Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Krishna, The Joking God

Various religions often  talk about God's compassion, God's wrath and that God is just. But God, like everyone else, has a well rounded personality.  There is a lot  more to Him then these particular qualities. For instance, what  religious traditions describe how God likes to play jokes and tricks?  Today being April Fools Day, is an appropriate time to talk about this characteristic of God. Krishna is the supreme joke maker and trickster.  He and friends, both the gopies and cowherd boys, delight in playing jokes upon one another.  This is part of their loving, playful exchange.  Krishna is forever engaged in loving pastimes  with His devotees.

These activities are described in Krishna Book(Srimad Bhagavatam) and categorized in Nectar of Devotion. Sometimes the boys would come to Yasoda's house early in the morning and wait for Krishna while she got Him ready for the day. Mother Yasoda would call to one of them, "Visala, why don't you come over and help."  And when the boy came and bent down to put on Krishna's ankle bells, Krishna would playfully hit him with His flute. Descriptions of Krishna smiling and joking abound in both His childhood and adult pastimes.

Prabhupada is giving us a profound understanding of a personal God,  our dearmost Friend, and by doing so, inviting us to develop a love for that Supreme Person.

 Sankirtana das is author of Mahabarata: The Eternal Quest -  www.Mahabharata-Project.com