Humorous And Practical Lessons
No-one, not even an emperor, can be serious without relief. But
since everyone had to treat the king very respectfully, there would be
one person allowed to spoof with the king. The king would also be
able to joke with him, because if the king were to do that with his prime
minister, the prime minister's prestige would be reduced. So King
Krsnacandra was always engaged in a battle of wits with his joker, Gopala.
One time Gopala walked into the king's court and the king said, "Gopala, you are an ass." "My lord," said Gopala. "I am not an ass. There is a difference between me and an ass." Then Gopala measured out the difference between himself and the king and said, "Six feet."
* * *
One day the king's wife gave birth to a male child, and so the king was rejoicing. At that moment, Gopala came into a room, and the king said, "Gopala, on this very, very happy occasion, please tell me what do you have to say? Tell me exactly how you feel at this moment." Gopala replied, "Frankly, at this moment, I feel very happy after passing stool." "Gopala! How could you say such a thing?" The king was mortified. "On this auspicious moment, that's all you have to say? I'm completely disgusted. It's not funny and I don't appreciate your humour at all." After that, the relations between the king and Gopala were strained for some time. But one day, Gopala was rowing the king down the river, when the king suddenly had an urgent call of nature. Gopala said, "On this side there is a very heavy jungle area. It's not very suitable. Let us go a little further down and we'll find a suitable place." The king said, "Go over to the side!" Gopala said, "Not here. There is danger. Some thieves and dacoits. Your life may be endangered. There's a place ahead." The king said, "Gopala, I cannot wait any longer. Immediately go over!" Gopala had to go over and the king jumped out. He could hardly contain himself. When the king returned, Gopala asked him, "How are you feeling?" The king replied, "I am feeling very happy after passing stool." Then Gopala said, "Don't you remember? This was exactly the situation I was in after your child was born. When you asked me at that moment what exactly I was feeling, I was in the same situation as you are now. I told you how I was feeling, but you thought I was insulting to your son and you never appreciated it. Now do you understand?"
* * *
Gopala was building a new house, and according to the Vedic custom, before you open a house you have to have a sacrifice called a grha-pravesana. This means that there is a yajna so that the house is pure and offered to God. No one is allowed to pass any stool in the house or it will be considered contaminated. Nothing is used by anyone until the Brahmins enter with sankirtan-yajna, reciting mantras and sprinkling Ganges water. Thus in the Vedic culture, everything, including building a house and conceiving a child is regulated so that at every point one is conscious of Krsna. But the king wanted to defeat Gopala, and so he offered a large reward of gold coins if anyone could outsmart Gopala and pass stool in his newly constructed house.
One day Gopala was inspecting his house when a man sent by the king came up and pretended to be suffering from an urgent call of nature. "Gopala," he said, "I have to immediately pass stool. Please show me your bathroom. I cannot contain myself." "All right," said Gopala, "come on." He took him over to the bathroom of the newly constructed house and allowed the man to squat down inside. But when he tried to close the door for privacy, Gopala stood there by the open door. "Gopala, why are you standing there and not allowing me to close the door? Why are you holding that big stick in your hand. Gopala said, "No, you can pass stool in my bathroom, but if you pass one drop of urine I'm going to smash your head." Then the man laughed and confessed, "You are very clever," and he ran off defeated.
* * *
Bakula flowers are small, white, star-shaped flowers which are edible and can be cooked as a vegetable. Gopala Bhan was once making a garland of such flowers, and a friend approached him and asked him what he was doing. "I am making a garland for Lord Krsna," Gopala said. "You mean to say that Lord Krsna will come and take that garland from your hand?" asked Gopala's friend. "Yes," Gopala said, "And if he doesn't I shall cook it and eat it."
