“Got you. Now you have to do my bidding.” I was hiding in the mango tree waiting for my prey to come under while searching for me so that I could pounce at him. As usual, he came and I pounced over and fell over him.”Ouch,” he said, “Yes, Yes, you got me. Now I don’t have any other choice than to do what you say.”
“See, what a day. Now you will make a weak and innocent friend do your bidding. How cruel of you!” Saying this, he sighed, hard trying to put up an act of despair.
“Sakha, don’t you dare to try to put up your act of victimhood in front of me. You promised that if I could catch you before you did, you would do my bidding. Now don’t try to get away with it.”
He frowned at me with an innocent look on his face. I stared back at him and said with a smirk, “The thing that I want you to do is to be my horse. I love horse riding and the way you run after stealing Makhan from the houses of Gopis is more efficient than any horse and it is my desire that I can see how fast you can run when I ride you.”
“This is torture. I would complain this to….”
“To the Queen, Devi Radha. Don’t forget she is always on my side. And if you start nagging her, while she is cooking, she would punish you by casting you out of Goloka Vrindavan and you won’t be able to enjoy her delicious food. Now you decide what you will do. Be a horse or miss your food.” I replied back, smiling.
He thought for a while and then bend down on the ground on the posture of a horse and I sat on his back.
“Could you see that mango fruit on that tree there. Run fast so that I can eat that fruit within a1/15 of a muhurta.”
“Yes, my lord. I will try my best.” He replied back rolling over his eyes.
“Na,na,na. A horse doesn’t talk but he neighs. If you agree with me, don’t say yes but neigh. Ok horse.”
He neighed in reply. As he was carrying me towards the tree, Subala came running and said, “Krishna! You must come with me at once.”
He neighed loud and turned his head sideways showing refusal. I laughed and replied to Subala, “He can’t talk back because he is a horse now. Is there anything important Subala?”
“I wouldn’t have come running here if it wasn’t important. Vasudev Vishnu has arrived at the door and wants to have an audience with him. I think it is important.”
“Sri Bhagwan! here?” I exclaimed, surprised. “It must be important enough as he, himself has arrived at the door.”
I said to Krishna, “Kanha, I free you temporarily from being my horse. You can handle the matter and then we can get back from where we left.” Saying this I got up from his back and he stood up rubbing his hands to dust off the earth.
“Thank you, master,” he said mockingly
We came to the door where Sri Vasudev was standing for the audience with Govind but Devi Radha had already greeted and welcomed them before we arrived. However, Sri Vasudev was not alone. He had along with him two beings, one, a lady, ragged clothes, covered with earth, malnourished, and dejected. She looked in pain. Second, was another being, who looked like Sri Bhagwan but didn’t have any Ayudhas like Sri Bhagwan. His four hands were empty. Moreover, the Koustabh Mani was also missing and the most important thing of all, Srivatsa was also not present on his chest. For the rest, they looked completely alike. He strangely seemed familiar as if I knew him very closely but couldn’t recognize. He looked at me and smiled and I reciprocated the same. He folded his hands to greet Murari.
Madhusudan folded his hands and welcomed them. He said, “What brings Sri Bhagwan at my doorstep?”
Vasudev replied, “Oh Lord, as I was situated in Vaikuntha, this lady came to me seeking justice. When I heard her plea, I couldn’t contain myself and brought her to you as there is no other one better, who can resolve her suffering.”
“How can I help you, Devi?” Achyuta asked.
The lady started weeping loudly. After some time she replied, sobbing,” Oh my lord, I am the Devi of Adhik Masa. When Bhagwan Shoolpani made the solar and lunar calendar for counting the days, both of them completed their full year with a discrepancy of 11 days between them. So when, after 3 consecutive years, the gap was 33 days, to solve that issue, I was brought into existence. But, instead of being appreciated, I was being dejected, humiliated, and ridiculed by all the Brahmans and Suras. No Deva accepted me, everyone made me an outcast and termed me inauspicious. They started calling me Mala, dirt. Oh Lord, you are the best among men, you are Purushottam. If dejection and humiliation are what is there in my plate then I plead you that you erase me out of existence.”
