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lila-katha Krishna only accepts love & affection

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vidur - krishna.jpgWhen Duryodhana, flattering and convincingly, invited Krishna to eat the rich feast he'd had prepared, Krishna smiled sweetly. "A man only eats in two places," He told Duryodhana. "At the house of his friend and at the house of his host. You are neither my friend nor my host so how can I eat at your house? I am not hungry too."

Duryodhana worked hard to conceal his fury. "You must eat something, Krishna. Come. I have prepared many delicacies and sweets for you."

"Oh no," Krishna said. "I will go to mahatma Vidur's house instead. Kunti is also there so I would also get a chance to meet her." This way he also shunned Duryodhana's offer to stay in the royal palace. 

Duryodhana flew into a rage and had to be calmed down by Shakuni and Karna. 

Meanwhile, Krishna walked through the city to Vidur's house. It was late and the Prime Minister's door was locked. Krishna pounded on it. "Vidur!"

There were footsteps inside. "Who is it?" Vidur asked.

"What do you mean, 'Who is it? It's me!"

Vidur was stunned. "Krishna?" He threw open his doors.

There was the Supreme Lord, leaning against a pillar, grinning at him. The light from his form was blinding in the night air.

Vidur gaped. He'd never imagined that the Lord himself would deign to come to his humble abode. He'd never thought that his home would have such a presence inside it, that it would become a holy place.

"Aren't you going to let me in?"

"Of course!" Vidur moved aside and ushered Krishna into his house. Despite his high post in Hastinapur's court, Vidur had simple needs and tastes. His home was small and sparse, with little in the way of decadence.

Krishna entered with obvious pleasure. "What's to eat, Vidur? I'm starving!"

Again, Vidur gaped. "But I thought you would eat at Duryodhana's palace. He prepared a great feast for you."

"How could I eat with him? Of course you knew I would come to your house."

Vidur hadn't known that. How could he guess that Krishna would come? There was nothing to eat at his house. No delicacies. No sweets. What would he feed the Lord?

Trying to conceal his dismay, Vidur led Krishna into the main room and they sat down. Vidur's wife Vidurani came and greeted Krishna, so full of love and amazement that she didn't know what to say.

Vidur dragged her into the kitchen as discreetly as possible, leaving Krishna seated on the sofa. "What do we have to eat?" he asked.

Her eyes widened in dawning horror. "Nothing. We've got a few chappatis and some spinach that I was going to cook for the two of us..." She began ransacking their shelves. "And some fruit," she finished, panting.

They stared at each other.

"The Lord has come to our house," Vidurani said, her eyes filling with tears, "and we have nothing but spinach to serve him. What shall we do?"

"Serve me spinach, of course," said a cheeky voice.

Vidur and Vidurani turned to see Krishna watching them from the doorway.

"I love spinach. Please, auntie, can I have some? I'm so hungry!"

She cleared her throat. "Of course. I will cook it right now."

While she busied herself at the stove, Vidur took Krishna back into the main room where they sat talking. Vidur asked about his nephews the Pandavas and Krishna assured him they were all well.

It didn't take Vidurani long to prepare the small meal and she brought the plate of spinach and chappatis out and served.

Krishna tucked in with relish. "Hmm, this is lovely, auntie! I've never tasted such delicious spinach."

Watching the Supreme Lord eating such plain food in his little house, Vidur was overwhelmed. He'd never imagined he would see such a sight. That Krishna would bless him in this way... He'd never even dreamed it was possible.

Both Vidur and Vidurani watched Krishna's beautiful countenance, each lost in their thoughts.

Vidurani peeled a banana to offer. Unable to take her eyes or mind off Krishna, she put the banana aside and gave the peel to him. He immediately started to eat it.

Vidur was the one to notice the mistake. "My Lord!" he exclaimed and tried to take the peel away.

"No, no!" Krishna said, laughing. "I want to eat this."

Vidurani was horrified at her stupidity. "Oh, forgive me! Here, take the banana," she said, trying to take the peel away too.

Krishna laughed again and warded her off. "No. I want this peel."

"But why?" Vidur asked.

Krishna took another bite of it. "Because it was offered with love."

Krishna and Vidur held each other's gazes. Then Vidur fell down to touch Krishna's feet, surrendering his heart, mind, and soul. "My Lord," he whispered.

Krishna lifted and embraced him. He closed his eyes. "My friend."

Duryodhana thought he could control Krishna. He thought that if he offered rich food and gifts and other bribes Krishna would come under his influence. While it is possible to control humans in this way, it is never possible to control the Lord like this. Because God is only influenced by one thing and that is love.

So he goes where there is love. And once such a relationship is established then Krishna does whatever he can to make that beloved person happy. He serves his own devotees. As he served by becoming the Pandavas' messenger. As he served by driving Arjuna's chariot. As he served by rescuing Draupadi.

To serve is the highest love. Vidur was treated badly by Duryodhana but it was Vidur whom Krishna honoured. Vidur hadn't invited Krishna to his home and still Krishna went there. Vidur didn't prepare any delicacies yet Krishna wanted to eat his food. Because he knew the love that Vidur felt for him. He saw the unselfish service Vidur gave.

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