Krishna’s age friends

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Confidential Friends

“The more confidential friends are called priya-sakhas and are almost Krishna’s age. Because of their very confidential friendship, their behavior is only on the basis of pure friendship. The behavior of other friends is on the ground of paternal love or servitude, but the basic principle of the confidential friends is simply friendship on an equal level. Some confidential friends are as follows: Sridama, Sudama, Dama, Vasudama, Kinkini, Stoka-krsna, Amsu, Bhadrasena, Vilasi, Pundarika, Vitanka and Kalavinka. By their various activities in different pastimes, all of these friends used to give transcendental pleasure to Krsna.

The behavior of these confidential friends is described by a friend of Radharani who told Radharani, “My dear graceful Radharani, Your intimate friend Krishna is also served by His intimate boyfriends. Some of them cut jokes with Him in mild voices and please Him very much by this.” For example, Krishna had one brahmana friend whose name was Madhumangala. This boy would joke by playing the part of a greedy brahmana. Whenever the friends ate, he would eat more than all others, especially laddus, of which he was very fond. Then after eating more laddus than anyone else, Madhumangala would still not be satisfied, and he would say to Krishna, “If You give me one more laddu, then I shall be pleased to give You my blessings so that Your friend Radharani will be very much pleased with You.” The brahmanas are supposed to give blessings to the vaisyas (farming and merchant caste), and Krishna presented Himself as the son of Maharaja Nanda, a vaisya; so the brahmana boy was right in giving blessings to Krishna. Thus Krishna was very pleased by His friend’s blessings, and He would supply him with more and more laddus.

Sometimes a confidential friend would come before Krsna and embrace Him with great affection and love. Another friend would then come up from the rear and cover Krishna’s eyes with his hands. Krishna would always feel very happy by such dealings with His confidential friends.”

The leader of these confidential friends is Sridama, who is also known as Pithamardaka. Sridama has a handsome dark complexion. He wears yellow garments and a necklace of jewels. He is a splendid youth sixteen years old. He is a great resevoir of the nectar of innumerable transcendental pastimes, and He is Lord Krsna’s dearest friend. His father is Maharaj Vrsabhanu and His mother is the chaste Kirtida-devi. Srimati Radharani and Ananga-manjari are his two younger sisters.

Sudama’s handsome complexion is somewhat fair. He is decorated with jeweled ornaments and wears blue garments. His father’s name is Matuka and His mother is Rocana-devi. He is very young and fond of playing many kinds of games.

Madhumangala has a slightly dark complexion. He wears yellow garments and a garlands of forest flowers. His father is the saintly Sandipani Muni, his mother the chaste Sumukhi devi, his sister is Nandimukhi-devi and his parental grandmother is Paurnamasi-devi. An expert comedian who always plays the buffoon, Sri Madhumangala is the constant companion of Lord Krishna.

Bhadrasena is the general who leads Krishna’s childhood friends in military pastimes. Stokakrsna is very appropriately named, for he is just like a small (stoka) Krishna. Another of Krsna’s confidential friends are Priyaskara. These confidential friends (priya-sakha) delights Lord Krishna with their enthusiastic and jubliant wrestling, stick-fighting and other sports.

Intimate Friends

“There are other friends who are still more confidential. They are called priya-narma, or intimate friends. Counted among the priya-narma friends are Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta and Ujjvala.

There was talk among the friends of Radharani, the gopis, about these most intimate friends. One gopi addressed Radharani thus: “My dear Krishangi [delicate one], just see how Subala is whispering Your message into Krsna’s ear, how he is delivering the confidential letter of Syama-dasi silently into Krsna’s hand, how he is delivering the betel nuts prepared by Palika into Krsna’s mouth, and how he is decorating Krsna with the garland prepared by Taraka. Did you know, my dear friend, that all these most intimate friends of Krsna are always engaged in His service in this way?” Out of the many intimate priya-narmas, Subala and Ujjvala are considered to be the most prominent.

The description of Ujjvala, another intimate friend, is given as follows. Ujjvala always wears some garment of orange color, and the movements of his eyes are always very restless. He likes to decorate himself with all kinds of flowers, his bodily hue is almost like Krishna‘s, and on his neck there is always a necklace of pearls. He is always very dear to Krishna. Let us all worship Ujjvala, the most intimate friend of Krishna!

About the confidential service of Ujjvala, this statement is to be found, addressed by Radharani to one of Her friends: “My dear friend, it is impossible for Me to keep My prestige! I wanted to avoid talking to Krishna anymore–but just see! There again is His friend Ujjvala, coming to Me with his canvassing work. His entreaties are so powerful that it is very difficult for a gopi to resist her love for Krishna, even though she may be very bashful, devoted to her family duties and most faithful to her husband.”

The following is a statement by Ujjvala, showing his jubilant nature: “My dear Krsna, O killer of Aghasura, You have extended Your loving affairs so much that You can be compared to the great ocean, which is without limitations. At the same time, the young girls of the world, who are all searching after the perfect lover, have become just like rivers running into this ocean. Under the circumstances, all these rivers of young girls may try to divert their courses to some other place, but at the end they must come unto You.”

Subala has a fair complexion. He wears handsome blue garments and he is decorated wtih many kinds of jewels and flowers. He is twelve-and-a-half years old and He glows with youthful luster. Although he is Krishna‘s friend, he is immersed in serving Krsna in many different ways. He is expert at arranging the meeting of the divine couple. He is charming and full of transcendental love for Them. He is cheerful and full of good qualities. He is very dear to Krishna.

Ujjvala has a splendid reddish complexion. His garments are decorated with star patterns and he is decorated with pearls and flowers. His father is named Sagara and his mother is the chaste Veni-devi. He is thirteen years old and full of youthfull luster. Splendid Ujjvala appears like the personified ruler of all transcendental mellows, and Lord Krishna, the crest jewel of playful boys, is submissive to this dear friend.

Arjuna’s glistening complexion is the color of a red lotus flower. His garments are the color of moonlight and He is decorated with many kinds of jewels. His father is Sudaksina, his mother Bhadra-devi, and his elder brother Vasudama. He is always plunged in transcendental love for the divine couple. He is fourteen-and-a half and full of the luster of youth. He wears a garland of forest flowers and many other kinds of flower-ornaments. (This Arjuna is not Pandava Arjuna)

Handsome Gandharva has a complexion the color of moonlight. He wears red garments and many different ornaments. He is twelve years old and full of youthful luster. He is decorated with many kinds of flowers. His mother is the saintly Mitra-devi and his father the great soul Vinoka. He is very playful and very dear to Sri Krishna.

Vasanta has a splendid fair complexion. His garments glitter like the moon and he is decorated with various jewels. He is eleven years old. He is decorated with many different flower garlands. His mother is the saintly Saradi-devi and his father is the great soul Pingala.

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