“Shravana maasa” or the month of “Saavan” is that time of the year when the whole of India would bounce back to life with the arrival of the monsoon. The rains although has affected very badly in some of the parts of India causing severe floods. This is when we call out for rescue missions and seek help from the fellow citizens of the country. Being there for someone in need and empathizing with their pain in one of the biggest trait we Indians have acquired which is the part of our culture. The amazing customs and traditions of India where festivals are not just a celebration done amidst four walls but it is a time to exchange sweets and gifts among the near and dear ones, helping someone in distress does not come in as a surprise. No matter whom we pray… Krishna, Jesus or Allah, the spirit of togetherness and caring for one another has been preached to every Indian child as a part of their upbringing routine.
Janmashtami is one of the most prime festivals for the Hindus who celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Shri Krishna. Kanha, Krishna, Kanna, Kisna, Brijvasi, Gopala, Giridhar…there are a zillions names to this “Avathara Purusha” – the divine human who is not just known for his mischievous past or magical events, but he is also termed as “Jagad Guru” – The universal teacher. A guide who preached that truth and injustice occur for a reason and that the life is the biggest university to learn about this ultimate truth called –“Destiny”.
What does the term “Guru” mean? “Gu” means darkness and “Ru” signifies light. A person who pulls us out from the dark dungeon of darkness towards the wisdom of light is known as “Guru” – the teacher. The famous poet John Henry Newman writes in his epic poem the importance of a teacher in life like this:
Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.
A Guru is not just a person who teaches us to read or write. A guru is a person who as Saint Poet Kabir Das says is the divine soul who presents to us with the wisdom of showing to us the difference between the individual and the universal soul. So Kabir opines that it is our duty to first bow to the Guru and next to God as it is because of Guru’s knowledge share that we came to know about the existence and grandeur of God.
“Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum” – As the phrase suggests, Krishna is considered as a universal teacher who not just taught Arjuna about the truths of life through his epic sayings recorded as Bhagavadgita but also enlightens us with his deeds at every stage of his life.
A phrase that comes in one of the most famous carnatic music composition by Saint Thyagaraja goes this way – “Samaniki Tagu Maatalaadanae..”. This line means that Krishna is the one who speaks the right words at the right time. When Balaram blamed him of being a naughty brat as he was munching on the sand, Krishna with his sheer innocence says that his dear brother Balram is lying with an intention of not being caught himself. The same Krishna grew up to advice Arjuna in the war field of Kurukshetra that ‘Destiny is the ultimate truth and limitations like family, bonds and worldly ties must be considered negligible. What has to happen will happen when it has to happen. The good will triumph over the bad elements and Dharma will always win.’ Here Krishna gives us the glimpse of how an individual can be responsible to take charge of his destiny by creating an opportunity and working towards being victorious than whining about lack of platforms to showcase their abilities. Bhagavadgita is, even to this day considered as the ultimate handbook of holiness and tranquility filled life for Hindus.
Krishna and the other incarnations of Lord Vishnu, time and again teach us the importance of a lawfully led life. Dharma will be the ultimate winner against Adharma and that any evil elements of this world will end one day but that is again not the end of life.
As the phrase in “Bhaja Govindam” by the great philosopher Sri Adi Shankaracharya goes…
| पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं,
पुनरपि जननी जठरे शयनम्।
इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे,
कृपयाऽपारे पाहि मुरारे॥
The more you sacrifice, the more you do good – you attain salvation. Else, hell is here, heaven is here. You will be born again to encounter the same pains and sufferings due to your own folly. Therefore…Bhaja Govindam – Follow the footsteps of Bhagavadgita which has the preaching of Krishna to be free from this and attain “Nirvana” and to be free from this cosmic world.
This Janmashtami, let us all pledge to make our children better human beings than running behind them to be the successful professionals. An individual with a sane mind, better focus and a clear vision of tomorrow can achieve the unmatched and unbelievable height that is not something common and indifferent. Krishna is not just an idol who could be worshipped with garlands and sweet offerings. Krishna expects peace and harmony, love and care and words filled with wisdom which is a rare combination in the present world. Let us all bow down to the ultimate philosopher – Krishna and thank him for all the lovely phrases of Bhagavadgita which is so pure and pious, his lovely childhood acts which are enjoyed by the children generations by generations and thanks to all those Raasleela moments with Radha and the Gopikas which made us realize the worth of true love and divinity dipped romance. Krishna truly lives each and every moment like it would be the best than the one he lived a moment ago which is the ultimate essence of a contented life.
KRISHNAM VANDE JAGADGURUM!