The Bhramara Gītā is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s song to the bumble bee

Śrī Rādhā said: "My dear bumblebee, you are a very cunning friend of Uddhava and Kṛṣṇa. You are very expert in touching people’s feet, but I am not going to be misled by this. You appear to have sat on the breasts of one of Kṛṣṇa’s friends, for I see that you have kuṅkuma dust on your mustache. Kṛṣṇa is now engaged in flattering all His young girl friends in Mathurā. Therefore, now that He can be called a friend of the residents of Mathurā, He does not need the help of the residents of Vṛndāvana. He has no reason to satisfy us gopīs. Since you are the messenger of such a person as He, what is the use of your presence here? Certainly Kṛṣṇa would be ashamed of your presence in this assembly."


The Song to the Bumblebee

with commentary of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura

The Bhramara Gītā is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s song to the bumble bee. „There, in the section of the Tenth Canto known as the Bhramara-gītā, “the Song to the Bumblebee,” Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī speaks insanely in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.“ (Cc. Antya-lila 19, Text 107)

PURPORT: When Uddhava arrived from Mathurā carrying a message for the gopīs, the gopīs began talking about Kṛṣṇa and crying. Then one important gopī saw a bumblebee and began speaking to it like someone mad, thinking that the bee was a messenger of Uddhava’s or was someone very dear to him and Kṛṣṇa. The verses are as follows (SB. 10.47.12-21):

SB 10.47.11
kācin madhukaraṁ dṛṣṭvā
dhyāyantī kṛṣṇa-saṅgamam
priya-prasthāpitaṁ dūtaṁ

kalpayitvedam abravīt

One of the gopīs, while meditating on Her previous association with Kṛṣṇa, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus She spoke as follows:

Purport: Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is referred to in this verse as kācit, “a certain gopī.”

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: According to Sanātana Gosvāmī's Śrī Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī, this gopī (kācit) is the embodiment of the seventh stage of kṛṣṇa-prema, pure love of Godhead, known as mahābhāva [sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva], which itself is the essence of Kṛṣṇa's pleasure potency (hlādinī-śakti). In other words, this gopī is Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī Śrī Rādhā. Imagining in Her meditation how Kṛṣṇa is associating with the women of Mathurā, Rādhikā experiences the rise of jealous anger (māna) within Herself and thinks, " My beloved Śrī Kṛṣṇa has sent this messenger to pacify Me."

Thinking in this way, Rādhā addresses one bumblebee, which had just flown in front of Her. Or else, on the pretense of speaking to the bee, Rādhā was actually directing her words to Uddhava:

SB 10.47.12
gopy uvāca

madhupa kitava-bandho mā spṛśāṅghriṁ sapatnyāḥ
kuca-vilulita-mālā-kuṅkuma-śmaśrubhir naḥ

vahatu madhu-patis tan-māninīnāṁ prasādaṁ
yadu-sadasi viḍambyaṁ yasya dūtas tvam īdṛk

"My dear bumblebee, you are a very cunning friend of Uddhava and Kṛṣṇa. You are very expert in touching people's feet, but I am not going to be misled by this. You appear to have sat on the breasts of one of Kṛṣṇa's friends, for I see that you have kuṅkuma dust on your mustache. Kṛṣṇa is now engaged in flattering all His young girl friends in Mathurā. Therefore, now that He can be called a friend of the residents of Mathurā, He does not need the help of the residents of Vṛndāvana. He has no reason to satisfy us gopīs. Since you are the messenger of such a person as He, what is the use of your presence here? Certainly Kṛṣṇa would be ashamed of your presence in this assembly."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: Seeing the bee buzzing around greedy for the fragrance of Her lotus feet, Śrī Rādhā spoke impulsively (prajalpa) due to the influence of divine madness (divyonmāda): "O bee, friend of a wicked cheater (kitava bandho)! "Rādhā then enumerates the reasons why Kṛṣṇa should be called a cheater: “Kṛṣṇa said, ' For My sake (madartho-jjhita). You all have given up everything to come here filled with loving attraction, yet I have given You up. Please forgive Me for this injustice I have done.' (SB 10.32. 21) Kṛṣṇa also said, 'You have surrendered yourselves to Me with the highest attraction, and it is impossible for Me to repay You' (na parāye 'haṁ). (SB 10.32.22) And while sitting on Akrūra's chariot Kṛṣṇa sent a message to us gopīs, who were pained by the impending separation from Him, saying, 'I will quickly come back from Mathurā.' (SB 10.39.35)

"Because these statements are false Kṛṣṇa can rightly be called a cheater. O bee, as a friend of that cheater you are playing the role of a messenger. Don't touch My feet!"

The bee, making a buzzing sound, seemed to say, "What is this? Will you not let me offer obeisance’s to You?"

Rādhā said, "My feet will be contaminated if a drinker of liquor (madhupa) touches them, so if you want to pay obeisance’s then fly away some distance and do it." Rādhā used the word madhupa, which means "a drinker of liquor." According to the definition found in the Anekārtha-varga dictionary, madhu madye puṣparase, "Madhu can mean either liquor or the sap of a flower."

The bee seemed to reply, "Why are You accusing me of being drunk when I am faultless?"

Rādhā said, "This is not just an accusation, it is true. Do not touch Me with your whiskers tinged by the kuṅkuma of the flower garland from another woman's breasts, which has been crushed by contact with Kṛṣṇa's chest (or the garland worn by Kṛṣṇa which has been crushed by another woman's breasts.) "In this way Rādhika ascribes such to the natural yellowness of a bee's whiskers.

Rādhā continued, "The fact that you have come here to conciliate Me, the maker of that garland, without even first washing off such kuṅkuma is indeed due to a complete lack of discrimination on your part, which is a sure sign of having been drinking liquor. You should have the sense to know that such an exhibition will only increase My jealousy not decrease it."

