Sunday, 14 June 2020

KRISHNA WISHES TO GO TO VRINDAVANA AND PRODUCES WOLVES | VISHNU PARVA SECTION - 63 - 008

CHAPTER LXIII

(THE CHILDISH FREAKS OF KRISHNA)


Balarama and Krishna

VAISHAMPAYANA said: -In this way, Krishna and Sangkarshana passed their childhood in Vraja and became seven years old (1). They used to put on dark-blue and yellow raiments, paste their persons with yellow and white paints and used to wear feathers of crows while tending kine, (2). While gone to the forest those two beautiful boys used to play on Panāvas, the music of which is sweet to the ears, and shone there like three-hooded serpents (3). Sometimes putting peacock feathers on their ears, crowns of leaves on their heads and garlands of wild flowers on their breast they shone there like two growing trees (4). Sometimes placing a crown of lotuses on their heads, converting a rope into a sacred thread and gourds with a string suspended, in their hands, they used to play on flutes (5). Sometimes sporting with one another, laughing and lying down on a bed of leaves they used to enjoy sleep (6). Thus leading the life of a cow-herd boy and moving about delightedly hither and thither like two young horses they beautified that forest (7).

One day the beautiful Dāmodara said to Sangkarshana - "O Sir, by sporting everywhere in the forest we have well nigh spoilt it. We cannot play here anymore with the cow-herd boys (8). It has been divested of grass and twigs and the milk-men have up-rooted the trees. This beautiful forest has been destroyed by us (9). All the forests and woods, that were thick (with trees), are now all looking blank like the sky. All these eternally beautiful trees, that were in the cow-sheds well-protected by walls and wooden bolts, have been destroyed by the fire of cow-sheds (10–11). The trees and grass, that were near us, have been all thrown away on the ground at a great distance (12). Water, trees, groves and other resorts have now become scarce in this forest. Even by searching we cannot get at a place for rest. It has become very dreary and trees are not to be seen (13). The trees have been destroyed by the people of this extensive village. The birds have fled away from the useless trees (14). This forest, divested of birds, has become disgusting like rice without curry and other vegetable dishes. Even the delightful winds do not blow here (15). Woods and vegetables, grown in the forest, are now being sold. The grass is all destroyed and this village has taken the appearance of a city (16). The ornament of the mountain is the village of herdsmen, the forest is its ornament and the cows are the ornaments of the forest. And they are our most excellent refuge (17). Let the wealthy inhabitants of Vraja repair to another forest filled with new trees and grass; when the extensive villages, of milkmen, are shut out by doors and when the fields are covered with houses they do not look beautiful like the Chakrachari[1] birds (18-19). When excrement and urine fall on grass its juice becomes poisonous. The cows do not like to graze on it and it is unwholesome for milk (20). We wish to range, with our kine, in the charming new woods which are almost like dry ground. Let this station of milk-men be also transferred there (21). I have heard that there is a charming forest on the bank of Yamunā abounding in profuse grass, endued with all the virtues and freed of thorns and insects. It is named Vrindāvana. It is filled with fruits, water and Kadamba trees (22-23). Cool winds always blow there in the forest as if it is an asylum of all the seasons. All the woods there are so very charming that the milk-men will be able to range there happily (24). Near it is the huge mountain Govardhana with a high summit like the mount Mandāra near the celestial garden Nandana (25). In the centre of that mountain there is a huge fig tree, by name Bhāndira, consisting of high branches and extending over a yoyana. It shone there like a dark-blue cloud in the sky (26). Like unto the river Nalini flowing in the garden of Nandana, Kālindi, the foremost of streams, passes through its middle as if forming a line for separating hairs on each side of the head (27). With great joy we will always behold there the mount Govardhana, the tree Bhāndira and the charming river Kālindi (28). O Sir, mayst thou fare well. Leaving this forest which has no attractions do thou lay out there the station of milk-men. Let us now, creating some calamity, terrify the milk-men" (29).

[1] A kind of wild fowls. As when they are shut up in a cage they do not feel themselves at ease, so when the villages are well protected by gates like cities they lose their native beauty.

While thus talking the intelligent Vasudeva engaged himself in a thought. From the hairs of his body there arose hundreds of wolves living on fat, blood and flesh. As soon as they came out they ran in all directions as if it to devastate the village Vraja. Beholding them fall upon calves, kine and their women the milk-men were stricken with great fear. Forming themselves into groups of five, ten, thirty, twenty and a hundred those dark-faced wolves, bearing the mystic mark of Srivatsa, that had come out of the body of Krishna, began to range there and increase the fear of milkmen. Thus striking terror to the entire land of milkmen, those wolves, eating up calves, stealing away the boys in the night, well nigh devastated it. None, then, dared enter into woods, tend his kine, fetch anything from the forest and go to the river. In fact, stricken with fear and motionless, they with an anxious mind, began to live there. Those wolves, powerful like tigers, created such a fear in the inhabitants of Vraja, that they were afraid of even moving their limbs or shaking their body. And they used all to live together (30-38).

Source: https://archive.org/details/AProseEnglishTranslationOfHarivamsh

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