Sometimes gopis are seen to be wandering in the outskirts of Vrindavana. But when asked – why they are going there, they smile mysteriously and say: “Seva...”
What we don’t know is that a big secret hiding in their hearts, hearts tender like a soft butter, and burning of compassion, just like a gentle fire ready to burst out into flames by the wind of a sudden worry... What they know is that somewhere out in the world few small children went to the forests and fields looking for the berries for their dearmost friend Krishna, their prananatha. Often these small boys are so absorbed in the search that they wander far, far away, to the unknown places.
Such places look attractive to an innocent eye. They are full of green grass and wonderful flowers, with aroma spreading over the fields so enchanting that one feels very happy and believes that there is nothing better in the world. But nobody who heard of such places likes to go there, because they know that they are full of the dark blind wells: once falling in, one cannot get out for a long time, no matter how hard one can try or how long one can cry.
And in such places our boys come sometimes, and by providence or by mistake, someone may fall in such a dark well. Ah, no, he doesn’t get scared - he simply doesn’t know what it means! And he is not hungry, there are still some berries collected, and, with great hesitation, he may start eating them, in the mind talking to Krishna and sharing this little lunch with Him. But after some time it becomes even darker and colder in the narrow well, and soon will be a sunset; and he didn’t meet Krishna yet, alas! He misses Him so much, and Krishna also worries and feels intense separation from his dear friend. And, needless to say, gopis always know Krishna’s heart. They know they have to go out there and quickly return. And before going only thing they do – put their most melodious ankle bells...
Ah, those bells, what a magic they have! Anyone who heard them knows – they are not from this world. And anyone can recognize them; this sound comes directly to the heart and lightens the soul. Home. Yes, HOME!!!
... It is dark and cold in the well. Hunger and shivering, and only tears are warm... And suddenly he hears the noise. Is he hallucinating? Oh, no, this is too real – one cannot mistake when gopi is passing by, he hears the bells and cries out loudly “What is this sound?!!”
And one of the gopis heard the cry. She was searching anxiously and found the blind well. In no time many helpers come, their long braids and saris – everything is good for rescue. So much tears of happiness, laughter, and jokes! There is no limit to everyone’s joy when they start their journey back home, back to Vraj, following the sweet and soft song of anklebells: “Go-vinda, Go-vinda, Go-vinda...”
Time and space are in actuality the enriched spiritual dimensions, as they give the opportunity to expand the experience of the soul. By seemingly imposing limitations on the soul, they give opportunity to grow by endeavouring harder in its extended search for harmony and connection with the Supreme. They offer a secure chance for making a mistake and possibility to rectify it in the secure frame of the material playground. And in this way this is a blessing in disguise :- )
Feeling betrayed... this may sound very pessimistic. Although, if one looks from another perspective, this can be a very special mercy of the Lord. By placing someone in such a situation He gives the person opportunity to relate to such an experience, and to understand what He actually feels when we neglect Him. This is Lord's special kindness that He finds patience and time to educate us, that we would be able to understand Him, to connect and reciprocate on the personal level. If He wouldn’t care, we would continue our endless cycle. But Krishna wants to bring us closer, even through the pain. Imagine what a difficult decision for Him to throw us in this seemingly hellish situation, but if we have a trust, and a connection, we would be able to understand, and be thankful for this.
World around us can be seen in different ways.
One of them, let’s say, is to accept it as it seems to be, as circumstances where we are put in to live our life happily and then eventually die, leaving some vague memories in the people’s minds, good or bad - it doesn’t really matter :)
And still another is to look at it as placed around us for a certain purpose, with a certain intention. Maybe if it is done on a sole and plane purpose to test our patience? to test our capacity of resisting the challenges, be it good or bad. Endure without losing tenderness… To endure, to keep calm, since overreacting on the push of the sense objects brings us under their control. Very simple: this interactions bring us out of our state of harmony and divine connection, and we are dropped into the pool of unpredictable events, and we are left totally dependent on their course of action. No matter if it is pleasurable or unpleasurable, it is all about to disconnect us. Test? Or maybe Krishna is tasting us? our degree of sweetness, if we can say like this? The more dependence on Him, the sweeter it becomes. Yes, ultimately it is not really a learning process, we are already there: right here, ring now, in front of Him. No jokes. And if we see Him behind the screen or not, this is totally up to us. Question of faith, of faithfulness. So our internal peace and happiness shall depend solely on His pleasure. If we choose to nourish ourselves from the higher sources, but are still in the material world, we may end up in starvation, the risk is high like anything. Who can guarantee that this connection is sustainable? No guarantee!!! Jumping from the cliff, with eyes closed out of fear, hoping the wings will not give up?.. Someone is crying out of pain. What is your first instinct? Rush, help, heal! Or? Listen to the inner voice for a second. Ask for advice. That’s what doctors do. Seen it with my own eyes. Someone may blame you for inadequacy. But is it so? What can little me do if everything is in the Lord’s hands. He reassures, He promises. Do we trust, in the critical moment? Often times not. And why? - we lost the mercy. Here we go. We hurt Him, at one point or another. Betrayed our most beloved. So be it, He says. It is not that He is indifferent, oh no! He notices every single movement of our soul and reciprocates. He tries hard to keep calm, but He is hurt. Where, what? figure it out, urgently, immediately, there is no more important business than that! Is it not too late??? Maybe He still can change His mind and smile at us, and help, and heal, us and the other one, and the other, and the whole world. Don’t miss your chance, please don’t! You will regret fervently! It may sound almost impossible, as we are still so far!!! But gradually, moment by moment, step by step. Keep faith. Keep your tenderness.
Thinking again about the shoes… they are so important to protect us from the harsh roads, and still, we need them also to have the grip to the path, which can be slippery too. Same way, we are given our senses to relate to the environment where we are living now. Always gliding, without a grip, we cannot go anywhere! To be able to function properly, we need interaction with the world around, and we are now in this world which is called the gross reality, and in the gross reality we have to have the gross senses. We need really tough boots, isn’t it? :) but as the time progresses, we begin to perceive the more subtle world, and the senses also become more subtle and sublime, so we are able to relate to the new surrounding and gradually it becomes our solid reality, so much so that the previous and gross one is becoming irrelevant (as it is subsequent to the subtle one) and winter shoes - unnecessary :) maybe, sometimes… or if the winter comes back!