Sabhaku Namasaakaram! (which means 'Namaskaar to everyone gathered here' in Telugu)
So today we covered Shri Krishna Episodes 24-27, which showed the stories of Kaliya Mardan, Shri Krishna Tuladaan, Govardhan, and the breaking of Brahma's pride.
When Krishna and his friends run around playing with a ball after Aghasur Vadh, one of his friends Mansukha gets blamed for throwing it into the Yamuna river. Feeling bad for his friend, Krishna offers to retrieve the ball and jumps into the river despite his friends' pleading not to go. An older Gokulvaasi who also pleads with him not to jump into the Yamuna quickly runs to Nand Baba's house to tell him the news.
Shri Krishna falls to the bottom of river Yamuna but lands nice and gracefully on its surface. There, he meets Kaliya's four wives who plead with him to leave. They are shocked that he has not been burnt by the poisonous venom of Kaliya which had long ago infected the entire river, but reckon that he must be some divine boy. Nevertheless, one wife in particular takes ardent interest in his wellbeing and begs him continuously to leave before her husband awakens, but Krishna refuses and tells her that he has 'unfinished business' with Kaliya he must see to. Their talking wakes up the demon Kaliya who is enraged that a human boy had the audacity to come there and challenge him. He vows to kill him but Krishna does not back down. He gives Kaliya a chance to surrender at his feet and even warns him of the consequences of fighting with him, but Kaliya merely laughs in his face and gets ready to battle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QJ3iizPjvE&feature=related
A fierce battle ensues between Krishna and Kaliya (as usual, the snake looked fake and harmless much like Aghasur, but the fight was taken well and Ashok enacted this part naturally), but in the end, Krishna overpowers Kaliya and gets ready to intervene. Kaliya's wife steps in and begs Krishna to let her husband go. She says that since Krishna called her 'Ma' when he first landed in the river, he must honor her motherhood and not make her a widow. She also pleads with her husband to surrender, and recognizing Krishna's power as that of the Supreme Lord's, Kaliya does so. His heart melting at the plea of Kaliya's wife, and also becoming pleased with Kaliya's surrender, Krishna lets him go on one condition. He must leave the river and go to Ramanak Island with his family, because his venom is poisoning the water of Gokul and Vrindavan. Kaliya then tells him about a curse he got at the hands of Rishi Saurabh, and shares his fears that the vultures headed by Garuda would come and attack him and his family if they went there. Krishna assures him that since Gaurda is his devotee, he will never harm one who is under his protection. To convince him further, Krishna tells Kaliya that he will leave the imprint of his feet on his (Kaliya's) hood so that from that day on, neither Garuda nor any other vulture will ever attack him or a member of his family. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cqYjCn8Xeg&feature=related
Kaliya brings Krishna out of the water where all the Gokulvaasis, Nand, and Yashoda are mourning his disappearance, and in front of their mystified eyes, Krishna dances on the hood of Kaliya as the Devtas and Lord Shiva dance along with him. This is one of my favorite songs in SK because of its lively rhythm and meaningful lyrics, one watching feels like dancing along too.Taking into consideration that Ashok was only 10 when he acted in SK, he was a pretty good dancer though there was room for improvement (as is the case for all dancers and singers). Some of his steps needed more crispness and synchrony with the music, but it was his sincerity and natural acting that endeared him to me. He was a great loveable Krishna overall.
