The Lord's Support: Inspiring Story of Krishnadasa
The boy who loved Krishna
In the small village of Madhavpura was a lad, Krishnadasa. The village he lived in had got its name because, at its center was a beautiful temple of Lord Krishna, the blue-eyed baby boy of Brindavan. The temple was not only the physical center of the village but also an integral part around which the entire life of the village revolved around. And that was because of Manorajasamy.
Manorajasamy was the priest of the Krishna temple. But he was no ordinary person. Everyone in Madhavpura and the neighboring villages too knew that he had a special connection with Lord Krishna. Apparently, the Lord would appear before him daily and grant all the requests that he sought of Him. Thus, people flocked to Madhavpura with their wishlists to submit to Manorajasamy . He would then consolidate all the lists and take them up with Lord Krishna every morning. Many found fulfillment of their wishes and desires in this manner. Manorajasamy was the devotees’ advocate, petitioning to the Lord.
Krishnadasa had got his name from the inexplicable love he developed towards Lord Krishna from his early childhood itself. The stories of the leelas of Krishna held him spellbound in such a manner that he would even forget food and drink. Soon, he began to feel Krishna with him in every moment and, come what may, would always think and speak about Krishna. In fact, his original name Kuttu, had made way to a more respectable Krishnadasa.
Every morning, when Manorajasamy made his way to the temple, Krishnadasa too would follow him there along with the ‘devoted’ flocks. The only difference, however, was the Krishnadasa had no petition list of his own. While all the other devotees would offer their salutations to the deity and then offer their requests and prayers to Manorajasamy, he would simply sit in one corner of the temple, his eyes focused on the beautiful idol of Krishna. And even after all the devotees left, he would continue to stay at the temple.
Tears of pining
This was the time when the priest, Manorajasamy, would go into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and close the doors. He would then close his eyes and call upon his Lord who would soon appear before his eyes.
The first thing that the priest would do when Krishna appeared was to fall at His lotus feet and kiss them tenderly. Then, he would worship Him in the traditional style after which, the Lord would sit down for his meal. Manorajasamy would offer Him the naivedyam which turned into prasadam for distribution once Krishna partook it.
Then, the priest would start off with the list that he had prepared. Krishna would hear to all the pleas and requests, grant many of them and explain to the priest why He was delaying some of them.
This was the daily schedule and today too, Manorajasamy entered the sanctum sanctorum. Krishnadasa was all along in the temple precincts. He sat in the same place and began to shed profuse tears. He began to cry and weep inconsolably. The priest heard his weeping but did not mind it. This had become a sort of schedule for the past two years now. He never understood what the lad was crying for. But this much was evident that he pined very strongly for something.
Many times, Manorajasamy had been tempted to go to the lad and ask him what was it that he was crying for. But every time he returned without doing so because of a thought that struck him,
“Of course, I can find out what troubles him and tell the same to Krishna. But that might be demoralizing for the lad. How unfair that I get the answer from Krishna within a day when he has been pining and seeking something for so long? Will that not depict my Krishna in a poor light? It will seem as if He is partial to some when He is actually not.”
However, even this rationalization did not satisfy the priest today when he heard the wailing. His heart went out to the boy. So, when Krishna appeared before him, he decided to open up to the Lord.
“I have something to say Krishna...”
The Lord was surprised,
“What is it that troubles you so much Mano, that you speak this way even before you fall at my feet?”
“Lord, my heart is unable to bear and mind unable to comprehend. This is something that has been troubling me for nearly two years now.”
“Tell me my dear one... what is it that is bothering you?”
“Krishna, for the past two years I have seen that boy, Krishnadasa, sitting here, crying and weeping for the fulfillment of some desire, about which I have no idea. Why do you delay so much? Does he not deserve your mercy and love? Please answer him and end his misery. In my opinion he is a very good and noble soul. In fact, such is his persistence that he has not even approached me to carry his story to you. I do it of my own accord because I feel something is unfair here. And now, when you appear before me thus, I feel like asking you to meet him one day in lieu of meeting me.”
Krishna heard the whole ‘complaint’ patiently and began smiling. He then replied,
“My dear Mano! Always thinking of others and for others - so much so that you forget some basics. Just imagine, if your heart has been moved so much, how much more my heart would have been moved? I reside in the heart of Krishnadasa. I know what he wants.”
“Then, will you fulfill it my Lord?" asked Manorajasamy, now falling at His lotus feet. Raising him up, Krishna said,
“I am ready to fulfill what the boy desires. But before I do that, please ask him whether he wants it fulfilled...”
“That is an unnecessary question my Lord! Why would he shed such profuse tears if he did not want what he was seeking?”
“You will understand Mano. Just do as I say.”
That day, Krishna left immediately, without speaking or interacting any further. He did not eat even!
