Krishna Meets Trivakra in Mathura
Sadhguru: Krishna and Balarama arrived in Mathura. They had never been in a big town before, so they were excitedly looking at everything. Certain city-slick people tried to play games with these two village “bumpkins,” but these were overly smart villagers. They turned things around on whoever tried to make fools of them. As they walked from street to street, their reputation spread. People started talking about the little things they did as if those two were superhuman.
Since they had come on the king’s invitation to attend the festival, they thought that the village clothes they were wearing were not good enough. They found out where the royal clothes maker’s shop was, just walked in and said, “We have come on the king’s invitation. We are going to the royal festival. We want to wear some good clothes. We will return them to you after the function is over.”
This man was known for his meanness. He looked at these two village fools who dared to come asking for royal clothes. He raised his fist to smash Balarama’s head but immediately, Krishna sprang into action and knocked him down with a single punch. The whole street gathered. Being the king’s clothes maker, this man was so powerful that he could afford to be mean to the whole citizenry. Everyone hated him, but because he was in the king’s good books, no one dared to touch him. When they saw these boys who had come from nowhere just punch him out, everyone started celebrating.
The word of their heroism spread in this little town. There was a lady in Mathura who was known as Trivakra. Tri-vakra means “three deformities.” She was a hunchback, her neck was distorted, and one of her knees had gone totally stiff so she had to drag it when she walked. She was in a really bad condition. She had been a very beautiful woman at one time but about 20 years ago, she was afflicted by some disease and became a cripple. Though her given name was Malini, people just called her Trivakra – “three deformities” – and teased her, cursed her and made fun of her.
She had an expertise with perfumes, herbs, and grasses and handled the perfume for all the ladies in the palace. Trivakra had been told by someone that Vasudeva’s son is the Deliverer: “When he comes, he may be able to perform a miracle for you. You may become alright.” And the stories about Krishna’s Rasa, about how men and women loved him and danced with him in Gokul had spread far and wide. Mathura’s people had also heard much about these romantic stories. Just listening to these stories, Trivakra had fallen deeply in love with Krishna. Ever since she heard about him, she had been waiting for this moment to come. She was hoping that he would come and deliver her.
She was also called Kubja. Kubja means “dwarf.” She was not really a dwarf but because her spine was bent so badly, she appeared quite short. This was something that she had been so ashamed of. She never said a word when people made fun of her, and just to cover her shame and pain, she always laughed, used her perfumes on people, and kept herself going. She never looked at herself in the mirror because she was afraid that if saw how badly distorted her body was, she would lose faith that one day she would be alright. When she spoke to the closest people around her she said, “Some day, Vasudeva’s son will come and make me alright.” People said, “You’re out of your head. You’re crippled for life. You better understand that.” The physicians, relatives, and friends constantly reinforced this, “Trivakra, give up this stupid dream of being alright one day. This is how you will live.” But within her heart she believed, one day, when Vasudeva’s son comes and touches her, everything will be okay.
She happened to be there to see the royal clothes maker being knocked down. She asked, “Who are these boys?” Someone said, “They are Nanda’s sons. They have come from Gokula.” Her eyes were riveted on Krishna, this blue-bodied, 16-year-old boy, lean and tall, and so graceful in his movement. When she saw the way he was, the gracefulness with which he was handling people and the way he was touching everyone, she suddenly realized this Nanda’s son was actually Vasudeva’s son. She pushed her way through the crowd, looked up at him and said, “I’ve been waiting for you for many years. With every beat of my heart, I’ve been waiting for you, oh son of Vasudeva.”
Krishna looked at her, smiled and said, “Why have you been waiting for me? How did you know that I was coming?” She said, “I simply knew in my heart that you will come one day and you will make me alright.” Krishna immediately saw the love and longing for him that she had been nurturing within her, and her suffering. He just embraced her and almost forcefully straightened her body. She stood up straight and alright. Immediately, the news spread in the town that Trivakra is standing straight and graceful once again – 20 years after she had become a cripple.
Editor’s Note: The archives of the Leela, a one-of-a-kind program that took place at the Isha Yoga Center in September 2005, are available for purchase and download.