Memories of The Maidens
Radha was fasting on the day of Sravan Ashtami because it was her Krishna Janmashtami day, and she was praying to Devi Maa for the longevity of her prankster Krishna on his Divine birthday!
After the visit of RajMata Satyavathi, Gokul started looking at Radha with reverence.
She sat on the bank of River Yamuna, leaned against the trunk of Peepal tree, recollecting her Krishna's birthday celebrations when he was born, his childhood pranks, and his playful dalliances with the maidens of Brindavan in those days.
A fond smile swayed on her face. She remembered his charming innocent face --- He had eyes that shone like twin moons washed by the ocean waves and a smile that ignited inner bliss in all those who saw his adorable face.
One day, when Yashoda was feeding fresh butter to little Krishna, he asked her to bring down that moon from the sky to play with him! A mother's heart melted for her little kid's small wish. She then started pleading with the moon to come down to play with her little child for a while! The kid in that God was enthralled for her sweet gesture and smiled at the moon as if calling him to come down to play for a while!
Radha recollected that scene with reverence while watching the moon who was hiding behind the Sravan clouds playfully to tease her now.
She heard the footsteps of many maidens with earthen pots to fill water from the river Yamuna! All of a sudden she was angry with those maidens! In those days, how all these reckless maidens used to complain to Yashoda about Krishna's childish innocent pranks as misdeeds.
They used to beg and plead with Yashoda to do justice, to save them from that kid's mischief! When the Gopis were furious for his pranks, Krishna peeping from behind his mother, used to mock them with his concealed titters! When Yashoda questioned him, he used to roll his eyes to show his kiddish innocence to her!
That mischievous boy in those days was not only wreaking havoc in the houses of Brindavan milkmaids but also ridiculing the anger of the Gopikas, which further enraged them! He knew his mother would shelter him from their wrath and righteously proclaim his innocence! But he knew the reason behind their anger, to hide their intense attraction to their Krishna they wear anger as their shield! Radha knew that the Gopis' anger is an expression of love in their own way.
That is why on that day Narada said these words! She recollected that incident fondly.
On that day, when sage Narada visited Nanda’s house, he was greeted with one of the most divine sights. Narada watched on as Mother Yashoda punished her mischievous little boy Krishna by tying him with a grinding stone. Seeing this, Narada said, “What penance have you done to be bestowed with the powers to punish the Narayan himself Yashoda?” Who lets Himself being chastised by a mere mortal!
The maidens saw Radha near the moonlit bathing Yamuna riverside, they surrounded her with some expectations, got ready to listen to her love pangs.
But today Radha was in anger for their presence there, asked them -- "why did all of you complain to Yashoda regarding Krishna's kid deeds in those days?"
They started recollecting those days when Krishna frolicked with all of them!
"Vakula, you were the first one who used to report to Yashoda about our little Krishna's charming interactions with all of us!" Radha questioned her. With a smile, she started recollecting that day when she reported to Yashoda how her Krishna teased her in a concealed way!
"Yashoda! I have not seen such a mischievous boy equal to your son Krishna in this world. One day, wearing thick anklets on his feet, pearl necklaces swaying on his chest, he visited my house. With his rhythmic pattern, this charming kid danced in front of me. Thinking he was a small boy, I leaped to embrace him. Your son isn't a boy at all, who does this great mischief of planting a kiss on both my cheeks. Yashoda, I felt ashamed in front of others for this kind of embarrassment he gave me. I feel very bad when many people will hear this, what they will think about me, for what he did without my consent?"
She touched her cheeks with a shy smile now and ran towards her house recollecting those days.
" Mallika, now tell me what you did on that day? You told Yashoda, "Oh mother Yashoda! My daughter- in- law joined our family to have a happy married life. When this girl was going to the river one evening, Krishna saw her going and without giving way for any trace of doubt, led her to some other place, and spent a lot of time with her. She could not resist his calling, that was not her mistake, because of the hypnotic power of Krishna's lotus eyes she just obeyed those powerful eyes and followed him. Both came back at the dead of night. Then he told me "Oh mother, I am your son now, without any talking or creating obstruction, please give me butter ". I obliged his demand. The people of Brindavan who have young daughters to be married have fear of Krishna after this incident. Please, tell me what we have to do?"
Mallika nodded her head with disbelief and said--" see girls, that little mischievous kid is the supreme ruler of the entire world now."
"Vandana, what did you tell on that day, for which Yashoda was so angry and punished our Krishna? Do you remember?" Radha grilled her with anger.
"In the cradle, my child was sleeping. Krishna came to that side and pinched my child to wake him up. When I ran towards that side, watching me, he ran towards the cowshed and saw the young calf tied to the post to prevent it to drink milk from its mother. That calf was let loose by Kanha and it ran towards the street. Then he tied that rope around his neck, went near the mulching cow, and started making a noise like "ambaa" as if he was the calf of our cow. The cow also thought that he was its calf and started feeding him. He drank the milk like a calf. Oh! what an amount of trouble with this Krishna. Please, punish him adequately so that he will not repeat such acts."
Vandana with a helpless smile slipped aside to walk back to her home.
Mandakini complained to Radha about Krishna as if it has happened yesterday!
"See Radha, you have no idea what Kanha did on that day! He came to me asking the way to my aunt's house, when I was explaining to him, he changed the topic and asked me the route to the river bank! When I showed him the muddy path towards the riverbank, he was still there trying to ask me something else! When I insisted to know what it was ... he bellowed out for a kiss!! When I denied, he started crying stamping his feet on the floor to create a big scene! Many maidens reached there asking what I've denied giving him! How can I declare it in full public glare Radha? Your Krishna never allowed us to live a decent life with our husbands! " Her face turned red with the recollection of that uproarious demand for a kiss from an attractive kid, she covered her face with her veil and ran towards the street which lead to her house.
Mugdha started narrating her experience....
"Radha, you are angry with us now, listen to what your Krishna did to me on that day! Krishna asked me for butter. I gave it. He asked for more and I gave it! Repeatedly he asked for more and I continued giving him without much resistance. He ate all the butter and then started demanding with a wink in his eyes for my daughter's hand to marry her! When I denied, he started dancing to mesmerize me, I was awestruck. Suddenly he picked up the hand of my daughter and ran away to a far off place. Oh! Krishna is a charmer for all the ladies irrespective of our age in this village. What to say about your Krishna's misdeeds Radha?" Mugdha with the water pot on her shoulder started walking towards the village.
One by one the maidens narrated their occasional dalliances with their little Krishna in the past and in that trance left her alone and gone!
In that quiet night time, Radha sitting on the bank of river Yamuna, asking the Krishna statue which she had kept on her lap --
"Please once come back to this Gokul my dear Dwarakadheesh! Take out that heavy attire of a King and wear your usual yellow dhoti, keep aside that bedecked crown and wear a red band on your head and tuck a colorful peacock feather on that ....throw the ruler's stick and take the flute into your hands, sing an amazing song for the waiting nature in these serene surroundings. Please call your charioteer now to bring you here to have a few peaceful moments with your Radha" .
Just as the sound of the earth's voice singing without words, her longing was soaring high just like the birds' flight, the plants, and trees were relaxing with ease, listening to her musical voice! An overwhelming feeling it was heaven’s way of healing. Nature now started wearing new colors to lure Krishna back to Brindavan.
One of my dear friends asked me for a mythological story, this story is dedicated to her