You’ll Need More Than A Prison Cell

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]“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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The neighbor’s dog is too much to handle. The owners are well-aware of the problem. A moment of freedom equates to instant disaster. Sometimes it takes only a split second of distraction. The attention of the owner goes elsewhere and the dog breaks free. Off to the races, chasing the mailman, a neighborhood jogger, or another dog.

Trying to calm the situation is not easy. The neighbor has apologized many times for its dog’s behavior, but people’s patience has run dry. The mailman treads lightly. Everyone is on edge. There is no other choice but to keep the dog tied up the entire day. That only solves half the problem, as the dog keeps barking whenever it thinks it sees someone.

The neighbors have created boundary walls. What used to be shared backyard space is now carefully divided. They have to protect themselves from danger, and that one dog is a menace to the entire community.

[fence]This is a common remedial measure. If there are intruders, erect boundary walls and locking mechanisms as a way to prevent undesired entry. A wild animal is bound up to protect others. The criminals in society get sent to jail, which will hopefully keep everyone else safer.

In Mathura, King Kamsa thought along similar lines. The difference was that the two notable people put in jail had done nothing wrong. They were not a threat to anyone. They were relatives, in fact. Devaki and Vasudeva had the misfortune of hearing a voice from the sky, which warned Kamsa that Devaki’s eighth child would be his doom.

The king could not risk losing everything. The power of a king is one of the most desirable achievements in a material existence. You get whatever you want, whenever you want it. Your word is final. No one to overrule you. Even if people incline towards disobedience, they have no choice but to accept your authority.

The lone exception is the Supreme Lord. The asuras of the world refuse to acknowledge His existence, though deep down they know. They understand that this world did not emerge from a random collision of chemicals or that the miracle of life is attributed only to a nameless and identity-less nature.

That eighth child was to be someone special. Daivam, destiny, would not be denied, despite the strongest measures employed by Kamsa. The prison cell with guards was not enough to keep Vasudeva bound up. When Shri Krishna was born, the father was easily able to escape, baby in hand.

The ignorance of maya overtook everyone else. The locks opened and the guards were asleep. No one noticed Vasudeva escape and cross the Yamuna River, during a rainstorm. It was as if Krishna’s splendor, tejas, vanquished the darkness.

But it wasn’t for everyone. Only Vasudeva and Devaki noticed His appearance. Only they saw the vision He displayed of the four-handed Narayana, who was known to the devotees to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]In the same light, whatever boundaries and barriers there are for finding the truth, connection with the Divine, genuine yoga, can turn the impossible into possible. The dumb will speak eloquently, the lame will move with aplomb, and the disheartened will forever be in good spirits. This is due to Krishna’s grace, which is invited through chanting His names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Mailman and neighbors to hound,
So that dog now kept bound.

Neighbors a fence to erect,
Due to intrusion to expect.

Kamsa similar measures taking,
But Krishna those shackles breaking.

Father Vasudeva to cross at night,
Success through son’s might.

Categories: crossing the yamuna

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