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

Two Natures Of Krishna – Quotations

Krishna dancing on a lotus, c.1825. Gouache on watermarked paper.
Tiruchchirappalli. Tamil Nadu

 

Life guidance from the Bhagavad Gita. Translated with commentary by Ravi Ravindra

 

 

The Bhagavad Gita, part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, was composed more than two thousand years ago. In the text, the Hindu god Lord Krishna advises the prince Arjuna about his duty as a warrior and responsible spiritual being. In Professor Ravindra’s new translation and commentary, the Bhagavad Gita is considered as a universal guide to navigating the battle of life.

 

 

Many Are Called but Few Are Chosen

 

 

The Blessed One said: Hear, O Pārtha, how by practicing yoga with your mind fixed on Me, and with Me as the base and the refuge, you will know Me completely and without doubt. I will speak to you, without omission, of the essential sacred knowledge [jnāna] and of comprehensive discernment [vijnāna], knowing which nothing else remains to be known. (7.1–2)

Among thousands of human beings scarcely one strives after perfection, and among those who strive and attain perfection, scarcely one knows Me in the full truth of My being. (7.3)

Krishna urges Arjuna to practice yoga, fixing his mind more and more on the essential nature of Krishna, and he promises Arjuna that he will teach him jñāna (sacred knowledge) and discriminative discernment (vijñāna), knowing which nothing else remains to be known. At the same time, he is quite clear that out of thousands of human beings only a few will strive for perfection, and out of those who come to a perfection of character, very few will know Krishna’s real nature. As we look around at the general human situation and see what largely occupies humanity, any notion of striving for spiritual perfection seems very far away and quite rare. This is not new; even at the time of the Buddha or of Christ, or at the time of Krishna’s human incarnation and before, very few people seem to have had an interest in searching for the Real. Like the author, the readers also need to ask themselves periodically about the quality of their search for the Truth.

Furthermore, any serious contact with the Real is not only a matter of human effort, however strenuous. Grace of the devas is also needed. Even among those few who strive, still fewer seem to be chosen to attain Truth. It is the same everywhere and at all times “for many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

 

Lets Fall In Love With Our Maker

Krishna with Radha

image: Krishna with Radha

“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me;

my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”

Meister Eckhart, Sermons of Meister Eckhart

Radha Krishna - thanks to FB page on same
Radha Krishna

We need to fully understand love if we wish to fall in love with the supreme love, known as  “Divine Love.” Nevertheless, such an understanding  is not something  that happens outside this world or beyond our space-time continuum. This is because each object in this world manifests the divine and thus, we as individuals  can encounter the divine in anything, anywhere and at any time.

But once this understanding  happens, and it is crucial that it does happen at some point, we come to realise that the divine permeates everything. Thus, one way of defining divine love would be by falling in love with everything, as distinguished from the love of one particular object. But this definition does not sufficiently distinguish divine love from human love and the question still remains: is the nature of divine love (i.e., the love of everything) the same as human love?

Once we acquire the realisation that the divine permeates everything, then the nature or mode of our love of the divine changes dramatically. As the object of our love becomes “everything,” the manner of our loving evolves from human to Divine. This is known as enlightenment.

Divine love may begin with our loving another person, but gradually our love grows to embrace everything in the world, and as our love encompasses everything, we transcend the norms associated with human love and the manner of loving changes.

When Love Beckons You –

krishna909

I believe that both Gods and Goddesses dwells within our innermost being as the very spirit of our creative expression. To me, they are a great path that we must walk, a song we must listen to, a beat to dance to. A lesson to learn, a garden where flowers bloom, a puzzle  to solve, a book to read,  an ocean to swim in. That’s what they are  to me. Krishna said in the Bhagavad gita, Chapter 10:  “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly, engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

Eve

….

“When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth……

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.”

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”

~ Kahlil Gibran, Le Prophe’te

Sri Krishna As Godhead – Spirituality

Bala Krishna
Bala Krishna

 

It is interesting to read the notes of Sri Aurobindo, about  how he expresses  devotion to Sri Krishna. Imagine a man who had little liking for religion, then somehow  his intuition tells him  that one day he would be in the consciousness of Krishna. (See slide-show at the bottom of the post.)

 

Asked by a disciple as to why he choose Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo replied: “I could not question. It was Sri Krishna’s Adesh. I had to obey. Later on I found it was for the Ashram and or the work.” (Evening talks with Sri Aurobindo pg 23)

In 1908 when arrested and sent to prison, Sri Aurobindo was shaken in faith and it was the voice from within that assured him. In the famous Uttarpara speech Sri Aurobindo says:”When I was arrested and hurried to the Lal Bazar hajat I was shaken in faith for a while, for I could not look into the heart of His intention. Therefore I faltered for a moment and cried out in my heart to Him,

 


Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami (also known as Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami) is a festival dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna to commemorate his birth on earth. This year it falls on August 17, and on this day (up to midnight), the whole story of Sri Krishna’s birth will be enacted by the devotees in their houses and many delicacies, prepared out of milk and curd, will be distributed as ‘prasad’ (food made sacred by offering to God) to everyone.

