Friday, August 7, 2009

Krishna: The Eighth Incarnation of Vishnu

To continually guide humanity towards himself, Lord Vishnu followed his incarnation as Rama with that of Lord Krishna, who was born on the eighth day (waning fortnight) of the lunar month Bhadrapada, which is celebrated all across the Hindu world as Janmashtami. For most followers of Sanatana Dharma, Krishna, the author of the Bhagavada Gita, is the guru of the universe and the sole savior.

Krishna has arguably been the favorite form of God for Hindus on the path of Bhakti. Many devotional saints over the last few centuries have claimed to have seen the Divine in person as Krishna, who happens to be a divine flutist and dancer, the possessor of the Sudarshana Chakra, the chariot driver of Arjuna, and a cow-herder – all at the same time. The impact of his divine plays on the Hindu world can be seen from the fact that the devotional schools of Nimbarka, Vallabha, and Chaitanya, along with numerous other bhakti saints, consider Krishna not only an incarnation but the source of all incarnations — who also manifests as the Hindu trinity.

Astrologically, Krishna is related to the moon, the significator of the mind. Whether we talk about Krishna’s foster parents, Yashoda and Nand, the gopis, the bhakti saints, or modern day devotees and jnana yogis, we can easily see how Krishna has attracted the devotional mind. His incarnation probably represents perfection in devotional spirituality where nothing but his memories fill our mind to get rid of everything else.

Happy Janmashtami!

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