Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lord Krsna's Svarupa

In the material world there is a clear distinction between the living entities and their bodies or between the field of activities and its knower. In the spiritual world, however, such a distinction does not exist, for there everything is composed of sat, cid and ananda. In this way, Lord Krsna’s body and His very self are one and the same, being transcendental. His spiritual body is described in these words:

sat-pundarika-nayanam meghabham vaidyutambaram
dvi-bhujam jnana-mudradhyam vana-malinam isvaram

“Lord Krsna’s eyes are like lotus flowers. His complexion is like a monsoon cloud. His garments are like lightning. He has two hands. He is rich with transcendental knowledge. He is adorned with a garland of forest flowers. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
(Gopala-tapani Upanisad, 1.10; Govinda-bhasya, 3.3.38)

His presence in the material world does not affect His transcendental nature, for under any condition He remains the Supreme and any form He accepts for His pastimes is fully spiritual without any tinge of the modes of material nature:

ajo 'pi sann avyayatma bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya sambhavamy atma-mayaya

“Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 4.6; Govinda-bhasya, 3.3.10)

By His omnipotence, He pervades the whole universe in His paramatma feature, and at the same time is one and the same Personality of Godhead:

gunesu guna-samye ca guna-vyatikare tatha
eka eva paro hy atma bhagavan isvaro 'vyayah
pratyag-atma-svarupena drsya-rupena ca svayam
vyapya-vyapaka-nirdesyo hy anirdesyo 'vikalpitah
kevalanubhavananda- svarupah paramesvarah
mayayantarhitaisvarya iyate guna-sargaya

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, who is infallible and indefatigable, is present in different forms of life, from the inert living beings [sthavara], such as the plants, to Brahma, the foremost created living being. He is also present in the varieties of material creations and in the material elements, the total material energy and the modes of material nature [sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna], as well as the unmanifested material nature and the false ego. Although He is one, He is present everywhere, and He is also the transcendental Supersoul, the cause of all causes, who is present as the observer in the cores of the hearts of all living entities. He is indicated as that which is pervaded and as the all-pervading Supersoul, but actually He cannot be indicated. He is changeless and undivided. He is simply perceived as the supreme sac-cid-ananda. Being covered by the curtain of the external energy, to the atheist He appears nonexistent.”
(Bhagavatam, 7.6.20-23; Govinda-bhasya, 3.2.38)

Lord Brahma states that Lord Krsna’s body is composed of transcendental elements:

tam ekam govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham panca-padam vrndavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam satatam sa-marud-gano 'ham paramaya stutya tosayami

"With eloquent prayers, I and the Maruts please Lord Govinda, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who stays under a desire tree in Vrndavana, and who is this five-word mantra."
(Gopala-tapani Upanisad, 1.38; Govinda-bhasya, 3.3.62)

The Lord may assume innumerable forms. One of the prominent ones is that of Lord Visnu with four arms, as the Bhagavatam describes:

tam adbhutam balakam ambujeksanam catur-bhujam sankha-gadady-udayudham
srivatsa-laksmam gala-sobhi-kaustubham pitambaram sandra-payoda-saubhagam
maharha-vaidurya-kirita-kundala- tvisa parisvakta-sahasra-kuntalam
uddama-kancy-angada-kankanadibhir virocamanam vasudeva aiksata

“Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotuslike eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons sankha, cakra, gada and padma. On His chest was the mark of Srivatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidurya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.”
(Bhagavatam, 10.3.9-10)

In the battle of Kuruksetra, Arjuna requested Krsna to exhibit His four-armed feature:

kiritinam gadinam cakra-hastam
icchami tvam drastum aham tathaiva
tenaiva rupena catur-bhujena
sahasra-baho bhava visva-murte

“O universal form, O thousand-armed Lord, I wish to see You in Your four-armed form, with helmeted head and with club, wheel, conch and lotus flower in Your hands. I long to see You in that form.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 11.46)

It should not be considered that there is any ontological difference between the different incarnations of the Lord, but here the philosophical idea is diversity in oneness, therefore there is a gradation of display of potencies by which the avataras are distinctly classified as lila-avataras, guna-avataras, purusa-avataras, yuga-avataras, manvantara-avataras and saktyavesa-avataras. Due to His unique transcendental attributes, the two-armed form of Govinda is considered the utmost- the Avatari- and attractive to all, including His avataras.

The Lord expands Himself in quadruple forms, called catur-vyuhas (Govinda-bhasya, 3.3.15). They are further classified as pertaining to Dvarka when He manifests his bhauma-lila, or pastimes in the material world, and as pertaining to the spiritual world. The former ones are direct expansions of svayam bhagavan Sri Krsna, while the latter emanate from Narayana, Who is the Lord of the Vaikuntha planets. The first expansion of Narayana is called Vasudeva, the presiding deity of consciousness; from Vasudeva comes Sankarsana, the presiding deity of the living entities; from Him comes Pradyumna, the presiding deity of senses and the mind; and from Him comes Aniruddha, the presiding deity of the ahankara. Sankarsana is identified as the first purusa incarnation, Who enters the causal ocean to manifest the material creation, therefore called Karanodakasayi Visnu. At the end of the life span of each Brahma there is a total devastation of all the brahmandas and all the living entities who could not attain the ultimate liberation merge in the body of Lord Sankarsana. When again it is time to manifest the creation, it is He who glances at prakrti, and it is from Him that the jivas again emanate. This whole cycle is accomplished in a mere inhalation and exhalation of Sankarsana: when He exhales, all the brahmandas come out from His pores; when He inhales, all the universes are absorbed in His body. The second purusa-avatara is identified as Pradyumna, Who enters each brahmanda and is known as Garbhodakasayi Visnu. From Him comes the third purusa-avatara, Lord Brahma, and Lord Siva. Aniruddha is the third purusa-avatara and is known as Ksirodakasayi Visnu and Paramatma, the One Who enters everyone’s heart and every atom. He sustains the cosmos by His potencies and controls the movements of all beings.