Asta-kaliya Nitya Lila
The following eight slokas are excerpts from Srila Kaviraja Gosvami’s classic, Govinda Lilamrita, and are named Sri Radha-Krishnayoh Asta Kaliya Lila Smarana Mangala Stotram.
Chanting during the first period.
(3:22 a.m. to 5:46 a.m.)
dunthitau tau sakhibhih
drstau hrstau tadatvoditarati-
lalitau kakkhatigih sasamkau
radha-krishnau satrsnavapi nija-
nijadhamnyapta talpau smarami
ratryante –at the close of night; trasta –afraid; Vrinda –Vrindadevi; irita urged; bahuviravai –with many chirping tunes; bodhitau –awakened; kira saripaghai –by poems of parrots and mynas; api –also; sukhasayanat –from happy sleep; utthitau –got up; tau –they both; sakhibhih by female friends; drstau –seen; hrstau –happy; tadatva –of that time; udita-rati-lilatau –attractive on account of profound love; kakkhati-gih-sasamkau –suspicious about the voice pronounced by a she-monkey; radha-krsnu –Radha and Krishna; api –also; satrsnau –having desire; nija-nija-dhamni –in Their respective residences; apta-talpau –occupying the beds; smarami –I remember.
“I remember Radha and Krishna at the close of night. Vrinda, who was attending Them, was not happy at that moment, knowing that before dawn the Divine Couple would separate Themselves. However, she did her duty. She prompted the parrot and the myna to sing many pleasing songs. These songs awakened Radha and Krishna, who rose from Their bed of bliss. Their female friends observed Them looking very charming because of the deep love and affection They shared at that time. Both were suspicious about the voice of a she-monkey, and although They desired to continue Their mutual association They left that place for Their own residences, where They occupied Their own beds.”
Chanting during the second period.
(5:46 a.m. to 8:10 a.m.)
vrajapayahutam sakhibhih prage
susnatam krtabhojanam sahacaraistam
catha tam casrye
radham –Radha; snata-vibhusitam –who had taken her bath and adorned Her person; vrajapaya ahutam –called by Yasoda; sakhibhih –through female friends; prage –in the morning; tad-gehe –in Her house; vihitannapanasvanam –having prepared food and drink; Krishnavasesasanam –who ate what was left by Krishna; Krishnam –Krishna; buddham –who was awake; avaptadhenusadanam –one who had reached the cowshed; nivyuda-go-dohanam –who had finished milking the cows; susnatam –who had taken a bath; krtabhojanam –who had taken His meals; sahacaraih –along with His friends; tam –Him; ca –and; atha–then; tam –Her; ca –and; ca –and; asraye –I remember.
“I worship Radha and Krishna. Radharani had finished Her ablutions and ornamenting Her body when She was called for by Mother Yasoda early in the morning through Her friends, and there in her house She prepared food and drink. Upon awakening, Krishna went first to the cowshed and milked the cows, and then came home and took His bath, eating His meal in the company of His playmates. Radha then took Her meal.”
Chanting during the third period.
(8:10 a.m. to 10:34 a.m.)
Krishnam radhapti lolam
radham calokya Krishnam
purvahne –in the forenoon; dhenuamatraih –by cows and friends; vipinam –towards the forest; anusrtam –followed; gostha-loka- ‘anuyatam –followed by cowherd people (i.e., Nanda and others); Krishnam –Krishna; radhaptelolam –anxious to find Radha; tadabhisrtikrte –for the purpose of secretly approaching Her; prapta-tankunda-tiram –who had gone to her pond (Radha-kunda); radham –Radha; ca –and; alokya –having seen; Krishnam –Krishna; krta- grha-gamanam –who had gone home; aryaya –by the mother-in-law; arkarcanayai –for worshiping the sun god; distam –ordered; Krishnapravrtyai –to get news of Krishna’s whereabouts; prahitanija- sakhivartmanetram –who was casting her eyes toward the path by which Her friends would return; smarami –I remember.
“I remember Sri Krishna in the forenoon. He was going toward the forest, followed by cows and cowherd friends. Others like Nanda Maharaja also followed Him. Because He was anxious to be with Radharani, Krishna went to search Her out on the banks of Sri Radha-kunda.
