The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the greatness of radhakrishna which is chapter 71 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 seventy-first 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 71 - The Greatness of Rādhākṛṣṇa

The goddess (Pārvatī) said:

1-3 O holy one, O lord of all beings, O soul of all, O you the origin of everything, O lord of gods, O great god, O omniscient one, O you who show pity (to everyone), since I was pitied by you, I again say tenderly. O lord, you told me the hymns enticing the three worlds. (Now) tell me, by means of which particular things that god (Kṛṣṇa) having a very fascinating form, played with the cowherdesses.

Mahādeva said:

4-9a. Knowing about the descent of (Viṣṇu as) Kṛṣṇa, once Nārada, the best sage, playing upon his lute, went to the village of Nanda (literally, the cow-pen of Nanda). Having gone there and having seen there in Nanda’s house the supreme ruler, the lord full of great concentration, who acted as a child, who looked as a god, who was lying on a golden couch on which a soft (bed-)sheet was spread, who was constantly, joyfully looked at by the cowherdesses, whose body was extremely delicate, whose sight was innocent, who was adorned with a mass of dishevelled, dark and curly hair, who manifested just one bud-like tooth by his sprout-like (i,e. delicate) smile, who illumined with his lustres (i.e. mass of lustre) the interior of the house on all sides, who was naked, he was extremely glad.

9b-14. He (i.e. Nārada) who was dear to all lords, addressing the lord of cows, Nanda, said to him: “To get the birth of Nārāyaṇa’s devotees is extremely difficult. Here no (persons) know his matchless power. Even Śiva, Brahmā and others desire eternal bliss in him. The deeds of this boy give delight to all; and (people) like them gladly sing and hear about him, and greet him. Men have affectionate minds towards (i.e. men love) this son of yours whose prowess cannot be conceived. They will not be troubled by worldly existence. O best of the cowherds, give up all your desires in this world and the next world. With exclusive and singular mind, love this child.” Speaking like this, the best sage went out of Nanda’s house.

15-24a. He (i.e. Nanda), having saluted him, honoured him looking upon him as Viṣṇu and gave him leave (to go). Then the sage, the great devotee of Viṣṇu, thought: ‘His beloved, glorious Lakṣmī, must have undoubtedly taken up the form of a cowherdess, descended (here) to play with Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu holding the Śārṅga bow. Today I shall look for her in every house of the residents of Vraja.’ Thinking like this, the best sage, being (i.e. as) a guest entered the houses of the residents of Vraja. They, looking upon him as Viṣṇu, worshipped him. Seeing the great attachment of all the cowherds etc. to Nanda’s son, the best sage mentally saluted them all. In the house of (one of) the cowherds, he saw a girl of a white complexion. Seeing her, he conjectured: ‘This must be Lakṣmī; no doubt about it.’ Then the intelligent one entered the large house of certain excellent cowherd named Bḥānu, a friend of the noble Nanda. He was duly honoured by him. The noble-minded one too asked him: “O good one, you are known on the earth for your devotion to piety. I observe your prosperity in wealth, grains etc. Do you have a worthy son or a daughter with auspicious marks, due to whom you will have fame pervading the entire world?”

24b-27. Thus addressed by the bestsage, Bhānu brought his very lustrous and powerful son and made him salute Nārada. The great, excellent sage, having seen him, who was matchless in form on the earth, whose eyes were long (i.e. broad) like lotus-leaves, whose neck was nice, whose eyebrows were beautiful, whose teeth were fine, whose ears were beautiful, embraced him with his arms, shed tears of love, and affectionately and in a faltering voice said:

Nārada said:

28-31. This your boy will be a good friend of Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. Being alert, he will play with them day and nigḥt.

Then, when the best sage, after having talked to the excellent cowherd, decided to go, Bhānu spoke to him like this: “O god, I have (also) a daughter, resembling the wife of a god. She is younger than this boy. Her form (i.e. she) is dull and blind and deaf. Prompted by the desire for her prosperity, I seek a boon from you, O most glorious one. By just casting a pleasing glance at the girl make her quite composed.”

32-37. Hearing these words, Nārada, with his mind attracted by curiosity, entered the house, and lifting up the girl rolling on the ground and with his mind overcome with great love, put her on his lap. Bhānu, too, reverential due to devotion, came near the excellent sage. Then the best devotee of Viṣṇu, the great sage, very dear to Kṛṣṇa, loving Viṣṇu, seeing her excellent wonderful figure, unseen and unheard of (before), became fascinated as before. Plunging into the ocean of great joy, a unique elixir, the sage, resembling a stone (i.e. beingmotionless) remained there (i.e. in that condition) for two muḥūrtas. Slowly opening his eyes, the best sage woke up. He was very much amazed, and remained silent only. The very intelligent one thought like this only in his heart:

38-46a. ‘I, moving freely everywhere, have wandered over all the worlds. But nowhere have I seen any (beautiful woman) like this. I (can) move in the world of Brahmā, in the world of Rudra, and in the world of Indra. But nowhere have I seen one even a croreth part of her in beauty. I have seen the great worldy illusion, the glorious daughter (i.e. Pārvatī) of the lord of mountains, whose form fascinates all the mobile and the immobile (objects). Even she, of an extremely delicate body, does not at all have the beauty (like that of this girl). It is not at all seen that excellent ladies Lakṣmī, Sarasvatī, Kāntividyā, just touch (i.e. have) even the shade of her (beauty). I have seen Mohinī, the form of (i.e. taken up by) Viṣṇu, by which Śiva was fascinated. How can it even be similar to her (form)? Therefore, I do not at all have the power to know her true nature. Mostly even others do not know this dear wife of Hari. That growth in love, which now I have for the lotus-like feet of Govinda, on just seeing her, was never there before. Showing great magnificence, I shall praise the respectable one in a lonely place. Her form will cause great delight to Kṛṣṇa.’

46b-56a. Thinking like this, the sage, having sent the excellent cowherd somewhere, praised the girl of a divine form in a lonely place: “O goddess, O you controlling the great illusory power, O you of great lustre, O you having a very fascinating and divine body, O you who shower great sweetness, O you who have let loose the mind due to very wonderful love and delight, you have come within the range of my sight due to my indescribable great fortune. O goddess, your sight is always observed to be within (i.e. you always look within); and you appear to be gratified with great joy within yourself only. This your good (i.e. beautiful), pleasing, sweet, agreeable, charming face manifests great wonder and an indescribable rise of joy within. O you very beautiful one, you have the power of a bud to form pollen. You are of the nature of creation, maintenance and destruction. You are of a pure energy, of a quick power and of the nature of knowledge and the highest one. You have the highest heap of great joy of Viṣṇu. O you who have a wonderful splendour, O you difficult to be obtained by Brahmā, Rudra etc., who are you? You never touch the path of meditation of the best meditating saints. You are the will-power, the power of knowledge and the power of action of the controller (of the world). It is just a part of you that my desire proceeds for. Of the highest lord Viṣṇu, of the magician, the child of illusion, inconceivable are the superhuman powers. They are just the portions of your portions.

56b-60. O you goddess, there is no doubt that you are the power of the nature of delight. In the form of just a child, Kṛṣṇa plays in the Vṛndāvana grove; you fascinate the (entire) universe. Of what nature is your wonderful form touched by youth? Of what kind is your youth, endowed with sportive glance with a smile due to longing for Viṣṇu as a man. O you dear of Viṣṇu, I desire to see that form of yours by which Nanda’s son Kṛṣṇa will be enticed? O you great goddess, please show, through kindness, your own form to me who have bowed (before you) and have sought protection with you.”

61-69. The best sage, with his mind devoted to her, and saluting that very great goddess, who was great and full of great joy, who was eager with great love, whose body was full of (love), whose eyes were auspicious, stood there, looking at Govinda and describing him like this: “Victory to you, O charming Kṛṣṇa; victory to you who are dear to Vṛndāvana; victory to you who have a charming knitting of the eyebrows; victory to you who are overcome with the sound of the flute; victory to you who have a chaplet of a peacock’s tail-feathers; victory to you who entice the cowherdesses. Victory to you whose body is smeared with saffron; victory to you who have put on jewelled ornaments. When shall I, through your grace, see you in your childhood (i.e. as a child)-you who entice (everyone), along with this (girl) of a divine form, and having a beautiful body charming on account of youth, O lord of the world?” When he was praising (Kṛṣṇa) like this, she, that moment only, took up a divine, very fascinating form resembling (that of a young girl) fourteen years old and extremely charming. At that time only, other young girls of Vraja, of the same age, and having divine ornaments, garments and garlands, surrounded her. That motionless best sage became stunned with wonder.

