I would like to thank His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, for writing the many wonderful transcendental books which are the source of most of the stories and philosophy expressed in the following poems. I also want to thank my spiritual master, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, also the author of many spiritual books, who encouraged me to daily read Prabhupada's books and who also encouraged me to write poetry.
Table of Contents
A ten-thousandths the tip of a hair I am,
and I dwell in the core of my heart.
Thinking I am this body of flesh
is where my fallacies start.
Thinking this matter belongs to me,
thinking this world my home,
experiencing both good and evil,
from body to body I roam.
Sometimes I am considered rich,
At others, I think I am poor.
Sometimes I'm very jubuliant;
While at others, pain I endure.
In this world of danger
I take birth again and again.
Until I'm thoroughly sick of this,
I can't hear from saintly men.
Inexperienced thinkers say
singlehandedly I can get free,
but if both my hands and feet are tied,
what hope is there for me?
Let me cry out to Lord Krishna
like the saints who follow His way
and sincerely pray to Him
for deliverance, without delay.
Fight for Eternal Freedom
Are you tired of being exploited
by a few avaricious men
who bribe you with material goods
and cheat you again and again?
Building catastrophic weapons,
starving the worlds poor,
and oppressing powerless people,
they are too much to endure.
Are you tired of fighting for freedom
with alliances based on soul's dress,
feeling within an emptiness,
a yearning you can't quite express?
Give up your material bondage!
For spiritual freedom fight!
Seeing all as servants of God
at last your vision's right.
Whatever your religion
just chant God's Holy Name.
If you're a bit sincere,
you'll never be the same.
Lord Krishna is so dear a friend
and so affectionate too,
if you take one step towards Him,
He'll take ten steps toward you.
Purify yourself and others
from the soul's disease called lust.
Join Lord Caitanya's army!
Come chant and dance with us!
Always speak the Truth divine
for the sake of pleasing of Him,
and though you may appear to lose,
factually you'll always win.
Give out the books of Prabhupada;
the pen is mighter than the sword.
Don't worry that by worldly men,
you'll never be adored.
Join Lord Caitanya's army!
Chant Krishna's Holy Name!
Realize that as servants of God
our self-interest is the same.
Getting to Know You
In Sunday school we learn of You
as Father of everyone,
and we learn of Jesus Christ
as Your begotten son.
We hear that our human bodies
are fashioned from Your form,
but our guesses of how You look
are hardly even warm.
We think since You are very old
Your hair is certainly white,
as if Time's greater than You
and You're forced to accept such plight.
When You tell of us of Your form
in the Vedic scripture
'cause of our past conditioning
it's hard at first to picture.
But by our practical service
to Your devotees, who actually know,
and by our hearing of Your words,
our faith in You will grow.
Hearing of Your spiritual world,
the reflection of which we live in,
we see Your form and pastimes,
become easier for us to believe in.
As we have family and friends
and activities we like to do,
You also have these very same things,
except Yours are eternally true.
Attract us to Your Name, O Krishna,
and then Your beautiful face,
and next to Your glorious pastimes
in Your eternal place.
Spiritual life is never dry
but is filled with waves of bliss.
Unless we accept Your devotees words
Your spiritual world we'll miss.
Come Dance With Us Forever
Lord Caitanya stands
with abundant smiles,
His arms gracefully upraised.
He is not alone.
His spiritual brother Nitai,
assumes a similar pose nearby.
But who just stands with arms above their heads?
They are dancing!
And singing Radha and Krishna's names.
Their transcendental glances and dances
Invite us all:
"Just chant Krishna's name and dance.
We will protect you
From all sinful reactions.
Do not fear!
You and We are far from Our home.
You forgot Us, but We did not forget you.
So, We came to invite you home.
Where We live every word is a song,
every step is a dance,
water is just like nectar,
Krishna's flute sound abounds,
and each moment can be relished forever.
In our abode there is always an uninterrupted festival.
We saw you forgot how nice it is,
so We came to invite you home.
Please come dance with Us forever."
Devahuti, the child of Manu,
sick of material desire,
blessed by Kapila's darshan,
continued to inquire:
My dear Lord, tell me in detail
of calamities faced in life,
so both myself and others
may renounce this world of strife.
The blind soul, said Lord Kapila,
under Time's magic spell,
maintains body and family,
while letting his soul go to hell.
Doing whatsoever he pleases,
regardless of whether its sin,
devoid of spiritual truth,
cares only for kith and kin.
Hearing materialistic persons
frivolous, nonsensical sounds,
the poor soul neglects Krishna's name
and to birth and death remains bound.
Forced by Time he gets old and sick,
the ex-maintainer being maintained.
With sick body and feeble mind
and without respect, he is pained.
