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I know that many of you, who know that I have been taking only a cup of buttermilk daily
for the last two months, are genuinely grief-stricken, though I have been talking to you that no
work of Mine has been stopped or delayed as a result of what they call My "reduced intake of
food;" that is a sign of their prema but really, I live on your Aanandham, not on this material
food at all."
I wish that you realised this and stopped worrying or weeping.
-Baba

(Krishna Janmaashtami, 12-8-1963, see below)


 

The love of the gopees

KOMPELLA Subbaraaya Shaasthry spoke about the coming on earth of the incarnation of
Krishna and read extracts from the Bhaagavatha describing the antecedents of the birth. All of
you enjoyed listening to him, though many of you are listening to the story for the hundredth
time; the story of the Lord does not lose its sweetness when repeated, Jnaana, yoga and karma
(knowledge of Supreme Self, meditation and selfless action) are, each one of them, hard to go
through, but like chutney, which is salt, chilly and tamarind in the right proportion ground to a
paste, bhakthi which is jnaana, yoga and karma in tile correct proportion, is bound to be
appetising to all tongues.

The Grace of the Lord is a subject dear to every one. 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,
Shaaradha, Jesus, Maithreyi, Shakthi, or you can call on Allah or the Formless, or the Master of
all Forms. It makes no difference at all. He is Sarvanaama and Sarvaswaruupa (all names and all
forms). He is the beginning, the middle and the end; the basis, the substance and the source. So,
any story that brings into your consciousness, His Glory, His Grace and His Beauty must
perforce appeal to you.

Every thought sets up a function, agitating all around
Believe Me, all Vriththis (mental modes or functions) are A-nithya (impermanent). A vriththi 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; it Sets up a Vriththi. It agitates all round. The
Pravriththi maarga (path of attachment) multiplies these circular waves and seeks to create
further and Wider agitations. But, the Nivriththi maarga (path of detachment) aims at Stilling the
waters. No agitation at all. Preserve the calmness, even the level. Keep the agitating thoughts
away.
Concentration on the Name and Form of Krishna tends to calm the waves of Vriththi. When
E.M. Forster came to India, he was for some time with the Thakore of Rajkot and when he found
the Thakore-engaged in dhyaanam (meditation) before the image of Raadha-Shyaam, he
wondered at first what it was all for! The Thakore had no wants to fulfil. What could he pray for?
One day, he asked the Thakore, "Why?" He replied that Krishna was for him the embodiment of
Prema, Soundharya and Aanandham (Love, Beauty and Bliss), and so, when he meditated on
that Form he was filled with love, beauty and joy. The senses, intellect and emotions, all get
purified and clarified by dwelling on the pure :and the splendid. Forster was induced to try the
first steps and though he found it rather difficult at first, the thrill engendered by the strange calm
egged him on to persist. He found dhyaanam, good and useful.

Krishna's pranks reveal His divine essence
Krishna was only a few weeks old, when a certain ascetic came into the house of Nandha;
Yasodha was having the baby in her lap. Of course this is an incident not found in any book- I
have Myself to tell you this. The maids ran in, for, they were afraid the child might start weeping
at the sight of the uncouth individual. He walked in nevertheless, and Yasodha found that when
he was sent away, the baby raised a cry; not when he was approaching! The Muni also
announced himself as having come to see Krishna Paramaathma (Krishna, the Supreme Self), a
name that was new to the entire family. No wonder, the baby cried when that distinguished
visitor was asked to go! Devaki had been given the vision of Krishna being the Lord Himself,
but, this Muni had discovered the arrival of the Avathaar, by the Grace of the Almighty. It was
Baaba who. had invited the Muni for His dharshan.
The replies that Krishna gave when the Gopees complained to His mother about His mischievous
pranks and thefts of milk, butter, etc., also reveal, by the inner meaning they convey, the divine
essence that He was.
"Why did you drink the milk from the pot she was carrying?."
"She was taking it to be offered to God, perhaps, God might have drunk it up."
"Where had you run away?"
"I was always with you, is it not?"
"Why do you hold that butter pot in your clasp?"
"So that others may not eat it!"
"Why do you put your hand into that butter pot?"
"I am looking for a lost calf."
These were the types of answers He taught them with. He was the Ancient One, in the new garb.
His words came from the beginning of Time.

