एकदा देवयात्रायां गोपाला जातकौतुका: ।
अनोभिरनडुद्युक्तै: प्रययुस्तेऽम्बिकावनम् ॥ १ ॥
prayayus te ’mbikā-vanam
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; ekadā — once; deva — (to worship) the demigod, Lord Śiva; yatrāyām — on a trip; gopālāḥ — the cowherd men; jāta-kautukāḥ — eager; anobhiḥ — with wagons; anaḍut — to oxen; yuktaiḥ — yoked; prayayuḥ — went forth; te — they; ambikā-vanam — to the Ambikā forest.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: One day the cowherd men, eager to take a trip to worship Lord Śiva, traveled by bullock carts to the Ambikā forest.
According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the word ekadā here indicates the occasion of Śiva-rātri. He further mentions that Ambikāvana is in Gujarat province, near the city of Siddhapura. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura adds that the departure of the cowherd men specifically took place on the fourteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phālguna. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī also quotes authorities who claim that Ambikāvana lies on the bank of the Sarasvatī River, northwest of Mathurā. Ambikāvana is notable because within it are deities of Śrī Śiva and his wife, goddess Umā.