[Advaita-l] krshnopanishad - part 1

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Aug 9 21:48:09 CDT 2012

It's the time of year when we are hearing or reading the 
Krshnajanmakatha so I thought this might be interesting to the readers as 
it explains the adhyatmika basis of Krshna Bhagavans earthly lIla.

In Shridharacharyas introduction to his commentary on the 10th skandha of 
the Bhagavata Purana, he quotes in its entirety a small work of 27 shlokas 
called Krishnopanishad which claims to belong to the Atharvaveda though it 
is probably not a genuine upanishad.  A work by the same name is mentioned 
as one of the 108 upanishads in muktikopanishad which means that 
Upanishadbrahmayogi probably commented on it though I am not sure.  There 
is a commentary by Swami Narayana Tirth as well as by various Vaishnavas. 
The following text and translation is based on the one in my 
Sanskrit/Gujarati edition of the Bhagavata and my own efforts.  I plan to 
post it in three installments.

taM hochustaM surAH sarve bhgavantaM sanAtanam |
no.avadyamatAranvai gR^ihyante naiva bhutale || 1 ||

"The assembled Gods said to the eternal Bhagavan 'we do not wish to 
descend[1] to the Earth which is displeasing to us.[2]'"

[1] Avatar means "one who descends."

[2] Because it is full of pain and sorrow.

AGYayA.avatArAMste hi gopAnnaH strIshcha naH kuru |
anyo na vigrahaM dhatte tavA~ngasparshanAdvinA || 2 ||

"'But if you command it we will descend.  Please Make us cowherds and 
their women.  Only you can give us such a form in which your limbs can be 

shashvatsparshArpite.asmAkaM gR^ihyante.avaArAnvayaM |
rudrAdInAM vachaH shrutvA provAcha bhagavAnsvayam || 3 ||

"'If you favor us with the gift of your touch we will descend.'  Having 
heard such words from Rudra and the others, Bhagavan Himself said"

angasangaM kariShyAmi bhavadvAkyaM karomyaham |
moditAste surAH sarve kR^itakR^ityA adhunA vayam || 4 ||

"'I shall grant your request.  We will have close relations[3]'
Hearing that all the Gods said 'We are most fortunate today.'"

[3] The actual word here angasanga literally means "union of limbs" which 
could mean anything from holding hands to the most erotic contact.

yo nandaH paramAnando yashodA muktigehinI |
mAyA sA trividhA proktA sattvarAjasatAmasI || 5 ||

"That Nanda[4] is the supreme bliss [of Brahman] and his wife Yashoda is the 
embodiment of liberation.  Maya takes three forms, Sattvika, Rajasika and 

[4] Bhagavan is talking again.  He know proceeds to describe all the 
Earthly forms the divinities will take.

proktA sAttvI cha rudre sA bhakte brahmaNi rAjasI |
tAmasI daityapakShe tu mAyA traidhA hyudAhR^itA || 6 ||

"The Sattvika [Maya] is Rudra. The bhakta Brahma is Rajasika [Maya]. 
Tamasika [Maya] is found amongst the Demons.  This is known as the 
threefold Maya."

ajayyA vaiShNavI mAyA.apyajena sA jitA purA |
devakI brahmavidyA sA yA devairupagIyate || 7 ||

"This Maya of Vishnu is difficult to conquer but was defeated by the 
Unborn Everlasting[5] It is as Devaki that Brahmavidya takes a form 
praised by the Gods."

[5] Jnana which has no beginning or end.

nigamo vasudevo yo vedArthaH kR^iShNarAmayoH |
stuvanti satataM yaM vai so.avatIrNo mahitale || 8 ||

"The Nigama[6] whose meaning is to be known as Krishna and Rama[7]
praises me constantly so it has descended to the Earth as Vasudeva."

[6] The Vedas.

[7] Balarama is the Rama meant here.

vane vR^indAvane krIDan gopagopIsuraiH saha |
gopyo gAva R^ichastasya yaShTikA kamalAsanaH || 9 ||

"The forest of Vrindavan where I play with the Gods in the form of 
cowherds and cowherdesses.  The Rks are also cows and cowherdesses there 
and Brahma is my churning stick"

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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