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Updated: December 12, 2010 23:27 IST

Krishna's charm

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Women paying obeisance to Lord Krishna during Deepavali in Vijayawada.
The Hindu
Women paying obeisance to Lord Krishna during Deepavali in Vijayawada.

Krishna was famous for His beauty. His beauty helped Him get away with many a prank. Once when Krishna was stealing butter from a house, the mistress of the house turned up. She asked what Krishna was doing with the pot of butter. Krishna said He was looking for a lost calf in the pot!

Even the most naïve would have difficulty believing such a tale, but the lady of the house, just accepted this unbelievable excuse offered by Krishna. And who can blame her? She had fallen to the charms of Krishna, said M.V. Anantapadmanabhachariar. Having become a slave to Krishna's beauty, she didn't realise the absurdity of Krishna's explanation. Who, but Krishna, could have got away so easily, with no one doubting His words?

When Nandagopa decides to name his son, he sends for sage Gargi, and asks him to choose a name for the infant. Gargi looks at the baby in the cradle, and is bewitched by His beauty, and by His dark hue. He calls out “Krishna,” to the child. Krishna means the dark one. “What can I name you, Krishna,” asks Gargi. And the descriptive word used by Gargi becomes the baby's name.

The Lord's eyes have a magnetic quality to them. And nothing brings out the beauty of His eyes more than the presence of His devotees. When Dasaratha tells Rama that He is going to be crowned King, Rama shows no reaction. When He is banished to the forest, He shows no emotion. But when He sees Vibhishana approaching Him, with a view to surrender, His eyes dilate in joy. As Vali lies dying, he remarks on Rama's beauty and says even a portrait cannot do justice to His beauty. He then says that had Sita been by His side, Rama would have been more lenient towards him (Vali).

Pillai Perumal Iyengar says that when a picture is painted of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam, the picture may be a likeness, but it in no way captures the effulgence of the original. His eyes can be drawn, but can the mercy that distinguishes them be captured in a portrait? His tulasi garland may be a part of the picture, but can a picture capture its fragrance? His conch and discus can be seen in a painting, but can their greatness be captured in a painting?

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