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Swami teaches....Part 83

 

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 82

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 8 - 15 Oct 2006
Part 1. Rainbow of Divine Leelas


In this Kaliyuga, the principle of the Divine Love is not in evidence. It is smothered in jealousy, conceit, hatred, fear, falsehood and greed.

 

But it is time to be aware that human is here on a holy mission, for the Divine purpose. To consider human as mean or weak or sinful is a mistake. Human must earn birth right, namely, shanthi (peace). Ashanthi (restlessness) is an unnatural state.
 

To recover human's heritage of shanthi, human tries various methods: acculumation of riches, maintenance of health, mastery of knowledge, cultivation of the arts. But these are not fundamental. Three basic wants still remain after all these methods have been tried: the need for reality, for light and for immortality. It is only when Sath, Jyothi and Amritham (Existence, Divine Light and Divine Nectar) are won that peace will be stabilised.

It is no use indulging in arguments and disputations; a person who clamours aloud has not grasped the truth. Silence is the only language of the realised. Most misunderstandings and factions arise out of carelessly spoken words. When the foot slips, the wound can be healed; but when the tongue slips, the wound it causes in the heart of another will fester for life. The tongue is liable to four big errors; uttering falsehood, scandalising, finding fault with others and excessive articulation. The bond of brotherhood will be tightened if people speak less and speak sweet. That is why silence was prescribed as a vow for sadhakas by the Sastras. The Divine Love is the wealth that decorated silence. The examples the experiences of the Divine Love are timeless, as timeless are the Divine Leelas of Krishna.

"Listen, king Parikshith (emperor of Kuru dynasty; grandson of Arjuna and son of Abhimanyu), to this momentous event," said Suka (a sage, son of author of the Mahabharatha, Vyasa) "The Divine boy, Gopala, was but God who had taken human form in sheer sport. He grew up like human children and attained the age of five."
 

Krishna came with the Yogashakthi (Balarama), as His Brother and Mayashakthi (Maya) as His Sister. That is how Mahashakthi (Supreme Power) gets born.
 

Suka said, "O king Parikshith truly, the Leelas of Krishna are, as you said, amazing, wondrous; but, yet, sweet and meaningful. They are not tainted by the desire to show off the Divine nature. The inner meaning and purpose are not easily patent to all. They can be interpreted by Avatar alone, not by another. The Leelas of Krishna are beyond the comprehension of any one, however, scholarly or wise. His movement, walk, talk, smile, laughter, gesture, speech, song - each is charming with a unique artistry."

No one can know the significance of His movements. He was never in the habit of communicating to others, about His sports or Leelas, either before or after. One has only to observe and obey. No one can guess their nature or plumb their meaning whoever he may be, whatever his attainments. Krishna is Prema (Love) and His story confers Ananda quickly and spontaneously to one and all. The prema in the human heart responds to the call of that Divine Prema; it surges up and overflows.

The relationship between the gopis and Krishna as depicted in the Bhagavatha (a textbook the story of Avatars and the Divine Love) has been unfortunately judged by persons who have not regulated and controlled their vrittis. This subject is beyond the comprehension of such people. Only brahmacharins (celibates) of the most ardent and ascetic type like Suka Maharishi who described it to king Parikshith and in recent years, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, can appreciate that relationship and pronounce upon its uniqueness. All the rest are apt to see in it only the reflection of their own failings and their own feelings.


The inner eye, the inner senses are needed to grasp the meaning of this relationship. The mind has to be the master, not the slave, of the senses, if the interpretation has to be just. Thoughts, wishes, deeds and feelings - all have to be purified of the desire for gain.


Bhagavatha includes the stories of all the incarnations of Bhagavan or the Lord. All incarnations were the manifestations of the selfsame Gopala, Krishna, from Go-Loka or Vaikunta. The story of each is but the story of Vasudeva, emerging from Him and merging in Him. That Divine power is the sustaining factor for all incarnations as well as all living beings.

Who are these gopis, according to the Bhagavatha itself? They are the demi-gods who wanted to share in the glory of the Avatar and who came down to the world as witnesses and sharers of the Divine Leela (cosmic sport). They came for a purpose; they are not ordinary village folk, who could be dismissed as a crowd of voluptuous women. They saw in every gesture and gait, every word and phrase of Krishna the Divine, not the human at all. They had no occasion or chance to be agitated by a secular vritti (thought wave); all vrittis were awakened by Divine promptings and urges. Like the magnifying glass which catches the rays of the Sun and directs them all to one spot, thus concentrating the heat on one point and helping it to ignite, the hearts of the gopis collected all the vrittis and concentrated them and caused the illumination and the flame. The flame burnt all dross; the illumination revealed the Truth. All other interpretations are to be laid at the door of either ignorance or scholasticism, the pompous pride of mere book learning, which scorns the exercise of discipline.

Krishna is condemned as a thief who stole butter from the cowherd maidens; but, the butter represents the bhakthi of the heart that is got after the process of churning. It is a question of a symbol being taken as literally true.
 

Every gopi had the highest type of bhakthi in her heart. They saw only Krishna wherever they turned; they wore on their foreheads blue kumkum, in order to remind themselves of Krishna. There were many husbands who protested against the colour of the kumkum, but they dared not wipe it off, lest harm should befall them and the sacrilege recoil on them alone.

The Love of the gopis (cowherd maidens, milk-maids) about which so much philosophical speculation and analysis was made before you is the genuine Love that is beyond physical awareness, that is unaffected by praise or blame. It is like the lotus stalk, which penetrates deep down through all the layers of water into the soil underneath; but the leaf floats above, unaffected by the water which gives it the essential environment. Human should struggle similarly to rise above the sensory world which is individual's inevitable environment.


Look at the gopis and their yearning for the Lord. They never swerved from the path of bhakthi, of continuous remembrance of the Lord. When in pain you shout "Ayyo, appa or amma"; but the gopis called on Krishna only, whether in joy or in grief. A gopi was moving along the streets of Brindavan selling butter and ghee and milk; but, she was not crying aloud the names of her ware; she was calling aloud the names of Krishna. The gopikas forgot the very purpose of their visit to Brindavan, their very livelihood, their task of selling and earning. They stood watching Krishna, running along with a hoop and ignoring all else, they ran behind him with a ball of butter in the hand, offering it to the Divine child who had captured their hearts.

Sage Suka through Swami's words continued his narratation (the beginning is above) to king Parikshith about the Divine Leelas of boy Krishna.

"Krishna incarnation is the mystery. That embodiment of sweetness is most captivating! Exquisite charm, unrivalled sweetness, incomparable love, - the Krishna form was the concretisation of all these. That form was the treasure-house of bliss; it was the ocean of virtue. O, what innocence! What superhuman excellence! The mere sight of Him is enough; listening to His words is enough; merely touching Him is enough; one's life will find its goal. All rituals, all sacrifices, all scriptural ceremonies have as their goal only this, this sight, this listening, this touch. The gain that accrues from the rites etc., are nothing when compared to the gain from the sight and the touch, and the listening to His voice.

Wherever He went, He created some strange mischief or other. Like a typhoon sweeping over the land, He left behind in every home that He visited a series of upheavals, quarrels, wailings and tears.

There was no need to invite Him ceremoniously into any house; He would enter uninvited, unannounced. Every house belonged to Him; He would get in and take whatever He desired from wherever it was hidden, and eat them to His heart's content.

He was everyone's dearest kinsman, fastest comrade. So, He could take anything from any house with impunity. But, He was not content with that. He took away much more than His own need, for, He gave away large quantities to His companions too. And, they were quite a large number! The owner might bewail the loss, and condemn the theft, but, He did not care; He gave the things away as if they were His own! No one could hinder His sport; no one could go against His word. If any dared oppose or threaten, the sufferings that will be heaped on his head were indescribable.

But, the truth must be told. The smallest act of His was saturated with supreme sweetness. Even the sufferings He inflicted on those He wanted to punish were sweet. So, no one felt the least anger towards Him. Instead, they yearned to meet Him more often, to play with Him longer, to talk with Him and stay with Him as much as possible. Whatever His pranks and practical jokes, the victims never felt annoyed at Him.

The reason was: the Prema, the undercurrent of love, that motivated all His words and acts. The cowherd maids rushed towards Him with sticks to beat Him off, but, when they neared Him and cast their looks at Him, their hearts were filled with Prema, and they came away, with a prayer on their tongues. Whatever He did, appeared as The Divine sport, Leela.

The blue boy was the master of subterfuge and diplomacy. He saw through every artifice, however cleverly camouflaged. When the Ogress Puthana approached Him as mother to feed Him at her breast, He pretended to be taken in by that stratagem; He sucked her life out and felled her to the ground. Many an Asura came near Him to destroy Him, some assuming the familiar forms of the cowherds and milkmaids of the village; but, He discovered their identity and dispatched them to the city of death. One Asura took the form of a calf, and moved among the calves and cows which Krishna was tending, awaiting an opportunity to kill Him. But, the three year-old Divine infant saw through the device; He caught him by the tail, raised him, swung him one round and beat him on the ground.

