The One With The Fridge Magnets

[Krishna with cows]“The cows had to move slowly because of their weighty milk bags, but they quickly ran to the Supreme Personality of Godhead as soon as He called them, their affection for Him causing their udders to become wet.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.20.26)

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[Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.20.26]Prema was busy in the kitchen. This weekend, with no advanced notice, her husband’s brother and his entire family were coming to visit. Prema was a working mother. She took care of the home while still going to her job every day. Her husband only came into the kitchen if he needed something from the refrigerator. Otherwise the extent of his cooking skills was placing last night’s leftovers in the microwave and heating it up.

While frantically preparing for that night’s dinner, which had to be in large quantity, Prema accidentally knocked off a magnet that was on the refrigerator door. She hadn’t noticed that magnet before; it must have been placed there recently, she thought. No problem, as she would simply put the magnet back on. Underneath the magnet was a recipe printed on a piece of paper; the magnet was holding the recipe up to the fridge. Prema’s daughter had placed it on there, perhaps as a reference guide for the next time she made that dish.

[Fridge magnets]Time was short, and so that added to Prema’s frustration when she couldn’t get the magnet to sit properly back on the door. “What the heck is wrong with this? It’s a magnet. Isn’t it supposed to automatically stay on?” Still having trouble, she decided to take off one of the other magnets on the fridge door. This way she could test what was wrong. Predictably, she ended up having the same problem; the magnet wouldn’t go back on the door while holding the piece of paper underneath. Pretty soon there were papers all over the kitchen floor. The lentil soup on the stove then started boiling over. The timer on the oven went off; letting her know that the cookies were ready. It was a chaotic scene.

When things calmed down a little later, Prema’s attention went back to the magnets. She tested them on each other, noticing the automatic attraction and repulsion that occurred when the magnets were matched in a certain way. Thus she knew that the magnets had maintained their properties. Eventually she figured out how to put the magnets back on the fridge and have them hold the printed papers underneath. But the episode got her to thinking about Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“These objects and the magnets have such a strong attraction, so much so that it is very difficult to separate them. The attraction is natural, sort of how we are meant to be with the Supreme Lord. The name Krishna says that He is all-attractive. This describes His form as well. I’ve heard that we’re all naturally attracted to Him. Wouldn’t it be great if we were never separated from Him? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were tied to Him in consciousness in such a way that we would never forget Him, never slip away?

[Lord Krishna]I long for that day when no one will separate me from Krishna. I know I will have advanced sufficiently when others will have a difficult time getting me to leave the company of my beloved Shyamasundara. And why shouldn’t we all be attracted to Him? What is more wonderful to see than the vision of the beautiful son of Yashoda after He has been adorned properly with His flower garland, pitambara, earrings, necklace, and peacock feather in His hair? And what sound can compare to that which emanates from the flute that Krishna so masterfully plays?

I’ve heard that the cows in Vrindavana, Krishna’s land, are so attracted to Him that they automatically produce milk upon sight of Him. As their udders are always dripping with milk, the land is very soft. I’ve heard that the deer and the parrots always congregate around the delight of Vrindavana, wherever He may choose to go for that particular day. They witness His activities and remember them. Paurnamasi and Vrinda Devi collaborate each day to make sure that the meetings between Krishna and His beloved Radha occur just right. No one thinks of anything else in Vrindavana; only Krishna.

I’ve heard that we are all attracted to Him in the same way, though we don’t know it. The attraction towards mundane objects is a derivative of this. Indeed, nothing is completely separated from Krishna. The material energy, in which the height of enjoyment is sex life, is simply a manifestation of Krishna’s energy. This is a temporary energy, though, so the results are temporary as well. I know that in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the intelligent person does not take part in these sources of misery, as they have a beginning and an end.”

[Bhagavad-gita, 5.22]“An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.22)

Just then Prema’s husband tapped her on the shoulder. “Are you alright, dear,” he asked. “You’ve been standing there staring at that magnet for the past five minutes. Maybe you should sit down and relax. They won’t be here for another hour or so. What did you make for dinner? This looks really good.”

Her consciousness returning to her surroundings, Prema admonished her husband. “Please don’t touch any of the food. Can you go upstairs and change your shirt? You’re not going to wear that when they are here. Everything is fine. Don’t worry.”

As she put the finishing touches on the dinner preparations, Prema again looked at the magnets on the fridge. She thought to herself, “One day. One day, by the grace of the Lord, I will have that attraction.”

In Closing:

To drive distractions finally away,

That attraction to come one day.


Where Krishna’s name I will say,

And His image in my mind to stay.


Just like how the cows to Him run,

For me to be the beloved only one.


To love Him without giving a thought,

And by His web of affection be caught.

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