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Diaries by Sacinandana Swami

Vrindavan Diary 2014 - Part 2

By Sacinandana Swami

The Last Fish

Today I came by a scene, which caught my immediate attention. A few Vrajavasis surrounded a decorative pond filled with goldfish. One of them, who was standing in the water catching the fish, was their leader. He caught fish after fish with his net and transferred each of them into a bucket. The other Vrajavasis applauded as if they were watching a wrestling match wherein they sided with the champion. Then the leader ordered the bucket to be transported by motorcycle to Radhakund so that all the fish could be confined to live in this holiest of lakes. His team of cheerleaders left with the bucket and with joyous exclamations of ‘Jay Sri Radhe!’ The scene consisted of four grown-up men on a motorcycle heading off on bumpy roads towards Radhakund with a bucket teaming with fish-life.

But one fish had been left behind in the tank….When the men returned it was caught and was given a special ride to Radhakund.

After the Vrajavasis were gone for the second time, I saw a little black fish which was hidden behind an old pot in the water. As the water was being drained out of the pond, this fish would have been left behind and would have dried up under the scorching sun. So I pointed the black fish out to the leader, not sure of what he would do. After all, this was not a goldfish – it was some small black fish.

The Vrajavasi leader smiled, got into the tank and began to go after the fish who desperately tried to escape. When his men got back he ordered this fish to be driven to Radhakund as well.

Anyone in the West would have paid no attention to one useless small black fish. But here his little life mattered too. When I praised the men for their compassion one of them commented: “Family member!” and all others started to laugh approvingly.

Later that day I read a prayer:

“O fish-like soul. Why do you remain in the net of maya trapped by your desire for totally insignificant pleasures?
Now remain subservient to Krishna, and on the strength of bhakti, sport freely in the waters of the ocean of Krishna-prema.”

I see that here in Radhakund, all devotees are bound to be caught in the net of Radha’s love – one after another – provided they stay and do not ‘escape’ the mercy.

What is that love?

It is something generally not felt in this world. It is the expression of the pure soul, freed from its compromised position in the many relationships of this world, which are based more or less on different degrees of selfishness.

If we could love someone to the point of total forgetfulness of our own desires, the existing social norms and conventions, even the rules of ordinary religions – then we would perhaps touch the ends of the shadow of Radha’s and Her gopis’ love for Krishna. Otherwise it would not be possible for us to begin to understand.

It is by this type of love that the Absolute Truth Sri Krishna becomes controlled, lets His arms down, and then declares helplessly: “You have won – I can not reciprocate in kind!”

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