* * *
Sometimes great authorities will teach asat shastra, a teaching which is not actually bona fide, but is just something to beat the heads of the atheists and kick them out. There is one story of Gopala Bhan. He was employed by king Krsnacandra, who lived about 300 years ago in Bengal, and Gopala was the joker. He was also very intelligent, and very bold. There was a digvijaya pandita, who came to Bengal. At that time, the main king or emperor of Bengal was a Muslim, but in different provinces there were also Hindu kings, and Maharaja Krsnacandra was one such Hindu king, he was king in that area of Navadvipa. So this digvijaya pandita had been going all over India defeating all the pandits, and getting it written down, "I have defeated this one, I have defeated that one." So he came to the Muslim emperor, saying, "I am the great digvijaya pandita, I have come now to Bengal and I'm making a challenge. You bring your best pandita. I will defeat him." What he expected was that whoever he defeated had to become his disciple. So he made a very strong challenge. The Muslim emperor turned to his adviser and said, "What should we do?" The minister replied, "Well, you know all our best pandits are down in Navadipa." That was the centre of learning. So a message was sent to Maharaja Krsnacandra that a big pandita has come to the Muslim emperor and given challenge. "Send your best pandits, and if I defeat them they must become my disciples." So it was very heavy for Maharaja Krsnacandra, because he knew, "The Muslim emperor is expecting that I send some pandits that can defeat him. It is all now on my shoulders." So then, together with his advisers, he decided to bring in the big pandits. They explained to the pandits what was going on, but all the pandits in Navadvipa said, "No. We're not getting involved in this." They didn't want their prestige to be diminished, they were thinking, "If we go there and he defeats us then it means we have to become his disciples, and then our prestige will be diminished. So we'll just stay out of this." The king was very much worried, because he was a kshatriya, he cannot force Brahmins to do his will. He can only ask, and if they say no then he's in a helpless situation. So he was very worried. Then Gopala Bhan came in, and saw the king sitting there very morose. "Hey king! What's wrong?" "Oh Gopala, look don't bother me now." Gopala said, "Oh, come on, What's the matter." The king was very sober, "Look Gopala, we don't want to laugh now. We don't want to hear jokes. Please come back another day." "No no," Gopala said, "Why don't you just tell me?" "All right," the king said, and then he explained everything. Then Gopala said, "All right, then I will go." "You?" the king asked. "Yes, I will go, and I will defeat this pandita. No problem." So then Gopala went home, and he dressed himself up like a big Brahmin. Cut his hair with a big sikha, huge tilaka and a Harinam chadar, looking very bonafide. And Brahmins used to carry their shastra in a roll, a scroll wrapped in silk cloth, under their arm. So he was looking for something to wrap up, and he had in his house one old broken bed. So in Bengal these beds are strips of cloth which are woven together, like a deck chair, and in Bengali they call such a bed a kata. Because the English settled India, many English words come from the Indian language. In English such a bed is called a cot. So he took a leg from that old broken bed, and he wrapped in cloth. He went back to the king, and showed himself. Everyone was astonished. "Wow, he looks like a real heavy Brahmin." He was really getting into the role. "What is this shastra?" the king asked, and Gopala replied, "This is my Khatvanga Purana." "But we never heard of this shastra," everyone was saying. "When I come back I will tell you," Gopala said, and then he left. Actually what it was, was that khata means "bed", anga means "part of" or in this case the leg, and purana means "old." So it was "an old leg of a bed," or "Khatvanga Purana." So this was his shastra. Then he went to the emperors palace, and he came walking in. "Oh, what great pandita is this?" "My name is Gopala Bhan Das Pandit Maharaja. I have been sent by the king Maharaja Krsnacandra to defeat this so-called digvijaya. I am master of the four Vedas, and especially my field of expertise is the Jyotir-Veda (which includes astrology.)" He was speaking so confidently, and he was looking fearless. Everyone was very impressed, and even this digvijaya pandita was thinking, "He's not at all afraid of me. He must be a heavy one." So the digvijaya pandita saw this scripture that Gopala was carrying, and he asked, "What is this scripture, may I ask?" "This," Gopala replied, "Is my Khatvanga Purana, of which I am a master." The pandita was saying, "Wait a minute, I've heard of Visnu Purana, Skanda Purana. I've never heard of Katvanga Purana. May I see