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Gokulashtami Discourse

Divine Leelas reflect the Glory of the Avatars

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Baba on the occasion of Krishnashtami (Birthday of Lord Krishna) on 31st August 2002 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam)

Sweeter than sugar, tastier than curd, sweeter indeed than honey is the Name of Krishna. Constant repetition of this sweet Name gives one the taste of divine nectar itself. Therefore, one should contemplate on the Name of Krishna incessantly. 

(Telugu Poem)

Embodiments of Love!

SINCE ancient times, the nectarous principle of Krishna has 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. Krishna and Balarama, along with other cowherd boys, would take cows for grazing to the banks of the river Yamuna and immerse themselves in fun and frolic. One day, the cowherd boys were lost in bliss as they were watching the Divine pranks of Krishna. Consequently they forgot the surroundings and their cows. As they were resting after grazing, all of a sudden they felt hot wind blowing from all directions. They realised that they were being surrounded by wild fire. The raging conflagration was so intense that they were even unable to open their eyes and see. The cows started running helter-skelter, unable to bear the scorching heat. Nobody could control them. The intensity of heat became more and more every moment. Then the cowherd boys prayed to Krishna to come to their rescue. "Oh Krishna! You alone can extinguish this fire and save us." Seeing their plight, Krishna laughed and said, "Oh cowherd boys! You have been moving with Me, playing with Me and enjoying the bliss. It is rather strange that you are fear-stricken even after experiencing My Divinity." Many times in the past, you were a witness to My slaying the demons sent by Kamsa. Then why are you afraid when I am with you?

"When you have the Kalpavriksha (wish-fulfilling tree) right in front of you, why do you desire for trivial things?
When you have the Kamadhenu (wish-fulfilling cow) with you, where is the need to buy a cow?
When you have the glittering Meru mountain with you, why do you crave for paltry silver and gold ?
Likewise, when you have the omnipotent Lord Krishna in you, with you and around you, why do you get panic over such a trivial matter?" 

(Telugu Poem)

Krishna told them to close their eyes and contemplate on Him for a while. The cowherds implicitly obeyed His command. They closed their eyes and started chanting His name. The next moment, Krishna commanded them to open their eyes. Lo and behold! the wild fire had totally disappeared and all their cows were grazing as if nothing had happened. Their joy knew no bounds. They wanted to return to their respective homes at once and narrate the wonderful miracle that Krishna had performed. The cowherd boys had experienced many such miracles which proved the Divinity of Krishna.
Not only in India, but also in a communist country like Russia, many such mysterious powers of Divinity were experienced. A person by name Wolfe Messing was born on September 10, 1899 in Poland. Right from his birth, he radiated divine effulgence. He behaved in a mysterious manner even while he was very young. He would make some movements with his hands and laugh to himself. His parents were mystified as they could not understand his strange behaviour. One year passed in this manner. In his second year, he started talking to himself. He would scratch his head as if he was engrossed in deep thought. He would run here and there, laugh to himself and converse with some unseen beings. All this baffled his parents. They wondered as to why he was laughing to himself and to whom he was talking. There was an element of anxiety and fear in them.

