The extra ordinary life of Lord Krishna who is considered as the full incarnation of God Vishnu on this planet earth had multi faceted dimensions. Krishna or Kanhaiya, a simple cowherd boy who was born in the prison cell of his maternal Uncle Kansa, the king of Mathura had not only become the King of Dwarka but delivered the unforgettable diving message, Shrimadbhagwad Gita through his discourse with his friend and disciple Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Shrimadbhagwad Gita is epitomized as an all time living guide to humanity to help in resolving the conflicts within and outside. Every incident from the wonderful life of Krishna presents unique and universal uplifting lessons to the mankind which if one absorb and practice in life, he/she is bound to achieve spectacular success in the chosen field and beyond.
Lord Krishna lived on this earth sometime around five thousand years ago. The child Krishna’s birth was foretold by a great sage. It was a dark night lashed with torrential rains when Krishna was born. The child Krishna after his birth in the prison cell in Mathura was immediately transported to a safe place by his father Vasudeva and handed over to Nanda to save his life from the certain death at the hands of Kansa. The cruel king Kansa’s death was foretold by the same sage at the hands of eighth child to be born to Devaki, his own sister who was married to Vasudeva. As a consequence, both the husband and wife were imprisoned by the King Kansa. Their seven children born later were killed one by one by Kansa as soon as they were born but miraculously, the eighth child Krishna was saved by the destiny under a plan. Having separated from his mother Devaki and father Vasudeva, Krishna got new loving parents, the Nanda and Yashoda who brought up him well in the village Gokula and later in Vrindavana (both the places being near to Mathura in the present day Uttar Pradesh in the North India). Thus Krishna suffered separation from his real parents when he was just few minutes old but he was fortunate to get the love from his second set of parents who treated him well and loved him even more than their own child.
As the child Krishna grew under the love and care of Nanda and Yashoda, he roamed with his friends Gopas (cowherd boys) looking after the cows around Govardhan hill and playing childhood pranks and games. He also developed strong love to eat butter and curd and used his mischievous skills to get it from the Gopis (village women milking cows and churning butter and curd). At teenage, Krishna fell in love with a beautiful girl Radha, who was elder to him by age but Krishna, though a child was of equal mental age to Radha. Their love bloomed and both became evidently inseparable. Today also when one remembers Krishna, the name Radha automatically comes to the lips of people and the souls of Krishna and Radha are regarded as truly united and inseparable. However, Krishna always chose the selfless Karma (duty) over everything and when the time demanded, he got physically separated from Radha too.
Within few years of Krishna’s separation from his real parents, Kansa got suspicious about the real identity of Krishna and made several attempts to get Krishna killed by deploying demonic killers to Gokula and Vrindavana. However, every time at the small age, the child Krishna could always become victorious through his self determination, presence of mind and bravery and sent his killers to hell. As a final attempt to kill Krishna, Kansa invites the youth Krishna for wrestling competition in Mathura and plans his murder through a much stronger wrestler under a deal . The wrestling competition takes place and Krishna using his presence of mind and wrestling skills learned at Vrindavana successfully kills his opponent. Seeing this defeat, the king Kansa gets furious and orders Krishna’s arrest. However, again using his presence of mind, he scales up the boundary wall of the wrestling ground and jumps at the high platform where Kansa was seated. He punches him down and with few lethal blows, the king Kansa is sent to his final abode making the foretold death of Kansa come true.
In Mathura, Krishna meets prince Arjuna from the kingdom of Hastinapur. Krishna becomes a friend and counsel to Arjuna who later helps the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. The Mahabharata war was a battle between the Kauravas (the hundred sons of blind king Dhratarashtra) and Pandavas (the five sons of Pandu) for the kingdom of Hastinapur as it rightfully belonged to Pandavas. However, the greedy king Dhritarashtra, his son Duryodhana and his evil maternal uncle Shakuni conspired many times to eliminate Pandavas and capture the kingdom. As a final resort, the war was inevitable between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. However, Lord Krishna tried to mediate to avoid the conflict and made a proposal to Kauravas to part with just five villages for Pandavas as a peace proposal which too was turned down by Dhratrashtra and Duryodhana.
