Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Mukunda-mālā-stotra 30
śreyo deva-śikhā-maṇir diśatu no gopāla-cūḍā-maṇiḥ
bhakta — His devotees; apāya — who takes away; bhuja-ańga — whose arms; gāruḍa — riding on the great bird Garuḍa; maṇiḥ — the jewel; trai-lokya — of the three worlds; rakṣā — for protection; maṇiḥ — the jewel; gopī — of the cowherd girls; locana — of the eyes; cātaka — for the cātaka birds; ambuda — of clouds; maṇiḥ — the jewel; saundarya — displaying beauty; mudrā — of gestures; maṇiḥ — the jewel; yaḥ — who; kāntā — of consorts; maṇi — who is the jewel; rukmiṇī — of Rukmiṇī; ghana — full; kuca-dvandva — of the two breasts; eka — the one; bhūṣā — decorative; maṇiḥ — jewel; śreyaḥ — ultimate benefit; deva — of the demigods; śikhā-maṇiḥ — the crown jewel; diśatu — may He grant; naḥ — to us; gopāla — of cowherds; cūḍā-maṇiḥ — the crest jewel.
He is the jewel riding on the back of Garuḍa, who carries away the Lord's devotees on his wings. He is the magic jewel protecting the three worlds, the jewellike cloud attracting the cātaka-bird eyes of the gopīs, and the jewel among all who gesture gracefully. He is the only jeweled ornament on the ample breasts of Queen Rukmiṇī, who is herself the jewel of beloved consorts. May that crown jewel of all gods, the best of the cowherds, grant us the supreme benediction.
In this verse King Kulaśekhara gives us glimpses of Lord Kṛṣṇa in some of His various līlās. In each example, the Lord is described as maṇi, a jewel. Like a jewel, He is self-effulgent, very beautiful, and highly valuable.
Without a jewel, a ring-setting looks empty, and so without Kṛṣṇa, Garuḍa would have no extraordinary importance, although he is a large and powerful bird. Without Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs' eyes would have no place to rest and nothing to see, just as a cātaka bird remains restless until it sees a rain-bearing and life-giving cloud. As Lord Caitanya says in the mood of a gopī, "The whole world appears vacant without You." In the absence of Kṛṣṇa, the gods would be without their crest jewel, and their own value would fall away. Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa is the absolutely essential figure in His own līlā in the spiritual world, as well as in all the operations of the material worlds. As He states in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.7), "Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."
When a soul misuses his free will, he tries to become the center of existence and thinks he can do without Kṛṣṇa. This mistake is illustrated in the story of Satrājit, who once possessed a wondrous jewel called Syamantaka, which he wore in a locket around his neck. When Satrājit entered Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇa asked him to deliver the jewel to the king, Ugrasena. But instead Satrājit installed the jewel in a temple, worshiped it, and gained 170 pounds of gold daily. Because of his claim that the jewel did not belong to Kṛṣṇa, King Satrājit and his family suffered in many ways. The king found peace only when he realized that the Syamantaka should be given to the supreme jewel, Lord Kṛṣṇa. And so he gave both the jewel and his daughter, Satyabhāmā, to the Lord.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari