1. The sorrow and joy of Gopis
[Amma: “Where there is true love, one gets happiness in seeing the beloved one being happy, even if the beloved one is the cause of one’s own sorrow.” ]
Once a visitor from Mathura travelled to Brindavan and met the Gopi’s there. He noticed that the Gopis were still immersed in the sorrow of having been separated from their beloved Krishna. With tearful eyes, they expressed their anguish of living without the blissful company of lord Krishna. They took the visitor to many places in Brindavan to show where Krishna enacted his childhood leelas — “See, this is the place where Krishna killed the poisonous snake Kalia; this is the meadow where Krishna used to take the cows for grazing. This is the place where he killed Chakadasura…” .
They asked: “How is our Krishna? Does he ever remember us? Is he happy there at Mathura? When will he come back to see us all?”
The visitor felt very pained to see the sorrow of the Gopis. He said remorsefully, “As far as I know, Krishna is living very happily at Mathura. He is having a joyful time with his wives Bhama and Rugmini. While you are crying here thinking about Krishna, I don’t think he is concerned about you at all any longer there”. The visitor sincerely thought that his statement would make the Gopis remorseful, kindle some anger on Krishna in their minds and help them emotionally detach themselves from Krishna. But nothing of that sort happened.
The moment they heard that Krishna was living happily, their faces brightened up! “Oh! Is that so? Our Krishna is happy there? What else do we want? His happiness is our only happiness! Thank you for bringing such a good news to us!” Saying so, the Gopis started removing their golden bangles and rings to present to the visitor who brought such a good news to them!
When the visitor was about to return to Mathura, the Gopis surrounded him said to him: “We have just one request. Our Krishna loved our butter so much those days! Please take some butter from us and give it to Krishna, but don’t ever mention about us to him. Don’t ever tell him that we are still sorrowful on account of our separation from him. If you mention it, he too will become sorrowful, thinking of us. We only wish that he remains happy for ever”
The visitor was deeply moved by Gopi’s love on Krishna. With heavy heart, he took the vessel containing the butter and bid farewell to the Gopis. Upon return to Mathura, the visitor went straight to Lord Krishna’s palace.
As the visitor was entering the palace, Krishna had just sat to take his meals and Rugmini was about to serve him food. Krishna stopped Rugmini and said, “Wait. I could feel the smell of Brindavan from here. I think a visitor from Brindavan has just entered into our house. Go immediately to receive him reverentially; wash his feet that has been purified by dust of Brindavan and bring it to me; let me first drink that holy water surcharged with Gopi’s unadulterated and pure love on me before consuming any food! Also bring the butter that the Gopis would have surely sent for me through the visitor!”
(From Amma’s Satsang)
2. The second thief at Brindavan!
Once a stray thief came to Brindavan. Seeing the prosperity all around, he decided to steal valuables from the various houses of Gopis. At midnight, he sneaked into the houses of Gopis one after another to raid their cupboards and vaults. Practically, in every Gopi’s house, he found a very safely kept cloth bundle tightly tucked with a rope at the deepest niche of the vaults. ‘Ah! These must be the most precious diamonds and jewels of the Gopis! Let me pick only these bundles and not waste time on other sundries!’ — thinking so, the thief picked up those bundles and ran away to the nearby forest before dawn.
After dawn, sitting comfortably on a tree branch, the thief started inspecting his booty. He picked up one bundle, untied it carefully. Once the outer cloth sheath was removed, there was yet another bundle inside. Surprised, he untied it and noticed yet another bundle inside. After uncovering several layers like this, finally what he found was a small piece of peacock feather inside.
The thief took another bundle and there again there were bundles one-inside-another; finally what he got was a small piece of broken flute. The thief got exasperated!
Impatiently, the thief went through the procedure on all the rest of the bundles and what he ended up were — a piece of yellow silk cloth, a broken piece of a bracelet, a small conch, a piece of broken mud pot etc — all worthless items! The thief was frustrated as well as surprised.
Why on earth these Gopis kept such worthless items so safely tucked in their vaults? What makes them so valuable to them? At the risk of even getting a punishment for stealing, the thief was overwhelmed with curiosity to know the truth.
He took all the items with him and went to Brindavan again.
As he entered into the street, he noticed that several Gopis were standing in groups and loudly talking about robbery that had taken place at their houses. Their faces looked forlorn on account of the “losses” they had incurred.
He went straight to one such group of ladies. Seeing a stranger barging in, the Gopis gathered around him with curiosity.
“Ladies! Please excuse me, but I was the thief who came to your houses last night to steal. I took away from your vaults what you had kept most safely tied and tucked up thinking that they must be the costliest gems and jewels you had. But what a disappointment for me! Please let me know, ladies! Why on earth you are keeping these worthless pieces of pot, peacock feather and other nonsensical items so safely?” He threw the items that he had brought on the floor.
The Gopis’ faces instantly brightened up! They jumped up and vying with each other, rushed to pick up the items. “Ah! Thank God! My flute piece is here!” “Wonderful! My peacock feather is back!” “Hey! Give me that piece of pot. It’s mine!” There were shouts of joy everywhere!
After collecting the items, the Gopis swarmed around the thief. One after the other, they started removing their bangles or nose rings and offered to the thief as gifts! “Thank you, you are such a nice thief! Thanks for bringing back our invaluable belongings! Keep these golden gifts for you!”
The thief was flabbergasted! He was moved to tears seeing Gopi’s overwhelming generosity.
“May I know why these petty things are so valuable to you?” he asked.
The Gopis said “These are the items belonging to our beloved Krishna. Our little Krishna left us years ago, never to come back. This peacock feather was worn by him. That piece of pot was one that he broke to steal butter from that Gopi’s house. This yellow silk cloth was what he was wearing on the day he stole butter from my house and when I tried to grab him, that little torn piece of cloth was what I could manage to get! Whenever we look at them, each of these pieces brings us the overwhelming of joy of the days we had spent in the company of Krishna! It’s these precious mementos that give some joy to us amidst our life filled with the sorrow of separation from our beloved Krishna”
The thief was moved to tears seeing the unearthly love the Gopis had on Krishna and their overwhelming generosity in gifting him with golden ornaments. His heart melted. A life of stealing was no longer attractive to him. He was possessed by a desire to know about Krishna and see Him. When he inquired the Gopis where Krishna was, they told him that he was the prince of Mathura.
The thief left for Mathura and reached the palace. He sought an appointment with Lord Krishna and prostrated before him when he met the lord. The thief told his story to Krishna. Krishna blessed the thief and said with a smile, “One thief is enough for Brindavan!”
The thief was very curious to know why Krishna resorted to stealing butter at Gopi’s homes when He lived there.
Krishna said, “The gopis earned their livelihood by selling butter, curd and milk. Some of them are poor and they could not afford to feed their cowherd boys with milk and butter generously at home. When I went for grazing the cows along with other cowherd boys of Vrindavan, I noticed their hunger. I wanted to feed them. Gopis know that I love butter very much and they always nurtured a desire to give me butter, but elders in the house would not allow it. Then I started sneaking into one or two Gopis’ houses to steal butter and share it with the hungry cowherd boys. Soon, It became the desire of many Gopis that I should visit their houses for stealing butter and they intentionally left some butter at home for this purpose. Even though they were out to sell their milk butter and curd, their minds were constantly thinking of me: ‘Will Krishna come to my house and take away the butter?’ Thus by stealing butter, I accomplished two things: One, feeding the poor and hungry cowherd boys and two, making Gopis constantly think of me and meditate on me. Since I made the gopis’ minds always throng after me, I am called ‘Chittachora’ — ‘The stealer of the mind’. Thus by throwing a single stone, I could get two mangoes!”
(From Amma’s Satsang)
3. The Gopis and the Pundit
Once a very learned Sanskrit Pundit, well versed in Vedanta and other scriptures visited Brindavan. The residents of Brindavan received him reverentially and took care of him well. He was surprised to see that the Gopis were still sorrowful on account of their separation from their beloved little Krishna. He said to them: “Do you think your Krishna is just an adorable cowherd boy who loved you and gave you joy by his imitable lilas? Don’t you know that he is verily the Paramatman, whom you can meditate upon and attain union with Him? Why do you cling to his worldly maya and waste your time still lamenting about his separation?”
He noticed that the Gopis showed no interest in knowing that Krishna was the Paramatman, the universal lord who is beyond name and form. The pundit felt that teaching those rustic villagers with a little of the essence of Vedanta philosophy would make them understand spirituality better and relieve them from the sorrow of sentimental attachment and longing to see Krishna’s living form.
