The significance of Shri Krishna’s leela of stealing butter

Over the past few weeks we have been engrossing our minds in the divine, mesmerising and playful leelas of Shri Krishna stealing butter and ladoos from the Gopis. Now let us see the significance of these leelas as narrated by Pujya Bhaishri.

God likes butter. Stealing butter means stealing the mind of deserving Vaishnavas/devotees. God likes peoples’ minds that are delicate and merciful on seeing other people in sorrow and who have pure, useful and good thoughts. The mind is very unsteady like a monkey. God steals butter and feeds the monkeys. Similarly, God nourishes and supports our minds.In love, Shri Krishna steals the mind. Shri Krishna is the form of bliss, hence the mind experiences bliss; this is the true nourishment of our mind. Shri Krishna supports our unsteady mind with love and bliss.

Even great Yogis find it difficult to control their minds. In the Gitaji, Arjun asks Shri Krishna, “The mind cannot stay steady even for the slight moment a rye seed would stay on the tip of a needle. God, you say that we need to engross our mind in you. But how can I when this mind is so unsteady? We try but this does still not happen. Consequently, there is only one solution. We are at your refuge. This mind will only engross in you steal it.”

People try to concentrate their minds in God in various ways like meditation, gyan (knowledge), Karmayog, etc. But a Gopi’s mind is engrossed in God via steyayog. Steya means stealing. Here, God steals the Gopi’s mind and the devotee becomes resource less. God steals the minds of devotees who have no other means.

As seen in the previous leela, God frees the calves before the cows have been milked. These calves signify God’s beloved Vaishnavas/devotees. God freeing the calves before time signifies that God does not see how much meditation, japa (chanting of God’s name) a person has done; God still provides freedom to this devotee from the cycle of life and death and liberation.

In Shri Krishan’s leelas, God awakens children who are sleeping. Children are ignorant of knowledge, meaning we live in ignorance, sleeping in the darkness of illusion. Therefore, God pinches us and wakes us up. This is known as Shri Krishna’s harsh mercy.

It is written in Shri Ram Charit Manas:
Moh nisha sab sovanihaara, dekheu sapan anek prakaaraa;
Ehi jag jaagahi jogi, parmaarathi prapanch biyogi

This means, we see many dreams; some dream about being rich, some a reputable sports person, some the president and so on. All these are dreams in the darkness of illusion. To awaken such souls, God bestows his harsh mercy by pinching these people.

Those who are rich also have many relatives. The rich person is under the wrong impression that all the relatives are true relatives. God says “they are not true relatives; they are relatives of your wealth. You don’t know this. Should I show you?”
Thereafter, destiny leads this rich person to lose all the wealth and this in turn leads all the selfish relatives to start becoming distant. It so happens that when asking for a loan to these relatives, no one will be supportive. This is when one realises that my true relative is only God.

All in all, by stealing butter or ladoos from each Gopi, Shri Krishna stole the mind of that Gopi such that it was always steadily engrossed in the devotion of Shri Krishna. Such is Shri Krishna’s compassion over his beloved devotees.

We hope you have enjoyed the divine leelas of Shri Krishna during this holy Adhik Maas.

Jai Makhan chor! Jai Shri Krishna!

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