Krishna (Hindu deity)

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Krishna is a deity, worshipped across many traditions of Hinduism in a variety of different perspectives.

Krishna (Hindi deity) (Sanskrit: कृष्ण, Kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə], meaning "black" or "dark") is a deity, worshipped across many traditions of Hinduism in a variety of different perspectives. While many Vaishnava groups recognize him as an avatar of the god, Vishnu; some traditions within Krishnaism, consider Krishna to be svayam bhagavan, or the Supreme Being. Krishna's disappearance marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga (present age), which is dated to February 17/18, 3102 BCE. Worship of the deity Krishna, either in the form of deity Krishna, either in the form of Vasudeva, Bala Krishna or Gopal can be traced to as early as 4th century BC.

Contents

QuotesEdit

...A very important division within Vaishnavism is comprised of the mythology and worship of Krishna, one of Hinduism’s most beloved deities.... - Guy L. Beck.
Radha, in Hinduism, the Gopi (milkmaid) who became the consort of the god Krishna during that period of his life when he lived among the gopas (cowherds) of Vrindavana... - Encyclopedia Britannica.
...Krishna (literally “black,” or “dark as a cloud”) was born into the Yadava clan, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, sister of Kamsa, the wicked king of Mathura (in modern Uttar Pradesh). Kamsa, hearing a prophecy that he should be destroyed by Devaki’s child, tried to slay her children, but Krishna was smuggled across the Yamuna River to Gokula (or Vraja, modern Gokul), where he was raised by the leader of the cowherds, Nanda, and his wife Yashoda. -Encyclopedia Britannica.
In my past there is Krishna. In my dreams I dream of recreating a huge college of flutists, a veritable Vrindaban...I dare to dream that through my students my flute will be left behind as the memory of Krishna. - Hariprasad Chaurasia.
  • Let it be clear that Raja Krishna, according to what has been revealed to me, was such a truly great man that it is hard to find his like among the Rishis and Avatars of the Hindus. He was an Avatar—i.e., Prophet—of his time upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend from God. He was from God, victorious and prosperous. He cleansed the land of the Aryas from sin and was in fact the Prophet of his age whose teaching was later corrupted in numerous ways. He was full of love for God, a friend of virtue and an enemy of evil.
    • Ghulam Ahmed in: Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Lecture Sialkot, Islam International, 2007, p.39
  • In my past there is Krishna. In my dreams I dream of recreating a huge college of flutists, a veritable Vrindaban in which students will arrive to learn and study with satchels full of flutes, live in mud huts, eat at a common langar. A modern Vrindaban from which a thousand flutes will ring out each day. For what else is there? When my breath is gone and I can not play anymore what do I leave behind? Some dedicated students! When you leave nothing behind, you cry at the point of death, but I still dream, I dare to dream that through my students my flute will be left behind as the memory of Krishna.
  • Rama Rama Rama Rama Sita Rama you chant
    Do with devotion, and get the release you want...
    As those Yama hordes arrive, to bid you to come
    Spirit tries to escape the throat, Hari’s name will not come
    Body systems cease working and our relative are bemoaning
    Name of the Ocean-daughter’s lord will it come to your asking?
    When your breath is blocked by phlegm in your throat
    Vasudev Krishna’s name will be of no use then to shout
    When you beautiful body breaks down and falls apart
    As your eyes get blurred and dead, Ranga’s name will not depart
    When your body juices mix up and collect down below
    As the elements disintegrate, uttering God’s name will it allow.
    Having born as a wicked and done many a cruel deed
    As soul departs, Puranadara Vittala’s name will not proceed.
Ashta-Bharyas - His first eight wives as told in the Krishna story [appear] in this sequence, 1) Rukmini, 2)Satyabhama, and 3)Jambavati – their marriages are entwined due to a wondrous jewel derived from Surya, the Sun; 4)Kalindi; 5)Mitravinda, 6) Satya or Naganjiti; 7) Bhadra; 8) Laksmana or Madra. Each of these begets ten sons. … Their ranking consists of three sets of wives corresponding to the constituents of Krishna’s soverign rule from Dwarka...D Dennis Hudson
On the fourth day, Govardhan puja is performed. On this day Krishna saved Gokul by lifting up the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger and holding it over the people as an umbrella. -Longman
  • On the fourth day, Govardhan puja is performed. On this day Krishna saved Gokul by lifting up the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger and holding it over the people as an umbrella.
    • Longman in: Images, Longman, p.79
  • Even if you try not to do your duty you will be perforce obliged to do it. Let the body complete the task for which it came into being. Sri Krishna also says in the Gita, whether Arjuna liked it or not he would be forced to fight. When there is work to be done by you, you cannot keep away; nor can you continue to do a thing when you are not required to do it, that is to say, when the work allotted to you has been done. In short, the work will go on and you must take your share in it -- the share which is allotted to you.
  • Second day of [Diwali] is called Naraka Chaturdashi or Chhoti Diwali. Narakasur, after defeating Lord Indra, snatched the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi and took sixteen thousand daughters of gods and saints to his harem. Lord Krishna killed the demon, brought all women and earrings of Aditi. Lord Krishna came home early in the morning with demon blood on his forehead. Women massaged scented oil on Krishna and washed away dirt from his body. So we take oil massage and bathe before sunrise this day.

