Did you ever ask yourself why, if Krishna was born only some 5000 years ago, His Name appears in the Vedas and Puranas, which are there since time immemorial? One important thing to keep in mind is, the Vedas and Puranas were only compiled by Srila Vyasa dev; he did not write them. So how come the names of Krishna appear in something that existed before His apparent birth?
On today’s most auspicious Janmastami day, I want to share with you something that you perhaps never knew about Lord Krishna. Almost everyone in India, and in the world, “knows” that Janmastami is Krishna’s birthday, Krishna is a Hindu God, is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and is a son of Devaki and Vasudev. However, what they do not know is, Krishna did not and does not take birth, He is not just a Hindu God, not just an incarnation of Vishnu as commonly understood, and not just a son of Devaki and Vasudev.
I also did not know, prior to reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, backed by quotes from Vedic scriptures, and understanding in detail how the creation, maintenance and annihilation of, not only this but trillions of other universes, are carried out, how this whole process is astoundingly accurate, meticulous and precisely scientific. It is simply mind boggling and beyond our sensory powers.
The science employed by Krishna to carry out these universal affairs is much more complex than the so-called rocket science on this planet. No surprise our scientists friends are baffled again and again in understanding and explaining even this tiny universe. We will talk about it sometimes later.
Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (7.4)
bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha
Translation: Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego–all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.
In the purport, Srila Prabhuapada explains: “The science of God analyzes the constitutional position of God and His diverse energies. Material nature is called prakriti, or the energy of the Lord in His different purusha incarnations (expansions) as described in the Satvata-tantra:
visnos tu trini rupani purusakhyany atho viduh
ekam tu mahatah srastr dvitiyam tv anda-samsthitam
trtiyam sarva-bhuta-stham tani jnatva vimucyate
For material creation, Lord Krishna’s plenary expansion assumes three Vishnus. The first one, Maha-Vishnu, creates the total material energy, known as mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramatma, who is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Vishnus can be liberated from material entanglement.
This material world is a temporary manifestation of one of the energies of the Lord. All the activities of the material world are directed by these three Vishnu expansions of Lord Krishna. These purushas are called incarnations.
Generally one who does not know the science of God (Krishna) assumes that this material world is for the enjoyment of the living entities and that the living entities are the purushas—the causes, controllers and enjoyers of the material energy. But according to Bhagavad-gita this atheistic conclusion is false. In the verse under discussion it is stated that Krishna is the original cause of the material manifestation. Srimad-Bhagavatam also confirms this. The ingredients of the material manifestation are separated energies of the Lord. Even the brahma-jyoti, which is the ultimate goal of the impersonalists, is a spiritual energy manifested in the spiritual sky.
There are no spiritual diversities in the brahmajyoti as there are in the Vaikuntha lokas, and the impersonalist accepts this brahmajyoti as the ultimate eternal goal. The Paramatma manifestation is also a temporary all-pervasive aspect of the Ksirodakashayi Vishnu. The Paramatma manifestation is not eternal in the spiritual world. Therefore the factual Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. He is the complete energetic person, and He possesses different separated and internal energies.
In the material energy, the principal manifestations are eight, as above mentioned. Out of these, the first five manifestations, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, are called the five gigantic creations or the gross creations, within which the five sense objects are included. They are the manifestations of physical sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Material science comprises these ten items and nothing more. But the other three items, namely mind, intelligence and false ego, are neglected by the materialists. Philosophers who deal with mental activities are also not perfect in knowledge because they do not know the ultimate source, Krishna. The false ego—”I am,” and “It is mine,” which constitute the basic principle of material existence—includes ten sense organs for material activities. Intelligence refers to the total material creation, called the mahat-tattva. Therefore from the eight separated energies of the Lord are manifest the twenty-four elements of the material world, which are the subject matter of Sankhya atheistic philosophy; they are originally offshoots from Krishna’s energies and are separated from Him, but atheistic Sankhya philosophers with a poor fund of knowledge do not know Krishna as the cause of all causes. The subject matter for discussion in the Sankhya philosophy is only the manifestation of the external energy of Krishna, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita.”
So far Lord Krishna being a Hindu God, interestingly, not even once, in the entire Bhagavad Gita, does Lord Krishna utter the word “hindu”. He never said that He is a Hindu god. He says He is the master of all the universes! He says He is the Supreme Lord and that there is no Truth superior to Him. Who else can say this if not the Supreme Personality Godhead? People fight in the name of religion but they need to understand the Supreme Lord is beyond all religions.
Lord Krishna’s so called birth is not actually birth. He descends from the spiritual world. His taking “birth” is different from the birth of ordinary living entities. He says in Bhagavad Gita (9.17): “I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support, and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om. I am also the Rg, the Sama, and the Yajur [Vedas]”.
In the purport Srila Prabhupada says:
“The entire cosmic manifestations, moving and nonmoving, are manifested by different activities of Krishna’s energy. In the material existence we create different relationships with different living entities who are nothing but Krishna’s marginal energy, but under the creation of prakrti some of them appear as our father, mother, grandfather, creator, etc., but actually they are parts and parcels of Krishna. As such, these living entities who appear to be our father, mother, etc., are nothing but Krishna. In this verse the word dhata means “creator.” Not only are our father and mother parts and parcels of Krishna, but their creator, grandmother, and grandfather, etc., are also Krishna. Actually any living entity, being part and parcel of Krishna, is Krishna. All the Vedas, therefore, aim only toward Krishna. Whatever we want to know through the Vedas is but a progressive step to understand Krishna. That subject matter which helps us purify our constitutional position is especially Krishna. Similarly, the living entity who is inquisitive to understand all Vedic principles is also part and parcel of Krishna and as such is also Krishna. In all the Vedic mantras the word om, called pranava, is a transcendental sound vibration and is also Krishna. And because in all the hymns of the four Vedas, Sama, Yajur, Rg and Atharva, the pranava or omkara, is very prominent, it is understood to be Krishna.”
When we talk about Lord Krishna, it is important we understand that He is never alone but surrounded by His devotees. His topmost devotee is Srimati Radharani. There is a common misunderstanding about the position of Srimati Radharani. In short, one must realize that Radha is not a woman of this world. She descended when Krishna appeared because She is His eternal and inseparable transcendental expansion. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people and pseudo scholars, who have not even the faintest idea of Radha and Krishna, have taken to writing essays and delivering lectures on Them. Their presentations are contaminated by their own lusty desires, and prove their poor fund of knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam (10.13.57):
“Kṛishna’s power is variegated, and thus the same śakti, or potency, works in variegated ways. Vividhā means “varieties.” There is unity in variety. Thus yogamāyā and mahāmāyā are among the varied individual parts of the same one potency, and all of these individual potencies work in their own varied ways. The saṁvit, sandhinī and āhlādinī potencies—Kṛṣṇa’s potency for existence, His potency for knowledge and His potency for pleasure—are distinct from yogamāyā. Each is an individual potency. The āhlādinī potency is Rādhārāṇī. As Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī has explained, rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmāt (Cc. Ādi 1.5). The āhlādinī-śakti is manifested as Rādhārāṇī, but Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī are the same, although one is potent and the other is potency.”