Swami On Significance Of Krishna Janmashtami
SRI KRISHNA… THE BESTOWER OF ANANDA
Krish means attract, draw, as in aakarshana. Even a confirmed protagonist of Adhwaitha, (the contemplation of the Universal absolute without name and form), like Madhusuudhana Saraswathi confesses that the attraction for the playful child on the Yamuna sands is irresistible.
Krishna draws the mind away from sensory desires; that is another way in which the draw o perates. He pulls the mind towards him and so, they are pulled away from everything else, for everything else is inferior, less valuable. He satisfies the deepest thirst of man, for peace, joy and wisdom. That is why He is Meghashyaama—dark-blue as the rain cloud. The very sight of the rain-laden cloud is so refreshing. He is lotus-eyed, lotus palmed, lotus-soled; the lotus is reminiscent of cool, calm, deep lakes of limpid water, the water that quenches thirst. When Krishna-thrishna is quenched, the highest Aanandha is attained; there is no more need, no more want, defect or decline. The urge to drink inferior drinks, that only feed the thirst, disappears when once the sweetness of Krishna nama and Krishna bhaava (name and thought of Krishna) are tasted.
Significance of Krishna’s birth and growth
Krishna is said to have been born in Gokula, He grew up in Brindhaavan, He proceeded to Mathura and He established His home finally at Dwaaraka. The significance of this to the saadhaka is, “Let Krishna be born in the Gokula of your Mind; let Him grow and play prankishly in the Brindhaavan of your Heart; let Him then be fixed in the Chiththa of Mathura; and, finally, let Him rule over the agitationless Consciousness as the Lord and Master of Dhwaaraka.” The Nirvikalpa aanandham is the final result of His Kingdom established at Dhwaaraka, in the centre of the waves.
WHY WAS KRISHNA BORN AS THE EIGHTH CHILD?
Sri Krishna was born as the eighth child of Dhevaki. This is significant, for Samaadhi is the eighth stage of spiritual effort, coming after yama, niyama, aasana, pranaayaama, prathyahara, dharana and dhyaana. These are known as ashtaanga-yoga, the eight-fold discipline (abstension from evildoing, observance, control breath, posture, withdrawal of mind from sense objects, concentration, meditation and absorption in the Aathma. The Lord can be visualised only after the seven steps are successfully negotiated and the mind purified in the process. The term, samaadhi (superconciousness state of bliss), is generally identified with a temporary loss of consciousness, or even more, a temporary heightening of the consciousness. But we have to judge the state by the effect it has on the person and his attitude towards himself and others. Samadhi combines sama (equal) dhi (intelligence), that is to say, intelligence grasping the fundamental equality of every being. Not only will all feeling of difference and distinction disappear, but even notions such as heat and cold, grief and joy, good and Samaadhi combines sama (equal) dhi (intelligence), that is to say, intelligence grasping the fundamental equality of every being.
WHAT TO DO ON KRISHNASHTAMI?
The celebration of Krishna Janmaashtami should not be confined to special puja and extra dishes for lunch. This narrow schedule arises from the desire to attract the Grace of Krishna. But that Grace can be won only by the observance of the teachings of Krishna. They will not be conferred on pride and pompous display. Adoring Krishna and avoiding His teaching is a sacrilege. You can give up the adoration; nevertheless, you can earn Grace if you sincerely attempt to proceed on the path He has marked out. span>
Krishna was the embodiment of Love. Hence, Love is the virtue He appreciates most. Love has to turn into concrete acts of compassion. Cultivate compassion and develop sympathetic understanding, until you reach the goal, of merging in the embodiment of love, Krishna. He is Gopaala. ‘Go’ denotes not only the cow, it denotes the jeevi (humans and other living beings).
This day, Krishnaashtami, is the Day on which the Avathaarik (incarnational) career of Krishna began. Krishna gave man the call to ;rise from the beast to Brahman. By devotion and dedication to Him, man must earn the awareness that he is unrelated to all things that ‘bind’ him—body, riches, kith and kin, attributes and feelings.
BE THE FLUTE IN HIS HANDS:
For Krishna, the Avathaarhood was a leela (divine sport). His life was His Message. He was the embodiment of the noblest and the most fruitful Karmayoga (divine communion through selfless dedicated action). His actions had no trace of selfishness or pride or envy.
