|Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj|
The Powers of God
All of us have many powers – the power to see, to hear, to think, and so on. If a particular power reduces for someone, that person becomes handicapped. For example, if someone says, “I am blind,” it means that the person’s power to see has finished. We need multiple powers to accomplish any task. However, the powers that we souls possess are limited both in number and in quantity.
God is called Sarva-shaktimaan, which means He is all-powerful. He possesses innumerable powers, and each is unlimited in quantity. It is by virtue of these energies that He is full of knowledge, full of Bliss, the Creator of the world, and the accomplisher of humanely impossible tasks. He creates this world out of His material power, called maya. He also has a superior spiritual power, which is called Yogamaya. You can imagine that if God creates such an amazing world out of His material power, how amazing will His spiritual power be? All the Divine leelas of Shree Krishna and Shree Ram that we read about were accomplished by the spiritual power, Yogamaya.
The Power of Divine Love
Yogamaya has many branches. The highest of these is the power of Divine love. This is God’s most extraordinary power. It is so special that if someone possesses Divine love, God feels obliged to become a servant of that devotee. The Shreemad Bhagavatam states:
Aham bhaktaha paradheeno hyaswatantra ivadwija
Sadhubhir grasta hridayo bhaktair bhaktajanah priyah
Shree Krishna states: “I am supremely independent, but Divine love is such a power that it binds me. My devotees who possess it are seated in my heart, and are very dear to me.”
Whenever God descends in this world, He reveals such loving pastimes where He shows how He is bound by the love of His devotees. There are innumerable verses to this extent:
Vyapaka brahma niranjana, nirguna vigata Vinod
So aja prema bhagati basa kaushalya ke God (Ramayan)
“We all know that God is all-pervading in this world. We also know about His formless aspect. However, look at the power of Kaushalya’s bhakti, under whose spell, the very same Supreme Lord has become a small baby and is lying in her lap.”
Shrutimapare smritimapare bharatamapare bhava bheetah
Ahamivandam nande yasya linde param brahma (Sukti Sudhakar)
“That God, who is unknowable even through the scriptures, has become the son of Nand Baba. I offer my obeisance to that great soul Nand Baba, in whose house the Supreme Lord is playing like a child.”
Jo nahin jaata bulaye hu Shuka Sanakadika Dhyan
Binuhin bulaye jaat soi Braj veethina vanitan (Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj)
“Look at the glory of love. That Supreme Lord, Who hesitates to reveal Himself in the samadhi of great personalities, like Shukadev and Sanat Kumar, goes uninvited to the house of the gopis of Braj.” The wonderful amazing leelas, or pastimes, revealed in the above verses show that God is Himself under the power of Divine love. A very sweet pastime of the Lord that illustrates this point is described below.
The Lord Gets Tied by a Rope
The Supreme Lord descended in the world as Shree Krishna, and performed loving pastimes with His devotees. Although He is the Lord of all the worlds, He became a little child, who played with His cowherd friends and stole butter from the gopis.
Once when He was small, Mother Yashoda was churning butter in the kitchen. Although she was pulling the rope with her hands, her mind was absorbed in loving thoughts of Krishna. She was thinking, “Let me churn very soft and sweet butter, so that I can feed Krishna with it, and give Him much happiness.”
Shree Krishna reached the scene. Seeing His mother busy with churning butter, He desired her affectionate attention. So he climbed into her lap, caught her face with his tiny hands, and tried to make her look in His direction. Seeing her dear Krishna’s naughtiness gave great pleasure to Mother Yashoda. She began feeding Him milk with great love, and fondling Him affectionately. Krishna was enjoying His mother’s affection.
In the meantime, the milk in the pot on the fire started boiling and overflowing. Seeing this, Mother Yashoda hurriedly put Krishna aside and ran to take the milk off the fire. Krishna was annoyed that His mother had left Him to tend to the milk, as if it were more important than Him. To let Mother Yashoda know that He was angry, He took the churning rod and smashed the pot of butter. He also broke some more pots nearby. Then he carried a small pot of butter out of the house. He ate some butter Himself and began feeding the rest to the monkeys.
Having taken care of the milk, Mother Yashoda returned to the butter. She was shocked to see all the pots smashed. She decided to teach her little son a lesson, and taking a rod in her hand, she came out of the house. Finding His mother so angry, Krishna ran to save Himself from a beating. His four steps were equal to one of Yashoda, as she chased him. However, He was still quicker than His mother, and she became tired.
