“She gathered more ropes from the house and added to it, but at the end she found the same shortage. In this way, she connected all the ropes available at home, but when the final knot was added, she saw that it was still two inches too short. Mother Yashoda was smiling, but she was astonished. How was it happening?” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 9)
You’ve made all the arrangements. Everything else is set. The responsibilities taken care of. The distractions removed, at least for now. No pressing issues until the next day. It is time to meditate. You want to focus on the sounds produced by repeating the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The setting will be just right: the temple. There will be other devotees around. It is said that the dust of the lotus feet of a saintly person can cure every ailment. It is not a magic potion to remove a physical disease, but rather the beginning of a connection to last beyond this and every future lifetime potentially spent in a temporary body.
The issue is that a distraction gets in the way. Perhaps there is a flat tire during the ride. Maybe an emergency phone call from work, requiring your immediate attention. You can’t seem to get rid of the last job. Though you started a new position, one less stressful in every way, the old place needs your assistance every now and then. The status is always “urgent.”
How is a person supposed to appropriately focus on God? How will they remain conscious of Him with so many distractions in the course of the average day? From Vedic literature we find that it is proper to call out to Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in every kind of situation.
The ideal example is mother Yashoda. She was with Krishna directly. The saguna form was in front of her, though for Bhagavan there is no difference between the two viewpoints. Whether a person sees Him as without qualities, nirakara Brahman, or in the deity with distinguishable features, archa-vigraha, He remains who He is.
He kindly appeared in the land of Gokula and accepted Yashoda as His mother. She wanted to bind Him to a mortar one time as mild punishment for intentionally breaking a pot of yogurt. The problem was that there weren’t enough ropes to go around His lotus-like navel. Every attempt resulted in failure, by just two finger-widths.
In that time of frustration, Yashoda’s consciousness of her son remained. She did not give up and move on to some mundane activity. She could not and would not. For her effort, Krishna finally gave in. He rewarded her with success, as the mortar attached to His belly then allowed for the two sons of Kuvera to be freed from their curse.
Draupadi tried on her own at first. Her husbands were unwilling to help her. They stood by quietly, as if some overwhelming force were suppressing the exercise of chivalry. They had lost a wager to the great cheater in the Kaurava family, and so the Pandava brothers did not intervene when the punishment of Draupadi being stripped naked was ready to be enacted.
The elderly gentlemen in the Kaurava family also remained silent. Politics got in the way of better judgment. Draupadi had no choice but to try to hold on to her sari, to keep from being shown naked. Yet what could she really do against powerful kshatriya warriors?
In total desperation, she called out to Govinda for help. The one who made Yashoda’s ropes long enough in Gokula now took on the form of the sari, making it endless in length. This is the magic of God, proving that the proper test for Divinity involves travelling in both directions. Bhagavan is both greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. A person may be able to live many years and show longevity, but to be God you must also prove that you remained in the same position in the past. If you do not remember where you were prior to birth, it means that you can never be equal to Bhagavan.
The saints are known to chant and dance in ecstasy. On occasion, they eat very nicely, as well, such as during the first Govardhana Puja. There is the song that asks you to clap your hands if you are happy and aware of it, and so the person immersed in bhakti feels free to share their ananda with others. In excitement they remember Krishna and look forward to more opportunities to share knowledge about Him, giving to others the same precious gift.
Happiness willing to share,
Since of Krishna always aware.
Such as when Govardhana celebrating,
Or endless sari demonstrating.
Yashoda’s ropes sufficiently long,
Her son both kind and strong.
Appropriate meaning at any time,
Lord’s help ready to find.
Categories: the three