The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Sakshi Gopala

I'll cite one story. It is very interesting story. If you go to India, you'll find one nice temple in Orissa. It is called the temple of "Witness-Gopāla," Sākṣī-Gopāla, Witness-Gopāla. This Gopāla was situated in a temple at Vṛndāvana. Now, two brāhmaṇas, one young and one old, they went to visit Vṛndāvana, the place of pilgrimage, and the old man... Because at that time there was no railway, the journey was very hardship. The old man felt very obliged, and he began to say to the young man, "My dear boy, you have done so much nice service to me. I am obliged to you. So I must return that service. I must give you some reward." So the young man said, "Oh, my dear sir, you are old man. You are just like my father. So it is my duty to serve you, to give you all comforts. I don't require any reward." Formerly, the boys were so gentle. And still, there are many boys like that. So the old man also thought that "No, I am obliged to you. I must reward you." So he promised that "I shall get you married with my youngest daughter." Now, the old man was very rich man, and the young man was not rich. He was poor. Although he was brāhmaṇa, learned. So he said that "You are promising. You don't promise this because your kinsmen, your family men will not agree. I am poor man, and you are rich man. You are aristocratic. So it will be not. This marriage will not take place. Don't promise in that way before the Deity. It is not good because Deity is there." But he was firm faith that "Kṛṣṇa is hearing," because the talks were going on in the temple. "So it will not be fulfilled." "No." The old man became still more persistent. "No, my daughter I shall offer you. Who can forbid me?"


So in this way, when they came back, one day the old man proposed to his eldest son that "Your youngest sister should be married with that boy. That I have promised." Oh, the eldest son of that old man become very angry: "Oh, how you have selected that boy to be husband of my sister? He's unfit. He's poor man. He's not so educated. Oh, this cannot take place." He did not agree. Then the mother of the girl, he(she) came to the old man: "Oh, if you get my daughter married with that boy, then I shall commit suicide." Now the old man is perplexed. Then, one day, the boy was anxious that "The old man promised before the Deity. Now he is not coming." So he... One day he came to his house: "Well, my dear sir, you promised before the Lord, Kṛṣṇa, and you are not fulfilling your promise? How is that?" The old man was silent because he was praying to Kṛṣṇa that "I am now perplexed. If I persist in offering this daughter to this boy, now there will be great trouble in my family." So he was silent. So, in the meantime, the eldest son came out and he began to quarrel with: "Oh, you, you plundered my father in the place of pilgrimage. You gave him some LSD or something, (laughter) intoxication. You took all the money from my father. Now you say that he has promised to offer you my youngest sister. You fool!" He began to say like that.


Then all the neighboring gentlemen, they: "Oh, what is the trouble? Here there is so much howling." "This is the... Do you think, sir, that this boy is fit for my sister? We are aristocratic family and this and that...," so on. So the young man said... Young man could understand the old man is still agreeable, but these, his sons and family members, as he suggested, they are not agreeable. So he explained the whole thing before all the gentlemen who came, that "This is the fact. Now, he promised. Now, for the sake of his son and wife, he cannot fulfill his promise. This was a promise before the Lord." In the meantime, the old man's eldest son... He was atheist. He voluntarily says, "Well, if your God comes and gives witness, then I shall offer my sister to you." But he was confident that God will come. He said, "Yes. I shall ask God. I shall ask Kṛṣṇa to come and give witness." So... Now, before all gentlemen this was done. Then the young man said, "All right, let us now come to agreement that I shall call Kṛṣṇa from Vṛndāvana to give witness in this matter, and when He comes, you'll have to." All the other gentlemen, they also persisted. So there was some agreement. So this boy went again to Vṛndāvana to his Gopāla, and he prayed that "Sir, You have to go with me." He was so staunch devotee, just like talking with friend. He did not think that He's a statue; it is image. He knew God. That was his conviction. So God said, "How do you think that a statue can go with you? I am a statue. I cannot go." Then this boy replied, "Well, if a statue can speak, He can go also." (laughter) Then Kṛṣṇa said, "All right, I shall go with you." Then there was some arrangement that "You will not see Me, but I will go with you. I'll go with you, and you hear, you'll hear the sound of My nūpura." A nūpura is an instrument which is fixed up in the leg of Kṛṣṇa. It sounds like "Ching, ching, ching, ching," just like that. So He was going with him, and daily he was offering some foodstuff, taking alms from the village. In this way he was coming, but when he came in the precincts of the village, of his own village, he could not hear the sound of the nūpura. So he saw back: "Oh, where is Kṛṣṇa?" He saw that statue there, the statue standing.


So he informed all the villagers that Lord has come to be witness, and... It is about some thousands years before this thing happened. People were convincing: "Yes. There was no... Such a big statue, this boy could not bring." So they believed, and there was a temple constructed by the king of that country. And still that temple is there, and it is named, the Lord is named, as Sākṣī-Gopāla. Sākṣī-Gopāla. Gopāla means... Gopāla is the name of Kṛṣṇa's boyhood. So because He came to give witness in that controversy, so that temple is still there. So the whole idea is the statue, statue... Because God is everywhere. So He's also in statue. God is everywhere. How can you say that He's not in statue? He's also in statue. So it is my devotion, it is my qualification, that I can induce that statue to speak with me. Just like the same way—if I am electrician, then I can fit any electrical instrument or machine or light from the electric energy which is all over—similarly, God's energy, He is present everywhere.