Gopikas asked Lord Krishna what His nature was. There were people who returned favours. Some would help even those who had not helped them. Some forget the help rendered. Which of these categories did Krishna belong to, the Gopikas asked. Returning favours is something most of us do. Only a few will help those who have not helped them. Those who forget to help people who have helped them are most undesirable. Krishna said He did not belong to any of these categories. While the Lord does extend His protection to those who seek Him, His blessings do not come at once, explained Sankararama Dikshitar, in a discourse.

We sometimes wonder why His grace remains elusive, and why devotees receive His grace only after years of devotion. The Lord does not grant us what we ask for at once for, if He does so, we will be so happy to have achieved what we set out to achieve, that we may not bother to worship as devotedly as before.

There are many who visit temples, seeking a particular favour from the Lord, and once that is granted, they stop going to the temple. The Lord ensures our devotion by not granting us our requests at once, but by delaying Hs grace. In fact, when people are intensely devoted to the Lord, He makes Himself even more elusive. Not that He does not care for them. On the contrary, He does care for them. It is to draw them closer to Him that He distances Himself. The more He does so, the more will be their desire for Him, and finally, their hearts will seek nothing from Him, except being close to Him. That is the most desirable state for a devotee, and the Lord, by delaying His grace, leads us to this state.

Krishna told the Gopikas that for their devotion to Him, He could not repay them even if He took repeated avataras. The Gopikas thought little of worldly relationships, and were prepared to leave behind even their families for the sake of the Lord. Such devotion is hard to come by. Yet the Lord disappeared from their midst for sometime. That too had a purpose.

Had the Lord not done so, would the Gopikas have lamented His absence? And if they had not lamented, would we have a work like Gopika Gitam?

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