Such strength and skill were quite out of proportion to that infant form. But, he demonstrated His divinity in a million ways, in order to convert and convince people. He taught every one, whether they were elders, women, or crooks, or His own kinsmen and well-wishers. He advised them into good ways. He entangled some of them in dilemmas.

While yet an infant, He ended the lives of Puthana, Thrnavartha, and Sakatasura; He was then, a tiny thief in search of butter in every home! When His mother tied Him to a wooden mortar, He dragged it behind Him, and with it, He pulled down two giant trees, growing together. He curbed the conceit and fury of the serpent Kaliya, which poisoned the waters of the Yamuna and made them disastrous for men and cattle. When His mother attempted to tie Him up with a rope round His waist, He revealed to her His universal form, the form in which the entire universe was found to be but a part of Him. Through His yawn, He showed the macrocosm and the microcosm, both!
 

And the manner of His speech! It was so pleasing and so clever, it was mostly intended to mislead. He put sand into His mouth before all His companions; but, when His mother took Him to task for it, He denied it and put out His tongue to prove His denial! He rendered true statements false and false statements true. He went daily to Vrishabhendrapura, the village where Radha lived. Many people saw Him on the road, while going and returning. But yet, when His mother accosted Him and challenged Him, saying, 'Why are you trekking every day such long distances? Have you no comrades here, in this place itself, to play with?' He replied, 'I do not know that road at all!' He caused confusion in every home, created factions between mothers-in-law and the daughters-in-law, set them one against the other, and enjoyed the fun. He was seldom stationary in one place, from dawn when He rose from bed till the hour when He went to sleep. This little bundle of mischief roamed from house to house, without rest.

In spite of all this, the villagers could not bear His absence, even for an instant! If He did not put in His appearance any day, the milkmaids watched for His visit, peeping at the road through the windows or looking into the distance from the terrace. Such was the charm of the divine Love that Krishna showered on them and the Love that the people had towards Him. His pranks were so heart-warming; they were so inspiring and meaningful.

He raised the cowherd boys and maids into ecstatic moods, by means of His playful pranks and His melodious music on the flute. (To interpret this as low and sensuous is a sign of foolishness).

He showed His dear cowherd comrades His paradise, which knew no grief or loss (Vaikunta). He persuaded Nanda to stop the usual Puja for Indra and to offer worship to the Govardhana hill, instead. When the Rain-God Indra, stung by this neglect, poured terrible rains on the village, Krishna held aloft on His little finger the Govardhana hill inviting the entire village to take shelter under it!

When Krishna danced in the moonlight, with the maids, each maid having a concrete Krishna by her side, it is interpreted by low minded persons as laxity of morals and as a vulgar pastime. There is no basis for such inference at all. Krishna was only five or six years old when these miraculous incidents took place; how, then, can the experience be condemned as lascivious? The Lord has no attributes or qualities. The Rasa-kreeda (the Divine dance of Krishna), as this incident is called, is but a means of rendering the gopis worthy of grace, an example of devotion and the fruit of devotion, dedication. The Lord was showering on them the grace they had earned by their meritorious acts. It was a boon, a blessing."

The gopas and the gopis can be said to be more fortunate than those queens. Their good fortune was the fruit of the good of the Lord's story, in the background of Mathura, Brindavan, Gokula, (Repalle) the banks of the Yamuna, Nanda-Yasoda, Vasudeva-Devaki and others.

Krishna's Leelas looked so peculiar, so extraordinary. Very often, it resembled lawlessness and sheer mischief. While walking in the Eastern direction, His attention was fixed in the Western direction. He conversed through His eyes; the flash of His eyes spoke out His plans and intentions. He did not care for human limitations and disciplines. He did not recognise the distinction between new and old acquaintances; He treated both alike. He did not respect kinship or yield to the demands of convention.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Viveka and vairaagya," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. " The love of the gopees"," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 35. "Divine Leelas Reflect The Glory Of Avataras," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer showers in Brindavan. "Krishna and Balarama In Mathura," Chapter 10, 1995. Sathya Sai Baba. Bhaghavatha Vahini. Chapters XXXIV and XXXVIII).


PS: Spelling, as a rule, according to the Glossary Vahinis
http://www.sathyasai.org/refs/vahiniglossary/entries.htm



Namaste - Reet



Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...16- 18 Oct 2006
Part 2. Rainbow of Divine Leelas

Sage Suka thought a little. "O king! The Bhagavatha is not merely the narrative deeds done by them during, not one, but, three previous lives!"


