Sudama was an ascetic, impeccable and pure Brahmin. He stayed in Porbandar. He was best friend of Shri Krishna. Sudama never used his knowledge for earning purpose but for the almighty. He was very poor. His wife’s name was Sushila. She was very virtuous wife. She used to remain hungry for so many days but she never felt unhappiness. She never teased her husband to earn. Many a times, their children did not get anything to eat. Sushila could not see their bad condition and requested her husband to meet his friend, Shri Krishna. She said, “He always said that Shri Krishna loved his friends and even did theft for his friends”. Sudama acknowledged it and said, “He ate after feeding his friends”. Sushila asked him to go and meet him so that their pains are removed. Sudama told, “He is poor but he would not beg”. Sushila again insisted to go there just to meet him. She said, “Shri Krishna is the almighty and he should not have hesitation to meet him”. Finally, Sudama agreed to go to Dwarka. He said, “It is not proper to go empty hand in friend’s house”. Sushila could not find anything in the house. So, she brought two handful of rice from neighbors and tied in a torn cloth for Shri Krishna. Sudama moved in the direction of Dwarka. Sushila prayed Surya (Sun) for his safe journey.
Sudama reached Dwarka on seventh day of Paush month in Shukl Paksh. He was shivering due to cold. Sudama asked the way to Dwarkadheesh palace from the people. The people made fun of him for telling Krishna’s friend. Ultimately, he reached the palace gate. Gatekeeper disallowed him to go inside. Sudama told him that he has not come to take anything from Shri Krishna and Krishna is his friend. Gatekeeper laughed at him and said, “Can a beggar come without expectation”. Sudama asked him to inform Shri Krishna that his friend Sudama has come. Gatekeeper went inside and informed Shri Krishna that a lean beggar has come who is claiming to be his friend and has come without any expectation.
Hearing about Sudama, Shri Krishna ran towards door calling Sudama. He felt pain to see the condition of Sudama. Shri Krishna embraced Sudama. Sudama thought, “His friend has not forgotten him even after attaining prosperity”. Rukmani brought water to clean the feet of Sudama. But Shri Krishna cleaned the feet with his tears. Sudama was not wearing shoes; so many thorns pricked his feet. Shri Krishna started plucking the thorns. One thorn could not be plucked so Krishna asked Rukmani to bring a needle. Rukmani delayed in bringing needle. Meanwhile, Shri Krishna started plucking the thorn with his teeth. Sudama retorted, hai prabhu! What are you doing? Being king, it does not look nice. Shri Krishna said, “What he is talking about; his friend has not lost his prudence after becoming prosperous”. Shri Krishna plucked the thorn.
Shri Krishna remembered the days of Gurukul. He said, “worldly affairs are big trouble; Gurukul days were joyful”. Shri Krishna reminded Sudama one episode of a rainy day. That day, Sudama was having some grams. Hearing the sound of eating grams, Krishna had asked about it. Sudama had replied that the sound was due to shivering because of cold not of eating. Sudama thought that he would have to share grams.
Queens were surprised to see Krishna’s service of feet. Their husband had never showed such devotion earlier. Shri Krishna enquired about the family life of Sudama. Sudama told, “He has come on the request of his bhabhi (wife of brother)”. Krishna said, “Bhabhi must have sent something for him”. Rukmani interrupted & asked Shri Krishna, “If he permits, she want to send something for his home”. Krishna said, “He does not want to send anything but wants to take from him”. Rukmani said, “What can be given by the poor Brahmin”. Shri Krishna felt bad on being said as poor Brahmin by Rukmani. Rukmani begged pardon. Sudama was hiding the bundle of rice, out of hesitation. Shri Krishna laughed and said, “He had hidden grams earlier and now is hiding rice”. Shri Krishna snatched the bundle of rice and ate it. Shri Krishna is the parmatma. When he ate rice, it was eaten by the entire world which gave virtues of donating food to entire world.
Shri Krishna bestowed entire prosperity of Dwarka to Sudama’s house in exchange of one handful rice. Sudama never told about his poverty to Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna also did not tell about donation of prosperity.
Next morning, Sudama got ready to return to his village. He thought, “Shri Krishna would request to stay for three-four day more”. But Shri Krishna did not request because Sushila had resolved to take food after viewing the face of her husband. Sudama wore his torn clothes and moved. Krishna asked him to bring Bhabhi also next time.
Sudama reached Sudamapuri and searched his broken cottage but failed to do so. There was a big palace. He wondered, “What has happened to his cottage”. When Sushila heard about arrival of Sudama, she ran out and welcomed him. She said, “due to grace of his friend, this prosperity has come”. Sudama felt obliged. He thought, “He never expected wealth; he only desired bhakti of Shri Krishna”.
16,108 Weddings of Shri Krishna
There is lot of talks about thousands of wives of Shri Krishna. But very few people know the real stories behind Shri Krishna’s wedding with 16,108 girls. Shri Krishna wedded with 16,100 widows of the demon Narkasura who made them captive, to save their dignity. Rest of the eight weddings was due to peculiar circumstances.
