The Story of Uddhav and Gopis
After completing his studies, Shri Krishna came to Mathura and stayed there. King Ugrasena said to Shri Krishna that Mathura kingdom belongs to him. He would seve as his attendant and his directions would be supreme. Shri Krishna got all kinds of comforts in Mathura. But he missed Yashodha, Gopis, Cows, Vasudev and Gokul. He sat on the terrace every day and dropped tears in their memory. The separation from Yashodha, Gopis, Cows, Vasudev and Gokul, has made him emotional.
Uddhav ji was Krishna's beloved friend as well as his cousin (son of his father’s brother). He was also serving Shri Krishna apart other servants. Uddhav ji, when heard about Shri Krishna’s sadness, he plunged in deep thoughts. He thought all kind of comforts; servants, sumptuous food, prosperity and wealth are available to Shri Krishna, then what made him emotional.
Uddhav ji decided to ask Shri Krishna about the reasons of his sadness. When Uddhav ji came on terrace, Shri Krishna was tearful and on seeing Uddhav tried to be composed. Uddhav ji said to Shri Krishna that everybody is taking his care as much as possible, still he is not happy. Shri Krishna explained the episodes happened in Gokul and love and affection showered by Gopis, cows, parents etc. He remembered the affections of Yashodha who was feeding him with thousands efforts. He could not forget their love. Gopis, cows and parents must be weeping in his absence. Uddhav ji was a wise person but unware of love and affection. Uddhav ji told Shri Krishna that it was nice to play with Braj people in childhood but now he is king of Mathura. He should forget Braj people and enjoy the prosperity of Mathura. Shri Krishna told, he could forget everything but not Braj.
Uddhav ji was a man of spiritual wisdom but his heart was without bhakti. Shri Krishna decided to send Uddhav ji to Gokul to learn bhakti from Gopis so that his spiritual wisdom would fructify. Simultaneously, Gopis would also gain spiritual wisdom and it will reduce their pain of separation.
Shri Krishna asked Uddhav to go to Braj and preach them Vedanta and ask them to forget him. Once they forget him, he would also forget them. Uddhav said, “It is better to send letters to them weekly which would give them pleasure of meeting”. Shri Krishna said to Uddhav that he tried to write letters several times but he could not get words and how letters would comfort Mata. So, Uddhav, you should go to Vrindavan and educate Gopis to forget him. Uddhav thought, he is man of wisdom, hence he is being sent to Braj. Uddhav ji said, “He is ready to go but how the uneducated people of Braj would understand Vedanta”. Hence, it would be futile to go there. Shri Krishna said, “Gopis are beyond education but they have learnt love; they have sacrificed their husbands, relatives etc. Uddhav, Gopis need the wisdom”. Hence, he must go. Uddhav was not interested to go but to fulfil the desire of Shri Krishna, he got ready to go. Shri Krishna told him to convey his message that he remembers all and they should not weep due to the separation. In morning, Shri Krishna gave Uddhav, Pitamber and vejayantimala (yellow clothes and Vejayanti garland) and asked to wear before meeting Gopis. He said, “Gopis did not see any man other than him; if he wears the attire, they would believe him as his messenger”. When the chariot started, Shri Krishna asked Uddhav to convey his parents that Kanhiya would surely come and he started weeping. Uddhav was not able to comprehend, why Shri Krishna starts weeping while remembering Braj.
In Braj, tears of Gopis were flowing like river since Kanhiya left. Cows stopped grazing. Nand and Yashodha did not eat anything. Yashodha has been thinking that she would eat after feeding Kanhiya. Nand and Yashodha were always in thoughts of Kanhiya and weeping. Yashodha taunted Nand for sending Kanhiya to graze cows. He was to eat dry rotis and run after cows. Hence, he left. Nand said, “He did not send him rather he insisted for grazing cows”. He said, “He is borne to serve cows, Kanhiya has forgotten us after becoming king of Mathura”.
