You are currently viewing THE SEVEN OCEANS OF LORD KRSNA


Thinking of Krsna means to immerse our minds in the seven oceans of Krsna.
– Gauranga Darshan Das

Bhagavad-gita is the greatly enlightening philosophical song sung by Lord Sri Krsna, to instruct His dear friend and devotee Arjuna who was bewildered on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. The Gita is known for its philosophical depth and practical relevance in day-to-day life. The greatness of Bhagavad-gita is described in the following verse.

sarvopanisado gavo
dogdha gopala-nandanah
partho vatsah su-dhir bhokta
dugdham gitamrtam mahat

“This Gitopanisad, Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all the Upanisads, is just like a cow, and Lord Krsna, who is famous as a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. Arjuna is just like a calf, and learned scholars and pure devotees are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita.” (Gita-mahatmya 6)

The Condensed Essence of all Scriptures

The Gita is the essence of all Upanisads, then what is the essence of Bhagavad-gita?
The Bhagavad-gita consists of 18 chapters, which are further categorized into 3 sections – the first six chapters predominantly describe karma-yoga, the last six chapters predominantly present jnana-yoga, and the middle six chapters describe bhakti-yoga, or pure devotional service unto Lord Krsna. This middle section is considered the essence of Bhagavad-gita. The essence of this Bhakti-yoga section, according to Srila Visvanatha Cakravari thakura is the middle two chapters (the Ninth and the Tenth). And the futher essence of these two chapters is the 34th verse of the ninth chapter, which Lord Krsna repeats at the end of the Gita (18.65).

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah

Lord Krsna said, “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me, and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (BG 9.34)

In this verse Krsna emphasizes four ways of connecting with Him, the essence of all these methods or any of the spiritual rules and regulations that we follow is to always remember Krsna or man-mana – to be Krsna conscious. This is also reconfirmed in the Padma Purana, and quoted in the Caitanya-caritamrta.

smartavyah satatam visnur
vismartavyo na jatucit
sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur
etayor eva kinkarah

“Krsna is the origin of Lord Visnu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles.’ (CC Madhya 22.113)

The essence of all vidhis and nisedhas or do’s and don’ts, rules and regulations, or prescriptions and prohibitions, is to always think of Krsna and never forget Krsna.

The most essential ‘do’ is to ‘always remember Krsna’. The most essential ‘don’t’ is to ‘never forget Krsna’. The most essential ‘rule’ is to ‘always remember Krsna.’ The most essential ‘regulation’ is to ‘never forget Krsna.’ The most essential ‘prescription’ is to ‘always remember Krsna.’ The most essential ‘prohibition’ is to ‘never forget Krsna.’ That’s the essence of Bhakti Yoga, the essence of Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and all scriptures: “to be Krsna conscious.” Therefore Krsna repeats this instruction several times in the Gita: man-mana, mayy eva mana adhatsva, mayy avesya mano ye mam, ananyas cintayanto mam and so on.

Are Thinking of Krsna & Being His Devotee Different?
“Man-mana” means to always think of Krsna
“Bhava mad-bhakto” means to become a devotee of Krsna.
Are these two different? – If one is always thinking of Krsna, is that person not a devotee? Is Krsna redundant in presenting the essence? – No!
One can always think of Krsna without being His devotee. For example, Kamsa was 24 hours Krsna conscious with fear in the heart. Hiranyakasipu was 24 hours Krsna conscious with hatred in his heart. Sisupala was 24-hour Krsna conscious with envy in his heart. So, one can become thoroughly Krsna conscious with negative emotions. But Krsna’s recommendation in the above verse to always think of Him with positive emotions of love, affection, devotion, gratitude and so on, and not negative emotions.

What Does It Mean to Think of Krsna?
While explaining this word man-mana, Sripada Ramanujacarya said, “Mayi apara… karunya sausilya saundarya madhurya gambhirya audarya vatsalya jaladhau… nivishta mana bhava” meaning, “To always think of Krsna means to immerse our minds in the seven expansive and deep oceans of Lord Krsna’s compassion, good character, beauty, sweetness, gravity, benevolence and affection.”

This implies that we need to contemplate on these seven qualities of Krsna to follow Krsna’s instruction of “man-mana” in BG 9.34. Now lets make our humble attempt to bathe in these seven oceans of Krsna, by recollecting His qualities as described in various Vaisnava scriptures.