this?" Then Gopal Bhan exclaimed, "Ohh!" He was looking into the sky and going, "Ohhh! I have just noticed the angle of the sun, and I am remembering now the date today. We have just now entered a most auspicious moment, according to the Jyotir-Veda. Anybody who takes a hair from the head of this pandita," pointing to the digvijaya, "will immediately be granted with long life, and wealth in this lifetime, and liberation in the next. All auspicious result will come in this life and the next, simply by taking a hair from such a great digvijaya pandita as this." So then immediately everyone in the court ran and was taking hairs from the pandita. The pandita was being in this way driven by Gopal, and they were taking from his beard, face and everything. He went running and they were all chasing him. Finally when he was gone, Gopal regained his composure from torrents of laughter. Gopala Bhan returned to Navadipa with his head in the air. "Don't worry King, he is gone. That pandita has run off. He's completely defeated, completely finished." "Oh!" the king said. "How did you do this?" "As you were saying, I have this Katvanga Purana. I am a master of the learning of this." And when he opened it he showed a leg of a bed, and everyone was astonished. Then he explained the story, and they could all understand that he had just played a big joke, that's all. Then they asked him, "How is it that you could go so confidently, so boldly into that courtyard of the Muslim emperor, simply dressed up like a brahmin and carrying an old bed leg under your arm. How were you so sure that you could defeat him just by a trick?" Gopala replied, "As soon as I heard that this pandita was going to the Muslim king and declaring that he is a great learned scholar, and that he would defeat any other scholar, then I knew that he must have been a fool. He must have actually been a kind of rascal because what do Muslims know about Vedic learning. Why did he go to the Muslim, why didn't he come down here or go to another Hindu king. He was going to the Muslim king, so I knew that he must just be a rascal, trying to make a big show, so I did not think I had anything to fear when I went there." MORAL: The digvijaya pandita was just actually a rascal, which means not really one who's situated on the platform of knowledge, just someone who's trying to gain some name and fame. That's a rascal. Rascals can be defeated by rascal means.
* * *
There was another incident with Gopal Bhan. He was a very cunning fellow in the Mohammedan period in Bengal. So the Mohammedan Nawab asked him, "Gopal Ban, can you prepare a Mahabharata in my name?" "Oh yes!" Gopal replied. "I'll engage so many pandits, and they will make a Mahabharata describing your activities, your glories, everything. So give me one hundred thousand rupees, just to begin." Gopal was taking more and more money. Then the king asked him, "When will it be published?" "Just a few days more," Gopal replied. Then finally, "Yes sit, everything is prepared. But one last thing is, you have to give me information about how many husbands your wife has got. How many?" So this was a great insult. "What? You nonsense!" the king exclaimed. "No," Gopal replied, "This is the main feature of the Mahabharata. Draupadi had five husbands, so how many husbands does your wife have? Tell me that." "I am the only husband!" the king shouted. "Then how can I write Mahabharata?" Gopala asked. "If you want Mahabharata you must tell me how many husbands your wife has. That he cannot say, so Mahabharata finished. And he kept the money. MORAL: So scientists are doing like that. They are taking taxpayer's money, but then in the end they make up some excuse why they couldn't do it. Politicians take votes and make so many promises, but in the end they break all their promises.
* * *
Once there was a brahmin who had the habit of day dreaming. On this
occasion he had come up with the idea to laboriously make some clay pots,
which he did. After dying them he brought them into the house and sat before
them looking and smiling. "Mmmmmm," he said to himself, "I need a cow,
then I can collect the milk of that cow in all of the pots, churn some
into ghee, keep some and sell some for profit."
As he spoke suddenly his wife came in, and took two pots away and put them over on the other side of the room. "Hey, What the ....." said the brahmin, ".....what do you think you are doing with those pots?"
"They are for my mother and sister," his wife retorted.
"I'm not giving milk from my cow to you mother and sister," the brahmin shouted. "If your sister comes here to collect milk I'll kick....!" And as he said that he kicked the pots and they all broke into pieces all over the floor.
Now Gopal Bhan happened to see what was going on and the huge argument that followed regarding how, "....just the mention of your sister, and look what has happened to my pots.......!"
