The betrayal

“I’m furious with you,” I told Krishna this morning.

“Why, what did I do,” He joked.

“You betrayed me,” I said, holding up my copy of the Bhagavad Gita, and pointing to verses 32-33 in chapter 9: Those who take refuge in Me, O Partha, be they outcastes, born from a womb of sin, women, Vaishyas, even Shudras, they also attain to the highest Goal. Then how much more so in the case of holy Brahmins, devotees and king-sages?

“I have loved you and been devoted to you, and I have treated every word you said as my mission and my dharma. Now you say this? You said there is no sin! Now you demean women and lower castes and those ‘born of sin’, you divide people condescendingly on the basis of their birth? How could you?” I wailed.

There was silence. Then He said, “I did it for the people of the time to understand me. I said it in a language they could understand. What I meant was that external distinctions cease before the equality of divine Light.”

“But you said it in words, and it was written down, and it has become imprinted in the hearts and minds of millions of people!” I raged with tears flowing down my cheeks. “You are responsible for your words! You have a responsibility not to propagate sexism and casteism even if it existed at the time! By speaking of us this way, you etched our ‘lowliness’ in stone forever!”

My body was wracked with sobs. I had rejected these outmoded social customs years ago, years before I devoted myself to Krishna. Now my hero has shown me His dark side. How do I reject Him?

“I insist on speaking to your boss,” I told Him between wails. But who is the boss of the creator of the Universe?

Om, Om, Om, I chanted, quieting my outraged mind and calming my crying body.

Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om, came the echo. He refused to leave me, insidiously carving out his own name within my furious prayer.

I sought the goddesses and the gurus, scanning my heart for their words and guidance. No wonder Buddha and Aurobindo and Sree Narayana Guru told us to look within ourselves and not seek outside for God. God is a man. An upper-caste man.

I began to seek myself. I blessed myself, I expanded my world and gave myself permission to expand forever.

But the betrayal was much too intense to allow me peace and deliverance. What am I without my Krishna?

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


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