Gopi is a prime pillar of Bhagavad Gita rather Bhagavad Puran. Without Gopis I believe Krishna would not have been able to teach us the lesson of devotion, love, oneness with God, salvation (भक्ति सायुज्य प्रेम मोक्ष).
The relationship of Gopi and Krishna is interesting. The more I study it, the more I read it I realize that through the example of Gopis, Krishna wanted to show us, being busy in cores of day-to-day life you can attain nearness of Krishna…if your efforts are strong and you have confidence you can get oneness with Krishna.
Some scripts says Gopis were saints performing meditations since ages to attain nearness with Krishna. These saints took birth as Gopis to live with Krishna.
They taught us a good way to be near with Krishna.
1. Chanting – While working in home, doing day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning, etc they chant the name of Krishna and sign his glory.
2. Work offered to Krishna – Though they use to cook for their family and work for their family members the center of all their work were Krishna. While cooking they use to think what Krishna would like to eat. Krishna is center of their attention.
3. Longing for Krishna – While Krishna was away in forest with cows they use to be eagerly waiting for him to return. When he would return they stand out in the entrance of their house with smile on their face welcoming Krishna.
4. Forgoing every barrier – For Krishna they forgo barrier of their family and went to meet Krishna, they forgo barrier and came out of river to take clothes.
This post is not a comparison between Ramayan and Mahabharat.
While reading Ramayan, some how I mentally co-related certain incidents of Ramayan with Mahabharat, which I would like to list here…
The condition of women in Ramayan and Mahabharat – A woman use to suffer a lot for her husband use to have more than one wife. Never mind from which house (house of king or a common man) a woman belongs to, her self-respect was never considered important. A man in short of wealth can keep his wife as object in game. If he loose game, he will loose his wife. A woman is required to be pious from body, heart and thoughts. She is required to give proof of her piousness but man was never asked to give such proof. Sita had to give tough exams to prove her piousness. Draupadi had to undergo the humiliation of being used as an object in game.
Ramayan observed a fight and so Mahabharat – The main purpose of fight between Ram and Ravan was not for kingdom but for a woman. There are many reasons behind the fight of Mahabharat. The most prominent and known is the possession of kingdom but there is one more reason, Draupadi wished to take revenge of humiliation she had to face when Pandavas lost her in the game. Every fight in this world have been either for woman, money and land.
Life of Ram and Krishna – Both were born as sons of king. Ram had a beautiful childhood in palace while Krishna had his childhood in Gokul, outside his palace. Ram had to stay away from parents for 14 years, so Krishna spent his childhood away from parents. Being a common man when we face such situations, we find hard to stabilize ourselves. While neither Ram, nor Krishna has been referred to struggle to stabilize themselves. Ram had no pain in leaving kingdom. Krishna had no pain in managing flocks of cows.
Both had a poor friend – Ram had a friend who belonged to a tribal caste, living in forests. Krishna had Sudama, who was a poor Brahmin. Their friendship was idle. Ram always gave respect to his friend and so Krishna. Their friendship was not based on money, caste or creed.
The lesson of detachment – Ram while leaving kingdom, gives the lesson of detachment. He accepts whatever he receives in life as a fruit of his karma with smile on his face. Krishna in the middle of battlefield, preaches Arjuna the lesson of detachment. We spend whole life say, “My Wealth”, “My wife”, “My husband”, “My kids”; neither of them remain with us forever. We spend time in earning medals, name and fame but it also does not remain with us. Both taught the lesson of performing activities with detachment.
One can say that incidents of Ramayan are old and needs changes but the lessons to be learnt from Ramayan are not at all old. We still need to learn the lesson to give respect to women, we still need to learn the lesson of love (Ram and Bharat love, Ram and Sita love, Ram and Lakshman love), to live life happily and help others to live happily. All this and many more lessons, which we are yet to learn.
The dictionary meaning of ‘Idolatry’ is simple but it carries lots of importance and weight in human beings.
It is the usual glamour of Diwali, people around me have busy mornings and evenings with most of their time invested in idol worship. In mid of all this sequential events, a question came from within me, “Krishna in Gita says, I am form-less, then why do we worship idol of Krishna?” Krishna is nirguna in form then why we give him form, make him sguna and then worship him?
Does this mean, we can only imagine the element God in form? In Islam, people don’t give forms to Alha or God. Parsi people worship Fire, again fire have form. Preaching in both the religion is towards building a human. It becomes confusing when I put understandings this way. Instead of falling into any complications lets follow Gita.
He, the all mighty is everywhere, in every element and is form-less and take base of lesson learnt from clouds. If you go above clouds you don’t see elements on earth and even don’t see land. Above the clouds you see brightness and deep blue sky, a view where there is no difference between elements, where there are no elements. So I would like to see God, the all mighty element from cloud and not from earth.
While worshiping Krishna, idol will be an element to illustrate senses but above this illustration, my prayers will be for the form-less. I will close eyes to offer prayers to the form-less but through open eyes, no matter how the world pictures Krishna.