He started conducting discourse on Vedanta. He explained : “Only God as all pervading Brahman is real. All His creations are maya and illusory. Only the Gold is real. The ornaments are illusory. Brahman and maya are like the mortar and pestle. The Brahman is unmoving like the mortar and maya is like the pestle that moves. When you walk in a dimly lit night you may get scared by seeing a rope taking it to be a snake. Only the rope is real, snake is not. ..”
As the pundit was explaining like this, he noticed that the Gopis had started crying.
He was taken aback! “Why are you crying? Are these philosophies too complicated for you to grasp?” he asked.
the gopis said, “No. Not really. Whatever you spoke brought us memories of Krishna and we could not control our tears, thinking of him”
The pundit was confused! “How? I never uttered anything about your Krishna!”
The gopis said, “When you mentioned about the golden ornaments, our thoughts immediately went to Krishna, as we have seen his beautiful form adorned with various jewels that Yasoda would put on him! When you mentioned about the mortar and pestle, we remembered the incidence when Yasoda once tied krishna with a rope to a mortar to prevent him from running to Gopis’ houses for stealing butter; how painful it is to tie our little Krishna with a rope to the mortar! When you mentioned about snake, we immediately thought about the ferocious snake Kalia and how our Krishna danced over the snake’s hood! How can we control our tears when we think of Krishna?”
The pundit became speechless seeing the Gopis single pointed devotion and uninterrupted remembrance of Krishna. With folded hands and an emotionally choking voice, he said “You blessed souls do not require any Vedanta; you already have what is essentially needed to attain the lord’s holy abode forever”.
(From Amma’s Satsang)
4. Thinking of Krishna through imagination
[Amma: “Just like a lover always thinking about his beloved, a spiritual seeker should always think about God. The yearning should grow so strong that a devotee reaches a stage where he cannot be separated from God’s remembrance even for a minute. Every single thing he sees brings him the thought of God.”]
Once while walking on the banks of Yamuna, a Gopi saw a pair of foot prints near a tree. Seeing that , she started imagining: ‘These must be the foot prints of lord Krishna. he must have come this way and a Gopi must have asked him to fetch her some flowers from the tree. Since the flowering branch of the tree is above the normal reach of the hand, Krishna must have gripped the shoulders of the Gopi and jumped up to fetch some flowers. When he landed with a thud, his foot prints must have got imprinted like this in the sand’.
She immediately called up severala Gopis and said to them: “See here! These are the foot prints of our lord krishna!”
All Gopis gathered excitedly around the foot print. The Gopi who imagined so got deeply immersed in the thoughts of lord Krishna. All other Gopis surrounding her suddenly appeared to her as various manifestations of Krishna. When one of the Gopis touched her shoulders, she felt as though Krishna was touching her shoulders and the very thought made her swoon. The rest of the Gopis too were swept by thoughts of Krishna. Shedding tears, they all lost their outer consciousness.
It is such a mindset that we should develop to attain God. We must see everything as God.
5. Krishna’s question
Once Lord Krishna was chit-chatting with gopis. He posed a question to them: “If you have to face a grave hardships and sorrows in your life tomorrow, what will you do?”
One gopi said, “I will pray to you, Krishna, to ward off my difficulties and save me”.
Another gopi said, “I will pray you to be with me always as my support to face the difficulties and overcome them. When, during a hot day out, if there is a good breeze, the heat does not affect. Likewise, if you are with me Krishna, the difficulties and sorrows will not affect me”.
Yet another gopi said, “I will pray to you to give me enough mental strength to overcome the hardship”.
Radha was sitting there, without saying anything. Krishna asked her, “Why aren’t you saying anything, Radha? What will you do if you face difficulties in life?”
Radha said, “I will think of you and I will be totally immersed in your thoughts.”
“Won’t you make any prayers?” asked Krishna.
“If your form occupies my whole mind, where is the room for sorrow there, Krishna? When there is only light, how can darkness be there? Then where is the need for me to pray? ” said Radha.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
6. Krishna’s Headache
[Amma: “Even though we may claim that we have total faith and surrender to our Guru / God, there will also be lack of faith and surrender lurking inside us. Our love on the Guru may not be total”]
Once sage Narada was with Lord Krishna. Krishna was talking very high of Gopis’ devotion towards him. When Narada heard it, he thought that there may be other devotees of Krishna including himself who would have much more and deeper devotion on God than gopis.
