“As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna always tries to please His devotees, and the devotees try to please Krishna. As the devotees always think of Krishna within their hearts, so Krishna also thinks of His devotees within Himself. When Kubja was converted into a beautiful society girl, she wanted Krishna to come to her place so that she could try to receive and worship Him in her own way.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 47)
They’re my parents. It’s a different relationship there. Let others be concerned about teaching me lessons. Let there be formalities in dealings with other people, but these two I have known my whole life. I should be able to ask them for anything. Not that they will always agree, not that they will even have the means to come through, but there should never be any fear in asking.
The same applies with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. People are always asking Him for things, since time immemorial, but those are mostly business transactions. I’ll do something to satisfy you, but only to get what I want. Then I will continue in my forgetfulness.
The relationship with the devotees is different. The link will always be there, so making a request isn’t taking advantage. The pure devotee is a surrendered soul, and for such souls Bhagavan is ready to do anything.
1. The gopis
They asked to meet Krishna in the forest, at night, under the full moon. Krishna is Bhagavan in the complete and original form, where there is a personality who is all-attractive. The pastimes on earth, the Vrindavana-lila, help to provide instruction to future generations, but there is pleasure involved as well.
The enjoyment is between two parties, not one worshiper and an abstract energy. There is no experience with void. God is a person, and the devotees are people, too. In Vrindavana the cowherd women were in love with Krishna. The desire for conjugal affection was so strong that they cast aside the rules and regulations. If it was wrong to love God, they didn’t want to be right.
What did the Supreme Lord do? He obliged. He not only agreed to the rendezvous, but He expanded into identical forms so that each gopi could dance with Him individually. This way no one would feel left out. This pastime, known as the rasa dance, is the embodiment of dharma, since there is no hint of material desire.
There is a special nature to the janma and karma of Krishna. It is divine, meaning not what we are accustomed to. Janma typically refers to a birth, but with Krishna it is more an appearance, coming before the vision. Karma is fruitive activity that has future consequences on the material body, but for Krishna it simply refers to activities. He is never associated with matter or bound by future consequences.
Devaki was the chosen birth-mother, the person who witnessed Krishna’s janma firsthand. There would be separation immediately after, as Krishna grew up in the farm communities of Gokula and Vrindavana.
Later on the brothers Krishna and Balarama were reunited with the parents, Vasudeva and Devaki. The mother heard how her boys had previously granted a special request to the teacher, Sandipani Muni. Since they were her sons, she didn’t feel shy in asking for something.
She wished to see her other children, whose lives were cut short by the wicked brother, King Kamsa. It was an extraordinary request, but the brothers were not ordinary at all. Once again, for a devotee the Supreme Lord was ready to deliver.
When Krishna came to Mathura to finally do away with the wicked Kamsa, he met a hunchback woman named Kubja on the street. She kindly offered Him sandalwood, and in return He transformed her into a beautiful woman. As a sign of appreciation, Kubja invited Krishna to visit her home. She wanted to enjoy intimately with the Supreme Lord. This was not your typical request, but God never turns away the pure devotee.
Years later there was the great Bharata War about to commence. Arjuna was the leading warrior for the Pandavas, who represented the side of righteousness. Arjuna was unsure on how to proceed, though. He put the matter before Krishna, his dear friend who also happened to be steering the chariot.
Krishna could have declined. He could have told Arjuna to figure things out for himself. He could have said that solving problems was not in the job description of charioteer. Instead, Bhagavan once again came through. Krishna delivered the sacred Bhagavad-gita and Arjuna’s doubts were cleared.
The idea is that not every request will be granted, especially if there is material contamination within the consciousness. But for those who have cast aside personal desire, who don’t seek even liberation from the cycle of birth and death, God is willing to do anything. He loves the devotees as much as they love Him.
Well past pairs of piety and sin,
Always thinking only of Him.
Since in other consciousness can’t,
Krishna their desires to grant.
Like gopis meeting in forest alone,
Devaki’s children, to Kubja’s home.
Removing for Pandava doubt,
Since never bhakti without.
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