Yagna on ‘Baal Gopal Leelas’ – Sep 2015

Key Points from the Discourses

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st Sep till 5th Sep, 2015)

Day 1

Talks on “Baal Gopal Leela”

On the first day of the much awaited talks on ‘Baal Gopal Leela’, Swami Abhedanandaji entered into one of the most enchanting leelas of Lord Krishna – “Ukhal Bandhan”. For the audience, it was, as if, the beginning of a wonderful journey of transcending oneself to the world of Gokul where baby Krishna, who was only two & a half years old, was living with mother Yashoda & Nand baba.

As the talk continued, there were many wonderful points expounded by Swamiji for all of us to revel in & preserve…

‘Krishna’ means ‘One who pulls’. He is the one to whom you need not go yourself, He Himself comes to you & makes His presence felt in your life! To dwell into the leelas of Lord Krishna, you need to mentally detach yourself from the whole world & get associated to Him in some manner; either you become mother Yashoda, or Nand baba, or one of His friends, or one of the Gopis, or simply an on-looker…but just be with the Lord alone!

In our ignorance, we give our heart & mind to the world; although world through its bitter experiences, repeatedly says to us – “don’t come too close to me, don’t get too attached to me, maintain distance, or else I will snatch your peace and give shocks that are hard to recover from,”…

yet we fail to listen!

If we introspect our lives, we would see that Lord has loved us unconditionally in various ways, through various situations; He has opened His heart to us…but did we ever open our heart for him?

Did we ever think for Him as much as we should be? Did we ever ask Him what we can do for His happiness?

Loving perfectly demands dying completely!

Mother Yoshoda is the embodiment of ‘thirst to love & to serve the Lord’! The thirst of loving Krishna reflected in each part of her body; her eyes, her hands, her hair, all were ‘Krishnamaya’, all wanted to give joy to the Lord alone! Yashodaji is the acme of Karmayog. She constantly served the Lord with her body, mind & speech.

We all have lot of love in our heart. If love was not there, we would not have lived with people, celebrated their joys or cried in their sorrows, but what we lack is to understand the real meaning of ‘Love’. Whom to Love? How to Love? Where to surrender? We are uneducated & illiterate when it comes to ‘Loving’. Since childhood we have been taught various things but has anyone ever taught us how to love?

Like a precious gem, mind is supposed to be handled with utmost care. It should be not made available for flimsy issues like ego, self-importance, hatred, jealousy, greed and anger, which take away all its ‘ras’. The ocean of love inside us is all dried-up. Listening to the leelas of the Lord is the only way to water our dried heart.

If we develop the intense desire to feed the Lord, our desire would become Lord’s thirst & hunger.

For mother Yashoda, the Lord of the whole universe became hungry for a dollop of butter… only due to her Love!

When in the morning, mother Yashoda used to churn the pot to make butter for her beloved Krishna, Lord would get up from his sleep and come from behind, and hold her and when she would still continue to churn, He would hold on to the churner with His small hands, as if telling the devotee that you have done enough sadhana and now that I have come, you need not do any more sadhana!

Day 2

Talks on “Baal Gopal Leela”

On the second day of yagna, Swami Abhedanandaji took the listeners further deep into the captivating Krishna leela and a little more closer to the Lord!

Here are a few enlightening pointers from the talk…

To pull our running minds, the Infinite became finite – the Blue Boy of Vrindavan!

Churning of butter by mother Yashoda depicts that ‘Churning’ is the essence of sadhana, whether it is Bhakti marg, or Gyan marg or Karma marg. Churning in love for the Lord is to separate attachment of the world from attachment of the Lord, to separate all forms and perceive only ‘One Form’, to separate all names and take only ‘one Name’, to separate all love and embrace only ‘One Love’!

Mother Yashoda is the manifestation of ‘desire to see Krishna happy’. She is the ultimate ‘Murtimaan Sukh-daatri’, personification of joy-giving thought; her only goal was to give immeasurable joy to her Krishna!

