Krishna of the ‘Gita’ is grave and ponderous, while Krishna of the ‘Bhagavatam’ is utterly non-serious. Both are contradictory, much like life itself. That’s what makes Krishna a complete incarnation.
The mind would like to make a distinction between the Krishna of the Gita and the Krishna of the Bhagavatam. It is difficult for our intellect to harmonise the two Krishnas. The two seem to be so different, not only different but contradictory to each other. While the Gita’s Krishna is serious and ponderous and grave, the Krishna of the Bhagavatam is utterly non-serious. There seems to be no meeting ground between the two.
Either we have to separate them or we have to take Krishna to be a split personality, a person suffering from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disease which splits a single person into two disconnected and different personalities, behaving almost independently of each other. If you ask an historian to explain the paradox that Krishna is, the Krishna of the Gita and that of the Bhagavatam, he will say that he cannot be the same person; there are really two different Krishnas happening in two different times.
Abundance of Serenity
But I tell you I am not going to accept the opinion of Freud and the Freudians; I cannot accept that Krishna is a schizophrenic person. I say so for the simple reason that a schizophrenic person, a person with a split, fragmented mind, cannot attain the bliss that Krishna has. A mentally sick person who is multipsychic cannot have that peace, that silence, that serenity that Krishna possesses in abundance.
Nor am I going to agree with the historian, because his conclusion is based on the same reasons as the Freudian conclusion. He is not prepared to believe that a single person could play so many different roles diametrically opposed to each other. And so he concludes that quite a number of persons with the same name happened at different times, or maybe, even at the same time.
My own view is that with all these contradictions, there is only one Krishna, and that is his greatness and glory. Shorn of it, he becomes meaningless, insignificant. His significance, his greatness lies in the fact that he is all things together, all things rolled into one, all contradictions living hand in hand, and there is a great harmony in all his contradictions. He can play the flute and he can dance, and with the same ease he can fight his enemy in the battlefield with his Chakra, his wheel-like weapon. And there is no contradiction between the two roles. He can play pranks with the girls of his village, running away with their clothes when they are bathing in the river, and he can also make the most profound statements like in the Gita.
He can be a thief and a perfect together. Krishna is one person in so many diverse roles – and that is his grandeur, his glory. And this is the uniqueness of Krishna, his individuality. You will not find it in Rama, the Buddha, Mahavira, or Jesus Christ.
Krishna is a blending of contradiction, a beautiful synthesis of all contradictions. I say so for the reason that I don’t find these contradictions to be really contradictory. In fact, all of life’s truth is a blending, a synthesis of contradictions. The whole of life is based on contradictions, and there is no discordance in those contradictions; rather, there is full accord, absolute harmony among them.
A person who is a child today will grow into an old man – the same person, and there is no contradiction between the two stages. Can you say when you were a child and when you turned into a young man? You cannot. It would be difficult to draw a dividing line between youth and old age. In words, in language, they seem to be opposites. But are they really contradictory? Can you name the date when youth comes to an end and old age begins? It would be so difficult for you to answer this question. There is no such date; everyday youth is turning into old age. We can say that a young person is a would-be oldie, and that an oldie is one who has completed his youth. There is no other difference.
We think peace and ‘disturbancer’ are two different things. But are they really different? Where does peace end and disturbance begin? In the dictionary, peace and disturbance, happiness and suffering, life and death, have opposite meanings, but in real life it is peace that turns into disturbance, happiness that turns into suffering, life that turns into death. Again, in real life, disorder turns into order, suffering into happiness and death into life. In real life, light turns into darkness, morning turns into evening and day into night and vice versa.In real life plus and minus are not opposites. In real life, all seeming opposites are complementary, an interplay of one and the same energy. If we can see through this eternal harmony of life, its supreme, sublime music, its significance, then alone can we understand Krishna. That is why we call him the complete incarnation. He is a complete symbolisation of life; he represents life totally.
I am not concerned with Krishna’s historicity; it does not matter whether he really happened or did not. In my view, whenever someone is fulfilled, after he attains full flowering of life and being, he will necessarily become multidimensional, he will be many persons rolled into one. Whenever someone attains the totality of life, there will be a consistency in his inconsistencies, there will be a harmony in his contradictions. Whenever someone achieves the peak of life, the extremes of life will meet in him with perfect cohesion and unity. We may not see that unity because of our poor vision, but it is there.
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