Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Maha Vishnu's Avatar as Krishna

 Lord Krishna was the central-figure of Maha Bhagavata; in fact He dominated the entire scene of Dwapara Yuga in human manifestation. He was an Incarnation of the Supreme Energy or the Primeval Force, believed in as Vishnu or Krishna, for the purpose of identification and for anchoring on as a target of  one’s pure thoughts and actions in multitudes of means ranging from simple prayers, devotion, rituals and Yoga to rigorous Sacrifices as per one’s own belief. Thus identified, humanity is able to visualize the Supreme Power - ignorantly or in great faith- and gives a shape or form to the Unknown!

It is that Krishna who aproached the humans as a model figure with the best of limbs, features, speech, actions, reflexes and most of all as the Provider, Forgiver, Corrector and Sourcer.Krishna’s birth was also shrouded in mystery.  He made an appearance before the parents Vasudeva and Devaki ( Prajapati Sutapa and Prashni in their earlier births) advised them to transfer Him from Mathura to Gokul across the River Yamuna to the place of Nanda and Yashoda as the latter just delivered a baby at the same time but was not aware whether it was a boy or baby due to labour pains.Earlier, the seventh Child of Devaki and Vasudeva was miraculously transferred to Rohini, another wife of Nanda. His maternal uncle Kamsa was afraid of  death and killed the previous babies.He tried to smash the head of the eighth child  who was Devi Durga Herself. She warned Kamsa from the Sky that  the real killer of Kamsa was safe elsewhere. While  Gokul of  was rejoicing the birth of the boys and the cow-herd Chief Nanda and Yashoda and were busy with  Jataka Karma ( cutting the umbilical chords) and the year long Nandothsava celebrations, Kamsa was engaged in a massive search for babies born anew in his kingdom and ordered them to be killed. His investigators reached Gokul Village too and on  witnessing the celebrations they confirmed the presence of the new born.The demoness Puthana who was engaged by Kamsa to kill babies visited Gokul and taking the form of a pretty lady entered Nanda’s house. Neither various Gopikas nor Yasoda stopped her, as they were all impressed by  her charm and innocent looks. She lifted the Child and put Him on her lap and desired to breast-feed Him. There was deadly poison around her nipple which was sucked by the Lord and even while she was crying for help her real demoniac face and body were twisted and displayed . The entire village got petrified at the shock but the Child was happy and playful. As the Child grew three months old, Nanda’s household was busy performing the ‘Uhthana’ function of lifting the Child from cradle to shoulders. While Brahmanas were reciting Hymns      ( Mantras) and performing offerings to Fire God, there was busy activity alround with guests and relatives.The Child was kept in a make-shift bed under the shade of a cart in the court yard, surrounded by Gopikas, children and others. Playfully, the Child  lifed one of His  soft and tiny legs up as though He was fighting and throwing the cart and indeed the heavy cart was broken into pieces and the mortal remains of a huge monster ( ‘Sakatasur’- a cart demon) sent by Kamsa presented a ghastly sight.In another instance on a day Yashoda kept the Child on he lap when He was  a year old and  suddenly she realised that the Child was heavy like a mountain and she had to immediately put Him down on the ground. Almost then there was a fearful whirlwind and dust storm and there was darkness all around. The Child was not visible for a while. Gradually, the dust got settled and the entire Village could witness a massive heap of a Demon Trinivartha sent by Kamsa again and the demon’s throat was choked and throttled.

On completion of a year, the two sons were named Balaram and Krishna. As they grew they were displaying charming tricks and playful mischief  bringing ecstatic joy not only to the  parents but to the entire village especially Gopikas (Maidens) with whom endless pranks were played like stealing butter, embarrassing them in several ways and enchanting them all differenly; in fact the life style of Gokula Village got transformed to that of a heaven and they were all blessed indeed!But there was an underneath devotion and spiritual awareness  prevailing among the persons of  Gokula and there was even a sub-conscious feeling that the two boys were not ordinary but incarnations of God. While the playmates were all playing once, Balarama who was elder complained to Yashoda that Krishna was eating earth, the mother found that Krishna’s hands were full of dirt and she asked Krishna to open his mouth.Yashoda almost fainted to view the entire Universe in Krishna’s mouth with fleeting visions of  the Sky, Earth, mountains, oceans, and the planetary system. She was amazed to realise that Krishna was Vishnu Himself, but too soon she got out of that consciousness created by a transitory illusion ( Maya) and started fondling the Kids as usual. Very often, Krishna looked so innocent that Yashoda discounted the pretty complaints made by Gopis against the lad either out of fondness or envy.As she got fed up one day, she tied Him to a grinding stone kept between twin trees, Yamala and Arjuna in their back yard and started her routine.After a while she heard big noises of falling trees and shrieking screams of Gopikas and there stood two personalities with radiance bowing before the boy Krishna; apparently the two were the opulent and conceited sons of Demi-God of Wealth, Kubera. Narada cursed the sons of Kubera- Nalakubara and Manigriva- to become the twin trees in the backyard of Nanda’s house and await Krishna to release the curse.

Nanda and the elders of Gokula felt that weird incidents were happening in the Village and thus decided to shift to a lush green and fertile forest known as Brindavan. Indeed this area was far better, as there was a mountain Govardhan was also nearby. The Vraja Vasis were happier as their lives were more comfortable under His shade. Their crops were richer, climate was healthier and the Gopas and Gopikas had plenty of space to play, enjoy and venture out, in the excellent company of Balarama and Sri Krishna. The sonorous flute of Krisha, the ankle bell sounds of maidens, the joyful dances of men and women, and the social functions of the elders gave a highly romantic and contented atmosphere at the new environs   But at same time, there were a number of incidents continued nevertheless, each fortifying the underlining faith and awe in Balarama and Krishna as super beings. Examples included the killing of Dhenukasura who mixed up with cows and calves of Bridavan; Bakasura, a fresh water wading bird, heron, with a long beak and a gigantic features who attacked Krishna who tore off the powerful jaws and beaks; Aghasura, the huge Python who devoured boys but Krishna entered its enormous mouth and saved them before killing; the fearful serpent Kaliya of lake Kalindi was unapproachable to human beings, animals especially cows, birds, fishes etc. which freely used to stray as the waters were fuming hot with poisonous flames. Krishna’s playmates described the lake as entering into Hell gates.But He desired to teach a lesson to Kaliya and family who made an exclusive residence in the lake, often moving out of it in the surroundings, but for the fear of Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu. Krishna however jumped into the lake and attacked the most obnoxious creature and subdued it after a fierce fight for days together. Nanda and Yashoda wanted to enter the lake out of desperation, but Balarama prevented saying that Krishna would emerge dancing on its hundred and one hoods. Indeed He did likewise and ordered Kaliya and family to quit the lake and enter the ocean and assured that His footprints would be recognised by Garuda and as such there was no problem from the serpents to move out. In another instance, demon Pralamba disguised as a cow-herd boy and Balarama sensing it desired to play a game Hirana Kreedanam ( carriers and passengers) by splitting two parties-one headed by Krishna and another by Balarama. Pralamba disguised as cowherd boy had purposively lost the game so that he would carry away Balarama as he had won. Sitting on the back of the demon, Balarama squeezed the demon’s body and sat on him as though as a mountain and thus killed him.Another incidence was Krishna’s feat of lifting the mountain Govardhan Giri by His little finger, as Varuna the God of Rains was annoyed with the villagers as they did not perform the traditionl worship and lashed with devastating rains continously.Consequently, Varuna and Indra apologised the indiscretion of Varuna to Lord Krishna.
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