Did I tell that “baby Krishna “ is not here like the Dhadhipanda the curd merchant to save Krishna
Ramanuja, reminiscing about the beautiful pastime of Prahlada, and keen to hear more such leelas, requested Penpillai to quote her next reason for leaving Thirukkolur. She said, “Did I vouch that little Krishna is not here, like Dadhipanda the curd merchant, to save Krishna?
Let’s travel to Gokulam to know more about Dadhipanda.
It was the time when Lord Krishna, as a little boy, blessed all of Gokulam with his miraculous and wonderful leelas/ divine acts. There was an old man named Dadhipanda who made a living by selling curds along the streets of Gokulam. He carried fresh, pure curds in his large curd pot, chanting, "Curds for anyone! I come selling fresh curds! O Sir, O ma'am, how about some curds!"
Dadhipanda and his curd pot were inseparable. He was always seen with his peculiarly large pot. Hence he earned the name Dadhipanda, where Dadhi means curd and Panda means large pot.
One day he was tired after a long morning of selling curds, so Dadhipanda was at home, lying down, with his head resting on the pot. Meanwhile, Mother Yashoda and Little Krishna were at their home, spending time with each other cuddling affectionately. "Oh God!" Said Yashoda, suddenly remembering that the milk on the stove could be boiling over! She lay little Krishna on the floor from her lap, and got up to run to the kitchen.
Taken aback and angry by this action of Mother, Krishna thought angrily, "Mother left me so suddenly! Looks like the milk is more important to her than me! I shall teach her a lesson!"
Krishna looked around and saw a stack of mud pots filled with several items such as butter, ghee, milk and curds kept at a height, away from his reach. He called out to his other little friends, handed them each a stick and commanded them to knock out all the pots! All the precious contents splattered all over the walls and floor. Even the children were bathed in them! The combined mess of butter, ghee, milk and curds flowed away on the floor like a river!
Hearing the loud noise, Mother Yashoda understood that Krishna and his friends were surely upto some mischief. She stormed out of the kitchen, and tried to grab little Krishna by his arm, but the butter and ghee helped him slip away easily from her clutches! Krishna quickly scurried away from her as far as he could. Annoyed and fed up with his incessant naughtiness, Yashoda yelled, "Krishna! Your mischief has had no limits these days! I'm tired of your behaviour! I'm definitely going to tie you up today as punishment! Stop running!" She was gasping for breath as she ran to catch the boy, now nearly out of her sight!
Seeing his mother actually rushing with a thick rope, little Krishna quickly ran into a nearby house. It belonged to none other than the curd vendor Dadhipanda. Seeing the old man, Krishna said "Thatha (grandfather), please let me hide in your house, my mother is chasing me with a rope, to tie me up! Give me some hiding space, thatha, please!"
Realising who it was, Dadhipanda called him inside and asked him to sit down, and then used his large curd pot to cover him from above.
In a short while Yashoda crossed his house and happened to see Dadhipanda.
She asked him "Is my son Krishna here? Have you seen him? He ran this way!" Dadhipanda immediately replied "No, not at all. He is not here!"
Yashoda turned and went the other way.
Little Krishna sitting inside the pot was happily enjoying the bits of curd stuck to the inside of the pot. A while later, learning that his mother had left, he said "Thatha, please let me out now, I can't breathe with the pot covered over me."
Dadhipanda replied, "I shall let you out only if you promise me something!"
"I'm only a little child, what do I have that can be of use to you?", asked the seemingly innocent Krishna.
"O Kanna, you are no ordinary child. I know very well that you are the Ultimate God. I desire moksham from you. If and only if you grant me this wish, shall I let you out again."
"Moksham, you say?" Krishna knew Dadhipanda was speaking the truth. "Yes, I grant you moksham."
Dadhipanda then added "Krishna, I desire you to grant moksham to my pot as well!"
"Moksham for a non-living thing such as a pot??" Dadhipanda managed to astonish Krishna himself!
"Yes, Kanna. It has accompanied me throughout my life. This pot has made my livelihood possible. I shall need it to support me as a pillow in moksham as well!"
"This does not make sense!" Krishna replied.
"I know that there can be nothing impossible for you to accomplish, Kanna. I have complete trust in your prowess."
"I grant your pot moksham, too", smiled Krishna.
Dadhipanda then removed the pot and let Krishna out.
"A lie to attain moksham, not just for yourself but also your pot??
This is something I have never seen before!" Krishna ran away, beaming at this amusing encounter with Dadhipanda.
What Dadhipanda said to Yashoda was indeed a lie. "He is not here."
The Lord is indeed Sarvavyapi, or omnipresent. There is not a place in this entire universe where the Lord is not present. Dadhipanda attained the ultimate moksham by stating a lie, all for the sake of Lord Krishna.
A sorrowful Penpillai says, “How unfortunate I am, to have not been able to possess trust and devotion upon the Lord, as great and deep as Dadhipanda! My life has been futile, I am unworthy of being in the same place as Lord Vaithamanidhi Perumal.”
Ramanujacharya thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story about one of the numerous extraordinary leelas of Lord Krishna!
“You are right, dear child. One can attain moksham even through a lie, if only one has the anugraham of the Lord.
To achieve this, all we need to do is place our complete trust and purest devotion in the Lord," agreed Ramanujacharya. "I now wonder about whom the next story would be?"
Penpillai continues, "Did I send myself away to the forest, like Perumal?' ?
We shall see about this in our next read.