However, the rope turned out to be two fingers short! So Yashoda tied a second rope to the first one and again tried to bind Krishna. But again the rope was two fingers short! No matter how many ropes Yashoda kept adding, the rope was still not long enough to tie Krishna.God is bigger than the whole universe, which resides inside Him. Unless He Himself allows it, who can ever tie Him?
Mother Yashoda was bewildered! Finally, Krishna again felt pity on her and allowed Himself to be tied. Thus the scriptures state:
Yashodaya samakapi devata nasti bhutale
Ulukhale yaya baddho muktido muktimichchati
“Can any devata be considered as fortunate as Mother Yashoda? That Lord, who releases the souls from the bonds of maya, has been tied with a rope by her, and He is begging her to release Him.” This amazing pastime reveals the glory of Divine love, and shows how the devotee can bind the Supreme Lord with his or her love.
Krishna’s Loving Pastimes Confounded Even Brahma
When Shree Krishna was four years old, the Sage Narad went to his father, the celestial god Brahma, and said, “Father, do you know the Supreme Lord has descended in our universe. He is displaying His Divine pastimes in the land of Braj, in India.”
Narad said, “Father, if you do not wish to believe me, I am going.” Narad Muni went away.
Brahma ji began thinking, “Narad was so serious about it; can this child be God? But this kind of behavior is not becoming of God. He seems to be an ordinary boy.” Finally, Brahma ji decided to do a test. By His power, he made all the cowherd boys and the cows disappear from there. He transferred them to a cave located in the Sumeru Mountain of heaven. He thought that if this child is God, he will come to know. But if He is not God, he will start crying, “Where have my friends and cows gone?”
For the all-knowing Lord Shree Krishna, it was not a problem to know what had happened. He decided to teach Brahma ji a lesson. So He made His form like Brahma and went to Brahma-lok, the abode of Brahma. There He told the guard, “A false Brahma will come shortly. Do not let him into the palace.” The guard agreed to do as he had been told.
Then Shree Krishna took on all the forms of His cows and cowherd friends Himself. In each form, He kept doing all the work as usual. So neither the mothers of the children, nor anyone else in Braj came to know that the real children had been taken to Sumeru Mountain.
After hiding the children, Brahma ji returned to his abode. However, he was stopped by the guard who accused him of being a false Brahma. Brahma wondered what the matter was, and suspected that it may have to do with the boy in Braj. He went quickly to Braj on the earth planet. However, by earthly calculations, one full year had passed. What Brahma ji saw completely amazed him. Just as before, Shree Krishna was sitting with his cowherd friends, eating their remnants, while the cows grazed nearby.
Brahma ji was shocked. He went running back to the Sumeru mountain. There he found the cowherd boys and cows, just as he had placed them. Then Brahma ji realized, “Oh my God! That boy is the Supreme Lord Himself.” He returned to Braj again to apologize.
This time, Shree Krishna displayed His Divine four-armed Shree Vishnu form in all cowherd boys and cows present. Brahma ji fell at Shree Krishna’s feet, and greatly praised the good fortune of the boys, whose friend the Lord had Himself become. Brahma ji prayed:
Tadastu me natha sa bhoori bhagyo bhavetra vanyatra tu vatirascham
Yenaha meko bhavajjanaanaam bhootva nisheva tava pada pallavam (Bhagavatam)
“My Lord! In my next life, do not give me the seat of Brahma. Make me a blade of grass in this land of Braj. Then I will be able to get the dust of the lotus feet of these cowherd friends of yours, and I too will receive the Divine love that they possess.”
There are hundreds of such pastimes, which reveal how God forgets His Almightiness before His devotees. He becomes their Friend, Child and even Beloved. These leelas are revealed in the Vedic scriptures, which is one of the many features that make Hinduism so special.
The Greatest Treasure We Can Possess
Divine love is such a power that if someone possesses it, God happily serves that devotee. That is why in the Mahabharat, Shree Krishna drove the chariot, while Arjun was merrily sitting on it. Shree Krishna is the Supreme Master of the universe, while Arjun was a mere soul. However, Arjun was such a soul who possess Divine Love, and hence Shree Krishna took the position of serving Him.
This is the glory of Divine love, in front of which all worldly treasures become tiny. While other treasures will remain behind when we leave this world, the treasure of Divine love will go with the soul after death. It is the highest treasure that we can possess. The Saint Kabir said:
Kabira saba jaga nirdhana dhanvanta nahin koya
Dhanvanta soi jaaniye jaahi prem dhana hoya
“Nobody in this world is really wealthy, except that person who possesses the treasure of Divine love.”
However, since it is such an invaluable thing, God does not give Divine love easily. We must now try to find out how we can receive this priceless treasure.