The sage's eyes closed. He was in Samadhi, tasting the sweetness of the Krishna incarnation; there was a beautiful smile beaming on his lips. Parikshith was astounded at the sight of the waves of joy that overpowered the great sage, whenever he allowed his mind to dwell on the Divine career of Krishna. He too yearned with enthusiastic impatience to listen to those enrapturing incidents and activities of the Lord.

When Suka resumed, Parikshith too lost all consciousness of his surroundings; he was so struck with wonder, that he could not believe that some of the incidents could ever have happened. The king developed serious doubts about the bhakthi (devotion) of the gopis. This became evident to the sage and he asked the king with a smile, "It is evident that some insane idea is distracting you. In this crisis, it is not beneficial to suffer from repressed emotions. Do not hesitate to ask me; I shall resolve the doubt, I shall quench the thirst and ensure joy and contentment of mind."
The king fell at the sage's feet and continued, "Master! I have heard much, in various versions of sport and prank, of the Rasa-kreeda, dance of Krishna, with the gopis. They appear to be sensual pastime of ordinary mortals. If such incidents had happened in truth, how can they be interpreted as Divine? Are they not disapproved by the world? These incidents at Brindavan on the Yamuna banks, where such loose sensual, lascivious play was enacted, besmirch the Divine nature of Krishna. It is said that ultimate release or Moksha can be attained only by those who transcend the gunas or sensual qualities. These gopis were afflicted with qualities, and the desires born out of them, mostly sensual and objective. When it is said that the gopis too were able to attain Moksha, it causes amazement. Please enlighten me."

Suka had a hearty laugh. He said, "O king! Do not think that You are afflicted by a doubt; it is much worse! For, those who have realised that Krishna is the Lord Himself will not entertain such doubts.
 

This is the final period of the Dwapara-yuga; the Kali-yuga is beginning soon. It is the Kali spirit, the spirit of the age of wickedness that has entered into you, that has prompted you to lodge such ideas in your mind. Or else, you ad unshaken faith that Krishna is the sovereign supreme God. Every incident in His career shines in your heart with Divine brilliance. The moment you recollect His name, you are overcome by joy and your thoughts merge in Him. So these doubts cannot arise in such as you. You are defiling your personality by them. Just consider how such a one as I is overpowered with supreme joy, when I contemplate the Divine sport of Krishna with the gopis. Consider how I praise the good fortune of the gopis who got that precious companionship. Can they be ordinary sensual sport? Think a while. Sensual exultation and Divine exhilaration might appear the same, in their external manifestations, to the untrained eye. But, when the senses are transcended, when the individual and the universal have merged into one thought and consciousness, when all awareness of the body has been negated - to interpret these activities as objective and sensual is sheer stupidity, to say the least."

It seems meaningful mentally to place Swami instead of Krishna and try understand Swami's Divine Leelas on the level of universal, Cosmic Consciousness. The rules, methods and ways of Cosmic play for Kali-yuga are different from previous yugas, however, the Principle of the Universal One is timeless and always the same. Only the methods directed to obtain this awareness are different from worldly point of view.

There should be no artificiality in your attachment to the Lord, no affectation, no pride, no egoism left, to soil the freshness of the flower you offer. When the simple rustic gopi picked some fruits from the ground and saturated them with her devotion, they became tasty and attractive for the Lord, who cares for the inner feeling, not the outer show.
The mind must become saturated with devotion to God; the intelligence must be transformed into the splendour of universal wisdom, or jnana (the Divine knowledge); the body must be a willing and efficient instrument for the practice of righteousness. Such a life is indeed the crown and glory of humanity.

There is an another example of sincere simple devotion from more than hundred years ago.
 

A woman lived in a small Maharashtra village. She went through even the little details of life in this spirit of dedication. Walking was to her a pilgrimage; talking was japam. Even when she threw off a ball of cowdung after applying it over the floor used by her husband to keep his dining plate while eating, she said and felt Krishnaarpanam - "May this be an offering to Krishna!" Her penance was so sincere that the cowdung reached Krishna and struck to Krishna's idol in the village temple every day.
 

The priest saw the mysterious defilement; he was amazed, he was lost in terror; he cursed himself that he had lived to see that ignominy daily, about noon, the idol being defiled by the same size of cowdung. One day, he heard that particular lady exclaim, "Krishnaarpanam" as she, like many other housewives, threw the tell-tale cowdung ball. He suspected; he noted the timings, the quantity, the material etc., until he was convinced that she was the culprit for the disfiguration of Krishna, the difilement of that liveliness. Then he beat her so severely that her arm that threw the dung was fractured.
 

