[Advaita-l] Sri Krishna Karnamrutam-8
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 20 11:54:31 EDT 2017
Sri Krishna Karnamrutam -8
Krishna performs many miracles while he was growing in the Gokul. One of the biggest one for which he earned the name ‘Govinda’ is lifting the whole Goverdhan Mountain. In South, while going up the hills of Tirumala foot, every step the devotees take, they shout – Govindaa! Govinda! In chanting the name of the Lord, they forget all the hurdles they are facing - or should I say - all the hurdles become insignificant.
There used to be a TV advertisement in the seventies that said – ‘Name goes before the quality goes’. However, the Lords name goes with qualities – or with infinite auspicious qualities as Bhagavan Ramanuja says – ananta kalyana guNas. The form of the Lord cannot be apprehended but the name can. The form of Lord Rama might have blessed few when he was alive but the name of the Lord is blessing generations that came afterward and will be blessing the generations to come. In Thailand, the kings were named after Rama since as per their story, Rama the king disappointed about Ayodya people for insulting Sita mayyaa, left Ayodhya and settled in Thailand as a king. The kings took the name of Rama as Rama II, Rama III etc. Thailand kings later took up Buddhism.
We have thousands of names for the Lord chanted as Vishunu- Sahasranaamaavali – that starts with Viswam and then VishunH, etc. Interestingly the first name is Vishvam – which means the whole universe – that is the first name of the Lord. If we understand the implied meaning then we cannot even go further to the other names, since we cannot go beyond the whole universe! The implication is the whole universe is the Lord – as the scripture says, He became the universe – that is every name and form that I see is nothing but Him only – and yet he is not any particular name and form which is limited, since he is the entire universe with of all forms and names. Krishna says:
yomaam pasyati sarvatra sarvan ca mayi pasyati|
tasyaaham na praNasyaami, sa ca me na praNasyati||
Whoever sees me everywhere and sees everything in Me, he can never be away from Me nor I can be away from him – since the distinction between the seer and seen ceases to exist in the very vision of the Lord everywhere and in everything. Hence every name and form, in essence, is the name of the Lord only. Thus, all names and forms are included in the first name itself. Just to ensure we do not get carried away with superficial names and forms of things and beings, the next name in the shaasranaamaavali is – VishnuH – vyaapakatvat vishuNuH – the one who pervades every name and form providing the very support for their existence – …ya yedam dhaaryate jagat – that paraa prakRiti providing the support for all this apraa prakRiti - is the Lord. Hence all the names and forms that I encounter in this universe become his manifested names and forms, while He remains as unmanifested in all the names and forms. Hence the whole Vedanta is packed in these two names itself as Ch. Up. Says – aitadaatmya idagam sarvam tat satyam – sa aatmaa - tat tvam asi, swetaketo – the essence of all names and forms that you see – idam sarvam – is the fundamental truth – the very existence – the sat that pervades –and that which is also chit – and that is Vishvam and VishnuH.
Most of the names of the Lord follow the vishunu swaruupam or his attributes. However Govinda name, he earned by protecting all gokul – gopaalas – gopies and all go-s (cows) and animals by lifting the Govardhan Mountain.
As the story goes, the Gokul was getting ready to celebrate festival where they normally worship God Indra, the king of all gods. Gods are called devas –as they give results for our actions. Devas are production potential in any field of action – that is, they rain down the results appropriately depending on the actions performed. Krishna approached his elders who are preparing for the worship and he asked -why they are performing this worship? To his surprise, they said - we have to please the God Indra by doing this worship so that he can give us the rain at the appropriate time and the appropriate amount. If we do not do this prayer, Indra will get mad and he will make us suffer. Krishna provides an eye opening lesson for the gopas and through them for all of us. If gods give only if we worship and punish us otherwise then they are not different from merchants that bargain. Actions properly performed will give results that we deserve. The results are determined not only by the current action but the actions are done in the past. We must worship, however, for the results that we have received by thanking. We were given plenty to eat, to enjoy the benefits of nature. Hence Krishna says we need to worship – the cows who are eating the useless grass that nobody wants to eat, and convert that into useful delicious milk that everybody wants to enjoy.
