Lord Krishna, Kanah or Kanhaiya, whatever name you call him by, Krishna, as we would call him here, is one of the most celebrated and humble deities of all. The 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he is worshipped by millions of people not simply for his brilliant intellect but also for his enhancing beauty. And literally, adding a ‘feather’ to this beauty is the peacock feather he invariably wears on his head. So does that ever makes you wonder why Lord Krishna wears a peacock feather on his head? Well, here is the lovely story behind it mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam, which explains the reason:
It was a summer morning when Krishna got up early from a nap amidst the bliss of the Vrindavan forest. After a while, he decided to wake up the cowherd friends with whom he was resting. So he pulled out his flute and started playing it, also to call back the cows grazing at a distance. As Krishna played the enchanting melody through his flute, the alluring vibration oozing out of it; mystically attracted the peacocks in and around the Vrindavan forest. Soon, a number of peacocks gathered around Krishna and began to dance in joy.
Lord Krishna, who is the source of all the dramatic arts, was happy to see them dance. Exciting the peacocks with his facial gestures and smile, he further encouraged them to dance. Within some time, the peacocks cried in joy, and their voice could be heard across Vrindavan. Peacocks became excited and jumped up and down, flapping their wings in harmony.
As the peacocks gathered around, the King of peacocks, after a while, made his way into the herd. It touched the feet of Krishna and made sounds that Krishna took as a thanking note and a request from the peacocks to dance along with them. Krishna gracefully accepted the offer and began to dance with the peacocks.
As Krishna joined the peacocks, the latter increased the tempo of their voice to match the rhythm of Krishna’s steps. Vibing with the melodies of both the flute and the peacocks, Lord Krishna increased the tempo of his steps so much that some peacocks couldn’t keep up with his pace. The animals from all sides of the Vrindavan forest gathered around to watch the Lord and peacocks dance.
Even Lord Krishna’s flute, on seeing the unprecedented performance of his master, began to play an enchanting melody on its own. The exhibition was extremely marvellous when gazed from the top of the Vrindavan hills.
Lord Krishna and the peacocks danced for a long time and naturally, after a while, the peacocks got tired and stopped dancing. But Lord Krishna by now was in some other world. For him, the world was absent as he continued to dance in joy. After many days, when he stopped, there was an enchanting silence.
It was then the king of peacock approached Lord Krishna. In a gesture of gratitude, he bowed down to him and said:-
“Oh Supreme Lord! You have created a festival of bliss for which we will be eternally indebted to you! It is our duty to offer you ‘Gurudakshina’. I request you to accept our only opulence that is our feathers! Please wear them on your crown as a decoration.”
As the peacock said so, he dropped a number of his divine feathers around Shri Krishna. Lord Krishna gracefully picked some of them up and tucked them in his turban. And since then, the supreme godhead came to wear the peacock feathers on his head.
So what does the story teach us?
The simple story teaches us how we should always be grateful for even the smallest thing that is offered to us. And in return, we must offer the lord the best we could, with all our heart and devotion.
Lord Krishna teaches us that when we get something from someone, we should accept it with all our heart, without trying to analyse its materialistic value. Doing so is a sign of respect towards the giver and teaches you to appreciate even the smallest things in life. Not putting a price on the gift also makes sure you are not pulled towards the materialistic world. The same philosophy has been taught by the Jain scholars in their principle of Aparigraha.
So, in the end, just like Lord Krishna offered his gratitude for the service that the peacocks rendered to him by dancing on his tunes, we too must offer our gratitude and respect to one another.
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