Krishna asks Rohini Ma about a tree
Do Krishna’s questions ever follow logic- “Why does this tree give such small fruits?” Rohini Ma explains- The fruits have just come. They will slowly grow and on ripening be very sweet. Krishna starts thinking- “They have just come?” After walking all must be tired, Shall I offer some water. A smiles comes on Rohini Ma’s lips. Her darling is so innocent. Now, they won’t drink directly. Like your Gaurav doesn’t drink from the bowl like you, but puts his mouth directly on Kamada cow’s udders. You water the roots of the tree. The tree will drink the water from its roots and the fruits will get the nutrition. After pouring water on its roots, Krishna bent and watched the tree. His poured water is depleting. Most certainly the tree is drinking the water.
Rohini Ma instructs Madhumangala
Making a serious face, Madhumangala tells Rohini Ma- “This Krishna teases me.” If it were Tejasvi or Devapratha, Rohini Ma will coach Krishna- “Neelamani (Krishna) Do you tease your younger brothers. It is bad manners.” Then Krishna will make such a pose to show he is at fault. He will bring Tejasvi or Devapratha close to his lap and offer things to them. If an elder friend complains, Rohini ma will make it clear- “What then? You also tease him. He is afterall younger to you. Instead, elders should love their Youngers.” Rohini Ma tells Madhumangala- “You are a Brahmarshi (A royal hermit). You should be merciful on your young host. He is still innocent. Please give him your blessings.” Then Madhumangala replies- Ma, He is demanding such a Big Modak (sweet) and see Krishna expresses his desire by spreading both his arms. He wants to give two grains of such a small modak. At such a tender age, hosts should not be miserly. To make him magnanimous, I out of mercy, pounce on his Modak. Ma, why do you make such small modaks? Make large ones. Rohini ma also starts smiling- “If I make it big, you would have to strain to break it and your little host wouldn’t be able to lift it. You, don’t go to the forest. Here I will offer you your customized Modaks.” Madhumangala answers: “Then who will bless him in the forest, a monkey or a bear? No, I won’t donate my birthright to anyone.”
Rohini Ma- The most wanted
We keep approaching Rohini ma to ask questions, speak out, or complain in someone’s regard. One speaks to Ma, while the other pulls her hand and starts off. Ma simultaneously hears many and answers them all. She also expresses affection to them. Sometimes ma is jammed in a dilemma. A child holding her hand insists to go on a specific direction, while another points at the opposite road. Both want Ma to first listen to them. The talks may not necessarily be urgent, but for children their talks are most urgent. Krishna wants Ma to follow him to the barn and see how Kapila cow’s newborn calf shivers and stumbles to stand. On the other side, Tok is pulling her hand to show a tiny golden bird open her mouth to sing. In this way, children simultaneously pull ma. Ma lifts one or two on her lap, holds the hands of two, and thus satisfies all. She tells Tok- “Let the bird sing. You too sing along with her.” She can also tell Krishna- “Don’t go close to the calf. She is learning to walk as she stands. On looking at us, she will fall down frightened. Her mom must be hungry, I will send some food for her. Once she learns to suckle her mother’s milk, we shall see her.” Krishna looks at his Rohini ma in surprise. “Doesn’t know to walk? She is so big”, he says raising his hand. “Lohita is a tall cow so her calf must also be tall.” Rohini Ma is extremely skilled in diverting children’s minds. “Just in a while she will start jumping and hopping.” Ma has to immediately attend to Lohita and make arrangements for her, so she can say, “Come, let me also see her jump.” Just like Yashoda Maiya, the children keep wrapping around Rohini ma, and wipe their mouths with her saree. Even if they don’t, Ma herself wipes their mouths, hands and bodies, but Ma is so organized that the servants quickly get her clothes changed. Though Rohini Ma keeps busy, her cloths are spic and span, clean.
Rohini Ma with her Daughters-in-law
Rohini Ma is still busy even when Krishna is out grazing cows in forests or is sitting with Nanda baba along with his friends. Due to bad luck, sometimes you don’t get to accompany Krishna in the forest. It becomes very difficult to pass the day. Prayer and Worship doesn’t go on all day, and Nanda baba sits busy talking with aged-gopas. How long can you sit hearing the words of the aged-gopas? Those days, if you approach Rohini Ma during day time, her young daughters-in-law will be surrounding her. Ma directly tells- “Bhadra, son (लाला), these girls are shy before you. You sit with Nanda Baba for some time.” Now Rohini Ma’s ‘some time’ won’t end till dusk. Her juvenile daughters are not going to leave her. If four leave, 10 more come. If Krishna were present, he would take their case. He teases them or pulls their pigtail. He also sings and dances with them. Being alone, it is wise to play with newborn calves in the barn. Due to this, Bhadra is adept in familiarizing with newborn calves.
Rohini Ma, the expert teacher
Rohini Ma is an all-rounder. In the wives’s room on watching an excellent artistic feat, one will ask his wife, “Who taught you this?” “Rohini Ma taught me” she happily replies. On asking- “Have you strewn this garland?” The same answer “Yes, I just learnt it yesterday from Rohini Ma.” Ma also teaches them singing, instrumentals and dancing. But they all say in chorus- “Ma doesn’t dance, and would hardly sing for 1 or 2 seconds.” She just explains it and if there is a fault, corrects it. Bhadra once asked ma “Ma, Do you also know wrestling and the art of swirling canes?” The other cowherd women (गोपी) started laughing. Ma replied- Our wrestling master knows. Ma and other gopis often call Nandanchacha (Bhadra’s father), a wrestler. She then spoke seriously- “I am a Kshatriya woman. Therefore, I have learnt horse riding, chariot riding and sword fighting from my father. Do you want to learn sword fighting? Gopis and Bhadra kept staring at Ma. Ma doesn’t speak without thinking. Bhadra learnt a little sword fighting from Ma. Even the cowherd boys (गोपकुमार) should know the art of weaponry and shooting arrows, but Krishna is least interested in all this. Ma too doesn’t find time.
Rohini Ma- Physical characteristics
Rohini Ma loves Pista green and white-coloured clothes. Never seen her in red, rosy, or yellow garments. She never wears pattern-designed clothes. On festivals, after Yashoda’s Maiya’s great urging even if she adorns two-four ornaments she will wear sandal colored or slightly rose-white clothes, but on draping it, she looks like MahaSaravati (Goddess of Learning) incarnated. Undoubtedly, on the parting of her dense black curly hair a streak of Vermillion powder (सिंदूर) rests. On her effulgent forehead, shines a vermillion dot (सिंदूर बिंदी). Rohini Ma’s large eyes, look eyelined even without applying kohl and the long slender fingers of her lotus-like-hands look like blossomed flowers. Krishna sits on his Rohini Ma’s lap, facing his face to hers, placing his hands on her cheeks, grows impatient.- “Ma, you Sing.” Ma begins to hum. Ma never sings loud, but starts humming, and the song bird forgetting her music, hears her silently. Ma watches the face of her darling entranced and shakes the curls on his forehead intermediately. Such instances rarely happen. Ma, will then stand up in haste. She will remember an important duty. Lovingly patting her Krishna, she starts instructing a maid. She is the empress of our Golok. Where is she ever free?