To become empty is to become full

To become empty is to become full

Radha was the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna. He chose to spend a lot of His time with her. When He was away from her even if briefly, it would cause her untold pain and anguish. She was unable to tolerate separation even for a few moments.

She was soon stricken by jealousy. She began wondering why the Lord carried His flute wherever He went. Divining her agitation, the Lord fell asleep on the sands of the Yamuna with the flute hanging loosely by His fingers. Satisfied that He was asleep, Radha crept up and extricated the flute and asked: "What is it that you have that I do not? Why does he prefer you over me?"

The flute replied by saying that this was not true as he had no particular virtue that he could think that could attract the attention of the Lord. But Radha persisted in her questions.

She was convinced that the flute had some secret quality that Lord Krishna found wanting in her. The flute stuck to its guns and said that it was completely bereft of any virtues.

How strange are the ways the Lord thought Radha that He should prefer a reed punctured with holes devoid of any substance!

To Radha's persistent queries, the flute finally said: "I have no virtues. I am empty. There are six holes that are punctured in my body through which He emits His sweet breath. I have nothing. I am nothing. Please believe me when I tell you that I have done nothing to deserve His attention. I have no secret and I am all empty within".

Suddenly they both heard a third voice saying: "That is the very secret of the flute's success Radha!" Lifting her and caressing her Lord said: "It has emptied itself of all its contents and has a pure heart.

Neither bad nor good, neither jealousy nor love, neither elation or frustration, neither pride nor shame. That is what the Lord loves most: a pure heart and a clean mind displaying equanimity.

What does it matter if it is made of bamboo or gold? Sacrifice is its sole theme. It receives the sweet nectar from my lips, it keeps nothing of it for itself but distributes it all of it evenly to every animate and inanimate object around by way of its sweet and enchanting music.

It is for this purpose that it had allowed itself to be punctured all over its body. It seeks nothing in return for this sacrifice. That is why I love to keep it with Me and I can never suffer even a moment's separation from it because such a soul is dearest to me".

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