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Why lord Krishna is shown with a flute in his hand
Posted By Sarin on Oct 13, 2012     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
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krishna flu In almost all the photos of lord Krishna, you would see him with a flute in his hand. Flute symbolizes the supreme personality of the lord and so, without a flute in hand; no image of lord Krishna can be complete. So, in this article, we will see why lord Krishna is shown with a flute in his hand or why the lord chose flute as his divine musical instrument.
The Great Lord krishna

Lord Krishna is one of the very close gods of all Hindus because of his childhood pranks, Raas-Leela, and his influential teachings through bhagavad gita. However, one of the spectacular personalities of lord Krishna was his ability of attracting everyone to his flute notes. Perhaps, it is said that due to society barriers, he talked to his dearest companion through the flute tunes, well understood and perceived by his companion ‘Radha’.  

Significance of lord flute
According to legends, Krishna’s flute is the symbol of freedom (Pranava). This is the flute which enchanted devoted gopis, maidens of vrindavan, to see their beloved playing the melodious note on the bank of sacred river jamuna. Divine sound of this flute thrilled all heart with rapturous joy and immense delight. All the maidens of vraja neither had shame nor fear and were totally intoxicated to the divine music of lord melodious tone.   This love of the maidens towards Krishna was a divine love, union of two souls and similar to merging of jivatma (Soul) to parmatma( supreme soul) . These gopis were the sages of forest dandka who desired to embrace lord rama. Since Rama was maryada purushottam, he was not able to fulfill their wishes and promised satisfaction in his next birth

Gopis and lord Krishna
  
Power of creation is expressed through his flute. His melodious music from flute represents the act of creation.  His standing on the big right toe signifies the Upanishad verse:  "Ekam Eva Adwitiyam Brahma” which literally means “One without a second". While standing, lord shows three curves which represent the three gunas which form the base of the creation. He stares at radha to put this universe in motion and the lotus on which he stands represent the entire universe. Lord Krishna is popularly known as "Bansiwala".
Why only Flute?
Made entirely of bamboo, Flute is the oldest musical instrument known to mankind. Flue is the only musical instrument which is completely natural void of any mechanical parts. Flute represents simplicity and sound very melodious when played in an open environment close to nature. For example, if you play a flute in a mountain or dense forest,the echo of the sound bouncing back either from the leaves or from the leaves is very enchanting. It is actually like nature is talking back to you. Moreover, birds start chirping and seem to respond well to the melodious note of the flute. Flute is one of the very few instruments easily portable.  

Lord Krishna flute in a natural environment
  
A short flute can be easily kept in your pocket or can be carried with ease unlike other heavy instruments. This is why lord Krishna favorite instrument is flute and he is often shown playing his flute in an environment close to nature.  
Lord Krishna asked his devotees to become his flute
Once, lord Krishna questioned his devotees on how they would like to see themselves in his hands. Some said like a lotus, some said conch, some said chakra but no one said flute. Then lord Krishna advised them to become his flute. Similar to human personality, flute also has 8 main spots including the five organs of perception, taste, intellect, mind, and ego. If you become my flute, then I can pick you up and touch my lips to breathe through your soul out of the hollowness of your heart. This will not only enlightened you but would also give the captivating melody for all creations.
How flute is made and what to learn from it?
Flues are not made of any bamboo piece. Only some of the bamboo pieces are fit enough to become a flute. To devise a flute, first the pulp inside the bamboo needs to be removed and then the outer and inner body needs to be scratched and tiered well to become flutes. This making of flute actually conveys the message that the human body needs no extraneous fitting to spiritually advance to salvation (Moksha) after reaching the heart of god (Krishna) through his lips. Just like the process of cleaning pulp, one need to clean his materialistic desires, Arrogance, greed, ego etc so as to spiritually advance to reach lord lips. This is very well explained in the below story 
Radha asked the reason for lord love to his flute
Once radha asked lord Krishna: "O my lord, why do you love your flute more than me. What virtuous action (Good karma) has this flute done that it touches your lips but I can’t? Kindly give me an explanation, my Lord". Lord replied: "O my ragini, this flute is very close to my heart. It has done very good karma to reach my lips. First it emptied its egoism, made its inner hollow because of which I can create any tone out of it. If you remove your ego and surrender to me in the same manner as this flute, then I shall love you in the same way I love this flute"

