It’s my second day trying to connect Damodara lila to sankirtana and I’m coming out with blanks.
How can we tie up these two topics together?
At one point my mind contrived a twisted situation where Krishna gets tied up to the drum of sankirtana instead of mother Yashoda’s mortar. This is clearly nonsense, perhaps I should resign to the straightforward answer.
We remember Krishna’s pastimes to get inspiration for our preaching. When Krishna reveals Himself in our hearts we naturally feel the desire to share His glories and invite people to serve Him, too.
The problem is that simply by thinking about Damodara lila we can’t expect this Krishna’s form to actually reveal itself to us. We can only try to focus our minds on an image of a little blue boy we’ve seen in the paintings. This is mostly material impression and it doesn’t produce desired effects.
Another way to reflect on Krishna’s pastimes is to focus on the lessons, in this case on His mercy and Mother Yashoda’s devotion. It might turn out that it’s these aspects of the lila that make Krishna into Damodara, not His earrings or Mother Yashoda loosened dress.
I mean that the actual taste of this lila lies not in observing Krishna’s form as a little child, that image is not lila specific, but in the loving interaction between Him and His mother. That’s what makes Him Damodara.
This is also the aspect we can easily focus on in our remembrance and if we hear it submissively than we should also feel deep sense of gratitude to the Lord, which in turn should be very useful in preaching.
Bingo – the connection has been established!
When we are out there, trying to induce people to perform some Krishna’s service, when we implore people to buy a book or simply pause to listen to our presentation, we need almost exact kind of Krishna’s mercy that He has shown to Mother Yashoda. We need to tie Him up so that He would stay and help us in our preaching efforts.
Personally He might not like being shown before faithless people but we need His presence before them. We need Him to agree to stay with our material bodies and reveal Himself through us. We also need Him to knock down people’s misconceptions about God just like He knocked down yamala-arjuna trees.
We need to pull all the ropes and extend all our fingers, and if He gracefully accepts our awkward efforts then, and only then, our preaching will become successful.
I bet anyone who has ever distributed books knows how much effort we need to make to elicit Krishna’s mercy. Everybody knows that by ourselves we always come two fingers short and we need to make extra efforts to achieve purity in our hearts to earn Krishna’s agreement.
Everybody knows that we cannot afford to divert our attention to anything else, not to our sales targets, not to the hot prasadam back in the temple, not to “Haribols” we get when results are announced, not to our inconvenience, not to our bruised egos – nothing. We need absolute purity and conviction, we need total single-mindedness. Only then slightly amused Krishna would agree to do His part, too.
Interestingly, that’s when He would pick up the drum of sankirtana and personally pull it over His neck and starts drumming.
Hmm, apparently it wasn’t a crooked metaphor after all.