Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Pastimes as a Child
– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami
“Good Morning, Dear Devotees!” as Śacīnandana Swami
would say, and welcome to Rāvala, where Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī made Her divine appearance. In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam we hear how 5,000 years ago, the world was in a very distressed state of being. Actually, it has always been in a distressful situation, but this was particularly true 5,000 years ago. Śrīla Prabhupāda summarizes very poetically the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s descriptions of what the world was like at that time. He writes that, “Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense forces of different kings who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order.”
The Bhāgavatam goes on to describe how Bhūmi Devī, the predominating Deity of this Earth, went and complained to Lord Brahmā. Apparently, when there are some difficulties within this particular universe, the demigods have the right to go and complain to Lord Brahmā to somehow rectify the situation because he created them all. She, the personified earth, was feeling this burden on herself. She explained that all these demoniac kings are creating so much disorder. Then Brahmā went to the shore of the ocean of milk and he spoke to Lord Vishnu, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who eventually agreed to appear on this earth planet to rectify the situation.
But, elsewhere in the Garga Saṁhitā, a little more detail is given. As Kṛṣṇa was preparing to descend towards the end of the Dvāpara Yuga: “yadā yadā hi dharmasya, glānir bhavati bhārata”, as He describes, He went to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He requested that She join Him in His earthly pastimes. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was considering His request that She come with Him to this earthly planet, but She eventually made a condition. Specifically Garga Saṁhitā quotes Her, Rādhārāṇī said to Kṛṣṇa, “My Dear Śyāma, wherever You go I must also be there. But how can I be happy when there is no Vṛndāvana forest, there is no Yamunā river and there is no Govardhan hill? If you want Me to come with You to the earthly planet, then We have to bring all of Vṛndāvana with us, especially the Vṛndāvana forest, the Yamunā river and the Govardhan hill.” Of course, Kṛṣṇa agreed and therefore shortly after that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī made Her appearance here in Rāvala.
The last week or so we have been discussing a lot about Kṛṣṇa‘s appearance in Mathurā in the jailhouse of Kaṁsa, and yesterday how Kṛṣṇa was transferred by Vasudeva and Devakī over to Gokula under the care of Yaśodā and Nanda Bābā. He was in Gokula and then later Kṛṣṇa was transferred to Vṛndāvana and from Vṛndāvana later to Nanda-gram. The Śāstra says that, just as Kṛṣṇa enjoyed His childhood in Gokula and His youth in Nanda-gram, Rādhā enjoyed Her childhood here in Rāvala and Her youth in Barṣāṇā. Actually, if you look on the altar, when we were over there at the temple, there are very beautiful Deities of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and, interestingly enough, on the right side there is a Deity of baby Rādhā. I have never seen that before. I was told that it was installed here three or four years ago but, yes, this is where She had Her baby pastimes.
You can see as we are driving through the little village of Rāvala—it’s quite a village site, although it doesn’t look like the description we hear in the Śāstra: a very beautiful, gorgeous place, but what we are seeing here is a little bit more what it was like. This is because particularly in Kali-Yuga, there is a thin film of matter or Māyā covering Vṛndāvana Dhām. One time a disciple inquired from Śrīla Prabhupāda, “Is this the Vṛndāvana Dhām that we read about in Kṛṣṇa book where everything is very idyllic? The weather is idyllic, the scenery is very idyllic.” The disciple further said, “Why is it so hot most of the time? Or why is it so cold most of the time in Vṛndāvana? Prabhupāda paused and thought for a moment and he said, “Oh! That’s to keep the Māyāvādīs away from Vṛndāvana.”
But Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī gives a very beautiful description of Rāvala in his writings. He doesn’t refer directly to Rāvala; he calls it Mukyaravali, which means chief of all the other towns in Vṛndāvana. Just in the following prayer he describes the beauty of this place where we are seated and this is how we should see Rāvala, through his eyes. He actually describes it as a city. He says,
- “In the city of Mukyaravali the precious jewel known as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī took birth in the mind of Kīrtidā Devi’s womb, which is glorified by jubilant demigods, sages and human beings.”
