Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who is Shree Krishna? What is the nature of His birth? Why should we be concerned with His Birth?

Who is Shree Krishna? What is the nature of His birth? Why should we be concerned with His Birth? To get the answers, we shall approach the Vedas for they are the greatest authority.
भूतं भव्यं भविष्यं सर्वं वेदात्प्रसिद्ध्यित
To find out anything about the past, present or the future, we must go into the Vedas. Why? Although there are numerous scriptures in Hinduism, yet
अनादिनिधना नित्या वागुत्सृष्टा स्वयम्भुवा
The Vedas are eternal. They were not written by anyone. They are not someone’s brainchild. Not even God’s. The Vedas are without a beginning, just as God is. Since when have the Vedas existed? As long as God has. And since when has God existed? As long as the Vedas have.
वेदो नारायणः साक्षात्
You can call the Vedas Vedas, or you can call them God, Narayan. Just as God is beyond the reach of a material mind and intellect, so are these Vedas. The Vedas say –
नावेदविन्मनुते तं बृहन्तम्
He who does not know the Vedas, does not know God.
आचार्ववान् पुरुषो हि वेद
We can know the meaning of the Vedas if we let someone who knows the Vedas, guide us. It is only through the guidance of a Divine Teacher, a Guru, that we can comprehend the meaning of the Vedas.
Some naïve people say that Shree Krishna was in the human form, and that which has form cannot be eternal. There is a part of the Vedas called Upanishad. The Upanishads contain the real essence of the Vedas. Even western philosophers have lavished praise on these Upanishads. Schopenhauer studied the French translation of the Upanishads for many years. He acknowledged, “In the whole world there is no study so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life. It will be the solace of my death.” Max Mueller said, “If these words of Schopenhauer required any confirmation, I would willingly give it as a result of my life-long study. And I also say that the Upanishads cannot have been written by a human.” The illustrious German philosopher Paul Deussen writes in his book titled ‘Philosophy of Upanishads,’ “There never was a scripture that could equal the Upanishads, nor is, nor will ever be in the future.” The French philosopher Victor writes, “The Upanishads are unequalled. They cannot be compared to any other scripture.” The great German philosopher Frederick says, “The Upanishads are like the sun, and all the other philosophies of the world are like the rays.” It is these Upanishads that will tell us about Shree Krishna.
There are many mantras in the Upanishads that say that God does not take birth. Yajurved, for example.
अजायमानो बहुधा विजायते तस्य योिनं परिपश्यन्ति धीराः ।

He is aja, He does not take birth.  But He takes innumerable births.  Such mutual contradiction.  He does not take birth, but He takes innumerable births.  We find such mutual contradictions sometimes even in the world.  The hair on our head is devoid of consciousness.  Our nails are also not conscious.  And yet, hair and nails emanate from a conscious body.  Stick a needle in any part of your body, and it will hurt.  And yet you do not feel the slightest pain as you get a haircut or as you cut your nails.  You will not even notice it if someone were to cut off your hair as you sleep.  So you see, the mixture of that which is conscious and the non-conscious.  On the rose bush, you have the beautiful flower and the prickly thorns.  We see some mutual contradiction even in the world.  It is natural, therefore, to find these mutual contradictions in God.

Thus, the Vedas say  अजायमानो बहुधा विजायते He does not take birth, but He takes innumerable births.  Does He take birth in the male form?  No, no
त्वं स्त्री त्वं पुमान् त्वं कुमार उत वा कुमारी त्वं जीर्णो दंडेन वंचिस

Sometimes He comes in the female form, sometimes in the male form, sometimes He comes as a young person, sometimes as a child.  And sometimes He comes as someone so old that He walks with a cane in hand.
The Vedas say –
त्रयम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टि वर्धनम् । उर्वारुकमिव बन्धान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्

The Vedas are glorifying the three-eyed Shankar Ji.
नमः शंभवाय च मयोभवाय च ।

Shankar Ji is being glorified.
इदं विष्णुर्विचक्रमे त्रेधा निधो पदम् 

Vaaman Bhagavan, God in the form of a dwarf measured the universe in three steps.
Again, the Vedas say-
पृथिप्यां अवतारः कुचरः । रुपं रुपं प्रतिरुपो बभूव

