Born to Devaki

If this world is thought of as a lotus, then the connection between Lord Krishna and the earth may be likened to that between the Sun and a lotus. Krishna’s birth took place in the East, the direction in which the Sun rises. So the sun-lotus analogy is apt. In fact, the word used for Krishna’s appearance is Avirbhava, which means a manifestation. His birth on the earth was no ordinary occurrence. Bhagavata Purana refers to Krishna as Indu, which means the moon. This too is apt, because Krishna was born in the Lunar dynasty.

But there is a significance to His birth, over and above all this, and to merely compare His avatara to the appearance of the sun or the moon does not do justice to His intentions. In fact, Vaishnava Acharyas were not happy with seeing Him as just the Sun or Moon, explained M.A.Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. So what were these aims of His which we must pay attention to? Azhvars, while describing His avatara, say He was born. This is to indicate His spending months in Devaki’s womb and then being born as any other child is. This was entirely His choice. He decided that it should be this way, and so to say He took an avatara and was like the Sun or Moon does not show His saulabhya, which caused Him to spend months in the cramped space of a womb.

There was no need for the Supreme One to go through all this, but He went through it of His own accord. He wanted to be like other mortals, going through the same experiences and problems that they faced. In fact, in His case, He faced far more threats than any child ever would. Even when He was an infant, He was targeted by Putana, but killing her was literally child’s play to Him. He was born like humans, lived among them, and showed that it was important to keep to dharma.

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