Volume 8 - Issue 08
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The very name ‘Krishna’ is so enticing and sweet. In fact, it is the one of the most fascinating forms of the Lord. And in the life of Krishna one finds every emotion of human personality in its perfect manifestation, be it being courageous and caring, or loving and forgiving, or entertaining and inspiring, or advising and rightly admonishing, or leading and safeguarding or any other feeling and facet of man’s character. It is precisely for this reason that so many relate to Lord Krishna in diverse ways, and this is why the Lord is adored through so many names. Keshava, Madhava, Madhusudhana, Janardhana, Gopala, Vaasudeva…the appellations of Lord Krishna are numerous.

Each of these names is profound and packed with deep significance. Bhagavan Baba graciously has explained the inner meaning of these appellations in His various discourses. The current quiz is an attempt to understand the hidden meaning of some of these sacred names.



1. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1994, Swami narrated instances where Krishna’s Mother, Yashoda would get caught up in the maya (illusion)and would treat Him as human! He says:

“Krishna was pleading with Yashoda that He should be allowed to go to the forest with other cowherd boys. Thinking that if He was put to sleep, He would forget His desire to go to the forest, Yashoda fed Him milk. Krishna was no ordinary child. While drinking the milk, He pretended as if He was sleepy. He made pretence of yawning to indicate His drowsiness. In that wide-open mouth of Krishna, Yashoda saw all kinds of things - all the worlds in motion and many deities. She could not make out what it meant. ‘Is it a dream or Vishnu's maaya (illustrious power)? Or is it some fantasy of mine? Or is it real? Am I Yashoda? Have I gone somewhere?’ These thoughts racked her mind. ‘My son is an infant. How can all the worlds appear in His tiny mouth? It must be my imagination.’ Such doubts arise in the minds of those who are caught up in the delusions of the body complex.

Yielding to his entreaties Yashoda allowed Krishna to go to the forest with the cowherd boys, and almost every day Krishna encountered some ogre or ogress and slayed them.

What would be Mother Yashoda’s conviction on Lord Krishna’s safe arrival back home?

“It is only because of my prayers, my child is protected."
“When Krishna is with His brother Balarama, I don’t have to worry!”
“The talisman I put around His neck is very powerful!”
“No one will harm Him because everyone is scared of me!”


. Swami once remarked playfully: “All the gopikas came to Yashoda and complained ‘Mother! Your son Krishna comes stealthily into our houses, breaks our pots and steals butter and milk.’ This was a daily occurrence!”

During a Divine Discourse in 2004, Swami narrated: “Once, Yashoda reprimanded child Krishna saying, ‘Oh! My dear Krishna! You don’t eat the food I prepared for you. You go to the houses of the milkmaids and stealthily eat the butter stored in their homes. You are creating problems for me. Is it that the butter suffused with mother’s love not tasty enough for you?’ So saying, she tied Krishna to a mortar with a rope.”

According to Swami, what does the ‘butter’ represent?

Still mind
Healthy body
Pure heart
Divine Soul


3. Swami says: “In the Dwapara Yuga the cowherds and cowherdesses used to experience boundless joy in the presence of Krishna, forgetting themselves in their devotion to the Lord.”

In the Bhagavatha Vahini, Swami narrated what Suka told King Parikshit in detail about Lord Krishna’s role as a Gopaala: “Suka smiled and said, ‘It is not possible for me to describe to you all the leelas of that Divine Gopaala, each of which fills the mind with sweetness. The cowherd boys who shared that joy were really blessed. The Lord will not pay any attention to external distinctions - the name of the individual, his nationality, his caste, his profession, his attitude. Whatever may be the attitude with which a person approaches Him, He will welcome him, draw him near, fulfill his wishes, and confer happiness. That was the nature of Gopaala…

“Picture to yourself, Oh King, the spotless white herd of calves and cows, and the dark Divine Boy! They were drawn to Him, close. They would not leave Him and stray away. Nor could Krishna, for He loved them, as His own brothers and sisters, or as His own children! Let but His hand touch their backs ever so lightly, the calves and their mothers forgot all about themselves, opened their mouths, raised their tails, hung out their tongues, and lovingly licked His face and hands. Gopaala too, often clasped their necks and swung to and fro, in great joy - His eyes closed, and His face beaming with a radiant smile. The calves playfully butted at His soft Body with their just-emerging horn-ends. On the ever-fresh, ever spring sands of the cool Yamuna, He played about gracefully and gladly, regardless of night and day, with His friends: the calves and the cowherd boys.”

According to Swami, what else does the appellation ‘Go-paala’ mean?