Raadha's prema was pure without egoism
The Raadha-thathwam (principle) is also a deep, inscrutable one. She was ever in the
contemplation of the Lord and His Glory. She too saw the child Krishna as the Divine
manifestation, separate from the human form. Yasodha one day was searching for Krishna who
had strayed away; she sought almost everywhere and at last, she went to the house of Raadha.
Raadha just closed her eyes and meditated on Krishna for a while and when she called "Krishna,"
Krishna was there. Then, Yasodha shed tears of joy. She said, "I love Krishna as a mother; I have
a sense of egoism in me that He is my son and that I must save Him from harm and seek to give
Him guidance and protection. Your prema is pure; it has no egoism prompting it."
The gopees had that one-pointed prema (love), unwavering, clear and pure. The relationship
between the gopees and Krishna as depicted in the Bhaagavatha has been unfortunately judged
by persons who have not regulated and controlled their Vriththis. This subject is beyond the
comprehension of such people. Only Brahmachaarins (celibates)of the most ardent and ascetic
type like Shukha Maharishi who described it to King Pareekshith and in recent years,
Raamakrishna 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 language of samsaara (worldly life) is the only language they know; the regions of
Thuriya---beyond the regions of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep---to which those experiences
relate, are not within their reach. So, they drag the subject down to their own level and claim that
they have mastered their mystery.

Every Godward step makes you shed all attachment
As a matter of fact, the Inner Eye, the Inner Senses are needed to grasp the meaning of this
relationship. Oruganti has shown that it has eluded the grasp of most interpreters, for it is closely
allied to the Adhwaithik experience of Nirvikalpa Samaadhi (the superconcious state where there
is no mind) itself. 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. Ahamkaara (egoism) itself must lose all its hold on the interpreter, as it did on the gopees.
Prema
towards the Lord such as the gopees had, should make a man strong, not weak. In fact,
the gopees were not weakened by their Love; they were rendered tough. Raamakrishna too
exhorted his disciples, like Narendhranaath, to grow strong, with the cultivation of prema
towards the Lord.
Every step taken towards the Lord makes you shed bit by bit all attachment to the world. How
then could the gopees retain their physical awareness? Dhruva went into the forest to get from
the Lord the boon of sitting on the lap of his father, a very ordinary wish of a plainly earthly
type. But as he advanced in thapas, that wish disappeared from his mind and his mind was
elevated to great spiritual heights. How can one who has tasted amritha (nectar) be eager to taste
water? Or, crave for tamarind fruits after tasting kharjur (dates) and having it in his possession?
Every craving will be sublimated into the higher realms of pure consciousness, the moment one
enters the spiritual field.

The gods came to the world as gopees
And then who are these gopees, according to the Bhaagavatha itself?. They are the demi-gods
who wanted to share in the glory of the Avathaar and who came down to the world as witnesses
and sharers ill 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 vriththi (thought wave); all vriththis 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 gopees collected all the vriththis 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.

Meaning of Krishna's theft of butter
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. He is Chiththachor (the stealer of hearts). The thief steals at
night, in the darkness, without awakening the master; but, when this thief steals, the master
awakens; He wakes him and tells him that He has come. The victim is left supremely happy and
satisfied.
Every gopee 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. [Here Baaba
who had filled his hand with petals of Mallika (jasmine)flowers pulled apart by Him from
garlands given to Him, showered the petals from one palm to another and they fell in a cascade
of blue gems. Even the gems they preferred were of this type, blue, like Krishna. He showed the
astounded gathering the gems He was referring to. Each gem had Krishna's form in it, beautifully
clear. 

Do not have pride in your attachment to God
There was a gopee named Suguna. One day, when Krishna was with Sathyabhaama, He
pretended to have severe stomach ache and in spite of all the remedies that she tried she could
not afford relief. Of course, it was all acting, superb acting such as the paralytic stroke I had for a
week previous to Guru Pournami recently! Even Rukmini was not admitted into the house by
her to inquire about Krishna's health. But, Rukmini found Suguna pining outside the door in
great agony at the illness of the Lord. She gave her the articles and asked her to go in. Krishna
welcomed Suguna and made her sit at His Feet and ate the fruits she had picked up from
Sathyabhaama's own garden and suddenly, the ache had gone. It was her agony at the Lord's
condition, her simple sincere devotion that was so effective.
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. Sathyabhaama protested when Krishna
accepted the fruits, for, Krishna had brushed them aside as tasteless when she had herself offered
them as the precious product of her assiduous gardening effort. They were tasteless, since her
pride had entered into them now. When the simple rustic gopee picked them from the ground and
saturated them with her devotion, they became tasty and attractive for the Lord, who cares for the
bhaava (inner feeling), not the baahya (outer show)!
The only prema that will not allow pride and envy to interfere with its purity is prema towards
God. I know that many of you, who know that I have been taking only a cup of buttermilk daily
for the last two months, are genuinely grief-stricken, though I have been talking to you that no
work of Mine has been stopped or delayed as a result of what they call My "reduced intake of
food;" that is a sign of their prema but really, I live on your Aanandham, not on this material
food at all. I wish that you realised this and stopped worrying or weeping.



Prashaanthi Nilayam, Krishna Janmaashtami,
12-8-1963


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