Objective Desires, The Poison

Kalluri Veerabhadhra Sastry made bliss (ananda) well up in every one of you by his clear and moving description of the incidents of the Bhagavatham. His words were apt and sweet; his comments revealed the inner significance of the events; he made all partake personally in the life at Brindavan of the families of the cowherds during the time that Krishna was among them. Some people feel intoxicated by the emotions or get almost mad on account of the devotion they have. But such overpowering emotions have to be mastered. One has to transform devotion into spiritual wisdom and become stronger thereby.

One’s life is meaningful only because one can use it to see God. The goal of life is the final merging in the sea, God. You should not fill life with the world; that will make it a vanity fair, an insanity fair. Listen to all such things that will draw you toward the principle of Godhead; then think it over in the silence, make it part of your consciousness. This process of reflection makes you a human being; that is the test of human.

Sensory object is one’s most deadly poison

Veerabhadhra Sastry described the scene of Krishna’s dance on the head of the serpent, Kaliya. Well, Kaliya is a huge big serpent, full of poison, rolling in death and destruction. He is the representative of humanity, rolling in sensory objects —poison, as far as its effect on life is concerned. The sensory object (vishaya) is the most deadly poison (visha).

When Krishna danced on the head of Kaliya (incidentally I might add, you should make your hearts as smooth and soft as the hood of the snake), the poison was all vomited! And the serpent was subdued. When God is revered, the world and all its poisonous fumes recede and you are restored to original health. Make the name and form of the Lord dance upon the hood of your heart. Krishna had no attachment to sense objects (vishayavasana), so He could plunge into the pool, call out to Kaliya, jump onto his hood, and trample on it and squeeze the poison out. If you are deep in the mire, you cannot pull out another who has fallen into it. Be on the bank; do not get caught.

You are now struggling in the mire of worldly life (samsara), the slithery mud of attachment. So how can you trample on the snake? You can save yourself only by calling on God, who is free from sense objects and is on the bank. Hold His hand, and He will pull you on to hard ground.

In those days, Krishna never parted from Balarama, but that day, He came alone, without him. He was wearing a necklace of green beads, a nose-ring of pearl, and a ring of pearls in his right ear. He wore no shirt or coat, just a yellow silk round his waist and a kerchief wound round the head, or, rather, thrown carelessly round one end this way and another end that way! The peacock feather, which is described by poets and sages, was not always worn. It was struck up, only off and on. Of course, peacocks abounded in Brindavan then, and they are found in plenty even today. On his bare chest, there was a mole, which could be clearly seen, an inevitable mark of all Avatars, including the Sais.

Krishna had no objective desires

Krishna saw the carcasses of animals that had died when they inhaled the poisoned air near the Kaliya pool, and birds had fallen dead on the ground. Nothing green could survive in the neighbourhood. As soon as Krishna jumped into the pool to save the region from the serpent’s havoc, his companions ran home to bring the parents, so that they could intercede and stop the foolish pranks of their mischievous son. They were in great panic. Only Radha was calm and collected. She knew that for Him, it was a minute’s fun, a moment’s resolve. He had no objective desires (vishaya), so poison (visha) could not affect Him.

Even objective desires will be transmuted into higher spheres of purity when one approaches the Lord. Nothing against dharma can stand the presence of the Lord. That fire will consume all impurities. People forget that Krishna was just eleven years old when He finally left Brindavan, the scene of the Rasaleela (a dance Krishna performed with the gopis), for Madhura, and from there to Dwaraka. The Bhagavatham itself explicitly says that. But it is ignored because the minds of the people and the poets who want to see sensuality in the Rasaleela are vitiated by attachment to sense objects.

The boy, Druva, went to the forest to do penance and get a boon from the Lord, so that his father might treat him as lovingly as he did his half-brother. But as he progressed in spiritual practices, that wish was forgotten, and more lofty ones came to occupy its place. The Lord, once He enters the mind, will rid it of all evil. Ram (God) and kam (desire) cannot coexist, Lord and lust cannot be together. How then could the gopis have any bodyconsciousness when they adored Krishna?

The Lord never does anything without purpose

Krishna had already announced His glory to the cowherd maidens by such divine miracles as the uplifting of the Govardhana mountain. He had proved Himself superior to Indra, Brahma, and Varuna. He had manifested the universe in His mouth and showed that He had come on a divine mission to destroy the wicked and save the good. There is no worldliness in his behaviour; it is all other-worldly.

The Lord never speaks a word without relevance or significance, He never does anything without appropriateness or purpose. Garuda is the symbol of karma, with the two wings of faith and devotion, the bird on which the Lord will take His seat, the heart as the bird. Radha is nature (prakriti), known as the universe (dharaa), which helps you to think about the basis or support (adhara) in a regular continuous flow (dhara).

The incident of the rope is another instance. Krishna felt that it was time to reveal His Truth, so, just as He showed all creation in His mouth when His mother asked Him to show her His tongue when she suspected He had eaten sand, He made even the longest rope too short to bind Him. It became the talk of the place, and everyone felt he had all the 14 worlds in Him!

Know the secret passage to the heart of the Lord

Avatars choose the time and mode of announcement of their advent and their glory. Even in this Avatara, such miracles had to be done when I decided that the time was opportune for taking people into My secret.

Let your mind dwell ever on Krishna of such stature. Sanctify every word and deed by filling it with love of Krishna or whatever name and form you give to the Lord you love. The gold from which an anklet was made can become the gold for a crown on the head of a temple image, but it has to be melted in the crucible and beaten into shape. The waters of the river might be dirty, but the devotee who sips it with a mantra or a hymn in praise of God on his lips transmutes it into sanctified water. The body becomes healthy by exercise and work; the mind becomes healthy by devout contemplation and remembrance of the divine name (namasmarana), by regular, well-planned discipline, joyfully accepted and joyfully carried out.

Nonviolence is the rice; dedication is the gram (chickpea flour); expiation the raisins; repentance the jaggery (unrefined cane sugar). Mix all these well with the ghee (clarified butter) —virtue. That is the offering you should make to your chosen deity, not the paltry stuff you make out of articles obtained for a paisa in the shops! The gopis knew this secret passage to the heart of the Lord, and they realised Him quickly and fast.

The Lord has no hatred in Him

You have heard that Krishna is the Flute-God (Murali-Madhava), and what exactly is the flute? You must be the flute. Let the breath of Krishna pass through you, making delightful music that melts hearts. Surrender yourself to Him; become hollow, inclination-less, egoless, desireless; then, He Himself will come and pick you up caressingly and apply you —the flute— to His lips and blow His sweet breath through you. Allow Him to play whatever song He likes.

The Lord is all love. He has no hatred in Him.

Once, at Shirdi, a certain Dr. Pillai came with much suffering, and he prayed for ten births with the chance of dividing the pain into ten parts, so that he could suffer a little each time and pay off his karmic debt without being hard put to paying it all off in one! He was informed through Kaka Saheb that he should fall at the feet of Baba, and, as he did so, Baba got the pain transferred to himself. For ten minutes, Baba suffered, at the rate of one minute for each birth, and thus he rid Dr. Pillai of his obligation. Baba was quite normal as soon as the 10 minutes were over.

Love must be many-stranded in order to be strong and tough. A single strand is too weak. Have it manystranded, one toward the mother, another toward the father, other strands toward husband, wife, friend, son, daughter, etc. Of course, love is all-embracing, it cannot be confined to one item and denied to another. It is a current that flows over all. Meditation on the Lord and His love will help you to tap it from the depths of your heart.