Before the start of the war, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went to seek Lord Krishna’s help in the war. Duryodhana reached first and as Krishna was sleeping, chose to sit on a chair lying near Krishna’s head. Arjuna reached later and sat near Krishna’s feet. When Krishna rises from his sleep, he sees Arjuna first and asked the reason for his visit. Arjuna and Duryodhana both seek his help in the war. Since Krishna could see Arjuna first when he rose from his sleep since he was sitting at his feet, he offers a choice to Arjuna to choose Krishna himself or his army for the war. Arjuna chooses the Lord Krishna himself and Duryodhana was very delighted to get the Krishna’s mighty army. Krishna promises that he will not use the arms in the war but would act as a charioteer to Arjuna.
The war was to commence at the battlefield of Kurukshetra (a place in northern India about 150 kms from New Delhi) and both the armies of Kauravas and Pandavas are assembled in the formation of a war. At this moment Arjuna expresses his desire to see his opponents and relatives assembled to fight the war against the Pandavas. On seeing them all ready to die in the war, despondency sets in the mind of Arjuna and he surrenders his arms in front of Arjuna and refuses to fight the bloody war. Here in the battlefield Lord Krishna delivers his immortal dialogue of Bhagwad Gita and advocates the philosophy of Karma Yoga, Gyan Yoga and Bhakti Yoga for the benefit of the mankind and prepares Arjuna for the holy war to uphold the Dharma (righteous duty). Shri Krishna also reveals his Vishwa Roopa (universal form) to Arjuna and after the full spiritual realization; Arjuna becomes the disciple of Krishna and takes up the arms to fight the war. In the Mahabharata war Lord Krishna even intervened at some critical moments to help Arjuna to win against the evil by breaking his own accord of not taking the arms. By doing this Krishna emphasized that if the end meets the goal of the universal good, one should not lose the opportunity.
Later, Lord Krishna retires to Dwarka where he had set up his Kingdom and lived for many years. Lord Krishna was killed by an arrow of a hunter while he was resting in a forest and the hunter mistook Krishna ankle as an eye of a deer. Lord Krishna accepted his death calmly knowing that his time on the earth was over.
The lessons which every human being can learn from the glorious life of Lord Krishna are many. The few of them are given here;
- Perform your duties well
As we have seen, the life of Lord Krishna was full of threats right from the birth. The difficulties in his life were his constant companions. However, Krishna played his dutiful role very diligently, risking his own life to achieve the overall good of the society. While doing so, Lord Krishna had capabilities to switch his role from one task to another with hundred percent dedication and sincerity. He never bothered for the result but the performing the duty was the foremost objective of his life. This offers us a lesson to perform our duties well with hundred percent focus and dedication without bothering for the results and uphold the dharma.
- Be a true friend and be generous
Krishna was a true friend of the Gopas and Gopis as well as the people of Vrindavana. He always demonstrated true friendship to his friends and cared for them above everything. There is another story about the greatness of Lord Krishna when he was the King of Dwarka. His old childhood friend, Sudama, a poor man visits the kingdom in hope of some help to meet his two ends meet. Lord Krishna offers him a great royal welcome and even without asking anything by Sudama, offers him wealth and opulence in return of a small bowl of rice presented to Krishna by Sudama. This shows how much Krishna was generous and a true friend. This is a greatest lesson for the mankind for a selfless service to the mankind.
- Maintain equanimity in all conditions
Lord Krishna’s life was not always bed of roses. He faced constant adversities in his life while a child at Vrindavana or later in Mathura or at his kingdom Dwarka. However, he always maintained equanimity in adversities as well as luxury. He never got affected either by sorrow or joy. This is a great quality and will always be helpful to the humanity to handle crisis.
