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Don’t let Krishna trick you

/ Guest Column / Monday, 30 August 2021 17:57

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Krishna is a perfect yogi. He is also the most attractive one. ‘Krishna’ means that which is most charming. It is the divinity that is the most attractive; the energy that pulls everything to it. Krishna is the formless center which is everywhere. Any attraction from anywhere is said to originate from Krishna. Often people fail to see the spirit behind the attraction and merely hold on to the outer shell. And the moment you try to possess the shell, you will see Krishna has played a trick and you will be left with an empty shell in your hands and tears in your eyes.

Imbibing the opposites

Ashtami is significant as it indicates a perfect balance between the seen and the unseen aspects of reality; the visible material world and the invisible spiritual realm.

Krishna’s birth on Ashtami signifies his mastery of both the spiritual and material worlds. On one hand, he is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yogas — the state to which every yogi aspires); he is at once more pious than the saints and yet a thorough mischief-monger! His behaviour is a perfect balance of the two seemingly opposing ends— perhaps this is why the personality of Krishna is so difficult to fathom. One who is a renunciant (avdhoot)  is oblivious to the world outside and a materialistic person, a politician or a king is oblivious to the spiritual world. But Krishna is both Dwarkadheesh and Yogeshwar.

Krishna’s teachings are most relevant to our times in the sense that they neither let you get lost in material pursuits nor make you completely withdrawn. They rekindle your life force, taking you from someone who is constantly burnt-out and stressed, drowned in the material world, and making you one who is more centered and dynamic. Krishna teaches us devotion with skill. To celebrate Gokulashtami is to imbibe extremely opposite yet compatible qualities and manifest them in your own life.

Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janamashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible human being on the planet and at the same time to realize that you are above all events, the untouched Brahman. Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janmashtami.

Be Clever Like Radha

The mind automatically moves towards beauty, joy, and truth. Krishna tells Arjuna, "I am the beauty in the Beautiful, the strength in the Strong, the wisdom in the Wise." In this way, he arrests the mind from moving away from him. Be clever like Radha, who never gets tricked by Krishna. Krishna could not escape from Radha, for her whole world was filled with Krishna. If you can see that wherever there is an attraction, there is Krishna; then you are Radha, you are in your center.

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