Celebrating Gokulashtami – Tribute to Krishna

RadhaKrishna Sculpture in White Wood for Gokulashtami Krishna Janmashtami

Wishing you all a
Joyous & Enlightening Gokulashtami!


Notes excerpted from my book, Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms;
© Arun Shanbhag 2007

Krishna Vandana – Tribute to Krishna
Krishna is the most beloved of Hindu Gods and a popular avataar of Vishnu, the eternal soul of the Universe. While other incarnations of Vishnu crystallize divine traits in ordinary beings, Krishna’s life and experiences on earth symbolize the humanness of the divine.

Closeup of RadhaKrishna Sculpture in white wood for Krishna Janmashtami Gokulashtami

Krishna takes a human birth in a prison cell in the city of Mathura, as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Spirited away, Krishna was raised in Vrindavan by foster parents Yashoda and Nanda. His childhood antics endear him to his friends and later devotees, even earning him the epithet of makhan chor – stealer of butter! A baby Krishna digging into a pot of freshly churned butter is commonly depicted in devotional art. At a young age, Krishna subdues the vile snake Kaliya; humbles the Vedic God Indra; defeats his evil uncle Kamsa and liberates his parents.

As a skilled strategist, Krishna plays a central role in the epic Mahabharata; helping the Pandava brothers win the war of dharma. His advise to Arjuna at the beginning of the battle is encapsulated in the Bhagvad Gita (Song of the Blessed One) – one of the most important and popular Indian philosophical treatises. It is in the Bhagvad Gita that Krishna succinctly explains the diverse paths to eternal salvation and harmonizes their ultimate goal of spiritual union with God.

RadhaKrishna Sculpture in white wood for Krishna Janmashtami Gokulashtami

When a young Krishna in Vrindavan plays his flute, the gopikas (milkmaids) are maddeningly drawn by the magical notes and forget their daily chores. Radha in particular, even goes against social norms and secretly pines for union with Krishna. Their ability to intensely love Krishna and be forever devoted to him, even sacrificing other relations, is the exemplary centerpiece of bhakti.

In the Bhagvad Gitā, Krishna reveals that bhakti – reverent devotion to God, is the easiest path to enlightenment. He implores Arjuna, “Fix your mind on me; be forever devoted to me and you shall come to me. I promise you this, for you are dear to me.” (18:65)

More Krishna:

59 thoughts on “Celebrating Gokulashtami – Tribute to Krishna

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  1. Whatever little I know is due to the mercy of my Guru Maharaj, be that as it may, I deeply appreciate the tremendous job you do by your blog. Lord Krishna remembers the smallest thing that you do for Him, and here you write so nicely about him and quote from the BG. This is one of the highest services that anyone can do. Please accept my gratitude for your wonderful services to Krishna.

  2. Thank you for the quick response, for me it shows how much you value your readers comments.
    As for the BG, I have had the great good fortune to be learning under the guidance of a personality in the line of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan.
    One of the common complaints that people foreign to Vedic culture have is that it allegedly fosters fatalism. Nothing could be further from the truth as BG18.63 emphatically proves.
    Sri Krishna states
    Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.

    The Lord explicitly bestows on Arjuna the choice to do as he wishes to do. I do not see any fatalism here.

  3. Thank you very much for this post Arun, especially for quoting 18.65 from the BG. You have an excellent blog, and I am sure your quoting this famous shloka will arouse the curiosity of some reader to explore and really learn more about the BG.

    1. Jay – thank you for visiting and sharing your kinds words about this blog.

      And yes, despite have gone over the BG several time in the past, I have now joined the local Chinmaya Mission’s classes on the Bhagavad Gita. This has opened my eyes to the amazing treasure that lies before us. WoW!

      And, I had omitted the actual citation # to the BG phrase above. Thanks to your pointer, I have not added that as well.

      Best Wishes for Sankranti!

  4. Ha ha! Asha!
    I too was wondering what to do for Ganesha? Hmmmm, will need to get creative! The pressure is on!

    and Thank you Asha for visiting! (while recovering from your eye surgery and all!)

  5. Hi Arun, thanks for visiting me! That statue is so beautfiful!! I am not very religious but love the architecture of Temples and artifacts. Ganesha next here?:))

  6. Hi Kumudha,
    Thank you for the delicious recipe with spicy tofu. Will pickup some tofu this weekend.
    and thanks for providing the link. Earlier, I had not bookmarked it. Now it is saved and I’ll add you to my blogroll too! 🙂

  7. Hi Arun,

    I have posted a tofu recipe .

    Hope you try spicy tofu.

    Wonderful sculpture of Krishna. I would love to visit Udupi sometime.

    Thanks again for visiting my blog!

  8. Thank you Sirisha,
    you are very kind with your words. Yes, I am in total awe of this masterpiece and feel blessed to be its caretaker.
    Please do browse, enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or comments. 🙂

  9. Hi Arun….You have a lovely site…I liked it a lot…
    And the Krishna sculpture is awesome…..Will take time to go thru all your posts…….Once again…Excellent writeup and pics 🙂

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