Raasa Leela!

Hello all,

Namaste! All of you, my dear blog readers, know about my website-swaroopa.net. I have started my business, Swaroopa store, which can be accessed from Shop tab on my website, for Souls who are interested in a personal reading. There is also the Swaroopa Store link, on my blog's left side. Now to the post.

Last week, we discussed, how each of us are supposed to uphold and live our own personal truth. This truth sits in our heart, the purpose for which we came here into this, material realm. Think, how every human feels there is something missing form their life? This missing element is many times, the heart and desires, we discarded, in our pursuit of material wealth, prosperity and happiness. But the funny thing is, without the heart and related desires, even if we win the whole Universe still, we feel something is missing. So, this essence called the heart and its passions are extremely important in living our physical life. Many times, when this aspect is lost, we find no interest in our life.

Now, hope all of you remember. I had made a post on the Hindu mythological characters, Radha as well as Krishna. Krishna, is the mythological character in human form, avatar of the God Vishnu who appears in the Hindu epic called Mahabharata. Radha is the childhood sweetheart of Krishna, whom he grew up with playing pranks and tricks. Why are we suddenly from the heart going to Radha and Krishna? The concepts would become clear as we build up on the story.

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Vasudeva carrying baby
Krishna across Yamuna
Image credits - Rajasekhar1961,
CC BY-SA 4.0
Childhood of Krishna: Krishna was born in the prison to the princess Devaki and her husband, Vasudeva. Devaki's brother Kamsa was bent on killing Devaki's sons, as there was a prophesy that the eighth son of Devaki would kill Kamsa and he had kept the couple in prison. Before Krishna was born, God Vishnu appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki and let them know, he was going to appear as the eighth child. 

He also let them know, the baby needs to be protected and taken to the village of Gokula across the river Yamuna. The baby has to be taken to the home of Nandagopa and his wife Yasodha. There the baby needs to be replaced by the baby girl born to Yasodha and the girl baby needs to be brought back to the prison. According to the instructions given by Vishnu, as soon as baby Krishna was born, Vasudeva put the baby in a basket and started on his journey to Gokula. As if, by the will of the Universe, the prison guards fell into deep slumber and prison doors opened by themselves. (This is mythology. Doors will open by magic. 😉)

Vasudeva reached the banks of Yamuna. It was dead mid-night. There was pouring rain. Yamuna was overflowing and in a mad swirl. But Vasudeva had the instruction from God Vishnu. With deep inner faith and trust in the Universe, he went inside Yamuna. As if by magic, Yamuna parted ways and allowed Vasudeva to walk across the deep Earth of Yamuna. (A same scenario comes in Bible, where Moses lead the Israelites across the Red sea.) Vasudeva went into the house of Nandagopa, placed baby Krishna there and took the girl baby back to the prison.

Krishna, found himself in Gokula started growing up there as the son of Yasoda and Nandagopa. The tricks and pranks Krishna played on the villagers were innumerable. But he was so bright and charming, he got away with every kind of naughtiness. (In an Indian context, being naughty during childhood is considered adorable. But the same naughtiness would be not tolerated around teenage. In the west, it may not be considered so. But every region has its perspectives.)

Here, he grows up with Radha and numerous other Gopikas, child girlfriends. They go to graze the cows, milking the cows, getting grass for the cows and other activities. Nandagopa and the villagers were cowherds. So, cow, milk, butter, curd and ghee where inconceivable part of the daily life in Gokula. Krishna also had a lot of boys as well as even monkeys as friends. They as a group went and stole milk, butter and curd from every household in Gokula. Poor Yasodha used to get earful of complaints from other ladies of the village. Such was the naughtiness of Krishna and the other boys.

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Krishna and his brother Balarama,
stealing curd and butter
Image credits - Rajasekhar1961,
CC BY-SA 4.0
Radha- The childhood sweetheart: Radha is considered as the childhood friend of Krishna. She was the daughter of another cowherd in Gokula called Vrishabhanu and his wife, Kriti Devi. She had a lot of other friends as girls. But Krishna was her foremost friend. He used to bother her a lot and she used to get angry with him. Krishna knew to play flute. That was his past-time, while he and the other boys used to go to the nearby forest to graze the cows. In those days, until the kid goes to the Guru's ashram (hermitage- going to college) to learn all the knowledge, the kids used to help in the household activities.