Suddenly Krishna said, “Nowadays, I am suffering from a severe headache”. Narada felt worried; “Lord, should you not take some good medicines to cure it?”
Krishna said “I have tried so many cures, but to no avail. I know there is only one medicine that can rid me of my incessant headache — If I can apply the dust of my one true devotee’s feet on my head, it will get cured…”
Narada thought, “I am a true devotee of Krishna alright, but how can I ever offer the dust off my lowly feet to be applied to God’s head? It will be a severe sin; I cannot face the consequences of the sin”.
He went around to meet several other devotees of Krishna and told them about Krishna’s suffering with headache. While all of them felt very concerned about it, none of them were willing to give dust from their feet as per Narada’s request. They felt it was an abominable solution. It amounted to insulting God and they were sure to end up in hell if they did so.
Finally, Narada went to Brindavan and told the Gopis about Krishna’s illness and the cure for it.
The gopis felt extremely disturbed to know that their beloved lord was suffering in headache. They said, “Here, please take as much dust off our feet as you want apply it on Krishna’s head; please take it and go as fast as possible”
Narada said, “Is it not a sin to do so? Are we not so lowly when compared to God and how can we ever allow him to take the dust of our feet? You may have to suffer in hell for insulting our God like this!”
The gopis replied: “We are not bothered about sin or hell; let whatever sin meant to come to us come; we want our Lord to be cured of his headache; that’s all; we are not bothered about anything else”.
Narada Understood the greatness of Gopis’ devotion on God.
(Tuesday Satsang 28.7.2015)
7. The pure love of Gopi Neeraja
[Amma: “What contaminates pure love is the sense of I and mine. It is our ego that causes this contamination. in the hot oven called love, ego has to be eliminated by roasting. It is indeed very painful to withstand this heat. But once one has the power and patience to bear this pain, one can then relax in the cool phase of pure love and become one with it.”]
Gopi Neeraja did not belong to Vrindavan. She was from a different village, but got married to a Gopa in Vrindavan. Even before she shifted to Vrindavan to live with her husband and inlaws, she had heard about Krishna. In fact, her village folks had forewarned her never to see Krishna in Vrindavan.
However, she happened to see Krishna in one festival of Govardhan hill worship. At that very moment she got enchanted by Krishna fully; she surrendered her heart totally at Krishna’s feet. It was a divine attraction and not a physical love which common folks could not understand. However, for having fallen thus for Krishna, she had to undergo lots of hardships in her life.
Her first sighting of Krishna was under the shed of flower creepers at the Govardhan hill. At that time, she saw Krishna standing there, playing his flute.
She started visiting that flower shed again and again. She could hear the divine music of Krishna, playing flute there. The very wind that touched Krishna blew over her and she felt enthralled even by the touch of wind.
When Krishna left Vrindavan to go to Mathura, Gopi Neeraja too became furlorn, unable to bear the pangs separation from Krishna.
Days and months passed; Like all other Gopis, she also patiently bore the pain of living without Krishna’s presence. Like all of them, she too was hoping against hope that Krishna would return to Vrindavan one day. With that expectation, she would visit the flower shed and wait for His arrival at days and nights.
Years passed. Krishna never came back. Gopi Neeraja one day collapsed under the flower shed, unable to bear the pain of waiting for Krishna any longer. When she was about to breath her last, Lord Krishna appeared before her! Neeraja prayed to him, “My lord! I want to hear the music from your captivating flute and leave my body; that is my only last wish”.
“Oh! Neeraja. I haven’t brought my flude with me” said Lord Krishna. Yet in order to satisfy her last wish, Lord Krishna plucked a reed from the nearby bush, cut it to shape and making use if it as a flute, he started playing his divine music. Neeraja rested her head on the lap of her Lord Krishna and drinking the nectar of divine music from Krishna through her ears, she breathed her last.
(from Arul Mozhikal- Part 4)
8. Akrura acquires spiritual wisdom from Radha
Akrura, the Rajarishi of Mathura came to Vrindavan to take Krishna with him to Mathura based on the orders of King Kamsa. The gopis of Vrindavan were immersed in sorrow when they came to know of Akrura’s mission; they did not like the very idea of getting separated from their beloved Krishna. Radha was nowhere to be seen. She had secluded herself, trying to digest the reality of living without Krishna.
Krishna said to Akrura, ” I feel it would be nice if you could meet Radha and get initiated by her in the wisdom of higher truth (Jnana Diksha)”.
