While every one of the Supreme One’s avataras is to be celebrated, Rama and Krishna avataras remain the most popular. While Rama is praised for his qualities of obedience and patience, Krishna is best remembered for His mischievous pranks. And yet, Krishna, perhaps, was more obedient and patient than even Rama, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi, in a discourse. Rama obeyed Dasaratha and went to the forest, but when He did so, He was at an age when the significance of obedience was understood. But Krishna was obedient even as an infant. When Vasudeva, fearing Kamsa, asked the just born Krishna to conceal His weapons and to appear as a normal child, Krishna obeyed His father.
The dangers Krishna faced were more than the ones Rama faced. Rama was a prince and had the love and affection of the entire royal household and of all the citizens of His father’s kingdom. Krishna was separated from His parents Vasudeva and Devaki immediately after His birth. Pillai Urangavilli Dasar, a disciple of Ramanujacharya, would salute the darkness of the night because it was the darkness that had made it easy for carrying Krishna away to safety.
Krishna faced dangers to His life even when He grew up with Devaki and Nandagopa. Rama was born in Treta yuga, a nice yuga to be born in. Even when He was in the forest, Rama had the protection of Lakshmana.
Krishna, on the other hand, was born in Dwapara yuga, which just preceded Kali yuga. Nandagopa, His foster father, was a gentle man, not a warrior. Rama was not by nature prone to mischief. But Krishna was naughty. In the Ramayana, Sita suffered because of being imprisoned in Lanka. Rama Himself was never imprisoned. But in the Krishna avatara, He was born in a prison. In the Rama avatara, Rama was never a messenger. He had in Hanuman a sincere messenger. But Krishna served as the messenger of the Pandavas. Duryodhana treated Krishna with disrespect, when He went to negotiate on behalf of the Pandavas. Krishna’s concern for the Pandavas becomes apparent from His patience in the face of such rudeness. Above all, it was Krishna who gave us the Bhagavad Gita, making this His most complete avatara.