Sunday, May 10, 2015

Protecting Delicate Things

[Krishna with Trinavarta]“With Krishna grasping him by the throat, Trinavarta choked, unable to make even a sound or even to move his hands and legs. His eyes popping out, the demon lost his life and fell, along with the little boy, down to the ground of Vraja.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.7.28)

gala-grahaṇa-niśceṣṭo
daityo nirgata-locanaḥ
avyakta-rāvo nyapatat
saha-bālo vyasur vraje

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Having the most delicate features and showing the body of an innocent, affectionate, and playful child, Shri Krishna was under great protection in the sacred land of Gokula. Mother Yashoda offered the protection for the majority of the time, but the neighboring mothers kept a watchful eye also. The entire community viewed Krishna as their child, as who wouldn’t be drawn to the all-attractive features possessed exclusively by the Supreme Personality of Godhead? That tiny boy with delicate features, who was protected by all, once took down a formidable whirlwind all by Himself, showing once again the inconceivable potency that can only belong to God.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu describes the relationship between the sparks of spirit and the storehouse of spirit as achintya-bhedabheda-tattva. For starters, there is division. The word bheda here means that the two objects being compared are not entirely the same. God is great and we are somewhat great. God never takes birth and never dies. The same goes for us spirit souls, but externally we go through this cycle in the material world.

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)

For God there is no distinction between matter and spirit, but for us there certainly is. Indeed, we have God living inside of us. We are parts and parcels of God. What’s keeping us from realizing these things is maya, or the illusory material nature. Thus we make distinctions such as youth and old age, friend and enemy, man and woman, human and animal, and at the foundational level, body and spirit.

The word “abheda” is also included. This is the negation of “bheda.” There is a lack of division as well. We are the same as God in quality. Like the drop of ocean water is the same in constitutional makeup as the ocean, we are samples of God; while the original is the sum collection of all samples. The analogy is not entirely accurate, as if you take enough drops of ocean water, you eventually get the whole ocean. The same is not the case for the Supreme Lord, who though expanding still remains complete in Himself.

The “achintya” term at the beginning means that the relationship is inconceivable. We have no way of fully comprehending this simultaneous oneness and difference between the living entities and the Supreme Spirit. We can try our best, exhaust every mental channel, but we don’t really know how something can be the same and different at the same time. It’s like how we can’t fathom the infinite nature of time and space. This is a limitation of the human mind.

The same combination of oneness and difference exists in the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. In Gokula a long time ago, He appeared in the body of a small child. We know that children grow. That is the hope anyway; as long as there are no health problems growth should take place. Krishna was healthy, and so in His childhood everyone enjoyed taking care of Him.

[iPhone case]He had very delicate features. Naturally, we protect delicate things. Think of the new smartphone that you purchase after waiting for hours in line outside the store on the first day that the product goes to market. The phone can do all of these amazing things, and so it is quite expensive. One slip up and the device can break. So you make sure to protect it by purchasing a case. You get one that is sturdy, durable and yet not too bulky as to interfere with basic functionality.

We protect expensive porcelain by placing it in a safe area in the house. Important documents get sealed and protected in a similar way. The original Constitution of the United States of America is written on paper, which is so delicate that a light breeze can blow it away. Therefore it is protected all the time, enough so that it gets preserved for future generations, hundreds of years after it is written.

The residents of Gokula provided such protection for Krishna, but sometimes the enemies of God seemed to break through. This occurred one time with the enemy named Trinavarta. He had the special ability to turn into a whirlwind. It seems ridiculous and something out of mythology, but through black magic and mysticism it is possible to do such amazing things.

Still, God is always more amazing. Though taken high into the sky by Trinavarta, Krishna suddenly became too heavy for the fiend to carry. For a powerful windstorm, a baby is no big deal. These storms take down tall trees and buildings, which weigh much more. There is the inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and difference in Krishna, so while He is in the form of a child He is still an adult. While He is baby Krishna, He is still the powerful Narayana, from whom the creation emanates.

[Krishna with Trinavarta]Trinavarta fell to the ground and died due to baby Krishna. He got his just reward, his punishment for mistaking Krishna to be someone who could find defeat. The same inconceivable potency exists in the sound expansion of God. Though lacking a perceivable form, Krishna’s name is as powerful as Him, and the proof is in its ability to rescue fallen souls from the darkness of ignorance. Therefore the reformed souls of this age, who are the wisest as well, always chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Baby form of Krishna the name,

To Supreme Lord Narayana the same.

 

Peace of Vrindavana’s residents shook,

When baby into air Trinavarta took.

 

Mistake in thinking He was weak,

Through Lord fiend his justice to meet.

 

Same potency in holy name coming,

Through chanting even lowest reformed becoming.

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