Krishna and the Women in His Life
Sadhguru looks at two women who entered Krishna’s life in different ways, but fell in love with him and became his devotees – his mother Yashodha, and Putana, the assassin who came to kill him!
Read in Telugu: కృష్ణుడు – ఆయన జీవితంలోని ఇద్దరు అద్భుత స్త్రీలు!
YashodaSadhguru: Krishna was all-inclusiveness right from the beginning. When he opened his mouth as a child to show his mother that he was not eating mud – or he was eating mud, whichever way – even then he was all-inclusion. When he danced with the gopis also, he was all-inclusion. He never thought of having pleasure with them.
For the word 'Raas' there may be no exact translation in English. It is like 'the juice of life'. So we are saying that Govinda is somebody who played with the juice of life. So the non-stop dance sessions that went on in these communities, at least at certain times of the month or during the evenings after the work is done, got referred to as Raas Leela, that means it's playing with the juice of life. Slowly it got identified as a space where there was no anger, there is no desire; just life. The juice of life flowed because there was no anger and no desire.
There were many women in Krishna’s life, and all of them were head over heels with him. We cannot speak about all of them, so we will just look at a few magnificent women who were devotees, though they did not call themselves devotees. They were his lovers, starting with Yashodha, his foster mother who loved the boy deeply. Even when he was just an infant, it was all about the beautiful child that she had. But he grew too rapidly. His growth was phenomenal. No mother can adjust her motherhood to that kind of growth, so her motherhood disappeared somewhere by the time he was five or six. After that, she could not really be his mother. She just loved him. Love is not about a physical relationship. Love is an attempt to break your boundaries and transcend physicality, through emotional means. If you are overwhelmed by something, if you have fallen deeply in love with something, then it transcends certain limitations and becomes devotion. Krishna is an embodiment of love. Everyone - man, woman, child, even the cows - loved him because that is the only way they could be. So they all became his devotees.
Yashodha’s relationship with Krishna grew in such a way that she also became one of the Gopis. She was also part of the Raas. She did not like Radhe because she thought this girl was too forward, whatever that meant. Radhe did not have the normal demeanor that was expected of a village girl. She was a little too outgoing. Yashodha felt this girl was hijacking her wonderful son, but she could not help joining the Raas conducted by Radhe after Krishna left.
Krishna never went back, not even to see his mother. Many times, he was right across the river in Mathura, but he did not go back to Vrindavan because they had seen him as an absolutely carefree cowherd boy and he did not want to destroy their dream. He did not want to go there as the missionary that he had become. Now that he had the role of bringing dharma to the world, he had to do many things that would have left them heartbroken, had they seen him like that. They were happy and fine the way they were. So Yashodha also became a gopi along with Radhe because Krishna was no more her son. The blue did its magic with her too.
Sadhguru: When Krishna was born, Putana, who had been sent by Kamsa to kill all the children born in that month, had ruthlessly gone about murdering many just born infants. Once she located Krishna, she transformed herself with her magical powers into an extremely attractive woman. When she walked into the house with a royal bearing, people were simply amazed. She told them she wanted to take the child in her arms. She took the child, walked away, and sat outside. She had smeared her breasts with poison and was going to pretend that she wanted to feed the child. In those times in this country, any woman who could nurse the child could do so, not necessarily only the biological mother. It was considered as a great offering to the child. Since there was no contraception, most young women were in a position to do that. Feeding each other’s children was not a big taboo.
So Putana had come to kill Krishna with her poisoned breast. But when she looked at him, the blue magic got her. She was so deeply drawn to the child that suddenly her maternal instincts rose within her. She did not want to poison the child anymore – she really wanted to give herself to the child. She said within herself, “I have come to fulfill Kamsa’s orders to kill you. My breast is poisoned but my heart is longing for you to take not just my milk but my life too. It is my fortune that I can feed you.” So with extreme love but still with a poisoned breast, she fed the child. Krishna just sucked the life out of her. Right there, she fell dead with a big smile on her face. The last thought on her mind was, “My life is being sucked away by the Lord himself. What more do I want?”
Editor’s Note: Sadhguru explores the life and path of Krishna. Watch the Leela series, available as a free webstream – one part every week.