Swami on the devotion of Gopikas
Puttaparthi, Prasanthi Nilayam (Krishnashtami )
This physical body is a mere instrument. It is God's will which makes this move, which makes this enjoy, which makes this live and which makes this suffer. Man who does not recognise this basic truth thinks that he is close to God, he knows God and he is a great devotee of God - such are his great thoughts. Once upon a time, in order to test those people who thought that they were very great, Krishna enacted a small drama. He acted as if he is suffering from untold pain, unheard of and unbearable pain. He bandaged his head with a big towel if he was suffering from an unbearable headache. Knowing the future events, He enacted this play. Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati and the other women who were there came to Krishna, they began questioning him in a number of ways. Swami, we have not seen you in such pain earlier, what is this pain, what is the remedy? He began saying that, 'Oh I cannot bear this pain at all, it is giving me a tremendous shock' and so on. They questioned Him, 'What is the remedy for this, Swami?' 'If the dust of a great devotees feet could be brought and applied on My head it would relive My pain'. Just at that time Narada entered in an appropriate way. Satyabhama, Rukmini, Jambavati approached Narada and prayed to him. 'Well, Narada please let us know how to cure this particular pain'. When Narada questioned Krishna He gave the same reply - 'The remedy is to apply the dust of the feet of a great devotee and put it on My head, I will get cured. Narada said, "Such a great devotee as Satyabhama is here, the dust of her feet can be offered to you easily isn't it Krishna?" he said. Satyabhama felt embarrassed. She was Krishna's wife. 'If the dust of wife's feet is put on the head of the husband, I would go to hell, I do not want to go to hell by giving the dust of my feet for Krishna'. Rukmini gave the came answer. Both of them asked Narada, 'Can there be a greater devotee than you, Narada? The dust of your feet could be offered to Krishna'. 'Mother, I will not be able to give the dust of my feet because I would go to hell and lose all the pleasures and privileges that I am having, like going to Kailash and Vaikunta. Is it that the dust of the feet of a devotee should be put on Krishna?! It is a great sin, sacrilege'. This is the type of understanding on the part of these devotees. Krishna then began shouting as if He is not able to bear the sharp pain of the headache. Narada asked Krishna, 'Swami let me know from where I can get the medicine?' Krishna said, 'Go to Gopikas get the dust of their feet, I will definitely be free from this headache'. He went to gokulam in a moment. When he was walking in the streets chanting and singing the name of God, Gopikas came running to him. They began showering questions on Narada, 'How is our Gopala? Are you coming from Mathura?' Narada told them, 'I have never seen Krishna suffering from such unbearable pain in my life. He is having a lot of pain and I have come here for taking some medicine. Gopikas asked Narada, 'Is there some medicine in our Gokulam?! We are prepared to do anything for the sake of Krishna'. Narada said he wants the dust of your feet. One gopika ran home and brought a bed-sheet and all of them danced on it, collected a lot of dust from their feet and packed it into a bundle and gave it to Narada. They prayed, 'Rush immediately, O Narada, and please see that our Krishna is free from the headache. Narada was shocked and surprised. These people are totally uneducated and they do not know anything, they are foolish ones. The Gopikas told Narada, 'We don't mind going to the worst hell if there is anything like that, if our Krishna can be okay we are all okay'. They only prayed, 'Our Krishna should be all right. We are not bothered about whichever place we go'. The moment that these gopikas offered the dust of their feet, Krishna became all right. By the time Narada offered the dust to Krishna, he was already happy and relieved of the headache. He was totally cheerful. Krishna said, 'The moment the gopikas gave the dust of their feet to you, I am relieved of My headache'. Sacrifice your selfishness. He declared that the Gopikas are true devotees and great devotees. He declared that those people cannot be called devotees at all who go on thinking what would happen to them by doing such and such a thing, who are immersed in their selfishness. I am residing in every living being. That dust is Mine, the foot is Mine and that head is Mine. Everything is Mine. My feet and head can go everywhere. Everything belongs to Me. Can anyone comprehend Me? I am residing in all the 84 lakh species - I am a part of them. I am the greatest thief among thieves. Can anyone comprehend Me. In your understanding he is a thief, in my understanding he is I. The avatar comes down in order to teach this unity of existence to all human beings.
Gopikas devotion is unparallel: Vyasa says to Parikshit00:01:33
At one time, emperor Parikshit said to Suka about his impending death in seven days. He has to leave his body in seven days. It is a curse given by a saint. Why should he waste these seven days precious time? He wanted to sanctify his life by praying the divine. He summoned sage Vyasa and started listening to his discourses. Both Vyasa and Suka are powerful Brahmcharis. Yet they were describing the powerful devotion of Gopikas with authority. Parikshit got a doubt and asked Vyasa- “Swami! how come the Gopikas who had no knowledge or literacy or any spiritual coaching could get into the fold of the divine and win His blessings? Divine was pleased with their devotion and made them experience God. The saint replied, “Oh-mad cap, you are wrong if you think you can see God by reading the scriptures. No- No. The scriptures are meant only for reading and not to see God”.
