lunes, 22 de agosto de 2011

Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance

Kṛṣṇa’s Appearance

His Divine Grace Oṁ Viṣṇupāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya aṣṭottara-śata  Śrī Śrīmad Gour Govinda Gosvāmī Mahārāja 

In the first three chapters of the tenth canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is a description of the appearance of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s appearance is also described in Hari-vaṁśa and in Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s Gopāla-campū.
Hearing the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa is all-auspicious. The Bhāgavatam (1.2.17) describes:

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satām

Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.

Why Kṛṣṇa Comes

The Bhāgavata says that hearing the transcendental līlā-kāhāṇī, narrations of the pastimes of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, is all-auspicious. If you hear with full faith and concentrated attention, all of the material contamination in your heart will be purified. For this reason Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa descends here.

Kṛṣṇa’s eternal abode in the spiritual sky is known as sac-cid-ānandamaya-dhāma, a dhāma that is sanmaya, cinmaya, and ānandamaya — full of eternality, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. He is always there engaged, completely absorbed in transcendental līlā, especially rāsa-līlā.

Why should He come to this material world?

It is not His abode. It is the antithesis of His transcendental sac-cid-ānandamaya-dhāma. This material world is asat-, acit-, and nirānanda-maya — it is temporary and full of ignorance and misery.

Why should Kṛṣṇa come here?
What business does He have to conduct here?

He comes because He is suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām — the only well-wishing friend of all living entities. From time immemorial you have forgotten Kṛṣṇa and have been under the clutches of māyā, but Kṛṣṇa has not forgotten you. He is your well-wishing friend. He always runs behind you. He never deserts you. He is there in your heart as paramātmā. He also descends in many incarnations to this material world along with His dhāma and His associates and He manifests transcendental pastimes. One purpose for His coming is so that His līlā-kāhāṇīs will be recorded in books. Then His dear devotees the Sādhus, Vaiṣṇavas, Mahājanas will come. They will preach, recite and speak these pastimes. Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes should be heard, deliberated, and meditated upon. Thereby you will get peace and bliss. Your heart will be cleansed and then you will be able to understand your constitutional position. Kṛṣṇa is your eternal master and your constitutional position is as His eternal servant. Kṛṣṇa therefore descends here out of krīḍārtha, for the purpose of enjoying playful pastimes with His dear devotees, to relish His līlā-rasa, the mellow of transcendental līlā. Simultaneously He also gives you an opportunity to relish these pastimes. Moreover, He also comes here for sādhu-saṁrakṣaṇa, to protect His dear devotees. These are the purposes of Kṛṣṇa’s coming to this material world.

Nanda Mahārāja’s Vow

Gopāla-campū describes that in the assembly of Nanda Mahārāja there were two poets named Snigdha kaṇṭha and Madhu Kathā who daily sang songs. One day they started singing the story of how Nandarāj got a son. With the aim of obtaining a son Nandarāj performed many sacrifices, but still no son was born. The residents of Vrajabhūmi, who were all his friends, also took up a vow and offered worship so that Nanda Mahārāja could have a son. Still no son was coming. Yaśomatī, the wife of Nanda Mahārāja, became very distressed. She gave up eating and was always sitting, hanging her head down and shedding tears.
Seeing the condition of his wife, Nanda Mahārāja become very distressed and consoled her in various ways, saying:

“Whatever is the will of Providence, that will take place.”

His wife Yaśodā-mātā said:

“My dear husband, I will tell what I have thought of in my heart. I have performed many sacrifices and have taken up many vows. But I have not performed the dvādaśī-parama-vrata.”

Hearing this, Nanda Mahārāja became very happy and said:

“Yes, very good. We have not performed this vrata. So we must do it.”

Nanda Mahārāja called his priest. The priest described everything to him about the procedures, rules and regulations to perform this dvādaśī-vrata.

The Yoginī’s Visit

Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśomatī-rani observed the vrata for one year. At the end of the vrata Nanda Mahārāja had a dream. Lord Hari appeared and, being very pleased with Him, said:

“Your desire will soon be fulfilled. In every kalpa I come as your son, and in this kalpa I will also come as your son. I will manifest My babyhood līlā in your home. Every day you will see My pastimes and you will be very happy.”

