A Perspective: On the Appearance of Lord Krishna
A Very Happy Janmashtami!
Janmashtami is a popular festival celebrated with great pomp in most parts of India. It is the celebrated in the remembrance of the appearance of Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa — the most attractive and most mysterious, who appeared on this planet about 5000 years ago in Mathura to Vasudeva and Devaki.
The appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa has many mysteries, questions and deep revelations — all bound in it. Here are some insights and mysteries from the section describing the appearance of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Canto 10.
Fighting the Anarthas
Before Lord Śri Kṛṣṇa appeared, Kamsa out of fear killed 6 sons of Devaki (before Lord Balarama — who was carried to Rohini’s womb).
Besides the puranic significance of these 6 sons., Acharyas give a metaphorical insight from this — The six sons represent the “six anarthas” — namely Kama(Lust), Krodha(Anger), Lobha(Greed), Moha(Illusion), Mada(Pride), Matsarya(Envy). Devaki represents a “devotee” and Kamsa represents “fear” — fear of the material existence.
Lord Balarama who is considered as the Original guru represents the “Spiritual master”. And Kṛṣṇa is the “ultimate goal of life”.
“So, a devotee must give up all 6 Anarthas to the fear of material existence and approach a genuine spiritual master in order to attain the ultimate goal of Human Life — Krsna!”
Lord smiles, Mother Nature smiles.
In the section of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam describing the appearance of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, there is an elaborate description of how the cosmic bodies and mother nature were getting ready to invite the Supreme Lord.
At that time, in all directions — east, west, south, north, everywhere — there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface of the earth — in all towns and villages and pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone — there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing.
Just like a government servant who prepares everything perfectly when the head of the state/ country visits his constituency. It is evident from this description that Mother Nature similarly is a servant of the Supreme Lord.
From this, we can understand that Nature won’t act according to our wishes but according to God’s will. If we act in ignorance, Nature will show its wrath, whereas if we act in ways pleasing the Lord, Nature will also be pleased.
In the last few days, humankind has witnessed one the greatest terrors, “Amazon is Burning”. It was evident that we cannot do anything about it, except posting about it on Social Media and worrying about it. It is Nature which responded and rained — we all know what would have happened otherwise.
So it must be understood that if we displease God, nature burns. Only if Lord smiles, Nature smiles.
Why does Lord appear on The Earth?
In the famous verse from Bhagavad Gita BG 4.8, Krishna reveals the purpose of his descent in this world.
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge (BG 4.8)
Translation: To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.
He says that his descent in this world has 3 purposes — 1. To deliver the pious, 2. To destroy the demoniac, 3. To re-establish dharma.
One may wonder why the Supreme Lord himself has to descend for these tasks, why doesn’t he send some subordinate of his?
The answer to this question is found in real life itself. When an affectionate son of Billionaire falls in a trouble, he seldom sends an employee of his to save his child, rather he goes himself to save his child.
Similarly, the Supreme Lord out of his unconditional mercy for his eternal children — the living entities, descends to this world.
The Unborn is Born
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam ~ Brahma Samhita 5.1
Translation: Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.
In the Bhagavad Gita — the song of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa declares that he is ajam — unborn (BG 7.25). This is a bewildering statement in general.
If we study the appearance pastime of the lord, it is evident that it is not any ordinary birth. He chooses his parents, he chooses his time and place of birth. And he appears as a baby boy with four hands, holding conch shell, club, disc and a lotus, decorated with various jewels. No ordinary man is born this way.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krsna further reveals that he descends in his spiritual form and doesn’t take a material body. (BG 7.24)
Breaking the dusk of ignorance
Here is yet another metaphorical insight from the appearance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Lord appears in the darkness of the midnight in front of Devaki and Vasudeva shackled in prison. And instantaneously, they are freed from the pain and anxiety and are overjoyed with jubilance.
In the same way, when the light of Kṛṣṇa Bhakti dawns in. It illuminates our heart clearing the darkness of ignorance of lifetimes and shattering the shackles of material miseries, delivering us from the jail of the bodily prison.
May all of us by the mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa receive the seed of the desire-fulfilling creeper — Kṛṣṇa Bhakti.
In the war of Mahabharata — the greatest war of all times, Kṛṣṇa guided Arjuna to success against all the odds. In the same way, only Kṛṣṇa can guide us in the battles with our inner enemies — Ego, Greed, Envy, Pride, Anger, Lust and Illusion.
On this auspicious day, let us all pray to the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa to shower his grace by giving us the touchstone — of Krishna Prema.
May Lord Kṛṣṇa shower torrents of his choicest blessings on all of us.