“Our dear Lord, You are appearing as the best of the Yadu dynasty, and we are offering our respectful humble obeisances unto Your lotus feet. Before this appearance, You also appeared as the fish incarnation, the horse incarnation, the tortoise incarnation, the swan incarnation, as King Ramachandra, as Parashurama, and as many other incarnations.” (Demigods praying to Krishna in the womb of Devaki, Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 2)
The Supreme Lord made the decision. He was going to appear in the earthly realm. Just as He would later describe in the Bhagavad-gita, whenever and wherever there is a rise in irreligion, at that time He appears as Himself. The visuals may not always be identical. In this instance, He was going to appear as Shri Krishna, the all-attractive one.
yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.7)
God is unborn. For this reason He is known as Aja. He does not have parents. No one tells Him what to do. Yet He is so kind that when He descends to earth He chooses exalted personalities to play important roles. Devaki was the chosen birth mother. She was in circumstances you wouldn’t consider ideal for welcoming the all-powerful into the world. Prior to Krishna’s emerging from her womb, the residents of the heavenly realm offered very nice prayers, words from which many valuable lessons can be derived.
1. God doesn’t reside only in heaven.
This is the reason for turning to spiritual life, after all. Let me find God. Let me be with Him. Let me enjoy with Him in the afterlife. Yet if the Supreme Lord did indeed create everything, the material world would have to be included. This place features the material elements, both gross and subtle, which bewilder us, but for God it wouldn’t make a difference.
By appearing in Devaki’s womb, Krishna showed that He can indeed manifest anywhere. This is already revealed in the spiritual science. The living entity is known as sarva-gata, which means that it can go anywhere. Just as a person can be born in America, Europe, or Asia, the spirit soul which represents the true identity can appear in any realm, including heaven and hell.
God is the all-powerful spirit, and so He can appear anywhere also. He is already all-pervading through His expansion of the Supersoul. By agreeing to come to Devaki’s womb, He showed that His association is not reserved exclusively for the residents of the Vaikuntha planets, the topmost spiritual realm.
2. Demigods are always connected with Krishna.
There are many gods in the Vedic tradition, but there is still only one Supreme Lord. The prayers of the demigods to Devaki’s womb prove both. The gods are known as devas, and they are mostly in the material mode of goodness. They live for a very long time and in a place that features heightened material opulence. They offer benedictions to their worshipers, and they are empowered to do so by Krishna.
Despite fulfilling their duties assigned to them, they do not forget Krishna. They glorify Him constantly, wherever the Supreme Lord may be. When He appears in Devaki’s womb, they offer the nicest prayers. They don’t forget Him, as they are devotees.
3. Through Krishna anyone can be glorified.
The spiritual science says that all living beings are equal on the inside, but on the outside there are distinctions. This makes sense; only a fool would think otherwise. One person is very tall and another short. We wouldn’t say that they are equal in the material estimation. There are consequences to being a certain height. In the same way, the spiritual science says that certain body types are more conducive to advancement in consciousness. Generally, the female body is considered less auspicious. This is not sexism, but rather a sober assessment based on the material qualities.
Yet the Supreme Lord’s direct association is so powerful that He can turn an inauspicious body into the most auspicious one. Devaki was so exalted that she received prayers from the demigods. The same entities that receive worship from their followers in exchange for material benedictions were offering her kind words, without any motive.
4. Krishna’s divinity is determined before the fact.
When we hear of the extraordinary things that Krishna did on this earth, it’s easy to dismiss them as mythology or magic. The speculation is that perhaps people assigned Him the status of Supreme God ex post facto, after witnessing His amazing exploits. The prayers of the demigods prove that Krishna is always God, even before He appears. The Lord’s associates get advance notice of His appearances, and they prepare accordingly. They know that the amazing things He does on earth represent but a fraction of His true potency. Lifting a massive hill, taking the womb of His choosing, delivering the Bhagavad-gita – Krishna does these things effortlessly.
5. Only Krishna could turn a jail cell into a shrine.
We go to official houses of worship in order to increase our consciousness of God. Ideally, these places focus entirely on worship. They establish a culture that others can merge into. Keeping in mind the typical atmosphere of the temple, we wouldn’t consider a jail cell to be a house of worship. Devaki was being held in prison unfairly by her brother Kamsa, the king of Mathura. Devaki’s husband Vasudeva was also with her. Kamsa was awaiting the birth of Devaki’s eighth child, for a prophecy had stated that this child would eventually kill him.
Since Krishna was going to appear in that jail cell, the demigods turned it into a house of worship. This means that any place in the world, regardless of how impure it may be, can be made auspicious through devotion to Shri Krishna. It is for this reason that the wise souls chant the holy names anywhere and everywhere: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Despite impurities to see,
Any place auspicious can be.
Like when Krishna in jail cell appearing,
Before parents from Kamsa were fearing.
Not Supreme God status after to adore,
Lord’s divine nature determined before.
To Devaki the demigods prayed,
In whose womb Lord of universe stayed.
Categories: the five