Krishna Leela and Other Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam (As Told by Rishi Shukadeva to King Parikshit on The Banks of The Ganga)

FREE Delivery
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAP521
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Rajendra Tandon
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788129117762
Pages: 332 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 1.80 kg
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description

About the Book

Krishna has been a part of our lives for millennia, through idols in temples, by being invoked in classical dance and music, representations in painting and sculpture, and in the names given to every other child born in India. Even today, telling tales of Krishna's childhood and reading of the Shrimadbbhagvatam is a ritual in many families.

Krishnnleela and Other Tales from Sbrimabbagavatam is a modern retelling of these stories in English, making them accessible to readers in India and abroad. These tales, starting with the birth of Krishna and continuing through all his exploits, have as much appeal and relevance today, because of the richness of the descriptions of the nature, the flora and fauna of the region, as well as the portrayal of human nature with all its nobility and virtuousness, its failures and foibles.

The text is accompanied by brilliant photographs of paintings from Kangra, Nathdwara, Basohli, as well as sculptures from ancient temples and from modern-day Moradabad.

About the Author

Rajendra Taldon born in 1934 is a Master of Arts in English literature and a Bachelor of Law. He was a member of the Indian Revenue Service. He has studied Sanskrit, Hindi, Panjabi, Urdu, Mathematics, Physics and Law. He takes a keen interest in Indian history, Indian miniature painting, astronomy, fine arts, Indian and Western classical music and Gardening .He lives in Mumbai.


My mother used to read a number of scriptures, but her favourite was the Premasagara, a Hindi translation of the tenth canto of Shrimadbhagavata Purana by Lallu Lal. The translation was in a dialect of Hindi spoken in the Moradabad and Bareilly districts of Uttar Pradesh. As a child, I used to intently listen to the stories of Krishna narrated by my mother. However, when I picked up the Hindi alphabet and learnt to read, I started reading this book on my own.

There was a Krishna mandir next door and another at the entrance to our street. Every year, Krishna Janamashtami was celebrated with great pomp and show in both these temples. As young children, we contributed our bit by helping the pundits decorate the temples with colourful buntings and European chandeliers in varied colours. On the eve of Krishna's birthday, we kept awake, with difficulty, till midnight when the aarti was performed and delicious prasad distributed.The following morning, a celebratory feast marked the birth of a son to Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul.

Every temple had a decorated cradle in which an idol of Bala Krishna was placed. Devotees could rock the cradle by pulling a string attached to it. Tableaus, with dolls and statues artistically arranged, depicted several incidents from Krishna's life. In later years, I found that in cities like Delhi, important temples competed with each other in making this display attractive, innovative and varied. Krishna has been a part of our ethos for millennia. He continues to be so through idols worshipped in temples, invocations in classical dance and music, representations in painting and sculpture and in the names given to every other child born in India. He lives in our hearts as none else.

The credit for Krishna's omnipresence goes to the rishis who wrote the Shrimadbhagavata Purana. As brought out in the Purana itself, spreading Krishna lore was the main purpose of this compilation. The rishis achieved success unsurpassed by any other scripture in fulfilling this objective except, perhaps, for the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, the song of the Lord sung by Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, and the Ramayana. Keeping in mind the importance of Krishna in the overall context of the Shrimadbhagavata Purana, I have taken the liberty of placing the chapters on the life of Krishna ahead of the stories told in the earlier part of the Purana. I am confident that my readers will get lost in the bliss of Krishna contemplation while reading about him, just as I was while translating the text.

Most of the time I have stuck to the original text which in the sheer loveliness of the descriptions of nature, of shringara and viraha rasa, and in describing natural phenomena such as the seasons, the rivers and the mountains, the flora and the fauna of Gokul and Vrindavan, is great literature judged by any standards.

The authors had mastered the art of minute observation, which is evident in the way they described the dresses that the cowherds wore. Look at their ornaments. Read about the food they ate. Notice the children carrying tiffin into the forests and its contents. Observe the adornments worn by the bulls and the cows. It is all so familiar and authentic.

However, I have taken the liberty of adding some more details of trees, plants, flowers and birds in order to enhance the richness of the ashrama in which the story was told and of the surroundings of Vrindavan. I have made sure that all such enhancements are authentic and that they do not violate the original story in any manner whatsoever.

It is amazing how similar the Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul of the Purana are to, the Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul of today.

What is it that makes Krishna hold our collective imagination? What makes us so fascinated by him? Read about his pranks as a child, and you will find your own child playing in front of you. Yashoda looking down at her child suckling at her breast is a scene witnessed in every household. Krishna's cowherds returning home from the pastures is a common sight wherever groups of boys go out to play and come home by godhuli time. It is this familiarity of happenings, of characters and the predictability of behaviour that make the legend of Krishna entrancing and unforgettable.

The chapters in the Krishnaleela which describe Krishna's infancy and growing up are among the finest celebration of childhood in world literature. These are followed by detailed and explicit delineation of his romantic association with the Vrajabalas, a world totally different from the earlier narrative, yet captivating and unputdownable.

Visit any Navratri pandal in Mumbai or Ahmedabad or Surat and share the enthusiasm of the dancing couples. It is indeed the maharasa, as described in the Purana, re-enacted year after year with joyful abandon. A glorious remembrance of Krishna and his gopis, it is a recreation of the bliss he imparted to his companions, a time to forget all the tension and strife on this planet in the rhythmic dance and music. The source of this joy, as you will see, is the Shrimadbhagavata Purana.

Great literature is inspired by the lofty ideals of Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram, that is, Truth, the ennobling, the propitious, and the beautiful. The stories in the Shrimadbhagavata Purana reflect these principles.

