Probably, the most revered god in India, after Lord Rama is Lord Krishna! It is not really surprising to find ‘adorable’ child Krishna framed pictures in most of the Hindu homes. The striking similarity is both of them lived amongst normal people in human form, for a long period of time. Since yesterday evening, India celebrates birth of Krishna that happened on the 18th or 21st of July 3328 BC, as found out by astrological and scriptural details. This day is called as Janmasthami or Krishnasthami.
So, Krishna lived on this earth ( for others to see) and he was born to princess devaki and her husband vasudeva, in a royal family at Mathura. In order to escape from his wretched uncle King kamsa who wanted to kill krishna – born and destined to finish king kansa – father vasudeva smuggled out baby krishna to a place called Gokula on a heavily raining day. Baby Krishna was brought up by his foster parents yashoda and nanda ; read more on this.. Till date, just like yesterday evening, it rains heavily on birthday of Baby Krishna. Again, this proves how ‘Nature’ is so strong and in complete control despite all the progress of mankind in medicine, science, social sciences etc. It rains heavily on the Janmasthami day every year!!
Krishna is also worshipped for his discourse or the song divine – Srimad Bhagavad Gita – on the battlefield of kurukshetra in the epic Mahabharata. Now, how could Vyasa write this epic 5000 years back – with accurate strategic management thinking – beats every management guru even today. Some corporate strategies are based on Mahabharata even today( not kidding!)
Hinduism is very old but is not historic and there are not many records available;at times, this makes many feel that hinduism is based on fables and stones ( idols) and they refuse to believe what is spoken about our religion. The Upanishads and scriptural writings on Veda and advaita philosophy are spell binding, if one tries to read them. The nine-volume Swami Vivekananda works are complete in explaning about Hinduism as a religion. There are books written by C Rajagopalchari on our religion and mode of conduct.
But, I believe, there is no effort to force religion on anyone, when it comes to Hinduism unlike Christianity, Islam or other religions. Freedom of thought is encouraged in Hinduism and only guidance is given about how to lead a moral life. Even in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna leaves the choice to Warrior Arjuna to decide what he wants to, after explaining everything, like a patient teacher.
The chapter on ‘Virata Roop’ of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is mesmerising and I felt stunned and moved as I went on to read every verse of the chapter. In fact, it calls for devotion and spirit to read all the eighteen chapters. Swami Chinmayananda has written a good commentary on Gita and I still refer to the book at times of disillusionment and read selected verses which gives immense strength to my lasting beliefs.
Krishna always stands with one foot firmly on the ground, the other foot crossed over, as though it is touching, but not really touching. It is elsewhere.That is called ‘tribhangy’ pose, implying perfect balance while he plays his flute for long hours. Krishna is also called “Makhan” chor – stealer of butter. Butter is from milk; milk is fermented to be curd and the curd is churned to get butter.Life is a process of churning; your mind is churned by so many events, material things, happenings, binding relations all the time. Finally, what comes forth is wisdom, flexibility, compassion, truth, discovery, and eventually saintliness in your life to understand advaita philosophy.
You realise it was all a cleansing exercise! And, Krishna steals this enlightened mind (butter) of yours from you as you surrender to him!! You begin to realise that god is within you; he was always within you and he alone is the Doer or receiver! You are only an instrument in his hands – the moment you realise this; you become rid of all the dirt you collected on your way to reach Him! You were always part of the infinity and you thought all the time that you are the Doer or receiver!!
Happy Janmasthami day!