When he returned triumphantly to the temple expecting to be profusely blessed by the Lord for punishing the wicked woman, he was shocked to find Krishna's right arm fractured and bleeding, exactly like the saint's arm! The poor fellow wept in his agony and said, "I beat her only through love of you; she spoilt your charm, Oh Lord." Krishna replied, "You must love all whom I love, remember."

Every being, without exception, is a storehouse of Prema (Love).
 

But for whose sake do these people cultivate love? Who is loving whom? There are no right answers forthcoming to these questions. Why?
 

Everyone loves for own sake. Human loves objects in own interest, not for the sake of those objects. Person loves money for own enjoyment, not for money's sake. People also love God for their own petty ends, not for God.


Selfish love has three states: love in the waking state, love in the dream state, and love in the deep sleep state. While awake, one lives in the world and loves with one's mind and senses. One is able to love only with the combination of mind and senses.
 

Second, the dream state. In this state, senses are forgotten and everything is created by the mind alone. Objects, people, joys and sorrows are all conceived by the mind. Person creates even him/herself by own mind.

 
Next, in deep sleep, one experiences bliss by merging in oneself. If we inquire along the path of jnana, none of these three states provides perception of the Atma.

Human is the combination of mind and senses. Without the mind and senses, humanness cannot exist.
 

Humanness is characterized by the three gunas: sathwa, thamas and rajas. Thamas is characterized by the rule of the mind and senses, which gives birth to ego and attachment and leads to the joys and sorrows in human life.
 

Experiencing and observing the mind and senses and making every effort to limit attachment and ego is activity of rajas.
 

Ignoring the prompting of the mind and the senses, with no expectation of the fruits of one's actions, engaging in activity with the spirit of sacrifice and duty, considering all as God's work, doing everything with the view to earning God's Love - these are sathwic traits.

All mental modes or functions are a-nithya (impermanent). A vritti (occupation, activity, mental modes or functions) is a circle, like the circle that emanates from the place where a stone falls into the still water of a lake. The water gets agitated and the circle affects the water up to the farthest end. Every thought acts like the stone on the stillness of the mind.
 

The pravritti marga (path of attachment) multiplies these circular waves and seeks to create further and wider agitations. The nivritti marga (path of detachment) aims at stilling the waters. No agitation at all. Keep the agitating thoughts away.

Concentration on the Name and Form of Krishna tends to calm the waves of vritti. It is a subject that is within the grasp of all. The Lord also can be addressed by any Name that tastes sweet to your tongue or pictured in any form that appeals to your sense of wonder and awe. You can sing of Him as Muruga, Ganapathi, Sharadha, Jesus, Maithreyi, Shakthi, or you can call on Allah or the Formless, or the Master of all Forms. He is the beginning, the middle and the end; the basis, the substance and the source.
 

Every step taken towards the Lord makes you shed bit by bit all attachment to the world. Every craving will be sublimated into the higher realms of pure consciousness, the moment one enters the spiritual field.

The stories of the Krishna are most wonderful and sacred in all the three worlds. They are like sickles that cut the creepers of worldly bondage.

Swami tells many wonderful Leelas of boy Krishna. Some of them are below.

One day, Krishna and Balarama along with the cowherd boys were playing on the banks of river Yamuna. They were jumping from one branch to the other on trees. At that time, sages Vamana and Bharadwaja came to the banks of Yamuna. They asked the cowherd boys to show them a suitable and safe location where the waters were shallow so that they could have a bath. Bharadwaja at once recognised that Krishna was the Paramatma and Balarama represented Jivatma. He folded his hands in reverence and requested Krishna to show them a suitable location for having a bath. Krishna jumped into the water and showed them a safe place.
 

Then he told them that he would keep sumptuous food ready for them. After the sages had completed their bath, Krishna opened a bag which appeared from nowhere. As he opened the bag, the entire place was filled with sweet aroma of rice boiled in milk. He served the food in a plate and requested them to eat. The cowherd boys were as restless as monkeys. They would not keep quiet. They repeatedly asked Krishna, "Where did You get the food from?" Krishna silenced them saying, it was not proper to indulge in excessive talk in the presence of sages. The sages performed the Sandhya worship and started partaking of food. They asked, "Krishna, who prepared this food?" Krishna replied, "My mother Yashoda." They said, they had not eaten anything more delicious and expressed their gratitude to Him.

When Krishna lifted the Govardhana mountain, it was a matter of celebration. The unmarried Gopikas performed Varalakshmi Vratam. (Even now ladies perform Varalakshmi Vratam).
 

