Category Archives: 1.10 Krsna Leaves Hastinapura

Divine Gossip

Those women, completely smitten with Krishna, chattered excitedly amongst themselves, while sharing glances with Krishna from the rooftop. One said:

That man is definitely the Complete Original Male.
He alone existed in the beginning
as the self without differentiation.
All differentiations spring from him,
the husband and heart-throb of the universe.
All energies return into him in slumber.

They point to Krishna with graceful hands and love-laden glances, saying, “That man is unlike all other men! He is the Complete Original Male!”

“What do you mean by that?” One lady asks excitedly.

“It means,” another answers, without removing her eyes from Krishna’s, “that he and he alone existed in the very beginning of things – a complete but unexpanded absolute quantum of consciousness.”

With breathy tones and a long sigh, one lady protests: “How could a ‘quantum of consciousness’ be as handsome and attractive as Krishna???”

Inspired by love, the lady who started the conversation explains: “This singular, absolute self,” she says, gesturing as if in a dance towards Krishna, “expands into all the differentiations, individualities and relativities that we see all around us, and more.”

“But why?” asks a lady barely able to think in her swoon as Krishna’s driver takes up the reigns.

“I will explain it in words, but everyone already knows it well from practical experience: To exist is to experience; The best experience is pleasure; The best pleasure is love; Love is realized in relationships; Relationships require individuality. That’s why he became everyone and everything!”

Satisfied, all the ladies fall silent for some moments, gazing upon the beauty and charms of the All-Attractive. All their energy flowed like rivers from their hearts, through their eyes, down to merge lovingly into the ocean of sweetness, Śrī Krishna.

The lady who started the conversation now brought it full circle: “Since all things come from him, all things yearn to return to him. All energy must complete its circuit. So, my friends, all us of only exist for him. When we give all our energy and being to him, the circuit is complete and we feel peace and satisfaction, similar to the deepest sleep.”

“Do you mean,” asks another lady, “that we must merge back into the source from which we have come? Is that why we are so hopelessly and completely attracted to Krishna?”

“Yes,” the main woman answers with a very suggestive flicker of her eyebrows, “we must merge ourselves into him, my dear!”

Another woman now speaks up, “Just look at those bald-headed priests! They are sitting so calmly chanting mantras and hymns. What is that all about!? To them, the idea of ‘merging back into the original self’ means complete annihilation of their miserable existence! In so doing they do not please the Original Husband at all. They merely erase themselves from displeasing him – which I suppose is better than… nothing… If you get my pun.”

Laughing, the women continue, “Yes, The Original One made us individuals because he wanted individuals – so he could share the bliss of love. How odd that those called doctors and scholars can’t understand such simple things! Fools who know nothing of the ways of love seek to lose their differentiation by ending their individuality. Ha! We ladies are no such fools, are we!? I think we alone have the right idea about how to ‘merge’ with that man in ‘sleep’! We will lose our differentiation from him in the heights of that love. There is no higher perfection!”

 

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A Mountain of Gold Hidden in the Himalayas

1.12.32

The king wanted to perform a horse sacrifice to diminish the effects of fighting with his family, but he realized that the treasury consisted of nothing but taxes and fines.

We’ve already heard about King Yudhiṣṭhira’s horse sacrifices, so it would be good to clarify the story line at this point. We are currently in the twelfth chapter of the first division of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. In the seventh chapter, Sūta began to answer the questions he was asked about Parīkṣit, the person to whom Śrīmad Bhāgavatam was originally spoken. The main thing he communicates about Parīkṣit is that Viṣṇu personally rescued him from the radiation of a deadly weapon, while he was still in his mother’s womb. Chapter seven and most of chapter eight are the backstory explaining why this weapon was cast, even after the war itself was finished (it’s the same war described in detail in Mahābhārata). Sūta describes the actual rescue at the end of chapter eight. But in telling this story in which the main subject of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Kṛṣṇa, plays a central role Sūta became excited and eager. So he continued narrating the tale even after his original purpose for bringing it up had been fulfilled. This goes on through chapters nine, ten, and eleven; wherein Sūta describes Bhīṣma’s deep relationship to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s journey home to Dvārakā, and the welcome he received there.

