KRISHNA EPISODE 29 – Description of the Rainy Season and the Autumn

Then after the summer, there was the advent of the rainy season which is favourable to the regeneration of all beings, and during which, the sky appears beautiful with refulgent circles round the Sun and the Moon, and is resounded with thunder. Being overspread with thick dark blue clouds (heavy with water), attended with lightning and thunder, and with its light (of the Sun or the Moon) being obscured and dimmed, the sky looked like Brahman modified by the conditioning gunas of Prakṛti (or the individual soul whose spiritual wisdom is obscured by sattva, rajas and tamas each corresponding to the lightning, thunder and clouds which overcast the sky).

Like a king redistributing his wealth for public welfare to his subjects, from whom he collected it in the form of land revenue and other taxes. At the proper time (in the rainy season), the Sun-god or the Rainy season began to release the wealth in the form of water to the earth from which he absorbed it with his rays, during the (last) eight months. Mighty clouds charged with lightning (with which they viewed the earth parched with the summer heat) and violently tossed by tempestuous winds (as if they were overwhelmed with compassion for the world afflicted with the summer) showered down the life-giving water (resuscitating the world) which brought delight to all, just as merciful persons lay down their lives out of compassion for the harassed and tormented people.

Just as the shrivelled and emaciated body of a person undergoing severe austerities for the attainment of some desired object, regains its normal health and plumpness after the realization of that object, the earth that was parched and shrivelled through the heat of the sun (in the summer), now swelled up (and became green) when drenched with water by the rain-god. At nightfall (when the sky is overcast with clouds) it is the fire-flies and not the planets that shine through darkness. even as the heretical scriptures dazzle in their sins, in the Kali age and not the Vedas. Just as young Brähmana pupils break their silence at the end of their daily religious routine, and begin their recitation of the Vedas on hearing the voice of their preceptor, the hibernating frogs which were lying silent, broke out croaking on hearing the sound of rains (or the thunder of the rainy clouds).

Rivulets that dry up in the summer, now overflow their banks and flow into the wrong channel, like the body and riches of persons with unrestrained mind (and enslaved by their senses) and misdirected to the wrong track. Like the army (camp) of a king, the earth appeared green with verdant grass (at some places), crimson-coloured by (the crowds of) Indragopa insects, and at some places, it became covered with the growth of umbrella -shaped mushrooms. Fields with their rich crop brought delight to the farmers and heart-burning to the rich (feeling jealousy towards the farmers) as they did not know that everything depends on luck.

Being drenched with the fresh rain-waters, all beings living on the land and in water assumed a beautiful, win some appearance immediately, even as persons attain to attractive divine form through the service (worship and contemplation) of Hari (due to its being the highest form of religion and of supremely blissful nature). The sea, the waters of which are already tossed into high waves by stormy winds, becomes more violently agitated at the confluence with rivers, even as the heart of an immature yogi, still influenced with passions, becomes highly perturbed by contacts with worldly objects.

Though continuously subjected to the down-pour of rains, the mountains were not agitated at all, like the devotees of Hari whose minds are absorbed in the meditation of the Lord and are not perturbed even under overwhelming calamities (of threefold nature). Being unused (or unrepaired for a long time) and hence overgrown and covered with grass, the tracks and paths become doubtful (unrecognizable) like the Vedas which are not properly studied (and repeatedly recited), get consigned to oblivion by the force (passage) of time. Just as pleasure -seeking women bear no constancy to men of virtue and merit (if devoid of money), the fickle-hearted flashes of lightning did not remain constant (and faithful) to clouds which are the friends of the world.

Just as the attributeless Supreme Person manifests himself in the world which is a product or conglomeration of gunas, (viz. sattva, rajas and tamas), the rain-bow (Indra’s bow) though devoid of a guna (a string), shone forth in the sky, the special quality (guna) of which is sound. Veiled over by clouds shining with her own beams of light, the moon did not shine forth like the individual soul, enveloped and shrouded in its ego-sense, illumined by its own light. Just as persons sorely distressed and (hence) disgusted with the miseries of household life (sansara) feel delighted at the arrival of the devotees of Lord Krsna, peacocks to which the advent of the rainy season (lit. the appearance of the clouds) is itself an occasion of joy, becoming exalted with their hair (feathers) standing on their end (while dancing with their feathers spread out).

Just as persons, at first grown emaciated and exhausted through asceticism, become stout and robust on attaining the fruition of their desires, the trees shrunk and dried up through the heat of the summer, sucked water through their feet (i.e. roots) and assumed many new (rich) forms (putting forth luxuriantly new branches, foliage, fresh blossoms, fruits etc.). (This verse shows the characteristics of persons permanently indulging in sachsära- nitya- samsäri). The cranes continue to stay even in sliding, miry and thorny banks of lakes, Oh Parikşit, like unto wicked-minded persons given to low pleasures, continue to live in houses where they carry on their detestable cruel jobs.

While the god of rains poured down showers of rains, dams and bridges got damaged and breached by floods, just as the paths (of religious duties prescribed for different classes of society (varnas) and stages of life (4framas) in the Vedas, are breached by attacks of false heretical theories in the Kali Age. Clouds impelled by winds showered their nectar-like waters to creatures below, just as rulers of the earth or merchant kings advised by Brahmaņas at opportune times, distribute their blessed wealth among the subjects (or carry out works of social welfare).