- “I pray that when I enter King Vṛṣbhānu’s capital city of Mukyaravali populated by many Gopās, Gopīs and Surabhī cows, I may drown in a great flood of transcendental bliss and love.”
That is Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī’s vision of this transcendental place.
Actually, when I was researching all night, I found out that some persons say that Rādhā’s birthplace is not Rāvala but actually Barṣāṇā. But at 1:30 am we discovered that both opinions are correct because in this millennium, She appeared in Rāvala and in another millennium, She appeared in Barṣāṇā. In a previous day of Brahmā, Her father King Vṛṣbhānu near Barṣāṇā found Her one morning as she was playing on a lotus in a lake called Bhānu–Kuṇḍa.
- The scripture, or you can say more oral tradition, gives three versions of how She made Her appearance in this world either in Barṣāṇā or Rāvala: She made Her divine appearance from the ground,
- She made Her appearance on the top of a lotus flower as we mentioned and
- The third way in the womb of Her mother Kīrtidā.
As far as the ground version, I could only find a reference from Śrīla Prabhupāda, because he is quoting the local tradition. In that lecture Prabhupāda was describing how King Vṛṣbhānu was once plowing his fields with a golden plough and he found baby Rādhā buried within the earth and he picked Her up, brought Her to the palace and gave Her to his queen, wife Kīrtidā Sundarī – that’s one version. I was thinking how similar that is to a pastime of the father of Sītā Devī, Janaka Mahārāja finding his daughter in the ground when he was plowing the field as well.
The second version that is discussed and glorified here in Vṛndāvana is that Rādhārāṇī appears in the lotus flower in the water. In this version, Her father King Vṛṣbhānu is bathing in the river Yamunā and suddenly he looks up and he sees a thousand petal lotus flower floating down the river towards him. Imagine a 1000-petal lotus flower, and in the centre of that lotus flower sitting a very effulgent baby girl. As the lotus flower passed by King Vṛṣbhānu He lifted the smiling baby out of the lotus and embraced Her and when he did, he felt waves of transcendental ecstasy move through his body. The locals say that when he was lost in that ecstasy he could neither move nor speak. In this pastime, he also goes back to the palace and presents the baby girl to his queen Kīrtidā.
Now there is the 3rd version, that Rādhārāṇī appeared in the womb of Her mother Kīrtidā Sundarī, without having being impregnated by her husband and this is actually described in Śāstra. It’s described how as clouds floated very peacefully in the sky, Rādhārāṇī made Her appearance at noon on the 8th day of the bright fortnight of the moon, in the month of Bhadra which is August & September.
Thus you can meditate on any one or all three of those versions of Her divine appearance. Now, after that there is not a lot of information about Rādhārāṇī’s childhood like there is about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood. Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes are of course recorded by Śrīla Vyāsadeva in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and our Gauḍīya Ācāryas also comment a lot about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes, they are written in that way. But Rādhā’s pastimes again are mostly oral tradition. You walk around Vraja and you talk to residents and, “Oh, My father told me, his grandfather told me, his grandfather …” –the oral tradition. But that’s also accepted.
There is a very beautiful oral tradition spoken from grandmother to mother to child about how Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa first met. There are actually a few pastimes but because of lack of time I chose just a couple that I thought were particularly interesting. I thought it would be interesting to share this pastime, how Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa met for the first time. It all begins with Nārada Muni; as he often facilitates these pastimes. So not long after Kṛṣṇa appeared and was transferred over to Gokula, Nārada Muni went to Gokula, where we were yesterday, to have Darśana of baby Kṛṣṇa. While he was there, having Darśana of baby Kṛṣṇa; in his heart he felt some type of message that the Lord’s Āhlādinī–Śakti, His pleasure potency Śrī Rādhā had taken birth nearby as well; he got some divine inspiration. But he couldn’t find her; He was actually going from village to village and door to door inquiring about the appearance of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Finally, he came to Rāvala or some say to Barṣāṇā and he was greeted by King Vṛṣbhānu. After King Vṛṣbhānu respectfully received the great sage Nārada, he enquired to Nārada Muni, “It’s wonderful that you have appeared in my home, any particular reason you have come here?”
