Episode # 258 – A run-up to the tenth “Skandha” – Differences between Bhagawan Rama’s & Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnations!!!

The previous episode witnessed the commencement of the all-important tenth “Skandha” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, wherein Sage Sukhaachaarya had concluded the previous “Skandha” with just a “brief” description of Bhagawan Krishna’s birth. As King Parikshit was listening to this keenly, he wanted to know more about what are the various incidents that conspired during Bhagawan Krishna’s birth, and henceforth, what are the various divine “Leelas” that Bhagawan Krishna did throughout His lifetime of around 120 years that He lived in this world. Accordingly, upon hearing King Parikshit’s request, Sage Sukhaachaarya thus devotes the entire tenth “Skandha” in describing all the minute details of Bhagawan Shri Krishna’s incarnation. When I use the term “minute details” here, it signifies every possible incident of Bhagawan Krishna’s life – His laughter, His cries, His divine plays, His important messages to this world, His birth, His childhood days, His crawling, His walking, His running, His winking of eyes to call someone, His clapping of hands to convey something, etc.

Thus, King Parikshit prepares himself for the “main course” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. Till this time, he has only listened to all the “starters”! 😊 Now it is time for him to enjoy the main course of Bhagawan’s divine stories, and Sage Sukhaachaarya begins thus. But before we commence the tenth “Skandha”, we should understand certain important things – This entire tenth “Skandha” is, as discussed above, an extremely huge “Skandha” with respect to the number of “Slokas” and also with regards to the number of incidents that Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to narrate. Hence, this “Skandha” can be sub-divided into two broad divisions – The “Poorva-Ardham” and the “Utthara-Ardham”, which translates into English as “First half” and “Second half” respectively. The first half deals with the entire childhood days of Bhagawan Krishna, right from His birth, His days at Gokula as a child of Yashoda and Nandagopa, His divine plays with all His friends, etc. till the stage where He goes to the “Gurukula” for His formal education. The Second half commences with the important and interesting “Charitra” of the Raakshasa called “Muchukunda” and how was he killed by Bhagawan Krishna. Subsequently, we’re going to witness how the Raakshasa called “Jaraasandha” try to invade Mathura with a huge army and subsequently how Bhagawan Krishna moved all His people to the Dwaraka city, which is a famous place today also, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. From Dwaraka, Bhagawan Krishna goes to the city of Kundinipura to marry Rukmini Devi.

If we witness on a lighter note, a gross difference exists between the way how Bhagawan Krishna’s “Charitra” is described in detail and the way in which Bhagawan Rama’s “Charitra” is described in detail. If we’ve to witness the “Krishna-Charitra”, the first ten years of Bhagawan Krishna’s life takes about 15,000 slokas to describe! If we combine the slokas of Shri Vishnu Puraana, Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, Mahabharata, etc. we would be able to witness the amount of minute detail and significance given to Bhagawan Krishna’s childhood! However, there might not be many slokas to describe what Bhagawan Krishna did after He grew up. Perhaps if we integrate all slokas from all of the texts that I had mentioned above, we might hardly get 1000-2000 slokas!

Whereas on the contrary, if we look at the Valmiki Ramayana, Bhagawan Rama’s childhood gets over within the same “Sarga” of the “Baala Kaanda”. We’ve already witnessed this during our Ramayana project, and readers can recollect it from our Ramayana episodes. Valmiki Maharishi rushes through Bhagawan Rama’s first 12-year period of His child within hardly 17 slokas! In the same “Sarga” where Bhagawan Rama takes birth, we would see that Sage Vishwaamitra is entering King Dasharata’s palace to take Rama to Mithilapuri. Of course, after Bhagawan Rama’s marriage, there are around 22,000 slokas in the Valmiki Ramayana to describe Bhagawan Rama’s life incidents thereafter.

So what we’ve to understand here is that, for Bhagawan Rama, His significance lies when He grows up. Whereas for Bhagawan Krishna, His significance lies when He was a child. One way of looking at this difference is that, the purpose of Shri Rama-Avatara was to exhibit and illustrate all sorts of “Anushtaanas” (duties) that a human being should follow in His / Her life. During His entire lifetime, Bhagawan Rama conveyed innumerable messages to the world, by following “every line in the book of Dharma”. Whereas, the purpose of Shri-Krishna-Avatara was “Anubhava”. In other words, to attain several higher stages of Bhakti, we should be able to “experience” Bhagawan. This experience forms the fundamental requirement for all of us to even think of Bhagawan during our prayers, which would lead us to spiritual growth. If we can imagine Bhagawan in the form of a small child standing in front of us with a handsome smile, our minds get attracted much quicker towards Bhagawan isn’t it – Rather than imagining Bhagawan in the form of the Sun, Moon, “Aakasha” (Sky), etc. These are abstract objects, which our minds would find difficult to capture, and hence, Bhagawan wanted to give all of us a beautiful experience of portraying Him in the form of a beautiful child. This is why Bhagawan Krishna’s childhood days assume lot of significance.

So with this background, let us ready ourselves for listening to what Sage Sukhaacchaarya is going to narrate to all of us about little Krishna! Let us understand this significance of Bhagawan Krishna for today and we shall wait till the next episode to witness how our baby Krishna is going to attract all people in Gokula towards Him! Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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