Thursday, August 29, 2013

The cult of Krishna

Krishna appears to exemplify the sentiments and characteristics of the Millennials.

Krishna or Shyam is literally translated to dark, black or blue....born on a windy and rainy night, when the night was in the eight phase of the moon near the Taurus constellation or the 'bull', he appeared dark as the clouds that covered the sky, couldn't be confirmed to the walls of the prison where he was born and was prophesied to end the rule of violence.
Similar to his genesis, this generation was born with such bullish attitude and attributed such confidence: growing up under the cloud of suspicion, storming the old beliefs, staying more open-minded on the so-called darker things in life, living beyond the cultural barriers, and possessing great expectations and a sense of entitlement.

Krishna is portrayed in various forms in the legends during his infancy and youth, giving a different perspective to the social being - as a prankster, a flirt, a lover; playful, mischievous and divine: 'Bala Krishna', the adorable child; 'Maakhan Chor', the butter-thief; 'Laddu Gopal', often seen with laddu or the sweet in hand; 'Murali Manohar', the handsome one with a flute; 'Gopiramana', the lover who engaged in 'ras-leela' or the sportive dance with the 'gopikas' or the milkmaids.
Likewise, this young generation too came of age in a time of economic, technological and digital revolution, giving it a vastly different mindset and objectivity. And thus, these teenagers grew-up enjoying the material comforts; leading a life of imagination playing those video-games; surviving on food rich in sugar and spice to appeal the taste-buds; dressing up to charm and attract the opposites; singing and dancing, partying, dating and flirting around.

Krishna is also depicted as 'Mohan', the enchanter of women: from an infant who played flute to mesmerize the gopis, romanticized through the tales of Radha-Krishna; to the youthful prince who married eight queens including Rukmini and Satyabhama; to the savior who married 16,100 maidens in a symbolic wedding to reinstate their status in the society; to his divine aura that created devotees like Meera.
As well, this generation of Mambos dances to the chorus: 'A little bit of Monica in my life, A little bit of Erica by my side, A little bit of Rita is all I need, A little bit of Tina is what I see, A little bit of Sandra in the sun, A little bit of Mary all night long, A little bit of Jessica here I am!'

Krishna may thus appear to be exotic, and hard to understand whether he is a trouble-maker or a trouble-shooter. One can derive different meanings and different interpretations - some accurate, some inaccurate. But when one tries to ponder deeply, one would understand the symbolism behind these various forms, and get drawn to the cult of Krishna. As 'He' himself explains in Geeta: "I am not the body, I am the consciousness...I am the sweetness in the sugar, the light in the moon, and the heat in the sun... I am the strength of the strong, I am the beauty of the beautiful...I am not finished, I am eternal."

(Happy Janmashtami)