Venu - Gita

(by Mitch Bennett)

 

Sunday 13th June at the Coventry Hare Krishna Temple. It was a beautiful sunny day. I knew it was going to be a special day. A group of devotees from the Leicester Temple went in convoy and arrived at the temple, which was richly decorated in all the colours of the rainbow. The deities were dressed so splendidly and they were playing kartals. There were flowers and leaves beautifully arranged around the shrine.

We got there just in time to greet and do kirtan for His Holiness Sivarama Swami. We threw flower petals at his feet and chanted. He was a tall man in saffron robes with a closely shaven head and glasses carefully placed on his nose. He walked with grace and great gentleness in his gestured manner. We sang a song and all sat around eagerly to listen to the Venu-gita, which is all about Sri Krishna’s pastimes in Vrndavan as in Srimad Bhagavatam, 10th Canto, chapter 21.

The teaching was complete nectar. It was the story of Sri Krishna who was asked to kill the demon Kamsa, who plagued His parents Vasudeva and Devaki. Therefore He stayed with them for a while at Mathura. But Sri Krishna missed his other parents and Radha and the cowherd boys and the gopis. It brought Him to tears.

Uddhava, a dear friend and cousin of Krishna, asked what the matter was. Krishna had to stay because He had not seen His parents, Vasudeva and Devaki, for a long time. So He sent Uddhava to Vrndavan with letters to give to His parents, the cowherd boys and the gopis.

In Vrndavan everybody was sad because Krishna was not there. Even the cows were sad. Uddhava went and took these letters to everyone. The cowherd boys read their letters and then they started to cry and cry, which made the cows cry too. To console them Uddhava told them he would beg Krishna to come back. This cheered them up a lot. He then took letters to Krishna’s other parents, Nandha and Yashoda. Nandha was very calm, but Uddhava could see he was disturbed by the letter. Yashoda ranted and raved like a woman possessed and to console them he made the same promise, namely to bring Krishna back to Vrindaban.

Uddhava took the last letters to Radha and the gopis. Radha did not even open her letter. She wept tears of sadness until she fainted. The gopis cried too. They fanned Radha who came round and started crying again. So Uddhava by this time was crying too but through his tears he gave the same promise that he would beg Krishna to come back.

Off he went in a big chariot. When he got to Mathura he could see that Krishna was still sad. He threw himself at Krishna’s lotus feet and begged Him to go back to Vrndaban. In a few days Krishna did go back to Vrndaban. There were lots of celebrations, singing and dancing.

All this was told with such joy and explained in such detail. To know more about Krishna’s pastimes, the forest of Vraja and other stories you had better get the book. His Holiness Sivarama Swami led the arati with such vigour; it was very energetic and full of joy for Sri Krishna.

The beautiful prasadam was served outside in a small marquee. The evening was warm and the air was full of joyful talking and the sweet smell of prasadam. The whole evening was a real gem. I am so glad that I am able to pass some part of this day on to you.

Hare Krishna.

 

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