“What are you doing Suka?” I asked  him as he was splashing water on me as we bathed on the banks of Devi Vrinda.

Continuing his splash on me, he answered,” Today I won’t let you go away with this, Sari. Every time I came to bathe, you poured water on me but this time, it will be me, it will be me and only me.”

Gasping, I said,” Ok, Ok, you win. Now stop this. We have to go now. Lalita will be searching for us. If she finds us here, she will again start with her satirical comments. Do you want to listen to them?”

His face instantly became serious. He said,” No, no. I can eat neem leaves all day but listening to Lalita’s comments. No, I can’t tolerate it.”

We got out of the river quickly. As we were heading to the Raas Kshetra, Vishakha approached us. It looked as if she was looking for us all the way. Gasping, she was trying to tell me something. I held her hand and said,” Devi Vishakha, relax. First, let your breath be stable. We are not going anywhere. I am here with you.”

Gasping, she nodded. After her breath settled, she said,” Sari. You have to leave at once for the Shringaar Kshetra. Sakhi Radha is looking for you. You very well know that….”

I held my index finger on her lips and replied with a grin,”Yes, Devi Vishakha, I know. So I will leave at once.” Saying this, we left and reached Shringaar Kshetra as fast as we could.

Lalita was standing at the door with Sudama as the gate keeper. As we approached the gate, Lalita remarked,” Oh, here comes our most esteemed duo. See, Sudama, at last they got some time to spare for the lady of Vrindavan. Yes, miss. Now, do I have to sing you an eulogy so that you can get inside and help Devi Radha?”

Suka got irritated and rushed to give an answer but I looked at him and signalled him to stop.

I looked at her and said, in an apologetic tone,”No, Devi Lalita. We are sorry. We should have remembered that it is the time for Mahaprabhu’s Shringaar and..” “And” continued Lalita “Without your aid, the Shringaar cannot be completed.”

“So now without any more delay, please let me enter.”

She gave way for me to pass. Suka tried to follow me but was held by Sudama. Lalita again remarked,”Where are you going Suka? You are not allowed inside. Even, we are not allowed.”

I looked at Suka with a smile signalling him to wait. He nodded back. I went inside and was greeted by Devi Kalindi. Devi Kalindi took me to Devi Radha.

There she was with all her beauty and magnificence. She approached me, smiling.

I apologetically said,” I am sorry, Devi Radha. I should have remembered.”

She patted on my head and said,” It is ok, Sari. I am not angry with you nor am I disappointed. And now can I have it?”

She looked at me, curiously and I nodded with a smile. From the back, I took out a feather and gave it to her.

“Here it is, Devi.”

“Thank you, Sari.”

She took the feather and placed it on Mahaprabhu’s diadem.

“Kanha, now your Shringaar is complete” said Devi Radha with a grin.

Govinda looked at me and said,”Thank you for this wonderful feather, Sari.”

“It is my pleasure to serve you, Bhagwan. And it is a great privilege for me that it is my feather that you adorn on your diadem not any others’.”

“How can I?” Exclaimed Govinda. “It is you who is my Radhe’s favourite. It is you who wakes up my beloved Radhe from her sleep, every morning with your melodious voice.You are her extension so I put your feather as a sign of her ownership on me.”

Immediately I looked at Devi Radha and noticed she was blushing. Govinda looked at her and said, smirkingly,” Oh, my dear Radhe is blushing. Should we start we the raas then, Your excellency?”

She nodded. He took out his flute and brought it close to Devi Radha’s mouth. Devi Radha blowed through it and Govinda started playing it. In moments, everyone gathered and started dancing at the melodious tune of Raasbihari. Suka joined me and we danced and danced. It felt as if life had went raw and ecstatic at the same time. Everyone was in chaos but at the same time was organised in a particular order, the order of the notes coming out of Mahaprabhu’s flute. As the duo sat on the swing, we rushed to the either sides and started swinging it. As they completely surrendered onto each other, the whole Goloka was drenched with the elixir of Rasa. All the creatures went into a trance and it lasted for quite a time.