I also remember Sri Radha, who, having caught a glimpse of Krishna, went home, where She was ordered by Her mother-in-law (Jatila) to worship the Sun god. Radharani had sent Her girlfriends to discover Krishna’s whereabouts, and thus She was casting her eyes down the pathway by which they were likely to return.”
Chanting during the fourth period.
(10:34 a.m. to 3:22 p.m.)
madhyahne ‘nyonya samgodita
parijanaghataya sevyamanau smarami
madhyahne–at noon; anyoanya-sanga-udita-vividha-vikara-adi- bhusa-pramugdhau–mutual, association, grown, manifold, changes like horripilation, ornaments, happy; vamya-utkantha-ati-lolau– lovely wiles-desire-much-unsteady; smara-makha-lalita-adi-ali- narma-apta-satau–cupid, ritual, lalita, etc., friend, jokes got pleasure; dola-aranya-ambu-vamsihrti-rati-madhupana-arkapuja-adi- lilau–see-saw play, roaming in the forest, water sports, hiding the flute, lovemaking, licking honey, worship of the Sun-god; etc., sports; radha-Krishnau–Radha and Krishna; satrsnau–having deep affection for each other; parijanaghataya–by the retinue; sevyamanau–being attended upon; smarami–I remember.
“I remember Radha and Krishna during the midday period. Both were happy in each other’s company, exhibiting goose bumps and other such symptoms as Their bodily ornaments. They both felt unsteady because of Their very keen desires for amorous play. They were engrossed in various sports, such as playing see-saw, roaming in the forest, sporting in the water, hiding Krishna’s flute, love-play, drinking honey, and worshiping the Sun god. Each had a great longing for the other, and both were attended by large retinues of friends.”
Chanting during the fifth period.
(3:22 p.m. to 5:46 p.m.)
nijaramanakrte klrpta nanopaharam
sriradham –Sri Radha; praptageham — who had arrived at her home; nijoramanakrte — for His beloved; klrptanana-upaharam –who had arranged many presents; susnatam –who had take ablution; ramyavesam –who had put on a beautiful dress; priya-mukha-kamala-aloka-purna-pramodam –who was joyous to get a glimpse of the lotus face of Her beloved; Krishnam –Krishna; ca eva –and; aparahne — in the afternoon; vrajam –towards Vraja; anucalitam –followed by; dhenuVrindaih –by a myriad of cows; vayasyaih –by friends; sriradhalokatrptam –who was satisfied with the idea of having a view of Radha; pitr-mukhamilitam –received by the father and others; matrmrstam –made tidy by the mother; smarami –I remember.
“I remember Sri Radha, who arranged many presents for Krishna after She arrived at Her home. By that time She had taken Her ablution and had dressed in beautiful clothes. She was full of joy to see the lotus-like face of Her beloved Sri Krishna.
I also remember Sri Krishna in the afternoon. He was walking toward Vraja, followed by a myriad of cows and cowherd boyfriends. At home He was received by Nanda Maharaj and other elderly people, and then He was bathed and groomed by Mother Yasoda.”
Chanting during the sixth period.
(5:46 p.m. to 8:10 p.m.)
sayam radham svasaravya nija
tam ca tam ca vrajendram
grhamanu janani lalitam prapta gostham
sayam–in the evening; radham–Radha; svasaravya-nijaramanakrte– for Her beloved companion; presitanekabhojyam–who had dispatched many exquisite dishes; sakhi-anita-isa-sesa-asana-mudita-hrdam– whose heart was joyous to have taken the remnants of Krishna’s food, brought to Her by Her girlfriend; tam–Her; ca–and; tam– Him; ca–and; vrajendra–Krishna, the master of Vraja; susnatam– who had taken bath; ramyavesam–well dressed; grhamanu–at His residence; janani-lalitam–fondled by His mother; praptagostham– who had come to the cowshed; nivyuda-usra-ali-doham–who had finished milking the cows; syagrhamanu–in His own home; punah– again; bhuktavantam–who had taken His meals; smarami– I remember.
“I remember Sri Radha in the evening. She had sent many exquisite preparations for Her beloved Krishna with Her friend, who brought back the remainder of the food tasted by Him. Radharani became very happy to partake of it.
