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  • Geethacharya

    courtesy: Smt.Saroja Ramanujam

    Krishna has many facets. As an infant one adhbuthabaalaka, As a chld mischievous and loved by all. As a boy a miracle performer, enchanting flautist and beloved of the gopis Later the friend of Pandavas and the husband of Rukmini and other wives. The last dimension we see of Him is as gitacharya. Now what is the common factor behind all these manifestations? Love of course but is that all? We often find that people love one or a few aspects of His personality but not all because it seems that there is incompatibility between His different aspects of personality. But it is not so. Let us see how it is.

    Adhbhutha baalaka- Can any ordinary infant drink the life of a demon or kick a cart so that it breaks ? Even while being born he was referred to as adbutha baalaka in Srimadbhagavatham . It was because He manifested (not born- Can a baby be born with four arms wearing discus, conch etc!) with four arms in His full divine form. The adhbutha did not stop there . the doors of the prison, opened by themselves and the river Yamuna gave way etc. This adhbuha continued through out his life in Gokul and Brindavan. But when He was a child He was mischievous like any other child , stealing butter , playing pranks with others etc. , though side by side He was showing HIs miraculous powers like killing the demons, lifting Govardhan etc. then He showed Himself as a charmer, with His flute which enchanted not only humans but also other beings like animals, birds and trees etc. He was the second soul or soulmate to the gopis. He showered love on all around, man, bird and beast etc,. still when the time came he left Brindavan without even looking back.

    Now let us look at Krishna after He came to Mathura and then to Dvaraka,. He showed no miracle in Mathura as his feats except straightening the back of Kubja were all feasible for any strong warrior ( Bheema could have done all that with the same ease) He rather concealed His powers and played the part of a dutiful son and a disciple until he had to pay His gurudhakshiNa by bringing back the son of His guru and later fulfilled the wish of his mother also who wanted to see her sons killed by Kamsa. But even this could be done through yoga siddhi. He was simply showing His valiant nature while in Mathura and when He left for Dvaraka , there we see His divine power in making Visvakarma build the city and transporting all people in Mathura to Dvaraka overnight.

    Then we come across Krishna as a husband. He married Rukmini and others and discharged His duties as a grhastha giving them children and living happily in Dvaraka. But there is an incident in Bhagavtham where His divinity is seen. When Narada came to see how Krishna was managing with so many wives ( as a confirmed bachelor he was unable to understand perhaps even about managing with one wife!) , Narada saw Krishna in every house engaged in different household functions. And finally he saw Krishna in ahut all by Himself worshipping some thing. Narada was surprised as he knew the real identity of Krishna and could not understand whom He would be worshipping. Then Krishna showed him a vessel in which there was nothing but ordinary street mud. Krishna said that it was the padhadhooli fHis devotees. This is the special aspect of the love of Krishna but we shall come to it later.

    Now we see Him as Geethacharya. It seems a complete transformation of His earlier personality but it is not so. Krishna as Gitacharya contains the clue to the thread that runs through all His different facets of His personality. There are two slokas in chapter 2 of the Gita which describe the whole personality of Krishna through out His life.

    Prajahaathi yadhaa kaamaan sarvaan paarTha manoraThaan

    aathmani eva aathmanaa thushtaH sThithaprjnaH thadhochyathe BG.2.55

    When one gives up all desires born out of his mind, Arjuna, and revels within himself by himsek lf he is said to be a sThithaprjna , a man of firm wisdom.

    The other one is,

    aapooryamaaNam achalaprthishTam

    samudhram aapah pravisanthi yadhvath

    thadhvath kaamaa yam pravisanthi sarve

    sa Saanthim aapnothi na kaamakaamee

    The one, in whom all the desires (objects of desire enter as the waters enter into the sea which remains full and undisturbed by them , he alone acquires peace and not one who longs for the fulfillment of desires.

    Yes this is the thread that runs through the life of Krishna. In other words He was an illustration of a sThithprajna of whom He talks in Gita. Krishna is the proof of the word sofSankara in Bajagovindham,

    Yogaratho vaa bhogaratho vaa

    sangaratho vaa sangaviheenah

    yasya brahmani ramathe chiththam

    nandhathi nandhathi nandhathyeva.

