By Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami
One day, after having heard something about this, Satyabhama eagerly asked Krishna:
“From where have these sweet vines, from whose pearls my bangles were made, come from, O Lord?”
Krishna, remembering the story, became slightly afflicted within, but joyful without and said:
“There was a time when pearls grew on vines! Now they are kept in oysters.”
Satyabhama became curious after hearing this and repeatedly encouraged Krishna to tell her more.
Krishna then said:
“One day in the month of Kartikka there was a Dipavali festival in Gokula, near Govardhana. Everyone there was busily engaged in preparing all the paraphernalia for this. The cowherdsmen were especially absorbed in decorating their cows and pets and the gopis were decorating themselves in their dressing rooms with different ornaments.
“Srimati Radharani was decorating Herself with Her sakhis with the best pearls in a pavilion by the bank of Malyahari kunda (near Radhakunda).
I eagerly went there when I heard this from my pet parrot, who is justly named Vicaksana (clever), to beg some pearls from them, as I was eager to decorate My cows Haàsi and Harini with them.
“But they were very clever and just looked at Me with disdain from the corners of their lotus-blue eyes, like sages with half-closed eyes.
When I saw this I told them:
‘O you mountains of pride, coming forth from attaining the valuable touchstone of youthful beauty! Will you not even lend an ear to the request of your dear friend?’
Hearing this, the lively Lalita, smiling at her friends, said with feigned anger :
‘O upstart! Why are You wasting Your time asking for pearls that are fit only for great queens?’
“Hearing this, I curiously replied:
‘O, if you don’t give Me some pearls for decorating the four horns of my two most dear cows, then their decoration cannot be completed.
Where else will I get pearls?’
‘O Krishna, there is not even one pearl good enough for Your cows!’
Hearing this I said:
‘O, most talkative Lalita! Just wait, you miser! I will get pearls from My mother Vrajesvari and plant them in a field! Then I will have more pearls than you!’
“When I went to My mother with this request, she said:
‘Silly boy, pearls don’t grow in fields.’
But I assured her:
‘You will see. Within three days My pearl vine will sprout!’
So she gave Me some pearls and I planted them in a field by the Jalaharana-ghata with three friends helping Me to fence the place off.
Then for the sake of avenging Myself for their refusal to give Me pearls I had one friend go to them to ask for milk to water the pearl seeds,
but they said:
‘How can you grow pearls in a field and nourish them with milk? We only give milk to our cows. We are not obliged to grow pearl vines with milk to decorate Krishna’s cows!’
“Then I took milk from our own goshalla – lots of it – and sprinkled my pearls with it every day.
This is a section of the book “Vrindavana Lila”.
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