Today is an occasion of celebration. 1100 types of food items have been prepared by our volunteers (referring to the occasion of Annakuta or Govardhana Puja, a day commemorating the day when Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhana and defeated Lord Indra). When we go deeper into knowledge, then everyday becomes a celebration. On the occasion of Janmashtami, there are a few things that Lord Krishna has said in the Bhagavad Gita that we should all remember.
The first thing that Lord Krishna has said is – ‘Come take total refuge in Me, and I shall liberate you from all your sins and negativity. You cannot free yourself from your sins by your own efforts’.
The second thing that He has said is – ‘See everyone in Me, and see Me alone in everyone’. It means to see everyone and everything as a manifestation of Lord Krishna. In the Gita, He says to Arjuna, ‘I am not a person (not limited to this physical body). I am a Shakti (divine power); I am Ananda (bliss). I reside in everyone, so see Me in everyone around you’. If we just remember these two things, then that is sufficient. One point pertains to Arjuna, while the second one is that of Devi Radha. Arjuna had to surrender and take refuge of the Lord, but Devi Radha did not have to do so, because she would see Lord Krishna everywhere and in everything around her. There was nothing else she could see. So we need to imbibe both these in our life.
Lord Krishna lifted the huge
Mount Govardhana entirely on
his little finger. ‘Go-’ means
knowledge, and knowledge is so
vast, like a huge mountain. But
one who has blossomed in
knowledge can lift even a huge
mountain very easily and
effortlessly, using just his
You all must have heard the story of how Lord Krishna lifted the huge Mount Govardhana entirely on his little finger. The (prefix) ‘Go-’ means knowledge, and knowledge is so vast, like a huge mountain. But one who has blossomed in knowledge can lift even a huge mountain very easily and effortlessly, using just his little finger. Can you lift anything with your little finger? You cannot actually lift anything using the little finger, isn’t it? But here, Lord Krishna lifted the entire Mount Govardhana using just his little finger. The word ¬Govardhana means that which enhances and augments our knowledge. So when we stand in the enclosure of knowledge, we receive a protection, a shield from the storm and the heavy rain (signifying misery and suffering). To shelter yourself from the miseries of the world, you must come under the protection of Mount Govardhana (knowledge), and by doing this you will continue to blossom, and progress more and more in knowledge.
The word ‘Go’ has four different meanings: Jnana (knowledge), Gaman (travel), Prapti (to receive) and Moksha (liberation). Gaman means to keep on moving ahead in life and not look back at the past. Prapti means to reflect upon all that you have received. When you look back at your life and reflect upon what you have received, you will realize that you have received nothing other than knowledge in your life (meaning: everything else received in life being momentary or temporary). When death comes before you, there will be only two questions to answer for yourself: one is how much knowledge have you received, and second is how much love have you given to everyone around you. That is all there is to the act of giving and receiving in life. In receiving, you have to reflect on how much knowledge have you received, and in giving you must see how much love have you shared with everyone. When such knowledge increases in your life, then that is what Prapti is. So all four of these: Jnana, Gaman, Prapti and Moksha come to you when you are under the protection of Govardhana, which the Lord lifted so simply with his little finger.
When Lord Krishna lifted the mountain, all his other Gwalas (cowherd friends) also stood with Him below the mountain and placed their bamboo sticks to lend support to the mountain. They wanted to feel that they too are a part of this and are contributing in some way. They too wanted to satisfy that sense of doership in them. The meaning from this is: we must not think since that God will do everything, why should we make any efforts? No, you too should make your efforts and put in your stick along with the others (contribute in upholding the mountain). God is anyway doing everything, but does not mean that you do not do anything and remain idle. No, you too have to contribute your efforts and place your stick under the mountain. So the deeper meaning here is that we must do our duty and what we need to do. Instead of being idle and negligent, we must become proactive and responsible. Doing this combines all the three together: Karma, Jnana and also Bhakti (devotion).
How is that so? To save oneself from misery and suffering, one cries out to the Lord for safety with a sense of love and faith, this is Bhakti. Placing your own stick under the mountain (making one’s efforts or doing one’s duty) is Karma Yoga. And knowing that the Lord is upholding everything and taking care is Jnana. All three are important in life.
Questions & Answers
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Gurudev, Lord Krishna started breaking the pots filled with butter in others’ houses because children did not get sufficient milk and butter at that time. The same situation is prevalent even today. What should we do?
Sri Sri: Well, the butter was stored in pots that were kept at a height and out of the children’s reach, which is why Lord Krishna would climb up and break the pots. This story is also a kind of symbolism. Today it is everyone’s duty to provide children with what they need.
Gurudev, which form of Lord Krishna is more important for the times of today: the one wielding the Sudarshana Chakra (the Lord’s divine discus); the one holding the flute; or the one upholding a chariot wheel by his hands?
Sri Sri: All of them are important and relevant for today. If there is no flute in life (meaning no music, singing etc.), then life becomes so dry and tasteless. And if one does not have bravery and valour (represented by the form of the Lord upholding a chariot wheel), then also one cannot accomplish anything in life. At the same time, the society must keep on running smoothly. When society stops functioning properly, then everything in country also comes to a standstill. All the businessmen are sad today. Many industrialists complain that their industries and businesses are in loss and have stopped. So this must not happen. They too should keep functioning smoothly. So you need someone to keep running it smoothly. And the Sudarshana Chakra is very important. So many Dushasanas (representing immoral and corrupt people) and Shakunis (representing fraudulent and criminal minded ones) are growing in numbers in our society today. They have to be shown their rightful place in society once again. Today there are so many Shishupalas (greedy and corrupt people) in our country, so the Sudarshana Chakra is very much needed in the times of today.
Gurudev, in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna has spoken about Ananya sharan bhaava (having a sense of total surrender to the Lord). Please speak a bit more about this. Also please explain what is meant by Gopi bhaava.
Sri Sri: Gopi bhaava is a feeling of innocence and deep love. The word Gopi means those who have soaked and drank the knowledge so completely and totally that nothing else remains. When one is so deeply immersed in knowledge, then only love remains. So in such a deep and heightened state, it is that intense love that gets expressed. When such a beautiful and intense feeling of love dawns in life; then that is said to be Gopi bhaava.