Nanda Baba’s love for cows
We children keep dirtying Nanda Baba’s clean clothes and body with the dust and cow dung smeared on our bodies. Cows and calves can rub their faces, Smear cow dung or splatter their wet tails against Baba’s body. Baba, feels happy instead, as if blessed by the sprinkling of Dharba water by rishis. If his clothes are drenched by cow urine or dung, he wouldn’t change by himself, unless Maiya gets it done. Gopas don’t wear sandals. In Golok, Sandals have no autocracy. Mystics and aged-Gopas wears sandals while proceeding for meals or during worship. Krishna may playfully wear sandals with us, at the momentum, but it is a great disturbance during play. Cows are divine, they are worshippable. The Gopas aspire to be followers of Cows. If cows don’t wear Sandals, how can they? Bhadra wears hermit sandals making rackety (Khata Khat) sounds. When Krishna complained to Baba, Instead of scolding Bhadra, he stroked his back. This Baba never scolds anyone. Bhadra reports to Baba: Baba, You shout at this Dharma (bull). Digging tall mounds of mud, he burries his head with mud. By roaring, he scares the calves and bullocks. Daudada keeps sitting silently. When I drift a little away with Krishna, Dharma doesn’t listen after being threatened by Varuthap’s stick. Baba listened, but didn’t chastise Dharma. Touching its 2 hinds legs, he circumambulated the bull, folding his hands in prayer said: “You are Dharma, You should not be violent. Always Continue to shower your blessing on us. Bhadra was ecstatic. Clapping his hands, springing all way, he told Rohini ma, Yashoda Maiya, Balaram and Krishna: “Dharma is snuffing Baba’s head. Is baba an infant? The heads of infants are usually scent. Dharma is ignorant of such an obvious fact.” Wish-fulfilling cows (Kamadhenu), red flowered creepers, Krishna, cows and calves keep scenting baba’s head. This Gaurav (calf) licks Baba’s face. Krishna told his mother: “Why does Gaurav defile my father?” Mother replies: Because Gaurava doesn’t have hands. This is his way of expressing love. Like you cuddle Gaurava. Rohini Ma and Yashoda ma stop Krishna and Bhadra to leave for the barn at evenings. They have just returned. Who knows where they will start playing.
Nanda Baba advices Krishna on Jnana Vignana
“Now, you are young”. Just this sentence of Baba disturbs Bhadra and Krishna. Krishna: “I have already grown so much” Krishna frequently enters into a fight: “Even Bhadra is big, Daudada too, Rishabha too, also Arjun and….
If Baba doesn’t interrupt, Krishna’s friend counting wouldn’t end. But Baba declares-If you are grown up, sit with the elders in our village conference. Listen to their excellent words. “That is the place for oldies.”- Krishna makes a face. “Have I grown that old?” Even Bhadra won’t identify himself that old. The aged-Gopas keep exchanging Jnana and Vijnana talks. Krishna says- Jnana is a bush. Bhadra agrees. Aged gopas investigate medicinal herbs lying in distant lands. If jnana (Knowledge) is a bush, so must Vigyan (Science) be. Elders are most anxious about remote shrubberies. Our cows will graze them- Bhadra directly questioned Baba: How far is it? Baba (inadvertently) asked: “What?” Bhadra replies: What elder uncle mentioned last evening, Jnana. Are it leaves tender? Baba laughed to his heart’s content. Bhadra enquired “What is comical? Baba cuddled Bhadra, patting him said: You will know once you grow up. Jnana is not meant for cows. If Krishna were present, he would hurl loads of questions. But Bhadra isn’t quizzical. I won’t benefit from it, cows won’t benefit, it is useless. Be it a herb, stone or insect, bhadra isn’t intrigued. Krishna calls it a bush, it must be a futile one. Baba must keep talking with aged Gopas. Topic concerning cows or Gopas, bhadra understands. Not just Milk, curds, butter, ghee, but also talks of cowdung and cow urine. Garments, ornaments, stick, bugle, flute and catapult, are purposeful.
Krishna teaches Yoga
Yesterday, the elders mentioned about a yogi. Bhadra is familiar with Sadhus. Many sadhus reside near Shandilya Guru’s hermitage. He curiously enquired – Baba, Who are Yogis? Baba had to finish his cow Puja. So answered in fewer words- “Those who practice Yoga.” Bhadra asked Krishna in the forest- “How is Yoga practiced? Krishna never answers anything straightly, so he said- Want to do Yoga? Sit quickly. Bhadra sat. Krishna said- “Grab your nose. Press it hard, keep it pressed, don’t leave.”
Bhadra was furious. Krishna said- “Chote chacha, squats in his wrestling arena, Rishabha and Devaprastha imitate Peacocks, scorpions, and swans. All this put together and squeezing nose is called Yoga.” Bhadra said “I am listening, this is also exercise”. The little wonder aroused in Bhadra faded. He is irked by exercise. As a seasoning- Madhumangal tells- “Keep your eyes shut.”
Why sit after closing eyes? Just spread your legs and doze off. Or open the shutter and keep gazing Krishna. When Baba sits with the elders in the assembly, Dau quietly listens. As soon as Bhadra, Krishna, or the younglings enter, will he sit silent? He will rock and boom, query baba or uncles (ताऊ or चाचा) for spiritual insight. He will hear stories. Sometimes, on festive occasions, Baba wears a corset. He looks majestic clad in jewelry and crested turban. Following him, Gopas too wear corset and jewelry. Children are adorned. If Krishna doesn’t wear corset, would his friends? Bhadra says- The ballooned corset unjustly traps aged gopas only. Clad in corset and embellishments babas offers gifts to everyone. Children find such festivals delightful. They do not graze cows on festive occasions. Cows, bulls, and calves are festooned. Everyday Baba donates cows to holy men. But none of them accept cows. Their cows are grazed by Gopa children. They scarcely partake milk, curds, butter and ghee. Only Madhumangal proceeds for the forest. He doesn’t own cows, nor accepts charity. He comes to play in the forest. Bhadra tells Baba- Donate 10 cows to Madhumangal. Madhumangal dartingly says – “You pick up their dung. I won’t.” Baba replies- “All cows belong to him and his friends.”