Lord Krishna and Radha
Krishna also gave a spiritual meaning as “Humans sorrows and pains are soul experience similar to holes made in a reed flute. Through these holes, I want to say that the heart of man is like a reed.Their pain and sorrow is like a hole piercing their heart, which is then used by me to produce the music that I wish to produce? But every reed does not become a flute, and so does every human does not believe in me and don’t tend to become my flute. Only those who render me service and does good karma is eligible of becoming my flute.  As the holes of pain and sorrows increases in life, human ultimately realizes me and agrees to become my flute.”
The flute has eight holes which represent eight personalities of humans-ears, nose, eyes, skin, tongue, intellect, mind and ego. All humans are like a flute with lord being the player of this flute. If we try to play anything from our flute, then it will produce only harsh noise, and not soothing music. It is only when love, concentration and divine thoughts are created in mind, flute renders divine music. So, human being is like a flute and the lord fills this instrument with breadth of life to make the inanimate instrument (Made up of five elements) come alive with range of possibilities.
To become a perfect devotee, one has to remove all his greed, ego, control internal materialistic desires of mind and surrender to the ever divine service of the lord.
Om Sri Krishna Rukminee-Kanta Gopeejanamanohara,
Samsarasagare magnam mamuddhara jagadguro.

Flute in divine service of the lord
  
How flute was made by lord krishna?
Through his flute, Krishna would express his love to all plants and animals of the forest. Plants would respond by gushing falling leaves, blossoming leaves etc and animals would express their love by coming close to lord Krishna and listen to his divine music sitting next to him. One day lord Krishna came running to the garden and asked bamboo plant “I need something from you but it would be difficult. Can you give me?” Seeing the lord requesting him, bamboo replied gracefully “Tell me lord. If I can, I will definitely give it to you”. Krishna said “I need your life. I want to cut you” So Krishna said “I need your life. I need to cut you”. Thinking for a while, bamboo asked “Is there any other choice? Is there any other way out?”. krishna answered” There is no other way”. Then the bamboo replied immediately” Ok do what you want. I surrender to you”. Then Krishna cut part of the bamboo and made eight holes in it and every time the hole was made, bamboo was crying in pain. Finally, lord Krishna made a beautiful flute out of that bamboo and kept it always with him.  
  
Gopis asking bamboo the secret of lord love
No other object other than the flute was with him 24 hours a day. Seeing this gopis became very jealous and said, “Krishna is everyone lord, yet we get to spend very few time with him.  But you are always with him even when he is asleep. What merits does our lord sees in you that he gives you tender and love day and night and you are able to drink the divine nectar of his lovely lips> You are black and from a wild bamboo family. So, what charm, beauty, grace and attractiveness do our lord sees in you? Please reveal your secret to us so that we don’t have to beg our lord for his love?” Bamboo remained silent as for he cannot cross his limit of speaking to a living entity. Seeing no answers gopis further said” When the lord plays you, peacock dances madly to your tunes, birds start chirping and singing to your melody. Even the most deadly snakes and cobra become humbled to your tunes. Cows leave their activity of grazing grass and listens to you. Calves stop sucking their mother breast and behave like statues with erect ears and rapt attention.  You behave like not a simple bamboo stick and behave more like a magic wand. Why your music attracts and holds the Soul (jivas) of the whole vrindavan citizens. Please tell us why the lord treasures a nonliving being like you more than us. Tell us o bansi (Bamboo) or we would die right here”.

Jealous Gopis trying to enchant Krishna
  
  Seeing the extreme love and passions of the gopis, bamboo decides to speak like the ents do. Bamboo said “Listen my friends. Listen O lovers of my lord: I have no merits nor I am attractive nor I have casted any magic on my lord. I am a simple forest reed completely hollow and bereft of beauty. Lord asked me to empty myself so that he can fill me with love. I realized its truth and obeyed his words. I don’t create music. Music is created by the one who plays me. I don’t attract anyone for that they are attracted by the one who plays me. For what I understand every creature is a flute and lord is the supreme player of this flute. He brings sweet or sad melodies to everyone lives according to his wish and karma. One who destroys his ego and totally surrenders to lord becomes the melody of my lord and merges with him. To come close to the lord, destroy your ego and purify your mind. All sounds of this universe are his voice. Let him shine through your eyes, speak through your tongue, smell through your nose. So, the secret of his love is complete surrender to him.  One should not be scared in doing the rightful duty in the service of the lord”

I worship Krishna, the supreme Lord, who’s every gait is a dance, every word is a song, who is master in playing flute, one with head decked with peacock's feather and blooming eyes like lotus petals, with figure like beauty tinged within the hue of blue clouds, and love charming millions of cupids.


A small poem to end this topic
Hey Krishna aaja bansi baja jaa.  
Hey Krishna aaja geeta sunaja.  
Hey Krishna aaja maakhan khaja.    
Hey Krishna aaja lila dikhaja.
Translation
O Krishna, come and play your flute.  
O Krishna, come and sing your song.  
O Krishna, come and taste the butter.    
O Krishna, come and dance before all.




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