KrishnaEdit

Whatever one makes of a few slight references to Krishna in texts that are probably older than the Mahabharata, and of the many efforts to imagine him prior to his literary debut in the epic, the Mahabharata is the first text to portray him as both divine and human, and to conceive of his humanity and divinity in a forceful and complex scale. - Alf Hiltebeitel
Krishna also reveals that there is an eternal, unchanging, loving relationship between the individual soul and Krishna encompassed by the term bhakti, devotion.
In the Bhagavad Gita, devotion to Krishna develops slowly out of the surrounding battle scene. Though that development never quite reaches the depths of attachment of later Krishna bhakti, the text provides an image of Krishna who is both the Lord of the Universe and one who incarnates in this world again and again to set things right and protect the dharma.

Edwin F. Bryant in: Krishna, Oxford University Press, 2007

  • Whatever one makes of a few slight references to Krishna in texts that are probably older than the Mahabharata, and of the many efforts to imagine him prior to his literary debut in the epic, the Mahabharata is the first text to portray him as both divine and human, and to conceive of his humanity and divinity in a forceful and complex scale.
    • Alf Hiltebeitel in: p.23
  • It is also, I believe, a revelation that Karna and the Kauravas consider the option of killing Krishna. Could Karna—and this never-failing spear—really have done that? We are left to ponder the death of God. And what did Karna think of this option?
    • In: p.36
  • The places and monuments related with Krishna and his life is being encroached, plundered and destroyed systematically, willfully and with all disregard to the cultural and historical heritage. One can well imagine what would have happened during foreign rules and invasions.
    • In: p.37
  • In chapter 7, Krishna reveals that the unquenchably active Nature is actually Krishna's own lower nature (prakriti). What Nature does, therefore, completely conforms to Krishna's will, even to the point that the Gita seems ultimately to teach that all one can do is be Krishna's instrument for Krishna’s activities. At times it appears that Arjuna himself has little say in his actions and will be compelled to do Krishna’s will no matter what Arjuna decides.
    • In: p. 80
  • Krishna also reveals that there is an eternal, unchanging, loving relationship between the individual soul and Krishna encompassed by the term bhakti, devotion. **In: p.80
  • In the Bhagavad Gita, devotion to Krishna develops slowly out of the surrounding battle scene. Though that development never quite reaches the depths of attachment of later Krishna bhakti, the text provides an image of Krishna who is both the Lord of the Universe and one who incarnates in this world again and again to set things right and protect the dharma.
  • They knew that Yadavas could establish Krishna Raj again and hence it had become necessary to drive wedge, a divide between Krishna and Yadavas. What would be better way than that of making Krishna a god (from god he became God during Bhakti movement)
    • In: p.88
  • Bless me [Narada to Krishna] that my remembrance [of them] will remain, so that I can travel about meditating [on them]. Thereafter, Narada entered another residence of Krishna's wives, O dear king, desiring to witness the yogamaya of the Lord of the lords of yoga...There he [saw] Krishna again, this time playing with dice with his beloved and with Uddhava...
    • In:p.132
  • After seeing this exhibition [at many places] of [Maya|yogamaya by Krishna, who was following human ways, Narada said to Hrishikesh Krishna smilingly: “We know that your yogamaya is hard to perceive, even for magicians. But it will manifest, O Soul of the lords of yoga, by service to your lotus feet”....“Give me you leave, O God. I will wonder about the worlds, which are overflowing with your glories, singing about your lilas which purify the earth.”
    • In: p.133