As the bee continued to hum, Rādhā thought that he was again speaking: "In any case, You should be happy."

Rādhā replied, "My dear bee, O protector of the liquor (madhupa-madya-pālaka)! Go back to your master, guard His store of liquor and drink some yourself. That is a good job for you because you are too stupid to be a qualified messenger."

While flying around and humming the bee seemed to be saying, "I see You are finding many faults. Why should I listen to all this? Now I am going to Mathurā. Let Kṛṣṇa come Himself and make You happy!"

Rādhā said, "Kṛṣṇa has now become the master of all the Madhus (madhu-patiḥ) in general. Although by His birth from Vrajeśvarī's (Yaśodā) womb Kṛṣṇa belongs to the cowherd caste, by some good fortune He has become a kṣatriya. Therefore, let Him always satisfy those kṣatriya women in Mathurā. What use does Kṛṣṇa have for us low-class cowherd women? But when Kṛṣṇa enjoys one of them, another will become jealous (māna), and when He satisfies that second one yet another will become jealous. Thus Kṛṣṇa will have to continuously satisfy them one after the other. Consequently, Kṛṣṇa will have no free time to come here to see Us." By the plural usage of the word māninīnām (jealous women), Rādhā establishes that the women of the Madhu dynasty are countless, and thus Kṛṣṇa should satisfy each and every one of them.

The bee seemed to say, "You are the ocean of good fortune for Kṛṣṇa. You should not speak like this. If His mind is not fixed on You, why has He sent me here as His messenger? "

Rādhā answered, "You are the carrier (dūtas tvam) of the marks of Kṛṣṇa's love affairs with the kṣatriya women. Indeed this will be the cause of Kṛṣṇa being ridiculed (viḍambyaṁ) in the assembly of the Yadus (yadu-sadasi). When the news of Kṛṣṇa's transgressions with the Yadu women becomes known their husbands will scorn Him. Or else, there will be ridicule against that assembly of Yadus, who are related to Him who has a messenger like you.

"In other words, the Yadus will be condemned by other kṣatriyas in different countries because their women were enjoyed by a cowherd man. He who has a messenger like you is also Madhu-Pati, the master of intoxicating liquors (madhūnām:madyānām) . In this way, Kṛṣṇa must be a drunkard, since it is in the stupor of intoxication that He would have made a bee like you His messenger."

All the words used in this verse arise from the different emotions experienced by Rādhā. The word kitava (cheater) arises from Rādhā's indignation (asūyā). The word sapatnyāḥ (rival lover) arises from jealousy (īrṣyā). The phrase mā spṛśa-aṅghriṁ (Do not touch My feet) expresses pride (mada). The words beginning vahatu (let Him bring) comes from Rādhā's desire to disrespect (avadhīraṇam). The phrase yadu-sadasi viḍambyaṁ (scorned in the assembly of Yadus) expresses Rādhā's urge to utter harsh words to decry Kṛṣṇa's tactless treatment of Her.

This and the following nine verses exemplify ten varieties of mad emotional talks (citra-jalpa) spoken impulsively by a lover. This verse illustrates the qualities of prajalpa, as described by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.182):

asūyerṣyā-mada-yujā yo 'vadhīraṇa-mudrayā
priyasyākauśalodgāraḥ prajalpaḥ sa tu kīrtyate

"Prajalpa is speech that denigrates the tactlessness of one's lover with expressions of disrespect. It is spoken in a mood of envy, jealousy and pride."

How has Kṛṣṇa offended the gopīs so that they want to reject Him from their minds? The answer is given as follows:

SB 10.47.13
sakṛd adhara-sudhāṁ svāṁ mohinīṁ pāyayitvā
sumanasa iva sadyas tatyaje 'smān bhavādṛk

paricarati kathaṁ tat-pāda-padmaṁ tu padmā
hy api bata hṛta-cetā uttama-śloka-jalpaiḥ

"Kṛṣṇa no longer gives us the enchanting nectar of His lips; instead, He now gives that nectar to the women of Mathurā. Kṛṣṇa directly attracts our minds, yet He resembles a bumblebee like you because He gives up the association of a beautiful flower and goes to a flower that is inferior. That is the way Kṛṣṇa has treated us. I do not know why the goddess of fortune continues to serve His lotus feet instead of leaving them aside. Apparently she believes in Kṛṣṇa's false words. We gopīs, however, are not unintelligent like Lakṣmī."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: The bee seemed to say, "This yellow color of my whiskers is only natural since I am a bee. It is not the kuṅkuma from Kṛṣṇa's association with another woman. What offense has Kṛṣṇa committed? He thinks only of You, and never looks at any of the women in Mathurā, even while dreaming. Why have You become so angry?"

Rādhā replies, "After making us drink the nectar of His lips just once, Kṛṣṇa has given us up. That is His offense." Though Kṛṣṇa had actually kissed the gopīs many times, by saying that Kṛṣṇa kissed them only once Rādhā expresses Her extreme loving thirst, out of attachment to Kṛṣṇa.

Rādhā continued, "Because Kṛṣṇa's lips are full of nectar, in spite of our suffering We have not died. Kṛṣṇa previously considered, 'If all the gopīs die of such torment, then who will be left that I can torture? So to prevent them from dying I will make them drink the nectar of My lips.' That is the meaning of Rādhā's words.

Rādhā said, "Then after giving us just a taste of that nectar, Kṛṣṇa immediately abandoned us. You should consider that if Kṛṣṇa really wanted to give Us happiness, He would have forcibly made Us drink the nectar repeatedly."

The buzzing bee said, "But if this is the case, then why do you chaste ladies still desire Him?"

