Yashoda Ma, the most loving mother
The Lord (Ishwareshwar) of countless universes, his mother isn’t Ishwari or Maheshwari. She is simply Yashoda Maiya and who’s Maiya (mother), don’t ask that. Whoever calls her “Maiya”, she is his Maiya. There is no dearth of space in her lap for any child. For a child who wants to hide his face under her protective veil and suckle milk, her nectarine milk keeps flowing for all alike. It seems as if Yashoda Maiya is an idol of pure parental love and the milk flowing from her breast in limitless. People say Yashoda Maiya (Yashodama) is 10 years younger to Nanda Baba. But, Can Maiya ever be young? She is big, very big. Most probably, the eldest. But, yes, Yashoda Maiya bows her head at the feet of Shandilya guru, Devi Paurnamasi, and Taiji ). She calls Rohini ma, ‘Jiji’. Yashoda Maiya also bows before cows, bulls, and calves. Every day she prayerfully bows before Madhumangal joining her hands. By bowing down, you don’t become small. I asked Madhumangal- “Are you older to Maiya?” Madhumangal never answers anything straight. He said “I am a Brahmin.” He said to the extent- “Brahmin is even greater than Narayana. I am the oldest amongst you friends. Once you develop sanity, you will start bowing before me.” I became resentful. I said “Are you the only sane person? If you flaunt before Yashoda Maiya, I will thrash you up and won’t let you feast a single sweet (मोदक).” Madhumangal began to plead- “Ok, I am younger than you. After becoming the commander of Sakhas, don’t stop this Brahmana’s meals. I will bless you everyday.” Then I replied- “You give your blessings to Krishna, Verily, What will I do with the blessings.” Krishna clapped his hands and spoke- Yes, you bless me everyday, I would offer you the dung of all the bulls. Yashoda Maiya began to call- “Would you keep playing or come for breakfast.” Madhumangal immediately reached the spot to lay hands on Modak. He was least interested to pick up dung. What will he do with it?
Yashoda Maiya, worried about her children’s diet
Yashoda Maiya is ever-eager to feed. She doesn’t look at morning-evening. On spotting a child, the first thought, is feeding him. She starts pleading-“Lala re, Atleast eat something healthy, I will make the dishes of your liking and feed you.” Yashoda Maiya is never satisfied about their diet. “Neelamani (Krishna) doesn’t eat anything. His brothers and friends display the same traits.” She says- All starve, that is why all remain lean.
Yashoda Maiya, the most concerned mother-in-law
Yashoda Maiya is always crowded. Senior Aunt (Taiji), junior aunt, and other Gopis stick around with Yashoda Maiya. Yashoda Maiya welcomes everyone. Apart from these, Yashoda Maiya’s daughters-in-law are innumerable. Let aside Krishna’s Nikunja pastimes, are his friend in any way lacking. The Gopa Kumaras are neither celibates nor do they follow the vow of one wife. They have countless apartments and their wives are after all Yashoda Maiya’s daughters-in-law. Her daughters-in-law come to worship her feet everyday. Yashoda Maiya reciprocates by feeding them with her very hands. She says- These little children have developed a liking to starve. These are their days to play and jump and they observe fasts, this and that. During religious festivals, even if they sit to eat, they nibble like a tiny bird pecks two grains. They will eat like sparrows. They are so crop-like, and can fly with a blow of wind. Yashoda Maiya isn’t fat. Certainly, Yashoda Maiya’s rose like golden body is full, but she is slim. Nobody can measure the energy and readiness Yashoda Maiya carries within. She doesn’t know what laziness means. The maid servants lodge a complaint. “Yashoda Maiya never provides them a chance to serve her. She doesn’t allow anyone to serve her.” It she were permitted, she would keep waitressing everyone. But her daughters-in law are stubborn, so their loving Yashoda Maiya is rendered helpless before their appeal. When Yashoda Maiya puts them on her lap and braids their hair, won’t her daughters-in-law protest? They too have the right to apply red ointment (अलक्तक) on her feet, apply henna (मेहँदी) on her hands, apply collyrium (काजल) on her long streamlined eyes and beautify and braid her hair. The daughters-in-law often smile, looking at Yashoda Maiya. Because, as Yashoda Maiya watches Krishna or other Gopa children, streams of milk drip, wetting her covering garment. The loving mother perceives her children as infants, and a surge of parental anxiety overpowers her as she thinks of their food and drink. There is not a single unfortunate Gopa child, who hasn’t tasted the nectar of her milk.
Yashoda Maiya, always in the mood of service
Yashoda Maiya tells the gopis. “I am the nanny of your children.” Due to your blessings, Neelamani was born. He is your baby.” Yashoda Maiya looking at her daughters-in-law smiles- “Little darlings, you are laughing. She repeats this frequently-“Now, you are fit to drink my milk. How will you know a mother’s heart? You all will be blessed with this honor, keep patience. First grow up.” Will her daughters-in-law grow for her? For her, her children still haven’t passed the stage of infancy. Leave alone daughters-in-law, Yashoda Maiya looks upon her maids as her children equally. One day, an aged maid lectured her- Vrajeshwari (Another name of Yahoda ma), I am as old as your mother-in-law. You consider me as your child, and keep serving me. It is my birthright to serve you. Yashoda Maiya held the lady’s saree edge in her hands and snuggled on her lap- You are elder, so, I should serve you.” The maid servants enjoyed taunting the aged-maid- “Be a mother-in-law, we shall all serve this dominating mother-in-law.” Yashoda Maiya never feels that her Neelamani and his friends have eaten food to their heart’s content. Already they keep shirking food. Unless, their favorite curd and butter isn’t kept, they won’t even wet their mouths.
Yashoda Maiya, the knower of her Children’s Tastes
In this spree, Yashoda Maiya doesn’t appreciate boiled milk, fermented curds or churned milk from another person’s hands. She must do all this by herself. Balaram eats whatever is given, but he loves bluish- golden complexioned Padma Gandha cow’s curds. If Yashoda Maiya doesn’t know her sons’ favorite dishes who else will? Neelamani and Bhadra consume white Padmagandha cow’s milk with great difficulty. Both they only love her curds and butter. Yashoda Maiya says- “Don’t know why children cringe, looking at milk. Since infancy, Neelamani would sip 2 spoons of milk after great buttering. Bhadra and Tok are the same. Only Dau doesn’t act cranky, but once he refuses, he wouldn’t budge even if the entire house is toppled down, he won’t bend towards the bowl.” Like Bhadra, Neelamani also likes reddish curds. And if it is Padma Gandha’s fresh ghee, then both might consider taking two bowls of rice along. For Yashoda Maiya, the daughters-in-law are little children. She can never believe that any of them can even cook. Yashoda Maiya is only satisfied if her daughters-in-law are heartily fed along with her children. But children, in the spree of playing, flee away after eating a morsel for name’s sake, but the daughters-in-law are very shy. Being shy, very little food goes through their mouths. Many times, Yashoda Maiya placing them on her lap sits to feed them with her very hands, but with this they grow even shyer.