Tag Archives: Vrindavan

Krishna and Trivakra!

The king of Mathura, the evil-minded Kamsa found out that Lord Krishna who had manifested in this world to destroy him was growing up in Vrindavan. He organised a Dhanur Yaga (Bow Sacrifice) and sent the saintly Akrura with an invitation to Balrama and Krishna to attend the same. Akrura started for Vrindavan and as he reached there, he was overwhelmed to see the foot-prints of Sri Krishna in Vraja. He got down from his chariot and applied the sacred dust on his forehead. When he beheld Balarama and Krishna his joy knew no bounds. He accepted the hospitality of Nanda and next day morning started for Mathura with the  two young, divine boys, Balarama and Krishna. When they reached Mathura, both the brothers decided to go round the streets of Mathura.

As they were going around, they encountered Trivakra, an ugly, hunch-backed woman, who was bent or crooked at three places in her physical structure and hence the name Trivakra. She was one of Kamsa’s attendant who was in charge of preparing various types of sandal-paste for his daily use. Krishna smilingly asked her for the sandal-paste. Seeing the arresting divine beauty of Krishna, and without even thinking of the consequences of going to the king empty-handed, she lovingly and willingly offered it to the Lord. The Lord then stepped forward, placed His feet on her forefeet, and with His fingers lifted her chin up. Lo! She became straight, her crookedness was gone and her beauty came back to her! Endowed with the wealth of beauty and virtues by the mere touch of the Lord, Trivakra with sheer gratitude prostrated to the Lord and asked Him to grace her humble dwelling. The Lord promised her that He would soon come to her dwelling and accept her seva.

Spiritual Significance: Trivakra represents an individual conditioned by the three equipments – the body, mind and intellect. Kamsa is the ego (I and Mine) who is every moment catered to by our vasanas – the sandal-paste. At that point in our life, the Guru comes and asks us to completely surrender all our vasanas (karmas) to Him. Dropping the “I and Mine” – the ego, if we surrender totally unto our Guru, he connects us with the spiritual knowledge (represented by the touch of the Lord’s feet), raises our vision to something higher and noble (signified by the Lord lifting up her chin), helps us to straighten the crookedness in our life, drop our identification with our body, mind and intellect, and thereby reach the State of Total Beatitude – the State of Enlightenment!!

"Bhagavat Preeti" is the final goal of a devotee. He is ready to suffer, strive endlessly, struggle without rest and he feels himself completely rewarded if he only knows that the acts of self sacrifices from him have made his Lord graciously happy towards him. Any amount of tapas will be cheerfully undertaken, in the name of the Lord-of-the-heart, if the devotee can feel that his Beloved is happy by it. A smile from the blissful Lord-of-Smiles is ever a total reward and a complete fulfillment for any true devotee. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Sarvam Krishnamayam!

The people of Vrindavan were rejoicing with Lord Krishna amidst them.The Lord’s adventures and playful sports, His mischief and pranks, His love and affection was the only topic of discussion in every house. Not only the people but even the trees and animals, the cows and calves – all were in blissful ecstasy. Suddenly a strange but strong desire came to them. Every Gopi wanted to experience the joy of having Krishna as her child! Every cow wanted Krishna as its calf! The trees wanted Krishna alone to climb them!The Yamuna wanted Krishna alone to play in her! The Lord decided to fulfill their desires.

At the same time, Lord Brahma overwhelmed by Lord’s maya, and not understanding the true glory of the Lord, decided to test the divine power of Lord Krishna. He came down and put all the boys of Vrindavan, the cows and calves under the charm of sleep and took them to his loka. He wanted to see what Krishna would do now. Krishna came to know what Brahma had done and immediately He the ONE, multiplied Himself to become the many. He Himself became the cowherd boys, the cows and calves! And at dusk time, Krishna alone as ALL OF THEM went back to their respective homes. No one knew what had happened, because everything looked normal. This went on for a whole year. 

All the people and especially the Gopis were very happy. Suddenly their children were very bright, good and obedient! The milk that the cows were giving was more in quantity and divinely sweet! The calves were more endearing! It was all Krishna and Krishna ALONE in so many different forms and the whole of Vrindavan was “Sarvam Krishnamayam!” It was Madhuram! Madhuram! And Madhuram! Everyone’s desire was fulfilled!!

Almost at the end of the year, Brahma came down to see what was the situation in Vrindavan and to his surprise he found everything absolutely normal. All the cowherd boys, the cows and calves were all there just as before in Vrindavan. How could all of them be in two places at one and the same time!?  

And suddenly in the place of each cowherd boy, he saw Lord Narayana Himself in all His pristine glory. Overwhelmed by the vision of so many forms of Sri Narayana, Brahma offered his salutations to the Supreme Lord. The Lord then withdrew His cosmic form. Brahma got up and now in front of him was the charming Divine Cowherd Boy – Balagopala. He now realized the Lord’s might and power, and His infinite glory. He approached Lord Krishna, prostrated to Him and prayerfully sought His forgiveness for doubting the glory of the Lord.The Lord of Compassion forgave him. All the cowherd boys, the cows and calves he had carried now returned back home. They all were totally unaware of what had happened – it was just like getting up from sleep.