At the beginning of chapter twelve, Śaunaka takes advantage of a natural pause in the story to remind Sūta of his original intention: to answer their questions about Parīkṣit. Sūta returns to the story line in this chapter, and reconnects his new narrative to the old by referencing topics previously mentioned. That is why we again hear about the horse sacrifices of King Yudhiṣṭhira.

33

Seeing this desire, his brothers approached the Infallible who told them how to find and procure an abundance of wealth from the north.

Long ago, Śiva gave a literal mountain of gold to an ancient king, Marutta. Eventually the path to the mountain was lost and the treasure within became inaccessible. But Infallible Kṛṣṇa told the Pāṇḍavas exactly how to find it and get an abundance of wealth for the sacrifice.

34

With it, the son of Dharma procured enough ingredients to perform the sacrifice three times, being fearful. Hari was pleased.

Fearful of the ill fate created by the war between family members, Yudhiṣṭhira performed the purificatory sacrifice not once, but three times.

35

The All-Attractive attended the sacrifice performed by twice-born for the king. Out of affection for his beloved devotees, he lived with them for a few months.

Regarding the term “twice-born:” The first birth is determined by fate. The second is determined by freewill. Only evolved persons utilize their freewill to take a symbolic second birth to establish an identity dedicated to higher pursuits. Such persons are qualified to perform mystical ceremonies.

36

Then, O spiritualists, the king allowed Kṛṣṇa to leave for Dvārakā, surrounded by Arjuna and his other friends and relatives.


Krishna: The Sexiest Man in the Universe (Conclusion of “Philosophy in the City”)

29-30

He took her from the midst of very powerful heroes headed by King Caidya [Śiśupāla] who were competing for her hand in marriage, belittling them all. He took others in a similar manner. So he has many children like Pradyumna and Sāmba. He even took thousands of women at once by killing Bhauma. They were no longer single, no longer pure, but oh how perfectly they express the highest aspirations of femininity! The Lotus-Eyed Husband always stays within their homes, with heartfelt gifts and caresses.

“He took her” refers to Kṛṣṇa’s first queen, Rukmiṇī. “He took others” refers to Satyabhāmā and Jāmbavatī. “Thousands” refers to all the women who had been kidnapped into the harem of King Bhauma. Kṛṣṇa killed Bhauma to rescue these women. Having been members of the harem, they were no longer good candidates for marriage, but Kṛṣṇa ignored such formalities and married them all.

A significant portion of male attractiveness lies in heroism and strength, which represents his capacity to defeat other men and thus protect women and children from harassment. Here, the city ladies appreciate the unparalleled extent to which Kṛṣṇa, the ultimate and original male, displays such heroic and manly attractiveness by boldly belittling and destroying other men to claim his brides.

Most of the remaining portion of male attractiveness lies in his ability to be gentle and sensitive to a woman. Truly attractive men (among whom even the most legendary cannot hold a candle to Kṛṣṇa) are bold and aggressive when appropriate, but gentle and sensitive at other times.

The city girls appreciate Kṛṣṇa’s gentleness as well as his boldness. He paid loving attention to each and every one of his thousands of wives. It is difficult for one man to pay sufficient attention to even two or three women, but Kṛṣṇa did so for thousands. Kṛṣṇa is the original Godhead and his form is formlessness itself. Thus he easily exists in thousands of different places simultaneously. In fact, because Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent he never leaves his beloved consorts. Even when he was on the chariot in the road of Hastinapura, he still remained with his wives in their palaces. And while at home with them the scene is always one of intimate, heartfelt love expressed through carefully chosen gifts and gentle caresses.

