Chapter 2: Krishna Is Complete and Whole
Spiritual pursuit in the past was meant to mitigate suffering, it did not aim at bliss. And, of course, a traveler on this path does succeed, but it is a negative kind of success. What he achieves is a kind of indifference to life, which is only unhappiness reduced to its minimum. That is why our old sannyasins seem to be sad and dull, as if they have lost the battle of life and run away from it. Their sannyas is not alive and happy, dancing and celebrating.
To me, Krishna is a sannyasin of bliss. And because of the great possibility and potential of the sannyas of bliss opening up before us, I have deliberately chosen to discuss Krishna. It is not that Krishna has not been discussed before. But those who discussed him were sannyasins of sorrow, and therefore they could not do justice to him. On the contrary, they have been very unjust to him. And it had to be so.
If Shankara interprets Krishna, he is bound to misinterpret him; he is the antithesis of Krishna. His interpretation can never be right and just. Krishna could not be rightly interpreted in the past, because all the interpreters who wrote about him came from the world of sorrow. They said that the world is unreal and false, that it is an illusion, but Krishna says this world is not only real, it is divine. He accepts this world. He accepts everything; he denies nothing. He is for total acceptance - acceptance of the whole. Such a man had never trod this earth before.
As we discuss him here from day to day, many things, many facets of him, will unfold themselves. For me, the very word Krishna is significant. It is a finger pointing to the moon of the future.
Questioner: You once said that Buddha and Mahavira were masochistic sannyasins. But in fact they came to sannyas from very affluent families; their sannyas was a follow up to their affluence. So how can you associate them with the sannyas of sorrow?
No, I did not say that Mahavira and Buddha were masochistic sannyasins. What I said was that sannyas in the past was masochistic. If you look at the lives of Mahavira and Buddha, you will see that they are for renunciation of life. I did not call them masochistic. I know they achieved the highest in life, and their unhappiness is very different. Their unhappiness is a kind of boredom arising from happiness; their unhappiness is not the absence of happiness. No one can say they turned to sannyas for want of happiness in life; it was not so. But the irony is that when there is too much happiness it becomes meaningless. So they renounced happiness. So while happiness became meaningless for them, its renunciation had meaning. They put a pronounced stress on renunciation. They stood by renunciation.
For Krishna, not only is happiness meaning less, its renunciation is also meaningless. Krishna’s understanding of meaninglessness is much deeper. Try to understand it.