Sri Sri Ravishankar’s message on Sri Krishna Janmashtami 2016..
Since last 5100 and odd years, the birth of Krishna is being celebrated. But Krishna says, ‘I am never born’.
It is like this, a potter makes a pot and suddenly the space is born inside the pot. Can you say the space is born now? No! Space was already there, it was only encapsulate with mud all around. Mud, by itself, didn’t have any value. Space by itself is available everywhere and it has no value. But when the mud and the space came together, it assumed a value.
Now when you move the pot from one place to another place, does the space inside the pot change? No. From one day to another day, does the space inside the pot change? No. Yesterday the mud pot had 1-litre space, today it became 2-litre, tomorrow it becomes 3-litre, does that happen? No. Mud can wear in due course of time. You can carbon date and find out when this pot was made. Is there any way to measure the time (or age) of the space inside the pot? No. The space inside the pot is beyond time and space. So, Krishna identified himself with the space and not with the pot. That’s why he said, “These foolish people see me as a human being. People do not see me as the immortal space which was never born. They only see me as a pot”.
Janmashtami assumes great significance for devotees because that day you remember all the qualities that Krishna came to manifest. In Hindi they say ‘Prakat hona’ which means unveiled or manifested. Space was there already, but it took a shape and form. Our ancient seers are very intelligent. They said, “Yes, Krishna was never born but he manifested (prakat bhayo)”.
Krishna was there before too, but he became visible, he manifested. Why? It was the wish of the devotees to see Krishna with their eyes, to listen to him with their ears, and touch him with their hands. To fulfill these wishes of his devotees, Krishna manifested. Krishna was there earlier too, but he manifested (prakat bhayo).
An excuse to celebrate. An opportunity to remember (the Divine) a little more than other days. Krishna is one such personality which you can never forget because he is so complete. He is in everything: from a King to a thief, from a Guru to a disciple, from a warrior to someone who just runs away from a war, from one who takes responsibility, and one who shuns all responsibility. So, he has exhibited all aspects of existence. That is why Krishna is complete.
“Akaaro vai vasudevas cha”.
Each letter belongs to one Devta or divinity. The first letter Aa is Vasudeva. If you say, ‘Aa’, that mean Vasudeva.
When Yashoda, the mother of Lord Krishna, asked baby Krishna, “What have you eaten?” Krishna said, “Nothing”. Then Yashoda asked baby Krishna to open his mouth. Krishna said, “Aa” and opened his mouth. Then what did Mother Yahoda see? She saw empty space. She suddenly had this experience of moving through a tunnel and saw the entire space. She saw the entire Universe, millions of stars, the Sun and the Moon.
By the way, they were all spherical, nothing was square. We think Galileo found out that the Earth is spherical and is going around the Sun. No! This was known thousands of years earlier, much before Galileo. In India, the astronomical science said that everything is spherical in the Universe.
So with the one word Aa, she saw infinity. But she forgot this experience after some time.
It said that all the Yadavas, Gopas and Gopis used to forget Krishna’s miracles after 5-minutes. They would forget all the miracles performed by Krishna for a year. If they didn’t forget, they could not have behaved naturally with Krishna. Everyone used to be natural with Krishna. Like friends, they would fight with him, they would tease him, get teased by him because they would forget the glory of Krishna’s miracles.
Glory creates a distance and affection may diminish. There could be more respect. But Krishna was neither hungry for glory nor for respect. He was only hungry for affection or devotion. He only wanted affection. So Bramha ensured that people would forget the miracles that Krishna would perform just 5 minutes after Krishna performed them, so that they could be natural and affectionate around him.
So what did mother Yashoda see? In the one word Aa, she saw infinity. Aa signifies infinity. Aa means everything; complete. Any child, anywhere in the world first utters the word Aa. Mouth opens, Aa comes. Without Aa you cannot pronounce other things.
Say ‘Ka’ without Aa. Can you say? Can you say ‘Chaa’ without Aa, or ‘Tha’ without Aa? No! Every sound that you need to say has to come with Aa. That is what represents the infinity. “Akaaro vai vasudevas cha”.
The letter Aa signifies Vasudeva and it contains everything on planet Earth. It signifies negation, attraction, infinity, endlessness, fullness, everything.
People have been celebrating Janmashtami. They sing praises of his Leela. I say, listen to what he has said in Bhagavad Gita, read the Bhagavad Gita and internalize that knowledge. Everyone should read the Gita. Why? The intellect which makes our life impure, to purify that intellect, it is very important to read the Gita.
Lord Krishna says, “There is no difference between the knowledgeable and me. Although everyone is dear to me”.
He says that four types of people come to him:
1. Those who are sad.
2. Those who want something in life.
3. Those who are inquisitive and want to know the truth
4. The knowledgeable.
He says, “There is no difference between me and the knowledgeable.” So if we want to establish a relationship with Krishna, in which there is no difference, we need to take an interest in knowledge. We need to become a Jigyaasu (have a thirst for knowledge) and become a Gyaani (knowledgeable one).
Today’s message of Janmashtami is to become inquisitive (about knowledge) and become a Gyaani (knowledgeable one).
What is life? What is the World? — this is inquisitiveness. Who am I? — this is knowledge. Develop an interest in knowledge. One who meditates alone becomes wise. If you don’t meditate you can’t be wise, because you don’t know a dimension that is deep within you. If you are unaware of your center, how can you be wise? Wisdom means recognizing your center, recognizing the very focal point of your existence.
In every facet of human existence, if you want to see completeness, the example is Lord Krishna. With this celebration, go with the idea that you have Lord Krishna inside of you, and knowing this rest.
We see Krishna outside and do pooja, that is fine to begin with. But as you proceed (on the spiritual path), see Krishna within.