Saturday, December 15, 2012

55 Bhagavatha - grace shown to Kubja (the hunchback)

When Akrura enters Mathura, Krishna respectfully asks him to leave with his chariot. "You enter the city ahead of us and return to your home. We will rest here for some time and then visit the city." Akrura refuses to enter the city without them. "Please grace our house O Narayana, Please allow me to wash the feet of both of you." Krishna replies: "Accompanied by my elder brother, I shall visit your house only when Kamsa is slain." Akrura takes leave sadly. He apprises Kamsa of what he had done and returns home.
Krishna and his entourage rest in a garden in the outskirts of the city for the night, eager to have a look at the city next day. Balarama and Krishna, along with the cowherds, fearlessly entered the city during noon. They admire Mathura, a well fortified and prosperous city. The rows of houses on either side of the road were artistically adorned, with a generous display of wealth like gems precious stones inlaid in various places. Water was sprinkled all along the road.
Eager to  have a look at the sons of Vasudeva, the women of the city climbed up their mansions hurriedly, stopping all their work midway. They feasted their eyes on Krishna, who walked with the gait of a lordly elephant. He captivates them with his glances and divine personality. They embraced that embodiment of bliss with their minds. From atop the mansions they showered flowers along with curd and rice to welcome them. The wise men offered them water to wash their feet and also fruits and sweets. Krishna asks a washerman for some nice clothes to wear for himself and his brother. The dhobhi who was an arrogant servant of Kamsa not only refuses, but also taunts and insults him with cruel words. While he bragged, Krishna severes the head of the washerman with just his finger-tips. The servants run away. Krishna and Balarama put on clothes of their choice and distribute the rest to the other cowherd boys. A weaver, full of love for Krishna, adorns the brothers with ornaments of cloth, weaved in various colours and patterns. Now the two brothers shone brightly, one dark and the other white, dressed tastefully for the festive occasion. Pleased with the weaver, Krishna confers on him a form similar to his own self along with good health and prosperity. Next the brothers visit the house of a florist, Sudama. He respectfully bows and offers them a seat and presents them with two garlands of excellent flowers with delightful fragrance. The florist seeks from Krishna unflinching devotion to Krishna alone, as a gift. Krishna grants him the wish along with a fortune that would grow in the hands of his posterity. Proceeding further along the main road, Krishna saw a charming young woman, but a hunchback, carrying sandal paste. He asks her: "Who are you, young woman? For whom is this sandal paste intended? Can you give us both some of it? Let good betide you." The hunchback Sairandhri replies: "O handsome youth, I am a maid-servant, Trivakra by name. I have a talent in preparing good sandal paste for Kamsa. Who else but you deserves to have this?" Her mind bewitched by the attractive form of Krishna. She applies the thick sandal-paste on the two brothers, painting their upper part of their bodies with the pigment, which shone in contrast with their complexion. Krishna decides to reward her by straightening her hunchback. He pressed the forepart of her feet with his own and supporting her chin on the two index and middle fingers, raised her upwards with his right hand -- thus straightening her hunch. She became a beautiful woman, endowed with good qualities.
Smitten by love, she smilingly submitted to Krishna, holding and tugging his upper garment: "Please be gracious and come home with me, O gallant youth. My mind has been robbed of its patience by you." Even as Balarama and the others looked on, Krishna laughed: "I shall visit your home after accomplishing my tasks, O pretty girl." He dismisses her with honey-like words.  He continued along the path, honoured by various merchants along the marketplace, with whatever they had to offer.

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Srimad Bhagavatham