This entry is the continuation and completion of Some words about Hinduism und Vaishnavism and Some words about Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
|Krishna lifting Govardhana mountain|
In Hinduism, Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, the aspect of preservation in the Hindu trinity of creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnu) and destruction (Shiva). Depending on orientation or sect, either Brahma or Vishnu or Shiva is regarded as the only one God, the other two as demigods. There is not much of a Brahmaism, but Vishnuism (also Vaishnavism) and Shivaism are widespread. Vishnuism, the area of Hinduism that sees Vishnu as the one true God, worships Vishnu especially in his incarnations as Rama and Krishna. The theological and philosophical concept of God of Hinduism is as contradictory and absurd, albeit in a different way, as the God of the great Christian sects, divided into three persons.
What or whom one recognizes as God or the Supreme is of fundamental importance, for all life, on this side as well as on the other, depends on it. Fortunately, most people feel the truth about God much better in their hearts than the creators of religious and church teachings in their minds. You don't have to understand the sun to be enlivened by its light. The God-sun sheds the same light on all men, which is why there is virtue and the demand for a virtuous life in every religion, provided that it possesses a higher morality. That is why they know love, hope, faith, humility, justice, etc. Although these virtues will not be perfect if they are clouded by an imperfect knowledge of God, they will always produce the same moral effects of upliftment, ecstasy, mercy, modesty, restraint with the desire and hope to come into the possession of God. Therefore, even in imperfect religions one finds people who achieve an impressive perfection. But of course it is not wrong to know that the sun is the only one gigantic star of our solar system, and not three, which are somehow only one. As long as there is a ghost of three gods ghosting through religion, it is paganism - even if it may be called Christianity.
Krishna has emancipated himself quite far from Vishnu and has become something like the god of love. His plays describe the love between God and His devotees in all kinds of relationships. Parts of it can even illuminate mystical Christianity, but caution is advised. Krishna is also the proclaimer of the Bhagavad-gita, the book that can be described as the Bible of the Hindus. It is about the relationship between him and Arjuna, his friend and devotee. But the actual topic is the God-willed fight. Krishna encourages the reluctant Arjuna to fight and kill his own relatives. Basically, Krishna preaches a warrior ethos. But since many other things are also discussed, each Hindu sect focuses on what is most agreeable to it and declares this to be the true message of the Bhagavad-gita.
The Origin of Krishna - Ancient Greece
Anyone who compares the stories of Heracles and Pan with those of Krishna must be blind if he does not notice the many similarities. Alexander the Great came to the Ganges during his conquests and this is where Krishna began. The people of the Ancient World were quite pragmatic when it came to gods: if you were defeated, then the gods of the victors were taken over, since they were quite obviously more powerful than your own gods. The ancient Israelites were probably the only exception: When their land was conquered by the Persians, the temple of Jehovah destroyed, and the elite was kidnapped and brought to Babylon, they remained faithful to Jehovah. The reason for this was because Jehovah was really God and not just a myth, like the other gods of the ancients. Once you know the true one God, you no longer associate yourself with many "gods".
When Alexander the Great came to what is now India, Indra was the ruling god of the ancient Indians. The powerful general from ancient Greece defeated and subdued the local kingdoms, what meant that "Heracles/Pan" was stronger than Indra. So Heracles/Pan took the place of Indra under the name Krishna. "Krishna" means "black" in Sanskrit and Pan is black. Therefore Indra was degraded to a demigod, who is defeated and reprimanded by Krishna.
Hinduism is like an octopus collecting things from everywhere and often creating fascinating new things from it. Krishna is the Indian version of Heracles, to which a good portion of Pan has been added. Heracles stands for "Herculean" power and heroic deeds, and this is exactly what Krishna does all the time, even as a baby and toddler. He fights monsters and demons and gods and proves his strength by holding a mountain above him and the inhabitants of Vrindavan with only one finger. Among the demons we find a demonic snake (the hydra), a demonic donkey and a demonic horse (Mares of Diomedes) as parallels to the Hercules saga.
|Krishna fighting Kaliya, Wikimedia Commons, Nizil Shah|
Heracles fights with a legendary bow and club and is a feared warrior. Heracles uses a bow to marry Iole. Krishna is also described as a great bowfighter, killing countless enemies (and others). His bow is more like a weapon of mass destruction. He uses his bow to obtain Rukmini. He also fights with the club. Attributes of both Heracles and Krishna include the club, bow and quiver.
Heracles and Krishna both grow up among cowherds. Both have many wives and a lot of children. Even with the children there are similarities: Heracles kills some children in madness, Krishna's descendants kill each other in intoxication. Heracles and Krishna both die of an arrow, albeit under different circumstances.
The Herculean side of Krishna is less emphasized in Hinduism today. Since the last centuries, the characteristics adopted from Pan have been more emphasized. Pan is the god of the forest and nature, a shepherd god. He plays the flute and chases the nymphs. Fertility and all that. His special love is for the moon goddess Selene. The parallels to Krishna in Vrindavan with the cowherd girls are striking. Krishna's favorite is Radha, the goddess of luck.
