Updated: Aug 29
Krishna Janmashtami Tue August 11 2020
(from Sri Appaji’s discourse during His Krishna Navaratri
Satsanghs in Trinidad in August 1997, at the Dattatreya Yoga Centre, Carapichaima):
The celebrations commence –a nine night Satsangh session devoted to discourses and bhajan of Lord Krishna, in Sri Swamiji’s lovely and lively inmitable style. Sri Swamiji speaks first with the story of Sage Narada, then the background of Bhagavatam and continues into the birth of Lord Krishna. Then follows the Lord’s childhood and divine leelas, each night a special treat for the packed congregation!
1) Sri Krishna’s Leela
“Brahma gave away many boons to demons after they did some penance. There are three categories of beings. They are Devatas or deities, Manushya or humans, and the third, Rakshasa or demons. Devatas are of Sattva (goodness) Guna or natural qualities, Manushya tattva is a mixture of Sattva(goodness), Rajo ( passionate and active) and Tamo Guna, (ignorance etc)and Rakshasa is of mainly Tamo Guna. (ignorance and laziness etc). These qualities are always conflicting with one another. It appears always as if the Tamo or Rajo Guna is winning. But it is always the Sattva Guna that wins in the end. It may appear defeated in the beginning. The Rakshasa Guna will have to be put down one day. Brahma gives the Rakshasa Guna a long rope. But when it becomes unbearable it will be put down. You may wonder why all this play when He can ensure only Sattva Guna? This is His play, His Leela, this is His play, this is His play!”
In the Dvapara Yuga, the Pakshasas secretly took birth and mixed in the Kuru, Nandana, and Yadu clans. They are everywhere….They look perfectly normal and appear extraordinarily devoted. But they will be punished when their Punya or merit goes down. They are those who demand respect and expect others to praise them. Those with Sattva Guna offer their service secretly and get good blessings. Why should other devotees recognise you? They are not your devotees. You should come here for Swamiji and not expect or hope that other devotees praise and respect you. That is wrong. Others come here for Swamiji and not because of you. Those who have such mean qualities are Rashasas. Most of the Rakshasas were annihilated by Parasurama in the previous Yuga. But some clever ones had entered into family relations with respected families, and some in even the royal families. Even inside the Yadu community they create problems. It was necessary for Krishna to kill these people and allow them to merge, and give sattvic or kind nature to people. Of course, the sattvic devotees suffer. One mind says, ‘Do bhajan and atted satsanghs,” the other part of your mind says, “ Too many devotees there are bad,” so they forget Swamiji. This is Rajo Guna. “Nobody gives me respect and care there,” some devotees think. This is Rakshasa or demonic nature. Rajo guna gives charity and service, then in secret they build up ego. If you have strength and money, do good service. Like that, Krishna operated. Let us go back to our story….The bhajan ‘Jayati Jayati Krishna Jananam…’ is the complete story of Lord Krishna.”
“The Rakshasas are very clever. Some sadhus take birth in the Yadu family to protect Devaki and Vasudeva. Before Sri Krishna’s birth, his parents, Devaki and Vasudeva did penance and wanted to see Lord Vishnu’s Vishwaroop. Then Lord Vishnu appeared and they asked him to take birth in Devaki’s womb and be born as their child. Devaki wanted His Vishwaroop to be with her in child form. The Lord granted the boon, and Krishna was born to them to fulfil their wishes. Desire is very important. Do not ask for lottery, facilities etc. Krishna was born in the last part of Dvapara Yuga. The world was in a small turmoil. People had stopped listening to the advice of sages and munis. The world had one big clan of people, the Chandra Vamsha, and this, in turn, had two branches of sub clans, Yadu Vamsha, and Kuru Vamsha. The Yadu group was more powerful. The Kuru Vamsha had Pandavas and Kauravas, which led to Mahabharatha.
Krishna was born on the Ashtami, in the month of Shravan. That’s why we are now listening to this Katha with Sadguru. He was born in Mathura in a prison(no hospital, no problem). He was born with four hands, tilaka, kasturi, and pitambara—a beautiful child, but with four hands. Kamsa sent so many Rakshasas to kill Krishna. Putana was one. She tried to give the baby poisoned milk but she dies instead. No, not dies, she and other demons get moksha when they meet their death, when they are killed by Krishna.
There are two groups of people in Yadu clan. One group is powerful (Mahabharata group), and the other group is also strong, led by the King Kamsa who is a Rakshasa/demon. Kamsa’s sister marries Vasudeva, and he brings the couple to the palace to live. He’s an ego king, Kamsa. He gives his father problems too. Kamsa hears a voice saying that one one day, Maha Vishnu will take birth in his sister’s womb, and the eight child will kill him. That’s his fate. He becomes angry with his sister and her husband. Vasudeva begs him not to kill Devaki as they are newly-weds. He tells Kamsa, “ My duty is to protect my wife. She’s also your sister. You can kill all the eight children, no problem. So Kamsa puts them in prison, and he kills every child who is born. He is a miserable king, and his ministers are bad. They always praise Kamsa. When someone is praising you be careful. If somebody gives advice to you, you should respect him. Kamsa’s ministers are bad. Every year they chick on the child born to Devaki . Devaki pleads for their lives, begging Kamsa to take only the eighth child. Narad comes and gives Kamsa advice. He tells him not to believe Devaki’s word. So all the children are killed.”
11) Sri Krishna Incarnates
In Gokulam, all the angels come and ask Krishna to be born on earth. “We are waiting for you to be born. Our patience is going,” they say. Our story has three settings, Gokula, Mathura and Brindavan. Vasudeva has thirteen wives in Brindavan. Rohini is being protected by Nanda. Devaki is the youngest wife. Sri Krishna requests his sister to take birth.”
“Please, Mother, take birth on this earth,” he requests Mother Kali. He also sends Adishesha as Balarama. Yashoda’s second child is his sister, who is really Mother Kali. The seventh child is Balarama. Before birth Sri Krishna set up everything; he sends his brother and sister. Now he thinks of his birth. Brahma requests Krishna to take form and kill Kamsa and the rakshasas. Kamsa thinks of Krishna all the time, when he is waking, when he is sleeping… “My enemy is coming.” Kamsa is a good devotee. He is thinking of Krishna all twenty-four hours.”
In Nanda Gokulam, another child will be born to Yashoda and then the exchange will take place. So in Rohini Star, in the month of Shravan, on the Ashtami, at twelve midnight, Krishna was born with four hands, with ornaments in his ears, a Kasturi tilaka on his forehead, and a smile, Manda Smita. The complexion of the child was blue. How lucky are Devaki and Vasudeva, getting Darshan of Vishwaroop in prison, in the city of Mathura. Devaki got Darshan of Universal Form! Three hundred and twenty-five angels came in subtle form to look at Krishna. They say “How lucky are Vasudeva and Devaki!”
“His eyes are lotus-like. His hands hold pushpa, gada, shanka and mala. (lotus, mace, conch and japa mala). The mark on his heart is like a Lakshmi mark. The mala around his neck is Kaustubyam, a thousand lights like the sun and moon are shining from the necklace, like the Milky Way. The green colour of His sari symbolizes peace and freedom. That’s why Datta Disha Vastram is a green coulour. Swamiji selected green cloth or pitambaram. His blue body is neelamegham, a symbol of Akasha Tattvam. His crown—we don’t know how to describe it! It appears as if angels are in the crown; on one side is the Sun God, and on the other side is the Moon God. His hair is falling completely loose, gently falling on the shoulders. His waist is adorned with a big golden belt with precious stones in it. Bracelets and bangles and rings are on all ten fingers. This was Adbhuta, Maha Adbhuta! Wonder, great wonder! Devaki and Vasudeva were almost blinded by the energy of the divine child. They were in great joy! Vasudeva started praying,
“You are Prakriti, (Nature), You are Nirguna, Nirvikara, Nireeha, You are Atman. You are everything!”
This miracle baby was born to Devaki and Vasudeva. He then appears as Lord Vishnu and they took Darshan. He says, “ You did penance in so many births, that’s why I came. You are blessed. You did penance for 12,000 years, saying “Sri Krishna is my child. Once I came as Kapila and now as Sri Krishna.” All the gods present were fortunate to see the Vishwarupa of Maha Vishnu. They prayed in unison.”