Many Vedic mantras describe God with form.
In Kenopanishad, the story is told of a battle between heavenly gods and demons.  The devatas, heavenly gods became proud, thinking that they had defeated the demons using their strength.  Now, God is allergic to pride.  To teach the devatas a lesson, God assumed a form and appeared in the sky in all His brilliance and effulgence.  When the devatas beheld this form, they went running to their King Indra and said, “Maharaj!  There is someone standing in the sky, without any support whatsoever, and there is so much light in his body that billions of Indras cannot match that light.”  Indra sent the devta Vayu, the god of Wind, to investigate.  Vayu, a servant of Indra, went and asked very arrogantly, “Who are you?”  God said, “Never mind who I am.  Who are you?”  “I am Vayu, also known as Jaatveda.  I have so much power that I can destroy the entire universe.”  God said, “Really?  Here is a piece of straw.  See if you can blow it away.”  Vayu laughed but could not blow even a piece of straw despite using all his power.  He returned to Indra and said, “Maharaj!   I failed.”  Next, Indra sent the god of Fire, Agni.  Agni also said very haughtily, “I am Agni, and I can burn the entire universe in one second.”  God placed the very same straw in front of Agni, who could not burn it.  Agni also return red-faced to Indra and confessed his failure.  At this point, all the devtas requested Indra to go and find out.
मघन्नेतद् विजानीहि किमेतद् यक्षमिति । तथेति । तदभ्यद्रवत् । तस्मात्तिरोदधे ।

The Vedas say that Indra went to God but God disappeared before Indra’s arrival.  Poor Indra did not have an opportunity to behold God or to speak with Him, while his servants did.  In the same spot where God had appeared,
स तस्मिन्नेवाकाशे स्त्रियमाजगाम बहुशोभमानां हैमवतीं उमाम् 

Now God appeared in the female form, but with the same effulgence, the same luster.  God still did not speak with Indra, but only said, “You people made a very serious mistake in thinking that you had defeated the demons using your own power.  God is the powerhouse.  It is with God’s power that you had defeated the demons.  If God withdraws His power, you cannot do anything.”
Thus, God does assume form, and God had come to earth in the form of Krishna 5,000 years ago.  This is the philosophy of the Upanishads.
The Vedas say-
योऽसौ परं ब्रम्ह गोपालः ।
द्विभुजं ज्ञानमुद्रढ्यं बनमालिनमीश्वरम्

The Vedas say the God with two arms is Shree Krishna. 
A question was asked, कः परमो देवः

Who is the Supreme Personality?  The answer was given –
कृष्णो ह वै परमं दैवतम् । गोविन्दान्मृत्युर्विभेति गोपीजन वल्लभ ज्ञानेना

Lord Krishna is Brahman.कृष्ण एव परो देवः तं ध्यायेत्

Thus, Shree Krishna is God and He takes birth.
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन

Countless lives of Mine are passed, Arjun, as have yours.  But the difference is that 
जन्म कर्म मे दिव्यं नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन

My birth is divine, whereas yours is material.
Now, what is our relationship with Shree Krishna?  Why should we celebrate Janmashtami?  The Vedas say-
नारायणो माता पिता भ्राता सुह्द् गतिः

God alone is our one and only.  We have no other relations.
त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव

Understand this point further.  There are waves in an ocean.  These waves rise out of the ocean, meet one another and then crash.  The relationship between these waves is a temporary one, but their relationship with the ocean is eternal.  Likewise, no living creature is related permanently to another living being.  How long does the relationship with mother, father, wife and husband last?  At the most, a hundred years.  And then?  Then, another father, another mother, another wife, some other husband.  We have had countless parents, siblings and spouses, not only in the human form, but also in the form of cats, dogs and donkeys.  But these relationships are only temporary, just like the relationship between waves.  We are waves; Lord Krishna is the ocean.  Shankaracharya Ji says,
सामुद्रो हि तंरगः क्वचन समुद्रो हि तारंगः

The waves are born of the ocean, the ocean is not born of the waves.  Maharaj, I am born of You.  You were not born of me.
So, we are related to Shree Krishna in every possible way.
दासभूतमिदं तस्य जगत् स्थावर जंगमम् ।
श्रीमन्नारायणः स्वामी जगतां प्रभुरीश्वरः ॥

He is our Master; we are His servants.  There are many ways in which we can serve Him.  A mother serves her child.  A friend serves a friend.  A wife serves her husband.
(Extracts from a lecture by Shree Maharajji on the occasion of Shree Krishna Janmasthami on 1990)

1 comment:

  1. The eternal Veda's core essence lies in the Upanishads They are not only held in the greatest regard by Indian scholars but also those from the west like Schopenhauer, Max Mueller, Paul Deussen and so on. The core essence of the Upanishad is that Krishna is the eternal truth. Our only and true relation in the world is Krishna and Krishna alone.