May Yamuna, the daughter of the sun, whose waters are muddied and scented by the musk and vermilion that washes from Radha and Krishna’s bodies as they play their expansive water sports in them, who blissfully and mildly smiles at the Divine Couple with her smile of foam, and softly splashes them with the hands of her waves, ever expand my happiness!
pramodāt tau pheṇa-smitam uditam ūrmi-sphuṭakara-
śriyā siñcantīva prathayatu sukhaṁ nas taraṇijā
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Das Goswami praises the most fortunate daughter of the sun Sri Yamuna.
go-gopa-gopikā-saṅge yatra krīḍati kaṁsahā
yamunā-jala-kallole sadā krīḍati mādhavaḥ
O how unfortunate are they who have not drunk the water of the Yamuna, by which Kaṁsa’s enemy Krishna eternally sports with the cows, cowherd boys and cowherd girls. Mādhava eternally plays in the billowing waters of the Yamuna.
Because the verb krīḍati is in the present tense, it proves the eternal nature of Sri Krishna’s pastimes in the Yamuna. The holy dhāma is transcendental, beyond the mundane creation, devoid of any material element, all-pervading, omnipresent and great – just like Krishna’s body: sarvaga ananta vibhu kṛṣṇa tanu sama (Caitanya-caritāmṛta)
Actually the Yamuna is not a common river filled with ordinary water, which is one of the five material elements. She carries transcendental nectar of the divine realm. The Lord says in the Bṛhad-gautamīya Tantra:
kālindīyaṁ suṣumnākhyā paramāmṛta-vāhinī
This Vrindavan, which extends over an area of ten miles, is my very body and the Yamuna, which carries the topmost divine nectar, is its spinal channel, the Sushumna.
This Yamuna, the carrier of the greatest nectar, is always absorbed in the mellows of the ecstatic service of Sri Krishna and exists in Vrindavan as the object of his great love. From the words of the Sri Vrajasundarīs we also learn how the Yamuna and other rivers express their sweet love for Krishna:
āliṅgana-sthagitam ūrmi-bhujair murārer
gṛhnanti pāda-yugalaṁ kamalopahārāḥ
O sakhīs! When Yamunaji, Manasa Ganga and the other rivers of Vraja hear Mukunda’s flutesong, they show their enchanted state of mind by stopping the movement of their current, forming whirlpools and using their waves like arms to embrace his lotus feet and make offerings of lotus flowers to them. (Bhāgavata 10.21.15)
Just as the loving devotees perform Krishna bhajan themselves and thus increase the bhakti of the other devotees who have taken shelter of them, similarly Yamunaji herself relishes the bliss of Krishna’s service and in this way also increasing the devotion of the devotees. Srila Rupa Goswamipada has written:
māṁ punātu sarvadāravinda-bandhu-nandinī
May the daughter of the friend of the lotus flowers (the sun), who is decorated by the charming surrounding land of Vraja, who is knowledgeable in increasing the rāga-bhakti of the Vaishnavas who are bound by love, and who worships the lotus-naveled Krishna’s lotus feet with the playful movements of her wave-arms, always purify me. (Stavamālā, Yamunāṣṭaka)
Vrindavan’s Yamuna River is Krishna’s most delightful playground, and it is impossible to compare her wealth of natural beauty to anything.
From the descriptions in Gopāla-campū we learn that Sri Nanda and the Vrajavasis decided to abandon Gokula when they saw that different demons and monsters were constantly threatening Krishna. When they came to the bank of the Yamuna in Sri Vrindavan, the beauty of Vrindavan attracted Sri Krishna’s heart even more.
When Nanda and the other cowherds came to Vrindavan in their bullock-carts they were very eager to see the forest’s beauty. Krishna and Balaram eagerly jumped from the ox-cart and loudly called their friends. They ran forward and plunged into the ocean of Vrindavan’s natural beauty, looking left and right in blissful astonishment as they wandered around.
