“The Lord immediately got up from His seat and invited Narada Muni to sit on His personal seat. The Lord again worshiped him with as much paraphernalia for reception as He had in the palace of Rukmini. After worshiping him properly, Lord Krishna acted as if He did not know what had happened in the palace of Rukmini.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 14)
1. Climbing onto Hanuman’s shoulders
“I can’t believe the image. It is so inspiring to me. I can’t look at it too long; otherwise I get choked up. I realize that to the outsider things are not believable. You have this large male monkey holding two youths on his shoulders.
“This isn’t a weight-lifting contest. This is not a soldier overcoming two adversaries. Rather, this is immediate trust extended to someone who is basically a stranger. Shri Rama and His younger brother Lakshmana are friends with Hanuman, at just the time when they require friendship.
भिक्षुरूपं परित्यज्य वानरं रूपमास्थितः।
पृष्ठमारोप्य तौ वीरौ जगाम कपिकुञ्जरः||
bhikṣurūpaṃ parityajya vānaraṃ rūpamāsthitaḥ।
pṛṣṭhamāropya tau vīrau jagāma kapikuñjaraḥ ||
“Abandoning his beggar form and reassuming his monkey form, the elephant among monkeys [Hanuman] placed those two heroes on his back and departed.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.34)
“Rama is looking for His missing wife Sita, and Hanuman is the minister to the Vanara king named Sugriva, who is looking to regain his kingdom in Kishkindha. Hanuman is something like a secretary of state, who achieves the objectives of the person he is working for, all the while impressing an avatara of the Supreme Lord.”
2. The sale with the fruit vendor
“This is one of those incidents from Krishna-lila that I can never forget. If you have children, it certainly relates. They tend to imitate the adults. They watch what the parents do and then want to copy, if ever given the chance.
“And so baby Krishna eagerly approaches the fruit vendor in Gokula. He brings some grain in His tiny hands to exchange for some fruits. Sadly, most of the grain fell down in transit. The fruit vendor does not mind; she still fills His lotus-hands as if the proper payment had been given.
“The Supreme Lord so appreciates the gesture that He magically transforms the remaining contents of her basket into valuable jewels. No one ever loses by sacrificing for Krishna. The fruit vendor was not looking for such reciprocation, but she received it nonetheless.”
3. The visit of Sudama Vipra
“The poor guy couldn’t muster up the courage to ask. He visited Dvaraka at the insistence of his wife. Sudama Vipra could only bring some chipped rice as a gift. This was while visiting the richest person in the world, in essence. Krishna was His friend from childhood; they studied in the same gurukula.
“After receiving an amazingly hospitable welcome, Sudama tried to hide the chipped rice. Krishna found it anyway and was so appreciative of the kind gesture. Without the brahmana knowing, everything back home changed into wealth and opulence. The goddess of fortune, Rukmini Devi, made sure that her husband’s friend did not have to suffer in poverty any longer.”
4. The visit of Narada Muni
“I know that the primary takeaway from this incident is the parallelism to Krishna’s activities in Dvaraka. He could live in sixteen thousand palaces simultaneously, carrying out different work and giving complete association to the queen of the house.
“But I can’t help but appreciate the kindness Krishna offers to Narada Muni. This is a brahmana guest, and Krishna behaves as if the leader of the world has arrived. He has no problem greeting the same guest multiple times throughout the day. There is never a blemish in the hospitality. This shows how much Krishna loves genuine brahmanas.”
5. Acting as Arjuna’s charioteer
“The Mahabharata concludes with a war to end all wars. There is a side of righteousness represented by the Pandavas. Duryodhana and clan are on the side of adharma. Though the bad guys had gained strength and illegally usurped control for a long time, they were set to receive a timely and permanent reversal.
“I can’t believe that Krishna, the all-powerful one, basically sat out the conflict. He did not participate, except to act as the charioteer to the best fighter for the Pandava side. I think I will never understand such kindness, even if I contemplated it for thousands of lifetimes.”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once met an illiterate brahmana who held affection for Bhagavad-gita. The situation was strange in that more so than other well-known Vedic texts, Bhagavad-gita has a deep philosophical foundation. There isn’t much story. In fact, the exchange between Krishna and Arjuna is contained within a much larger narrative known as Mahabharata.
That work is full of stories, both involving Krishna and not. There are the many Puranas, which pass on ancient histories and sometimes tell of the future. The Ramayana is the life story of God’s avatara of Shri Rama, appearing in a certain time and place within the material world.
Mahaprabhu was surprised to learn that despite not being able to properly read, the brahmana would shed tears upon holding the work. He loved Bhagavad-gita so much because it always reminded him of Krishna’s kindness in accepting the servant role to His devotee.
Lord Chaitanya proclaimed that this man’s understanding of Bhagavad-gita was perfect. The brahmana understood the essence, even without going into the intricacies and nuances of the many beautifully composed Sanskrit verses.
One who constantly remembers God lives a perfect life, and one way to remember is to think of the kindness of the all-powerful one, as He sometimes accepts a subordinate position. This is to lift others up, to allow for a proper example to be set, so that even thousands of years later people living in inauspicious times can take inspiration and make positive advancement towards achieving life’s goal.
For proper example set,
And inspiration to get.
From previous kindness to show,
Like as charioteer to go.
Or wealth to Sudama giving,
And with many queens living.
Remembering now all the same,
How for our benefit came.
Categories: the five