Female attractiveness – the real sort, which makes a man see a woman as wife, not a date – mainly depends on the purity of her love and devotion, for these are the qualities than enable a woman to repair and mend the troubles of men and children. Women from the harem of a fallen king would not exactly seem to be emblems of pure loving fidelity and devotion. But Kṛṣṇa was deeply attracted to all of them, and flaunted all social convention to marry them. Why? It is because they possessed the most attractive quality of all – abject devotion and love of the All-Attractive. This quality is the perfection of devotion, and therefore the perfection of femininity. The women liberated from Bhauma’s harem were therefore exemplars of the highest virtues of femininity.

The number of wives and children of Kṛṣṇa is impossible, of course, because Kṛṣṇa himself is impossibility in reality. He is the unlimited being. Numbers are insignificant in regards to his unfathomable dimension.

31

Hearing all this talk from the city ladies, Hari sent them his blissful glance and smile. Then he departed.

An ordinary human cannot hear the chatter of women on the rooftops when he is surrounded by drums and trumpets and crowds. But Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā, the spiritual substance linking every ear to every soul. Thus he can easily hear everything and anything. The last thing he did before his chariot left the city is cast a love-laden, smiling glance upon the dear women who were speaking so affectionately about him.

One can hardly imagine the surge of bliss felt by those women upon receiving such a glance.

To summarize the salient points raised by the ladies of Hastinapura:

  1. Kṛṣṇa is the Complete Original Male who alone exists. Everything else is his energy, which flows out from and returns into him. The ladies wish to return into him in a highly intimate and personal manner, which is far superior to the impersonal and tasteless manner conceived by yogis and priests.
  2. Kṛṣṇa is more virile than any other man – from his seed comes all the life born from the womb of the material and spiritual worlds.
  3. Kṛṣṇa is not merely attractive to young, impressionable girls – the gods and godly strive to purify their hearts of selfishness so they too can see him as these girls do.
  4. Kṛṣṇa is the most enjoyable topic for song, poems, and even for chit-chat.
  5. The more intimately one embraces Kṛṣṇa, the more intimately Kṛṣṇa reveals himself. Understanding him in his officious feature as the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the universes is only the beginning of tasting what he truly is.
  6. Understanding the motive of his actions as the will to balance good and bad in the world is only the beginning of knowing the real inspiration behind his deeds.
  7. These ladies are fortunate to see him, but his family is more fortunate. He no longer lives with his family, though, so the residents of his city are even more fortunate because they regularly see him. Most fortunate of all those citizens are his queens, who always drink the nectar of his lips. But most fortunate of all his lovers are the cowherd girls of Vrindavana, who are so deeply and constantly connected to Kṛṣṇa that the mere hope of his kiss brings realization of Kṛṣṇa deeper than the queens can taste in thousands of kisses. So the ultimate hope of the ladies of Hastinapura  is to gain a place, any place, among these cowherd girls.
  8. Kṛṣṇa is infinitely more attractive than any other brave and heroic man, and infinitely more attentive a lover than any doting gentleman.

It is very difficult to argue with these sublime conclusions.

How The Cowherd Girls of Vrindavana Always Relish Krishna, and Visa Versa, even when they are not apparently together.


Philosophy in the City – Part 4

1.10.27

Aho! Rising higher than the fame of heaven
The Land of Kusha Grass raises the virtuous fame of the earth.
It’s citizens always see the kindness-laden smiling glance
Of the soul’s true husband.

The “Land of Kusha Grass” (kuśasthali) is Kṛṣṇa’s home city, Dvārakā. The citizens of Dvārakā are more celebrated than the citizens of heaven, because in Dvārakā the blessing-filled, pleasant and loving glances of Kṛṣṇa – the soul’s true husband – are always seen.

28

In their previous lives, certainly his queens must have
Perfectly worshiped the Master with vows involving rituals, baths, and so on;
For these women drink, again and again, the heavenly nectar of his lips,
The mere hope for which causes the women of Vraja to faint.

Much of what the ladies discus, especially in texts 27 and 28, directly mocks the foolishness of the Vedic priests who were chanting benedictions, hymns, and mantras while Kṛṣṇa makes ready to depart. The heavenly planets and the nectar of immortality found there are primary objectives of Vedic rituals, but these girls are ridiculing those objectives in comparison to what is easily and automatically found in Kṛṣṇa.

