The Luckiest People
The luckiest people, I believe, are the people who lived in Vrindavan during the time our lord Krishna graced that holy land as Gopal. A divine incarnation of the Supreme or just a precocious young lad who was later bestowed Godhood, believe whatever you will, but there can be no doubt that those were magical times. The most enchanting stories, the most engaging of romances, the cutest acts of a childlike mischief and bravest acts of adventure are all to be found in the stories of Krishna's childhood. Read, re-read, re-re-read, everytime it is a separate experience. As a child I loved reading and listening to Krishna's stories as the adventures of a hero... a stories that my mother told to my brother and me, the Amar Chitra Katha comics, the bhajans that my father sang in his beautiful voice ... all worked to make me Krishna's life long fan and hero.
As a young adult I sought to find philosophy in those stories.. and such sublime philosophies they are.. Suddenly the Kaliya Nag stops being a snake.. but becomes the multi-headed evil tendencies like desire, rage, greed that poisons our mind represented by the lake ... One needs to let Krishna in to tame those tendencies and send the Kaliya of our mind in its way with a promise never to return. The story of Krishna stealing the cloths of bathing maidens, which in my childhood seemed rather like an over-the-top mischief, suddenly becomes a metaphor for letting go of our false ego before approaching Krishna so that he can clothe us in his divine love. Philosophies being philosophies, there can be many interpretations, each needs to find their own.
And today, the philosophies don't matter much anymore, I just feel a sense of contentment when I hear of Krishna, of an inexplicable love, of bliss. Whether it is watching the Little Krishna animated series with my son, or listening to bhajans, for those moments there is nothing but Krishna in mind and how blissful those moments are.
This brings me to the point that I started with -- the people of Vrindavan: the luckiest of people who actually lived through and participated in those stories that we hear, read and see today. Balaram the Lords brother, His friends Subala, Madhumagan, the cowherd boys and girls, men and women of Vrindavan and above all the divine Radharani, the Lord's companion. They are all blessed.
But can we be as lucky as they were? Of course we can. We have the capacity to live in our own Vrindavan and live in company of our beloved Krishna. All we need to do is create a Vrindavan in our mind and let is grow until is permeates our heart, consciousness and every cell of our body through the magic of Bhakti. And once we invite the Lord in the Vrindavan of our mind as its center, that Vrindavan becomes as real and as divine as any physical Vrindavan that ever existed. In that Vrindavan we can run amok behind the child Krishna, play with him, participate in his adventures and become one the luckiest people that ever lived in our own lifetimes...