The Lord who makes us desireless
The Ever-playful Lord
The Anger-taming Lord
The Lord who guides the senses to safe paths


4. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1994, Swami narrated a sweet story: “Krishna's leelas (sportive miracles) were intended in one way or another to reveal His divinity. Once, Balaraama teased Krishna by declaring: 'You are not Yashoda's son. You may ask why I say so. This is because Nanda and Yashoda are of fair complexion and your are dark. You are not their child. You must have been born somewhere else.'

"What Balaraama said was true and Krishna knew it. But assuming an air of innocence, Krishna went to Yashoda and complained 'Mother! Balaraama is saying that I am not your son. Tell me the truth.' Yashoda replied: 'Krishna! What does Balaraama know? He is an innocent boy. You are very cute, and highly intelligent. Don't pay any heed to his words. You are truly my son. The colour given by God is permanent. Colour as such is not important. Many people paint themselves in different ways to conceal their identity. All these are momentary. The colour given by God cannot be changed by anyone. God likes the dark complexion. You have got the colour of the Divine.’

According to Swami, what does the ‘dark blue’ colour of Lord Krishna represent?

His love for the peacock feathers He wears on His crown
That God is the greatest mystery
That Krishna loves anything blue
He simply loves to play with the cowherds before it rains!


5. During the Divine Discourse given during Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality in 2000, Swami sang:

Vacanam Madhuram, Charitam Madhuram,
Vasanam Madhuram, Valitam Madhuram,
Chalitam Madhuram, Bhramitam Madhuram,
Madhuradhipate Rakhilam Madhuram.

“His words are sweet, His eyes radiate sweetness, His gait is sweet, and His smile too is sweet! The Lord of Mathura [Krishna] is sweet, sweet and nothing but sweet! Even ambrosia and nectar may satiate after some time but where the sweetness of the Divine is concerned, one cannot have enough of it.”

According to Swami, ‘This bliss-filled sweetness pervades man from head to foot. Unfortunately, man today makes no effort to recognize the sweetness that is in him.’ Why?

We have forgotten our true nature
We are sweet only to our loved ones
Our thoughts, feelings and desires are directed only towards the external world
We are too busy!



6. During a Divine Discourse given in 1971, Swami explained the meaning of the Name Krishna: “Krishna has three separate meanings - the word, that is:

1. Karsh is one root from which the name is derived. It means, "that which attracts"; Krishna attracts hearts to Himself, by His sportive pastimes, miraculous victories over the forces of evil, his charming conversation, His wisdom, His personal beauty and so on.
2. The word is also related to the root, Krish, which means, to cultivate, as a field, for growing crops. The word means, he who removes the weeds from the heart of man, and sows seeds of faith, courage and joy.
3. Another meaning relates to the root, Krish, meaning, something above and beyond the three attributes and the three eras, and na, means, Sath-chith-aanandha. The leelas (divine plays) and mahimas (miracle powers) of Krishna through which He attracts the Love of Mankind, cultivates the harvest of joy in the hearts of His devotees and makes them aware of His being Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.

“Krishna dealt with the world as with a sitar, pulling its heartstrings to arouse the melody of comradeship, heroism, love, affection, compassion and conviction. But of these, the two emotions of love and compassion were characteristically His and His own. His breath was Love! His behaviour, compassion!”

According to Swami, what is the perennial message of the Advent of the Lord as Sri Krishna?

The secret of greatness lies in balancing both material possessions and spiritual attainments.
You can do magic by the power of your attraction
The principle of absolute selflessness and Love
War is a solution which has to be considered in resolving conflicts


7. Swami has mentioned: “Arjuna made Krishna the charioteer of his life. Krishna thereby acquired the appellation Parthasarathi - thecharioteer of Partha (Arjuna).”

During a Divine Discourse given in 1985, Swami narrated an incident from the Mahabharatha war, which taught Arjuna a lesson and from which, we can learn too! “Arjuna knew that Krishna was God, the Embodiment of Power, Wisdom and Love. He pleaded, ‘Be the Charioteer of my vehicle and, I pray, for the journey of my Life as well.’

“During the battle, one day, when Krishna brought the chariot at sunset to the Pandava Camp, Arjuna was so intoxicated with pride at his exploits on the field that he appropriated for himself the first place, relegating Krishna to the second; he was the Master and Krishna was a charioteer holding a whip and the reins, he felt. So he insisted on the driver alighting and pulling the steps down for him to land. Krishna knew what he suffered from; He was determined to cure him. So, He commanded Arjuna sternly to get down. Arjuna could not disobey. He required Krishna's service for a few more days!

“When he had moved a few paces away, Krishna rose and jumped down from His seat. The gems on the jewels He wore on the ears, shoulder and chest flashed in blinding brilliance when He leaped. The moment He stood on the ground, the chariot was enveloped in flames and turned into a heap of ash!”

What was the lesson that Arjuna learnt from His Charioteer Lord Krishna?

