I praise the place where the learned and beautiful wives of the sacrificing brāhmaṇas spontaneously, blissfully and with great devotion fed the freely playing Krishna and Balarāma and Their affectionate friends four kinds of high quality foodgrains, that defied the taste of nectar.</>
kāmaṁ rāma sametam acyutam aho snigdhair vayasyair vṛtam
śrīmān yājñika vijña sundara vadhū-vargaḥ svayaṁ yo mudā
bhaktyā bhojitavān sthalaṁ ca tad idaṁ taṁ cāpi vandāmahe
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā : Now Raghunath Das Goswami praises the place where the wives of the sacrificing brahmins fed Sri Krishna and Sri Baladeva and their friends with the foodgrains that brought with them. This most magnanimous pastime of Sri Krishna is described in the 23rd Chapter of the 10th Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Just to bestow his mercy on the highly devoted brahmin women Sri Krishna once went to an ashok forest far away from Vrindavan to herd his cows with Sri Baladeva and his friends. When the cowherd boys became hungry and thirsty he sent them to a group of brahmins who were performing sacrifice on the outskirts of Mathura to beg for some food. Even when the brahmins heard that the cowherd boys were begging food on behalf of Sri Krishna and Baladeva they refused, considering the two brothers to be mere human boys. Thus the cowherd boys returned very unhappily, but this time the merciful Sri Krishna sent them to beg food from the wives of these sacrificing brahmins, who were exclusively devoted to his lotus feet. Hearing the words of Sri Krishna, the cowherd boys went to the highly devoted brahmin women and begged food from them, telling them that Sri Krishna and Baladeva were hungry. Śrīmad Bhāgavata says:
The brahmin women had already been attracted to topics concerning Sri Krishna for a while and they were very eager to see him. Now that they heard from the cowherd boys that Sri Krishna was coming they were beside themselves with ecstasy. They had offered their hearts to Sri Krishna after constantly hearing about his matchless form, attributes and beauty and so they ran towards him as their most dearly beloved just as the rivers flow towards the ocean, with plates with four kinds of food – that which is licked, sucked, chewed or drunk – in their hands, even though their husbands, fathers, brothers and friends tried to stop them.
They saw Krishna playing different wonderful games with Sri Baladeva and his cowherd boyfriends on the bank of the Yamuna in woods beautified by fresh ashok leaves. He had a sapphire-like blue complexion, he wore a shining yellow garment, a garland of forestflowers hung around his neck, he had a crown of peacock feathers and his dancing-dress was decorated with mineral pigments and fresh leaves. He held his left arm on the shoulder of a by-standing cowherd boy and twirled a lotus flower around in his right hand. His ears were decorated with lotus flowers, curly locks of hair were decorating his cheeks and his face was decorated with a sweet smile.
The wives of the brahmins had always decorated their throats (voices) with descriptions of the form, attributes, pastimes and beauty of their beloved Sri Krishna, and their hearts were always immersed in him. Now that they directly saw him, they brought him into their hearts through their eyes, and there they tightly embraced him. In this way they became relieved of the affliction of separation from Sri Krishna in all respects, just as conditioned souls, who are absorbed in conceptions of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ become relieved from all afflictions while they are in a deep sleep. (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.23.18-23)
Because the wives of the brahmins desired the service of Sri Krishna, the Lord told them: “If you accept my service in this brahmin birth, then it will not be liked and appreciated by society. Therefore just serve me mentally, and in the next life you will attain me!”
On the order of Sri Krishna the wives of the brahmins returned to the sacrificial area, and by the Lord’s grace their husbands found no fault in them, but completed the sacrifice along with them. Later, on the strength of their association with their wives, these brahmins themselves also came to understand Sri Krishna’s glories, and were thus blessed.
Meanwhile Sri Krishna, Baladeva and the cowherd boys most blissfully ate the four kinds of exquisite dishes that were faithfully offered by the brahmins’ wives and that defied the taste of nectar. Raghunath Das Goswami says: “I praise this place where the Lord ate, as well as the wives of the sacrificing brahmins who offered him that food.”
bihariche svacchande yethāya
yājñika muni gaṇe, sundarī patnī-gaṇe
bhakti bhare harṣete tathāya
carva, coṣya, lehya, peya, svāde sudhā nindanīya
divya anna saṅgete āniyā.
govinde arpaṇa kore, ye sthāne bhojana kore,
sakhā saṅge ānande mātiyā.
se heno pavitra sthāne, tathā yājñika badhū-gaṇe,
nitya bandi luṭāiyā pāya.
yāṅhādera āśīrbāde, avicalā bhakti lābhe,
iṣṭa prāpti hoibe niścoy
“I always praise the place where Krishna and Balarāma freely played with Their affectionate friends and where, in great bliss and with great devotion, the beautiful wives of the sacrificing brahmins brought divine dishes, whose taste defy that of nectar and that can be chewed, sucked, licked and drunk, to Govinda and his friends, that ate these dishes in great ecstasy. I always praise this sacred place and roll at the feet of these brahmin women, for it is certain that with their blessings one attains steady devotion.”
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.