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Jan 11, 2019

Devoted To The Enchanter Of The Universe

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A young Brahmachari, Sage Narada, Brahma’s son, with a veena in one hand and a ‘kartal’ in another, moves around the universe singing the glories of the one Supreme. His entire life is dedicated to one mission, to bring into the hearts of every being, the absolute bliss that he enjoys due to his single-pointed devotion to the one eternal lover, the Lord of the Universe.
 
According to Narada, “Bhakti is indeed the nature of supreme love directed towards God.” What then is the nature of supreme love? Words fail to describe it, but it can be experienced, just as we experience the sweetness of sugar but are unable to describe it.
 
Narada describes love thus: “Total dedication of all action at the altar of the Lord and at all moments of forgetfulness of the Lord there are excruciating pangs”. This is supreme, divine love, bhakti, and to explain it, Narada says, “Devotion is just as the love of the gopis of Vraja!”


          Every moment of their life was filled with the thought of the divine flute player and every action was an offering of love to their beloved butter thief, who had also stolen their hearts.


In the midst of their daily household duties, not a moment was lost, nor an action performed without being soaked with the love for the Enchanter of the Universe.
 
          While milking the cow at dawn, it’s “Krishna! Krishna!”; while boiling the milk, “Krishna! Krishna!; while making curd, “Krishna! Krishna!” As the white butter emerges, -“Krishna! Krishna!” and with tender care they skim the butter and put it in little pots and with a silent offering in their hearts, “To Thee is the butter of our love -- Krishna! Krishna!”
 
Meanwhile, the beautiful Radha, seated on the banks of the Yamuna with her water pot empty, is lost in thoughts of the Dark One. The gentle breeze playing with her dark long tresses loosens the fragrant white flowers in her hair, which fall into the Yamuna.  
 
          Suddenly, two hands cover the doe-like eyes of Radha! She turns around and there stands her handsome beloved. Lost is she in his all-loving embrace and blissful ecstasy of love. A few moments after, she bursts into tears, and the black collyrium flow down her face. Krishna, surprised, looks at her. “What happened my dear one? Why do you grieve when I am so close to you?” Radha says, “Beloved, before you came, i was lost in your thoughts, anxiously waiting for you. When you came, in your divine embrace, all that existed was you alone, my love. But then, suddenly from where, i shall not know, the thought came that you are my beloved and i am your dear one. My attention was shifted from you to your dear one,  myself. How can i bear this difference, this separation? How can Radha remain different from Krishna? How can Radha bear the pangs of this separation?"


          Such was the love of the gopis that even a moment’s forgetfulness of their beloved, even a little sense of distinction of being the lover and the loved one, was unbearable to them. All that existed for them was Krishna and Krishna alone. That, indeed, is Supreme Love.


(The author, global head, Chinmaya Mission, will be in Kolkata from Jan 11 to 15).
 

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