Trying to grapple with the sacred and secular thought in the Vedas is as formidable as navigating one's way through a thickly wooded forest. Maybe that is why people tend to give up hopes of accessing the inner import of these scriptures. But Azhwars and devout poets such as Jayadeva and Leelasuka claim that the essence of these scriptures is easily available to those who empathise with the lives of the Gopis and meditate on the greatness of the Krishna Avatar. Here was the Supreme Lord who made Himself accessible to people and even allowed Himself to be tied to a grinding stone. Granting salvation is His sole privilege, and it is up to us to seek this highest goal from Him through love and devotion to Him, said Sri L. Sampathkumar in a lecture.

The Vedas are compared to a Kalpaka tree because the knowledge contained in them is comprehensive — from the mundane to the sublime, from the material to the spiritual. The essence of Vedic knowledge is contained in the Bhagavata Purana and hence it is the ripened fruit of the tree of the Vedas. This text deals exhaustively with the life of Krishna. The Supreme Being promised Brahma and other celestials that He would eventually be born to reduce the burden that Bhu Devi was finding difficult to bear.

When the newly married Devaki and Vasudeva were driven in a chariot by Kamsa, a celestial voice predicted Kamsa's fall at the hands of the eighth child of Devaki. The Lord sought Yogamaya's help to plan the birth of Balarama (an incarnation of Adisesha) in the womb of Rohini (wife of Vasudeva); and ensured His own safety after birth by requesting her to be born as Yasodha's daughter at the same time when He would be born.

The Lord was born as the most attractive child and immediately gave orders to Vasudeva to exchange the newborns. Kamsa was surprised to see a girl baby, but he tried to kill her too. She escaped his clutches and warned him once again that his killer was safe and would seek him at the appropriate time.

The childhood of Krishna is full of dangers to His life; and the child had to protect Himself from Kamsa's emissaries.

More In: Faith | Friday Review