The authors wrote each story with a message. They described the unsavoury attributes of mankind such as lust, greed, anger, violence, treachery, possessiveness, attachment, unbridled sex, profligacy and uncivil behaviour, and showed a way that would bring about a change for the better in a human being. That is what makes the Purana an inspiring read, over and over again. This explains why in millions of Hindu households, a weeklong non-stop narration of the Shrimadbhagavata Purana is an annual ritual. Certain chapters of Part One, Krishnaleela, have been translated in free verse. The original is all in poetic shlokas. The subject matter of chapters such as The Cycle of Seasons in Vrindavan, A Beloved's Plaint, Maharasa, They Played on the Flute and the World Stood Mesmerised, the Bhramarageeta, and the Krishnaleela in Dwarka compelled my pen to write free verse. I had no control. I am confident that my readers will savour the flow of words and thought.

I have based my translation on the Gita Press (Gorakhpur) edition of the Shrimadbhagavata Purana in Sanskrit. This organisation deserves the thanks of every Hindu for preserving and making available authentic versions of most of the holy texts to the reading public at nominal cost.

No other deity in India has been painted or sculpted as frequently and as variously as Krishna. I have chosen some of the finest paintings and sculptures available to illustrate this book. At times more than one image has been used in a particular context. This is deliberate because each depiction speaks its own language. The painters of Kangra, Nathdwara, Basohli and the sculptors of ancient temples or modem day Moradabad had a divine vision and dexterity. Besides, a darshana of Krishna can bear infinite repetition. Looking at him is pure bliss.

I feel blessed in undertaking this translation.

I pray that everyone who reads it will be equally blessed.


  Acknowledgements xi
  Preface xiii
  Invocation xvii
  Salutations to Shri Shukadeva xix
  Translator's Note xxi
  The Puranas xxiii
  Shrimadbhagavata Purana: A Critical Appreciation xxvii
1 Krishna Avatar I 3
2 Krishna Avatar II 7
3 Krishna Avatar III 10
4 Kansa Turns Nasty 12
5 Gokul Celebrates Krishna's Birth 15
6 Pootna's Salvation 18
7 Whe,lil Trinavarta Blew Away the Infant Krishna 21
8 Krishna's Childhood Pranks 24
9 Krishna is Tied to a Mortar and the String Runs Out 27
10 Nanda Family Shifts to Vrindavan 30
11 Deliverance from the Jaws of Aghasura 33
12 Krishna Clones the Cowherds 36
13 Music, Dance and Games Under the Vrindavan Skies 42
14 Krishna Dances on a Cobra's Hood 45
15 Pralamba, the Asura, Runs Away with Balarama 50
16 The Cycle of Seasons in Vrindavan 53
17 The Magic of Krishna's Flute 59
18 The Magic of Krishna's Flute 63
19 Krishna Holds Goverdhan like a Mushroom, Deflates Indra's Arrogance 67
20 Come, Let's Play and Dance 72
21 The Pangs of Separation 77
22 A Beloved's Plaint 80
23 Krishna Offers Consolation and Hope 85
24 Maharasa [The Dance of The Divine 88
25 When they Played on the Flute the World Stood Mesmerised to Listen 93
26 Mission Akrura: Krishna Leaves Vrindavan for Good 100
27 Mama Kansa Meets his Doom 107
28 To Apply the Salve of Love, Uddhava Travels to Vrindavan 111
29 The Bhramarageeta 115
30 Victory over Jarasandha and Departure for Dwarka 123
31 Rukminiharan 126
32 Why Don't You Take Another Husband? 131
33 Usha's Dream 135
34 A Day in Shri Krishna's Life 139
35 Deliverance of Jarasandha 142
36 Enough is Enough 145
37 A Friend in Need Comes Calling 148
38 Vishnu Rescues Bholenath 153
39 Krishnaleela in Dwark 156
40 How to Meditate with Krishna as the Guide 162
41 A Mendicant's Song 164
42 The Journey of the son of Maidservant to the Status of a Devarshi The Moving Tale of Narada Muni 171
43 Parikshit, the Great Pandava King, and the Curse of Rishi Shringi 174
44 Parikshit takes on Kaliyuga 178
45 When God Wrote a Blank Cheque 182
46 The Abduction of Prithvi and Bhagwan Varaha's Rescue Mission 188
47 Marriages are Made in Heaven: Wedding Bells Ring for Kardama and Devahooti 193
48 Immolation of Sati 197
49 An Assured Place in the Heavens: Dhruva's Ascendancy To Vishnudham 202
50 When Prithu Tamed Prithvi 208
51 Ajamil Returns from the Doors of Death 213
52 The Learned Hiranyakashipu Invites Vishnu's Wrath 217
53 Bhakta Prahlada and Hiranyakashipu's Downfall 221
54 Gajendra and the Evil Crocodile 226
55 Samudramanthan I 230
56 Samudramanthan II 233
57 I Samudramanthan III: Mohini Avatar 238
58 When Shiva Fell in Love with Mohini 242
59 Bali, the Prince of Charity, and Vamana Brahmachari I 245
60 Bali, the Prince of Charity, and Vamana Brahmachari II 248
61 Bali, the Prince of Charity, and Vamana Brahmachari III 253
62 Gangavataran 256
63 Urvashi's Infatuation with Pururava 260
64 Parashurama and his Powerful Axe I 264
65 Parashurama and his Powerful Axe II 268
66 Yayati, Devayani and Sharmistha 271
67 , Dushyanta Falls in Love with Shakuntala 277
  Glossary and Notes 281

Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories