowherds, who always has splendour, who alone is dear to the children of the station of the cowherds, whose childhood has broken into youth due to age, whose body is wonderful, who is without a beginning but is the origin of all, who is the dear son of the cowherd Nanda, who is to be sought after through the sacred texts, who is unborn, who is always charming to the cowherdesses, who is the highest abode, who is the highest form, who has two arms, who is the lord of the station of the cowherdesses, who is the son of a cowherdess, who is the only cause of the qualityless (Brahman), who is very glorious, who is fresh and pure, who has a dark lustre, who is charming, who is much glistening like the row of fresh clouds, who is pleasing to touch due to his great loveliness like a fully opened blue lotus, who gives comfort, who is glossy like the heap of collyrium that is expanded and is dark and attractive, whose entire (set of) hair is very glossy, dark, curly and fragrant, who is charming due to the dark lock of hair and the right part over it, who is bright on account of many colours and adorned with bright feathers of peacocks, who has on his crest a charming string of mandāra (flowers), who has put on lovely ornaments, who is at times adorned with a crown made with a multitude of big leaves, who at times has the ornament of a crown made with many gems and rubies, who is covered with unsteady hair, whose face is like a crore of bright moons, who has put on (his forehead) the mark of musk, who has been (smeared) with bright, charming yellow pigment made from the urine or bile of a cow, whose eyes are long like very long petals, having the beauty of fully opened blue lotuses, in whose smile the creeper-like eyebrows dance (i.e. move) closely, and the sight is (i.e. the eyes are) charming, the tip of whose nose is charming on account of its beauty due to its being very beautiful and rising, who entices the three worlds with the rays of the pearls supposed to be found in the projection on the foreheads of elephants on the tip of his nose, who is lovely on account of his red and glossy lower lip resembling red lead, who puts on ear-rings resembling the shape of crocodiles and made of pure bright gold and of many colours, and the good cheeks of whom have the resemblance with mirrors due to the heap of rays of (i.e. shooting from) them (i.e. the ear-rings), on whose ears are placed mandāra and lotuses and who is well-adorned with chaplets of the shape of ' crocodiles, who has on his chest the (mark of) Śrīvatsa and Kaustubha, whose neck shines with a necklace of pearls, round whose arm are the bracelets and armlets with divine rubies shining and mixed with lovely gold, whose waist is adorned with small bells, whose beautiful feet are adorned with the beauty of sweet(-jingling) anklets, (on whose body) sandal etc. looks bright with camphor, agaru (sandal) and musk, who is painted with divine fragrant unguents mixed with a bright yellow pigment made from cow’s urine or bile, who is shining with soft, yellow garment and with whose feet the collyrium is disturbed, whose lotus-like navel is deep, whose chaplet is depressed in the line of hair, whose pair of knees is quite round, who is lovely due to his lotus-like feet, whose palms and soles are adorned with (signs of) flag, diamond, gold and lotus, who having the row of rays shooting from his nails is the only cause of the complete Brahman. Some say that the unique supreme spirit, Brahman, is his portion; the wise ones say that Mahāviṣṇu is his tenth part; that one alone, who has three modes and who is fashioned with the essence of (materials required to) fashion all good things, is thought of in their hearts by the best meditating saints like Sanaka, who is lovely (as he has) vanquished innumerable crores of Cupids due to his neck that is turned (to a side), whose golden ear-rings shine when he has put his fine cheek on his left shoulder, whose smile is accompanied by a side-glance, who deludes the three worlds with the sweet, indistinct notes of his flute put between the contracted lips, who is drowned in the ocean of love.

Pārvatī said:

108-115. O lord, tell me everything about the highest cause Kṛṣṇa, the highest position called Kṛṣṇa, the lord of Vṛndāvana, the eternal one, and the only cause of the qualityless (Brahman); tell me the importance of each secret, about the lovely wonder. O lord of lords, I desire to hear it.

The lord said:

O goddess, how much can be said about the greatness of him, the knowledge of whose moon-like rays cannot be had? Listen joyfully. In the innumerable crores of the universes, in the rise of the infinite (Prakṛti) with three constituents, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva are equal to the parts of the measure of a croreth of a croreth of his feet. (These) arising from him are endowed with creation, maintenance, and destruction. The bodies of Cupid are the parts equal to the portion of a croreth of a croreth of his form. Born of his aṇḍāntara(?) they entice the world. Brahmā is (made of) a part equal to a croreth of a croreth of the lustre shining in his body. The forms of the sun are the partial rays equal to a croreth of a croreth of his light. Those of the form of rays which are a croreth of a croreth of his portion live due to rays of his body which are the nectar of great joy, which are of the nature of highest bliss and intelligence, and which are the only cause of the qualityless Brahman.

116-118. They say that the lustres of the gem-like (crescent) moon(-shaped) nails of his two feet are even the cause of the complete Brahman, difficult to be understood by the Vedas. (The fragrance) enticing the universe is but a part which cannot be measured (i.e. is negligible) of his fragrance; and the various fragrances are produced from the fragrance etc. of the flowers touched by him. The first (primordial) matter is Rādhikā, dear to Kṛṣṇa. Durgā and others having the three constituents are a part equal to a croreth of croreth portion of her. The excellent Viṣṇu is produced from the touch of the dust of her feet.

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