The Greatest Farce of HistoryEdit

Moreover Krishna was very fond of the downtrodden and oppressed people such as his friends of childhood or his peers or sixteen thousand hapless women whom society could not accept even if they had been liberated by Krishna from the bondage of demon king of Pragjotishpur (Modern Assam) Narakasur. It was Krishna who adopted them, giving his name and telling them, they were his queens as he had given them all the Mangalsutra or matrimonial thread.
...It was the very daring act of entering the marriage alliance with ‘Shudra’ or the tribal girl (Jambavati) and that too by such popular figure as Krishna who despite not being declared king or heir apparent like his elder brother, Balarama, used to enjoy more power and respect than a King.
... What might have been very upsetting and rather threatening for the traditional social and political elites of the ancient India that he had provided virtual guidelines for becoming Vasudev through various acts and machinations. And his life itself was such a broader canvas of Vasudevhood that one could easily imbibe them becoming the Vasudev.
...Moreover, for the sake of republican credo of electing the capable King irrespective of whether he is elder, Krishna took part in the great war of Mahabharata on the side of Pandavas, who were the sons of younger brother, Pandu of Hastinapur.

Gopal Chowdhary in: The Greatest Farce of History, Partridge Publishing, 4 March 2014

  • Krishna, after exterminating the King of Mathura, did not take the power in to his hands but restored the old system of Vritya or Mandal (circle system) and ruling with the consensus in the consultation with the Samati or Sabha (council).
    • In:p.94
  • Moreover Krishna was very fond of the downtrodden and oppressed people such as his friends of childhood or his peers or sixteen thousand hapless women whom society could not accept even if they had been liberated by Krishna from the bondage of demon king of Pragjotishpur (Modern Assam) Narakasur. It was Krishna who adopted them, giving his name and telling them, they were his queens as he had given them all the Mangalsutra or matrimonial thread.
    • In: p.112
  • The influence of Krishna philosophy and his different temporal and non-temporal theories on the Buddhism could be deciphered from gleaning the various Buddhist texts, which seems to be the extension, supplantation, and elaboration of the [Krishna philosophy]…
    • In:p.98
  • ...at the time when Gita was happening, Krishna had attained the title of Vasudev as he was addressed as such by Bhisma Pitamah many times and others as well. Moreover, he had already destroyed Kans, w:JarasandhaJarasandh, and the other Prati-Vasudev at the beginning of war, and was going to destroy the remaining Prati-Vasudev in the ensuing war.
    • In:p.102
  • Moreover, Krishna was such a potent force that he had established a new benchmark in the form of Vasudev. What might have been very upsetting and rather threatening for the traditional social and political elites of the ancient India that he had provided virtual guidelines for becoming Vasudev through various acts and machinations. And his life itself was such a broader canvas of Vasudevhood that one could easily imbibe them becoming the Vasudev.
    • In; P.103
