On the anecdote of Gangâ
1. Nârada said :– O Lord of the Devas! Kindly say in what Loka did Gangâ go after 5000 (five thousand) years of the Kali Yuga?
2-4. Nârâyana said :– The Bhâgîrathî Gangâ came down to Bhârata under the curse of Bhâratî; and when the term expired, She went back, by the Will of God, to the region of Vaikuntha. Also at the end of the period of their curses, Bhâratî and, Laksmî, too, left Bhârata and repaired to Nârâyana. Gangâ, Laksmî, and Sarasvatî, these three and Tulasî all these four are so very dear to S’rî Hari.
5-6. Nârada said :– How did Gangâ appear from the lotus feet of Visnu? Why did Brahmâ put Her in His Kamandalu? I have heard that Gangâ is the wife of S’iva; how then, came She to be the wife of Nârâyana? Kindly describe all these in detail to me.
7-8. Nârâyana said :– O Muni! In ancient times, in the region of Goloka, Gangâ assumed the liquid appearance. She was born of the bodies of Râdhâ and Krisna. So She is of the nature of both of them and their parts. Gangâ is the presiding deity of water. She is unequalled in Her beauty in this world. She is full of youth and adorned with all ornaments.
9-43. Her face was like the autumnal mid-day lotus and sweet smile was always reigning on Her lips; Her form was very beautiful; Her colour was as bright as melted gold and She looked brilliant like the Autumnal Moon. Eyes and mind get cool and become pleasant at Her beauty and radiance; She was of purely Suddha Sattva; Her loins were bulky and hard and She was covered with excellent clothings all over Her body. Her breasts were plump and prominent; they were raised, hard, and nicely round. Her eyes very fascinating, always casting sidelong glances. Her braids of hair situated a little oblique and the garland of Mâlatî flowers over it made Her look extremely handsome. The saudalpaste dot and the vermillion dot were seen on Her forehead. On Her cheeks the leaves of musk were drawn and Her lips were red like Bandhûka flowers and they looked enchanting. Her rows of teeth looked like rows of ripe pomegranates; the ends of Her cloth not inflammable by fire, worn in front in a knot round the waist. She sat by the side of Krisna, full of amorous desires, and abashed. She covered Her face with the end of Her cloth and was seeing, with a steadfast gaze the face of the Lord and She was drinking the nectar of His face with great gladness. Her lotus face bloomed and became gladdened at the expectation of a first amorous embrace. She fainted on seeing the Form of Her Lord and a thrill of joy passed all over Her body. In the meanwhile Râdhikâ came up there. Râdhâ was attended by thirty kotis of Gopîs. She looked brilliant like tens of millions of Moons. Seeing Gangâ by the side of S’rî Krisna, Her face and eyes became reddened with anger like a red lotus. Her colour was yellow like champaka and Her gait was like a maddened elephant. She was adorned with various invaluable ornaments made of jewels. Her pair of clothings were tied round Her waist. They were decked with invaluable jewels and not inflammable by fire (fire-proof). The Arghya offered by S’rî Krisna was on Her lotus-feet of the colour of a flowering shrub, Hibiscus mutabilis, and She was going slowly step by step. The Risis began to fan Her with white Châmaras no sooner She, descending from the excellent aeroplane decked with jewels, began to walk. Below the point where the parting of the hairs on the head is done, there was the dot of Sindura on Her forehead. It looked brilliant like a bright lamp flame. On both sides of this Sindurabindu, the dot of musk and the dot of Sandal-paste were seen. When She began to quiver with anger, Her braid, with Pârijâta garland round it began to tremble also. Her lips adorned with beautiful colours, began to quiver also. She took Her seat angrily on a jewel throne by the side of S’rî Krisna. Her attendants took their seats in their allotted positions. Seeing Râdhâ, Srî Krisna got up at once from His seat with reverence and addressed Her, smiling and began to converse with Her in sweet words. The Gopîs, very much afraid and with their heads bent low, began to chant hymns to Her with devotion. S’rî Krisna also began to praise Her with stotras. At this moment Gangâ Devî got up and praised Her with various hymns and asked Her welfare with fear and with humble words. Out of fear, Her throat, lips and palate were parched up. She took refuge humbly at S’rî Krisna’s feet. S’rî Krisna then, took Gangâ Devî on His breast when She became calm and quiet. At this interval Sures’varî Gangâ looked at Râdhâ, seated on a throne, lovely and sweet, as if She was burning with Brahmâ Fire. Since the beginning of creation, She is the Sole Lady of innumerable Brahmâs and She is Eternal. At the first sight, She looked young as if of twelve years old. Nowhere in any Universe can be seen a lady so beautiful and so qualified. She was peaceful, calm and quiet, lovely, infinite and having no beginning nor end. She was auspicious, well endowed with all auspicious signs, prosperous, and having the good fortune of having a best husband. She was the foremost jewel amongst the ladies and appeared as if all the beauties were concentrated in Her. Râdhâ is the (left) half of S’rî Krisna’s body; whether in age or in strength or in beauty she was in every way perfectly equal to S’rî Krisna. Laksmî and the Lord of Laksmî both worship Râdhâ. The excellent brilliance of Srî Krisna was overpowered by the beauty of Râdhâ. Taking Her seat on the throne She began to chew betels offered by Her attendants (Sakhîs). She is the Mother of all the worlds; but no one is Her mother. She is fortunate, respected and proud. She is the Ruling Lady of S’rî Krisna’s Life and Soul and ever dearer to Him than His Prâna (vital breath). O Devarsi! Gangâ, the Governess of the Devas, looked at Her over and over again with a steadfast gaze; but Her eyes and mind were not at all satiated. At this moment, Râdhâ addressed smilingly to S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the world, humbly and in sweet words. O My Lord! Who is that Lady sitting by Thy side, looking askance, eager and with a smiling countenance. She is enchanted with Thy beauteous form and fainting away. Her whole body is excited with rapturous joy. Hiding Her face with cloth She is frequently looking at Thee. Thou also dost look on Her smilingly and with desires. What are all these? Even during My presence in this Goloka, all these bad practices are being rampant.