Rādhā answered, "That nectar destroyed (mohinam) Our intelligence. By tasting that nectar Our hopes in this and the next life have all been destroyed. Kṛṣṇa does not consider the saying, 'One should never cut down a tree one has himself planted, even if it is poisonous.' What Kṛṣṇa likes and dislikes is astonishing. Just as Viṣṇu made the demigods (sumanasaḥ:deva-śreṇīḥ) drink the nectar churned from the ocean, Kṛṣṇa made us drink the nectar of His lips. Yet He also abandoned us just as a bee abandons jasmine flowers (sumanasaḥ:mālatīḥ)."

The bee said, "But when Kṛṣṇa abandoned You was it Your fault or His?"

Rādhā answered, "Just as you abandon flowers, so Kṛṣṇa abandoned Us. Just consider whose fault it is when a bee abandons some jasmine flowers? We are also famous in Vraja as being like the jasmine (sumanasa) flowers in fragrance, softness, attractiveness and purity due to our spotlessly clean minds (su-manas). Whereas, Kṛṣṇa is famous for being like a fickle bee desiring only His own pleasure.

"This is not just a poetic metaphor. It is Kṛṣṇa's fault of fickleness that makes Him abandon a multitude of jasmines and become attracted to inferior flowers, only again to detach Himself later from them. Why should We not become angry with Kṛṣṇa out of jealousy (māna), just as we would with the bee?"

The bee argued, "It is well known from scriptures that Kṛṣṇa is faultless. After all, Garga Muni, who knows the scriptures, has said that Kṛṣṇa is equal to Nārāyaṇa (nārāyaṇa-samaḥ)."

Rādhā said, "Well, that may be, but how can that cover up what We see in real life-such as the way He cheats others?"

Pondering this, Rādhā found a reason why Lakṣmī serves Kṛṣṇa: "Lakṣmī serves Kṛṣṇa because her mind is taken away by any and all glorification of Him (uttamaḥ-śloka) submitted by ordinary, garrulous flatterers. Lakṣmī is thus very simple-minded, but we, on the other hand, having been endowed by the creator with the assets of insight, wit and broad intelligence are not going to act like her. "

In this verse the words pāyayitvā (by making us drink) and mohinīm (we lose our intelligence) show Kṛṣṇa's deceptive nature. The word sadyaḥ (He instantly gives them up) expresses Kṛṣṇa's mercilessness in abandoning the gopīs. The word bhavādṛk (like you the bee) indicates Kṛṣṇa's unsteadiness, and the allusion to Lakṣmī's being simple-minded reveals Rādhā's cleverness. All the words indicate Kṛṣṇa's ungrateful nature and complete lack of love for them. This verse is an example of parijalpa, which is described in Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.1 84):

prabhor nidayatā-śāţhya-cāpalyādy-upapādanāt
sva-vicakṣaṇatā-vyaktir bhaṅgyā syāt parijalpitam

"Parijalpa is that speech which, through various devices, shows one's own cleverness by exposing the mercilessness, duplicity, fickleness, ungratefulness and other qualities of one's Lord."

After hearing the bumblebee's sweet songs and recognizing that the bee was singing about Kṛṣṇa for Her satisfaction, the gopī replied:

SB 10.47.14
kim iha bahu ṣaḍaṅghre gāyasi tvaṁ yadūnām
adhipatim agṛhāṇām agrato naḥ purāṇam

vijaya-sakha-sakhīnāṁ gīyatāṁ tat-prasaṅgaḥ
kṣapita-kucarujas te kalpayantīṣṭam iṣṭāḥ

"Dear bumblebee, Lord Kṛṣṇa has no residence here, but we know Him as Yadupati [the King of the Yadu dynasty]. We know Him very well, and therefore we are not interested in hearing any more songs about Him. It would be better for you to go sing to those who are now very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Those women of Mathurā have now achieved the opportunity to be embraced by Him. They are His beloveds now, and therefore He has relieved the burning in their breasts. If you go there and sing your songs to those fortunate women, they will be very pleased, and they will honor you."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: Seeing the bee constantly buzzing due to his nature, Rādhā thought, "Agitated by My criticism of him, he is singing his own glories."

Rādhā then said, "Why are you singing in this place, the assembly of cowherd women? The songs of an ignorant bee will not please the gopīs. Nevertheless you keep on singing! Not only that, but in those songs you are publicizing the glories of the leader of the Yadus (yadūnām adhipatim). Moreover, you are doing this right in front of us, who were made by Kṛṣṇa to give up our homes and are now sitting at the edge of the forest. We will not give you even a handful of chickpeas in charity."

If the bee replies, "Then just give me some old clothing or garlands You have worn."

Rādhā replied, "I will not give these to a complete fool like you. Reciting the Purāṇas, you are trying to prove that Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of the Yadus. O six-legged creature! (ṣaṭ-aṅghre) An animal at least has four legs, but you have six so you are an animal-and-a-half! Thus being so ignorant, you don't know where or what to sing. And being an animal, how would you know the Purāṇas? So how do you expect to receive any charity? But since you are merely an animal, We won't become angry with you. Rather, We will advise you where you should sing in order to support yourself. You should sing in front of the girl friends of that friend of yours who is pre-eminently victorious (vijaya sakhā) or defeated by them in the battle of love. You should sing all about those victories and defeats in love."

Vijaya-sakha can also mean the friend of Arjuna who is also known as Vijaya, the victor. Previously Kṛṣṇa was known as the friend of Subala, but after He left Vraja He became known as the friend of Arjuna. This pronouncement of things yet to come has spontaneously emanated from Rādhā's mouth.

Rādhā said, " Furthermore, the women of Mathurā, now relieved of the burning pain in their breasts (kṣapita-kuca-rujas), will fulfil your desires (īṣṭam:vaṇchitam), and they will be honoured (iṣṭāḥ:pūjitāḥ) by hearing your song about Kṛṣṇa."

