Sunday, October 27, 2013

Krishna-Playboy or philosopher?


I was quite amused to read this bit on the internet,’ The Leicester Haymarket Theatre was due to put on a production called Krishna Lila - Playboy of the Asian world, but the title has now been changed to Krishna's Lila - A play of the Asian world.'
What is wrong in calling Krishna a playboy? He had 8 legally married wives and 16000 to whom he gave ‘protection’ as he had freed them from a king who had kidnapped them. (Does that fall into the category of bigamy or bravery?)...went around hiding the clothes of women who were bathing in the river,...attracted the Gopikas with his mellifluous music on his divine flute...shared his time with a wife and a beloved....and generally endeared himself to women including his mother Yashoda whom he drove up the wall with his capers.  If he does not qualify to the title of a playboy, who else does?

But under the veneer of this philanderer was the compassionate Lord who saved women from distress. When the humiliated Draupadi called out to him for help as she was being disrobed, Krishna came in the form of a stream of silk covering her body. Even as the material caressed her body, his touch was not a sensuous one but a protective sheath. When the demon Puthana tried to poison him with her milk, he sucked her dry to death but gave her salvation as she took on the role of a mother albeit her evil intentions.

Krishna had the highest regard for women. Even as he cavorted with them, all he communicated was that he ruled their hearts with divine love that transcends the physical and carnal longing.  If Rukmini was his consort, Radha represented unconditional love that a true devotee has, with no strings attached. Closer to earth, Mirabai, with her melodious offerings to Him, proved that you do not need a husband in flesh and body to fulfill the yearning for love in your heart.

Much as we are drawn to this irresistible image of this divine playboy, we cannot forget his sage teachings in the Bhagawad Gita. In 700 verses, he gives to mankind a blueprint for right thinking, good living and holding lofty ideals. Each verse is a gem of wisdom which analyses our thoughts, clarifies our doubts and guides our actions. His leadership style…astute understanding of situations…strategic planning….judgment of character and above all, his commitment to Dharma-the right path-justifies his title of being Jagatguru-universal teacher.