Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Krishna’s birth on Ashtami signifies his mastery of both the spiritual and material worlds. He is a great teacher, a spiritual inspiration as well as a politician. On the one hand, he is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yogas – the state which every yogi aspires to) while on the other, he is called chit chor, a thief. His behaviour includes both extremes and yet is a perfect balance of the extremes. Perhaps this is why the personality of Krishna is so unique and difficult to fathom. The avdhoot is oblivious to the world outside and yet a materialistic person, a politician or a king is oblivious to the spiritual world. But Krishna is both Dwarkadheesh and Yogeshwar!
Krishna told many lies and troubled people around him. And people would complain against him in anger. But the moment they came in his presence, all anger would vanish. Krishna is the embodiment of pure joy and bliss. In the presence of pure joy and bliss, all complaints & anger vanish and life appears like a play, a game.
If you see, in Krishna’s life, wherever he went, there has been some fight or war, all through. Any town he would go, somebody would fight, and he would stand there smiling at them, laughing at them. For, Krishna everything was a game, Lila, as they say.
Krishna is the symbol of all possibilities, the total blossoming of all aspects of the human, and the Divine. It’s very difficult to really understand Krishna’s personality. The Rishis called him the full embodiment of the Divine total because all that a human could be, a being could be, is all in Krishna. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita “People think of me as a physical embodiment. I am not the body; I am the consciousness which is present all over and in everything”.
It is said that Krishna was supposed to steal butter. Butter is the final product. The milk is made into curd; curd that is churned well becomes butter. Life is also like that – life is like milk/curd – Life is the process of churning. So many things – events, happenings and instances are churning your life.
Your mind is churned and churned and finally, the butter comes out, which is the sainthood in you. And Krishna steals the sainthood!! This means what? – He loves the saintliness; he loves this mind which is like butter, which is not hard, which has reached its final state. He is fond of you when your mind becomes like that.
Krishna simply means the most attractive. Krishna is the Self of every being and when our true natural self shines through our personality, skills and abundance follow. As Krishna himself says in the Bhagavad Gita, he is the strength in the strong, the wisdom in the wise, the beauty in the beautiful and the dignity in the dignified. He is the very life force in every living being.
And Janmashtami is the day when you enliven that viratswaroop of Krishna in your own consciousness once again. Letting your true nature manifest in your day-to-day life is the real secret of Krishna’s birth.
Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janmashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible citizen of the nation and at the same time to realise that you are above all these roles/events – the untouched Brahman. Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janamashtami.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar