Lessons from the killing of Dhenukasura
The story of the killing of the ass-demon Dhenukasura by Balaramji in Taalvan carries important practical lessons for all of us. Balaramji is declared to be the original Spiritual Master. Radhanath Swami has compared our hearts with the Taalvan forest. The heart is a beautiful place, a place for Krishna to reside and perform His pastimes. The fruits of our heart which we are supposed to offer to Krishna are our propensity to love and to serve. But currently our hearts are filled with innumerable Dhenukasuras and theirassociates. The propensity to love and to serve which are the fruits meant for the Krishna’s satisfaction are being devoured day after day by the Dhenukasuras of lust, envy, anger, greed, pride and illusion, sitting within our hearts. Consequently we are becoming more and more selfish and egoistic and not allowing Krishna and His devotees to perform Their pastimes within the Taalvan of our heart. Krishna’s sweet holy name doesn’t even stay within our heart. So what is our hope? Balaramji represents the Guru, Spiritual Master. When we allow the Guru to enter our heart through his instructions, through his example and through his inspiration, he thoroughly shakes up our false conceptions of being the proprietor and the selfish enjoyer of the things of this world just like Balaramji shook the tall Taal trees and instigated Dhenukasura. When we take shelter of the instructions of the Spiritual Master and sincerely try to follow them, the Dhenukasuras of lust, envy, anger, pride, greed and illusion get destroyed by the mercy of the Spiritual Master. Only by the grace of the Spiritual Master can we get rid of these demoniac contaminations within our hearts. And when our heart thus becomes pure and selfless then Krishna and all His devotees again enter and frolic within the Taalvan of our heart and enjoy the fruits of our love and our service. Thus our heart again becomes a beautiful place.
Radhanath Swami draws another important lesson: Dhenukasura was an ass. The nature of an ass is to be a beast of burden. As long as we continue in this material conception of life we will remain like asses carrying the burden of all of our past sins of all our previous lives, and suffering the Karmic consequences of all those sins. Also like asses, all over the world, people are struggling very very hard, just for existence in this world. Even if they have a lot, they still work so hard, out of greed, just to maintain or increase it. With all these enormous efforts we are just creating a massive kingdom of Dhenukasuras where egoistic desires for enjoying selfishly are creating bitterness and separating friend from friend, individuals from family and society, husband from wife, nation from nation and ultimately living entity from God. Thus we are working so hard like asses just to be kicked by Maya (illusory energy of the Lord) again and again and again. The only way to attain solace in this situation is to take shelter of the bonafide Guru and render loving devotional service unto Krishna under his guidance.
– Radhanath Swami