    Whether he experiences yoga or bhoga, whether he is in company or alone , the one whose mind is established in Brahman he revels , he revels, he revels.

    The statement uttered commonly by many , 'You should live like Rama did and as Krishna said,' is the most stupid one in my opinion. Krishna lived the ideal He preached later in Gita. Onlywe do not understand His actions as they are beyond our comprehension as the Upanishad says , yatho vaacho niverthanthe apraapya manasaa saha, meanng , from where the word as well as mind return, unable to fathom Him.

    Rama can be imagined as serious at times or even sad but can you ever imagines Krishna to eb anything except smiling always? Yes, He revels in everything He does.

    There is a story to illustrate this. Once Vyasa was on the other side of river Yamuna and Krishna standing on the opposite side. Krishna told a gopi to take food to Vyasa and she was wondering how to cross the river as Yamuna was in spate. Then Krishna said, "you say , if Krishna is a nithyabrahmachari the river should give way. Gopi did not doubt his word as she had absl olute faith in him. When she went across walking on the river again she afound that the river has closed and after Vysa ate evertything she brought, he said , " Say . if Vyasa is nithya upavasi the river should part." But now the girl had her doubt that when Vyasa had just then ate everything she brought how can he be a nithyaupavasi? But she was afraid to ask the sage and did as he told her to do and came back to where Krishna was. Then she expressed the doubt to Krishna. Krishna smiled and said Vyasa is a nithya upavasi in the same manner that I am a nithyabrahmachari. That is , both of them were examples of Sthithprajnas proving the words of the Gita, aapooryamaaNam achalapradhishtam---etc.

    One can say that Krishna was an incarnation and this question whether he was a sthithaprjna does not arise. True. Btu let us say that as Rama was acting the part of a ordinary human being, though he was also asthithaprajna and also an incarnation, similarly Krishna was acting the part of the one who seemed to enjoy life. Thus even if we consider the actions of Krishna as amortal basis and not an incarnation , it makes sense that he was an example of the words of sankara 'yogaratho vaa bhogaratho vaa.'

    Writing this suddenly I had a brainwave. I always used to wonder why the sloka vasudevasutham devam was included in the Gita dhyanaslokam as it is the first one of Krishnashtakam. Then it occurred to me that the sloka is just an epitome of what I have been writing above taking great pains to find the thread that runs through the life of Krishna. Let us examine the sloka now. It starts as vasudevasutham, referring to his birth and vasudeva taking him to Gokul and he being brought up as the son of Nanda,. Then it says kamsachaanoora mardanam, Krishna arriving in Mathura from Brindavan, to destroy Kamsa and the malla ChaaNoora as a freebie! The next line is devakeeparamaanandham, naturally Devaki being extremely happy to have her son with her again. But the word paramaanandham signifies the supreme bliss and the word Devaki implies that she was the mother of devas or adhithi and the word adhithi also has another meaning, earth. Hence Krishna is referred to as the one who came to earth to b give supreme joy to all by His exploits starting from his childhood till the time He became gitacharya. Naturally the last word jagathguru refers to Him as gitacharya. Hence the sloka describes the whole life of Krishna in a nutshell.

    Lastly about the love of Krishna which made Him to worship even the padha dhooli of His devotees. It is not the love as it is understood as that of an individual even as the most sublime manifestation of it. It is Love with capital L. As Rama was the personification of Dharma, Krishna was the personification of Love. There is no such expression as Krishna's love because Krishna is Love. This explodes the myth that a sthithprajna or a realized master should be placid or calm without showing any expression as He has given up all attachment and not affected by joy or sorrow. True he si not affected by joy or sorrow but what makes him morose or indifferent? We have seen in out times the great saints like Kanchi mahaswami , Ramana, Ramakrishna, Yogiram Surath kumar and so on who were always bubbling with happiness. This is the meaning of Sankara' s words , nandhathi nandhathi nandhathyeva. Krishna was full of happiness and love . not in spite of being but, just because he was a sthithaprajna. He showed that if one is full of love then only he can be the sthithaprajna. He says samo ahma sarva bhootehshu na me dhveshyo asthi na priyaH.. This is possible only for a sthithaprajna aa he loves the whole universe.

    Source:kn ramesh