They said that the everyone present is more fortunate than anyone else in the three worlds, because the Supreme Being playfully walks among them. Then they said, “He is only here temporarily, imagine the glory of his home city, Dvārakā! The residents there are truly fortunate because they regularly get what we rarely get. The glory of that place belittles the attractions of heaven!”

Then another lady continues the theme, “All those residents are fortunate because they experience the glance of Kṛṣṇa, but imagine the queens there, who always drink the nectar of his lips!!! Such nectar makes the nectar of heaven seem like old coffee!”

Then another says, “But my friends, best of all are the women of Vraja – where Kṛṣṇa was unreservedly intimate. Their love for him is so great that they swoon from the taste of that nectar without even needing to physically have it!”


Philosophy in the City – Part 3

24

This man, O friend, is certainly the most fitting topic for song,
The most intimate object known by the most intimate knowers.
He alone is the master of everything,
As his own play he creates, maintains and destroys it without attachment.

Another girl turns to a friend close by her side, tugs gently upon her arm and says, “Dear friend, that man is the real topic for love songs! Such songs are real spiritual discussion.”

“Ah,” answers her friend, “but who will write such songs?  The world is full instead of worthless hymns, mantras, poems, and lyrics.”

The girl answers quickly and confidently, “We will! And we will inspire others too! We are guhya-vādī – the most intimate philosophers. We alone know the Veda’s most intimate secret (vedeṣu guhyeṣu). That is why our gossip and chatter is better than any sermon, it is sat-katha! Those who listen to the lyrics we now weave will later expand them into new song!”

At this point, an older woman who was sitting a bit apart with folded arms finally expressed her growing dissatisfaction and suspicion of these young ladies, “Oh please,” she blurted out. “You are just ridiculously in love with that charismatic heartbreaker, that’s all. You are just lusty, pritter-prattering young urban girls. Why on earth are you insulting priests, scholars and real spiritualists by pretending to be some deep and mysterious philosophers and transcendentalists!?”

“Oh be quiet, you old crow!” Shout the young ladies in unison. “If you had half an ear you would already know the answer to your own question, for we have already explained all that. He is no ordinary charmer! He alone is the true master of everything in the universe! You people speak of gods of universal creation, maintenance and annihilation – but the truth is that all such things take place effortlessly as a result of his playful will!”

“Playful!?”  The old woman attempts to retort. “What could possibly be ‘playful’ about universal creation and destruction!?!?”

With a long sigh and quiet laugh, the girls said, “You really are thick-headed, grandma. Everything exists merely for the sake of joy, for play. All the sufferings and disasters in this world are our own doing, as a result of protest against our inherent nature to facilitate his play. Yes, we say this entire universe is nothing but play.”

Seeing the persistent sour look on the old woman’s face start to barely give way to curiosity, they invited her, “Unfold your arms, and come over here with us. Get a good clear view of our handsome Master. We think your dry old breasts will again perk up when you see him with your own eyes! And when your bosom blossoms with love for him you too will clearly see all these confidential secrets of reality kept hidden from those with eyes blinded by turning away from the sunlight of Godhead towards the darkness of ego.”

Opening their arms and waving her over, the encouraged, “Come dear woman, come…”

25

When immoral and dark-hearted kings thrive
Then, with his absolute goodness he manifests
Opulence, reality, truthfulness, compassion and fame
In many forms, aeon after aeon.

Now the old, reluctant woman has joined the young ladies and looks down upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa seated upon a fabulous chariot slowly rolling into the road in front of the palace. The young ladies help the old woman appreciate him by recounting a well-known philosophical principle of the time.

“You see that handsome man?” They gently ask her. “He is the one that scriptures say appears aeon after aeon in so many different forms for the sake of counteracting immorality and dark-heartedness by broadcasting his beautiful opulence, reality, truthfulness, compassion.”

26

Aho! How very praiseworthy is the Yadu family!
Aho! How very praiseworthy is the Sweet Forest!
The greatest person of all, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune,
Was born from them, and walked amongst them!

