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The Parrots’ Quarrel

The glory of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expressed in simple, sweet humour.

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj refers to the quarrel of a pair of parrots in Vṛndāvan:

There is a talk, an apparent quarrel, between Śuka and Śārī. Śuka is a parrot, and Śārī is his wife. She is partial to Rādhikā, and he is partial to Kṛṣṇa.

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa madana-mohana
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā bāme yata-kṣaṇa

Śuka, the male parrot says, “My Kṛṣṇa is Madan Mohan”, and śārī, his wife, answers, “So long as My Rādhikā is at His left side. Otherwise not: He is only Madan, not Mohan.” In this way, they engage in a very sweet mock fight. Śuka sings in favour of Kṛṣṇa, and Śārī, his wife, in favour of Rādhārāṇī. She says, “Without Rādhikā, what value does your Kṛṣṇa have? None at all.” Feeling for the relative position of Rādhārāṇī is seen here.

Note

The Bengali poem known as Śuka-Śārīra Dvandva referred to here was later recited for the satisfaction of Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj on 10 October 1982 and is translated here below.

Śuka-Śārīra Dvandva

The quarrel of a male and female parrot in Vṛndāvan

vṛndāvana-vilāsinī rāi āmādera
rāi āmādera, rāi āmādera,
āmarā rāiyera, rāi āmādera

Rāi the darling of Vṛndāvan is ours. Rāi is ours. Rāi is ours. We are Rāi’s, and Raī is ours.

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa madana-mohana
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā bāme yata-kṣaṇa
naile śudhui madana

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the enchanter of Cupid.”

Śārī says, “So long as My Rādhā is on His left. Were it not, He would only be Cupid.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa giri dharechhila
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā śakti sañchārila
naile pārbe kena

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhan Hill.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā empowered Him. Were it not, how would He be able?”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇera māthāya mayūra-pākhā
śārī bale, āmāra rādhāra nāmaṭi tāte lekhā
ai ye yāya go dekhā

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa wears a peacock feather on His head.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā’s Name is written on it. Go and see for yourself.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇera chūḍā bāme hele
śārī bale, āmāra rādhāra charaṇa pābe bale
chūḍā tāi ta hele

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa’s crown slants to the left.”

Śārī says, “To touch my Rādhā’s feet His crown is slanted so.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa yaśodāra jīvana
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā jīvanera jīvana
naile śunya jīvana

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the life of Yaśodā.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā is the life of her life. Were it not, she would be lifeless.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa jagat-chintāmaṇi
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā prema-pradāyinī
se tomāra kṛṣṇa jāne

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the wish-fulfilling jewel of this world.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā is the giver of divine love (the greatest of all attainments), and your Kṛṣṇa knows it.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇera vā̐śī kare gāna
śārī bale, satya vaṭe, bale rādhāra nāma
naile michhāi gāna

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa plays the flute.”

Śārī says, “That is true: He sings my Rādhā’s Name. Were it not, His songs would be meaningless.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa jagatera guru
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā vāñchhā-kalpa-taru
naile ki kāra guru

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the guru of the world.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā is the wish-fulfilling tree. Were it not,  would He be anyone’s guru?”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa premera bhikārī
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā premera laharī
premera ḍheu kiśorī

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is a beggar of love.”

Śārī says, “My youthful Rādhā has waves and waves of love. She is a flood of love.

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇera kadama-talāya thānā
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā kare ānāgonā
naile yata nā jānā

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa’s favourite spot is under the Kadamba tree.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā comes and goes from there. Were it not, this would not be known.

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa jagatera kālo
śārī bale, āmāra rādhāra rūpe jagata-ālo
naile ā̐dhāra kālo

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the night of the world.”

Śārī says, “The light of the world comes from my Rādhā’s body. Were it not, the place would be dark.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇera śrī-rādhikā-dāsī
śārī bale, satya vaṭe, sākṣī āchhe vā̐śī
naile hata kāśī-vāsī

Śuka says, “Śrī Rādhikā is a maidservant of my Kṛṣṇa.”

Śārī says, “That is true. The flute is the witness of this. Were it not, He would live in Kāśī.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa kare variṣaṇa
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā sthāpita pavana
se ye sthira pavana

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa showers rain.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā provides the wind. She is the steady wind.”