As you know, Radha was a great devotee. Even in those days there were atheists. (Atheists, theists, theistic-atheists and atheistic-theists are present in every age). The atheists put Radha in a house and locked it from outside. She started crying and praying. Krishna heard her prayers, opened the doors and released her. He chided those people saying, "Is this the way you treat a devotee? It is allright if you have no devotion to Me. But it is a great sin to harass a devotee.?"

Once some Brahmins were performing Gayatri Yajna in a forest. Krishna told the cowherds to bring some food from the Yajnashala as He and His brother Balarama were very hungry. When the cowherds requested the Brahmins for food, they turned them away saying, "Do you think it is a chowltry to feed you as and when you ask? No. Wait till the yajna is completed. If there is anything left out after we eat our food, then we will give you."

 
When this was conveyed to Krishna, he advised them to approach the women who were preparing the food at the backside of Yajnashala. As per His advice, the cowherd boys went and saw the ladies preparing bobbatlu (a delicious sweet item). They asked those women, "Mothers, our Krishna and Balarama are hungry, can you give them some food?" The women were happy for having got an opportunity to serve Krishna. They considered Krishna as God. On knowing this, the husbands chided their wives saying it was a sacrilegious act.


Later when they sat in meditation, realisation dawned on them. They recognised their own fault and told their wives that what they had done was correct. They took a bath again and requested their wives to serve the food blessed by Krishna, as prasadam.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Viveka and vairaagya," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. " The love of the gopees"," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 35. "Divine Leelas Reflect The Glory Of Avataras," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer showers in Brindavan. "Krishna and Balarama In Mathura," Chapter 10, 1995. Sathya Sai Baba. Bhaghavatha Vahini. Chapters XXXIV and XXXVIII).
 

PS: Spelling, as a rule, according to the Glossary Vahinis
http://www.sathyasai.org/refs/vahiniglossary/entries.htm


Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...19 - 20 Oct 2006
Part 3. Rainbow of Divine Leelas

Swami's comments to the scene on the end of part 2. During the lifetime of any Avatar, it is only the women who recognise the divinity first. They are the people who lead their husbands to divinity. It is only because of the devotion of women that men cultivate devotion to some extent at least.
 

But for women, men will not have devotion at all. It is said that a house without a lady is literally a forest. Women are identified with bhakti (devotion) and men are identified with jnana (wisdom) since time immemorial. Women can enter even the inner precincts of a palace, whereas men are permitted to go only up to the Durbar hall (court room). It means that jnana will lead you up to God. Bhakti, on the other hand, will take you to His heart. It was gopikas who were responsible for the spread of bhakti (path of devotion) in the world.

Another Leela of boy Krishna. So long as Kamsa was alive, he used to send demons to fight with Krishna. Kamsa had two wives whose father was a might king. Once Kamsa was killed, his father-in-law tried to wage a war against Krishna. The gopikas were worried, "How long are we to suffer these ordeals?", they asked Krishna. He told them not to panic and pacified them saying, "Try to understand My powers and potentialities. Tonight, you sleep in Repalle and tomorrow morning, see for yourself where you will be." When they woke up next morning, they found themselves in Dwaraka. Where was Repalle and where was Dwaraka? A distance of 1000 miles separated them. In this manner, Krishna could change one village into another.

Sage Narada went to meet Balarama and Krishna in Brindavan. Narada said, "You are Narayana, which I recognized long ago. Still, some facts must be protected without being expressed. People are not able to recognize You. This depends on the karma and deservedness of each person. With whatever attitude people think of You, You assume that form for them.


This is a truth not known to everyone. You fulfill whatever they desire of You. As is a person's mind, so is the result they experience.

Let's remember the legend of Kamsa's end at the time when Krishna and His brother Balarama vere tiny boys.

Sage Akrura had persevered for countless lives to achieve Divinity. He had waited patiently for the right time and the right place to meet God. He knew that Narayana had incarnated and was playing as a cowherd boy. But for every desired objective, the factors of time, cause, and karma must unite.


Now this time has come. Akrura proceeded to Brindavan in his chariot. "No matter how demonic Kamsa may be, he granted me this chance of meeting the Divine Krishna. I am grateful to Kamsa," thought Akrura to himself. Akrura entertained pure feelings even toward demons. He reached Brindavan at dusk. His chariot came to a halt in front of Nanda's house. He went inside but found that Balarama and Krishna were not home. They had gone to the forest with their cows.


