04.09: Bridging the valley between amusing and amazing
The Bhagavad-gita (4.9) makes the remarkable claim that when we understand Krishna’s appearance and activities in truth, we will attain liberation. Central to understanding this claim is the key word in this verse: tattvatah, in truth.
Many of the people who know Krishna treat him as amusing – especially in his childhood pranks like stealing butter. However, the tattvatah understanding, the philosophical vision given in the Gita helps us see Krishna in truth, as what he actually is: as God himself. Unmindful of his godhood, God in his own self-existence takes on the role of a dainty and naughty child – just to reciprocate love with those who love him.
When the weight of the truth sinks into us, we cannot but be amazed. Isn’t it amazing that God is so hungry for love that he who is the eternal and ultimate father of all becomes a tender child for the sake of love? Isn’t it even more amazing that God renounces that which everyone in this world longs to have – godhood – just for the sake of love? And isn’t it most amazing that God, though he has the love of billions and billions of his devotees, considers our love for him as so invaluable and irreplaceable and indispensable that he personally descends to this world to invite us with his love-call?
Indeed, how can we not love the Lord who is so given to love? And when we choose to love him, how can Krishna stop himself from fulfilling his heart’s longing to reinstate us in our rightful place in his world of love?
Thus, when we cross the bridge from amusing to amazing in our understanding of Krishna, then Krishna helps us cross the far greater bridge from the material world to the spiritual world.