Chariot of Uddhav ji reached in Braj. Braj was pure and Satvika. Animals, birds, trees etc. all were divine. Shridam, Madhumangal etc. Gopals were waiting Kanhiya on the way of Mathura. They saw the chariot. They thought that Kanhiya must be coming. They ran towards chariot but found Uddhav. Uddhav said to gopals that he has brought message of Shri Krishna. He would be coming. Gopals said, “They never thought Kanhiya would be so ruthless; without him, everything is lifeless”. They showed the way of Nand’s house. When chariot stopped at Nand’s house, Nand and Yashodha ran towards chariot believing their Kanhiya has come. To see some other person, Nand fainted. Uddhav was perplexed to see everybody weeping in the name of Krishna. Yashodha ji kept patience. When Uddhav completed his bath, food etc., one attendant informed Nand that friend of Krishna has come. Nand got up from faint. Nand ji asked about welfare of Yadavs and Mathura. He further said, “He feels Kanhiya is here in Braj, He hears the music of Kanhiya’s flute, Sometimes, he feels that Kanhiya is sitting in his lap”. Entire braj, Yamuna, Giriraj, cows etc. are waiting for his return. Tell Kanhiya, his parents are weeping whole day. Yashodha told Uddhav that black color of Yamuna remind her about Kanhiya. She feels that Kanhiya has sat in her lap. Uddhav ji was perplexed, how to preach them. Seeing the love of Nand-Yashodha, half of the pride of Uddhav vanished. He felt, they see almighty in everything.
Uddhav took the permission from Yashodha to take bath in Yamuna. Uddhav heard Gopis’ Krishna bhajan. He thought Gopis sing so well and Braj people are fortunate to sing Krishna’s bahjan in early morning. Uddhav’s pride of wisdom dissolved slowly. Later, Gopis were discussing among themselves about Shri Krishna. Lalita said, “Whenever she tries to forget Kanhiya, he comes in mind more intensely; yesterday, she saw him playing flute on the tree and she turned half-mad; due to this, she tied her child instead of bucket and dropped in the well; Kanihya brought out him from well”. Another Gopi said, “people may say anything, but she is sure that Kanhiya is here only; yesterday, she was coming in dark to take water from well and was scared, Kanhiya chatted with her and came up to her house”.
When Gopis were talking, Uddhav took bath in Yamuna and dressed in Pitamber & vejayantimala. Gopis saluted Uddhav. Uddhav introduced him to Gopis that he is friend of Shri Krishna and brought the message of Shri Krishna for them. Gopis taunted Uddhav that Shri Krishna is everywhere and whether he sees Krishna in Mathura only. Uddhav said to Gopis that they should worship formless almighty. Gopis told Uddhav that the bliss given by Krishna could not be received from his wisdom; they did not have mind to practice for formless almighty as their mind had been stolen by Krishna and they have no other mind.
Uddhav ji thought that Gopis and Nand-Yashodha see Krishna in everything and everywhere. They experience almighty omnipresent and he wasted so many years in contemplating about almighty. He was entangled in Vedantic principles but could not experience almighty. His entire pride of wisdom vanished.
Gopis brought Uddhav before Radhika. Radhika was in dilapidated condition. She also repeated, “Shri Krishna is here only and everywhere”. Uddhav again repeated, “He has brought a message of Krishna”. Radhika said, “My Krishna is omnipresent, he is in my heart, he is in my whole being”. Uddhav ji requested to Radhika that his mind became dull due to pride of wisdom and to donate him Premlakshna Bhakti. Radhika obliged.
Uddhav was surprised. He was most surprised when, by Gopis’-grace, he saw Shri Krishna standing with his eyes everywhere among the Gopis. Uddhavji had come to give wisdom to Gopis. Now, he became a disciple of the Gopis. He started thinking of himself as the Gopi. Gopis also got spiritual wisdom from Uddhav ji and their Bhakti along with spiritual wisdom became divine.
Uddhav ji had come for a few days and stayed for six months in Braj. He sought permission now to go to Mathura. Yashodha ji said, “Uddhav ji, tell Krishna to come whenever possible”. Radha ji said, “Uddhav ji take the flute and Kamli and give to Krishna as it is not required”. Uddhav ji comforted everybody and said, “he will bring him soon here”.
When he went back to Mathura, he started calling Lord Krishna as Gopinath instead of Yadunath. Holding the feet of God, he started crying and said, “O Gopinath! Why he left Premlok (region of love) of Braj and settled here in this dry Mathura”? Hearing Uddhavji's words, Shri Krishna said “Wah, you went to teach wisdom, Uddhav”. Shri Krishna further said to Uddhavji, “Uddhav! You saw the unique love of the cowherds! That's why I can't forget them for a moment”.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj