The Great God Krishna
An initiation that continues every summerOne of the most important initiations in the Summer Yoga Camp in Costinesti is the communion with the Great Avatar Krishna. It is an initiation a bit more special, because it has two different levels: a so-called "general" initiation, which everybody can attend, and a "special" one, which can be attended only by those selected in advance after a consecrated draw of lots. In addition, this initiation, started in August 2012, is still ongoing, in other words, new conferences and presentations are being held, which deepen the revelations already presented, and bring as well new elements. The participants also continue to deepen on their own the communion with Krishna, through laya yoga meditations with the two mantras received already in the early stages of the two levels of initiation.
An avatar of VishnuThe great God Krishna is universally considered an incarnation or avatar of Vishnu, the second aspect of the divine Hindu Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva). The spiritual communion with Krishna's gigantic sphere of force helps the sincere and persevering worshiper to acquire both divine, pure, frenetic and unconditional love, as well as freedom from the "karmic chains", whether they are good or bad. Most human beings wish to understand and fulfil their purpose (dharma) of this existence, to act in a just and beneficial way in order to enjoy a "good karma," a destiny that is in harmony with the universal order. And almost all people want to feel the frantic and pure love in their hearts, realizing that it is the echo of their mysterious, godly origin. In this sense, the communion with Krishna is a direct and very accessible way for anyone, regardless of the culture to which they belong, to reveal our essential divine nature, the Immortal Supreme Self (Atman).
In the Hindu pantheon, Krishna holds an important place, being considered a great divine avatar. To his worshipers he symbolizes the divine love (Prema), the divine beauty (rupa), and the fascinating detached action (lila). Hindu tradition views Krishna as the eighth avatar of Vishnu, the Maintainer and Supporter of the Worlds. There is, however, no definite date of the birth of Krishna, though in the text Bhagavata Purana an astrological clue appears, on the basis of which it was possible to establish the time of his birth as July, 3227 BC or, according to other dating, year 3112 BC. A famous Hindu astrologer, Arun Bansal, supports the idea of 3228 BC dating, that is, about 125 years before February 18, 3102 BC, when it is traditionally considered that KALI YUGA, the age of spiritual decay of mankind, began.
Aspects undertaken by KrishnaOver time, Krishna was worshiped in various forms. The playful child Krishna is the one who fulfils beneficial desires and offers protection; the young Krishna is the divine, cosmic lover; and the wise warrior Krishna is the conqueror of the demons, the one who removes all the limitations. Krishna is often presented as a young shepherd playing the flute, as in the Puranas, or as a young prince who offers spiritual teachings, as it is written in Bhagavad Gita. Here he is the charioteer of Arjuna's war chariot, Arjuna being Indra's most famous son, whom he directs step by step towards victory. Bhagavad Gita is thus a very significant example of how the being should surrender himself to God, a text that teaches us the super-mental attitude, self-knowledge, and transcendence of duality.
The life and spiritual teaching of Krishna is presented in many works. The first mentions about Krishna appear in the poem Mahabharata, containing the famous sacred text Bhagavad Gita. Later, the worship of Krishna spread more and more, as described in many Puranas (such as Vishnu Purana, culminating with the 1000 sutras from Bhagavata Purana and the poem Gita Govinda).
According to all standard dictionaries, the word krishna means "black" in Sanskrit; in fact, in Hindu iconography the great avatar appears frequently having black or blue skin, while other mythical characters are depicted with light skin. That is why Krishna representations are easily recognizable; for example, in ancient Hindu iconographies he appears to have black or dark skin, but modern images show him as having dark blue skin. He is often represented wearing a silk yellow dhoti and a crown of peacock feathers.
The most widespread descriptions portray him as a boy of small stature or as a young man sitting in a relaxed posture, playing the flute. In this last hypostasis, which is also known as Tribhangi Mudra, he holds a leg bent in front of the other and raises the flute to his lips while he is surrounded by his cows, Krishna being the divine shepherd, Govinda. Krishna is often portrayed with his beloved Gopis (shepardesses).
However, inside the temples, Krishna is represented in a vertical, formal posture. There are also many representations in which Krishna is portrayed with his favorite lover, Radha. That is why the worshipers belonging to Manipuri Vaishnava cult do not worship only Krishna, but also the divine couple Radha-Krishna, a representation that combines the features of Krishna and Radha.
Krishna is often represented in India through art, dance, and music, because he embodies the Hindu belief that life itself is the result of the divine play (lila). To surrender yourself to the game, full of dedication and love, is to experience the world as it really is.
In his hypostasis of cosmic lover, Krishna is the one who dances the so-called rasa-lila with his over 10,000 lovers, multiplying himself so that each of his lovers feels his amorous dance with her. This simultaneous embrace signifies the very merging of the Divine with the human, the total identification, which can be accomplished by intense and continuous devotion (bhakti).