Chapter 4: Religiousness Is beyond the Realms of Time
Questioner: What is the time of Krishna’s birth? What investigations have been made up to now? And what is your own view on this matter? Do you think an enlightened person cannot rightly answer such a question?
No record has been kept about the time of Krishna’s birth and death. and there is a good reason for it.
We did not think it wise to keep a chronological record of those who, in our view, are not subject to birth and death, who are beyond both. A record is kept in the case of people who are born and who die, who are subject to the law of birth and death. There is no sense in writing the biography of those who transcend the limits of birth and death, of arrival and departure. Not that we were not capable of writing their biography - there was no difficulty to it - but such an attempt would go against the very spirit of Krishna’s life. That is why we did not do it.
Countries in the East did not write the stories of their great men and women as is done in the West. The West has been very particular about writing them, and there is a reason for this too. However, in this matter, the East has now been imitating the West, ever since it came under the latter’s influence. And that, too, is not without reason,
Religions of the Judaic tradition, both Christianity and Mohammedanism, believe there is only one life, one incarnation given to us on this earth. All of life is confined to one birth and one death; it begins with birth and totally ends with death. There is no other life either before or after this one. It is therefore not accidental that people who think that life completes its entire tenure in the brief interval between one birth and death should insist on keeping a record of it all. It is simply natural,
But those who have known that life recurs again and again, that one is born and then dies count less numbers of times, that the chain of arrivals and departures is almost endless, see no point in writing its history. It is rather impossible to write about an event which extends from eternity to eternity, And moreover it would deny our own understanding of it. For this reason history was never written in the East. And it was a very deliberate omission, an omission that came with our understanding of reality. It is not that we lacked the ability to write history or that we did not possess a calendar. The oldest calendar of the world was produced here. So it is obvious we refrained from writing history knowingly.
You also want to know why an enlightened person cannot rightly say when Krishna was born.