Kusum Van pastime

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As the Gopis entered Kusum Van, the very fragrant and pleasing forest full of flowering plants and trees in Govardhan, they were overjoyed to see the freshly blooming blossoms in all the directions. The trees, creepers and bushes in this most enchanting forest were laden with the most exquisite and sweet smelling flowers like champa, chameli, bela, kadamba, gulab and many others. Intoxicated by the nectarean odour, all the maddened bees were buzzing and various colourful butterflies were adding beauty to the picturesque scene. The ground appeared to be coloured a multitude of various colours because of the flowers falling down from the trees. It appeared as though the goddess of the forest had made the appropriate arrangements for welcoming Srimati Radhika and her Gopi friends. Happily entering the forest, the Sakhis joyfully joked with each other, while secretly hoping in their hearts to meet Krishna.

Seeing the beautiful flowers, they started picking them for their puja, while exchanging playful words with each other. With their fingers as soft as the petals of the most delicate flowers, the gopis picked the various colourful blossoms. While roaming around in the forest and picking flowers, a particularly exquisite kind of flower atop a beautiful tree caught the attention of Srimati Radhika. Despite her numerous attempts, she couldn’t reach any of the flowers on the tree as they were very up high. However, determined to get those flowers, she kept trying.

In the meantime, Sri Krishna, knowing that the Sakhis had gone to Kusum van, went there as well and, hiding behind the trees, saw Srimati Radhika’s attempts to pick the flowers on the tree. Deciding to have some fun, the Lord of all those who are mischievous climbed up that very tree and with the weight of his body lowered one of the branches. Seeing that she could all of a sudden reach the flowers, Srimati Radhika happily took hold of the branch with one hand and started picking the flowers with her other hand. Seeing that she was holding the branch tightly, Shyamsundar got off the branch and the branch immediately sprang back, taking Srimati Radhika in the air with itself. Srimati Radhika fearfully let out a shriek and all the Gopis rushed to the tree, wondering what had happened. Seeing her hanging from the branch, they all got worried and started to think of how to help her down. Lilanidhi Sri Krishna then came there and told Srimati Radhika to let go and that he would catch her. Fearful in the beginning, upon the repeated assurance of Krishna, she let go of the branch and Sri Krishna caught her in his arms. Taking the opportunity, he tightly embraced her and kissed her beautiful face. Seeing Krishna enjoying her in front of all her friends, Srimati Radhika became shy and tried to free himself of his embrace. Seeing this pastime of the Lord and understanding that he himself was behind the whole situation, all the gopis laughed heartily and clapped their hands in merriment. They then enjoyed the company of the best of lovers, Sri Gopinath, in the gorgeous Kusum Van.