In this verse we observe in Rādhā's mood the seed of jealous anger, which arises from an apparent disdain for Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by a sarcastic, sidelong glance directed toward Him. This verse fits the following description of vijalpa from the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.186):

vyaktayāsūyayā gūḍha-māna-mudrāntarālayā
agha-dviṣi kaṭākṣoktir vijalpo viduṣāṁ mataḥ

"According to learned authorities, vijalpa is sarcastic speech criticizing Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Agha. Such speech openly expresses jealousy while at the same time concealing the angry pride in one's heart."

SB 10.47.15
divi bhuvi ca rasāyāṁ kāḥ striyas tad durāpāḥ
kapaṭa-rucira-hāsa-bhrūvi-jṛmbhasya yāḥ syuḥ
caraṇa-raja upāste yasya bhūtir vayaṁ kā

api ca kṛpaṇa-pakṣe hy uttamaśloka-śabdaḥ

"O collector of honey, Kṛṣṇa must be very sorry not to see us gopīs. Surely He is afflicted by memories of our pastimes. Therefore He has sent you as a messenger to satisfy us. Do not speak to us! All the women in the three worlds where death is inevitable-the heavenly, middle and lower planets-are very easily available to Kṛṣṇa because His curved eyebrows are so attractive. Moreover, He is always served very faithfully by the goddess of fortune. In comparison with her, we are most insignificant. Indeed, we are nothing. Yet although He is very cunning, Kṛṣṇa is also very charitable. You may inform Him that He is praised for His kindness to unfortunate persons and that He is therefore known as Uttamaśloka, one who is praised by chosen words and verses."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: Hearing the buzzing of the bee, Rādhā thought he was saying, "O crest-jewel of Kṛṣṇa's lovers! In Mathurā, Kṛṣṇa suffers from the piercing arrows of love. He spends His days and night simply meditating upon You. He can be saved only if You become pleased.''

Rādhā disdainfully replied to this in this verse: divi bhuvi ca rasāyāṁ kāḥ striyaś tad-durāpāḥ "In heaven, on earth or in the subterranean sphere, what women are unobtainable for Kṛṣṇa?"

The meaning is: "I know perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa cannot pass His time without the company of young women. If Kṛṣṇa can't meet any women in Mathurā, then it is good that He meditates upon us and tries to satisfy us by sending a messenger like you to bring us there. Don't tell us that the women in Mathurā, being of the kṣatriya caste, will not accept a person of cowherd birth, for there is no one unavailable to Kṛṣṇa in all the three worlds. Both the demigoddesses in heaven and the Nāgapatnīs in hell will all give up their husbands if by chance

Kṛṣṇa appears before them. Then what to speak of the women of Mathurā? For obtaining these women Kṛṣṇa does not have to depend on any pious deeds or monetary payment.

"Under false pretences Kṛṣṇa smiles and arches His eyebrows to enchant (rucira :sarvāsāṁ manoharau) all women. As a result, the demigoddesses and other women become the property of Kṛṣṇa and no longer belong to their husbands. Simply for the price of His deceptive smile they sell themselves and abandon their own husbands."

By the word kapaṭa (deceptive) Rādhā implies, "Kṛṣṇa is deceptive because after enjoying them once, He immediately abandons them and looks for new women. What to speak of the heavenly women, even Lakṣmī (bhūtir:lakṣmī), the consort of Lord Nārāyaṇa, worships the dust of Kṛṣṇa’s feet in order to gain His association, according to the prayers of the Nāgapatnīs which we heard from the mouth of Paurṇamāsī. Therefore how can We remain unaffected? After all, We are only humans, mere cowherd women residing in the forest of Vṛndāvana."

Although these words are full of humility, actually through the inflection of Rādhā's voice and the nodding of Her head they imply a spiteful attitude due to pride. Through that jealousy (spitefulness) Rādhā reveals Her superiority to Lakṣmī and all others in prema, beauty, and caste-compatibility with the Lord.

Rādhā continued, "One is called Uttamaḥśloka if he is merciful to the wretched and fallen. Since Kṛṣṇa lacks this quality, that name (uttamaḥ-śloka) is falsely ascribed to Him. If Kṛṣṇa would be merciful to Me, then He would actually deserve this exalted name." Thus Rādhā subtly abuses Kṛṣṇa by addressing Him as Uttamaḥśloka.

Rādhā's speech, expressing all the feelings of a disappointed lover, indicates an intensity of love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa surpassing even that of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune. In the first half of this verse, Rādhā accuses Kṛṣṇa of being a cheater by citing His attraction to all women. The third line expresses Rādhā's spite or jealousy (irsa) born out of pride (garva). In the last line Rādhā finds fault (ākṣepo) with Kṛṣṇa's behaviour due to Her indignation (āsūya).

Thus this verse contains speech known as ujjalpa, described in the following verse from Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.188):

hareḥ kuhakatākhyānaṁ garva-garbhitayerṣyayā
sāsūyaś ca tad-ākṣepo dhīrair ujjalpa īryate

"The declaration of Lord Hari's duplicitous nature in a mood of spite born of pride, together with jealously spoken insults directed against Him, has been termed ujjalpa by the wise."

SB 10.47.16
visṛja śirasi pādaṁ vedmy ahaṁ cāṭukārair
anunaya-viduṣas te 'bhyetya dautyair mukundāt

svakṛta iha visṛṣṭāpatya-paty-anya-lokā
vyasṛjad akṛta-cetāḥ kiṁ nu sandheyam asmin

"You are buzzing at My feet just to be forgiven for your past offenses. Kindly go away from My feet! I know that Mukunda has taught you to speak very sweet, flattering words like this and to act as His messenger. These are certainly clever tricks, My dear bumblebee, but I can understand them. This is Kṛṣṇa's offense. Do not tell Kṛṣṇa what I have said, although I know that you are very envious. We gopīs have given up our husbands, our sons, and all the religious principles that promise better births, and now we have no other business then serving Kṛṣṇa. Yet Kṛṣṇa, by controlling His mind, has easily forgotten us. Therefore, don't speak of Him anymore. Let us forget our relationship."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: While the bee was flying around it landed on Rādhā's foot out of greed for Her fragrance. By continually buzzing, it seemed to say, "O lady, worshipable by millions of Lakṣmīs! Truly Kṛṣṇa has offended You, but I say that You should forgive Him."