One day a tall personality wearing a white robe came and stood in front of their house. He called Messing near him and said, "Your parents are planning to put you in a lunatic asylum or in a school for the mentally retarded. You do not need to go anywhere. How can those who are afflicted with worldly madness understand your madness' which is of spiritual nature? If only everyone gets such a spiritual madness, the whole nation would prosper. Do not get yourself admitted to schools where only worldly education is taught. The formal or secular knowledge does not appeal to you. Learn spiritual knowledge. I have come here only to tell you this." Messing asked him, "Grandfather, where do you come from?" He replied, "I will tell you later. I am going back to the place from where I came. Never forget my words. Do not have anything to do with worldly knowledge. Acquire only spiritual knowledge. Now you are very young. Till you attain a certain level of maturity, do not have any association with anybody. Now I am going back." Saying this, he vanished right in front of Messing's eyes. Messing wondered, "Where did he come from? Where has he gone? Will I also go back to the place from where I came?" He started enquiring thus. His parents did not allow him to go anywhere. He was confined to his house only. It was 9th February 1909. On that day his desire to go in search of spiritual knowledge erupted again for he was not satisfied with the secular knowledge being taught to him. He remembered the words of the old man who appeared at his doorstep sometime ago. He went inside the house and found 8 coins in an almirah. Keeping them in his pocket he embarked on a spiritual journey in the wide world. He- wandered and wandered not knowing where he was going. He toured the entire world. None questioned him about tickets or the money required to buy them. Thus he roamed about for 10 years. Then he entered India. He boarded a train that was going from Cuddapah to Anantapur. In between the train stopped for a while at Kamalapuram where I was studying at that time. In the classroom Ramesh and Suresh were the two boys sitting on my either side on a desk. Ramesh's father was a Sirasthadar (Revenue Official) and their family was very rich. Every day we would go towards the railway station for a walk discussing some spiritual matters. In those days there were only one or - two trains going via Kamalapuram. The three of us sat on a stone bench on the railway platform, As we were happily talking to each other Wolfe Messing saw us through the window of the moving train and at once opened the door and jumped out. In the process he lost his balance and fell flat on the platform. Ramesh and Suresh were concerned that he might have fractured his leg. I told them not to worry saying "He is coming only to see Me. So nothing has happened." He was not carrying any luggage not even a small bag. He came straight towards Me and sat in front of Me at a distance of about ten feet shedding tears of joy.

Ramesh and Suresh watched this scene. In those days, the boys were afraid of the White people that they might take them away and put them in the military service. Therefore they wanted to take Me away from that place. As Messing was approaching Me Ramesh ran to his house and requested his father to bring a jeep immediately and take Me away from the sight of a 'White person'; Ramesh's father at once brought a jeep lifted Me up and put Me in the jeep. When he took Me to his house Messing also followed the jeep and came up to the house of Ramesh. He sat there for a full day waiting for Me to come out of the house. In the meanwhile whenever he would spot Me through the window/he would smile at Me call Me and try to convey something to Me But nobody was willing to permit him to meet Me. At that time Seshama Raju (Swami's elder brother) was working as a teacher. A word was sent to him through a peon, informing him of the position. Messing waited for three days and left the place and went somewhere by train. Before leaving, he wrote on the door of the house with a chalk piece thus: "The people who live in this house are very fortunate. They are able to keep the Divine child with them and serve Him. I am not that fortunate. Anyway, thanks."
He finally reached his country, Russia. After twenty years, he again visited India. This time he brought a Kirlian camera, which was capable of taking photographs of the aura around human beings. Those who are of Sathwic nature will have a resplendent white aura around their body. Those who are Rajasic in nature will have a red colour aura and those who are Thamasic in nature will have a black colour aura around them. He came straight to Kamalapuram and started enquiring about the whereabouts of Raju. But, by that time, I was no longer Raju, the high school student. Raju became Sathya Sai Baba. People told him that Sathya Sai Baba would be residing either in Puttaparthi or in Bangalore. Therefore, he left Kamalapuram for Bangalore.
When he arrived at Bangalore he found a huge congregation. On enquiry, he came to know that they were waiting for Sathya Sai Baba's Darshan. He too waited for My Darshan. When I was moving amidst the congregation, he saw Me and thought to himself, "Yes, this is the same person whom I saw as a boy many years ago. He has the same with divine effulgence surrounding him." He approached the Principal of the College. At that time Narendra was the Principal. He was a great scholar in Sanskrit and a very good teacher. His father Damodar was a Judge and his father-in-law Sunder Rao was a reputed doctor. Both of them were present there. He requested them to take him for Swami's Darshan. He told them, "You are not able to see the reality. Swami is verily God. You are seeing only His physical form and getting deluded. You will know the truth when you observe His aura."

