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Radha and Krishna

Saturday December 18 2004 08:42 IST

By Karmayogi

Of the four important landmarks of history, Brindavan is one, perhaps the most delightful. To those who consider it the poet's fancy, Sri Aurobindo says He is thankful for that fancifulness.

Radha dwells at the climax of the Krishnalila at Brindavan. Radha is pure devotion personified. We often err, taking our desire for devotion. One mark of devotion is it can only give, it cannot seek recompense; whereas desire is aggressive and possessive. The presence of possessiveness is a sure index of its being desire, not devotion. Such a devotion defies social etiquette.

Suffering from an incurable headache, Krishna said that his headache would cease if someone devoted to Him placed both their feet on His head. It was an outrage to hear such a proposition from the Lord. Radha came forward to do so and relieved Him of His headache.

It was a lovely legend that Krishna organised stealing butter. The whole of Gokul was harassed by his stealing butter. The strange part of this harassment was when he ceased from stealing butter, the Gopis were sad and waited for his visits. Nor did the cows give enough milk in the absence of Krishna's harassment. He delighted Yasoda by his pranks.

The gopis loved his pranks and longed for more of them. He even stole their clothes while they were bathing. Shame is a human emotion. As long as one human emotion survives, the human soul cannot reach the divine Soul. This is a fable symbolising the spiritual idea that the human soul should shed the sense of shame to reach the divine Soul.

Its other version is God's asking the devotee to make a meal for him out of his child's body. It only means that the devotee should give up his physical attachment to his child.

The ways of the Divine vary infinitely, as He is Infinite. Radha, who was utterly devoted to Lord Krishna, was not one of the many gopis, the human souls. One of his uncles was taking Krishna away from Gokulam to Kamsa. Everyone was in tears.

The tearful farewell came up to the borders of the village. Having crossed the border, while Krishna's chariot was moving fast, a lady appeared on the path. The uncle asked Krishna who she was. "It is Radha," replied Krishna.

He added a further explanation: "All the gopis come to me, but I go to Radha." The striving soul is a human heart that seeks the divine Soul. The Divine readily seeks the heart that is full, incapable of uttering its need. In such a condition, one does not pray, one IS.

There is no question of praying for a benefit, even a spiritual gift. It is a heart that belongs to the Divine. The Divine dwells there forever. There is no need to call, nor does HE need to come. Coming and going are human movements. The Divine eternally IS.
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