About Krishna Himself
It's true that everything we see has a source. Trees come from other trees, animals from other animals; watches come from watchmakers, etc. This material world is the world of cause and effect. Cause A creates effect B, cause B creates effect C, and so on.
The Absolute Truth, also known as Krishna, is different; He's defined as the cause of all causes, the ultimate source of all energies. Such a source is beyond our experience of this world of cause and effect. This is the subject of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita.
The supreme, personal cause has no other cause beyond Him. If someone or something else created Him, He wouldn't be supreme. But lots of evidence suggests that He is in fact the cause of all causes.
But don't just take our word for it. Explore the links below to see if the information there makes sense to you. If in the course of your research your discover a cause beyond Krishna, Contact Us immediately.
Bhagavad-gita, 7.7 "O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."
Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.1.1 "I meditate upon Lord Sri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him."
Bhagavad-gita, 2.12: "Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
Brahma-samhita, 5.1 "Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes."
Krishna is the most social being. He's the source of all personalities and of personality itself. At the same time, Krishna values His privacy. He prefers the company of those who prefer His company. He also respects the wishes of those who don't want relationships with Him. He doesn't force Himself on anyone.
His energies are so vast that He can create, maintain, and annihilate unlimited universes by His will, without needing to be personally present. Likewise, heads of state often make decisions affecting the lives of millions of people who never see them personally.
Prison inmates certainly don't routinely get to see high-ranking government officials. In a similar way, all of us in the material world at some point in the past decided to reject God's company and along with it the rules of conduct befitting Krishna's devotees. As a result, we've been offered residence in this temporary, material universe, which is similar to a prison.
This world is made as a replica of the spiritual world, with one key difference—Krishna is absent. Krishna is omnipresent by His energy and by His presence in every atom as Paramatma, but as far as we're concerned, He's invisible, unless He chooses to reveal Himself to us by spiritual revelation.
Check this out:
Bhagavad-gita, 7.25, Purport:" it is said that the Lord is covered by the curtain of yoga-maya and thus ordinary people cannot understand Him."
All the bodies we see in this world are temporary and made of matter. They're material bodies.We're different from our material bodies. Our bodies are structures composed of material elements—solids, liquids, gases—but our self, the spirit animating the material elements, is different. When the self, or spirit, leaves the body, the body ceases to function; it has no value on its own. The spirit is the real and valuable component of the body. We can't see it, but we know it's there by its symptom—consciousness.
As matter has its characteristics, spirit does also. The characteristics of spirit are sat, chit, ananda—eternity, knowledge, and blissfulness. Krishna is known as sat-chit-ananda-vigraha—His spiritual form is the embodiment of eternity, knowledge and bliss. Whenever He appears within the material worldHe does so in His spiritual body. This means Krishna's body isn't temporary or made of matter; it always exists, and it doesn't degrade over time.
Brahma-samhita, 5.1: "Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes."
We also have our own original, spiritual forms. Right now, they're covered by material elements. We are not our bodies, but Krishna is His body. There's no difference between Himself and His form.
Bhagavad-gita, 4.5-6: "The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy! Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form."
In the purport to that verse, Srila Prabhupada says,
"Although He appears in the same transcendental body and is Lord of the universe, it still appears that He takes His birth like an ordinary living entity. And although His body does not deteriorate like a material body, it still appears that Lord Krishna grows from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth. But 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 His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes. Therefore, it is clear that in spite of His being in the material world, He is the same unborn, eternal form of bliss and knowledge, changeless in His transcendental body and intelligence."
We're seeing Krishna at every moment. We're just not aware of it:
"Why can't you see God at every moment? Krishna says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: [Bhagavad-gita 7.8] "I am the taste of water." Everyone drinks water, and the taste is there—so if we think of this taste as God, we begin the process of God realization. Krishna also says, prabhasmi shashi-suryayoh: "I am the sunshine, and I am the moonshine." We all see the sunshine and moonshine every day, and if we think of how it is that the sun and moon are emanating light, we will ultimately reach God."
There's nowhere Krishna is not, so it's really amazing that we can't see Him. At the same time, we can't see very much with our material eyes, so we shouldn't be surprised that we can't see Krishna—the source of all that exists—personally. Even with sufficient light, we can only see what's within the visible color spectrum. Without light, we can't even see our hand in front of our face.
"We may be very proud of our eyes, but we cannot even see our next-door neighbor. People challenge, "Can you show me God?" But what can they see? What is the value of their eyes? God is not cheap. We cannot see anything, not to speak of God, without sunshine. Without sunlight we are blind."
It's not even easy to see most powerful, famous and opulent people on this tiny planet; they try to keep some privacy. Without powerful social connections, it's practically impossible. Krishna is the most powerful, most famous, most opulent person there is. He wants to have relationships with everyone, but very few are even interested to know about Him. We don't seek Him out, so why should we be able to see Him easily?