  • What might have shocked the highly regimented and stratified society of 1000-900 BC was the [[Yadavas act of straying from the Vedic fold and rituals, and mixing with Shudras or 'Dasa' initiated and formalized by Krishna. It was the very daring act of entering the marriage alliance with ‘Shudra’ or the tribal girl (Jambavati) and that too by such popular figure as Krishna who despite not being declared king or heir apparent like his elder brother, Balarama, used to enjoy more power and respect than a King.
    • In: P.112
  • Apart from Krishna, another Yadav, Ghor Angaris who was the second guru of Krishna after Guru Sandipan, enacted another revolutionary feat: He himself performed his last rites embracing the Jainism after leaving the Vedic religion.
    • In:p. 113
  • ...been appropriated by priestly class and composers of Upanishads without giving credit to Krishna. Moreover, the date of their composition has been stretched to the mythical time preceding the Gita and Krishna.
    • In:p. 116
  • ...there were many kingdoms such as Avanti, Chedi, Hastinapur, and others where Yadavas or Krishna's relatives were the reigning kings, they did not provide any help to the Mathura.
    • In:p. 117
  • It appeared Krishna's act of enforcing the Raj Dharma had angered all the kings of Aryavrata and that was why they did not come to his help. However, Krishna being not an ordinary person, had anticipated the non-cooperative attitude of his [kings of Aryavrata]…
    • In:p. 118
  • It appears to be more of a case of pre-planned conspiracy to obliterate Krishna – a force that had transformed the socio-political scape of ancient India, a visionary, social and political revolutionary, master par excellence in diplomacy and expert in warfare. While the stakes have succeeded in achieving first goal, as Krishna has become not only God but also God of gods, Yadavas survived their joint political-social-cultural-military onslaught.
    • In:p.163-64
  • In the 4th century BC, Chanakya refers to the story of Krishna's birth, while Megasthenes mentions that the Sourasenoi (Surasenas or Yadavas) hero-worshipped Herakles (Krishna). Their two great cities were Methora (Mathura) and Kleisobora (Krishnapura?) on the navigable river Yobares (Yamuna)....Herkales (Krishna) sent his daughter Pandala to rule over the kingdom of Mathura (Madura)
    • In:p.179
...From the 10th century AD, Krishna became a favourite subject in performing arts and regional traditions of devotion developed for forms of Krishna such as Venkateshvara in Andhra, Jagannatha in Orissa, Vithoba in Maharashtra and Srinathji in Rajasthan.
  • The Sanskrit word ‘krshna’ is primarily an adjective meaning “black”, “dark”, or “dark-blue”. Sometimes it is also translated as “all attractive”. In the Lalitavistara Sutra, Krishna is the chief of the black demons, the enemies of the Buddha.
  • The earliest text that explicitly provides detailed descriptions of Krishna as a personality is the epic Mahabharata which depicts Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna is central to many of the main stories of the epic. The eighteen chapters of the sixth book (Bhishma Parva) of the epic that constitutes the Bhagavad Gita contain the advice of Krishna to the warrior-hero Arjuna, on the battlefield.
    • In:p.181-82