So, whenever Radha used to get angry, and upset with the naughtiness of Krishna, she would not talk or interact with him. Then, to further bother her, he would start playing his flute. The music would be so divine, she would forget all the anger and rush to listen to his symphony and dance to his flute tune. In Hindi, Krishna is called- Manomohan- someone who enchants the mind of people. Now, observe something here. Rahu, the Maya- illusion maker also is someone who enchants the mind of people. But there is a difference. 

In the enchantment of Rahu, Rahu has an underlying agenda. He wants us, the person and his/her mind to become so enchanted, we forget our duty-Dharma- whatever we came into this Earth plane for and start doing what Rahu wants. Rahu loves fame, money, glitz, glam, electronic gadgets, fast cars and such sort. Rahu wants, us- the mind to do what he wants. But in the case of Krishna (in the greater form Vishnu)- he wants us- our mind to do our own duty, but do it very playfully, joyfully listening to music, dancing and having fun. Here, Krishna's agenda, is not to keep us away from our work. But while we do our work- he would play the music joyfully and playfully, so that we are inspired and motivated to do our work. A huge difference.

So, whenever Radha used to hear the flute, she would forget everything and dance to the tune of Krishna. Hence, Radha and Krishna are considered the first and foremost lovers of Hindu mythological stories. Later, the whole Yadava clan of Krishna moved from Gokula to Vrindavan (both in Uttar Pradesh), to get better grass for the cows and more milk for the clan. Vrindavan was on the banks of the same river Yamuna. 

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Krishna subdues Kaliya
Image credits - Kharmacher, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

In this part of the river, a huge five headed snake called Kaliya, used to live with his wives. The cows or the kids were not able to drink the water of Yamuna. As soon as they drank the water, they would die of the poison vomited by Kaliya into the river. Krishna took upon himself to fight with Kaliya and brought him down on his knees. As Krishna was almost getting ready to kill Kaliya, his wives begged him to leave Kaliya. Then, Krishna told Kaliya to go to another island farther away and not to disturb the cows, kids as well as the cowherd families any more. Kaliya moved away to the island. The kids and cows were able to use the river and play in the waters.

Krishna and the kids kept on doing their pranks. Sometimes, as Radha and her friends were taking bath in the river, he and his friends would hide their clothes in the nearby trees. Then Radha and her friends have to beg, standing in the water, naked, for their clothes. They were not harmless pranks. They were pranks that were bordering towards nuisance. Krishna can make lot of nuisance, according to other stories. 

There is another story connected to Krishna, as a baby boy creating ruckus to a sage, Vilwamangalam Swamiyar, who had prayed to see the auspicious sight of Vishnu. Vishnu, to test the sage, came in the form of a small boy, who appeared just like that, one day. This kid used to create a lot of trouble by pulling the sage's hair and pouring water into the fire ritual etc. One day the sage became very angry and scolded the kid. The kid disappeared saying, "Now if you want to see me, you better come to AnanthaVana" (Anantha forest). Realizing his mistake, later the sage went to the forest and there he got an idol of Vishnu laying on the snake Anantha. This is the history behind the temple of Ananthapadmanabha swamy in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

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Krishna enchanting people with his divine flute
Image credits - C.Rangaswamy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Rasa Leela: So, Krishna was not a very humble, kind kid. He was a handful and naughtiness incarnate. He used to tease and make pranks on anyone and everyone. But as he was very beautiful, bright, with dark skin, and whole lot of charm, he used to steal everyone's heart and get away with it. So, it was taking people for a ride- but in a good way. The same concept comes with Vishnu as Mohini. The lady form of Vishnu. charms into everyone's hearts. The Asuras as well as even the Devas, fell for her charm.

So, anyway, Krishna used to charm his way into everyone's hearts. It was in such a way, every lady or girl of Vrindavana started to think Krishna was solely hers, alone. Among them, the first one of course was Radha. In the night, after everyone sleeps, Krishna used to play the flute. Every lady or girl from every house used to come out and play with Krishna. They won't even realize they are dancing until very early in the morning and go tired, home to sleep. In North India, there is a particular dance where the couple use two sticks to play fight and dance with each other. This is called Garbha or Dandiya. So, here as Krishna used to play the flute, every lady/girl felt like they were dancing with Krishna. So, if there was 20 ladies/girls, there were 20 Krishnas. If there were 40 ladies/girls, there were 40 Krishnas.

This phenomenon in which every female (Gopis) felt like they were playing with Krishna or dancing with Krishna is called Rasaleela. Even today during festivals to commemorate, this dance, people do the stick dance called Garbha or Dandiya. Of course, you would have understood, this blog post is not simply about the dance or the stories of Krishna. That we can read from any book, any website or another author. So, now to the real deal. What is Rasaleela? Is it just a dance with a guy called Krishna? You knew, isn't it, this was never about the dance or Krishna or Radha? 😂😉 

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Krishna and the Gopis, playing Rasaleela
Image credits - M. V. Dhurandhar, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

So, what is Rasaleela. Each person, here a lady is dancing with a Krishna. In deeper mythology, we think about Krishna as the Divine masculine. Each lady as the Divine feminine. Then, the question comes, "Oh, ho. So, only the ladies are going to have fun? Never the males of the humans? They are not saved by Krishna"? So, then, this concept is not good enough. So, now think like this. Let Krishna, be the Divine masculine. 

Every single human, the 7 billion plus Souls become Radha and each one is dancing with Krishna. Of course, consider this Krishna as Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, God, Ahura Mazda, Kali, Durga or any divine energy, you feel like. With this divine energy, we the Soul is dancing, to our own tune, symphony and lyrics.

Deeper concept: Now, why not we go to an even deeper, esoteric perspective? Consider, this Krishna (or whichever divine energy we are dancing with) our own Soul- yes, our own. This Soul, Krishna is seated in our metaphorical heart. With this Krishna, each of the being is involved in an eternal dance. Here, according to this concept, only Krishna is the divine masculine. All of us, every Soul is Radha, the divine feminine. This is because there is another concept called Shiva and Shakthi. Shiva is the principle of matter and Shakthi is the principle of energy.

In this Universe, the true matter is only with the Universe-Brahman. But that matter to be made into creativity, energy is needed- the Shakthi. That is why every single human has the seven energy centers and chakra system. Otherwise, this chakra system should have been only with the females, right? So, from this perspective, every single one of us Souls are the divine feminine. We take the matter provided by the Brahman- our personal Krishna/ our Soul/ life force, using our personal power/ Shakthi/ energy, turn it into creative energy for our project, family, kids, career, creativity, entrepreneurship, blog, Quora answers or whatever we do with our life.

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Krishna, with divine music on his flute
Image credits - Rajasekhar1961, CC BY-SA 4.0
In other words, Rasaleela is another word for Co-creation, the deep act of creation where we, the Soul is one part of the equation and the Brahman-divine is the other half. In such a case, every being has a Soul, right? Then, every being has a Krishna, right? So, can't we live our life as a dance of creation with our own higher Self? This is the concept in my mind that is being awoken by the concept of Rasaleela. In that divine musical night, every lady or girl used to feel, Krishna was dancing with her. 

Many poets and yesteryear philosophers have elaborated on this eternal dance of love. Rabindranatha Tagore and Rumi used to write about this divine, other-worldly love. Here, Krishna is not a person, but an energy, a concept, where, we use our Soul's guidance and wisdom to live our life. This life, we live as if, as a song played to a divine tune of the flute, coming from our Soul. In such a living, our search is over. We are home, being in an eternal dance with the Universe, our own personal Soul. This is the search many times every human is involved in. Something that gives deep happiness, contentment.

But instead of realizing this dance waiting for us, with our inner Krishna, we keep on searching for our other half, in other humans. But then, they are also half. So, as half-beings we complete our life. Instead, we should find and realize this inner Krishna, become total, full being. Then, from this powerful, strong position of a total being, we should lead our life- our life of Dharma- duty and value- even bringing up a family as two total, whole Souls. Not, half humans.

Can you hear that divine flute coming through the wind, in this starry night? What is the wait? Come on, let us dance, to that eternal tune, in the hands of our beloved, our Soul, our personal Krishna, who is always ready and waiting within every being, to start that dance of eternal creativity and joy- Rasaleela!

I wish you a good and safe weekend, and I'll see you next Friday!😉

Next week: Travel light!
Image Credits - Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay.

 

 

 

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