44-51. It is Thou that art doing all these bad things often and often! We are female sex; what shall we do? We are naturally, of a very pleasing temper, simple. I bore and forgave all these out of our love. O Licentious One! Take Thy Beloved and go away quickly from this Goloka. Otherwise these things will not bid fair to Thee. Firstly, one day I saw Thee, united with Virajâ Gopî, in Chandana (Sandal wood) forest. What to do? At the request of the S’akhîs, I did forgive Thee. Then, hearing My footsteps Thou didst fly away. Virajâ, out of shame, quitted Her body and assumed the form of a river. That is million Yojanas wide an four times as long. Even to this day that Virajâ is existing, testifying to Thy Glory (near Puri, Jagannâtha)! When I went back to My home Thou didst go to Virajâ again and cried aloud “O Viraje! O Viraje!” Hearing Your cry, Virajâ, the Siddha Yoginî arose from the waters, out of Her Yogic power, and when She showed Thee Her divine appearance decked with ornaments, Thou didst draw Her to Thy side and cast Thy seed in Her. It is owing to the casting of that seed in the womb of Virajâ that the seven oceans have come into existence!
52-107. Secondly, one day I saw Thee in actual intercourse with the Gopî named S’obhâ! Hearing My footsteps, Thou fled’st away that day also. Out of shame S’obhâ quitted Her body and departed to the sphere of Moon (Chandra Mandal). The cooling effect of the Moon is due to this S’obhâ. When S’obhâ was thus distressed, Thou didst divide Her and put some parts to gems and jewels, part to gold, partly to excellent pearls and gems, partly on the face of women, partly to the bodies of Kings, partly to the leaves of trees, partly to flowers, partly to ripe fruits, partly to corns, partly to palaces and temples, partly to purified materials, partly to young and tender shoots and foliage, and partly to milk. Thirdly, I saw Thee united with Prabhâ Gopî in Brindâban. Thou fled’st away, hearing My footsteps. Out of shame, Prabhâ quitted Her body and departed to the Solar atmosphere. This Prabhâ (lustre) is fierce luminosity of the Solar atmosphere. Out of the pangs of separation Thou criedest and didst divide Prabhâ and didst put some parts in ire, partly amidst the Yaksas, partly into lions, among men, partly amongst the Devas, partly in Vaisnavas, partly in serpents, partly in Brâhmanas, partly in Munis, partly in ascetics, and partly in fortunate and prosperous ladies. Thou hadst to weep then after Thou hadst thus divided Prabhâ, for Her separation and and fourthly I saw Thee in love union with the Gopî S’ânti in Râsa Mandalam. On the coming of the spring season, one day Thou with garlands of flowers on Thy neck and with Thy body besmeared with sandal paste and decked with ornaments, wast sleeping on a bed of flowers with S’ânti Gopî, decked with gems, in a temple made of gems and pearls and illumined by a lamp of jewels and Thou wast chewing the betel, given by Thy beloved. Hearing My sound Thou fled’st away. S’ânti Gopî, too, out of fear and shame quitted Her body and disappeared in Thee. Therefore S’ânti is reckoned as one of the noblest qualities. Out of the pain of separation, Thou didst divide the body of S’ânti and distributed partly to forests, partly to Brahmâ, partly to Me, partly to S’uddha Sattvâ Laksmî, partly to Thy Mantra worshippers, partly to My Mantra worshippers, partly to the ascetics, partly to Dharma, and partly to the religious persons. Fifthly, dost Thou remember that one day anointing all over Thy body fully with the sandal paste and good scent and with garlands on Thy neck, well dressed, decked with jewels, Thou wast sleeping with Ksamâ (forgiveness) Gopî in ease and happiness, on a nice bedding interspersed with flowers and well scented. Thou wert so much over-powered by sleep after fresh intercourse that when I went and disturbed, then Thou two didst get up from the sweet sleep. I took away Thy yellow robes, the beautiful Muralî (flute), garlands made of forest flowers, Kaustubha gems, and invaluable earrings of pearls and gems. I gave it back to Thee at the earnest request of the S’akhîs. Thy body turned black with sin and dire shame, Ksamâ then quitted Her body out of shame and went down to the earth. Therefore Ksamâ turned out to be the repository of best qualities. Out of affection to Her, Thou didst divide Her body and distributed them partly to Visnu, partly to the Vaisnavas, partly to Dharma, partly to the religious persons, partly to weak persons, partly to ascetics, partly to the Devas, and partly to the Pundits (literary persons). O Lord! Thus I have described Thy qualities as far as I know. What more dost thou want to hear? Thou hast many more qualities! But I am not aware of them. Having thus spoken, the red-lotus eyed Râdhâ began to rebuke Gangâ sitting by the side of S’rî Krisna with Her head bent low out of shame. At this time Gangâ, who was a Siddha Yoginî came to know all the mysteries, and instantly disappeared from the assembly in Her own water form. The Siddha Yoginî Râdhâ came to know also, by Her Yogic power, the secrets of Gangâ and became ready to drink the whole water in one sip. Gangâ, knowing this intention of Râdhâ, by Her Yogic power, took refuge of Krisna and entered into His feet. Then Râdhâ began to look out for Gangâ everywhere :– First She searched in Goloka, then Vaikuntha, then Brahmâ-loka; then She searched all the Lokas one by one but no where did She find Gangâ. All the places in Goloka became void of of water; all turned out dried mud and all the aquatic animals died and fell to the ground. And Brahmâ, Visnu, S’iva, Ananta, Dharma, Indra, Moon, Sun, Manus, Munis, Siddhas, ascetics all became very thirsty and their throats became parched. They then went to Goloka, and bowed down with devotion to S’rî Krisna, Who was the Lord of all, beyond Prakriti, the Supreme, worthy to be worshipped, the Bestower of boons, the Best, and the Cause of boons; Who is the Lord of Gopas and Gopîs; Who is formless, without any desire, unattached, without refuge, attributeless, without any enthusiasm, changeless, and unstained; Who is All Will and who assumes forms to show favour to His devotees; Who is Sattva, the Lord of truth, the Witness and eternal Purusa and Who is the Highest, the Supreme Lord, the Best and Excellent, the Highest Self and the Supreme God. They began to hymn Him. All were filled with intense feelings with devotion; tears of love were flowing from their eyes and the bodies of all were filled with ecstasy, the hairs standing in ends. He was Para Brahmâ; His Substance was made of Transcendental Light, Who is the Cause of all Causes, who was seated in a wonderful throne, built of invaluable gems and jewels, who was being fanned by the Gopas with white chowries, who was seeing and hearing with great delight, and smiling countenance, the dancing and singing of the Gopîs, who was chewing the scented betel offered by Râdhâ and who was residing in. the heart of His dearest S’rî Râdhâ, who was the Perfect, all pervading, and the Lord of the Râsa Circle. The Manus, Munis, and the ascetics all bowed down to S’rî Krisna, no sooner they beheld Him. Joy and wonder at once caught hold of their hearts. They then looked at one another and gave over to Brahmâ the task of communicating their feelings. The four faced Brahmâ, with Visnu on His right and Vâma Deva on His left, gradually came in front of S’rî Krisna. Wherever He cast His glance in the Râsa Mandalam, He saw S’rî Krisna, full of the Highest Bliss, of the nature of the Highest Bliss, sitting. All have turned out Krisnas; their seats were all uniform; all were two armed and with flutes in their hands; on every one’s neck is the forest garland; peacock’s tail was on the top of everyone’s crest and Kaustubha jewels were on all their breasts. The Forms of all of them were very beautiful; very lovely and very peaceful. No difference at all between them whether in form, or in qualities, or in ornaments, or in radiance, in age, in lustre, in no respect no one was inferior to another. No one was imperfect; no one was deficient in lordliness. It was indeed very difficult to make out who was the master and who was the servant. Sometimes He is seen in His Teja form as the Great Light, and there is nothing else; sometimes there is that Clear Divine Form; sometimes He comes Formless; sometimes with form; and again sometimes both with and without form. Sometimes there is no Râdhâ; there is only Krisna; And sometimes again in every seat there is the Yugal Murti Râdhâ and Krisna combined. Sometimes Râdhâ assumes the form of Krisna. So the Creator Brahmâ could not make out whether S’rî Krisna was a female or a male. At last He meditated on S’rî Krisna in his heartlotus and began to chant hymns to Him with devotion and prayed for forgiveness for his misdoings. When S’rî Krisna got pleased, the Creator, opening His eyes, saw S’rî Krisna on the breast of S’rî Râdhâ. There were His attendants on all the sides and the Gopîs all around. Seeing this, Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara bowed down to Him and sang His praises.
