Krishna is the Divinity, Joy, Love, Bliss we seek and yearn for. He is purna in all aspects and one who makes him his own also becomes purna or perfect in all possible ways. Coming in contact with him, remembering him is to be plunged in the ocean of Ananda.
By Dr Sampadananda Mishra, Professor at Rashtram
The eighth day of the krishnapaksha (dark fortnight) of Bhadrapada is celebrated as Krishnajanmashtami, as it is believed that Krishna was born on that day from the womb of Devaki who along with her husband Vasudeva was imprisoned by Kamsa, the king of Mathura. The celebration of the birthday of Krishna on this day takes place with much joy. Though the celebration happens differently in different parts of the country yet it is an occasion that brings everyone close to Krishna and all that he represents.
Krishna, on this day is worshipped in his baby form as the baby Krishna – बाल मुकुन्द – bāla mukunda. This is what one holds in the mind always when one thinks or remembers Krishna. A child is the sign of constant progression. The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram while speaking on Krishna says: “… And do you want to know why he is always represented as a child? It is because he is in constant progression. To the extent that the world is perfected, his play is also perfected – what was the play of yesterday will no longer be the play of tomorrow; his play will become more and more harmonious, benign and joyful to the extent that the world becomes capable of responding to it and enjoying it with the Divine.” (1)
The play of Krishna therefore, as the Mother clarifies, is ‘a power of progress veiling itself behind appearances’. In the life events of Krishna we discover that Krishna always expressed the joy, beauty and love which widen the progress. As an Avatar he brought the realization of a new Divine world. Celebrating his birthday every year on janmashtami, in a deeper sense, means celebrating the day of the year long progress (the progress that has taken place in a year), celebrating the constant progression, celebrating the new birth of the consciousness into a higher stage, celebrating the attainment of a higher stage in the course of our evolutionary journey, and celebrating the beginning of a new journey into a still higher stage of consciousness. If this can be our attitude in celebrating the birth of Krishna it will surely bring a greater change in our individual and collective life.
Krishna as the child of Nanda (Bliss/Delight/Joy) is the Godhead of Ananda who spreads Ananda. Coming in contact with him, remembering him is to be plunged in the ocean of Ananda. Every aspect of Krishna therefore gives Ananda: his face, his lips, his smile, his eyes, his curly hair, his flute, his gait, his heart, his pranks, his singing, his dancing, his play, his mischievousness, everything of Krishna offers only joy and sweetness. We see it in the most beautiful stuti of Vallabhacharya when he describes Krishna as the Lord of sweetness and sings:
अधरं मधुरं वदनं मधुरं नयनं मधुरं हसितं मधुरम् | हृदयं मधुरं गमनं मधुरं मधुराधिपतेरखिलं मधुरम् ||
adharaṃ madhuraṃ vadanaṃ madhuraṃ nayanaṃ madhuraṃ hasitaṃ madhuram | hṛdayaṃ madhuraṃ gamanaṃ madhuraṃ madhurādhipaterakhilaṃ madhuram ||
Krishna is the Divinity, Joy, Love, Bliss we seek and yearn for. He is purna in all aspects and one who makes him his own also becomes purna or perfect in all possible ways. Take away from him his blue hue and yellow robe, golden crown and peacock feather, chariot and flute, and Krishna will become no less. These are only symbols of his Divine nature. It is not the sky or the lotus that should remind us of him but we must be inspired to see the soft tinge of Blue and smell the veiled Sweetness. It is the essence, the Krishnahood, that is of consequence; it is that that he wants us to discover, that that he wants us to understand and that that he wants us to become. It is for us to see the Divine in our sons and our sons in the Divine as Yashoda did or to see the Divine in our friend and our friend in the Divine as Arjuna did. All is resplendent of Him, He is resplendent of All. It is for us to seek the Krishna within, the Krishna without.