Shri Krishna had eight principal wives viz. Rukmani, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhad- ra and Lakshmana. The stories behind their weddings are mentioned as under:
Satyabhama & Jambavati: She is considered to be the incarnation of Mother Earth. Satyabhama's father Satrajit owned a divine jewel called syamantaka. Krishna told Satrajit to send the jewel to Ugrasena so that it could be guarded safely. Satrajit's brother prasena took the jewel and went for hunting, he was attacked and killed by a lion, and meanwhile Jambava (who lived from the time of Sri Rama) took the jewel and gave it to his daughter to play with. When satrajit heard of his brother's death and missing syamantaka he accused Krishna of it. Krishna went in search of syamantaka so that he could clear the accusation; he found the jewel with Jambava. They fought for 28 days for the jewel; Jambava finally surrendered and recognized Krishna to be the incarnation of Rama and prayed him to marry his daughter. Jambavati was daughter of Jambava. Thus Krishna married Jambavati. Krishna returned the jewel to Satrajit, when satrajit came to know of the happenings he asked Krishna's forgiveness and gave his daughter Satyabhama's hand in marriage to Krishna
Sixteen thousands one hundred wives:
Narkasura made captive sixteen thousands one hundred girls. Shri Krishna slew Narkasura, rescued enslaved girls and accepted them as his wives to save their dignity in the society who saw them as slaves of the demon king Narkasura. The chief amongst them is sometimes called Rohini.
Marital Life of Shri Krishna:
Once, Narada ji desired to see the married life of Shri Krishna and his conduct with 16108 wives. He reached Dwarka. Shri Krishna was with Rukmani. They welcomed Narada ji. Shri Krishna asked him the reason of his visit.
Shri Krishna cleaned the feet of Narada ji. From there, Narada ji went to other houses. He saw, Shri Krishna was playing chess with Uddhav. There also Shri Krishna welcomed him. Likewise, Narada ji went to houses one by one and found Shri Krishna in all houses. He found him in different activities viz. playing with children, taking food, doing japa, listening discourse etc. wherever he went, he found Shri Krishna engaged in family affairs and Shri asked about his time of arrival. Despite Narada ji was roaming around for several hours, he had to say that he came just now. Ultimately, Narada ji begged pardon from Shri Krishna.
The story of Satyabhama and Tulsi leaf
Once, Satyabhama felt proud of being most loved by Shri Krishna. One day, Narada, ji arrived there. Satyabhama asked him a trick so that she gets the same husband in all future lives. Narada ji advised her, whatever one donate in the life, gets in future life. If she wants Shri Krishna in next life, then donate him. Satyabhama was ready to donate him but wondered who would accept him as donation. Ultimately, Narada ji agreed to accept the donation of Shri Krishna. Satyabhama donated Shri Krishna with resolve.
Narada ji took Shri Krishna to move from there. Satyabhama asked Narada ji where he is taking her husband. Narada ji told her, just now she has donated him Shri Krishna and now he has authority over him. Whatever is donated, it belongs to the person whom it is donated. Now Shri Krishna belongs to him.
Satyabhama realized her fault. She demanded Shri Krishna back but Narada ji refused. When other queens heard the incident, they came running. But Rukamani did not come. All queens started pleading Narada ji to return their husband. Narada ji again said them that Shri Krishna has been donated by Satyabhama and if they desire to take him back, they should give him gold of equivalent weight of Shri Krishna. Satyabhama was delighted to hear this. All queens brought their gold ornaments. But to their utter surprise, all their ornaments were less in weight than that of Shri Krishna. Now, the queens trembled and brought more ornaments still the weight was less. The queens could not buy Shri Krishna against hundreds of kilogram ornaments. Shri Krishna played all this to destroy the pride of Satyabhama.
Now, all queens plunged into thoughts, what to do now. Satyabhama has done disaster by donating Shri Krishna. At last, Satyabhama decided to take the help of Rukamani. Rukamani understood the secret. She said, the almighty cannot be bought by gold. She placed one holy tulsi (basil) leaf with devotion. Immediately, the Shri Krishna side of scale moved up.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
The Story of marriage of Rukmani and Shri Krishna
The King Bhishmak of Vidarbha had five sons and one daughter. Eldest son was Rukmi and daughter’s name was Rukmani. Name of their mother was Shudhmati (pure mind). Rukmani was incarnation of Lakshmi.
Bhishmak desired that Rukmani should marry Shri Krishna but Rukmi was in favour of her marriage with Shishupal. When Rukmani knew about brother’s desire, she felt distressed. Rukmi asked Shishupal to bring wedding procession. Shishupal reached with wedding procession. During Ganapati worship, Shishupal’s attention was only on the beauty of Rukmani.
