Mathura represents the State of Bliss which is our own inner inherent Nature. Devaki represents the mind with divine and noble traits and Vasudeva represents the intellect which is the master of the sense-organs. Though well-integrated, the mind and intelllect are in the prison of their own bondages in their own Kingdom of Bliss. The reason is the ruling tyrant called Kamsa, the ego. Kamsa: Kah Sah – represents “one who questions the principles of the Higher Reality”. Every child born to this couple represents spiritual sadhana which the ego immediately destroys for its own survival.
It was midnight on the ashtami day (the middle day) of the dark fortnight of the dark month of Shravan during the six dark months of the year, the Dakshinayana Punyakala. The whole of Mathura was asleep. Only Mother Nature was awake and was sending down showers of joy in the form of rain heralding the birth of Lord Krishna. In the thickest of this darkness, Lord Krishna was born. The darkness represents the spiritual ignorance with which the whole world of things and beings is enveloped. The birth of Lord Krishna represents the “birth of spirituality” in an individual. Lord Krishna represents the ‘Light of Knowledge’ which alone can dispel the ‘darkness of spiritual ignorance’ and lead the seeker towards liberation. When an individual chooses to walk the path of righteousness, he is automatically aligned to the laws of Nature and Mother Nature in turn reciprocates back. This is indicated by the joyous showers! The month of Shravana represents ‘sravan’ or ‘listening’ (to scriptural texts). Krishna is born under the Rohini Nakshatra. Rohini means to move upwards (higher). Rohini is the consort of Lord Chandra (Moon) who is the presiding deity of our mind. Therefore ‘rohini’ represents the noble spiritual desires in a pure mind. Ashtami is very significant. On this day, the moon has the least influence on the oceanic waters. Moon being the lord of our mind, on the ashtami day, the mind is least disturbed by the agitation of thoughts. When do we start our spiritual journey? Today! What about the auspicious time? Right now! Hence when Krishna was born all the planets were in their most favourable positions!
Krishna has to be protected from Kamsa and therefore he is taken to Gokula. In the initial stages of our spiritual journey, our mind which is pursuing the spiritual sadhana has to be protected from our own ego and therefore has to be protected and strengthened all around by noble and virtuous thoughts. This is represented by Krishna growing up amidst the Gopis, the Gopas and the cows in Gokula. They represent sattvic and divine thoughts. ‘Go’ means ‘knowledge or virtues’ and ‘kula’ means ‘family’. Gokula represents the perfect conducive environment for our spiritual growth. Therefore, ‘Krishna Janmotsava’ represents the birth of spirituality within oneself. Krishna stands for Sachidananda, the GOAL to be reached, and all His divine leelas represent the PATH to be pursued by the seeker.
On the auspicious occasion of Krishnashtami, little foot-prints are drawn starting from the main door upto the altar of Krishna in the puja room. They represent little Krishna’s foot-prints. We invoke the Lord to enter our house and sanctify our home with His auspicious presence. The house represents our body and the puja-rooom represents our heart or the innermost core of our being. The foot-prints starting from the main door upto the puja-room represents a mind turned “within” in devotion unto the Lord or a mind in contemplation upon the Higher Reality. Therefore, this little ritual signifies the Lord entering into our heart and making it His permanent abode. It also signifies the merger of the mind with the Higher to reach the State of Enlightenment.
“Sri Krishna Govinda Hare Murari! Hey Natha Narayana Vasudeva!”
“Sri Krishna Saranam Mama!”
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