Balarama and Krishna returned in a few minutes. Akrura's eyes rested on them. This was his first time seeing them. He was mesmerized by their brilliance, lotus eyes, and bewitching smiles. He contemplated on Narayana within himself and couldn't find words to greet Krishna. Krishna, the all-knowing One, asked him many times, "Akrura, O Akrura! For what reason have you come?" Akrura said, "Krishna! Kamsa has initiated a yaga called Dhanur Yaga. He has sent me to fetch You. However, this is the partial truth. To speak the whole truth in front of God is my bounden duty. Dhanur Yaga is an excuse for Kamsa to summon You to Mathura. Kamsa plans to kill You there and rule undisputed forever after. Each person has a different feeling toward You."

The saint Annamacharya sang that whatever form and attitude You are pictured with, You assume that form.


"If people think of You as a man, You behave as a man. If they consider You Divine, You appear as God. This multiplicity is not in You but in human attitudes. Krishna, get ready to go to Mathura."

(Some texts say that Nanda and Yasoda were fearful about sending Krishna to Mathura. This is not true. Nanda and Yasoda had witnessed countless instances of Krishna's Divinity. They had seen Krishna destroy Kamsa's mighty demons and they knew Krishna was God).

Nanda had an announcement made in Brindavan that evening: "King Kamsa is conducting a Dhanur Yaga in Mathura. Those who wish to witness the festivities may accompany me." It was a joyous occasion for everyone, except the gopis

.
Their worry was: will Krishna return once He leaves?  "O gopis and gopas! It is every man's duty to fulfill the purpose for which the body is given. We must go to Mathura."


The gopis said, "We do not desire any worldly ends. We want You for our mental satisfaction. People desire various things from You. We pray to You for You."
 

Then Krishna began to teach them jnana. "You say "my" satisfaction. Who is this I?"  You are neither the body nor the mind. The body is inert, a collection of the five elements. The mind is fickle. The Indweller, Atma, makes the body and mind function. What is that which never leaves, never perishes? The Atma alone. Recognize these truths about the Atma, which will reveal all secrets.

In this world, results of past actions must be experienced. To destroy this pervasive unrighteousness, we must go to Mathura.


By dusk they reached the banks of River Yamuna. Akrura had to perform Sandhya Vandanam. He instructed Balarama and Krishna to wait in the chariot and went to the river. While praying, when Akrura dipped his head into the water, he saw a vision of Lord Narayana reclining on Adisesha. Then Akrura silently returned to the chariot and took his place. Krishna asked him most unassumingly, "Akrura, your face is so radiant! Did you see or experience anything extraordinary? Tell us!" Akrura said, "Krishna, My Lord, don't You know- I saw You." Krishna casually responded, "I see, you have recognized Me at least now."

They reached Mathura at night and Krishna with Balarama spent the night in the same house where Nanda and others camped.


At dawn, Krishna and Balarama roamed around Mathura.


Krishna and Balarama reached the main gate of Kamsa's palace. The yaga was to begin the following day. A washerman was about to enter the gate. He had a load of Kamsa's best silks, cleaned specially for the function. Balarama asked him, "Hey, what is that bundle you have?" Krishna said, "Why ask. Go see for yourself." The washerman said, "These are the King's costly silks. You seem to be villagers. You are not fit to even touch these clothes! Be gone! Krishna heard this and gave a tight-fisted blow to the washerman. Both the washerman and his bundle fell down. Krishna opened the bundle and collected clothes for Himself and for His elder brother. The soldiers at the gate witnessed this scene and informed Kamsa.

Meanwhile, as Balarama and Krishna were about to proceed after adorning themselves in these silks, a lady approached the gate. Her name was Kubja. Her face was beautiful but her body was crooked in three places. She was carrying perfumes and pastes. She raised her head and saw the brothers. With a full heart, she humbly went to Krishna, "Son, here are my perfumes and rose water, prepared with care. No one knows the secrets of these preparations besides me. Please accept these perfumes." Krishna dipped His hand into her boxes and dabbed His clothes here and there, only for Kubja's satisfaction.


Kubja said, "For having lived this long, for having taken up this profession, my life is redeemed today. All these years I offered my perfumes to the demon Kamsa. Today I served the Lord." Then she stepped aside with the intention of going her way. Krishna stopped her. "You have granted us these perfumes. In return, I am bound to give you something. I never take anything from anyone without reason. But whatever I take, I return a thousand-fold."

God never asks anything from anyone. But when people give to Him with a full heart, He returns a thousand-fold. So, you must give something first, in order to receive. This is Divine Law. Even if it is tiny or insignificant, it must be offered to God.


Krishna went close to her and pressed Kubja's feet with His tiny Feet. He put His hand under her chin and lifted her. The bends in her body became straight! Kubja thought, "He has granted me a beautiful body in keeping with my beautiful face. He is Lord Narayana!"

