Krishna and the Rabbit Pastime
Krishna can tease a friend any time. He keeps provoking Sridam. His friends become angry when He denies to fulfil his stake during play. Bhadra has to keep settling such fights. Bhadra is ever-ready to pay on Krishna’s behalf but his friends won’t accept it. Friends: “You never scold Krishna”- They can only argue. What can Bhadra do? Bhadra: “You go to Dada” In turn, he sends either Krishna or His friend to Balaram. But Balaram never scolds any friend. On the contrary, he lovingly gets him seated along saying- “Sit with me.” Bhadra tells Krishna- “You call the cows.” He would hand over his horn to Krishna to get the cows goaded in a different direction, to let them drink water or return back home. But very Soon, he quickly calls his friends for help. On hearing Krishna call, the cows rush towards him, surrounding Him from all sides. How many cows can tender-bodied Krishna fondle? So the friends hurriedly usher the cows to clear Krishna’s way from the herd. When Krishna sings or dances, Bhadra claps. If Vishala ventures a little far, Bhadra calls him near. Because Krishna runs and sits on Vishala’s shoulder when He enters into the spree of plucking flowers. Flowers and fruits must be plucked by His Hands. How will He do without Vishal? There is no logic behind Krishna’s desires. He may even want to attach fallen fruits and flowers back to their branches. He is never ready to hear, “this is not possible”. Krishna: “You can do it, you do this, quickly accomplish it, do it first.” He then starts fighting. Bhadra has to enter the field, to handle such disputes. He somehow invents some or the other tactic to find a way out. To please Krishna, He would entangle the flower on a thorn of its branch or, manually place the fruit on its branch, or else placate Krishna saying- “This rabbit has come to you asking this fruit. If you won’t give it, he will now fight with you. He is hungry, Give the fruit to him. He will eat it.” Krishna is very innocent. He will land up asking the rabbit- “You are hungry? Will you eat the fruit”? Bhadra: “But this rabbit cannot climb the tree.” If Krishna offers a fruit, a monkey sitting on a tree also wouldn’t want to miss it. The rabbit, grasping the fruit between its front feet, sits to relish the fruit. Krishna would keep watching it in amazement. He would want to offer another fruit or a Modak (मोदक) to it. Then Bhadra interferes: “This is so small, his tummy is so tiny. If you overfeed, it will fall ill.” Bhadra has to handle all the friends. All animals have to be cared. But nurturing Krishna is most important. He is most playful, weak and tender bodied.
Krishna makes a Bed of Twigs
Krishna is fancied by a hobby. He has designed a cushion of twigs, so someone must rest on it. Krishna: “You are tired. I have made a cushion of twigs.” He would grasp anyone’s hand and say “You lay on this, I will ventilate your feet.” Are Krishna’s tender hands fit for fanning feet? If he uses a lotus leaf as a fan, his arms begin to ache. But he isn’t willing to give up his obstinacy. Whether he holds Bhadra’s hand or of another friend’s, whosever hand Krishna holds, that friend calls out: “Bhadra, Please explain to Him, Who is actually tired? He is after me and doesn’t listen.” Bhadra has to intervene. Bhadra: “Yes, he is tired, but don’t forget Dada (Balaram) is also tired. Krishna will readily accept this statement. Krishna will also accept that this bed of twigs was intended for Dada, but he forgot. Daudada keeps sitting, his sitting has made him tired, while friends who frolic and run actively while grazing cows, aren’t. Such a logic can only appeal to Krishna. Balaram will oppose to rest, but who will listen to Him? Dada (Balaram) will say “You are also tired” and pull Krishna and lay him on the bed beside him. Krishna cannot object to him.” Bhadra: “Won’t you make a cushion of twigs? Krishna seems tired.” Bhadra knows that Krishna cannot object the request of Tok and Tejasvi who are his younger siblings, if they design the bed for Him. If Anshu and Devaprasht insist, Krishna must give in for rest. Krishna would lay, resting his head on the lap of Subala or Sridam. All of a sudden, Bhadra pulls Krishna’s hand on his lap. Bhadra: “If your hands are left free, they will keep fidgeting. Your fingers keep dancing all the time. Close your eyes and go to bed.”
Friends Serve Krishna
Bhadrasena caresses His right hand. Tok and Anshu do the fanning. Vishal and Arjun ventilate His feet. Devaprastha and Tejasvi gently hum along. All of Krishna’s friends are ever-exited to serve Him. But, such a service is provided to them only when Bhadra is pleased. The forest pastime of grazing cows is under Bhadra’s control. Krishna and His friends must listen to Bhadra. Sometimes Naughty Krishna grows fussy buts accepts it in the end. But, Balaram listens to all the friends. One said-: Go Eastways. Balaram: “Come” He is ready holding His stick. Another Friend: “No, Today, let’s go westways”. Balaram: “Ok- West.” He will even agree to this. There is no difference of opinion among Gopas- This they have often heard from their elders. Hence in times of conflict they would say- “Let us ask Bhadra.” Bhadra asks Krishna: Where will you go? Krishna: Take me as you please”, If Krishna leaves it up to Bhadra then Bhadra listens to the choice of youngest of friends (सखा). He listens to the elder friend when a larger reason is presented. Friend: “That place is thorny”. This is a big reason. Krishna cannot be allowed to enter a thorny forest. Another friend: “There is a haughty monkey or horse that way”. Such a reason agitates Bhadra. Why should a creature live in Vrindavan that terrorizes Krishna? Bhadra: “My cane will fix him right.” But the truth is that – by the mere vision of Krishna, all horses and monkeys grow desperate to fall at his feet. Bhadra can never threaten them. He can only caress and pat them. Bhadra’s regiment (power) is limited to the forest. Yoshadama, Nanada Baba, and Rohiniji’s rule runs at home.
By the way, Bhadra has his own palace of Gopikas. They are the Sisters-in-laws (भाभी) of Krishna. Krishna is celebrated there and his sisters- in-law make the arrangements. Bhadra resides there. If Krishna muddles with his sister-in-law and she looks towards Bhadra. He immediately declares- I won’t get into the sister-brother-in-law scuttle. Krishna is so mischievous that he might pull a sister- in-law, especially the young one and fill her in his arms saying- “Hold this sister-in-law, Take her! This blissful Krishna, if he brings someone can anyone deny him. Hold his hand and he will dance, clap his hands and frolic. In this abode of knowledge, physical contact isn’t akin to material world. Like how touch happens, two bodies become one. And if a sister-in-law feels bashful, so be it. Here, life is meant to give pleasure to Krishna. Bhadra is definitely fondled by Nanda baba, Yashoda Maiya and Rohini Ma. Nobody among them refuse Him, and Balaram, he never refuses a friend. Krishna: You call it, you explain to Him, You tell Him. Whether at home or at forest, Krishna can anytime ask Bhadra to make animals and birds perform for Him, by either speaking for Him or by acting. If a cat jumps on His lap, or a calf smelling Him starts thrusting with his head, he can start calling Bhadra. Bhadra: “He won’t understand what I say”. But Bhadra knows Krishna won’t subscribe to him. Krishna: You explain to Him! You can do it. So saying, he starts growing restless. Like Krishna, animals and birds can understand Bhadra, and if Bhadra speaks caressingly, they listen to Him. Bhadra has the authority to tell Krishna: “The calves have come to fight with you. They are angry? Why didn’t you caress them today?” For Krishna, A moment cannot pass without Bhadra around. So he keeps loitering around him at home or at forest. If he sleeps, then he sleeps along with Bhadra, if not, he would certainly stick his bed to that of his.