“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि
जन्मानि तव चार्जुन
तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि
न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप
bahūni me vyatītāni
janmāni tava cārjuna
tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi
na tvaṁ vettha parantapa
1. The arrival from the womb of mother Devaki
Things were not going so well for the couple. They were placed in prison, against their will. The commanding authority was a blood relation. King Kamsa was Devaki’s cousin-brother. With family members like that, who needs enemies?
Devaki and Vasudeva had not been married long, either. This was supposedly their honeymoon period. Left to live in fear, uncertain over the future, the subsequent arrival of children made matters worse.
With each birth, Kamsa decided to commit abortion in the visible fashion. Exhibiting the killing that occurs in plain sight, he threw the infants against a stone slab. This was not done for fun. He did not have a sickness that required brutal torture in order to feel satisfied.
Rather, there was intense paranoia and fear. A voice from the sky had previously warned Kamsa that Devaki’s eighth son would be his demise. The end of life. The forced exit from this world. No more king of Mathura. No more enjoying. No more predictable future.
Rather than accept a fate that everyone shares in some manner, Kamsa tried his best to nullify. He figured the best way would be to keep Devaki and Vasudeva in check. Under close observation, any warnings signs would be dealt with immediately. Sort of like keeping a home security system to alert in case of a breach, the king felt he had every angle covered.
Except the Supreme Personality of Godhead can outsmart anyone. God can lay waste to the most carefully thought-out plans. He fulfilled destiny, confirming the words from the voice in the sky. Devaki gave birth to Krishna, who soon revealed His four-handed form of Narayana to the loving parents.
This was the beginning of many great things to come. Soon would follow the end of Kamsa, the defeat of many asura-leaders around the world, the rescue of thousands of princesses in distress, the delivery of the sacred Bhagavad-gita, and the victory of the Pandava family over the forces of evil ruling the world.
2. The disappearance during the demise of the Yadu dynasty
There is the saying that all is well that ends well. If your time comes to an end in an agreeable manner, then there is nothing to regret. No reason to hold a grudge or worry about what might have been. The past is forgotten, as the present is peaceful and full of joy.
With Krishna’s disappearance from this world, things certainly did not end well. The entire Yadu dynasty was destroyed. They basically killed one another. A fratricidal war, brought on by a curse, the wise ones were able to escape. Krishna and Balarama departed for the spiritual world at their own choosing. Krishna left one last set of valuable advice, delivered to His cousin named Uddhava.
Though we see a beginning and an end, we should know that the period of observation for the Supreme Lord is not limited. He was aware of everything taking place prior to the janma in Mathura. He knew of the voice from the sky. It was His decision to descend as an avatara, after hearing the plea from Lord Brahma and Bhumi Devi, who took the form of a cow.
In a similar manner, Krishna is always present in this world, despite having departed after the inundation of Dvaraka and the travel back to Vaikuntha. He notices everything that I do; both the good and the bad. He witnesses every single action through His plenary expansion of Paramatma, which is Supersoul.
Krishna always retains full and complete knowledge, and so He has the best plans for helping me to escape illusion. I learn to connect with Him in the yoga process through the training provided by the acharya, who strongly recommends chanting the holy names as both a beginning and an end: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Both the beginning and end,
Prayers His way to send.
Since always can hear,
And to my heart dear.
Not limited by events so,
Birth and then later to go.
So that devotion my life to call,
With principles acharyas to install.
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