Poet and Krishna devotee Jayadeva’s verses paint a lively picture of the scene on the banks of the Yamuna, where Lord Krishna frolicked with His playmates, and grazed the cows. It is said Jayadeva’s wife Padmavathi would dance to his verses. The Yamuna was indeed the most fortunate river, and identifying Krishna as the One who played on its banks, is an honour done to the river, Kidambi Narayanan said in a discourse.

This is what Jayadeva does, for he talks of Krishna as the One on the banks of the Yamuna. He refers to Krishna as Vanamali for Krishna wears flowers that bloom in the forest. Even among these forest flowers, He wears only the very special ones, for Krishna and His pranks are very special too.

The Vaishnavite Acharya Vedanta Desika marvels at Krishna’s playful thieving of butter. A thief would try to cover his tracks so as not to be discovered. But Krishna was the only One who did all His thieving with a witness to testify to His acts. That witness was the Yamuna, for it was on her banks that He delighted the Gopikas and the Yadava boys with His playfulness. Krishna’s entry into this world was on a stormy night.

His appearance with four hands instilled fear in the heart of His mother, Devaki, who was afraid that Kamsa would harm the child, if he got to know of its appearance. So she requested the child to appear like any normal child, with just two hands, and the baby Krishna obliged. But the parents were still not sure He would be safe. So it was decided to take Krishna to safety.

Knowing that Vasudeva would have to cross her, to take the divine infant to safety, the Yamuna hoped that she would be able to touch the baby. Not only did she provide a safe passage for Vasudeva but later was to behold all of Krishna’s acts of kindness, mischief and divinity, as He lived His formative years among the Yadavas. It was a fortune not even vouchsafed to His parents for He was past the age of childhood mischief, which so endeared Him to the Yadavas, by the time He went to His mother Devaki. So Yamuna was more fortunate than Devaki. Can any river, therefore, be compared to the Yamuna, which was truly blessed?

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