Akrura was surprised and confused. He was already a Raja rishi (a sage who counsels the king) and he was quite aged too. What was there for him to seek something in spiritual wisdom from an uneducated milkmaid of Vrindavan?
Anyhow, obeying Krishna’s instructions, Akrura looked around for Radha and finally located her in a secluded hut in Vrindavan. He showed his respects to her and conveyed to her Krishna’s wish.
Radha was very much surprised. “Respected Raja Rishi, I am a lowly village girl with no worldly education or spiritual wisdom whatsoever; what we have is a heart full of love for Krishna and we really don’t know how to we would live here in Vrindavan without the enchanting presence of our beloved Lord.”
Akrura insisted that she should tell him something in deference to Lord Krishna’s wish. Radha thought for a while and then said:
“We all derived joy in being with Krishna, in listening to his flute, in decorating him with garlands and so on. I particularly derived lot of joy in adoring him with a garland of Tulsi leaves. Suddenly, a thought came to my mind one day: ‘Just because of my love and joy of seeing Krishna decorated with the garland of Tulsi leaves, I pluck so many leaves from the plant; Oh! will it not hurt the plant? Won’t it be suffering silently in pain? Am I not being cruel in this way?’
“I felt deeply sorry for it; I went to the tulsi plant and sought its forgiveness for hurting it all these days for my selfish motive. The plant spoke to me thus: “It is true that whenever you plucked my leaves, I felt very painful; But I used to think:’Is it not my good fortune that my leaves are able to touch Lord Krishna’s body? Am I not giving lot of joy to Radha when she garlands Krishna and relish his beautiful looks with it? In this way, my pain is really worthy; I am able to give joy to others’.
“Today, Krishna is leaving us all; I don’t know whether he would come back or not. Yes, the pain of getting separated from Krishna is unbearable. But, like the Tulsi plant, I have also started thinking now: ‘When Krishna reaches Mathura, how joyous would the people there feel in seeing our lord! Every single day he lives there would be a celebration for them! Haven’t we Gopis enjoyed the bliss of his company all these years? So, let me think of the joy of the other people too and be contented; Let me digest the pain of separation from my lord with pleasure”.
Hearing these words of wisdom, Akrura bowed to Radha and returned to Krishna with a heart full of respect for Radha for her sacrifice.
9. Little Krishna’s prayer
On the birthday of Little Krishna, Ma Yashoda dressed up Krishna in new clothes and took him to the temple for worship. After the formal worship was over, the priest heard Krishna praying very loudly.
“Dear God, Kindly bless that the Gopis and Gopas of Brindavan always have this guileless love for God; let rains come neither in excess nor in shortage; let their cows and bulls prosper; let them get cow milk in abundance; let cereals, fruits and vegetables grow enough to feed all of them sumptuously…”. The priest was wonderstruck at the little boy’s sincere prayers.
After a while, a large gathering of Gopis and Gopas of Vrindavan too came to the temple and the priest heard a chorus of prayers: “Dear Lord, on this birth day of Krishna, we pray to you to give him all the prosperity, joy and good health; let him not face any threat from the demons and rakshasas and please protect him from such evil doers; please let us behave in such a way that we remain the recipients of his love always…”
Again the priest was wonderstruck hearing their prayers. There was no trace of selfishness in the prayers of Krishna or in the prayers of the Gopis and Gopas. Each prayed the well being of the others.
[Amma: “Devotee’s love on God and God’s love on devotees are always reciprocal. “]
10. When Krishna is with you
One day many gopis of Vrindavan wanted to accompany Krishna to the forests to graze the cows. Krishna permitted them to come along with him. The gopis spent a joyful day with Krishna roaming in the forest, playing with him, singing and dancing with him and listening to his flute. As the evening came, they started to return to Vrindavan. Soon dark clouds gathered in the sky, indicating the arrival of a huge thunderstorm.
Krishna said, “It will not be safe for us to get stuck in the forest when the storm arrives. It is better to keep moving; even if we get caught in the rains, we can manage to reach our homes before it gets too late”. All the gopas and gopis agreed. Gathering their herd of cows together, they started walking quickly.
By the time they came out of the forest and reached the road leading to their homes, the sky was fully enveloped with the dark clouds. It became pitch dark. Frequent lightning followed by deafening thunders followed. A heavy downpour too started. Krishna and his group managed to move forward on the road, ignoring the rains that drenched all of them.
