Krishna, The Unmanifest, Unborn, and Imperishable

 

Krishna denotes all manifestations of Bhagavān Viṣṇu — the carefree and effortlessly self-manifest personality who is the fountainhead of all-pervasive consciousness. But Nāma Kaumudī finishes its definition by stating that the word krishna specifically refers to someone who was “raised on Yaśodā’s breast.” So, although krishna refers to consciousness itself (brahman) and although it refers to Viṣṇu as the source of all consciousness (paramātmā) and the epitome of all personality (bhagavān), in the ultimate focus this word denotes a very specific form of Bhagavān: the one who is raised by the loving breast-milk of the queen of Vraja, Śrī Yaśodā Devī. Ultimately, the word krishna refers to the famous Gopa of Vṛndāvana whom the Bhāgavata Purāṇa lauds as the fountainhead of all Viṣṇus, who are themselves the fountainheads of all consciousness, which is the very substance of reality itself.

The most literal, basic meaning of krish- is simply, “pull.” Krishna- means “existence.” It has this meaning because existence is the tangible coagulation of consciousness, a structure pulled into place by consciousness’ gravity. The primary trait of Krishna is that he “pulls,” like a magnet, like gravity.

 

Krishna has already spoken of himself several times as the highest deva, one with Brahman, thus very much invoking the spirit of monotheism. Historically, there is a very strong emphasis on monotheism in the Abrahamic traditions. We hear the very subtle and powerful enunciation of monotheism in the Jewish Shema: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5) This proclamation has had an enormous impact on Christianity and Islam as well. Monotheism is often considered by pious people and scholars in the West to be the acme of religious understanding. But no other religious notion has had a more pernicious consequence in creating bigotry and fanaticism than monotheism. Monotheism has resulted everywhere in “my-theism,” leading to warfare against other people’s religious forms. No one would say, “There is one God, and it is not my God but yours.” The late Nobel laureate Octavio Paz said, “We owe to monotheism many marvelous things, from cathedrals to mosques. But we also owe to it hatred and oppression. The roots of the worst sins of Western civilization—the Crusades, colonialism, totalitarianism—can be traced to the monotheistic mindset…. For a pagan, it was rather absurd that one people and one faith could monopolize the truth.”

Krishna’s monotheism is not of an exclusive sort that says “You must not worship any other god.” On the contrary, it is very inclusive. Of course, depending on the degree of understanding and the quality of one’s inner nature, a person may be inclined to worship this or that deva. But all the devas are included in Krishna and he blesses them all. “But whatever form any devotee with shraddhā (faith, respect) wishes to worship, I make that shraddhā firm and steady. Disciplined by that shraddhā, the devotees who worship those forms obtain their desires. In truth I myself give these to the devotees.” (7.21–22) It may be mentioned in passing that this inclusive aspect of the Hindu religion was much emphasized by Vivekananda, the great Hindu monk of India, in his speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, and he quoted these shlokas from the Gita. It should also be mentioned with some sadness that in some Hindu quarters there is a tendency, often in reaction to exclusivist biblical religions, to make Krishna a sectarian God, in competition with other gods, but the Gita is nothing if not inclusive.

Krishna, as the Unmanifest, Unborn, and Imperishable, is not and cannot be revealed to all. Most of us are caught in the delusion of opposite—us and them, believers and infidels, good and evil, and the like—which arises from desire and hatred, attraction and repulsion; and this illusion arises right at birth, as Krishna says. (7.27) This could lead to a notion similar to “original sin” in Christianity, resulting in a deep sense of personal guilt. But it is possible to be free of this delusion of opposites and come to Krishna realizing that all action is Brahman. (7.29 and also 4.24) Those who know that Krishna is the supreme being (adhibhūta), the highest deva (adhidaiva), and the greatest yajna (adhiyajna) remember him even at the time of death and are united with him.

 

From The Bhagavad Gita by Ravi Ravindra © 2017 by Ravi Ravindra. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.shambhala.com

Divine Memories Of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – TheTrueSai – Weebly

 

 

Everywhere around I am here with you. Find me in the Temple, find me in the walls, the floor, the nooks and crannies of every corner of the darshan hall – I am there. I permeate every inch of the ashram and all around even outside. I have not gone anywhere. Feel my darshan in the silence and the emptiness of the ashram’s  farthest corner for  I am there also!

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My photo 2014

We couldn’t find anything for profound words – “I am not going anywhere” – those words almost silent, came so unexpected and out of context from the divine in human form one darshan morning,  left author Diana Baskin clueless for quite sometime until it dawned upon her, the greater truth, after bhagwan physically passed on. Read on Diana Baskin’s reminscence of the momentous revelation, published in Sanathana Sarathi, November 2011.   She writes:

“When swami left his body, he left a deep empty space in my heart and since that unforgettable day I have asked him to fill the steady pain of emptiness with his love. Swami, the heart core of our life swami became my guru when i first came to india in 1969, taking on the task of teaching me the principles of a spiritual life by building a solid foundation rooted in dharma. later, he became my mother, taking over the task of nurturing, acceptance and unconditional love. finally in 1979, Swami took the role of father by introducing me to my husband, Robert, performing our marriage ceremony and extending his strong hand of support and gentle loving guidance throughout our marriage. Swami was the heart core of our life. For the past 40 years, our life centred solely upon him and the anticipation of our trips to India that brought us in his physical presence was our nourishment. My husband and I were devastated and heartbroken as we lost all at once our guru, our mother and our father. but swami did not teach us to be weaklings and even in the midst of sorrow his teachings rushed to my side, giving me strength and support while gently reminding me that there was a limit to everything.

 

When the husband of our friend died, swami said to her that she could mourn his death but only for a short time; after that, she needed to let go of her sorrow. otherwise, she could not lead a purposeful and useful life. The last words of swami i understood intellectually on one level,  that to honour swami and his teachings, i needed to put them into practice, be a master of my emotions and keep my focus on positive and constructive thoughts. While this helped to some extent, it was not enough. I still longed to re-establish the direct heart-to-heart link with swami that gives joy to life.  Swami had not only foreseen the problem i would encounter but in his infinite compassion had given the solution, unbeknownst to me, shortly before leaving his physical body. one morning, after bhajans as swami was returning to his residence, his car stopped in front of me and as the driver lowered the window, swami motioned for me to come forward. His voice was decidedly faint and I had to lean into the car and read his lips to grasp his words. At the end of our brief conversation, he said something so unusual and out of context that i had to ask him to repeat it. these were the last words swami ever spoke to me. For the year that followed, I pondered his words and questioned their meaning but failed to find the reason why he voiced them at that time nor could i find any sort of veiled connotation they might imply.  It was not until a few weeks after swami passed, in the midst of great sorrow and mourning that like a thunderbolt from the heavens it hit me! not only did I understand what he meant from the deeper perspective of Advaita but a mere remembrance had the power to re-establish the precious heart-to-heart link and fill my heart with love. The powerful words of truth, love and wisdom that Swami sweetly whispered were: “i am not going anywhere.” ii samasta lokah sukhino bhavantu ii”

 

~The late Diana Baskin who died on 10 Oct. 2010