I devotedly praise the wonderful place known as Ram Ghat, where Yamuna, who gently flowed towards the salt-water-ocean without having a relationship with Krishna, was dragged near by angry Balaram’s plow, and were the river’s crooked course can still be seen by all the people.
dhīrā yāntī lavaṇa-jaladhau kṛṣṇa-sambandha-hīnā
adyāpītthaṁ sakala-manujair dṛśyate saiva yasmin
bhaktyā vande’dbhutam idam aho rāmaghaṭṭa-pradeśam
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: Now Raghunath Das Goswami praises Sri Ram Ghat, where Sri Baladeva enjoyed the Rāsa dance with his beloved gopīs for two months and where he dragged the river with his plough so he could enjoy in her waters, making her course crooked to this day.
This pastime is described in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (10.65.17-23,31):
Sri Baladeva came from Dwaraka and stayed in Vraja for two months to console the gopīs. During the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaishakh (April-May) he sported at night with his beloved gopīs. The night was illuminated by the rays of the full moon and the southern breezes carried the fragrance of the kumuda flowers to the subforest where Balaram was enjoying with the gopīs. For the service of Sri Baladeva Varunadeva sent varuni-devī (a celestial beverage), who trickled from the hollow of a tree and gladdened the forest with her fragrance. The wind distributed this honey fragrance everywhere and when Baladeva caught that fragrance he went there and drank the varuni honey wine with his beloveds.
[Ram Ghat lies on the bank of the Yamuna, two miles east of Shergarh. Its present name is Oba.]
The gopīs, who were intoxicated by the varuni wine, sang about Sri Halayudha’s (Balaram’s) sweet pastimes and Balaram, himself also intoxicated, rambled with them from forest to forest, his eyes rolling with intoxication. After enjoying the Rāsa dance the intoxicated Sri Baladeva, who was adorned with dewy drops of perspiration, who wore a garland of forestflowers around his neck and one earring on his ears and whose face was decorated with a nectarean slight smile, called Yamuna so that he could enjoy pastimes in her water with his sweethearts. Thinking Baladeva to be drunk, Yamuna ignored his words. [“He is now drunk on varuni, and that’s why he’s calling me near, but a river does not go to anyone simply on being called. If he wants to enjoy in my water, then let him come to me himself!” Thinking like this, Yamuna did not come to Baladeva (Vishwanath Chakravarti).] So Baladeva angrily dragged her near with the tip of his plough. Sri Shuka Muni told Maharaj Parikshit, “O King! Even now the Yamuna announces Sri Balaram’s glorious prowess, for she is still flowing in a crooked course here!”
Raghunath Das Goswami says: dhīrā yāntī lavaṇa jaladhau kṛṣṇa sambandha hīnā : “Like a dhīra nāyikā (passive heroine) Yamuna flowed towards the saltwater ocean, bereft of a relationship with Krishna.”
The purport of this is that the Yamuna that is punished by Baladeva is not the eternal associate of Nandanandana Sri Krishna, but the shadow of the Lord’s Queen Kalindi in Dwaraka, who was one of the wives in the ocean of the Lord’s opulences there. This is written in the Toṣaṇī commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam:
devī ceyaṁ śrī-bhagavad-rūpānusāreṇa lakṣmyā vividha-mūrtivat bhagavan-mahiṣī-varāyāḥ śrī-kālindyā eva saṁjñā-chāyā-nyāyena tac-chāyā vibhūti-rūpā bhagavata eva mahā-vibhūteḥ samudrasya bhāryā-svarūpā mūrtir ekā jñeyā.
Bhakti-ratnākara gives the following description about this event:
“O Shrinivas! This is Ram Ghat! Here the son of Rohiṇī danced the Rāsa. This Rāsa-sthalī of Balaram is far away from the place where Sri Krishna played the Rāsa with his sweethearts. What can I say? Balaram is as grave as millions of oceans. He is most patient and he is Krishna’s second body. He eagerly came to Vraja from Dwaraka and stayed there for two months – Caitra and Vaishakh, during which he spoke with Sri Nanda and Yashoda and delighted Krishna’s friends in different ways. With different plaintive words the intelligent son of Rohiṇī consoled Krishna’s sweethearts in different ways and then he enchanted his own beloved gopīs, with whom he had previously enjoyed in the spring. O Shrinivas! The Lord and his devotees have described the Rāsa-līlā of Balaram in many different ways. Balaram dragged the Yamuna to this spot so that he could play in her waters here.”
When Sriman Nityananda Prabhu came to Vrindavan in the course of his pilgrimage he stayed at Ram Ghat for a few days, in the ecstasy of Baladeva. Srila Raghunath says: “I devotedly praise this wonderful Ram Ghat.”
labaṇa samudre yāya manda prabāhe
ye yamunāya baladeba kupita haiyā;
ākarṣaṇa korechena lāṅgalāgra diyā
yāre ākṛṣṭāra nyāya adyāpiho loke;
yamunāra tīre sei bakra ghāṭa dekhe
yamunā tīrastha tīrtha rāma-ghāṭa nāma;
bhakti bhare vandi kori ananta praṇāma
Out of separation Yamuna slowly streamed towards the ocean, being bereft of a relationship with Krishna, when Baladeva angrily dragged her towards himself with the tip of his plough. Even nowadays people can see that the course of Yamuna is crooked here at this ghāṭa because of this! With great devotion I offer innumerable obeisances unto Ram Ghat on the bank of the Yamuna.
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.