Krishna asked the Gopis: “Are you not afraid of the lighting and thunders? Are you not afraid to walk in total darkness, drenching in the rains like this?”
“No, Krishna! We have no fear. In fact we are indeed enjoying the thunders; we look forward eagerly for the lightnings to happen!”
Krishna was surprised. “Why?” he asked.
The gopis said, “Whenever there is a lightning, O Krishna, we could see your radiant face in those brief moments; it gives us so much joy to see your captivating face intermittently in this pitch darkness!”
(Amma’s Tuesday satsang 9/6/20)
11. When fire does not burn
One day in Vrindavan, a gopi went to Nandagopa’s house in the evening with the purpose of getting some fire for lighting the lamps in her home. She had a small earthen lamp with wick and oil in her hand. It was rather an excuse for going there as her secret intention was to have a look at little Krishna there.
She went inside Nandagopa’s house. There was a lamp burning in the hall. She went close to it and extended her hand in order to ignite the tip of the wick in the lamp she hand in hand. At that moment, she noticed that little Krishna was lying in the nearby and he was squirming there, about to get up from sleep. As she eagerly looked there, Krishna too gazed at her and smiled. She was instantly captivated by the inexplicable beauty radiating from little Krishna’s face. Her entire consciousness got absorbed in Krishna and he totally lost herself. Now, instead of the wick, she was actually extending her fingers at the flame in the main lamp, and she did not feel any burning. She was totally transfixed at the sight of the divine form of Little Krishna.
Since the Gopi did not return home for long after igniting her lamp from the neighboring house, the gopi’s mother came to Nandagopa’s house, looking for her daughter. There, what she saw was not only shocking but unbelievable too. Her daughter was simply keeping her fingers over the flame of the lamp and seemed to have frozen without her senses working. She rushed to her daughter, pulled her hand away from the lamp and asked “Oh my dear, what the hell are you doing? Are you not getting hurt?”
Only then the gopi came back to her senses. The very darshan of Lord Krishna had drawn her heart towards Him in pure devotion and in that exalted state, she had no sense of burning of her fingers! She did not feel an iota of pain!
[Amma: “At the pinnacle of loving devotion to God, one will get freed from the limitations of body and mind.”]
12. In his company forever
When Krishna was leading his married life in Mathura, Radha once went to see him. At that time, Krishna was in Rugminis’ palace, enjoying her joyful company. When Radha reached there, she was stopped by the guard. Radha sent a word about her arrival and waited. She waited and waited but Krishna did not come out to see her. Radha felt furlorn and depressed. With tear filled eyes she left the palace and returned to Vrindavan.
Radha went to her favorite garden at the banks of Yamuna where she used to meet Krishna on those good old days when He lived in Vrindavan. She sat under the tree and closed her eyes. She went into deep meditation by seeing Krishna in his glorious form inside her mind.
In the meanwhile, when Krishna got the message about Radha’s arrival, he rushed out to meet her; but she was no longer waiting for Him. Krishna felt very sorry. He decided to go to Vrindavan to meet Radha secretly and console her. He knew where she would be and went there.
Krishna saw Radha in deep meditation. He went and touched her; he said, “Dear Radha, Here I am, your Krishna. Please open your eyes; I am extremely sorry that I kept you waiting”.
Radha did not open her eyes. She said softly, “Krishna, as long as I was of thinking that you were outside of me and I needed to see you in your physical form to have the bliss of your company, there was always sorrow of separation. Now I have established you inside me; I am able to see you all the time in my mind’s eye and I am permanently in your joyful company. I no longer need your external form, Dear Krishna! You can go back to Mathura”.
13. True association
Once Krishna and Gopis were chit chatting joyfully near a stream.
One Gopi asked Krishna, “Dear Krishna, you know all of us are madly in love with you. We always want to be with you. Some of us want to keep seeing you always; some of us want to sit as close to you physically as possible. Some of us want to talk to you. Some of us want you your attention always — we want you to look at us, smile at us, talk to us and so on. When he have so much love on you, somehow you are always appreciating Radha; you always seemed to be partial towards her. We want to know why”.
Krishna got up, went to the stream and picked up a stone pebble from there. He gave it to the gopi and said, “Break it and show to me whether there is any water inside it”.
The gopi broke the pebble and showed it to Krishna. Another gopi said, “Krishna, this is just a stone. How do you expect water inside it?”
