HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
When a smiling person claps his hands and leaps in the air, the smiling expression changes into atihasita, or over whelming laughter. An example of atihasita was manifested in the following incident. Krishna once addressed Jarati thus: “My dear good woman, the skin of your face is now slackened, and so your face exactly resembles a monkey’s. As such, the king of the monkeys, Balimukha, has selected you as his worthy wife.” While Krishna was teas ing Jarati in this way, she replied that she was certainly aware of the fact that the king of the monkeys was trying to marry her, but she had already taken shelter of Krishna, the killer of many powerful demons, and therefore she had already decided to marry Krishna instead of the king of the monkeys. On hearing this sarcastic reply by the talkative Jarati, all the cowherd girls present there began to laugh very loudly and clap their hands. This laughter, accompanied by the clap ping of hands, is called atihasita.
Sometimes there are indirect sarcastic remarks, which also create atihasita circumstances. An example of one such remark is a statement that was made by one of the cowherd girls to Kutila, the daughter of Jatila and the sister of Abhimanyu, the so-called husband of Radharani. Indirectly Kutila was insulted by the following statement: “My dear Kutila, daughter of Jatila, your breasts are as long as string beans — simply dry and long. Your nose is so gorgeous that it defies the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips defy the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kutila, you are the most beautiful of all the cowherd girls of Vrindavan, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Krishna’s flute!”
— Nectar of Devotion, chapter 45 From Srila Prabhupada’s Life
When Prabhupada’s edition of Caitanyacaritāmta, madhya-lila volume 1, was first published, devotees were surprised and pleased to read about the humorous joking between Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acharya during the taking of prasādam at Advaita Acharya’s house. One morning, during a car ride with Srila Prabhupada, one of the devotees expressed his appreciation for the new volume.
“There is such nice humor in the Caitanyacaritāmta, Srila Prabhupada.”
“Yes,” said Srila Prabhupada, “spiritual life is humor also.” Then he began to tell a story: “Krishna said to one old lady, ‘You are so ugly, you should marry a monkey.’ “
‘No,’ said the old lady, ‘I have given up all material desires. I will marry you, Krishna!’
“‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ All the gopīs and boys clapped and laughed.”
While Prabhupada said this, his eyes lit up and he became very animated, laughing at the humorous pastimes of Krishna. “So Krishna was defeated,” said Srila Prabhupada, “by that laughing of the gopīs.”·
— Prabhupada Nectar volume 1 by Sri Srimad Satsvarupa Das Goswami
– An expert from Sri Krishna-kathamrta Bindu, a free bi-monthly magazine service provided by Gopal Jiu Publications.