The Wounded Enemy Named Separation


The Sakhīs’ Joy in Seeing Śrī Rādhā and the Pleasure Bed

The middle of the pleasure bed had kuṅkuma stains from Krishna’s body. The edges of the bed were smeared with red lac from Rādhā’s lotus feet. Here and there were sprinkles of sindhūra, sandalwood and kajjala. The sakhīs understood from the marks on the bed that some very special love sports occurred the night before. They saw the pleasure bed, ornamented with wilted flowers, red stains of betel, eyeliner and patterns of unguents. It was also marked with signs of tight embraces and looked just like their dear sakhī Rādhā, who was adorned with similar signs of Her love play[1].

Rādhā-Mādhava’s love bed was marked in various places with reddish spots of kuṅkuma and sindhūra, making it appear that drops of blood had fallen from the wounded enemy named separation. In another place a flower garland and a crushed necklace lay like a broken bow and a severed bowstring. The bed was marked here and there with spots of musk and kajjala, scattered about by that mad elephant, the king of amorous pleasures. The battlefield of love became an object of great curiosity to the assembled sakhīs[2].

Krishna, hoping to see a sweet variety of emotions[3] on Rādhā’s face, winked at the gopīs to draw their attention to His chest.

[1] Govinda-līlāmṛta 1.64-65

[2] Kṛṣṇāhnika-kaumudi 1.38-39

[3] Bhāva-śābalya


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

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