Krishna said, “This pebble must be lying in this stream from time immemorial. It has been in constant company with water and yet it has not absorbed even a drop of water. Likewise, even though some of you are with me ever in my company, you may not have grasped any of my divinity”.
He continued, “When I bent down to pick this pebble, my upper garment touched the stream just for a moment and yet it has absorbed water and got wet. But if we keep sitting here for a while, the cloth will get dried up soon due to the blowing of the wind. Like this, some of you do absorb my divine nature, but you soon your bhakti dries up on account of your worldly desires and pursuits.”
Krishna continued: “Ah! When I was picking up the pebble, I dropped the sugar candy that you gave in the water. I want to eat it now. Please go and pick it up from the water”.
Several Gopis got up and went to the stream. They searched inside the water here and there and returned empty handed. One gopi said, “Krishna, I have one more sugar candy here. Please eat this. What you dropped in water must have dissolved in the water by this time, won’t it?”
Krishna smiled and said, “Yes. That’s it. Like the sugar candy getting dissolved in water and becoming one with it, Radha’s heart has dissolved in my divinity and she has become one with me. It is that sort of love on God which is most dear to me. That’s why I love Radha so much.”
The Gopis held their heads low when they heard those words from Krishna. Krishna said consolingly, “Don’t feel dejected. It is not easy for everyone to be immersed in me and lose one’s self. It is indeed a very slow process. One has to constantly put efforts cleanse one’s heart from inborn tendencies like desire, anger, delusion, greed, hatred, envy etc. ”
(From Amma’s Krishna Janmashtami message 10/9/2020)
14. To hear Krishna’s flute again
Once Krishna had left for Mathura from Vrindavan, he totally stopped playing his flute. Somehow, people close to Krishna at Mathura came to know about the enchanting music that used to flow from his flute and they too wanted to hear it. They pestered Krishna to play flute for their sake.
Krishna however refused. He said, “If you are too keen to hear my flute, you have to go to Vrindavan. For the gopis of Vrindavan, hearing my flute is like meditation. They have absorbed my music so well that they keep hearing it in their hearts. They are so much immersed in my thoughts that all their talks, actions, speeches and singing are all Krishnamayam — full of Krishna. If you go there and listen to them carefully, you will be able to hear my flute”.
(From Amma’s Birthday message 27/9/2020)
15. Krishna’s heart
Once a pundit went to Vrindavan from Dwaraka. All the gopis of Vrindavan gathered around him very eagerly to hear about their beloved Krishna’s well being and his life at Dwaraka.
The pundit said, “Bhagavan Krishna is living a joyful life, abundant with wealth in Dwaraka. I feel bad that Sri Krishna had not taken you people along with him to Dwaraka. Krishna has blessed his friends like Akrura and Kuchela with plenty of wealth. For his wife Satyabhama, Krishna has even brought Kalpavriksha (wish fulfilling tree) from heaven and gifted it to her. I wonder why Krishna does not remember that you people are still living in thatched huts. It is really sad”.
Hearing him, the Gopis said, “We are extremely happy to know that Bhagawan is living a very happy and prosperous life there. You said we are still living in huts, right? It is in these huts that the little holy feet of our beloved Krishna had walked and danced and because of it, our huts are more valuable than palaces. In our view, every kadamba tree in Vrindavan is a kalpavriksha. Oh! How many sweet memories do those trees keep giving to us about our association with Krishna! It is such thoughts of our beloved Krishna are indeed eternal and imperishable; our only wish is that such memories never get faded from our thoughts. We don’t consider palaces or kalpavrikshas any more valuable than those precious memories”.
The pundit’s eyes filled with tears when he witnessed such a blemishless divine love of gopis. He said, “When I saw Krishna at Dwaraka, I told him that my life got totally blessed by my seeing him that day. Immediately Bhagavan said to me ‘You have only seen my physical body. If you really want to see my heart, you should go to Vrindavan’. I have now fully understood the meaning and purport of Krishna’s statement”.
(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
16. What boon from Krishna?
After Lord Krishna went to Mathura from Vrindavan, the gopis were all in sorrow as they missed his company terribly. They used to sit together at the bank of river Yamuna and share their thoughts about Krishna and seek some solace from each other.
“Why didn’t Bhagavan take us too along with him to Mathura? When he returns here next time, we should not permit him to leave Vrindavan” said one gopi.
