EPISODE-30 (LORD KRISHNA AND AVATAR MEHER BABA)

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EPISODE-30

(LORD KRISHNA AND AVATAR MEHER BABA)

Meher Baba said, He was Krishna in ancient times. So the biographies of Lord Krishna and Avatar Meher Baba are briefly described as under:

Lord Krishna

Krishna is known by many names such as Govinda, Mukund, Madhusudhan and Vasudeva. Krishna is recognized as the complete and or as the Supreme God in his own right. It is believed that Krishna, under the name of 'Vasudeva Govinda Krishna Shauri', flourished as the ruler of Shuraseni and Vrishni tribes on the now-submerged island of Dwaraka (off coast Gujarat, India) sometime between 3200-3100 BC,

He was born to Devaki and her husband, Vasudeva. When Mother Earth became upset by the sin being committed on Earth, she thought of seeking help from Lord Vishnu. She went in the form of a cow to visit Lord Vishnu and ask for help. Lord Vishnu agreed to help her and promised her that he would be born on Earth. On Earth in the Yadava Vedic Aryan clan, he was an Aryan race according to his birth, a prince named Kamsa sent his father Ugrasena (King of Mathura) to prison and became the King himself.

The Hindu Vishnu Purana relates: "Devaki bore in her womb the lotus-eyed deity...before the birth of Krishna, no one could bear to gaze upon Devaki, from the light that invested her, and those who contemplated her radiance felt their minds disturbed." This reference to light is reminiscent of the Vedic hymn "To an Unknown Divine," which refers to a Golden Child. According to the Vishnu Purana, Krishna is the total incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It clearly describes in the Vishnu Purana that Krishna was born on earth to destroy sin, especially Kansa.

Mathura (in present-day Mathura districtUttar Pradesh) was the capital of the Yadavas, to which Krishna's parents Vasudeva and Devaki belonged. King Kansa, Devaki's brother, had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy from a divine voice from the heavens that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki's eighth "garbha", Kansa had the couple locked in a prison cell. After Kansa killed the first six children, Devaki apparently had a miscarriage of the seventh. However, in reality, the womb was actually transferred to Rohini secretly. This was how Balarama, Krishna's elder brother, was born. Once again Devaki became pregnant. Now due to the miscarriage, Kansa was in a puzzle regarding 'The Eighth One', but his ministers advised that the divine voice from the heavens emphasized "the eight garbha" and so this is the one. That night Krishna was born in the Abhijit nakshatra and simultaneously Ekanamsha was born as Yogmaya in Gokula to Nanda and Yashoda.

Since Vasudeva knew Krishna's life was in danger, Krishna was secretly taken out of the prison cell to be raised by his foster parents, Yasoda and Nanda, in Gokula (in present-day Mathura district). Two of his other siblings also survived, Balarama (Devaki's seventh child, transferred to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva's first wife) and Subhadra (daughter of Vasudeva and Rohini, born much later than Balarama and Krishna).

Nandraj was the head of a community of cow-herders, and he settled in Vrindavana. The stories of Krishna's childhood and youth tell how he became a cow herder, his mischievous pranks as Makhan Chor (butter thief), his foiling of attempts to take his life, and his role as a protector of the people of Vrindavana.

Krishna killed the demoness Putana, disguised as a wet nurse, and the tornado demon Trinavarta both sent by Kamsa for Krishna's life. He tamed the serpent Kāliyā, who previously poisoned the waters of Yamuna river, thus leading to the death of the cowherds.

Krishna lifted the Govardhana hill and taught Indra, the king of devas, a lesson to protect the native people of Vrindavana from persecution by Indra and prevent the devastation of the pasture land of Govardhan. Indra had too much pride and was angry when Krishna advised the people of Vrindavana to take care of their animals and their environment that provide them with all their necessities, instead of worshipping Indra annually by spending their resources. In the view of some, the spiritual movement started by Krishna had something in it which went against the orthodox forms of worship of the Vedic gods such as Indra.

Krishna’s childhood reinforces the Hindu concept of Lila, playing for fun and enjoyment and not for sport or gain. His interaction with the gopis at the rasa dance or Rasa-lila is a great example of this. Krishna played his flute and the gopis came immediately from whatever they were doing, to the banks of the Yamuna River, and joined him in singing and dancing. Even those who could not physically be there joined him through meditation.

He is a protector, but he only appears to be a young boy having fun. This idea of having a playful god is very important in Hinduism. The playfulness of Krishna has inspired many celebrations like the Rasa-lila and the Janmashtami. This is meant to be a fun celebration and it gives the participants a sense of unity. Many believe that Lila being connected with Krishna gives Hindus a deeper connection to him and thus a deeper connection to Vishnu also; seeing as Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu.

