Janmashtmi

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JANMASHTMI celebrating Lord Krishna’s birth day each year assures us of the grand manifestation of the Supreme in the form of Krishna for protection of the virtuous and destruction of  the wicked at the appropriate time.

Puranic Theology associates the avatars with the four Yugas —— Sat, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.  In today’s Kali Yuga Krishna could appear in our midst at any given moment.  The Bhagavatam say that Krishna is the full-fledged avatar complete in al aspects.


Krishna


Krishna denotes unmeasured, incomprehensible and absolutely great personae stimulating astonishment, rapture and admiration.  Krishna is known as the Foremost Yogi.  With the amalgamation of the theistic doctrine of devotion, Krishna evolved as a personal God of love and grace in the form of Kanha Krishna at Gokul and Vrindavan apart from representing Vasudeva Krishna at Mathura and Dvaraka.

Krishna is also looked upon as having two bodies.  One which is eternal, supracosmic and spiritual and the other which is material and temporary.  As an object of Bhakti, Krishna appears as an embodiment of Nine Emotions or Rasas and fulfils the nine-fold required enforcements of devotees as God in the form of a child, a youth, counsellor, friend and beloved.

———- Asha Goswami

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Krishna, a bosom friend

Srinath Chakravarty, while referring to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s  teachings, states that the highest object of worship is Krishna.  He clarifies that we can worship NAND-NANDAN Sri Krishna in the context of any possible relationship we desire.  This is not possible with anyone else.
For example, we cannot participate in all types of relationship with the Supreme lore in His form as NARAYANA, who displays a majestic form of God, and so we can have a relationship of friendship with Him from a distance.  NARAYANA plays the role of a majestic king, so fear in the mind is evident.  His devotees may become His friends, but their intimacy is inhibited by fear.  Moods like parental affection and conjugal love are absent.  Therefore, those who wish to serve the Supreme Lord as a “bosom friend”, as a “child” or in a mood of conjugal love, cannot acquire this sort of relationship with the Lord in His form as NARAYANA. Therefore, NARAYANA cannot be the common centre for all devotees.  NARAYANA can grant moksha, vaikuntha, dasya rasa and partial sakhya rasa to His devotees, but nothing more intimate than these.

Krishna


In Krishna, the cowherd boy of Vrindavan, however, all sorts of intimate relationships are possible, and there is the possibility of different forms of worship, like for instance, the amorous relationship of the gopis for Krishna, considered to be the highest form of devotion and worship.

Human beings are said to have 50 kinds of divine qualities but in a  minute quantity only, whereas VISHNU or NARAYANA who have more qualities in addition to 55 qualities present in others, again to a fuller extent.  This makes a total of60 divine qualities in all.
In total there are 64 qualities or GUNAS.  There are 4 other qualities that one will not find anywhere  else except in Krishna, the beloved of all.  These 4 additional qualities are LEELA MADHURYA, RUPA MADHURYA, VENU MADHURYA & PREMA MADHURYA, referring to divine play, form, musical attributes and love.
Krishna has many wonderful pastimes, in which He assumes a sweet form.  He does not appear as a gigantic figure with all kinds of weapons.  Thus, He does not fight with Putana, the demon, but rather, appears as a baby an kills her by sucking her breast, exhibiting sweetness towards her.  This is the wonder of Krishna Leela.

Krishna


Also, we find even while retaining His sweet and endearing form, Krishna lifts the Govardhana mountain to provide shelter to his devotees, with just the little finger of his left hand.  He does have to assume a strong and formidable form to accomplish this.  As a  little boy, Krishna subdued Kaliya, the serpent, when he effortlessly jumped onto Kaliya’s many heads.

In Krishna, we find 12 RASAS(RASA is the mellow part of a relationship, the taste or bliss one experiences in a relationship with Krishna).  There are 5 principle RASAS, namely shant, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya.  In addition to these there are 7 secondary RASAS, namely hasya, adbhuta, vira, karuna, raudra, bhayanak and bibhatsa.  All of these are mentioned in the SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM.
That is why Krishna is so special, so approachable and why he is loved and sought after by all.
——— B V Vaman Maharaj.. 

Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagwad Gita

5_Masters_of_the_Dispersed_Bhagavata_Purana._Krishna_and_Balarama_Taking_the_Cattle_to_Graze_Folio_from_a_Bhagavata_Purana_Manuscript_1520-40._Museum_Rietberg,_Zurich
The BHAGVATA focusses on Bhagavan or God who engages with the world ; it establishes Krishna as avatar of Vishnu.  The Mahabharata focusses on the quarrels of the Bharatas, another name for the Kuru clan, to which the Kauravas and Pandavas belong.  God engages with the world as Krishna through the quarrels of the Bharatas.  The Bhagavata is a chronicle on the life of Krishna till he meets the Pandavas, and the Mahabharata is a chronicle of Krishna’s life after he meets the Pandavas.
The Bhagavata focusses on Krishna’s life as a cowherd in a rural landscape, whereas is about Krishna’s life as a warrior and strategist in an urban landscape.  The Bhagavata is a lot about emotions (bhakti marga), while the Mahabharata focusses on reconciling karma or action with jnana or ideas ——– karma marga and jnana marga.
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The same idea in the Gita is presented in a dramatically different way in the Bhagavata through Krishna’s raas-lila.  After describing the events of Krishna’s childhood, the Purana goes into the realm of romance.  Every full moon night, Krishna goes into the fragrant wods of tulsi shrubs and plays the flute.  Thus the forest (vana) turns into a delightful Madhuvana.  This creation of the circle of delight (rasa-mandala) is the raas-lila.
The contrast between the battle-field of Kurukshetra and the dance in Madhuvana is stark.  By overturning established notions of righteousness related to property in the Mahabharata and related to fidelity in the Bhagavata, Krishna draws attention to an underlying Vedic theme, of how the mind perceives information differently, depending on the level of wisdom.  Since there are infinite levels of wisdom, there are infinite ways of seeing the same thing.  Only the expanded mind (brah-mana) can see infinity (an-anta).
Bhagavad-Gita
Further, Bhagavata speaks of Krishna’s mothers : Devaki, who gives birth to him and Yashoda, who raises him.  It speaks of Krishna’s lovers : Radha, who is left behind in Gokul, and Yamuna, who follows him to Dwarka.  It speaks of Krishna’s wives : Satyabhama, rich and demanding, and Rukmini, poor and docile.  Krishna may be the great strategist, warrior and teacher, but he is also someone’s son, lover, husband, even someone’s brother, not always perfect, and often quite exasperating.  This makes Bhagavata a very feminine narrative, whereas Mahabharata is a masculine one, bringing God from grand things outside the home to simple things inside.

Krishna Leela

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Sri Krishna —–The very name evokes memories of the blue boy of Vrindavan, dressed in yellow silk, crowned with peacock feathers and adorned with a garland of flowers..  He is the stealer of hearts, dispeller of sins, upholder of righteousness, protector of the humble and a friend to all those who seek Him.  In the Bhagavatam, it is said : “SRI KRISHNA IS THE LORD HIMSELF”.
 
0053_SB-10-6-11Sri Krishna did not follow human laws, but He did follow DHARMA —-THE HIGHEST LAW.  Sri Krishna drank poison, we fall sick with food poisoning.  Sri Krishna had NO EGO.  We, on the other hand,, feel demeaned to be called a ‘driver’; even as the Kin of Dwaraka, he willingly drove Arjuna’s chariot.  Sri Krishna says, “Even though I have nothing to attain in all the three worlds, and no duties to perform, I remain always in action”.  He is the perfect sportive incarnation ———LEELA PURUSHOTTAMA.  What is LEELA ?  LEELA means SPORTS.  Each of the Lord’s sport is beautiful.  LEELA, in Sanskrit, is defined as that which manifests a dormant emotion in us.  Love for the Lord is dormant in our hearts..  But, when the lord enacts His LEELA, that love manifests.  The Lord’s LEELAS are such, that they bring out our devotion and love for Him, destroying all our clinging attachments. 
 
However, His LEELA is inscrutable.  Some become enlightened and some get deluded.  Also, some learn all the wrong lessons from His sports.  Yet, His divine sports are meant to detach our mind from worldly preoccupations, and develop love for God.  His sports are meant to enlighten us.  They inspire us to walk the path of DHARMA and fill our hearts with devotion.
 
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