The Nectar of Devotion – CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT – BECOMING STUNNED

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BECOMING STUNNED

The symptom of being stunned is caused by ecstatic tribulation, fearfulness, astonishment, lamentation and anger. This symptom is exhibited by a stoppage of talking, a stoppage of movement, a feeling of voidness and an extreme feeling of separation.

When Uddhava was describing Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes to Vidura, he said, “One day the gopīs became stunned when Kṛṣṇa, in the dress of a gardening maid, entered the greenhouse and enlivened them with joking and laughter. Then when Kṛṣṇa left the greenhouse, the gopīs were seeing Kṛṣṇa so ecstatically that it was as though both their minds and eyes were following Him.” These symptoms signify that although the gopīs’ business was not finished, they had become stunned with ecstatic love.

Another example of being stunned took place when Kṛṣṇa was surrounded by various wrestlers in the sacrificial arena of Kaṁsa. His mother, Devakī,* then became stunned, and her eyes dried up when she saw Kṛṣṇa among the wrestlers.

* Devakī was Kṛṣṇa’s “natural” mother. To protect Kṛṣṇa from Kaṁsa, Vasudeva brought Him to Yaśodā in Vṛndāvana, where He exhibited His childhood pastimes. Later He returned to Mathurā and vanquished Kaṁsa, the incident referred to here.

There is also an example of the astonishment of Lord Brahmā. It is explained in the Tenth Canto, thirteenth chapter, verse 56 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that when Brahmā understood that this cowherd boy was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, he became stunned. All of his sensory activities stopped when he saw all the cowherd boys again, along with Kṛṣṇa. Lord Brahmā was so stunned that he appeared to be a golden statue with four heads. Also, when the residents of Vraja found that Kṛṣṇa had lifted Govardhana Hill with His left hand, they became stunned.

Astonishment caused by lamentation was exemplified when Kṛṣṇa was entering into the belly of the Bakāsura demon and all the demigods from higher planets became stunned with lamentation. A similar example of becoming stunned was visible in Arjuna when he saw that Aśvatthāmā was attempting to release his brahmāstra* at Kṛṣṇa.

* The brahmāstra was a nuclear weapon controlled by mantra, or sound vibration.

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