Lord’s craving for mother Yashoda’s milk was only to fulfill her desire of feeding Him; the desire that she had held in her heart through numerous births. When the desire for Lord becomes so intense that other than His happiness nothing else matters, then the Lord also desires for the devotee!

This path of Loving the Lord is not for those who are afraid of going through pain for the Lord. If we want to become Yashoda or Devaki, we should be ready to go through tremendous pain. The joy of pleasing the Lord should be far greater than the joy of the entire universe.

Seeing the devotee in pain, Lord’s heart develops pain for the devotee. Sadhana should be such that we never feel satisfied that we did enough for the Lord. The power of sadhana is that Lord should

want more sadhana from us!

Day 3

Talks on ‘Baal Gopal Leela’

The third day of talk on ‘Baal Gopal leela’, once again, ushered the audience to Gokul, and as Swamiji wonderfully opens up the beautiful character of mother Yashoda, one gets to experience the depth of her heart & mind.

Here are a few golden snippets from the talk…

In a devotee’s life, there comes a point when he experiences that he is getting a lot from the Lord, and when this feeling becomes intense, it expresses as extreme desire to love & serve the Lord. A true devotee loves the Lord for the Lord alone and not for the fulfillment of any desires.

Mother Yashoda never ever desired anything for herself. All her prayers were for her Krishna alone.

An ordinary person could never tolerate the pain of separation that she went through when Krishna left Gokul. Her renunciation is beyond our comprehension!

Glory of Ishwar is that, He becomes small from big, and glory of jeeva is that, he becomes big by leaving his smallness. Glory of Ishwar is that, He becomes bound from being free, and glory of jeeva is that, he gets free from all bondage.

Power of true love is that it binds the beloved. In Ukhal-bandhan leela, we witness that binding of the infinite Lord by a simple jeeva called Yashoda. Lord is swatantra, He is nitya-shuddha-buddha-mukt swaroop; but He becomes small & helpless & weak in front of mother Yashoda.

When Yashodaji was running behind Kanha with a stick in her hand and was calling Him, every time He looked behind at her. He said, “If my devotee calls me, I have to look at him, I cannot turn around my face & run.” When Yashodaji asked Kanha to come to her, He asked her to leave the stick first.

Saints say that as long as we hold on to the inert, the world, Lord doesn’t come close!

Let us, for a moment, try to sit somewhere close to Yashodaji, let us become a friend of Yashodaji, let us become some calf peeping at the Lord…let the shape of our heart change, let something blue appear in front of us, let the twinkle of His eyes steal away our glance from everywhere else, let our attention be caught by Him. Let us say, “Oh Lord, Loot me! You are so fond of stealing, why don’t you steal my heart?” We want a thief who can steal our heart because it is otherwise stolen by the world, we need that Big Thief!

Day 4

Talks on ‘Baal Gopal Leela’

Yesterday’s talk was yet another captivating discourse by Swamiji as he proceeded with ‘Ukhal bandhan’ leela & touched the deepest corner of the hearts of the listeners. Here are a few enticing & appealing points from the talk…

Love is incomplete if it cannot fulfill the desires of the beloved. One jeeva can never love another jeeva, because he cannot fulfill the desires of another jeeva. But Lord can fulfill all the desires and therefore he is the biggest lover. If a devotee approaches Him with a particular intention, He has the power to become that, leaving his infinite nature. More He exhibits that nature more the devotee becomes devoted to Him.

In love if you don’t feel like getting bound then love is incomplete. For a dollop of butter, Gopis made the Lord dance, lift cow dung cakes from one place to another, and Kanha did everything rejoicingly, just for the love & tapasya of births that those Gopis did as Rishis.

Shukdevji says that Lord has no inside or outside, He is before the world and also after the world. Something can be bound only when it is finite and has a form, how can one bind the infinite Lord? But mother Yashoda after running behind Kanha, caught Him and was ready to bind Him. She didn’t know who He was.

