The Manasi Ganga boatman


On the shores of Manasi Ganga Lake, Sri Krishna saw a group of Gopis approaching. Above all, like a lotus in the middle of a beautiful flower garden, was Srimati Radharani. They brought with them the weight of preparations based on milk and yogurt. You could see they were fatigued from carrying the bags. Quickly, Krishna disguised himself as a boatman, and when the gopis were nearby, he offered to take them across the lake. They didn’t recognize Him, they thought He was just a boatman.

“How much does it charge to take us to the other side?” the gopis asked.

“Not much. Do not worry. Go ahead,” said Govinda.

But the Gopis insisted that they wanted to know how much it would cost. Finally they agreed for some sweet butter. They gave it to Him, who ate everything.

After a time of rowing, the mischievous Krishna stopped.

Sri Radha asked:

“Why did you stop?”

“I’m tired and I’m still hungry. Give me more sweets or I won’t row anymore.”

Patiently, the Gopis offered him sweets and he ate everything. After paddling a bit more, he said:

“I ate too much. I need to get some rest. I’m going to lie down. Massage my legs and arms, or I won’t row any more.”

This time the gopis stood up and said:

“Either you row or we will throw you in the water.”

Seeing them clearly resolved, Gopala rowed again.

After a while he stopped again. The Gopis asked:

“And why are you stopping now?”

“The boat is old. You can’t carry much weight. Look how the water is coming in. Drop your luggage or we are going to sink.”

For fear of falling into the water, the gopis threw everything they had, including their jewels, into the Manasi Ganga. Krishna started rowing again.

After a little longer a strong wind came up that was almost a storm. Krishna began to shake the boat so hard that Radharani, out of fear, clung to His neck, squeezing hard. He got what he wanted: a hug from Radha. At that moment She understood the trick. He pushed aside the young boatman’s dress, and there he saw the flute tucked into his belt. She took it and showed it to her friends. All the Gopis reproached Krishna for this deception.



– This pastime of Krishna (called noka-vihara) is told in the Gopala Campu of Jiva Gosvami.

– Manasi Ganga is at Govardhana.


This is a very short summary of the pastime.
The complete version is in our book.


This is a section of the book “Vrindavana Lila”.

To buy the complete book, click above


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