KRISHNA EPISODE 28- Swallowing up of a Forest Fire.

While the cowherds were deeply engrossed in playing, their cows roamed to a great distance, grazing at will, and lured by green pasture, strayed into an inaccessible part of the dense jungle. Entering from one forest area to another, the goats, cows and she-buffaloes became thirsty while wandering in the forest, began to cry loudly and got into a thicket of reeds. Not finding the cattle, cowherds, of whom Krishna and Balarama were prominent, felt repentance (for their dereliction of duty). Despite their search for the cows, they were at a loss to know where they could have gone.

Having thus lost their means of livelihood, the cow herds got perplexed not knowing what to do. Then all of them followed the track of the cows marked with their footprints and blades of grass cut by their hoofs. Finding their wealth of cattle strayed from its path in the jungle of Muñja-grass and lowing helplessly, they directed their herds back and were overwhelmed with fatigue and thirst. Climbing up to the top of a tall tree and showing his personality dark like a cloud in complexion, Krishna loudly called out those distressed cows by their individual names.

Being called by their names by the glorious Lord in a tone deep like the thundering of clouds, the cows became overwhelmed with joy to hear the sound of their names, and responded with lowing loudly.Thereafter, as the Fate would have it, there broke out, on all side, a forest conflagration causing havoc in all the inhabitants of the forest. And helped by its assistant, the strong wind, the great fire appeared desirous of lapping up all the mobile and immobile creatures with its tongues of dreadful flames.  Observing the advance of the forest-fire on all sides, the cowherds and cows got horrified. Just as people afflicted with the fear of death seek asylum with Lord Hari, they resorted to Krsna along with Balarám, for shelter and prayed to Him.

“Oh Krisna! Oh Krishna of infinite prowess! Oh Balarama! Balarama of immeasurable power! It now behoves you to protect us who are being burnt by fire, and have approached you for asylum. We are really your kinsmen and as such, should not be destroyed thus. You are the knower of all that is righteousness. We are all devoted to you and have in you our saviour.”

Hearing the pitiful appeal of his cowherd-comrades, Lord Hari assured them, “Don’t be afraid. Please close your eyes.” With the words ‘Be it so’, they closed their eyes. when, in the meanwhile, Krishna, the Supreme Master of Yoga swallowed up that menacing conflagration and completely saved them from that calamity. Then, on opening their eyes, they were extremely surprised to find themselves and their cows safe from danger, and brought over to Bhandira.

Observing that it was due to the yogic power of Krsna and the manifestation of his Yogic Potency (yogamaya) that they were delivered from (death from) the forest fire, they came to believe in his divine nature. Tending homewards the cows in the evening, Kṛṣṇa along with Balarama, returned to Vraja, playing on his flute, while the cowherd boys were singing his praise.

The very sight of Krsna (Govinda) filled the Gopis (cowherd-women) with Supreme delight, as every moment of separation from him was felt by them as a hundred ages (Jugas).

The cowherd-boys related to their mothers and other women-folk (particularizing the special points) in details, the miraculous feats of them both (viz. of Krsna and Balarama) as to how Kṛṣṇa rescued them from a forest-conflagration, and how Balarama killed the demon Pralamba.Listening to the account, elderly cowherds and cow herd women were astonished. They (thenceforth) looked upon Kṛṣṇa and Balarama as the most prominent gods who have come down to stay in Vraja.

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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