Faith

Reducing Earth’s burden

Why did Lord Narayana choose to live among cowherds in His Krishna avatara? It was because He wanted to show that He was going to lessen the Earth’s burden, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse. Bhooma Devi’s burdens were increasing, for kings who ruled lacked righteousness. So, She took the form of a cow and went to Brahma for help. There were tears in Her eyes, and She looked worn out. She prayed that She should be relieved of Her burden and that good kings should rule the Earth.

But why did She go as a cow? The cow gives its milk not only to its calves, but to everyone. In the same way, Bhooma Devi yields Her wealth to everyone. We dig the Earth and cultivate crops. We mine the earth for gold and precious stones. Fertile earth provides us with the food we need. Bhooma Devi Herself is green in colour, indicating Her fertility. Andal is considered an avatara of Bhooma Devi. And Vedanta Desika, describing Andal, says that Her colour was that of bunches of grass swaying in the breeze.

It is said that the following seven support the Earth: cows, Vedic scholars, the Vedas, women who are devoted to their husbands, honest people, those who give daana generously and those who adhere to dharma. If not for these seven, the Earth will be destroyed. As is clear, among the seven supports the Earth has, cows are the foremost. It was to stress this point that Bhooma Devi took the form of a cow, when She went to meet Brahma. And it was only natural that the Lord should incarnate as Gopala to show that He was going to reduce the Earth’s problems. So, Krishna chose to be a cowherd, because He wanted to show that He was going to reduce the Earth’s burdens by helping the virtuous, by destroying the wicked and by re-establishing dharma on Earth.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 7:20:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/reducing-earths-burden/article34370323.ece

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