Lord Krishna has all the Divine and virtuous qualities that devotees seek in their beloved god, but he also delights his worshipers with the unexpected, time and time again. As a child he was delightfully mischievous and as an adolescent he was the beloved of the gopis, the cowherd girls. As a king he was the affectionate husband to thousands and as a guru, he deliberated some of his greatest lessons to humanity in the middle of a battlefield.
This omniscient and compassionate Hindu god, known for his out-of-this-world love for his devotees who know he lives in their hearts, was the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, the sustainer in the Hindu Trinity.
Vishnu manifested many times on earth in different human and animal forms, always with a much-needed purpose. It was in his eighth incarnation that he was born as the eighth child of Vasudeva and Devaki in India, and named Vaasudeva (Krishna). But his birth was no typical scenario. His parents were imprisoned by Devaki’s brother King Kansa, who had received the prophecy that he would die at the hands of his sister’s eighth child, causing him to lock her up in order to kill the infant upon his birth. Through Krishna’s divine powers, Vasudeva snuck him out of the prison, and gave him to foster parents in nearby Gokula.
We won’t go into all the details of this great incarnation here, as the glorious deeds of this divine manifestation require more room than is available in this blog, but we will say that his playful mischief became apparent in Gokula when, as a toddler, he was tireless in his pursuit for his favorite treat, home-churned butter.
Later, the love of the cow herd girls, or gopis, towards him could not be compared to anything other than Divine, as they would stop whatever they were doing at the sound of his melodious flute, in order to run to be in his presence. In the famous Rasa Lila, Krishna danced with each one of them in the forest at the same time.
Krishna’s precious time on earth was one lila after another that devotees revel in narrating. Lila is a Sanskrit term for ‘pastime’. As Prabhuji wrote in Yoga … Union with Reality:
“The illusory only seems real when we assign to it a specific aim and strive to achieve it. However, reality has no need for goals or aims to validate its existence. This is why the activities of Krsna are called lilas, or pastimes, actions which are free of any purpose, just as when we play. The temporal always has goals and reasons; the transient always searches for results and dies upon attaining them, disappears on reaching the goal. In contrast, the eternal just is.”
Devotees never tire of singing the names of Krishna, of which there are 108 describing the different stages of his incarnation and his divine qualities, and which purify the one who repeats them with devotion.
Radha-Krishna is the Ishta Devata, or main deity, of our guru Prabhuji, H.H. Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja. Radha is the name of the gopi with the greatest devotion to Krishna and is the dearest to him. The two of them together represent the highest forms of love and devotion. So it is fitting that several of the magical stick incense scents at Prabhuji’s Gifts are named after Krishna, such as the Bala Krishna, Shyam, Mukunda, Govinda, Gopala and Bhagavan. And of course, we have named one of our fragrances, containing the scent of a rose, after Krishna’s beloved Sri Radha. To read the 108 names of Sri Krishna click here