Birth of the unborn
Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form. (Bhagavad Gita 4.6).
As the world heralds another Janmashtami, Sri Krishna Himself sets the tone for His appearance on Earth.
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious values, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that juncture I descend Myself.”
Sri Krishna, like the sun, exists before He becomes visible on Earth, and, again, like the sun, Sri Krishna manifests Himself to our vision on schedule. Sri Krishna’s body is aja, (unborn) and avyaya (without deterioration). His birth, unlike ours, is not forced upon Him by pious and impious karma. He is the Ishvara, the controller of the laws of karma, and He appears by His internal prakrti (prakrtim svam), not by His external, material energy.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, it is mentioned that all incarnations of godhead listed are either plenary extensions or parts of the plenary extensions of the supreme godhead, but Krishna is the supreme personality of godhead Himself” — Bhagavan Svayam.
According to Vaishnava saint, poet Srila Jiva Goswami: “Lord Krishna is the source of all other incarnations. All insignias of the Supreme Truth are present in the person of Lord Sri Krishna, and in the Bhagavad Gita the Lord emphatically declares that there is no truth greater than or equal to Himself. Lord Krishna has no other source than Himself.”
Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, a Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharya, says a devotee who knows the transcendental nature of Krishna’s leela becomes free from matter even before leaving his body.
Therefore, to understand Krishna in principle we have to go beyond comics, TV serials and bedtime stories, for that’s true liberation even in this very world of imprisonment by the senses.
On this Janmashtami, let’s resolve to take guidance from of authoritative scriptures, bona fide saintly personalities and spiritual masters to cleanse our consciousness so that Krishna can manifest in our hearts. That is truly Janmashtami — the birth of the unborn in our lives.
Rishi Kumara Das is director English Media and Corporate Training for Iskon, Delhi.
He can be contacted at email@example.com