STEPS TO CULTIVATE THIRST FOR KRISHNA
The thirst for Krishna is a sign of health in the spiritual field. Not to have it is a sign of bhava roga–the fell disease that afflicts worldly persons, the symptoms being grief, discontent, pain and worry, even when wealth and health are endowed. That thirst can be cultivated by the reading of scriptures, the cultivation of congenial company, lessons from a kind and considerate Guru and regular practice of japam. Once it is acquired, the thirst itself will lead you on to places and persons able to quench it. That is the advantage of spiritual quest; the first step makes the second easy.
WAS KRISHNA BLUE IN COMPLEXION?
A doctor’s prescription can be judged only by an equally qualified or a more qualified doctor, not by a patient suffering from the same or a different illness. No person afflicted with lust or envy or greed or attachment or egoism can pronounce judgement on the ethereal, formless, nameless principle that concretised as Krishna. Krishna is described as blue in physical colour, for, He is as deep and inscrutable as the sky; the blue is the colour which the eye comprehends, though the sky has no colour at all. So too, Krishna has no colour or attributes but, in order to comprehend Him, the mental eye attributes a colour. Grace of Krishna can be won only by the good. The Raakshasas (demons) did not get Amritha (nectar); for they would have misused it. Knowledge in the wicked is power misused for the stratagems of hate and greed. Grace too is power and it has to be endowed on the deserving only.
Therefore. character has to be sublimated into saturated piety and devotion. Then only can Grace be secured.
STEALER OF THE HEARTS
Krishna is referred to as chora (thief). What does He steal? He steals the butter-like hearts of the Gopis, hearts which are pure, soft and sweet. If you address someone as chora (thief), he will be annoyed. But if you call Krishna as chiththa chora (stealer of the heart), He will enjoy this appellation. That is why, devotees sing in praise of the Lord most endearingly Chiththa chora Yashoda Ke Bal! Navaneetha chora Gopal! Gopal, Gopal, Gopal! Govardhanadhara Gopal! (Oh! Yashodas little Krishna! Oh! Gopala! Stealer of butter! Oh! Gopala! Lifter of the Govardhana mountain!).
(Sourced from Sri Sathya Sai Speaks)
87 DAYS OF SPECIAL PRAYERS AND NAGAR SANKEERTANS:
On a different note a unique offering to our beloved Bhagawan has been started in a place called “Vanasthali Puram” by Sathya Sai Prema Seva Sadan a Sai center ably headed by Sri.Subramanyam, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Not sure how many of us know but we are 87 days away from celebrating Swami’s 87th Birthday celebrations and to commemorate this holy occasion, the Vanasthali Puram Sai Center has started daily prayers starting with Omkaram, Suprabhatam and also Nagar sankirtan each day from different houses. 87 houses have been selected for this special offering by this center and the Nagar Sankeertan will start from 87 different houses every day and the same house would have Ru dram chanting and Bhajans in the evening. Now, this might look very simple to few of us but to do Nagar sankirtan (that too in the early hours of the day) in a city like Hyderabad is not a small thing. There would be believers and non-believers of Swami in the locality, there would be some from different faith and it is only Swami’s grace and blessing that the devotees of this Sai Center got this unique way of welcoming the 87th year of the Advent. Hopefully many will follow.
Even though, Naamasmarana is not a TIME BOUND exercise, but by doing this exercise for 87 days, with the divine grace of our Lord, at least from the dawn of 88th day naama smarana would become part and parcel of their life.. Taking cue from this Center, hopefully many of us will plan such unique events which would awaken the “Swami” in us…
In the year 2002, durin g Summer Course in Brindavan this is what Swami had to say about Namasmarana:
“In Kali Age, Namasmarana (chanting the Lords Name) is the panacea for all our suffering. There is no greater power than the Divine Name. Chanting the Lords Name bestows infinite bliss on man. No one can estimate the power of the Lords Name. In Krita yuga, meditation was the chief means of mans liberation. In Treta yuga, it was Yagna and in Dwapara yuga, worship. But in Kali yuga, Namasmarana is the most potent spiritual practice to earn Gods grace. That is why the practice of N amasmarana has been spreading to all parts of the world ”
Meanwhile in Prashanthi about 1500 devotees from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh have come on Parthi Yatra and they are scheduled to enact a drama on Krishna in Sai Kulwanth hall followed by Nagar sankeertan in the streets of Puttaparthi tomorrow.
Wishing all brothers and sisters a very happy KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI…
With Pranams at the Lotus feet of our beloved Lord,