Bilwamangala Swami, also known as Lila Shuka because of his descriptions of the
leelas of Krishna in the same manner
in which Suka described it to Parikshit.
Lila Suka has painted vivid word picutres of the leelas of Krishna as a child, as an adolescent boy and as a lover.
The work contains 328 verses in three aashwasas (or sargas, chapters).
Throughout the book the undercurrent is loving devotion to Krishna who is
regarded as the plenary incarnation of Mahavishnu, the purely sattwic aspect of
brahman, the Ultimate reality. It is
said that Chaitanya mahaprabhu was acquainted with this work and he greatly
translation in English.
him among the crowd of cows and who has long hair and whose body is covered all
over with mud.
entirely on child Krishna who adorns his head with the plumes of peacock, who
is surrounded by loving cowherd belles whom he dodges and who plays the flute
placing it on his jewel like lips
Prahlada, who is sought after in the caves of the Vedas which are like huge
mountains, who is named narahari meaning having a form which is part man
and part lion, and who helps devas.
worshipping the lotus feet of the enemy of Kamsa. What is light in darkness? Thinking of (remembering) the enemy of
Let my mind revel in the son
of Nanda who is the paramour of the gopis, who steals fresh butter from
the pot, who is like moonlight for the lily-like eyes of Lakshmi.
conversation between a gopi and child Krishna who is caught red handed
while stealing butter in her house]
pot in which butter is
was missing), please
the gopi nurture(protect) us
courtyards of cowherd boys but you shy away from the sacrifice of Brahmins; you
respond to the ‘hum’ calls of cows but you are silent when you are praised by hundreds of hymns by
wise men; you do the bidding of women of easy virtue in gokula but you
do not want to be Lord of those who have controlled their senses. I know why it is so; your pretty lotus-like
feet are moved only by love and devotion.
grew up always enjoying (seeing) the lotus face of Radha.
auspicious in every way but, except Krishna, who else is capable of liberating
cows, cowherd men and cowherd women?
auspiciousness of childhood. In the midst of the early morning festivity of
milking the cows which fill the air with their ‘ambaa’ cry, there is
child Krishna, dark blue as the newly
formed cloud, anklets tinkling, forehead
adorned by a tilak, the small bells in the hip belt tinkling and wearing a tiger-nail ornament around his
that child Gopala, who is dark blue as the water-bearing clouds, whose playful
acts are generous, who lifted up and held a mountain with one hand, who enjoys
the music of the flute, who takes care of the people of Vraja, who is fond of playing
with the belles of Vraja and who wears a beautiful garland (of wild flowers)
beautiful smile, who enjoys sweet music, who has beautiful locks of hair, who
is clever in his playful stealing, who is Death to the enemies of Indra and who
is of dark blue complexion as the petals of the blue lily.
from flute, who wears beautiful plumes of peacock on his head, who crushes the hordes of asuras, whose
playful activities are good and sweet , who does good to others, who favours
Brahma and who is dark blue as the newly formed cloud.
of cowboys who is the repository of all good qualities, who is the embodiment
of Absolute Truth, Awareness and Bliss, who removes all delusions, who is the
consort of Lakshmi, who has conquered his senses and mind, who has surmounted
all obstacles and who is the friend of large-hearted and noble men.
who has beautiful lotus-like eyes, whose face is like the full moon, who is the
friend of Indra, who is full of mercy and who has a handsome body.
got into Yamuna and valiantly subjugated the aggressive snake kaliya and who
constantly tries to remove the misfortunes of the celestials
Krishna, who wears bright yellow
clothes, who gives company to the belles
of Vraja, who adorns his head
with the plumes of the peacock, who sports a tilak of deer musk on his
pretty forehead, who wears ear-ornaments
of soft palm leaves, who has nose-studs of pearls, who wears garlands of fragrant mandara
flowers and Kaustubha around the
who carries a flute in his hand, protect us.
sports with the doe-eyed damsels of Vraja, Murari (Krishna) stole their
clothes, the former had nothing as clothing ( to hide their shame) except their
two hands, their long hair or just closing of their eyes.
like fish in the flow of the celestial Ganga created by the radiance of the
pearls in the beautiful nose-ornament of Krishna. The dark curly hairs waving above their
foreheads look like a swarm of bees when
they approach the lotus feet of Krishna.
