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Lord Krishna's Appearance and Activities
On understanding that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one may wonder, "If Krishna is God, how does He take birth into the material world and behave like an ordinary child?" However even when He descends into this material world, His appearance and activities are divine, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna
'One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." That the appearance and activities of Krishna are transcendental can be understood from His following superhuman attributes.
1. Krishna Knows Past, Present and Future
In the Bhagavad-gita (4.6), Arjuna asks Krishna how He could have instructed Vivasvan, who was apparently millions of years senior to Him by birth. Krishna explains that although both He and Arjuna have passed many "births", the difference is that Krishna can remember all of them, whereas Arjuna and other ordinary living entities cannot. If a common man is asked what he did exactly at the same time one day earlier, it would be very difficult for him to answer immediately. He would surely have to dredge his memory to recall what he was doing just one day before. And yet, men often dare claim to be God, or Krishna. One should not be misled by such meaningless claims. Lord Krishna is conscious of all of His previous appearances and disappearances, but a common living entity forgets everything about his body as soon as he gets another body.
2. Krishna and His Body are Non-different
We are different from our body, because we are spirit souls and the body is only a material covering. But as far as Lord Krishna is concerned, He comes to this material world in His self-same sac-cid-ananda body. So Krishna and His body are non-different. The Lord explains this fact in Bhagavad-gita (4.6)
ajo 'pi sarin avyayatma bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya sambhavamy atma-mayaya
-Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental
The Lord does not change His body, as the conditioned soul transmigrates from one body to another. Krishna appears in this material world in His original eternal form, with two hands, holding a flute. He descends in His eternal body, uncontaminated and untouched by this material world.
3. Krishna is Eternally Youthful
Whenever Lord Krishna descends into this material world, despite the fact that He grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth, astonishingly enough He never ages beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kurukshetra, He had many grandchildren at home; or in other words, He had sufficiently aged by material calculations. Still He looked just like a young man twenty or twenty five years old. We never see a picture of Krishna in old age because He never grows old like us, although He is the oldest person in the whole creation - past, present, and future. Neither Krishna's body nor His intelligence ever deteriorate or change. That Krishna is eternally youthful is confirmed by Lord Brahma in the Brahma-Samhita (5.33): adyam purana purusam nava yauvanam ca: "Although Lord Krishna is the original person, the oldest, still He is always a fresh youth."
4. Krishna Neither Takes Birth nor Dies; He Appears and Disappears
When Lord Krishna was born, He appeared as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc, and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of the shrivatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidurya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body and an abundance of hair on His head. Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was struck with wonder: how could a newly born child be so decorated? Such is the divine nature of the birth of Krishna. On the other hand, when an ordinary child is born, he is born naked, smeared in amniotic fluid, stool, urine, crying and in total ignorance, with filthy worms falling out from the same womb as his brothers. Thus it is clear that the Lord's advent is not like an ordinary child's painful birth. Therefore the Lord says that anyone who considers Him to be an ordinary man is a fool.
avajananti mam mudha manushim tanum ashritah
param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta maheshvaram
"Fools deride Me when I descend in a human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."(Bhagavad-gita 9.11)
Krishna's appearance, activities and disappearance are like the movements of the sun. When the sun appears in the east one may tllink that the sun is horn. And when the sun sets in the west, one may think that the sun is dead. The sun is always existing, although we see it rise and set, appear and disappear, according to 0lir position on the planet. Similarly, the Lord's pastimes are go-l,1M on eternally, although we can see them manifest in this particular universe only at certain intervals. Just like the sun appears and disappears from the sky. Lord Krishna appears and disappears in this material world, out of His own sweet will, for the sake of reclaiming the fallen souls and for giving pleasure to His devotees. His eternal abode is the supreme planet in the spiritual world, known as Goloka Vrindavana, and, by His will, thatGoloka Vrindavana is manifested in this universe and in other universes as well. Thus the Lord is always residing in His supreme abode, Goloka Vrindavana, and by His supreme will, His activities are also manifested in innumerable universes. From the evidences discussed in this chapter, we can clearly understand that the conclusion of all the scriptures is that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When one understands this supreme position of Krishna, one can learn to serve Him with love and devotion. By such devotional service, one can attain krishna-prema, pure love for Krishna. That is the ultimate perfection of life.