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Sri Krishna Janmastami- The Real Purpose of Sri Krishna’s Appearance

By Sacinandana Swami, August 2017

To manifest His eternal pastimes, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, appears on Earth once every 4 320 000 000 years, which is once in the day of Brahma. However, when He appears on the surface of this world, His original abode in the spiritual sky does not become vacant. Hence, Krishna is simultaneously present both in Mathura, Vrindavana, here on this planet, as well as in the eternal spiritual world.

Why does Krishna come?

There are many answers to this question, but the one I think is most relevant to us is that by performing His most enchanting pastimes, the Lord wants to attract all souls to Him. All of us have wandered in the material world since time immemorial, trying to enjoy pleasures that actually can never quench the deep thirst for pure loving exchanges. As Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to verse 8.24.66 of the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“The real purpose of Krishna’s appearance was to manifest how one can take part in loving affairs with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Reciprocation of loving affairs in ecstasy are possible only in Vrindavana. Therefore, just after Krishna’s appearance as the son of Vasudeva, the Lord immediately left for Vrindavana.”

During His appearance,Krishna manifests different kinds of mercy. One type of mercy is called “anugraha” or the mercy that captures one. The Lord captures us by His extraordinary qualities and activities. What follows is a description of how Mother Yasoda, the most celebrated devotee and mother of the Lord, experienced the highest ecstasies of maternal affection as she was captured by the Lord’s mercy of sweetness:

When Mother Yasoda and all the other family members were fast asleep, Lord Hari (One of the Names of the Supreme Lord Krishna), cried beautifully like a newborn baby. But how was His crying? The Lord voiced the sacred “Om”, the “maha vakya” or great utterance, thus announcing the auspicious arrival of His sweet pastimes. When the ladies heard the extraordinary crying of the Lord, they ran to see Him and awoke Mother Yasoda with their joyous chattering. Leaning over the bed, Yasoda admired Her gorgeous son. Krishna’s body looked dazzling as if made of a brilliant mirror of sapphires, and His mother noticed her own reflection on His body. Out of protective motherly love, she thought a witch had assumed the form to enter the maternity room unnoticed to kidnap her baby. She quickly called out to Lord Nrsimhadeva (Krishna’s own incarnation in which He protects His devotees from any kind of danger) to protect her son while simultaneously crying to the ‘witch’:, “Get out of here! Go away immediately!” When she discovered the spiral shaped Vishnu sign called “srivatsa” (srivatsa is a thin line of white hair which marks the chest of Lord Vishnu) on Krishna’s chest, she mistook it to be milk stains left after breastfeeding and took up the edge of her sari to remove them – of course unsuccessfully. By these and other small and big miracles, the Lord captured the heart of His mother and all others right from the beginning and submerged them in oceans of bliss.

(Adopted from Ananda Vrindavana Campu chapter 2)

May our minds, tired from searching for “paradises” in this world, take shelter in the enlivening pastimes of the Lord which are relished by those who are completely free from all distractions.

May we be blessed with divine and ever increasing taste on this Janmastami day, and become captured by the Lord of sweetness.

*Photo obtained from Jayapataka Swami´s Facebook page

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