Three-in-one now

THIS Day is a sacred day, when devotees dwell upon the majesty and splendour of the Lord, and taste the sweetness of His Name, which is so dear to them, because it holds within itself the entire Bhaagavatha. The Avathaar of Krishna was a full incarnation, with all the sixteen facets of glory. In the Avathaar of Raama, out of the sixteen, the three brothers had one each and Parashuraama, the contemporary, had one, until Raama met Him and overpowered Him and drew within himself the fraction of the Divine power that He had. Other incarnations were for ad hoc purposes, the suppression of evil represented by one evil person or group of persons. The Raama and Krishna Avathaars were, however, for more general purposes, the mission of restoring Dharma and fostering virtuous living, besides punishing the wicked and teaching the world that vice will not succeed. Man is an amalgam of humanity, animality and Divinity. It is a tragedy if he cannot get rid of the animality; it is a greater tragedy if he Cannot cultivate his Divinity. Contemplation of the Raama and Krishna Avathaars and their ledas (Divine plays) and mahimas (miracle powers) is the surest method of cultivating the Divine in man.

Before every incarnation, two collaborators for the task on which the incarnation comes, also appear – the Maayaashakthi (deluding power) and Yogashakthi (power of comunion with the Divine). Maaya comes as the elder sister to warn the wicked; Yoga comes as the elder brother, to enthuse and keep constant company. Maayaa thrust Kamsa deeper and deeper into perdition, so that his downfall will be more terrible and educative. But, in this Kali age, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed, through love and compassion. That is why this avathaar has come unarmed. It has come with the message of love. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with Love.

The great lesson of Kaalinga episode for man

The Name is redolent with Divine Glory; so when it is turned over in the mind it transmutes it into an instrument for liberation from delusion. Take the name, Navaneethachora (Butter-thief) that is used for Krishna. It does not mean a person who runs away with the butter that people have stored. It is not the stuff called butter, that is got by churning curdled milk, that He stole. It is the butter of Faith, won by the churning process called ‘yearning,’ from the curdled milk called, ‘worldly experiences.’ He covets only this ‘butter.’ When Yasodha chided the child Krishna for this ‘theft,’ He replied, ” But Mother, they like me for stealing it; they are sorry if I do not; they churn it not; they churn it in the hope that I will steal it; when I steal, their hearts are illumined and they awake.”

Among all the wondrous adventures that astounded people during His childhood, which revealed to them the Divinity that had come among them, the Kaalinga episode is most meaningful. The serpent Kaalinga was poisoning the waters of the Yamuna and the atmosphere over it, with its breath; all who approached that area, men or cattle, fell dead. But, Krishna, the Divine Boy, jumped into the depths, forced the foul snake to rise above the level of the river, and leaping on its rapid range of hoods, He danced upon them with His tender lotus feet. The pressure of those soft silken soles was enough to force the deadly poison out from the fangs of the monstrous cobra and render it harmless for ever.

Allow the Divine in you to Lord over the mind

This is a great lesson for man. This leela is quite unlike earlier incidents which evidenced the Child’s super-human strength and wisdom. He was lifted away by the storm-demon, he was hit by the calf-demon, he was felled by the cart-demon, he was pecked at by the stork-demon, he was poisoned by the nurse-demon; but sceptics can easily ascribe these miracles to accident or coincidence or exaggeration. But, the Kaalinga episode is a valuable lesson in spiritual saadhana.

In the Maanasa-sarovar (the deep placid mind-lake) of every man, there lurks a poisonous cobra, with six hoods — lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hate — infesting the air and destroying all who near it. The name of the Lord, when it dives into the depths, forces it to come up to the surface, so that it may be destroyed. So allow the Divine in you, the Krishna, to Lord over the mind; let Him trample on the hissing hoods, and tame the vicious vipe; let it vomit the venom, become Saathwik (pious) and sweet. This is the saadhana the episode teaches, the duty it enjoins.

Like all avathaars, Krishna announced His advent to the world, bit by bit, step by step, testing every time how far the Reality will be accepted by the masses. The signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the Avathaar. Even while in the cradle, Yasodha had a surprise from the child one day. She was singing lullabies and relating stories to send the child to sleep. One day, she told the Raamaayana story — how Dhasharatha had four sons, how the eldest son, Raama, grew; how Raama was about to be enthroned as Crown Prince; how his step-mother persuaded his father to send him as an exile into forest for fourteen years; how a golden deer appeared before his dearly beloved wife; how he pursued wicked Raavana who had played this trick to get Raama out of the way, came to the hermitage at that time and carried her away to his island kingdom! As she said this, the child seemed to be terribly angry. It held forth Its hand, and cried, “Lakshman! Give Me My bow and arrow.” The mother remembered that Lakshmana was the brother who accompanied Raama to the forest and she was convinced that He who was Raama had come as Krishna to the world again.

Krishna’s revelation of His Incarnation

Chaithanya also gave indications of His being an incarnation to His mother, as a child. Chaithanya was then a baby crawling on all fours. His mother had a guest in the house, an old orthodox Brahmin, who was cooking his own lunch, from the provisions given by her. He desired his food to be ceremonially pure, uncontaminated by the touch of other hands. He offered to God the food he proposed to eat; that was his vow. It was rather late when the offering was ready. Just when the he sat before the idol of Krishna for worship, the child toddled forward and dipped his fingers in the vessel of food thus making it ‘impure’ as an offering to God. So, provisions were given again, food was cooked again, and very late in the day, the worship was resumed. This time, too, the child crawled in from somewhere and contaminated the sacred food! It repeated the mischief a third time. The mother dragged the child away and threatened to thrash the prank out of its head. But the child asked the mother, quite innocently, “He is calling on me to eat it, but, when I go near him, he gets angry.” Thus did He reveal that He was Krishna come again.

All Avathaars teach, as the first step in the long road of Saadhana, the giving up of attachment. In the Threthaayuga, the Yoga-Vaasistha taught the same rule. In the Dwaparayuga, Krishna taught Arjuna to give up Vishaya-Vaasana (attachment to the objective world).

There was an ascetic once, who had given up all attachment. He was going along a Himaalayan track, when the wind blew his hair on his face and blocked his vision. So, he turned and walked in the opposite direction. He was not attached to any direction or place!

People utter, with apparent faith, “Krishna-Krishna-Krishna,” but they never give up thrishna (thirst) for worldly good or fame. In each Yuga, you have the Avathaar of the Lord come to redeem, revive and re-build. At the present time, Mahaashakthi (Super Power), Maayaashakthi (Power of Illusion) and Yogashakthi (Power of Vision with God) have come, all together, in one Human Form; your endeavour should be to draw near and earn Grace therefrom.