Krishna: The Master Illusionist

Many may have heard about Hindu God Lord Krishna and his message to civilization in form of ‘Gita Updesh‘. ISCON (International Society for Krishna Conciousness) formed in 1966 in New York and works on principles of Gita of selfless actions  has many followers in Eastern Europe besides India.

Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, is known as ‘Leela Purushottam’ besides many other names as ‘makhan chor’ or the butter thief, ‘chitchor’ or the one who steals hearts, ‘chhaliya’ or the one who dupes.

Leela‘ means game or illusion. ‘Purush‘ is man and ‘uttama‘ is the supreme. According to mythological stories, Krishna, all his life, created many illusions to make humans understand the rights and wrongs of the society. He bent the accepted rules and norms of society challenging their usefulness. Since his birth, he created illusions to bring order in the world and punish those who troubled the weak and innocent. Hence the name ‘Leela Purushottama‘.

Krishna’s maternal uncle King Kansa of Mathura imprisoned his pregnant sister and brother-in-law because of a prophecy which warned Kansa that he would be killed by the son of his sister. Kansa killed all the new born babies of his sister. However, when Krishna was born, the jail guards miraculously dozed off and Krishna’s father escaped the jail, crossed a flooded river and delivered the new-born safely to a friend’s home. It was Krishna’s leela or illusion which prevented Kansa to find out about the escape

As a kid, Krishna played in the mud and put it in his mouth. His mother, lovingly scolded him and asked what he had in his mouth. His mother realised, as soon as Krishna opened his mouth, that her son was no ordinary human being but an incarnation of God Vishnu because there in his mouth, she could see the universe, the sun, moon, stars and earth.

Krishna was brought up among cow-herdsmen. He played melodious flute when he took the cows to graze. The cows and humans were enchanted with him and his flute. The milkmaids, loved this dark and handsome young man who played the flute so beautifully. Everyone worshipped and wished Krishna to be for each one of them. To make all his devotees happy, he would create an illusion where each milkmaid felt his presence and danced in trance.

During one of the 18 days war of Mahabharata when he gave the sermon of ‘Gita’ to the prince Arjuna, he created the illusion of dusk which called for the warring sides to end the particular day’s fighting. By creating such an illusion he prevented the ill-intentioned and corrupt and cheating  Kaurava  princes from being unfair to the Pandav princes, thus changing the fate of the doomed war in favor of Pandav princes who followed every rule of war.

Why did Krishna create illusions? Did he want the unfair ones have a taste of their own designs?

He made sure that the rules which made some people of the society powerful, were challenged to protect the weaker people of society and for that he created such occasions where the unfair were brought to book.

KThis post is also for A to Z Challenge.

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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