Surdas, the dedicated devotee of Lord Krishna
Interesting legends and tales
Lord Krishna’s life is associated with a lot of interesting events. He is one of the most popular divine heroes. Entertaining and instructive tales from his life fascinate readers across all ages and time. Here are a few interesting tales associated with Krishna’s life:
Auspicious birth of Krishna
He was the eighth child of Vasudeva and Devaki, cousin of the ruling King Kansa. Many saints foretold that the eighth child of Krishna would kill Kansa. On knowing this Kansa killed all the children born to them. But somehow, Krishna was saved and when he grew up he gave up his pastoral life and turned his attention to destroying his wicked uncle, Kansa. On slaying Kansa he not only restored a peaceful reign in Mathura but also rescued his parents.
Nand Kishore - The makhan chor
When Krishna was a child he was very fond of eating butter. So much was the urge that he even used to steal it. One day Prabhavati thought of catching Krishna red-handed as she was suspicious of his. Thus, she kept the butter in an earthen pot and hung it from the roof. No one was aware that she had tied a bell along with the pot so that whenever someone touches the pot, she comes to know of it.
On seeing the pot hanging from the roof, Krishna felt that something was wrong. He then thought of checking the urn and somehow managed to reach it. The urn was filled with butter and a very tempted Krishna began relishing it. The moment he had his first scoop, Prabhavati caught him and tied him to a wall. When Yashoda (who had brought up Krishna) came to know of the incident, she asked Krishna if he had stolen and eaten the butter. But Krishna denied 'the accusation' with a straight face, failing to realise that he had stains of butter on his face. Yashoda was convinced that Krishna used to steal butter (that he was the makhan chor). She punished Krishna for this act of his.
Legendary friendship of Krishna-Sudama
Sudama and Krishna became close friends in sage Sandipani’s hermitage. After completing their studies, both went their way. Krishna became the King of Dwarka, while Sudama began to lead the life of a devotee, reading scriptures etc.
Due to Sudama’s austere lifestyle his family had to face difficulties. On seeing their children suffer, Sudama's wife persuaded him to meet his old friend Krishna. Sudama then set out on a journey to Dwarka with a small bundle of ‘powa’ as gift for Krishna.
On meeting each other, both Krishna and Sudama were filled with joy. Krishna and his wife Rukmini gave a hospitable welcome to Sudama. Krishna noticed that his friend Sudama was hesitating in giving him the gift that he had brought. Krishna forced Sudama to part with the gift and ate it with relish.
Each mouthful that the Lord took turned out to be a bliss for Sudama. When the poor Brahmin returned home, he saw his family well-off and living with comfort due to the blessings of Krishna.
In a village near Delhi, a blind boy, Sur, was born to a priest. Neither his family nor the villagers cared for him. He was mocked at and shooed away by everyone. One day, Sur left home and joined a band of travelling singers. They fed the boy but never wanted to be burdened by him. So, one day they left him sleeping.
Sur sat beside the lake the next morning and sang with sincere feelings. This made everyone stop and listen to him. When he grew up, he dreamt one day that Krishna has called him. On his way to Vrindavan he fell into a dry well. However, he didn't make any effort to climb out of the well and waited patiently there to be rescued.
On the seventh day he heard a boy calling out to him, “Hold my hands, I will pull you out.” This boy disappeared as soon as Sur came out of the well. Surdas was convinced that this was Krishna himself.
Battle of Mahabharata
The Lord knew all along that the truth and honesty was on the side of the brave Pandavas. He also knew the outcome of the battle. But like a true “Karmayogi”, he exhorted Arjuna, the great warrior, to fight the war without thinking about its outcome. This great sermon called “Bhagavat Gita” is a great philosophical treatise. It exhorts an individual to go on performing one's duty without thinking about its results.
The onset of Kaliyuga
One day, after the end of the Mahabharata war, Yudhistara expressed his unwillingness to rule for the time being and insisted that he must leave for the forests to meditate. Later on, he could resume his duties. Lord Krishna smiled and said, “Then perhaps you would not be able to rule as Kaliyuga has already arrived.” He asked the five brothers to go in different directions and meet him in the evening.
The five Pandavas left in different directions. Yudhistara saw to his surprise an elephant with two trunks. Arjun saw the Vedic mantras and the religious stories inscribed on the wings of a bird which was eating flesh. Bhim saw a cow fondly licking its calf so much so that the calf had started bleeding. Sahdev was amazed to see five wells filled with water, but all the wells in the middle were empty. Nakul saw a rock falling down which could not be stopped by the big trees or other rocks on the way down, but stopped when it hit a small straw. Amazing!
In the evening everybody spoke to Lord Krishna about their experiences. Krishna explained that the elephant with two trunks symbolised that in Kaliyuga there would be rulers who would exploit the people from both ends. The story of the bird implied that though on one hand people in Kaliyuga will perform religious acts and duties, but on the other they will desire for material pleasures.
The moral of the cow and calf story was that the people in Kaliyuga would feel so possessive about their kith and kin that their capabilities and confidence would be destroyed forever. The empty well implied that the rich would spend a lot in show and pomp but would not even care for their poor neighbours. The falling rock symbolised that though people would possess a lot of wealth but they would have no peace of mind.
Nothing would be able to hold them except chanting the small little name of Lord Krishna.