Which aspect of Krishna was dearest to Swami Vivekananda?

By: Keyur Seta

Whenever I think of Lord Krishna or hear his mention, the first thing that strikes my mind is his teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. His theory on how to deal with life, no matter during which stage or phase, amazes me every time I read any shloka from it.

But most of the Krishna devotees I come across seem to focus more on his playful childhood antics (the famous Maakhan Chor episode), love relationship with Radha and Raas Leela. Somehow, I can’t relate myself much to these aspects of his life. I don’t dislike these incidents at all. It’s just that the message of the Gita is just too impactful for me.

Swami-Vivekananda-KrishnaAfter going through various teachings and sayings of Swami Vivekananda, it seems as if he too felt the same about Krishna. In other words, he was more interested in the Krishna of Mahabharata who eventually gifted us the priceless Gita.

This is evident from his following quote:-

“Keep aside for the present the Vrindâvan aspect of Shri Krishna, and spread far and wide the worship of Shri Krishna roaring the Gita out, with the voice of a Lion. We now mostly need the ideal of a hero with the tremendous spirit of Rajas thrilling through his veins from head to foot – the hero who will dare and die to know the Truth—the hero whose armour is renunciation, whose sword is wisdom. We want now the spirit of the brave warrior in the battlefield of life, and not of the wooing lover who looks upon life as a pleasure-garden!”

In my opinion, Swami Vivekananda meant that the world is in need of people who are ready to fight against various evils, even if it means sacrificing their lives for the greater good of the nation or society. His intention isn’t to mock the early period of Krishna’s life. This is evident from his conversation with a disciple, which you can read HERE.

Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda said this more than 100 years ago. But after reading it, it seems as it is meant for the current times we are living in.

Wishing all of you a Very Happy Janmashtami 🙂

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