108-113. S’rî Krisna, the Lord of Laksmî, the Omnipresent, Cause of all, the Lord of all, and the Internal Ruler of all, knew their intentions and, addressing them, separately said :– “O Brahmân! Is it all well with you? O Lord of Kamalâ! Come here. O Mahâdeva! Come here; let all be well to you. You all have come to me for Gangâ. Gangâ has taken refuge under My feet out of fear for Râdhâ. Seeing Gangâ by My side, Râdhâ wanted to drink Her up, However I will give over Gangâ to the hands of you all; but you will have to pray to Râdhâ, so that Gangâ becomes fearless of Her.” The lotus born Brahmâ smiled at S’rî Krisna’s words and began to sing hymns to Râdhâ, Who is fit to be worshipped by all. The Creator Brahmâ, the Compiler of the Four Vedas, the Four-faced One praised Râdhâ with His Four heads, bent low and addressed Her thus :–
114-125. Brahmâ said :– “O Râdhe! Gangâ, appeared from Thee and the Lord S’rî Krisna. Both of you were transformed before into the liquid forms in the Râsâ Mandalam, on hearing the music of S’ankara. And That Lquid Form is Gangâ. So She is born of Thee and S’rî Krisna. Hence She is like Thy daughter and to be loved as such. She will be initiated in Thy Mantra and She will worship Thee. The four armed Lord of Vaikuntha will be Her husband. And when She will appear in parts on earth, the Salt Ocean will be Her husband. O Mother! The Gangâ that dwells in Goloka, is dwelling everywhere. O Governess of the Devas! Thou art Her mother; and She is always Thy Self born daughter.” Hearing thus, the words of Brahmâ, Râdhâ gave Her assent towards the protection of Gangâ. And then Gangâ appeared from the toe-tip of S’rî Krisna. The liquid Gangâ, then, assumed Her own form and, getting up from water, was received with great honour by the Devas. Bhagavân Brahmâ took a little of that Ganges water in His Kamandalu and Bhagavân Mahâdeva kept some of it in His own head. The lotus born Brahmâ, then, initiated Gangâ into the Râdhâ Mantra and gave Her instructions, Râdhâ Stotra (hymn of Râdhâ) according to the Sâma Veda, Râdhâ Kavacha (protection mantras), Râdhâ Dhyân (meditation on Râdhâ), method of worship of Râdhâ, and Râdhâ’s purascharana. Gangâ worshipped Râdhâ according to those instructions and went to Vaikuntha. O Muni! Laksmî, Sarasvatî, Gangâ, and the world purifying Tulasî, these four became the wives of Nârâyana. Krisna, then, smiled and explained to Brahmâ the history of Time, hardly to be comprehended by others. He then spoke :– “O Brahmâ! O Visnu! O Mahes’vara! Now you better take Gangâ and I will now tell you what a change has been effected by this time. Hear.
126-136. You, the three Devas, the other Devas, Munis, Manus, Siddhas, and other Mahâtmâs that are present here, are living now. For this region of Goloka is not affected by Kâla (Time). Now the Kalpa is going to expire. So in the other regions than Goloka and Vaikuntha, the Brahmâs, etc., that were existing in all other Universes, have all now dissolved in My Body. O Lotus-born! Save Goloka and Vaikuntha, all are now under water, the pre-state of earth. Better go and create your own Brahmândas and Gangâ will go to that newly created Brahmânda. I will also create other worlds and the Brahmâs thereof. Now you all better go with the Devas and do your own works respectively. You have waited here for a long interval. As many Brahmâs that have fallen all appear again.” Thus saying S’rî Krisna, the Lord of Râdhâ went to His Inner Chamber. The Devas also instantly retired from that spot and engaged themselves earnestly in the creation work. Gangâ remained as before till then in the region of Goloka, Vaikuntha, S’ivaloka, Brahmâ-loka, and in other places, by the command of S’rî Krisna. She is named Visnupadî, because She appeared from the feet of Visnu. Thus I have described to you this pleasant, essential story of Gangâ, leading to liberation. What more do you now want to hear? Say.
Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter on the anecdote of Gangâ in the Ninth Book in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.