Jatila had a black cow that was out in the pasture one day watching Krishna milk and fondle his cows. Jatila’s cow thought, “Why doesn’t Krishna do that to me?” Feeling sad, the cow made a vow, “If Krishna doesn’t milk me with his own hands, then I won’t give milk at all anymore!” The next morning when Jatila went to milk her cow, it mooed and backed away, knocking over the bucket. Jatila furrowed her brow and wondered, “What is wrong?” She tried again and her cow reacted in the same way. She began to think, “Someone must have used black magic to put a spell on my cow. How will I get her to give milk?”
Just then Lalita Sakhi was coming to see Radhika. “Mother, what is the matter?” asked Lalita. Jatila told her everything. Lalita was delighted at the wonderful opportunity presenting itself. “Yes,” said Lalita, “I know someone who knows the proper mantras to counteract the spell and your cow will soon give milk again.” Jatila asked, “Who is that?” “Nanda Baba’s son, Krishna,” replied Lalita.
Jatila’s eyes rolled and she cried, “Alas! If this boy Krishna comes to our house, the family will be ruined.”
“Don’t you remember?” asked Lalita, “Krishna saved us by holding Govardhan parvat on his little finger, and by killing the demoness Putana and others. The boy is a wonder. He can surely cure your cow.”
“I don’t think so. Everyone agrees Narayana manifested himself in Krishna, and that’s how he did all those things.”
“No, that’s not the truth. He did all those things on his own.”
Jatila became quiet. “Well… if we don’t call him, then the spell will not be lifted, and the cow will not give milk. Ok then, let us call him. Where is he?”
“One may search day and night without finding him. Instead, you should call his name. If you call his name again and again he will surely come.”
“Not possible! If I call the name of Krishna aloud our whole dynasty will be shamed. How can I do this?”
“No need, you can say it softly.”
With an uneasy heart Jatila began to repeat softly, “Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna…”, but Krishna didn’t appear. Then she said, “Oh, how will Krishna hear if I speak so softly. What the heck? Let me speak it aloud… KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA…” after a minute Jatila’s feet began to move. Her body swayed to and fro, and her arms rose into the air. “What is this, Lalita! I am an old lady, but Krishna’s name is making me dance like anything! KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA!!”
Just then Krishna arrived, dressed in his enchanting cowherding outfit, adorned with sandal paste and mineral pigments, with a turban on his head fitted with a peacock’s tailfeather and a flute in his belt. When the hard-hearted old lady Jatila saw him, her hard old heart melted. She thought, “What is this? I am an old lady, but this Krishna is enchanting my heart. If he is this attractive, then how can I blame my Radha for being enchanted by him as well?”
“Old lady, what is the trouble? Why did you call me here?” asked Krishna. Lalita explained everything. Krishna caressed the cow and looked into her eyes. “No spell has been placed on this cow. Just bring the calf here and let it drink. Then pull the calf away and milk the cow as usual. There will be no problem.” Lalita brought the calf and let it drink. Jatila tried to pull the calf away, but the calf was too strong and she slipped. Jatila fell down, and the calf fell on her chest. (Which signifies that if one tries to obstruct someones bhakti they will get punished). Lalita and Krishna helped her to stand up.
“You call Radha here,” Jatila said to Lalita. “Together you three youngsters can handle the calf.” Radha came and the three of them pulled away the calf and tied it. Then Krishna began to milk the cow. After one bucket was filled, Lalita suggested that Jatila take the bucket inside (so that Radha and Krishna could talk to each other). Jatila said, “No, my back aches. Radha you take the bucket inside. While you are there, bring some sugar crystals in a pot to mix with fresh milk. Then, you take Krishna to your room and feed him the milk, sweets, and whatever he likes. Make him happy. I am going now to see Kutila. I will get her to massage my aching back with oil.”
Then Jatila left, and Lalita took Radha and Krishna into Jatila’s house. That day, Radha served Krishna in her own room to her heart’s content. The sakhis chided Radha from outside the latticed windows. “O Radhey! Every night you meet Krishna in some kunja or another, but today you are so audacious that you are enjoying with Krishna in your own room at midday, and by Jatila’s orders on top of it! How amazing!”
(From lila-kirtan that was performed the other day at Radha-Binod Mandir in Radha Kund)