Krishna Declares His Activities Divine
In the Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna describes His birth and actives as divine.
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (1972 Edition) 4.9.
He declares that recognising the divinity of His birth and activities enables us to become free of the cycle of repeated birth and death.
The Process of Understanding Krishna
Understanding Krishna is not an intellectual exercise. Rather it is an endeavour of devotion.
bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
“One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (1972 Edition) 18.55
The devotional attitude is one of selfless love towards Krishna. The material desires that usually impel our activities are contrary to pure devotion. Devotional service to Krishna is an exclusive activity with one goal – the pleasure of the Lord. Since our material desires rooted in bodily identity are deep-seated, it is difficult for us to all of a sudden become pure devotees. At first, we have to realise our own spiritual nature and then gradually rise to the state of pure devotion.(BG 18.54). We need to follow a systematic process based on the Vedic scriptures, directed by a bonafide pure-devotee spiritual master. In this context, Srila Prabhupada writes,
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and His plenary portions cannot be understood by mental speculation nor by the non-devotees. If anyone wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has to take to pure devotional service under the guidance of a pure devotee. Otherwise, the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will always be hidden. It is already stated (nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ) that He is not revealed to everyone. Everyone cannot understand God simply by erudite scholarship or mental speculation. Only one who is actually engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service can understand what Kṛṣṇa is. University degrees are not helpful.” Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (1972 Edition) 18.55 Purport
Therefore the first step in realising Krishna’s divinity is to make life a sincere cultivation of devotional service.
Aspects of Krishna’s Divinity
In terms of facts mentioned in the scriptures we understand that Krishna is the Supreme Being. Everything originates from Him. All living beings are eternally His fragmental parts. He is the Supreme proprietor and enjoyer of everything, He is the Supreme well-wisher of everyone. Addressed as Bhagavan, He possesses all the six opulences namely wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation in full. Present in every atom and in every heart, He is the Supremely conscious being in all existence. He is the Supreme Controller, the cause of all causes. The material energy that keeps every living being in the material world captivated under her spell is fully controlled by Him. His personal abode is a blissful spiritual realm called Goloka Vrindavana where He enjoys infinite loving relationships with His innumerable devotees. In that self-illumined world, there is no need of the sun, moon, fire or electricity. There He performs extraordinary pastimes that enthral His devotees.
These are some aspects of His divinity. These are profound statements that radically affect the world view of anyone who has contemplated the nature of reality. To find Krishna at the root of all existence generates powerful spiritual emotions beginning from gratitude and culminating in the blissful ecstasy of steadfast devotion.
What is the result of realising Krishna’s divinity?
muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ
“Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.6
Here in the material world, our life is conducted under the false impression of being the constantly transforming body. Creating shifting identities, our life conceptions undergo drastic changes with the transmutation of the body. The ineluctable threats to happiness namely birth, death, old-age and disease unerringly produce fear and anxiety. In the struggle for existence, we strive to preserve that which cannot survive. To follow the path laid out by the scriptures presents a great hope of happiness – the promise of an eternal body and a blissful abode.
“Some of the conditioned souls, who follow the transcendental sound in the form of Vedic literatures and are thus able to go back to Godhead, attain spiritual and original bodies after quitting the conditional gross and subtle material bodies.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.6 purport
The path of scripture is the path of devotional service to Lord Krishna.
“The material gross and subtle forms are simply due to the conditioned soul’s ignorance and as soon as he is fixed in the devotional service of the Lord, he becomes eligible to be freed from the conditioned state. This devotional service is transcendental attraction for the Supreme on account of His being the source of all pleasing humors.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.6 purport