Published on Thursday, Sept 02, 2010 at 0245 Hrs. IST
Who else other than Bhagawan can describe the attributes and features Lord Krishna who was born over five thousand years ago during the Dwapara? He being The One with many forms and names does know anything and everything and hence His discourse on Krishnavataar detailing the birth and related event of Bhagawan Sri Krishna as if it was orchestrated by Him...yes, it was His Own Divine plan to descend...Read on an exclusive Divine Discourse delivered on 6th September 1977 in the Brindavan Hostel, Whitefield, Bangalore.
This day is being celebrated as the Birthday of Krishna, not for the reason that Krishna is being born every year, but, because the hour, the asterisk, the month and the season during which he was born ages ago, recur every year, and this day, we have the same conjunction as happened when he was born millennia ago.
Krishna was born in prison! This fact teaches us that God has to incarnate or present himself in the dark and narrow prison—house of our hearts, so that we may derive light and earn freedom. Maya is the delusion that hides the truth of Being; is tends to identify one's truth as the physical body with its appurtenances and prompts us to cater to the cravings of the flesh. Man forgets the Divine in him; he listens to the call of the animal in him; and, he falls from his high destiny. But, when Krishna is born in the cellar of the mind, he is saved; man must become aware of God within the cavity of his heart. Yesterday, while returning from Ooty, we halted at Bandipur Wild Life Sanctuary and, riding on a tame elephant, we moved into the forest to catch a glimpse of wild elephants. Imagine, sitting on an elephant, we were seeking elephants! When we caught a glimpse of a trunk in a bush, we were overcome with delight. Sitting on a tame, domesticated elephant, we were eagerly searching for an elephant in its natural surroundings, unaffected by artificial habits and skills. Man too is everywhere ignoring the Atma within himself in its natural environment and trying to seek the shadows that attract him.
Sri Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devaki. This is significant, for Samadhi is the eighth stage of spiritual effort, coming after Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama. Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana. These are grouped as Ashtanga Yoga, the Eightfold Discipline. The Lord can be visualised only after the seven steps are successfully negotiated and the mind purified in the process. The term, Samadhi, is generally identified with a temporary loss of consciousness, or even more, a temporary heightening of the consciousness. But, we have to judge the state by the effect it has on the person and his attitude towards himself and others. Samadhi means, sama (equal) dhi (intelligence) that is say, intelligence, grasping the equality (fundamental) of every being. Not only will all idea of difference and distinction disappear, but, even the idea of duality—heat and cold, grief and joy, good and bad—disappears. And, when man reaches that state, the Lord is born, automatically in his consciousness.
The moment Krishna was born, the chains that bound his father fell off; the doors that had been bolted flew open, the prison guards were immersed in the ocean of bliss, so that they could not recognise any event or thing in the material world. The fire of hatred that was burning in them was cooled; darkness gave place to the dawn of wisdom. The sky showered raindrops to soften the earth and suppress the dust. How can the elements operate against the Divine will? Sound, touch, light, taste, and smell—all became sublime to celebrate the new Era of Peace and Plenty. Vasudeva, as instructed by the Voice, placed the child in a basket and carried it on his head across the Yamuna river (which parted to give him the right of way) to Gokul where at the same time, Yasoda, Consort of Nanda, had given, birth to female child. Just when he emerged from the prison, a donkey brayed to indicate a good omen! But, Vasudeva was afraid it will waken the guards; so, he held its feet with both his hands (after placing the basket on the ground) and prayed that it keep silent. That was the depth of his devotion to the Lord whom he was transporting, as per His directions.
When he went to Nanda's house and entered the lying‑in‑room, she had just delivered a baby‑girl. There was no one there, except, the sister of Nanda, Radha, who was at that time nine years old. Vasudeva brought the babe over and placed the Lord by her side. The female child is Maya Shakti, for, she ushers the Avatar of the Lord. Yogashakti too has to be ever with the Avatar, and it too had come as Balarama, born to Rohini, another wife of Vasudeva. Mayashakti played her ruse as soon as she was placed in the bed of Devaki. She cried aloud, awakening the guards; they reported the arrival of the child, to Kamsa. He expected that the eighth child would be a boy; but, nevertheless, he took hold of the girl and smashed it upon a rock. Mayashakti flew up into the air, declaring that the person who was to kill Kamsa was growing up safe in Gokulam.
Though Kamsa slaughtered a number of babies from Gokulam, Krishna escaped his eye; Krishna systematically overpowered and killed various emissaries sent by Kamsa, to Gokulam under various pretexts. Putana, a demoness assumed a charming human form, and came to Nanda's house, offering to breast‑feed the child. She said, "Mother! You have lost a number of newborn kids. Perhaps, my breast milk might save this one,” and Yasoda believed that she was a woman of true compassion and that her milk might have the holy effect she claimed it had. She handed the baby Krishna over to Putana; but, Krishna knew her intentions; he drew out her breath itself and left her dead.
But, let us pay more attention to the boy Krishna than to his exploits. All these exploits reveal that Krishna being Divine, no one could harm Him or suppress Him. According to the folk‑belief, they bored the ears and nose of Krishna, in order to ward off the death that had carried away many children from the family. On the nose they put a golden wire.
The nose‑ring had a small‑sized pearl. The pearl is won by diving into the depths of the sea; so, it symbolises the Viveka or discrimination that is won, after diving into the secrets of the objective world. And, since it marked the tip of the nose, it also sought to emphasise the need to concentrate, to meditate on the tip of the nose—the eye should not be fully open, for, it will distract the attention, nor should it be closed, for sleep would intervene and put an end to the process of meditation. It should be half‑open, the sight of both eyes being directed to the tip of the nose, where Krishna wore the pearl.