  • Krishna is already an adult in the epic [Mahabharta], although there are allusions to his earlier exploits. The Harivamsa, a later appendix to this epic, contains the earliest detailed version of Krishna's childhood and youth.
    • In:p.182
...Megasthenes (350-290 BC), a Greek ethnographer and an ambassador of Seleucus I to the court of Chandragupta Maurya mentioned about Herakles in his famous work Indica. Many scholars have suggested that the deity identified as Herakles was Krishna
  • There is no unanimity among the theologians and religious figures as what is the position of Krishna. It shows he is being interpreted as per the whims and fancies of the person and sects concerned. This also proves the historicity of Krishna.
    • In:p.185
  • Garbe believes Krishna to have lived about two hundred years before Buddha, to have been son of Vasudeva, to have founded a monotheistic and ethical religion, and to have been eventually deified and identified with the god Vasudeva, he founded. In the Mahabharata we have all traditions about Krishna that survived until then, non-Aryan hero, a spiritual teacher, a tribal god.
    • In:p.193
  • In the Buddhist texts the term 'kala' has been used for denote the villainous men or of wicked tendency, while in the Jain texts the term 'Krishna or Vasudev' has been used for referring to the great personality, called as the 'Slaka Purush'.
    • In: p.195
  • It is clear that Krishna's historicity and legacies have been highjacked to the non-temporal level at the best and mythical level at the worst. If seen from objective point of view, there should not be any doubt about the historicity of Krishna and Mahabharata period
    • In: p.196
  • Krishna and post-Krishna era underlines the rather high period of Indian socio-political scape when ruling elites or Kshatriya was like philosopher king. The Gana-Sangh system or rather republican credo that Krishna had displayed in his stately conduct or the democratic principles of debate, discussion, and unanimity or a sort of consensus characterizing Yadavas and Krishna’s conduct testifies this.
    • in: p.208
  • Krishna: Political Philosophy If Plato is called the father of politics and Machiavelli as that of modern politics, then Krishna could be undoubtedly designated as the father of politics of all the time. It is another matter that he has been relegated to the mystical realm, making him the God Himself.
    • In: p.239
  • ...republican credo of Yadavas were refined and institutionalized by Krishna, and for upholding it, he did not spare his own relatives such as Kans, Shishupal and others. Moreover, for the sake of republican credo of electing the capable King irrespective of whether he is elder, Krishna took part in the great war of Mahabharata on the side of Pandavas, who were the sons of younger brother, Pandu of Hastinapur.
    • In: p.244
  • It is no surprise that Chankya or Kautilya cast off his political theory based on the organizational pattern, appropriating not only the nomenclature but also various aspects of Krishna real politicking and diplomacy. Of course, without acknowledging Krishna and his contribution to the humanity. Even Buddha, whose three-fourth tenets of Buddhism is based on Krishna’s Samkhya, Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga and Gita has not named Krishna in his acknowledgments, though he has done so indirectly by conceding the ancient traditions, thinkers and philosophers.
    • In: p.245
  • ...Nanda the foster parents of Krishna and his uncle who was the brother of Krishna's father has been referred as Mandaladhish (Head of Mandal) of Gokul Mandal. Therefore, the Mandal was administrative unit and the kingdom was organized into different Mandal whose head was responsible for the administration, tax collection and other matters.
    • In: p.245

Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Transcendental SoulEdit

Sri Krishna stole the hearts of the Gopis unconditionally. The Gopis stole His Ecstasy unreservedly.
Sri Krishna’s Flute stirs the Universal Consciousness. Sri Krishna’s Gita enchants the Transcendental Consciousness.

Sri Chinmoy in: Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Transcendental Soul, R. Steiner Publications, 1973

  • Sri Krishna stole the hearts of the Gopis unconditionally. The Gopis stole His Ecstasy unreservedly.
    • In: p.123
  • Arjuna is the ascending human soul. Krishna is the descending divine Soul. Finally they meet. The human sou says to the divine Soul: “I need you.”The divine Soul says to the human soul: *I need you, too. I need you for my self-manifestation. You need me for your self-realisation.” Arjuna says: “O, Krishna, you are mine, absolutely mine.” Krishna says: “O, Arjuna, no mine, no thine. We are the Oneness complete, within, without.”
    • In: p.xi
  • Sri Krishna plays on His Flute. We hear. We do something more. We barter our body’s dust with His Soul’s Plenitude.
    • In: p.124
  • The Pandavas had love for Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna had not only love but also unstinting concern for the Pandavas.
    • In: p.124
  • Arjuna ultimately became the spiritual child of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna ultimately became the loving slave of Arjuna’s surrender.
    • In: p.124
  • If the Avatar Sri Krishna is the most complicated Door, then the Gita, His Song, is the most effective Key.
    • In: p.124

Part II: The Kind, the Prince, the SonEdit

Radha carries the human soul into Sri Krishna’s Heart. Sri Krishna transforms the human soul into the Divine Soul and commands it to play its role in the Divine Play.

