Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
The childhood of Krishna is the much celebrated Krishna Leela. It comprises of a child’s play with his mother, friends, neighbours and others. Krishna knew that he was God, that he could do extraordinary things even when he was an infant. These stories can hold the attention of any child and one can easily relate with many of the mischiefs from one’s own childhood. These stories can be enacted as plays, sung as songs, done as kathaa kalakshebams and can take myriad other forms. They are extremely entertaining and very pure.
Krishna Leela is widely thought of as a happy recollection of Krishna’s childhood. However, I feel that the happiness that Krishna had as a child was merely a mask.
Imagine a child who knows that his parents were in jail for no fault of theirs. Imagine that he knows that 7 of his brothers were ruthlessly killed by his own uncle and just imagine his plight when he knows that his mother and father witnessed those deaths, helplessly chained in jail!! The child knows that he is growing up with foster parents. He also knows who is going to die when and what is going to happen to who, when. Imagine the mental state of such a child.
Krishna didn’t boil in revenge, he didn’t shy away from people, he didn’t let these incidents boggle him, he didn’t sit in a corner and cry; he faced it. He faced all of this like a man. He wore the mask of happiness and enacted glorious childhood plays that are retold to this day! Krishna wore the mask for the welfare of others! He hid his sadness and used child’s play to smile at his adversities. No one other than Krishna can carry this off so easily!! He displayed immense patience and waited for his turn. He found solace in music and in his friends.
On the occasion of Gokulashtami, it gives me great pleasure to recall those stories which I heard from my grandparents on Sri Krishna. However, I also feel that Poothana Vadham, Kaalinga Nardhanam and Govardhana Giri are best listened to and read without the knowledge of this mask, in all innocence!!