Sunday, December 09, 2012

49 Bhagavatha - Grace shown to the brahmin matrons

One day, accompanied by Balarama and the cowherd boys, Krishna went far away from Vrindavana while pasturing the cattle. It was a scorching hot summer and all of them were hungry. Although the waters of the Yamuna quenched their thirst, the cowherds could not tolerate the pinch of hunger. "Krishna and Balarama - this hunger is terrible. We need some food now."
Krishna replied: "There are certain brahmins nearby who are conducting an Angirasa sacrifice. Go and mention Balarama's name and also mine and request them for some cooked rice."
The boys do as they are told. They introduce themselves and prostrate before the brahmins and seek food humbly on behalf of Balarama and Krishna. The brahmanas paid no heed to them. They accounted themselves advanced in knowledge, and regarded their mortal body as their own self. They ignored the pleas of the cowherd boys. The boys return disappointed and report to Krishna. Krishna burst into laughter and tells the gopas: "Go again and communicate to the wives of those brahmanas that Balarama and myself have arrived here. They will give you food according to your desire."
The gopas return to the sacrificial hall and reach the enclosure where the virtuous wives of the brahmanas were seated. The boys bow to them submissively and spoke to them: "O viprapatnis! We have been sent here by Krishna, who is rambling not far away from this place. Along with Balarama and the cowherds, he has come far away from home. He seeks some food for him and his followers." The brahmin women, who had always wanted to have a look at him, were in a flurry. They had their minds fixed on him, lured by his stories, and were delighted that he has come so near to them. They arrange all kinds of foods in appropriate vessels and rush with it to meet their beloved Lord. They were stopped by their husbands, brothers and other relations, but their mind set on Krishna, they moved on, like rivers flowing towards the ocean.
The women behold Krishna, sauntering in a grove surrounded by other cowherd boys and Balarama. Resting one hand on a devoted companion, he was swinging a lotus flower with another hand. With water lilies on his ears, he appeared charming, with minerals painted over his body in various designs. He wore fresh leaves and a garland around him, and a peacock feather adorned his head. His curly lock hung on his cheeks there was a cheerful smile on his face. "Welcome to you, O blessed ladies. Be comfortably seated. What can we do for you? It is but proper that disregarding all impediments you have all come to see me. One's own self is most dear to anyone. Therefore, return to the sacrificial hall where your husbands need you all to successfully conclude their sacrificial session."
The women say: "Lord! Please don't utter such cruel words. After attaining to you, one does not return. That is the vedic dictum. Ignoring all near and dear ones, we have sought refuge in you. None of our relatives would accept us again. Therefore ordain that no other asylum may be left to us, after having fallen at your feet."
Krishna replies: "Your husbands, parents, brothers, sons will not be angry with you, since you have been favoured by me. Even the gods over there will approve of your conduct. Therefore, devoting your mind to me you will attain to me before long."
The sages' wives return to the sacrificial grounds. Not finding fault with them, the sages successfully conclude the sacrificial session. After the session, the brahmanas were filled with remorse, having turned down the solicitation of Balarama and Krishna. They condemned themselves, that they did not have the transcendent devotion which their pious wives had towards Krishna. Although recalling their own offence again and again, and realising their folly, the brahmanas did not stir out to meet the two brothers (although eager to meet them), as they were afraid of Kamsa.  
Near the Yamuna, Krishna fed the cowherd boys with the different kinds of food offered by the women and then partook of it himself.

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Srimad Bhagavatham