In Hindu mythology Vishnu took ten avatars on earth. Each birth had a purpose and role to fulfill, and it was the ninth avatar that left an indelible mark on mankind. Krishna.
Rarely has any person – natural or super natural ever been remembered for touching and transforming lives in so many ways as Krishna did.
Super Natural: I recollect a learned person pointing out that Krishna is the only one who is worshipped even in the child form. Krishna showed very early signs of being super natural and his feats became the talk of the town. His first mission was to get rid of his maternal uncle who was responsible for slaying seven of his siblings. Through his mischievous escapades and his childish manoeuvres to quench his insatiable love for butter, he exposed his human weakness that made him endearing to all.
Eternal Lover: To account tales of romance of Gods is virtually taboo but Krishna’s romanticism is revealed through the countless tales where he enchants the village gopis with his flute and the eternal bond of love with Radha has been an inspiration to many. Once again we witness his natural human traits which he makes no attempt to supress. He showed you can rise in love too.
Friends Forever: That he understood the meaning of friendship and didn’t let time or wealth dilute it over the passage of time is revealed in the Sudama episode. Rushing to welcome him personally on learning of his arrival, guessing his discomfort of revealing the real reason behind his visit, he quietly makes sure his friend’s visit is fruitful. True friends understand even when their friend hasn’t spoken and their actions are remembered, not words.
Statesman and Strategist: Through his life Krishna showed his prowess as a master strategist as he plotted his moves and moved the pieces to his advantage. Never using force or authority he cajoled people to do what would get him to the results he wanted. One instance was asking Duryodhan whether it would be appropriate to wear a loin cloth rather than go fully nude in front of his mother ensured the vulnerability that he was looking for. You can win people over without getting under.
Right Side: If you decide that you will be on the right side there’s nothing left to ponder about. Krishna always chose to be on the right side of truth irrespective of his relations and affiliations. Though he was equally related to the Kauravas he chose to side with the Pandavas because he believed they were right. His brother Balrama was inclined to be with the opposition but he tactfully kept him disengaged during the war. Backing your convictions and beliefs will always keep you on the right side, rather than taking sides.
Protector: While Krishna slayed many demons and cleansed the world of people with evil designs he is remembered to come to the rescue in times of absolute need. Answering the prayers of Draupadi he saved her when she was being humiliated by being disrobed publicly. When Krishna’s antidote to Ashwathama’s brahmshastra posed a challenge to the child in the womb of Uttara, he protected his life. He taught us to be rock solid behind people who we care for.
While there are countless reasons to remember Krishna, there are three that top my mind.
At the break of war two cousins approached him for his help. To them he offered two options – they could either choose his army, weaponry and resources, or him. And as they say, the rest is history. That a single individual can indeed make such a huge difference and impact the outcome is unparalleled in the annals of history. Each human being has an unlimited potential packed at time of manufacture. After it leaves the factory, it is up to the user to make the best of it.
Whenever I see the pyramids of people celebrating Dahi Handi on his birthday, I am overwhelmed by the simplicity with which it teaches people, teamwork. Aiming higher is always on everyone’s mind but only with the right talent; in the right formation and working together can you achieve it. Did Krishna anticipate this practice would live for so many years? With his envious record of anticipation, it is difficult to rule it out. Having a common purpose is the key rather than working at cross purposes.
If mankind has to live by the leaves of a single book, they have not to look beyond the Bhagwad Gita. It is a book that doesn’t teach business or personal life but offers lessons on life. Every page in the book is a condensed lesson which a single life cannot comprehend. And this humble preaching to Arjun has become the bedrock of motivation and guidance for humans to lead their lives.
The beauty of Krishna’s life was that despite being super human he lived his life humanly. His various forms touched people and transformed them. Each one loved a different Krishna. To some he was the prankster in his childhood and to some the lover. To friends he was a saviour in need, and someone to count on, in a crisis. To the world he showed the path, guided people, and motivated them to move their chariot of life. Through his various forms he transformed lives.