"We should not think, "I want to see God. O God, please come and stand before me. Be like my servant." But since God is no one's servant, we have to oblige Him by our love and service. We all know how difficult it is to see the king or president of a country. It is practically impossible for an ordinary man to get an interview with such an important person, to say nothing of having this important person come and stand before him. Yet people are demanding that the Supreme Personality of Godhead come and stand before them."
There's a lot we can't see. We can't see the mind, emotions, thoughts, ambitions, or intelligence. We can only see their symptoms. Same with the soul within the body, without which the insignificant material body has no value. We see its symptoms as life—consciousness. And we're surrounded by symptoms of the existence of God—innumerable life forms, elements, forces of nature, and space. Should we be able to see the source of all spirit and matter, the Supreme Soul, very easily?
The real reason we can't see Krishna is that we haven't yet developed sufficient interest in seeing Him. His pure devotees see Him everywhere—through bhakti-vilochanena, the eyes of love:
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Shyamasundara, Krishna Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love."
Even great sages who try to meditate on Krishna's form within their hearts for many years can't attain that divine vision without developing pure love for Him.
"O Narada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me."
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that He doesn't reveal Himself to everyone. Most people in this material world have no interest in God. They don't want to see him, so for them Krishna is invisible. Only those who surrender to Him in love can expect to see Him in person, and then only by His good wishes.
"As we have several times discussed, Krishna is covered by His yoga-maya potency. He is not to be seen or revealed to anyone and everyone. Only by one to whom He reveals Himself can He be seen. This is confirmed in Vedic literature; for one who is a surrendered soul, the Absolute Truth can actually be understood. The transcendentalist, by continuous Krishna consciousness and by devotional service to Krishna, can have his spiritual eyes opened and can see Krishna by revelation."
Even the greatest brains in this world have no access to Krishna unless they approach Him in a humble mood of selfless service.
"Krishna and His name, fame, qualities and paraphernalia cannot be materially understood. Unless one is advanced in spiritual life (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau), one cannot see Krishna. Therefore the ability to see Krishna depends on Krishna's mercy."
When we see a painting of Krishna, we're seeing Krishna. When we see Krishna's Deity form, we're seeing Krishna. When we hear His name, such as the Hare Krishna mantra, Krishna is there. We may think Krishna is different from His picture or the sound of His name, but He's not. He is all spiritual and absolute, which means there is no difference between Him and His image or His names.
"Because you have material eyes, you cannot see the spiritual form. Therefore He kindly appears to be in a material body so that you can see. However, because He has kindly made Himself just fit for your seeing, that does not mean He has a material body. Suppose the President of the United States kindly comes to your house. That does not mean that his position and your position are the same. It is his kindness. Out of love, he may come to your house, but that does not mean he is on the same level as you. Similarly, because we cannot see Krishna with our present eyes, Krishna therefore appears before us as a painting, as made of stone, as made of wood. And Krishna is not different from these paintings and wood because everything is Krishna."
- We're always seeing Krishna but we don't realize it.
- Our material vision is terribly limited, and Krishna is all spiritual.
- If we don't want to see Him we won't.
- He's not obliged to come before us.
- Only by devotion can He be known or seen.
Ultimately, if we want to see Krishna, it's up to us to behave in such a way that He will want to see us.
"In the Upanishads it is stated: "To one who has firm faith in God, and similar faith in God's representative, all the import of Vedic language will be revealed." We must have the qualification of being a devotee. Become dear to God. My spiritual master used to say, "Don't try to see God. Act in such a way that God will see you." We have to qualify ourselves. By your qualification God Himself will come and see you."
Krishna is the eternal Supreme Person. His body is always spiritual, meaning that it is composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss, whereas our bodies are temporary and made of gross matter. Just as the self is eternal, the supreme self is also. Krishna is always existing; He never dies, and unlike us He has no material body.
However, for the purpose of bringing His earthly activities to a dramatic close, He created an illusory display that made it appear as though He "died" after being struck in the foot by an arrow shot by a lone hunter in the forest. Of course, during His time on earth He was undefeated by any man, demon, demigod, or by any astronomical number of any of these. On the contrary, Krishna appeared specifically to diminish the world's unnecessary military buildup, and personally killed uncountable warriors in battle. Thus, His leaving the world after apparently being shot in the foot with a single arrow by a lone forest hunter was certainly an anomaly, and most clearly a situation of His own choosing.
His transcendental body can never be harmed or killed, but Krishna played the part of a human being in this world just to bewilder the atheists, who would never accept Him as He is—as the Supreme Personality of Godhead—anyway. He orchestrated His own departure from this world to serve the same purpose.
He doesn't interfere with anyone's free will. If we wish to disbelieve in His supremacy, He allows us to think whatever we like. For this reason, he created an illusory material body that was apparently "slain," just so that the most stubborn of atheists could point to this incident as "proof" that He is not supreme.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam, eleventh Canto, chapters 30-31 contains a description of the events surrounding Krishna's final moments on this planet, along with commentaries by various acharyas, which further explain this peculiar pastime.