In his letters to sadhaks, Sri Aurobindo mentions about Sri Krishna:

“Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and Bhakti; as an incarnation, he manifests the union of wisdom (Jnana) and works and leads the earth-evolution through this towards union with the Divine by Ananda, Love and Bhakti.”

“The boy with the flute is Sri Krishna, the Lord descended into the world-play from the divine Ananda; his flute is the music of the call which seeks to transform the lower ignorant play of mortal life and bring into it and establish in its place the Lila of his divine Ananda.”

 


 Krishna by Sri Aurobindo

At last I find a meaning of soul’s birth
Into this universe terrible and sweet,
I who have felt the hungry heart of earth
Aspiring beyond heaven to Krishna’s feet.

I have seen the beauty of immortal eyes,
And heard the passion of the Lover’s flute,
And known a deathless ecstasy’s surprise
And sorrow in my heart for ever mute.

Nearer and nearer now the music draws,
Life shudders with a strange felicity;
All Nature is a wide enamoured pause
Hoping her lord to touch, to clasp, to be.

For this one moment lived the ages past;
The world now throbs fulfilled in me at last.

15-9-1939

Interesting slide Show with Sri Aurobindo and Sri Krishna

 http://www.slideshare.net/aurovir/sri-aurobindo-and-sri-krishna-1853775

 

Let Your Little Light Shine – Children Of Light

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(Joni Mitchell)

WOODSTOCK

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, “Where are you going?”
And this he told me…

I’m going on down to Yasgur’s Farm,
I’m gonna join in a rock and roll band.
I’m gonna camp out on the land.
I’m gonna get my soul free.

We are Stardust.
We are Golden.
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

….


Since that time of Woodstock, where hippies gathered to celebrate their new-found shining selves (The Shining Ones), we have held a fascination for The Light. This is true of many of us who shunned the Church and its traditional teachings for something more appealing and often found in far flung places. By our thousands we turned instead to the New Age gurus both near and far, to point us towards The Light. Be it in a yoga meditation class, where light meditation ended each class, or while sitting meditating quietly on our own, we rekindled The Light within. We wanted to become the “New Shining ones”, the redeemers of the age.

Who are The Shining Ones? I had an “aha” moment of sorts when reading about them. Seems like The real passé  Shining Ones have not been around lately. Perhaps they are keeping a low profile for the moment. We have to consult the Holy Books to fully understand the Shining Ones. I mean, what exactly was that blinding luminous vision of Christ that Saul of Tarsus saw on his way to Damascus, or Arjuna’s vision of Lord Krishna in Kurukshetra ? The experience of the transcendental Reality has often been associated with brilliance, splendor and light: The Bhagavad Gita states:

“If a thousand suns should rise all at one In the sky,

Such slender would resemble

The splendour of that great Being..

Then Arjuna,

Who was filled with amazement,

Whose hair was standing on end,

Bowing his head to the Lord

With joined palms, said:

…With infinite power, without

Beginning, middle, or end,

With innumerable arms, the moon and

Sun being Your eyes,

I see You, the blazing fire Your mouth,

Burning all this universe with Your radiance..”

Chap. 11 v.12,14,19. Bhagavad Gita

aawhiteed

..

aalady9999


Fascinating and awesome as such visions might be, the experience of light ought not be the final goal. If that were so, The Bhagavad Gita would have ended with the Eleventh Teaching. But it does not. According to Krishna Himself, the Supreme state is that which the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, nor the fire, for it is the Light of Pure Consciousness. These worlds are analogous to those found in the Svetasvatara (6.14) and the Katha Upanishad. (5.15).

Here is an excellent example of Light from Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, known as Babuji to his associates. For almost fifty years he taught meditation on the ‘divine light in the heart’, according to the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga. In the Voice Real, he writes:

“Every saint has used the word ‘Light’ and that is the best expression for Reality. But that creates some complications, because when we talk of ‘light’, the idea of luminosity becomes prominent and we begin to take it as glittering. The Real Light carries with it no such sense and may be represented as ‘light without luminosity.’ It refers only to the real substance or, more appropriately, to

‘substance-less, substance,’ which is associated with neither light nor darkness but beyond both..”

So  until the substance-less, substance, “The Ultimate Reality” is realized in all its splendor,  just let Your Little Light Shine.  Just saying. 🙂

aawhiteed

Here’s one of the most important prayers in the Hindu Tradition:

Asoto ma sat gamaya,

Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya,

Mrityor ma amritam gamaya.

From falsehood lead me to Truth,

…From darkenss lead me to Light,

From death lead me to Immortality.

The Pavamana-Mantras, from the Brihadaranyaka Unipanishad.

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♥☼♥ BєấUŦI₣UŁ . …..

La grande finale, Joni Mitchell. ~l’excellence de la chanteuse


Link to my new blog with photography. Hope you will visit.yvonne

CameraCatches

“I AM” – Inspirational Quotations

krishnapic

All that Krishna says of himself is true of us, or potentially true of us… We too are bound in time and space, but also ‘without beginning and without end’. We too have an ‘ordinary form’ and a ‘supreme form’, a concept spoken of by St Paul in terms of the ‘Body Terrestrial’ and the ‘Body Celestial’…

The beauty is when we dance with both, as Krishna does to the sublime music of his flute…

….

