The lord and protector

In the second canto of his work Krishnakarnamruta, poet Lilasuka asks a rhetorical question. “What is the essence of life, what is it that is worthy of being pursued in this world?” and immediately gives the answer, too, when he says that “it is the worship of the feet of the Lord, it is obeisance to that great effulgence which removes the darkness of ignorance, it is the contemplation of that supreme power which the Vedas say is concealed in the hearts of men”.

The poet says that this is the goal of all the wise ones and which ought to be followed by all men.

To highlight the fact that the Lord prefers simple and pure devotion over pomp and arrogance, Lilasuka gives three telling instances. Since this is a work describing the glory, beauty and exploits of the child Krishna, the poet employs suitable allegories.

He says, “You prefer to play in the dirt in front of the houses of the cowherds, but you do not go near the sacrificial altars of the learned men, who think too much of their penances and other rituals and are immersed in their arrogance without wholeheartedly loving you, you gleefully shout in response to the lowing of the herds of cows, but keep silent when the scholars sing your praises, you happily accept the devout worship of the simple, unlettered womenfolk, while you remain unmoved by the prostrations of the great yogis”! “O Lord, I now realise that you shower your grace only on those who truly love you and bow to you without any trace of self-importance, not on the self conceited.”
The poet now goes on to mention some of the divine traits of the Lord. “The storehouse of all lovely traits, the very embodiment of existence, consciousness and bliss, he who has overcome all illusory attractions and distractions, who is the possessor of the greatest of all wealth, namely, truth, who is the abiding repository of tranquility, both internal and external, he who destroys all obstacles in the way of his disciple’s journey towards himself, he who is sought after by the wise, him it is that I seek.”

The poet now speaks of the widely held belief that the Lord incarnates in a different form in every age to destroy evildoers and uphold truth. He does this through the beautiful, well-known passage recalling an incident from the Ramayana.

The child Krishna is being lulled to sleep by his mother who is narrating the incident in the Ramayana where, Sita, in the company of Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana, is wandering in the forests of Panchavati during their exile, when she is abducted by Ravana.

Upon hearing this, the child Krishna, which was till then murmuring contentedly, suddenly springs up and shouts to Lakshmana to bring his bow and arrow, while the mother looks on baffled. “May he protect us,” says the poet.

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