Krishna is crying and simultaneously rubbing off the tears from his eyes, with his tender, soft hands. In the process, the black mascara from his eyes is moistened. His quick breathing indicates he’s fearful. He even admits his guilt. Mother Yashoda has many duties to perform as this is a unique festival day of Diwali, and she wouldn’t want her little darling to create more trouble for himself. He’d be safely bound to the mortar while she could attend to other duties…
This is the numero uno pastime of Krishna- sung and glorified twice daily, for an entire month of Kartik. Contrast this with the festival of Janmashtami- the birth of God, that’s celebrated only for one day in a year. Also known as Damodar Lila- the pastime of being bound, the month-long festival to worship this event reveals to the world how God can be controlled by the process of Bhakti- pure love.
The logic of Fear
When bound, little Krishna looks up at the heavens, to the demi-gods, as if to say, “You consider yourself as the Lord of the general populace, and me as your boss. But just see who my controller is- it’s my mother!”
When a criminal is caught by the police, he doesn’t want to show his face to the reporters; he doesn’t like to be photographed. Here, Krishna, guilty of the crime of stealing, isn’t ashamed-he’s declaring to the world, for all time to come that he is a thief! He encourages us to behold this form and capture it in our hearts. Far from fear, He enjoys the incident and brings immense joy to the hearts of His devotees.
We fear when we lose control. The material body is perishable and has fear built into it. God, however, by definition is in full control of Himself and His body is not like ours- it is satcitananda- eternal, full of knowledge, and bliss. Yet, he fears, not because of any material conceptions. Instead, His fear is an expression of love and is in reciprocation with His mother Yashoda’s love.
To be continued…