“The peacock has a strange body, speaks in a cowardly way, eats snakes for food, and has a ghastly mind. Tulsi says that Shri Hari still uses its feathers to adorn the head, and therefore everyone now says, ‘mine.’” (Dohavali, 107)
tanu bicitra kāyara bacana ahi ahāra mana ghora |
tulasī hari bhae pacdhara tāte kaha saba mora ||
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said that as Krishna is worshipable, so is His land. The reason is rather obvious. The land is intimately associated with Krishna. Just visiting a place like Vrindavana brings to mind the darling child of Nanda and Yashoda. That boy was naughty in His youth, stealing butter from the homes of the neighbors. The mothers living in those homes would complain, but inside they were delighted by the visits. They didn’t really want Yashoda to punish her child, who was attractive in every way.
Krishna is worshipable since He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Another word used in shastra is Hari. This refers to how God takes away pain and distress from the devotees. In the material world something otherwise giving the appearance of auspiciousness turns out to be inauspicious. For instance, earning a lot of money can be detrimental to the path of self-realization. Hari might take certain things away, but the benefit is always there for the devoted soul, after whom He is looking.
Since Krishna is known as the butter thief, in many paintings and statues He is seen in a childhood form with one hand in a pot of butter. A Krishna conscious person can bring to mind such an image simply by opening the refrigerator in the kitchen, where butter is kept.
As the land is worshipable, so is food offered to Him, which when returned becomes known as prasadam. There is tremendous potency in that food, and similarly a single glance at His transcendental form can keep within the mind the vision of that amazing protector of the devotees.
In the above referenced verse from the Dohavali we get another way to remember Krishna. There is a certain visual to the Supreme Lord in that original form. It is not imagined, nor is it merely symbolic. The description is factual, provided by eyewitnesses of the highest character and passed on through the generations in written word.
One aspect to that visual is the peacock feather. It fits nicely on Krishna’s head. The association of that feather with Krishna is so fixed in the minds of the devotees that a simple sighting of such a feather immediately brings to mind the life and soul of Shrimati Radharani.
Tulsidas references the Hindi word mora, which has several meanings. In one meaning it is “mine.” The devotee thinks of Krishna as mora, as the closest friend. That Krishna is so benevolent and compassionate that He can simultaneously be “mine” for every single living entity in the world.
Interestingly, the peacock is otherwise not known for having good characteristics. Its body is strange, due to the complexion. If a person were to have multiple colors on their body, people would certainly think something was wrong. They would ask, “What happened? Did you get some disease? Did you get attacked by some chemical?”
The peacock speaks in a cowardly way and it eats snakes. Its mind is considered ghora, or ghastly. Still, since it is associated with Shri Hari in His form of Krishna, it earned the name mora. Association with Bhagavan can have this effect. Vibhishana was from a Rakshasa family. Prahlada appeared in a line of Daityas. Vrindavana is made up of dirt, after all. Since there is association with Hari in a mood of love, since there is service rendered, any bad qualities are overlooked, and instead everyone has a favorable view, all due to Hari’s mercy.
Cowardly words to speak,
Snakes for food to seek.
Strange body with colors to see,
How addressed as mine to be?
Because feather on His head considered the same,
Peacock addressed as mora the name.
Connection with Bhagavan having this effect,
Even inauspicious earning respect.
Categories: dohavali 81-120