Surrounded by friends and relations
while the hour of his death grows near,
his body becomes even weaker
and his heart becomes full of fear.
Seeing his sorrowful comrades,
he anxiously desires to speak,
but crushed by unconquerable Time,
his body is much to weak.
Seeing fearful agents of Death
and passing urine and stool,
the man remembers his criminal acts
and he realizes he was a fool.
Forced to experience unbearable pain
with no chance of being freed,
the poor soul recalls his whimsical acts
and regrets his excessive greed.
Purified by many births and deaths,
taking shelter of man's semen,
he's injected into his mother's womb,
at last to take birth as a human.
The mother's womb is very cramped
and the child feels tortuous pains,
repenting former unlawful acts,
pure consciousness he gains.
With words of praise the soul appeals
to the Lord who put him there,
admitting that for grievous sins
such punishment is fair.
The pure soul prays to God within
who alone can relieve his fear,
thankful for His blessing
of consciousness that is clear:
Although this womb is full of pain
I'm actually safer here,
for I remember You my Lord,
and thus I'm free of fear.
But if I leave here, I'm quite sure
I'll think I'm my body again,
and I will suffer births and deaths
in a cycle which has no end.
Time, however, being supreme,
forces the soul to be born,
dulled by pain and forgetting himself,
helplessly he will morn.
Bewildered by parents and friends
who treat him as body not soul,
the child recalls his material lusts
and again forgets his life's goal.
As a boy he's enchanted by toys.
As youth he's illusioned by lust.
As a man he works hard like as ass,
to maintain his possessions, he must.
Again and again the cycle repeats
until that fortunate day
when he meets the devotees of God
who teach him for what he should pray.
This valuable human form, they say,
is attained after millions of births.
Try to regain your eternal life,
and you'll realize its worth.
Fleeting seconds of illusory pleasure
aren't worth an eon of pain.
The blinded fools who say they are
have certainly gone insane.
Fools say you must take bad with good,
without pain there'd be no pleasure.
We say, "give up all these material things,
and seek transcendental treasure."
Where ignorance is bliss, fools say,
tis a folly to be wise,
but where is that bliss, we ask you
for he who repeatedly dies?
There is a spiritual world
of eternality, knowledge, and bliss,
but attached to sex life and wealth,
our Lord's abode we will miss.
Let's listen to Lord Kapila
whose teachings are clear and sublime,
and cut material attachments
without wasting our precious time.
Make friends with Krishna's devotees,
always chant Lord Krishna's name,
read the Srimad-Bhagavatam,
and gradually become more sane.
To surrender to Lord Krishna
is the purpose of life.
As long as we ignore Him,
we suffer unlimited strife.
Lord Krishna Marries Queen Rukmini
adapted from Srila Prabhupada's Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
by Krishna-kripa das, with help from Phani Bhusan das
The ancient kingdom, Vidarbha,
A king named Bhismaka controlled.
He had five sons, and a daughter,
Who was about fourteen years old.
Rukmini was a gorgeous girl
And full of good qualities too.
Since the time she'd heard of Krishna
For her spouse, no other would do.
Krishna, the best of all persons,
Had likewise been told about her.
Noting her charming qualities,
He thought her a good wife for sure.
Relatives of King Bhismaka
Wanted the marriage to take place,
All but his eldest son Rukmi,
Who considered it a disgrace.
Rukmi had minimized Krishna,
Which proved a terrible mistake.
He declared the Prince of Cedi
The best match for Rukmini's sake.
Blind with paternal affection,
The King granted his son's request,
Although the King and the others
All thought it was not for the best.
Beautiful princess Rukmini,
Morose upon hearing the plan,
Chose to act diplomatically,
As a ksatriya's daughter can.
She sent to Dvaraka a brahman,
A very reliable man,
To take a letter to Krishna
Proposing an ingenious plan.
The brahman reached Krishna's city.
The Lord greeted him with great care.
Then Lord Krishna humbly asked him
The reason for which he'd come there.
The brahman then began to read
The message Rukmini had sent,
With use of poetic license,
Now just listen to how it went:
"Oh, handsome, infallible, Krishna,
The fortunate who hear about You
Think of you always, free from cares,
And ultimately see You, too.
Because their hearts are filled with love,
Such people can see You within.
Thinking in this exemplary way,
All objects of desire they win.
Oh Lord 'cause I have heard of You,
One may think me shameless to say,
I've been simply captivated,
And my heart's been stolen away.
Don't think I'm just some dreaming girl,
Oh Mukunda, best among men,
Any women considered chaste
Would want You to be her husband.
Beloved of goddess Laksmi,
To Your devotees You're most kind,
Now I fall at Your lotus feet
To serve You with body and mind.
I've chosen You as my husband.
Kindly accept me as Your wife.
Oh, Krishna, please take care of me,
Before Sisupala gives me strife.
