Sri Krishna's life, as it is narrated in the Puranas and in several other writings, reads like a legend or even like a myth. It is sometimes argued that Sri Krishna and his life have only a symbolical value. It has also been doubted whether Sri Krishna ever lived in any historical or prehistorical time. Even the Mahab-harata is viewed sometimes as fiction that could have been based on some historical facts. The great episode, which has been depicted in the Gita has come to be viewed by some interpreters as a parable or as an allegory of an inner battle of good and evil that constantly takes place within the human personality.
Despite all this, Sri Krishna has been experienced by a large number of mystics, saints, sages, poets and thousands of men and women as the incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and there are numerous accounts of these experiences the authenticity of which has been upheld by fresh experiences of leading mystics and yogins who belong to different ages in our history, and even in our own times. In any case Sri Krishna is a living reality for teeming millions in India and elsewhere, and it is that reality which is read by devotees in the accounts of Sri Krishna given in the Mahabharata and in the Puranas and in various other accounts.
Like millions in India, we simply love Sri Krishna, and we do not enter into debate about the object of our love. The stories that we have read and the stories that we have collected in this book give us celestial delight and inspire us to do all we can to arrive at that experience which many mystics have had. Who would not love to see the smiling face of Sri Krishna? Who would not love to hear the call of Sri Krishna and to listen to his flute? Who would not like to be uplifted by that splendid vision of the universe that Yashoda saw in the mouth of that mischievous
boy who is known as Sri Krishna? Who would not like to have that Time-Vision in which Arjuna saw Sri Krishna as the Supreme Lord in action in the battlefield of Kurukshetra? Like millions in India, we would like to be flooded by the oceanic wave of love that drowns us in the depths of the sweetness of Sri Krishna.
This book is a short anthology meant for readers who would like to have a glimpse of Sri Krishna and to learn of some of the accounts of Sri Krishna that are found in the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Harivamsa Purana and Vishnu Mahapurana. At the same time, we feel that these accounts would be better understood if we presented a few extracts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo, the Supreme Master of Yoga of our times, who had had himself genuine experiences of Sri Krishna, and who has explained the profundities of the Gita in his famous "Essays on the Gita", and who has expounded the value of Puranic literature in his famous work, "The Foundations of Indian Culture". He has also explained in his writings the depth of that religion which has arisen in India from the episodes connected with Sri Krishna's exile in Brindavan. We have, therefore, thought it appropriate to present a few relevant extracts from Sri Aurobindo's "The Synthesis of Yoga" and "The Foundations of Indian Culture".
We have also felt it useful to bring together a few poems, which have been written on Sri Krishna by some of the famous saints and poets of India. The sweetness and intensity that these poems convey to us are indescribable, and we would like the readers to plunge into this sweetness and intensity by reading these poems. We have included here some extracts, which describe some of Sri Chaitanya's and Sri Ramakrishna's experiences of Sri Krishna and Radha, which bring to us the living and continuing reality of Sri Krishna's consciousness. The poems of Surdas have been taken from J.S. Hawley's translations, of Nan-dadas from the translations by R.S. McGregor, and Mirabai's songs from A.J. Alston. The rest of the poems are translations by
Sri Aurobindo, the magic of which will undoubtedly be felt by the hearts and souls of sensitive readers.
The texts concerning Sri Krishna in Brindavan, have been adapted from Srimad Bhagavata translated by Swami Tapasyananda and Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana translated by C.L. Goswami. The texts adapted from Harivamsa Purana are from the translation by Bhumipati Dasa. A short text adapted from Vishnu Mahapuranam is from the translation by M.N. Dutt.