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♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*¸.•*¨`*ི♥ྀღ

krishnaeve

“It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.” ~ Jean Klein, “I Am”
….
(¯”•.¸*♥♥♥* ¸.•”¯)
….
Sri Yogananda told people before he died, “There’s nothing left of Yogananda, God only resides in this form..”  
….
The greatest romance is with the Infinite. You have no idea how beautiful life can be. When you suddenly find God everywhere, when He comes and talks to you and guides you, the romance of divine love has begun.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Krishna’s Song” – The Gopis Lament – Inspiritual Quotations

“O loved one, show yourself! Your devotees, whose lives are sustained in you, are searching for you everywhere.

You are taking our life, O Lord of autumn; your glance excels in beauty the heart of a beautiful lotus perfectly born in autumn from a pool of water. We are your maidservants, we do not ask for any payment. Isn’t this killing us, O bestower of favours?

O bull among men, we have been continuously protected by you from destruction from the poisonous water, from the wicked demon, from the winds and rains, from fire and lightning, from the bull of Arista, from the son of Maya, and from fear from all sides.

You are not, in fact the son of a gopi. You are the witness of the inner self in all embodied beings. Being, petitioned by Brahma, you become manifest in the family of the Satvatas, O friend, for the protection of the Universe.

Place your lotus hand on the head of those who have approached you out of fear of the material world, O foremost of the Vrsni clan. Your hand, which holds the hand of Sri Lakshmi, bestows fearlessness and fulfills desires, O lover.

You are the hero of women, and you take away the pain of the people of Vraj! The pride of your devotees is annihilated by your smile! Accept your maidservants, friend! Show us your beautiful lotus face!

Place your lotus feet upon our breasts. Your feet have been placed in the hoods of the serpent Kaliya and follow the animals to the pasture. They are the abode of the goddess of fortune, Sri, and they removed the sins of submissive embodied beings. Excise Kama, who dwells within your hearts.

O hero, these women obedient to your will are stunned by your sweet voice, your charming words which please the mind and the intelligence, and your lotus eyes. Reinvigorate us with the intoxicating liquid of your lips.

Those who repeat the sweetness of your words in this world are munificent. These words are praised by poets, spread abroad, are are auspicious to hear. They are life-giving for those who are suffering. They remove sins and bring good fortune.

Your bursts of laughter, pleasing looks of love, and pastimes are auspicious to contemplate. Those meetings in secret places touch our hearts, you cheater, and perturb us thoroughly.

When you go from Vraj grazing the animals, O Lord, your feet, beautiful as lotuses, are troubled by blades of grass and corn stubble, and so we feel distress. You are our beloved.

You possess a lotus face, surrounded by blue locks of hair which you constantly display covered with thick dust at the end of the day. Your arouse Kama in our heart, O hero.

O lover, place your most beneficent lotus feet on our breasts. They fulfill the desires of the humble and should be meditated upon in trouble, O destroyer of anxiety. They are worshipped by the lotus-born Brahma, and are the ornament of the earth.

Bestow upon us the nectar of your lips, O hero, which have been thoroughly kissed by the flute as it plays music. It destroys sorrow, increases the pleasures of love, and causes men to forget other passions.

When you, Lord, go to the forest during the day, a moment becomes an Age for those who do not see you. He who created eyelashes is dull-witted, from the perspectives of those beholding your beautiful face, with its curled locks of hair.

Acyuta, you are the knower of movements. Bewildered by our song, we have thoroughly neglected our husbands, sons, family, brothers and kinsfolk, and come before you. Who would abandon women in the night, you rogue?

We have become unsettled from contemplating your broad chest, the abode of Sri Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, as well as your looks of love, your smiling face and the meetings in secret places which aroused Kama. We long for you intensely all the time.

Your incarnation is for the good of the universe, and dispels the distress of the people of Vraj. Deliver a little of that medicine which removes the ailment from the hearts of your devotees to us. Our hearts yearn for you.

We gently place your tender lotus feet on your rough breasts with trepidation. You wander in the forest on them and our minds are disturbed: what is they had been hurt by small stones? Your Lordship is our life.”

– the lament of the Gopis for Krishna from KRISHNA: THE BAGAVAD PURANA BOOK TEN trans Edwin F Bryant (ISBN 0140447997)

Krishna’s Song is a deeply profound piece of writing. I like the translation into English and feel it deserves a place on this blog. Radha though is not a woman but is the manifestation of Krishna-bhakti . In response to the question, “How devoted should one be?”‘ the Naradbhaktisutra writes, “Like the Gopis (Cowherd Girls) of Vraj.”  In reality , these Gopis are incarnations of Rishis.

It is best to read  Krishna’s Song first,  Radha’s Lament should follow…

Much thanks to Jake Murray for bringing my attention to Krishna’s Song.