On September 5th we are celebrating Krishna Janmashtami festival, the day the Lord appeared on this planet five thousand years ago.
Many refuse to accept there is a God. Most who believe in God do not accept he is a person or has a form. And even those who do accept this truth, very few of them know God has a birthday. This shows how Krishna consciousness is a very personal process where we not only know, accept and love God as a person, but we also celebrate His birthday, we know His parents, friends, his abode of residence, and His favorite friends, food, clothes etc. God and His activities are well known to devotees in Krishna consciousness.
It’s important to remember during this most auspicious day that God doesn’t take birth like us ordinary souls.
When Krishna appeared in the prison house of Kamsa who was determined to kill Him, Krishna first showed His beautiful four handed Vishnu form. He also didn’t appear through the normal process of labourpain, rather He appeared just outside Devaki, His mother, in His most attractive form. Before that He had appeared in the heart of Vasudeva, and then transferred to His mother Devaki’s heart without the normal process that an ordinary human being follows. Later even as a small child He easily killed some of the most ferocious demons who attacked Him. Then effortlessly he lifted the huge Govardhanmountain with the smallest finger of His left hand, thus proving His extraordinary position. Therefore Krishna has through His activities proved that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Besides, He assures us in the Bhagavad Gita, “One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna”(4.9)
Many students of Bhagavad Gita confuse Krishna to be also one amongst us, maybe a little more powerful or a great mystic, but they declare Him to be not God. The reasoning they provide is, like us He too has taken birth in this world, and He too left it like all of us have to leave. This is an erroneous conclusion. We may be forced to obey the traffic laws but when the Prime minister comes to our city, the laws are kept aside. The signals don’t work on Him. Similarly we have little choice when it comes to following the laws of material nature; we are compelled to take birth, get old, diseased and die. However Krishna reveals in the Gita that He is beyond the laws of this material world. “Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be” (9.11)He comes here out of His own free will. He leaves too when He desires so. Just as prisoners have little choice, but the king visits the prison and leaves when he wishes to, similarly our sojourn in this prison like material world is different from the Lord’s activities and stay here.
And he comes here to attract our hearts back to Him. He does protect His devotees while He is here, and punishes the miscreants, yet His main purpose is to get us all back to His abode, which is also our original home. We were originally with Krishna in the spiritual world, but exercising our free will, we decided to leave Him, and are consequently suffering in this world. But the Lord’s pastimes when heard with faith and love, revive our dormant love for Him, and help us go back after we leave our bodies.
While living in this world, the Lord helps us connect to Him through His sweet Holy Names. When chanted with faith and devotion, these pure Holy Names that are non-different from Krishna, reawaken our love for Him and also ensure the birth of the Lord in our own hearts.
Our heart too is like a dark prison house, but by our sincere chanting, we too can feel the Lord’s divine appearance, and then our hearts not only light up to brighten our lives, but we can help so many others connect to Krishna, and revive their dormant love.
On Janmashtami we pray everyone in this world comes closer to Krishna, and experiences true spiritual happiness and love for God.