Nārada said, “Yes, some reason. I have a question: has a girl recently taken birth within your home?” A big smile came over Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu’s face, he said, “Yes, by the grace of the Lord I have been blessed with a daughter who is divinely effulgent.” But then King Vṛṣbhānu became a little despondent. He looked down and he said, “But unfortunately this child has not yet opened Her eyes.” So Nārada Muni went, “Oh! She has not opened Her eyes?” King Vṛṣbhānu said, “Yes, therefore we do not know whether She is blind or if She is a celestial being who is unwilling to look at the imperfections of this world.” I thought that was particularly beautiful. He said, “We don’t know if She is blind or She is some celestial being, some higher being who is unwilling to look at the imperfections in this world?”
Nārada said, “Can I see Her?” King Vṛṣbhānu sent for the servants and they brought little baby Rādhā before him; and because of his deep spiritual insight he was able to perceive that this was no ordinary baby, but Lord Kṛṣṇa’s eternal consort Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Then it was noted that it was only out of great difficulty that upon seeing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī he was able to restrain his ecstatic emotions. But Her eyes were closed, so he said to King Vṛṣbhānu, “My dear King, Providence has surely blessed you! Quickly bring me the items that we can perform a purificatory ceremony. I will perform such a ceremony to ensure that in time this child blesses the world with the glance of Her dove like eyes.”
King Vṛṣbhānu was in ecstasy. By the power of this sage he would perform a ceremony by which She would open Her eyes and they could see that She was not blind. The Śāstric reference at this point is that, while Vṛṣbhānu was getting all the Pūjā paraphernalia, Nārada Muni knelt down before Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and revealed his heart and made many, many beautiful prayers glorifying Her. As he did so the little baby girl playfully wiggled Her hands, like little kids do. But knowing that Her devotee Nārada was actually eager to behold Her original form, Rādhārāṇī appeared before him as a fresh youth, as a young girl around 8 or 9 years of age and on either side of Rādhārāṇī was Lalitā and Viśākā. At this point you can just imagine, Nārada Muni became speechless, gazing upon this divine form of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Suddenly from around the corner King Vṛṣbhānu appeared with the Pūjā paraphernalia, so immediately Rādhārāṇī became a baby again and hiding his ecstasies Nārada Muni performed the rituals for the child and then he departed.
But because of that special Darśana that Nārada Muni had with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī he was left with a very deep and intense desire for more of Her association and even more so for Her Sevā, for Her service. He went to a particular place here in Vṛndāvana, some say it’s next to Govardhan hill called Nāradavana and he performed very severe austerities under the direction of Vṛndā Devī for a very long time. I thought it was interesting that he performed his austerities under the direction of Vṛndā Devī, because again she is one of the five personalities to grant us entrance and residence in Vṛndāvana. So, whatever austerity he did, he did it under Vṛndā Devī’s direction. That’s another story we will tell that sometime, but eventually he was able to enter into Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in the form of a Gopī; and some devotees say her name was Naradiya. Some say he simultaneously continues his travels through the universe, others say that he left that service as Naradiya Gopī to do his service of preaching; as Prabhupāda called him an ‘eternal space-man’ to travel and preach, but he never forgets the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
As a result of those pastimes the Garga Saṁhitā, from where much of this comes, states that he always has at the tip of his tongue a very special prayer as he is travelling and preaching; and I have often placed this prayer on my Facebook page. The prayer is as follows:
“I wander this earth, meditating on Her, who is a moon shining in the arena of the Rasa dance, who is a host of bright lamps in Vṛṣbhānu’s palace and who is the central jewel in the necklace of Goloka.”
Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki Jaya!
Now Rādhārāṇī did not open Her eyes immediately after the purificatory ceremony that Nārada Muni performed. But King Vṛṣbhānu had great faith that whatever that sage said would come true. Next day Pūrṇamāsī – Yoga Māyā, she also arrived to have Darśana of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at the palace of King Vṛṣbhānu. When Pūrṇamāsī first had Darśana of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, very beautiful words came from Her mouth glorifying Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She said to Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu and Queen Kīrtidā, “This girl is not ordinary. Great personalities like Brahmā, Śiva and Nārada worship Her knowing that She can fulfill all their desires, material and spiritual, so please take good care of Her.” They were very joyful, hearing this blessing from Yogamaya –Pūrṇamāsī, but at the same time they were concerned. They expressed their concern to Pūrṇamāsī, “Look, Her eyes are closed; we don’t know what’s going on? Why are Her eyes closed? Why doesn’t She open Her eyes? Is She blind? Of course, we know that Pūrṇamāsī, with her assistants like Vṛndā Devī, they just arrange all these different pastimes to increase the ecstasy. Pūrṇamāsī just smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s just Rādhā’s pastime.”
The next day the pastime unfolded even more because Nanda Maharaja and Yaśodā with baby Kṛṣṇa, they came to visit their friends – King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī. They were kind of like, friends, so they both had babies. Nanda & Yaśodā brought their baby Kṛṣṇa over to show them to Kīrtidā and to Vṛṣbhānu and Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā, they wanted to show their baby girl to Nanda and Yaśodā, so just guess what is going to happen?
When Nanda and Yaśodā arrived with Kṛṣṇa, Rādhārāṇī was sleeping in Her bedroom. Nanda and Yaśodā were met at the door by Kīrtidā Sundarī and king Vṛṣbhānu, and they were invited into like a living room; they all sat down, they started talking and baby Kṛṣṇa was on the lap of mother Yaśodā. While they were all kind of talking, Kṛṣṇa very silently climbs off of Mother Yaśodā’s lap and crawls towards the bedroom where Rādhārāṇī is sleeping. So, there is little Rādhārāṇī sleeping and baby Kṛṣṇa recognizes Her as His eternal divine consort, He reaches out and very gently baby Kṛṣṇa touches baby Rādhā’s eyes. The Śāstra describes that moment very nicely, that as soon as Rādhārāṇī felt the touch of Kṛṣṇa’s hands on Her eyes, She became aware that the Person for whom Her eyes were created was sitting beside Her; and casting off Her blindness She opened Her cloud blue eyes and smiled. All the parents just seeing that Kṛṣṇa wasn’t present began looking for Kṛṣṇa. They came into the room and there was Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa playing together like little children on the bed there, Rādhārāṇī’s eyes wide open and they were all very happy.
Again, there is not a lot about Rādhārāṇī’s childhood Līlās. But it is mentioned that when She turned 7 months old mother Kīrtidā Sundarī decided it was time to celebrate her daughter’s grain ceremony – that is Anna-prāśana. Those of you who are parents know that for 6 months or 7 months a child is taking the milk; then they start eating grains, so there is a ceremony. I have done it a thousand times. [In jolly mood:] Mahārāja comes and takes the sweet rice, gives to the baby and he gets the donation [Laughter]. Sometimes he gets the 100 dollars [Laughter], one of my favorite ceremonies [Laughter].
King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī they made announcements everywhere, that their daughter Rādhārāṇī was going to take Her first grains. News spread to all villages and thousands of people came for the grain giving ceremony. Amongst the respected guests again were Nanda Bābā and mother Yaśodā and baby Kṛṣṇa. They were invited for this ceremony to see Rādhārāṇī get Her first grains. The Brāhmaṇas had made a big Yajña–śālā, big pit and there was a fire and they were chanting various Mantras and Kīrtidā Sundarī was sitting near the fire with Rādhārāṇī on her lap.
When Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā arrived; as Yaśodā is very good friend with Kīrtidā Sundarī, she came and sat next to Kīrtidā Sundarī, there next to the fire Yajña. Nothing much had actually happened yet, Rādhārāṇī had not received the grains yet and they are just chanting all the Mantras. But mother Yaśodā had brought a little bowl of sweet rice to keep Kṛṣṇa occupied, because Kṛṣṇa is a baby boy and is hungry, older than Rādhārāṇī and he already had his ceremony of grains. She brought along a little bowl of sweet rice to feed Kṛṣṇa just to keep Him calm.
At one point before Rādhā received Her grains from one of the Brāhmaṇas, She just spontaneously reached over onto the lap of mother Yaśodā and took some of the grains from Kṛṣṇa’s bowl and ate it. In this way She received Her first grains which were Kṛṣṇa Prasādam. When the brāhmaṇas saw that, they cancelled the ceremony [Laughter] because Rādhārāṇī’s first grains were Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s remnants. The Ācāryas comment that this spontaneous event strengthened the two mothers Yaśodā and Kīrtidā’s conviction that divine providence had chosen their children for each other.
I will describe one more pastime and then we will take breakfast Prasādam. After breakfast Prasādam Śrī Prahlāda will lead us in ecstatic Kīrtana. Then there will be lunch Prasādam and then tomorrow we will go to Vṛndā-kuṇḍa.
But one more childhood pastime of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī! By researching this one I found out so much nectar. So sit properly, put your hands in the air:
Jaya-Jaya Śrī-Śrī Rādhe …………………………………… Śyāma!!
One day long, long ago when Rādhārāṇī was a young girl, I could not find Her exact age, but I could say something like a girl of 6, 7 or 8, she was playing with Her girlfriends just outside the door of Her house and suddenly Durvāsā Muni appeared. Scriptures describe that at this point Durvāsā Muni had already realized that Kṛṣṇa was Bhagavān, He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But he had heard from celestial beings that Kṛṣṇa’s eternal consort Rādhārāṇī had also made Her appearance in this world and was living in Vṛndāvana. So he wanted to have Her Darśana; actually he wanted to verify that this is actually true: that the divine girl has appeared in Vṛndāvana. The locals here in Vṛndāvana said, “Oh yes, yes She has appeared. She is living in the palace of King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī. Go and see Her with your own eyes.” But he had some doubts, so he said, “Is that girl actually Rādhā? Is She actually the eternal consort of Kṛṣṇa?” “Yes, Yes, go and see Her.” “Really?” He wasn’t convinced. Rādhārāṇī and Her girlfriends were playing and he just appeared; and immediately all the little girls went away because, you know these sages; their appearance is sometimes very frightening. Like wild eyes and wild beards and they are chanting Mantras, fire is coming in, blessing and curses. All little girls screamed except for Rādhā. She didn’t run away. She stood up, “Welcome!” She said to the sage.
The little Rādhā, She is only 7 or 8, but the reason that She wasn’t afraid. It was described; it was because Her parents were often entertaining great sages and yogīs at home. She was used to these scary guys being around, She wasn’t scared away like Her friends were. Again it’s described that She touched the sage’s feet and She put Her palms together and She said, “Svāgataṁ, Svāgataṁ! – Welcome Bābā!”
Now Durvāsā Muni, He was amazed by the delicate beauty and aristocratic bearing and nature of this tiny girl. He is very tall and he is very big and so he bent over and very gently asked Rādhā, “Who are you little girl? And what games are you playing with all your little friends?” In a very steady voice She said, “My name is Rādhā, the daughter of queen Kīrtidā. My friends and I have been pretending to cook for Mahārāja Nanda’s son, the killer of Pūtanā and Tṛṇāvarta, Kṛṣṇa.” When She finished She pointed across the courtyard to a little make shift temple She had made with Her friends where there was a blue doll of Kṛṣṇa. It was a makeshift temple made of mud; She and Her girlfriends had decorated it with the flowers and leaves and bits of colorful cloth.