I also remember Vrajendra Krishna, who had taken His bath at home and was very well dressed. Mother Yasoda fondled Him. He came to the cowshed and milked several cows, and after finishing this chore He again returned home and took His meals.”
Chanting during the seventh period.
(8:10 p.m. to 10:34 p.m.)
radham saliganam tamasita-sita-
Krishnam gopaih sabhayam
nibhrtam praptakunjam smarami
radham–radha; sa-all-ganam–along with a retinue of girl friends; tam–Her; asita-sita-nisa-yogya-vesam–who dons clothes suitable to the dark and light fortnights; pradose –after sunset (early in the evening); dutya–through a lady messenger; vrndopadesat–on a piece advice received from Vrinda; abhisrta- yamuna-tira-kalyana-kunja–who had gone to a bower of bliss situated on the Yamuna River; Krishnam–Krishna; gopaih–in the company of cow herders; sabhayam–in the assembly; vihita-guni- kala-alokanam–who had witnessed the feats of acrobats, etc.; snigdha-matra–by loving Mother Yasoda; yatnata–with an effort; aniya–having brought; samsayitam–made to sleep; atha–then; nibhrtam–quietly; praptakunjam–who had gone to the bower; smarami–I remember
“I remember Sri Radha early in the evening in the company of Her playmates. She had dressed Herself in clothes suitable for the dark and light fortnight, and pursuing Vrinda’s advice She repaired to a bower of peace and bliss on the banks of the Yamuna, accompanied by a messenger.
I also remember Sri Krishna sitting in an assembly of cow herders and watching various acrobatic feats. Yasoda, His affectionate mother, then brought Him home and attempted to put Him to sleep. Afterwards, the Lord quietly left His bed for the bower of bliss.”
Chanting during the eighth period.
(10:34 p.m. to 3:22 a.m.)
tavunkau labdhasangau bahuparicaranerVrindaya radhyamanau
presthalibhi-lasantau vipinavaharanairgana rasadi-lasyaih
nana-lila-nitantau pranayi sahacariVrinda-samsevyamanau
radha-Krishnau nisayam sukusumasayane praptanidrau smarami
tau–They both; unkau–auspicious or very keen; labdhasamgau–who have got the company; bahuparicaraneh–by various services; Vrindaya–Vrinda; aradhyamanau–being worshiped; presthalibhih– with beloved friends; lasantau — looking charming; vipinaviharanaih–by roaming in forest; gana-rasadi-lasyaih–by singing and enjoying rasa-dance; nana-lila-nitantau–feeling tired after sports of many kinds; pranayi sahacari-Vrinda- samsevyamanau–being attended upon by a myriad of loving female friends and companions: radha-Krishnau–Radha and Krishna; nisayam– at night; sukusumasayane–on a flowery bed; praptanidrau– sleeping; smarami– I remember.
“I remember both Radha and Krishna, who were anxious for each others company. When They are together, Vrinda attends the loving couple in various ways. They both look very charming, along with Their loving friends, while They roam in the forests and are engrossed in singing and dancing in the style of rasa. They feel tired after so many sportive activities. They are then looked after by many loving friends. At night They repose on a bed of flowers, and then They sleep.”
Srila Prabhupada on Astakaliya nitya lila
In closing here is a portion from Bengali conversations which we had with HDG Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Mayapur in 1973 while working on Sri Upadeshamrita (Nectar of Instruction):
Prabhupada, what about manasa-seva, like the brahmana who burnt his finger in meditation? Isn’t that bhajan?
Krishna makes no distinction. But if you serve Krishna by mind He will accept. That is sure!
Prabhupada, whenever I mention anything about Rupanuga bhakti many of my Godbrothers get angry and say it is all a bunch of Gaudiya Math nonsense, and you never taught that!
Everything is coming, they will also know it.
Prabhupada, is the “asta-kaliya-lila” by Kaviraj Gosvami the *real* Nitya-lila detail?
I would like to mention “asta-kaliya-lila” in this sloka 10 (Nectar of Instruction). So we can all know from you the highest goal. What do you think?
Yes, you put it!!!
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