The foremost of thieves

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vraje prasiddhaḿ navanīta-cauraḿ
gopāńganānāḿ ca dukūla-cauram
caurāgragaṇyaḿ puruṣaḿ namāmi

I offer my respectful obeisances to that foremost of thieves – who is famous in Vraja as the butter-thief and He who steals the gopis’ clothes, and who, for those who take shelter of Him, steals the sins which have accrued over many lifetimes.

śrī rādhikāyā hṛdayasya cauraḿ
padāśritānāḿ ca samasta-cauraḿ
caurāgragaṇyaḿ puruṣaḿ namāmi

I offer my respectful obeisances to the foremost of thieves – who steals Srimati Radhika’s heart, who steals the dark luster of a fresh raincloud, and who steals all the sins and sufferings of those who take shelter of His feet.

These beautiful prayers, composed by Sri Bilvamangal Thakur, glorify the foremost among thieves, Sri Krishna, who is well known by names such as Makhanchor, Chittchor and so forth. By stealing butter from the homes of the Gopis of Vraja, Gopal gives unlimited pleasure to the elderly sakhis, who possess deep attachment for Kanhaiya in Vatsalya Rasa, considering him to be their very own son and dearer than life itself. The elderly Gopis eagerly wait for the day when Krishna will come to their house and steal the fresh butter which they churn with their own hands with utmost love and affection for him. And when Makhanchor does come with his friends and steals their butter, in order to enhance the pastimes, they feign anger and catch him by the hand and scold him. However, he simply smiles sweetly and saying a few cunning words, which melt the hearts of the Gopis, and taking advantage of the opportunity he frees himself and runs away, thus inundating the hearts of the Sakhis in an ocean of bliss. This little thief of Vraja, who stole the lustre of a fresh rain cloud and is thus known as Shyamsundar, Ghanshyam, Meghashyam and so forth, after growing up, not only stole butter and Yoghurt from the houses of the elderly women of Vraja but also stole the garments of the young cowherd girls of Vraja, thus fulfilling their desire to have him as their husband. After achieving the age of a fresh youth, with his beautiful flute music, his enchanting form, which captivates Cupid, and his innumerable qualities, this chief among thieves stole the heart of Vrajeshwari Srimati Radhika, the best among the gorgeous gopis of Vraja, and made her heart surge with transcendental love for him. May Sri Shyamsundar, who performs intimate pastimes with his beloved Srimati Radhika, and who steals away all sins and sufferings of a devotee who takes shelter of his lotus feet, steal away our mind and heart and thus make us made in love for him.