Ref: Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, Geeta Press, Gorakhpur Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His Divine Grace A C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad
Lord Krishna, the master of Yoga, the protector of cowherds, adoring beauty of the Gopis and the destructible force for all demons enters the earth in human form, although he is God. He plays the role of the kind compassionate for the good, helping those in need and he is also a ferocious warrior, full of strength and immense destruction for evil. This essay will discuss his mystical entrance into the Kali Yuga, his purpose for coming onto the planet earth and two of the many successful killings of Putna and the snake demon, Aghasura.
In the Bhagavad Geeta, Krishna said, “Steady in the self, being freed from all material contamination, the Yogi achieves the highest perfect state of happiness in touch with supreme consciousness.” Krishna, being the master of Yoga was already at this state. Yoga is a scientific method for God realisation. It is the process by which we clean our consciousness, stop further pollution and arrive at a state of perfection, full knowledge and complete bliss. This is what Krishna was, Lord Krishna came to the earth some 5,000 years ago during a tense historical period proceeding a devastating war. He arrived at the start of the Kali Yuga and lived and played as a human form for 125 years. He had wealth, power, attraction, fame, wisdom and was detached – all the things defined as God-like. The world at this time, 5,000 years ago, was overburdened by an unnecessary defence force of different kinds, who were actually demons but were posing themselves as the royal order. At that time the whole world was in a state of disruption. The Goddess of the earth, feeling much pain, took the role of a cow named Bhumi and went to see Lord Brahma to tell of the distraught situation of the earth. She told Brahma about the demonic kings while weeping away her milk in the ocean, praying to the Lord for her relief. It is understood that the predominating, deity of every planet can see the supreme Lord of the universe, Brahma, whenever there is some disturbance on the planet and call for help when needed. Lord Brahma called on all the demigods to the shore of the milk ocean to hear mother earth’s plea and to worship the supreme personality Godhead Vishnu. Lord Brahma went into a trance, reciting Vedic hymns known as Purusha-Sukta and heard the voice of Vishnu. Then he announced to the demigods that he has heard the words of God. God is aware of the distress on earth and wants the demigods to incarnate as the sons and daughters of the Yadu dynasty.
The supreme personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. When Lord Krishna arrives, the people will have the benediction of joining the eternal pastimes of Lord Krishna. Brahma consoled Bhumi, sent her home and then returned to the highest material planet, his home, Brahmaloka. Soon after the demigods began to take birth in the Yadu dynasty which was headed by Vasudeva and Devaki, along with their friends, relatives and well-wishers, all demingods, King Kansa, Devaki’s brother was related and part of the family but he was not a demigod. He was full of anger, hatred and caused a great amount of harm while he lived. For example, with his own father, Ugrasena, he usurped the thrown and put his father in prison as well as his treatment with Devaki was unkind and toxic. When Devaki, a member of Ugrasena’s family, married Vasudeva, she received a large dowry of elephants, horses, chariots and servants. After the wedding, Kansa took the reins of the wedding chariot and started to escort the couple home, as with the tradition, the brother escorts his sister to her new home. Along the way came a voice from the sky addressing Kansa as a foolish kind. Kansa was told that Devaki’s eighth son will kill him. Furious by this oracle in the sky, Kansa pulled Devaki by her hair, drew his sword and was prepared to kill her on the spot. Her husband Vasudva begged for his bride’s life and promised Kansa that when the eighth child arrives he can the child so that the oracle would not be fulfilled. Kansa agreed to spare her life, but locked Vasudeva and Devaki in a stone prison. Thereafter, he mercilessly killed the first six sons of Devaki. Her seventh son was a form of mystical transition by which it was transferred to the womb of Queen Rohini in Vrindavan, another demigod. This became Krishna’s elder brother, Balaram. Soon after Devaki became pregnant with the eighth child, Lord Krishna.
Krishna’s birth frightened King Kansa to a great deal. He wished for nothing more than to see Krishna dead and went through great lengths to make this happen. One of his sinister ploys was by enlisting a demon named Putna to kill newborn babies. One day, this demon Putna dressed herself as a beautiful woman. She flew on her broom and arrived at Krishna’s nursery, with the intent to kill him with a oison she smeared on her nipples. Krishna’s mother innocently let Putana pick the baby up. Putana put Krishna’s lips to her breasts. Krishna, the knower of all things, closed his eyes and began sucking and by doing so, he sucked out her life air, killing her, but not taking any of her poison. When Putana’s soul departed, her body returned to its real form, gigantic witch that was able to smash trees as it fell, stretching as far as twelve miles across a landscape. Putana’s soul attained liberation due to the benevolent act of offering her breast milk to Krishna. The inhabitants of Vrindavan cremated the body. After he killed Putana, the elder Gopis (women of the village) picked him up and performed auspicious rites for his protection and purification. They bathed him and chanted religious Mantras to prevent further attacks. But they did not understand that Krishna was the supreme personality of Godhead playing as a child.
When Putana died her brother became very upset. Now he wanted to go after Krishna. Some years had passed and Krishna was now a young boy. One day the cowherd boys were playing their games out in nature, such as imitating peacocks and running after birds shadows on the ground, when they came upon a mountain cave. This mountain cave was actually Putana’s brother, a demon as well, who expanded himself into an eight mile long snake, with the intent to kill Krishna and his friends. The opening of the cave was his mouth. The boys walked in and as they went deeper inside they felt a hot wind that smelled like fish or a serpent’s intestines. The scripture says that when the boys walked into the cave, Krishna became momentarily agitated because he knew this was one of the Kansa’s tricks. Kansa did indeed plant the seed in Aghasura to avenge the death of his sister by going after Krishna. Krishna considered for a moment. His friends were already in the cave. So he decided to enter in as well. When he did, demons all over the world became joyful. However, the demigods, who had been hiding among the clouds to see what would happen, became distressed. For a time it seemed like the snake demon was successful in killing Krishna, but when Krishna heard the demigods pleas, he grew large and choked the demon to death. Aghasura’s life air burst a hole through his skull. He waited for Krishna to come out and then the demon merged into his body. Krishna showed his benevolent nature by rescuing his friends and giving liberation to Aghasura.
There are many stories and examples of times in Lord Krishna’s life where he was faced with the tumultuous task of overcoming and coming face to with darkness. Being the God of Yog, Krishna mastered all adversities by being all things, lover, warrior, brother, son, husband, houselholder, protector as well as maintaining all his God-like qualities intact. He was fair and just and he was easily able to distinguish between those who were of service to God and those who went against God. Afterall, Lord Krishna was born as a human being but being the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he carried all the qualities of that God. He had knowledge of existence and the realisation that he was connected to everything, he was detached even though he was successful in everything he did and was prosperous. He was content in every way and he was compassionate and giving to all. He showed how it is possible to live a life completely without disrupting the inner peace within our sourl.
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