“Krishna: Complete, Whole, choiceless” – OSHO

Krishna is utterly incomparable, he is so unique. Firstly, his uniqueness lies in the fact that although Krishna happened in the ancient past he belongs to the future, is really of the future. Man has yet to grow to that height where he can be a contemporary of Krishna’s. He is still beyond man’s understanding; he continues to puzzle and battle us. Only in some future time will we be able to understand him and appreciate his virtues. And there are good reasons for it.

The most important reason is that Krishna is the sole great man in our whole history who reached the absolute height and depth of religion, and yet he is not at all serious and sad, not in tears. By and large, the chief characteristic of a religious person has been that he is somber, serious and sad-looking — like one vanquished in the battle of life, like a renegade from life. In the long line of such sages it is Krishna alone who comes dancing, singing and laughing.

Religions of the past were all life-denying and masochistic, extolling sorrow and suffering as great virtues. If you set aside Krishna’s vision of religion, then every religion of the past presented a sad and sorrowful face. A laughing religion, a religion that accepts life in its totality is yet to be born. And it is good that the old religions are dead, along with them, that the old God, the God of our old concepts is dead too

It is said of Jesus that he never laughed. It was perhaps his sad look and the picture of his physical form on the cross that became the focal point of at traction for people, most of whom are themselves unhappy and miserable. In a deep sense Mahavira and Buddha are against life too. They are in favor of some other life in some other world; they support a kind of liberation from this life.

Every religion, up to now, has divided life into two parts, and while they accept one part they deny the other, Krishna alone accepts the whole of life. Acceptance of life in its totality has attained full fruition in Krishna. That is why India held him to be a perfect incarnation of God, while all other incarnations were assessed as imperfect and incomplete. Even Rama is described as an incomplete incarnation of God. But Krishna is the whole of God. And there is a reason for saying so. The reason is that Krishna has accepted and absorbed everything that life is.

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Krishna’s life is positive, it is not negative. He does not negate anything there is in life, not even the ego. He tells you to enlarge your ego so much that the whole is included in its embrace. And when nothing remains outside you as “thou” then there is no way to say “I am.” I can call myself “I” only so long as there is a “thou” separate from me. The moment “thou” disappears “I” also ceases to be real. So the egoless “I” has to be vast, infinitely immense,

It is in the context of this immensity of the “I” that the rishi, the seer of the Upanishad exclaimed, “Aham brahmasmi,” “I am God, I am the supreme.” It does not mean to say that you are not God, it only means that since there is no “thou” only “I” remains. It is I who am passing through the tree as a breeze. It is I who am waving as waves in the ocean. I am the one who is born, and I am also the one who will die. I am the earth, and I am also the sky. There is nothing whatsoever other than me; therefore, there is now no way even for this “I” to exist. If I am everything and everywhere, who am I going to tell that “I am”? In relation to what?

The whole of Krishna is co-extensive, co-expansive with the immense, the infinite; he is one with the whole. That is why he can say, “I am the supreme, the Brahman.” There is nothing egoistic about it. It is just a linguistic way of saying it: “I” is just a word here; there is no l-ness to it. Krishna’s “I” has ceased to be.

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Krishna is not a seeker. It would be wrong to call him a seeker. He is a siddha, an adept, an accomplished performer of all life’s arts. And what he says in this siddha state, in this ultimate state of mind, may seem to you to be egoistic, but it is not. The difficulty is that Krishna has to use the same linguistic “I” as you do, but there is a tremendous difference in connotation between his “I” and yours. When you say “I” it means the one imprisoned inside your body, but when Krishna says it he means that which permeates the whole cosmos. Hence he has the courage to tell Arjuna, “Give up everything else and come to my feet.” If it were the same “I” as yours — a prisoner of the body — it would be impossible for him to say a thing like this. And Arjuna would have been hurt if Krishna’s “I” were as petty ss yours. Arjuna would have immediately retorted, “What are you saying? Why on earth should I surrender to you?” Arjuna would have really been hurt, but he was not.

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Krishna is not a hawk, not a supporter of war for war’s sake. He, however, treats war as part of life’s game. But he is not a warmonger. He has no desire whatsoever to destroy anyone; he does not want to hurt anyone. He has made every effort to avoid war, but he is certainly not prepared to escape war at any cost — at the cost of life and truth and religion itself. After all, there should be a limit to our efforts to avoid war, or anything else for that matter. We want to avoid war just for so it does not hurt and harm life. But what if life itself is hurt and harmed by preventing war? Then its prevention has no meaning. Even the pacifist wants to prevent war so that peace is preserved. But what sense is there in preventing a war if peace suffers because of it? In that case, we certainly need to have the strength and ability to wage a clear war, a decisive war.

Krishna is not a hawk, but he is not a frightened escapist either. He says it is good to avoid war, but if it becomes unavoidable it is better to accept it bravely and joyfully than to run away from it. Running away would be really cowardly and sinful. If a moment comes when, for the good of mankind, war becomes necessary — and such moments do come — then it should be accepted gracefully and happily. Then it is really bad to be dragged into it and to fight it with a reluctant and heavy heart. Those who go to war with dragging feet, just to defend themselves, court defeat and disaster. A defensive mind, a mind that is always on the defensive, cannot gather that strength and enthusiasm necessary to win a war. Such a mind will always be on the defensive, and will go on shrinking in every way. Therefore Krishna tells you to turn even fighting into a joyful, blissful affair.

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Krishna is choiceless, he is total, he is integrated, and therefore he is whole and complete. We have not accepted any other incarnation except Krishna’s as whole and complete, and it is not without reason. How can Rama be complete? He is bound to be incomplete, because he chooses only half the truth. He alone can be whole who does not choose — but simply because of not choosing he will come up against difficulties. His life will be an interplay of light and shade. Now it will be illumined; now, shaded. It can never be a monotone; it cannot be flat and simple.


[Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy]

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