Come to Vidarbha, kidnap me,
And fight with Sisupala's army.
Dear unconquerable hero,
I'm confident of your victory.
You may say the marriage partner
Selected at my brother's plea
Because he is a great king's son
Is qualified enough for me.
The demigods outclass the kings,
And the best of all is Shambhu,
Yet he is worshipping Visnu,
Who is non-different from You.
Just to achieve Your favor,
Siva did penance all his life,
But I shall do it for lifetimes
To become Your beloved wife."
Rukmini's devotional service,
With perfect determination,
Shows the only way to attain
Lord Krishna's association.
The brahman finished reciting
The message Rukmini had sent,
Then he requested Lord Krishna
To consider just what she meant.
"With careful deliberation
Please decide what You want to do,
But You had better act quickly
Since there is little time for You."
Lord Krishna was beaming with joy
From hearing Rukmini's note read.
He gladly shook the brahman's hand,
And disclosing His mind, He said:
"I'm glad Rukmini desires Me.
A better wife I will not find.
Indeed some nights I cannot sleep,
'Cause she is always on My mind.
This plan she marry Sisupala,
Made by kings who are hateful men,
Has made Me determined, indeed,
To teach them a needed lesson."
Learning the date of the marriage,
Krishna, at once prepared to go.
Somehow in just a single night,
He rode a thousand miles or so.
The time of the marriage drew near.
Rukmini felt acute distress.
Hearing no answer from Krishna,
She cried tears in helplessness.
While Rukmini was deep in thought,
She saw signs of good luck appear,
And then she saw the messenger,
Krishna sent to relieve her fear.
Feeling joyful within her heart,
She eagerly asked what was new.
Then she learned that Krishna had come
Promising to kidnap her, too.
Happy her wish would be fulfilled,
Lord Krishna she'd finally meet,
And grateful to the brahman,
She bowed down at his holy feet.
Following family tradition,
On her auspicious wedding day,
She went to the Durga temple
To offer worship and to pray.
Instead of begging from Durga
Some kind of material boon,
She asked to marry Lord Krishna,
Whose beauty surpasses the moon.
On her return from the temple,
Carefully adjusting her ring,
Within the crowd she saw Krishna,
Whose glories the brahmans sing.
Although she'd never seen Krishna,
The Lord was always on her mind,
And because of her devotion,
Krishna was quite easy to find.
Seizing the opportunity,
Lord Krishna placed her by His side.
Unconcerned with other princes,
He began His chariot ride.
Lord Balarama at once appeared
With soldiers of the Yadu clan,
As other princes grew enraged,
And heavy fighting then began.
Rukmini then became fearful,
Though glad Krishna stole her away,
And Krishna said to relieve her,
"My men will win without delay."
As the Yadus valiantly fought,
The opposing party gave in,
Except for Rukmini's brother,
Whose vision was clouded by sin.
Rukmi then tried to kill Krishna,
Whose potency he could not see,
And Krishna would have finished him,
Were it not for Rukmini's plea.
To chastise Rukmini's brother,
Krishna, with a sword, cut his hair
Making Prince Rukmi look funny,
With patches of hair, here and there.
Seeing her brother thus humbled,
The princess Rukmini felt sad.
Balarama then reminded her:
"By karma one gets good or bad.
Enjoyment and suffering come
From mistaking body for soul,
Better become Krishna conscious,
Which actually is our life's goal.
My dear sweet smiling Rukmini,
False notions alone make you moan.
Just discuss life's actual truths,
Be happy in this way alone."
Hearing Lord Balarama's statements
Which were full of good instruction,
Rukmini adjusted her mind,
Resuming her happy condition.
To His city called Dvaraka,
Krishna returned with His first queen.
Krishna and Rukmini united:
A simply exquisite scene.
The residents, very well dressed,
Lotus faces blooming with glee,
Selected suitable presents
For Krishna and Queen Rukmini.
They decorated Dvaraka
For the auspicious wedding day.
Then distinguished guests arrived,
Many from a distance away.
This chivalrous act of Krishna's
Came to be expressed as a poem,
Being popularly recited,
It was known in every home.
The people hearing this pastime,
By great astonishment were seized,
And seeing Krishna and His queen,
All felt transcendentally pleased.
Lord Krishna is Narayana,
And Rukmini is Laksmiji.
There's no more beautiful couple
Than Krishna and His energy.
Seeing Krishna and Rukmini,
The Yadus felt endless pleasure,
And to worship Them even now,
Is a rare and priceless treasure.
Talks Between Lord Krishna and Rukmini
(written by Krishna-kripa das in honor of Rukmini Dvadasi,
the appearance day of Sri Rukmini, based on Srila Prabhupada's
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead)
Krishna, the best of all persons,
Gives knowledge to both great and small.