So now this brings us to the scene where Kans is worried when the story of Kaliya Mardan is brought to his ears. He is restless thinking about his failed attempts to kill Krishna, and wonders whether Krishna is really the eighth child of Vasudev and Devaki. If he is, then why has he not been able to kill him. And if not, where is the eighth child? His evil minister Chanoor tells him to kill Vasudev and Devaki to assuage his worry. If Krishna is really the eighth child, he will come to Mathura to do their cremation, and if not....that will answer his question. Kans likes the idea and goes to the prison of Vasudev and Devaki late at night to do the evil deed...but before he could, he is blinded by a bright light which comes in the form of a snake, and freaked out, he runs away screaming bloody murder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMDtFn-8-Rw&feature=related
Back in Gokul, Rohini Devi is woken up from sleep when she hears Balram huffing and puffing in his sleep, much like a snake. She is freaked out and yells for Nand and Yashoda, who come running into the room but are unable to stop Balram. All three think an evil spirit has gotten hold of the boy, or Balram is having a bad nightmare, but when Krishna comes to him and assures him that 'mother and father' are alright, Balram wakes up and gives everyone a disoriented glance. Krishna tells him through hidden meaning that Kaliya has not done anything to their mother and father, and though this sounds perfectly normal to Nand, Yashoda, and Rohini, Krishna is really telling his brother that Kans has not been able to do anything to Vasudev and Devaki thanks to him. Balram understands and apologizes to the adults for scaring them. He tells them that he had a nightmare about Kaliya and that was why he was huffing and puffing like a snake.
The kid who played Balram was cute, and he did the whole huffing and puffing scene well. You could tell he really got into the character in that episode. Anyhow, following that scene Nand, Yashoda, and Rohini go to Maharishi Garg's ashram but find him gone. They talk with another sage there who advises them to do the Tuladaan for both Krishna and Balram to draw away the 'evil eye' which both Yashoda and Rohini are frightened their sons gathered because of their supernatural feats.
And so Nand Baba invites all his friends and relatives and does the Tuladaan of Krishna and Balram. Balram's Tuladaan passes by peacefully, but when it comes turn for Krishna to step up, no one is able to measure his true weight. All kinds of gold and gems are placed on the weight measure, but Krishna remains on the ground. Much like the story later on where Satyabhama's pride is broken when Rukmini Mata places uses a single Tulasi leaf on the weight measure of the Shri Krishna Tulaabhaaram katha to claim him back, Radharani places her earring (or maybe it was one of the flowers from her hair...couldn't see properly) on the weight measure and immediately Krishna rises from the ground. Everyone is astonished and happy at the same time.
Soon after that, Radha and her family leave Gokul for Barsana and Radha and Krishna have their farewell. There is a cute little scene beforehand where they talk about their love for each other...the girl who plays Radharani is really sweet, pretty, and innocent looking....and she looks really cute with Ashok. And don't both of them look like they can grow up to be Swapnil and Shweta? Ashok Balakrishnan in particular looks a lot like Swapnil...long back before I ever saw this serial, I remember I thought both were the same before Lola corrected me and told me there was another Krishna before Makhan Chori and Swapnil. Anyhow, here's the vid where you can see the short but sweet RadheKrishna scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ga-B-CHuPA&feature=related
Oh, and before I forget, the cute little scene where Krishna calls Radha with his flute is adorable, esp the way Radha dozes off in the bullock cart when she hears Krishna's Murali and both get transported to Golok. When Radha is woken up by her father, the way both he and her mother tease her about travelling to other loks all the time instead of remaining at bhulok was cute.
The next episode starts one of my very favorite Krishna Leelas, the one where Krishna got the title 'Govardhan-dhari' and also 'Govind'. Krishna notices Gokul in a festive mood and inquires the elders as to what is going on. Nand and Yashoda tell him that they all are preparing for the annual Indra puja. When Krishna asks them why they do the puja, they tell him that Indra Dev is the one who blesses them with harvests, good crop, and everything else necessary to survive, and if they neglect in doing the puja, he will punish them. This upsets Krishna and he argues with the elders that GOD is one who blesses humanity with love and prosperity, but not one who gets angry and punishes them if they neglect in doing yagnas to him. It is the duty of the devtas to take on the responsibility of the divine trinity and bless the living beings of Earth with what is rightfully theirs. Lord Vishnu is the one in charge of living beings' sustenance, so who is Lord Indra to take that away? Shri Krishna says all this to his stunned audience. He then further says that the Govardhan Parvat is their Ishta Daivam, because it gives grass to their cows and shade to them...it blesses them with everything they need to survive, so they should all pray to Govardhan Parvat. Shri Krishna then gives a discourse on the different Ishta Daivas of all the separate castes and sub-castes, and convinces his parents as well as the rest of the Gokul elders that it is their duty to pay obeisance to Govardhan Parvat this year instead of Lord Indra.
