Lord Krishna, the evergreen deity, has been the most enigmatic character of our ancient mythology. So much has been written about the lord in last hundreds of years that many a time, one wonders that despite so many researches being carried out, why is it so that nobody has understood him fully? What is it that makes him so mysterious?
Some sects of religion believe that Krishna was an incarnation of God himself whereas some believe that he was God himself. But, in view of the legendary stories about him, followers of other religions are not prepared to concede this. In short, while some assert he being a complete incarnation of God, others, equally emphatically, deny it, keeping in view his deeds and conduct as narrated in ancient literature.
God-believers feel that Krishna is the ocean of knowledge, peace, bliss and love, and is also supremely pure and benevolent. They also believe that these attributes of his are not mutually contradictory. For instance, if God makes use of his power, it should not be for a violent act, otherwise it will be contradictory.
Thus, keeping in view the prevailing accounts of war and violence attributed to Lord Krishna, believers of non-violence find it hard to believe that God is an absolutely non-violent entity. Similarly, the amorous love tales described by some people, run counter to the concept of purity in love. Hence, some people refuse to accept Lord Krishna as God or his incarnation, while others believe in him on the basis of those very accounts.
It has been observed that over the years, the meaning and exposition of the accounts from Lord Krishna’s life seem to have vastly changed. For instance, the account of Krishna stealing gopis’ clothes is interpreted today in its gross, literal sense, whereas it carries a spiritual meaning intended to be conveyed, viz. that God got his devotees divested of their body consciousness.
Similarly, the account of Krishna bringing about a great war has been subjected to a literal interpretation, whereas, it is an allegorical description referring to man’s fight against the demons (vices), deeply rooted within himself. Given its spiritual interpretation, the contradiction noticeable in the principal divine attributes of God disappears.
To get a more pragmatic view, we should understand that Krishna, to whom various descriptions are attributed, was not a human being — a son who was busy killing people, by wielding the Sudarshan Chakra — but simply the attributive name of God himself who, ‘in the night of deep ignorance’, enters the body of a human being through whom he acts.
So, stealing of butter, destroying of the demons Akasur and Bakasur, and driving Arjun’s chariot, etc., are all accounts which interpreted, run counter to the conception of God’s divinity. However, in their spiritual sense, they lose their contradictions and prove far from being the acts of a human, they are divine tasks which God performs by entering a human body.
The question that remains now is that if ‘Krishna’ is the attributive name of the supreme Almighty who is a subtle radiant entity, then who was Krishna with the peacock crown on his head, whose images are worshipped in temples in India? It can be said in this connection that he was the first crown prince of Bharat who, because of his brilliant character, is adored among the deities.
His crown itself is the proof of the fact that he was the sovereign king, while the peacock feathers in it are symbolic of his purity. So, coming out of all these confusions, let us celebrate Janmashtami in its truest sense by understanding the magical qualities of Lord Krishna.