Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Supreme Lord Krishna


The birth of Krishna is in itself a transcendental phenomenon that generates awe among the Hindus and overwhelms one and all with its supra mundane happenings. Mother Earth, unable to bear the burden of sins committed by evil kings and rulers, appealed to Brahma, the Creator for help. Brahma prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who assured him that he would soon be born on earth to annihilate tyrannical forces.


One such evil force was Kamsa, the ruler of Mathura (in northern India) and his people were utterly terrified of him. On the day Kamsa's sister Devaki was married off to Vasudeva, an akashvani or voice from the sky was heard prophesying that Devaki's eighth son would be the destroyer of Kamsa. The frightened Kamsa immediately unsheathed his sword to kill his sister but Vasudeva intervened and implored Kamsa to spare his bride, and promised to hand over every new born child to him. Kamsa relented but imprisoned both Devaki and her husband Vasudeva.

When Devaki gave birth to her first child, Kamsa came to the prison cell and slaughtered the newborn. In this way, he killed the first six sons of Devaki. Even before her eighth child was born, Devaki and Vasudeva started lamenting its fate and theirs. Then suddenly Lord Vishnu appeared before them and said he himself was coming to rescue them and the people of Mathura. He asked Vasudeva to carry him to the house of his friend, the cowherd chief
Nanda in Gokula right after his birth, where Nanda's wife Yashoda had given birth to a daughter. He was to exchange his boy and bring Yashoda's baby daughter back to the prison. Vishnu assured them, "nothing shall bar your path".

At midnight on ashtami, the divine baby was born in Kamsa's prison. Remembering the divine instructions, Vasudeva clasped the child to his bosom and started for Gokula, but found that his legs were in chains. He jerked his legs and was unfettered! The massive iron-barred doors unlocked and opened up. While crossing river Yamuna, Vasudeva held his baby high over his head. The rain fell in torrents and the river was in spate. But the water made way for Vasudeva and miraculously a five-mouthed snake followed him from behind and provided shelter for the baby.

When Vasudeva reached Gokula, he found the door of Nanda's house open. He exchanged the babies and hurried back to the prison with the baby girl. Early in the morning the people at Gokula rejoiced the birth of Nanda's beautiful male child. Vasudeva came back to Mathura and as he entered
the doors of the prison closed by itself. When Kamsa came to know about the birth, he rushed to the prison and tried to kill the baby. But this time it skipped from his hand and while reaching the sky, she was transformed into goddess Yogamaya, who told Kamsa: "O foolish man! What will you get by killing me? Your nemesis is already born somewhere else."

In his youth
Krishna killed Kamsa along with all his cruel associates, liberated his parents from prison, and reinstated Ugrasen as the King of Mathura. Krishna was dark and extremely handsome. The word Krishna literally means 'black', and black also connotes mysteriousness. For generations if Krishna has been an agonising enigma to some, he has put millions into ecstasies. Whether he was a human being or a God-incarnate, there is no denying the fact that he has been ruling the hearts of millions for over three millennia. In the words of Swami Harshananda, "If a person can affect such a profound impact on the Hindu race affecting its psyche and ethos and all aspects of its life for centuries, he is no less than God."

"I am the conscience in the heart of all creatures,
I am their beginning, their being, their end,
I am the mind of the senses,
I am the radiant sun among lights,
I am the song in sacred lore,
I am the king of deities,
I am the priest of great seers."

This is how Lord Krishna describes God in the Holy Bhagavad Gita. And to most Hindus he is God himself, the Supreme Being, the Absolute, the Brahman, the Purna Purushotam. The great exponent of the Gita, Krishna is the ninth and complete incarnate of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu Trinity of deities. Of all the Vishnu avatars he is the most popular, and perhaps of all Hindu gods the one closest to the heart of the masses. Krishna has influenced the Indian thought, life and culture in myriad ways. He has influenced not only its religion and philosophy, but also its mysticism and literature, painting and sculpture,
dance and music, and all the aspects of Indian folklore. Krishna is the favourite deity of the Hindus, who consider Him their leader, hero, protector, philosopher, teacher and friend all rolled into one.

Madhuraashtakam
adharam madhuram vadanam madhuramnayanam madhuram hasitam madhuramhRdayam madhuram gamanam madhurammadhuraadhipater akhilam madhuram

"His lips are sweet; His face is sweet;His eyes are sweet; His smile is sweet:His Heart is sweet; His gait is sweet;Every single thing about the Lord of Mathura is completely sweet!
vacanaM madhuraM caritaM madhuraM vasanaM madhuraM dalitaM madhuramcalitaM madhuraM bhramitaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipatim akhilaM madhuram

"His words are sweet; His acts are sweet; His dress is sweet;His posture is sweet. His walk is sweet, and His wanderings are sweet. Every single thing about the Lord of Mathura is completely sweet!"
veNur madhuro reNur madhuraHpANir madhuraH pAdau madhuraunRtyaM madhuraM sakhyaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram

"His
flute is sweet; the dust of His lotus feet is sweet.His hands are sweet; His feet are sweet. His dancing is sweet;His friendship is sweet. Everything about the Supreme Lord ofsweetness is sweet."
gItaM madhuraM pItaM madhuraM bhuktaM madhuraM suptaM madhuramrUpaM madhuraM tilakaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram

"His
song is sweet, His drinking is sweet; His eating is sweet, His sleeping is sweet. His beauty is sweet, His tilaka is sweet. Everything about the Lord is completely sweet."

dharaNaM madhuraM taraNaM madhuraM haraNaM madhuraM ramaNaM madhuramcamitaM madhuraM zamitaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram

"His acts are sweet, His delivering is sweet,His stealing is sweet, His enjoyment is sweet.His heartfelt outpourings are sweet, His peace is sweet. Everything about the Supreme Lord is fully sweet."
gunjA madhurA mAlA madhurAyamunA madhurA vIcI madhurAsalilaM madhuraM kamalaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram

"His Gunja necklace is sweet, as is His garland.His Yamuna River is sweet, her waves are sweet, and her waters are sweet. The lotus flowers are also sweet.Everything is completely sweet about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord of sweetness."

gopI madhurA lIl A madhurAyuktaM madhuraM bhuktaM madhuramdRSTaM madhuraM ziSTaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram
"His foremost devotees, the gopis, are sweet. His pastimes are sweet. Meeting with Him is sweet. Being enjoyed byHim is sweet. Being noticed (seen) by Him is sweet. His character is sweet. Simply everything about the Lord of sweetness is all-sweet."

gopA madhurA gAvo madhurA yaSTir madhurA sRSTir madhurAdalitaM madhuraM phalitaM madhuraMmadhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram madhurAdhipater akhilaM madhuram

"His cowherd friends are sweet; His cows are sweet.His cane is sweet; His creation is sweet, His destruction is sweet, and His fruition is sweet. Everything about the Supreme Lord is totally sweet."