Sri Krishna Janam-Ashthami: The appearance, celebration of the divinity personified

first_imgDear Editor,Sri Krishna Janam-Ashthami marks the ‘birth’ anniversary of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna made His appearance at midnight on the eighth day (Ashtmi Tithi) in the dark half of the Hindu month Bhadrapada (August/September).It is no exaggeration at all to describe Sri Krishna as the unique personality, power and phenomenon which have exercised a profound influence on Hindus over thousands of years; an influence which has been most pervasive, positive and potent.The Sanskrit root-verb ‘kars’ means to pull or draw to oneself. When derived from this, ‘Krishna’ connotes one with that power, and from all accounts we have of Him, He was a verifiable divine magnet who irresistibly attracted to Himself all beings—men, women, and children; young and old; saints and sinners; scholars and the unlettered; royalty and common folk; heroes and the weak; and even animals like the cows.Both illumined sages and innocent devotees have adored Krishna as the ideal of all that is good and great, noble and beautiful. He has been considered the most perfect manifestation of divinity on earth. But there have been critics — both Westerners as well as Indians — who consider Him just a product of the infantile imagination of a people who possess neither lofty intellect nor high ethical standards.Notwithstanding the opinions of such critics, Krishna remains and prospers as continual power, a living  and wholesome ideal illuminating the minds, inspiring the hearts and moulding the lives of millions of good, worthy and intelligent people. What may appear to the dry intellect of the ill-informed critic as a bundle of contradictions and confusions—that very Krishna lives on in the consciousness and memory of the devoted as the sublime, indefinable, fusion of a many-faceted magnetic personality, a grand all-round ideal, and a delightfully uplifting legend.Refusing to be disturbed by the doubts, comments, or critical onslaughts of the skeptics, devotes have blissfully allowed themselves to be drawn to one or more of Krishna’s aspects. They find themselves elevated and enriched by the light, love, and joy radiating from their great Teacher, who is ‘Madhava’, the embodiment of sweetness and bliss. Sri Krishna is not merely the great lover, but equally the great hero, the great yogi, and the supreme Guru for aspiring and adoring humanity.Swami Vivekananda, in offering a tribute to Krishna, observes: “He was the most wonderful Sannyasin and the most wonderful householder in one; He had the most wonderful among the Rajas, power and was at the same time living in the midst of the most wonderful renunciation. Krishna, the preacher of the Geeta, was all His life the embodiment of the Geeta. He was the great illustration of non-attachment; a great landmark in the history of religion; the ideal of love for love’s sake; work for work’s sake; duty for duty’s sake; and it is for the first time fell from His lips of the greatest Incarnation, Krishna; and for the first time in the history of humanity, on the soil of India. He was the first heart large enough to see truth in all. In Krishna we find two ideas supreme; the first is the harmony of different ideas, and the second is non-attachment. He does not need anything; He does not want anything. He works for work’s sake. He is the most rounded man I know of, wonderfully developed equally in brain and heart and hand. Every moment of His is alive with activity. Five thousand years have passed and He has influenced millions and millions. My regard for Him is for His perfect sanity. No cobwebs in His brain, no superstition. He knows the use of everything”.Limited, finite persons and themes are easy to grasp and delineate. But Sri Krishna belongs to the dimension of the unlimited, beyond the understanding of the ordinary minds and measure of ordinary standards. In him all contradictions meet and become harmonised. He is the confluence of the highest expression of knowledge, love and action, heroism and tenderness, strength and grace, might and humility, splendor and renunciation. In short, He has emerged as the composite ideal of various human aspirations, the fulfillment of the quest for perfection—ethical, aesthetic, spiritual, altruistic—of various hearts and minds. It is because of this that He often becomes the central theme of not only religion and philosophy, but of art and sculpture, music and poetry, a phenomenon that defies all delimiting definition or classification.Krishna stands out and stays on eternally as the ideal and inspirer for the classes, and the saviour and refuge for the masses.“Krishna appeared like a thunderbolt to the warriors, superhuman to man, God of love incarnate to His devotees, their own to the cowherd Gopis, a child to His parents, as death itself to Kamsa, the vast cosmos to the gross, Ultimate reality to the Yogis, and Supreme Deity to His worshippers”. (Bhagavatam 10. 43, 17)Regards,Pt. Avishkar Nandalalllast_img

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