On his return to Mathura as a young man, Krishna overthrew and killed his maternal uncle, Kansa, after quelling several assassination attempts from Kansa's followers. He reinstated Kansa's father, Ugrasena, as the king of the Yadavas and became a leading prince at the court. During this period, he became a friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom, who were his cousins. Later, he took his Yadava subjects to the city of Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat) and established a new kingdom there. Krishna was the prince and commander of the armies of Dwaraka, while Balarama was crown prince and de facto administrator as, King Ugrasena was still the emperor of Dwaraka, but reigned over Mathura.

Krishna married Rukmini, the Vidarbha princess, by abducting her, at her request, from her proposed wedding with Shishupala. He married eight queens—collectively called the Ashtabharya-including Rukmani, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnahiti, and Lakshmana. Krishna subsequently married 16,000 or 16,100 maidens who were held captive by the demon Narakasura, to save their honour. Krishna killed the demon and released them all. According to social custom of the time, all of the captive women were degraded, and would be unable to marry, as they had been under the Narakasura's control. However Krishna married them to reinstate their status in the society. This symbolic wedding with 16,100 abandoned daughters was more of a mass rehabilitation. In Vaishnava traditions, Krishna's wives are forms of the goddess Lakshmi — consort of Vishnu, or special souls who attained this qualification after many lifetimes of austerity, while his two queens, Rukmani and Satyabhama, are expansions of Lakshmi.

When Yudhishthira was assuming the title of emperor, he had invited all the great kings to the ceremony and while paying his respects to them. He started with Krishna because he considered Krishna to be the greatest of them all. While it was a unanimous feeling amongst most present at the ceremony that Krishna should get the first honours, his cousin Shishupala felt otherwise and started berating Krishna. Due to a vow given to Shishupal's mother, Krishna forgave a hundred verbal abuses by Shishupal, and upon the one hundred and first, he assumed his Virat (universal) form and killed Shishupal with his Chakra. The blind king Dhritarashtra also obtained divine vision to be able to see this form of Krishna during the time when Duryodhana tried to capture Krishna when he came as a peace bearer before the great Mahabharat War. Essentially, Shishupala and Dantavakra were both re-incarnations of Vishnu's gate-keepers Jaya and Vijaya, who were cursed to be born on Earth, to be delivered by the Vishnu back to Vaikuntha.

Once battle seemed inevitable, Krishna offered both sides the opportunity to choose between having either his army called Narayani Sena or himself alone, but on the condition that he personally would not raise any weapon. Arjuna, on behalf of the Pandavas, chose to have Krishna on their side, and Duryodhana, Kaurava prince, chose Krishna's army. At the time of the great battle, Krishna acted as Arjuna's charioteer, since this position did not require the wielding of weapons.

Upon arrival at the battlefield, and seeing that the enemies are his family, his grandfather, and his cousins and loved ones, Arjuna is moved and says his heart does not allow him to fight and he would rather prefer to renounce the kingdom and put down his Gandiv (Arjuna's bow). Krishna then advises him about the battle, with the conversation soon extending into a discourse which was later compiled as the Bhagavad Gita.

Krishna asked Arjuna, "Have you within no time, forgotten the Kauravas' evil deeds such as not accepting the eldest brother Yudhishtira as King, usurping the entire Kingdom without yielding any portion to the Pandavas, meting out insults and difficulties to Pandavas, attempt to murder the Pandavas in the Barnava lac guest house, publicly attempting to disrobe and disgracing Draupadi.

Krishna further exhorted in his famous Bhagavad Gita, "Arjuna, do not engage in philosophical analyses at this point of time like a Pundit. You are aware that Duryodhana particularly have long harboured jealousy and hatred for you Pandavas and badly want to prove their hegemony. You are aware that Bhishmacharya and your Teachers are tied down to their dharma of protecting the Unitarian power of the Kuru throne. Moreover, you Arjuna are only a mortal appointee to carry out my divine will, since the Kauravas are destined to die either way, due to their heap of sins. Open your eyes O Bharata and know that I encompass the Karta, Karma and Kriya, all in myself. There is no scope for contemplation now or remorse later, it is indeed time for war and the world will remember your might and immense powers for time to come. So raise O Arjuna! tighten up your Gandiva and let all directions shiver till their farthest horizons, by the reverberation of its string."

Krishna had a profound effect on the Mahabharata war and its consequences. He had considered the Kurukshetra war to be a last resort after voluntarily acting as a messenger in order to establish peace between the Pandavas and Kauravas. But, once these peace negotiations failed and was embarked into the war, then he became a clever strategist.

During the war, upon becoming angry with Arjuna for not fighting in true spirit against his ancestors, Krishna once picked up a carriage wheel in order to use it as a weapon to challenge Bhishma. Upon seeing this, Bhishma dropped his weapons and asked Krishna to kill him. However, Arjuna apologized to Krishna, promising that he would fight with full dedication here/after, and the battle continued. Krishna had directed Yudhishthira and Arjuna to return to Bhishma the boon of "victory" which he had given to Yudhishthira before the war commenced, since he himself was standing in their way to victory. Bhishma understood the message and told them the means, through which he would drop his weapons—which was if a woman entered the battlefield. Next day, upon Krishna's directions, Shikhandi (Amba reborn) accompanied Arjuna to the battlefield and thus, Bhishma laid down his arms. This was a decisive moment in the war because Bhishma was the chief commander of the Kaurava army and the most formidable warrior on the battlefield.

