“In the form of a cowherd boy, Lord Krishna was very little in comparison to Brahma, but because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He could immediately understand that all the calves and boys had been stolen by Brahma. Krishna thought, ‘Brahma has taken away all the boys and calves. How can I alone return to Vrindavana? The mothers will be aggrieved!’” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 13)
You’re all set. Ready to go. The anticipation has been growing. It’s been a few weeks, but now things should get back to normal. The plan is to go on Saturday night. Nothing is going to get in your way. In fact, in the morning there will be bright sunshine.
But hold on. What is this? A winter storm warning? And only for your area? Why? How is this possible? Does this mean you can’t go? There is a risk for sure, and it might be possible that there is only rainfall instead of snow, which you can handle. Nevertheless, it is frustrating. Time and again this seems to happen.
Inclement weather is one of the miseries of life, and no one is immune from such miseries. One way to know God is to see how He is above these forces. From the lila of Shri Krishna there are several examples that provide evidence.
1. Govardhana Puja
The residents were in a farm community. Gokula and Vrindavana, places where cows were taken care of and the tulasi plant was prominent. Both are dear to Vishnu, the personal side of God. Not that there should be any rivalry between the various popular spiritual traditions, as God can only be one. Certain people have specific names for Him and different ways to understand Him. Even the atheists are believers in a sense; they see God only in the cruel and fierce form known as death.
The people of that community should have received the favor of Vishnu due to the way they lived their lives, but one time it sure didn’t look that way. The people took the advice of a young child. Not usually a good idea on serious matters, but they couldn’t help themselves. Krishna was too dear to them. The all-attractive youth was the son of the king, and since the father was convinced first, everyone else agreed to go along.
No Indra-puja this year. A paraphernalia shift, to the treasured Govardhana Hill instead. No problems at first. Everyone was quite pleased, and the hill even spoke to them voicing its satisfaction. That’s when the trouble began. A rainstorm like no other. They didn’t worship Indra this year, but the king of heaven provided rain nonetheless.
Normally, you take shelter inside the home. If you’re outside near mountains, maybe a cave. But everyone was out in the open and this storm would give vivid clarity to the meaning of “flash flood.” There was no time, so Krishna saved the day. The adhidaivika misery of intense rain, this time clearly visible through the influence of the deva known as Indra, had no effect on Nanda’s son. This is because Krishna is Vishnu Himself. The Supreme Lord lifted the just worshiped Govardhana Hill and used it as an umbrella. Crisis averted.
2. Brahma stealing the cowherd boys
Adhidaivika miseries usually relate to weather events, natural disasters and the like, but sometimes the demigods intervene directly, in a more visible way. In this instance, the creator himself, Lord Brahma, got a little envious of Krishna and decided to play a trick. He stole Krishna’s cows and friends. He thought the young bluish boy would get bewildered, that He would lament their loss.
Krishna turned the situation around by simply expanding Himself into the missing forms. This way no one in the community thought that anything had happened. The ruse went on for an entire year, until Brahma finally came to his senses. Though proud from his creative ability, Brahma was no match for the Supreme Lord.
3. The parijata flower
Another incident involving Indra, this time Krishna brought one of His wives to the heavenly region. She remembered Krishna promising her a parijata plant in the past, and so she plucked one of the flowers to take back home with her to Dvaraka.
Indra had to defend his territory, so he mounted an attack. The memory of Govardhana Puja must have faded away. God is the original proprietor of everything, so if He wants to take a flower for someone very dear to Him, who has the right to stop Him?
Once again Indra was defeated. These displays of strength and intelligence were not merely for showing off. Krishna is atmarama, which means satisfied in the self. He has no need to puff up His ego. Others, however, are always competing with Him. Sometimes the contamination reaches the demigods, who get taught a lesson in return.
Indra giving rain regardless,
Punishment for decision careless.
Brahma the cowherd boys taking,
Hope that then bewildered making.
When Satyabhama parijata taking back,
Indra compelled to mount attack.
Krishna defending in each case,
Heavenly miseries quickly to erase.
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