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Posted at 21:28:34 IST on Mar 22, 2010

Storyline for the 9th Session delivered on the 4th day of the Yajna, on the morning of 21st Mar 2010

The 5th day of Srimad Bhagavatha Saptaham commenced with the 10th Skanda, which is dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna, describing His Divine leelas that depicts the mischievous child who steals the butter; the godlike child who holds the entire universe within Himself; the boy who can slay demons and move an entire mountain with one finger; the cowherd who is the love of all the gopikas, making them leave all their duties to follow Him.

This morning, Maharajji began his narrative, by describing how ‘Devatas’, approached Sage Shuka and requested him, to grant them the rare opportunity of listening to the Bhagavata purana. In return, they were ready to part with the Amritam, an offer Sage Shuka refused without further consideration. The Sage said, “In this Kaliyuga, it is only the Divine name that will ensure true salvation. The key to liberation lies in the exposition of glorious leelas of our Lord”.

Parikshit had a special affection towards Lord Krishna because it was He who had saved him during his birth. Right from his birth, Parikshit was searching for his Saviour, doing pareeksha or scanning the face of people who would come to see him.

Krishna had come for the destruction of the evil at the time of Dwapara, protecting the good ones from the tyranny of the wicked, as He did for Parikshit, saving him from the arrows of Ashwathama. This avatar of Sri Sathya Sai, has come for the refinement of the Samskaras, it has come for the transformation.

The erudite scholar went on explaining, the inner significance of the name of Divine actors of the Divine drama enacted, when the Avatar had come down as Bhagawan Sri Krishna.

Yashoda, is one, who gives Yashas or fame to others. Yashoda always used to live for others and never aspired for any credit or recognition. Radha’s mother’s name was Keertida, one who gives Keerti or glory to other. The names of both the mothers essentially meant that they had come to live for others, and thus God Himself came down to give Himself to them.

Gokul literally means, a refined Mind! Where there is no desire or Kama. Rama alone resides there. Gopikas symbolize ‘prayers’, the unending pining for the Lord, Gopalas represent all the noble virtues and sacred thoughts. Hence when the mind is refined by removing desire, when the prayers are intense, when one cultivates all the noble virtues, the ground is ready for the descent of the Avatar. It was in that holy ground of Mathura, that Krishna took Birth.

The glory of Radha’s name was then extolled. Radha is the Dhara or flow of devotion towards its Araadh or Krishna who is her adhaar or foundation.

Episode of Poothana followed, She was thewhom Kamsa had employed with a plot to kill Krishna. As soon as Poothana entered Krishna’s chamber, Krishna closed His eyes, which is symbolically explained by Sri Vallabhacharya, that Vidya and Avidya cannot coexist, just as darkness and light cannot coexist? In the view of Sridhara, ‘Gyana cannot tolerate the existence of agyana’. But when Poothana lifted Krishna on her lap to feed him her poisonous milk, Krishna considered her as His mother. Such is the benevolent nature of our Lord that He granted her liberation just because she fed Him milk, though with the intention to kill. One more missionary of Kamsa by name Sakatasura, who had assumed the form of bullock cart to kill Krishna was kicked and redeemed by Krishna Himself.

It has been the same story since ages, that whenever ane Avatar has descended, evil forces have always raised their hood to harm the Saviour of all. In this age too, those asuric shaktis are criticizing Him with their pen and speech, but since they are thinking of Him all the time even in criticism, they will stand redeemed. Such is the Glory of Lord’s name.

The Story continued with the naming ceremony of the Lord where mother Yashoda had invited Gargacharya, who had agreed to come secretly because he belonged to Yaduvamsha. He did not want to attract the attention of Kamsa on these two innocent children. Mother Yashoda wanted to test the authenticity of Maharshi Garg as an astrologer by keeping Krishna on the lap of Rohini and Balaram on her own lap. If he were to be a true astrologer, he would immediately recognize Krishna. The moment Maharshi Garg saw Bala Krishna on Rohini’s lap he went into Samadhi. Such was the intoxication of the Divine beauty, that, Mother Yashoda had to shake Gargacharya out of His bhavasamadhi and seek pardon for testing him.

The child of Rohini was christened Sankarshan. He was also named Balaram, the one with great strength because he was the incarnation of Adishesha who carries Mother Earth on His hood.

