Updated: Aug 19, 2022
..When Your name becomes my breath,
I realize yet again, that I am alive..
It’s been long since I stripped you of Your halo and brought you down to the mortal space of my life. Here, into the chaos of my quotidian circle, to be anything but that which You are acclaimed to be.
It’s blasphemous, I know. It’s the ultimate sacrilege a conceited human can do to someone idolized for ages as the ultimate Godhead by people of a religion. But the word ‘God’ had become so warped and maligned in the popular imagination of people that it ceased to have any sanctity for me with regard to You.
God? Really? The pampering parent who hands out goodies to the well-behaved offspring? Or the overbearing governor who whacks the unruly kids? Or the one who supposedly waves His mesmerizing blue hand and makes things happen as per the will of the mortals? They plead and You give. They refuse and You retract. None of these fit the nebulous picture that I have of you now. Why nebulous? Because You are many things at the same time to me, a confluence without contours. A kaleidoscope of patterns. An endless poem without a title.
To consider you God is to separate You from me, for Gods live in temples created by man, in an esoteric space that has fences and boundaries. I reject that version of You. It is for those who are willing to prostrate a thousand times to win Your heart and thereby, tickets to life’s transient gains. It is for those whose hearts are split like curdled milk and retch bile in Your name. It is for those who have pointless duels over Your indefinable nature, and for those who call your very existence into question. Funny that people should suspect Your presence in their lives! If they believe that they are a gurgling stream running between birth and death, if they believe that they are veritable pieces of mass in this vast territory of objects, how far are You from those beliefs, after all? Their being is Your being. Such simple truths are overturned only because You are called God. I refuse to give You that sobriquet.
As the world celebrates Your birth today, transforming You momentarily into a toe-sucking infant who had the might to kill demons and vanquish evils, I wonder if that’s what You are to me. An adorable munchkin who can fill the empty spaces in my life with cosmic babble.
It would take no less than a second for me to assume my role as the divine mother, giving you virtual cuddles and kisses, letting my tears overflow like the breasts of a new mother who cannot have enough of feeding her distilled love to her child. But that’s not what You are to me either. Putting You in the cradle would be to contain You and in my utter ignorance, adopt a vain posture befitting a mother. For all the cherubic, artistic representations You are given by fertile human imagination, I refuse to buy into the fallacy that You are my child.
What’s now left is the rousing realm of romantic love! How effortlessly You slip into that niche that seems to have been carved exclusively for You in my heart, Krishna!
I read the Gita Govinda every once in a while to soak up the human dimensions of divine love, and to decipher a mythical love affair. I wonder how Jayadeva could portray your amorous games with such lucidity that reading it, I am tempted in my mind to usurp Radha’s place for a fleeting glimpse or a sweeping touch or a stirring kiss from Your manifested Self.
Such delirious love-making that transcends the physical realm is not a thing that humans are capable of in their ordinary earthly lives and how I have longed to relish its flavour through my mystical writings! How often You have been my beloved, and my beloved has been You, and yet, I have felt deprived, starved, incomplete and inadequate as a lover.
What You are to Radha is something I cannot dare to imagine to have for me, for she isn’t Your paramour, She is You. It isn’t love that You have for each other, it is mutual surrender that makes You (two) an undivided soul. It isn’t the pangs of separation that Radha suffers when You are away from Her, but the bliss of fervent anticipation. It is something that a mere mortal cannot even dream of, no matter how ardent her desire.
Neither God, nor a child, nor a passionate mate. What then are You to me, Krishna?
an indistinct presence that speaks to me in silence;
a flutter in the heart that no one can hear;
a nothingness reflecting in the mirror of my eyes;
a dancing flame in my dark chambers;
a resonance of Love in my feeble fibres;
a salve that spreads in moments of stillness;
My sigh, my tear, my happiness.
My pain, my comfort, my numbness.
My knowing, my blindness, my niggling doubts
And at times when the world stops buzzing in my head and when You are none of its palpable aspects,
what are You Krishna
sans this name, form and character?