Thursday, August 10, 2006

Krishna Janma

Janmastami is coming up Aug 16. Many Hindus and followers of the Vedic tradition fast the entire day and look forward to a midnight service commemorating the appearance of Sri Krishna over 5000 years ago. In the Bhagavat Purana, the story of Krishna begins "Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary military forces of different kings who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order..." Even Bhumi, the earth goddess, was disturbed by the activities of the demoniac kings.

Krishna's parents did not have an easy time. For years they had been persecuted by wicked King Kamsa. They did not even see Krishna grow up. At Krishna's birth Vasudeva, Krishna's father, risked life and limb, when in the dead of night he carried the newborn child to a nearby village to protect Him from Kamsa's wrath. Kamsa ordered the killing of all the newborn children in the area.

And even as Krishna grew up in the house of Nanda & Yasoda, many dangerous personalities tried to infiltrate the idyllic village of Vrindavan with the plan to kill Krishna and the other children there. Nanda and Yasoda were Krishna's foster parents, and they, as any parents, worried and prayed endlessly that Krishna should be protected from any harm. The Janmastami story is a special story. Krishna's parents and foster parents are the heroes of our story. They went through so much for little Krishna. They had tremendous courage. Every parent can empathize with them, and like them, every parent who raises their child with love and care are heroes.

But to love and protect only our own children is not enough. One cannot claim to be a hero or remain in the Grace of God by using their intelligence to protect one’s own child and at the same time destroy, or even burden, another’s child. This is the greatest darkness.


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