Founder of ISKCON. His Divine
Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada
When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death. (Bhagavad-gita 9.21)
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Krishna

The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Himself has explained in the Bhagavad-gita that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whenever there are discrepancies in the regulative principles of man’s religious life and a prominence of irreligious activities, He appears on this earthly planet. In other words, when Lord Sri Krsna appeared, there was a necessity of minimizing the load of sinful activities accumulated on this planet, or in this universe. For affairs of the material creation, Lord Maha-Visnu, the plenary portion of Krsna, is in charge.

Transcendental Form

The Vedas tell us that spirit is composed of eternity, knowledge (or consciousness), and happiness. Both God and we souls possess spiritual forms, which are free of the limitations of material form. For example, each part of a spiritual body can perform the function of any other part. Krishna’s body never changes; He is an eternal youth. Unlike us ordinary souls, who may possess a material body, Krishna and His body are always identical.

A Description of Krishna

The Vedas describe Krishna in this way: He is a beautiful youth with a glowing complexion the color of rain clouds. He plays a flute, attracting the hearts of all. His cheeks are brilliant, His smiling enchanting. He wears a peacock feather in His curly black hair and a flower garland around His neck. His beautiful garments are the color of lightning. His toenails resemble the light of the moon.

Not only do the Vedas tell us what Krishna looks like, but pure souls have received His audience and written of their encounters. And fifty centuries ago, Krishna revealed His transcendental form to residents of India when He lived there for 125 years, sometimes showing and sometimes hiding His divinity.

Krishna’s Nature

Krishna is loving by nature. In our original pure state, we love Him fully. In the exchange of complete love, Krishna considers His devotees greater than Himself. In the spiritual world He always stays with His devotees, and in this world He resides in every heart as the Supersoul. He wants His children in the material world to return to Him to enjoy with Him eternally.

Krishna is completely independent, and we cannot comprehend Him completely. He cannot be conquered by knowledge. But He can be conquered—and seen directly—through pure love.

God has feelings: He is satisfied when someone offers Him a nice prayer. Even though He is great, He can be moved by our love. He responds to us according to how we approach Him.

Krishna’s Qualities

Understanding that God is spiritual, people sometimes conceive of Him as having no qualities. But although Krishna has no material qualities, He is full of unlimited transcendental qualities, and those qualities attract us to Him. Thus great souls who have given up everything cannot give up attraction to Krishna, and they dedicate their lives to finding Him.

The following qualities are considered especially attractive, and Krishna possesses them in full: beauty, wealth, fame, influence, knowledge, and renunciation. Being God, Krishna has innumerable qualities, and seemingly contradictory qualities are resolved in Him. Hearing of how Krishna shows these qualities can give us a sense of His greatness and of His power to attract all souls.

Krishna’s Activities

While Krishna’s expansions and incarnations perform duties in the material and spiritual worlds, He Himself simply enjoys with His most intimate devotees in His transcendental home, known as Goloka. By His desire, His associates there don’t even consider Him God. They enhance His enjoyment in five loving moods: neutrality, servitude, friendship, parental affection, and conjugal love. In other words, Krishna’s life is filled with unending bliss in the company of His associates.

Krishna enjoys Himself with abandon, frolicking as a youth in expansive fields and forests with His friends and cows. He dances, He plays His flute, He relishes whatever activity strikes His fancy at the moment.

To entice souls in the material world to join Him in Goloka, Krishna comes to this world periodically, as He did 5,000 years ago, and shows His confidential, intimate loving exchanges with His ever-liberated devotees.

Krishna’s Home

God owns everything, so in a sense His home is everywhere. But He Himself resides in the spiritual world in a place known as Goloka, the highest spiritual region. Reaching Krishna there is the highest achievement of human life.

Goloka is self-illuminated, and everyone there is liberated, shining with pure love for Krishna. Because Krishna is the center of everyone’s heart, there is complete unity and peace. Goloka is built of transcendental gems that yield whatever one wants. The natural surroundings are beautiful, full of diversity and opulence. In Goloka, every word is a song, every step a dance, every moment new, fresh, and exciting.

Krishna’s Energies

Although Krishna is invisible to us in our present state, we can perceive His presence through His energies, which are everywhere. Although innumerable, His energies fall into three primary categories.

Krishna’s internal energy expands as the spiritual world in all its variety, including His ever-liberated associates there. The internal energy is eternal and full of knowledge and happiness. Presently beyond our perception, the spiritual world makes up most of reality.

Krishna’s external energy consists of all that is matter: the material world, the laws of material nature, material bodies, and so on. The external energy is temporary and full of ignorance and suffering. It is inert by nature and must be moved by spirit. The material world is a tiny fraction of God’s creation.

We finite spirit souls are expansions of Krishna’s marginal energy. We can choose to live in the spiritual world or the material world. Or, to put it another way, we can be deluded by matter or illuminated by spirit.

Both the external energy (matter) and the marginal energy (we souls) can become fully spiritualized by contact with the internal energy through acts of devotion to Krishna (Bhakti yoga).

Krishna’s Relationships

Krishna savors diversity from various kinds of pure, transcendental love. As we enjoy a variety of relationships in our families and society, so does Krishna, but all of His relationships are eternal, transcendental, and completely free of material contamination.

Each of Krishna’s devotees interacts with Him in one of five primary relationships. In ascending order of intimacy, these five are neutrality, servitude, friendship, parental affection, and conjugal love. Each includes the primary sentiments of the ones before it, and then adds its own flavor. Pure love of God reaches its summit in romantic exchanges with Krishna.

Krishna Comes as Sri Chaitanya

In a special appearance, Krishna personally came in A.D. 1486 as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and acted as His own devotee. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, saturated with the love for Him that Radha embodies. As the emblem of the perfect devotee of Krishna, He displayed feelings of the highest spiritual ecstasy.

Krishna taught Bhagavad-gita to liberate all souls, and He returned as Sri Chaitanya to show us how to live by the Gita’s teachings.

Because spiritual realization is difficult in the present age, Krishna as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is especially liberal. He has made pure love of God attainable by the easy process of chanting His holy names, as in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.