Thinking that the bee was offering his respects to Her, Rādhā said, "Why are you touching your head to My foot. Please go away! Let go (visṛja:tyaja) of My foot, which you are holding on your head. In other words, get out of here!"

By saying vedmy ahaṁ (I know this) Rādhā means, "I know you, so you cannot cheat Me like you cheat Lakṣmī and others. You have learned from Mukunda, and thus are very skilful in humble entreaties, and sending messages with sweet flattering words (cāṭu-kāraīḥ:priyoktiracanaiḥ). Thus I fully understand your behaviour, and know that you have learned all this from Kṛṣṇa. "

The bee replied, "But, mistress, what is the use of quarrelling with Kṛṣṇa who is millions of times dearer to You than Your own life? Rather You should make peace with Him through me."

Rādhā said, "For Kṛṣṇa's sake, we gave up children, husbands, mothers and fathers, yet He gave us up and left. The gopīs who were prevented from going to the rasa dance gave up their children and went to meet Him. We gave up husbands, and the unmarried girls gave up their parents. But despite all this, what was Kṛṣṇa's response? Being ungrateful (akṛta cetāḥ), He just abandoned (vyasṛjat) us. Should one make peace with such a hard-hearted person? No! Never!"

The first half of the verse shows a gesture of sarcastic criticism and the second half shows Kṛṣṇa's ungratefulness and other qualities like treachery, mercilessness and lack of love. This verse illustrates the qualities of sañjalpa, as described by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following verse of his Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.190):

solluṇṭhayā gahanayā kayāpy ākṣepa-mudrayā
tasyākṛta-jñatādy-uktiḥ sañjalpaḥ kathito budhaiḥ

"The learned describe sañjalpa as that speech which decries with deep irony and insulting gestures the beloved's ungratefulness." The word ādi in this verse (jñatādy) from Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, implies the perception in one's lover of hard-heartedness, of an inimical attitude and of a complete lack of love.

SB 10.47.17
mṛgayur iva kapīndraṁ vivyadhe lubdha-dharmā
striyam akṛta-virūpāṁ strī-jitaḥ kāmayānām

balim api balim attvāveṣṭayad dhvāṅkṣavad yas
tad alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-kathārthaḥ

"When we remember the past births of Kṛṣṇa, My dear bumblebee, we are very afraid of Him. In His incarnation as Lord Rāmacandra, He acted just like a hunter and unjustly killed His friend Vāli. Lusty Śūrpaṇakhā came to satisfy Rāmacandra's desires, but He was so attached to Sītādevī that He cut off Śūrpaṇakhā's nose. In His incarnation as Vāmanadeva, He plundered Bali Mahārāja and took all his possessions, cheating him on the pretext of accepting worship from him. Vāmanadeva caught Bali Mahārāja exactly as one catches a crow. My dear bumblebee, it is not very good to make friends with such a person. I know that once one begins to talk about Kṛṣṇa, it is very difficult to stop, and I admit that I have insufficient strength to give up talking about Him."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: The bee seemed to say, "O Rādhā, as far as I can see in Mathurā, soft-hearted Kṛṣṇa is simply meditating upon You."

Rādhā replied, "You are simply an inexperienced servant! Because you are new to Mathurā you do not know the facts about Kṛṣṇa. Not only is He cruel in this lifetime, but even in many previous lives He has been so, as we have heard from Paurṇamāsī. When Kṛṣṇa appeared as a kṣatriya in the form of Rāma, He transgressed kṣatriya dharma and mercilessly killed Vali, the king of the monkeys, by hiding behind a tree just like a hunter kills a dear. In this story there is even more impiety because Kṛṣṇa did not even adhere to the dharma of a hunter. The hunter never kills monkeys because their flesh is inedible and no one will buy it.

"Now listen to yet another instance of Kṛṣṇa's irreligiosity. Overcome with lust, a woman named Śūrpaṇakhā once desired Rāma. But Rāma disfigured here by cutting off her nose and ears, so that no one else would want to enjoy with her. That was simply because of His cruel nature. Rāma did not perform this cruel act because He was upholding a vow of celibacy while wearing matted locks and the dress of a renunciate. Because at that time Rāma was living with Sītā, being conquered by Her (strī-jitaḥ) love.

"Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa appeared previously as Vāmana, a dwarf brāhmaṇa, He rejected the qualities of the brāhmaṇa such as peacefulness and straightforwardness. After enjoying (attvāi:bhuktvā) the offerings (balim:tatpūjopahāram) made by the pious king Bali, Vāmana cast Bali down from his lordship of the three worlds into a hole below the earth."

An alternative reading to this follows: "Kṛṣṇa deceitfully tied up Bali just like a crow. A crow devours the offerings meant for worship, and then, calling other crows, surrounds the woman doing pūjā and mocks her. Similarly, Vāmana called His own people, who then surrounded Bali and tormented him.

"Enough of friendships with that black-complexioned (asita:Kṛṣṇa) man! For us golden complexioned women, despite all the varieties of friendship we have had with Kṛṣṇa, not one has proven auspicious. One should be extremely wary of Kṛṣṇa because He has such an impure heart (asitāḥ:asuddha-cittāḥ). Therefore, what use do We have for such a person?"

The bee seemed to say, ''But how is Your heart pure if You are constantly criticizing others?"

Rādhā replied, "Talking about Kṛṣṇa's activities in His past lives is hard to give up, even though it makes us unhappy. Though We should not be talking about Kṛṣṇa, We cannot stop talking whether We criticize Him or not."