Krishna is teaching all of us - be grateful for what you have. Gurudev used to say: What you have is His Gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to Him. We cannot offer Him anything since everything belongs to Him. The only thing that we can offer is prayerful tears of gratitude.
The Govardhan Mountain is providing plenty of food, fruits, and vegetables including the grass that cows can subsist. We must perform the worship thanking the nature that gives us in abundance, not the egotistical gods who demand worship in turn for giving what we should be giving even otherwise. Convinced of the arguments of Krishna, the whole Gokul switch their party to worship Govardhan Mountain and the cows. Krishna through this is teaching all of us how to live – by maintaining the natural balance. Protecting the nature is man’s primary responsibility and not to misuse it by polluting it and destroying the ecological balance.
When the Gokul started worshiping the Govardhan Mountain and the cows instead of Indra, he gets mad, while Govardhan mountain blesses the people. Indra, to teach them a lesson, and to show them He is more powerful, starts pouring down fierce rain with thunderstorms, causing unending floods and uprooting many buildings. The people run for Shelter and Krishna assures them that He will protect them. Taking approval from Goverdhan, he lefts the whole mountain and asks everybody to come under it to get protection, assuring that Indra can never do anything as long as they are all under his protection.
The whole town assembles under the mountain along with all the cattle and animals and other creatures. Krishna stands holding the mountain on his little finger while still playing his flout providing the soothing divine music for all those who have taken shelter under him. Leelasuka give a snap shot of this scene giving the inner thoughts of all beings that are watching this wonder of how a little boy can lift the whole mountain while rain is pouring down outside, non-stop. The Gopaalas are unconcerned by what is happening outside and are so confident that Lord in the form of little Krishna that they love is with them. Leelasuka says:
Aanandena yashodayaa, samadanam gopanganaabhi, shciram
Saashankam balavidviShaa, sukusumaiH siddhiH, pRithivyaakulam|
serShyam gopakumaarakaiH, sakaruNam pauraiH, janaiH sasmitam,
yo dRiShTaH sa punaatu no muraripuH protkshipti govardhana||II-54
Yasoda mayyaa was overwhelmed with happiness, she could neither believe her eyes – that mischievous Kanna, who was playing so many pranks with her and growing up drinking her milk is now lifting the whole mountain single handily and holding on his little finger – she cannot believe what she is seeing and admiration mixed with wonder on one side, and full of love on the other and proud that this is my Khanna that is protecting us all while listening everybody praising her khanna– so she is overpowered with love expressed as happiness.
The gopika maids have a different feeling. The one whom they love who played hide and seek with them and to whom they have given everything they have – their heart and soul - is now single-handedly able to lift the whole mountain – they are looking at him with love and passion that He is ours – gopaaganaabhiH samadanam. Shiram saashankam balavidviShaa – the Indra in the sky was also wondering how this little body can lift the mountain and holding for days and protecting everybody day in and day out – He started doubting his own judgment and wondering about the wonder boy, who can this boy be. SiddhiH sukusumai – all the siddha purushaas are watching the divine and delicate play of the Lord from distance thanking their good fortune to be witnesses of these activates of the Lord as a child. pRivyaakuam – the mother earth, on the other hand, was getting worried as on one side Indra is pouring down rains and thunder without giving up and another side this little Krishna lifting the whole mountain making everything around tremble.
Sershyam gopakumaaraiH – the gopalas are somewhat jealous of Krishna, for one thing, they cannot do any of these and for the other all the gopika ladies are paying more attention to Krishna than to them; pouraiH sakaruNam – the senior citizens of the town are compassionately looking at Krishna and wanting to help Krishna to carry the mountain so that he can be relieved of the burden, but unable to do so; janaiH sasmitam – the people are enjoying and laughing at the foolishness of Indra and confident that no god on earth can bother them as long as their Khanna is there; That everyone is looking at Krishna and enjoying that divine play and be part of it while it is happening and thanking their stars that they are witnessing this scene directly in front. That Krishna whom everybody looking at with adoration, the one who is carrying that Govardhan mountain that GOVINDA may He protects us all.
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