Dr KK Aggarwal
President, Heart Care Foundation of India
Krishna teaches us the path of acquiring inner happiness. It can be understood by the four cycles of Krishna described in the Vedic literature: Krishna the Child, Krishna the Husband and Friend, Krishna the Preacher and Krishna the Sanyasi.
The childhood of Krishna describes the methodology and components of a child education. Krishna, pure consciousness, was born as the eight child of Devki representing that during pregnancy one needs to follow the eight limbs of yoga to get a child with no disease.
Initial childhood is full of pure consciousness that spreads love to everyone without any discrimination. The only thing the child during this period does is to steal and spread love and that is what Krishna as Makhan Chor depicts.
With time the child’s mental faculty starts developing and distracting the child’s mind. During this phase of life, the child needs to be taught to control the thoughts and mind by learning viveka (discrimination between good and bad) and doing abhyas or hard work. The episode of Krishna entering into the pond (thoughts) fighting with Kaliya (duality of mind) and controlling it represents the same. This also coincides with the time a child should be sent to the school.
The next phase of childhood is activation of intellect which in Krishna’s life is depicted as the questions in his mind “Radha kyun gori, main kyun kala?” The incident is during Krishna playing Holi with Gopis and Radha. This happens when the child gets an exposure to the worldly atmosphere and starts getting attached to it. This is the time for the child to be taught control of mind and intellect by one point concentration on the object of concentration. This is also the time when the child should be taught the purpose of life, and the aim for which he has to live in future (usually adolescent by this time).
Krishna controls the intellect by winning over Indra (intellect) and raising the Govardhan Parvat (turmoil of the mind) on one finger and saves the public from the rainy storm (wavering thoughts). The one finger here indicates one point concentration on the object of concentration. Once the child is taught how to control the intellect, he or she completes spiritual education and learns about the true self.
Control of mind (Kalia) and intellect (Indra) leads the child to the next phase of life. In Krishna’s life it coincides with Ras Leela where Krishna is seen dancing with Radha and every Gopi. This also reflects the time for the internal ego to get killed and one acquires the qualities of humility. Killing of Kansa depicts the killing of ego. Once the ego is killed and humility is acquired Radha and flute are no more required andKrishna is now a perfect man and is ready to enter the next ashram of life called Grahasthashram. Radha (body) gets merged with consciousness and flute (humility) is a part of the nature. One now acquires a sudarshan chakra or a weapon to take decisions and adopt the good and kill the evil.
Krishna is always depicted as a blue color God with yellow clothes and a flute in his hands. Blue color indicates everything is possible and yellow clothes indicate that one can acquire it provided one has the flute, a hollow wood representing egoless nature.
Whenever Krishna is shown with a flute, the female figure with him is Radha with blue sari and yellow color, along with gopis (thoughts) dancing around them indicating that the thoughts of the mind are in symphony with each other and there is a union of mind, body and soul. Here the soul is represented byKrishna, mind by the flute, thoughts with gopis and body with Radha.
The second phase of Krishna’s life is shown as a perfect achiever and friend, which is evident from the story of Sudama.
The third phase of Krishna’s life represents Krishna as an advisor, which shows his role in Mahabharata and his preaching in Bhagavad Gita. He teaches the message of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gnana Yoga and Raja Yoga for acquiring excellence in life and inner happiness.
The last role of Krishna as a sanyasi is the end of Krishna’s life. The four cycles also coincide with the four ashrams of life.
To achieve inner happiness the message from Krishna’s life is to learn to make efforts to control the mind, to win over the intellect by one point concentration and to acquire qualities of humility and killing internal ego. Only with this can one become a perfect man like Krishna.