He wanted to observe Swami's aura through the camera he had brought with him. In those days, I used to give Darshan to the devotees at the end of Nagarasankirtan. As I stood in the balcony giving Darshan, he clicked his camera. He could see that the entire place was permeated with light. When he showed the photograph, one could see great effulgence around My face. My entire body was engulfed in white light which symbolises purity. Nothing else was noticed. Narendra took that photograph and requested him to give the camera also as it was not available in India. He said he was prepared to give the photograph but not the camera as he had a lot of work to do with it. He expressed his desire to have an audience with Swami. In the evening a meeting was arranged in which he was to address the students. I also attended the meeting. He was not looking at the students or the teachers; he was trying to see where I was seated and what I was doing. When he spotted Me, he started coming towards Me, saying "My dear my dear". He kept repeating "You are My everything. I am Your instrument." So far I have not revealed this to anyone. He stayed there for ten days. I taught him all that had to be taught. I told him that when God descended on earth, he would act like a human being. Daivam Manusha Rupena (God takes the form of man). He said that the same has been said even in their scriptures. He wrote a book and gave it to Gokak. Gokak was a scholar in English but had no knowledge of Russian. However he kept the book with him.

After a few days. Messing left without informing anybody. One day Narendra received a letter from Russia. Messing wrote in the letter, "You are a teacher working for God. How fortunate you are!" He requested Narendra to keep him informed about the happenings related to Swami. One day Narendra was expressing some doubts and I was clarifying them. Only two of us were in the room. All of a sudden. Messing arrived there. How he came there was a mystery to Narendra..

He did not have a ticket with him. He came, had My Darshan and disappeared. It was not possible for all to see this. It was not easy to understand either. Divinity is highly mysterious.

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. Some of them were tired. 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. Krishna and Balarama jumped down from the trees. 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. He told them that he would keep sumptuous food ready for them. The cowherd boys were wondering as to how Krishna would provide food for the sages as He had not brought any food with Him. In those days there were no tiffin carriers. 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 mischievous 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.

Brahma, who was observing these mysterious happenings was wonder struck at Krishna's mighty powers. He wanted to play a trick with Krishna. One day as the cowherd boys were ecstatically playing with Krishna and Balarama Brahma made the cows and calves disappear from the scene. He even made the cowherd boys disappear. Krishna knew that it was Brahma's trick. He at once created all the cowherd boys cows and calves by His Will. These cowherd boys returned to their respective homes with their cows and calves. They were identical in all respects to the cowherd boys whom Brahma had hidden somewhere. Even their parents could not find any difference. Life went on as usual with the cowherd boys taking their cows and calves for grazing every day in the company of Balarama and Krishna This continued for one full year Brahma felt ashamed and accepted defeat. He sought Krishna's pardon and returned all the cowherd boys cows and calves. As he returned them the existing ones which Krishna had created earlier disappeared at once. In this manner Krishna performed many) stupendous feats right from His childhood. On this basis the Bhagavata says 

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

(Telugu Poem)

At this juncture I would like to narrate an incident which happened with this Avatar. I have not revealed this to anyone so far. After this Prasanthi Mandir was constructed I used to have My food in the room upstairs. Whenever I took food, the Griham Ammayi (mother of this
physical body) would be by My side forcing Me to eat more. She would often express her concern that I was losing weight. I would tell her "Why should I eat more? Do I need to fight with somebody? I don't like to become fat.'

One day somebody invited Me to their house for food. Actually their intention was to poison Me. They were feeling jealous of My growing popularity and prosperity. In those days I used to relish Vadas made of Alasanda grains. Hence they mixed poison in Vadas and offered them to Me. Before going there, I had told Easwaramma and Subbamma not to be afraid if any untoward incident was to happen. When I returned from there, My entire body turned blue and My mouth started frothing. I told Easwaramma to wave her hand in a circle. She did accordingly, and to her utter amazement, there appeared Vibhuti in her hand. She mixed it in water and gave Me. Instantly, I became normal. She wondered, "Swami can create Vibhuti with a wave of His hand. But is it that Vibhuti appeared in My hand?" In fact, I had given her that power for that moment.

