When we hear stories about Krishna, particularly those stories having to do with his youth in the village of Vrindavan, we usually get an impression of a little blue flute playing cowherd boy who hangs out in the groves of a forest near the bank of a river and, on a beautiful autumn night, calls his most intimate companions, the cowherd girls, to dance with him by the light of the moon.
But if we think of Krishna as just the subject of a mythological story, as a metaphor for some ineffable higher truth, or as a meditational prop that’s meant to help us quiet the mind so we can focus on something other than Krishna, then we are missing out on the experience of Krishna, on the concept of Krishna. In fact, the concept of Krishna is exceptionally psychedelic. Another name for Krishna is Achintya – meaning “beyond comprehension” – because to contemplate the idea of Krishna is to try to wrap our heads around the inconceivable. But it’s worth a try because it’s even more mind-blowing than a paisley sugar cube.
Imagine for a moment a form so unbelievably beautiful and dynamic and captivating that you don’t want to blink because that fraction of a second is too long a time to go without seeing this amazing vision. Even though “form” implies a boundary that defines the contours of the form in question, this form is somehow limitless, without beginning or end. There is nothing beyond this form and yet it perpetually expands! Everything that ever was, is, and will be is contained within this form. It’s primordial, having never come into being; beyond time, and more ancient than the most ancient yet fresh and new at every moment. This form is causeless; entirely self-generated without dependence on any prior causal principle, and is composed of eternity, complete awareness of everything everywhere at all times, and ever increasing bliss. It’s a form of pure, unadulterated spirit and is beyond relativity; the person does not inhabit the form: the person is the form and vice versa – a non-dualistic person.
This form – this person – is complete and full, possessing all qualities in absolute perfection. Inconceivable spiritual energies emanate innumerable categories of innumerable expansions that are composed of the same spiritual energy, each complete unto themselves and connected to their source as particles of sunshine are connected to the sun. This person possesses transcendental senses through which to directly interact with each individual emanation, which is equipped with the attributes of a unique personality. In the same way, the original source of all these personalities has the most unique, individual personality; being the sum total of all personalities, the original person is greater than the sum of the parts: beyond gender, this original person manifests original male and female prototype forms for the sake of completeness in transcendental relationship. And, to facilitate this transcendental relationship, as well as infinite transcendental relationships, he simultaneously contains and resides in a pure spiritual environment where time is conspicuous by its absence.
Far out, huh? But wait: there’s more!