Celebrating the Divine Appearance of Lord Krishna
Returning to our Spiritual nature
We are all spiritual beings. We have by the force of a selfish desire to enjoy matter received a material body, which is the source of all miseries. This is because the body is forcibly subjected to birth, death, old age and disease. For the eternal and blissful soul, birth and eventual death are alien, traumatic and undesirable events. Since the soul is eternal, death is not an end. He is forced to accept a new body according to the activities he has previously performed. From the spiritual perspective, the soul is helplessly loitering in the material universe from the body to body, planet to planet. The Vedic scriptures address this pathetic condition of the soul in material existence and offer solutions for the soul to stop wandering in the universe and return to its eternal life.
A Dramatic Principle
The essence of all the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita very poignantly states a dramatic principle by which the soul can go beyond the repeated chastisement of birth and death.
“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.”[Excerpt From: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Macmillan 1972 Edition – 4.9]
Here we see that by understanding the transcendental nature of Lord Krishna’s appearance and activities in truth, one’s term in material nature can end.
The Way To Understand Krishna
The way to understand this divine nature is also taught in the Gita.
“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.”[Excerpt From: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Macmillan 1972 Edition – 18.55]
The Processes That Will Not Work
The Lord cannot be understood by any other means. The process of mental speculation in its highest degree cannot even come close to the appreciation of the Lord’s transcendental nature
“I worship Govinda, the primaeval Lord, only the tip of the toe of whose lotus feet is approached by the yogis who aspire after the transcendental and betake themselves to pranayama by drilling the respiration; or by the jnanis who try to find out the non-differentiated Brahman by the process of elimination of the mundane, extending over thousands of millions of years.”[Sri Brahma Samhita - 5.34]This verse definitively establishes that neither by the process of dhyana nor by janana yoga can the Lord be known.
In summary, knowing the Lord’s transcendental nature is the only way to factually stop our protracted material existence and the only way to know the Lord is by practising Bhakti Yoga.
The Bhakti Yoga Process
It is very important for all human beings to fully understand the pastime of the appearance of the Lord in the material world. Such understanding is a result of faithful hearing of the events from a bonafide spiritual master who is a pure devotee of Lord Krishna. This hearing – called shravanam - is one of the nine principles that constitute Bhakti Yoga.
The self-realized pure-devotee spiritual master narrates the information as it comes down in the disciplic chain (parampara). The scriptures are the basis of these discussions.
Lord Krishna Explains Why He Appears
An expansive narration of the pastime of Lord Krishna’s transcendental pastimes that has inspired uncountable generations and launched sublime cultural traditions of art, music and dance, is given in the great scripture called Srimad Bhagavata Purana. There, in the tenth canto, first chapter Sukadev Goswami narrates the pastime of Lord Krishna’s birth to King Parikshit.
Five thousand years ago, the belligerent military forces of the demons were overburdening the earth. To deliver the earth from this sorrowful situation, the Lord decided to appear on earth. In the Bhagavad-Gita He reveals the purpose of His appearance:
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself.” [Excerpt From: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Macmillan 1972 Edition - 4.7]
“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”[Excerpt From: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Macmillan 1972 Edition – 4.8]
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