When I was staying in the Old Mandir, I used to take children to Chitravathi everyday. In those days, there were no students, only the boys of the village would gather around Me. I would tell them to make a small mound of sand, out of which they could get whatever they wanted like pencil, pen, laddu, etc. Since they were small children, they would ask for trivial things.
After one such evening session in Chitravathi we were returning to the Old Mandir. Kuppam Sushilamma and her sister Kumaramma, the author of the book "Anyatha Saranam Nasthi", who were young at that time, started running towards the Old Mandir to offer Arati when Swami reached there. Then I signalled to Subbamma to stop them and herself go there to make arrangements for the Arati. Subbamma implicitly obeyed My command. Those two ladies had a feeling that being housewives, only they had the eligibility to give Arati to Swami, but not Subbamma, who was a widow. When Subbamma went to the Old Mandir she found a big serpent. It was for this reason I had sent her. She was always careful. When she saw the snake, she called out "Sai Nageswara, Sai Nageswara Sai Nageswara". In the meanwhile all of us reached there. She did not want to kill it as she remembered the words of Swami that there was God in all beings. She wanted to catch it and leave it somewhere. As she caught the snake it coiled around her hand. I made fun of her saying "Subbamma are you playing with snakes?" She said "Swami I know that you sent me earlier in order to save the lives of those two ladies." In this manner, Subbamma witnessed many Leelas of Swami. She was very fortunate and highly meritorious. She served Me right from the beginning. Not only Me she served the devotees who would come for My Darshan by serving them food. All her relatives turned against her but she did not care for them. She wanted only Swami and none else. She used to obey Swami's command implicitly. She had unwavering faith. One day, I asked her whether she would like to see her deceased husband? I used to crack such jokes now and then. She replied that she had no such desire and that she had nothing to do with her deceased husband. She further said that her husband passed away because he was not fortunate enough to serve Swami. She felt that it was her good fortune that she was able to serve Me. But I insisted that if she had any desire to see him I would grant her desire. I told her to go out and see. There was a drumstick tree. She found her husband Narayana Rao smoking a cigarette sitting under the tree. She saw the scene very clearly. She was happy to see her dead husband again but she also scolded him saying "Even after death you have not given up your bad habits." She came back at once as she did not want to see him any longer. Narayana Rao had two wives Subbamma and Kamalamma. Kamalamma is living in the Ashram at present. I told Kamalamma to go and see her deceased husband. She did not Want to see his face again. She said having come to the Lotus Feet of Swami she had no such desire. However on My insistence she went and saw. She found her late husband sipping hot coffee at that time. Both Subbamma and Kamalamma saw their deceased husband exhibiting the same habits he had when he was alive. Even during the Krishna Avatar Krishna showed to His devotees incidents that had happened long ago.

When Krishna lifted the Govardhana mountain it was a matter of celebration. The unmarried Gopikas performed Varalakshmi Vratam. Even now ladies perform Varalakshmi Vratam. Radha was a great devotee. But those who did not believe in the Divinity of Krishna subjected her to a lot of hardships. 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. (Taking this theme I wrote a drama and got it enacted by children;) They felt Radha's family reputation" was being tarnished because she was going behind Krishna. They wanted to stop her from doing so. Hence she was locked up in the room. 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? If I'd all right if you have no devotion to Me.' But it is a great sin to harass a devotee."* Krishna took Radha with Him. Radha then prayed to Krishna to play a song on His divine flute.

"Sing a song Oh Krishna! with each ,. word dripping with honey and. talk to Me to Myhearts content. Take the essence of the Vedas, let it flow through your divine flute and transform it into a melodious song. Sing a song Oh Krishna..."