May that Krishna clothed in bright yellow silks protect us.
melodies emanating from the holes of Krishna’s flute, the bonds of love binding
them to their husbands were cut asunder and, in the intensity of passion and
urge to join Krishna, their hair became
disheveled, their lips, breasts and navel trembled and the hairs on their
bodies stood erect. May that Krishna who clothes himself in bright yellow silks
protect us. .
by the blessed cowherd Nanda from Vasudeva by giving his daughter as the price,
shining in the garland of cowherd boys and adornment of the gopis of vraja,
stay permanently in my heart.
on which a boy was sitting and Krishna was standing on his shoulders and
reaching out to the pot in which milk was stored. Muffling the sound of small bells tied to his
waistband, he was drawing the pot near his mouth and, cupping his hands, was drinking the milk, with a nod of
appreciation when a milkmaid suddenly enters the room. Krishna spouted the milk in his mouth on to the eyes of the
gopi. May that Krishna protect us.
sacrifices, gifted money to deserving people, fed old people and observed
austerities difficult to follow, because of which I developed love and
devotion, not easy for others, to Krishna who helps cross this samsara,
who is the slayer of Chanura, who wipes
out the sins of devotees and nurtures
their welfare and who is served by Goddess Lakshmi.
are pleased what is the use of good qualities in me? If you are not pleased,
then also what is the use of good qualities in me? If the groom loves her, the bride need not adorn herself with kumkumapatra.
If he does not love her, then also the kumkumapatra is useless.
the praises of Krishna blocking the brilliance of the moon with the brilliance
of their white teeth. They also sing the praises Krishna while churning curd
with the bracelets in their arms making a jingling sound and with their clothes
flying around. May that Krishna who clothes himself in bright yellow silks
that Krishna, seated under the
wish-giving tree, who captivates the whole world by his beautiful form, with
ear globes hanging up to the shoulders, raised and curved eye brows, slightly
drawn down pretty lower lip, eyes casting side long glances and joyfully
playing the flute with speedily moving fingers soft and red as leaf buds.
saw him as a big mountain, ordinary people saw him as a child, women saw him as
the god of Love, the cowherds saw him as an ordinary person, Indra in heaven
saw him as the cosmic person who is beyond measurement, Kamsa, with terror in
his eyes, saw him as furious Death, yogis saw him as one who is to be
meditated upon. May that Hari who makes
the celestials delighted protect you.
throne, puts a tilak of musk on
the forehead of Rukmini seated on his lap and gleefully touches her
breasts. They seem to offer worship to the
god of Love by mutual exchange of smiles bright as moonlight. They are
surrounded by gopas and gopis. May that krishna, Lord of the
Yadus, who enthralls the world by his
bewitching beauty, protect us.
her upper garment she shyly cast her eyes,
dark as the blue lily, down and
they converged on hear pretty breasts of golden hue, her face lit up
with a beautiful smile. Krishna embraces
Rukmini, whose face is slightly bent down, saying that she is like a new tender leaf of
the mango tree.
have playfully lifted up a small hill with your hand and for that you are known as ‘Lifter of Govardhana’ both
on this earth and also in heaven. I
support you, in whose stomach is all the three worlds, on the tip of my breasts. But no one seems to count this. What is the use of mere talking, one earns
fame and becomes a celebrity only by merit (punya).
you. O celestials and ancestors! forgive
me, I am incapable of performing tarpan
for you. Sitting somewhere in a calm place and remembering the stories and
exploits of the jewel of the Yadu dynasty, Krishna, I will dissolve all my
sins. I think this is all what I need to
do, what else is there for me to do? (The idea is that all other rituals drop off
from the routine of the devotee who wants to remain always immersed in the
remembrance of the leelas of the Lord)
Kamsa! O Merciful savior of Gajendra! Madhava! O Younger brother of Balarama! O
Teacher of the three worlds! O Lotus-eyed one! save me, protect me, I do not
know any god higher than you.
on the forehead and kaustubha jewel on the chest, who wears a nose ring
of pearls, who carries a flute in his hands, who wears bracelets on his wrists,
he has smeared sandalwood paste all over his body, who wears a chain of pearls
around the neck and who is surrounded on all sides by gopis.
melodies arising from the flute of child Krishna, the worlds become enraptured, Vedas become vocal, trees become joyful,
mountains become soft and liquid, animals lose control over themselves, cows
are delighted, cowboys become excited, sages become meditative, the musical
notes (seven swaras) reach a crescendo and the meaning of
‘Om’ reverberates in the atmosphere.
the lotus feet of that guru, the best among men, the advisor of
everything to be known, the very self in me and by the blessings of whom I was
released from the bonds of this body.