Amma’s Sri Krishna Jayanti message
12 September 2017 – Amritapuri Ashram
Whenever dharma declines and adharma dominates the land, God incarnates to uphold dharmic values—this is the conviction of our culture. In order to uplift the world, the infinite God-consciousness assumes a body through its own cosmic illusion, Maya. Just as all the water in a tank is channeled through a pipe, God’s blessings flow out to the world through an Avatara.
Srimad Bhagavatam states that “Krishnastu Bhagavan svayam”—“Krishna was the Lord Himself.” Like a dark-coloured raincloud, the dark-complexioned Krishna showered truth, dharma and beauty upon the world. And he has continued to do so to this day. Bhagavan Sri Krishna is like a vast ocean. On that ocean’s infinite shore, we dig small ponds and lakes and believing each of them to be Sri Krishna.
For any ordinary person, life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. But for the Lord, there was only one meaning to life: supreme bliss—bliss irrespective of the situation. Sri Krishna was a mahapurusha [a God-realised person] who celebrated every circumstance, remaining equally blissful in each. Therefore, in order to know the Lord, one must know bliss. Until then, it is impossible to know Krishna or to really comprehend his actions.
Krishna was born one dark, midnight within the walls of a prison. Regardless, it was as though the full moon had risen. The coolness of moonlight and the brilliance of a million suns shined through Lord Krishna’s life.
Each one of us is actually born into the darkness of a prison—the prison of ignorance and karmic bonds. We are born crying, live crying and die crying. However, Krishna was born with a smile, lived with a smile, and was smiling even when he cast off his mortal frame. Krishna was able to do this because he always saw the unchanging true face of Eternity behind the ever-changing masks of impermanence. Thus, when we are able to realise the Krishna-hood that is our true nature, we will likewise be able to look death in the face, thumb our nose at it and laugh.
Just because a light bulb fuses doesn’t mean the electricity gets destroyed. The True Self is eternal and never can be annihilated. It is only that the forms it expresses through may change. There is gold in golden ornaments and golden ornaments in gold. There is formless within the form and the form within the formless. Pure consciousness is eternal and never changes. The forms come and go, but the consciousness remains ever the same.
Everything that has taken birth will die. This body, which is comprised of the five elements, must succumb to its nature, one day or the other. However, for those who have developed the awareness that the True Self is eternal, death becomes is no different than the experience of moving from one room into another. Such individuals take death light-heartedly. That is why it is said that Sri Krishna’s life was one big laugh.
We see this in Sri Krishna’s life. Even when Gandhari cursed his whole clan to be destroyed, Krishna smiled. The Krishna we see in the Bhagavad-Gita always has a smile on his face. Spirituality teaches us how to face success and failure and, in fact, every situation, with equanimity. It helps us air-condition the inner realm. Air-conditioning the external world is not enough. There are people who live in air-conditioned rooms and yet have to take pills to fall asleep. Some even commit suicide in such rooms. Scriptures like the Bhagavad-Gita teach us to air-condition the mind. We become adjustable to every situation. At times when we are driving, the roads may be fine, but there also may stretches full of potholes, bumps or hairpin curves. We may also have to drive up and down steep inclines. When this happens we have to shift gears according to the situation. Similarly, when facing the various situations in life, we must be able to patiently shift the gear called the mind. This is one of Krishna’s teachings.
Lord Krishna is a mass of contradictions. The same Krishna who could cool the devotee’s heart with a smile could also vanquish adharma with the fierce splendour of his sudarshana cakra [divine discus]. The same Krishna who played sweet melody through his flute could also mercilessly blow his Panchajanya conch to protect dharma. Completely still and established firmly in the True Self, Lord Krishna still displayed a life of intense action to the world. In Krishna’s life, one can see the majesty of a vast ocean combined with the rustic beauty of a small village stream.
Lord Krishna showed us how to face problems with discernment instead of running away from them. However, one has to perform actions with a sense of surrender, not with a sense of ego. That is when the attachment and burden of the action fall away from us. Sri Krishna’s life itself is the authority on several truths expounded by the Bhagavad-Gita, such as yogah karmasu kaushalam [“Yoga is skill in action”] and samatvam yoga ucyate [“Equanimity is said to be yoga”]. In fact, the Bhagavad-Gita can actually be called a commentary on the life of the Lord. In the same way, we can say that Lord Krishna’s life is a commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita as well.
The sun of love that is Lord Krishna is ever-shining. If we choose to shut our doors and windows and stay inside, how will we ever experience that light of that love? We should open the closed doors of our ego and come out. That is when we will be able to experience the sweetness and coolness of Krishna’s love. May all my children have the strength to surrender the mind, with its selfishness and negativities, at the feet of the Lord, which will free us from the self-created jail of our ignorance.