“Please start” asked Radha.
I smiled at her as a sign of acceptance. Sitting under the shade of my favorite Kadamba tree with my closest friends, Lalita and Vishakha, fanning me as I sat for a meal, and Radha serving me with all her delight, what else could I yearn for, isn’t it? I didn’t ask for your suggestion though. Whether you agree or not, I knew what I wanted and almost got it.
I asked Radha to taste the food and she asked for the reason. This is the case with the reason that I don’t like. Always asking for why, what, when, how. You know, it just spoils all the experience of living life, of Leela. Since she asked me, I thought of a befitting reply so that she doesn’t do it again but I know she will do it again to spoil my fun. I looked at her and said mockingly,”Oh my dear Radhe! You don’t know?”
“What Kanha?” She asked, curious.
“So that I get to know if I am being poisoned by you or not. You very well know that I am very cunning, you can’t fool me so easily. So taste it yourself first. After you taste it, I will have it.”
“So be it” said Radha with a smile on her face as she took the first morsel and put it in her mouth, tasting it intricately. “See,” said Radha. “I am completely fine. The food is not poisoned. You can have it.”
I rubbed my hands in delight as the food was now enchanted by Radha’s touch. I took the first morsel in anticipation of its extraordinary taste and was just putting it inside when a cry shook my entire core.
“GOVINDDDDD! WHERE ARE YOU? PLEASE COME.”
I couldn’t take the bite. It was as if all of his emotions came rushing through me. I became still. Seeing my stillness everyone became serious. Radha asked,”What happened, Krishna? Why are you not eating? Did something happen?”
I looked at Radha, tears dropping onto my cheeks,” I have to depart at once, Radhe. He is in pain.”
“I understand, Krishna,” said Radha with a sigh. She looked at me and continued, “But we all knew that this time would one-day come in his life where he would call us for questioning.”
“Yes, Radhe. The point where he stands is not unique to him. It comes in the life of everyone who in, one way or the other, is connected to us. How quick? That remains questionable.”
Radha asked, concerned,”Should I accompany you, Krishna?”
“And me too?” asked Lalita. “Maybe when he sees us all together for him, it would help him calm down.”
“No, Sakhi. Your concern for him is true of noblest of intentions. But he didn’t call you all. He called me so it is appropriate that I, and I only, should visit him. Had he called us together, Radhe, I wouldn’t have stopped you but he didn’t, and hence, we should respect his decision. And moreover, he doesn’t know you all, the way, you all know him. He just calls me in the same way, a devotee calls upon his Lord.”
They both obliged. I stood up from my seat. As I set foot out of Goloka, Radha said, giving me a satchel” Take this with you. I can’t be with him but my love can. Give this to him and he will be pacified. After all, one can forget one’s identity but not one’s eternal bond with someone that they have lived for eternity. I still wait for the day when he will realize his true self.”
I placed my hand on Radha’s shoulder and said,” Don’t cry, dear Radhe. If you cry, I can’t go. We have to be strong, and for that, you have to be strong.”
She nodded while sobbing. I looked at Lalita and Vishakha and they approached Radha from either side. “Don’t worry Kanha. We will take care of Radha. You go. He needs you.”
I nodded at once and left for Bhuloka. When I reached, I saw him sobbing in front of my photo. I controlled my emotions and with a smile, I approached him. I placed my hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear,”Why did you call me?”
It surprised him and joltingly looking back at me he said,” Govind!!!” and hugged me tightly.
No noose can bind me but the noose which is made of devotion and love, it becomes impossible for me to come out of it. I still haven’t figured it out. If you know a way out, please do let me know.
He started sobbing intensely. Caressing his head, I asked,” What happened Sakha? Why are you crying? please tell me the reason.”
He looked at me, his face was red with all the crying and it seemed as if a storm of emotions had just devastated his face all around. He asked, sobbing,” Bhagwan, why am I different?”
I controlled my emotions again and said to him, putting up a smile,” Who said you are different? Don’t you know everyone is different and unique in their own way?”
“I didn’t mean it that way,” said he, sobbing. ” I mean why are my choices and preferences different from others? Why I don’t like things, the other likes. Why the things that amuse them look mundane to me? And when I try to say the things that I enjoy, they look uninterested and term me outdated and delusional.”
“What are the things that you enjoy?” I asked, pretending to be curious.
“Talking about you of course. Listening to your pastimes. Adoring your qualities, singing your glories, and listening to them as well. It feels so amazing. And yet, when I tell them to listen to it, they stop listening and reply that it is very boring and say that I am very outdated and that I should listen to their songs but Govind, those songs are just high and screams. I don’t understand what is in it that they find so amusing and ecstatic.”
I laughed out loud and said,” Sakha. They are true. They won’t find my paraphernalia amazing or ecstatic. So even if you tell them to listen to it, it will bore them.”
“Why is that so, Govind?” said he. By now, the sobbing had stopped.
“It is because they need refined senses to experience the bliss that it creates. But their senses have not been cleanesd for ages so it is very much anticipated that they won’t experience my paraphernalia as they can’t experience me or see me.”
“Yes Krishna, regarding that, when I told some of them that I could talk to you, they got behind my back and said that I am delusional, hallucinating and that you are just a figment of my imagination. It pained me a lot.”
“Obviously, they will. If someone comes to you and says that he/she can see Mahadev, what will be your first response?”
He thought for some time and said, “Well, I will believe him/her because I can empathize with him/her as I can see you too.”
I said with a smile,” No I didn’t mean that. Suppose you couldn’t see me and then someone would have said you the same thing. What would have been your response then?”
“Well, I would ask for proof.”
“And if they couldn’t give you a proof, then?”
He said with a low voice,” I would think that he/she is delusional. I may have done the same too.”
I replied, smiling,” See. Sometimes what we need is just a change in our perspectives and try to see the world from others’ lens.”
He thought of something and said,”Well, I understand them now. But what about me Krishna? Will, they ever understand me?”
I held his shoulder and said, smiling at him,” What is more important for you? Spending time with me or bragging about me to your friends?”
“Of course, spending time with you. But sometimes, when they too brag about their ideals, I too want to show them what I have is one in one.”
“I understand your feelings but what we have is the most confidential. Why do you want to disclose it to others?”
“So that they can experience what I experience. So that they know how great you are. So that they could get over the stereotypical image that they have of you.”
I touched his cheeks and said,” That can only happen if they strive for it. Or….”
“OrjQuery112407868496960924398_1607771153640?” He asked, curious.
“Or someone has enough competence to make them experience us.”
“How will I find such a person, Govind?”
“Don’t worry, Sakha,” I said, smiling. “That person will find them when the appropriate moment arrives. Till then, you focus on yourself. And from the next time, don’t boast out to everyone regarding me and promise me, you will keep it confidential. Won’t you?”
I placed my palm upwards and he kept his hand on top of mine and he said smiling,” I promise.”
“That’s my Sakha. Since you obliged, I have a present for you.”
“What is it, Krishna?” He said, excited.
I opened the satchel that Radha had given me.
“Kheer!!!!” He screamed in excitement.
I chuckled and said,” Yes, kheer. Now, hurry up. Taste it and tell me how is it?”
He took a dip and put it in his mouth. His emotions changed completely. It seemed as if he was fulfilled.
“It’s so yummy, Krishna. Did you make it?”
I chuckled and said,” Sort of.”
“See, that is why I tell everyone, you are the best. Will you teach me how to cook this?”
“Well,” I said, grinning. “When the appropriate time arrives, you will learn to cook it by yourself. Not only so, but you will also satiate others with its delight.”
“Well, that’s great,” he said, with a grin.
“Now, are we okay?”
“Yes.” He said, smiling.
“Then have some sleep. You must be feeling very sleepy after so much sobbing.”
“No, I don’t. And after eating your kheer, I am more blissed out and energized.”
“Is it so?” I put my hands behind and clicked. He immediately started feeling drowsy and said,” I think you are right, Govind. I should have some sleep.”
“See, I told you.” I smilingly replied.
As he slept, I kissed his forehead and came back to Goloka. Radha and all the Sakhis were waiting for me at the entrance. As Radha saw me, she was trying to ask if he had eaten and was pacified. I nodded signaling assurance. It relieved them. Then she said, “It is such a dilemma, Krishna. It gives me immense pain that we know him but he doesn’t even recognize us.”
