Yesterday while walking past a coffee shop I overheard some ‘teenage-blabber’. Everything was fine until I heard something that always gets on my nerves. It was that mocking one liner, which has the potential of hurting the sentiments of millions of Krishna devotees, across the world. One ‘dude’ holding up on scantily dressed ‘dudettes’ around, was greeted by another group of nonchalant freaks by – “lo aagaya kanahiyya apni gopiyo ke saath” and everyone guffawed in response. I thought to stop and give them a good dose of reproof, but I knew I would be banging my head against the wall. So I thought it best to leave these ignorant souls to their destiny and move on.
They think this is a really ‘cool’ thing to say. So they don’t mind saying it often. Or to some unenlightened mortals, Krishna was the biggest and the original Casanova on the earth! So untrue! But do they really know what it is to say that? Why do people (shamefully even the elderly) who find ‘yoga’ to be the next ‘in thing’, and even those who follow it earnestly, humiliate its preacher?
Having read some aspects of Bhagwat myself, I would like to clarify some myths about the mysterious (and not mischievous) Krishna.
Myth 1 – Why is Krishna always shown surrounded by gopis?
Gopis were spell-bound with his innocent mischief, charismatic personality, and the enchanting sound of his flute and not for some ulterior motives. Many gopis were much much elder to him and wanted to be with him, just like we want to be with a beautiful child when we are wonder-struck with his charm and talent. After all why do we forget he was a God in a human body! He couldn’t have gotten away unnoticed.
Unfortunately, many movies and television serials also rely on half knowledge and catalyze false beliefs.
It is just to signify that He is the God, the lord of all individual beings (or souls). Krishna is God and Gopis are individual souls. This beautiful representation has been dwindled down disgracefully to satisfy some filthy mindsets and has been shown in poor taste.
Myth 2 – When Krishna loved Radha then why didn’t he marry her? Many people also think that Radha was Krishna’s wife.
Krishna was never married to Radha. We mostly rely on Bhagwat Purana for the biographical facts about Krishna, the yadav prince. Bhagwat does not mention any Radha as the chief paramour of Krishna. Bhagwat describes all Gopis equally in love with Krishna and Krishna loving each one alike. Radha as an individual Gopi is the creation of later poets and she is the representative of all the Gopis together.
Moreover, the love between Krishna on one hand and all other Gopis on the other was quite devoid of any physical connotations. IT WAS PURELY SPIRITUAL. It was the craving of the individual soul (atman) to get united with the Supreme soul (the parmatman).
Myth 3 – Why did Krishna used to hide the clothes of Gopis while they bathed in the river? Wasn’t that an indecent prank?
Krishna was too small when he did that. And he played this prank intentionally to teach them a lesson so that they never bathe in the open without any clothes on. It was to save them from the desperate eyes of other men in the village. Their safety was Krishna’s only intention.
Myth 4 – why did Krishna had many wives?
According to Bhagwat Purana, Krishna had many wives. Eight of them were the chief queens. Most of such statements are again, symbolical or allegorical. The so-called innumerable wives (sixteen thousand, one hundered and eight) represent the devout souls aspiring to be united with the parmatman (the Supreme Soul)
What exactly is raas-leela?
RAAS-LEELA can briefly be described as follows :
Men and women of Brij-Bhoomi (the land surrounding Gokul and Brindavan) performed a folkdance on special occasions to express their joy. Krishna participated in such dances along with other boys of the land. But he could not partner with each one of the ladies of the land, while each gopi was eager to have him as a partener. He assured them that on a particular night (the night of Sharad Purnima) there will be a special dance festival and he will dance with each and every one of the Gopis then. It is said that when the Gopis assembled for the dance on that night, each one of them had Krishna as her partner.
Now this again is an allegorical statement. It simply emphasizes the fact that each individual Gopi was so deeply devoted to Krishna that she felt as if she alone had Krishna dancing with her.
Lord Krishna came in this world with a purpose. We all have a purpose in life. But unlike us, he knew the purpose even before he was born. He was sent on this earth for enlightenment and his every action carried a deep meaning, unfathomable by an ordinary mind. He knew even before his birth that he has to finish his task within a limited time. So why then would he waste his time on ordinarily human things, when he was here for the extraordinary!
Half knowledge can be very dangerous. And when it is spitted out with impunity and self-pride, it can be disastrous! It’s like questioning the mere existence of the multitude of people, who have dedicated their entire lives following and spreading the preachings of Krishna.
If you don’t know it, don’t say it. At least you’ll be saved from its repercussions, which could range from self-mockery to facing the fury of innumerable Krishna enthusiasts. And if you really want to follow what Krishna did then how about sporting his ever-forgiving and respectful attitude towards the other fellow-beings ESPECIALLY WOMEN.
Ignorance can be bliss. But not, when you don’t try to seek knowledge at all! And for all those brazen creatures, who even after reading all this, still want to get away with their lecherous immorality in the name of God, May Krishna forgive them!