Another meaning: "Though We have given Him up, We cannot stop talking about Him." As the subject is not mentioned in the phrase dustyajas tat-kathārthaḥ (impossible to give up topics about Him), it infers that even for the best of munis it is difficult to give up speaking about Kṛṣṇa.

Rādhā's describing the shooting (vivyadhe) of Vali indicates Kṛṣṇa's ruthless cruel nature; being controlled by woman (strī-jitaḥ) indicates Kṛṣṇa's lust; accepting offerings (balim) indicates Kṛṣṇa's fraud; and friendship with that black fellow (asita-sakhyaiḥ) indicates fear and malice, and that Kṛṣṇa is not worth becoming attached to.

This speech of Rādhārānī's is called avajalpa, as described by Rūpa Gosvāmī in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.192):

harau kāṭhinya-kāmitva-dhaurtyād āsakty-ayogyatā
yatra serṣyā-bhiyevoktā so ’vajalpaḥ satāṁ mataḥ

"Saintly persons have concluded that when a lover, impelled by jealousy and fear, declare that Lord Hari is unworthy of her attachment because of His harshness, lustiness and dishonesty such speech is called avajalpa."

SB 10.47.18
sakṛd adana-vidhūta-dvandva-dharmā vinaṣṭāḥ
sapadi gṛha-kuṭumbaṁ dīnam utsṛjya dīnā
bahava iha vihaṅgā bhikṣu-caryāṁ caranti

"Topics about Kṛṣṇa are so powerful that they destroy the four religious principles -- religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Anyone who drinks even a small drop of kṛṣṇa-kathā through aural reception is freed from all material attachment and envy. Like a bird with no means of subsistence, such a person becomes a mendicant and lives by begging. Ordinary household affairs become miserable for him, and without attachment he suddenly gives up everything. Although such renunciation is quite suitable, because I am a woman I am unable to adopt it."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: In this verse Rādhā says, "But what is so remarkable about our suffering after establishing a relationship with Kṛṣṇa? After all, just narrations of Kṛṣṇa's, pastimes create sorrow for the entire world."

Rādhā said, "Just hearing about the pastimes Kṛṣṇa performed at every moment (anucaritam) is nectar for the ears, what to speak of the joy one gets by understanding their meaning. Even one drop of this nectar completely destroys (vidhūtāḥ:viṣeṣeṇa khaṇḍitaḥ) the propensities of duality, and the propensities of mutual friendship between women and men.

"If a wife hears discussions about Kṛṣṇa, she immediately gives up affection for her husband. And if a husband hears them he gives up affection for his wife. The same is also true for a child in connection with his mother and father. If a mother hears about Kṛṣṇa, she loses all affection for her children. Thus, by this mutual rejection they all become totally ruined (vinaṣṭāḥ).

"But in their ruination there is not as much misery as in renunciation, as evidenced by the experience of ordinary society. Though the people who develop a taste for Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are soft-hearted, they also become hard-hearted, merciless and ungrateful after hearing the pastimes of hard-hearted Kṛṣṇa. Just by hearing about Kṛṣṇa they immediately give up their

homes and families, including even their parents and sisters-in-law who then suffer with no other means of support, and without even enough money for the next day's food. Or else they abandon their families, who are distraught by this separation, and give them up to death with an offering of kuśa grass and water.

"Alas! Alas! Even if we disregard that their wives and children may die, even they themselves fail to become happy. They are penniless (dīnaḥ) after leaving their families, due to having forgotten to tie up even a few coins in their cloth, because of the agitation of their minds while leaving. This is not the case of one man or two, or just three or four people. This has been the case with countless hundreds and thousands of people." If the alternate reading dhīraḥ is taken instead of dīnaḥ, it means: "In spite of seeing their wife cry, they are unmoved or hardhearted."

But it may be questioned, "How do they maintain their lives?"

Rādhā answers, "Like (iva) birds (vihaṅgāḥ), they live by begging, just collecting small amounts of wheat and other grains, rather than taking substantial charity from one person." The word iva is often used instead of iha. In that case it means: "They come begging here in Vṛndāvana, the place of suffering, and suffer even more in our association."

But someone may object, "Kṛṣṇa-līla is like a poisonous mixture of sugarcane juice and powdered seeds of the dhātura plant. The speaker of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes is a murderer in the dress of a saint. The Purāṇas are a net. The speaker may be seen wandering from forest to forest with the Purāṇas tucked under his arm. Vyāsa and others are the makers of this net, which teaches that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Rādhā replies, "For this reason Kṛṣṇa has accepted the role of the Supreme thinking, 'Just like the gopīs, I will make all people fall into the ocean of suffering.' Indeed, seeing others' suffering is Kṛṣṇa's only happiness. As a result, Kṛṣṇa must bear the consequence of giving such misery to others, not Vyāsa and other sages."

As we can see there are thousands of implications in this verse. Through condemnation Rādhā is indirectly praising Kṛṣṇa, and thus establishing the super excellence of śuddha-bhakti, pure devotional service. By mentioning the example of the birds Rādhā shows that it is appropriate to leave Kṛṣṇa because He inflicts pain on innocent people. Such remorseful statements constitute abhijalpa, as defined by Rūpa Gosvāmī in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.194)

bhaṅgyā tyāgaucitī tasya khagānām api khedanāt
yatra sānuśayaṁ proktā tad bhaved abhijalpitam

"When a lover indirectly states with remorse that her beloved is fit to be given up because he is so cruel that he tortures even the innocent birds, such speech is called abhijalpa."