Gopal thought he would resolve the matter and immediately took up a stick, and ran into the room shouting at the brahmin while beating him with the stick, "Your cow has gone into my vegetable field and has eaten all my sabjis, what do you........????"
The brahmin coming to his senses then shouted, "Wait, I don't have a cow!"
Gopal, stopped and said, "........So what's all the commotion about?"
* * *
One day Gopal Bahn was entering the kings palace and he heard all sorts of music and everyone was singing and dancing. He asked someone, "There is no religious Holy day today, why the music and dancing, what is the occasion?" The person told him, "Gopal, sir, the king's wife has finally given birth today, and the child is a boy. The kingdom now has a prince". "Oh. all right, very nice", Gopal thought. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna teaches that a yogi, one who controls his mind and senses, that he should practice self-control and not allow his mind to become carried away, either by happiness or distress. When there is good news, one must learn to take it soberly and not get carried away, and when there is distressful news one must also control his lamentation and not get carried away. If one can control the mind and emotions in this way, this is called sama dama, or keeping the mind the 'same' or equal and this self control will give one a higher inner calm and peace of mind. Ones mind who is under such control will always remain calm and peaceful under any material condition and thus that soul will achieve a much higher happiness then can be achieved by material situations alone.
So, Gopal remained very sober and went on to greet his king. When the king saw Gopal and saw that Gopal looked so sober, so - well, so much like Gopal always looked, he asked, "Gopal, what is the matter, haven't you heard the good news? I, your king, I am now a father. After so many years, finally I am a father. A father of a Son. I have a son, Gopal. A son. Do you not understand what this means? Now the kingdom has a prince. A royal heir to the thrown. This is the most wonderful news Gopal. Can't you see, everyone is so happy? The royal musicians are all playing, the professional dancers are all dancing the singers are singing and everyone is dancing and celebrating."
Gopal, still very sober and straight faced, says, "Yes my dear king, I have heard. Very nice, I am happy to hear this."
The king: "But Gopal, you are not dancing and singing, you are not laughing, you are not even smiling. What is wrong? This is such good news, yet you do not seem very happy."
Gopal: "Oh, no, king, I assure you I am very happy".
The king: "You do not look happy, you are not smiling. Gopal, what is wrong?"
Gopal: "Nothing is wrong, sir. I assure you I am very happy."
The king: "Well, just how happy are you, Gopal?"
Gopal: "Oh my dear king, I am as happy as if I had just passed stool"
The king: "WHAT?!?!? How Dare You liken the birth of my son to your passing stool. How dare you insult my new born son in such a way. I can have your tongue ripped out. I can have you banished from this kingdom, I can have you beheaded. How dare you insult the future heir to the thrown in such a way. What an insult."
Gopal: "But, my dear king, you asked me how happy I am, and I simply answered you very honestly. Passing stool can give one great happiness. It can be a great relief. And sir, I am only being truthful when I say that I am just as relieved to now hear that you are now a father of a son. And I am just as happy as I am at times when I pass stool. I assure you, my dear king, that I have no intention of insulting the birth of your son. I can be extremely relieved and happy at times when I pass stool and I am just as happy right now"
The king: "So, you claim that passing stool can make you very happy. I cannot understand this. You are simply trying to make an excuse. I will banish you from this kingdom. Unless you can prove to me that passing stool can give one great happiness, I will have you banished. Do you understand Gopal? It is just evening, so I will give you one day. By sunset tomorrow if you have not proven this statement of yours by sunset tomorrow, you will be punished Gopal"
The next day the king declared it a day of celebration. A lake was near the palace and the king had a very large boat. He invited all of his friends and family for a whole day of celebration on the boat. In the morning as they boarded the boat the king saw Gopal and reminded him that he had only until sunset to prove his statement or else. Gopal, with a calm and sober hint of a smile, simply nodded his head in agreement.
The boat then was taken to the center of the lake for the day's celebrations. The royal musicians played as the dancers performed and the singers sang so nicely. The king would pause from time to time to look over at Gopal, reminding him with his cold piercing eyes, time was running out.
