“Sometimes the sakhas would take care of the cows who were going hither and thither. They would tell Krishna, ‘Your cows were going off here and there,’ and Krishna would thank them.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 32)
Feeling bored? Just got through something major and now there is nothing to occupy the time? How should the days be passed? What will stir the passions? Fortunately, there are different worlds to which the mind can escape. Attachments can be formed instantly, leading to both happiness and sadness.
1. Workplace drama
You were away on vacation for two weeks. It was lovely. No meeting anyone at work. No dealing with the pressure of deadlines. No having to tolerate the irrationality of your bosses and clients.
But now you are back. Already, on day one, you are upset. People in the office inform you of what others have said about you. There were some derogatory comments made. Another group is fighting amongst themselves. One person has a pressing matter that won’t be resolved until next week.
2. Television shows
You are so upset at how this particular show ended. The drama unfolded over nine years. It is the first show, in fact, that you followed from beginning to end. You watched every episode as it first aired, not having to catch up in syndication. You can’t believe what the writers did to the main character’s wife, a person he met after so much struggle. It’s going to take a few days to get over this.
You are depressed today. Your favorite team lost last night, in dramatic fashion. Their season is officially over. They came so close to pulling off the comeback, only to fall short in overtime of game seven. Last year around this same time you were elated since that team won the championship for the first time in forty years. Funny how life works. The joy didn’t last. You should still be happy, but you are not. You wanted more. You wanted the team to repeat. Now you have to wait until next year.
4. Krishna’s lila
There is this adorable child living in the home of mother Yashoda and her husband Nanda. He is cute, but not the most well-behaved. He likes to travel to the homes of the neighbors. He is the most attractive home intruder in history. He enters with a purpose: to steal butter. His mother has plenty in the home. His father is the leader of the community, known as Gokula.
Still, Krishna makes elaborate plots. The neighborhood mothers have learned. They now anticipate His arrival. To keep their stock safe, they put the butter high up in the cupboard. Krishna manages to succeed anyway. He brings His friends, and they stack different items together to be able to climb high.
As He gets a little older, Krishna goes out to the fields with His friends. They are in charge of the calves, as in Gokula cow protection is very important. The cows love Krishna so much that they immediately produce milk upon visual contact. One look at the darling child and everyone is enamored.
The bluish complexion isn’t the only attractive aspect to Krishna. He produces amazing sounds, as well. When the cows scatter here and there, almost out of control, Yashoda’s son climbs to the top of Govardhana Hill and plays His flute. That gets everyone’s attention. It is like His way of calling the devotees back to Him.
There is even more to life in that community. The blissful atmosphere spreads to the Vrindavana forest, where the goddess of devotion is prominent. She conspires with Paurnamasi Devi to arrange meetings between Krishna and those who love Him in an amorous mood. Shrimati Radharani is Krishna’s queen in these pastimes, which are known as lila in Sanskrit.
Of all the places to which the mind can escape, the sacred spiritual abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best. Though described in books that are thousands of years old, it is the lone reality. The experience through material life is real, but since everything gets destroyed eventually, the comparison to the dream is often made.
The mind desires escape; that cannot be denied. There are attachments formed. Even the strictly renounced yogi is desperately seeking vairagya, or detachment. They are essentially attached to this search. Attachment becomes beneficial when it is directed towards the Supreme Lord, who is originally a person. His pastimes are eternal, which means that the devoted soul can stay with Him forever and never get bored.
Desperate for peace to find,
Places to escape for the mind.
Like into television show’s story,
Or favorite team’s fighting for glory.
Or drama at office place,
But one only karma to erase.
Spiritual land, where a child butter stealing,
Playing with friends, flute sound most appealing.
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