Sridama and Subala- The leaders of Barsana
In Barsana, the elderly sakhas accept Sridama as their leader.
However, in sports and competitions, Daudada is their companion.
Friends of Krishna’s age group and the younger ones accept Subala as their leader.
They keep moving around Krishna like followers.
Besides, Sridama and Subala come within the Priyanarma Sakhas.
Hardly does Krishna tease or trouble the Sakhas of Barasana.
However, he meddles with Sridama as an exception.
He doesn’t tease friends coming from Sridama’s group but he likes to fight with Sridama. Then, no Sakha from Barsana interferes in their battle.
Even Sridama’s own brother Subala, becomes a neutral witness and watches such hilarious episodes with delight.
Moreover, Krishna too doesn’t expect anybody’s favor.
This instigator can single-handedly meddle with everyone.
So, on such occasions, when Sridama takes his complaint to Dada, there is no response. Because, Dau Dada shall caress Sridama or Bhadra shall persuade him.
Krishna’s Younger friends
Amongst Krishna’s Younger Sakhas, 4 are prominent-
3) Deva Prastha and
4) Toka Krishna.
They are all the sons of Krishna’s Tau and Chacha. Hence, they are Krishna’s cousin brothers.
Moreover, all of Krishna’s sisters-in-law are ever-eager to have them.
Harem of Krishna’s friends
Concerning the harem, Madhumangala’s entry is unhindered.
Indeed, he has the right to call everyone “Ma ”. Wherever he goes, this Brahmin shall be well-received.
If he feels sleepy he will lie down wherever he feels. Then, he will tell someone- “Ma, I will sleep here. Quickly spread my bed”.
He neither feels shy while speaking nor does the other feel uncomfortable in his presence.
Except the younger gopas, all of Krishna’s friends are extremely reserved and hesitant.
They rarely visit the harem of their Sakhas.
Moreover, on reaching there, they would like to become the personification of modesty, even on being teased by their bhabhis.
However, those very Sakhas when along with Krishna turn out to be extremely fun-loving and of the troubling type.
Then, they come first to tease or trouble anyone.
But there are exceptions to these too.
Who does not play Holi in Goloka?
Daudada can never become prankish.
He doesn’t even participate during the festive occasion of Holi.
Only his Sakhas can apply colors on him.
So, nobody jokes with him.
However, Bhadra participates in the Holi festival only if Krishna forcibly pulls him along. Still, he would not apply color on anyone.
If a Bhabhi rubs some color on him, he shall reciprocate by taking a handful of Kumkum and applying it on her feet.
So, none of them joke with him.
Nature of Sakha Bhadrasena
Besides, one of Bhadra’s wives comes from Barasana.
She is the younger sister of Shri KirtiKumari (Radharani), but for Bhadra, Barsana is like a prohibited zone.
He flees just on taking its name.
No restriction has been put on Sridama and Subala’s entry to the residence of any Sakha, but both are extremely hesitant.
If their leaders are so shy, how can their followers be audacious?
However, both have their own ways to hide their hesitance-
“We do not go to the mansions of others. Others should come to our hall. We are people who offer hospitality. Why should we accept other people’s hospitality?”
But Krishna keeps moving in everybody’s harem, mostly alone, and sometimes even along with some friends.
Being in Mayura Mukuti’s (Krishna) company nobody can think of anything else.
Forest: The Pradhan Peeth for Sakhya Rasa
The Sakhas come together only during the forest pastimes. Thus, their mutual humor and fun carries on.
The maturity of Sakhya Rasa chiefly lies in the forest pastimes.
Only through the cow grazing pastimes, can all the Sakhas corroborate and enjoy playing with each other.
Krishna’s unleashed companionship can manifest only in the forest without hindrance.
Just as the Pradhan peeth for Vatsalya is Nanda Sadan and the temple for Madhurya Rasa is the secrecy of Nikunja (Nibhrita-Nikunja), similarly the ground for Sakhya Rasa is the forest (Vana).
Uncountable friends get the opportunity to serve Krishna and regale in his company.
Based on age, qualities and dynastic differences there is no room for prejudice of high and low amongst the Sakhas.
Likewise, all those greater in age are addressed as ‘Dada’ by the Sakhas. But usually the Sakhas directly address each other by their names.
Even if they call someone Dada, they join their names as a prefix.
Simply Dada is only Dau dada’s privilege.
How do the Sakhas address each-other?
The Sakhas speak in terms of “Tu” while speaking to each other or while even addressing their elders.
They all are accustomed to calling Tau, Baba, Chacha, as “Tu”.
If a Sakha calls another Sakha “Tum” it means that he is angry or is piercing him by his words. He can also be delivering a cranky complaint.
The elder gopas address Maharishi Shandilya and the Brahmin class by calling them “Bhagvan”.
Likewise, the seers reciprocate by calling others “Aap”
The rishi-munis with matted hair and beard are very strange. Don’t know whether they are eternally upset with others, or they don’t know how to say “Tu”.
Not just Dau dada, they even call Krishna and his naughty friends “Aap”.
That is why if someone happens to meet any of them, the Sakhas prefer to immediately take a flight.
Krishna listens to Rishi-Munis
Only Krishna keeps listening to their enigmatic talks.
Perhaps he is listening because he can’t understand a single word of it.
Bhadra once asked him- “What were you listening to from that Baba? What was that Baba saying? I don’t understand, do you know?”
Krishna said- “When he was speaking, I liked the way his Dadhi (beard) was moving. I was watching his beard.”
The poor baba must be thinking that this little Krishna is understanding his hymns.
But one thing is for certain that Krishna’s power of hearing is too good.
From a great distance, he can hear a sakha whisper- “Kanu,”
He will then quickly come running to him.
Krishna can fight with his Sakhas, and even they can get upset with him for a few moments. But Krishna neither knows how to get angry nor can he live without his friends.
He cannot tolerate the humiliation of his Sakhas.
Indeed, the life and soul of the Sakhas, He is the only ONE.
Thanks for reading!