Gopal was the kings personal and topmost priestly advisor, so he had some clout among the kings servants. He went down stairs into the galley where the cooks were cooking up a huge feast. Gopal went to the chief cook and told him, "My dear sir, you know that I am the kings closest advisor. I must inform you that the king is suffering from a very acute case of constipation. Normally he would be advised not to eat a large feast. However, since this is a special occasion, he will not listen to my advice and will insist on eating anyway. So, here, I have brought this very strong herbal laxative. Take it and please, sprinkle the whole bottle onto the kings plate. I realize this is a very strong dose, but he very much needs this strong dose today." The cook, happy to be of help, enthusiastically agreed to follow the advice. Then Gopal went to the rowing section. Here he spoke with the soldier in charge of rowing the boat. Gopal told him, "My dear sir, as you know I am the personal confidant of the king. I am sorry to report that the king is suffering from a severe disorder today, you know, with all the festivities and all. His is actually very ill and has a very weak stomach. He cannot tolerate the rocking about of the boat. Therefor, I am asking that it is in the best interest of the king that when you row the boat back to shore that you do so ever so slowly and calmly so that you do not cause any rocking of the boat. If you go too quickly the boat will inevitably rock and especially after eating such a big feast with his weak stomach, oh what a mess it will be. So, for the king's best interest, I beg you sir, you must row this boat ever so gently and slowly back to shore. Even if the king becomes impatient and orders you to do otherwise, I assure you, it is in the king's best interest that you ignore his requests and proceed only very slowly to return to shore." The man in charge of rowing agreed, he would not want to be the cause of the king throwing up in front of everyone. Yes, he agreed, even if the king orders him to go faster, he will go as slowly as he can so as to not rock the boat.
After this Gopal returned upstairs to see the fun... The feast was just about to be served. It was now mid day. The king saw Gopal and reminded him that his time was running out and the king could not see that he was making any effort at all to convince the king of his statement that passing stool can give one such great happiness. Gopal simply gave his sober smile and told the king, "No need to worry, my king, it will all come to 'pass' shortly". Finally, the feast. Ah, the king ate heartily. And Gopal noted the herbal and spice laxative was indeed sprinkled profusely on the kings plate.
After the feast the best dancers now came out to perform for the kings pleasure. As the performance got underway the king called Gopal over and again reminded him that his time was running out. It was now late afternoon and the sun would be setting soon. Gopal looked the epitamy of a man with no worries. He simply told the king not to worry. "It will all come to 'pass', my dear king, be happy, don't worry." As the girls danced to the music of the vina and sitar and the drums, Gopal noticed the changing movements and expressions of the king. The king began to squirm, this way, and that way in his seat. He leaned over to the left, he crossed his legs, he leaned to the right and gritted his teeth. He sat up straight and grinned and bore it. He squirmed this way and that. And began to sigh and heave with his breath. He crossed his legs and gritted his teeth again.
Then, suddenly, in the middle of the performance, the king jumped up and shouted, "STOP. Everyone STOP. Right now. Tell the rowman to take this boat back to the shore IMMEDIATELY. Chalo (GO). Now!"
Everyone was shocked and surprised. What was wrong? Everyone but Gopal. He simply sat their with his amused sober smile of one who was truly aloof and transcendental from the dealings of the material world around him.
Others approached the king and asked. "Sir, what is the problem, the celebration is not quite over, why did you stop it and why go back so quickly?" The king, now pacing back and forth a few feet this way and that, said, "Ah, I suddenly remembered there was some extremely important affair of the state that I must attend to immediately."
The solder in charge of rowing, however, did not want to disturb the kings stomach, and so, following Gopal's advice, he had his men row the boat very, very slowly. 5 minutes, 10 minutes had passed, the king, totally loosing his patients, looked around and began screaming, "What, we are still out in the middle of the lake! I have ordered the rowmen to take this boat to shore immediately. Faster, faster. What is the delay? Tell them to go faster, faster." But, Gopal motioned to the solder in charge, reminding him of the kings weak stomach, and so the rowmen continued to row very gently.