When in danger, pay heed to Lord Krishna!
Man should endeavor to please God first!
Krishna will constantly teach us lessons for our spiritual growth!
Once we make Krishna our charioteer, He will never let us down!


8. During a Divine Discourse delivered in 1991, Swami clarifies the misinterpretations of Lord Krishna’s relationship with the gopikas: “In the life of Krishna, there are many incidents which have an esoteric meaning, but which have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by scholars and commentators. Such misunderstandings have been caused by stories that Krishna had eight wives and that he dallied with 16,000 gopikas.

“In the spinal column, there are six chakras, of which two are important - the Sahasraarachakra in the brain and the Hridayachakra in the middle of the spinal column. The Hridayachakra is a flower-like chakra with eight petals. The eight petals are symbols of the eight parts of the earth, whose Master is the Lord Himself. The esoteric meaning of this is that God is the Lord of the eight-petalled lotus of the heart in man. The Lord of the heart is described as Madhava. ‘Maa’ means Lakshmi or Maya or Prakriti. ‘Dhava’ means husband. God is the Lord of Lakshmi, or Maya or Prakriti. Krishna is thus the Lord of the eight-petalled lotus of the heart.”

According to Swami, then what is the inner significance of the reference to the 16,000 gopikas?

One has to take birth 16,000 times before one can merge in Lord Krishna
There are 16,000 gopikas in the world still yearning for Lord Krishna’s Grace
Only by practicing yoga can one understand and relate to the gopikas fully
One has 16,000 potencies within that one should awaken



9. During the Summer Showers discourse delivered in 1978, clearing many doubts, Swami gave an elaborate insight into the Divine relationship between Lord Krishna and His Beloved Radha: “To regard Radha of the Bhagavatha as an ordinary woman, to treat Krishna as an ordinary human being, a man, and to regard the relationship between them as no more than between a man and a woman, as people generally understand, is very wrong and quite contrary to what the author of the sacred text of the Bhagavatha intended to convey.

This relationship is the sacred relationship that exists between God and His creation. It is as inseparable as the white colour of milk is inseparable from the milk itself…If we turn milk into curds, the curd is also white. If we churn the curd and get buttermilk out of it, the buttermilk is also white. If from that buttermilk, we separate the butter, it is also white. Thus, do what you may, it is not possible to separate the white colour of milk from the milk itself. Radha is part and parcel of Krishna even as much as white colour is inseparable from milk.

“The kind of association between Radha and Krishna has no parallel in the world and cannot occur in any other instance. Today, only when we understand this and put into practice, at least to some extent the lessons we can draw from the relationship between Radha and Krishna, will we be in a position to promote the aspects of Krishna, in their Divine form, throughout the world…This oneness of Radha and Krishna has been referred to in the bible as “Kingdom of God.” This aspect of oneness of Prakruthi and Paramatma has been referred to, in several religions, by using different words.

However, to enable common people to understand the significance of Radha, our ancients have created a form and a name. But whoever, continually and at all times thinks of Krishna, is a Radha. This is an aspect and not a name…Radha is no other than a faithful image of Krishna, the object. We should undertake such action as will lead us to Krishna…Today, we have understood the meaning and significance of the love of Radha for Krishna. We should now be prepared to interpret all her actions against the background of such divine love.”

As we all know Lord Krishna enchanted all His devotees with His murali (flute). According to Swami, “Radha was like a murali” Why does Bhagavan say that?

Because She never separated Herself from Him
Because everyone was just as jealous of Her as they were of Krishna’s murali
Because She spoke so sweetly and softly
Because She had no place in her for any worldly ideas



10. During the Summer Showers discourses in 1973, Swami explained the meaning of this appellation ‘Madhusudhana’ of Lord Krishna: “In recognition of the fact that God is the only one who can remove ego and ahamkara from us, He has been called Madhusudana. This word is usually indicative of one who has conquered a demon by name Madhu.

“But madhu also means something, which is sweeter than honey, and for man, his ego is sweeter than honey. Therefore, in this context, one who can completely destroy this ego is called Madhusudana. Thus, our ego, which is very sweet, can only be removed by God who is also very sweet. We must have faith in Him and give up our ego and move closer to God. If you do this, God Himself will see when you have to be respected, what you have to be given and when. The entire responsibility will be His and all will rest on God Himself.”

During the colossal Mahabharatha war, when Arjuna refused to take part, what did Lord Krishna, as his Madhusudana, have to slay, to motivate Arjuna to perform his dharma?

His anger towards his cousins, the Kauravas
His ambitions to be the next king
His ego and his attachment towards his family
His friendship with Lord Krishna


Dear Reader, did you like this quiz? Is it too difficult? Is it interactive enough? Would you like more such quizzes? Please help us in serving you better by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team


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