‘God is a Thief: He has Stolen My Heart’


By London Swaminathan
Post No. 901 Dated 11th March 2014

Pure Love Gopis and Mirabai

Please read my earlier posts on Gopis, post number 895: ‘’Swami Vivekananda on Gopis and Krishna’’ and 859 (Tamil article about Gopis).

Lord Shiva is praised as the Leader of the Robbers and Thieves in many places in Rudra hymn in the Yajur Veda. Scholars have given various interpretations in their commentaries for words such as ‘’Taskaranam, Sthayunam’’ in the Rudra. One of the interpretations is God is one who steals our heart.

The Boy Wonder of Tamil Language Tiru Jnana Sambadar who started singing thousands of hymns from the tender age of three, in his very first verse, called Lord Shiva, as the ‘’Thief who stole my heart’’ (Ullam Kavar Kalvan in Tamil). Without stooping at the first verse, he repeated the word ‘Thief Who Stole My Heart’ in all the ten verses in the first hymn. Every Saivite Tamil boy knows this verse (‘Thodudaiya Seviyan’ in Tamil).


In Northern part of India we see the same theme in the hymns of Mirabai and Gopis. They fell in love with Lord Krishna. God is a magnet and the devotee is iron. So the attraction is natural. As long as the iron is not rusty with bad thoughts and habits, it naturally sticks to magnet—the God.

Krishna has Stolen my Heart!

Here are two stories told by Swami Ramdas:

“Mirabai was a great devotee of Sri Krishna. She was married although she had dedicated her life to Krishna. Even after marriage she was always found singing and worshipping Krishna. She was pining for her divine lord and was perfectly indifferent to the world.


Mirabai belonged to the royal family and was married to a Prince of Udaipur. On account of her devotional nature, all in the royal household were against her and she underwent untold persecution through the hands of her sister-in- law and others in the palace. Her husband was kind and good to her. One day the prince came to her and said, “I am your wedded husband and so I am entitled to your love and affection. But whenever I come to you, I find you intoxicated with divine ecstasy. You have no time even to talk to me. My earnest wish is that you should give me also a portion of your love. What do you say?”

“My lord what you say is perfectly right. As a dutiful wife I should love you and serve you. But what can I do? Krishna, to whom I have dedicated my life when I was yet girl, has stolen my heart entirely. He has filled it with Himself so much so that there is no place left for you. I am helpless. Even if I wish to love you, I cannot do so. So understanding my position, you should be gracious enough to forgive me”
( I have published similar stories about two Tamil women Karaikal Ammaiyar and Andal: -swami)


Gopis’ Love

Many people are mistaken in their belief that the love between the Gopis and Krishna was of an ordinary nature on the physical level. This was not so. Their love was on the higher spiritual level. When the Gopis merely thought of Him, they were lost in Him and were raised to such a state of ecstasy that, for the time being, they forgot their bodies and their surroundings. All worldly inclinations, desires and thoughts were drowned in that ecstasy. The physical pains and attachments to the nearest kith and kin were all obliterated.

Once it so happened that a Gopi asked her daughter in law to light the lamp in the house, getting fire from the neighbouring house. In those days, there were no electric lights or even match boxes. The daughter in law went with a cotton wick soaked in oil to light it from the lamp at the neighbour’s house. She placed the wick on the fire when, just at the moment, somebody said, “Krishna is at the door”. Her eyes turned towards the door and she beheld Krishna standing there. She was so struck by the sight of Krishna that she stood gazing at Him, oblivious of the time and the fact that her hand was holding the wick over the fire. The wick having taken the fire was burning. The flame was licking her fingers, but she was not aware of it. She did not feel the pain, for she was unconscious of her body. The mother in law found out after a long wait that her daughter in law did not come, went to see what the matter was. She saw her looking at Krishna, entranced and enchanted by his presence, although her fingers were burning.


That was the love of the Gopis for Krishna, their Adored One. Their love was of the purest and the holiest type. Devotees reach this climax of love when they utterly absorbed in god—their heart’s Beloved.

Source: Stories As Told By Swami Ramdas, Published for Anandashram by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay-7, Year 1969.
Contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

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