Indian mythology is an important resource of interesting tales that take us back in time by thousands of years. Yet, all these stories bear profound spiritual meaning and important lessons that can help us move forward in life. Shri Krishna's leelas (miracles) are also presented in the form of interesting stories, which can help us experience the divine and pick up wise lessons. We set out to explore the substance of Shri Krishna's leelas in this blog, including their spiritual significance, and the fascinating realm of Shri Krishna Bal leelas.
Shri Krishna’s leelas contain numerous tales, from His birth to childhood and further into His adult life. Each leela gives us a perspective of life and its myriad challenges. Besides being a divine persona, Shri Krishna is also a belief system that motivates us to do good in this world and eliminate evil, as we have learnt from His Bal leelas. Shri Krishna strongly influences people of all ages who wish to walk on the path of Dharma through the practise of Karma yoga.
Shri Krishna Bal Leela: The Birth of Shri Krishna
Shri Krishna is believed to have been born around 3100 BC. The story of His birth starts with Devaki and Vasudev, who were shackled by Devaki’s brother Kansa, the wicked ruler of Mathura. A soothsayer had foretold Kansa that he would be killed by the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudev, so he decided to imprison them to prevent the ominous prediction. Kansa managed to kill the first six children of Devaki before the gods intervened.
After committing such a horrendous act, Kansa thought he had reversed his destiny, but Lord Vishnu had other plans. Before the birth of their seventh child, Goddess Yogamaya transported the baby, named Balarama, to Rohini’s womb (Vasudeva’s other wife) from Devaki’s. As the eighth baby was due, Kansa believed he was going to avert his death by killing the prophecy child.
On the day of Shri Krishna’s birth, dark clouds blanketed the sky, and it started raining heavily. As the child was born, a miracle occurred, and all the prison guards fell to the ground, unconscious. Vasudev saw that the door to the prison was open and carried Shri Krishna, but saw that the Yamuna River was flooded. As he started walking through the river, he observed that the water was letting him pass, and he could walk. He walked to Nanda and Yashoda’s house, replaced their baby girl with Lord Krishna, and returned to the prison. When Kansa tried to kill the baby girl, she freed herself from his hands, telling the king that the chosen one was somewhere else.
Shri Krishna Leela: The Childhood Tale of Shri Krishna and the Serpent Kaliya
While playing alongside the Yamuna riverside, Shri Krishna and His friends accidentally threw the ball into the water. Shri Krishna entered the river to retrieve the ball but was confronted by Kaliya, a ferocious serpent. Kaliya was a ten-headed serpent who had been poisoning the river Yamuna. Realising that the serpent was destroying Yamuna’s pristine waters, Shri Krishna asked him to stop poisoning the water, enraging the serpent. Kaliya lunged at Shri Krishna as he was ignorant of the Avatar’s power.
Shri Krishna stood on Kaliya’s head and took the weight of the Universe upon Him. As Shri Krishna danced on the serpent’s head, Kaliya realised that Shri Krishna was divine, and he could not win the fight. He renounced his anger and left Vrindavan, never to return.
Shri Krishna Leela: The Tale of the Mahabharata
During the Mahabharata war, Shri Krishna had to contend with unexpected challenges that he could resolve only with His quick thinking and intelligence. During the initial days of the war, the Kauravas became restless as they figured out the Pandavas couldn’t be defeated. Duryodhana sought an audience with Bhishma Pitama, who oversaw the Kaurava army and urged him to defeat the Pandavas and end the war.
Bhishma Pitama took a vow that he would either finish the war by the next evening or resign. Hearing such a vow, Shri Krishna realised that the Pandavas would lose the war. To counter Bhishma Pitama’s powerful vow, Shri Krishna turned into a farmer and took Draupadi to the grand old warrior’s tent. Bhishma Pitama was meditating, and Draupadi sought his blessings, to which he replied, “Saubhagyawati Bhava,” which means “may you remain married for a long time”. Using His intelligence and cleverness, Shri Krishna was able to avert the disaster that would have befallen the Pandavas had Bhishma Pitama acted on his vow.
Shri Krishna's leelas expound the path of love and devotion, which are the essence of spirituality. Through the stories of Shri Krishna Bal leela and the recitation of the mantra "Jay Shri Krishna leela," we widen an invitation to the divine to enter our lives and guide us on our spiritual path by filling our hearts with selfless love.