On remembering the lord Sree Krishna

To-day is reckoned as Vaikunta Ekadasi, meaning the Ekadasi or eleventh day in Vaikunta {heaven}, where pure Sattwa or unalloyed goodness resides. This day is associated widely with Lord Sree Krishna, therefore, it is nice to think of the Lord and what he did for humanity.

Krishna lived in the yuga, earlier to ours i.e. the Dwapara Yuga. He was the divinity of Lord Vishnu, taken avatar for benefitting human-kind. He lived 125 years. Of this, the first eleven were spent in Vraja, the next fourteen in Mathura, where there was a surfeit of love-lorn Gopikas, having total faith and devotion in the divinity of Krishna. They gave up everything, husbands, home, children, et al, in order to be with Krishna and Krishna obliged them in whatever ways they wanted, and with no damage to himself or his divinity. The Puranas record, how even the greatest rishis envied the Gopikas, for their proximity with the lord. Even the Sree Rudram says: "Uthainam gopaah adhrisan, adhrisan udaharyah" {the Gopas or cowherds and the water-carrying women {both symbols of utter simplicity and illiteracy} saw him in flesh and blood. The meaning is that, they were so uninhibited - unlike us - that they had to make no efforts to see divinity everywhere. We look at things in a rational mind and need logic in order to be convinced. Perhaps why, a wag once said that "ignorance is bliss". Coming back to Krishna, what was his physical profile. He was born in jail on a rainy and dark night and was immediately swapped with a girl-child in Mathura, and lived with foster parents , not seeing his real parents until he became a teen-ager.

Krishna, went to Sandeepani for learning, and his semesters totalled only 64 days, and he learnt everything from that great rishi! Other than this, he was a glorified cow-herd. His friends were, if anything much below him in every respect. After Mathura, Ktishna lived In Dwarka, for a hundred years. The city itself was built by him, with assistance from Viswakarma and other semi-divines, and a few moments after Krishna"s disappearance, the sea swalloed Dwarka completely.

It was during these hundred years that Krishna enriched posterity, and what a wonderful manner in which he did it. He served the Pandavas in all conceivable capacity, helped many people. Kubja, an unknown hunch-bak was straightened by him, even without her appealing. And when she, in a mood of thanksgiving requests Krishna to visit her in her house, the lord does it and settles for her many pranks. He kills bad people, saves the good ones, gives advice to the deserving, plans strategems and spoils for the way-ward. He can be utterly simple also, when needed.

He took avatar, in order to destroy the bad ones of the universe, including the Kauravas, but just look at the number of opportunities he gives them to change to the better! And he goes to the Kaurava court, purporting to be to broker peace between the Pandavas and the Kauravas! When his efforts failed, he tries to wean away Karna to the Pandava side, by revealing a truth that Karna is the seniormost Pandava and thus entitled to enjoy the entire kingdom for himself. He promises Karna the total support of the five Pandava brothers too.

After this, strangely enough, he joins the warring in the capacity of a charioteer for Arjuna, and carrying no war-weapons. And yet, when the battle is about to begin, it was Krishna who starts the war cry: "Paanchajanyam Hrishikeso Devajdattam Dhananjayah". And when Bhishma looks formidable and unconquerable on the tenth day, Krishna takes his Sudharsana chakra and advances towards Bhishma, in order to kill him, contrary to his initial pledge of not taking arms or effectively particuipating in the battle. His love of Arjuna, his best devotee got the better of him to an extent that Krishna forgot his pledge.

And what to say of the Bhagavad Gita , a dialogue in the battle-field itself? One has to remember that Arjuna is formally educated bygreat teachers like Drona, Bhishma etc. and Krishna was a cowherd boy, who lectures to him on the greatest human philosophy and in such incredible manner. At times, his statements are astounding and mesmerising. Like when he tells Arjuna, that he was there at creation, even before that, that all this universe is his creation, that they reside in him, that he is not a part thereof but is independent of everything else. The level of knowledge of the human mind and its functioning, the Vedas, metaphysics etcshown in Krishna"s discourse with Arjuna truly baffles us.

At the end of his 125 years sojourn in this world, the only things Krishna did was to educate mankind on the right things to think, say and do and to live himself by example. He never enriched his owm family members in any way. He lived for us, totally and on completion of his mission ascended to his abode in Heaven It was on Ekadasi ay and that is why, we call this day the Vaikunta Ekadasi. To pay homage to the Lord who served humanity so selflessly, as a token, we remember him with gratitude and go into "UPAVAASAM" which means "staying with" him. In his respectful honour, we forego food and sing his praise.

In Vaishnava temples, there are Swarga vasals {gateways to heaven} opened only on this day, and the dieties are taken through these gates, symbolically, many of us also try to sneak in !


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