SB 10.47.19
vayam ṛtam iva jihma-vyāhṛtaṁ śraddadhānāḥ
kulikarutam ivājñāḥ kṛṣṇa-vadhvo hiraṇyaḥ
dadṛśur asakṛd etat tan-nakha-sparśatīvra-
smararuja upamantrin bhaṇyatām anya-vārtā

"O My dear messenger, I am just like a foolish bird that hears the sweet songs of a hunter, believes in them due to simplicity, and is then pierced in the heart and made to suffer all kinds of miseries. Because we believed in Kṛṣṇa's words, we have suffered great pain. Indeed, the touch of Kṛṣṇa's nails has injured our faces. He has caused us so much pain! Therefore, you should give up topics concerning Him and talk about something else."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: The bee seemed to say, "Why did such intelligent ladies as You establish friendship with such a person as Kṛṣṇa?"

Rādhā said, "We were so foolish to accept as true (ṛtam:satyaṁ) such lying words of His as na pāraye 'haṁ iravadya-saṁyujām, 'I can never repay My debt to You.' (SB 10.32.22) This is just like the wives of the black deer (kṛṣṇa-vadhvo), who by having faith in the song of the hunter see the result of his song by feeling the striking of his arrow. Similarly, we also experienced the sharp pangs of lust (smara-ruja) with the touch of Kṛṣṇa’s fingernails.

"We have been extremely foolish, since even after once seeing its consequence, we repeatedly (asakṛt) trusted Kṛṣṇa and had to again experience the result. This applies to the does as well as to ourselves, who in both cases have had to suffer repeatedly a distressful condition because of their jealous pride. Therefore O jester! Speak of other things which will make Us happy, for news of Kṛṣṇa simply makes Us suffer." The word upamantrin can mean messenger or jester (vidūśaka).

This verse is an example of ājalpa, which Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī defines thus:

jaihmyaṁ tasyārti-datvaṁ ca nirvedād yatra kīrtitam
bhaṅgyānya-sukha-datvaṁ ca sa ājalpa udīritaḥ

"A statement spoken in disgust, describing how the m ale lover is deceitful and brings one misery and that one should stop talking about him, and talk about something more pleasant instead is known as ājalpa." (Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 14.196)

After hearing all these statements from Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the bumblebee left and then returned. After some thought, the gopī said:

SB 10.47.20
priya-sakha punar āgāḥ preyasā preṣitaḥ kiṁ
varaya kim anurundhe mānanīyo 'si me 'ṅga

nayasi katham ihāsmān dustyaja-dvandva-pārśvaṁ
satatam urasi saumya śrīr vadhūḥ sākamāste

"You are Kṛṣṇa's very dear friend, and by His order you have come here again. Therefore you are worshipable for Me. O best of messengers, tell Me now, what is your request? What do you want? Kṛṣṇa cannot give up conjugal love, and therefore I understand that you have come here to take us to Him. But how will you do that? We know many goddesses of fortune now reside at Kṛṣṇa's chest, and they constantly serve Kṛṣṇa better than we can."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: Though the bee was buzzing around near Her, Rādhā, out of the madness of prema, could not find him. Not seeing him for a moment, Rādhā pondered remorsefully, "Alas, alas! Distressed by My harsh words, that messenger has gone off to Mathurā and told everything that has happened to Kṛṣṇa, who has now become indifferent to Me."

Giving up Her quarrelsome mood, Rādhā stared at the path to Mathurā and said, "Perhaps My beloved, the ocean of divine love and the crown jewel of all transcendental qualities, will again send His messenger here."

Suddenly seeing the bee, Rādhā said respectfully, "O friend of My beloved, you have come back again! Though wounded by the arrows of My words, due to your saintly character you have overlooked My offenses and returned. Can I understand that My beloved, out of intense love for Me, has sent you here again, not considering My thousands of offenses? If that is so, then you should ask for whatever you wish (anurundhe:kāmayase) from Me and I will fulfil your desire. O bee, if you say, 'I want You to go to Mathurā' then I will answer, 'Yes, I will go to Mathurā.' "

After saying that Rādhā thought, "But if I go to Mathurā and see My beloved surrounded by other women, I will become uncontrollably jealous." Thus Rādhā said nayasi katham, "Why are you taking Me to Kṛṣṇa, who cannot give up loving affairs?"

Thinking the bee said, "I swear that Kṛṣṇa is all alone in Mathurā,"Rādhā replied, "O gentle one of pure intelligence (saumya)! Kṛṣṇa's consort Lakṣmī (śrīr vadhuḥ) is always by His side, and moreover always on His chest taking shelter of the Lord."

The goddess of fortune, Śrī or Lakṣmī, has the power to assume many different forms. Thus when Kṛṣṇa enjoys other women, she stays on His chest in the form of a golden line. When Kṛṣṇa is not consorting with other women, Lakṣmī puts aside this form and gives Him pleasure in Her naturally beautiful form of a young woman.

Although Rādhika respects the bee in this verse and accepts his statements as true, She then rejects them after showing how they are inappropriate. This is an example of pratijalpa defined thus:

dustyaja-dvandva-bhāve ’smin prāptir nārhety anuddhatam
dūta-sammānanenoktaṁ yatra sa pratijalpakaḥ

"Humble statements expressing respect for the messenger, but with refusal to meet Kṛṣṇa because of His licentious relationships with other women is called pratijalpa." (Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 14.198)

Praising the bumblebee for its sobriety, She began to speak in great jubilation:

SB 10.47.21
api bata madhu-puryām ārya-putro 'dhunā 'ste
smarati sa pitṛ-gehān saumya bandhūṁś ca gopān

kvacid api sa kathā naḥ kiṅkarīṇāṁ gṛṇīte
bhujam aguru-sugandhaṁ mūrdhny adhāsyat kadā nu

"Kṛṣṇa is now living like a gentleman at the Gurukula in Mathurā, forgetting all the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. But does He not remember the sweet house of His father, Nanda Mahārāja? We are all naturally His maidservants. Does He not remember us? Does He ever speak about us, or has He forgotten us completely? Will He ever forgive us and once again touch us with those hands fragrant with the scent of aguru?"

