Happy Janmashtami dear friends!
I celebrated Janmashtami yesterday by meeting Lord Krishna in Mahanubhav temple, here. What an amazing evening it was!
Before visiting the temple, I had tree gazing (recovery journey isn't finished yet) and it was so enthralling to see that remaining eye condition was slowly disappearing during the gazing. When you experience the blessings of Krishna showering upon you each and every passing moment, no separate celebration is needed.
I went to the temple with my mother and brother. (Considering vertigo possibility lost freedom to go alone! :( ) I went too early in the evening to avoid the crowd and get the time to meet Krishna when He is not surrounded by too many devotees. Celebration preparations were just beginning when we reached the sacred place.
There were a few devotees and the cradle for the baby Krishna wasn’t even prepared yet. But Krishna was ready to meet us, as always, ever smiling holding is flute, ready to mesmerize the world once again.
I had decided, if it’s difficult to have Darshana of Lord Krishna due to crowd, I'll wait. I am in no hurry. I’ll be the last. That’s what I generally do. But, it was better to go early because Janmashtami celebrations would begin at 12 midnight. It wasn’t possible to attend the ceremony at that time.
When I enter the temple I feel He was waiting just for me, He welcomes, He smiles....and I don't know what happens next but heavenly bliss wraps the mind and I am able to see smiling Krishna only.
My hands get folded and eyes get closed and I don’t even know how many times I thank Him for His blessings. He just smiles, he doesn’t say anything. I captured His smile and though I wished to stay still in that moment forever, I forced myself to leave Him for other devotees and sit somewhere alone worshipping His glories.
I spent almost an hour there. Bhajans were going on with the preparations for the ceremony and so many other things were going on. People were chatting. Mahanubhav saints were distributing Prasadam. And, still I was absolutely wasn’t part of all that because I could again and again see the smile of Krishna where only me and He existed, at least for me.
He was as happy as I was. He smiles again and again...for the time I was present there His mesmerizing smile was drawing my attention again and again. Where Krishna is present, the entire world feels like stranger. You just belong to Him. I wish this moment could become eternal by some magic, wish there could be such miracle. This peace would never end. I would just feel being with Bhagwan Yogeshwar Shrikrishna forever bowing my head and surrendering my ego to Him, closing my eyes, today, tomorrow and forever. Just Lord Krishna and me!
So following practical limitations, I returned from the temple but the mind was still with Krishna and that incredible smile. Later, I played some of my most favorite Bhajans including 'Yamuna Kinare more gaanv' in the voice of Prabha Atreji and the Krishna magic wasn’t ready to cease anywhere. I didn’t prepare any special festival dishes. I didn’t even observe fast yesterday. It’s all not needed. Krishna accepts love, Krishna always waits for that sweetest, that simplest, that cutest love that we offer to Him. He doesn’t need anything else. And, for me Krishna is my friend so he has to be the part of all my happy and difficult moments. He knows, he loves whatever I do which though doesn’t fit in most of the religious traditions, but is in synchronization with His words shared in Bhagwadgeeta.
I am not writing all this as purely my imagination. I am talking about Sakhyabhakti in which the God is our friend. I don’t need to imagine anything to write also because Krishna has told everything in Bhgawadgeeta, Mahabharata and Puranas.
Krishna says, "I will worship you the way you worship me. If you believe that I am your friend, I am your friend. If you love me, I’ll love you. If you consider me as your child, I’ll worship you as mother. If you see me as your master, I’ll be your master."
Naradeeya Bhakti Sutra explain Bhakti very beautifully in least words and that is why they are called 'sutra'. All the forms of Bhakti - the supreme love - is explained with the examples of famous devtoees. As the ideal examples of Sakhyabhakti, we know Arjuna and Draupadi, their trust, their devotion to each and every word of Krishna were always undeviating.
Krishna also always maintained that glorious and ideal bond of friendship. Krishna didn't participate in the Mahabharata war but became a simple Saarathi for His friend Arjuna and guided the timeless wisdom to Him and the world. Krishna let us fight our battles alone and see us growing and keeps guiding and protecting also at the same time.
Yesterday, I came across some guidelines on how to fulfill desires by worshipping Lord Krishna on Janmashtami. I had a question in my mind when I saw this thought, what is the desire that remains unfulfilled, or actually what desire remains in the heart once you worship Lord Krishna?
I really don’t know how to love to gain something. Love is loving, losing yourself completely. When you forget yourself in Krishna you become Krishna. The supreme devotion, the KrishnaBhakti as I realize is just loving Him. Loving Him because you can’t live without loving Him, that becomes your necessity of life. KrishnaBhakti makes the heart so pure, so pure that you don’t even have a slight doubt in your mind that you Love Krishna so much, will He also love you or not?
Krishna loves these feelings more than staying hungry and observing fast. I am not against observing the fast but I feel unknowingly we restrict love and make it dead by following fears of traditions rather than pure love. I used to do fast till last year. But now I have given up as now it's possible. Krishna has said it in Bhagwadgeeta, leaves, water or flowers whatever you offer makes me happy. We get trapped in the cage of fears created by ourselves, in the name of traditions.
Bhakti is simple, just love.
Happy Janmashtami once again! :-) May Krishna love keep enchanting us.
PS: This year, I learned I how to prepare Panjiri prasad which means that I didn't know this simple recipe all these years...;)