SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O lord of the earth! When Nund Jee had finished conversing, Krishnù and Bulram, having made a sign to Akroor took him aside. Treating him with respect and dignity they enquired about the welfare and affairs of Muttra. "Are Basoodeo and Dewukee well? Has the enmity of the Raja fallen upon them? Our maternal uncle, Kuns, is a great sinner, who has destroyed all the family of Judoo.
"Some great disease of the family of Judoo must have been born upon the earth in bodily shape, which has distressed them severely. In truth, Basoodeo and Dewukee suffer all their present affliction on our account; if they had not concealed us, they would not have been subjected to so much misery." Again Krishnù said, "What did they say to you as you were starting? We shall remain indebted to them for ever. They will keep us in remembrance; and must be very wretched in their present misfortunes."
At these words Akroor Jee said, "O lord of beneficence! you know all things; why need I speak of the tyranny of Kuns, who has not friendship or affection for any one? He is constantly thinking of putting Basoodeo and Dewukee to death: but they have hitherto escaped through their good
fortune. And since Narud Jee, the sage, came and explained to him all the circumstances of your birth, he has subjected Basoodeo and Dewukee to very painful imprisonment with fetters and handcuffs. To-morrow, he will offer sacrifice to Muhadeo, and the bow has been placed upon the sacrifice. All people will come as spectators; and he has sent me to invite you, saying, go and bring Bulram, Krishnù and Nund Rae, together with their presents, for the sacrifice. I have, therefore, come to bring you."
When Akroor had thus spoken, Bulram and Krishnù went to Nund Rae and said, "Our uncle, Akroor, says, that Kuns has invited us, father. It is the sacrifice, in which the bow is introduced; let us take butter-milk, rams and goats, as offerings. Come, accompanied by us all: the Raja Kuns says he will not admit any excuse."
When Shree Krishnù Chund had explained this matter to Nund Jee, Nund Rae sent for a public crier, and had proclamation made throughout the whole city, that all should go with him together to Muthoora; as the Raja had invited them. On hearing the proclamation, all the inhabitants of Bruj came early in the morning with presents; and Nund Jee having taken milk, curd, butter, rams, goats and buffaloes, and having yoked oxen in carts, went in company with them. And Krishnù and Buldeo were conveyed on a ruth, accompanied by their companions, the cowherds' children.
Nund and Oopnund went in advance, Huldhur and Gobind behind all the rest.
Shree Shookdeo Jee said, O lord of the earth! having heard of Shree Krishnù's sudden departure, all the women of Bruj were in a state of great alarm and agitation, and came rushing forth from their houses in a state of confusion. They came to Krishnù's ruth, with lamentations and trembling--and surrounding the ruth on all sides, said, with joined hands, and in a supplicating manner, "Why are you leaving us, O lord of Bruj! We have sacrificed every thing for you. The friendship
of a virtuous man never diminishes, but always endures, like the lines of the hand, and the friendship of a fool is unstable, like a wall of sand. What fault towards you have we committed, that you are leaving us?"
Having thus addressed Shree Krishnù Chund, the cowherdesses, looking at Akroor, said, "This Akroor is very cruel; he does not sympathize with our pain. He is taking away him, by being separated from whom, for a second, we are widowed. Kroor is deceitful, and hard-hearted: who has wrongly given him the name of Akroor, that is, not cruel? O perverse Akroor! void of all understanding, why do you destroy, with fire, us poor, weak creatures?"
Having uttered these harsh words, and laying aside all modesty and reflection, they laid hold of Huri's ruth, and began to say, to each other, "The women of Muthoora are very playful, lively and possessed of beauty and many good qualities. Beharee will fall in love with them, and being under the influence of their agreeable and pleasing dispositions, will remain with them. Why should he then think of us? The women of Muthoora are very fortunate, in having one so much loved to stay with them. What error has there been in our prayers and penance, that Shree Krishnù Chund is separated from us?" After thus conversing amongst themselves, they began to address Huri again, "Your name is lord of the cowherds, why do you not take us with you? How will the moments pass away without you? You have become the shade of our eye-lids, our bosoms will burst; after having felt love for us, why do you absent yourself? You are relentless and unkind, and have no affection." The women thus offered their supplications, and were filled with anxious thoughts, having fallen into a sea of affliction, they remained gazing at Huri with unmoved gaze, like a doe that has been charmed, or a red partridge fascinated by the moon. Tears gushed from their eyes, and their tresses were spread in disorder over their faces.
Shree Shookdeo, the sage, said, the state of the cowherdesses was such as I have described; and the Ranee Jusodha, having embraced her son with affection, said to him in a very endearing manner, "Son! take provisions with you for as many days as you will be absent; do not form an affection for any one there, and come back quickly to your own." On hearing these words, Krishnù descended from his ruth, and having entered into an explanation with them all, took leave; making a salutation, and receiving his mother's blessing, he ascended the ruth again, and started on his journey. The cowherdesses and Jusodha were deeply grieved, and shedding tears, continued to call out the name of Krishnù; whilst Krishnù stood up in his ruth, and said to them, as he went along; Go to your homes and be not at all anxious, I will return hither in four or five days."
Whilst he was thus speaking, and looking at them, when the ruth had gone some distance, and there was so much dust, (literally, the dust was spread to the sky,) that the flag of the ruth could not be seen; being in despair, they fluttered like fish deprived of water, and fell fainting to the ground. After some delay they recovered, and rose up and consoled themselves with the confident hope of his return. Jusodha took all the cowherdesses back with her to Brindabun; and Shree Krishnù arrived with his companions at the banks of the Jumna. The cowherds' children drank water there; and Huri placed his ruth under the shade of a fig tree. When Akroor Jee descended from the ruth with the intention of bathing, Shree Krishnù Chund said to Nund Rae, "Be pleased to take all the cowherds' children on with you, my uncle Akroor will bathe, and we will join you by and bye."
Nund Jee, on hearing these words, went forward. And Akroor Jee undressed; and having washed his hands and feet, sipping a little water from the palm of his hand, he went upon the bank and into the water. After this, he dipped his head under water, performed pooja, poured out a libation of water
to the manes of deceased ancestors, engaged in prayers and meditations; and after having dived his head under the water, opened his eyes, and beheld Shree Krishnù and his ruth in the water.
He then raised his head, and saw the lord of the Judoos in the same place, as he first occupied. He was astonished on reflecting upon this strange appearance, when he saw Krishnù far off on the ruth. They were both under the shade of a fig tree: and he saw them both in the water. He said to himself, "I cannot understand the mystery of their being both out of the water, and in it. Which shall I call the real figures?"
O great king! Akroor Jee, on seeing the same forms in and out of the water, was thinking of the phœnomenon; when in the mean while, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee appeared first of all in a form with four arms; and bearing a shell, quoit, club and lotus; and the gods, sages, celestial musicians and dancers together with all the worshippers of Huri, appeared in the water: and afterwards, Krishnù appeared as the sleeper on the serpent Sheshù. On beholding this Akroor Jee was still more perplexed.