Episode # 139 – Why do Puraanas focus on the “Krishna-Avatara” more than the “Rama-Avatara”? A discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Bhagawan Vishnu’s robust planning process for the upcoming Krishna-Avatara in this world. We had seen how Bhagawan Vishnu took out two hair strands from His forehead – One was black in color and the other one being whitish, and threw them down. The black hair strand was to incarnate as Bhagawan Krishna and the white one was to incarnate as Bhagawan Balarama. In due course of the yesterday’s episode, we had also witnessed a very interesting question as to why great sages like Sage Paraashara in this case of Shri Vishnu Puraana and Sage Sukhaachaarya in the case of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana laid so much of emphasis on this Krishna-Avatara, and not much on the previous Rama-Avatara, which was also equally important. We had witnessed in our previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project that Sage Sukhaachaarya had mentioned to King Parikshit to go and read Valmiki Ramayana for more information on the Rama-Avatara. However, he could have easily said that King Parikshit should go and refer to Sage Veda Vyaasa’s Mahabharata text or some other text for Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation. Or, Sage Sukhaachaarya could have easily said to King Parikshit that he could refer to the Shri Vishnu Puraana text for a detailed accord of the Krishna-Avatara, which is written by his own father nonetheless! We’ve already seen that Sage Sukhaachaarya was the son of Sage Paraashara, isn’t it? Hence, Sage Sukhaachaarya could have easily pointed out references to his father’s text. Yet, why did he devote the entire “Dashama-Skandha” in his Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text for explaining the Krishna-Avatara in detail? Why did Sage Paraashara devote the entire fifth “Amsa” here for Bhagawan Krishna? Let us see some possible answers today. 

We’ve witnessed earlier as well that Bhagawan Krishna’s childhood days are worth an experience for any “Bhakta” (Ardent devotee). No matter whether Bhagawan is an epitome of “Dharma”, or He would punish those who walk the path of “Adharma”, etc., these are all known facts for all of us. However, if we’ve to imagine Bhagawan in such a way everyday during our prayers, we would only gain more and more fear towards Bhagawan, for all the wrongdoings that we’re doing every passing day. Whereas, if we can imagine and portray Bhagawan as a small and an innocent little child, it gives us an opportunity to develop love and affection towards Bhagawan isn’t it? In this way, it would be easier for us to relate to Bhagawan more easily isn’t it? This is perhaps the reason why lot of emphasis is given to Bhagawan Krishna, as there are innumerable episodes and narratives to describe His childhood days! 

However, if we look at Bhagawan Rama’s Ramayana text, there is very little or no mention at all about Bhagawan Rama’s childhood days. If we look at Valmiki Ramayana’s “Bala Kanda”, Valmiki Bhagawan explains that Bhagawan Rama was born to King Dasharata and Kaushalya Devi and within just 23 to 24 slokas, Sage Vishwamithra makes his way into King Dasharata’s palace. Sage Vishwamithra’s entry happens when Bhagawan Rama was 12 years old. Thus we can see here that, to explain the first 12 years of Bhagawan Rama’s life, it took just 23 slokas. The entire Ramayana story starts only after Bhagawan Rama gets older. Whereas, this is not the case with Bhagawan Krishna. To explain the first 10 years of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna, it takes a minimum of around 10,000 slokas, if we combine the Alwars’, Acharyas’ works, Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana (Dashama Skandha) and Shri Vishnu Puraana (Fifth Amsa). 

We might again ask this question – Why is this partiality towards Bhagawan Rama? There is no partiality here – We should realize here that the purpose behind every incarnation of Bhagawan is different for different incarnations. Whereas, for Bhagawan Krishna, it was to give this childhood experience to devotees, Bhagawan Rama’s main agenda was to act as a role model in following all the various aspects of “Dharma”, as written in the Vedas and Upanishads. Hence, if one has to follow all the “Dharma” principles as per the book, it can be done only after getting older, isn’t it? For instance, Bhagawan Rama set the ball rolling for the “Dharma” of how to behave as a son to a father, how to behave as an elder brother to a younger brother, how to behave as a husband for a wife, etc. All these could be illustrated only at a certain age, and not during childhood. Whereas, Bhagawan Krishna’s agenda was different – He purposefully wanted to give that childhood experience to His ardent devotees and thus, we have so much of prominence to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna. 

However, we should understand that Bhagawan Krishna lived for the next 120 years. There aren’t many narratives about Him after His childhood days are over. Even in the Bhaagawatha Puraana, the childhood narratives occupied a prime stage in the Dashama Skandha. However, once Bhagawan Krishna left Mathura to Dwaraka, there aren’t many incidents to narrate, except for few like the “Rukmini-Kalyana”, Bhagawad Gita, the role that He played for the victory of the Paandavas, etc. Thus, we can clearly see here that the purpose of the Krishna-Avatara is grossly different than that of the Rama-Avatara, and it is for this reason, both Sage Paraashara and Sage Sukhaachaarya laid more emphasis on the Krishna-Avatara. The main purpose of the Puraanas, as we’ve witnessed in our earlier episodes, is to serve as an aid for devotees to attain the highest “Moksha” in the easiest possible way. The easiest possible way is to portray Bhagawan as a loving innocent child, and this is the reason why Bhagawan Krishna is of prime focus in both these Puraana texts. 

So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and let us wait till the next episode to continue with Sage Paraashara’s beautiful description of how Bhagawan Krishna incarnated in this world! 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 International School of Business & Media, Pune, 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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