Nilanjana recounts the take of Krishna Leela from the Bhagavat and tells us about a game that Brahma played, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Not only did the simple cowherds not realise that divinity had taken a human form and was playing with them, they even told the story of Aghasura to their parents after one year!
“How?” King Parikshit, who had till now been the most patient listener to Sukha’s story, questioned. “Please clear this doubt. Why should the little gopas tell this story to their parents after one year? In any case, their parents dismissed most of their stories about Krishna as childish imagination!”
Sukha, who was so engrossed with the stories himself, took a little while to explain. He began, “You question is very pertinent. And that is another story of divine Leela [cosmic play]. After killing Aghasura, Krishna wanted to distract his playmates a little so that they forget what has happened and he continued living as a normal gopa. Especially in the Krishna avatar, the Lord tried his best to keep the illusion that he was human and not divine. Off and on the veil would slip, but then he would use maya [illusion] to make people forget those incidents. Their feel of the experience remained and his friends would often say, “Our Krishna is wonderful,” but they could not elaborate any further.”
Sukha continued “Now, coming back to this particular incident, Krishna decided that all of them should take a break before going home. Hence they decided to play a little on the banks of river Yamuna, eat some food and then go back home. His friends instantly agreed and they began their usual fun and games like regular children. While they were having fun, the calves that were busy grazing left them and roamed away.
“One of the gopas suddenly observed and warned the rest, ‘Where are the calves?’ All the boys looked around. Not a single calf was in sight. ‘Let me go look for them. Don’t worry.’ Krishna assured them.
“His assurance was enough for the gopas. They continued playing as Krishna went around looking for the calves. He wandered over the hills, looked inside the caves, walked along the slopes of Govardhana but could not trace a single calf. He came back to the banks of the Yamuna where his playmates were enjoying themselves but they were gone too. He meditated for a moment and realised what had transpired…”
“What?” Parikshit’s curiosity interrupted the story.
Sukha explained, “When Krishna had killed Aghasura and everyone in the heavens was celebrating, Brahma (the creator) was keen to find out if the little boy was really divinity masked and has some special prowess. He decided to play a game. He hid the calves, overpowered the gopas of Vrindavan with sleep and hid them too.”
“Then?” Parikshit was eager to know the end.
Sukha smiled mischievously, “You think Krishna did not realise Brahma’s game?”
[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.
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A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, 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.