As we got over it, I noticed that the swing was empty and Radhamadhav was nowhere to be found. I looked for them everywhere.  As I was searching, Suka found me. He looked tensed and gloomy. I asked, worried,” What happened Suka? Is there something that you want to tell me?”

He looked around for sometime, mustering his courage to speak. It made me more anxious and I said,” Suka, listen. If you have something that you want to say to me, please. You don’t have to confide. Please, speak.”

“Actually, Sari” he stuttered “I have to leave for Bhu Lola. But before I leave, I came here to ask for your permission.”

“My permission? Bhuloka ?” I asked, confused.

“Yes, bhuloka. Mahaprabhu’s wants me to go to the caves of Amarnath and wait for Har Gauri’s arrival. Rest, he said, I will figure it out eventually.”

“But, all of a sudden, Suka?”

“Devi!” Suka held my hands and continued “Mahaprabhu’s never says something all of a sudden. You very well know that every action of them is nothing but a Leela aimed at the cosmic welfare. And moreover, I will also be able to receive Umamaheshwara’s blessings. Now, Devi, do I have your permission?”

I hugged him tight and said,”When Mahaprabhu’s has already asked, who am I to give you permission? You may leave.”

I escorted him out of Goloka and came back, I heard some murmuring.

“Will it be alright, Kanha?” asked Devi Radha, concerned.

“Yes, it will be. My dear Radhe, don’t worry.”

“But Krishna” exclaimed Devi Radha “You very well know the anger of Mahadev. What happens if he opens his third eye on Suka. Could you intervene then? Answer me” she asked him, concerned and a little irritated.

I was aghast. “Opening of third eye”

They both looked at me. Devi Radha approached me, held my hand and asked Govinda,” Kanha! Can you see the horror in her eyes. You deem her as your favourite, now answer her. What will happen to your favourite Sari if Suka faces the wrath of Ashutosh?”

Comprehending the seriousness of the context, my eyes were filled with tears and I started sobbing. Mahaprabhu came towards me and with his soft hands, cleaned my tears and said,” Dear Sari, do you have faith in me?”

“More than anyone, mahaprabhu.”

“Then rest assured, Sari. Your Suka is going to play a very important role in the upliftment of human race. He is going to be the one through which WE will be made available in Bhuloka in the form of literature. Through the mouth of Suka, we will manifest in the mortal realm so that the claws of Kali can’t perish my devotees. And for that to happen, he has to take birth as the son of my Ansh avatar, Rishi Ved Vyasa and her wife Devi Vartika. And once his job is done, he will return back here, at Goloka. Are you happy now?”

“Yes, my lord. My Suka has gone for such an important task. May he succeed. My love and wishes are with him.”

Devi Radha patted on my back and said,” Sari, I very well know the pangs of separation. This is the reason I was very concerned for you but you took it so well.”

With a smile, I replied,’ Devi. I am an extension of yours. Moreover, this separation will only make our love more stronger and pure. I will take it as my Tapasya and wait for his return. Just bless me so that I can have the patience that you exhibited while living in separation from Mahaprabhu for 100 mortal years.”

She kept her hands on my hand and said with intense bliss,” I bless you Sari. The conduct that you exhibited today is of utmost love and divinity. Maybe the world won’t acknowledge your sacrifice and revere Suka for the efforts but we won’t let it happen. Maybe Suka will be praised for his teachings but you will always be revered. Anywhere we are present, you will also be present and without you being there, no one can ever think of us. You and US will become inseparable and those who have your grace will ultimately attract OURS’.”

“I am elated, Devi.” I said touching her feet. “But Devi, I have a question.”

“Ask Sari. You have every right to” said Govind, smiling.

“What will be the name of your literary avatar that Suka is going to transmit to the entire world?”

They both smiled and  replied in unison,” SHRIMAD BHAGWATAM

A swift return 2

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