The Human Ideal
Sri Swami Sivananda
Krishna Jayanti Message
The birth of Sri Krishna on earth is of memorable importance, as this incident goes to make up and give form to the whole of the Indian Nation. It signifies the great event of the coming into being of the tremendous power of love and knowledge which has integrated in itself all the hearts and minds of India. In Sri Krishna we find the national, the political, the social, the domestic, the individual, the universal and spiritual ideals which have been adored and worshipped in India and which may well pave the way to world-unity, if only they are properly understood and adopted in human life. From the very beginning of the life of Sri Krishna we find in Him a bold champion who stood for the cause of peace and happiness of mankind. This is indeed an occasion for us all to lift our souls to the supreme enjoyment of the celebration of the birthday of the great hero, the friend and the teacher of this world, who refers to himself in His immortal Gita as the Father of this world, the Mother, the Sustainer, the Grandfather, the supremely Pure, the Origin, the Dissolution, the Substratum, the only thing to be known. In fact, such beings are not born or dead, but they only become visible or invisible to the human eye and consciousness.
Sri Krishna was the statesman par-excellence, who taught through example and precept the art of government, the way to maintain peace on earth. He was an expert in the application of the means of Sama (persuasion and conciliation), Dana (offering remuneration), Bheda (causing division), and Danda (punishment), and these he used where they were absolutely necessary and where they did not go against Dharma or the Eternal law of the universe. Sri Krishna was not merely a statesman struggling to know what is right and wrong or good and bad to a nation or acting according to his own whims and fancies or private conceptions of the right and good. He was a cosmic man with a cosmic vision of things, who had no partiality whatsoever, who loved none and hated none, but acted as a channel for the operation of the iron hand of justice which rules the universe. Krishna connected causes and effects and brought law and justice to play their proper part in life not through induction or deduction, through supposition, guessing, or imagination, through public vote, or individual influence, but through the intuition of the essential Reality of the universe. His word was law and his act was justice. His thoughts were the supreme peace-makers which vibrated through every cell of the nation. Krishna commanded the love and the respect of the people by his comprehending in himself the universe as a whole. Sri Krishna was a philosopher, a sage and a Yogi, who alone can be an effective statesman worth the name. This is the lesson to be learnt from Sri Krishna, by all people, ruling as well as ruled.
Sri Krishna lived the life of a princely householder, teaching to mankind that the knowledge of the Absolute is not incompatible with practical activity in life. He is the form, as it were, taken by the great Truth that the universe is the manifestation of Brahman. The universe is the Lila of the Purushottama, and Sri Krishna is the Lila-Purushottama, the sportive Absolute. There was no end to the domestic troubles that Krishna had, no limit to the social and political disturbances and threatening situations in which Krishna was involved, no bound to his responsibility and yet there was no match to his success, no equal to his shining example of the Life Perfect. Certainly, only an Avatara (incarnation of God) can be such a perfect being. The man on earth, the householder, with the weight of responsibility on his head and an environment attempting to menace and flout him at every step, should learn the science and art of right, good and happy life, from Sri Krishna, who combined knowledge with action with wonderful dexterity, for the good of the universe.
The individual’s ideal is the attainment of Sri Krishna, to take Him as the means and the end. The Bhagavad Gita is the Gospel of life, the scripture of humanity, and the life of Sri Krishna is the great commentary on it. Every individual should try to become the great man of knowledge, the master of Yoga, the centre of love and the expert doer of right activity, as Sri Krishna was. Sri Krishna’s life, when it is carefully studied, will give one a knowledge of the synthesis of all Yogas, practised by one who, rooting himself in the spiritual Absolute, moved on this material earth. The life and teachings of Sri Krishna are the immortal teachers of mankind, they shall live for eternity. The words and actions of Krishna are to be taken by all aspiring individuals as the means and the being of Krishna as the end. This is possible only after a thorough purging and purification of the self, which is absolutely necessary for one’s knowing Krishna.
Sri Krishna is the universal and spiritual ideal of man. Sri Krishna was the example of the great Superman of the East. It is towards this achievement that humanity is slowly moving. The perfection of man lies in the realisation of God, Nature and Man in one. Man is not a separate entity. Nature is not estranged from God, and God is not cut off from Nature and Man. The word ‘God’ has been misunderstood by many as merely one of the three principles in terms of which alone man can view Reality. Truly, God means that Supreme Being in which Nature and Man merge, as identical with His Consciousness. Sri Krishna is the representation on earth of the Supreme Reality. Glory to Him. All adorations to Him. Prostrations to Him.
Beloved aspirants, Strive to become, to realise, Krishna, your Great Ideal. This you can do only after you become virtuous, good, loving and intelligent. You should completely eradicate the animal tendencies and qualities in you, like lust, anger and greed. You must pass through the fire of discipline and purification; you should be burnished before you can shine as the Golden ideal that is before you. Through service, charity, love, meditation and self-enquiry that Goal can be reached by one and all. May blessedness attend upon your efforts!
May the Grace of Sri Krishna be upon you all!