Beyond the river Yamuna, lay the wide green valley of luscious grass. Overlooking it, like a loving guardian, stood the hill, Govardhan. The valley had been taken over by the chieftain Nanda after he decided to shift his village to this picturesque and beautiful place.The village where they had lived previously was the hunting ground of tigers from the jungles; here they were safe from the marauding tigers.
On his instruction, the residents of Gopa began to build houses in the new settlement called Brindavan. The final shifting took place on an auspicious day. The men folk walked leading their cattle, and were followed by a caravan of carts carrying women, children and their household goods. The people felt sad at leaving their old and familiar places, but the call of the charming valley and the promise of a better life were irresistible.
Flat boats transported the carts across the Yamuna. The cattle swam through the slow current, with the enthusiastic cowherds riding on their backs and guiding them. Krishna and Balarama were seated in a cart; held there by their Mother Yashoda, they surveyed the landscape with awe. “It’s marvelous!” they exclaimed. It was as if the trees were swaying in the breeze and rustling sweetly to welcome them.
“No less marvellous are you for us!” the trees seemed to say. Krishna and Balarama were thrilled to move into Brindavan. While the elders were busy setting up houses and making roads and digging pools, Krishna and Balarama frolicked in the meadows with the other boys, playing hide and seek. The river-banks abounding in Kadamba trees were captivating. The wind blew across the valley over the playing children. It seemed to skip and play with the children making them roll on the grass at times, and at other times making a dive into the river and splashing them with water. The wind grew delightfully fragrant as spring burst forth over the valley. The cooing of the cuckoos added to the music in the air, and it spoke of unknown thrills.
Looking at the woods teeming with many-hued flowers, one felt as if a hundred rainbows had fallen from the sky! Brindavan was exhilarating in spring. Suddenly, one afternoon, a new joy burst forth; it was a touch of a different spring – a heavenly one – into the earthly season. From a hidden nook in the grove came the sound of a flute. Never had anyone heard such divine music.
It worked wonders on all who heard it. They forgot their work and were relieved of their worries and obligations. They were completely enchanted, the music unfolding in their hearts, emotions and feelings that were lofty and sublime. It was like a call from a distant place reminding them of and drawing them to their dearest friend whom they had forgotten. It was like a message from an island of bliss seen in a dream.
The ones most affected were the coy and lovely maidens of Brindavan; they rushed out of their homes as though drawn by a magnet. Some were the daughters and the daughters-in-law of different families who rarely went out of the village except for bathing in the river or fetching water from it. All of them emerged into the meadow – and followed the sound through that serene twilight. The one guiding them was Radha, the divinely beautiful beloved of Sri Krishna, who like the other damsels, was also completely enamoured by his music. On reaching the river-bank, she began to run and the others followed her. The sound of the flute grew more and more distinct. The breeze dropped lest it should disturb the path of the music. The birds stopped their cacophony; the cattle did not stir or moo.
Soon Radha spotted the source of the wonder. Under a Kadamba tree stood Krishna, nimbly dancing to the rhythm of his own music. Behind him, on the ground and on the branches of trees, were a dozen peacocks; those on the ground were dancing gaily fluttering their colourful feathers.
Radha and the maids sank down on the grass quietly before the dancing Krishna. Was it joy? Was it ecstasy? They did not know but they wanted it to continue. They could not describe their feelings. The rolls of clouds that loomed large in the sky appeared to be under a spell. Even the river Yamuna kept her murmurs muffled.
Time flew. The sun set. Krishna slowly wound his music to its final notes. There was perfect silence for a while. Only then did the clouds begin to unroll and the whole sky grew overcast. Rumblings of thunder and loud rustlings atop the trees could be heard; cool gusts of wind swept through the valley. Krishna ran towards his home where his mother Yashoda was waiting in the meadow, anxiously looking for him. Radha and the maids walked home slowly, through a mild drizzle which changed into a shower, drenching them entirely. But they had just experienced a different kind of bath within. Their minds had been cleansed of all impurities and they dazzled like the stars. They were blessed souls born on the earth, with the sole motive of coming in touch with Krishna, the Divine.