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Spiritual Symbolism Of Lord Sri Krishna’s Tales

By Subodini Menon

Lord Sri Krishna is for many the ultimate god. The eighth avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu is benevolent and loving towards his devotees. It is said that Lord Sri Krishna's love for his devotees is so great that even if his devotees forget him, he waits patiently for them to remember him, just as a mother would wait for her child's return.

Lord Sri Krishna is different from the other gods and goddess of the Hindu pantheon. The other deities are bound to their aura and personalities. But Lord Sri Krishna is multifaceted and his personality knows no bounds.

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Each aspect of his story teaches us something new. If we look closer at his story and personality, there are a lot of spiritual lessons that can be learnt. Today, we bring you some of the hidden signs and secrets of Lord Sri Krishna's tales.


There Is No One Kind Of Bhakti

When we look back at the famous devotees of the past, we see the varied forms of bhakti. In the mythology, Gopikas loved the Lord as a lover. He was a friend to Sudama. He was a close confidant, friend, brother and protector to Draupadi.

In more recent times, we see Meera Bai who loved the Lord and defied her family for him. Kurur Amma of Kerala chided and scolded him as she would do her son. It is said that he once even appeared as a bull to a believer who was Muslim by religion.

This teaches us that form is irrelevant in bhakti. Worship him as anyone or anything and he will be there for you.


Symbolism Of Krishna's Avatar

The very word avatar is the combination of two Sanskrit words - ‘Ava' which means arrival and ‘Tara' which means star. He was born in a period torn with chaos. Kamsa is the embodiment of the chaos and evil of that time.

Kamsa put Krishna's parents in prison. It is said that the prison had many gates that were meant to keep the prisoners inside. They were bound by chains and were guarded by many men.

The parents are symbolic of the soul; the gates and the other obstructions stand for the many barriers that keep us away from the Almighty and stand in the way of enlightenment.

No matter how strong the barriers were, the Lord still took birth in the prison cell. The guards, the chains and the iron bars couldn't stop the Chaitanya of Lord Sri Krishna from escaping into the world.


The Six Brothers Of Lord Sri Krishna That Escaped

The story of Lord Sri Krishna tells us that Kamsa killed six of Lord Sri Krishna's brothers who were born prior to his birth. There is symbolism here too.

It is said that Devaki once asked Krishna to bring her dead children back just so that she could see them. They were named Smara, Udgitha, Parisvanga, Patanga, Ksudrabhrt and Ghrni. They stand for the various senses of a human being. Smara is memory, Udgitha is speech, Parisvanga is hearing and so on.

After they were killed, Krishna was born. This tale interprets to him being born once all the senses are gone or in other words, conquered.


The Blue Colour Of The Lord And His Yellow Clothes

Sri Krishna is often depicted as blue or the colour of rain laden clouds. This colour is representative of the universe or the ether. The yellow colour stands for earth. The combination of the blue body and yellow clothes shows us that the Lord is everything, the sky and the earth. His omnipresence can also be interpreted in this explanation.


The Vastra Haran

The story of Vastra Haran tells us the incident where the Lord steals the clothes of the Gopikas while they are bathing. It represents the Lord Sri Krishna removing ahamkara or ego from his devotees. It was only when they surrendered to him that he returned the clothes to the women.


The Love Affair Of The Gopikas

The love of the Gopikas was unique. It was intense and some say that the devotion was laced with physical longing. But the Gopikas were married and were responsible for their households. They were mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. They went through the day's monotonous chores with the thought of the Lord in their minds all the time.

This story teaches us that we do not need to renounce everything to be loved by the Lord. Our responsibilities and daily duties need not become obstacles in the path of spiritual awakening.


The Love Of Radha And Sri Krishna

Radha represents the ‘Atman' and the Lord represents the ‘Paramatman'. The longing of Radha for Sri Krishna is what the Atman feels for the Paramatman. But they are separated though they both think of each other constantly.

In the separation, the Atman has to go through its mortal duties and wait for the day that it can meet the Paramatman. But the truth is that Krishna is incomplete without Radha and vice versa. Just the same way, the Atman and the Paramatman are incomplete without each other.


Krishna Doesn’t Participate In The War Of Mahabharata

It is a known fact that Lord Sri Krishna didn't participate in the war of Mahabharata. Instead he chose to be the charioteer for Arjuna. But like Barbaik said at the end of the war, it was all Krishna. Everyone he saw appeared as Krishna. The one who died was him, the one who killed was him. Every strategy was his doing.

This can be explained for Lord Sri Krishna may not actively transform our lives directly, but he is omnipresent and omniscient. He leads us in our life like he led the chariot of Arjuna. As Karma, he presents bad to the evil and blesses the righteous.

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    Read more about: lord sri krishna
    Story first published: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 17:00 [IST]
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