Which Krishna pastime is your favorite, and why?
Krishna’s pastimes are as unlimited as Krishna Himself. To select one and call it my favorite seems like quite a task. But, whenever I think of His stories and glories, there is something that strikes my mind first. When Krishna descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He appeared as the most merciful of all incarnations. And during His time, something very special happened: the mahaprakasha lila. The Lord passed into an unusual ecstasy and revealed Himself as the Lord of the heart of all the devotees present there. It seemed like He was, out of love, serving His devotees by letting them serve Him. He let them know how at every step, just because of their sincerity, He was always with them in inconceivable forms. This pastime shows how Krishna is a true lover and goes to any extent to please and comfort His devotees.
(Rashi Parikh, Mumbai.)
gopi’s pastimes with Krishna are the most inspiring for me. The gopis dress themselves very nicely just to make Krishna happy. When Krishna sees them, He becomes delighted, and on seeing Krishna delighted, the gopis become millions of times more delighted, and their beauty increases. On seeing this, Krishna, whose happiness is full, becomes happier and the reciprocation goes on and on.
It is very difficult to understand the position of the gopis. They have totally surrendered themselves unto Krishna. They don’t know anything other than Him. They don’t even care for their relatives or household duties. They are always absorbed in thoughts of Krishna. For them, a moment’s separation from Krishna is like a lifetime of separation.
(Laveen Arora, New Delhi)
“I am with a friend, Mom.” “My friends are coming for lunch.” “Don’t say anything about him; he is my best friend.” Friends! Friends! Friends! This is what parents hear from their kids as soon as they grow older. Friends occupy most of the mental and physical space of our lives.
Imagine two friends in the material world, one who is as opulent as Krishna, and the other poor like Sudama. Without doubt, I can say envy will creep into the poor guy’s mind. And the rich guy will feel pity on the poor.
Srila Prabhupada explains in Bhagavad-gita chapter nine the importance of non-enviousness. He explains that in today’s world even erudite scholars become envious of Krishna. Thus, the pastime of Krishna and Sudama is very inspiring. We see how the non-envious Sudama yearns only for the Lord’s love and doesn’t desire any materialistic gain. Similarly, Krishna also treats him as an equal and eventually transfers him to His spiritual kingdom.
(Manish Goel, Delhi)
Once Brahma steals all the cowherd boys and calves who were with Krishna in the forest. After searching for them and not finding them anywhere, Krishna knows that Brahma has stolen them. He then expands Himself into all of His friends and calves.
A lesson I draw from this pastime is that when we leave the body, nothing is lost. Krishna is the only one who understands us completely. With Krishna consciousness in the heart, mind, and soul, it is much easier for us to forgive those who hurt or betray us. We always want so much, but we can let go of all these material things. If all people worldwide were devotees of the devotees of Lord Krishna, then this entire earth would be a beautiful place to live.
(Susanne Sticher Hanau, Germany)
Expansion of sankirtana movement is my favorite pastime of Krishna. Without being specially empowered by Krishna Himself, no body can preach the glories of the holy name. (Cc. Antya 7.11-12) ISKCON’s success in spreading Krishna consciousness is the proof that this movement is being personally handled by Krishna. We could not see the pastimes of Krishna when He appeared on this planet, but when He appeared again in the form of His holy names (kali-kale nama-rupe Krishna-avatara), we’re witnessing His wonderful pastimes in the form of ever-expanding ISKCON society.
(Nandagopala Jivan Dasa Author & Editor, The Higher Taste e-magazine)
Govardhana Hill is the form of Lord Krishna, which bestows His mercy in this material world where the conditioned soul has little hope. Lord Krishna gave a glimpse of Himself to Narada Muni in Narada’s past birth. But the Lord gives us unlimited darshana in the form of Govardhana Hill. While even Lord Siva had to come disguised as a snake charmer to see baby Krishna, we, even with our mundane vision are able to see to our heart’s content, the Lord in His Govardhana form. Where even the gopis had to wait eagerly to serve Kanha, we are given the opportunity to cook for and serve Govardhana directly.
In Bhagavad-gita (18.65), Lord Krishna says, “Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me.” What better way to do so than by serving Govardhan!
(Vrajavijaya Devi Dasi, Mumbai)
I love when Krishna as Rathangapani is lifting a weapon to kill Bhishmadeva, thereby breaking His promise of not using any weapon. All this to save Arjuna! There are a few lessons here:
Krishna proves that His devotee never perishes as He had spoken in the Gita. He knows exactly how to reciprocate with His devotees; for example He pleases Bhishmadeva by fighting with him in a chivalrous mood.
Arjuna’s surrender to Krishna is outstanding. Irrespective of Arjuna’s tremendous love for Bhishmadeva, he has to kill his grandfather to please Krishna. Krishna does one activity to please many devotees simultaneously. The hidden lesson conveyed here is not to fear anything while performing devotional service unto Krishna.
(Hari Chaitanya T, Raichur, Karnataka)
Damodara Lila is My favorite pastime of Krishna. In this pastime Krishna plays different roles: a naughty child helplessly dependant on Mother Yashoda, the Supreme Lord who was bound by pure love and devotion, a grateful personality reciprocating with the monkeys, and a merciful deliverer keeping the word of His pure devotee, Narada.
The feelings of Mother Yashoda while churning butter, feeding Krishna her breast milk, keeping Krishna on the ground to take care of milk, and chasing Him to bind Him are all to satisfy Krishna.
The way acharyas explain the consciousness of milk and the flower garlands adorning Mother Yashoda, increase sweetness of the pastime. Krishna’s pressing His red lips with His white teeth, the rope getting two fingers too short, and other details reveal subtle messages and increase the affection and attraction of the listener.
It’s beyond words to express the delight of seeing Lord Damodara glowing in the midst of thousands of lamps that are offered gracefully by His loving devotees, while the great composition, Damodarashtakam, is being sung sweetly during the month of Kartika.