How different people in the Mahabharata experienced Madhav in different way.

When we say Krishna, the essence of who he is, he is an irrepressible child, a terrible prankster, an enchanting flute player, a graceful dancer, an irresistible lover, a truly valiant warrior, a ruthless vanquisher of his foes, a man who left a broken heart in every home, an astute statesman and kingmaker, a thorough gentleman, a yogi of the highest order, and the most colorful incarnation.

Krishna is seen and perceived and understood and experienced in many, many different ways by different people.

Duryodhana, through the eyes of Duryodhana, for those of you who do not know the background I will be because unless you understand the whole tapestry of the story and the situation in which he existed many aspects of who he is will be missed.

So we will go into it, but right now Duryodhana is a man because of certain situations into which he was placed, insecure, angry, jealous, greedy, and feeling wronged all his life. And because of actions that came forth from his greed and anger, he became the key to the destruction of his whole race.

In Duryodhana’s words, ‘He’s a smiling rouge if there was ever one.

He can eat, he can drink, he can sing, he can dance, he can make love, he can fight, he can gossip with old women, play with little children.

Who says he’s God?’

That’s Duryodhana’s perception.

Shakuni, the very embodiment of deception and cunning,

Shakuni says, ‘Let us suppose he is God, so what?

What can a God do?

God can only please those devotees who please him. Let him be God. I don’t like him. And when you don’t like somebody you must praise them.’

That’s deceit.

Radhe, his childhood lover, a milkmaid, a simple woman of the village, but with such unfaltering love and devotion she has become so big that today you cannot talk of Krishna without Radhe.

We don’t say Krishna Radhe. We say, Radhe Krishna. She has become, a simple village woman, she has become as significant as Krishna or a little more significant than him.

She said, ‘Krishna is with me. He’s always with me wherever he is, whoever he’s with, he’s still with me.’

That’s her perception.

Vainteya, a youth who was the Garuda chief’s eldest son living on the mountains of Gomantak, a sprightly youth, because of a certain ailment became totally crippled.

This crippled youth after he met Krishna, Krishna made him walk.

So Vainteya said, ‘He is God. He is God. He is God.’

Akrura, an uncle of Krishna, a wise and saintly being expressed his perception of Krishna this way, ‘Krishna, when I look at him, this strange young boy, I see the sun, the moon, and the seven stars whirling around him. When he speaks he sounds like the voice of the eternal. He is the hope. If there is hope in this world he is the hope.”

Shikandin, a tortured human being, because of a certain situation within himself right from his childhood. This is an absolutely tortured soul.

So Shikandin said, ‘Krishna never gave me any hope but when he is there the breeze of hope touches everybody.’

I can go on like this.

Different people saw different facets of who he is.

For some he’s God.
For some, he’s a crook.
For some, he’s a lover.
For some, he’s a fighter.
So many things he is.

If we want to taste an essence of what it means when we say Krishna, the consciousness that we refer to as Krishna, if we have to be touched by this we need Leela.

Here we are for Leela. Leela means it is the path of the playful. This is not for the serious types.

Are you?

Because when I say playfulness we are not here just to play, we are here to explore the most profound and the most serious aspect of life but playfully, conducted playfully.

Otherwise, Krishna won’t be there. The reason why the most profound dimensions of life have missed have been missed by the vast population of the world is because they do not know how to be playful.

If you want to explore this path playfully, if you want to be playful you need a heart full of love, a joyful mind, and a vibrant body. Otherwise, there is no Leela.

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