Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: The Short Rope – XXXVIII

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Strange are the ways of the , Nilanjana retells the story of the many pranks of little Krishna with his mother Yashoda, in Gokula. more in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

It was another regular day at Gokula. Everybody was occupied with their own work. Yashoda found that most of her domestic help were busy with some task or the other. Hence, she decided to churn the curd for preparing the butter. Little did she know that the cosmic consciousness, disguised itself as little Krishna, would be up to some new prank to tease her.

As Yashoda began to churn the curd, her little son walked up to her. He looked hungry, so the mother decided to feed the child and then continue her work. As she was feeding Krishna, Yashoda smelt the milk that was placed in a vessel on the fire, overflowing. She placed her child on the ground and rushed to the kitchen. Meanwhile Krishna, unhappy with this sudden lack of attention, caught the churner and broke the vessel filled with butter. He grabbed some butter and ran into a corner to have his share. He ate some and fed some to the monkeys.

When Yashoda came back, she saw the broken vessels. Her child was missing from the scene. She playfully began to look for . She spotted Krishna sitting on a mortar eating butter and feeding the monkeys. She approached her son from behind with a stick in hand. Krishna saw her and ran away. His mother went on pursuing but she was no match for the energy and alertness of the disguised divinity. Krishna seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the game of hide-and-seek with his mother when he realised that his mother was looking very tired. He, therefore, submitted to being caught.

In the arms of his mother, Krishna acted as though he is afraid. Tears welled in his eyes; as he rubbed his eyes with his little fists, the black collyrium ran all over his face making him look more beautiful than ever. He looked here and there to avoid meeting his mother’s eyes.

Finally, Yashoda said, “Your mischief now knows no bounds. I have to punish you.” Krishna clung to his mother. Not willing to be dictated by her affections for her child, Yashoda wanted to be firm. Hence she decided to tie him up to teach him a lesson.

Yashoda brought a rope and tried to tie little Krishna to the mortar. The rope was slightly short, so she got a longer rope. But even that was not enough. She went on trying various lengths of rope, but all fell short in tying little Krishna. The bard tells us here that divinity cannot be tied by any rope (material objects). Only can tie down the cosmic consciousness.

Going back to the story, Yashoda kept on experimenting with different extensions of ropes. A crowd had gathered by then. Krishna saw that his mother looked really exhausted. So he allowed himself to be tied down.

Instead of dwelling on what just happened, Yashoda went back to her regular duties, thinking that the mischievous child will now be bound for a while and she can complete her work peacefully…  

 [To be continued]

Footnote:  is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu, also known as Narayana.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet.

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards , is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.
Nilanjana Dey
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