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Subject: Re: meaning of my name.
Author: Niraja Ganeshan   (guest)
Date: October 5, 2004 at 3:20:58 AM
Reply to: Re: meaning of my name. by Menke
* During Krishna’s childhood in Gokula, once a new daughter-in-law came to the village of Gokula. When this daughter-in-law came, the older people described to her the beauty and greatness of Krishna. Even before she came to this village, Niraja, the new daughter-in-law knew about the greatness of Krishna and she was longing to see Krishna. Niraja’s mother-in-law was a very harsh woman. She gave the injunction that Niraja should not see Krishna and should not even utter the name of Krishna. The reason for this is that there was a feeling amongst the people that by playing various games with these girls, Krishna was actually spoiling the reputation of various families. Krishna at that time was a seven year old boy and there was no room whatsoever for entertaining such thoughts, but because of certain ill feelings, there were people who were spreading such irresponsible views and stories about Krishna. Such bad people existed even at that time. In truth there was no basis for such statements. There was a custom in that village according to which Nanda was regarded as a leader of the village, and all the people used the light in Nanda’s house to start the lights in their own house. It was considered auspicious if a light was got from the house of the leader.

One day the mother-in-law of Niraja was having fever and therefore Niraja was asked to go and light the lamp and bring it back. She was told that she should not enter the house of Nanda and not attempt to look at Krishna. Niraja felt very happy that she had this opportunity of going to Nanda’s house and atleast look at the sacred house in which Krishna lived. But when Niraja went there, all her attention and all her thoughts were immersed in Krishna and she was waiting for the opportunity of Krishna coming there at that time. She was so immersed in the thought of Krishna that she was unmindful of the fact that the wick was already lighted and that the fire had spread on to her hand. Yasoda came out and saw this and said that Niraja was apparently new in the village and was surprised to see that her hand was burning and yet she was not mindful of the event. At these words of Yasoda, Niraja regained her consciousness and was begging Yasoda not to tell about this incident to her in-laws as they would only harm her if they come to know about this. She explained that she was lost in the vision of Krishna. While she was saying these words, other gopikas quickly rushed in and saw this event. The Gopikas who surrounded Niraja were not silent and they were quick in reporting this incident to all the others in the village. When the gopikas were singing like this, Niraja was very much afraid of the consequence and worried as to what her mother-in-law would say, but nevetheless she felt happy. All this was not as important as the darshan of Krishna which she had, and she was prepared for the consequences. Such love is the best with which to approach the Lord.

Niraja was warned against the stratagem of Krishna, when she came to Brindavan from a distant village, as the bride of a Gopala. In spite of all warnings, however, she saw Krishna during the Govardhanagiri festival and when she saw Him, she surrendered her heart to the Lord. She passed through great ordeals on account of this spiritual attachment, but she bore it all with courage. She had seen Krishna first at the foot of Govardhana hill playing sweetly on the flute. So, she used to go often to the bower where she first saw him, to inhale the holy air. Years passed thus. She was the foremost among those gopis who tried to curb the horses that drew Akrura’s Chariot with Krishna in it, away from Brindavan to Mathura. She suffered silently the separation for years and years, until one day she was exhausted with the agony when Krishna appeared before her in the self-same bower, where she was. He fondled the gopi and consoled her. However she had one request to make. She longed to hear the Divine flute, before she died on Krishna’s lap. The Lord said, "I have not brought it" but, just to grant her the boon, He broke a length of reed from the bower, made it in a trice into a flute and played on it a tune that melted Niraja’s heart into tears, which washed her soul away. She passed into the Krishna thathwa the moment the song ended. And Krishna, too gave up the flute that he had made for her sake. The bower came to be called Vamsikunj, in memory of that flute that it gave birth to.

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