Connecting With Krishna Consciousness
Chakri Gohil takes us on a devotional journey, encouraging us to heal and connect by aligning with the divine consciousness of Krishna.
by Chakri Gohil
Devotional love and faith derives from the heart and soul. It requires no material item, it is free of charge, and when carried out through pure affection, it can improve and change life forever. Krishna is an immense subject, and this article aims to help readers connect with Krishna more easily.
The power of practising Krishna Consciousness has not only been an experience for myself, but also for millions of people around the world throughout millennia. The majority of us will have heard of the Hare Krishna movement, and it is the same entity, Krishna, that is being referred to here. Though this article focuses on Krishna specifically, the concepts and principles are universal and may be adapted to suit readers’ own spiritual beliefs.
It is more imperative to grasp the concept of devotional love and faith, and while reading, the name ‘Krishna’ may be altered to suit whichever designation one feels best. Examples of Divine names include, but are not limited to, the following – Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Allah, the Higher Power, the Universe, Goddess or God.
In the ancient Sanskrit text and the Holy Book of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna lovingly justifies devotional love and faith by explaining the following, ‘But those who worship me with exclusive devotion, meditation on my transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have’. The founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Srila Prabupada, clarified Krishna Consciousness by explaining, “We are not teaching some ritualistic process, we are simply teaching God is there. You are suffering because you have forgotten God. Your normal life will come back, you will be happy” and so, this article aims to comprehend on the ageless wisdom and benefits of practising Krishna Consciousness, or Divine Consciousness.
Although Krishna has become more and more popular in the recent times, and for those that are new to Krishna, many readers may feel that they are not qualified, or deserving enough, to know who he really is. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, an ardent spiritual teacher of Krishna in the 16th century, devotedly assured this feeling for Krishna, or the Divine, by explaining, ‘Wherever there is a relationship of the love of Godhead, its natural symptoms are that the devotee does not think himself a devotee. Instead, he always thinks that he has not even a drop of love for Krishna’. Caitanaya Mahaprabhu reiterates the natural love that each and every one of us has for Krishna, or the Divine, which may still be lying dormant within our hearts.
Krishna is a flexible companion, he is a friend to all beings and there are no strict rules and regulations about adapting and thinking of Krishna in our everyday lives, just the simple remembrance of him can make prayers and healing instantaneously effective with dreams becoming true and signs of miracles starting to occur rapidly.
Being a very simple spiritual process, anyone can adopt this type of Divine Consciousness and feel the power of Krishna. Immediately, life begins to feel much more content, positive and optimistic with symptoms of unease beginning to subside due to the result of performing duties for the highest entity – Krishna, or the Divine. In Krishna Consciousness the Topmost Yoga System, Srila Prabhupada, simplifies this spiritual process by adding, ‘You will have no anxiety over what is auspicious or inauspicious because you will be in touch with the most auspicious’. In addition he adds, ‘amongst the dying mortals you will become the most intelligent because you are freed from sinful actions’.
There are numerous ways to connect with Krishna, he explains in the Bhagavad Gita. ‘One who is able to withdraw the senses from their objects, like a tortoise drawing its limbs within its shell, is firmly established in wisdom’, therefore Krishna is implying that our five senses can be used to heighten our connection and relationship with the Divine. Furthermore, Krishna clarifies, ‘I reciprocate with all beings according to the way they surrender to me. Everyone follows my path in all respects’, suggesting that Krishna accepts the level of love from all beings despite other aspects on Earth, such as religion. As many of the senses explained below overlap, they can all be used together, or individually, to suit the level of devotion one is aiming to achieve.
From a personal point of view, the easiest and simplest way is to visualise him by observing an image such as the one provided at the top of this page. In the image, Krishna is shown as a young boy with dark hair and dark eyes, decorated with accessories including peacock feathers and flowers. In other images he is portrayed differently – as baby Krishna or Krishna with his consort, Radha.
It is important to use whichever image one may feel connected to and when an image has been chosen, the best way to connect with him is to admire his features. From a personal perspective, it is a beautiful feeling to observe his vibrant colours and recognise whether he is providing an answer to a prayer or simply distributing his infinite love through his image. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Those who see me in all things, and all things in me, are never lost to me, nor am I ever lost to them’.
To complement visually experiencing Krishna, the next best sense to work on can be the touch sense, the perfect way to start developing a practice of the art of loving and meditating on the Divine or, Bhakti Yoga – the highest form of yoga. Krishna explains in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Of all yogis, the one who is constantly thinking of me within himself, meditating upon me within the heart, is the first-class yogi’. Krishna further clarifies in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘If one offers me with love and devotion a flower, a fruit, a leaf or even water, I accept it’ and for many Krishna devotees, a daily practice of Bhakti Yoga involves keeping an altar with a picture or statue of Krishna and offering a candle, incense, flower and/or fruit to him, hence developing a stronger Divine connection.
In addition to the touch sense, the best way to enhance the use of the smell sense could be to offer Krishna some flower-based incense and feel his presence at home. It is said that Krishna’s form emits a fragrance that is described to be similar to Blue Lotus mixed with Musk, Sandalwood, Tulasi and other enchanting floral scents.
With regards to the above senses, the taste sense may also be used to connect with Krishna. Taste is a great and simple way to connect with the Divine as it enables one to eat food that is blessed, known as Prasadam in Sanskrit. This principle enables devotees of the Divine to be freed from sins as they consume food that is offered as a sacrifice to Krishna first. To do this, simply remember Krishna and offer food and drink items before eating, this can be performed by either physically offering the meal to a picture or statue of Krishna, or simply remembering him and thanking him before beginning to eat.
Srila Prabhupada expands on this concept by explaining, ‘The point is that anything used for Krishna, simply for Krishna’s satisfaction, is spiritual. We are preparing food for Krishna and offering it to him with love, therefore becoming Prasadam – the Lord’s mercy’. Consequently, by offering food items to Krishna and respecting food items as being blessed, the tongue becomes more satisfied which develops a stronger service to the Divine.
The final sense engages Krishna through hearing, which can also be accomplished with a combination of other senses too. The best way to attune with Krishna using the hearing sense is to learn about him through other devotees or in the current day and age, discover more about him through online material provided by reputable resources such as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. In addition, reading books and studying the divine aspects of Krishna also helps to advance our spiritual wisdom and knowledge.
Another way to connect with Krishna is to chant the ‘Hare Krishna’ mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
This mantra helps to enhance Divine Consciousness greatly, and it is believed and experienced by many that the mantra can provide peace, happiness and complete self-fulfilment. Furthermore, from a personal perspective, when in times of difficulty, simply repeating ‘Hare Krishna’ aids to quickly alleviate problems and provide light into the darkness felt beforehand.
It is important to remember that one does not need to change spiritual paths to experience the power of Krishna, it is best to keep the spiritual path one is most comfortable and contented with, as Krishna resides in all of them. In conclusion of all the different devotional methods that one may choose to adopt based on their level of devotion, Krishna encourages in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Of many thousands of people, one will attempt to reach perfection; of the few who reach this goal, only a rare soul will come to know me as I am’.
Ultimately, Krishna enlightened his love for humanity, and each and every individual being, in the Bhagavad Gita by explaining the following beautiful quote, “I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend to Me and I am also a friend in him”.
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