The ultimate desire of desirelessness
Manorajasamy now went to the boy. Even as he neared him, Mano seemed to feel the powerful vibes of Krishnadasa’s devotion. A smile played on Krishnadasa’s face and he seemed to be lost to the world. And yet, there were those tears of pining. Mano gently patted him on his back and woke him from the trance. Without wasting any time he came straight to the point,
“My dear boy Krishnadasa! Our Lord Krishna knows every feeling and desire in your heart. That is what He said. I am sure He is extremely pleased with you. That is why He told me to ask you something...”
“And pray what is that O priest?” asked Krishnadasa.
“Krishna asks whether you want the fulfillment of the desire you seek...”
Krishnadasa was simply silent. No word emanated from his lips. Mano was surprised. He had expected him to jump up eagerly and state emphatically,
“Yes! I want Krishna to fulfill my desire.”
That was not to be. Seeing the boy so silent, the priest continued,
“Don’t you want him to answer you? You have been seeking and pining for something for two years now. It will find fulfillment if only you say yes. So, c’mon! What are you waiting for?”
Looking deeply into the priest’s eyes, Krishnadasa said,
“I have sought intensely for two years I know. But tell the Lord that He may answer me only if that is His wish.”
Having said so, he too just turned around and walked away.
Unfolding of the suspense
Manorajasamy was bewildered. He just did not understand what was happening. He rushed back into the sanctum and called out,
“Krishna! O Krishna! Please show yourself. I am really so confused. I seek clarification. Please show yourself now.”
And there, in an instant, Lord Krishna appeared.
“Lord! Krishnadasa says that you may answer His desire only if You wish to!”
At this, Lord Krishna almost jumped in joy. He began to run and frolic around the sanctum, breaking into a dance. With a beaming smile on His face, he was excitedly saying,
“I knew it! I knew it!”
It only added to the bewilderment of Manorajasamy. He waited for the Lord to cease His dance and explain what was the cause of such joy.
“Oh my Mano! Don’t you see? The only desire that the boy has is to have my darshan. He seeks me and me alone - nothing else. And his love is absolutely selfless. Thus, even when asked, he does not seek what he desires. He wants only what I, his Love, desire! Though he pines to see me and have me, he does not seek its fulfillment unless it is my wish. Such is his selfless love for me!”
Krishna continued to dance in joy. Mano felt rude interrupting Him but he just could not contain himself,
“I can now understand that my Lord! But what I do not understand is why are you not granting that to him? Why don’t you show the same selflessness? Why does it seem that you are selfish?”
Krishna stopped His dance abruptly and became serious in face. This was a truth that would stun Mano.
“I am selfish Mano! I am selfish. That is why in the first place, when there was nothing but me, I separated Myself from Myself. I created the Universe so that I could love Myself. Today, I search, seek and pine for selfless love. Everyone that comes to me, comes to me out of selfishness. But I fulfill their desires and forgive them completely. Thus, they call me an ocean of mercy, ocean of love and one of boundless compassion and grace. They make me the support of their lives. They know that they can depend on me completely. They know, that whatever they do, however bad they are, however unreasonable their demands, I will always be by their side.
But with Krishnadasa, it is the reverse. For me, he is the ocean of selflessness and love. I know I can depend on him completely. I know that whatever I do, however unreasonable my demands, he will always be on my side. And for that, he is the life-support for me. He is my source of joy. If you search the hearts of all the devotees who come here, you will see me. But if I tear open my heart, you will see Krishnadasa there!
Know this Mano that I seek a devotee as intensely and strongly as a devotee seeks me. And I thirst for his love just as he thirsts for mine. There is such beauty, joy and satisfaction in just seeking and pining Mano. That is what Krishnadasa enjoys. That is what has kept him going on for the past two years. That is what will fuel him throughout life. That is also what I enjoy and it has kept me going. If I grant his desire Mano, this joy will end - for him and for me because then, we will be one forever.”
Mano wiped the tears that had trickled down his cheeks without his knowledge. Krishna too had tears in His eyes.
“Every time Krishnadasa sheds a tear for me, I shed tears for Him. There is such a joy in this love Mano.”
Manorajasamy understood. Ah! How small he felt! He wished to become like Krishnadasa - one who seemed to get nothing but had totally won over the Lord. For years after that, the same thing continued and Mano never spoke to Krishnadasa about Krishna nor to Krishna about Krishnadasa.
One Krishnashtami day, Krishnadasa shed his body. During the cremation, instead of crackling and burning, the body seemed to exude the melodious notes of a flute.
There, I am in tears now. I too exude that strong desire to be Krishnadasa where my Lord, my Swami can depend on me! There is nothing great in depending on Swami - every creature in the world does that! Like Krishnadasa, can I move from wanting Swami’s support to being Swami’s support?