Krishna's complexion was neither fair nor dark; it was three parts dark and one‑part fair, an amalgam of both. Since they were Vaishnavas, the parents placed a line of musk on the centre of the brow. He wore silver bangles on His wrists, such as cowherd boys wore those days in that part of the country. But, the kankans that Krishna wore were not mere bangles or kankans. They had profound implications. One rite that every Hindu has to honour before entering on any enterprise of a sacred nature, like performing a Yajna or undertaking a vow, or taking on a new stage of life, was the tying of a kankan to the wrist, in memory of the determination that he evinces to fulfill that vow or carry out the duties of that stage of life. Krishna had taken three vows, and the kankans were symbolic of his determination to fulfill them. They were as mentioned by Him in the Gita: (1) Dharma samsthapanarthaya Sambhavami yuge yuge. I shall incarnate myself in every age, to revive and resurrect Dharma (2) Yogakshemam vahamyham. I shall bear the burden of ensuring peace and prosperity of all who rely on Me and (3) Mokshayishyami maa sucha. I shall save all those who surrender wholeheartedly to Me and I shall liberate them from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Krishna has assured man that He would save him from penury and grief, and from sin and its terrible consequences, provided He adheres to Him and adores Him; He has also assured the world that He would come in human form and lead mankind into the Dharmic path and thus, liberate them from grief and the succession of births and deaths.
He says, when promising His Grace to all who adore Him with no other thought, that all who do so will receive His Grace; there is no restriction of caste, creed or colour or country of origin; no one receives special favour as a result of erudition or age or caste. Krishna was the embodiment of Prema; His Prema had no bounds. How fortunate you are that you have today the same Krishna, the full Prema Avatar, moving among you! I shall show you the very Kaustubha that I was wearing at that time. (Here, Baba waved His hand and in a trice, a brilliant flash of light revealed a unique jewel in His palm—the Kaustubha, famed in the Bhagavata and the Puranas. A big‑sized Emerald of unexcelled green blue, rectangular in shape, bordered by splendorous diamonds, hung on a gold chain. (Baba moved among the students, teachers and others and graciously allowed every one of them to see the sacred jewel very close).
Krishna moved among men as an ordinary person and drew them to the observance of His prescriptions by means of His Divine Prema. He refrained from parading His Divine Insignia, the Conch, the Wheel, the Mace and the Lotus. He did not wear even a Crown. While a boy, He followed the cows into the pastures with just a towel bound round His head. (Here, Baba called for a longish towel, and He wound it round His head, to show how Krishna appeared at that time. He announced that, in those days, as now, there were peacocks in plenty in and around Brindavan and Gokul, and so, when He came across a feather fallen from its wing, He stuck it between the folds of the towel. It was a moment of rarest and finest delight, when Baba stood revealed as the boy Gopala, before hundreds of awestruck but adoring devotees) When the Pandavas celebrated the Ashwamedha and the Rajasuya Yajnas, Krishna asked for some assignment being given Him, so that He might be of service. Though He could destroy the entire Kaurava brood, He tried His best to instill good sense into them in order to save them. Then as well as now, the teaching and the message are the same: "Know thyself, that is the only right way to know Me.” Being associated ardently with men, winning their Love through Love, and, through a process of correcting their vision and purifying their consciousness, leading them to the realisation of the God which is their core—this is the task, then as well as now. Unless the human form is assumed, no one will come near; if the appearance is super‑human, people will keep away. So, as the Sastras say, Daivam Maanusba rupena, the Divine in the Form of Man, has to come, to save mankind.
The Five Elements are the products of the Lord's Will; so, they obey the Will of Krishna. Whatever Krishna said came true. The only correct definition of Truth is, 'that which Krishna speaks'. Believe in that. Be firm in that belief. One day, when Krishna went on a stroll with Arjuna, He pointed to a bird perching on the branch of a tree; He asked Arjuna, "Do you see that peacock?" and Arjuna answered, "Sure. I do,” "Oh. Arjuna. It is not a peacock. It is an eagle," said Krishna and Arjuna promptly agreed that it was an eagle. Soon, Krishna corrected Himself and pointing to the same bird, said, "I am sorry. It is a dove.” Arjuna too corrected himself and said, "Yes. I see now it is a dove, all right.” Krishna laughed at Arjuna and said, "It is not a dove at all; it is a crow,” and Arjuna agreed without demur, "Undoubtedly it is a crow.” Krishna then accused Arjuna of stupidity, because he was saying 'Yes' to whatever he said—the bird was peacock, eagle, dove, crow. Arjuna said, "What you say is the Truth, for me. You can make a crow a dove, a peacock an eagle. Why should I differ from whatever you declare? Your word is the Truth I go by.”
You too, must develop that faith and not be turned away by your egoism or others' cynicism. Develop Viveka and Vairagya and then, your hearts will bloom into fragrant beauty. You have here a picture of Sai standing on a Lotus. Sai Krishna will install Himself in the Lotus of your heart. He will be ever with you as guard and guide and he will shower Grace on you. He will be the Mother, Father, Preceptor and God, He will be the nearest kinsman, He will be your All.
Therefore, I desire that you learn well the subjects taught you as part of the curriculum; discharge your duties as students to the best of your skill and intelligence. Follow the disciplines imposed for your betterment. Practise Japa and Dhyana and cultivate the attitude of Seva. Become good sons and good citizens, and bring honour to the family, the society and the country.