Who is God? What is God? Is He a male or is She a female? Does He even exist? These questions about God have been repeatedly asked by philosophers from different cultures since time immemorial. Though the response varies even amongst those who accept the existence of God, they can be generalized into 3 broad categories:
1) God is the supreme power. This concept includes the idea that God is the supreme light; God is the supreme consciousness and God is a formless and impersonal entity.
2) God is omnipresent. This concept is similar to the first, but it emphasizes the fact that God is everywhere at the same time.
3) God is the supreme person, with a personality.
“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”(Bhagavad-Gita 10.8)
However, the Vedic literatures continue to teach us that one who approaches God as the Supreme person automatically understands the other features of God. The feature of God as the supreme power and the feature of God as being all pervasive are subsets of the personality of God. That is to say, just as intelligence, strength and creativity are features of an ordinary person, the different facets of God mentioned above are contained in His personality. While having personality, He is also present everywhere and is the supreme power. This personality of God is Lord Sri Krishna as He is established as such in the Vedic scriptures.
From the time of His birth till the time He departed 125 years later, Krishna revealed His yogic powers through a series of miracles. He restored the life of His guru’s son and the life of Parikshit while he was still in his mother’s womb. He lifts the Govardhana mountain to shelter the inhabitants of the village from a devastating rain, swallows the forest fire, creates a new set of friends and cows when the original go missing and cures Trivakra of her disfigurement.
“For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of Dharma, I am born from age to age.”(Bhagavad Gita, 4.8)
The establishment of dharma on a firm footing remained almost an obsession with Krishna to the very end. And dharma, truth and God have come to be accepted as synonymous. Dharma outweighed every other consideration with Krishna. With this in view, he befriended the righteous and implemented even somewhat questionable stratagems now and then to achieve his main objective. As God, he merely transcended (not transgress) moral law but only whenever the occasion demanded it especially when prudishness would have defeated his goal. He admonished, chastised, rebuked and corrected, with a short sermon here and there but otherwise remained at the background in matters not concerning him directly, allowing other good men to shape the course of destiny, but occasionally removing an obstruction here or lending a hand there.
His desperate efforts for peace between the embittered cousins stamp him as a statesman of the highest order. By this clarity and breath-taking eloquence at the Kaurava court, he pointed out to the world the calamities of war and that every effort for peace should be made, failing which only, a righteous war would be justified for the upholding of dharma. His wiles, advice and strategy as an unarmed charioteer mark him as the greatest tactician of all time.
To the very end, he lived the teachings of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita and the other Holy Scriptures. At Kurukshetra, Krishna assumes his full stature as the Guardian of the Cosmic Law when, as the Charioteer of the Soul (Arjuna), he delivers the Sermon of the Gita which has immortalized him all over the world for all time.
While Krishna has been acclaimed by all Hindus as Purnavathara, millions worship him as God Himself. He is declared as the supreme personality of God by all the Vedic scriptures and great acharyas such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madva, Sri Chaitanya, Sri Ragavendra and Sri Shankara.
“Sri Krishna’s life is the Bhagavad Gita in action”
- Swami Sivananda
“Sri Krishna is much greater than any idea of God you or I can have”
- Swami Vivekananda
“……………….. But there is another side to this heroic figure, more difficult for the modern mind to grasp; it is the spiritual aspect, the form of the Divine Child, the Lord of Love and Life, the Universal Soul revealing himself to the individual soul as the spouse and Lover of Earth”
- Annie Besant