64. Lord Balarama Visits Vrndavana
10 / Lord Balaräma Visits Våndävana
Lord Balaräma became very anxious to see His father and mother, Mahäräja Nanda and Yaçodä. Therefore He started for Våndävana on a chariot with great enthusiasm. The inhabitants of Våndävana had been anxious to see Kåñëa and Balaräma for a very long time. When Lord Balaräma returned to Våndävana, all the cowherd boys and the gopés had grown up; but still, on His arrival, they all embraced Him, and Balaräma embraced them in reciprocation. After this He came before Mahäräja Nanda and Yaçodä and offered His respectful obeisances unto them. In response, mother Yaçodä and Nanda Mahäräja offered their blessings unto Him. They addressed Him as Jagadéçvara, or the Lord of the universe who maintains everyone. The reason for this was that both Kåñëa and Balaräma maintain all living entities, and yet Nanda and Yaçodä were put into such difficulties on account of Their absence. Feeling like this, they embraced Balaräma and, seating Him on their laps, began their perpetual crying, wetting Balaräma with their tears. Lord Balaräma then offered His respectful obeisances to the elderly cowherd men and accepted the obeisances of the younger cowherd men. Thus, according to their different ages and relationships, Lord Balaräma exchanged feelings of friendship with them. He shook hands with those who were His equals in age and friendship, and with loud laughing embraced each one of them.
After being received by the cowherd men and boys, the gopés, and King Nanda and Yaçodä, Lord Balaräma sat down, feeling satisfied, and they all surrounded Him. First Lord Balaräma inquired from them about their welfare, and then, not having seen Him for such a long time, they began to ask Him different questions. The inhabitants of Våndävana had sacrificed everything for Kåñëa, simply being captivated by the lotus eyes of the Lord. Because of their great desire to love Kåñëa, they never desired anything like elevation to the heavenly planets or merging into the effulgence of Brahman to become one with the Absolute Truth. They were not even interested in enjoying a life of opulence, but were satisfied in living a simple life in the village as cowherd men. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Kåñëa and did not desire any personal benefits, and they were all so much in love with Him that in His absence their voices faltered when they began to inquire from Balarämajé.
First Nanda Mahäräja and Yaçodämayé inquired, "My dear Balaräma, are our friends like Vasudeva and others in the family doing well? Now You and Kåñëa are grown-up married men with children. In the happiness of family life, do You sometimes remember Your poor father and mother, Nanda Mahäräja and Yaçodädevé? It is very good news that the most sinful King Kaàsa has been killed by You and that our friends like Vasudeva and the others who had been harassed by him, have now been relieved. It is also very good news that both You and Kåñëa defeated Jaräsandha and Kälayavana, who now is dead, and that You are now living in a fortified residence in Dvärakä."
When the gopés arrived, Lord Balaräma glanced over them with loving eyes. Being overjoyed, the gopés, who had so long been mortified on account of Kåñëa's and Balaräma's absence, began to ask about the welfare of the two brothers. They specifically asked Balaräma whether Kåñëa was enjoying His life surrounded by the enlightened women of Dvärakä Puré. "Does He sometimes remember His father Nanda and His mother Yaçodä and the other friends with whom He so intimately behaved while he was in Våndävana? Does Kåñëa have any plans to come here to see His mother Yaçodä and does He remember us gopés who are now pitiably bereft of His company? Kåñëa might have forgotten us in the midst of the cultured women of Dvärakä, but as far as we are concerned, we are still remembering Him by collecting flowers and sewing them into garlands. When He does not come, however, we simply pass our time by crying. If only He would come here and accept these garlands that we have made. Dear Lord Balaräma, descendant of Daçärha, You know that we would give up everything for Kåñëa's friendship. Even in great distress one cannot give up the connection of family members, but although it might be impossible for others, we gave up our fathers, mothers, sisters and relatives without caring at all about our renunciation. Then, all of a sudden, Kåñëa renounced us and went away. He broke off our intimate relationship without any serious consideration and left for a foreign country. But He was so clever and cunning that He manufactured very nice words. He said, 'My dear gopés, please do not worry. The service you have rendered Me is impossible for Me to repay.' After all, we are women, so how could we disbelieve Him? Now we can understand that His sweet words were simply for cheating us."
Another gopé, protesting Kåñëa's absence from Våndävana, began to say: "My dear Balarämajé, we are of course village girls, so Kåñëa could cheat us in that way, but what about the women of Dvärakä? Don't think they are as foolish as we are! We village women might be misled by Kåñëa, but the women in the city of Dvärakä are very clever and intelligent. Therefore I would be surprised if such city women could be misled by Kåñëa and could believe His words."
Then another gopé began to speak. "My dear friend," she said, "Kåñëa is very clever in using words. No one can compete with Him in that art. He can manufacture such colorful words and talk so sweetly that the heart of any woman would be misled. Besides that, He has perfected the art of smiling very attractively, and by seeing His smile women become mad after Him and would give themselves to Him without any hesitation."
