Gopis Refuse to Give Krsna Their Pearls
On the day of Diwali, in the month of Karthik, Radharani and gopis assembled together at Malyahara kunda. Krsna’s parrot, Vicakshana, informed Him. Krsna came to Malyahara kunda and there He found Srimati Radharani and Her sakhis making pearl necklaces.
Krsna requested from Radha and gopis if He could have a few of those pearls to decorate His most favorite cows, Harini and Hafini. But the gopis refused. Krsna pleaded with gopis, pleaded, “Please give me some pearls for my cows.”
Lalitha sakhi went to the body of the bag of pearls and found one broken little piece. And she said, “You can have this.”
Shyamasunder was very unhappy. So He went home and told mother Yashoda that, “I want to grow a garden of pearls. Please give me some pearls to plant in the ground.”
Yashoda Mayi responded that, “O Gopal, you don’t understand.” And then she laughed that, “Pearls do not grow on trees. Pearls come from the ocean.”
And Gopal insisted, “No, they will grow if I plant them in the ground. I have seen my father growing. I have seen him put seeds in the ground. Pearls, like seeds, I will plant.”
Krsna Plants Pearls
He insisted, and Yashoda Mayi, to satisfy His heart, gave Him some pearls. And He brought them near the bank of Yamuna and dug little holes in the ground and put the pearls in and then buried them, and then told mother Mangal to go to the gopis and request some milk to water His pearls.
So gopa Madhumangal went to Sri Radharani and gopis and requested some milk to water Krsna’s pearls and the gopis simply laughed.
That’s all they gave Him, was a laugh. So Madhumangal returned.
Krsna then went to mother Yashoda and requested some milk. She supplied all the milk He could want and He went, and profusely watered the ground on the bank of Yamuna where He planted the pearls.
After a few days, a little green shoot came out of the ground. And Krsna was so happy. He told gopis and the gopis came and looked at the shoot and they laughed, and they said, “Those are thorn shoots, not pearl shoots.”
Krsna’s Big, Beautiful Pearl Creepers
A few days later, a creeper grew that was covered with an immense quantity of large, beautiful, multi-colored pearls. Those pearls were so special that they filled the entire Vrindavana dham with an ambrosia-intoxicating fragrance.
Krsna was laughing and joking to the gopis that, “My pearls are so big and so colorful and so fragrant compared to yours all.” So the gopis became quite competitive. And they had a meeting together. And they vowed to make a garden that would grow better pearls than Krsna’s.
So all of their pearl necklaces were planted in the ground. And then they went to their parent’s house and took every pearl from all of the houses of their families. Then they planted those pearls. And three times a day, every day, they watered the pearls with milk, yoghurt, butter and ghee.
And after a few days, a little shoot came out of the ground. And they became very excited. And a few more days passed, and there were thorn bushes.
When Krsna and His gopas saw those thorn bushes, they became ecstatic. They laughing and joking. And Krsna really wanted to humiliate the gopis.
He had His cowherd boyfriends make pearl necklaces out of big, beautiful, multi-colored, fragrant pearls, and they made pearl necklaces for every cow in Vrindavana. For every buffalo, for every goat, for every sheep. In fact, in all Vraja dham, every monkey had a pearl necklace. But He would not give a single pearl to the gopis.
The Loving Exchanges Between Krsna and the Gopis
So the gopis were in a lot of anxiety, because they took all the pearls of their parents’ homes. And now they all turned into thorns. What were they going to tell their parents? So they sent Chandramukhi and Kanchanalata, two gopis, with gold, to barter gold for a few of Krsna’s pearls.
Krsna looked at them and said that, “Even the Kaustubha Mani of Lord Narayana is not worth a fraction of the price of the fraction of one of my pearls.”
Then each gopi came one by one to try the barter. Whatever they had, for some pearls of Krsna. Srimati Radharani was hiding in a private little kunja, where Krsna could not see Her. But she could hear everything that was being said. And each gopi, individually was coming.
Krsna had a large box of these pearls He grew. But no matter what they would give, He would not even release a single pearl. Finally, Krsna told Vishaka gopi, He said, “I will give your Radharani the smallest of all my pearls, and She has to pay Me whatever price I ask immediately, otherwise I will put Her in a prison of one of my private kunjas.”
So nothing was working. There was a big argument. Raghunath Das Goswami goes into nice detail about that loving exchange of arguments. And then Subala was brought in as the mediator because it was like one of those conflicts where they could not make a negotiation. So Subala was the mediator. Continued, and in the end, they could not agree on any price.
Radharani was listening to everything. The other gopis, very sad, they came with Srimati Radharani and came to Sri Radha kunda.
Krsna’s Gift And Radharani’s Reciprocation
When the gopis were at Radha kunda, Krsna took the best of all His pearls, and with His own hands, He strung the most elegant necklace. Then He put that necklace in a golden box. And with His own loving hand, engraved the name of Sri Radharani on that box. Then He made another necklace of pearls with His own hands and put it in a golden box and put the name of another gopi.
In this way, He made boxes with gifts of handmade pearl necklaces for all of Radharani’s sakhis and Sri Radharani Herself. And He sent them to Radha kunda to be given as gifts.
The gopis were so joyful. Srimati Radha picked flowers, beautiful, fragrant flowers and made a divine garland. And She prepared the most ambrosia bhoga, fruit stuff, and She sent it to Krsna in reciprocation of His love.
Then all the gopis decorated themselves with the most beautiful pearls in all of existence. And they went home and their parents were very happy.
Moral of the story:
This is the supreme treasure that Krishna is offering to place our head in the sacred dust of Vrindavana and pray that the priceless pearl of the mercy of Guru and the Vaishnavas may be cherished as the supreme most wealth of our life. Let everything else be seen as nothing but useless, thorny worship that only cause obstacles on our path.
We should not take these pearls to be something ordinary. Unless we understand, even to a small extent the value of the pearl of this opportunity in life we have for developing bhakti devotion for Krishna, we will lose it, trying to enjoy the thorny pleasures of this world,
( From the book The Mukta Caritra – The Pearl Story, by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami )
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
PS: I humbly request all the devotees to please forward and share thismoral / instructive stories they hear so that everyone can be benefitted by hearing about Krishna and his dear devotees.