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Sri Krishna Janmashtami

 Why is Lord Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the absolute truth? 

According to the Brahma Samhita, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His Body is full of knowledge, eternal and blissful. He is the original Person known as Govinda and He is the Cause of all causes. Therefore, Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead; He is full of all six opulences (power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation) and His abode is known as Goloka Vrindavan, the highest planetary system in the Spiritual Sky.

 

According to Srila Jiva Gosvami's statement, in accordance with authoritative sources, Lord Krsna is the source of all other incarnations.  All the symptoms of the Supreme Truth in full are present in the person of Lord Sri Krsna, and in the Bhagavad-gita the Lord emphatically declares that there is no truth greater than or equal to Himself.

 

mattah parataram nanyat

kincid asti dhananjaya

mayi sarvam idam protam

sutre mani-gana iva

 O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. (BG 7.7)

 

How is Lord Krishna the source of all other incarnations?

According to the Srimad Bhagavatam (1.3.28), all of the incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah

krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

indrari-vyakulam lokam

mrdayanti yuge yuge

 In this particular stanza Lord Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, is distinguished from other incarnations. He is counted amongst the avataras (incarnations) because out of His causeless mercy the Lord descends from His transcendental abode. All the different incarnations of the Lord indirectly or directly manifested different features, but Lord Krsna, the primeval Lord, exhibited the complete features of Godhead, and thus it is confirmed that He is the source of all other incarnations.

In this stanza the word svayam is particularly mentioned to confirm that Lord Krsna has no other source than Himself. Although in other places the incarnations are described as bhagavan because of their specific functions, nowhere are they declared to be the Supreme Personality. In this stanza the word svayam signifies the supremacy as the summum bonum.

The summum bonum Krsna is one without a second. He Himself has expanded Himself in various parts, portions and particles as svayam-rupa, svayam-prakasa, tad-ekatma, prabhava, vaibhava, vilasa, avatara, avesa, and jivas, all provided with innumerable energies just suitable to the respective persons and personalities. Learned scholars in transcendental subjects have carefully analyzed the summum bonum Krsna to have sixty-four principal attributes. All the expansions or categories of the Lord possess only some percentages of these attributes. But Sri Krsna is the possessor of the attributes cent percent. And His personal expansions such as svayam-prakasa, tad-ekatma up to the categories of the avataras who are all visnu-tattva, possess up to ninety-three percent of these transcendental attributes. Lord Siva, who is neither avatara nor avesa nor in between them, possesses almost eighty-four percent of the attributes. But the jivas, or the individual living beings in different statuses of life, possess up to the limit of seventy-eight percent of the attributes.

 

How is Krishna’s appearance different from the appearance of any other person

The Lord has spoken about the peculiarity of His birth: although He may appear like an ordinary person, He remembers everything of His many, many past "births"—whereas a common man cannot remember what he has done even a few hours before. The conditioned soul may have one kind of body in the present birth, but he has a different one in the next birth.  The Lord, however, does not do so. Whenever He appears, He does so in the same original Body, by His internal potency. In other words, Krishna appears in this material world in His original eternal Form, with two hands and holding a flute. Despite the fact that Lord Krishna has grown up from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough He never ages beyond youthhood.  He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest Person in the whole creation-past, present, and future. Neither His Body nor His Intelligence ever deteriorates or changes. Therefore, it is clear herein that, in spite of His being in the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal Form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental Body and Intelligence.

 

Why does the Lord appear?

“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 My Self.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.7)

“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.8)

The Lord appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of irreligion and a disappearance of true religion. Principles of religion are laid down in the Vedas, and any discrepancy in the matter of properly executing the rules of the Vedas makes one irreligious. In The Bhagavatam, we find that such principles of religion are the laws of the Lord. Only the Lord can manufacture a system of religion. The Vedas are also accepted as originally spoken by the Lord Himself to Brahma, from within His heart. Therefore, the principles of religion are the direct orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These principles are clearly indicated throughout The Bhagavad Gita. The purpose of the Vedas is to establish such principles under the order of the Supreme Lord, and the Lord directly orders, at the end of The Bhagavad Gita, that the highest principle of religion is to surrender unto Him only-and nothing more. The Vedic principles are to push one toward complete surrender unto Him. And whenever such principles are disturbed by the demons, the Lord appears.

 

Why should we understand who Krishna is?

Anyone who actually understands about Krishna, about His appearance and disappearance, he goes back to home, Back to Godhead, janma karma ca me divyam/ evam yo vetti tattvatah/ tyaktva deham punar janma/ naiti mam eti so 'rjuna [Bg. 4.9].

One who can understand the truth of the appearance of the Personality of Godhead is already liberated from material bondage, and therefore he returns to the kingdom of God immediately after quitting this present material body.

Such liberation of the living entity from material bondage is not at all easy. The impersonalists and the yogis attain liberation only after much trouble and many, many births. Even then, the liberation they achieve—merging into the impersonal brahmajyoti of the Lord—is only partial, and there is the risk of returning to this material world.

But the devotee, simply by understanding the transcendental nature of the body and activities of the Lord, attains the abode of the Lord after ending this body and does not run the risk of returning to this material world.

 

How can we understand Krishna?

Generally it is very difficult to understand Krishna tattvatah, as it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, manusyanam saharasresu/ kascid yatati siddhaye/ yatatam api siddhanam/ kascin mam vetti tattvatah. "Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.'' (Bg. 7.3) But, Krishna is available through the process of devotional service, bhakti yoga, bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]

Therefore in the Brahma Samhita we learn: vedesu durlabham adurlabham atmabhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. It is further stated in the Padma Purana: atah sri krsna  namadi nabhaved grahyam  indriyaih/ sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuratyadah [Brs. 1.2.234]. "No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality, and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality, pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.''

 

Sri Krishna Janmashtami – an apt opportunity to understand and celebrate Krishna

Krishna was born on the eighth day of waning moon (krishnapaksha, ashtamitithi) in the month of Shravana, as the eighth son of Vasudeva and Devaki, who were kept captive in the prison house of Kamsa.  This day is celebrated as Sri Krishna Janmashtami.  At Hare Krishna movement, Tiruvanmiyur we will be celebrating Janmashtami on 24th August 2019.  We invite everyone to participate in the celebrations and partake in the transcendental service to the Lord and receive His blessings.