Sri Chinmoya in: Part II: The Kind, the Prince, the Son, Sri Chimoya Library

  • Radha carries the human soul into Sri Krishna’s Heart. Sri Krishna transforms the human soul into the Divine Soul and commands it to play its role in the Divine Play.
  • For an earth-bound soul, the Gita can fruitfully reconcile the dark problems of human life. For a Heaven-seeking soul, the Gita can awaken a new consciousness of ever-increasing Bliss.
  • I do. I refuse to accept the invitation of Desire. Sri Krishna does. He comes in to illuminate my consciousness.
  • Sri Krishna is sweet when I realise Him in the perfection of my “I". Sri Krishna is sweeter when I realise Him as the Doer. Sri Krishna is sweetest when I realise Him as the Pilot of all my actions and myself as His dedicated instrument.
  • An aspirant’s is the cry that compels Sri Krishna to seize him with the very madness of love.
  • A Vaishnava’s life is love-intoxicated. He is a portion of Sri Krishna’s individuality, perpetuating all the divine qualities of an everlasting Life.
  • When I live in Sri Krishna’s Soul, I see the Truth from above. When I live in Sri Krishna’s Heart, I see the Truth from within. When I live in Sri Krishna’s Body, I see the Truth from without.
  • Sri Krishna is the shoreless ocean of Bliss. But as soon as I sincerely dedicate myself to Him, He presents me with His own Boat and takes me to the boundless Shore, the Golden All.
  • Sri Krishna walked the soil to annihilate the philosophies of world-shunning spirituality and of world-grasping materialism. He established on earth the “Dharmarajya,” the Kingdom of the Inner Law. He restored the true spirit of Kshatriya heroism, motivated not by human ego, but by Divine Will, making man a devoted and active instrument of the Supreme. He brought down to the earth-consciousness the supreme Truth that earth and earthly life, being inherently divine, must be made outwardly divine, fully and totally, in every sphere, in every aspect.

The Gita GovindaEdit

...Oh Radha, Radha! Take this soul that trembles
In life's deep midnight, to thy Golden house.
So Nanda spoke -- and led by Radha’s spirit,
The feet of Krishna found the road aright;
Wherefore, in bliss which all high hearts inherit,
Together taste they love's divine delight.
...He is dancing with the dancers to a laughter-moving tone,
In the soft awakenings Spring-time, when ‘tis hard to live alone.

