Who is Krishna?
The Western countries are traditionally Christian so if one asks “Who is Krishna” we could reply “Krishna is God.” But that would not be very helpful for most people because in the Christian religion there is very little information available about God.
The Bible talks about God, Jesus talks about his father in heaven, Christians even talk about having a personal relationship with God. So we have these vague concepts of God in heaven, even the idea of having a relationship with Him. Sometimes we see the Christians drawing pictures of an old man with a beard and imagining God might be something like that… You can test it. Ask anyone to describe God, it doesn’t matter what religion, generally they will not be able to give any clear description of God. They can say things like “God is good”, “God is love”, “God is great”… Which are of course true. But exactly who is God, where does He live, what does He spend his time doing? Almost non one has any idea about these things…
Krishna is the All-Attractive Person:
So who is Krishna? Firstly the Sanskrit word “Krishna” means “the all-attractive person.” Krishna is the perfect name for God because outside the principle of all-attraction there is no meaning to the word God.
How is it that one can be all-attractive? First of all if one is very wealthy, if he has a lot of money, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive.
So from practical experience we can observe that one becomes attractive due to:
- Power, strength
- Wisdom, knowledge
One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time and possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.
So “Krishna” is the perfect description of God. “Krishna” means the person who possesses all the attractive qualities in full. So God is the person who possesses all attractive qualities in full.
In this material world we have seen many rich people, many powerful people, many famous people, many beautiful people, many learned and scholarly people, and we have seen some persons in the renounced order of life unattached to material possessions. But we have never seen, in the history of this world, any one person who is simultaneously wealthy, powerful, famous, beautiful, wise and unattached, like Krishna.
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a historical person who appeared on this earth five thousand years ago. He stayed on this earth for one hundred and twenty-five years and played exactly like a human being, but His activities were extraordinary. From the very moment of His appearance to the moment of His disappearance every one of His activities is unparalleled in the history of the world. Therefore, anyone who understands that “Krishna” means the person who possesses all opulences in full will accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There are many people all over the world who speak of God in various ways but according to the Vedic literatures and according to the great acharyas, the authorized persons vested with the knowledge of God, all unanimously agree that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Human Histories Billions of Years Ago:
As far as we, the followers of the Vedic civilization, are concerned, we accept the Vedic history of the whole universe, which consists of different planetary systems consisting of the higher, middle and lower planetary systems. The modern historians of this earth can not supply historical evidences of events that occurred before five thousand years ago, and the anthropologists say that fourty thousand years ago the homo-sapians speices [man] had not appeared on this planet because evolution had not reached that point. But the Vedic histories disagree. The Puranas and the Mahabharata relate human histories which extend millions and billions of years into the past.
For example the Vedic literatures give the history of Krishna’s appearances and disappearances millions and billions of years ago. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna tells Arjuna that both He and Arjuna had had many births before and that He (Krishna) could remember all of them but that Arjuna could not. This illustrates the difference between the knowledge of Krishna and the knowledge of Arjuna who was playing the part of an ordinary human being. Arjuna was a very great warrior and a well-cultured member of the royal Kuru dynasty, but after all, he was an ordinary human being, whereas Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the possessor of unlimited knowledge, Krishna has a memory that is boundless.
Krishna’s knowledge is so perfect that He remembers all the details of His appearances millions and billions of years in the past, but Arjuna’s memory and knowledge are limited by time and space, for he is an ordinary human being. In the Forth Chapter Krishna states that He can remember instructing lessons of the Bhagavad-gita millions of years ago to the sun-god, Vivasvan.
Krishna Never Becomes God:
Sometimes atheistic men claim try to become God by following some mystic process. Generally athiests claim to be God by dint of their imagination or by some process of meditation. Krishna is not that kind of God. He does not become God by manufacturing some mystic process of meditation, nor does He become God by undergoing the severe austerities of the mystic yoga exercises. Krishna never becomes God because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all circumstances.
