This is an adaptation of a well-known pastime. Any mistakes found within are my own, I pray for your patience and forgiveness, and also constantly hope that you enjoy these stories which give me pause for thought and encouragement in equal measure. May the Divine Couple bless and protect us always.
"I am in so much pain!"
It was these words which shocked not only the palace of the Yadus but the entire city of Dwarka. Krishna was laying in bed and refused to move. How was it possible that their hero was suffering? No one had ever even seen Him mildly uncomfortable, what to speak of being "in pain". Nevertheless, it would seem that Krishna had a headache.
Everyone was stumped. This was so far from the norm that they just couldn't figure out what to do. The great ascetic and universal traveler Narada Muni entered the city's limits and was immediately shown to the palace with all respect. The citizens and Krishna's Queens in particular thought that if anyone would be able to procure a remedy for Krishna's illness, it would be the Muni.
As Narada entered Krishna's quarters and the ornate doors closed behind him, the residents of the Palace waited outside holding their breaths. When Narada re-emerged he was holding his vina in his hand and a small smile on his face. The residents of the palace looked at him and simply waited to see what could be done.
"Krishna has a headache. it appears that the only medicine is…"
The residents seemed to hold their breath even more.
"That the dust from those who love Him should be placed on His head." Narada met the confused stares of those who were gathered. How was this possible? The dust from the feet of the devotees should be placed on the head of the Lord? This was unheard of. Narada approached Krishna's Queens with a respectful smile and a small bow. "My dear Queens, if you will just give me some of your dust…"
"What?! No, this is impossible. We cannot give you the dust from our feet. If our dust is placed on the head of our husband and our Lord, we will go to hell. This is not proper. It would be just like putting our own feet on His head! We can't do it." The Queens stepped back one after another.
Narada met with the same reaction from most of the citizens of Dwaraka. Others dismissed the story entirely thinking that it could not be true. Their Lord could not have been in pain. Finally, Narada entered the village of Vrindavan. Thinking on the refusal of the citizens of Dwarka, Narada decided to try one more person before he reported back to Krishna.
Narada found Sri Radha within the beautiful lanes of Vrindavan, a pot held at her waist with one hand while the other held up the edge of her flowing skirt away from the mud that she stepped through with a delicate grace. Narada began to play on his vina, plucking out a beautiful tune that he began to accompany with his voice.
Sri Radha turned upon hearing the sounds of the Muni's divine vina and placed the pot at her feet. She placed both palms together and bowed in respect.
"My respects, great ascetic." Her voice was like music itself and her skin was a gentle golden color. Vermillion, the symbol of her marriage, was a brilliant red in the part of her hair. A long braid hung over one shoulder and she raised her two large eyes to meet the sage.
Narada recounted the story of Krishna's headache to Sri Radha with urgency and with each sentence, the golden hue of her face became more and more pale. By the time Narada had finished telling her of Krishna's condition she looked as though she might faint herself.
"There must be some cure!" Her beautiful lotus petal shaped eyes darted back and forth and she sounded breathless.
Narada paused, reluctant to face the same rejection that he had encountered with the Queens of Dwaraka. He was spurred on by the dismayed look on Sri Radha's face.
"The only cure…is that the dust from the feet of Krishna's devotees should be placed on his forehead. Then and only then will his suffering be brought to an end."
Relief bloomed across the lotus of Sri Radha's face and an effulgent smile graced her lips.
"Is that all?! Here, take this, immediately!' Sri Radha bent to the dust of Vrindavan which had been made muddy by the recent rains and dug her hand into a footprint that she left. Her reddish palms were tinged a rosy brown from the dust as she scraped a few handfuls into the pot that she was carrying. With a hopeful smile she handed the pot to Narada Muni with both hands. "Please, take this oh sage, and cure the headache of my beloved Krishna."
Narada received the pot from her but contained his joy with a doubting look. "If you give me this remedy, then there is every possibility that you will go to hell." Sri Radha looked confused.
"My dear Narada, why are you hesitating? My Lord is suffering."
Narada was shocked by the determination of Sri Radha. "Aren't you afraid of going to hell my dear girl?"
"It does not matter. I would gladly dwell in hell as long as I know that the suffering of my Lord will be mitigated."
Narada gladly took the pot back to Krishna. Placing the dust from Sri Radha's feet on his forehead, Krishna was immediately granted relief from his headache.
This is the nature of the divine love of Radha and Krishna. It easily transcended anything and everything. Sri Radha did not have to be in the same room, or even in the same city in order to love Krishna. It was simply her being. Not just part of her being, all of it. Her love was giving and asked for nothing in return. She would do whatever it took in order to make sure Krishna was happy.
She never stopped to think about the conventions of society before she gave her dust to Krishna. She didn't think about the fact that she was married, and he was married and that giving dust from her feet was wholly improper. Nor did she think about the religious implications that would occur from giving the dust from her feet. She knew she would go to hell but said she would rather be in hell than withhold anything from Krishna.
This is a love that is unfathomable in this material world full of "things" that make us happy and our constant search for the next thing that will satisfy us. In our world we give little and expect much in return. But I can look at my Divine Mother, Sri Radha and strive for a relationship with the Divine Lord where I am no longer in a business contract with him where I sign my prayer on the dotted line and he gives me whatever I ask for. But, I should hope and pray for a relationship where I will be fearless and courageous in my love, with the faith that whatever makes my Divine, Dear-most Friend happy will give me the ultimate pleasure in me life.
Kirtan is a place where I can talk to my dear most friend openly. Sometimes I feel as though my intuition, that beautiful voice that speaks to me from inside is speaking from deep, deep inside. From a place that I can hardly hear. But when I sing and come together with others who facilitate everyone singing together, we can speak to our friend loud and clear. It is the time to tell of my fears and my joys, of my success and my failures. It is a time to be able to look deep within myself and forgive myself for not being outwardly perfect, even though my soul is comprised of the most perfect, beautiful substance. We can uncover those things that we are not proud of, but most of all, we can say "Here I am, My Friend, My Love, I am yours."