The Meeting in the Disguise of Abhimanyu , from the Camatkara Candrika of Visvanatha Cakravarti

posted in: DB, English


Second Prank – The Meeting in the Disguise of Abhimanyu

Once, Sri Radha, the young daughter of Vrishabhanu Maharaja, took a vow to regularly bathe in the Yamuna River[1] early in the morning.

This filled the less intelligent Kutila[2] with suspicion because it was the month of Magha[3], which is the coldest part of the winter.


One morning, when Radha had left for the river, Kutila became curious to know what She was really doing.

Kutila made an excuse to go to the house of Nanda Maharaja, the King of Vraja, as she was eager to find out if Sri Radha had actually taken the path that led to the Yamuna, and to know whether Krishna was at home or not.[4]

Thus Kutila set out for the residence of Vraja’s king.


Arriving at the palace, she asked some resident for the latest news about Krishna.

The resident of Nandagram replied:

“Our Youthful Prince of the Pastures has just gone to the Yamuna for a morning bath, following the order of His mother.”


Hearing this, the doubt within Kutila’s heart simply increased.

Therefore she immediately left for the bank of the river.

Not knowing exactly which direction that Krishna had gone in for enjoying sweet, relishable pastimes with Sri Radha, Kutila begun to trace out His path by following the trail of His extraordinarily divine footprints, which are always clearly visible in the soft earth of Vrajadhama.


Gradually she came just before the forest bowerhouse within which Krishna was enjoying with Radharani.


Tulasi[5] noticed Kutila approaching the kunja[6] so she run where Radha and Krishna, surrounded by Lalita and the other sakhis were enjoying transcendental pastimes.

All were deeply immersed in enchanting laughter and play with their beloved.


Brimming with boundless happiness, Tulasi said:

“O gopis, please listen. Your celebration of this charming festival here today has made the birth of Kamadeva[7] unlimitedly successful.

Nonetheless, there is something you need to know.

Kutila is coming here from Vraja, just to catch a glimpse of your wonderful festival.

She is almost here.”


Immediately upon hearing this, the entire assembly of girls look this way and that way with fearful, restless eyes as they loudly exclaimed:

“Oh, no!

Where is she, Tulasi?

Tell us!”



“I just saw her in front of the Sakatikara[8] forest.

I have rushed here as fast as possible!

She must be almost here.”


Hearing all this, Krishna calmly said:

“Oh Sakhis, don’t worry at all.

Just stay here in the kunja and watch the fun.

I am going to disguise Myself as Abhimanyu.

With My brilliant intelligence I shall cheat Kutila, and thus further increase our mischievous merrymaking.

You will see the end of this affair, as surely as you will see the rising of the sun.”


Krishna went into another kunja, where Vrinda-devi[9] gave Him clothes and ornaments that exactly resembled Abhimanyu’s.

He dressed Himself in them, and attentively covered all of His distinguishing characteristics.

Adopting Abhimanyu’s voice, He set off down the path on which Kutila was approaching.


Can a person who is fully adept in all varieties of arts ever fail to accomplish His desired goal?

Certainly not!


A little way along the path, Krishna, disguised as Abhimanyu, met Kutila.


Making His voice just like Abhimanyu’s, He asked:

“My dear sister Kutila!

Why have you come so far away from Vraja so early in the morning?”



“My older brother, I came here to search for Your wife, Radha.


The false Abhimanyu:

“Why would She come here?”



“To bathe in the river Yamuna, or so She said.

But it must be just a pretext.

She is somewhere close by.”


The false Abhimanyu:

“And where is that thief of women?”



“He has also come this way to bathe in the Yamuna.

For this reason, our mother Jatila has sent me to find out what those two are up to.

Now, what should I do?

Please order me.”


The false Abhimanyu:

“Dear sister, I came here to look for My new bull.

He broke loose and ran away when I was yoking him to plough the field.

My heart has been troubled because he has probably been stolen, but that pain does not compare to the anguish I am experiencing on account of that rake stealing My wife!

That, no man can tolerate.

I shall go straight to King Kamsa[10] in Mathura[11].

He will punish that thief in a way that He deserves.

Please hear My plan. I will hide in this kunja, while you quickly search for Radhika.

If you find Her alone, bring Her here on some pretext, but if you find Her with Krishna, observe Them from a distance and then take Me there secretly.”


When Kutila, whose nature is exceedingly crooked[12], heard these instructions, she began to search all the kunjas from Kaliya-hrada[13] to Kesi-ghata[14].


There, near Kesi-ghata, she came to a flower garden where she found Radharani, who is endowed with pure fragrance, and who is the flower vine of Her mother Kirtida’s fame.

She was surrounded by Her sakhis, who were serving Her attentively.


Lalita saw Kutila coming and asked:

“Oh Kutila! Have you come to bathe in the Yamuna?”






“Then why have you come?”



“I have come just to learn of you activities.”



“Very good. Then learn all that you can.”



“Lalita! I have already learned all that I wanted to know!”



“So let us hear what that is from your own mouth.” 


[1] Yamuna is the transcendental river which flows through Goloka Vrirdavana, the original abode in the spiritual world and the transcendental playground of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, Who is the source of all incarnations. Lord Krishna is enjoying there eternally with His devotees, who are headed by His eternal consort Srimati Radharani and Her eight assistant girlfriends, namely, Lalita, Visakha, Chitradevi, Indulekha, Champakalata, Rangadevi, Tungavidya, Sudevi. Some of the most intimate devotees of Lord Krishna expand in difierent forms, so that they can satisfy and serve Lord Krishna in different ways.

[2] The crooked dull-witted sister of Abhimanyu and daughter of Jatila.

[3] January–February

[4] At heart, Kutila was actually eager to see Krishna.

[5] One of the dearmost maidservant of Radharani.

[6] A bower

[7] The demigod of love

[8] Chattikara

[9] The goddess of the Vrindavana forest

[10] Kamsa was the demoniac king of Mathura. His father was Ugrasena and his mother Padmavati. Devaki, Krishna Vasudeva’s mother, was his sister. Some authorities says that Kamsa was actually the son of a demon named Dramila who conceived him in the womb of Padmavati.

[11] The capital of the kingdom of which Vrindavana was part.

[12]  The name Kutila actually means crooked.

[13] This is where Krishna jumped into the Yamuna to chastise the serpent Kaliya.

[14] Kesi-ghat is famous for being the place where Krishna killed the horse-demon Kesi.



This is a section of the book “Camatkara Candrika”, in English.

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