Rukmani said to Sudev, a Brahmin who used to come in Antahpur of Shudhmati that she wanted to marry with Shri Krishna. She asked Sudev to hand over her letter to Shri Krishna. Rukmani wrote Shri Krishna, “she is desireless and without any disorder”. Sudev went to Dwarka and handed over the letter to Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna read the letter. She had written seven verses relating to seven marriage steps. She praised the six attributes of Shri Krishna viz. Dharma, Aishvarya, Yash, Shri, Gyan and vairagya (Righteousness, power or supremacy, fame, prosperity, wisdom and renunciation). She addressed her letter saying “not the world; creator of the world is beautiful”. She wrote Shri Krishna, “his beauty & attributes have fascinated her; she did not want to marry lustful person; she has regularly done good deeds; she has done fasts; donated clothes & grains to poor; she would bring divine wealth; she surrenders to his feet; accept me otherwise she would sacrifice her life”. She further wrote Shri Krishna, “she goes Parvati temple every day for worship and he should abduct her from there”.
Shri Krishna reached Vidarbha overnight. Vidarbha people were overjoyed to see Shri Krishna. They said, “Shri Krishna is the right choice for Rukmani”. Sudev informed Rukmani that he has brought Shri Krishna and he has accepted her. Rukmani asked Sudev, “What service she can do for him”. Sudev said, “He does not expect anything”.
Meanwhile, Shishupal along with Jarasandh & other kings reached there. When he heard about arrival of Shri Krishna, he was terrified. He told Jarasandh, “He might take away his wife”. Jarasandh consoled Shishupal and assured that they would fight on his behalf in case of need. Rukmi told that he has made such an arrangement that not even bird could reach near his sister. When she would go to Parvati temple, sixteen girls would encircle her and many wrestlers would also accompany them. Hearing this, Shishupal calmed down.
After dressing up, Rukmani worshipped her parents and Tulsi (holy basil). Her mother asked her to go to Parvati temple on foot as she would be marrying. Rukmani greeted her mother again as she knew that she would not return home.
Rukmani was worshipping Parvati mata but infact she was viewing Dwarkadheesh (Shri Krishna) in idol. She sought blessings from Parvati mata that she could marry Shri Krishna. Parvati ji blessed her that her desire should be fulfilled. After worship, when she was coming down slowly from the temple, the kings were praising her beauty lustfully. Rukmani glanced on them which fainted away all of them.
Shri Krishna asked Daruk to take chariot forward. Rukmani was joyful to see Garud flag of Shri Krishna’s chariot. Shri Krishna caught hand of Rukmani and pulled up her and made to sit in chariot. Chariot proceeded in the direction of Dwarka. When the fainted king improved, they came to know that Shri Krishna has abducted Rukmani. Shishupal started weeping. Jarasandh & other kings asked him to calm down. Then Shishupal, Jarasandh, Dantvark & all other kings got angry, rode on their vehicles wearing armor and ran after Shri Krishna.
When Shri Krishna did not reach home till evening, Balrama was worried. After enquiry, he came to know the reason. Balrama immediately reached Vidarbha with army and dispersed the army of Shishupal, Jarasandh, Dantvark & other kings. All kings except Shishupal ran away. Shishupal kept weeping but did not fight. Rukmi came to fight with Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna tied him with one pillar. Rukmani requested him to leave her brother. Balrama said, “Rukmi is now your brother in law”. Hence, leave him. Shri Krishna untied Rukmi and let him go.
Shri Krishna sent a letter through Uddhav requesting Nand Baba to join his marriage ceremony. Nand Baba decided not to go to Dwarka as Kanhiya has not come to Gokul. Hearing this, Shri Krishna came to Gokul and asked Yashodha ma to come to Dwarka for his marriage. Otherwise, he would not marry. Nand baba, Yashodha, Gopis and other Braj people reached Dwarka. King Bhishmak also came there. But due to curse of Durvasa rishi, Bhishmak was not able to stay in Dwarka. Hence, marriage of Shri Krishna and Rukmani was solmanised in Madhavpur.
The Story of Uddhav and Gopis
After completing his studies, Shri Krishna came to Mathura and stayed there. King Ugrasena said to Shri Krishna that Mathura kingdom belongs to him. He would seve as his attendant and his directions would be supreme. Shri Krishna got all kinds of comforts in Mathura. But he missed Yashodha, Gopis, Cows, Vasudev and Gokul. He sat on the terrace every day and dropped tears in their memory. The separation from Yashodha, Gopis, Cows, Vasudev and Gokul, has made him emotional.
Uddhav ji was Krishna's beloved friend as well as his cousin (son of his father’s brother). He was also serving Shri Krishna apart other servants. Uddhav ji, when heard about Shri Krishna’s sadness, he plunged in deep thoughts. He thought all kind of comforts; servants, sumptuous food, prosperity and wealth are available to Shri Krishna, then what made him emotional.
Uddhav ji decided to ask Shri Krishna about the reasons of his sadness. When Uddhav ji came on terrace, Shri Krishna was tearful and on seeing Uddhav tried to be composed. Uddhav ji said to Shri Krishna that everybody is taking his care as much as possible, still he is not happy. Shri Krishna explained the episodes happened in Gokul and love and affection showered by Gopis, cows, parents etc. He remembered the affections of Yashodha who was feeding him with thousands efforts. He could not forget their love. Gopis, cows and parents must be weeping in his absence. Uddhav ji was a wise person but unware of love and affection. Uddhav ji told Shri Krishna that it was nice to play with Braj people in childhood but now he is king of Mathura. He should forget Braj people and enjoy the prosperity of Mathura. Shri Krishna told, he could forget everything but not Braj.
