Conversations with Sri Swamiji – 42

The affectionate Father

It was a nice, cool evening when I saw Sri Swamiji seated near the Madhuvanam in our Madhurapuri Ashram. I went near Him and offered my prostrations. With a gentle smile in His lips, Sri Swamiji called me by His side. I had been mulling over a recent happening. It was not difficult for The Master, who could discern everything, to notice this which was apparently writ on my face. He gave a questioning look and I could not but share my question with Him.

I started by asking about a devotee in our satsang. This devotee was a sincere Krishna Bhakta who has been doing Krishna Bhakti with utmost earnestness and dedication. Every one in the satsang looked up to the person. To the surprise of all of us, suddenly, one day, the devotee decided to marry. Soon after, he stopped attending satsangs. We could find a sea of change in him which was very puzzling to me. Naming the devotee, I asked Sri Swamiji, how is it possible that such a devotee, who was so deep in Krishna Bhakti has quit everything and is now completely into family life, having forgotten satsanga.

Hearing this, Sri Swamiji gave a gentle look and I knew that a very interesting response was ensuing. He started with a slight smile which could be recognized only by discerning satsang devotees. He said, ‘In general, have you noticed something with accomplished artists – be it a musician or a dancer. The artist would have tremendous love for his son or daughter who would also be in the same field. If you approached such an artist requesting a program, he would tell you that he wished to promote his child and would request you to arrange a concert for his son/daughter first. He would promise you that he would send his son/daughter first to perform and then would follow later.’

I readily nodded in the ascent as I had a similar experience in the near past, but had little clue as to how this was related to my question! Sri Swamiji’s smile deepened. After a pause, He said, ‘Do you know who is Lord Krishna’s son?’

While I was searching for an answer, Sri Swamiji said, ‘It is none other than Manmatha, the god of passion. Krishna is Manmatha Janaka – the father of Manmatha, is he not?’ Sri Swamiji continued, ‘When someone does Krishna Bhakti, it seems that our Krishna wishes to promote His son too! Hence He has sent His son Manmatha first. It seems that the devotee you are referring to has been visited by Manmatha. Enticed thus, he has dropped Krishna Bhakti and is now entirely busy with household life!’

Guru Maharaj went on, ‘The devotee is so happy with the son’s visit that he has completely forgotten the Father! And Krishna, being an affectionate father did what any father would do – promote His son!’ As the smile broke into a laughter, I too quietly joined in. Sri Swamiji signaled that it was time to carry on, and as I left the presence of our beloved Master, Sri Swamiji’s words that were uttered in a lighter vein, were ringing in my mind and I smiled saying to myself ‘Krishna, an affectionate father indeed!’