The sacred forest responded by showing signs of ecstasy upon being touched by Sri Krishna’s lotus feet. This is only relishable for the rasika devotees when it is revealed through the poetic descriptions of an insightful devotee poet:
romṇām utthitam aṅkure ca kavitaṁ yogyān nidānādṛte
tan mithyā yadi kṛṣṇa-saṅgati-vaśāt tasmins tathā varṇyate
satyaṁ tarhi sadāpi tat tad akhilaṁ yasmād darīdṛśyate
The cuckoos sang in the fifth note: this was Vrindavan’s song;
The movement of the vines in the wind was Vrindavan’s dancing;
The new shoots growing were Vrindavan’s goosebumps of ecstasy;
Even if this is not the reality, it is so described:
As soon as it is linked to Krishna and so described, it becomes true
and this beauty of Vrindavan is seen everywhere. (Gopāla-campū 1.9.32)
In his paugaṇḍa-age (5-10 years) Sri Krishna chose the most enchanting bank of the Yamuna to have picnics with his friends. This is described in the Bhāgavata:
O friends! How enchanting is this beach! Everything required for our games can be found here! There is soft and clear sand, the bees are buzzing, attracted to the fragrance of the blooming lotus flowers, and there are rows of trees filled with birds whose songs echo all around. (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.13.5)
In Krishna’s kaiśora-age (10-15) the bank of the Yamuna was the place where the crown-jewel of all of Krishna’s pastimes, the Rāsa-līlā, took place.
Desiring to enjoy the Rāsa-līlā, Sri Krishna took the gopis along to the bank of the Yamuna, where the autumnal moon extended his soft rays and removed the darkness of night, where the wind carried the fragrance of blooming kunda and mandāra flowers, which attracted the humming bees that wandered from one flower bunch to another, and where the soft sand of the beach was spread flat by the Yamuna’s wave-like hands. (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.32.11-12)
After performing the most rasika Rāsa-līlā on the bank of the Yamuna, the Divine Couple would play in her waters with the other gopis, like a mad king-elephant with his queen, until the water of the Yamuna became clouded and scented with the vermilion, musk and sandalwood that washed off their bodies.
With a most blissful heart, the Yamuna attended the water sports of the Divine Couple and their gopi friends and sprinkled their bodies, using her wave hands to splash them, and smiling with the frothing foam. Raghunath Das Goswami says: “May that daughter of the sun, Kālindī, increase my wealth of ecstatic love.”
Shripad Prabodhananda Saraswati has written:
snāyaṁ snāyam aho kudehaja-malaṁ jahyaṁ kadā nirmalaḥ
When will I wash away the dirt from this contaminated body [and my identification with it] by repeatedly bathing in the water of the Kalindi, which is muddied by the musk that comes from Sri Radharani’s breasts, and be blessed by relishing the ecstasies of devotion with a pure heart and deep absorption in my siddha-svarūpa? (Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi 60)
yamunāya jala keli korile ārambha
kasturī kuṅkuma candana duhuṅ aṅga hoite;
skhalita hoiyā paḍe jala pravāhete
ānande phenā rūpa mṛdu manda hāsye;
taraṅga rūpa hasta dvārā atīva ullāse
śrī rādhā govinde yiho abhiṣeka kore;
tapana tanayā śrī kālindī nāma dhare
bhāgyavatī pravāhiṇī sei to yamunā;
sukha sampad vṛddhi koro ei to prārthanā
May the fortunate river Yamuna, who is also known as Kalindi, the daughter of the sun, where Sri Radha-Govinda blissfully begin their water sports, whose current washes the vermilion, musk and sandal paste from their bodies and who most blissfully sprinkles Sri Radha Govinda with the hands of her waves, increase the wealth of my ecstatic love: this is my prayer!
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
Source: Tarun Govinda Das, Flowing Nectar Stream blog.