Uddhav ji was a man of spiritual wisdom but his heart was without bhakti. Shri Krishna decided to send Uddhav ji to Gokul to learn bhakti from Gopis so that his spiritual wisdom would fructify. Simultaneously, Gopis would also gain spiritual wisdom and it will reduce their pain of separation.
Shri Krishna asked Uddhav to go to Braj and preach them Vedanta and ask them to forget him. Once they forget him, he would also forget them. Uddhav said, “It is better to send letters to them weekly which would give them pleasure of meeting”. Shri Krishna said to Uddhav that he tried to write letters several times but he could not get words and how letters would comfort Mata. So, Uddhav, you should go to Vrindavan and educate Gopis to forget him. Uddhav thought, he is man of wisdom, hence he is being sent to Braj. Uddhav ji said, “He is ready to go but how the uneducated people of Braj would understand Vedanta”. Hence, it would be futile to go there. Shri Krishna said, “Gopis are beyond education but they have learnt love; they have sacrificed their husbands, relatives etc. Uddhav, Gopis need the wisdom”. Hence, he must go. Uddhav was not interested to go but to fulfil the desire of Shri Krishna, he got ready to go. Shri Krishna told him to convey his message that he remembers all and they should not weep due to the separation. In morning, Shri Krishna gave Uddhav, Pitamber and vejayantimala (yellow clothes and Vejayanti garland) and asked to wear before meeting Gopis. He said, “Gopis did not see any man other than him; if he wears the attire, they would believe him as his messenger”. When the chariot started, Shri Krishna asked Uddhav to convey his parents that Kanhiya would surely come and he started weeping. Uddhav was not able to comprehend, why Shri Krishna starts weeping while remembering Braj.
In Braj, tears of Gopis were flowing like river since Kanhiya left. Cows stopped grazing. Nand and Yashodha did not eat anything. Yashodha has been thinking that she would eat after feeding Kanhiya. Nand and Yashodha were always in thoughts of Kanhiya and weeping. Yashodha taunted Nand for sending Kanhiya to graze cows. He was to eat dry rotis and run after cows. Hence, he left. Nand said, “He did not send him rather he insisted for grazing cows”. He said, “He is borne to serve cows, Kanhiya has forgotten us after becoming king of Mathura”.
Chariot of Uddhav ji reached in Braj. Braj was pure and Satvika. Animals, birds, trees etc. all were divine. Shridam, Madhumangal etc. Gopals were waiting Kanhiya on the way of Mathura. They saw the chariot. They thought that Kanhiya must be coming. They ran towards chariot but found Uddhav. Uddhav said to gopals that he has brought message of Shri Krishna. He would be coming. Gopals said, “They never thought Kanhiya would be so ruthless; without him, everything is lifeless”. They showed the way of Nand’s house. When chariot stopped at Nand’s house, Nand and Yashodha ran towards chariot believing their Kanhiya has come. To see some other person, Nand fainted. Uddhav was perplexed to see everybody weeping in the name of Krishna. Yashodha ji kept patience. When Uddhav completed his bath, food etc., one attendant informed Nand that friend of Krishna has come. Nand got up from faint. Nand ji asked about welfare of Yadavs and Mathura. He further said, “He feels Kanhiya is here in Braj, He hears the music of Kanhiya’s flute, Sometimes, he feels that Kanhiya is sitting in his lap”. Entire braj, Yamuna, Giriraj, cows etc. are waiting for his return. Tell Kanhiya, his parents are weeping whole day. Yashodha told Uddhav that black color of Yamuna remind her about Kanhiya. She feels that Kanhiya has sat in her lap. Uddhav ji was perplexed, how to preach them. Seeing the love of Nand-Yashodha, half of the pride of Uddhav vanished. He felt, they see almighty in everything.
Uddhav took the permission from Yashodha to take bath in Yamuna. Uddhav heard Gopis’ Krishna bhajan. He thought Gopis sing so well and Braj people are fortunate to sing Krishna’s bahjan in early morning. Uddhav’s pride of wisdom dissolved slowly. Later, Gopis were discussing among themselves about Shri Krishna. Lalita said, “Whenever she tries to forget Kanhiya, he comes in mind more intensely; yesterday, she saw him playing flute on the tree and she turned half-mad; due to this, she tied her child instead of bucket and dropped in the well; Kanihya brought out him from well”. Another Gopi said, “people may say anything, but she is sure that Kanhiya is here only; yesterday, she was coming in dark to take water from well and was scared, Kanhiya chatted with her and came up to her house”.
When Gopis were talking, Uddhav took bath in Yamuna and dressed in Pitamber & vejayantimala. Gopis saluted Uddhav. Uddhav introduced him to Gopis that he is friend of Shri Krishna and brought the message of Shri Krishna for them. Gopis taunted Uddhav that Shri Krishna is everywhere and whether he sees Krishna in Mathura only. Uddhav said to Gopis that they should worship formless almighty. Gopis told Uddhav that the bliss given by Krishna could not be received from his wisdom; they did not have mind to practice for formless almighty as their mind had been stolen by Krishna and they have no other mind.
