Sakhaon ka Kanhaiya- Story 5
Bhadra came close and asked- “Kanu! What are you doing?” He had sensed someone in the barn and has come to see who it is. Cows, calves, and bulls have all gone to graze. None of the servants have arrived to clean the barn. Only the newly-delivered cows and their calves are lodged in one end of the barn. Cow dung, cow urine and the left-over grass trampled by their hooves lies scattered all over the barn. Currently, the barn is unclean. At this hour, Kanhai has secretly entered the barn. He just woke up from sleep and before his Maiya could spot him he’s into the barn. Bhadra is often seen with Baba. Baba after getting the cows milked has gone to escort the cows with the gopas a little away from the village, hence Bhadra was about to leave homewards for breakfast, but since he sensed someone in the barn, he has immediately turned this way.
Kanhai is afterall only three years old. He is currently wearing a very loose bloomer (Kachni) on his waists. The kajal dots on his forehead have also smudged. The kohl of his eyes has smudged till his cheeks. His hair is disheveled. His earrings are peeking through his curls. Kanhai is sitting cross-legged. Bhadra came and stood leaning against Shyam Sundara’s left side and end up asking him- “What are you doing?”
“I am making a Devata!”-He lifted his face covered by his curly locks and looking towards his Sakha said- “You get me some gobar (Cowdung).”
“How big will you make your Devata?” Bhadra too liked this idea of making a devata, be he is a little doubtful- “Maharishi Shandilya makes a clay devata and he makes it small.” Bhadra has possibly seen Maharishi Shandilya perform clay deity worship. If you were to make that big idol then enough gobar lies before Kanhai. Why does he ask for more? Bhadra asked “Will the deity be made of Gobar?” Shyam said- ““Why not! Gobar is purer than clay. Didn’t Maiya say yesterday? Gobar will give us a good Devata. I will make a big devata. You get gobar!”
This could be why the govardhana custom has started and Samartha Swami Ramadas could have possibly gained inspiration to make Shenmaruti through this. In Marathi, Gobar is called ‘Shen’. ‘Shenmaruti’ (Cowdung Hanumanji sinduri idols) established by Samartha Swami Ramadasa are innumerable in Maharashtra.
“Okay, Make!” Bhadra too has fancied this job. How much ever he could bring in his small palms he brings it and puts it before Shyam. Kanhai has already made a small mound of gobar between his two half-spread legs. Piling the gobar brought by Bhadra and tapping-pressing it with both his hands, he is busy making the mound larger. His Kachni, buttocks, thighs, his entire feet and legs is completely soiled in Gobar. His two lotus hands have gobar all over. His thighs, knees, his entire feet, everywhere you find gobar. On being touched by his gobar hands, his chest is also not left untouched, and Bhadra’s feet and hands are all soiled in Gobar. Bringing it close to his bottom, he brings gobar in his hands, hence enough gobar has soiled his bottom.
Maiya suddenly arrives in the barn. Bhadra has not reached home and Kanhai is also not to be seen, then both must surely be in the barn. She had already thought of this. When Maiya came, Dau dada also followed her and seeing his younger brother making mounds of gobar, he came forward. Sitting clipped to his brother, he said- “Shall I make? What are you making?”
“I am making a Devata.” Shyam lifted his face and looked at his mother as if to ask whether he was doing the right thing. Maiya laughed and said- “Are you all less than any devata? Now leave the clay deity, and come and take bath, take breakfast. Worship the devata sometime later.” Would Maiya listen? She lifted Shyam in her lap and held Bhadra’s hand. Her clothes will be soiled with Gobar, this she never thinks. The Devata must wait to grow a bit more.