Really really loved this scene of Ashok's, he delivered the dialogue extremely well and the dialogue itself was written brilliantly by RS. Amazing discourse on the true nature of God!
Next comes the scene where the Gokulvaasis all do the yagna to Govardhan Parvat and in the end, Lord Vishnu appears to them as the Govardhan Devta and blesses them for the fruit of their deed. Cute how they used Ashok to play Lord Vishnu and attempted to make him look older. Anyhow, then comes the scene where Agnidev goes to Indra Dev and tells him that instead of doing the Yagna to him, the Gokulvaasis performed it for their Govardhan Parvat. Indra Dev gets into an angry rage and summons another Devta (forgot the name....was it Vayu Dev?) to send torrents of rain and thunder down on the entire world, beginning with Gokul to show them just how displeased he is. Together, he and Indra Dev begin sending a cyclone down on Gokul so that everyone's homes and property are destroyed and they themselves begin to drown. Somehow they all go to Nand Baba's house for help and seek his shelter.
Meanwhile, Nand Baba and Yashoda Maiyya are playing host to Vrishbhanu's family, and while the elders talk in the outer area, Balram, Krishna, and Radha are all conversing in one of the inner rooms. I really like this scene because Ashok, the girl who played Radhika, and the boy who played Balram all look really cute and kiddish, and it reminded me of my childhood gatherings with my friends. Anyhow, when the Gokulvaasis come seeking their shelter, a thoroughly drenched Krishna and Balram notice Indra Dev up in the skies and decide to teach him a lesson. Balram asks Krishna if he could go and kill Indra, but Krishna tells him not to be so hasty...Indra is a Devta and the protector of the world, but he momentarily let himself be lost to the vice of arrogance and it is their duty as Vishnu and Sesha to break him of that pride and remind him of his duty as the King of the Devtas.
Krishna suggests that they all go to the refuge of Govardhan Parvat, because after having done a grand yagna to it, surely the Govardhan Devta will protect them from the rains. Nand Baba agrees and convinces everyone to listen to his Kanha. One by one, they all take their cows and family members and go to the Govardhan Parvat. After praying to it and asking it for permission to lift it, Shri Krishna promptly lifts the mountain and holds it with his mere pinky finger. Everyone is astounded and is positive that Shri Krishna must be some God. They all quickly take refuge under the mountain and stay there for seven days and nights as Krishna tirelessly holds the mountain on his finger, playing his flute as the Gokulvaasis dance with happiness. I really really love the song which comes during this scene. It's so fast and festive yet devotional at the same time, and for a whole day after seeing this episode the "Jai Jai Govardhan Giridhaari, Jai Jai Govardhan Giridhaari!" words kept running through my mind over and over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwJn94NTAp8
Anyhow, the episode ends with Indra's arms becoming paralyzed as he tries again and again to use his Vajrayud to break the Govardhan Parvat. Then Devguru Brihaspati appears to him and tells him that this Krishna he is fighting against is none other than Lord Narayana, and that he should seek his shelter and ask him forgiveness for fighting him despite knowing of his identity beforehand. Brihaspati then teaches him a special mantra (Aksharam Paramam Brahma, Jyoti Roopam Sanaatanam) which Indra recites over and over before falling at the feet of Krishna and seeking his forgiveneness. The following conversation between Krishna and Indra about the duty of God and King is really beautiful and thought-provoking. Krishna says that Indra's wrongdoing in fighting with him is easily forgiveable, because Krishna never holds grudges and he forgives any and every personal insult towards him...but he will never forgive any harm or insult done to his devotees. What angers him more than Indradev's fighting against him is that he expects the residents of Earth to do a yagna to him before feeling that they deserve his rains and mercy. That is not only against the Dharma of a King, but also against the nature of God. God is supposed to be 'all-giving', meaning he blesses his devotees with what they deserve (in accordance with their own separate Karma as well) without expecting anything in return. Indra is the King of Gods, so he should keep both the duties of a King and the duties of God in mind before playing out any action. It is alwas good for a human to do Yagnas, but no Devta should come to think that Yagnas = Profit and no Yagnas = Punishment. While God does his duty and continues to bless the humans without expecting anything in return, humans keep their own duty in mind and act in accordance.