Uddhav ji thought that Gopis and Nand-Yashodha see Krishna in everything and everywhere. They experience almighty omnipresent and he wasted so many years in contemplating about almighty. He was entangled in Vedantic principles but could not experience almighty. His entire pride of wisdom vanished.
Gopis brought Uddhav before Radhika. Radhika was in dilapidated condition. She also repeated, “Shri Krishna is here only and everywhere”. Uddhav again repeated, “He has brought a message of Krishna”. Radhika said, “My Krishna is omnipresent, he is in my heart, he is in my whole being”. Uddhav ji requested to Radhika that his mind became dull due to pride of wisdom and to donate him Premlakshna Bhakti. Radhika obliged.
Uddhav was surprised. He was most surprised when, by Gopis’-grace, he saw Shri Krishna standing with his eyes everywhere among the Gopis. Uddhavji had come to give wisdom to Gopis. Now, he became a disciple of the Gopis. He started thinking of himself as the Gopi. Gopis also got spiritual wisdom from Uddhav ji and their Bhakti along with spiritual wisdom became divine.
Uddhav ji had come for a few days and stayed for six months in Braj. He sought permission now to go to Mathura. Yashodha ji said, “Uddhav ji, tell Krishna to come whenever possible”. Radha ji said, “Uddhav ji take the flute and Kamli and give to Krishna as it is not required”. Uddhav ji comforted everybody and said, “he will bring him soon here”.
When he went back to Mathura, he started calling Lord Krishna as Gopinath instead of Yadunath. Holding the feet of God, he started crying and said, “O Gopinath! Why he left Premlok (region of love) of Braj and settled here in this dry Mathura”? Hearing Uddhavji's words, Shri Krishna said “Wah, you went to teach wisdom, Uddhav”. Shri Krishna further said to Uddhavji, “Uddhav! You saw the unique love of the cowherds! That's why I can't forget them for a moment”.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
Story of Sukhiya Malin (florist)
In Braj, there was a Sukhiya Malin. She listened of the Shri Krishna stories daily. She was addicted to seeing Balkrishna and hearing (Shravana) stories of Balkrishna. Shri Krishna enters into manas (मन) through eyes and ears. Sukhiya came daily in the courtyard of Nand baba. But balkrishna did not come out. She asked the solution to it from Bhoodev. Bhoodev advised her to continue Seva (service of almighty), sadhana (diligent practice) and samran (remembrance) and one day Balkrishna would be happy. Sukhiya asked Bhoodev the procedure to serve as she was very poor. Bhoodev told her to turn 21000 times garland of beads or after listening stories of Shri Krishna, take some vrat (resolve) to do. He told many methods. But Sukhiya could not find them suitable. Bhoodev then suggested her to circumambulate the house of Nand Baba at least 108 times daily for three years. She started circumambulation. Circumambulation (प्रदक्षिणा) means going left to right of the person or object in reverence. During circumambulation, one should move joining both palms in reverence and doing japa in salutation of almighty.
She regularly did circumambulation of Nana baba’s courtyard for three years. After three years, it became unbearable for her. She decided not to leave courtyard of Nand baba till the vision of Balkrishna. She continued circumambulation. Balkrishna remembered Shabri and came out. He demanded the fruits from Sukhiya. Sukhiya thought, in case she immediately gave fruits, Balkrishna would return inside. So, she started talking Balkrishna that the fruits are for sale and bring grains for the fruits though she felt bad. She wanted to take him in her lap.
Balkrishna brought handful rice and kept in the fruit basket of Sukhiya. Sukhiya asked him to sit in her lap. Balkrishna jumped into her lap. The malin got satisfied. Jivatma met Parmatama. The malin gave him big and sweet fruits. Both were happy. Balkrishna took the fruits and went inside.
Sukhiya took her fruit-basket and left for home. When she brought down fruit basket, she found it full of diamonds. She was pleasantly surprised and thought that her poverty is eradicated forever. If you give fruit to the almighty, he would give diamonds.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
When the Kansa decided to perform Dhanush Yajna to increase his age and to kill enemies, he invited Nand along with his sons. For this, he sent Akroor ji to Gokul. He asked the wrestlers to kill Krishna & Balrama on their arrival. Shri Krishna and Balrama came along with Akroorji.
Stories of Shri Krishna in Mathura:
When Muchukund saw Shri Krishna, he requested him for undistracted Bhakti (devotion). Shri Krishna said, “Muchukund! You cannot get undistracted devotion in this life; in youth, you were extremely lustful or libidinous and luxurious”. Hence, he has to take one more birth. In next birth, he would get birth in Brahmin family and would get undistracted devotion. Muchukund did hard penance and born as Narsingh Mehta in Kalyug.
Thereafter, Shri Krishna preferred to leave Mathura in the interest of Mathura habitants. He left for Okha, Gujarat. BalKrishna stayed up to the age of eleven years in Gokul and thereafter up to the age of twenty five years in Mathura.