70-79a. Then those friends of the girl, being full of compassion, sprinkled the sage with drops of water at the foot of a tree and revived him, and said to him: “O great sage, O glorious one, O lord of great meditating saints, you indeed have propitiated with great devotion, godViṣṇu who fulfils the desires of his devotees. Since this (lady) dear to Viṣṇu, who is enticing due to her very wonderful age and beauty, who is difficult to be seen and approached by gods like Brahma, Rudra, and lords of siddhas and sages, so also by other great devotees of Viṣṇu, has been seen by you due to your indescribable and inconceivable luck; therefore, get up, you brāhmaṇa sage, and quickly muster courage. Having gone round her by keeping her to your right, salute her again and again. Do you not see that the beautifulbodied is extremely perturbed? Indeed, this moment only she will vanish. (Then) in no way you will (ever be able to) talk to her. O you best among those who know Brahman (or Vedas), you will not again (be able to) see her. But, in Vṛndāvana there is an auspicious Aśoka creeper (Aśoka-tree). In all seasons it is full of flowers; its fragrance pervades all directions. Not far from Govardhana, on the bank of the lake called Kusuma, you will see us all at midnight at its root.”

79b-91. Having heard these words of them whose hearts were overcome with love, while the sage, having gone round her keeping her to his right, would salute her who was fashioned with many beautiful objects, (prostrating before her) like a staff Nārada called Bhānu and told him (abo ut that) all-beautiful (girl): “Such is the prowess of the girl, that she cannot be obtained even by deities. But, in that house which is marked with her feet (i.e.her foot-prints) god Nārāyaṇa, Mādhava, himself lives. Lakṣmī also stays there with all prosperity. O best one, today (i.e. now) protect this great one, the most beautiful one, carefully, like a deity”. Talking like this, and recollecting her form in his mind the best devotee of Viṣṇu entered the dense forest. The best sage, having resorted to the root of the Aśoka-creeper, waited for the deity—her arrivaljustthere at night, remained there, thinking, overcome with love, of that dear one to Kṛṣṇa. Then, seeing at midnight, those very wonderful damsels who were seen (by him) before, who had put on variegated ornaments and garlands, the sage confounded in his mind, fell (prostrate) like a staff. All those auspicious ones, having surrounded the sage, entered. Even the sage, desiring to ask something about what was dear to him and he liked, being overpowered by the language dear to beauty (i.e. unable to find appropriate words), could not do so. That deity of the Aśoka-grove, named Aśokamālinī, full of pity, came (there) and said to the best sage who stood with the palms of his hands joined, whose neck was bent due to the burden of (i.e. great) devotion, who was full of wonder and was confused, and who was most polite.

Aśokamālinī said:

92-103. O great sage, I always live in this Aśoka-bud. I always wear red garments, I wear red garland, and red unguents. I use buds red like red lead. I use chaplets, the red lotuses. I am decorated with red rubies, red armlets and red crown. Once, the cowherdesses, having put on variegated garments, while sporting with their beloved one, met just there; and then I devoutly and duly worshipped, with Aśoka-garlands, Viṣṇu taking up the form of a cowherd, and all those of the form of Lakṣmī. Since then I have always been staying among them and pleasing Lakṣmī’s lord (i.e. Viṣṇu), the highest (god), with various decorations. I know everything from everywhere. I also know the secret of the cows, the cowherds, and the cowherdesses. You had the desire and said into your heart (i.e. to yourself): ‘How shall I see that goddess, of a wonderful form, giving a wonderful joy, dear to Viṣṇu, looking (bright) like gold, having a bright diamond ring and having unsteady eyes? How shall I propitiate her feet with devotion?’ Thus, O brāhmaṇa, you thought. In this matter, I shall tell you the account of the very noble sages who remained at the Mānasa lake and practised severe penance, who muttered effective hymns, who meditated upon Viṣṇu, and who constantly longed for his lotus-like feet. Today I shall tell you the great secret in the forest.

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