Keshav was silent for a moment and then said, “Suicide is never an option, Devi. You were brought into existence because you were meant to serve a cause. The way you were treated is irreplaceable but since you came to me, your fate will not remain the same anymore. No Devas accepted you na, now they can’t, even if they want to because I am accepting you. I am owning you now and from now on, I am the presiding deity of your month. Not only this, I am giving all my opulence and qualities to you, and from now, you will be equally powerful in fulfilling the desires of anyone who approaches and takes your refuge. Since you first responded to me with the name of Purushottama which was also given to me by my revered Shambhu, hence, from now on, you will be called as Purushottam Masa or the month of Purushottam. Those who fast while you are there, their all sins and faults will be omitted and they will be very dear to me. The Devas who are longing for a human body so that through devotion, they can enter my realm and attain moksha, by doing this fast, they will be eligible to take birth again in the Mrityu Loka so that they can attain me. Any austerities and charities done in your month will yield 16,00,000 thousand times the fruit, done in any other month. Those who ridiculed and outcasted you will now wait eagerly for your arrival so that they can wash their sins and attain my divine presence and those who fast in your month without any desire will be eligible for the fifth attainment of life, Bhagvat bhakti or my causeless devotion. This extremely precious treasure, I hand it over to you, use it wisely.” He completed saying and placed his hand in the form of benediction. To my amazement, the lady transformed into a beautiful and enchanting being, ever-youthful, and ever fragrant.
She saw herself and was surprised as she couldn’t recognize herself. She folded her hands and with tears of gratitude, she said,” Oh lord Purushottam, you are truly Deenbandhu, the friend of weak and downtrodden. I came here seeking justice but you have provided me with so more than what I am eligible of. In reality, I am not worth anything but your causeless mercy is boundless. I am forever indebted to you my Lord. Always keep me on your esteemed Lotus feet, Janardan.” Saying this, she fell on his feet. Madhav picked her up and said, smiling, “Always.”
Sri Bhagwan said,” Those who fast on your month will also become very dear to me naturally and Sridevi’s causeless mercy will always be upon them.”
She folded her hands as a token of gratitude for Sri Vasudev and then left the abode.
Sri Vasudev said, “Oh Lord, now give us permission for our departure. I await for your mercy to visit this abode again.”
Gopala blinked his eyes slowly as a sign of acceptance and they left.
As they left, I asked him,” Who was that being with Sri Bhagwan? He looked so familiar but I couldn’t recognize him and he was smiling at me as if he knew me from the very start.”
He laughed and laughed. Irritated, I asked,” What is there to laugh? Did I crack a joke?”
He stopped and said,” Joke? It is the biggest joke.”
“Why! Because for the first time someone is asking me about them.”
“Me!” I was shocked. ” How can that being be me? I am here with you and that being came with Sri Bhagwan. And also, we don’t look alike, and even I don’t know him and you are telling that that being is me. Isn’t this the biggest joke?’ I replied back with a satirical face.
He said,” Can you see that lamp that Sakhi Lalita is lighting. Some are earthen lamps, some are made of copper and brass but can you differentiate the light that lights in them?”
“No, it doesn’t matter how the lamps look like, the light burning is of the same kind.”
“Similarly as I am situated here in Goloka as Rasbihari and in Vaikuntha as Sri Bhagwan, in a similar manner, you are also situated there in the form of that being and here, with me.”
“If that is so, why don’t I have any memories of him?”
“Because there is no need. And hence, Devi Yogmaya puts her veil on your manas so that the memories don’t interfere with the effective conduction of your duties here.”
“I see” As I said, I was absorbed in thought. Seeing me absorbed in my own thoughts, he started walking away quietly. As I saw him departing silently like a thief, I shouted, “My horse, where are you going without me?”
