Respect Needs Distance and Tolerance - The New Indian Express

Respect Needs Distance and Tolerance

Published: 21st January 2014 10:21 AM

Last Updated: 21st January 2014 10:28 AM

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation, says, divine love is like what happened to the gopis of Brindavan. The gopis had nothing of their own. Every move they made was for the divine, their mind, their heart, their soul was all immersed in lord Krishna. It is like that, like the gopis of Brindavan. How they were utterly in dismay, when, even for a moment, they forgot their beloved. This was in their mind all the time. Whether they sang, they cooked, they churned the butter or they danced and dressed, they did everything for one reason - how would my lord appreciate this? It is for the love. There are ample number of stories about Gopis and their love and devotion towards Krishna. There is a story.

Once lord Krishna had a headache and all the doctors came, but they could not find the reason for his headache. No medicine would work. Krishna said one medicine would work, “If the dust from the feet of any one of my devotees is applied on my head, my headache will go.”

Were there no devotees in Dwarka, in the place where he was? Many people were there, but how many would put the dust of their feet on his head, because the scriptures say that if you put the dust of your feet on the Lord, then you will go to hell. It is a sin and nobody wanted to go to hell.

Then Krishna sent one of his messengers, Udhava, to Brindavan. As soon as he came, all the Gopis asked him, “Oh, tell me, what is the news in Dwarka? How is lord Krishna? Is everything okay?” “He is fine,” the messenger replied, “But he has a headache.” A cry arose, “He has a headache! Are there no good doctors there? Are there no vaidyas there?” He told them that they are there but the medicine was not available. “What is that medicine?” they asked, “Come on tell us, what can we do?” He said that he needed the dust of the feet of devotees.

“How much do you want? Take truck- loads!” Udhava reminded the Gopis that if they put the dust from their feet on the head of the Lord, they would go to hell. “Never mind, even if we have to go to hell, have to be in hell for thousands of years, fourteen thousand years - we don’t mind. You take the dust. We can’t bear our Lord having a headache!” There was not a bit of selfishness in the love of the gopis. The ‘I’, ‘I’ had totally dissolved. They existed as though they were not - so hollow and empty. And there are many such stories - the love of the gopis with Krishna is something unique. It is one depiction of what divine Often, love and respect are in conflict. Respect needs a certain distance and love cannot tolerate any distance. Often when people come together, when they have so much love, they lose respect for each other. And there is a conflict in trying to gain the respect.

Finally, they have neither respect nor love they loose both. Most marital problems end up like this, because there is a need for love and there is a need for respect, too. But they are seemingly opposite. It is only in Divine love that respect also grows and love also grows.

The closer you come, the more respect you get and the farther you go, the more love you experience. Distance is not a factor in Divine love, in the love which is fully blossomed. Such was the love of the Gopis.

The article has been taken from ‘The Book of Direct Truths, Subtle Truths and The Mystical Truths of Devi Mahatmyam’ by Shri Shri Nimishananda

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