Tag Archives: Mathura

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 falls into 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! HARI CHITTA SATYA !!

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 and total surrender to, and implicit faith in 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, etc.

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 almost 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 shattered and destroyed. The Lord takes him safely across the turbulent waters of samsara and provides a conducive environment for his 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 Krishnaya Tubhyam Namaha!

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 means Ananda. It represents the State of Bliss which is our inherent true 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: “Kaha Saha” – represents “one who questions the principles of the Higher Reality”. Every child born to this couple represents the “birth of spirituality” 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 Sravan during the dark six 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. This is indicated by the joyous showers! The very name of the month of Sravana represents 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 agitations or extroverted 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 shielded 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 and sanctify our home with His auspicious presence. Also, the house represents our body and the Altar (puja-room) represents our heart or the innermost core of our being. The foot-prints starting from the main door upto the Altar 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 individuality with the Higher to reach the State of Enlightenment.

कृष्णो रक्षतु मां चराचरगुरुं कृष्णं नमस्याम्यहम्

कृष्णेनामरशत्रवो विनिहताः कृष्णाय तस्मै नमः।

कृष्णादेव समुत्थितं जगदिदं कृष्णस्य दासोऽस्म्यहम्

कृष्णे भक्तिरचञ्चलाऽस्तु भगवन् हे कृष्ण तुभ्यं नमः॥


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Krishna and Trivakra!

The king of Mathura, the evil-minded Kamsa found out that Lord Krishna who had manifested in this world to destroy him was growing up in Vrindavan. He organised a Dhanur Yaga (Bow Sacrifice) and sent the saintly Akrura with an invitation to Balrama and Krishna to attend the same. Akrura started for Vrindavan and as he reached there, he was overwhelmed to see the foot-prints of Sri Krishna in Vraja. He got down from his chariot and applied the sacred dust on his forehead. When he beheld Balarama and Krishna his joy knew no bounds. He accepted the hospitality of Nanda and next day morning started for Mathura with the  two young, divine boys, Balarama and Krishna. When they reached Mathura, both the brothers decided to go round the streets of Mathura.

As they were going around, they encountered Trivakra, an ugly, hunch-backed woman, who was bent or crooked at three places in her physical structure and hence the name Trivakra. She was one of Kamsa’s attendant who was in charge of preparing various types of sandal-paste for his daily use. Krishna smilingly asked her for the sandal-paste. Seeing the arresting divine beauty of Krishna, and without even thinking of the consequences of going to the king empty-handed, she lovingly and willingly offered it to the Lord. The Lord then stepped forward, placed His feet on her forefeet, and with His fingers lifted her chin up. Lo! She became straight, her crookedness was gone and her beauty came back to her! Endowed with the wealth of beauty and virtues by the mere touch of the Lord, Trivakra with sheer gratitude prostrated to the Lord and asked Him to grace her humble dwelling. The Lord promised her that He would soon come to her dwelling and accept her seva.

Spiritual Significance: Trivakra represents an individual conditioned by the three equipments – the body, mind and intellect. Kamsa is the ego (I and Mine) who is every moment catered to by our vasanas – the sandal-paste. At that point in our life, the Guru comes and asks us to completely surrender all our vasanas (karmas) to Him. Dropping the “I and Mine” – the ego, if we surrender totally unto our Guru, he connects us with the spiritual knowledge (represented by the touch of the Lord’s feet), raises our vision to something higher and noble (signified by the Lord lifting up her chin), helps us to straighten the crookedness in our life, drop our identification with our body, mind and intellect, and thereby reach the State of Total Beatitude – the State of Enlightenment!!

"Bhagavat Preeti" is the final goal of a devotee. He is ready to suffer, strive endlessly, struggle without rest and he feels himself completely rewarded if he only knows that the acts of self sacrifices from him have made his Lord graciously happy towards him. Any amount of tapas will be cheerfully undertaken, in the name of the Lord-of-the-heart, if the devotee can feel that his Beloved is happy by it. A smile from the blissful Lord-of-Smiles is ever a total reward and a complete fulfillment for any true devotee. - Swami Chinmayananda

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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