Krishna Enjoys Fulfilling His Devotees’ Desires

(Harmonist)  – Krishna Enjoys Fulfilling His Devotees’ Desires

by Harmonist staff

By Ekendra Dāsa, originally published at Suburban Mysticism.

In 2004 I was gifted Śri Gopāla in the form of a śāligrāma-śilā. He fit so perfectly in the palm of my hand and captivated my mind. The timing was ideal as I was in need of shelter due to tumultuous circumstances in my life. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and I needed a friend in deed. Gopāla took my understanding of worship from the idea of ritualistically purifying practice to more of a daily affirmation of relationship and affection. The simple acts of offering a lamp, incense, flowers and other paraphernalia opened my heart to something incredible and factual. Love is never one way. Gopāla doesn’t need our rituals, He rather enjoys disrupting ritual with His friends. He does, however, relish our meagre attempts to show him affection. As every single Vaiṣṇava in existence can testify, He is also very expert at reciprocating the love and desires of His devotees, hence the principle of “all-attraction”. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedānta Svāmī writes in his beautiful Kṛṣṇa Book: “Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead.” Desiring to experience and to acknowledge this reality is the natural consequence of sādhana-bhakti.

So for years I was blessed with Gopāla’s company. My wife and I offered Him all of our meals. She prepared the items for the daily pūjā; I recited mantras, arranged alaṅkāra and performed the upacāras. At one point, I would take His picture every day and share it on a ‘blog’ I made for Him. I stopped doing that as I thought that the practice started to take on an exhibitionist context and my heart was starting to change towards the internal. I’m explaining this to set the context for an otherworldly event that eventually took place.

In the Gaudiya lineage, we celebrate Kṛṣṇa as svayaṁ bhagavān. Śrī brahma-saṁhitā declares:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.

And this is a wonderful thing to know! Such an understanding is, according to śāstra, the reward for many lifetimes of merit and austerities (See ŚB 3.33.7). There is, however, a deeper reality. Kṛṣṇa prefers to be considered in the context of His relationships with His devotees. He is delighted in this way. Śrila Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura points the way when he sings, “yaśomatī-nandana, braja-baro-nāgara, gokula-rañjana kāna, gopī-parāṇa-dhana, madana-manohara, kāliya-damana-vidhāna” Each of these amala harināms have infinite depth of rasa which I, sadly, cannot appreciate, what to speak of convey with words.

And after only a few years of Gopāla’s worship, the need for a companion became apparent. My desire was to place Gopāla on an āsana next to his older brother Balarāma. I had no idea how this would or could happen, but thought that if this were to ever transpire, it could be possible by directing this desire to Gopāla Himself. And so I did that regularly.

In 2007, I ended up at Govardhana Hill doing barefoot parikramā on the inner path. I was by myself, as, I’ve learned, works best for me in such situations. In the evening, I approached the area known as Doka Daujī where there is a small shrine up on the hill for Śri Balarāma. As I got closer, I could hear the most amazing sound I have ever heard. The local villagers were singing up on the hill where the shrine was located. I couldn’t see them as they were obscured by Śri Govardhana, but that did not matter as the eyes were not capable of interpreting this experience anyway. Something happened in my heart and mind that left me stunned. The melodies and rhythms being sung were not of this world.

I sat down on the path in amazement, and felt overpowered by the pure bhakti shakti emanating from the top of the hill. I was actually a little afraid because I was losing the ability to be rational and feel in control of my thoughts. I love music and have been trained in the art from a young age, so I tried to take refuge in analysing just the melody as the rhythm seemed far too complex to wrap my head around. There did not seem to be any call and response, rather a naturally flowing ascendant river of melodious rapture sung in unison(!) by a gathering of Vṛndāvana-vāsīs. I cannot to this day accept that This Bhajana could have been learned by anyone. It had a personality of Its own, ebbing and flowing by Its own will. It pulled on the heart and eventually made me just give up trying to understand and allow myself to be swept up in the experience.

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