Shrimad Bhagavad Mahapurana.
Narada ji informed Kans that Shri Krishna is eighth son of Devaki who was transported by Vasudev to Nand’s home and he brought the daughter of Nand. It is better to call Shri Krishna and Balrama in Mathura to kill them. Then, Brahmins suggested Kans to perform Dhanush Yajna. Performance of Dhanush Yajna increases the age of the yajman (host) and kills the enemies. In case, the yajna is interrupted during first five days, yajman dies. Kans decided to invite Nand along with his sons. He asked wrestlers to kill Krishna & Balrama on their arrival.
Kans called Akroor ji and asked to bring Nand baba, Krishna & Balrama for Dhanush Yajna. He warned Akroor ji that they should not know that Kans wanted to kill them. Death of Kans was close by; hence, he called Shri Krishna. Akroor ji was eager to meet Shri Krishna. He could not sleep whole night. He completed swiftly the morning Sandhya etc. and got ready. Gold chariot of Kans came, Akroor ji moved on it to Gokul. kroor means cruel. Akroor means who is not cruel.
On the way, Akroor ji imagined about Shri Krishna, whether Shri Krishna would pronounce him as Chacha (father’s brother). He saw some footprints on the way. Footprints were with Lotus, flag and hook. He believed that such footprints must be of Shri Krishna who roams around for grazing herd without wearing sleepers or shoes. Akroor ji thought, while thinking almighty, he should not sit on the chariot. He started moving on foot and prostrated on the footprints of Shri Krishna on the way. He reached gowshala in Gokul. He thought, Shri Krishna will meet him there and he would confess that he is a sinner. But he became emotional there and could not speak a word. He fell in the feet of Shri Krishna. Akroor ji wondered, whether Shri Krishna would call to the sinner as chacha. Shri Krishna placed his beneficent hand on the head of Akroor ji and lifted him. Shri Krishna called him Chacha and embraced him. Whenever jivatma come to almighty, he embraces him.
From Gowshala, they went to Nand’s house. Nand ji welcomed Akroor ji. After taking meals etc, Nand ji asked the reason for his visit. Akroor ji informed him that he has come for extending invitation on behalf of Kans. Kans is organizing Dhanush Yajna at Mathura. He has called him and his sons, Shri Krishna – Balrama to view it. For the children, Kans ha sent gold chariot. Nand ji was very innocent. He felt happy to recive the invitation. Nand ji thought Kans loves his children and sent gold chariot for them. Nand baba said he was also interested to show his children Mathura.
When the boys of Gokul knew about this, they also decided to come along with them to Mathura. They thought who would care Shri Krishna. Nand ji permitted them to come to Mathura.
When Yashodha heard this, she was very upset. She said, don’t take Shri Krishna. If he goes, Gokul would be deserted. Who would care him there? Cows would not graze. Take only Balrama. Mathura’s women are charmers. They will charm Shri Krishna and he would not come back. Akroor is actually kroor (cruel). She would not permit him to go.
Nand baba consoled her and explained that Shri Krishna is now eleven years old. How many days, he would be inside house. He should see the world. Nand baba said, he wants to make him king. They would return within three – four days from Mathura. Don’t worry. But Yashodha was not satisfied. She kept waking whole night. Out of grief, she went in courtyard and started sobbing. Suddenly, Kanhiya got awake and could not find his mother. He started searching and found her weeping in courtyard. He sat near mother and asked the reason of weeping. He said, her weeping has made him sad. Hearing this, she was consoled. She told him, as he is going tomorrow, she is feeling distressed. Without him, she can’t survive. Kanhiya assured her to come back but did not tell the timing of his return. Hearing this, Yashodha was happy and forget the timings of his return. Both slept thereafter.
Shri Krishna thought, if he doesn’t visit Vasudev & Devaki who are struggling in prison for eleven years, they would die. In morning, Yashodha made ready Kanhiya. Kanhiya assured her to come back. Yashodha’s mind was restless even now. She made food for Kanhiya, herself and fed him.
Akroor ji brought the chariot in the courtyard. When Gopis knew about this, they came running. Radhika fainted there. In that condition, she was murmuring, hai Krishna, don’t leave him. Gopis started arguing with Akroor ji. They said why he is taking Kanhiya. Without Kanhiya, they would not survive. Don’t take Kanhiya. Who has kept his name as Akroor? In fact, he is Kroor. He has come to make them weep. They are ready to do any job of his house. But leave Kanhiya. Gokul would be funeral place without Kanhiya. Don’t snatch Kanhiya. Mathura women are smart and educated and they are uneducated. Kanhiya would forget us there. Their luck is bad. Gopis were crying like anything. They said, almighty is cruel. First, he develops love and later splits to bear the pain of separation. Akroor ji was not able explain them. No idea struck to him.
