In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about the dualities of nature.  In Chapter 7, verse 27, Krishna Bhagwan tells Arjun that all living beings are under the influence of illusion and thus feel the aversion and hatred.

 

इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत |
सर्वभूतानि सम्मोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ||

 

The birth of Lord Krishna may seem to highlight the dualities.  Lord Krishna was born to Yadav Prince Vasudev and Princess Devaki (sister to King Kamsa). As a newborn prince, Krishna's birth should have been celebrated.  Since King Kamsa dearly loved his sister, he should have honored baby Krishna with many gifts. The entire kingdom should have celebrated Lord Krishna’s appearance with pomp and fervor.

 

Instead, baby Krishna was born not in the comforts of the palace.  He appeared in the prison cell where his mother and father were shackled to the walls.  The guards of the prison cell had already warned their king of the many children born before Krishna and the same King Kamsa had killed every one of them.  Lord Krishna was not born in the light of the day but at midnight at the darkest part of the day. Lord Krishna appeared on this earth not on a sunny day but on the stormiest nights.

 

All of the above may not seem the most auspicious start to the appearance of this avatar of Lord Vishnu.  However, even though his parents could not celebrate his birth, they took joy in his appearance. Vasudev was freed from his shackles long enough to see his child to safety.  Krishna was raised by cowherds but was treated to the love of everyone in Gokul. He may not have had the comforts of the palace but he ruled Gokul and Vrindavan with his charm. He may have been deprived of the material riches but he was rich in the love and devotion of everyone that came into contact with him.  Lord Krishna embodies Bhakta Vatsal (one who loves his devotees more than himself.)

 

Dualities are natural in nature.  Happiness and distress are experienced by every living being.  Birth and death is another duality that cannot exist without each other.  All that is born must endure death which restarts the cycle of birth. Lord Krishna continually talks to Arjuna in the Gita about the dualities and how Arjun may overcome them.  In chapter 2, verse 15, Lord Krishna tells Arjun that one who is steady in distress and happiness is eligible for liberation. Later in the same chapter, verse 48, Lord Krishna tells Arjun to abandon all attachment to success and failure.  In the Gita (chapter 18, verse 66) Lord Krishna asks Arjun to abandon all varieties of dharma and to surrender to Krishna.

 

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||

 

As we celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, we should endeavor to surrender unto Krishna.  He will help us transcend the dualities of nature.  Krishna alone can free us from the reactions of our karma and give us liberation.

 

Jai Shri Krishna!!