Prof Jayadeba Sahoo
The main festivals celebrated in Bharat with great zeal and enthusiasm, pomp and gaiety are Shiva Ratri or Shiva Jayanti, Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Shri Krishna Janamashtami, Navratri, Dassehra and Deepawali. In fact, all these festivals are intimately connected with or rather owe their very existence to Shiva Jayanti, which is related to the incognito Descent of the Supreme Soul, the Incorporeal God-Father SHIVA, and the Benefactor of the entire humanity. If there is no Shiv Ratri, then the other festivals cannot occur. If we realize the spiritual secret of Shri Krishna Janamashtami then the world transformation could become an easy proposition.
Krishna of Gita and Krishna of Devaki: The name Lord Krishna in the Gita is another name for God Shiva and is not the same as the first child prince of the golden age born to Devaki and Vasudeva and raised by Yashoda, who was also named Prince Krishna. Millions of Hindus over the world celebrate Krishna Janamasthami and it would be more meaningful to fully understand the roles of God Krishna of the Shrimad Gita and that of Krishna of Krishna Janamasthami.
God is not subjected to Birth and Rebirth: The devotees and lovers of the Gita must be immovable in their belief that God is not subjected to the cycle of birth and rebirth. God is “abhogta” meaning that He is above the bondage of karma, nature and matter. Therefore, if God is “abhogta”, he surely does not have a mother or father nor does He ever take birth of woman. In Gita Ch-9, Vs-11, God tells Arjuna quote “Fools, not knowing my supreme nature, think low of Me, the Lord of creation who have put on the human body. That is, they take me, who have appeared in human garb through my Yogamaya for the deliverance of the world, to be an ordinary mortal”. God continues to advise in Gita Ch10-Vs3 quote “He who knows me in reality as without birth and without beginning, and as the supreme Lord of the universe, he, undeluded among men, is purged of all sins”. Therefore, all the epithets in the Gita that refers to Krishna are but the divine attributes of God Shiva who is the only One who can liberate mankind when trapped in the chains of Ravana.
Legend tells us that Rama invoked Shiva at Rameshwaram and Krishna offered his prayers to Him at Gopeshwar. Memorials to these events stand here even today. These legends also indicate that Shiva is worshipped as the Supreme Father of all deities. Shiva is praised as the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. But what does he create, sustain and destroy? If He is sustainer, then what account for the scourge of poverty, hunger and sickness in this world? Does He cause the destruction and death of His creation?
The Chariot with Krishna and Arjuna: The ordinary human person on whom Incorporeal God SHIVA descends incognito as per his promise in (Gita,Ch-4/Verse 8-9) & through whose mouth He reveals the Spiritual truth about Himself, the whole Creation and the process of communion with Him (Yoga) comes to be known as Brahma or Adi Dev, Adam or Abu Tani -The First Man. By means of this Spiritual wisdom, He establishes a new socio-politico and socio-spiritual order called as Golden Age or Satya Yuga – the Age of Truth / Enlightenment / Perfection.
At such juncture of ‘Dharma Glani ’ i.e. moral, religion and spiritual downfall, God Shiva-the Incorporeal Supreme soul, stop to the vicious trends and to create a world of high ideals and morals and noble acts called heaven, paradise.
Prince Krishna-ShyamSundar – From the Ugly to the Beautiful One: On the other hand, Prince Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva is called ShyamSundar. ShyamSundar refers to the history and biography of Krishna’s 84 births in a kalpa. The understanding of the name ShyamSundar is possibly the key to understand the difference between Lord Krishna of the Gita and Prince Krishna, the son of Devaki. ShyamSundar tells the entire history and geography of the world cycle. It gives the stage of purity, attitude and the conduct of the world at any time in the cycle.
In the Golden and Silver ages, Krishna is the most beautiful, has ultimate authority of the world and wore the double crown of purity and authority. There he is called “Sundar”, the beautiful ( Virtuous) one who enjoys perfect peace, purity and prosperity. In the dark ages of copper and iron, his birth is reflective of the stages of the ages and in this period, he is called “Shyam”- the ugly (Vicious) one. In particular, when he is Arjuna, which is the 84th birth of Krishna, he is definitely Shyam and this is the episode of Arjuna, listening to God Krishna in the chariot, absorbing the knowledge of the Gita to transform himself from Shyam back to Sundar, the first prince of the Vaikunth called the Golden Age. The icons and murtis are the only remaining evidence of ShyamSundar history. In regal and royal form and with a fair complexion, Krishna is Sundar. In dark blue form, Krishna is Shyam in reference to his copper and Iron Age births.
At this fag end of RATRI – the Dark Age/Kaliyuga, this act of the same Supreme Soul God Shiva - God Krishna of the Shrimad Gita is going on since 1936-37 descending into Dada Lekhraj Kripalini, a Sindhi Jeweler in Karachi, baptized him as Prajapita Brahma and imparting that spiritual wisdom to establish that Age of Perfection after the mass annihilation of this present degraded society of Dark Age. So, let us all irrespective of different religious faith, celebrate this ‘Krishna Janamasthami’ and empower our self through process of Supreme Communion (Raja Yoga ) with Him to inculcate His Supreme Commands of Universal Values to establish a “Value Based Happy Society of Culture of Peace & Non Violence “ – our most cherished desire. The understanding of this eternal truth will usher in religious harmony &world peace. Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University has been engaged in this task for last 76 years since its inception in 1936-37.
The true way of celebrating “Shri Krishna Janamasthami’ would be to realize the significance of the present auspicious time ( Sangam Yuga, which is end of Kaliyuga – Iron Age and the beginning of Satyuga – Golden Age ) and by pledging to discard all negative traits such as anger, greed, ego and lust and by leading a life filled of love, compassion, respect, humility, cooperation, responsibility, divinity.
Happy greetings on the ”Shri Krishna Janamasthami” - A Festival with Splendour.
The writer is Ex-Dean, Faculty of Education, Rajiv Gandhi University & Faculty, Brahma Kumaris, RERF, Itanagar; E-mail: [email protected]
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