|Sri Krishnar - Vana Bhojanam|
Dear KrishNa PrEmis :
Swamy Desikan Salutes Navaneetha chOra Baala GopAlan as BrundhAvana Charan and Vallavee Jana Vallabhan in the very first slOkam of his Sri GopAla Vimsati :
VandhE BrundhAvana-charam vallavee-jana-valabahm jayanti-sambhavam dhAma Vijayantee-vibhUshaNam
Swamy Desikan recognizes the Lord born in the simha SrAvANa ( AavaNi) month , when KrishNa Paksha ashtami is united with RohiNee nakshatram as the Vijayantee VibhUshaNan and the BrundhAvana charan.There are two specific references for this SrI Jayanti sambhavan in this slOkam . The One dear to Gopi Janams ( vallavee jana vallabhan) is linked to Vanam ( BrundhAvanam) and as a great JyOthi that roams around the beautiful forest near Vata Mathurai . There , He adorns a garland made up of forest flowers ( vana Maalai known as Vyjayantee Maalai) , herds the cows , plays the flute , sports with His friends ,swings in the dolai made up of forest creepers tied to the branches of tall trees . Exhausted from all these vigorous cow herding and sporting activities of the morning with His friends that extended all the way to the hot noon time ,this enchanting youngster (GopAla Dimbha Vapushan) with the beautiful peacock feather on His tresses (Mugdha Sikha MaNDanan) and with His lovely flute(manju vENu) tucked in His waist steps down from the swinging Dolai and races towards the bunches of Kattu Saatam that his adoring mother , YasOdha had prepared for His mid day bhOjanam with friends to enjoy in a leisurely manner. BrundhAvana sanchAran has a most delightful Vana BhOjanam in BrundhAvanam on the banks of the YamunA river with his fellow gopAs under the shade of giant trees . A great Vana bhOjana Utsavam took place in the middle of the forest .
Swamy Desikan describes the dhivya soundharyam of our Lord at the time of His Vana BhOjanam this way in one of the slOkams of YaadhAvAbhudhayam :
vitanvatA mAnmathamindhrajAlam pinchEna taapinchanibhO BabhAsEanEka-ratna-prabhavEna dhAmnA SaarAtmanA Saila ivaindhraneela: ---Sargam 4, slOkam 56
(Meaning): Raaja VENu GopAlan was radiant like a multi-hued Indhra neela mountain with His dark hue
and with His mesmerizing peacock feathers ( Manmatha Indhra Jaalam) adorning His curly black tresses , He was like a veritable enchanter of limitless charms.
Swamy Desikan describes the blissful scene during that Vana BhOjana Utsavam , when KaNNan was surrounded by gopAs of equal age , His elder , BalarAman and the assembly of cows that were peacefully resting in the shade enjoying the cuds from earlier grazing :
maheeyasA maNDita-pANi-padhmam dhadhyannasArENa madhuplutEnadhrashtvA nanandhu: kshdhayAanvitAstam vatsAnucharyAsu vayasya gOpA : ---4.74
(Meaning): During the times of herding the cows , whenever the fellow gOpAs felt hungry, KaNNan held in His hand the delectable curd rice preparations along with other chitrAnnams and distributed them. The hungry gOpAs came running to Him and enjoyed the vana BhOjanam with immense delight .
In return for the grand gesture of KaNNan , the gOpA friends picked a variety of delicious wild fruits and presented them to KaNNan and pointed out the unique taste and flavor of those special fruits. The caring KaNNan received those samarpaNams and gave them first to His elder brother BalarAman to enjoy and partook the remaining fruits with His friends as "BalarAma SEsham" and enjoyed that aspect of the Vana BhOjanam . The slOkam conveying these thoughts of Swamy Desikan is :
svAdhUni vanyAni phalAni taistai: snigdhairupAneeya nidarSitAni RaamAya poorvam pratipAdhya SEshai: sa pipriyE sAdharabhujyamAnai: ---4.75
The grandness of BrundhAvanam during that Vana BhOjanam time is described further by Swamy Desikan in another slOkam :
agAdhakAsAramaheenaSashpamatheekshNa-sooryam tadhachanDavAtampracchAyanidhrAyita-dhEnuvatsam prouDE nidhAgEapi BabhUva bhOgyam --4.77
(Meaning): Even in the middle of that fierce summer heat , BrundhAvanam with its deep ponds , tall grass was windless (still) and in the deep and cool shade under the giant trees , the cows and the calves slept peacefully ( as the mirthful Vana BhOjanam of the Lord proceeded).
In Srimath BhAgavatham , Sukha Brahmam describes the riotous scene at " the Picnic in the woods" that BalagOpalan organized ( X.12.the First 12 slOkams). After AgAsura Vadham , KaNNan continues with the interrupted Vana BhOjanam ( X.13.7-11). Sukha Brahmam describes the blissful scene this way :
" --then they ( the gOpAs) took out their food and plates from their slings and sat delightedly with the Lord to lunch. Sitting around KrishNa in several rows and constantly gazing at His face with eyes wide open , they looked like the petals of a lotus arrnaged round its pericarp. They ate in plates improvised from flowers , flower-petals , tender leaves , fruits , tree-barks and stones as well as in the ready made ones taken from the sling. Commenting on the flavour and delicacy of their respective dishes , and laughing and making one another laugh by jokes , they dined along with the Lord . Imagine the sight of Him , to whom all the offerings are made,sititng in boyish glee to take his food amidst his companions! With the flute stuck between his waist cloth and the abdomen, with blow-horn and staff in the left armpit and the left hand respectively , with the balls of CURD RICE In His right palm , and various condiments between the fingers , He sat in the midst of His friends cracking jokes and making them laugh , as the celestials looked on steeped in wonder ( tishDan madhyE svapari-suhrudhO haasayan narmabhi: svai: svargE lOkE mishati BhabhujE Yajn~abhug BaalakEli:)".
Sri KrishNAya Thubhyam Nama:
DhAsan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan
P.S : For further Sri KrishNaanubhavam , please browse :
1. PeriyAzhwAr's KrishnAnubhava Paasurams: http://www.Ahobilavalli.org , ebook #15
2. Sri KrishNa KarNAmrutam --Volume I : http://www.Ahobilavalli.org , ebook #80
3. SrI KrishNa KarNAmrutam--Volume II : http://www.Srihayagrivan.org , ebook # 14
4. SrI KrishNa KarNAmrutam--Volume III: http://www.Srihayagrivan.org, ebook # 15
5. Sri Gopala Vimsathy --http://www.sundarasimham.org , ebook #22