“While churning the butter, mother Yashoda was singing about the childhood activities of Krishna. It was formerly a custom that if one wanted to remember something constantly, he would transform it into poetry or have this done by a professional poet. It appears that mother Yashoda did not want to forget Krishna’s activities at any time.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.9.1-2 Purport)
Friend1: I like how in the Vedas the Supreme Lord is known by many names.
Friend2: Well, that is how to describe the Divine. It is the actual position, if you think about it.
Friend1: What do you mean?
Friend2: Think of the different angles of vision a person applies to this world.
Friend1: Not sure.
Friend2: For example, someone is studying nature. They notice that fire, heat, light, and electricity have similar properties.
Friend1: They are a kind of energy. A natural one at that; no need to have someone generate.
Friend2: Though you can try through rubbing sticks together, creating a power plant, and the like. Anyway, someone appreciates this energy that seems to power the universe. That is their angle of vision.
Friend2: They take that viewpoint to the understanding of the Supreme Lord. To them, He is the original power. He is the source of that amazing energy.
Friend1: Oh, sure. I believe there are similar references in the Bhagavad-gita, such as the spiritual world not requiring electricity due to the self-effulgence on the transcendental body of Krishna:
न तद् भासयते सूर्यो
न शशाङ्को न पावकः
यद् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते
तद् धाम परमं मम
na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)
Friend2: You are correct, but Vedic literature does not have to be referenced. Someone can already have that appreciation without ever having heard of Krishna. Do you see what I mean?
Friend1: I think so. The Vedas are basically describing God in ways that people already try to understand Him.
Friend2: The scriptural works are providing helpful hints, and perhaps some organization. Like someone who has been using the principles of engineering for years but never actually read a book on it. The book becomes helpful in the sense that it presents a systematic way to explain and understand something already known to some level.
Friend1: One area where Krishna receives many names is relationships. As an example, since He was raised in a specific home in the town of Gokula, He has the name Yashoda-nandana.
Friend2: The one who gives pleasure to mother Yashoda, the wife of Nanda Maharaja. Such an endearing name. If you are an exalted devotee, you will be eternally associated with the Supreme Lord.
Friend1: There is the wonderful portrait of baby Krishna held in the lap of the loving mother. Here is my question. Would not someone become envious upon hearing that name?
Friend1: Because there is no name for God that references our relationship to Him. Yashoda receives that benefit. People are envious of everything and everyone in the material world. It is only natural. If something good happens to my friend, I should be happy. At the same time, I view it as a threat. Why are they getting good fortune and not me?
Friend2: You are asking if someone might be jealous of seeing Krishna sitting in Yashoda’s lap? That He is her son and not anyone else’s?
Friend2: Well, think of the other gopis in Vrindavana. These are the elderly cowherd women, the ones who have children of their own.
Friend1: What about them?
Friend2: They were not jealous. They did not try to bring Yashoda down. On the contrary, they viewed Krishna as their own. They were so happy for Yashoda. That is the way community works, at least in the spiritual world. Maybe there is rivalry on some occasions, but no one tries to bring anyone else down. Rather, the feelings are used as impetus for increasing devotional efforts.
Friend1: Thinking that I need to step up my game?
Friend2: The attitude is something like this:
“I am so happy for Nanda and Yashoda. They truly deserved this blessing. Krishna and Balarama are adorable. They are the jewels of Vrindavana. If I were such a loving person then maybe Lord Vishnu would bless me similarly. Regardless, at least we have the favor of watching Yashoda’s son grow up. We get to witness these pastimes for only so long, so we will appreciate every moment.”
Blessed that to Gokula has come,
And to Yashoda a fortunate one.
Though not exactly son of ours,
Enchanting heart for hours.
That His lila daily to see,
So happy that mother is she.
In our vision may He always stay,
And with love His name to say.