After another 15 minutes the king was now pacing back and forth the whole length of the boat. He was wrought with worry. Finally the boat was now only a hundred feet or so from shore. It would take another 5 minutes to dock the boat and get it ready for departure. The king could not hold it any longer. He ran, as fast as he could, from the back to the front then went flying into the water after jumping off the front of the boat. He hit that water and swam to shore and went running onto the beach. There he opened his clothing and squatted down. By this time the boat docked and Gopal got off and walked over to the king, who was still in sitting in a squat.
Gopal: "My dear king, what was the matter?"
The king: "I had to pass stool all of a sudden"
Gopal: "I see. Tell me, now that you have passed stool, do you feel greatly relieved? Are you feeling very happy?"
The king: "Yes, I feel very relieved and yes, I do feel extremely happy now... "
But then the king's eyes started to bulge as he realized something... He looked up at Gopal and with great anger said, "Gopal, you rascal. You did this to me."
Gopal: "But king, the sun is just about to set, and you said I had to prove this statement to you. I succeeded didn't I?"
The king: "Gopal, I have to admit that you succeeded this time and saved your skin, but I am telling you now, I will get even with you for this, Gopal, I will get even with you for this."
* * *
After this the king decided to find another top advisor and he let Gopal go. Gopal was still free to stay in the kingdom, but he was no longer the king's intimate advisor, for since that day the king did not like seeing the face of this Gopal. Gopal now wanted to take what earnings he had and buy himself a piece of land where he could tend a garden and live his life peacefuly. For sometime he had his eyes on one very nice piece of land that had very fertile soil and was very nicely situated. It was just next to the palace. He met with the landlord and was able to make a deal and bought the land.
That day Gopal built himself a thatched hut to live in (with some help a thatched hut can be built in one day).
The next morning the king went out to take his morning walk along his palace balcony. This was the favorite time of the day for the king. Each morning he would stroll along his balcony and look out over the land in that direction. It was soothing for him and helped him to ease his mind from the stress of being king. But, this morning he noticed something. He called his newly appointed brahman advisor over and asked him, "What is that down there?" The advisor said, "That is a brahman's hut, sir".
The king: "A hut? Someone has built a hut on this land? This was my favorite view. It was unspoiled with only the trees and the stream and rolling hills. And someone went and built a hut down there. Who would have done this?"
The advisor: "Well, king, it appears that a brahman must have got the land and built himself a hut."
Just then a man could be seen coming out of the hut.
The king: "Do you see that? Someone just came out. Who is that person down there?"
The advisor: "Oh, I see. My dear king, it looks like the person who built the hut and who is now living there is Gopal Ban."
The king: "Gopal Ban?!?! Oh NO. I let him go as my advisor because I never want to see that man's face again. But, this is my favorite view. I always take my morning stroll out here on this balcony. You mean that I must still have to see his face everyday? NO. No. We must get him off that land."
The advisor: "But king, it is scriptural law that even a king cannot usurp the property of a brahman. It is illegal for a king to take the properly away from him or to destroy his hut"
The king: "You are now my advisor, you think of something, but just get Gopal Ban and his little hut off that properly."
The brahman thought for a while and so the next day he ate a big meal and then took a strong herbal laxative and went to pay Gopal Ban a visit.
He got to the hut and knocked outside. Gopal came to the door.
Gopal: "Oh, it's you. The king's new advisor. The king sent you to ask me to leave, didn't he. But, I will tell you, I will not leave, this is the best land for planting a garden and tending my cow, it is perfect and I will not leave. Remind the king that he cannot take the properly of a brahman from him."
The adviser: "No, Gopal, the king didn't send me here. I saw your hut here and I just wanted to pay you a visit. I just wanted to see your hut, please, Gopal, invite me inside"
Gopal: "You are a brahman, so I cannot refuse your request, come in. But, I am no fool, I know you have got some crafty plan to try to get me to tear down my hut and get me to leave."
The advisor: "Gopal, really"
They sat there silently for a few minutes, and then the adviser said: "Oh, oh, Gopal, Oh now, I must pass stool, I have got diarrhea. I must pass stool. Please, Gopal, go outside and let me pass stool here and now."
Gopal. "I knew it. You rascal. If you must pass stool then quickly get up and run outside and pass outside somewhere. You know the rules."
