When the hunter shot You, were You sad, my Krishna, or were You glad?

From January 14th through the 19th, our family went on a pilgrimage to three divine places – Dwaraka, Somnath and Porbhander. The following image is that of Sree Krishna in Balka Mandir. Behind Him is the tree (still preserved, they say) under which He was sitting when Jara the hunter mistook His toe for the beak of a bird and shot Him. This incident was supposed to have happened on 18th February, 3012 BCE.

Before Him is the statue of the hunter, bowing in remorse and suppliance. The following poem is based on that divine darshan.

Sree Krishna Balika Theerth, Somnath
Sri Krishna temple at the very spot where Jara the hunter shot Him in the toe. The temple is near Somnath, in a small village called Veravel. Also called Prabhasa Kshetra or Theerth.

When You were born in Mathura in the middle of the night

To Devaki and Vasudev, imprisoned by Your uncle’s might

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When You were taken to a distant village by Your father in haste

So that Your evil uncle, Kams and his soldiers cannot give chase

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

When You kept killing demons sent repeatedly by Your uncle

And could not play or rest in peace with Your family in Gokul

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When You were surrounded by Your loving playmates

And were frolicking with the gopis in forests and glades

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

When You were invited by Your uncle back to Your hometown

And had to kill his soldiers, wrestlers and finally one of Your own

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When You released Your joyous parents from their imprisonment

And Mathura regained her sons, and became independent

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

When You had to fend off Jarasandha’s mighty akshaunis

And moved Your people to Dwaraka to preserve peace and harmony

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When Rukmini Devi appealed to You so lovingly

And You carried her off to Your kingdom willingly

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

When Your cousins, the noble Pandavas, were tormented ceaselessly

By their evil cousins, egged on by their arrogance and jealousy

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When Your conch shell reverberated at the beginning of the mighty fight

And You retold Your divine advice to save us from our earthly plight

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

When You entire clan started fighting among themselves mercilessly

And You could do nothing but watch them fall into ignominy

Were You sad, my Krishna, were You sad?

When Jara the hunter shot his arrow into Your lotus-hued toe

And You decided that it was time to leave all of us and go

Were You glad, my Krishna, were You glad?

————

I think You were glad, my Krishna, I think You were mighty glad.

As Your divine toe bled, Your merciful eyes were already looking past the sobbing hunter

And seeking Your divine abode where all our souls come eagerly to surrender.

You must be certainly glad, my Krishna, You must be certainly glad

No more taunting, no more fighting, no more advising, no more teasing

No more killing, no more rescuing, no more frolicking, no more convincing.

You went away, beyond these earthly fetters

You fled immediately from us foolish mortals

You ran away from our fleeting, fickle devotion

You rushed away from Your divine incarnation

Yes my Dear Krishna, You were glad. You were mightily glad.

And no matter how bereft, how sad, how empty and how cheated I feel at Your leaving me,

If You are glad, my Krishna, then so am I.

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