Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: The Forest Fire – LIV

Nilanjana recounts a tale of the Maya or Cosmic Game of Lord Krishna, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

“The innocence of the cowherds is amazing. They liked being led on by Krishna.” Parikshit observed.

Sukha answered, “Oh, yes. To be a part of the cosmic drama, where one is merely an actor is amazing. Without thinking too much, one just has to play the part doled out to him by the cosmic writer and director with all honesty. That is it! But we tend to get entangled in the drama and create nuisance and karma all the time.”

Parikshit could not agree more. He wondered whether his act of putting the dead snake on the saint was his folly or a part of the cosmic writer’s screenplay.

Meanwhile, Sukha continued narrating the next tale from Bhagavatam. He narrated, “It was another usual day at Vrindavan. The gopas were very busy playing and enjoying themselves on the banks of the effervescent river, Yamuna. They did not notice that their cows had wandered away looking for even greener pastures.

In some time, when the cows were enjoying their newfound grass, a forest fire broke out. The fire had surrounded the animals and they had no way to get out of the trap.

When the cowherds went in search of the cows, they could not find them anywhere. As they always do, they asked Krishna for help. Krishna called out their names, one by one, in his resonant voice. This evoked a response from the agonized cows.

By now the forest fire had spread. It had even enveloped the gopas. Panic-stricken they asked Krishna for help. Krishna calmed then. He then asked them to close their eyes. He also added, “Do not open it, till I ask you to do so.”

When have the gopas not obeyed Krishna? They did as he bid with their minds only on Krishna. Now, isn’t this unconditional love? Krishna used his yogic powers and sucked the fire towards himself. He then swallowed it.

Gradually the fury of the fire abated and a cool breeze took over. Krishna asked his friends, “Now you may open your eyes.”

The cowherds were back to making merry and enjoying themselves.”

Sukha smiled, completing another story of Krishna’s life on earth. Parikshit said, “I am sure the gopas will all forget the event, thanks to the Maya that will engulf them shortly.”

Sukha explained, “That is most likely to happen. But remember that events come and go. We may or may not remember the events, but they create a deep impression on our psyche. That impression stays on for a very long time, maybe for lifetimes. In this case, all these events just made the simple cowherds love Krishna more and more every time. Whether they remembered the events or not is immaterial. The rational mind can only grasp events/logic, but the larger mind grasps the emotion/impression and stores it forever.”

[To be continued]

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars(incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana. These stories are narrated by Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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