Sitting on Rukmini's bedstead,
The Lord was served by one and all.
Acting as the perfect husband,
He showed His supreme perfection,
Though beyond the mind's concoction,
He'd come to protect religion.
Rukmini's beauty was striking,
Though her grown sons proved her quite old.
Wishing to cool Krishna's body,
She grasped the fan's handle of gold.
A golden necklace and earrings
Enhanced her beautiful face.
Her ankle bells tinkled softly
As she fanned Lord Krishna with grace.
Rukmini and Krishna's pastimes
Are full of endless opulence,
While those of Radha and Krishna
Have a simple, rural, essence.
Surrounded by costly jewels,
Blooming flowers, and fine incense,
Krishna enjoyed in the palace
Accepting service from His servants.
Appearing unusually bright,
Along with her fine behavior,
Gave her Lord Krishna great delight.
Once a sage gave her a flower,
Her co-wife demanded the tree.
Rukmini, happy in service,
Remained simple and envy-free.
Krishna likes to joke with His wives,
And to provoke His queen's anger,
Addressing her as the princess,
He praised her former suitor.
"Sishupala is most exalted.
I'm nothing in comparison.
You're beautiful, sober, and grave.
How did you made your decision?
"Out of fear of Jarasandha,
I built this city in the sea.
I, by fighting with many kings,
Made all inimical to Me.
"Once I killed My uncle Kamsa,
Yet for his throne I had no right,
It was meant for Ugrasena,
Although I won it in My fight.
"Some say I'm just a cowherd boy,
While others claim that I'm a prince.
Some think I'm just a vagabond,
And even others have no hints.
"I am not a polished husband.
I should be happy with one wife.
But, instead, I married thousands,
And always cause them endless strife.
"Women, who are attached to Me,
Certainly lead a life of grief.
Radharani and the gopis
Cry day and night without relief.
"It is bad enough I'm heartless,
And yet I am a pauper, too.
Though tending Nanda's many cows,
I did not own even a few.
"Having had nothing in My past,
Why lament I have nothing now.
For even My dear devotees
Have almost nothing, anyhow.
"All these things considered, My dear.
You made a terrible mistake!
Better you find a qualified prince,
And give Me up for your own sake!"
Such shocking words from Lord Krishna,
To Rukmini, seemed quite insane.
Fearing her Lord's separation.
She felt ever increasing pain.
Asking her to marry another,
He said He loved her not at all.
He married her just to chastise
Demonic kings like Sishupala.
"I know You've always loved Me,
But I care not for home and wife,
And neither do My devotees.
Self-knowledge is our goal of life."
Krishna's speech suddenly stopped.
Rukmini began to reflect,
Concluding because of her pride,
Krishna spoke such words of neglect.
Those words of uncommon harshness,
Convinced her that Krishna might go,
Crying torrents of anxious tears,
She scratched the floor with her toe.
Choked with tears, she couldn't speak.
Her mind confused with anxiety,
She fell unconscious to the ground,
As wind blows down a banana tree.
Seeing Rukmini's reaction
To the words He'd spoken in jest,
Krishna raised Her up with His hands,
And then embraced her to His chest.
Krishna, who's expert in speaking,
To servants blessed with devotion,
Retracting his former statements,
Spoke to remove her confusion:
"O daughter of King Vidarbha!
O beloved! Please understand!
The words I spoke were not truthful.
They were part of a joke I'd planned.
"I thought you'd speak chastising words,
With your angry, but charming face.
But you took Me seriously,
Never dreamed that would be the case.
"As householders we are busy
With our duties throughout the day.
Thus We long for time together
During which to joke and to play."
Hearing the sweet words of Krishna
Rukmini ceased being fearful.
Seeing that Krishna was joking,
Smiling, her face became cheerful.
"My dear lotus-eyed Lord Krishna
You're right, I'm no fit match for You.
Master of all good qualities,
You do what no other can do.
"Fearing the kings ruling this world,
You say that You hid in the sea.
Here the modes of nature are kings,
But as Supersoul, You are free.
"You say You hate these worldly kings,
But what are the kings of these lands.
I think in truth the senses are kings,
And yet You can curb their demands.
"You say You've no worldly power,
And Your servants have none as well.
That is a sign of Your wisdom.
For worldly might leads one to hell.
"You say You live without purpose,
And Your servants are aimless too.
People think You're mysterious.
Yet all opulence rests in You.
"You say that You're impoverished,
But what is that poor condition?
Since You Yourself are everything,
You have no other possession!
"You say rich men don't care for You,
And I certainly must agree.
Due to planning for sense pleasure
Their spiritual urges flee.
"But those having no possessions,
Are exclusively dear to You,
And for those renounced devotees
Your Lordship is the most dear, too.