“Don’t worry, Radha,” I said comforting her. ” He is small now but will quickly come out of his age. A time will come when he will ask the same question but not to me.”
“Then to whom, Kanha?” Radha asked, puzzled.
“To you, Radhe. In the most crucial phase of his life, you will be there to guide him. He will call you, not me. “
“Is that so, Krishna?” asked Radha, overwhelmed.
‘Yes, dear. Though he doesn’t recognize you, doesn’t know you but rest assured one day, you will be at his core of any activity that he will perform henceforth.”
“But how will that be possible, Kanha?” asked Lalita. “How will he know his true self and his connection with all of us and especially with Devi Radha?”
“For that, I know what to do.” I smiled and looked at Radha. She smiled at me and nodded.
We both joined our hands and said,”Oh Lord of Lords! Oh, Neelkanth! Oh Mahamaya! Oh, the Supreme Enchantress! We call upon thee. Please hear our request and arrive at Goloka.”
At once, a huge ellipsoidal light manifested and took the form of half-man and half-woman, and they split into two. They folded their hands.
We reciprocated them and said,”I am really grateful that Mahadev and Mahadevi have chosen to bless us by listening to our request.”
Mahadev said,” Your request is our command, Lord. Don’t make me a sinner by requesting me. Please, command.”
Radha said,” Prabhu. How can one who exempts everyone from all the sins, be a sinner? Your name is enough to wash away all the malice of one’s tendencies.”
“True indeed, Devi Radha,” said Mahadevi, smiling.”But this truth should not also be neglected that the duo who resides in my Swami’s heart is the source of the removal of all sins from the entire existence.”
“Then this truth should also not be neglected that without you two, it is not possible for us to achieve our endeavors, and hence, we called you,” I said, smiling.
“That is your greatness, Lord,” said Mahadev, smiling. “And now please command us, how can we be of your service?”
“Not a command, Ashutosh,” said Radha, smiling. “But a request. You very well know why we have called you.”
“Yes, Devi Radha,” said Devi Mahamaya. “But what will be our part in it?”
Radha looked at me and I said to them,” Devi, I may have told him to keep it confidential but you very well know, that an addict can hide his addiction but a devotee can’t. His devotion will find expression, no matter, how much he wishes to hide it.”
Radha continued,” But it is his earnest desire that he wants everyone to experience us. Though Krishna had told him that at the appropriate moment, they will find the person but Krishna didn’t reveal to him that the person will be he, himself.”
“And hence we want” I continued. “That you two, enter in his life and make him experience you so that he becomes your devotee which, in the coming future, will empower him with all the facets that one needs to make his desire into a reality.”
They smiled and Devi Yogmaya replied,”Bhagwan, you don’t worry. Your desire is our command. From now on, we adopt him as our child. I will take care of him with the same affection that I gave to my children. We will empower him in such a way that the whole world will know him.”
“But Keshav,” asked Mahadev, serious. “If he has to become what you all want him to become then, he has to go through a whole storm of Sanchita karmas, not from his current lifetime, but from all the future lifetimes that he would otherwise have taken. Will he be able to take such an intense blow of life?”
“Your concern is genuine, Prabhu,” I said. “But don’t you worry, this is where Devi Radha will play her part. She will situate herself as his Bhava-Sharir/ emotional body. He will go through all the adversities of life but won’t suffer. In the coming future, his devotion will mature into love. And that will be the time when Radha will reveal herself in front of him and reveal him his true identity.”
“Then I have no worry, Bhagwan. The one who has your grace on them is indeed a fortunate one” said Mahadev, smiling.
“And now, yours too” I replied, smiling.
They nodded, smiling and vanished.
Radha looked at me, still smiling, she said,” By the way, Kanha, did you eat anything?”
“How can I?” I replied, acting hungry.
“Then let me prepare some kheer for you” said Radha, still smiling.
I nodded and she left to make arrangements. But, a quick message to you all. I am tired of eating the same things again and again. Please give me something new to eat. after all, I do have a right to make demands from you all, don’t I?