You see, by the Vedic rules of cleanliness it states that if someone passes stool in doors, inside a house, that the whole house becomes contaminated and at least the brahman, the priestly class, they can no longer reside in such a house. The hut would have to be torn down, Gopal would not be able to live there if this man passes stool in his hut.
The adviser says: "Oh, but Gopal, I have diarrhea, actually it was due to that same strong laxative you have our king, and I cannot hold it. I must pass right here and now. I am a brahman Gopal, and you must honor the humble request of a brahman."
Gopal looking around his hut picks up a big stick he had kept in case
of emergency and stands over the adviser brahman, shaking the big stick
"Yes, you are right, my dear priest, I must honor the request of a brahman. You have asked me for permission to pass stool, only, in my hut. Yes, I will honor that request, you may pass stool", and shaking his big stick he adds, "But, if you pass one drop of urine I will smash you".
* * *
Once Gopal, the king's confidential minister/advisor was in one of his funny moods where he was out to prove a point. On this occasion every time anyone said any thing to him he simply replied, "If that's what Krishna has arranged then that's fine by me !"
During the course of the day different persons would come up to him with need of advice, "Gopal what do you think if we build an extension to the palace over there?"
To which he'd reply, "If that's what Krishna has arranged then that's fine by me !"
Another would come and ask, "Hey Gopal do you think if we make next wednesday a public holiday that will be appreciated by the people?", To which he'd reply, "If that's what Krishna has arranged then that's fine by me !"
Then King Krishnachandra came in and asked how things had been going in the kingdom, to which Gopal replied, "everything is going on by Lord Krishna's arrangement and that's fine by me !!!"
The king looked at him a little strangely, but knowing that it was Gopal and sometimes it was difficult to understand Gopal he let it go.
Later that day the king called for Gopal and announced that he was going hunting, and that Gopal is required to come, to which Gopal replied, "If that's what Krishna has arranged then that's fine by me !"
The king then asked Gopal to pass his sword. As Gopal passed the sword it slipped from it's scabbard and cut off the top of the king's little finger.
The king mildly chastised him saying, "Gopal, please be more careful, look what you have done", To which Gopal surprisingly said, "If that's what Krishna has arranged then that's fine by me !"
"Okay Gopal I've had it with you and your saying that, you're not coming hunting you're going to cool off in the dungeon while I go hunting, what do you think of that?"
"Oh well, if that's what Krishna has arranged for me, then that's fine by me !"
"Guards !!!! Take him to the dungeon !!!"
So the king went off hunting in the forest and Gopal went to jail.
The king and his party had been travelling in the forest a day or so when they were attacked and captured by a band of dacoit followers of the goddess Bhadra-kali who make human sacrifices to Her.
They looked at all the party for someone worthy offering. Obviously the king was in the best condition, so they considered him first. As they began to prepare him one of them noticed that the top of his finger was missing, and thus he was unofferable. They searched the rest of the hunting party and as military men they all had some thing missing, a finger a toe, and ear, etc. Consequently they were all released and the king swiftly returned to his kingdom with his small party.
Upon his return, he went to the Court and noticed the absence of Gopal. He then sent for his trusty minister to be released from the jail and be brought there. Upon Gopal's arrival the king asked him how he was and how he'd been in the jail.
"I'm okay, whatever Lord Krishna arranges for me, that's fine by me !!!"
"Oh Gopal I'd hoped you would have been over that by now...........let me tell you what happened to us....!" and began to tell how they were captured by these wild dacoits........
Gopal immediately said to the king with a smile, "Just see, if that's what Krishna arranged then see how that's fine by me !"
"Gopal you are walking on VERY thin ice here, explain yourself, but this better be good! " the king said.
"Well my dear king, as I was meant to be going with you hunting I am completely satisfied with the arrangement that Krishna made by putting me in jail. You see when the dacoits were looking for someone among you who was still complete and with nothing missing, well that would have been me, I would have become the offering to goddess Kali, so all I can say, again and again is that's what Krishna has anytime arranged for me having full trust in His wisdom, then that's fine by me !"
* * *