THE OLD MAN, ARJUNA AND RADHA
After the great Mahabharat war and Lord Krishna had returned to the Pandavas. He found Arjuna to have become somewhat egoistical. He had began to believe that he was most loved one of lord Krishna, and that it was because of him that Lord krishna had joined Pandavas and thus the war had been won. In short, he held that Krishna loved him the most, and that he loved Krishna the most.
Krishna did of course really loved Arjuna, and therefore He was distressed that Arjuna should be feeling and thinking thus, and this story, heard by me in my childhood, illustrates so beautifully the ways of the God-Man. One morning Krishna takes Arjuna for a walk, and as they did so, they perceived something in a nearby field. it appeared to be some creature grazing. Krishna turned towards it accompanied by Arjuna, and as they came closer, the object became an old man bending over, apparently looking for something on the ground. He seemed a simple person, old, but with a long naked sword tied his waist. When they came to him, they asked what he was doing, and he replied that he was looking for food.
“Food?” said Arjuna, “What sort of food can you find here on this earth? There is only dry grass, nothing more. “Yes, that is what I seek, dried grass, because I do not wish to heart any living creature, or even green living vegetation. So I seek dried food.” But Arjuna the asked, “If, as you say, you do not wish any harm any creature, why do you carry sword with you?” “Oh,” he replied, “I have a long-standing grudge against some of the lovers, the so called lovers of Krishna, and particularly against certain ones.” Now that is the part of the divine game, that the God-Man remains incognito when He wishes, and so the old man did not know that the Lord was before him. Nor did he know Arjuna by sight.
Arjuna became very interested and intrigued with these words, and asked who these persons are. “Oh, what have such matters to do with you?” Go your way.” “No we are very interested, said Arjuna. “We would like to know who these persons are.” so the old man said, I am a lover of Lord Krishna. He is my beloved God, and I abhor the idea of persons who hold themselves as lovers of Him, and yet are a pain in the neck for my beloved lord.” “What do you mean by that?’ “Have you heard of Radha?” ”Yes, we have heard of Radha. She is a great lover of Lord Krishna, and indeed is the beloved of the Beloved.” The old man as it were snored at this, “Oh, you don’t know what a pain that women has given to my Beloved lord! Had she really loved Krishna even a wee bit, she would not have given Him such pain.”
(There are many stories of the pai that Lord suffered because of Radha’s love for Him, but let us just give one here)
Radha, a married women, came from her home to visit Krishna, and He was as always delighted to have her with Him in His palace. He directed the queens and maids of the palace to care for her every wish. But there were among His close women-folk, some who were jealous of Radha, being the obvious favourite among His over. So it is said that the hot milk given to Radha as she retired to bed, was so hot that it burnt her mouth and throat. However, absorbed as she was in the thought of her Lord, she drank it all, unaware of its heat and unaffected by it.
But at the same time, it so happened that one of Krishna’s queen was pressing His feet, and she suddenly noticed blisters on your feet. “How have you burnt them?” “yes it happened just now, because Radha, who holds My feet in her heart as most precious, was given some scaling hot milk to drink, and so the blisters came on My feet.”
Then this old man turned from Radha, and spoke of another of His lovers who regarded himself as great lover, “Have you heard of Arjuna?” Arjuna kept quiet, merely saying, “Yes, we have heard of him-but what of it?” “Do you know, he calls himself a great lover of Lord Krishna, yet he made Him his charioteer, and thus repeatedly bruised His delicate temples.”
how did this come about?
The charioteer sat below the warrior, protected from the enemy, and guided the horses according to the directions of the warrior sitting or standing above the charioteer. These directions were given by the warrior pressing his two tows to the temples of the charioteer, thus guiding the chariot this way and that as needed. So Krishna, in condescending to be Arjuna’s charioteer in the long terrible war of Mahabharata, suffered greatly in the constant bruising of His temples.
the old man finished by saying, “that is why I carry this sword. If I were to meet Arjuna or Radha, I would surely kill them-even though I do not wish to harm ant living creature, yet such so-called lovers of Lord have given Him so much pain that they deserve this punishment.
Thus did the lord bring home to Arjuna the folly of thinking he was one of the greatest, even the greatest lover of His.
God (Avatar or Sadguru) always takes care of ego of His disciples. The moment it surfaces; Master (Avatar or Sadguru) brings remedy for it.
(The Divine humanity of Meher Baba vol. III, Bill Le Page, pp-134)