The god and the temple

All was still and peaceful in Vaikunta. Maha Vishnu reclined on his serpent, fast asleep. Lakshmi pressed his feet from time to time Even the serpent Adisesha, on whom he slept, nodded drowsily. The ocean was calm.

Suddenly, the Lord woke up with a start. He looked agitated. “What happened?” asked Lakshmi.

“They have done it,” he cried distraught. “They are going to imprison me in a temple again where I may have to stand another million years, carrying that heavy bow on my shoulder and giving darshan day and night to lakhs of devotees. I have a frozen shoulder already,”

He groaned again. The serpent hissed angrily, “and must I lose my sleep again guarding you? Remember, I have not closed my eyes for those 14 years in the forest!”

All three looked at the ocean in gloom. Lakshmi suddenly clapped her hands. “I have an idea,” she cried out. “Why don’t you take a new Avatara on earth and avoid all this nonsense?”

Vishnu looked at her in admiration.

“You are right. I will assume a different role in the Dwapara Yuga. I will go down to earth wearing a peacock feather in my hair and carry a bamboo flute in my hand. It will be much lighter than this damned Kodanda.”

 Lakshmi wondered if she would be his wife again. Vishnu was already dreaming of a bright future.

“Not one word, one arrow, one wife again,” he said. “I am tired of being the Maryada Purusha. I will have 16,000 wives and romp with another thousand gopis on the sands of the Yamuna river.” He was elated at the thought.

“I will break into their homes and steal their dairy products. I will hide in the trees and steal their clothes too. I will be the playboy of the yuga and they will still love me.”Lakshmi looked worried. “What about me?” she asked.

“Don’t worry,” answered Vishnu. “I will elope with you first and teach your family a lesson or two.”

As for temples, I will fox them. I will be born in one place, grow up in another, rule in a third beneath the sea! I will drive all those judges crazy.

But, right now, He would have to stand in the new temple for the next million years, while devotees, dressed him in gaudy silks, loaded him with heavy jewellery and offered prayers through loudspeakers without giving him a moment’s rest.

“But that too will pass” whispered Vishnu to himself.

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