Brahma went back to His world reflecting on how blessed the Gopas and Gopis were, how blessed the cows and calves were, how blessed the inhabitants of Vraja were, how blessed the soil of Vrindavan was to carry the tiny imprints of the lotus feet of the Lord on its surface, and how blessed indeed is one who is born in Vrindavan!!

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Gopis and their ‘Nauka Vihara’

Naukacharita 1

It was a beautiful and pleasant day in Vrindavan. River Yamuna was flowing gently, the breeze was blowing softly, the cuckoo birds were warbling sweet notes. The Gopis, all of them in the best of their attire had all assembled on the river bank narrating to each other the pranks of Krishna. They decided on a “Nauka Vihara” – a pleasure-trip in a boat on the Yamuna. At that time, Krishna came there and he also wished to accompany them in their boat-ride. However, the Gopis who had decided that it was going to be an exclusive trip all for themselves, and by themselves refused to take him along with them. In their vanity they thought that they can manage everything all by themselves, including rowing and steering the boat. Krishna knowingly smiled at their arrogance. He told them that it was not safe to venture into the river all by themselves and he should be allowed to accompany them. They teased him saying that he was after all only a child and he has no knowledge of rowing and managing the boat; but when he insisted on going with them, they agreed to take him.

All of them got into the boat. They began to feel very important because they were the ones rowing the boat. They sang and danced along with Krishna. He acknowledged each one of them and made them feel very special. The Gopis started becoming egoistic and vain that not only they were the most beautiful ones, but were also extremely privileged to have earned Krishna’s full attention. And above all these, He was obliged to them for the boat-ride! They thought nobody could be compared to them. The Lord knowingly smiled and within a fraction of a second He created a storm. The boat got caught in the storm and it dangerously tossed up and down. The Gopis were now terrified. The boat was damaged and water started to fill into the boat through holes created by the storm.

Then, they all surrendered and pleaded with Krishna to save them. He said there was only one way out and that was to plug the holes of the boat with their dupattas. They were reluctant to forgo their beautiful attire, but with no other alternative left they listened to Krishna.  With faith in Him, they tried to block the holes of the boat with their dupattas. They were totally and visibly shaken up. They looked absolutely helpless and tearfully surrendered on to the Lord leaving aside all their ego and vanity. The moment they unconditionally surrendered unto the Lord, the storm miraculously subsided and they found themselves all safe on the banks of the Yamuna. To the Gopis the “Nauka Vihara” was a lesson of unquestionable faith, total surrender and unconditional bhakti.

This beautiful incident is called Nauka Charitam” – a Musical Opera (Music drama) composed in various ragas by the great Musician-Saint Sri Tyagaraja.
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Refuse to worry. Develop titiksha. Surrender all your worries at His Feet. Let Him be the helmsman to your boat-of-life. Have faith in Him. Surrender and sit back. You will find your life being lifted into quieter routes. Smoothly sailing forward, let His favourable wind ever court your sails. Sri Achyuthan is a great Boatsman. - Swami Chinmayananda

Devotion — The milkmaids of Vrindavan

Krishna and Gopis

The people of Dwaraka were indeed proud that their devotion to Lord Krishna was supreme. Realizing this, Lord Krishna decided to teach them all the essence of genuine devotion.

One day the Lord collapsed on the bed crying that he had unbearable headache. At once the queens and Sage Narada who had come to have darshan of the Lord immediately summoned Dhanvantri (Lord of medicine). Dhanvantri came and gave medicine but the Lord’s headache was not cured. Since Dhanvantri himself could not cure the Lord, Narada asked the Lord to himself suggest the cure for his pain.

Lord Krishna told Narada that the medicine to remove his headache would be the dust of the feet of a genuine devotee, which when applied to his forehead would cure him completely. Everyone was shocked on hearing this. Narada approached the wives of the Lord if they could provide the dust of their feet. They refused saying that they would go to hell if the dust of their feet was applied on the Lord’s forehead. None of the people in Dwaraka obliged fearing the sin that would incur to them if they provide the dust of their feet.

Finally Narada approached the Lord for a solution. Krishna asked Narada to go to Vrindavan and approach the gopis. Narada immediately went to Vrindavan. Seeing Sage Narada, all the gopis came running and offered their pranams. Narada narrated the whole incident where the Lord was suffering and he had come to collect the dust of the feet of a devotee.

One of the gopi immediately went and brought a piece of cloth, laid it on the ground and all the gopis stamped their feet on the cloth. They folded the cloth with the dust of their feet carefully, and asked Narada to take it and apply it to the Lord’s forehead. Narada was surprised and questioned the Gopis whether they were not worried of the sin they would incur because of  which they would suffer in hell. The Gopis at once replied that to relieve the Lord of his pain they were ready to go to hell and suffer any amount of pain.

Narada came back to the Lord with the cloth filled with the dust of the Gopis’ feet, and narrated what happened at Vrindavan to all. The headache had vanished and the Lord got up and smilingly looked at all those assembled there. The wives of the Lord and the people of Dwaraka realized the superiority of the devotion of the simple, humble milkmaids of Vrindavan — the Gopis.

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