Then, it was the turn of Bala Krishna. He was dark in color so he was named Shyam. He was extremely beautiful and charming and so he was named Sundar. Hence He was called Shyam Sundar. He was also called Vasudev. Then Gargacharya told Mother Yashoda, “This child comes again and again in all the ages to protect Vedas and the Mahatmas, …all name in this world are HIS. What more names should I give HIM?”

The Annaprashna (first feeding) ceremony was conducted where Gargacharya prepared the Naivedya payasam himself and offered it to the Lord. The lord came crawling down to the naivedya and put his mouth directly into the naivedyam. At this Gargacharya chided Balakrishna for directly putting his mouth into the naivedya vessel and once again prepared a new naivedyam for the lord after a bath in Yamuna. This time Mother Yashoda was careful and she was holding back Krishna, not allowing Him to repeat his mischievous pranks. But the prayers of Gargacharya was so overwhelming that with the power of HIS yoga maya (mystic power), Lord put mother Yashoda into sleep for some time, as He crawled back to the Naivedyam, partaking it directly again, thus fulfilling the prayers of Gargacharya. The Lord who provides food for the entire universe thus partook the humble offering of Gargacharya, giving Him fulfilment.

Lord Krishna once playfully swallowed the Saligrama on which curd and honey were put everyday as abhishekam for worship by Nanda Baba, father of Lord Krishna. Shyam Sundar was sitting with a swollen cheek and Nanda Baba got restless seeing the Saligrama missing from the Alter. He asked Krishna to open His mouth and after bit of persuasion, He agreed, revealing the entire Universe within himself. Nanda Baba immediately rushed to Mother Yashoda to share this revelation to her but she dismissed it as an after 60 syndrome and that it was his imagination.

On another occasion many gopikas complained to mother Yashoda that Krishna was eating mud. When mother Yashoda told Krishna to open his mouth, which He did reluctantly, she too had the same experience that Nandbaba had. She saw the entire cosmos inside the mouth of Krishna. But with the power of yoga maya Lord made them forget these experiences, so that they could interact with the affectionate love between a child and a mother. Though there was continuous struggle between Lord’s Aishwarya or Divinity and Mother’s Vatsalyam or Mother’s Love, it was Mother’s Love that the Lord allowed to win and take over.

If Krishna is the Avatar of playful leelas, Sai avatar is an avatar of Seva, of transformation of sanskaras in the society. Sai Avatar has come to bring back the humanness in human beings.

On another occasion, Krishna killed Aghasura who had assumed the form of a python with its mouth open, which appeared like a cave. All the gopalas were tricked by this asura but who could trick the lord of all Lords. Aghasura was immediately redeemed by Krishna with a deathly fire that reduced him to ashes.

Even Brahma had a desire to test Balakrishna. He kidnapped all the cows and gopalas and took them to Brahmaloka. He wanted to see what Krishna would do. Krishna not only assumed the form of Gopalas and Cows for one full year, but also gave immense joy to the parents of these gopalas because it was Krishna who had become their children. Brahma was humbled and sought the pardon of Lord of the Universe for daring to test Him. The benevelont Lord said, ‘Brahma, mistakes may take place but don’t repeat the same mistake.’

Radha was one of the greatest devotees of the Lord. The redeemer of the three world was subdued by her devotion. The gopikas used to wonder, what made her so special for Krishna. It was her incessant flow of devotion towards Krishna that kept Krishna always captivated towards her.

The inner significance of Krishna’s breaking pot was also described. The pot was symbolic of  ego, the pot of anger, the pot desire, the pot of attachment that we are carrying on our head from birth after birth can only be broken by the Lord. Hence we must pray to Lord Sai to come and break these pots of burden and make our head free to surrender at His Lotus Feet.   

Gopikas used ask the Baasuri or flute, ‘Why are you given such a special place with Krishna’. To which the flute would reply, ‘See, I am empty from within. I have no ego. If you want to be His instrument, remove ego from within. Then He will play the Divine music of life through you’.

Maharajji ended his exposition on Bhagavatam today with the Rasa leela song which symbolizes the union of Paramatma and Jivatma, the Union of God with Man. The Union that results in everlasting and unending Bliss!