Kṛṣṇa's Apparel and Garlands
Generally, there are four kinds of garments on the body of Kṛṣṇa: His shirt, turban, belt and wearing garments. In Vṛndāvana, He used to put on reddish garments, with a golden shirt on His body and an orange-colored turban on His head. The different kinds of belts, combined with His enchanting smile, used to always increase the transcendental bliss of His associates. This dress of Kṛṣṇa is described as gorgeous. As a baby elephant is sometimes dressed in colorful clothing, so Kṛṣṇa's gorgeousness was manifested by decoration with such colorful clothing on the different parts of His body.
Ākalpa refers to the texture of Kṛṣṇa's hair, His nicely dressed body anointed with sandalwood pulp and decorated with flower garlands, His tilaka and His chewing pan. Kṛṣṇa was decorated constantly in this ākalpa process. Kṛṣṇa's hair was sometimes decorated with flowers placed on the middle of His head, or else it was reaching down to His back. In this way Kṛṣṇa dressed His hair differently at different times. As for the ointment on His body, the pulp of sandalwood generally appeared to be white, and when it was mixed with saffron dye it appeared to be yellow.
Kṛṣṇa used to put a vaijayantī garland around His neck. This vaijayantī garland is made of flowers of at least five different colors. Such a garland was always long enough to touch Kṛṣṇa's knees or feet. Besides this garland of flowers, there were other kinds of flower garlands too - sometimes decorating His head, sometimes hanging around His neck and chest. Artistic paintings with sandalwood pulp and colored sandalwood were also to be found on the body of Kṛṣṇa.
One gopī addressed her friend and began to praise the bodily features of Kṛṣṇa. She praised His blackish complexion, the reddish color of chewing pan enhancing His beauty hundreds of times, the curling hair on His head, the kuṅkuma red spots on His body and the tilaka on His forehead.
His helmet, His earrings, His necklace, His four garments, the bangles on His head, the rings on His fingers, His ankle bells and His flute - these are the different features of Kṛṣṇa's ornaments. Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Agha, always looked beautiful with His incomparable helmet, His earrings made of diamonds, His necklace of pearls, His bangles, His embroidered garments and the beautiful rings on His fingers.
Kṛṣṇa is sometimes called vana-mālī. Vana means "forest," and mālī means "gardener," so vana-mālī refers to one who extensively uses flowers and garlands on different parts of His body. Kṛṣṇa was dressed like this not only in Vṛndāvana but also on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Seeing such colorful dress and the garlands of different flowers, some great sages prayed, "Lord Kṛṣṇa was going to the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra not to fight, but to grace all of the devotees with His presence."