Tag Archives: Lord Krishna

Essence of Bhagavad Gita!

A disciple once asked his Guru, “Guru Maharaj, we have heard your exposition on all the great scriptures. But when it comes to the Bhagavad Geeta, we feel that it occupies a more special and significant place in your heart?” The teacher smiled and said, “My son! In life, whenever we meet anyone, the first thing we do is to get introduced to each other. But do you realize, we have never got introduced to ourselves at any point of time in our life. Bhagavad Geeta is the text that first introduced me to myself! Self-introduction is the first step towards self-discipline and spiritual life. Hence the Geeta has a very special place in my heart.”
It is the style of the scriptures that the entire contents of the text is indicated by a few specific and significant words.

In the Bhagavad Gita: the first chapter, the first verse, the first line and the first word is DHARMA. The last chapter, the last verse, the last line and the last word is MAMA. The entire contents of seven hundred verses of the Geeta is between these two words. If we put the two words together it becomes DHARMA MAMA. On interchanging, it becomes MAMA DHARMA. MAMA means ‘my’. The word DHARMA is derived from the root “dhri” which means “to uphold, sustain or support”. Therefore DHARMA denotes that which holds together the different aspects and qualities of an object into a whole. DHARMA represents “the law of being”, meaning “that which makes a thing or being what it is”. It indicates the essential nature of anything without which it cannot retain its independent existence. So, MAMA DHARMA means ‘my law of being’. If we are to live as true dynamic beings in the world, we must live faithful to our true nature as human beings, and the Geeta explains to Me “my Dharma”. It is not pointing out to someone else’s Dharma, but pointing out to each one of us – our own “my” Dharma.

The Bhagavad Geeta through the seven hundred verses across the eighteen chapters is significantly pointing out to each one of us our own Dharma to be followed in all places, at all times, in all situations, irrespective of who we are, where we are, what we are and how we are, in the materialistic or in the spiritual realm. Dharma takes care of not only individual well-being, but includes collective well-being also.

After understanding what exactly constitutes our Dharma, what is the next step? The first two opening words of the first chapter gives us the instructions. “Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre” can be further split into four words. Dharma – Kshetre – Kuru – Kshetre. ‘Kuru‘ means ‘to do‘. ‘Kshetre‘ means ‘field of activity‘. Therefore, if the words are reassembled it becomes: “Kshetre Kshetre Kuru Dharma“, which means “in each and every field of activity do your dharma“. This is simply aligning ourselves every moment of our lives in and through our daily activities with the Higher Reality, with the Lord.

"Geeta: it is a call to each one of us to get up and fight the battle of our own life, according to our own vasanas (swadharma)"~ Swami Chinmayananda

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Manjula: Devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan

Manjula was a great devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan. Every day she would collect flowers and make a beautiful garland and late in the evening she would go to the temple with her offering. The priest would adorn Lord Guruvayoorappan with the garland, and she would feel very happy and fulfilled. After having the Lord’s darshan and singing his glories she would return back home. This was her ‘nitya mala kainkaryam‘ to Lord Guruvayoorappan. 

One day, however it became late and by the time she reached the temple with the garland the temple was closed for the day. She felt very sad that she could not offer the garland to the Lord. Slowly she walked upto the banyan tree near the temple and sat down there. With tears filled in her eyes, she started singing Sri Krishna’s glories. Poonthaanam, another great devotee of Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan who had also come for the Lord’s darshan was going back home. He heard the Lord’s song and came there only to see Manjula crying. He asked her what the matter was. She told him about the daily garland-seva to the Lord. That day since she was late, the temple was closed and she could not offer the garland to the Lord.

Poonthaanam realized the deep and sincere devotion of Manjula. He smiled and told her not to worry. He asked her to place the garland on the stone under the banyan tree because the Lord is All-pervading, and exists in every ‘thing and being’. Hence, the offering would reach the Lord. On hearing the words of the great Krishna Bhakta, Manjula placed the garland on the stone and went back home.