"You say partners in a marriage
Should have many traits the same.
But You're the source of opulence
Like beauty, wisdom, wealth, and fame.
"Those persons who have good motives
Desire nothing other than You.
And thus they give up everything,
And become worthy to meet You, too.
"In Your servants' society,
The pale pleasures of lust aren't missed,
For when You are in the center
Does real happiness exist.
"You say only beggars praise You,
But exalted beggars they are.
Forgiving the worst offenders,
They glorify You near and far.
"O my dear, beloved husband,
In choosing You, I'm not naive.
I accepted Your lotus feet
Following these saints whom I believe.
"You claim that You are penniless,
And I can see how that is true.
You give Yourself in charity
To those who give themselves to You.
"Controlled by Your feature of time,
All beings are born and then die,
Compared to Your mighty power,
Any prince is hardly a fly.
"You say You hid in the ocean
Out of fear of these rulers of men,
And yet, You bravely kidnapped me,
And taught those princes a lesson.
"My Lord, how is it that You say
Your surrendered souls are sad.
Giving up false pleasures for You,
Your servants are certainly glad.
"According to past fruitive acts,
You can throw me in any species.
I just want attachment for You,
Who give Yourself to devotees.
"You asked me to choose another prince,
But what's their real position?
Dishonored dogs, miserly cats,
And hard-working beasts of burden.
"Women who don't know Your glories
May choose one of those other men,
And yet I desire You alone,
Who are praised from here to heaven.
"A man in this world of matter
Is a bag of mucus and stool.
A woman who loves such a man
Is certainly an outright fool.
"O Lord, You are self-satisfied,
And indifferent to beauty, too.
Whether You care for me or not,
I just want devotion for You.
"Passion's mode is Your creation,
Thus Your glance in a passionate way
Fulfills all my heart's ambitions,
For such auspicious times I pray."
"O My dear chaste wife, I desired
Such a perfect explanation,
In response to My joking words;
I approve your presentation.
"O most beautiful Rukmini,
I'm pleased by your great love for Me.
Thus I'm always at your service,
Whatever you desire shall be.
All My dearmost friends and servants
Are free from contamination.
If they do ask Me for something
It is a source of liberation.
"O, chaste and pious, Rukmini,
I have tested your love for Me.
You've passed My examination,
Having done most successfully.
"I have tried to make you angry
By speaking insults all untrue,
However to My great surprise,
I saw pure love abide in You.
"I'm the source of benedictions,
Up to that of liberation,
But fools ask for money and sex
And remain in tribulation.
"Sex pleasure can be had by hogs,
A most degraded form of life,
Why should the foolish people then,
Worship Me to attain such strife.
"O, foremost of My many queens,
You have no false motivation.
I see you just want to serve Me,
And you do so without cessation.
"Pure service frees from matter's bonds
And leads one to Godhead, our home.
The polluted just make a show,
So again in this world must roam.
"Although I have thousands of wives,
Your love surpasses any queen.
Hearing My glories, stole your heart,
Yet My form you had never seen.
"Ignoring rich and famous princes
Insisting on marrying Me,
You prayed that I would kidnap You,
Confident of My victory.
"When I came to take you away,
Your poor brother tried to fight Me.
Mercilessly defeating him,
I disfigured Rukmi's body,
"During Aniruddha's marriage
And while disputing who was right,
My brother, angry with Rukmi,
Finally killed him in a fight.
"Silently you suffered, O queen,
Fearing separation from Me.
And by this glorious silence,
You bought Me for eternity.
"A brahman came with your request
'O, Lord Krishna, please come take me.'
And when delayed in his return,
You felt the whole world was empty.
"You thought Your beautiful body
Should be touched by no one but Me,
And thinking that I was not coming,
Wished to die immediately.
"O best of My queens, Rukmini,
Your love is unforgettable,
And for Me to repay such love.
I think is just not possible."
Lord Krishna at no time requires
To be a husband or a son,
The Lord, because He is complete,
Doesn't need help from anyone.
Adventing Himself, He plays roles,
For devotees' satisfaction,
Showing, as Rukmini's husband,
Conjugal love in perfection.
O Krishna, You are glorious;
Rukmini's love for You, sublime.
Please let us recall Your pastimes
From now until the end of time.
Your pastimes break our karmic bonds,
And end our material lust.
For souls looking for love of God,
Hearing Your pastimes is a must.
Goddess of fortune, Rukmini,
Upon this most auspicious day,
Bless us with pure love for Krishna!
For devotion like yours we pray!
Draupadi Meets the Queens of Krishna
(a poem by Krishna-kripa dasa based on Srila Prabhupada's Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead)
While Krishna was meeting the men
And hearing their words as they praised,
The women met one another,
Discussing His deeds, all amazed.
Draupadi asked Krishna's consorts,
Addressing by name the first few,
'How did Krishna take you as wives,
Marrying like common men do?'
The first to answer her question
Was Rukmini, His foremost wife.
She told how lotus-eyed Krishna
Had become the Lord of her life.
'Princes like Jarasandha planned
For Sisupala, I'd be the bride,
And all his friends were set to fight
With rival princes, if they tried.
'But the Supreme Lord kidnapped me,
As a lion takes a lamb away,
But this is nothing for Krishna,
At whose feet all heroes must pray.
'Both Krishna's beauty and pleasure
Are vast like a might ocean.
My sole ambition forever
Is to serve Him with devotion.'
After Rukmini's description
Satyabhama began to say
How it so happened her father
To Lord Krishna, gave her away.
'O Queen Draupadi, my dear one,
Prasena's death was very cruel,
And Lord Krishna, my father thought,
Had killed him to steal a jewel.
'This jewel called Syamantaka
Was taken by Jambavan,
Who then was defeated by Krishna,
Who is famous as Bhagavan.
'Given the jewel by the Lord
And feeling great lamentation,
My father began to repent
His offensive accusation.
'Though I was promised to others,
My father, to end all his strife,
Gave Krishna the jewel and me,
And thus I'm His servant and wife.'
'Draupadi, hear how my father
Jambavan, who's the rikshas king,
Not knowing Krishna's his master, Rama,
Engaged Him in heavy fighting.
'Twenty-seven days of fighting
Had left my father all but lame,
And since only Rama could beat him,
Krishna and Rama must be the same.
'Upon coming to his senses,
Just to please the Lord of his life,
He returned the Syamantaka
and gave me to Him as a wife.
'In this way, I married the Lord
And achieved my heart's great treasure:
To be serving life after life,
My beloved Krishna with pleasure.'
'Dear Draupadi, I was engaged
In performing heavy penance.
I wished the Lord would marry me,
And he noticed my engagements.
'He kindly came to accept me,
Taking me from Yamuna's shore.
The Lord now treats me as a wife,
And I gratefully sweep His floor.'
'Dear Draupadi, the princes came
To my svayamvara function.
The Lord beat them all and took me
Like deer seized from dogs by a lion.
'Accepting me as His servant,
He took me to Dvaraka City.
My brothers tried to fight with Him,
But He beat them without pity.
'It had been my cherished desire
To be Krishna's humble servant.
For life after life that's my wish,
And He saw to its fulfillment.'
'Dear Draupadi, my father set,
For suitors, a grave condition:
They must fight seven great bulls
To prove they're worth the position.
'Though princes went home defeated,
For Krishna, the bulls were just toys.
He easily roped their noses,
As goat kids are led by mere boys.
'My father was so very pleased
That he married me to the Lord.
Giving us soldiers and horses,
And then maidservants by the horde.
'Krishna took me to His city
Defeating rivals on the way,
Thus I am very privileged
To serve His feet, day after day.'
'Dear Draupadi, I was lucky
To be attracted to the Lord.
He was my mother's brother's son,
Who, fortunately, I adored.
'Father understood my feelings,
Chose Krishna for me to marry,
And supplied many armed forces
And maidservants as a dowry.
'I don't know if I'll always have
Lord Krishna's complete protection.
I simply pray in all my births,
I'll not lose my Lord's connection.'
'O Queen, I heard Krishna's glories
Which Narada loves to repeat.
My attachment grew when I heard
Lakshmi's fond of His lotus feet.
'Thus I always thought of the Lord,
Which made my attachment grow.
My loving father took notice,
Making plans when he came to know.
'He devised a svayamvara
Where the princes would piece a fish eye,
Like the svayamvara of yours
With a harder target to try.
'Your target fish was in clear view,
Up for everyone's inspection.
In mine it was covered with cloth,
And one saw its mere reflection.
'News of this device was spread
To all countries, far and wide.
Princes came hoping to marry me,
And one after another they tried.
'Many failed to string the bow,
And just left it and walked away.
But still there were also heroes
Able to string the bow that day.
'Karna, Bhima, and others too
Met this initial condition,
But seeing just its reflection,
Guessed wrong the target's position.
'Pandava hero Arjuna
Saw the reflection in the pot.
He shot an arrow, hit the fish,
But not quite in the proper spot.
'Arjuna, by hitting the fish,
Showed that of princes he was best.
The other princes had failed,
Or else, feared to attempt the test.
'At last Lord Krishna took the bow,
And He easily tied its string.
One quick glance at the reflection,
And He sent an arrow flying.
'Pierced, the fish, fell down to the earth
At the auspicious noontime hour,
And as people exclaimed, 'Jaya! Jaya!'
Gods rained flower after flower.
'On Krishna's victory I came there
My ankle bells making sweet sounds,
Dressed in silk clothes, flowers in hair,
And smiling, my joy knew no bounds.
'A golden necklace with jewels,
As I carried it, would glitter.
Curling hair encircled my face,
Which was shining with bright luster.
'Seeing Lord Krishna in the crowd,
I slowly garlanded my Lord.
I saw this as my victory,
For it was He I long adored.
'As I placed the garland on Him,
Bands roared so loud my ears would ring.
Male and female dancers danced
As expert singers began to sing.
'Thus Krishna become my husband,
And I, maidservant of the Lord.
He took me on His chariot,
While disappointed princes roared.
'Daruka drove us to Dvaraka
As the princes prepared to fight.
Krishna showered them with arrows
Defeating them by His might.
'Entering Dvaraka City,
Lord Krishna shone just like the sun.
All was plushly decorated,
Festoons and flags both by the ton.
'My loving father was most glad
That my desired husband won me.
He gave gifts to all of his friends
And gave us a first-class dowry.
'He gave the self-sufficient Lord
Both soldiers and weapons to fight,
Also horses and chariots,
All presented with great delight.
'My dear Queen, I guessed at that time
Past piety earned my reward,
And thus in this life I can be
A maidservant of our dear Lord.'
The last of the principal queens,
Just having finished her statement,
Rohini, who spoke for the rest,
Described their marriage arrangement.
'My dear Queen, when Bhaumasura
Conquered many lands by his prowess,
He kept the daughters of the kings,
Arresting them in his palace.
'When news of our imprisionment
Reached Krishna, our beloved Lord,
He killed Bhauma and his friends
And married us as we'd implored.
'Our only qualification:
Constant thought of His lotus feet,
Releases all from birth and death
And makes liberation complete.
'My dear Queen, we care not for land
Or kinds of heavenly pleasure.
Not Brahma's post, yoga siddhis,
Nor that mukti do we treasure.
'We want just to place on our heads
Grains of dust from His lotus feet,
Which Lakshmi keeps on her chest,
And whose value cannot be beat.
'This dust which just accumulates,
As Krishna walks through Vraja's land,
Is dear to His gopis and friends
And for us, our only demand.
'As residents of Vrindavana
Aspire to be straw on the street.
We also desire such a birth
Near the dust of His lotus feet.'
When the words of Lord Krishna's queens
Entered all of the females' ears,
Struck by the queens' love for Krishna,
Their eyes all became full of tears.
Srimati Radharani Talks to a Bumblebee
(a poem by Krishna-kripa dasa based on Srila Prabhupada's Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead)
Uddhava, servant of Krishna,
Entered the holy Vraja land.
Krishna sent him with a message
To give to the gopis by hand.
The gopis remembered Lord Krishna,
Hearing of Uddhava's mission,
So much so they forgot their homes
And their external position.
Sri Radha, mad with Krishna thought,
In touch through devotion complete,
Talked to a nearby bumblebee,
Who tried to touch Her lotus feet.
'When you're after honey, dear bee,
Each and every flower will do.
Now you convey Krishna's message,
For He's the same nature as you.
'Red kunkum adorns your moustache
As you most proudly let Me see.
It clung to Krishna's garland when
He embraced one other than Me.
'You have come here with His message,
And you're daring to touch My feet,
But I warn you sir, don't touch Me!
You cheating servant of a cheat!'
These sarcastic words of Radha,
Directed at the bumblebee,
Reveal Her doubts about Krishna
And His servant, Uddhavaji.
'Your nature is so like Krishna's
You take a flower's honey then leave,
As Krishna let us taste His lips,
Then, suddenly left us to grieve.
'Why does Sri Lakshmi serve Him so,
Knowing His real character.
We're smarter and won't be cheated
By Him nor by His messenger.'
As Krishna expands as Vishnu,
From Radha comes the goddess Sri.
Although she's goddess of fortune,
She wants to become a gopi.
'Dear bee, You chant Krishna's glories
Thus seeking a reward from Me.
Why this simply useless attempt?
It's foolish as foolish can be!
'We have left all our possessions
And our homes and families too.
We know this Krishna very well.
We all know Him better than you.
'Since Krishna moved to the city
And is known as friend of Arjuna
He now has many new girlfriends
Who think He's the ultimate boon.
'Happily blessed by Krishna's touch
They'll smile as you chant His glories.
Tricky friend of tricky Krishna,
Please go! Enough of your stories.
'Though you're great at solving conflicts,
Your words and Krishna's I can't trust.
We gave up everything for Him,
But He treated us just like dust.
'He can't live without young women,
But city girls aren't so naive.
Not like innocent cowherd girls,
Who charmed by His words, believe.
'Want to lead us to Mathura?
And then again, whatever for?
Krishna's smile is so enchanting
Any woman would just adore.
'Krishna smiles, His eyebrows dancing,
Enticing women all around.
Compare to those, led by Lakshmi,
We're just like straw upon the ground.
'He presents Himself, a noble,
And sages praise Him with respect.
One so great should show His mercy
For we are pained by His neglect.
'Foolish servant, you don't know Him.
He's been so hard-hearted and cold
In this life and in former ones.
The details Paurnamasi's told.
'She claimed He came as Rama, the king,
But His actions were a disgrace.
He killed Vali like a coward,
Without fighting him face to face.
'Attached to Sita's pure beauty,
He drove Surpanakha to tears.
Instead of appeasing her lust,
He chopped off her nose and her ears.'
'Next He came as the brahmana boy
Asking alms from Bali, the king.
Then displeased, He punished Bali,
Though Bali'd offered Him everything.
'We know that Krishna very well.
He's hard-hearted, restless, and mean.
How can we stop our talks of Him?
This certainly remains to be seen.
'Not only we, but great souls too
All have these same proclivities.
We can't see how we'll ever stop
Discussing His activities.'
Because Krishna is absolute
Both His kind and mean acts please.
Opportunities to hear of them
Great devotees will always seize.
Caitanya taught that Krishna's free
To leave us and bring dejection.
He may crush us or embrace us,
Still, we serve Him with affection.
'No one should hear these Krishna talks,
For if a drop goes in one's ear,
One's freed from all dualities
And things materially dear.'
Free of material desire,
One gives up family and home.
Wandering in search of Krishna,
Going here and there, he will roam.
To understand Krishna's nature
Is hard in actuality,
His name, form, comrades, and pastimes
Are of transcendent quality.
'Please don't speak anymore of Krishna.
Give us another topic to hear.
Krishna charmed us with His sweet words
As hunters' tunes entrance a deer.
'In our present doomed condition,
We think of His glittering feet,
And become lusty for His touch.
Please, from your talks of Him, retreat!'
All these talks of Radharani
With the messenger bumblebee
Which refer to Krishna alone
Symptomize topmost ecstacy.
These symptoms of mahabhava
In Radha and the gopis too,
Acaryas have closely studied
To explain the things that they do.
Radha acts as if bewildered,
And She talks in different ways.
This all comes from Her Krishna love
As from jewels come sparkling rays.
Sri Radha's talking with the bee
Cured Her woe of separation,
But then when the bee disappeared,
She went mad in desparation.
Thinking the bee went to Krishna
Telling Her words of demotion,
She feared that She made Krishna sad,
And thus She felt great emotion.
When the bee appeared before Her,
She felt Krishna to be most kind:
He ignored Her disruptive words
And sent the bee to calm Her mind.
Then Sri Radha spoke with great care
Thus addressing the bumblebee.
This time She was speaking sweet words
And not words full of infamy.
'My dear friend, you are most welcome.
To send you, Krishna is so kind.
He ignored My words against Him,
Though they couldn't have pleased His mind.
'Oh My friend, you're welcome to ask Me
Whatever you desire, dear bee,
For I shall give you anything
Because of your kindness to Me.
'You've come to take Me to Krishna
Because He cannot come to Me,
For there new girlfriends surround Him.
But you're too small to take Me, dear bee!
'How can you help Me meet Krishna?
For there He is taking His rest
Along with the goddess of fortune
And embracing her to His chest.
'Oh, never mind! Forget these talks
Of My going or sending you.
Tell Me how Krishna is faring.
In Mathura, what does He do?
'Does He miss His father Nanda?
And His most loving mother too?
What about His cowherd boyfriends?
And we gopis? Give us a clue!
'I'm sure He sometimes sings of us,
We who all served Him without pay.
We simply were His maidservants.
To embrace Him once more, we pray!
'Oh, when will His arms surround us,
Always fragrant with aguru scent.
Oh, please ask Krishna these questions,
Without Him we simply lament!'
This worship in separation
By the gopis of Their dear Lord
Is most praised by Lord Caitanya
As giving the supreme reward.
This reward of love of Krishna
Is certainly the highest goal.
It's this Caitanya came to teach,
And it is this He did extol.
Srimati Radharani, ki jaya!
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada, ki jaya!
Guru Maharaja, ki jaya!
Other Web Pages by the Same Author
Bhaktivedanta Institute (Alachua)
Nectar of the Holy Name
Visiting Krishna's Village of Peace 2001
Visiting Krishna's Village of Peace 2002
Visiting Krishna's Village of Peace 2003
Visiting the Laksmi Nrsimha Tour 2002
Reflections on the Laksmi Nrsimha Tour 2003
Krishna Devotees Tell 6th Grade Classes About India
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