There is more enigma around Krishna than any other character living or dead. He symbolizes innocence, playfulness, romance, deceitfulness, strategy, friendship, wisdom, philosophy, music, dance, valour and so much more. In terms of professions, right from cowherd to king to charioteer to guru, he is comfortable in all roles. His smile is constant and nothing can shake his equanimity and bliss. Stress does not come near him. There is no one else who fits the title, “the ultimate ambassador of happiness,” better than Krishna.
Devdutt Patnaik the contemporary Mythology Guru, has called Krishna the “Complete Man.” He says that there are two Krishnas, the one who is recorded in history and the one who resides in the hearts and minds of the multitudes. The same Krishna who is the “makhan chor” when young, the lovelorn youth with Radha, the strategist behind the Kurukshetra War, but is also the philosopher and spiritual mentor on the art of living – evident in his conversations with Arjun in the Bhagavad Geeta.
Krishna fought many demons and yet he was not an aggressive male. He could be an empathetic friend to Draupadi on the one hand and engage in fierce battle on the other. Ever wondered what is the secret of his multifaceted personality? Well, for Krishna, everything is a role. He enjoys it all for he is attached to none. He is ecstatic with Radha but not dejected by separation. He has no agenda other than the benefit of humanity.
Krishna was born in prison. His siblings were killed and Krishna was smuggled out and raised by foster parents. His uncle Kansa continued to send demons to kill him right from his infancy. But did this dent his happiness in anyway? Not at all. Krishna just continued to have great fun while killing off the demons effortlessly. The circumstances around him were grave but happiness never left his side.
Tales of Krishna’s friendship is legendary. When his poor friend Sudama comes to visit him, he embraces him, treats him like royalty and provides for his every need. He follows his friend Arjun to the battlefield as his charioteer and advises him at every step of the way. He protects his friend Draupadi’s honour when she is being disrobed by her own clan.
The romantic duo Radha and Krishna are adored and worshipped through the ages. Krishna playing the flute to enchant her, and his many pranks on her are folklore. Each gopi adores him and what is magical is that all of them think that he shares an exclusive bond with each. Thus they enjoy his exclusive love, yet his love includes them all. Inclusiveness is at the heart of a loving relationship that is suffused with joy and not torment.
Well, one might say, so far so good but what about his role in the battle of Kurukshetra, the bloodiest war, where brother-killed-brother and entire clans got destroyed. There was so much of deceit, that it is shameful. True, but Krishna always tried the righteous path, first. At times he had to resort to deceit, it was informed by an awareness of the greater good. He broke rules, but always to uphold Dharma.
Krishna playfully mentions that even running away is a strategy, when he runs away from Jarasandha. He manages difficult people with charm and eloquence. Balaram and Yudhishthir were steadfast in their principles and allegiance, but Krishna could convince them to make dramatic shifts. He convinced Yudhishthir to twist the truth; Arjun to elope with his sister Subhadra; Balaram to condone it and Draupadi to accept this new rival bond. Quite unbelievable, isn’t it?
Krishna believed that we must always be true to the objective and bending rules and breaking traditions to achieve ultimate good for mankind was acceptable. In the story of the Mahabharat, if Bhishma had been true to his conscience rather than an earlier immature vow; if Dronacharya had upheld the code of conduct of a teacher rather than personal revenge or an allegiance to the king and if Yudhishthir had upheld his duty to his brothers and spouse instead of merely following a royal protocol of accepting a gambling invitation, they all could have halted the moral decadence of the Mahabharat.
Arjun, in the throes of an impossible dilemma of having to fight his own brothers and his revered elders, is in a situation that many of us face in life. Krishna is truly a friend, philosopher and guide to his protégé, Arjun.
There is a charming interpretation of the peacock feather worn by Krishna on his head. He treats his crown of responsibility lightly like a feather, and hence he can retain his smile through all trials and tribulations.
Krishna is relevant even today, exemplifying eternal happiness in the bivouac of life. His most powerful teaching is to be happy and content in the midst of struggle and action, not meditating in a secluded corner away from the bustle and stress. His mantra for success is simple: Focus on the present moment, don’t be viagra pas cher immersed in regrets for the past nor worries for the future.
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