Another gopi said, “When Krishna comes back, I will ask for a boon from him”.
“What is it?”
“He should be playing with me always. That’s what I would ask”.
Another gopi said, “I too will ask a boon from him. That boon is: He should always eat the butter I give”.
Next another gopi said, “I will ask him to take me along with him if he goes back to Mathura”.
“I would ask his boon to make me the person to fan him always” said yet another gopi.
Radha was hearing all these talks but she was keeping quiet. Noticing it, other gopis asked. “Radha! Why are you not saying anything? What boon will you ask Krishna?” they pestered her.
Radha finally opened her mouth. She said, “If at all a desire rises up in my mind, I will submit that too at the his holy feet. It won’t belong to me. Whatever he wills is my choice. What his pleasure is, my pleasure is that”.
(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)
17. Krishna waiting
Once the gopis went to Yamuna to bring drinking water to their homes. Krishna too went along with them. When the gopis filled water in their pots, they were ready to depart. Krishna was sitting under a tree and playing his flute. The called him. “O Krishna, come and help us by putting the pots on our heads”. But Krishna refused to help them. The gopis had to help each other to lift the pots and place them on each others’ heads.
All the gopis walked back to their homes.
But as they arrived there, they saw Krishna waiting for them! He came forward to take the water pots from their heads. The gopis were surprised. They asked: “When we asked you to help us in placing the pots on our heads, you refused. Then why are you coming here to take the pots from our heads?”
Krishna said smilingly, “I have come among you only to unburden; not to burden you!”
[Amma: “Whatever worldly burdens that we add on to our heads are all due to our own whims and fancies. Other worldly people are there to assist us on this. But if we really want to unburden our woes, worldly people are of no help. Only God can unburden us; praying to God is the only way to get our woes removed. God is always waiting to come for our assistance.”]
[Amma: “A pure bhakta does not even wish for moksha. He has only one desire — ever think of God and serve him. That’s all. It this highest form of bhakti that Lord Krishna gave to gopis. The mere thoughts of Krishna’s captivating form, words, divine plays and actions made gopis to immerse in bliss. There is no power stronger than this prema bhakti. No siddhi (occult poper) is equal to it. That’s why it is said that Krishna did not life Govardhan hill out of his power, but it is the love of gopis on Him that made him accomplish it and that is the highest form of siddhi.”]
Once Gopis asked Radha, “We were imagining that Lord Krishna would be ours forever and we all loved him so much; but how cruel he is to leave us in lurch and go to Mathura never to return? What is the meaning of our living even after this? What is the point of calling Krishna as the embodiment of love when in reality he has proved to be so stone-hearted?”
Radha said, “Don’t talk like that. The only person whom we can claim to be ours forever is indeed Lord Krishna. But God does not belong to us alone in exclusivity. He belongs to everyone outside Vrindavan too. Exactly like us, there are umpteen people waiting with unabated thirst to see Him and to experience the bliss of his love.”
Radha joined her palms and picked up a handful of water from the Yamuna river and said, “Look here. As long as we keep our palms like a cup, water remains in it. But if we close our fingers in order to make it totally ours, the water escapes and we lose the water. We tried to make Lord Krishna exclusively our own. We tried to keep him as a prisoner in Vrindavan. However, in order to make us understand that he is the indweller in all beings, he left us all and went far away. But, mind you, the Lord has not made us orphans. Every divine play of Lord Krishna is ever living memories in our hearts. As long as those memories remain etched inside us, He will always be with us. At the bank of the Yamuna of our love, inside the deep cave of our hearts our Krishna will be dancing forever”.
(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)
19. Why gopis’ love on Krishna so special
Once Uddhava asked Lord Krishna: “I have heard that of all your devotees, you have a special soft corner for the gopis of Vrindavan. There are indeed so many devotees of you who shed tears of love the moment they hear your name; if they hear your flute, they immediately immerse in meditation; if they see blue color anywhere, they think of your body color and forget their surroundings. What other special characteristic of love that gopis have on you that these devotees don’t? May I know?”
Hearing this Krishna smiled and said, “All my devotees are dear to me, no doubt. But gopis have some special characteristics. Other devotees shed tears on hearing my name; but gopis hear all names as my name. Whatever music they hear, they think it is the playing of my flute; whatever color they see, it is blue to them. Thus the gopis are able to see unity in diversity. That’s why gopis of Vrindavan are most dear to me.”
(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)