Sri Krishna Jayanti ~ Swami Chinmayananda

[Excerpts from letters, articles and commentaries by Swami Chinmayananda]

KRISHNA is one of the greatest expressions of the DIVINE that manifested among mankind! The more you contemplate on his personality, the more philosophical you become — the more you find symbolised in it the entire Vedantic philosophy. Krishna is not a historical figure; He is the perpetual Truth. History is the chronological order of things that happen in life. He is beyond chronology. He does not belong to the past. He is of the EVER IMMEDIATE MOMENT. History is happening in time. History is played out in Him — He is the Master of Time. In His awareness of His Infinite Divine Nature, the Joyous State of Bliss Absolute — moulded in joy, carved out in bliss, soaked in joy — He stands out as a brilliant entity, inspiring, purifying, beautifying life around Him. He not only lived the higher Divine Life, but brought the higher Life to add brilliance and joy to the everyday worldly life, to the routine and activities of the day-to-day life, political, social, economical, scientific and even in the war front — at all levels. Even if we spend a life time trying to describe His glory, not even one ray of that mighty blindening Light of Wisdom can we really express in words!!

To-day is a wonderful day! The Lord is coming, so people fast. Fasting is Upasana — to live near the Lord. Attunement to the Lord through meditation is fasting. For intellectual work, eating food and indulgence in the world is detrimental — for, Krishna’s birth is ENLIGHTENMENT. Food means satisfaction for the senses. Uplift them to contemplation. The thick darkness has come. Be brave. Light will dawn. There must be no fear. The Sun has dawned in our bosom. Thus we turn inward in meditation. In that silence of the heart, in spite of thunders, we must remain sufficiently long. Then only, in that long-earned tranquility will we experience the BIRTH of KRISHNA, the LIGHT !

Krishna is TRUTH. He was born in the quiet heart-caves of the Rishis. Those Rishis gradually transmitted their knowledge to their disciples. Thus Krishna was removed from the prison to Yashoda’s house — the disciple’s heart. While we are sleeping in fatigue and exhaustion, wearied in production and destruction, we know not, that there is born a baby, called “Knowledge-Krishna” in our bosom. The senses are the gate-keepers who slept off when Krishna was born. There is as though a dark screen between man and the Infinite. The body, mind and intellect cannot gate-crash through this darkness to understand the Infinite and bring it to scientific apprehension. As long as we are engaged in outer activities, the scriptures do not open their secrets to us. When we get fed up with these and go to sleep to forget them — then in that quiet sleep of midnight, in the maturity of understanding — in MEDITATION — this CHILD is born, the LIGHT dawns! THAT DARKNESS IS THIS NIGHT OF KRISHNA’S BIRTH.

Sri Krishna is to be born in your bosom, as you wait for His birth in the ruthless prison-house, shackled with heavy chains of clanking iron. At midnight, when the gathered clouds have wiped away even the tiniest starlight, HE will be born — a blazing mass joy! He shall command. When you get ready to execute His Will, the shackles snap! The bolts open! The doors of the prison slide outward leaving you free to walk out! When the world is weeping in rains, when blind despair is darkening our bosom, in that prison-house of the body, the Divine is born….. the SPIRITUAL URGE IS BORN. This is the day when devotion will be born in our bosom. All our vasanas will be asleep now. Our intellect and mind, Devaki and Vasudeva, shall suddenly discover that their usual shackles of ego and attachments​ fall off! Allow Him to be born peacefully in the prison-house of your bosom. Safely take Him across the Jamuna of desires and passions and protect Him from all the threats from His uncle – our Ego. Let Him grow among the noble feelings of devotion and dedication – the Gopis and Gopas. Let us Hail Him and wait His birth in us.

He is in you; seek and discover. He is not outside, He is behind your mind in the Gokul. He hides behind the veil of our ignorance. He is in the Dark and hence is called Krishna — the Dark. He attracts (Akarshana) and so He is doubly Krishna. Seek within. And when even the joy of meeting Him has no enjoyer in you to thirst for it — there the KRISHNA-ANUBHAVA comes! Be firmly established in Krishna. Coronate Him in your heart. He illumines and helps us. His divine music soothes our burning souls. Let Krishna become a part and parcel of the very being — the Life of life — the Breath of breath. This Krishna Power is in every one of us. It is for us to make It bright. To invoke Him is only to claim Him. “He alone gains Him who chooses Him”. Reach Him through surrender and devotion, or reach Him through understanding, or reach Him through service of the world outside recognising that every form is nothing but our Beloved Lord’s own expression — walking temples — wherever they are, the Lord is there. Thus through Karma Yoga, Bhakti or Jnana, reach Him, awake to that Plane of Consciousness and come to experience KRISHNAMAYAM JAGAT — that KRISHNA ALONE IS ALL THIS !!

On this Krishnashtami Day, I expect everyone of you to sit in vigil waiting for His birth within the iron doors of your self-made penitentiary. Sri Krishna Jayanthi is an occasion when we re-dedicate our life unto Him and re-model our behaviour fashioning our thoughts and actions towards His Beauty and Wisdom. On this auspicious day of His birth among us, the very Ideal of your cultural aspirations, may we pray to Him to teach us how to live life and pour ourselves out in the service of our brothers, and yet live in unbroken inner poise. May you all come to experience the BIRTH of KRISHNA in your hearts. EVERYDAY IS KRISHNA JAYANTHI TO ONE WHO DAILY MEDITATES ! 

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


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