“Because mother loves the most…in this material world, there is no comparison of mother's love. Without any exchange. Even in this material world. Mother loves the child without any expectation of return generally…that is called unalloyed love. Anyabhilasita-sunyam, free from all material gain.”- Srila Prabhupada Srimad-Bhagavatam1.8.31 lecture, Los Angeles, April 23, 1973
Just imagine how great her love must be if she thought that she can catch and bind the Lord of the Universe!
She is aware of the miraculous feats her son performs, but her love ‘blinds’ her from knowing the truth of His majesty. Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakur likens this to a piece of straw in a boiling pot of milk. Sometimes it rises to the surface, and the magnanimity of the Lord is revealed within the mind, but then it goes back under the foam, and it is forgotten again, and Krishna is just a naughty little boy.
Mother Yashoda’s love is unmatched in purity and is unlike any other that even the infinite Lord who pervades the entire creation is bound by her love. Her entire being is devoted to the comfort, pleasure and happiness of her darling little boy.
“(Yasoda) thought, "By the grace of my husband our household has become famous for sheltering Gopala, and I in turn have become famous as Yasoda, one who gives fame."
But there was more to it than that! The truth of the matter is that by her love for her son, Mother Yasoda is so great that she gives fame to Krishna, to her noble husband, and to their family lineage.
…It is difficult to describe the transcendental exchange between Yasoda and Krishna. Although resembling a mother breastfeeding her child, it was much, much more than that. Krishna was not just drinking ambrosial milk, He was drinking the liquid form of maternal love, and Mother Yasoda was not just breastfeeding Him, but pouring the very essence of her heart into Him.
In the mundane variant of such a relationship, the infant is the recipient and the mother the benefactor, but in this sacred exchange— the original maternal relationship— Krishna fully reciprocated with Yasoda, giving as much as He was taking.
While touching Yasoda Devi’s breast with the devotion that a pujari touches a deity, a current of love passed from son to mother, increasing her bliss immeasurably. And although laying on her lap, Krishna also entered His mother's heart, wherein she not only felt the bliss He was enjoying but also the love for her that He was radiating.
As a result they both became ensnared in a kind of spiritual rivalry in which each spontaneously outdid the other in mutual offerings of ever-ascending love. This contest of love filled the kitchen with auspiciousness, and with its rays it invoked the highest ecstasy in all creatures nearby.
Finally love reached the stage at which both Yasoda's and Krishna's hearts melted, and in that condition they both thought that one could not be without the other for even a fraction of a moment.
Yasoda Devi thought, "I shall die if I am ever separated from Him." Krishna looked at His mother, "How could I ever be without her?"
…Although Krishna had descended to earth to broadcast His unlimited qualities, especially His submission to His devotees, it was His love for His mother and her love for Him that were the deciding factors in His agreeing to be bound. That reciprocity of love was so intense that it erased from His mind the purpose of His incarnation. Krishna agreed to be bound. Not because being bound was a part of an eternal pastime, but because His mother wanted it”. - (Adapted from Sivarama Swami’s Sri Damodara Janani)
The Lord was bound due to the unprecedented love of Mother Yasoda. There is nothing greater than love; love conquers all. Damodara was not bound by ordinary ropes, but with the ropes of His mother’s unmatched love. Being the perfect example of maternal love she cantered her life around her Damodara. With every action, word or thought, her only concern was the comfort and happiness of her son.
Despite the entanglements of the material world, we should strive for even just a fraction of the love Mother Yasoda posses for her Madhava. The month of Kartik is a perfect opportunity to try our level best for making the Lord the center of our very own lives.
[ damodara ] [ kartik ] [ mayapur ] [ yashoda ]
“As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Krsna” – Skanda Purana