The Ācāryas describe that in the palace She was always hearing the glories of Kṛṣṇa, because that’s what Vrajavāsīs do, they talk about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa constantly. She was always hearing about the glories of Kṛṣṇa, so She insisted Her mother to give Her a doll of Kṛṣṇa and She and Her friends worshipped the doll. The main daily activity of Her friends with Her was centered around dressing and decorating Kṛṣṇa’s image, cooking for Him – a little doll, offering Aratrik and tucking Him into bed at night while singing His glories. Isn’t it very interesting information? Just as young girls played with dolls; Rādhā and Her friends played with this doll of Kṛṣṇa.
She was explaining this all to Durvāsā Muni, who is a very serious sage, he is always doing penances and austerities, no sentiment, no unneeded emotions, he is very strict in vows, so he kind of smiled. He has his big thick eyebrows, they go up and wider and he bends down and he said, “So little Lāli are you an attentive housewife?” Rādhārāṇī said, “I am not married Bābā.” [laughter] Then She continued She said, “But because Kṛṣṇa is well known to be very demanding, my friends and I try to serve this doll of Him in such a way that He would be satisfied with all of us.” Durvāsā Muni was like “What?” He was just like taken aback by Rādhārāṇī’s reply. He thought, “No ordinary girl of Her age could think such divine thoughts.” His doubts started to dissipate, He was thinking, “Yes, maybe what the Braja-vasis are saying is true. This is Rādhā – this is the Lord’s eternal concert. She has appeared here in this world.” He decided to test Her, he said, “Little Rādhā, yesterday was Ekadāsī and today I must break my fast. My request is that you please cook some sweet rice for your Kṛṣṇa and then you give me the remnants. In this way I will complete my Ekadāsī vow and I will test your skill as a good cook.” Little Rādhā became very ecstatic, “Oh, a chance to cook for Kṛṣṇa again!” and, “Yes, Bābā I will do.” She accepted his request and She sat him down on the branch, a low branch of a tree and asked him to be patient. She ran into the palace and said, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy Kīrtidā, I got this new service. I get to cook for Durvāsā Muni” and everybody in the palace froze hearing the name Durvāsā Muni [Laughter] because, you know, when Durvāsā Muni comes it’s no small affair because he can be easily pleased and very easily displeased and he is famous for his curses. Mommy sort of froze – “No! My little girl…, Durvāsā Muni? Oh No!”
But then some of the cowherd boys they have been watching all this, for them these little girls are just girls, what’s this? They walked in and they said to Mother Kīrtidā Sundarī, “Ah don’t worry about it, Durvāsā Muni he is being very fatherly towards your daughter Rādhā.” Then mother Kīrtidā said, “Oh he is being very fatherly toward you – kind towards you, don’t worry.” Kīrtidā became pacified. But she told Rādhā, ”I am going to cook because you are just a little girl, we can’t make any mistakes here, so I am going to cook.” She started collecting all the ingredients.
Rādhārāṇī is playing under her Sāri, “No, I must cook. The great Yogī he asked me to make sweet rice for him.” Kīrtidā, “No, no, no, darling, I will cook and you watch.” Then Rādhā said, “No mother you don’t understand. Durvāsā Muni wants to taste my cooking.” It’s described that queen Kīrtidā, she could see the determined look on little Rādhārāṇī’s face and she had experienced that when her daughter wanted something She would persist and ultimately She would get Her way because that was Her contrary nature. Mother Kīrtidā, she stepped aside and some servants brought some little tables that little Rādhārāṇī could stand on to reach the fire and She started making the sweet rice.
