Two Ways Children Handle Requests With Their Parents

[Krishna and Gardabhasura]“The friends of Krishna wanted to eat the fruit from the forest trees, but they could not go because of fear of the demon. Thus they requested Krishna to go there and kill Gardabhasura. After Krishna did this, they all returned home, and their report of the day’s activity perturbed Mother Yashoda because Krishna had been sent alone into such danger in the Talavana Forest. Thus she looked upon the boys with anger.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 47)

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Experienced parents will tell you that no two children are alike. It begins from pregnancy. Everyone has their theory.

“Oh, the bump on the stomach is this way? That means you are having a boy. Oh, this pregnancy has been more difficult than the previous one? That means you are having a girl.”

For every rule resulting from personal experience, a new event triggers a reassessment. Some children are more active than others. They learn to crawl and move around rather quickly. While another infant of the same age is merely sitting down, this child is already standing up on their own and ready to walk. One child speaks a few words, while another is relatively silent.

Another area of variety relates to requests. How do the children behave when asking for things? This variety is found in the dealings with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan, as well. God is a person, after all, and due to His many manifestations and the way devotees prefer to interact with Him, there are differences in behavior.

1. Never asking for anything

This child would rather do everything on their own. They go into the kitchen and fix lunch for themselves. If there is difficulty understanding a particular topic in school, they seek help without bothering the parents. They study until they are able to resolve the issue.

The parents don’t have to worry about waking up on time in the morning. The child is already awake and ready to go to school. In fact, they would rather the parents stay out of the way. They are loyal and obedient. Though they don’t have much in terms of finances, they find a way to give presents on birthdays. They show so much love to the parents through these offerings.

2. Always asking for things

This child is the opposite in behavior. At a random time during the day they are known to say, “I am hungry. Make me something to eat.” The previously mentioned child, the sibling with a different mentality, cannot remember ever having uttered such words in their life.

Meanwhile, for this child it is a routine. They always ask the parents for things. Give me this. Give me that. Help me here. If the parents fail to deliver, there is chastisement. “Remember that time when you forgot to make dinner? That was terrible. Don’t do that again.”

Similar interactions are there in the relationship with the Supreme Lord. The situation is somewhat analogous, as He is the original father of the creation. Though Brahma creates, using the three modes of nature as the base ingredients, it is Krishna who acts as the seed-giving father.

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रदः पिता।।

sarvayoniṣu kaunteya mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ।
tāsāṃ brahma mahadyonirahaṃ bījapradaḥ pitā।।

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

In Gokula-lila, the transcendental pastimes of Krishna in the spiritual land of Gokula, we see that many of the friends behave in the way of the child always asking for things. One example is the Talavana forest. The friends were desirous of eating some fruit from the special trees found in that area.

[Krishna and Gardabhasura]There was just one problem. A powerful bad guy by the name of Gardabhasura was terrorizing the area. The situation was dangerous to say the least. Rather than consider Krishna’s feelings, showing concern for His safety, the friends asked their good buddy to go there and take care of the situation. All for eating some fruits, no less.

Krishna is the best friend of the living entity, and the people asking were so close to Him that they didn’t see His Divine nature. They were not afraid to make the request, as certain children don’t feel any shame in demanding that the parents serve them. In many instances the parents feel closer to such children, as they don’t feel the same urgency to serve with the children who behave more independently.

[Krishna and Yashoda]Krishna went and took care of the situation. Mother Yashoda later heard what happened and was not happy. Her mood was different, of course. She was not a friend. She was a protector, and she would never think of intentionally putting her son in harm’s way simply to satisfy the taste buds. Such are the different moods of devotion, which are all accepted by the Supreme Lord.

In Closing:

Acceptable at any time,

Since they’re parents of mine.

So if random hunger to feel,

No shame in making appeal.

Same with Shri Krishna so,

Like when to Talavana to go.

Because friends fruit wanting to eat,

Immediately the ass-demon to meet.

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