Another gopé, after hearing this, said, "My dear friends, what is the use in talking about Kåñëa? If you are at all interested in passing away time by talking, let us talk on some subject other than Him. If cruel Kåñëa can pass His time without us, why can't we pass our time without Kåñëa? Of course, Kåñëa is passing His days very happily without us, but the difference is that we cannot pass our days very happily without Him."
When the gopés were talking in this way, their feelings for Kåñëa became more and more intensified, and they were experiencing Kåñëa's smiling, Kåñëa's words of love, Kåñëa's attractive features, Kåñëa's characteristics and Kåñëa's embraces. By the force of their ecstatic feelings, it appeared to them that Kåñëa was personally present and dancing before them. Because of their sweet remembrance of Kåñëa, they could not check their tears, and they began to cry without consideration.
Lord Balaräma could, of course, understand the ecstatic feelings of the gopés, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopés very respectfully, He began to narrate the stories of Kåñëa so tactfully that the gopés became satisfied. In order to keep the gopés in Våndävana satisfied, Lord Balaräma stayed there continually for two months, namely the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaiçäkha (April-May). For those two months He kept Himself among the gopés, and He passed every night with them in the forest of Våndävana in order to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus Balaräma also enjoyed the räsa dance with the gopés during those two months. Since the season was springtime, the breeze on the bank of the Yamunä was blowing very mildly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, especially of the flower known as kaumudé. Moonlight filled the sky and spread everywhere, and thus the banks of the Yamunä appeared to be very bright and pleasing, and Lord Balaräma enjoyed the company of the gopés there.
The demigod known as Varuëa sent his daughter Väruëé in the form of liquid honey oozing from the hollows of the trees. Because of this honey the whole forest became aromatic, and the sweet aroma of the liquid honey, Väruëé, captivated Balarämajé. Balarämajé and all the gopés became very much attracted by the taste of Väruëé, and all of them drank it together. While drinking this natural beverage, Väruëé, all the gopés chanted the glories of Lord Balaräma, and Lord Balaräma felt very happy, as if He had become intoxicated by drinking that Väruëé beverage. His eyes rolled in a pleasing attitude. He was decorated with long garlands of forest flowers, and the whole situation appeared to be a great function of happiness because of this transcendental bliss. Lord Balaräma smiled beautifully, and the drops of perspiration decorating His face appeared to be soothing morning dew.
While Balaräma was in that happy mood, He desired to enjoy the company of the gopés in the water of the Yamunä. Therefore He called Yamunä to come nearby. But Yamunä neglected the order of Balarämajé, considering Him to be intoxicated. Lord Balaräma became very much displeased at Yamunä's neglecting His order. He immediately wanted to scratch the land near the river with His plowshare. Lord Balaräma has two weapons, a plow and a club, and He takes service from them when they are required. This time He wanted to bring the Yamunä by force, and He took the help of His plow. He wanted to punish Yamunä because she did not come in obedience to His order. He addressed Yamunä: "You wretched river! You did not care for My order. Now I shall teach you a lesson! You did not come to Me voluntarily. Now with the help of My plow I shall force you to come. I shall divide you into hundreds of scattered streams!"
When Yamunä was threatened like this, she became greatly afraid of the power of Balaräma and immediately came in person, falling at His lotus feet and praying thus: "My dear Balaräma, You are the most powerful personality, and You are pleasing to everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot Your glorious, exalted position, but now I have come to my senses, and I remember that You hold all the planetary systems on Your head merely by Your partial expansion of Çeña. You are the sustainer of the whole universe. My dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are full of six opulences. Because I forgot Your omnipotence, I have mistakenly disobeyed Your order, and thus I have become a great offender. But, my dear Lord, please know that I am a surrendered soul unto You. You are very much affectionate to Your devotees. Therefore please excuse my impudence and mistakes and, by Your causeless mercy, may You now release me."
Upon displaying this submissive attitude, Yamunä was forgiven, and when she came nearby, Lord Balaräma wanted to enjoy the pleasure of swimming within her water along with the gopés in the same way an elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephants. After a long time, when Lord Balaräma had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After taking bath in the Yamunä, Lord Balaräma, dressed in blue garments and decorated with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord Balaräma's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planet. The Rver Yamunä still has many small branches due to being scratched by the plowshare of Lord Balaräma. And all these branches of the River Yamunä still glorify the omnipotency of Lord Balaräma.
Lord Balaräma and the gopés enjoyed transcendental pastimes together every night for two months, and time passed away so quickly that all those nights appeared to be only one night. In the presence of Lord Balaräma, all the gopés and inhabitants of Våndävana became as cheerful as they had been before in the presence of both brothers, Lord Kåñëa and Lord Balaräma.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Tenth Chapter, of Kåñëa, "Lord Balaräma Visits Våndävana."