The Padma Purana
by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes narada’s experience which is chapter 75 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-fifth 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 75 - Nārada’s Experience
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
I. O lord, you have told me in various ways the secret of Vṛndāvana. Due to which particular religious merit did Nārada obtain the natural form?
The lord said:
2-6. Once, formerly I desired to know a wonderful account. From the lotus-like mouth of Kṛṣṇa I heard the secret told by Brahmā. Nārada asked me. Then I got this. “I am not at all able to tell its greatness. What shall I do? Remembering his oath I am distressed in my mind.” Hearing these words of mine, when he became sad, then, O dear one, I called Brahmā and ordered him: “Tell Nārada what you told me.” Then Brahmā, hearing my words, went with Nārada near Kṛṣṇa and asked him that only.
7. O you lord of the subjects, what is that Vṛndāvana forest of thirty-two (parts)? O lord, I desire to hear (about it). If I am fit (to hear about it, then) tell it to me.
8-14a. This charming Vṛndāvana is just my unique abode where there are actually these beasts, trees, insects, men and gods, who stay near me. When they (will) die they (will) come to me. Those wives of the cowherds that live in my abode, are the female devotees. The gods (also) are devoted to me. This forest of mine, which is of a divine nature, is (having an area of) five yojanas. This Kālindī called Suṣumnā (the artery in the human body lying between Iḍā and Piṅgalā), is a great river of nectar; and in it gods and beings live in a subtle form. I have pervaded (the forest) on all sides, and I never leave it. In every yuga appearance and disappearance take place here. This place is full of lustre, and it is invisible to the physical eyes. In the yuga, see my secret, my prowess—the Vṛndāvana. It can never be seen by gods like Brahmā.
The lord said:
14b-16. Having heard that, Nārada saluted Kṛṣṇa and Brahmā, and came to the Miśraka Naimiṣa forest on the earth. There he was well-received by the best sages like Śaunaka; and they asked him: “O brāhmaṇa, tell us wherefrom you have come now.” Hearing that Nārada said: “Having heard the secret of Vṛndāvana from Kṛṣṇa’s lotus-like mouth, I have come from Goloka.”
17-18. There repeatedly a number of questions were asked. There I heard all the hymns and spells. I shall truly tell (you) those only according to the questions (asked by you).
Śaunaka and others said:
19. If you favour us, then tell us the secret of Vṛndāvana, which Brahmā told you.
20-22a. Sometime, on the bank of Sarayū we saw Gautama who was wise, very unhappy and had his mind full of anxiety. Seeing me, the divine Gautama fell on the ground (i.e. prostrated himself before me). I said to him: “O child, O child, get up. If you like, tell me why you are called wise”.
22b-24a. From your mouth (i.e. from you) only, I have heard the fact about Kṛṣṇa like that. (I have also heard) many times the secret called Dvārakā and Mathura. But from your lotus-like mouth I have not heard the secret about Vṛndāvana, from (i.e. by hearing) which my mind will be steady, O good preceptor.
24b-32a. This is a great secret, the secret of secrets. Formerly Brahmā told me that secret about Vṛndāvana (when I had said to him): “O lord of gods, O father, tell me the secret of Vṛndāvana.” Hearing this desire (of mine), he remained silent for a moment. Then he said to me: “O child, go to Mahā. (i.e. great) Viṣṇu, my lord. Undoubtedly I must also go there with you.” Saying so, and taking me (with him) he went to the abode of Viṣṇu. He told Mahā Viṣṇu what I had said to him. Hearing that Mahā Viṣṇu himself ordered the self-born one (i.e. Brahmā). “By my order, you take the sage Nārada, and arrange for his bath in the lake called Amṛta.” Ordered by great Viṣṇu the self-born one acted like that with me. Having entered the Amṛta lake, I took bath there. Just at that moment I was (i.e. I found myself) near women, beyond (i.e. on the other side of) the lake. (I was) turned into a woman, endowed with all (good) characteristics and was very much amazed. Seeing me coming, those (women) repeatedly asked (me):
The women said:
32b-35. Who are you? Wherefrom have you come? Explain your conduct.
Listen to what I said on hearing their agreeable talk. “Where I have come from, who I am, how I have become a woman—all this appears like a dream. I confused on the earth?” Hearing those words of mine, the goddess spoke to me in a sweet sound: “This is the city by name Vṛṇdā, which is always dear to the Moon in the form of Kṛṣṇa; and I am the goddess Lalitā, gone beyond the fourth state and without parts (i.e. whole).”
36-39a. The great goddess, who was addressed like this, and whose mind was soft with pity, again said to me: “Come along with me.” All other women, devoted to Kṛṣṇa’s feet, said the same thing to me: “Come along with her.” O you who resemble gods, the fourteen-lettered hymn of the Moon in the form of Kṛṣṇa—the noble one, and also of that goddess was then kindly narrated to me; and just at that moment, I got her resemblance.
39b-45. With them, (we) went where the eternal Kṛṣṇa remained. The lord, who was merely of the form of the Good, the Intelligence and the Joy, and of that of a woman, and whose heart was delighted due to the women, again and again said to me: “Come along O dear one, O beloved, embrace me devoutly.” O you best brāhmaṇa, there only he enjoyed (with me) for a year. Then that best lover said to that goddess Rādhikā: “This was my natural form there, which had taken the form of Nārada. Take her to the Amṛta lake, and arrange for her bath.” Then I spoke agreeable words to my lover. “I am Goddess Lalitā and that Rādhikā who is celebrated in songs. I am called Vāsudeva, who always is of the nature of the art of love. I am truly of a feminine form, and I am the ancient woman, and I am goddess Lalitā, and in a manly form I have Kṛṣṇa’s body.
46-53. O Nārada, there is no difference between us. This is the truth, the (only) truth. He, who knows, along with the (code of) conduct and convention, the fact and usual practices about me, so also the hymn (sacred to me), is dear to me like Lalitā. This sacret (place) named Vṛndāvana, is my abode. This is to be disclosed at no place. It should never be told to a brute.” After that goddess Rādhikā took me to the lake, waited there, and went (back) near the feet of the Moon in the form of Kṛṣṇa. Then immediately after plunging (into the lake) I came (back) as Nārada, having the lute in his hand, and repeatedly engaged in gladly singing that great secret. Having saluted the self-born (i.e. Brahmā), I went to Viṣṇu’s assembly. The self-born one saw that, but did not say anything at that time. O child, I have told you a great secret. You too have to guard carefully the (secret about the) unique, perfect abode of the Moon in the form of Kṛṣṇa, like (that of) the paramour of one’s mother. As I have told the agreeable (story) along with its secret to my dear disciple Gautama, in the same way I have narrated fully to you the great secret.
54-55. O brāhmaṇas, if sometime it would be disclosed wheresoever, then certainly there would be a curse from the Moon in the form of Kṛṣṇa, O best sages.
He, who would read or listen to this excellent chapter full of the sports of Kṛṣṇa goes to the highest position.