 (Telugu Song)

Listening to His melodious music, Radha breathed her last. From that day Krishna never touched His flute again. Krishna performed several Leelas. He was verily God in human form. None can comprehend or describe His Divine nature. It is infinite and unfathomable. There are several such Divine Leelas performed by Lord Krishna. You do not find anything other than Divine love flowing from Him.

In Dwapara Yuga women experienced Krishna's Divinity more. In fact, it was they who revealed the story of God through their devotion. 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 choultry 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 Bobatlu (a delicious sweet item). They asked those women, "Mothers, our Krishna and Balarama are hungry, can you give them some food?" The women were extremely happy for having got an opportunity to serve Krishna. Immediately, they packed whatever food items they had prepared and took them to Krishna. Some women raised an objection as to how could they serve food to Krishna (who belonged to the cowherd clan) before it was offered to their husbands (Brahmins). But their objection was brushed aside and Krishna and Balarama were fed the items that were prepared. They considered Krishna as God. On coming to know of this, the husbands chided their wives saying it was a sacrilegious act. Later on, 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. I wish to emphasise in this context that 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. That is why such a great value has been attached to Bhakti. In fact, it was Gopikas who were responsible for the spread of Bhakti Tatthwa (path of devotion) in the world. Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Namaiva Kevalam, Kalau Nasty eva Nasty eva Nasty eva Gathiranyatha (chanting of the Divine Name is the only path to liberation in this Age of Kali).

In those days even in this village of Puttaparthi nobody was thinking of God except Karanam Subbamma. Griham Ammayi used to observe big officers coming for My Darshan. She would be scared to see anyone in police uniform. She would request Subbamma not to allow any police personnel thinking that they would cause inconvenience to Swami. Subbamma would alleviate her fears saying, "Why should not they come? They too are devotees of Swami. Everybody has to come to Swami. Do not have any such differences. Nobody can harm Swami. You don't worry about it." Hearing Subbamma's words, Easwaramma would express her anger thus, "Since Swami is residing with you, several police people are coming to your house. Please do not allow them' Once IGP Ranganayakulu came from Madras. He wanted to take Me with him. Griham Ammayi was in a sorrowful state and was crying. She considered Madras to be a far-off place and a foreign country. Hence, she decided to desist Me from going. Her intense love for Swami was responsible for this. She was concerned that Swami might be taken away from Puttaparthi permanently. It was due to her prayer that this Mandir was built.

Once Sakkamma came and said, "Swami, due to the lack of proper roads and transport, we are finding it difficult to come to this remote village. Neither cars nor bullock carts can reach this interior village. Every time we have to leave our car near Penukonda to come here. Hence, please come to Bangalore and settle there. We will get a big palatial building built for you." I told her that I did not need huge mansions. All that I need was only a small room. But she would not listen to Me. Easwaramma said, "If a sapling has to grow into a gigantic tree, it has to be manured and watered well without disturbing it. If it is shifted from place to place, it cannot grow. Hence, please remain in Your birthplace Puttaparthi. It will certainly progress." Then I promised her that I would settle in Puttaparthi.

When it comes to devotion and surrender, women are superior to men. They are the repositories of all forms of Vijnana Sujnana and Prajnana. So, never look down upon women. Do not talk derisively about others. Pray for the well-being of all. Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy!). The main teaching of Bhagavad-Gita is that one should work for the welfare of all. Ekoham Bahusyam (the one willed to become many). The same divinity is present in all. All forms are His. - :"

Before I conclude I would like to narrate a small Leela performed by Krishna in Dwapara Yuga. So long as Kamsa was alive, he used to send demons to fight with Krishna. Kamsa had two wives whose father was a mighty 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 be 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 the other. God can do anything. He can go anywhere. He can change anything. Do not give room for doubts. One who doubts Divinity will certainly be doomed. Develop unwavering faith and follow the Divine command. True Dharma lies in following the Divine command. When you follow God you will be blessed with all goodness and auspiciousness.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajans, Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin ", "Govinda Krishna Jai Gopala Krishna Jai." and "Subramanyam,.Subramanyam..."

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