Jayadeva, translated by Edwin Arnold in:The Gita Govinda, Wikisource

  • The sky is clouded; and the wood resembles
    The sky, thick arched with a black tamala boughs;
    Oh Radha, Radha! Take this soul that trembles
    In life's deep midnight, to thy Golden house.
    So Nanda spoke -- and led by Radha’s spirit,
    The feet of Krishna found the road aright;
    Wherefore, in bliss which all high hearts inherit,
    Together taste they love's divine delight.
  • I know where Krishna tarries in these early days of Spring,
    When every wind from warm Malay brings fragrance on its wing;
    Brings fragrance stolen far away from thickets of the clove,
    In Jungles where the bees hum and the Koil flutes her love;
    He dances with the dancers, at the merry morrice one,
    All in the budding Spring-time, for ‘tis sad to be alone.
  • I know how Krishna passes these hours of blue and gold,
    When parted lovers sigh to meet and greet and closely hold
    Hand fast in hand; and every branch upon the Valkul-tree
    Droops downward with a hundred blooms, in every bloom a bee;
    He is dancing with the dancers to a laughter-moving tone,
    In the soft awakenings Spring-time, when ‘tis hard to live alone.
  • When Kroona-flowers, that open at a lover's lightest tread,
    Break, and, for shame at what they hear, from white blush and modest red;
    And all the spears on all the boughs of all the Ketuk-glades
    Seem ready darts to pierce the hearts of wandering youths and maids;
    ‘Tis there thy Krishna dances till the merry drum is done,
    All in the sunny Spring-time, when who can live alone?
  • Where the breaking forth of blossom on the yellow Keshra-sprays
    Dazzles like Kama’s sceptre, whom all the world obeys;
    And Patal-buds fill drowsy bees from pink delicious bowls,
    As Kama’s nectared goblet steeps in languor human souls;
    There he dances with the dancers, and of Radha thinketh none,
    All in the warm new Spring-tide, when none will live alone.
...Yet the winds that sigh so
As they stir the rose
Wake a sigh from Krishna
Wistfuller than those;
All their faint breaths swinging
The creepers to and fro
Pass like rustling arrows
Shot from Kama’s bow:
Thus among the dancers
What those Zephyrs bring
Strikes to Krishna's spirit
Like a darted sting.
  • Mark this song of Jayadev!
    Deep as pearl in ocean-wave
    Lurketh in its lines a wonder
    Which the wise alone will ponder:
    Though it's seemeth of the Earth,
    Heavenly is the music's birth;
    Telling darkly of delights
    In the wood, of wasted nights,
    Of witless days, and fruitless love,
    And false pleasures of the grove,And rash passions of the prime,
    And those dances of Spring-time;
    Time, which seems so subtle-sweet,
    Time, which pipes to dancing-feet,
    Ah! So softly -- Ah! So sweetly --
    That among those wood-maids featly
    Krishna cannot choose but dance,
    Letting pass life's greater chance.
  • Yet the winds that sigh so
    As they stir the rose
    Wake a sigh from Krishna
    Wistfuller than those;
    All their faint breaths swinging
    The creepers to and fro
    Pass like rustling arrows
    Shot from Kama’s bow:
    Thus among the dancers
    What those Zephyrs bring
    Strikes to Krishna's spirit
    Like a darted sting.
  • And as if -- far wandered --
    The traveller should hear
    The bird of home, the Koil,
    With nest-notes rich and clear;
    And there should come one moment
    A blessed fleeting dream
    Of the bees among the mangoes
    Beside his native stream;
    So flash those sudden yearnings,
    That sense of a dearer thing,
    The love and lack of Radha
    Upon his soul in spring.
  • Then she, the maid of Radha, spake again;
    And pointing far away between the leaves
    Guided her lovely Mistress where to look,
    And note how Krishna wantoned in the wood
    Now with this one, now that; his heart, her prize;
    Panting with foolish passions, and his eyes
    Beaming with too much love of those fair girls --
    Fair, but not so as Radha; and she sang:
...n the company of damsels, who dance and sing and play,
Lies Krishna, laughing, toying, dreaming his Spring away.
  • One, with star-blossomed champak wreaths, woos him to rest his head
    On the dark pillow of her breast so tenderly outspread;
    And o’er his brow with roses blown she fans a fragrance rare,
    That falls on the enchanted sense like rain in thirsty air,
    While the company of damsels wave many an odorous spray,
    And Krishna, laughing, toying, sighs the soft Spring away.
  • Another, gazing in his face, sits wistfully apart
    Searching it with those looks of love that leap from heart to heart;
    Her eyes -- afire with shy desire, veiled by their lashes black --
    Speak so that Krishna cannot choose but send the message back,