Then Sri Swamiji sings, “Vaikuntha Vaasa Nama Om”. He explains the bhajan as he sings each verse:
“ Then Lord Vishnu listens to the woes of Vasudeva and the cruelty of Kamsa. He promises to annihilate the demons and explains to Vasudeva that he has to carry the baby the night to Gokula and bring back a newly born child of Yashoda waiting to be replaced. “I will take care of the rest.” So saying, he turns into a small baby. Then He casts a net of His maya so they forget everything.”
“The child is transferred to Gokula. A female child who is really Devi is born to Yashoda. An exchange takes place and she disappears.
Through Krishna’s maya, all the guards are sleeping, the doors open for Vasudeva who takes the child. The rain is falling, and the Yamuna River is flooded. Adishesha is like an umbrella. Everybody is sleeping in Gokula. Krishna’s sister is exchanged and then everybody wakes up. The child is crying. A female child is crying like a quarrelling child, while a male child is crying like an ego child. The female child quarrels with the mother’s feelings. Kamsa is hearing and thinks, “ The eighth child is born now.”
“He runs, sees the female child. “What is this? Akash Vani, an oracle voice said a male child, not a female child. This unknown voice is untruth,” Kamsa thinks. “God is giving false information. I killed the sixth child, and the seventh is aborted.” He is suffering. He is now repentant for one moment. “I have incurred sin.” Narad comes again and says to him, “The eighth child is not female. It’s a fault in your vision, that’s why you’re seeing a female child.” He talks of this as Krishna Maya. “It’s so that he can protect himself from you,” he tells Kamsa.”
“Narad is successful in changing Kamsa’s indecision and his Tamas tattva erupts. He grabs the child to kill her, and kills her, or so he thinks. But the child is Badrakali, and she speaks softly, “ Don’t worry. If you want, you kill. Your enemy is elsewhere.” She vanishes so Kamsa could not kill her.”
“Where is my enemy?” he’s asking. Two days later, somebody comes and tells him of Krishna’s birth in Nanda Gokulam. He informs Kamsa of this because Kamsa is big and powerful.”
“So Kamsa sends Putana to kill the baby. She gets Putana Moksha. She feels Krishna is her child. Putana in another birth was the daughter,Priya, of King Bali during the incarnation of Vamana Avatara. She saw Vamana as a small boy entering the Homa place, and was overcome wirh motherliness when she saw him. She wished that he was her son. But when Vamana grew and sent her father to Patala Loka, she got angry. She wanted to kill Vamana for being her father’s enemy. Your thinking must be pure and truthful or else you are going to be like a Putana. Krishna gives Putana liberation. He fulfils her two desires, to be a mother (her feelings in front of VamanaAvatar), and to kill the enemy(when her father was defeated by the dwarf child or Vamana.) Our sins and confusions and bad desires disappear on hearing this Mahamantra. This is why this story in Bhagavatha is called ‘Putana Moksha’, the liberation of Putana, and not as Putana Samhara, the annihilation of Putana.”
“Another rakshasa, Shakatasura comes and he too gets killed by Krishna. One day, Balarama complains to Yashoda that Krishna is eating mud. Then Yashoda rushes to the baby and scolds him and forces Krishna to open his mouth. She is then stunned to witness the whole universe and planets in his small mouth and thinks, “ He is not my son. He is Maya.” From that day she realises that he is divine, not a mortal human.” Thus Sri Swamiji brings His beautiful explanation of the bhajan to an end. Then He continues,
“Sage Garga named the two babies as Krishna and Balarama. Sage Garga too had once wished that he could serve the Lord. Now, being fortunate, he could conduct the ritual of Namakarana(naming ceremony)….”
Then, Sri Swamiji requests Sri Radhakrishna( who became the now deceased Swami Manasa) to summarize the inner meaning of the katha. He says,
“People are basically a mixture of the three gunas or natures. When there is a saturation of evil forces, avatars come to rescue mankind. We are like dogs on leashes caught up in this maya or illusion, like Kamsa. If truth is protected, then it protects you. Narada interplays with Mahamaya. By taking birth in the Yadu dynasty, Krishna mixes with the three gunas. The prison depicts the dominioun of evil forces over man. The fantastic child liberates humanity from the gunas or dispositions.”
Source: ‘ Sri Ganapathi Swamiji-Datta’s Grace , The Caribbean Story’.