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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Apologise for Misusing Radha-Krishna in the Court

Honorable Justices K. G. Balakrishnan, Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan
Supreme Court of India


We the undersigned take a strong exception to the reference to Radha and Krishna in your judgment relating to live-in relationships. We applaud your decision to rule in favour of the petitioner who was being victimized for speaking her mind. But we strongly protest the following statement as reported in the media: “Drawing an analogy from the Hindu mythology, even Lord Krishna and Radha lived together.”

We are utterly flabbergasted at the misuse of Radha-Krishna relationship in support of your techno-legal position. What was the need for such a reference? The case would have stood by itself on merit based on liberal democratic values within the framework of the Indian constitution.

It is your mischaracterization of the Radha-Krishna relationship that amounts to a brutal assault on the Hindu traditions and culture, exacerbated by the fact that you are the highest judicial authority in the country. By most traditions, and as per Bhagvada Purana, Shri Krishna lived in Vrndavan in his early childhood. His raas-leela with the gopis refers to this period. At ten (10) years of age he leaves Vrndavan for education and then returns to Mathura, not to Vrndavan. It would be absurd to take this as a live-in relationship as the term is understood in modern parlance.

To give you the benefit of the doubt, let us assume for a moment that the actual details of Sri Krishna’s early childhood are cloudy. The question remains whether it was proper to equate Radha-Krishna relationships with the live-in relationships that exist today. A comparative analysis is necessary to arrive at a concise conclusion.

Humans invented the institution of marriage to fulfill the basic purpose of human existence. This institution has survived tribulations of time and across all cultures of the world. The excessive materialistic culture of West with its non-responsible unfettered individualism as the social driver, led to the break-down of the family structure, resulting in high divorce rates, teen-pregnancies, child abandonment, along with the so-called live-in relationships. As an inarticulate backlash against such unconventional social arrangements, the conservatives all over the world have vilified the practitioners of alternate lifestyles. 

The conservative backlash and vilification is to be unambiguously condemned. From a techno-legal standpoint the state cannot mandate and enforce social responsibility and good conduct, but also cannot allow the conservatives to victimize and persecute the practitioners of alternate lifestyles. Hence the need for adjudication related only to the victimization aspect from a competent legal authority. Where does Radha-Krishna relationship fit into this equation? 

As per the Hindu tradition, the relationship between Radha and Krishna symbolizes cosmic love. It takes long years of spiritual practice and sadhana to unravel the mysticism of this cosmic love. The same cosmic love micro-manifests itself in numerous ways all around us — when one falls in love with a flower; or a mother’s love for her child; or when a cow lovingly feeds her calf. 

The macro-manifestation of Radha-Krishna love that is metaphorically represented by their raas-leela is the creation and sustenance of the Universe itself – the music of the flow of the rivers, and the creation of new stars and galaxies; and much more. The same cosmic love was experienced by Meera by her unequivocal devotion to Shri Krishna. Would you characterize Meera and Krishna relationship as also sexual?

The problem with “modern” types is that they evaluate cultural history and traditions by their faulty Western-inspired materialistic lenses, where everything is about bodily fulfillment. Where the parameters of human existence is limited to filling the stomach with food, numbing the senses with alcohol, the physical act of obtaining an orgasm, and then turning over and trying to get some sleep. Basically just live the life of an animal. With such parameters it is difficult to understand Radha-Krishna relationship. This is the precise reason you should have left Radha and Krishna alone in your adjudication process.

To remediate your indiscretions, we demand an apology or a note of regret for misusing the Radha-Krishna tradition.

Sincerely,
The Undersigned

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