Lord Shri Krishna explain the very purpose in which the Lord descends in this world. He explains that this science of self realisation in which we are meant to understand our relationship with the Supreme (Lord Shri Krishna) is a great mystery. And only one who accepts the humble position of the Lord’s devotee, the bhakta, can understand this mystery. Partial understanding of the God and higher understanding of the material nature can be attained by various yogic processes. But the supreme perfection of yoga is to enter into an eternal loving relationship with the Lord.
yoginäm api sarveñäà
çraddhävän bhajate yo mäà
sa me yuktatamo mataù (BG 6.47)
“Of all yogis one who is my devotee, the bhakta, is the most intimately united with me in yoga and is the highest of all.”
When the Lord descends into this world, He does not descend in the intimate association of various mystic yogis and wealthy practitioners of the karma-kanda, but He appears with His devotees. From the moment Krishna appeared in the material existence on this day of Janmastami, through all of His Lilas and through these wonderful histories of Lord Shri Krishna it is revealed to us, how we can also become His devotees. Krishna explains in the Bhagwad Gita-
man-manä bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru
mäm evaiñyasi yuktvaivam
“Always think of me, worship me, offer your homage to me, in this way you can come to me without fail.”
Appearance of the Lord and Some Pastimes
janma karma ca me divyam
evaà yo vetti tattvataù
tyaktvä dehaà punar janma
naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna (BG 4.9)
That when the Lord appears in this world, it is completely spiritual activity. It has nothing to do with the material karma. And the one, who understands this supremely divine nature of Krishna’s appearances and activities, attains His eternal abode. Krishna appeared in the beautiful four armed form of Narayan as the Lord of Vaikuntha the majestic king of all the creation but on the request of Devaki He changed His form to that which appeared like an ordinary baby form and upon His request Vasudev brought Him on that very night across the currents of the river Yamuna to the holy land of the Vrija Bhumi and there the highest spiritual ecstasies and the deepest realizations in all the Vedas were revealed to us. How Vishvambhar, the nurture of all the universes was being fed milk with motherly love by Yashoda. How that lord who by His mere will can destroy all of the creation and who appeared as the Lord of chastisements of all the religions of the world how He was running trembling in fear with tears in His eyes when mother Yashoda lifted the stick to punish Him. And how when playing with His small friend as a baby child they just saw Him as one of them. But yet Kansa understood that this Baby child was none other than his lifelong enemy Vishnu. And he sent the most powerful asuras of all the planets of this universe specifically to kill this little child. One came in a form of a whirlwind. His name was Trinavarta. He came as such a wind that dust was flying everything everywhere and the whole of Vrija bhumi became pitch dark. If you remember not long ago a massive cyclone struck Bangladesh and killed tens and thousands and left millions homeless all within a matter of minutes. This asura took the form of a whirlwind, a cyclone far greater than that and he lifted Krishna high and high in the sky. But the little child who was half the size of these little girls sitting before us tonight, He decided to enjoy taking a ride on this big demon. You know how little children like to ride! Sometimes they go the carnival and they ride in the Ferris wheel or on the back of their father or on a horse, children like to take rides. So Krishna was taking nice ride higher and higher and higher into the sky. Without changing his small little baby size He assumed the weight of a massive mountain and He became so heavy that Trinavarta could no longer endure holding Him and he came crashing to the ground and died. And Yashoda maai and the other gopis and gopas they were looking everywhere for Krishna. When they finally saw that this demon who tried to murder him was killed and Krishna was crawling like a little baby on the ground they lifted Him up and began to perform different rituals to protect Him from future dangers. Another great asura appeared in the form of a cart, Shaktasur. And Krishna was just a tiny baby and He was put under this cart and the demon was about to crush Him and destroy Him but Krishna with His tiny little lotus foot which is soft like butter just innocently and lightly touched the wheel of the cart and just by the little touch of His lotus foot that massive rakshasha was killed and fell on the ground.
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead
So, in this way we must know that Krishna was not an ordinary living being. He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna wanted to make this known to all the worlds for all time to come and therefore, he requested Krishna on the battle field of Kurukshetra to reveal His universal form and there Krishna revealed that how He is the beginning and the end of all existence.
paraà brahma paraà dhäma
pavitraà paramaà bhavän
puruñaà çäçvataà divyam
ädi-devam ajaà vibhum.(10.12)
Krishna is the supreme source of the Brahman, He is the supreme Brahman, He is the supreme purifier and the ultimate realization of the greatest of all the yogis and the saints. But we cannot understand the divine nature of Lord Krishna who acceded within our own hearts because we are so much preoccupied by the illusory life of trying to enjoy this material nature. Krishna explains in the Gita that the first principle of the transcendental knowledge is to realize that we are not this material body but we are the Atma, the eternal soul roaming within this body. And to understand not just- ahm brahmasmi– that I am the spirit, but the activities of the soul.
Importance of Hearing and Chanting-
The activities of the soul are to engage all our energies in devotional service or bhakti. And the first principle of bhakti is to hear the teachings and the glories of Lord Shri Krishna with great attention. Just by submissively hearing the beautiful glories of Lord Shri Krishna and His pastimes, one can have direct connection with Krishna and when we hear the glories of the lord, naturally we want to reciprocate by chanting those glories. Krishna has revealed in Shrimad Bhagvatam, Bhagwad Gita and all the great divine bhakti shastras of the Vedas that all perfections of life, liberation from all the sufferings of this world of birth and death can be attained by sincerely hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord in the association of the devotees. By hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord our heart finds real pleasure, different than the pleasures of this world because the pleasures of this world only give some flickering temporary satisfaction to the mind and senses. But hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord gives real eternal pleasure to our very soul and by this process gradually transports us beyond all the miseries of the material life. You cannot change the nature of this world, which is a place of birth and death, but you can transcend, you can go beyond this earthly existence by realising our eternal self.
Krishna as Lord Chaitanya and His message-
Just as Lord Shri Krishna appeared five thousand years ago, He appears again in this age of kali as Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Gaursundar Mahaprabhu, He taught us by His example how to live the teachings of the Gita practically in our life every day and His message was very simple, a teaching that anyone and everyone can follow- men, women and children, by simply coming together, like we have come tonight to associate to hear the glories of the Lord through drama, dance and through katha, to take nice prasadam together and to chant the holy names-(everyone chants)Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. That is all that is required for all of us to attain the perfection of life eternal joy and devotion to God. It is the greatest need and we must take this process very seriously, Athaato Brahma Jigyasa, this human form of life is very rare and it is meant only for one purpose- to realise God through hearing and chanting His glories. We must perform whatever duties are required in this world but we also must remember that those duties are always secondary to our first duty of chanting God’s holy names because the Supreme Truth, Bhagwaan, has appeared in this age of Kali within the beautiful sound of His name. Kali kale naam rupe Krishna avatar, that all of the wonderful blessings that were given to the residents of Vrindavan, Dwarka, Mathura during Krishna’s advent in this world can be experienced by all of us today when we purely chant His holy name.