    In the company of damsels whose bright eyes in a ring
    Shine round him with soft meanings in the merry light of Spring.
  • The third one of that dazzling band of dwellers in the wood --
    Body and bosom panting with the pulse of youthful blood --
    Leans over him, as in his eyes lightsome thing to speak;
    And then with leaf-soft lip imprints a kiss below his cheek;
    A kiss that thrills, and Krishna turns at the silken touch
    To give it back -- Ah, Radha! forgetting thee too much.
And one with the arch smile beckons him away from Jumna’s banks,
Where the tall bamboos bristle like spears in battle ranks.
And plucks his cloth to make him come into the mango-shade,
Where the fruit is ripe and golden, and the milk and cakes are laid:
Oh! golden-red the mangoes, and glad the feasts of Spring,
And fair the flowers lie upon, and sweet the dancers sing.
  • And one with the arch smile beckons him away from Jumna’s banks,
    Where the tall bamboos bristle like spears in battle ranks.
    And plucks his cloth to make him come into the mango-shade,
    Where the fruit is ripe and golden, and the milk and cakes are laid:
    Oh! golden-red the mangoes, and glad the feasts of Spring,
    And fair the flowers lie upon, and sweet the dancers sing.
...So that wholly passion-laden-eye, ear, sense, soul o'er come --
Krishna is there as in the forest; his heart forgets its home.
  • Sweetest of all that Temptress who dances for him now
    With subtle feet which part and meet in the Rasa measures slow,
    To the chime of silver bangles and the beat of rose-leaf hands,
    And pipe and lute and cymbal played by the woodland bands;
    So that wholly passion-laden-eye, ear, sense, soul o'er come --
    Krishna is there as in the forest; his heart forgets its home.
  • Krishna, made for heavenly things,
    'Mid those woodland singers sings;
    With those dancers dances featly,
    Gives back soft embraces sweetly;
    Smiles on that one, toys with this,
    Glance for glance, and kiss for kiss;
    Meets the merry damsels fairly,
    Plays the round of folly rarely,
    Lapped in milk-warm Spring-time weather,
    He and those brown girls together.
And this shadowed earthly love
In the twilight of the grove,
Dance and song and soft caresses,
Meeting looks and tangled tresses,...
  • And this shadowed earthly love
    In the twilight of the grove,
    Dance and song and soft caresses,
    Meeting looks and tangled tresses,
    Jayadev the same hath writ,
    That ye might have gain of it,
    Sagely its deep sense conceiving
    And its inner light believing;
    How that Love -- the mighty Master,
    Lord of all the stars that cluster
    In the sky, swiftest and slowest,
    Lord of highest, Lord of lowest -
    Manifests Himself to mortals,
    Winning them towards the portals
    Of his secret house, the gates
    Of that bright paradise which waits
    The wise in love. Ah, human creatures!
    Even your fantasies are teachers.
    Mighty Love makes sweet in seeming
    Even Krishna's woodland dreaming;
    Mighty Love sways all alike
    From self to selfishness. Oh! Strike
    From your eyes the veil, and see
    What love willeth Him to be
    Who in error, but in grace,
    Sitteth with that Lotus-face,
    And those eyes whose rays of heaven
    Unto phantom-eyes are given;
    Holding fast of foolish mirth
    With these visions of the Earth;
    Leaving Love, and Love imparting;
    Yet with sense of loss upstarting: --
But may he guide us all to glory high
who laughed when the Radha glided, hidden, by,
An all among those damsels free and bold
Touch Krishna with a soft mouth, kind and cold;
And like the others leaning upon his breast,
Unlike the others, left their Love’s unrest;
And like the others, joining in his song,
Or like the others, made him silent long.
  • For the cloud that the veils of the fountains
    Underneath the sandal mountains,
    How -- as if the sunshine drew
    All its being to the blue --
    It takes flight and seeks to rise
    High into the purer skies,
    High into the snow and frost,
    On the shining summits lost!
    Ah! And how the Koil's strained
    Smites the traveller with pain, --
    When the mango blooms in Spring,
    And "Kahoo", "Kahoo", they sing --
    Pain of pleasure not yet won,
    Pain of journeys not yet done
    Pain of toiling without gaining,
    Pain ‘mid gladness of still paining.
  • But may he guide us all to glory high
    who laughed when the Radha glided, hidden, by,
    An all among those damsels free and bold
    Touch Krishna with a soft mouth, kind and cold;
    And like the others leaning upon his breast,
    Unlike the others, left their Love’s unrest;
    And like the others, joining in his song,
    Or like the others, made him silent long.

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