Now all the women, young and old, overcome with the ecstasy and deepest profound visions of divine love exclaim Kṛṣṇa’s glories in one voice: This man who walks among us is actually that All-Attractive godhead who sets the world aright age after age. How fortunate and lucky are we, therefore!

We often have “God” rammed down our throats, “now get down on your knees and fear his wrath, and be in awe of his power.” So, we are prone to misunderstand Kṛṣṇa as a self-centered being, imparting on him the imperfections of greed and hunger ingrained within our own mentalities. In fact Kṛṣṇa is a being of purely selfless love who purposefully invests other persons, places and things with the power to lift him to his highest heights. Thus the husband of the Goddess of Fortune decides to be born amongst simple cowherd people in the sweet forest of Madhu-vana, and be loved, raised, and even protected by them.

 


Philosophy in the City – Part 2

1.10.23

This man is certainly very virile!
He impregnates nature with his own power of life, empowering her to create offspring.
Entrusting her to award names and forms to the nameless, formless souls;
And creating the rules by which to do so.

The ladies continue their enthusiastic chatter about Kṛṣṇa as his chariot pulls into the road to leave the city. They cling to these words about him, as if by holding them they can keep Kṛṣṇa from leaving their vision.

“To say that he is ‘sexy’ is the universes most preposterous understatement,” declares a beautiful young lady excitedly. “Do you know how virile he really is???”

“Yes, we know!” exclaims another. “His seed is the original seed! He impregnates Mother Nature herself! And thus gives her the power to develop so many millions of children in her womb, again and again throughout history.”

Then the lady who spoke the previous verse turned quickly towards the others with a flourish, “His seed is none other than the quantum of life itself! In that energy are infinite individual proto-souls, as mere potential consciousness – without definite shape or identity. By placing them into the care of his wife’s womb, he entrusts her to bestow appropriate names and forms to them, according to the design he sets forth.

“And, good women,” she continues loudly, “this is true for both the conditioned as well as the liberated souls. The only difference between the two is which of his wives he impregnates! He impregnates the wife named Mahā-Prakṛti, or Mahā-Māyā, to give names and forms to the souls who desire a venue for imitating his own exploits. But he impregnates another, dearer wife named Daivi-Prakṛti, or Yoga-Māyā to give names and forms to those souls who desire to partake directly in his spiritual pastimes of joy.”

23

This very same man is he for whom the gods and the godly
Struggle to conquer their senses and control their lifestyles,
In the effort to purify themselves, so that their hearts may give rise to divine love
By which they can see him.

There really is no other point to self-purification!

“Do you see that man?” Asks another woman, pointing towards Kṛṣṇa with a timid hand trembling out of excitement. “We see him before us with our very eyes! Do you know how much trouble the gods themselves go through to be able to see him!? They work so hard to control the selfish desires in the heart which obscure pure devotion, because they know that pure love is the only eye that can behold the limitless beauty of the All-Attractive.”

He voice faded into a whisper and then fell silent. The women stood motionless for a few moments. Then, with a very deep sign, someone concluded, “Really, besides seeing that man, nothing else in the world is worth striving for.”


Philosophy in the City

Kṛṣṇa is leaving Hastinapura amidst an extremely emotional outpouring of affection. The narrator, Sūta, chooses to ignore the benedictive hymns of scholastic priests and focuses our attention instead upon the chatter and gossip going on between the women of the city as Kṛṣṇa’s chariot moves onto the road.

1.10.21

This man is most certainly the Complete Original Male,
Who singularly existed in the beginning as the self without differentiation.
All variations spring from him, the master and soul of the universe.
All energies return into him in slumber.

I did not expect that the chatter and gossip of city women to be so philosophical, but that is exactly the point Sūta infers by focusing our attention on them and not the priests. True knowledge requires affection. We can never know something as deeply and thoroughly as when we are completely dedicated and devoted to it. Thus people who are deeply in love with the All-Attractive wind up with  philosophical understandings far deeper than philosophers who are mainly in love with the philosophical process itself, or priests who are mainly in love with the accoutrements of religion, ritual and ecclesiastical governances.