Manjulalthara – Banyan tree

Next day early in the morning, the main priest opened the doors of the temple, walked into the sanctum and started removing the previous day’s garlands that were adorning the Lord. One by one he removed all the garlands, but he could not remove one garland. Try as much as he can, the garland simply stuck to the Lord’s Vigraha! The priest and all the devotees gathered there were surprised. At that very moment, Poonthaanam came to the temple. Seeing the priest perplexed, he asked him what the matter was. The priest told him what had happened. He was unable to remove one garland adorning the Lord’s Vigraha. Poonthaanam was overwhelmed. He immediately remembered what had happened the previous night. He joyously cried out, “That is Manjula’s garland. If it is so, let it fall down”. And lo! the garland immediately fell down! All the devotees including the priest realized the complete surrender, total devotion and loving service of Manjula to Lord Sri Guruvayoorappan. Everybody went and offered their prostrations to the banyan tree which came to be known as “Manjulalthara”. A majestic and beautiful deity of Sri Garuda was later installed under the banyan tree.  

Even to this day, devotees who come to Guruvaayoor offer their salutations to this banyan tree!

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Sri Krishna and Vasudeva: Absolute Surrender

Sri Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva on the rainy Ashtami night in the prison of Mathura. At that very moment Lord Vishnu appeared in front of them. Seeing the Divine Form of the Lord, the overjoyed couple prostrated to the Lord. Sri Hari told them to carry the new born baby to Gokula, leave the child with Yashoda, the wife of Nanda and bring their just born girl child back to Mathura.

When the Lord asked Vasudeva to carry him to Gokula, Vasudeva did not even for a moment stop to question the Lord how it would be possible for him to go when he is chained in a locked prison. He just accepted what the Lord told him. Absolute surrender to the Lord and implicit obedience to His words are the marks of true devotion. When devotion and surrender are total and complete, everything starts falling in place. It is now the Lord’s responsibility to take charge and accomplish whatever He wants. Hence the chains snap, bolts unlock, the prison doors open and the security dozes off! 

When Vasudeva stepped outside with baby Krishna placed in a basket over his head, it was not at all conducive for him. It was pitch dark outside and raining very heavily – there was thunder and lightning. But still Vasudeva did not step back. His complete devotion, total surrender, and implicit obedience to the Lord kept him moving ahead. River Yamuna in floods represents our samsara wherein we are being tossed up and down by the pairs of opposites, like heat and cold, joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, honour and dishonour, likes and dislikes. 

Vasudeva entered the waters with the Lord-in-the-basket on his head. The waters kept rising and further rising. But he still continued to move ahead. The waters came up to his chest, and then slowly up to his mouth. A little dirty and muddy water went into his mouth also. Still further when the waters rose up to his nose, the Lord knew that it spelt disaster to Vasudeva and slowly put His tiny foot outside the basket. Krishna’s big toe was exactly in line with Vasudeva’s nose. Yamuna Devi respectfully touched the Lord’s toe and immediately the waters went down! She could not rise beyond the Lord’s toe. The waters therefore could not reach Vasudeva’s nose and he was saved. 

Similarly, if we keep the Lord and His remembrance in our mind and intellect (carry Krishna on the head) and then enter into the waters of life, difficulties, challenges, troubles, hurdles and obstacles will come enroute. They may even give us a lot of pain and sorrow (reach our mouth) and create a crisis situation for us. But if the problems try to completely shatter and destroy us (water rising to the nose), the Lord immediately comes to the rescue of the devotee (the Lord put His toe out of the basket) and protects him from completely getting destroyed and takes him safely across the turbulent waters of samsara and provides a conducive environment for our spiritual growth (the Lord is taken to Gokula). 

When the “Lord’s Will becomes our Will”, when we recognise the Lord alone as the “Doer” accomplishing everything through us who are nothing but His chosen instruments, and when we are able to recognise the Lord alone as the “Enjoyer” of the fruits of our actions with “Krishnarpana Buddhi“, then and then alone “Sri Krishna Janmotsava” becomes meaningful for us in our life. Sri Krishna becomes our “Gathi” — the GOAL of Self-realization to be reached and the PATH to be pursued by a seeker.

Sri Krishna! Govinda! Hare Murare!Hey Natha! Narayana! Vasudeva!

Lord Krishna is both the way and the goal. He alone is our Gathi. To meditate upon Him with all our mind and to awake to the State of Krishna-Consciousness is to awake to a larger, vaster, infinite awareness of the meaning of life. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Sri Krishna Janmashtami – Significance

Lord Krishna’s birth

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 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 by 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 Saranam Mama!

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