śuka bale, āmāra kṛṣṇa jagatera prāṇa
śārī bale, āmāra rādhā jīvana kare dāna
thāke ki āpana prāṇa

Śuka says, “My Kṛṣṇa is the life of the world.”

Śārī says, “My Rādhā gives Him life. Were it not, would He have life Himself?”

śuka śārī du’janāra dvandva ghuche gela
rādhā-kṛṣṇera prīte eka-bāra hari hari bolo
śrī-vṛndāvana chala

Śuka and Śārī’s quarrel was thus resolved. Out of love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, let us now chant “Hari! Hari!” and go to Śrī Vṛndāvan.

śuka-śārīra dvandva samāpta

The parrots’ quarrel is concluded.

Reference

In chapter 17 of the Madhya-līlā of Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī describes a similar quarrel between parrots witnessed by Śrīman Mahāprabhu during His visit to Vṛndāvan.

vṛkṣa-ḍāle śuka-śārī dila daraśana
tāhā dekhi’ prabhura kichhu śunite haila mana [208]

A male and female parrot appeared on the branch of a tree. Seeing them, the Lord desired to hear something from them.

śuka-śārikā prabhura hāte uḍi’ paḍe
prabhuke śunāñā kṛṣṇera guṇa-śloka paḍe [209]

The parrots flew over to the Lord’s hand and began to recite verses describing Kṛṣṇa’s qualities for the Lord to hear.

Govinda-līlāmṛta (13.29):
saundaryaṁ lalanāli-dhairya-dalanaṁ līlā ramā-stambhinī
vīryaṁ kandukitādri-varyam amalāḥ pāre-parārdhaṁ guṇāḥ
śīlaṁ sarva-janānurañjanam aho yasyāyam asmat-prabhur
viśvaṁ viśva-janīna-kīrtir avatāt kṛṣṇo jagan-mohanaḥ [210]

[The male parrot said:] “His beauty destroys the composure of women. His play stuns Lakṣmī Devī. His strength turns Govardhan Hill into a toy. His conduct delights everyone. He possesses innumerable flawless qualities. Oh! May our Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the enchanter of the world whose glory is uplifting for the entire world, protect the world.”

śuka-mukhe śuni’ tabe kṛṣṇera varṇana
śārikā paḍaye tabe rādhikā-varṇana [211]

Having heard this description of Kṛṣṇa from the mouth of the male parrot, the female parrot recited a description of Śrī Rādhikā.

Govinda-līlāmṛta (13.30):
śrī-rādhikāyāḥ priyatā surūpatā
suśīlatā nartana-gāna-chāturī
guṇāli-sampat kavitā cha rājate
jagan-mano-mohana-chitta-mohinī [212]

“Śrī Rādhikā’s love, beauty, kindness, expertise in dancing and singing, poetic ability, and wealth of other qualities shine as She enchants the heart of He who enchants the minds of the world.”

punaḥ śuka kahe, “kṛṣṇa ‘madana-mohana’”
tabe āra śloka śuka karila paṭhana [213]

The male parrot replied, “Kṛṣṇa is the enchanter of Cupid”, and then recited another verse:

Govinda-līlāmṛta (13.31):
vaṁśī-dhārī jagan-nārī-chitta-hārī sa śārike
vihārī gopa-nārībhir jīyān madana-mohanaḥ [214]

“O Śārī, may the flute player who steals the hearts of women throughout the world, enjoys with the wives of the cowherd men, and enchants even Cupid be victorious!”

punaḥ śārī kahe śuke kari’ parihāsa
tāhā śuni’ prabhura haila vismaya-premollāsa [215]

The female parrot replied to the male parrot jokingly. Hearing this, the Lord was filled with surprise, love, and delight.

Govinda-līlāmṛta (13.32):
rādhā-saṅge yadā bhāti tadā ‘madana-mohanaḥ’
anyathā viśva-moho ‘pi svayaṁ ‘madana-mohitaḥ’ [216]

“When Kṛṣṇa shines beside Rādhā, then He is the enchanter of Cupid, but otherwise, although He is the enchanter of the world, He Himself becomes enchanted by Cupid.”

śuka-śārī uḍi’ punaḥ gela vṛkṣa-ḍāle
mayūrera nṛtya prabhu dekhe kutūhale [217]

The male and female parrots flew back onto a tree branch, and the Lord happily watched a peacock dance.

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