The next day, these two lions strode along the streets. As they approached the Dhanur Yaga, the grandeur of the cosmos seemed to be reflected in their faces. People forgot themselves, gazing at the beautiful forms of boys - Krishna and Balarama.

Balarama and Krishna reached the main gate. A mad elephant was stationed there, specially to stop them. Trumpeting ferociously, the elephant charged at Balarama and Krishna. It lifted its huge feet off the ground and attempted to crush them. Krishna and Balarama were tiny, only five years old. They ran between the elephant's legs and confused it. Then Balarama caught one leg and Krishna, another. They whirled the elephant around and dashed it against the ground, much like a washerman beats clothes on a rock.


Kamsa was informed that his most ferocious elephant had failed to stop Krishna. His fear increased from moment to moment. As Krishna and Balarama proceeded into the grounds, two men accosted them. They were Chanura and Mushtika, Kamsa's prize wrestlers, under orders to do away with the two boys. Krishna and Balarama looked at them and said, "Are YOU going to fight us? O foolish man, you are like mosquitoes desiring combat with an elephant!" Chanura and Mushtika could not bear this insult. They jumped upon the tiny boys in fury. Krishna and Balarama gave them just one blow with their fists and the wrestlers were rendered lifeless.

Krishna and Rama proceeded forward. Kamsa was seated on a vast, raised platform. Balarama and Krishna walked to the center of the grounds fearlessly, with the gait of lions.


Kamsa appeared strong outwardly but his heart became weaker as Krishna got closer. Kamsa's body began shivering and shaking. Many people thought, "Look at the King! He is so angry that his body shakes in fury!" In reality, Kamsa's body was shaking not out of anger but out of fear! As is the feeling, so is the result. Kamsa's wickedness alone made him experience fear now.


Kamsa's entire army was arrayed around him to guard him against Krishna's approach. But Balarama and Krishna ignored Kamsa.


They walked straight towards the Dhanus - the Divine Bow - kept at the center of the enclosure. No one could budge the Bow, what to talk of lifting it. Krishna casually held it with his left hand and lifted it as if it was a feather. As He bent the bow to tie its string, the bow snapped in His arms. The sound was deafening, like a bomb. All were terrified.


The Bow, the focus of the Yaga, was broken. Kamsa rose from his throne, and the whole assembly rose with him. Kamsa ordered his army to destroy Krishna and Balarama who were tiny and agile. Like baby deer, they ran between the legs of the intervening soldiers. Reaching the dais, both of them jumped upon Kamsa. They caught hold of Kamsa's hair, pulled him to the ground and put an end to him in moments. The heavenly prophecy was bound to come true. All company recognized Krishna as Narayana and bowed down with folded hands.

Without wasting any time, Krishna and Balarama hurried to Kamsa's dungeons. They fell at the feet of Devaki and Vasudeva. They freed them from shackles and brought them out into the open. Then they went to the cell where Ugrasena had been imprisoned by Kamsa. They freed him also and brought him to the yaga hall. Ugrasena was crowned as king of Mathura.

Yasoda, Nanda, Devaki, Vasudeva, and Rohini - all hugged Balarama and Krishna. All three mothers were there. Balarama and Krishna consoled their parents and granted them unlimited happiness through loving words. "Past is past. Do not grieve. We will bring the whole world within our control. I gave you darshan soon after My birth. Preserve that vision in your heart. Visualize it outside you also. God is inside, outside, everywhere. Decrease your attachment to the body."

So, since ancient times, the nectarous activity of Krishna and His Leelas have fascinated young and old alike. Right from His advent Krishna made people forget themselves in ecstasy with His Divine pranks, enchanting music and inexpressible bliss and Love.


The sword of Love has to be kept in the sheath of wisdom. The indhriyas (senses) have to be rigorously controlled by viveka and vairagya (discrimination and detachment), the twin talents given exclusively to human. Viveka instructs you how to choose your avocations and your associates. It tells you the relative importance of objects and ideals. Vairagya saves you from too much of attachment and injects a sense of relief, at times of elation or despair. They hold before you the impermanence of the world and permanence of the bliss of reality. They prompt you to direct your lives towards spiritual sadhana and the never failing contemplation of the glory of the Lord.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Viveka and vairaagya," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. " The love of the gopees"," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 35. "Divine Leelas Reflect The Glory Of Avataras," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer showers in Brindavan. "Krishna and Balarama In Mathura," Chapter 10, 1995. Sathya Sai Baba. Bhaghavatha Vahini. Chapters XXXIV and XXXVIII).


PS: Spelling, as a rule, according to the Glossary Vahinis
http://www.sathyasai.org/refs/vahiniglossary/entries.htm


Namaste - Reet

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