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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ignorance or Simplicity?

Krishna was playing his flute sitting under a champa tree by the river Jamuna. It was late in the afternoon, dense clouds were gathering in the sky. Music floating around him gathered numerous peacocks, deers and calves around him to soak in the  nectar dropping around Krishna.He was lost deep in ecstasy, waiting for Radha rani, she promised to meet him by the river today.

Hari Keshav was a seventy year old man with frail bones. In the village across the river his daughter had a baby girl, he wanted to see her and bless her before he leaves his old frame. He set off limping and clutching on his staff towards the river.The river was swollen and dark, evening was setting in and there were no boats in sight. He contemplated crossing the river without a boat.He knew he has no time to wait so he got into the turbulent river hoping to cross it somehow, within moments currents overpowered him and he started drifting away.

Krishna's ecstasy was disrupted by his call for help. He was playing flute so Radha- rani can follow the sound and find him, without which she could be lost in the forest. He made an image of himself with loose earth and mud and put his flute in the hand of that figure that looked just like him, then he requested the wind to play the flute till he returns. Wind happily played along and divine music floated in the air again.

Krishna then transformed his outer appearance to look like an ordinary being. He became a big and muscular woodcutter and he leaped into the river to save the old man. Krishna lifted him in his arms, crossed the river and gently placed the old man on the ground. Hearing Krishna's flute Hari keshav bolted and rushed to Krishna's replica, bowed and cried to him, thanking him again and again. He forgot all about the woodcutter who saved his life and did not even turn around to thank him.
Krishna smiled thinking human beings are so blind, they refuse to see the divine in other humans but go prostrate before lifeless images. Divinity lies in simplicity but not in ignorance. He told the story to Radha-rani amused by the ignorance of the poor old soul.

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