This story is originally told in Chapter Six of the Krsna-Bhavanamrta of Vishvanatha Chakravarti. Some familiarity with the Characters of Krsna lila is required. Krsna is the supremely sweet personality of Godhead. He is madly in love with Radha the supreme personality of love. Madhu(mangal) is Krsna’s studious/priestly (and very funny) friend.
Krsna: Madhu, why didn’t you come play with us today!? We had a great time!
Madhu: I was studying!
Krsna: Studying what? And from who?
Madhu: Astrology, I was studying Astrology from Bhaguri Muni’s teacher!
Krsna: Oh. What good is that?
Madhu: Oh, nothing much… just… omniscience!
Krsna: Omniscience? OK, then, tell me what I am thinking about right now!
Madhu: Just like that? Do you think I can do that in an instant, on demand!?
Krsna: OK, fair enough. What would it take for you to do it properly?
Madhu: Well, I can check your astrological birth chart, and compare it against the planetary positions at the current moment…
While saying this, Madhu began drawing Krsna’s birthchart in the sand – making various marks around it pertaining to the current planetary positions. All the while, he was rubbing his chin, shaking his head, looking at the sky very carefully. After a long while he again looked at Krsna…
Madhu: OK, this is what you are thinking about: On the slope of a charming hill there are two ponds. A golden swan swims there. You are obsessed in thought of how to catch this swam so you can enjoy playing with her. The problem is that she is in the middle of a large flock of swans and they are all very protective of her. They prohibit her from coming to your outstretched hand. So you are constantly scheming of different tricks and strategies but you can’t get that golden swan to come to you… Hahahaha, just see! I am a brilliant astrologer, so I am aware of everything!!!
Krsna: Wow!!! You really are a great scholar of mystical sciences! You read my mind perfectly! Madhu, now I need to know… look carefully into the stars and tell me if I will catch that swan today or not!
Again Madhu fell silent and into deep thought for a long while.
Madhu: Krsna, I studied the stars for a way you might catch that golden swan. This is how you should do it. Find a well camouflaged tree near her and hide in its branches. Then play your flute very, very sweetly – making music that matches the way she moves her wings. This will enchant her and she will come to you! …OK now, I figured this out for you, so you have to pay me! Pay me something commensurate with the work I did for you.
Krnsa filled Madhu’s hands with delicious pomegranate seeds.
Madhu: Hey, I am a friend, not a bird!
In Sanskrit, savayas = friend, and vayas = bird.
Krsna: Birds and priests are both “twice born,” my friend!
In Sanskrit, both birds and priests are called “dvija” (twice born) – A bird’s egg is born first from the mother, and later the bird is born a second time by emerging from the egg. A priest is twice born also, once as a normal person and a second time when he achieves mystical knowledge.
Krsna: But since you are such a good scholar, here, have the whole pomegranate!
Madhu: [smiling happily] Since you generously gave everything you had to a priest like me, I grant the blessing that today you will get your hands on two very round pomegranates! Today, may you become like a pomegranate, blissfully coloring the mouth of your beloved with the red nectar of your lips!
PS – One of the funnier things that might escape notice on the first reading is that Krsna is always thinking about how to entice Radha, and playing his flute is nearly always the fool-proof means of doing so. It doesn’t take any astrological skill to figure that out. This is part of the joke in why Krsna gave such a small donation (a fruit) as payment for Madhumangal’s so-called “reading.” =)
- Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishor das)