“O loved one, show yourself! Your devotees, whose lives are sustained in you, are searching for you everywhere.
You are taking our life, O Lord of autumn; your glance excels in beauty the heart of a beautiful lotus perfectly born in autumn from a pool of water. We are your maidservants, we do not ask for any payment. Isn’t this killing us, O bestower of favours?
O bull among men, we have been continuously protected by you from destruction from the poisonous water, from the wicked demon, from the winds and rains, from fire and lightning, from the bull of Arista, from the son of Maya, and from fear from all sides.
You are not, in fact the son of a gopi. You are the witness of the inner self in all embodied beings. Being, petitioned by Brahma, you become manifest in the family of the Satvatas, O friend, for the protection of the Universe.
Place your lotus hand on the head of those who have approached you out of fear of the material world, O foremost of the Vrsni clan. Your hand, which holds the hand of Sri Lakshmi, bestows fearlessness and fulfills desires, O lover.
You are the hero of women, and you take away the pain of the people of Vraj! The pride of your devotees is annihilated by your smile! Accept your maidservants, friend! Show us your beautiful lotus face!
Place your lotus feet upon our breasts. Your feet have been placed in the hoods of the serpent Kaliya and follow the animals to the pasture. They are the abode of the goddess of fortune, Sri, and they removed the sins of submissive embodied beings. Excise Kama, who dwells within your hearts.
O hero, these women obedient to your will are stunned by your sweet voice, your charming words which please the mind and the intelligence, and your lotus eyes. Reinvigorate us with the intoxicating liquid of your lips.
Those who repeat the sweetness of your words in this world are munificent. These words are praised by poets, spread abroad, are are auspicious to hear. They are life-giving for those who are suffering. They remove sins and bring good fortune.
Your bursts of laughter, pleasing looks of love, and pastimes are auspicious to contemplate. Those meetings in secret places touch our hearts, you cheater, and perturb us thoroughly.
When you go from Vraj grazing the animals, O Lord, your feet, beautiful as lotuses, are troubled by blades of grass and corn stubble, and so we feel distress. You are our beloved.
You possess a lotus face, surrounded by blue locks of hair which you constantly display covered with thick dust at the end of the day. Your arouse Kama in our heart, O hero.
O lover, place your most beneficent lotus feet on our breasts. They fulfill the desires of the humble and should be meditated upon in trouble, O destroyer of anxiety. They are worshipped by the lotus-born Brahma, and are the ornament of the earth.
Bestow upon us the nectar of your lips, O hero, which have been thoroughly kissed by the flute as it plays music. It destroys sorrow, increases the pleasures of love, and causes men to forget other passions.
When you, Lord, go to the forest during the day, a moment becomes an Age for those who do not see you. He who created eyelashes is dull-witted, from the perspectives of those beholding your beautiful face, with its curled locks of hair.
Acyuta, you are the knower of movements. Bewildered by our song, we have thoroughly neglected our husbands, sons, family, brothers and kinsfolk, and come before you. Who would abandon women in the night, you rogue?
We have become unsettled from contemplating your broad chest, the abode of Sri Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, as well as your looks of love, your smiling face and the meetings in secret places which aroused Kama. We long for you intensely all the time.
Your incarnation is for the good of the universe, and dispels the distress of the people of Vraj. Deliver a little of that medicine which removes the ailment from the hearts of your devotees to us. Our hearts yearn for you.
We gently place your tender lotus feet on your rough breasts with trepidation. You wander in the forest on them and our minds are disturbed: what is they had been hurt by small stones? Your Lordship is our life.”
– the lament of the Gopis for Krishna from KRISHNA: THE BAGAVAD PURANA BOOK TEN trans Edwin F Bryant (ISBN 0140447997)
Krishna’s Song is a deeply profound piece of writing. I like the translation into English and feel it deserves a place on this blog. Radha though is not a woman but is the manifestation of Krishna-bhakti . In response to the question, “How devoted should one be?”‘ the Naradbhaktisutra writes, “Like the Gopis (Cowherd Girls) of Vraj.” In reality , these Gopis are incarnations of Rishis.
It is best to read Krishna’s Song first, Radha’s Lament should follow…
Much thanks to Jake Murray for bringing my attention to Krishna’s Song.