An eternal love story
Updated: May 5
Storyteller: An eternal love story- Radha Krishna
I miss my Dad. Every time I hear of someone passing away, it brings back memories of the day he passed away. The whole scene replaying in my head again and again. On some days my mind still reeling with the shock, that I will never see him again. He is gone forever into some parallel realm, my only consolation, he is free from the bondage of a weak partially abled body. I try to make peace with it all by telling myself, there will be another time, another life and another chance at everything.
I remember this dialogue from the movie Cloud Atlas, "Our lives are not our own, from womb to tomb we are bound by each other." The movie draws on the lines of reincarnation, many lives and the law of karma-as you sow, so shall you reap.
Reincarnation is the central tenet of Hinduism. The word reincarnation is derived from Latin, which literally translates into entering the flesh again. It is a concept by which the non-physical essence of a being starts a new life again- "ये शरीर नश्वर् है,आत्मा अमर है"
In this moment, I choose to believe this, simply because it gives me consolation and comfort. I can do without the pragmatism and logic of the sciences of the modern world.
The concept of rebirth is woven into the fabric of our mythology. It forms the very basis of the Ramayan and Bhagwad Gita.
Lord Krishna proclaims in the Mahabharata
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.
In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.
Today's story finds it's genesis in reincarnation. It is a story that transcends all the barriers of space and time.
Once upon a time, there lived a sage who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He would often be found sitting in tapasya. One day pleased with his penance, Lord Vishnu appeared and asked him to wish upon anything the sage wanted. The sage thought of this as an opportune moment and wished for the unthinkable. He asked Lord Vishnu for Laxmi as his wife in the next birth. Now, Laxmi is Lord Vishnu's consort. Lord Vishnu was taken aback at this impudence and decided to teach this insolent sage a lesson. The boon was granted with a vociferous तथास्तु!
In the next birth, he is the 8th reincarnation of Vishnu and is born as Krishna. Laxmi is born as Radha and the sage who is to be her husband is born as Ayan. Ayan is married to Radha but they are unable to fulfil the duties of matrimonial life. Why? Because Lord Vishnu is smart, astute and canny. Ayan is born a neuter. The matchmaker for Ayan and Radha was Krishna's foster father, Nand Maharaja. Radha was older to Krishna but even so, was euphoric in his love. She blindly entered into matrimony with Ayan, because it never made any difference to her. It could have been Ayan or anyone else, Radha couldn't care less. She was lost in her love for Krishna. Although Krishna was the Lord himself, he was bound by societal traditions and regulations and so he could never marry Radha, as she was already married to Ayan. In fact in the Govind Gita, it is said that Krishna was never aware of the fact that he was an avatar of Vishnu. All he ever wanted was to settle down with Radha into domestic life and be a cowherd all his life.
It was only when Gargacharya, told his mother Yashoda and Krishna himself, the true purpose of his birth- he was born to kill King Kansa, did Krishna decide to leave Vrindavan for good. Before leaving he called upon all the people of Vrindavan, to play Ras Leela with him for one last time.
The tired sun has laid his head to rest, on the pillow of the mountains. A cool blanket of mist, covering his warm body. As it slips into a deep slumber, darkness descends onto the valley. The Gopis dressed in all their finery, like a hundred twinkling stars, lighting up the night sky. Music fills the air as Krishna plays his flute. A hundred Gopis twirling and dancing to the melody. Their hearts in unison with their Kanha. But his heart yearns for the Moon, that has tiptoed from behind the veil of the clouds and shown it's beautiful face, his beloved Radha. Radha is lost in a trance. She is one with Krishna. As she sways to the sound of his music, he holds her in a warm embrace and whispers into her ears. His words fill her heart with joy -"Oh! Radha, you are mine forever. It is for you, that I have played this flute always. I will have to leave now, duty calls, but I leave a part of me behind with you. From this day on, I shall never play the flute again. Take care, O dear one. I will forever be yours." Having said so, Krishna hands over the flute into Radha's hands and leaves Vrindavan.
Sometimes one life may not be enough, to live the many dreams that we set our hearts upon. Maybe, we come back to all that remains unfinished, unfulfilled, unaccomplished. Maybe we are joined from the womb to the tomb.