The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the Supreme
Deity, God. God is a person. Just as you and I think, feel and will,
God also does. And just as when the President or Prime Minister of a
goes travelling, the agenda is planned many months in advance and his
mission and the places where he will go are all announced beforehand,
similarly Krishna appears at specified times within this universe, and
the scheduled time of His appearance is announced in the Vedic
specifically Srimad-Bhagavatam, also known
as the Bhagavata Purana.
It is explained that Lord Krishna descends from His
spiritual realm, Goloka Vrindavana, once in a day of Brahma. Who
is Brahma? What is that measure of time? Within this universe
there is an
engineer, whose name is Lord Brahma [also known as the four-headed
It is he, under the order of Lord Krishna, who creates all the planets,
and from him all the different fathers of mankind have come, sent to
different parts of the universe to create offspring for populating the
universe. Now, this Lord Brahma's life span is as long as the life span
entire universe. When the universe is destroyed, his time is also
One day of Lord Brahma consists of four yugas (the ages
Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dwarapa-yuga and Kali-yuga, which combine
together to make one divya-yuga ) seventy-one times (71 divya-yugas
make one manvantara) and again multiplied by the fourteen
manvantaras in one day of Brahma. The duration of the present
Kali-yuga alone is 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 or so
have passed. That means, Lord Krishna appears only every 1,975,320,000
years! He last appeared on Earth 5,000 years ago.
However, there are innumerable universes. There are as
many universes as there are mustard seeds in a 100-pound sack of
mustard seeds. And Krishna appears in every universe. At every moment
Krishna is appearing in another universe, just as the sun appears at
every moment somewhere on the horizon. The sun is always coming up
somewhere, and simultaneously sinking elsewhere. Lord Krishna's
appearance, His activities and His
disappearance are constantly going on in this way. He appears in one
universe after another.
Higher and Lower Planets
All of these universes are the creation of Maha-Vishnu, who is the
first expansion of Krishna. When Maha-Vishnu breathes, He exhales so
many bubbles, which are the universes. And when He inhales, all
the universes rush back inside Him and are destroyed. This is the
explanation given in the Vedas.
We cannot comprehend the extent of the universes with
our mundane calculations. We cannot even fully know what is going on
here on planet Earth. Nonetheless, there are countless planets in this
universe alone. And on every one of them there are living beings,
existing in environments just suited to their respective requirements.
There is life on other planets, including the moon, the sun, Mars,
Venus, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter. Modern scientists think in terms of
their limited capacity, and like villagers unused to travel and foreign
places, they presume there is no life beyond this Earth. We are told
that the moon is uninhabitable, a place of dust and rocks. But
according to Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic
literatures, on every planet there are living beings. Even on the sun
planet there are living beings, whose bodies are made of fire.
There are higher planets and lower planets, just as on
this planet there are countries with high standards of living and those
with low standards. It is something like upper-class, middle-class and
lower-class income brackets. We are on this Earth planet, which is a
middle-class planet. The conditioned souls are wandering throughout the
in different species of life and through the different planets also.
Sometimes they go to the higher planets, the heavenly planets.
they go to the lower planets, hell. Sometimes they come to this Earth,
the middle region of the planetary system.
Kingdom of God
But the material creation, with all its universes and innumerable
planets, is just a small portion of the entire kingdom of God. It is
called durga, or prison. Just as a prison is kept in a small
corner of the state, similarly this material creation--all
the universes, planets and living creatures--is an insignificant speck
in the corner of God's kingdom.
Krishna's planet is not within this universe. His
planet, Krishnaloka, is beyond this universe in the spiritual sky.
There are other planets in the spiritual sky, called Vaikuntha, because
anxiety does not exist, there is no birth, death, old age and disease.
Each one of the Vaikuntha planets is eternal, and each one is many
larger than one material universe.
The material creation is dark by nature, and therefore
within each universe there is a central illuminating planet or sun.
Vedic literatures say that other planets or stars, as we call them, are
only reflecting the light of this sun.
Sometimes the governor visits the prison facility to
check how things are going on, and similarly, Lord Krishna, who is also
called sarva-loka-maheshvaram, or the proprietor of all
planets, comes sometimes to see how things are going on in the
material universes. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (4.8),
paritranaya sadhunam/ vinashaya cha dushkritam:
" I come to protect My devotees and destroy the nondevotees and
re-establish the principles of religion. " Religion means the
given by God. The purpose of this material creation is to give the
conditioned souls (those of us in this material world) an opportunity
to rectify themselves and go back home, back to Godhead, just as the
of the prison is to give the criminals an opportunity to rectify
and again become useful citizens.
And when Krishna appears, He does not come alone. Those
devotees who will act as His mother and father first appear. Even the
place where the Lord will be "born" descends from the spiritual world.
That place is called Vrindavana, and although Vrindavana is in India,
it is not material. Vrindavana is a transcendental land in the material
world, where Krishna has descended and exhibited His pastimes (lila).
In mundane theater, a troupe of actors comes and puts on a performance,
and likewise Krishna descends with His friends and transcendental home,
just to exhibit Himself and attract the conditioned souls back home,
back to Godhead.
Cure for Wanderlust
Generally, the conditioned souls are not interested in going back home,
back to Godhead, because they have unlimited desires for material
enjoyment. They are attracted to going to different places and
experiencing all kinds of different situations.
One can go to different planets within this universe and
enjoy different circumstances in different kinds of bodies. By yoga
practice it is possible to go to the heavenly planets.
But Bhagavad-gita (8.16) says, "From the topmost
planet in this universe, down to the lowest, all of them are places of
misery wherein repeated birth and death takes place." This is the
defect of the material creation: wherever one goes, the problems of
death, old age and disease crop up.
Therefore Lord Krishna comes once in the day of Brahma,
just to instruct the forgetful, conditioned souls about their eternal
life. That instruction is Bhagavad-gita
. The purpose of human life should be to become completely freed from
this material existence and go to that spiritual sky where life is
eternal, full of knowledge and full of pleasure. Working for material
is a waste of time, because everything material is temporary. The soul
is by nature eternal, and thus no amount of temporary happiness can
the eternal soul. Human beings should try to revive their original
consciousness and be reinstated as eternal servants of Krishna. Thus
can be liberated and go back home, back to Godhead.
Janmashtami is the anniversary of Lord Krishna's
appearance 5,000 years ago on this Earth, and devotees consider it to
be the most important day of the year. On that day they especially
remember Krishna, worship Him with a bathing (abhisheka)
ceremony, and make spiritual advancement by hearing and chanting about