Today the wave of event celebrations was at Sankari Khor. Here is the famous place of Kṛṣṇa’s taxes, stealing of milk products, and breaking of curd-laden pots. Here Kṛṣṇa’s gopas would face off with the delicate gopīs in argument and teases.
In celebration of this occasion, the men from Nandagoan sat opposite to the men of Barṣāṇā, repeating the ancient songs of yore carrying forward the glorification of their personal istadevas(worshipable deities).
The Buddhi lila, of transcendental arguments between Kṛṣṇa and the gopis enroute from Ciksoli village to Barṣāṇā. Presently the residents would stand and shout at each other from the top of the ravine. The follow up was of course the Madki lila, the breaking of the earthen wares.
According to Braja Bhakti-vilāsa, there are two mountains in Barṣāṇā – Brahmā and Viṣṇu. On the Viṣṇu mount is located Vilāsagarh and the rest of the mountains are Brahmā. At the juncture of the two is Sankari Khor, where ‘dadhi dān līlā’ took place.
Sankari means ‘narrow’ and Khor/gali means ‘lane’. All ācāryas have sung the līlās of Sankari Khor:
Sankari gali is a lane from where gopīs, carrying curd-pots on their heads, can cross one by one, since the passage is narrow. Here, Śyāmasundar charges dān (tax) from them! He, with his battalion of sakhās (friends), collects the tax! What tax? Curd! They request, demand or even snatch the curds.
This prayer mantra means that the gopīs are coming, with curd-pots on their heads and Śrī Kṛṣṇa has blocked their way. We offer obeisances to this place, where the gopīs regularly traverse.
The side named after Rādhārāṇī, on which She would sit, is lighter in color compared to the adjoining one which is called Śyāma pahadi (hillock), Śyāmasundar would sit on this side, impressing their skin colors upon the mount on which they sat. Firstly, one comes to Rādhā’s umbrella, next is Kṛṣṇa’s and lastly Mansukha’s umbrella.
This is dān līlā sthalī. Kṛṣṇa and his friends come from Nandgaon to collect curds from the gopīs of Barṣāṇā. The gopīs once tied their chotis (locks). On the top Kṛṣṇa was tied, and down below was Mansukha. Mansukha called aloud, ‘O Kānāiya!…, come fast, help me, these gopīs have tied my hair…’
Śyāmasundar called back, ‘O idiot! How can I help you? I am also tied’.
Gopīs tie all other sakhās’ locks also, so that no one could untie them.
The gopīs make this clear that no one’s going to help them. If they surrender to Rādhārāṇī, only She only can grant them freedom.
All friends’ surrender to Śrīji and on Her order, the gopīs release them from bondage. Śrīji’s heart melts on seeing Śyāmasundar in agony. The gopīs feel that they are not worthy of any lesser treatment for the kind of mischief they play with them.
Presently, this līlā is enacted here on the third day from Rādhāṣṭami, that is, on Ekadāsī day and on Trayodaśī day, two days after Ekadāsī, is celebrated Mataki-phod līlā. On this day, all gopas accompany Kṛṣṇa from Nandgaon to Sankari gali and Kṛṣṇa breaks the dadhi-mataki (curd-pot). The līlā is like this – Śrīji and Her sakhīs come with curd-pots towards Sankari gali. Śyāmasundar questions them as to where they are going. As usual, the sakhīs rather than answering pose a counter-question, ‘Does it belong to your father? It’s none of your concern; we may carry our curds anywhere.’ Śyāmasundar starts walking with them, gossiping very sweetly. As they reach near Chiksoli village, He breaks their curd-pots. This act happens at Śyāma umbrella. This spot is still smooth and greasy and is a significant līlā-sthalī.
At Sankari khor, the marks of Kṛṣṇa’s hand and stick are clearly visible, which are over 5000 years old. This spot is most famous for ‘dadhi dān līlā’, though similar līlās have occurred at 2-3 other places also, which are: Dān Ghati in Govardhan and Vaṁśīvat in Vṛndāvana. Sankari khor is best known for this līlā, and since the same līlā is enacted here year after year, the hand and stick marks, brings this divine pastime to life. Five days after the Rādhāṣṭami celebrations, the Gosvāmīs from Nandgaon come to Barṣāṇā and sing the glorious līlās of Yugal (Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa).
Dān līlā of Sankari khor
Reading or listening to this līlā with absolute attention, one can personally experience this event within the mind. The gopīs are going towards Sankari khor, curd laden pots on their heads, and come across Kṛṣṇa; they get so attracted that at first sight, lose their hearts to Him.