He looked back, shocked and replied, stuttering,” Hoorrssee,,, wwhoosee… hhoorsse?”
“My horse, of course! Should I remind you if you don’t fulfill your promise, what will Radharani do to you? Hmmmmmm?”
“Why do you always bring Radhe in the middle of everything. Show some mercy. I will do as you say, just don’t complain to Radha please.”
“Ok, ok. Now be my horse, quick.”
He again bent and I sat on his back.
” Yah, run my horse, run, run fast. I want to eat that mango, quick.”
He took me to the mango tree and plucked a mango for me. I was eating it with satisfaction when Subala came and said,” Ae Kanha, when you saw clearly that he was hiding in the tree, why still did you get caught when you could have caught him. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
My heart stopped beating for one moment, the delicious mango became tasteless. My eyes popped and I looked him straight in his eye. His face turned pale as if his act was exposed completely.
He shouted at Subala,” No, I didn’t. I am a lunatic or what that even if I saw him, I would get caught. Don’t meddle in things that don’t concern you.”
“Why are shouting?” said Subala. “I just wanted to help.”
“Well, I don’t need your help, my dear Subala,” he said, mockingly, joining his hands.
“Ok, I am leaving then. Sometimes, I can’t understand you, seriously.” Saying this, Subala left.
I looked at him straight and said, “Why? Why did you do this? When you knew that I was hiding in that tree, you could have caught me but instead, you got caught, why?”
He replied,” Don’t listen to Subala. He just speaks without reason. At times, he even doesn’t know what he is speaking.”
I pointed my finger at him and said, “Govinda, don’t you dare to fool me with your cunning words. I very well know what you can do and how well you can lie but if you are the Lord then I am also your devotee. Since you are not telling me the truth, I don’t have any other choice but to bind you by the name of Radha to tell me the truth.”
He sighed and then replied with his ever blooming smile,” As a devotee gains immense pleasure serving his Lord. In the same way, the lord finds immense pleasure by carrying the weight of his devotees. I find ways so that I can carry their weight around but you all don’t give me a chance. I look for their holy dust but they hide it and instead seek mine. Neither they ask anything nor they have any desire, so I have to find ways to serve them, to be with them. I knew you wouldn’t allow me to be your horse, so I had to make you play this game. But you too were very clever. You put your feet out of the tree so that I can catch you and you could be my horse.”
Shocked, my eyes rolled out, and I said, stammering, looking away,” What! That’s preposterous. Why will I do that?”
He said, smiling,” See, now who’s lying? But if you’re my devotee then I am also your Lord and I couldn’t allow this opportunity of me serving, go to waste, so I got caught.”
Tears came as I had nothing to say. I fell directly onto his feet.
“Hey Bhaktvatsal, only you can know your divine leelas, no one else, albeit you are the Leela Purushottam.”
He took me up and hugged me warmly. As he was smiling with his eyes closed, I gently spoke in his ear, “But,……. since you cheated, I am going to complain this to Radharani. Let’s see what she does to you.” Saying this, I ran towards the kitchen, laughing loudly.
“Noooooo. Come here, you cunning weasel. You tell me cunning. Now, who’s cunning. Today I am not going to spare you. Come here.” Saying this, he ran after me, panicked and annoyed.
ॐ गोवर्धनधरं वन्दे गोपालं गोप रूपिणं। गोकुलोत्सवमिशानं गोविन्दं गोपिका प्रियं ।।
गोवर्धन को धारण करने वाले,गायों की रक्षा करनेवाले, गोवाल का रूप धारण करने वाले,गोपियों के परमप्रिय परमेश्वर श्री गोविन्द को में नमस्कार करता हु (करती हुं) ।
The one who has placed the mount of Govardhana hill on his little finger, the one who is the protector of cows, the one who takes the appearance of a cowherd, the one who is very dear to all the Gopis/ milkmaids, to that supreme personality of godhead named Sri Govinda, I bow down to.