Vanity thought #130. Krishna unhinged. The End.


The next incredible part in Ghata Jataka is the story of Krishna capturing Dvaraka. In Srimad Bhagavatam it’s specifically said that Krishna constructed the city Himself, with detailed descriptions of architectural designs and participation of several demigods, too. In Buddhist version the city was already there and there was a magic ass guarding it. When the ass saw intruders he sounded alarm and the city would lift and transfer itself to the sea.

Krishna got a hold of the ass first and the ass told Him the way He could prevent the city from flying away. Thus Krishna entered the city, killed the king and took the kingdom for Himself.

That’s a too serious accusation to respond. I see no reason to doubt Srimad Bhagavatam here. I don’t see the way to reconcile it with Ghata Jataka, it’s just plain wrong. I don’t know where they lifted their story, but it follows right after description how Lord Krishna and His brothers burned and pillaged the kingdom of Ayodhya.

Then it gets really peculiar, this is where the heart of the Ghata Jataka lies, the purpose of narrating the whole story. Krishna apparently dies, His father, Vasudeva, is overwhelmed with grief and some person, called Ghatapandita, consoles him by teaching some Buddhists lessons on pain and suffering.

I don’t want to comment on the philosophy there but what Ghatapandita did was to run around Dvaraka like a madman crying “Hare, Hare”. WHAT???

Moreover, just as Krishna heard these cries He had risen from dead.

Turns out it wasn’t “Hare” he was looking for but a hare, ie large rabbit. There’s a rabbit in the Moon, so saying goes, and he wanted a hare that appears on the face of the Moon, and because it’s ridiculous to lament the inability to get it there was some lesson on attachment and stuff. Not my thing, I might get it completely wrong so I won’t pass any judgement.

Actually, in the translation Ghatapandita asked: “Give me a hare, give me a hare”, I just used a little poetic license for dramatic effect.

There’s a famous story in Brihad Bhagavatamrita, after all, that describes nearly identical situation. Once Krishna was so overwhelmed with separation from Vrindavana that he fell into trance and everyone in the city wept uncontrollably.

Eventually, with the help of Lord Brahma and Garuda they brought Krishna back to life by arranging deities of Nanda, Yashoda, and gopis and dressing Krishna as a cowherd boy. When Krishna woke up He thought He was in Vrindavan and He started talking to the deities and told them about a strange dream that He left Vraja for Mathura and build a city of Dvaraka. Krishna then went on about as if He was still in Vraja and went to the ocean thinking it was Yamuna.

Eventually Balarama, whispering in Krishna’s ear, reminded Him of the mission to destroy all demons and warriors. He told Krishna of Pandavas and the rest and Krishna eventually changed His mood and realized that He has other duties to perform.

Okay, there’s no “Hare Hare” per se but this is exactly like devotees brought Lord Chaitanya when He fell in trance, too, even before they knew He was Krishna Himself.

It’s a pity Ghata Jataka talked about some rabbit instead, but shastras are shastras – we are not supposed to change them for the better. It’s a dangerous path, this is exactly how the Buddhist book got worse.

Anyway, there’s a story of Krishna’s brothers dressing a young man as a pregnant woman and asking a local ascetic about the date of delivery. They got the answer right but they had no idea what it really meant. That is about the same as it is in Srimad Bhagavatam, except in Bhagavatam the curse is described in better detail – how the club they hid under Samba’s clothes became stalks of cane which Yadavas later used to kill each other, and how the iron parts for the club became arrowhead for the hunter who eventually shot Krishna.

Then there’s a story of Balarama’s death. In Srimad Bhagavatam Balarama goes into meditation and simply disappears, in Ghata Jataka He got eaten by one of the reborn wrestlers from Mathura who, in death throes, prayed to become a goblin who could swallow Balarama.

Why should we believe that story at all?

Krishna was wounded by hunstman Jara, just as in Srimad Bhagavatam and, before dying, He, the incarnation of Sariputta, taught His companions “the science” and that’s the end of the Ghata Jataka.

There’s no mention of battle of Kurukshetra or anything else, not a hint that Krishna was some kind of a special person, let alone the Supreme God. There’s no mention of bhakti, nothing religious in this story whatsoever. The only part is Buddhist explanation of death and attachments, and referral to “the science” at the end.

That’s another proof that without devotion no one can understand God, they couldn’t even see God, had absolutely no idea. It’s not just Krishna that they didn’t understand, Krishna keeps His own inner world very close to His chest, but for everybody else Krishna was God as they knew it. Nevermind Vrindavana pastimes, there were plenty of people who saw Him as God and had no knowledge of Vraja whatsoever. Buddhists who compiled Ghata Jataka weren’t among them. Totally missed the point. I wonder how many people similarly missed the greatest chance of their entire material existence form time immemorial in exactly the same way.

It was easy to learn about devotional service for anyone who has seen Lord Chaitanya but the Ghata Jataka story shows that Krishna kept His divine nature completely hidden and only a few select devotees could see Him as God, and there were probably millions of people who thought they worshiped “God” but didn’t recognize Krishna at all.

On the other hand we have gopis and other residents of Vrindavana who also had no idea who Krishna was yet we accept them as the highest devotees imaginable. Yet there were others in Vrindavana, too, like brahmanas who refused to give Krishna and Balarama food and thus misused their precious births.

Krishna was standing outside their doors, begging for something to eat, and they turned Him away. How unfortunate indeed – they were selected from among billions and trillions of spirit souls within this universe to see Krishna face to face and they missed the chance.

On the other hand – that’s why we follow Lord Chaitanya who was the most munificent avatar ever and spread knowledge of devotional service even to certified demons like us, I mean people of western society.

Oh, and there was a good, dharmic reason behind destruction of the Yadu dynasty – Krishna came here to destroy ALL warriors, not just the enemies of Yadavas. After Kauravas were defeated it was Yadava’s turn to turn in and disappear.

There’s also the matter of lack of peace and quiet among the Yadavas themselves. Not everything was rosy and peachy in Dvaraka, there are references to it in Srimad Bhagavatam, and in Brihad Bhagavatamrita there’s a mention of Kamsa’s mother and they way she was introduced implied that there actually was some unreasonable behavior in Dvaraka and it wasn’t unusual.

So Krishna completed His lila by destroying Yadavas and taking them back to Vaikuntha or whatever it is He brought them from.

This material world can get anyone’s head screwed, including Krishna’s personal associates accompanying Him in His lilas.

Should be a lesson to all aspiring paramahamsas out there.

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