But their philosophy is strongly marked by romantic perfume.

They point to Kṛṣṇa with graceful hands and love-laden glances, saying, “That man is unlike all other men! He is the Complete Original Male!”

“What do you mean by that?” One lady asks excitedly.

“It means,” another answers, glancing over her shoulder again at Kṛṣṇa, “that he and he alone existed in the very beginning of things.”

“Tell me more!” Cries another.

Eyes fixed upon Kṛṣṇa sitting on his chariot amidst all the flowers they had showered from the rooftops, one of the women explained to the others. “In the beginning was only him, existing as an undifferentiated, non-relativistic quantum of self.”

In a breathy tone, one lady protests, “Oh but how could an ‘undifferentiated entity,’ as you say, be as handsome and attractive as Kṛṣṇa???”

Inspired by love, the central woman continues to explain. “This singular, absolute self,” she says, gesturing as if in a dance towards Kṛṣṇa, “expands into all the differentiations, individualities and relativities that we see all around us, and more.”

“But why?” asks a lady barely able to think in her swoon as Kṛṣṇa’s driver takes up the reigns.

“I will explain it in words, but everyone already knows it well from practical experience:

  • To exist is to experience
  • The height of experience is in pleasure
  • The height of pleasure is in love
  • Love is realized through relationships involving varieties of situations

“That is why the original singular existence, full of experiential potency, manifests all varieties of people, things and relationships via his unlimited energies.”

Satisfied, all the ladies fell silent for some moments, gazing upon the beauty and charms of the All-Attractive. All the energies of their being flowed like rivers from their hearts through their eyes, and merged lovingly into the ocean of sweetness, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The lady who started the topic spoke again to bring it full circle. “Since all things come from him, all things yearn to return to him. All energy must complete its circuit. So, my friends, all us of only exist for him. When we give all our energy and being to him, the circuit is complete and we feel peace and satisfaction, similar to the deepest sleep.”

“Do you mean,” asks another lady, “that we must merge back into the source from which we have come? Is that why we are so hopelessly and completely attracted to Kṛṣṇa?”

“Yes,” the main woman answers with a very suggestive flicker of her eyebrows, “we must merge ourselves into him, my dear!”

Another woman now speaks up, “Just look at those bald-headed priests! They are sitting so calmly chanting mantras and hymns. What is that all about!? To them, the idea of ‘merging back into the original self’ means complete annihilation of their miserable existence! In so doing they do not please the Original Husband at all. They merely erase themselves from displeasing him – which I suppose is better… than… nothing… If you get my pun.”

Amidst laughter, the women continued, “Yes, The Original One made us individuals because he wanted individuals – so he could share the bliss of love. How odd that those called doctors and scholars can’t understand such simple things! Fools who know nothing of the ways and powers of love seek to lose their differentiation by ending their individuality. Ha! We ladies are no such fools, are we!? I think we alone have the right idea about how to ‘merge’ with that man in ‘sleep’! We will lose our differentiation from him in the heights of that love.”


Gossiping Women Are Far Better Than Hymn Chanting Priests

1.10.1

Saunaka asked:

 

Having eliminated the aggressors who tried to usurp what was rightfully his, how did Yudhisthira and his brothers, the greatest upholders of morality, enjoy or restrict themselves?

2

Suta answered:

 

The Kuru dynasty was thinned like a fire-stricken bamboo forest, but its good seedlings were protected by Hari. The Controller’s mind became pleased by reestablishing Yudhisthira in to his rightful throne.

3

Having heard the words of Bhisma and the Infallible, he was cleansed of all confusions and took up his duties with deep wisdom. He ruled the globe and even its oceans like Indra protected by Visnu; and his brothers assisted him.

 

4

The rains poured as much as desired. The earth produced everything desired. The leaking udders of the happy cows moistened the pastures.

5

Rivers, oceans, hills, vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs certainly fulfilled everyone’s desires.

 6

There was no distress or disease nor any sufferings from the gods, creatures, or self. No one ever became inimical towards the king.