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura: Rādhā thought, "Oh, in My madness I have been talking, but I did not ask the questions I should have."

Thus feeling remorse, Rādhā reverentially spoke this verse: "Is the noble son of Nanda Mahārāja now in Mathurā? Just as Kṛṣṇa left Vraja, will He also leave Mathurā?" Rādhā did not ask if Kṛṣṇa was happy there, but simply asked if He was there.

At this time Śrīmatī Rādhika thought, "Since Kṛṣṇa was once satisfied in Vraja but left for Mathurā City, won't He also develop a desire to leave that place and go somewhere else? Mathurā is so close to Vṛndāvana that it's possible Kṛṣṇa may even come back here. Kṛṣṇa is the son of a respectable gentleman, Nanda Mahārāja, so He must be staying in Mathurā because of His sense of obligation to His father, who authorized His going there. On the other hand, while Nanda's whole life is dedicated exclusively to Kṛṣṇa, Nanda is so innocent that he allowed himself to be tricked by the Yadus, who brought Kṛṣṇa to Mathurā. Kṛṣṇa must be thinking, 'Alas, alas! Since even My father could not bring Me back to Vraja, what can I do to return there?' Thus Kṛṣṇa must be impatient to come back here, and so He has sent you, a messenger.

"It is only because Nanda is so innocent that he allowed his son to leave. If Nanda had allowed Kṛṣṇa’s mother, the queen of Vraja, ta do so, she would have climbed onto Akrūra's chariot and, holding her son by the neck, gone off to Mathurā with Him, followed by all the gopīs. But this was not possible.

"Ever since Kṛṣṇa left, Nanda has been stunned by separation from Him, and Nanda's treasury rooms, storehouses, kitchens, sleeping quarters and opulent houses are now vacant, unswept and uncleansed, they are littered with grass, dust, leaves and cobwebs. Does Kṛṣṇa ever remember His father's houses? And does He sometimes remember Subala and His other friends, who are now lying stunned in other neglected houses?

"The women in Mathurā who now associate with Kṛṣṇa cannot know how to serve Him in the way that pleases Him most. When they see He is not satisfied and ask how they earl make Him happy, does He tell them about us gopīs? Kṛṣṇa must tell them, 'You city ladies cannot please Me as much as the gopīs of Vraja. They are most expert in stringing flower garlands, perfuming their bodies with ointments, playing various rhythms and melodies on stringed instruments, dancing and singing in the rasa performance, displaying their beauty, charm and cleverness, and skilfully playing at questions and answers. They are especially expert in the pastimes of meeting one's lover and in all the stages of prema such as sneha, mana and praṇaya.' Surely Kṛṣṇa must know this. Therefore He'll probably tell the women of Mathurā, 'My dear women of the Yadu clan, please go back to your families. I no longer desire to associate with you. In fact, I'm going back to Vraja early tomorrow morning.'

"When will Kṛṣṇa speak like this and come back here to place His hand, fragrant with aguru, on our heads? Then He will console us, saying, 'O beloveds of My heart, I swear to you that I will never abandon you again and go elsewhere. Indeed, I have not been able to find anyone in all the three worlds with even a trace of Your good qualities' "

The first line of the verse shows simplicity. The second line shows gravity in not mentioning oneself, and the third and fourth lines show humility, unsteadiness and eagerness. This verse is an example of sujalpa, which Rūpa Gosvāmī defines thus:

yatrārjavāt sa-gāmbhīryaṁ sa-dainyaṁ saha-cāpalam
sotkaṇṭhaṁ ca hariḥ pṛṣṭaḥ sa sujalpo nigadyate

"When, out of honest sincerity, a lover enquires about Śrī Hari with gravity, humility, unsteadiness and intense eagerness, such speech is known as sujalpa." (Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 14.200)

There are ten divisions of divine madness (divyonmāda), which are expressed by the ten types of citra-jalpa, or variegated speech. These ten types of madness appear in Rādhā in Her manifestation of bewilderment (mohana), the most excellent part of mahābhāva.

The following verses from Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (14.174, 178-80) explain these ecstasies:

prāyo vṛndāvaneśvaryāṁ mohano ’yam udañcati
etasya mohanākhyasya gatiṁ kām apy upeyuṣaḥ

bhramābhā kāpi vaicitrī divyonmāda itīryate
udghūrṇā citra-jalpādyās tad-bhedā bahavo matāḥ

preṣṭhasya suhṛd-āloke gūḍha-roṣābhijṛmbhitaḥ
bhūri-bhāva-mayo jalpo yas tīvrotkaṇṭhitāntimaḥ

citra-jalpo daśāṅgo ’yaṁ prajalpaḥ parijalpitaḥ
vijalpo ’jjalpa-sañjalpaḥ avajalpo ’bhijalpitam

ājalpaḥ pratijalpaś ca sujalpaś ceti kīrtitaḥ

"Mohana, the transcendental ecstasy of bewilderment, arises primarily in Rādhā and reaches an indescribable state, resembling delusion. It is then called divyonmāda. It has many aspects such udghūrṇā and citra-jalpa. This ecstatic talk, induced by seeing a friend of one's beloved, and filled with covered anger, culminates in extreme eagerness. There are ten types of citrajalpa known as prajalpa, parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sañjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ājalpa, pratijalpa and sujalpa."

Some authorities say that Kṛṣṇa assumed the form of the messenger bee in order to drink the sweetness of Rādhā's citra-jalpa.


"When the ecstatic emotion of enchantment gradually progresses, it becomes similar to bewilderment. Then one reaches the stage of astonishment [vaicitrī], which awakens transcendental madness.Udghūrṇā and citra-jalpa are two among the many divisions of transcendental madness." PURPORT - This is a quotation from the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Sthāyibhāva-prakaraṇa 190). Link to this page:

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