Then Nanda Mahārāja’s sleep broke. It was morning and birds were chirping. He decided to take bath in the Yamunā along with his wife Yaśomatī, and he took much wealth with him to give in charity. All of the demigods, munis, and ṛṣis came in the guise of beggars to receive charity from Nanda Mahārāja. Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśomatī completed their bath, and then started giving charity. Everyone become very pleased to receive charity from Nanda Mahārāja. They all loudly shouted:

“Nanda Mahārāja Ki jaya!”

“Yaśomatī-rāṇī ki jaya!”

Then Nanda Mahārāja returned home and offered worship to Bhagavān Viṣṇu. After finishing his daily activities, he came to his assembly, and offered respect to worship-able personalities such as his gurus and the brāhmaṇas.
Snigdha Katha’s narration continued:

Just then the gatekeeper came and informed Nanda Mahārāja that a brahmacāriṇī had come. Hearing this, he stood up and welcomed her, offering her a nice seat. Nanda Mahārāja washed her feet and worshiped her. Yaśodā-mātā began crying at the feet of that brahmacāriṇī tapasvī. The ascetic took Yaśodā-mātā onto her lap and, putting her hand on Yaśodā’s head, blessed her, saying:

“My dear queen, very soon a nice son will come and take birth.”

Hearing this, all of the cowherd men and women said:

“Nanda-rāṇī ki jaya!”

When Nanda Mahārāja’s brother Upananda heard the news he became very joyful and said:

“This Gokula forest will be a great place of pilgrimage.”

Hearing the brahmacāriṇīs prophecy, all of the inhabitants of Vrajabhūmi became very joyful. They all came and offered daṇḍavat-praṇāmas at the feet of that yoginī, brahmacāriṇī. They built a cottage for her and she stayed there.

Yaśodā’s Pregnancy

Snigdha Kathā said:

“My dear brother Madhu Kathā, now tell how Kṛṣṇa came to the womb of Yaśodā-mātā.”

Madhu Kathā then spoke about this confidential truth:

For one year Nanda and his wife observed dvādaśī-vrata. Then, on the night of the kṛṣṇa-pratipat, the first day of the dark fortnight of the month of Māgha, Nanda Mahārāja had a dream. He saw a baby child with a blue complexion moving in the sky, and then he saw a girl with a golden-hued bodily complexion. The two of them entered into Nanda Mahārāja’s heart. Then they came out of the heart of Nanda Mahārāja and entered into the womb of Yaśodā-mātā.

In this way, Yaśodā-mātā became pregnant. Hearing this news, all of the gopas and gopīs became very blissful and happy. Every day they had grand festivals on account of Yaśodā’s pregnancy.

Nanda Mahārāja gave much charity to the Brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. Many persons were coming and going to Nanda’s house. Who all of those persons were, no one could say. Among them some demigoddesses were also coming.
After eight months of pregnancy an astrologer told them:

“On the eighth day of the dark fortnight of this month of Bhādra, the child will take birth on a most auspicious tithi.”

When this bhādra-kṛṣṇāṣṭamī, the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhādra came, the nurse said:

“The child will be born today.”

Immediately a maternity home was prepared and decorated nicely. Flower garlands were hung all over. Gates were also made out of various flowers. Expert nurses came to take care of the mother and child. In the heavenly planets all of the demigods became very joyful. Indradeva was showering rain. On that day everyone was drowning in an ocean of happiness, for the Supreme Lord was about to take birth.

All of the gopīs stayed awake that night. But due to the influence of Kṛṣṇa’s yoga-māyā they all fell asleep. When the child took birth everyone was sleeping. Even Yaśodā-mātā was asleep. There was no pain in the delivery at all. Without any pain, Yaśodā-mātā gave birth to Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality. That child was putra-ratna, a son like an invaluable gem.
Mathurā and Vṛndāvana

Exactly at the same time when Yaśodā-mātā gave birth to Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, in Mathurā, in the prison house of Kaṁsa, Devakī also gave birth to a child. That is described in the tenth canto of the Bhāgavatam. Lord Hari appeared in Mathurā in a four-handed form. He had a crown on His head and with His four hands He was holding a śaṅkha, cakra, gadā, and padma — a conch-shell, disk, club and lotus. Kanaka-kuṇḍala-karṇa, on His two ears there were golden earrings and a bright effulgence was coming out of His body. Although it was a dark and cloudy night, by the effulgence coming from the body of Lord Hari everything was illuminated.

Seeing this wonderful child, Devakī paid obeisances with folded hands and offered prayers. Vasudeva immediately took bath.