- A good lover
Lord Krishna love to Gopas, Gopis and the people was above the physical love. His love had no boundaries and he never differentiated between simple people of Vrindavana and great kings and learned men. His love was so powerful that even animals, cows, birds and the whole creation in the universe responded to his love. By simply hearing the tune of his flute, not only the Gopis but the whole village used to draw towards him magnetically and used to immerse in the divine joy. Learning from the life of Shri Krishna, we should also aspire to be a good lover, not only for our family members but the entire humanity.
- Krishna consciousness, the universal consciousness
Lord Krishna identified himself with the universal consciousness and all beings as a part of himself. This is also evident when he exhibited his Vishwa Roopa to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Krishna considered everybody equal and he was equally pained by the pain of the people. His compassion for everybody was a great virtue which teaches us to be compassionate to our fellow citizens for the peace and harmony in the society.
- Help the needy
Krishna never acted selfishly. Whatever he did was for the overall good of the society and to uphold the dharma. He unconditionally helped the village people of Vrindavana at every emergency and saved their lives from the demonic forces. He was constantly helping his devotees whenever they needed it. He saved the dignity and respect of Draupadi when she was pulled in the court of the king Dhritarashtra where Duryodhana ordered to disrobe her. Krishna extended his invisible hand and offered her never ending bundle of saree (ladies garment) which failed the attempts to disrobe her by Dushashana. Lord Krishna’s life gives us an exceptional message to be always helpful to the needy.
- A true leader, philosopher and guide
Lord Krishna throughout his entire life demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities who never shirked his responsibilities towards the society and the right cause. He fought constantly with the demonic forces and eliminated them for the justice, peace and harmony in the society. Krishna’s role as a philosopher and guide is unparalleled in the human history which has not only served the society in the Mahabharata era but his message is live even today through his Bhagwad Gita dialogue. It has been guiding the mankind through the crisis in life and showing the right path to follow. It offers a great lesson to humanity to work for the overall good of the society and uphold the dharma.
- A good observer, a good learner and a great strategist
Krishna was an excellent observer and a good learner right from his childhood. His had a habit of keenly observing the people and their activities, their life style and their purpose in life. He sought answers for upliftment of the people and had keen desire to improve the life of the people. Through these, he acquired analytical qualities which made him a great strategist. This was well demonstrated in the Mahabharata war where he himself did not fight the war but offered great strategies to Pandavas to win the war. His timely hints and messages to Arjuna and Bhima to kill their mighty opponent like Karna and Duryodhana by hitting at their weak spots could turn the events in Mahabharata war positively and concluded in the victory of the Pandavas. Lord Krishna’s life offers excellent example to be successful in life by being good observer and learner which can make you the best strategist.
- Uphold the Dharma
The Mahabharata war is also called the Dharma Yudha (the holy war). It took place to establish and uphold the law of the land. The Pandavas were the rightful heir of the kingdom of Hastinapur which was captured by Kauravas by adopting evil means. Krishna first offered to mediate in the war as a peace messenger but when Kauravas refused to accept any compromise formula, the war was considered as the last option. He prepared and motivated unwilling Arjuna to fight the war and uphold the law of the land. The divine dialogue emerged through the discourse, the Bhgawad Gita between Arjuna and Lord Krishna in the battlefield gives the central message that it is everybody’s duty to follow their own dharma and uphold the law of the land.
- A Divine Personality-Be humble
Lord Krishna is considered as the divine incarnation of the God Himself. Being the God Himself, nothing was impossible for the Lord Krishna. However, he demonstrated all human qualities equally with constant bliss within and smiling face. He lived fully, devoting his hundred percent in the present moment without thinking of future. He never identified himself with the body but considered it as the outer cover encasing the soul, the real self. He was the most humble, always respected his parents, teachers and elders. His only concern was the empowerment, upliftment and universal good of the society. Be humble as Lord Krishna is the divine message from his life for the mankind.
Jai Shri Krishna.