Krishna by far has been one of the most popular personages of India.
Krishna lived at the cross-roads of time, at the juncture, Sandhi of Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga, an astronomical event, a time marker, as we have already seen.
Multi Facet Personality
The various facets of Krishna show Him to be a beautiful intertwining of contrasts:-
- historical and at the same time divine
- mischievous as well as heroic
- innocent as well as a strategist
- playful and scholarly
- simple as a cowherd and royal as a prince
- down to earth, yet able to hold forth on the subtle
- Nature loving and at the same time technical to reclaim land to build a port city
Krishna is an embodiment of how life is complementary, full of contrasts, which is what makes it wholesome.
This year we will be celebrating the 5131st Janmashtami, on August 14th, the birthday of this multidimensional persona, in the Indian calendar.
Bhu Bhara Haranam
Krishna is regarded an avatara – one who has descended on the earth.
For one to descend on the earth there must be a purpose. Each person who is born on this earth, looks for a purpose in this life.
Some are fortunate to realize it during their life time itself. Many live through life without knowing its purpose. They just go through the motions of it.
For a fortunate few, it is recorded for posterity to know.
In the case of Krishna, the purpose of His life is given in the Bhagavata Purana, 10th chapter, Dasame Skandam. Here it is stated that,
“One of the primary objectives of Krishna Avatara was Bhu Bhara Haranam – to relieve the burden of the earth”.
Mother Earth is parthava, meaning “being wide”, “having great extent” because of which she is called Prithvi in Samskrt. It comes from prthu meaning “expansive”, “extensive”, and “abundant”.
She is also the base, foundation and floor on which live her children.
Hence, she is also called Bhudevi.
She is also tolerant and patient, as all mothers are of her children. She willing accepts the Bhara, “load”, “pressure” placed on her by children through their deeds and misdeeds.
But Nature, of which she is also but a part of, will not be a silent observer for long. Nature has its way of getting back and when it does get back, it can be pretty harsh.
Anything that tampers with the sustainability of life and Nature on the earth will not be tolerated for long and will be eliminated naturally, to restore balance in Nature.
Bhu Bhara Haranam means to destroy that which creates a load, pressure on the earth.
Bhu Bhara Haranam in Context
This message is nothing new. We have had this message with us for the past 5100 years. Yet we do not pay sufficient heed to it.
Among other aspects, Krishna’s role has been to highlight this reality to us humans. But this message has been lost on us, as we are after all humans.
For how many individuals on this earth, are we able to identify and
discuss their purpose of life with such clarity, as we are able to do for
Why did we come to live here?
Who am I?
What is the purpose of life?
These have been eternal questions of mankind from time immemorial.
These far reaching soul searching questions, for which the answers seem elusive, have actually been answered. The answers to these questions were given by Krishna, to a troubled mind – his friend, cousin and brother-in-law Arjuna on the battlefield.
Bhagavad Gita Upadesha
These questions have been answered in a very lucid, easy to understand form, in the language of those times and these answers have held good for the last five thousand one hundred years.
Load off the Mind
Today, our minds are as troubled as Arjuna’s was, 5100 years ago.
Today, in the 21st century, everyday of our life that we lead, is itself the battlefield. Krishna’s answers are as much valid for us today if we contemporize it for our needs and situations today.
Bhu means to exist, to be. Bhara is stress, load. Haranam is to remove, destroy. The phrase Bhu Bhara Haranam in this context can also be seen as Krishna’s effort to educate mankind with the essence of life so that he can lead his life on the earth without the stress that relationships and situations can pose on a day to day basis.
Through this book we have tried to place beyond doubt the historicity of Krishna, thereby once and for all removing the tag of mythology given to the Mahabharata and establishing Krishna as one of the foremost historical heroes of this land.
We can now look up to Him as a genuine hero of the land. If He has been a hero for over 5000 years and has even been regarded as a divinity, both while alive as well as across all these millennia, then there must have been something to Him.
We need to experience this divine hero Krishna for ourselves along with the whole gamut of knowledge that He embodied.
We now need to make a personalized effort to understand Him, His qualities and His messages from a wholistic, profound perspective that the epic has conveyed, in the language of those times, without getting mired in literal or later interpretations of a few.
There are two key messages of Krishna that are essential for our life in this century, in this modern, complex world.
More on this in our book, Historical Krishna.