Yet Krishna has two faces. If you experience the tragedies of life, you don't want a god that has nothing to do but enjoy. You don't expect help from a bluish cowboy always sporting around with cowgirls. Then the Herculean side of Krishna comes into play. So he is a hero, the protector, the fighter against evil. The female and maternal side are represented by Radha and Yasoda. Radha is actually the one who enjoys the sympathy, because she suffers so much from her love for Krishna (who can't marry her, because otherwise the story wouldn't be so dramatic) that she goes insane and finally even commits suicide. The Greek goddesses didn't have it easy either. Who dares to love the Greek gods has to expect a terrible fate like that of Europe, Dido, Daphne, Eurydice and Proserpina.
Is Krishna Satan?
|Rasa-dance, the dance of delight|
Is Herakles Satan? Or Pan? Not in the ordinary or propagandistic sense. Nor Krishna. So-called gods and heroes who did not live in reality sprang from human imagination. Like Santa Claus and Superman, they have some qualities of the one and only true God, but otherwise they are nothing but empty names and products made of matter by human hands. As a natural person, Krishna lived as little as the ancient Greek gods.
In Christian iconography, Pan became the inspiration for the devil, which spreads to Krishna. Where the black devil dances with the witches on Walpurgis Night and unites with them, pitch-black Krishna (he's not really smurf blue, that's some artistic idea) performs the Rasa dance with his mistresses and then meets them for some research in the bushes. That these are only mythological stories can be confirmed by anyone who has ever tried to dance naked through the forest at night and to keep his amorous feelings facing the kindness of nature - as there are hedgehogs, thorns, pointed stones and all kinds of abysses that cannot be seen in the darkness.
As far as Krishna is worshipped as God, he is an idol. Everyone and everything but God can be made an idol. Even Jesus, who is indeed God as man, worshipping Him as God without understanding His divinity. An idol is something or someone to whom divine worship is shown, although it or he or she is not God. In this sense, one could say that Krishna is Satan because Satan wants to be God instead of God.
"Krishna" is the name the Vaishnavas use for the one and only supreme Personality of Godhead, for God. As I wrote at the beginning, it does not matter so much whether the perception or understanding of God is completely correct. It's the better feeling people have for God that is fundamentally important, since it is ultimately the basis for the nature and coexistence of an entire people. And this feeling is well developed in the Vaishnavas, although cloudy. The problem of the Vaishnava and Hindus is that they do not know Jesus Christ in truth. And that is where the wrath of God comes into play.
The wrath of God
|Also very blue: Superman|
As long as and as far as religion is still the religion of law, it is subject to the wrath of God, God remains a judge, a figure of fear, and does not become man's loving father. As long as God's wrath has not been overcome by God's love, Jesus Christ, people are subject to the wrath of God. The wrath of God is not something real in the sense of an angry person who devils around like an unreasonable person. Since God is pure love, His wrath is more like theatrical thunder, but still to be feared. The wrath of God is better called God's zeal.
While the love of God converts evil people and brings them into a new good life, which is eternal, thus saving them, the wrath of God aims to destroy them. God's wrath is the hero who takes out the bad guy. God's love wins him over and is the true hero. In both cases, the fight essentially takes place on the spiritual level. Both have their justification. Because most of us are more or less evil, we think God's wrath is cool. Until he sabers off something you'd like to keep for reasons of survival. At the latest then you understand: Really cool is the love of God.
Krishna is a personification of God's wrath. He appears to destroy the evil people, when there are too many of them on earth, as he himself says in the Bhagavad-gita. With Krishna, heads and limbs fly around - yet the violence is only illustrative, like in a computer game or film. Evil is fought and eradicated, not so much the wicked.
The Bhagavad-gita and other wisdom teachings are the teachings of the ancient Indian wise men who put them into the mouths of mythological gods and heroes to give them weight and bring them to the people. This fact becomes very obvious when one considers that the lives of these gods and heroes largely do not correspond to those good teachings. And where the teachings correspond to their lives, there it is material for those people who cause slaughter in the name of religion and whatever. Therefore the Bhagavad-gita was also the favourite book of Heinrich Himmler, who used it (and other Far Eastern warrior teachings) to brew the philosophical foundations for the SS. The most popular excuse of the Nazis before the Nuremberg Court was: "We have only done our duty (dharma)!" This comes essentially from the Bhagavad-gita. Surrender to me, just do your duty as a warrior, and kill them all, is Krishna's teaching to Arjuna. But Himmler took only what was suitable for him out of the Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is in itself a good book and divine influence definitely present. It is like the sun, which also gives light and warmth to evil people. The Bhagavad-gita is not compromised because it was placed in Krishna's mouth. Neither Gandhi, nor the Vaishnavas, nor the Hindus would have accept this book if it were actually something bad.