Shri Krishna whispered in Radha’s ears that Rakshasa have increased tremendously on earth and he is going to destroy rakshasa. They are two in bodies but in fact they are one. He is leaving his flute which is so dear to him. Whenever, she will play flute, he would come running. He asked Gopis to protect their lives to protect his life and he has to go. Gopis asked him, don’t forget them. They were crying. Kanhiya assured them of his return and left. Gopis followed the chariot. They were still crying. One Gopi said, she has resolved not drink water without seeing him. She asked Kanhiya to come for few moments every day. Entire Gokul was crying. Cows were also weeping. Akroor ji also became emotional. Shri Krishna asked Akroor ji to move chariot rapidly.
Kaushakya started running behind chariot. To see his mother, Shri Krishna asked to stop chariot and got down. Kaushalya did Krishna’s aarti. She said her love is not solely for her. She would pray for him to be happy wherever he lives. She also shared him the secret that he is son of Devaki and she has only brought up him. She is only maid. Shri Krishna told her, don’t say all this. He would convey entire world that he is son of Yashodha. Yashodha asked Kanhiya to forget the incidence of tieing him with pestle. Shri Krishna said, he has already forgotten the incidence but he would forget bondage with her.
Chariot moved further. Gopis were still running. Kanhiya told them that he has born to destroy demons and his one form would be in Gokul and another in Mathura. He entered in the hearts of all Gopis. Bereavement brings concentration. Separation makes love robust.
Chariot reached near Yamuna. Akroor ji got down to take bath in Yamuna. He saw Krishna & Balrama inside the Yamuna. When he saw on chariot, they were sitting there. Again and again, he saw all this. Akroor ji had vision of Narayana also. After taking bath, Akroor ji did Sandhya. When chariot reached Mathura, Shri Krishna asked Akroor ji to move ahead and they would take rest in the garden. Shri Krishna and Kans, both can’t live the same city. Light and darkness can’t be together.
Yashodha ji gave food, curd etc. for the journey. They sat there to take food. But Shri Krishna did not take food. Nand ji asked him the reason for not eating. He told him that mother and Gopis would be hungry due to separation. How could he eat? Bhakti should be so profound that almighty also remembers.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
It is ignorance to talk anything wrong about relationship of Radha-Krishna. In fact, Sri Krishna left Gokul-Virndavan at the age of 12 years. It is stupid to talk their relationship as of mundane love. The love felt by the Gopis is not lust (Kama). Sexual lust cares only for sensual gratification for oneself. The Gopis on the other hand seek Krishna’s enjoyment, not theirs. The unalloyed love of Radha-Krishna is without the slightest touch of self-centeredness. The play of Radha and Krishna is extremely deep and
Radha’s spiritual love for Krishna was without the least taint of selfishness.
In the Skanda Purana, Vaishnava Khanda, Bhagavata Mahatmya talks about Radharani. The 1st chapter (Volume 6) contains the famous statement, “Atma Tu Radhika Tasya” – Radharani is Krishna's soul. Radharani features prominently in Rudra Sampradaya of Sri Vallabhacharya and Gaudiya Sampradaya of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Radha is also the principal god of worship in the Nimbarka Sampradaya, as Nimbarka, the founder of the tradition, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth.
Gopi is a Sanskrit word, refers to milkmaids. The Skanda Purana states that out of many thousands of gopis who had divine love with Sri Krishna, sixteen thousand were predominant; and out of 108 gopis, eight were still more prominent. The prominent eight gopis were Lalita, Vishakha, Champakalata, Chitra, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi. But the two gopies, Radharani and Chandravalli were most prominent; and out of these two gopis, Radharani is the most prominent. Radha, is also called Radhika, Radharani and Radhikarani.
Why Gopis had love for Sri Krishna:
Goverdhan episode developed trust in the minds of Gopis that Balkrishna is almighty. This sowed the seeds of love and devotion among their minds. Intensity of devotion increased gradually in the minds of Gopis leading to restlessness. This restlessness was due to separation from almighty and not worldly desire or passion.
Balkrishna was eleven years old at the time of Raaslila. Some ignorant persons paint Raslila as ordinary sexual appetite. Any sensible person can understand that eleven years old child can’t have sexual appetite. Gopis were of all ages including married women. They had pure devotion and spiritual love for Sri Krishna and not attachment with body. Further, Raas was done in open and not closed door. Neither Gopis in Gokul were ordinary ladies nor was Balkrishna ordinary human being. In case, the episode would have been for sexual appetite, Shri Shukdev ji who was an enlightened person since birth will not mention this.
Dongra ji Maharaj has explained about the Gopis. Raaslila was not an ordinary meeting of man and woman but meeting of Jivatmas with Parmatama. When the covering of desires and ignorance is abolished, it is pure Jivatma. Sexual appetite is caused in the physical bodies. No sooner feelings of physical body eliminate, sexual appetite is erased from the mind. Everybody has to shed ego to meet almighty.
What is Spiritual Love:
Initially, love starts between two persons. As love intensity grows, feeling of oneness develops. The power of love is revealed in 8 forms i.e.
