--svatantramasvantantraM cha dvividhaM tatvaMishyate--
--svatantro bhagavAn vishnuH--

Sri Madhvacharya, in his tatvasaMkhyAna

Unfamiliar with the transliteration?

What is Lord Krishna's Real Love? An Example

Can you imagine the Lord of the universe Krishna taking the form of a woman and working as a maidservant?

But then that is exactly what Krishna did. Here is the sweet pastime of Sakhubai →a true example of real love by Lord Krishna for His devotee.

Sakhu was a simple lady, who was a great devotee of Krishna or rather, his form of Vittala. But life was anything but a bed of roses for her. She had a tough life, being harassed by her in-laws, and her husband.

Yet, the gentle Sakhu would go about her chores dutifully all the while chanting the name of Vittala. So immersed was she in her remembrance of her Lord Vittala, that the harassment of her family didn’t seem to affect her at all.

This one day, when she is out to get water from the river, she sees a group of Varkaris(related answer on Varkaris here1), they are the traveling pilgrims who keep singing some wonderful kirtans on their journey to Pandharpur where there is the famous shrine of Vittala.

When Sakhu expresses her desire to join the pilgrims, her family is so infuriated by her, that they tie her up to a pillar in their home. And poor Sakhu can only pray to her Lord Vittala deeply seeking His audience.

The Lord appears there as an old lady, releases Sakhu of her binds, and says that He will swap places with her. He tells Sakhu to leave for Pandharpur.

So the Lord now assumes the form of Sakhu and he is engaged in all the household chores – sweeping, mopping, cooking, massaging the feet of the inlaws, all the menial work of the house.

Meanwhile, the real Sakhu has reached Pandharpur, and taking the darshan of the Lord Vittala, she is so overwhelmed that she thinks that the purpose of her life is met, and she breathes her last at the altar. An elderly man from her village happens to be there and he performs Sakhu’s last rites in Pandharpur

Meanwhile, Vittala is slogging away as the duplicate Sakhu as before.

Now Devi Rukmini, the Lord’s consort is worried. She cannot bear the separation from her Lord. So Rukmini revives Sakhu and instructs her to go back to her village so that Her Lord can come back.

Now the old man who had performed Sakhu’s last rites comes back to his village and he is shocked to see the duplicate Sakhu working away as usual. He is extremely puzzled and discusses this with her family. Her family is now scared thinking if its the ghost of Sakhu who is been there all along.

The real Sakhu comes back just then. She narrates the complete story. Everyone is just shocked beyond belief. They are full of remorse, for their dealings with Sakhu and of course on realizing that the Supreme Lord Krishna had been working as a menial servant in their home.

Everyone hails Sakhu as a great devotee. The remorseful family turns a new leaf. The Lord is back with his eternal consort Rukmini. And all is well again.

This pastime is particularly touching for me because it shows the sweet nature of Bhakti.

As the devotee is trying to serve the Lord, the Lord is finding ways to serve the devotee. The Lord is not an autocratic dictator but a loving father who is eager to serve His devotee.

And if you think that the Lord is showing this special favour only to some really rare souls, allow me to present this verse from Upanishads.

samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagno
’nīśayā śocati muhyamānaḥ
juṣṭaṁ yadā paśyaty anyam īśam
asya mahimānam iti vīta-śokaḥ

“Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend the Lord and knows His glories – at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties.”

Just like two birds on the tree, this boy has the atma and the paramatma in it. One bird is waiting for the second bird to turn towards him. But the second bird is too busy going about, its chores in trying to enjoy life. The second bird doesn’t even acknowledge the presence of the first bird. Yet the first bird is waiting and watching for a day when the second bird will turn towards it.

We, the souls are the second bird. Krishna as the paramatma is the first bird. Life after life, we are trying to live out our desires and fantasies in this world. All along, every life, Krishna as the paramatma is waiting in our heart on when we will turn toward Him. Though Krishna is all powerful, atma rama (completely satisfied with Himself) He is waiting when each one of us will turn towards Him.

Krishna accompanying us life after life, waiting for us to turn towards Him is another aspect of His love for us

Jai Shri Krishna

- posted May 20, 06:13 pm in


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