dānī bhūtvā madana-nṛpater gavya-dāna-cchalena
yatra prātaḥ sakhibhir abhito veṣṭitaḥ saṁrurodha
śrī-gāndharvāṁ nija-gaṇa-vṛtāṁ naumi tāṁ kṛṣṇa-vedīm
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises the Krishna-vedī, the place at the Dāna-ghāṭī of Govardhana hill.
It was here that the crown-jewel of amorous heroes Sri Krishna had a lot of fun by dressing himself wonderfully as a toll-collector and stopping Radharani and her girlfriends on the road on the pretext of collecting tax from them. For the welfare of Sri Krishna-Baladeva, Vasudeva had engaged Bhāgurī Rṣi to commence a great sacrifice near Govinda Kund, at the base of Govardhana hill. It was announced all over Vraja that any gopī who personally took a jug of ghee on her head and donated it to the sacrifice would certainly have all of her desires fulfilled.
Srimati Radharani and her girlfriends took golden jugs with fresh and fragrant ghee on their heads and headed towards Govardhan. Hearing this news from a parrot, Sri Krishna and his dearmost friends went to the peak of Govardhan hill and erected a peerless Dāna Ghāṭī (toll-station) there on a large platform called Śyāma Vedī.
smitvā narma priya sakhagaṇair āvṛtaḥ sāvadhānaḥ
śailendrasyopari parilasann udbhaṭa śyāmavedyāṁ
ghaṭṭīpaṭṭaṁ vidadhad atulaṁ ballabādhīśa sūnuḥ
Seeing Sri Radha walking with the charming gait of a swan, decorated with different garments and ornaments, holding a golden jug with ghee on her head, and being surrounded by her girlfriends, Śyāmasundara became enchanted and thought:
kiṁ vidyul-latikā-tatir nahi ghane sa khe kṣaṇa-dyotinī
kiṁ jyotir-laharī-sarin nahi na sā mūrtiṁ vahet tad dhruvaṁ
jñātaṁ jñātam asau sakhī-kula-vṛtā rādhā sphuṭaṁ prāñcati
Is this a blooming champaka vine? No, because that does not move! Then is it a lightning strike? No, that also not, because the lightning rests in a cloud in the sky! Then is it a river stream of effulgence? No, that is also not possible, because that has no form! Then I know for sure that it is Radha coming this way, surrounded by her girlfriends!”
Seeing Sri Krishna, premamayī Sri Radha was also astonished and told her girlfriends –
kiṁ nīlotpala-navya-mūrtir api kiṁ kastūrikā-vibhramaḥ
āsteṣv eṣa na ko’pi hanta yad ayaṁ nastāpaye nirbharaṁ
tasmād gokulacandra eva bhavitā śyāmo’dbhuta-kṣmādhare
O fair-faced girlfriends! Is this a fresh raincloud, a fresh sprout of sapphire, a new kind of blue lotus or a musk perfume? No, it is none of these things, because they do not give us so much pain! It must be Śyāma, the moon of Gokula, there on the wonderful hill! (Dāna-keli-cintāmaṇi, 18-20)
Seeing Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, who was overwhelmed by mind-stealing feelings of ecstasy, walked on slowly with her girlfriends. Then suddenly Subala came running up to them, stood before them and loudly exclaimed: “O hey you milkmaids! Why are you avoiding this toll-station? Come here and pay your dues!”
The proud girls on the road shrugged their shoulders and walked on without even blinking an eye in his direction. At each and every step Srimati extended a net of very powerful influence over Śyāma Nāgara’s mind. Nāgara was enchanted by the sounds of her ornaments! As if bewitched by a mantra, the enchanting toll-collector came running down the hill, a flute in his hand, a smile on his face, and casting sharp, sidelong glances. Obstructing the way for Srimati our hero stood there and said: “Pay me my toll!”