 

7

Hari stayed in Hastinapura for a few months, too. To console and please his relatives and beloved sister.

Krsna’s sister, Subhadra, was Arjuna’s wife, so she stayed in Hastinapura.

8

With his permission, embrace, and respect he ascended his chariot being embraced and respected by so many.

After a few months, Krsna again asked Yudhisthira’s permission to return to home.

9-10

Subhadra, Draupadi, Kunti, Virata’s daughter, Gandhari, Dhrtarastra, Yuyutsu, Gautama, the Twins, Wolf-Belly, Dhaumya, the royal ladies like the Fisherman’s Daughter, could not tolerate the loss of the Bow-Weilder, and almost fainted.

 

Subhadra is Krsna’s sister and Arjuna’s wife. Draupadi is the wife of all five Pandavas. Kunti is the mother of the Pandavas. Virata’s daughter is Uttara,, the wife of Arjuna’s son and the mother of Pariksit. Gandhari and Dhritarastra are the mother and father of the children who tried to usurp Yuddhisthira, Yuyutsu is Dhritarastras child from a different wife. Gautama is the family guru. The Twins are the Pandavas Nakula and Sahadeva. Dhaumya is a sage. The Fisherman’s Daughter is the stepmother of Bhisma and grandmother of the Pandavas. The Bow-Wilder is Krsna addressed with reference to his being identical to Visnu, who weilds the unique bow called Sarnga.

11-12

Appreciating what is real and casting off what is unreal, an intelligent person could never attempt to give up the kirtan of his fame; which upon the first sound immediately delights. Arjuna had given his very consciousness to him. How could he tolerate losing him after personally touching, conversing, reclining, sitting, and eating together?

 

Those who can appreciate what is real and unreal cannot give up the pleasure of hearing about Krsna’s name and fame. So just imagine the pain Arjuna felt in having to give up Krsna’s personal intimate company.

13

All of them could not even blink as they stared at him with hearts melted, moving aimlessly here and there like puppets on the strings of love.

14

All the palace women tried to stop their flood of tears, out of a great fear that it would be an omen of ill-fortune at the moment of Devaki’s son stepping out from the palace.

 

15

Then, mrdanga drums, conch shells; trumpets, flutes and bugles; kettledrums, bells and more sounded rhythmically.

 

16

The Kuru princesses went up to the roof of the palace to see Krsna. They lovingly showered flowers upon him, while casting flirtatious glances.

 

17

The beloved Sleepless Arjuna took up for his Supreme Beloved a cooling umbrella decorated with lace and pearl, and a bejeweled handle.

 

18

Uddhava and Satyaki fanned with the most wondrous fans the Master of Sweetness, who sat amongst the strewn flowers and gave the command to take to the road.

 

When Krsna left the palace a wonderful concert resounded. The ladies on the rooftops and terraces held back their tears for his sake and instead sent him delightfully flirtatious glances and showers of flowers. Arjuna took the kingdoms finest umbrella and held it above his dearmost friend as they walked from the gate to the chariot, while the driver Satyaki and his constant attendant Uddhava fanned him with wondrously opulent fans. When he arrived at his chariot it was covered in flowers, so he took his seat amongst the glorious spontaneous decorations and gave the order for Satyaki to drive the chariot onto the road.

19

Here and there you could hear spiritual benedictions pronounced by the priests. It was befitting but not really befitting for the Formless in Form.

 

The scholars miss the point out of too much affection for scholarship. However it is their nature and therefore not entirely unbefitting. Still their offering of mundane benedictions to the Supreme Personality seemed a bit out of place.

In music a dissonant note well placed increases the beauty of the melody. This is the role filled by these priests at the departure of Krsna.

20

Far more enchanting and pleasing than all their mantras was the gossip going on between all the women of the city; who had their hearts wrapped around the Subject of Topmost Poetry.

 

The only need for comment here is to note that there is absolutely no need to comment on the profundity of what Suta has just said in verses 19 and 20. The next group of verses will allow us to be a “fly-on-the-wall” and listen in on some samples of this divine chatter.