How could he take bath in the prison house?

He did so by meditation within his mind, manasā-snāna. Also in his mind he observed a grand festival for the birthday of Lord Hari and gave away innumerable cows in charity to the Brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. Like Devakī, he also offered prayers to Lord Nārāyaṇa. Then Nārāyaṇa told him:

“Immediately take Me to Vraja-Gokula and put Me on the lap of Yaśodā-mātā.”

Hearing this, Vasudeva was very, very happy. By the wonderful will of Lord Hari, those who were guarding the prison all fell asleep. All of the strong iron doors and shackles opened and Vasudeva was free to leave. Exactly at the same time when Vasudeva was leaving the prison of Kaṁsa, Yaśodā-mātā gave birth to a second child, a daughter.

When Vasudeva came to the bank of the Yamunā he saw there was a great flood. The water was very high and all of the land was inundated. He thought:

“How can I cross?”

Just then Vasudeva saw Mahāmāyā in the form of a she-jackal crossing the Yamunā. So Vasudeva followed her.

Finally he came to the quarters of Nanda Mahārāja. There he put his son on the lap of Yaśodā-mātā and took Yaśodā’s daughter with him.

Born in Two Places

Hearing this, Snigdha Kathā said:

“What is this?

Yaśodā-mātā gave birth to one son and one daughter, and Vasudeva took the daughter.

What happened to the son?”

Madhu Kathā said:

“This is a very confidential matter. Yaśodā-mātā’s daughter was sākṣāt-yogamāyā. By her potency, Yogamāyā kept the son of Nanda hidden, and Vasudeva could not see Him. He only saw the daughter.”

The son of Nanda and Yaśodā is Svayaṁ Bhagavān, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead — ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Nanda-nandana kṛṣṇa, Yaśodā-nandana kṛṣṇa is Svayaṁ Bhagavān, and all avatāras are His plenary portions or portions of His plenary portions — aṁsa and kalā.

From the womb of Devakī came the four-handed form Vāsudeva, who is a prābhava-prakāśa of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has two types of expansions, prābhava-prakāśa and vaibhava-prakāśa. In the temporary category of prābhava come the incarnations Mohinī, Haṁsa and Śukla. In the eternal category comes Dhanvantari, Rishabha, Vyāsa, Dattātreya, Kapila, etc. The vaibhava-prakāśa are partially powerful. In this category comes Kūrma, Matsya, Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, Varāha, Hayagrīva, Pṛśnigarbha, Baladeva, Yajña, Vibhu, Satyasena, Hari, Vaikuṇṭha, Ajita, Vāmana, Sārvabhauma, Ṛṣabha, Viṣvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhāmā, Yogeśvara, Bṛhadbhānu, etc.

When Svayam Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa comes, all of His portions and portions of portions, aṁsa and kalā, all come within Him. The son of Vasudeva is Vāsudeva, a four-handed form of the Lord. Vāsudeva is a plenary portion of Kṛṣṇa. So when Vasudeva put his son on the lap of Yaśodā, that Vāsudeva entered into the child Kṛṣṇa who was already lying there. Just as all rivers flow down to enter into the ocean, similarly all the plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions of the Lord all come and enter into the original Lord. By the activity of Yogamāyā, Vasudeva could not understand any of these things.

In the Hari-vaṁśa (2.4.11) it is described how Lord Hari simultaneously took birth in two places:

garbha kāle tv asaṁpūrṇe aṣṭame māsi te striyau
devakī ca yaśodā ca suṣubāte samaṁ tadā

In the eighth month of pregnancy, which is considered asaṁpūrṇa, incomplete, Yaśodā and Devakī both gave birth at the same time.

Just after that, Yaśodā gave birth to a daughter, Yogamāyā. Mahāmāyā is a portion of Yogamāyā, and she was thus also there. Vasudeva took away this Mahāmāyā and handed her over to Kaṁsa, while Yogamāyā stayed, hidden, in Vrajabhūmi. In this way it was declared that the eighth child was a daughter, not a son. Kaṁsa was cheated.

Yaśodā’s Joy

Madhu Kathā then said:

“When Yaśodā-mātā gave birth to Kṛṣṇa, all were asleep. Everyone slept through the whole night. Then in the morning Lord Hari started crying, ‘Kwaaa! Kwaaa! Kwaaa!’”

Everyone woke up. Yaśomatī also woke and saw her nice son.

