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Purna, punya avtar of Krishna
The same was the case with the gopis. He did not want to show that he was a Supreme Being all the time.
Krishna Jayanthi is being celebrated in many temples and households on Wednesday. Some people may wonder how this is possible, since Janmashtami, the birth of Krishna was celebrated only last month. The fact is, Krishna had two of everything. As Andal says in Thriuppavai, Oruthi maganai pirandhu, or iravil oruthi maganai valarundhu’ Krishna had two mothers, his biological mother Devaki and Yashoda who raised him.
While his father was Vasudevan, his adoptive father was Nandagopal. Krishna even had two family gothrams, two gurus, and therefore, in some years, His birthday could be celebrated on two different dates. Whichever way you look at it, His life is one of beauty and one can never tire of revisiting the same.
In his avtar as Krishna, God was accessible to everyone. He was a good son to his adopted father. Most people treated him as a friend, and did not have to take major efforts to get close to him. Arjuna, Akura, Vidhura and many others attained moksha because of their closeness to him. As a matter of fact, Arjuna never realised that Krishna was God, till the end, even though he too witnessed his Viswaroopam. Even those who feared Krishna and wanted to harm him, like Boothanai, Sakadasuran and Kamsan, were given moksha. When pointed out that Boothanai had come only to kill him with a poisoned tit, He said, “Anyone who breastfeeds a baby attains the status of a mother. Whatever her motivation, she has attained the status of my mother,” He said.
How did he manage to enact great deeds and still remain an ordinary man to others who lived in the Dwapara yuga? He descended for the welfare of his creations. his actions redefined dharma after which He quickly returned to the life of a householder, to lead by example. He would dance on Kalinga, defeat the enemy and descend to the ground and invite His friends for a game, making them forget His exploits. The same was the case with the gopis. He did not want to show that He was a Supreme Being all the time. He wanted people to lead their ordinary, regular lives, only reminding them of dharma through His actions. This was not possible in Rama avtar, since He lived as a king and could not be approached easily.
Krishna on the other hand, reminds us of his presence in the everyday things and yet many people in Kaliyuga say they have no time to think of Him or indulge in elaborate prayers. Krishna has simplified even this and has said that bhakti alone is enough to reach Him. All that one has to do is to control the mind, overcome anger and avarice and focus on Him through nama sankirtan or by visiting temples.
On Krishna Jayanthi, a number of devotees make it a point to visit any of the following temples: the Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane; Rajagopalswamy temple in Mannargudi; Oothukkadu temple ; Thirukannapuram, Krishna temple in Guruvayur; Krishna temples in Udipi, Mathura, Brindavan and Pancha Dwaraka, to name a few.
He lived as a mischievous boy, a romantic lover, an enthralling musician, a steadfast friend, a patron, a serious guru, a warrior, a diplomat, a guide and philosopher. He shows us all how to lead a playful yet serious life, where dharma is never compromised.
—The writer lectures on spirituality