Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Year in Paradise

My Rudra turned one today. A big step for the little guy who can now use whole numbers to represent his age instead of just a fraction. :)

So here is what his day was like today:

He got up a little earlier than usual today and got a good scrubby bath. He protested and squealed valiantly, but Mom was not to be denied on this day and he emerged squeaky clean. He then wore new dresses that made look him very smart and trendy, which he didn't mind much, after all he likes creating a good impression. An well dressed gentlemen is always a delight to the eyes, he knows.

He went to visit Kanai and his patron God Hanuman during the day and promised to be a good boy. His Kaku, Kakima, Thamma and Didi sent him their love and best wishes. In the evening he invited his friends over for a loud party where everyone had a lot of fun and baloon fights. Everyone liked his birthday cake a lot too, and he also had one big slice of it. He reasoned that one can be a little lax with diets on one's birthday. After everyone left he continued dancing for sometimes until he was bundled away for his dinner.

Oh, by the way, he got lot of love and kisses from Mom and Dad too. Right now he is trying to pull at Dad's Laptop mouse. All in all, he admits that he rather had a cool day.

He sends all of you his love.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Loving the Lord as Bal Gopal

One of most delightful manifestation of Lord Krishna is his appearance as the ever lovable Bal Gopal. What captures one’s imagination is the paradox that this little innocent prankster, whose aim in life seems to revolve around making mischief of all kinds starting from stealing butter to breaking water pots perched on the heads of ladies of Vrindaban, is actually the Lord of all creation! But then our Lord is a merciful and benevolent Lord. He takes on the aspect of a child, so that our devotion finds expression as pure love without a feeling of intimidation lurking somewhere behind.

Love for children is a universal human instinct. And as far as children go, I think our Gopal has it all that would make one scoop the little fellow up in one’s arms and cuddle him. An entrancing smiling face, a unparalleled knack for naughtiness, using Bambi-eyes to get out of trouble, keeping the blessed citizens of Vrindaban always entertained through his antics and vanquishing a few demons along the way - our young man has the makings of a superstar indeed!

The only thing that the Lord wants from us, the scriptures tell us, is our love and I think He know exactly what it takes to rule our hearts; eons before the Kellogs and Huggies of the world wised up to the funda. Vatsalya or the affectionate love that one has for one’s own child is actually a recognized form of devotion in the annals of Bhakti Vedanta.

Sometimes I feel the fascination we have for the Child-Krishna appeals to an even deeper emotion. Perhaps in the captivating smile and innocence of Gopal we like also to see a reflection of what we call our inner child or inner consciousness, which is yet not be-garbed by the social conditioning that shapes our outer selves. If ancient wisdom were to be believed our Atma is non dual from the Brahman (or inseparable from our Ishwara, depending on the point of view). In any case true Bhakti which is the stuff of heart, the stuff of faith doesn’t need the crutches of philosophy to lean on. Meditating on the form of Bal Gopal in the arms of Ma Yashoda and chanting the Mahamantra can truly be uplifting, far beyond all logic and philosophy has to offer.

Mom used to say when we were young – Bishase Milae Krishna, Tarke Bahu Door. (Faith brings about a union with Krishna, mindless debates push you away)

As I prowl around the house every evening on all fours with my own bundle of boundless energy, my little Rudra, I can start to slowly fathom that my father’s insistence of Gopal being his eldest child was in fact true Bhakti of the highest order. In doing so he brought the Lord from being an un-reachable Ruler far away to being someone who was an inseparable part of the family. What is great feeling that is indeed!

Of all the numerous gifts my brother and I received from our father, this must be, without a shade of doubt, one of the sweetest. A legacy that I know we shall pass on to our children. A treasure box of love from their Grandfather that would live and grow with them; be with them always…

Hari Bolo Bhai
Naam bine Aar Bhobo Pare,
Bondhu Nai