Sri Krishna’s childhood name was vAsudeva, the father was vasudeva and mother devaki.  By having been rescued from the wrath of his uncle Kamsa, he grew up in a neighboring village across the river. The uncle again plotted to kill him this time through wrestling matches against adult strong men.  The young vAsudeva did show his skills and defeated some of the very strong wrestlers.  Exhibition of such prowess in the young vAsudeva made Kamsa nervous and apparently he died of a stroke.  Such is the story depicting Kamsa’s death and vAsudeva’s efforts in releasing his parents and his old grandfather from the prison.  While the entire town hailed vAsudeva’s victory and wanted him to be the new king, his mother intervened and wanted her son to go to school.  Thus vAsudeva’s education began at the age of fourteen in an ashrama run by the sage Sandipani.  Books tell us that the ashrama was located near modern town of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh in India.


It is possible that the curriculum in old ashrama schools contained a practice of meditation that vAsudeva must have tried.  Intense meditation can lead to a state when we lose our physical identity and reach a state of pure consciousness.  The path to the state can be experienced, but one does not carry any memory of the state to be able to describe it physically.  Attainment of the state of pure consciousness when we lose the physicality of our own existence is the scientific theory of yoga.  That such a state exists and that we can reach it by our efforts are parts of the book of knowledge called yogasutram. It was eventually compiled by the sage Patanjali in the second century AD.  The essence of yoga however is old and is the basis of Indian thought and culture.  The hypothesis is simple: human beings have a spiritual self and such entity is independent of our local body and local mind; our pleasure and pain, our happiness and unhappiness, our win and loss, are only local; the spiritual self is transcendental and is untouched by our actions, virtues and blemishes.  The book of yoga describes the technique how one can verify the existence of the transcendental self.  The path is exciting but somewhat demanding though within reach.


What happens to us when we reach our transcendental self?  This is where we have said that we reach our own bhAva, the bhAva that we are endowed with by being human beings.  This bhAva defines us as a species and is a part of the cosmic design where we contribute to the functioning of the universe by sustaining all other bhAva(s) that are observed.  In that state our senses carry sensations in the true nature of the objects than any perception we may create.  This bhAva has no bias and no individuality; and is purely objective.  Our local manipulating mind disappears and our conscience comes into play. This conscience has been called viveka.  The viveka is with us all the time, but we cover it up with our local mind; we act not directed by viveka but by our mind.  The separation of mind from our viveka is the measure of our stress in life.  viveka has no death; mind dies and takes the body along with.


Operation with pure viveka has been called Rta, the cosmic order.  The force of viveka can let us visualize the future and view our past, but would need complete destruction of our individuality. In order to maintain our life we need our individuality and this is where vAsudeva transformed himself as the teacher Sri Krishna.  He theorized that to drag people to learn yoga and be transcendental was an unnecessary requirement. He created a compromise by creating the word svabhAva, the bhAva of the individual.  He differentiated the individual from his work, by declaring that the person is a born with a svabhAva and he should perform in life than try searching for what the real bhAva ought to be.   The endowed svabhAva gives us some skills and he enunciated that perfecting such skills we reach the state of yoga as any other person might do by meditating or otherwise.  This theory of action with skills became a radical departure from the teaching of the day and Sri Krishna is honored as the world teacher ever since.


The principle behind the action with svabhAva is that we have no other option than to conform to the cosmic order.  The cosmic order operates in such a way that what we do is a part of this order because an action is only possible because the order allows it to happen.  Any thought that we did an action is our ignorance only and we may not be aware of it.  We live, operate, move, eat, visit, and write, being driven by the cosmic order and being acted upon through our svabhAva.   So what’s the difference between a person having svabhava and a yogi who has transcended to bhAva?  The latter has no work to do, a yogi does not have any local habits; he or she has no death and hence no rebirth. The person with svabhAva would reappear with a different svabhAva in another life until he/she refines himself/herself such that no such rebirth is necessary; then the person attains the pure bhAva.


We have said before that the universe is maintained by Rta, which creates the local rules of existence called dharma.   dharma had a conceptual definition in the Vedas and Sri Krishna made it more rational stating that dharma is something a group of people agree upon to.  This is where he empowered communities and eventually human beings.  He declared that the rules are not in the books but it is dictated by human life.  He said that the man is given the intellect to determine the course of action at any particular time and the person must trust his or her inner call more than any dogma or edict.  When the individual operates his conduct and determines his own ethics of right and wrong, he called the operation svadharma.   It is the most powerful concept ever enunciated by a philosopher.  Every person is a divine object and any differentiation by caste, creed or dogma is a bondage which has to be thrown out.  Sri Krishna called for the freedom of man and empowered all to be liberated in free thinking, pursuing hobbies and performing to their potential than being subjected to artificial discipline or conduct.  He discovered that freedom is in creating one’s own desire; once the desire is established, the will power becomes infinitely powerful to lift anyone to any heights.


It is possible that the individual desires when bundled together could distort the cosmic order.  Like the local nature, the larger universe could play its role to bring stability. We discuss such topics in the next article.


Let Sai bless all.


Bijoy Misra