How I perceive Krishna...
Raised by Yashoda and Nanda in Braj Bhoomi, this mischievous yet adorable dark-skinned lad (Shyam), who loved cattle and played the flute, went on to become the King of Dwaraka (Dwarakadeesh).
Despite being an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Krishna took birth as a human, faced turmoil that humans face in their lifetime and yet cast a spell with his infectious charm and magnetic persona.
The mightiest of all, Krishna may not be physically present but does make his existence felt in some way or the other. The Bhagavad Gita is a classic example. The Holy book of Hindus, the Bhagavad Gita (compilation of answers by Lord Krishna to questions put forth by Arjuna) - helps us understand the finer nuances of life.
Right from his childhood, Krishna taught mankind the importance of oneness and compassion. Often referred to as Makhan chor (someone who steals butter), Krishna stole the hearts of his neighbours which were pure (the colour of butter symbolises purity) and soft (tender hearts). Doesn’t this inspire us to be gracious and adorable?
The naughty little Krishna emphasized on living life joyfully by playing childlike pranks and making every moment worth cherishing. And his love for the cattle and birds reflected his compassionate side which extended beyond human lives.
Born to Devaki and Vasudev who were held captive by Kansa, the King of Mathura, Krishna spent his initial years away from his biological parents. Kansa, his maternal uncle, was a greedy tormentor who wished to be invincible and immortal.
Krishna brought the tyranny to end and relieved the dwellers of Mathura. Thus, Krishna validated the fact that evil will certainly meet a fatal end. Kansa symbolised greed, evil and all what a human shouldn’t embrace. And hence, the killing of Kansa will keep reminding us to not do anything that is inappropriate.
Krishna’s love for Mother Nature is evident from that fact that he spent hours playing his flute under the canopy of thick forests. His flute validated his passion for melodious yet soothing music, an art form that he mastered. Oneness with nature can heal most of man’s dilemma, and perhaps that is what Krishna intended to convey. Music, which has therapeutic value, can be embraced in day-to-day life to unwind and relax.
Krishna’s equation with women speaks volumes about his charismatic personality. He may have married a number of women, but his relationship reflected serenity, love and respect for the women in his life. Perhaps, most women of that time idealised him as their perfect life partner and wished to have him as a part of their lives. Women then were entitled to choose their life partner, and they chose Krishna. (Doesn’t Krishna inspire men to imbibe virtues and thus be desirable grooms?)
The wife of the Pancha Pandavas- Draupadi- who gave Krishna, the authority of a brother, saw him come to her rescue when she was being humiliated in the court of Kauravas. By reaching out to a woman in distress, Krishna inspired men to use their chivalry to save and honour women and not otherwise.
The tricks that Krishna played were never meant to deceive the innocent. He troubled the demons, the evil, the despots and all those who were unjust. And thus taught people to fight for righteousness and stand by the truth and the just.
Krishna also defined the real essence of friendship. Sudama, a poor Brahmin’s friendship meant a lot to Krishna, the King. His love for Sudama was unconditional. He shouldered the grace of friendship and thus raised the relationship above the distinction of caste, creed, colour and faith.
To describe what Krishna stands for, in words, is a task next to impossible. He is infinite, immortal and his aura beyond comprehension. The least we can do is, to follow in his footsteps and mirror him to attain peace and salvation.