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Lord Krishna and His Teachings

by Swami Sivananda

Om Sri Krishna Rukminee-Kanta Gopeejanamanohara,
Samsarasagare magnam mamuddhara jagadguro.

Lord Krishna was born in Mathura which is situated on the banks of the beautiful river Yamuna, in U. P. He showed superhuman physical strength and very mysterious powers on various occasions even as a boy. He killed many wild beasts and birds and is especially famous for killing the demoniac snake called Kaaliya which used to live in the waters of the Yamuna. His Flute was the signal for a general onrush towards the beautiful grooves where everything was love and pleasure. He organised several kinds of plays, games and picnics in the gardens and shady retreats of Vrindavana for the amusement of the maids and boys of Gokula. He gradually gave up all his boyish pranks and soon turned out to be a most astute statesman when he reached the age of adolescence. He became a powerful and able ruler and had much to do in the field of politics.

At the holy hermitage of Rishi Sandeepani, he and his brother Balaram learnt philosophy and theology, science and politics, and several other arts such as archery etc. He settled up all internal dissensions that were rending the country from one corner to another. He chastised Kamsa and Jarasandha for their tyranny and restored peace and order in place of bloodshed and misery.

Lord Krishna was a statesman of a very superior order. He was a reformer, a Yogi and a Jnani to boot. He was a master of Vajroli Mudra. Hence He is termed as a Bala-Brahmachari though he lived in the midst of Gopis. His love towards the Gopis was one of Divine type. It was not physical love. How can you expect carnality in a boy of eleven years? He always identified Himself with Nirguna, Anatma Brahman and used his mind and body as His instruments in Vyavahara. He was a Sakshi of Prakriti's activities.

Lord Krishna is popularly known as "Bansiwala". When Lord Krishna played on the Flute it conveyed a different, divine message altogether to the Gopis (the incarnations of the classical Devatas). It was not a mere musical sound.

Kling is the Beeja Akshara of Lord Krishna. It is a powerful Mantra. It produces a powerful vibration in the mental stuff and transforms the Rajasic nature of the mind. It produces certain kind of powerful spiritual idea in the mind which greatly helps purification of mind, concentration and contemplation. It induces Vairagya and Antarmukha Vritti and attenuates the force of Vasanas and Samskaras. It completely checks the thought-force. It produces rhythmical vibrations of the five sheaths.

The following is the "Mahamantra" of Lord Krishna. It is found in the Gopala Tapani Upanishad. Those who repeat this Mantra 18 lakhs of times with concentration, Suddha Bhava and intense Sraddha will doubtless have direct Darshan of Lord Krishna. It is 18 Akshara Mantra.

"Om Kling Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Svaha. "

The following is the Nyasa for the Mantra:

"Om Kling Krishnaya Divyatmane Hridayaya Namah".

"Govindaya Bhumyatmane Sirase Svaha".

"Gopijana Surya-atmane Sikhaya Vashat".

"Vallabhaya Chandra-atmane Kavachaya Hum".

"Svaha Agnyatmane Astraya fut. "

"Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya" is a 12 Akshara Mantra of Lord Krishna. Dhruva repeated this Mantra and obtained His Darshan. Repeat it 12 lakhs of times. Even ladies can repeat this Mantra.

You need not go to Vrindavana, to have the Darshan of Lord Krishna. Your own heart is the real Vrindavana. You will have to search Him in your Hridaya-Vrindavana. Rukmini and Radha are the two Saktis (Kriya Sakti and Jnana Sakti) of Lord Krishna. Arjuna is Jiva. Kurukshetra is the battlefield within. The real battle is the one with the mind, Indriyas, Vishaya Samskaras, Vishaya Vrittis, and Svabhava. Draupadi is the mind. Pandavas are the Indriyas. Blind Dhritarashtra is the original Avidya. Gopis are the nerves or Nadis. Enjoyment with Gopis is enjoyment of Atmic Bliss by controlling the various nerves. This is the esoteric exposition.

Just as Lord Dattatreya is still moving about with his astral body in the reputed Girnar hills and gives Darshan even now to His sincere Bhaktas, just as Sri Jnana Dev is still moving about with his astral body in Alandi near Poona, and gives Darshan even now to his sincere devotees, so also Lord Krishna is still moving about in Vrindavana and gives Darshan to His sincere Bhaktas even now.

The Bhagavad Gita contains the teachings of Lord Krishna. It is a wonderful book for constant study. Aspirants should study this book with great care daily. The first six chapters deal with Karma Yoga and represent the "Tat" Pada of "Tat Tvam Asi" Mahavakya. The next six chapters deal with Bhakti Yoga and represent the "Tvam" Pada. The last six chapters deal with Jnana Yoga and represent the "Asi" Pada.

Lord Krishna summarised His teachings in the following words in the 12th Chapter (8-11) of the Gita: "Fix thy mind in Me only, thy intellect in Me, (then) thou shalt no doubt abide in Me alone hereafter (Yoga of Meditation). If thou art unable to fix thy mind steadily on Me, then by the Yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga-Yoga Practices) do thou seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya. If thou art unable to practice even this Abhyasa Yoga, be thou intent on doing actions for My sake; even by doing actions for My sake, thou shalt attain perfection (Assiduity of Love). If thou art unable to do even this, then, resorting to union with Me, renounce the fruits of all actions, with the self controlled, (doing one's duties without desires). "

Act but act only with devotion to God without desire for fruits. Is this impossible? Sri Krishna said: "No". I shall explain His words by quoting an example. The soldiers in an army fight: they kill men and are killed but they act without any desire, without any mind: they are under the orders of their general. They know not what they do, they move, they march, they run, they fire, but they know not for what object. They are like dolls in the hands of their general. They do what they are commanded to do. Their lives, their objects, their desires are all in their general's hand. To obey their general's command is their duty, and in performing it they give their own lives or take the lives of others-the others sometimes being their dearest or the nearest relatives. They know that whatever they do under orders from their general must be good, good for them and good for the country and the cause for which they fight. Their minds, with their conscience and all, are placed in the hands of their general. From this illustration it is evident that it is not impossible to act without desires and without a mind. It is possible only when man fully depends upon another. If I know that I am not responsible for my acts, if I know that I have a General under whose orders I act and who will be responsible for all my acts, if I know I am not to think for myself, I have got one who will think for me to do that which would be good to me-surely I can go on acting without troubling myself in any way; surely in such a case I can act without any desires whatsoever and without any mind and anything else I possess.

Sri Krishna asked man to consider himself as a doll in the hands of God: He asked man to think himself as a soldier, God as his great General, his worldly acts as duties under orders. He asked him to act on the faith and belief that whatever he does is the work of God. He said:

Sarvadharman parityajya mamekam saranam vraja;

Aham tva sarvapapebhyo mokshayishyami ma suchah.

"Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me (God) alone: I will liberate thee from all sins; grieve not. " (Gita: XVIII-66. )

I shall conclude my article with the last Sloka of the 18th chapter of the Gita:

Yatra Yogesvarah Krishno yatra partho dhanurdharah;

Tatra sreer vijayo bhutir dhruva neetir matirmama.

"Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga; wherever is Arjuna, the wielder of the bow; there are prosperity, victory, happiness and firm policy; such is my conviction. "

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