Episode 29: Krishna leaves Hastinapura

Kunti Devi continues to pray,

Govinda go-dvija-surārti-harāvatāra

Yogeśvarākhila-guro bhagavan namas te

O Govinda! You have incarnated to relieve sufferings of the cows, of the Vedic scholars as well as the afflictions of the Devatas. O Lord of Yoga! O Lord of the universe! O Supreme Lord! I offer obeisance to You.” Kunti Devi prayed to Krishna in various ways. She praised Him very melodiously and sweetly.

After hearing all these praises, Krishna, at last, smiled gently. It was as if he was debating whether he should smile or not and that even if he smiles whether his smile should be mild or suppressed or visible. Should his smile come out of his lips? Or should it remain within? Or that smile which was already within, should it remain as is? No one knew his response. Then he suddenly said, “Ok”! That was all what he said! Only one word He uttered. After all her long endearing prayers, the Lord uttered only one word!

What was this ‘OK’ supposed to mean? Did it mean that he would save her from this illusory world? Or was this ‘OK’ supposed to mean that he would take her with him when he left? Or did it mean that he had agreed to remain in their place for some more time? Nothing was clear to them.

We are also not able to figure out the meaning of this ‘OK’. But what do we (devotees) do- we tend to clarify in great detail. “Swamiji, for which topic did you say ‘OK’? Was it for the first question, or was it for the second question? Was it for the unasked question? What is it that is Ok for you? Does this OK apply only to my question or does it apply to my partner’s question here?” In this way, devotees ask million questions. By then I would have forgotten the OK I had initially said. I now say, “What was it that I said? Did I say ‘OK’? No, I don’t remember saying that”. I am reduced to that state!

Let us suppose I initiate a person into a mantra. I am now flooded with questions (from him), “Swamiji, how many times should I chant this mantra? When should I chant? In which all places should I chant? Should I chant in the morning? Do you want me to chant in the evening?” Already in the first question the third question was built in. But yet they minutely question, “Should I chant in the morning? When should I chant? In which direction should I face when chanting the mantra? Can I sleep when chanting the mantra? Can I chant when I am travelling?”

This is the present situation. Whatever I say, people come back to me with 20 questions. Until then they will not leave me. All this happens because we are bound by our sense organs and intellect (buddhi). We are tied to our karmic bondages. Infatuation has enveloped us. For this reason we have so many doubts. In every aspect there is a doubt. Second reason for these doubts is in order to cross-question and bind me, “You only said like this Swamiji; you had only said this”.

“Swamiji, you asked me to come, so I have come; I came only because you asked me to come”- This is what people say. When had I originally asked you to come? I had asked you to come 10 years back and now you are coming. In other words it means you could find the time to come only after 10 years. Now that you have come you decide to pester me, “Swamiji, you asked me to come, see I have come”; Swamiji I have come.”

Such people are bound to their senses. ‘They are bound to their attachments and infatuations. They are bound to their karma. They are all trapped. Why then should I bind myself to them uselessly?’ I think. They try to bind me. The public are my teachers. Dattatreya had only 24 Gurus. But through these experiences of mine, I know that I have thousands of Gurus (teachers). Every day I am accosted by some new teacher or the other. I keep saluting them.

When I open my eyes I desire to see only the face of Lord Vishnu. I desire to see Lord Dattatreya. When I close my eyes I seek to mentally see Datta or think of Him only. I want to think of only Mother Goddess. I want to mentally chant ‘Narayana, Narayana, Narayana, Datta, Datta, Datta’ and so on. My birds blissfully chirp early morning ‘Datta, Guru,’ and so on. But these men, despite their intelligence, decide to behave foolishly. Birds, on the other hand, even though they don’t have any intelligence, act wisely. With such humans I am getting trapped, while with the birds I am enjoying bliss. The birds know only one thing- to learn what I teach. How beautifully they chirp, “Krishna, Rama”. Whichever divine name I teach, they repeat. They keep on repeating both the times.

Here, the Lord simply uttered ‘OK’. Because it was Kunti Devi, she was quiet. In these modern days if ‘abhaya’ (assurance of fear not) blessing is given, they will question, “What is this assurance for? Is it for the fulfillment of the desire that I had expressed during my last visit? Or is it for the fulfillment of my present desire? Or is it for some future desire of mine?” They demand as if it is their birth right to do so.

Krishna took leave of Kunti Devi and others. He proceeded to Hastinapura, took leave of Subhadra and others there. Just as He was about to leave for his city Dwaraka, Emperor Dharmaraja (Yudhisthira) lovingly stopped Krishna.

Yudhisthira had been deeply saddened and weighed down at the death of all his kith and kin in the war. Srikrishna, Maharishi Vyasa and other saints, who could understand the mind of the emperor, consoled him in various ways. Yet, even after all this Yudhisthira could not be at peace. He could not be convinced and he continued to grieve for them all.

As his mind was filled with indiscrimination, Yudhisthira was deluded by feelings of friendships and attachments. Here, the inherently wise man, who was naturally endowed with discrimination and who was an epitome of righteousness, was enveloped by feelings of indiscrimination and was glued to them totally. Feelings of infatuation and indiscrimination had overpowered him completely. He was totally trapped in such feelings. ‘I have killed so many of my relatives. I have brought about limitless grief. I caused a huge flow of blood everywhere. Of what use is this kingdom now?’ he lamented.

Arjuna had developed such feelings in the initial stages of war. Now after completion of the war, Yudhisthira developed such feelings. Perhaps in the middle of the war such feelings would have arisen in him, yet the war cannot be stopped once its begun, isn’t it? War goes about in great speed. It is easy to start a war but once it is begun, to stop it is an extremely difficult task. For this reason great caution should be exercised in the initial stages itself. There should be sweetness in speech. Rashness of speech or speaking in a way that instigates others should be avoided during gatherings. It appeared as if Emperor Yudhisthira now came to his senses. In fact indiscrimination had enveloped his discriminatory capacities totally and he was completely submerged in this grief.

Sriman Narayana!

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