Myths created about Krishna
According to staunch Hindus every day is a festival howsoever small or big one. Only exception is Pitru Paksha in Kunwaar month (dark fortnight of the Ashwin month) of Vikram Samvat calendar in which there is no festivities. Some celebrate Deepawali, some Holi, some Navratras, some Ganesh Chaturthi, and some Maha Shivratri with religious fervour. Few others celebrate Ram Navmi and Janamashtami and wait for these festivals whole year.
Two days earlier I witnessed Janamashtami in ISKCON Delhi, it is biggest festival for ISKCON people. What surprises me is that no one is interested in reading holy scriptures like Mahabharata or Vedas but they tend to apotheosis Krishna as Lord Krishna or misspelt Krsna (even Microsoft word recognises it as a bad spelling) as a supreme Godhead. But friends wait have a look on what is written in Mahabharata. Krishna was a Shiva devotee like other characters in Mahabharata.
Text is from Vyasa’s Mahabharatam by Bharadvaja Sarma, page no. 746-747, “Anusasana Parva – The Book of Precepts, Chapter I, (f) Boon obtained by Krishna from Shiva and Parvati”
Yudhisthira said to Bhishma, “Grandfather, you know all the names and attributes of the lord of the world, the great god Shankara (another name of Shiva). I would very much like to hear those names.” And Bhishma said, “I am not really competent to do that. Sitting with us here is Vasudeva; Krishna himself. Once he propitiated the great god by doing penance at the hermitage in Vadarika. He alone is capable of telling us all about him.” Bhishma then requested Krishna to recount the greatness of Shiva. And Krishna said, “Even the illustrious gods like Brahma and Indra and eminent sages do not know all about the manifold qualities of the great god – let alone men. I can only touch on this vast subject.”
Krishna then purified himself by touching water and began his discourse on the great god Shiva.
“Long ago I had the privilege of seeing him in person. My wife Jambavati once asked me, “Give me a son as desirable as any of the sons you have given Rukmini. You have given her as many as eight – Charudsena, Sucharu, Charuvesa, Yasodhara, Charusrava, Charuyasa, Pradyumna and Sambhu. Give me just one like any one of them.”
To fulfil her wish I took leave of my father and mother, the king Ahuka and my brother Balarama and then riding my mount Garuda I came to the Himalayas and then dismissing Garuda I found my way through lovely surroundings to the forest retreat of a sage called Upamanyu, son of the great sage Byaghrapada and told him about the purpose of my visit. He said, “You can accomplish your purpose by worshipping the great god Shiva. He is at the present moment living close by together with his consort Parvati. You know, Krishna, when I was mere a boy, I wanted very much to have a taste of a delicious dish prepared with milk and rice and I asked my mother to give it to me. And she prepared for me a dish with flour and water which barely resembled milk pudding. Earlier I had tasted rice pudding and knew how rice pudding should taste and I found out immediately that my mother did not give me what I had asked for, and I complained about it and my mother pitifully said, “My son, we are poor hermits, we do not have cows, how can I prepare the dish you ask for? You can have your wish fulfilled if you can please the great god Shankara.” After what my mother told me I did penance for many years. You can see what I got by his grace. I have become handsome, ever youthful, omniscient and immune to diseases and now with all my kinsmen and friends I can have rice pudding every day – rice cooked with milk and it tastes like ambrosia. The great lord is living very close to my hermitage and I have the wonderful privilege of seeing him every day and night. I can see with my divine vision that after only six months you will see him and obtain from him and his wife Parvati as many as twenty-four boons.”
Krishna counted the story saying, “I was so very amazed hearing about Shiva’s greatness. I asked the sage Uapamanyu to have me as his disciple and having initiation at his feet I had had my hair shaved, smeared myself with ghee, and wearing the customary rags woven of grass, the appropriate attire of a hermit, I performed severe austerities for six months.
For one month I lived on fruits; in the second month I lived on water only. In the third, the fourth and the fifth month I survived consuming only air. All these months I stood on one leg only, with my arms raised upwards and without any sleep at all. And then I saw a circle of radiance, as dazzling as thousand suns put together in one cluster, and in the centre a huge mass of blue cloud encircled by many rainbows. And within that cloud stood Shiva with his spouse Parvati by his side. I fell at their feet and recited verses in praise of him and then related to him my purpose. He granted me eight boons – firm faith in righteousness, the power to destroy the enemy in battle, great fame, supreme strength, complete control over the practise of Yoga, popularity among people, closeness to the great god and hundreds of sons. And his consort Parvati also granted me eight boons I asked for. Freedom from anger towards the Brahmins, father’s blessings, hundreds of sons, supreme enjoyment, love for my kinsmen, mother’s love, peace of mind, and skill – were the eight boons she gave me, and moreover she said that I would have one thousand and eight loving wives, I would have unending supply of rice and other grains, I would be beloved of friends, I would have a supple body and that I would feed everyday seven thousand guests at my home.
Having obtained all these boons I came back to Upamanyu and told him about them. He was very happy and related at length the greatness, grandeur and glory of the great god Shiva and sang in praise of him reciting all the one hundred and eight names by which he is known including the not so familiar ones like, Sthira, Sthanu, Prabhu, Pravara, Varada, Vara Sarvatma, etc. By the way, I got Samba by my wife Jambavati as a result of my prayer and devotion to the great god Shiva.”
So, it has been proved that Krishna was just an incarnation who got a boon by Mahadeva and he (or He) got it by doing penance and severe austerities.
Disclaimer: So-called Krishna devotees please don’t argue. Any religious discourse would not be entertained.
Image Credit: Amar Chitra Katha