Krishna and Bhadrasena
Fearlessness is a characteristic of Krishna’s friends (गोपकुमार). And for whom Krishna is ever-ready to provide for if they are not fearless and bold, then who is? Krishna considers Bhadrasena as his commander-in-chief. The word Fear is not present in his dictionary. But this rule is not applicable for Krishna. Everybody is ever-worried about his safety. Krishna is playful, very tender, and frail. Everybody’s is always worried about him. While Playing, this little innocent brother of Bhadra (Krishna) does not know when he is tired and thirsty. Engrossed in play, he does not realize when his face grows red with sunshine. Bhadrasena has taken up the responsibility to nurture Krishna time to time, mindful of every move of his. Yashoda Maiya, Nada Baba and Balaramji expect Bhadrasena to attend to their little darling. They are always worried about Him. If other people advise Krishna, he shows fingers at them. But he listens to Bhadrasena. Bhadra too cannot tolerate someone raising fingers at his friend.
Physical Characteristics of Bhadra
Bhadra is wheatish in complexion, but is well built. He ties a yellow dhoti, just like Krishna. His upper cloth is blue as Balaramji, so their clothes keep inter-changing. He likes wearing a white swan feather on his curly hair. He is 10 months elder to Krishna and 1 ½ months junior to Balaramji. Madhumangal is the eldest amongst Krishna’s principal friends. But he does not graze cows, he is a Brahmin after all. He comes to play. Balaramji is the eldest. Vishal, Arjun, Rishabha, Varuthapa and Sridama are all elder to Bhadrasena but younger to Balaramji. The difference is just a few days in their age. Anshu, Devprashtha, Tejasvi, Tok-Krishna are younger to Krishna. Tok is the Youngest, identical to Krishna in physical beauty. He is Bhadra’s younger brother in relation.
Krishna’s Age in Golok
In Golok, Balaramji is 18 years of age. Krishna is approximately 11 and 1 and half months younger to Balaramji and 10 months younger to Bhadra. This is their eternal age in Golok.
Bhadra is after all the eldest son of Nanda baba’s, brother Nandanji. Nanda baba is his senior uncle in relation. His Mother is Atula ji. But like Krishna, his call his father “Junior Uncle (छोटे चाचा)” and his mother Aunt (चाची). He calls his brother Tok, “Uncle’s son” (चाचा का पुत्र). Why is this so? Since an infant he has been the pet of Yashoda Maiya, brought up under the shade of her love. As he learnt to walk, he accepted the tutelage of Nanda baba. Like Nanda Baba, He became addicted to bathing in the Yamuna. Bhadra is special in comparison to other cowherd boys. His tone always appears ordering, if not ordering then decisive. His decisions ought to be followed unless he sees Krishna growing restless or Balaramji interferes to make adjustments to them. His father Nandanji is an adept wrestler but he hates the mention of exercise. The oldest of Gopas enjoy dancing, but Bhadra, He does not sing nor dance. Once Yashoda Maiya directly asked him- “Bhadra, Don’t you know to dance?” He said “Yes”, He did not object it. She asked him “Who will you dance with?” Krishna was surprised, then he thought “I have never seen Bhadra dance.” Running, he shook Bhadra’s hands and enquired- “Will you Dance with Dharma?” Bhadra laughed and said- Shall I bring him? To this Yashoda Maiya laughingly said- “Let your dance be. I don’t want to get my courtyard trampled and pots broken.” If the huge, mountainous white bull of Nandababa’s cowshed, Dharma, dances along, imagine the state of the courtyard? When Lord Shiva performs the dance of destruction (Tandav), His Nandi bull raises his tail sprightly. Dharma is no less in causing havoc.
Bhadra said- “I also know how to play instuments. But I hate the “Pi Pi” sound of it. Our Krishna dances like the gopikas and he blows the horns as gentle.” In his childhood, Bhadra blew Nanda baba’s grand conch. The conch is his favorite instrument. Apart from that, he likes to beat kettle drums or knock sticks. Bhadra could swirl Nandan Uncle’s heavy log. He carries this log along while grazing cows. He can swirl Krishna’s birch-stick with two fingers and sling it far away. He would close his eyes and sit mesmerized on hearing Krishna sing of His flute like a rishi in deep contemplation. Krishna loves to place his left arm on the right shoulders of Subala or Bhadra while standing or walking.
Krishna attacks Bhadra
Balaramji wears earrings only on the right ear. Krishna never rests his head on his right shoulder. He rests on either his left shoulder or twirls his arm around his neck. But Bhadra does not have this facility. Krishna attacks him from all sides. He runs in speed either from the back, front, left, or right sides and he clings, wriggles and moves his head. A normal fact must be whispering in the ear under Krishna’s rule. He is a master of his whims. He would entangle his earrings around Bhadra’s curly locks or get his entangled, and then clap his hands and laugh. Bhadra has to somehow untangle Krishna’s mess. Tired of this, Bhadra had once decided to stop wearing earnings. Even if Yashoda Maiya gave in, Krishna wouldn’t allow it. Many a times, Krishna has exchanged his earrings with those of Bhadra. They keep exchanging their accessories among themselves. Krishna would misplace his upper cloth, tie Bhadra’s upper cloth around his waist and flaunt-“This is my upper cloth.” Some friend points out-“But Your Upper cloth is yellow.” Then Krishna says- “So what, this is my Dada’s cloth (Balaramji).” Bhadra has to keep a tab on Krishna’s upper cloth, horn, birch, and slinger. Even if Bhadra points out from a distance “There lies you cloth” and Krishna runs and picks it up, He would again misplace it by placing it on the shoulder of a friend “Keep this with you”. Bhadra is acknowledged as the best staff player by his friends. But Krishna is never interested to learn this art. His tender hands grow tired on swirling a birch-stick. Varuthapa, Arjuna and Rishabha graze cows with their group of friends. Bhadra has no recess because of Krishna. Krishna would sometimes run to pluck Lotus or Rose flowers. How can Krishna be allowed to venture around needle plants? He even does not take sanitary measures. Sometimes he would climb up trees holding tails of monkeys. It is tedious to manage this restless Krishna.