Krishna aided Arjuna in killing Jayadratha, who had held the other four Pandava brothers at bay while Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu entered Drona’s Chakravyuha formation- and effort in which he was killed by the simultaneous attack of eight Kaurava warriors.

Krishna also caused the downfall of Drona, when he signalled Bhima to kill an elephant called Ashwatthama, the namesake of Drona's son. Pandavas started shouting that Ashwatthama was dead but Drona refused to believe them saying he would believe it only if he heard it from Yudhishthira. Krishna knew that Yudhishthira would never tell a lie, so he devised a clever ploy so that Yudhishthira wouldn't lie and at the same time Drona would be convinced of his son's death. On asked by Drona, Yudhishthira proclaimed. Ashwathama had died but he was not sure whether it was a Drona's son or an elephant. But as soon as Yudhishthira had uttered the first line, Pandava army on Krishna's direction broke into celebration with drums and conchs, in the din of which Drona could not hear the second part of the Yudhishthira's declaration and assumed that his son indeed was dead. Overcome with grief he laid down his arms, and on Krishna’s instructions Dhrishtadyumna beheaded Drona.

When Arjuna was fighting Karna, the latter's chariot's wheels sank into the ground. While Karna was trying to take out the chariot from the grip of the Earth, unarmed, Krishna reminded Arjuna how Karna and the other Kauravas had broken all rules of battle while simultaneously attacking and killing Abhimanyu, and he convinced Arjuna to do the same in revenge in order to kill Karna. Thus Arjuna broke all the rules of the battle too.

During the final stage of the war, when Duryodhana was going to meet his mother Gandhari for taking her blessings which would convert all parts of his body on which her sight falls to diamond, Krishna tricks him to wearing banana leaves to hide his groin. When Duryodhana meets Gandhari, her vision and blessings fall on his entire body except his groin and thighs, and she becomes unhappy about it because she was not able to convert his entire body to diamond. When Duryodhana was in a mace-fight with Bhima, Bhima's blows had no effect on Duryodhana. Upon this, Krishna reminded Bhima of his vow to kill Duryodhana by hitting him on the thigh, and Bhima did the same to win the war despite it being against the rules of mace-fight (since Duryodhana had himself broken Dharma in all his past acts). Thus, Krishna's unparalleled strategy helped the Pandavas win the Mahabharata war by bringing the downfall of all the chief Kaurava warriors, without lifting any weapon.

He also brought back to life Arjuna's grandson Parikshit, who had been attacked by a Brahmastra weapon from Ashwatthama while he was in his mother's womb. Parikshit became the Pandavas' successor.

According to Mahabharata, the Kurukshetra war resulted in the death of all the hundred sons of Gandhari. On the night before Duryodhana's death, Krishna visited Gandhari to offer his condolences. Gandhari felt that Krishna knowingly did not put an end to the war, and in a fit of rage and sorrow, Gandhari cursed that Krishna, along with everyone else from the Yadu dynasty, would perish after 36 years. Krishna himself knew and wanted this to happen as he felt that the Yadavas had become very haughty and arrogant (adharmi), so he ended Gandhari's speech by saying "tathastu" (so be it).

Thirty-six years later, a fight broke out between the Yadavas at a festival, who killed each other. Krishna's elder brother, Balarama, then gave up his body using Yoga. Krishna retired into the forest and started meditating under a tree. The Mahabharata also narrates the story of a hunter who becomes an instrument for Krishna's departure from the world. The hunter Jara, mistook Krishna's partly visible left foot for that of a deer, and shot an arrow, wounding him mortally. Krishna told Jara, "O Jara, you were Bali in your previous birth, killed by myself as Rama in Treta Yuga. Here you had a chance to even it and since all acts in this world are done as desired by me, you need not worry for this". Then Krishna, with his physical body] ascended back to his eternal abode, Goloka Vrindavan and this event marks departure of Krishna from the earth. The news was conveyed to Hastinapur and Dwaraka by eyewitnesses to this event. The place of this incident is believed to be Bhalka, near Somnath temple.

Avatar Meher Baba

Meher Baba said: Krishna was perfect spiritually. That means he was perfect in everything. But he never showed his perfection materially, because the material manifestation of perfection has no meaning, and is in the realm of illusion. He could have shown himself a perfect drunkard, a perfect sinner, a perfect rogue. But that would have shocked the world. So he did not express that. He was a perfect drunkard, perfect sinner, perfect rogue, perfect in everything. He must have been, because he was, above all, Perfect. (Meher Baba, 1924, India, RD p-306 (part of a poem written by Baba, roughly translated into English)

Biography of Meher Baba is written in episode no 27