“Because the water was so poisonous, the boys and cows became visibly affected immediately after drinking. They suddenly fell down on the ground, apparently dead. Then Krishna, who is the life of all lives, simply cast His merciful glance over them, and all the boys and cows regained consciousness and began to look at one another with great astonishment. They could understand that by drinking the water of Yamuna they had died and that the merciful glance of Krishna restored their life. Thus they appreciated the mystic power of Krishna, who is known as Yogeshvara, the master of all mystic yogis.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 15)
Karma, jnana, and yoga. These are the three paths of life an intelligent person can follow. Basic enjoyment, bhoga, is not actually karma in the sense that the duties followed are not prescribed. It is something like animal-life, while there are certainly fruits to the activities. There are consequences to the further development of a material body, but actual karma means to follow prescribed activities associated with a person’s gunas, or material qualities.
Jnana is acquiring knowledge, specifically about the difference between matter and spirit. Jnana brings vairagya, or renunciation. It is something like discerning patterns of past failure, such as with eating a specific food or consuming adult beverages. Through knowledge a person is able to see the harm in a specific choice and thereby avoid it in the future.
Yoga is something in between. It is not strict renunciation and neither is it pure enjoyment aimed at elevation to a higher status. Practiced properly, yoga brings mystic powers. These are known as siddhis in Sanskrit. One English translation is “perfection.” Like achieving black belt status in martial arts, if you have one or more siddhis, you can do amazing things.
Bhakti is synonymous with the Supreme Lord, who is above the material creation. To reach Him, neither fruitive activity nor knowledge is required. Renunciation can help, but that is also not necessary. Bhakti already incorporates everything.
As devotional service descends from the object of worship, He has every opulence imaginable. That is to say knowledge, ideal activities and mystic perfection are found in Shri Krishna in full. One name for Him is Yogeshvara, as He is the best yogi a person could imagine.
1. Reviving His friends from the dead
This would be the ultimate magic trick. Revive the dead. Take someone who has quit their body and bring them back. Whether they wish to return is another story. Mystic yogis can accomplish this miracle on occasion, though it is hardly necessary.
Shri Krishna showed this ability one time on the banks of the Yamuna River. His friends mistakenly drank some of the water, which had been poisoned due to the presence of the serpent named Kaliya. Krishna saw what occurred and immediately rescued His friends. When they awoke, they realized what had happened and were once again amazed at young Krishna’s abilities.
2. Swallowing the forest fire
Another time the same friends were caught in the middle of a fire. They had no means of escape. It is not like they could call the fire department or make a giant leap to safety. There was no hope except Krishna, who was luckily with them.
This time the darling child of mother Yashoda simply swallowed the fire. He consumed the blaze to avert the crisis. Magicians and others may perform tricks along these lines in front of a spellbound audience, but no one can take a massive fire and put it into their mouth. Since it is a material element originally sourced in Him, Krishna can accomplish this easily.
3. Expanding the sari of Draupadi
One of the siddhis of yoga relates to shrinking in size. Shri Hanuman, the dedicated servant of Bhagavan in the avatara of Rama, once made use of this siddhi while in the territory of Lanka. He shrunk his size to that of a cat so that he could roam the city undetected.
सूर्ये चास्तं गते रात्रौ देहं सङ्क्षिप्य मारुतिः |
पृषदंशकमात्रः सन् बभूवाद्भुतदर्शनः ||
sūrye cāstaṃ gate rātrau dehaṃ saṅkṣipya mārutiḥ|
pṛṣadaṃśakamātraḥ san babhūvādbhutadarśanaḥ ||
“At night, on the sun having set, Maruti [Hanuman] contracted his body. Becoming the size of a cat, he was a wonderful sight to behold.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 2.49)
The other side is becoming large. Krishna showed this feature when one time assuming the form of a sari. It was draped on a beautiful and chaste princess known as Draupadi. She was in trouble and no one else could save her. Her husbands and elder relatives were unwilling to intervene, as she was ready to be shown naked in an assembly, against her will.
She called out to Govinda, which is another name for Krishna. He used His mystic power to take the form of the sari and make it ananta, or never-ending. No matter how much the enemies pulled, they could not succeed in their objective.
4. Displaying the universal form
These amazing incidents are not really exercises in yoga, since the Supreme Lord merely expands Himself into different forms. He is already the life inside of everyone, the prana air. His presence as the Supersoul is what determines an existence, and He decides when and where an individual soul will appear.
He once displayed the universal form to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. What appeared to be an exhibition of mystic ability was merely a vision of something that factually exists. There is a complete whole. We may not be able to properly contemplate the entire cosmos, but that giant collection does exist.
If He can revive His friends from the poisoned water of the Yamuna River, He can certainly wake us up to our original occupation of devotional service. He accomplishes this through the representative, who kindly urges us to chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
His friends from poisoned water awaking,
Endless form of Draupadi’s sari taking.
Into His mouth entire,
Threatening forest fire.
Virata-rupa for Arjuna to show,
Rescuing ability acharyas know.
Who recommending chanting why,
On transcendental sound to rely.
Categories: the four