What should we do in this ‘materialistic’ world where sensual delights are alluring our minds all the time? Irresistible is money with its myriad avatars. A beauty-conscious world that scratches its head for days to make a nail tip beautiful is equally seductive. Tasty foods are aplenty and hard to ignore. Sensual pleasures are inviting and mocking our resistance. The mind is oscillating here and there and it seems to be at the edge of its surrender to these hyperactive senses. What should I do? Should I surrender or should I resist? Here we bow down to D. V.
Krishna led a simple life, possibly due to his humble beginnings. While much has been made of his expensive clothes by latter day scholars, the texts don’t give any indication of it. His clothes were yellow in color (पीताम्बर) – perhaps he wore that as a contrast to his dark skin. His ornaments were minimal; he adorned himself with a garland of wild flowers and a peacock feather on his diadem.
It appears the concept of rta is multifold:
Krishna grew up in Gokula with cowherds and was a true ‘son of the soil.’ From his earliest days, he developed a close connection with nature. He learnt to respect the environment even as a child. There is an episode in the Bhagavata Purana where he paid respect to the great Banyan tree (BP 10.22). He respected a tree, a cow, a human being. He respected the whole of creation. Even when he fought against the great snake Kaliya, Krishna didn’t kill him; instead he rehabilitated him (BP 10.16-17). He played the flute with great virtuosity.
There are a few rare individuals who don’t have a ‘formative age’ – they seem to be born complete. They are born with wisdom. They don’t require an internal evolution, for they are already evolved. They don’t need any enhancements. Krishna is one such person. While Krishna’s childhood antics are described in detail, we don’t know his thought process during his early years. What we can see, however, is that right from the start he was one who embraced life with its ups and downs. He accepts life choicelessly; good and bad outcomes don’t bother him (BG 2.50).
Professor M. Hiriyanna is one of the little-known scholar-giants who gifted us new insights, and corrected thriving misconceptions in Indian philosophy. The title of this post is derived from his 1939 Indian Philosophical Congress lecture bearing the same title.
For many of us, Krishna is the epitome of sanatana dharma. His every thought, word, and action embodies the spirit of Hinduism. It is no surprise that his wartime counsel to Arjuna is revered as the greatest summary of Hindu thought. We can never be sure if Krishna spoke the exact words of the Bhagavad-Gita as we know it today, but it seems likely that at least the core message of the text was spoken by Krishna. We have all been in situations where a despondent friend has asked us for advice.
An exploration into three fundamental but interrelated concepts in Indian philosophy: dharma (principle of sustenance), brahma (or brahman; Supreme spirit that pervades everything) and rasa (the aesthetic experience). While dharma is an efficient tool for managing life, rasa bridges the material and the spiritual, and brahma is the all-encompassing absolute.