Because She was cooking for Kṛṣṇa as She did every day for the little dolls, She did it very attentively with much devotion and added the ingredients little this and that, then made it – first class. And then with Her mother watching and all the palace attendants there She took that cooked sweet rice, put it into some nice clay pots and took it outside and bowed down before the doll of Kṛṣṇa and made the offering. Then She took that offering, with Her mother following Her. Durvāsā was sitting on that low branch of the tree and Rādhārāṇī said, “Bābā, I have cooked the sweet rice.” Durvāsā Muni took that cup of sweet rice, [sound of drinking] “tak tak tak tak”, he drank a little bit. Then he famously said, “Now I see how well you cook little Lāli and how much your hero Kṛṣṇa savors your cooking!” and he looked up with wide eyes and said to all the people who were watching, “Materially this food is perfect in its appearance, taste and texture. What’s more – spiritually it is mixed with prema from both Rādhā the cook and Kṛṣṇa the enjoyer.” Then he said, “Excuse me, I have to finish this pot of sweet rice.” That’s what he did and then scriptures describe, He relished every last drop of that sweet rice and as he did so, his bliss increased unlimitedly with each mouthful.
Everyone was watching him and as soon as he finished the pot he put it down and he was silent. Then he shook his head. He made a declaration publicly, “There is no doubt about it. The child who cooked this sweet rice must be the Supreme Lord’s eternal consort.” He said, “Call all the residents in the village to come here; I want to make a proclamation.” [Sound of conch blowing] – With bells ringing and the conch shells blowing everyone came to hear Durvāsā Muni’s proclamation, because that’s something significant. All of Braja, all the residents, Braja-vasis were there, and the animals, birds, butterflies, fish looking out of the water [Laughter], everyone was there to hear his eternal proclamation. He said to little Rādhā who stood before him with Her soft pink lotus feet and Her little soft palms folded in submission, he said to Her, “My dear child, you have served me with such devotion and given me a taste of your unmatched cooking skills. I must reward you. In the form of the following blessing, I shall share with you half of my austerities that I have gained through my life as a Yogī.”
Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu he said, “Go forward, Rādhā, go forward. Stand a little closer to the Muni.” So She wiggled a little bit forward and this great formidable, austere tapasvi Yogī, who is capable of blessing and cursing the entire universe; tears started flooding his eyes, flowing down his cheeks as he looked at Rādhā. His hands were shaking, his hairs were standing on end, his voice was faltering. He said to little Rādhā, “I hereby declare that, whatever you cook will always taste like nectar. In addition, whoever tastes it will never see disease, defeat from enemies or bad fortune. My dear little Rādhā, for as long as the world turns you will be famous as the empress of all cooks and because everything you touch will turn to nectar you will be known by the name Amṛtapāni. OM TAT SAT!” [Haribol].
After hearing this wonderful blessing King Vṛṣbhānu, Kīrtidā and little Rāṇī they bowed down to the sage to offered their respectful obeisances and then suddenly Durvāsā Muni just disappeared. That’s how these sages are, they come into our lives, spend some time and then they just disappear and go unto some other pastime. This is one of the most wonderful pastimes of Durvāsā Muni.
Mother Kīrtidā Sundarī was like really happy and she grabbed little Rādhā and hugged Her and said, “Oh Rādhā, how fortunate we are? By the sage’s blessings perhaps even the Supreme Lord would insist on eating from your hands, just imagine?” When mother Yaśodā heard this blessing as referred before, she started thinking, “Can that little girl be a cook for my little boy Kṛṣṇa?” and that was arranged later on actually. As a result of Durvāsā Muni’s public blessing, all of Vṛndāvana resounded with this news that Rādhārāṇī’s cooking surpassed even that of Lakṣmī Devī.
Let’s conclude this morning hearing the blessing of Durvāsā Muni to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at this holy auspicious place Rāvala where She appeared.
Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki – Jaya!
Durvāsā Muni ki – Jaya!
Rāvala ki – Jaya!
Barṣāṇā Dhām ki – Jaya!
Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Śyāmsundara ki –Jaya!
Kārtik Parikramā 2015 ki –Jaya!
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe …………………
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ………………..
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………….. Śyāma!
OM TAT SAT! [Laughter]
Hare Kṛṣṇa! Thank you!