1. Prem, (प्रेम) - Indissoluble attachment binding devotee to God,
2. Sneh (स्नेह) - The end product of Prema is when the heart melts in love,
3. Maan (मान) – It is marked by sensitiveness due to excessive love,
4. Pranaya (प्रणय),
5. Raag (राग) – It is eager longing for the object of love touched with the enjoyable pain associated with it,
6. Anuraag (अनुराग) – It is the experience of unceasing novelty in the object of love,
7. Bhavavesh (भावावेश) – It is the experience of excellent spirit, admiration, cheerfulness and velour etc. During the experience, there may be continuous flow of tears, and
8.Maha-bhav(महाभाव) - is the most ecstatic expression of love, and is called Divine madness.
Each of them epitomizes a higher degree of love than the previous one. Thus Maha-bhav is highest and in Mahabhav as well there is most intimate level of love which is called Madan Maha-bhav. Shri Radha is the embodiment of Madan Mahabhav.
Gopis are spiritual preceptress of Bhakti. While performing their duties, their mind was constantly engrossed in Balkrishna. This is height of Bhakti. Sri Shankaracharya said, immerse in any form of deity with full devotion. Perform all worldly duties keeping in manas of almighty and for the almighty. If devotion is done all through our actions, speech and thought, shri Krishna enters in life. Believe all other forms part of that form. It will not develop pleasure or pain. All attachments are of manas (मन). Meditating the sensual pleasures makes the manas impure. Abandoning such thoughts of sensual pleasure, purify the manas. When manas becomes steady in almighty, it is peaceful. After liberation of manas, jivatma enjoys freedom.
What is the original form of Radha:
Radha is regarded as the Goddess or Shakti. She is the eternal consort of Sri Krishna. She is the internal potency or Hladini Shakti (Blissful energy) of Sri Krishna. She is the personification of para bhakti (complete devotion) unto Sri Krishna (Bhakti Devi) and is revered as the epitome of selfless love and service towards Krishna. She is also considered by some as the feminine form of Lord Krishna himself.
Radha once asked krishna in Golok whom does he love the most, and krishna told her that he is free from all the emotions and loves everyone. To this she asked about herself, to which Krishna said that you and I are same so how can I love myself. When she asked him why didn’t he marry her? He said how he could marry her because love and marriage needs two people but they are one.
According to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
The Story of Maha Raas of Shri Krishna and Gopis
Maha Raas was solemnized by Shri Krishna and Gopis in Vrindavan, by Balkrishna at the age of 8 years 3 months while Radharani was 3 years 3 months only (on October 3, 3222 BC on Kartika Purnima).
Goverdhan episode developed trust in the minds of Gopis that Balkrishna is almighty. This sowed the seeds of love and devotion among their minds. Initially, love starts between two persons. As love intensity grows, feeling of oneness develops. Intensity of devotion increased gradually in the minds of Gopis leading to restlessness. This restlessness was due to separation from almighty and not worldly desire or passion.
Dongra ji Maharaj has explained about the Gopis as under:
Gopis are of two types’ viz. Nityasiddha (नित्यसिद्धा) and Sadhansiddha (साधनसिद्धा). Nityasiddha Gopis are Shrutiroopa (श्रुतिरूपा), Rishiroopa (ऋषिरूपा), Sankeernroopa (संकीर्णरूपा), anypoorva (अन्यपूर्वा) and ananypoorva (अनन्यपूर्वा). Sadhansiddha Gopis were that who’s Sadhna (spiritual elevation) was not yet completed.
Balkrishna asked them to return their homes. Shri Krishna said to Gopis, they would get more pleasure in separation than that of meeting. It was not proper to come here leaving their husbands and children at home. Gopis asked reason for saying this. Shri Krishna replied, body has husband, father etc. but Atman does not belong to father or husband etc. Atman’s duty is to meet almighty. Shri Krishna further said duty of women is to serve husband and children which purifies mind and pure mind attains almighty. Gopis said they have done renunciation of all desires from sense organs & mind and decided to surrender in the feet of almighty. Gopis further said, they are neither man nor woman but pure Atman. For thousands of births, they have waited for him. Shri Krishna said he could deliver them at their homes with the power of yoga. Gopis said it would deliver the physical bodies but not the minds. Gopis were adamant not to go back and preferred to die. They insisted for amrit (nectar) of divine love and wisdom so that feeling of duality eliminates.
Hearing all this, Shri Krishna accepted the defeat. He thought that devotion of Gopis is true and they would give up lives, if sent them away today. Almighty took many forms and did Maha Raas with each individual Gopi. Jivatmas met Parmatama. Narada ji regretted for being a man as he could not participate in Raas. Radha ji advised him to take bath in Radhakund. Narada ji after taking bath in Radhakund became Naradi.
Brahma ji and other deities beheld Raas. Brahma ji thought, although Shri Krishna and Gopis are desireless and flawless, yet Shri Krishna is for establishing virtues and Raas with others’ wives is not proper. Shri Krishna thought Brahma has not understood that this is not ordinary Raas Lila but dharma (Virtuous) Lila. Almighty did one trick. He gave his form of Krishna to all Gopis. Now, there was only Shri Krishna. Brahma ji understood that this is not ordinary Raas.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj