Early this morning I heard a beautiful bhajan on 92.7 FM while driving my daughter to her school for sports practice. Here are the punchlines at the end of each stanza, translated:
Who says God does not come?
You didn't call for Him like Meera did
Who says God does not eat?
You didn't feed Him berries like Shabari did
Who says God does not sleep?
You didn't put Him to sleep like Yashoda did
Who says God does not dance?
You didn't dance with Him like the gopis did
Of course the sweetness and tender playfulness of the original does not come through even half way in this English version, but a thought struck me as I listened: A devotee's love for God is paralleled with the love of the women in Krishna's life.
How interesting that the 'ultimate devotee' is often a woman -- be it Meera, the lovestruck poetess; Shabari, the poor beggar woman who bit every berry to check for its sweetness before offering it to her God; Yashoda, baby Krishna's devoted mother; or the gopis, Krishna's many girl buddies in his youth. The only ones missing are Radha, his soulmate, and Rukmini, his wife. I would add:
Who says God does not protect?
You didn't stand steadfast by Him like Rukmini did
Who says God does not love?
You didn't long for Him like Radha did
The bhajan reminded me of one of the tenets of my own Buddhist practice, which says, "It is not the universal Mystic Law to blame if your goals are not met or your dreams not fulfilled (be they material or spiritual). It is your own faith that has to be purified and the consistency of your spiritual practice that has to be worked on."
God's glorious love is always there for the taking. But how deep is your love?