Global Studies 2A:Comparative Political and Religious Systems
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Reflection Paper: How is Krishna and God similar?
“Our bodies are known to end, but the embodied self is enduring, indestructible, and immeasurable; therefore, Arjuna, fight the battle! He who thinks this self a killer and he who thinks it killed, both fail to understand; it does not kill, nor is it killed. It is not born, it does not die; having been, it will never not be; unborn, enduring, constant, and primordial, it is not killed when the body is killed… As a man discards worn-out clothes to put new and different ones, so the embodied self discards its worn-out bodies to take on other new ones” (Gita, page 32:18-22). Through this quote Krishna explains the divinity of the soul and its sacred duty.
Krishna has knowledge of concepts and subjects of such significance and beyond of the example of the quote previously expressed. Such knowledge and connection with the divine level, associates Krishna with a more of an elite level consciousness and being than most people in any universe.
“Arjuna, see my forms in hundreds and thousands; diverse, divine, of many colors and shapes. See the sun gods, gods of light, howling storm gods, twin gods of dawn, and gods of wind, Arjuna, wondrous forms not seen before. Arjuna, see all the universe, animate and inanimate, and whatever else you wish to see; all stands here as one in my body. But you cannot see with your own eye: I will give you a divine eye to see the majesty of my discipline” (Gita, page 98, 5-8). It is learned in this quote, that Krishna in fact is physically, mentally, etc. from a higher dimension. It is apparent that Krishna and his state of being is too powerful for the common conscious eye to see. “By devotion alone can I, as I really am, be known and seen and entered into, Arjuna. Acting only for me, intent on me, free from attachment, hostile to no creature, Arjuna, a man of devotion comes to me” (Gita, pages 108-109, 54-55). One must have and know devotion and self discipline to know and see Krishna. Krishna hints at other Buddhist concepts such as the worlds and universes being one unified being, such as when he says “know and seen and entered into (me, Krishna)… hostile to no creature.” Krishna means that once Arjuna (or anyone, knows and has seen the ultimate truth, justice, and has achieved this ultimate state of consciousness and enlightenment, they will become one with Krishna, or conscious of their role and purpose in the unified body or universe.
These concepts dealing with Krishna can be paralleled to the commonly preconceived ‘God.’ God, can be understood or represented as truth/justice and the ultimate truth (which may have very much to do with truth/justice yet thou does not know the ultimate truth), few know the ultimate truth/truth/justice meaning they do not know ’God,’ but still God is present.
Simply because no one or not many people know the ultimate truth (encompassing justice) does mean it does not exist. For example, people who do not take action or are practice many inactions concerning their well being, undesirable things are not going to avoid them simply because they believe ’God’ is good and he/it would not let something bad happen to them because they are good and ‘God’ is good.
So, understanding that ’God’ exists whether or not people recognize it or not, parallels extremely well with Krishna. Like the ultimate truth, no one or very few people know the ultimate truth (which can be understood as God), no one or very few people know Krishna. A good example of this is when Krishna states that everything is apart of him but he is not in everything, many do not know him, yet nothing would exist without him because he is everything even though very few know him; yet he does not cease to exist and he does not cease to have life and everything else exist.
Knowing Krishna and the ultimate truth is the journey of enlightenment. Realizing that Krishna is the ultimate truth is only one connection of millions that needs to be made because one still has to make the long journey. This journey demands intense devotion and self discipline. Through immense actions and inactions Krishna/God can be known.