Krishna's discourse in this scene is really something, and Ashok delivered it just magnificently. This was one of my dad's favorite dialogues too, because he and my mom had a little debate/discussion about it afterwards while we all went to the temple.
Anyhow, Lord Indra realizes his mistake and promises Krishna to adhere to his duty from that day on...he also asks a boon from Krishna to protect his son Arjun till he is on his Earth, and Krishna makes a vow that he and Arjun will be inseparable. Jai Shri Krishna!
At this time, Ramanand Sagar comes onscreen and gives another meaningful discourse because the end of Ashok Balakrishnan's phase is about to come and he says that the following scene (breaking Brahma's pride) is the last of Shri Krishna's childhood Leelas. From there-after, his adolescent Leelas with the Gopis' and then his political victories over rakshasas such as Kans, Jarasandh, Kalyavan, etc will take place. We are then given a glimpse of everything that hapened since the serial first began, kind of like a quick recap before beginning one of the most important phases of Krishna's life, and then the story of how Krishna breaks Brahma's pride is shown.
Basically, Lord Brahma is amazed when he sees Lord Narayana frolicking in the fields of Gokul with his flute and friends just like any ordinary cowherd, and so he decides to test him. He kidnaps all of Krishna's cowherd friends and brings them to Brahmalok under divine sleep. When Shri Krishna sees his friends missing, he realizes everything and decides to trick Brahma himself for his action. He creates exact replicas of his friends (for their families' sake) and continues to play with them. I forgot the exact duration, but I think several months (or maybe even a year....can someone clarify please?) pass in the human world, which is a mere hour or so in Lord Brahma's life (or perhaps even less). When Brahmaji checks on Earth again to see Krishna's reaction, he is amazed to see Krishna's friends where they are. When he checks in his own abode, the friends are there too...he then realizes his mistake in trying to test the Lord and falls at Lord Krishna's feet. Another beautiful episode!
Again, sorry for my delay in updating this entry...will begin writing about Swapnil's intro scene today or tomorrow.
Edited by JanakiRaghunath - 24 January 2011 at 4:58pm
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Joined: 03 November 2008
Posted: 09 January 2011 at 3:15pm
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I'm yet again ignoring my reserved post and writing up a whole new one... oops
@ December 17th: Totally agree about Damini in the comedy scenes with Bal Krishna, particularly before he eats the mud - like when she tells the gopis she wouldn't trade her son for their 100 pots of butter offer Adorable And the bitterness you mentioned in the finding-out-the-truth-from-Akrur scene makes me uncomfortable too, but that's not really Damini's fault as Surdasji wrote quite a few poems to that effect. That's where I would've preffered the Tamil Alvars' poetry on the same incidents to have been used as inspiration instead, much more to learn from that interpretation of her. But we'll get to that later... so
As far as why he showed her the universe and then put her under illusion again, Debi di basically covered it but the little convo RadheShyam have in Golok right after gives the same exact explanation - she asks the same question you did, and he says that the knowledge is still there dormant in her soul and would manifest itself again when she would need it, but for now that motherly love and affection was all she needed to know and dwell on because its intensity and constancy was equivalent to any other sadhana of gyaan or karma. Radharani's compassion here exemplifies what I was saying about her dualist-yet-realized nature in your other thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Noif6-QXcwU
And yes, the part where Dharti Maa appears in the beginning does give this leela a whole new meaning, that's what I meant in our summaries of the shows that we wrote for the "about" section - these leelas that otherwise seem so ordinary that Shri Krishna is misunderstood are shown in SK to have been truly divine
Also agree about the tying to the mortar story, that kid is one of my fav child actors of all cuz he has mischief written all over him And omg that victory dance when he breaks the pot, that's my Kanha On a serious note the lesson that Naradji gives on pride while she's failing to tie him, that you have to humbly submit yourself and he himself will freely be bound by your devotion, is really beautiful Totally different take on this oft-recited leela, instead of just telling us "look how God listens to you" RSji gets it to tell us "look what it takes to get God to listen to you". Very valuable lesson.