When the forest was thus abounding in trees richly laden with ripe dates and rose apples, Krsna, surrounded by cows and cowherds, and accompanied by Balarama, entered in it for sporting. At the call of Kṛṣṇa, cows which (normally) proceed ed in slow gait owing to the weight of heavy udders, hastened with quick steps, showering with joy the milk from their udders on the way. On the way, Lord Krsna saw the inhabitants of the forest (men, birds and beasts) exulted with joy, rows of trees dripping with honey, streams of waters cascading from hills, and their echoing sound in the hills and the caves that were at hand.

Sometimes when it rained, the Lord took shelter under a tree or entered a cave, and sported Himself joyously eating bulbs, roots and fruits. Accompanied by Balarama, he sat on a slab of stone near water, and ate the rice mixed with curds (brought from home), sharing it with cowherds who were to sit with him for the meal. Beholding the bulls and calves lying on the lush green grass ruminating in great satisfaction, with their eyes. closed, and cows fatigued with the heavy weight of their udders (also resting and chewing the cud in satisfaction), and the splendid beauty of the rainy season enhanced by his own enchanting powers, bringing delight to all creatures, the Lord felt gratified with them all.

While Balarama and Krsna were dwelling at that Vraja in this way, the autumn characterised by cloudless skies, crystal-like waters and gentle breezes, set in. Originally waters are crystal clear, but they become turbid due to the rainy season. Now due to the autumnal season which makes the lotus-plants blossom forth, waters have regained their original translucent nature, just as the minds of persons who have fallen from the path of yoga, regain their mental serenity by resuming their yogic practices. Just as devotion to Kṛṣṇa removes all the evils setting upon persons belonging to different stages of life (diramas), the Autumn dispelled all the clouds from the sky and prevented the contacts of the elements or the congestion of created beings, dried up the mire on the earth, and cleansed the turbidity from water.

Having discharged and thus renounced all their possessions in the form of the waters in them, the clouds shone forth in their spotless white splendour, as quiescent sages who have absolved themselves of all sins do, after renouncing all their three-fold desires about progeny, property and celebrity. Just as people with spiritual wisdom impart their nectar-like knowledge on some occasions, and refuse to do so on others, the mountains also at some places allowed the streams of pure water to flow, while at others they withheld them. Just as ignorant persons immersed in their household matters are not cognisant of the daily shortening of the span of their life, so the creatures in shallow waters did not perceive the diminishing water level every day. 38. Just as a poverty-stricken, wretched man burdened with family responsibilities but of uncontrolled senses, undergoes  miseries, the creatures in shallow waters suffered from the heat of the autumnal sun.

Marshy tracts of land gradually gave up their marshi-ness, and the plants their unripeness, just as (spiritually) wise men slowly (step by step) discard their notions of ‘I’ and ‘mine” with respect to their bodies and belongings which are distinctly different from their self. When the season of autumn set in, the waters of the ocean grew calm and still, even as a meditative sage established in his self, gives up ritualistic performances and recitation of the Vedas.

Cultivators secured the supply of water to their fields by strengthening the bunds (and thus stopping the breaches and leakages), just as Yogins, by control of senses, preserve their spiritual knowledge which otherwise gets dissipated (through unsubdued senses).

The moon relieved the sufferings of creatures caused by the rays (heat) of the autumnal sun, just as the (revelation of) spiritual knowledge alleviates the troubles caused by the (false) identification of the body with the soul, or Lord Krsna removes the pangs of separation of (cowherd) women of Vraja. The cloudless sky shone forth beautifully with bright stars twinkling clearly in autumnal nights, as the mind with the predominance of Sattva, correctly comprehends the import of the Vedas (Sabda-Brahman) as decided by the Purva and Uttara Mimämsäs.

The full moon, surrounded by stars, shone resplendent in the heavens, just as Krsna, the Lord of Yadus, did in his circle of Vrsni clansmen, on the earth. People, embraced by the (cooling) temperate breeze which has blown over blossoming forests, felt relieved of the heat (of the sun) but not so the Gopa women whose heart was stolen (captivated) by Krsna (whom they embraced in their hearts) as the pangs of actual separation were enhanced thereby. Due to the (fecundating influence of the) Autumn, and through the insistent courting of their mates, cows, female deer (or beasts), she-birds and women, conceived (irrespective of their willingness), just as the acts for propitiating the Lord are followed by the concomitant fruit (automatically).

At the sunrise all lotuses (except moon-lotuses) bloomed forth, just as all subjects except criminals (or robbers) become fearless on the installation of a king (i.e. restoration of good government). The earth, rich with ripe cornfields, shone bright and beautiful, especially due to the incarnation of the two rays (das) of Lord Hari (viz. Krishna and Balarama) and also with the performance of Vedic sacrifices of harvest season (wherein new corn is offered), and with festivities and grand celebrations gratifying the senses, which were carried on in cities and villages.

Just as Siddhas (the masters of yoga and mantras-mystic incantations), detained (in their present bodies) by their ordain ed span of life, attain their respective desired heavenly bodies, when the appropriate time arrives, merchants, sages, kings and sndtakas (life-long bachelor-students) shut up in their places. due to the rainy-season, (and were impeded from undertaking an expedition or journey) now set out to achieve their respective objects.

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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