How beautiful Svāminī looked! How wonderfully she manifested her kilakiñcita-bhāva!
kiñcit pāṭalitāñcalā rasikatotsiktā puraḥ kuñcati
ruddhāyāḥ pathi mādhavena madhura vyābhugna-tārottarā
rādhāyāḥ kila kiñcita stavakinī dṛṣṭiḥ śriyaṁ vaḥ kriyāt
When Sri Radha is obstructed by Sri Krishna on the road to the Dāna Ghāṭī her glance attains some brightness because of her slight smile, which is caused by her inner joy, her eyelashes are studded with teardrops, the corners of her eyes look ruddy, her glances are sprinkled with lusciousness, but become crooked when she faces Sri Krishna, and the pupils of her eyes are crooked in a sweet mood and thus carry an extraordinary beauty. May this kilakiñcita-bhāva in Sri Radha’s eyes, which is like a bouquet of flowers, bestow all auspiciousness on you! (Dāna-keli-kaumudī, 1)
Listen to the description of the emotional ornamentation named kilakiñcita-bhāva. When Sri Radha is decorated with these ornaments she steals Krishna’s heart. When Krishna sees Radha and wants to touch her he goes to the Dāna Ghāṭī and tries to stop her there on the road, and when she comes to pick flowers Krishna tries to lay his hands on her in front of her girlfriends. At all these places the kila kiñcita bhāva awakens in her, starting with joy, which is the primal cause of infused emotions (sañcārī bhāvas).
The other seven ecstasies naturally meet with the first one, and when all the eight ecstasies are found together we have mahā-bhāva. When these eight different delectable ecstasies, like pride, desire, fear, dry weeping, anger, envy and mild smiling come together, the relish satisfies Krishna’s mind. It is as sweet as Rasālā, which contains yoghurt, rock candy, ghī, honey, black pepper, camphor and cardamom. When Krishna sees Sri Radha’s face and eyes endowed with these feelings it makes him millions of times happier than when he directly unites with her. (CC 2.14.169-174)
Because he hankers for the indescribably sweet relish of Sri Radha’s emotional displays like kilakiñcita Sri Krishna initiates humorous pastimes like the Dāna-līlā. Śyāmasundara speaks with the sakhīs, while Svāminī remains silent.
The sakhīs say: “We never heard of a toll station near Govardhan hill before!”
Śyāma says: “How amazing! They have never heard yet of the king of toll-collectors named Madana (Cupid)! Don’t speak like that again! If King Madana hears it you will have to suffer a great royal punishment!”
How many hundreds of memories are awakened of the wonderful erotic flavors of laughing and joking of the enchanting toll-collector with Sri Gāndharvikā and her girlfriends, when seeing the place of these pastimes in this way. Das Goswami says: “I offer my obeisances unto this Krishna Vedī.”
dāna līlāya kutukita manā.
prātaḥ kāle sakhā saṅge,dāna māge mahāraṅge,
yathā rādhā saṅge vrajāṅganā
madana rājera ājñāte,dāna dāo e ghāṭete,
loiyā yāo dadhi, ghṛta yoto.
eto boli nāgarendra,hāsya kori mṛdu manda,
avarodha koilo gopī patha.
vandi ‘kṛṣṇa vedī’ seho,yathā kṛṣṇa sakhā saha,
nitya raṅge korena vihāra
śrī rādhikā sakhī saṅge,kobe sethā yābe raṅge,
heno dina ki hoibe āmāya?
I praise the Krishna-Vedī, where the crownjewel of relishers becomes a great taxcollector, eagerly desiring to play the Dāna-līlā, and where he always comes in the morning with his friends and has great fun in levying tax from Radha and the Vraja-gopīs. Slightly smiling and saying “Pay me tax of all your yoghurt and ghī on the order of King Cupid, here at this toll-station!”, Nāgarendra stopped the gopīs on the road. When will the day be mine when I can go there with Sri Radhika and her sakhīs?
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
More of Ananta Das Pandit’s writings in English translation can be found at Tarun Govinda’s blog, Amrita Tarangini.
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