While the flavour of the season is Lord Rama and the entire country is currently soaked in his pious and sacred name, today is Krishna Janmashtami and while Lord Rama is having his moment under the sun thanks to laying of foundation of Ramjanmabhoomi Temple, Lord Krishna cannot be ignored, especially on his birth anniversary day.
Actually, while different parts of the country adore different Gods like Vaishnodevi in North, Ganpati in West, Ma Durga in East and Lord Murugan in South, Rama and Krishna are the two pillars of Hindu faith. I am told that Rama on stand-alone basis or as a prefix or suffix is the most popular name, followed probably by Krishna and his several names. While Namaste or Namaskar is our prescribed form of Greeting, I don’t know how many of us greet each other by saying Ram Ram, Jai Shri Ram or Jai Shri Krishna!
Both are incarnations of Lord Vishnu- Rama in treta yug and Krishna in Dwapar yug. Ram’s lifetime is vividly captured in Valmiki’s Ramayana or Tulsi’s Ramcharitamanas, Krishna’s colourful lifetime is resplendently explained in Mahabharat and Bhagvad. Lord Rama is Maryada Purushottam , an ideal man, who can do no wrong and is obedient, respectful, just, fair, straight and truthful, Krishna’s Leela’s are mystic. At times he appears scheming, trickster, naughty, diehard romantic, split personality et al, but there is a deeper hidden meaning in all his leelas.
There are two final thoughts that I would like to share with my readers on the occasion of Janmashtami. The first being a WhatsApp message that I received, which is very contextual. Corona virus tells Lord Krishna, “ I am a small virus but I have put locks at the gates of all your temples. How can people celebrate your birthday?”. Lord replies, “ You have rendered a great service dear Corona. By putting locks on thousands of temples, you have actually established millions of temples in the households of my millions of devotees.” A very beautiful thought! Second thought is what I read somewhere one of these days, where an author while explaining and comparing lives of Rama and Krishna concludes, “ While I want to be like Lord Rama, I like Lord Krishna.” This beautifully captures the essence of the two pillars. We should imbibe the qualities of the perfect man that’s Ram, but we can’t help loving the life, time and leelas of Lord Krishna. That’s what makes Janmashtami so special.
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!