1. Karunya jaladhi: Krsna is an Ocean of Compassion
This means to meditate on all the pastimes of Krsna where He exhibited His compassion. For example, although Putana was a witch, a raksasi, baby catcher, Lord Krsna showed her mercy. She was infamous for catching infant babies and sucking their blood. Although she came with a malicious intention to kill not only infant Krsna but all the newborns in Vrndavana who were less than ten days old, still, Krsna bestowed upon her the position of a motherly nurse, as an assistant of Mother Yasoda in the spiritual world. What then is to be said of the cows whose nipples Krsna sucked with great pleasure and who offered their milk very jubilantly with affection exactly like that of a mother? (SB 10.6.35-38)

Uddhava appreciates this compassionate spirit of Krsna by saying,
aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam
jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi
lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato ’nyam
kam va dayalum saranam vrajema

“Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to a she-demon [Putana] although she was unfaithful and she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast?” (SB 3.2.23)

In this way, several shlokas and pastimes describe Krsna’s compassion (Karunya).

2. Sausilya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Good Character
Although Krsna is supremely powerful creator and maintainer of the universe, killer of numerous demons, and the establisher of dharma, still in His human pastimes, He was very respectful and humble in front of His elders, parents, teachers and brahmanas.
He bows down in front of His father Vasudeva and mother Devaki and all her co-wives. All the stepmothers of Krsna were worshipable to Him like His actual mothers, in front of whom He shows exemplary etiquette.
Krsna obediently, humbly, submissively renders service to Sandipani Muni, his guru, offering any guru-daksina that he expected. So that is Krsna’s good character. Krsna respectfully treated all the sages and brahmnas who came to visit Him in Dwaraka.
It was Lord Krsna who had killed Kamsa and reinstated Ugrasena as the King of Mathura. But Krsna obediently folds His hands and stands submissively before Ugrasena and says, “O my dear sir, this is what has happened.” Krsna submissively provides a report and Ugrasena. These instances serve as vivid examples of Krsna’s sausilyata, illustrating His exceptional good character.When Lord Caitanya went to Vrindavan for the very first time, a male parrot named Suka glorified Lord Krsna’s character as follows: “silam sarva-jananuranjanam: Krsna’s spotless character and behavior satisfies everyone.” (CC Madhya 17.210)

3. Saundarya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Beauty
The scriptures are filled with describing Krsna’s beauty. Lord Siva describes Lord Ksrna as “sarva saundarya sangraham: collection of all beauties in all the material and spiritual worlds.” (SB 4.24.45). The Venkateshwara Suprabhatam describes the Lord as “kandarpa darpa hara sundara divya murti – His beautiful, divine transcendental form completely steals the pride of cupid.” The Brahma Samhita says, “kandarpa-koti-kamaniya-visesa-sobham – The Lord’s beauty surpasses even ten million cupids put together.” (Brahma-samhita 5.30).
Further, Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Padyavali says:

phullendivara-kantim indu-vadanam barhavatamsa-priyam
sri-vatsankam udara-kaustubha-dharam pitambaram sundaram
gopinam nayanotpalarcita-tanum go-gopa-sanghavrtam
govindam kala-venu-vadana-param divyanga-bhunam bhaje

“His complexion is the colour of a blooming blue lotus flower, whose face is like the moon, who is fond of wearing a peacock feather crown who bears the mark of Srivatsa, who wears a great Kaustubha gem, who is dressed in yellow garments His handsome form is worshipped with lotus offerings of gopis’ glances, Accompanied by a host of surabhi cows and gopas Govinda, fond of sweetly playing the flute. His divine body is decorated with glittering ornaments, I worship Lord Govinda.” (Padyavali 46)

All the gopis of Vrindavan constantly bathe Krsna with their loving glances. Just as the Chataka birds want to drink water that comes directly from the sky and from not any other source of water, the gopis desire to see only Vrndavana form of Krsna, and not any other form of Krsna (gopi-locana-catakambuda-manih saundarya-mudra-manih, Mukunda Mala stotra 30).

Whenever Krsna comes in front of the gopis, the gopis stop blinking their eyes and just look at Krsna’s saundarya with unblinking eyes. And they even criticize Brahma for designing human bodies with only two eyes, that too with eyelids that constantly blink. They feel that even with thousands of eyes, one wouldn’t be able to relish Krsna’s beauty completely.

In order to relish the sweetness of sugarcane juice, one should not have jaundice. Similarly, to relish the beauty of Krsna, we need to have a loving heart devoid of malice. We relish Krsna’s beauty to the degree our consciousness is pure. And the purest consciousness is there in the hearts of the gopis of Vrindavan. Therefore, they relish Krsna’s beauty more than anyone else could ever relish. And the best relisher of Krsna’s beauty amongst the gopis is Srimati Radharani.

