Why are there so many Wives of Krishna

Recently a horrible event happened in India which was in connection with the wives of Krishna. The way Hindus responded to it again shows how little knowledge we have with regards to our own culture. In this article I will explain the philosophical significance of the wives of Krishna.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that when some idiot makes fun of something sacred, which he does not understand, he only disrespects himself. So please never bring yourself down to their level. If someone disrespects something you consider sacred, it is because of their ignorance. Disrespecting them in return does not achieve anything. The solution to ignorance is knowledge, therefore instead of doing the same thing that they did, we should work more towards creating awareness about our ideas. With this intention in mind I am writing this article.

So, let’s understand this whole womanizing behavior of Shree Krishna so that next time someone makes fun of Shree Krishna we have an appropriate answer ready. Hinduism has a very open-minded outlook at this world. The aim here is to transcend the mundane and attain the divine through whatever way that suits you. That’s why there are so many deities in Hinduism, each corresponding to a certain aspect of human nature. It is very individualistic in its approach and provides multiple paths to reach divinity depending on your nature.

We humans are emotional creatures, although we talk about rational nature of humans, the truth is that we are all driven by our emotions. It is only through our emotional driving force that we are able to do awesome things. If our heart is not there in doing a thing, we never succeed. This same thing applies to our spiritual life also. Now different people have different dominant emotions in them. Therefore, telling everyone to just follow one path is giving all people one size clothes. It works for some but fails for most people. If you have a strong sexual drive in you, which you have not yet transcended and someone prescribes you to worship Lord Hanuman, it is not going to work. You can use your willpower to suppress your sexual emotions, but your willpower is limited and so eventually you will crumble and fail terribly. So, what is the solution out of it?

Well, sex is a very strong emotion and if you channel it in the right way it can actually help you in reaching God. This is the very idea for all the sexuality that we have in our mythology. To get to it, we need to first understand the driving force behind our sexuality. What is it that gives rise to our sexual desires? All human beings feel incomplete and want to experience completeness, therefore we feel sexual attraction towards an individual who can complete us. This is why men feel attracted to women and vice versa, because the two genders are incomplete and become completed by union. We feel this strong desire to become a part of them. We desire to hug them very tightly and kiss them all over their body. It’s as if we want to become them and want them to become us. This is a very strong and intense feeling, if this sort of a strong feeling is directed towards God, just imagine how fast our spiritual growth can be. This is the very idea behind the womanizing behavior of Shree Krishna.

The whole idea of Radha Krishna comes from Vishistha Adviata Philosophy. Here, Radha represents the individual soul, that is us, while Krishna represents the Cosmic soul which is Brahman. The Gopis represent all the different souls present in this universe and Gokul is this universe where Krishna is performing his Leela. Krishna creates multiples of him and then dances with every Gopi, which is the very idea of individual divine present in all of us. This is the playful manifestation of sexuality within us. Instead of pointing our sexual desires outwards, we channel it inwards towards the divinity within us. As we make progress in this, we get much stronger pleasure from this inward directed sexual energy in comparison to what we would have gotten by pointing it outwards. This way you automatically lose interest in the outward manifestation of sexual energy and start conserving it for your inner experience.

As this sexuality matures, we move over to the marital aspect of things. This is what is represented in the form of multiple wives of Krishna. When a man and a woman marry, the man vows to protect and provide for the woman while the woman vows to be faithful to the man. The same relationship applies between us and God. God protects and provides for us if we completely submit to his desire. As this happens God starts to manifest more and more inside us and everything that we do becomes the direct action of God. Looking at it this way all those who have submitted to Krishna’s will are the wives of Krishna. This is why Krishna has so many wives. When you read the story of Narakasura in the Puranas, you see the same parable playing out.

This is such a beautiful idea and is not just limited to Hinduism, but is also present in Sufi Islam. Many of the Sufi poets have realized this kind of a relationship with God, which is why they have written poetry in the feminine form. It is so unfortunate that despite such similarity in our approach we still keep fighting with each other.

Originally published at https://stoicsadhu.com on August 29, 2020.