Who is Krishna in His Truest Form
If you have read Bhagavad Gita, then you know that Lord Krishna in one of the chapters reveals his truest form. Lord Krishna while describing his identity states that he is in everything that exists in-universe and that the universe exists within him. In the Kurukshetra, Arjun gets the opportunity to witness Krishna in his truest form.
The gist of this entire chapter resides in the fact that just knowing that Vishnu exists is not enough to attain Karma. Rather, you should also dedicate your life to loving him to attain the highest reward – Moksha. Krishna also talks about various nature of Lord Vishnu like rajas, sattva, and tamas but reiterates that the highest nature of Vishnu is in fact, Brahman. If what we discussed here about the true form of Krishna excites you then go ahead and read Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 of Bhagavad Gita.
Different Forms of Krishna
In the same breath, let us also talk about different form of Lord Krishna. These forms make an important part of your reading when you buy books on Krishna.
The meaning of this word is original and there is only one original: Krishna. Lord Krishna is present in everything and he is the supreme controller. What makes Krishna different from other incarnations is the fact that he has a total of sixty-four qualities. If you read the Vedas, you will find the direct or indirect mention of Krishna as he is the knower of all Vedas.
The second form of Krishna Tad-ekatma-rupa consists of all the incarnations(avatars) of Lord Krishna. Not just the incarnations but this form of Krishna also talks about the expansions. Expansion is nothing but the form in which Krishna resides in the spiritual aspects.
You might have read about different names given to Lord Krishna and these names are nothing but expansions and incarnations. All these incarnations and expansions possess some or other quality of Lord Krishna but not in full. However, unlike the Krishna himself, these avatars arrive in bodily form and exhibit a range of emotions just like normal human beings. These different forms within one form have different purposes but overall it is either the creation, sustenance or destruction.
Within this category, you will find three sub-categories – Vibhuti, Bhagvad-avesha and shaktyavesha. Those who serve the Lord have certain powers and are adorned with the highest knowledge. These disciples and servants of the Lord are included in this category. These devotees have in time loved the lord and served the highest duties towards Krishna to become what they are today. You must have read about a few such devotees like Shesha-naga,Kapila and so on.
The literal meaning of purusha is controller and these three purusha avataars of Lord Krishna are the ultimate controllers of all things material in the world. The three forms of purusha avatars are - Karanodakashayi Vishnu, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, and Kshirodakashayi Vishnu.
Last but not the least, Lila avatars of also known as Kalpa avatars. These avatars appear and answer to the prayer of the devotees and basically perform a range of activities. This incarnation of the Lord performs transcendental pleasure one after another and the truest form of Lord Krishna is independent of all other avatars in all the Lila incarnations.
So, these are the most basic and known forms of Lord Krishna that one should know about in order to understand the ultimate truth.
Top Reads about Lord Krishna
To know more about Lord Krishna and absorb his teachings there are so many different books available in the market. We have summed up some of the best reads available on the shelves for you.
Krsna - The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The author of this book A. C. Srila Prabhupada has made the keishna-leela accessible for those who are fascinated with the character but face language barriers as much is written in Sanskrit. Lord Krishna appeared on this earth some 5000 years ago and performed leelas throughout his life.
All his actions performed contained a hidden lesson for humankind that adds value to life. The wisdom and intellectual insights that you can take from Krishna’s Leela make up this book. If you want to know all about the pastimes of Krishna but are unable to read Sanskrit, then this book, describing the tenth canto of the Bhagavatam is for you. Buy the hardcover version of this interesting book on Krishna in Hindi on Amazon for Rs. 159.
This book by Kajal Oza Vaidya narrates the time when the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Shri Krishna walked on earth in the mortal form. The book talks about Krishna’s relationship with three important women in his life – Radha, Rukmini and Draupadi. If you are looking for a book where the life of Krishna around other characters is narrated without bringing in Mahabharata then Krishnayan is the book for you.
The book describes various emotions found in humankind such as dissatisfaction, jealousy, love and so on. Finally, Krishna develops a sense of detachment from all the world's emotions and the book describes it beautifully. You can buy your own copy of this read on Flipkart for Rs. 170.
Krishna's War: The Hidden Agenda Behind Mahabharata
From our childhood, we all have watched and read Mahabharata. There are characters that have been etched in our minds as good and then there are the bad ones. However, this book written by G.Vijay Kumar raises many questions compelling you to reconsider what you have known till now. Various questions such as, if Karna was the tragic hero or just an egomaniac or was Duryodhna a villain or a victim and so on. If you are interested in reading the events of Mahabharata through a different lens then this is the book for you. The Kindle edition of this book is available for unlimited reading on Amazon.
Shri Keli Kunj
Affection between Lord Krishna and Radha was beyond just earthly love and is celebrated to date. The selfless love of Radha is considered as the supreme form of devotion in the present times also. Shri Keli Kunj by Shri Radha Baba narrates the same love in its purest form. Radha baba has narrated all the divine kunj leela and ras Leela of Krishna and Radha in his book Shri Keli Kunj. You can buy the hard copy of this book on Amazon for just Rs. 299.
