''The Supreme Lord creates the world merely in play...''
Brahma Sutras of Badarayana.
"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me."
~ Bhagavad Gita
There is this idea of the whole of creation as being the play thing of God, an almost careless activity for His amusement. He is building sandcastles in space that he sometimes tramples over in the natural manner of a friendly cosmic child. It is not only confined to Vaishnavism (Krishna devotees) but is also present in Saivism with Shiva's cosmic dance, and indeed I suppose in other cosmologies where the Divine is seen as a trickster or joker. Even Eden was a garden of play.
What appears to us as meaningless or sad may simply be the playing of the Infinite with the finite, and sometimes the temporary dolls or toys get cast aside as the player moves along. This is just a natural part of the aimless nature of play, and not cruelty. Krishna often jokes and teases, hides Himself from his lovers, and is seemingly cruel, and indeed life can sometimes seem that way.
But this is supposed to create the one-pointed detachment in his devotees ( his playthings) that enables them to transcend the world of appearance and see it for what it is…Maya.. a beautiful, magical game that repeats itself infinitely. Lila is the play of lovers, child's play, amusement and pleasure.
And the reason why apparent cruelty is not so, is that the players and the stage for the play are all manifestations of Krishna himself, ''whose pleasure garden is the self''. It is all One. It is said that by knowing it is a play, an endless leela played out again and again in a billion Universes arising and dissolving, that we become the seers of the beautiful game, no longer ensnared as helpless pawns in Maya.
''Man is made God’s plaything, and that is the best part of him.” ~ Plato
''Mortality, vicissitude, transiency, materiality, externality, pain and death are all limitations of consciousness brought about by an error of perception, and they do not exist by themselves. They have no existence as such, but they are only processes tending towards this Supernal Being.
So, in this wondrous phenomenon called the Rasa dance, the Spirit is dancing with its own manifestations. As a child plays with its own shadow seen in a mirror, so did the Lord play with the eternal devotees of Vrindavana. He did not play with personalities, even as a child does not play anybody when it looks at its own self through the mirror.
So it is God playing with God, like a child playing with itself or the Original dancing with its own reflections, connoting the spiritual dance of the cosmos, the attraction of the part towards the Whole, man’s inseparability from God, and the soul’s agony on account of its bereavement from the Supreme. ''
~ Swami Krishnananda Saraswati
"Oh, don't take life so seriously!
Because seriousness is a great dis-ease,
and not only a disease but a suicide also.
Be playful -- totally
because that is the only way to be living.
Life is a play, a leela.
If you can act and live as if acting and living in a dream
and still be a witness to it
then you will be in the cosmic flow, the Tao.
And to be in the cosmic flow is to be free --
free from oneself, the Ego.
The Ego is the seriousness, the disease,
and the Tao, the egoless existence, is the bliss,
''The world is a mere spontaneous creation of Brahman. It is a Lila, or sport, of Brahman. It is created out of Bliss, by Bliss and for Bliss.''
~ Ram Shanker Misra
''With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe."
Chapter 10 verse 42 Bhagavad Gita
By His partial plenary expansion as Maha-Visnu, He enters into material nature. Then He enters every universe…, and He enters all the elements, including every atom of matter…. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms."
~ Srimad Bhagavatam
''The cosmic dance of purusha, pure consciousness, and prakriti, manifest energy, is eternal. It is a replica of the dance of Sri Krishna and the gopis. …
We call it the dance of purusha and prakriti, the dance between ida and pingala. It has many names……The cosmic dance is purusha and all of prakriti dancing. Purusha is in the centre and prakriti is all around him. Prakriti and purusha are the two factors behind the entire cosmos, creation, sustenance and dissolution. Both are eternal….
It is so in physical life, spiritual life, mental life and also in the psychological arena of life. There has to be an association, a coming together of the two diametrically opposed forces…..
The dance of Radha and Krishna with the gopis is eternal, universal and ever present. Even while I am speaking, in every iota of this universe, material, mental and spiritual, and maybe something else too, is dancing. Nuclear scientists say that atoms, molecules and electrons are dancing all the time. This dance is the bedrock of creation. Speech, action, feeling, experience, creation and dissolution of each and every aspect of matter is nothing but a play. We have heard all that, but we are growing beyond the atom. The atom is one stage of matter, not ultimate matter. Although the literal meaning of the word atom is indivisible, the atom is divisible, it can be divided…..
In the spiritual realm, maharasa, the cosmic dance, is the process of yoga where everything dissolves into one purusha, into one supreme self, one great spirit. The gopis lost themselves and became one with the form of Krishna….They said, “You are our sole refuge. You are our centre and you are the goal of life.”…..''
~ Swami Satyananda
Showing Cosmic Vision to Yasoda
''One day Yasoda took her child on her lap and suckled Him. She kissed her son again and again. Just at that time the child yawned. When he opened His mouth, the mother saw the whole universe within it. She saw the sky, the space between the earth and the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the four quarters, fire, air, oceans, continents, mountains, rivers, forests, islands, and all things in the universe, animate and inanimate.
Yasoda who saw the whole universe within the mouth of her own son, shuddered and closed her eyes immediately in great fear. She was struck with wonder.''
(from ''Lord Krishna, His Lilas and Teachings'' by Swami Sivananda)
The Gujarati poet Narasinha (16th century) wrote ..
''He is the Lord of a million Universes.
He is the Holder of the Earth.
A million universes are but a cell in his body.''