The little raas with the gopis when we find out they were sages in their past birth is another one of my ultimate favorites, it's just really beautiful and demonstrates the overwhelming power of bhakti - as is said in that song "jogi jati tap gyaan bhulaave" - even these sages who seemed to have hit on everlasting peace wanted to love Krishna with that intensity and personal-ness that they later experienced as gopis. Love it.
Sneezing kid @ makhan chori was hilarious, loved how you put it too
The first flute leela isn't in the Bhagvat, it's taken from medieval poetry as with RadheShyam's childhood meeting and some others. Beautiful nonetheless.
^^ No need to reply to this stuff if you don't wanna, no questions - mainly clarifications/my own tangents
@ December 29th entry - Shridama's curse story right here, it's covered in the Brahmavaivarta Puraan and Lalit-Madhava by Rupa Goswami: http://vrindavana.wordpress.com/2006/09/07/radha-radhe-radharani-vrishabhanu-raval/ But it's not that important - like many of the fights between Vishnu-Lakshmi and Shiv-Parvati where she turned green and what not that happen in Padma Puraan, Linga Puraan, etc, I think they're just background stuff not in need of much scrutiny.
Agree word for word on the fruitseller story, and in particualr its song... and wowwwzzzz loved both your take and your sorta-related tangent on the Gopi Vastra Leela... hats off, very insightful stuff Nothing to add, you covered it all, and RSji himself fives a lecture at that point (did your DVD have it? Otherwise I'll post) that's to the same effect - covering various possible meanings of it all of which are positive. I think aside from modesty it was also about consistency, if they wanted to be all innocent and victim-ish when it came to the butter thefts then they better be innocent across the board. Lolz yeah, that particular gopi looked pretty stuck up But when you connect it back to the little raas where we found out about their past lives, I think we can conclude that their pride overall didn't need breaking - that was exactly what they wanted, an informal and playful and barrier-free bond with him by which they could fight, compete, argue, and love him all at once. They earned it
Ashok's entry is def really awesome, and I heart him too - he was really powerful, as good as any adult actor I think, esp during the Govardhan leela. Right at the start he gets a nice powerful line in that is really memorable, when Yashoda Maiya tells him to wash up before eating his prasad and he's like, "ask God whether he'd rather I eat it with a clean body or a clean mind" LOVE it!! And agree about Aghasur Vadh - Ashok's epis, I think, are the most saturated with practical life lessons. Swapnil's have all the lessons on love/devotion, and Ashok's give us a lot on how to live in general. That first scene about clean body/clean mind >> don't be hypocritical. Aghasur >> don't be overly concerned physical appearance as God is in all, as well as the patience of the sage/ Kaaliya >> don't be proud. Govardhan >> tons and tons... but we'll get to that when we do For now, thanks for another rocking entry hun, really relishing this genius idea of yours
Edited by JanakiRaghunath - 10 January 2011 at 6:57pm
Joined: 03 November 2008
Posted: 10 January 2011 at 7:00pm
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How did I know that was coming How about... Shri Krishna Katha Amrit - A taste of divinity.... sounds like I'm trying to sell a soft drink But it was a legit try, since that was the title of one of the before-the-epi bhajans from the video cassettes:
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