Elevation to Krishna Consciousness
Working towards spiritual enlightenment has been the ultimate goal of many people across the world. There are various ways known to man for ages that help in awakening spiritual consciousness. However, it is often hard to achieve this enlightenment without properly understanding the different methods or even the goal.
This book by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada guides the readers towards understanding the truth of the world and carves out their way towards Lord Krishna. Within the book, Prabhupada talks about the ways in which human beings can come out from the web of illusions and elevate themselves to the highest standards to attain Krishna. If you are looking for a spiritual awakening read then this book could be a good start for you. You can buy this book on Amazon for just Rs. 84 after a 35% discount which is running currently.
Tales of Compassionate Krishna Indian Mythological Story Book
Kids love storybooks and for parents, it could be equally rewarding to let their kids read a lesson-based story. In the quagmire of numerous cartoon shows that often do not make any sense, reading is a habit that a child picks up relatively late. If you as a parent are looking to develop a habit of reading in your kid then this book about Lord Krishna is the perfect pick. Written in easy English with lots of colourful illustrations, Tales of compassionate Krishna is a perfect book for your kids. Buy this book on Amazon for just Rs.146 after a currently running discount of around 27%.
Shyam: Bhagwat ka Sachritra Punarkathan
We didn’t want to leave you just one option for the kids in this reading section. Therefore, we have another equally superb all-in-one book on Krishna by none other than Devdutt Patnaik. The book has stories of Lord Krishna, a picture book. Patnaik who is one of the most loved mythologists of all time beautifully captures the story of Little Krishna – Shyam, engaging the young readers. You can buy this interesting book on Amazon for just Rs. 231.
Krishna – The Man and His philosophy by Osho
Perhaps one of the most controversial figures of his time, Osho was loved by many and dreaded by others. He had a huge follower base who was seeking to induce spirituality and address the everyday challenges of life. In his book, Krishna- The Man and his philosophy, Osho has narrated Lord Krishna and analyses him in-depth by talking about his philosophy of life. The distinguished values of Krishna and his life are depicted in an interesting way by Osho in his book. If you are interested in knowing the philosophical aspect of Krishna’s life and his decisions then this book is a must-read for you. You can buy the Paperback edition of this book on Amazon for just Rs. 231.
Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is
Yet another masterpiece read on Krishna is written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and A.C. Prabhupada. The book is a translation and commentary on Bhagvad Gita by none other than ISCKON founders. The book on Krishna's Life which was published in 1968 has been translated into around sixty languages. The ultimate goal of the book is to elevate the consciousness of the readers toward Krishna. You can buy this book on Amazon for just Rs. 199.
Krishna and Arjuna: Short Stories from the Mahabharatha
Not all of us have the patience to sit through the lengthy chapters of the novels. Well, if you are one of those whose attention span is shorter but also want to add a good mythological read to your library then this book of short stories would appeal you. The short stories talk about the bond that third Pandava Arjuna and Krishna shared as best friends throughout the battle of Mahabharata. You can get the kindle version of this book on Amazon for just Rs. 60.
What Can You Learn from the Life of Krishna
All these books that we discussed in the previous section do tell us the story of Krishna and different facets of his life as a mortal being. However, there is more to these stories than just the narrative about Lord Krishna. A deeper look will indicate that there is a hidden message in everything and every action that Lord Krishna has performed throughout his life as a mortal. So what can we learn from the life and Leela of Lord Krishna? Well, let us sum up here.
We worry about our future more than living in the present and oftentimes it becomes the sole reason for stress. Life and events that happen throughout the Mahabharata hint at how Krishna chose to live in the present irrespective of knowing what the future holds. Mindfulness talks about how you can change your life by living and thinking about the present rather than worrying about the future. What you do in the present has a great impact on the future and therefore mindfulness is a necessary aspect of living a quality life.
An Incisive Strategist
Often times while reading or watching Mahabharata, you might have felt the sense of injustice happening. Be it the killing of Karna or putting shikhandi on the war front so that Bheeshma pitamah puts down his weapon, it is all the strategy of Lord Krishna. Rather than breaking the rules, Krishna believed in bending the rules and therefore ensuring the win of Pandavas.
Importance of Karma or Focus on Your Duty
The famous quote by Lord Krishna where he preaches Arjuna to do his task rather than worrying about the result is something that we should all inculcate in our lives. When we worry too much about the result, it takes a toll on the work that we are doing at present.
Dharma is First
Remember when Krishna came to the rescue of Draupadi during the game of Chaucer between Pandavas and Kauravas? Through this act, Lord Krishna showed that you should always follow Dharma even if the circumstances are against you. That’s All Folks! We hope you will find some books on Krishna's life worth considering from the list that we have shared above. Do also let us know the lessons that the life of Krishna can teach us.
Know More about Your Favourite God
It should come as no surprise that Lord Krishna has always fascinated writers. From philosophers to experts in religious studies, time and again tried to look at the life of Krishna from a fresh perspective. One of the primary reasons is that it’s difficult to define the personality of Lord Krishna in one sentence or even in one book. However, the above-mentioned books will definitely help the reader in giving a glimpse into Krishna – not only the god but also the man and the avatar.