Tuesday, September 04, 2007

2 September 2007: Krishna the Communist Playboy

Krishna Jayanti is in two days, and Dr. Srivalli is getting ready. More and more Krishna statutes keep appearing, and every time I look, there are new decorations and jewelry covering them. Yes, he was a naughty boy who ate the butter, and yes he was a playboy who chased all the gopis around. What I didn’t know is that many people also see Krishna as a social reformer. Seems he would gather up his friends and, Robin Hood style, steal butter and milk from those who had a surplus to share with those who didn’t have enough to eat. Dr. Srivalli said proudly, “He was like a communist!” in that he insisted that things be shared among the populace. He is also the one who told the people that they shouldn’t worship the god Indra, but those things around them that sustain them, like the cows and the mountains. Indra became incensed upon hearing this, and sent torrential rains. To protect the people in his region, Krishna lifted a mountain with his little finger to provide them with a shelter from the storm. Later, when a poisonous snake took up residence in the local river, Krishna wrestled with him and defeated him, returning to the people a source of their livelihood and day-to-day sustenance.

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