Seeing her wonderful, very beautiful son, mother Yaśodā completely drowned in the ocean of blissfulness. She couldn’t think what to do. She was shedding tears of bliss and love. From her breast, milk was flowing. The new-born child was there in her lap and Yaśodā was very blissfully looking at Him.

Yaśodā-mātā’s voice was faltering in joy. She could not speak anything, and was simply shedding tears of love. Up until that day she had only looked at the sons of others. Today she was looking at her own son. Tears poured from her eyes and milk flowed from her breasts. Her whole sari became completely soaked. Again and again Yaśodā-mātā looked at the beautiful lotus-like, moon-like face of her son. All the nurses, gopas, and gopīs awoke, hearing the crying sound of the new-born child. Everyone came and said:

“Oh, it is not a daughter, it is a son! Yaśodā has given birth to a son!”

Everyone was very happy and blissful. It was as if all of Gokula, Vrajabhūmi, had drowned in an ocean of blissfulness. All the gopas and gopīs came running to Nanda Mahārāja’s quarters to see Yaśodā’s newly born son. The demigods were dancing in the heavenly planets, beating drums and singing:

“Hari hari hari-bolo! Hari-bolo! Hari-bolo! Hari-bolo!”

The fourteen planetary systems resounded with the sound of “hari-bolo.”

In the heavenly planets the deva-nārīs, the wives of the demigods, were showering flowers. All of the gopas and gopīs were dancing blissfully. Embracing one another with love and affection, they were all drowning in an ocean of happiness.

Immediately Nanda Mahārāja took bath according to Vedic rites. Then he performed the jāta-karma-saṁskāra — purificatory ceremony for childbirth. Brāhmaṇas came and uttered svasti-vācana, prayers for auspiciousness.
Many musicians came playing varieties of musical instruments. The sound of drums, kettledrums, and other musical instruments resounded throughout all of the three planetary systems.

The three planetary systems were completely filled with supreme happiness, mahā-ānanda. Pṛthivī-devī, Mother Earth had been very, very distressed and over-burdened by the asuras, demons. Now the demons were to be killed and Pṛthivī-devī would be relieved of her heavy burden. All of the Sādhus, Vaiṣṇavas, and Dvijas, Brāhmaṇas, were happy.

Dancing in Bliss

When Nanda Mahārāja came, all the gopas and gopīs said:

“Nanda come, come and see your beautiful son.

taba gṛhe udaya haiyāche kata śaśi

It is as if innumerable moons have arisen in your house. O Nanda Mahārāja,

eteka dibase janma haila saphala,
manera ānande dekha badana kamala

You have achieved perfection in this birth after a long time. Many long years have gone past. Come and see the beautiful lotus-like face of your son.”

The news spread throughout Gokula, Vrajabhūmi. All of the cowherd men, and cowherd women came running to Nanda’s quarters:

nandera mandire gayālā āila dhāiyā,
hāte bāḍi kāṅdhe bhāra

All the cowherd men had sticks in their hands and on their shoulders they were carrying kāṅdhe bhāra, a stick with bags on both ends. As they were coming they were dancing and dancing.

Everyone was saying:

“Oh Nanda, such excellent good fortune you have. Ah! Today there is an ocean of bliss in your house.”

Seeing the beautiful lotus-like face of his son, Nanda Mahārāja was blissfully dancing. In all directions all of the cowherd men and inhabitants of Gokula were also clapping their hands and blissfully dancing. In the heavenly planets the demigods were dancing. In the nether planet, Pātāla, the snakes were dancing. In the inner quarters, Yaśodā-rāṇī was dancing. Śiva was dancing, Brahma was dancing, and Indra was dancing. Everyone was dancing and full of bliss.

All of the cowherd men came bringing presentations of yogurt, turmeric, and gorocanā, a kind of auspicious yellow pigment. Nanda-rāṇī, the wife of Nanda Mahārāja, has acquired all good fortune and auspiciousness, for today she has obtained Nīlamaṇi, the blue gem Kṛṣṇa, as her child.

Śrī kṛṣṇa-Janmāṣṭamī tithi mahā-mahotsava ki jaya!
Bhādra Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī tithi ki jaya!
Bhagavān kṛṣṇa āvirbhāva tithi ki jaya!
Vrajendra-nandana kṛṣṇa āvirbhāva tithi ki jaya!
Śrī nanda-nandana yaśodā-nandana kṛṣṇa ki jaya!

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