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MadhavaLata Devi Dasi’s poem

The remembrance of Krishna pastimes often rides on wheels.
This poem retells few events that depict Krishna on a chariot while playing His pastimes with His devotees.
In the first scene is the bullock cart that carried small Gopal, Nanda Pran, from Mahavan to Vrindavan in order to protect Him from the demons attacks and it ends with the meeting in Kurukshetra, because of the desire of the Gopis to move the chariot with Krishna back to Vraja. Hope the reader will also cherish the taste of Krishna's names mostly associated with Nanda Baba just to keep Him in our hearts as the cowherd of the gopis and gopas, even though some pastimes are in His royal disguise.

Tales of Wheels and Devotion

The many wheels clanged
stirring up clouds of dust
meandering like a river
in a long line of bullock carts,
colorful with flapping flags
in the light of dusk
bugles, bellows and bells,
amidst this clamor
songs rose up
from the caravan
leaving Mahavan
out of love for Nanda Pran.

On another day
in a waft of dust
gilded with royal fame,
a chariot clattered
the light was the same
sinister and cruel
took Nanda Gopal away
love melted the stones (1)
with tears of despair.

Winged by the whisper
of the heart
the chariot of Nanda Kumar
flew to a place afar,
adamant to His promise
to reciprocate one's love,
He plucked the precious Lotus
leaving the proud princes
aghast. (2)

The rattle of wheels and swords
again saw Nanda Kishor
on a chariot,
in a din of shouts and blows
where the red blood dyed
the dust, the sky and the eyes
but for love this time
He led the ride.
His curls sticky and ashen
by sweat and dust,
and the skin smeared with blood,
hurling a wheel, He rushed (3)
toward a chivalrous heart
who was astounded with awe
by the wondrous sight
of this lotus red eyed foe.

When His heart wept
heavy with a love debt,
Nanda Dulal, unsteady,
boarded His chariot
pierced the night
riding the speed
as a spear of light,
came to the forest grove
to His beloved's petal bed
for Her intense love
was on the verge of death. (4)

The royal chariot
once was back,
without the snake of torment (5)
but with Nandu's friend,
walking ahead
of Nanda Suta
now adorned with gems
He is not more a cowherd
in this land (6)
where the Moon sets
without lotuses to bloom,
let's turn these wheels
and move
back to Vraja
but once among those kunds
this cruel chariot,
memento of separation
and tears,
will have to leave
so to waive the fear
of seeing Nanda-Lal carried away
and the Vanadevis anguish
in love, in madness, again.

1) Bhakti Ratnakara p.144 " What can I say? Only those who saw the scene can understand. All the damsels of Vraja came running to see Krishna with tears flowing like rivers from their eyes. Seeing that scene even wood and stone melted.

2) Krishna kidnaps Rukmini

3) Krishna act as Arjuna's charioteer during the battle. In a Chivalrous rasa with His devotee, apparently playing the part of His enemy, Krishna hurled a wheel to Bhismadeva.

4) "Three logs of wood" story retold by Srimad Gour Govinda Maharja as the first Ratha Yatra. Krishna inebriated by his feelings for Radha, mounts the chariot to fly to Vraja. In the same way Lord Jagannath in Puri is carried to the chariot by the pujaris who shake Him as if drunk to remember this pastime. (see also in blog "Canticle of Union")

5) Garga Samhita 5.15.10 "At what inauspicious moment did his mother, in order to give pain to the loving devotees, give birth to Akrura? She did it as Kadru, in order to randomly kill people here and there, gave birth to the species of snakes." Purport [...] Vicious humans may also behave like cruel snakes and since he (Akrura) mercilessly took Krsna away from them, the gopis considered Akrura to be among such horrible creatures whose birth must have been timed a the most inauspicious moment.

6) Kurukshetra. -- When Nanda Suta and the gopis met in Kurukshetra they were emaciated so much so that their rings had become bangles around their wrists, their hair were uncombed and their dresses untied, so Krishna understood the intensity of their pains of separation. He started a sort of long soliloquy in the attempt to justify what happened that He did not returned. He spoke about yoga, about the will of the Supreme, about providence, but it all sounded very confused. The gopis will respond with a single sloka in the Bhagavatam which ends the chapter.
SB 10.82.48 :""O Supreme Lord, O directly manifest Supersoul, O crest jewel of teachers of philosophical knowledge! Understanding that we have great attachment to house, wealth and family, You previously had Uddhava instruct us and now personally You are purifying our hearts with knowledge to destroy that ignorance. Thus we understand that Your pure love for us is free from any motivation other than assuring our liberation. But how can we unintelligent cowherd women fix that knowledge in our hearts? ..[..]" translation by Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur.

This same sloka was chant by Caitanya Mahaprabhu in front of the chariot of Lord Jagannath.
This is the secret of our Ista-deva, the Lord of the Sankirtan Movement, the Lord of the Universe, fully reciprocating His devotees' love, shows the highest ecstasies in a meeting that follows a long separation and He comes to everyone to exchange that love on the wheels of His chariot.

MadhavaLata Devi Dasi