Krishna and the Vedic Yajna
Sri Krishna accompanied by Balarama and the cowherd boys went far away from Brindavan. It was the summer season. The rays of the sun were extremely severe. The trees gave shade. Krishna said, “Look, my friends! How noble-minded these trees are! They live only for the good of others. They suffer from the winds, the rains, the sun and the frost. Their life is the best life. They sustain other forms of life. They do not send away any one disappointed. They give something to whoever may approach them. They offer their leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, bark, fragrance, juice, fuel, buds, resin, ashes, charcoal, tender shoots, shade, etc., and satisfy the wants of all living creatures. Of all living beings, those who do good to others by their lives, wealth, wisdom and their words justify their birth.”
Some of the boys became hungry and approached Sri Krishna and said, “Hunger is oppressing us. Kindly find out some means to appease it.” Sri Krishna said, “O friends! The Brahmins, versed in the Vedas, are performing a great sacrifice called Angirasa for the purpose of attaining Heaven in a place which is at a short distance from here. Go to their sacrificial hall. Take our names and ask them for food.”
The boys went to the sacrificial hall and asked for food from the Brahmins. The Brahmins turned a deaf ear to them. They looked upon Sri Krishna as an ordinary mortal and ignored His request. Yajna was all in all for them, but they disregarded the Lord of the Yajnas. They thought that they were superior to Krishna. When the Brahmins said neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’, the cowherd boys lost hope, returned disappointed, and reported the facts to Sri Krishna. Krishna laughed and said, “Friends! Go to the wives of the Brahmins this time.” They did. The ladies hastened to Krishna with dishes full of eatables of all sorts despite the protests of their husbands, brothers and sons.
Sri Krishna said, “O blessed ladies! Welcome to you all. Please take your seats. Tell me what I should do for you. You have come only to see Me. I am Atman and therefore the most beloved. Those who care for Atman have unconditional and unswerving devotion towards Me. The Prana, Buddhi, mind, body, wife, children, relatives and wealth become dear for the sake of Atman only. What can there be more dear than Atman? Now you have seen Me. Go back to your husbands. They have to perform the sacrifices with your help.”
The wives of the Brahmins said, “O Lord! We have sought your feet only. We have abandoned our relatives. Let us wear in our locks the wreath of Tulasi leaves that may fall from your feet. Our husbands, parents, sons, brothers and relations will not accept us. We will be discarded by everyone else in the world. We have no other support. We have laid ourselves at your feet. Be gracious to extend your protection to us. Let us be Thy servants.”
Sri Krishna said, “O blessed ladies! Go back to your homes. Your husbands, sons, parents, etc., will not be displeased with you. By my command, all people, even the Devas, will approve of your conduct. You have been accepted by Me. Therefore the whole world will honour you. Mere physical nearness to Me or direct contact with Me is not necessary for love or devotion. Think of Me with all your heart. You will soon attain Me.”
The wives of those Brahmins returned to the sacrificial hall. The Brahmins did not find fault with their behaviour. When the Brahmins came to know that Sri Krishna was God Himself, they repented very much for their conduct. For fear of Kamsa they could not go to Brindavan. They worshipped Krishna at home.