Saturday, 6 April 2013

The true devotee

Arjuna, the third in line of the Pandava brothers always thought that he was the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna. One day he wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth. So, the next day when he was alone with Lord Krishna, he asked Krishna if he knew of any other greater devotee than himself. Lord Krishna knew what was going on in Arjuna's mind. He slowly began speaking. He addressed Arjuna kindly and told him that the world is full of devotees and that the need for such comparisons does not exist.

Arjuna did not give up. He again questioned Krishna and asked him to name the man that Krishna thought was his greatest devotee. With eyes full of gleam, Krishna told Arjuna that Bhima was his greatest devotee.

Arjuna could not believe what he heard and mockingly told Krishna that Bhima does not even sit and pray daily. Arjuna continued, ”Oh Lord! How then do you say Bhima is a greater devotee than me? Look at me. I spend most of the time with you. Bhima is far away from you and yet you call him a devotee. How do you expect me to believe this?” he questioned.

 Lord Krishna calmly told Arjuna to follow him wherever he went the next morning. Arjuna agreed. Lord Krishna took him to a big and blooming garden the next day and asked him to hide behind a huge tree. Arjuna did as was told to him by Krishna. Bhima arrived at the entrance of the garden and as he went past the trees, standing tall on his chariot he waved his hands towards the trees and uttered the words “Krishnarpanam”. “Arpanam” means offering to God.

The minute Bhima uttered these words, the flowers from the trees fell at the feet of the Lord. Arjuna could not believe his eyes and asked the Lord to explain the strange happening. Lord Krishna then told Arjuna, that it is not the hours spend in front of the Lord or the prayers that are told daily that determines the Bhakti or devotion.

Bhima's source of strength was his pure devotion...

Bhima has a lot of duties that he completes every day. He has to keep himself strong by exercising and eating proper food. He also has to keep his weapons cleaned and repaired. Even though he is hard pressed for time he remembers to travel through the garden every day and offer flowers with no other thought in his mind. His pure devotion, even if for a brief period of time, makes Bhima a great devotee explained the Lord. 

Arjuna bowed his head before the Lord and told Krishna that he was happy to be his friend and he did not want to compete with his brother. Arjuna also acknowledged Bhima’s devotion towards the Lord and felt extremely proud of his brother.