Nilanjana recounts the tale of Vrindavan’s longing for Krishna, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Parikshit said, “So Krishna was now busy in his new role?”
Sukha sighed, “Yes, the cosmic consciousness took the human form for a purpose. But then he never forgot his dear ones at Vrindavan. Krishna called for Uddhav, a disciple of Brihaspati. A man of great intellect, Uddhav was the right person to take Krishna’s message across to his family, friends and devotees at Vrindavan. He told Uddhav that it will not be an easy task, but he could not think of anybody else who could do it well. Uddhav agreed and asked him to tell him a little more about the gopis so that he is better prepared to face them. Krishna smiled as he thought of the gopis. He told Uddhav that they are unique since their minds are always centered on Krishna. They long for him and he has always granted them all their wishes. But then they have never been so far apart and they tend to pine for him. Krishna asked Uddhav to assure the gopis that he will definitely visit them as soon as he is free.
Uddhav was more than happy to do as Krishna bid him. He went to Vrindavan to see the place where Krishna had spent his childhood. Known as heaven on earth, Vrindavan was as beautiful as ever. Uddhav reached there almost in the evening. The green hills, the plants, the cows, the animals and everything had Krishna consciousness. There was a charm in everything. The stories and songs that people sand on the roads were also about Krishna and his pranks as a child. But then with the joy of being a part of the growing up of Krishna, there was also a longing since he had now gone away. Everybody and everything pined for him, his presence. Since they had been used to him for so long, this absence hurt them even more.
Nanda saw Uddhav coming and welcomed him with a lot of affection. After extending regular cordialities, he asked about Krishna. He wanted to know if Krishna remembered them, now that his world had extended. He requested Uddhav to tell Krishna to come and spent some time with them, since the longing for him was unbearable. Uddhav could hear a lady sobbing a little afar and construed that it must be Yashoda. He soothed them and gently reminded them that they were very fortunate since they had Krishna all for themselves for a good fourteen-fifteen years. Even Devaki and Vasudev did not enjoy this fortune. Krishna is also known as Nandkumara. But the purpose of their birth – to destroy all evil and establish righteousness on the earth – has to be completed. Since they long for him, during their last moments they are likely to remember him too. That will release them from the cycle of birth and death and they will attain the ‘Brahmi’ state. Just as two pieces of wood need to be churned to create fire, longing is required to add the required spark to devotion. He also reminded them that Krishna isparabrahman (cosmic consciousness) and that he belongs to all.
Gradually the night gave way to daybreak. One of the gopis saw the chariot standing outside Nanda’s house. Since it looked like the one that took Krishna away, she called other gopis and peeped inside the house. Uddhav was very handsome and for a little while they mistook him as Krishna. But soon they realized the truth and sulked. Their longing for Krishna knew no bounds. Uddhav realized their devotion, something that Krishna had told him earlier too. They began complaining but soon the conversations turned to the pleasant memories that they had about Krishna and his days of childhood. Uddhav spoke to them very gently. He reminded them that the pain that they are undergoing is tapas (penance). Rishis (saints) have to do a lot of penance to reach the state that they have reached owing to their one-pointed devotion to Krishna. He assured them Krishna will meet them very soon and left for Mathura.
Back in the city, Uddhav informed Krishna that he had assured all the inhabitants of Vrindavan about his promise. Krishna remembered that he had also promised Trivakra some time back. He proceeded to her house to keep his promise.
Krishna was known to never let his devotees down…”
(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 Ved Vyasa’s son Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.
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