Today, birthday of Krishna is being celebrated in India as Janmashtami.
Who is Krishna?
I don’t know. Some say he was a mythological figure, others say he was a historical figure. Some conjectures suggest that Shri Krishna Dwaipayan Vyas created a character in his inspirational teachings to help us understand deep religious values easily. This character became a myth in India and other cultures later on. Vyas lived about 5000 years ago in India and he was the author of great epic Mahabharata. He also wrote many texts which are foundations of many theistic schools including Hinduism.
Since it is an old story, both Veda Vyasa and Krishna are shrouded in mystery. Both of them are worshipped in Hinduism, especially Krishna. Krishna is one of the most worshipped figures in India, along with Rama, Hanuman, Shiva and Durga.
Krishna is undoubtedly the most colorful personality in Indian mythology and as far as I know there is no parallel to his mysteriously colorful and dazzlingly beautiful personality in the history of mankind. He is a lover first of all. His love is divine, impersonal and all-encompassing unconditional love. He is a great friend and ambassador. A great tactician and commander. He has all six opulences–glory, renunciation, knowledge, dharma, abundance and prosperity in full. These opulences are called ‘bhags’ so he is called Bhagwan. In India, there has been a tradition of calling enlightened figures as Bhagwan. For example–Bhagwan Nityananda and Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi etc.
Krishna is considered to be an avatara. A most accomplished one as his life has so many chapters, all very rich with variegated colors. Historians are baffled with his persona. How can there be a person who was a darling in Vrindavana and a military commander in Dwarka and the key figure of grand war of Mahabharata who delivered a great song to Arjuna for his enlightenment?
Sant Mat, which is equivalent to Gnosticism in India regards Krishna, like other great avatars, a great manifestation of Satan. The world is being run by Satan for his entertainment and he incarnates as Krishna to misguide those who are seeking their way out of its illusion. Kabir and Nanak used Krishna’s names like ‘Govind’ a lot in their teachings and considered him God. There is a great mystery around Sant Mat’s later teachings, which is, worth investigating.
Almost all cultures and religions have some myths related to Krishna. Like. for example, they have related to Jesus and Buddha. Some people associated with Krishna consciousness suggest a semblance in names Krishna and Christ. They say that Krishna and Christ consciousness are same. Some sects consider Krishna as God himself–in his full glory.
In my life, Krishna has played a great role. I was born in a Hindu family so he was bound to have some effect on my psyche. I was fascinated by his teachings in Srimad Bhagwad Geeta. When I was about 9 years old I had a small accident in which a vein in my right leg was cut as I was playing hide and seek with a few kids. I got many stitches and suffered a lot for a few days. I was too sensitive and seeing all ailing and wailing people around me in the hospital made me too overwhelmed with emotions. All teachings of Geeta kept surfacing on my mind. When I got released from the hospital and met a friend who was a few years elder to me, I told him:
I don’t want to live in this body anymore, because this is such a house of pain and suffering.
That experience was one of the many shocks I had to receive before I started waking up from my sleep and Krishna’s teachings had a lot to do with it.
Many years fast forward in 2012, I started listening to some lectures on Krishna and mystery behind him and it was a great transforming experience for me. All my pride of being an intellectual was gone in a jiffy. An overwhelming sense of surrender, devotion, awe and wonder took over me. I started chanting Krishna’s names twenty-four by seven for many months to come. One such day, owing to excessive of devotion to meet the supreme personality of Godhead and urge to get liberated from the world I crossed limits and my system crashed as mystic fire started blazing with furious speed and heat. I was not prepared for it. It was the greatest shock for me and I felt as if I was going to die very soon. An intense burning in my brain and heart made me helpless and overwhelmed with fear of death(which I thought I had overcome by then. Boy, was I wrong!)
I told relatives nearby that I was going to die very soon. They took me to a nearby clinic and the doctor examined me, only to find no signs of any physiological ailments. I was crying rivers like a baby and I was getting lighter moment after moment. My heart started to expand and I started feeling like a child, grateful for all the people around me. I had never felt such gratitude and expansion in my life before. I was mostly ungrateful and rebellious for all the things life had given to me.
That very evening my love for Krishna again flowered and made all my family members and neighbors very worried. I just wanted to merge into the divine love and kept losing consciousness after every few hours. Then someone came and I thought it was Krishna. I hugged him hard and cried like a small baby. I am saving elaboration to not to bore you too much. My family members gave me a sleeping pill and I slept well. The next morning we went to a psychiatrist without me being aware of it. Kundalini symptoms are interchangeable with Schizophrenia, so I started taking those medicines. My world was falling apart and everything I knew or cared for started slipping away. But wasn’t it all I wanted? Perhaps intellectually. I never expected it to be so shocking and intense.
I was bed-ridden for 6 months. As my family members kept nursing me, I used to see Krishna manifest in them every now and then. Such overwhelming love and expansion of heart I had never seen before. Then, they suggested me to discontinue medication, though I had become habitual of them. I often contemplated suicide and told my mom about it. Because of those medicines I became numb and started losing my motor functions too. I didn’t wink. Kept drooling and was not able to move my hands properly. I was not able to take baths properly and often witnessed others talking about my condition which was like that of a retarded person.
Then again inspiration hit me and I started doing breathing practices which I had done all my life. Within a week, all helplessness disappeared and I started gaining all motor functions and sensitivity. As I grew in sensitivity, my love for Krishna resurfaced and I again started chanting his name. I had renounced struggle for jobs and world a decade ago and taken life as it came but here my family members started forcing me to apply for government jobs. I could have gone back and joined the job I was doing before crashing but lacked courage to do so. I had lost all urge to do anything and accepted what life had to offer me. I took a few tests and got selected in one by divine providence as my mental faculties were not yet optimum.
The devotion which was subdued by psych meds was burning brighter again, day by day and I felt a strong urge to renounce all family life altogether. Marriage and duty to earn and feed people around you was next to me and I wanted nothing but divine bliss and love. This compelled me to run away to Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna on the day before I had to join for new job. My family members could not find me for one whole year and rest of the story I would tell some other time.
I had to tell this in detail because I am very grateful to Krishna, to divinity. Had it not been for intense love towards Krishna I would not have gained courage to renounce everything to seek divine love. The courage to give up personal ambitions to serve humanity better. I am grateful to all experiences I had which led to the point where I took renunciation and life after and before has also been a great beauty. Now I am blithe and joyous, carefree like a child and full of love for people and life around me. I have a heart full of gratitude and love. I live the moment to moment with no hope, fear or expectation for my personal life.
Krishna the divine enchanter took my heart away and made me a devotee. But now I understand that he was a symbol of divine. Many gurus, teachings and people affected me positively and Krishna was a key figure to help me renounce. I am no longer bound by any religion or ritual worship. Faith in humanity, peace, love and divinity is my religion. Love is my religion.
Krishna is Rumi. Krishna is Jesus. He is Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Socrates and Nanaka. I am Krishna. You are Krishna. It’s the ultimate teaching of Krishna–everything is one–made of the same fabric of love and you are that love.
- Krishna Movement
- Online Prasad
- Sri Hindu Temle
- Wallpapers for mobiles
- Gallery of Gods
- The Divine Lover