Mother Yashoda took a big rope, one that is used to tie the cows, and started tying the Lord, but the rope fell short, so she ran inside the house & brought another rope but even that was short. She ran to each house of Gokul to get ropes, but still it was not enough. As long as Yashodaji thought that she could tie the Lord, the gap of two fingers remained. Lord wants us to put our efforts to a stage till we are totally exhausted, and then showers His grace. Similarly when the last rope of Gokul was exhausted and still Kanha was not bound, Yashodaji said to Kanha that she doesn’t think she can bind Him and that is when Lord Himself graced Her and got tied.

While being tied, there was only one thing in Kanha’s mind, “Maiyya wants me tied, and so I also want to be tied.” Giving right to your beloved is the essence of loving!

It is said that the day when Lord Krishna was leaving Vrindavan, mother Yashoda ran towards the chariot where He was sitting and asked Him to forget the incidence of Ukhal bandhan. But Lord said that He can forget everything else but not that because that is the only proof that devotees have the power to bind Him, to make Him cry, to make Him sob.

Throughout His life, no matter where He went, moment He saw butter or rock sugar, He started crying. We think that jeeva loves Ishwar, but we don’t know how much Ishwar loves the jeeva. We have heard devotees crying for the Lord, but Lord also cries for His devotees. Lord serves His devotees much more than the devotees serve Him.

That Lord who cries for the devotees, He is Krishna; that Lord who wants to fulfill devotees desires, He is Krishna; that Lord who wants the devotees to hold Him & embrace Him, He is Krishna. When we know our God loves us so much, how can we keep away from Him? Can’t we pray for the day when we will love Him alone, want Him alone and embrace Him alone!

Day 5

Talks on ‘Baal Gopal Leela’

On the concluding day of yagna, Swami Abhedanandaji once again drenched the hearts of the audience with love and devotion for Baal Krishna through His various leelas. In order to inspire the tiny seeker that is hidden in each one of us, Swamiji, throughout the Yagna, described the state of great devotees who had tremendous thirst and yearning for the Lord.

Here are a few gems for us to collect & get inspired,

The only way to save oneself from suffering is to lose oneself on the path of love for the Higher! If love is for our own ego, attachment, or sense organs, then it is fruitless, painful & sorrow giving. But if it is for some higher goal for which we want to dissolve & forget ourselves, then that love becomes our strong point and a constant source of joy & peace.

True love demands response & acknowledgement from the beloved. If we don’t get responses from the beloved, we won’t be able to love him back. Similarly, in order to nurture & strengthen our love for the Lord, the mind should be trained to see His responses in our life. More we see His loving responses, more we would want to be for Him, in Him!

In one of the leelas, Lord was pretending to be selling something, so one Gopi asked Him what was He selling. He said,”I am selling myself and if you purchase me, I will do whatever you say; milk the cows, wash the clothes, mop the floor, cook food etc. But the cost is that each part of your body & mind should chant ‘Krishna, Krishna, Krishna’ at all times.”

The privilege that Yashodaji & Gopis had, of loving the God, of playing with him, of tying him; even Brahmaji, Shivji, Lakshmiji didn’t have. Such is the greatness of love of a jeeva that it can melt the heart of the Lord. It was the power of love of a simple cowherd maid, that Lord became a hungry, crying, fearful, running, and loving child.

Great devotees ask for pain from Lord so that their remembrance becomes so strong & deep that Lord is forced to be with them forever. We should pray, “Oh Lord! Without Your happiness we want to die. Oh dear God, even if we get a fraction of the Love that Gopis and Yashodaji had, this birth would become worthwhile.”

This Janmashtami, let our hearts become completely blue taking the shape of Baal Gopal alone, let us make the Lord an enjoyer of our life, let us make Him greedy for us, let us totally drown ourselves in His Love and His Leelas alone!