God will be your servant if you have devotion for Him: Analogy of Hanuman00:02:14
The one with complete faith in the Lord will pray whole heartedly and the Lord will respond by granting the boons. Without faith how can one demand the Lord? God is not one’s servant! But if one has the true devotion then the Lord is verily the servant of His devotees!! So God is servant of all. A small example to illustrate this: Servant stands in waiting at the threshold of the Lord’s shrine; similarly the Lord too stands alert and in waiting, like a servant, for His devotees to hear their pleas and to grant their wishes!! God becomes a master if one is not devoted or if one does not foster any divine feelings. People here know the story of Hanuman. Hanuman is virtuous and strong. In the presence of Lord Rama Hanuman stood humbly and in front of Ravana he stood in all his valour. What is the reason? In front of an egoistic person the devotee stood like a warrior. And he stood humbly in presence of the Lord who is the embodiment of love. Hence life must be carried on based on the circumstances. Therefore God always submits Himself to His devotees. The Lord is extolled as ‘bhakta paradheenaya namaha!’ meaning that the Lord is always submissive to those who are devoted. God is always devoted to His devotees when one has pure and sacred devotion.
Uddhava-Gopikas episode; Devotion of Gopikas00:03:19
In one context, the Gopikas questioned Uddhava. Uddhava summoned the Gopikas and told them, “Come, listen to me, I shall teach you the path of Yoga.” The Gopikas were illiterate. Uddhava began to tell them, “You have not studied the Vedas, the Shastras, Puranas or the Upanishads (the sacred texts)! You are all ignorant. Therefore, I shall initiate you into Yoga and by its power you can experience the omnipresence of the Lord Krishna and get rid of your troubles and worries.” Then the Gopikas said, “Oh Uddhava! We have only one mind. We do not have another mind to devote to ‘Yogabhyasa’, the practice of yoga. And to acquire other yogic powers, we do not have the third mind. We do not have the fourth mind which would enable us to please our husbands, our mothers-in-law and other members of the family. If we had many minds, we would have given one to Yoga, another to family, and the like. But we have only one mind and that is completely given, completely surrendered to Krishna. So to learn your yoga we do not have a second mind. Kindly retrace your steps and go back!” The path of Gopikas, single-minded devotion, is verily the best path. We should be with one mind only. We should not have two, three minds. With one mind itself we keep getting into troubles and if we have many minds our troubles will also be manifold.
Kuchela - Krishna episode; Love of God00:05:00
Be it morning or evening I am your servant An incident described in the Bhagavatham, offers an important message. Kuchela a devotee of Krishna, went to see the latter. He did not want to go empty handed and being poor, all he could take was some puffed rice which he wrapped up in a shabby piece of cloth since that was all he could manage. Krishna happily accepted the gift, opened the package and began eating what was in it, even as Kuchela watched with great embarrassment. Thoughts raced through Kuchela mind. “I am poor and all could offer was something packed in a piece of old cloth. Even so, Krishna seems to be happy with the gift and is clearly relishing the puffed rice I brought. Krishna may be happy but I have committed a serious blunder bringing such a trivial offering to the Emperor of the Universe. Even as Kuchela was thinking in this manner Rukmini the consort of Krishna rushed towards Krishna and stopped Him eating. Kuchela thought that Rukmini did what she did because the puffed rice was an inappropriate offering to an exalted one like Krishna. But Krishna knew Rukmini better. To make Kuchela understand what Rukmini was doing, Krishna asked Rukmini why she was objecting to His eating puffed rice. Rukmini replied, “Krishna, you are the servant of Kuchela while I am your servant. I should therefore get my portion of what You are eating! Please therefore, give me what is left of what you are eating. God’s vision is infinitely vast, and His Design full of grandeur. Unable to understand Cosmic Infinity, humans are often quite casual while dealing with matters Divine. God is infinitely large-hearted. No one has such a large Heart, and indeed none can have it. Slowly, Kuchela was beginning to understand what was happening. When he returned home, Kuchela was stunned to see his humble house transformed into a great mansion, while his wife and children were dressed in gorgeous clothes and wearing expensive jewellery. Kuchela’s wife ran to her husband full of joy and, catching hold of his feet plied him with questions like, “O my dear husband! How merciful and bountiful God is! Tell me, what did Krishna and you speak about? What did He say to you? How kind and compassionate God is! Truly, He is incomparable!!” Kuchela said in reply, “As soon as I sent word to Krishna through His gatekeepers about my arrival, He personally came to receive me. Rushing towards me as soon as He saw me, He came near, stood for a moment, carefully looked me over from head to toe, and then folded me in a warm embrace as if I was a long-lost soul.” Kuchela continued: “Who can comprehend the Lord’s Infinite compassion?! I poor Kuchela offered only a handful of puffed rice and He has acknowledged that humble offering by showering us with abundant wealth! Is there anyone who can describe God’s Love? All I can say is that God is Love and Love is God, and both are indescribable! God being limitless, so is His Love. Humans, on the other hand, tend to shrink and contract whatever love they are capable of. God’s love is expansive while the love of humans tends to shrink on account of narrow-mindedness.”