In the evening I give another lecture in the reading room of the Izhevsk Library, this time to about forty guests. Because more than half the people in the audience were at my lecture yesterday, I assume that they are mostly Buddhists and Impersonalists, so I again stress the personality of God.
I show that the Krishna conception of divinity is the highest, because — judged against the standard of rasa, or intimacy — it allows the greatest number and variety of relationships, and the highest level of intimacy with God. I illustrate the different relationships epitomized by Prahlad (awe and reverence), Hanuman (servant), the Yadavas (friendship) and Mother Yasoda (parenthood) with stories from their pastimes.
Finally, I show how Mother Yasoda loves God so much that she is prepared to discipline Him — to beat Him with a stick for stealing butter and yogurt! — so that he does not grow up to be a bad boy.
After the lecture, a five-year-old, Anna (whom I did not think was even paying attention because she was busy with a coloring-in book throughout the lecture) hands me a gift — a porcelain bell — and asks:
"Why did Krishna's mother chase Him with a stick?"
"Because He was a naughty boy," I reply with smile.
"Didn't she know that He was God?"
"No, Mother Yasoda loves Krishna so much that she can only think of Him as her son. Mother Yasoda's love is so overwhelming that even Krishna Himself forgets that He is God — even He thinks that He is her baby boy, and runs away in fear!"
"Did Mother Yasoda know that Krishna was God when He grew up?"
"No, even when He grows up, Mother Yasoda always thinks of Krishna as her baby, just like my mother still thinks of me as her baby. When I call my mom on the phone, do you know what she says?"
"She says, 'How are you, my baby?' — and I'm fifty years old!"
Anna giggles. I thank her for the gift, and give her a flower.