Vanity thought #667. Krishna as God

Following from yesterday – does Krishna qualify to be called God in conversations with Christians and other “infidels”?

I mean we’ve been taught about qualities of Bhagavan right from the start – the six opulences and all. Similarly, Srila Prabhupada describes Krishna as the Supreme Absolute Truth in the purport to SB 1.1.1, the verse that famously starts with on namo bhagavate vasudevaya, so what’s there to argue about it?

In one word – Krishna.

He is not Vasudeva, at home, in Vrindavana, He is known as song of Mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja. He becomes Vasudeva when He leaves the land of Vraja and goes to Mathura. In another sense, Vasudeva is an expansion of Balarama, who Himself is an expansion of Krishna, so we are talking about a different person here with different personality.

Does Krishna possess the ultimate strength? Not really, He can barely carry Nanda Maharaja’s slippers. He can also be bound with ropes fairly easily by Mother Yashoda. She had a little trouble with tying him up but that was because the rope was always too short, not because Krishna was very strong and she couldn’t restrain Him.

When Krishna plays with His friends they sometimes beat Him and He has to carry them on His back. Sometimes He displays supernatural strength, like when lifting Govardhana, but no one takes Him seriously. His friends even volunteered to hold it so He can take a rest. When He kills demons or knocks down huge trees no one understands how a little boy could have done that.

Does Krishna possess ultimate knowledge? Not really, He knows all about tending calves and charming ladies but when He leaves Vrindavana He has to study in gurukula just like everybody else.

Does Krishna possess ultimate wealth? Nah, He’s just a cowherd boy, He’s got some jewelry, earrings and anklets but that’s not real wealth.

Does Krishna possess ultimate fame? Not really, when He went to beg Brahmanas for some food they didn’t know who He was. He was surely the life and soul of everyone in Vraja but that doesn’t say much. He got really famous only after He left, became Vasudeva, and killed Kamsa.

Does Krishna posses ultimate beauty? Hmm, beauty is the matter of taste. Krishna is supremely attractive but that’s not the same thing. When He comes home in the evening, sweaty and all covered in dust, we are not talking about beauty anymore.

Does Krishna grant liberation? Not really. He certainly can, and He is known as Mukunda, but His best devotees never ask for it and never get it. Imagine yourself in Six Goswami’s shoes for a moment. Sleeping one hour a day, surviving on one unsalted chapati and morsel of rice, and you’d scream for liberation. Neither Krishna nor His devotees are concerned with it, however.

Krishna is the source of all opulences but He never displays them, and if He does it breaks all the mood. Mother Yashoda didn’t know what to think when she saw the universe in His mouth, His friends didn’t know what to think when they couldn’t hold Govardhan but He could. He can liberate all His devotees in a moment but He doesn’t do that because devotees like to serve Him in material world, that’s the only way they can preach.

All these opulences and powers carry no weight in Vrindavan, Krishna better hide them and hide them very well.

So, do we worship God then? I’m afraid not, not in the Christian sense, and not even in the sense of Bhagavan.

What Krishna has on those concepts is rasa. No one has better and deeper relationships with His devotees than Krishna, and reversely, no devotee can find better and richer rasa anywhere but in relationships with Krishna.

Devotees don’t care for all the external manifestations of Godhead – power, fame, opulence, beauty, renunciation, whatever. They care only about pleasing Him as friends, parents or girlfriends.

When talking with “infidels” we can’t say such things but we ourselves should never forget them. We want to be Krishna’s servants not because He is God with all accompanying powers but because we want rasa and we want to give it Him.

As followers of Srila Rupa Goswami we go even further – we serve those who please Krishna better than us. Our own rasa “sucks” so we make sure that gopis, who are best in the whole world, can please Krishna in full. Our own rasa, our own enjoyment can wait.

This is taking it too far, though, on the material platform we can’t even imagine how it feels in real life.

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