“While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Shesha in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)
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It is the new normal. You have certain possessions. You are living with a certain person. The future involves certain responsibilities. So much to do, in fact, that you have little time to reflect on the past, such as where you were a mere ten years ago. A chance meeting with an old photo tells it all, triggering an instant flashback.
The situation was entirely different. Life was simpler, but there was also hopelessness and despair. Everyone around you had so much. They seemed to be progressing in life. On their way towards bigger and better things. You were happy and content, but at the same time disappointed in the lack of progress, based on comparison.
In other words, it felt that everyone grew up and you were still acting under the model from childhood. When would the shift take place? When would the embarrassment end? You couldn’t give satisfactory answers to the questions that came your way at social functions, so you started to avoid going to them altogether.
Then that one person entered your life. An instant change, but you didn’t notice until later. They gave you so much energy. Confidence. Pride, but not to an unhealthy level. Just higher self-esteem, the feeling that you had done alright in the past and could do more in the future. The challenges would be met with determination and resolve rather than retreat and fear.
In a similar manner, the meeting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead can inspire confidence to facilitate soaring to new heights of achievement and ability. We have an example with the case of the father named Vasudeva.
It was the eighth time being a father with his wife, in fact, that the significant impact could be seen. This child was none other than Narayana, who proved His Divine nature through a direct vision. The words from the newborn were enough; Krishna was God. But to the pious parents He removed any doubts by displaying the Narayana vision.
“Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc, and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Shrivatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidurya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body and an abundance of hair on His head.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)
The baby continued speaking, providing directions on what needed to be done next. This birth took place in a jail cell, at midnight, while the asuras around them were sleeping. The leader of that town, King Kamsa, was not to know of Narayana’s arrival, for it would prematurely instigate a conflict that was destined to commence at a later date.
Krishna asked to be transferred to the nearby town of Gokula. How was Vasudeva going to follow through? They were locked up all this time for a reason; against their will. Krishna used His powers to allow the doors to open. The guards were fast asleep. Vasudeva snuck out unnoticed.
Then there was a more formidable challenge presented by nature. How was Vasudeva going to cross the Yamuna River while carrying an infant? The rain was pouring down, adding to the difficulty. Since Krishna was with him, Vasudeva found a way to do the impossible.
The description is that the river gave passage to that father in the same way that it previously allowed Shri Rama, another incarnation of Narayana, to bridge over the ocean and reach the island of Lanka. Baby Krishna was protected from the rain by a suddenly manifesting Ananta Shesha Naga.
Mission accomplished for Vasudeva, and in our struggle with illusion and the debilitating effects of time, the same source of inspiration and protection is there to guide us. Through His benevolence He sends the spiritual master, who provides the life-saving medicine of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Spiritual master to me came,
With life-saving holy name.
So that the impossible can do,
Eternal rescue for you too.
Like Krishna to the father inspiring,
Where passage through river requiring.
But that obstacle overcame,
And Ananta as umbrella came.
Categories: crossing the yamuna
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