4. Madhurya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Sweetness
There are unlimited references that describe Krsna’s sweetness. Sripada Vallabhacharya says,
adharaḿ madhuraḿ vadanaḿ madhuraḿ
nayanaḿ madhuraḿ hasitaḿ madhuraḿ
Everything that is connected to Krsna is complete sweetness. Every attribute of Krsna is filled with sweetness. Let’s names, pastimes, forms, and qualities are filled with sweetness. Lets consider the sweetness of Krsna’s holy name –
madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam
sakala-nigama-valli sat-phalam cit-svarupam
sakrd api parigitam sraddhaya helaya va
bhrguvara nara-matram tarayet krsna-nama

“’The chanting of harinama is the most beneficial of all spiritual and pious activities. It is more relishable than the sweetest honey. It is the transcendental fruit of all the sruti scriptures known as the Vedas. O best of the Bhargavas! If any person chants harinama offenselessly even once, be it with sraddha or even hela, neglectfully, harinama immediately offers him liberation.’ (Mahabharata, Prabhasa-Khanda)And we have unlimited shlokas to describe the sweetness of Krsna’s name only, what to speak of His other attribites.

5. Gambhirya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Gravity
In connection with the Pandavas, attracted by their devotion (bhakti), Krishna played numerous roles like a friend friend, driver, cousin, messenger, and advisor. However, when Arjuna found himself in a state of utter confusion, Krsna assumed a mood of gravity and spoke the profound philosophy of Bhagavad Gita.
Sometimes, it’s described that Krsna’s voice is as grave as rumbling clouds.
After offending Krsna and the residents of Vrndavana by creating a devastating rainfall, Indra came to beg forgiveness from Krsna. Then Krsna gravely cautioned Indra not to be puffed up of his high position but continue his service with humility.
In the episode when lord Brahma came to Krsna to beg forgiveness for his offence of stealing Krsna’s friends and calves, Krsna assumed a grave mood. Although Brahma offered several prayers to Krsna, the Lord didn’t speak back. Brahma finally reconciled that Krsna wanted him just focus on His service and then departed. Later Brahma went to a place called Antardwipa and performed severe austerities and meditated on Krsna. In response, Krsna appeared in front him as golden Gauranga and blessed him saying that Brahma would become Haridas Thakura in his next life.
In this way, Krsna can be very grave in His dealings with His devotees according their moods, deeds and needs.

6. Audarya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Benevolence
Krsna’s audaryata or benevolence is most vividly exhibited in His form as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He doesn’t discriminate between those who are qualified or unqualified, but freely distributes Krsna prema. If a person is more fallen, Lord Caitanya will give more prema to him.

cirad adattam nija-gupta-vittam
sva-prema-namamrtam aty-udarah
a-pamaram yo vitatara gaurah
krsno janebhyas tam aham prapadye

“The most munificent Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Gaurakrsna, distributed to everyone — even the lowest of men — His own confidential treasury in the form of the nectar of love of Himself and the holy name. This was never given to the people at any time before. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.” (CC Madhya 23.1)

Because of His extreme benevolence and magnanimity, He is giving prema through nama. When we chant Krsna nama, we get Krsna Prema. Once we get Krsna Prema, should we give up Krsna nama? No! We chant Krsna nama to get Krsna Prema, and once we get Krsna Prema, we chant Krsna nama with Krsna prema.
“a-pamaram yo vitatara gaurah”, even the most pamaras are getting access to this Krsna Prema by Krsna’s benevolence in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Krsna is very benevolent, but His devotees are more benevolent. When Lord Krsna, with all His powers, appears in the form of a devotee, we can only imagine the degree of benevolence that combination can show. So Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead with all powers, playing the role of a devotee with all benevolence.

7. Vatsalya jaladhi: Krsna Is An Ocean of Affection
Vatsalya means affection. A mother is very affectionate towards her child. She can sacrifice all her comforts to attend to the needs of a child especially when the child is very young. The Lord’s affection toward all devotees is depicted as surpassing that of ten million mothers combined.
Mother Suniti tells Dhruva, “Dhruva, I am just one mother. But Lord Krsna can give you the affection of millions of mothers put together.” That’s her realization as a mother.

evam sandarsita hy anga
harina bhrtya-vasyata
sva-vasenapi krsnena
yasyedam sesvaram vase

“O Maharaja Pariksit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one special transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Krsna in this pastime.” (SB 10.9.19)

krsna krsna maha-bhaga
tvan-natham gokulam prabho
tratum arhasi devan nah
kupitad bhakta-vatsala

[The cowherd men and women addressed the Lord:] Krsna, Krsna, O most fortunate one, please deliver the cows from the wrath of Indra! O Lord, You are so affectionate to Your devotees. Please save us also. (SB 10.25.13)

Therefore, let us try to immerse our minds in the seven oceans of Krsna, as Krsna expected us to become man-mana, more and more Krsna conscious.

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