Krishna did not appear in this world in the same way an ordinary child appears. Within the prison of his uncle, the king Kamsa, where His father and mother were confined, Krishna appeared outside His mother’s body as the four-handed Visnu-Narayana. Then He turned Himself into a baby and told His father to carry Him to the house of Nanda Maharaja and his wife Yasoda. When Krishna was just a small baby the gigantic demoness Putana tried to kill Him, but when He sucked her breast He pulled out her life. This is the difference between Krishna, the real Supreme Personality of Godhead, and a so-called god manufactured in a mystic factory.
Krishna did not practice any mystic process, nor did he undergo any severe austerities to become God yet He manifested Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead at every step, from infancy to childhood, from childhood to boyhood, and from boyhood to young manhood. Although Krishna plays as a human being, He always maintains His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
We Should Focus All our Desires on Krishna:
Since Krishna is all-attractive one should know that all his desires should be focused on Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the individual person is the proprietor or master of each and every individual body, but Krishna, who is the Supersoul present in everyone’s heart, is the supreme proprietor and supreme master of each and every individual body. Therefore if we concentrate our loving propensities on Krishna only then immediately universal love, unity and tranquility will be automatically realized. When one waters the root of a tree, he automatically waters the branches, twigs, leaves and flowers; when one supplies food to the stomach through the mouth he satisfies all the various parts of the body.
We Can only be Happy by Loving Krishna:
The art of focusing one’s attention on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and giving one’s love to Him is called Krishna consciousness. The purpose of the Krishna consciousness movement is to give everyone the chance to satisfy his propensity for loving others simply by directing his love towards Krishna.
The whole world is very anxious to satisfy their dormant propensity for loving others but the inventions of various methods like socialism, communism, altruism, humanitarianism, nationalizm and whatever else may be manufactured for the peace and prosperity of the world, are all useless and frustrating because of our gross ignorance of the art of loving Krishna. Generally people think that by advancing the cause of moral principles and religious rites they will be happy. Others may think that happiness can be achieved by economic development, and yet others think that simply by sense gratification they will be happy. But the real fact is that people can only be happy by loving Krishna.
Krishna perfectly reciprocates one’s loving propensities in different relationships called mellows or rasas. Basically there are twelve loving relationships we can share with Krishna:
- One can love Krishna as the supreme unknown
- One can love Krishna as the supreme master
- One can love Krishna as the supreme friend
- One can love Krishna as the supreme child
- One can love Krishna as the supreme lover
One can also love Krishna indirectly in seven different relationships, which are apparently different from the five primary relationships. All in all, however, if one simply reposes his dormant loving propensity in Krishna, then his life becomes successful. This is not fiction but is a fact which can be realized by practical application. One can directly perceive the effects that love for Krishna has on his life.
Knowing Krishna is the King of all Knowledge:
In the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita this science of Krishna consciousness is called the king of all knowledge, the king of all confidential things, and the supreme science of transcendental realization. Yet we can directly experience the results of this science of Krishna consciousness because it is very easy to practice and is very pleasurable. Whatever percentage of Krishna consciousness we perform will become an eternal asset to our life, for Krishna consciousness is imperishable in all circumstances.
It is said that if one executes severe austerities, penances and sacrifices in his life but fails to awaken his dormant love for Krishna, then all of his penances are useless. On the other hand, if one has awakened his dormant love for Krishna, then what is the use of executing penances and austerities uselessly?
The Krishna Consciousness Movement:
The Krishna consciousness movement is the unique gift of Lord Caitanya to the fallen souls of this age of Kali. It is a very simple method and there is do doubt that this movement can satisfy the dormant loving propensities of humanity. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita that even a little effort expended on the path of Krishna consciousness can save one from the greatest danger. Hundreds of thousands of examples can be cited of people who have escaped the greatest dangers of life due to a slight advancement in Krishna consciousness.