Are Shri Ram and Shri Krishna the same?

Are Shri Ram and Shri Krishna the same?

(An excerpt of a speech delivered by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj during Ram Navmi)

To differentiate amongst God’s Divine forms is considered a namaparadh (spiritual transgression). There is no greater sin than a namaparadh. In fact, It is a spiritual transgression to even consider God and his Saints to be separate entities, let alone his Divine forms. It is truly a wonder on how anyone can differentiate amongst God’s own Divine forms.

And particularly so in the case of His descensions as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. His other descensions have different bodies, like his descension as a boar, a tortoise, a man-lion, etc. which have the bodies of other beings. But when it comes to Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, there is no difference even in the body and not even in the Name.

Lord Brahma has said in the scripture – (Quote from Adhyatma Ramayana). These are Brahma’s own words – “O Rama, you are beyond Maya, the ruler of Maya, and you are Madhava.” Brahma is calling Rama as ‘Madhava’ when in actual fact, He is ‘Raghava.’ Madhava had descended in the age of Dwapara. It’s true that Raghava himself had become Madhava. But here Brahma directly used the word ‘Madhava.’

Second point – (Shri Maharaji quotes a verse from Adhyatma Ramayana) – “O Rama, I bow down to you, who is emerald-hued and the Lord of Mathura.” What possible connection does Lord Ram have with Mathura? He never even went there. Even during his forest exile, we never ever heard of Mathura being mentioned. And in this verse, Brahma is calling him the Lord of Mathura. (Shri Maharaji again quotes from Adhyatma Ramayana) – “O my Rama, who lives in Vrindavan. O my Rama, who is worshipped by countless billions of celestial gods, I bow down to you.” These are all Lord Brahma’s words.

And apart from this, Lord Ram and Lord Krishna themselves have said this. When the paramahansas of Dandaka forest saw Lord Ram and became enchanted by him and desired to love him in Madhurya-bhava as their beloved, Lord Ram blessed them with a boon. “Ok, I will give you the ultimate divine bliss of becoming your Beloved. But in this descension, I wish to abide by proper conduct. All of you can come as Gopis during my next descension to experience my love as your Beloved.” (Quote from Padma Purana)

Lord Ram did not say, “Someone named Krishna will come. Go to him instead as I never make anyone my Beloved in this descension.” He did not say this at all. He said specifically, “I myself will descend again. All of you come back as women.” Lord Ram is stating this so clearly. And the four forms that Lord Ram has – these are also Lord Brahma’s verses – Lord Ram made himself into four forms; one became Lakshaman, one became Bharat, one became Shatrughn, and one was Lord Ram himself. He took on four forms. (Scriptural verse quotation)

In play-acting, Lakshman was born to one mother, Bharat was born to a different mother, etc. But in reality Ram himself came into four forms. One form, i.e. He himself became the worshipped and and the other three became the worshippers. Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn are all worshipping Lord Rama. So people say that they are devotees or saints, and Ram is God. But actually all four are God. All these four came again during Lord Krishna’s avatar; Lakshaman became Balaram, and Bharat and Shatrughn became Pradyumna and Aniruddha. So all the same four forms came again during Lord Krishna’s avatar as well.

And once Lord Krishna told Radha Rani as well – “Do you remember? You had come as Sita when we last appeared in the world.” Radha Rani smilingly said, “Of course I remember, I don’t have a bad memory.” Lord Ram: “Do you remember, Ravana kidnapped you?” “Yes,” Sita replied. (Brahma Vaivarta Purana verses)

Once when Baby Krishna was small, he asked Mother Yashoda in baby talk to tell him a story, so he may fall asleep. Small children usually ask their mothers for bedtime stories like this, so that they can go to sleep. Mother Yashoda agreed and put him to sleep and began gently patting him so that he may fall asleep. She begins the story and tells Krishna to keep making the sound “hmm’ as she narrates. Krishna agreed to do as he was told.

Mother began her story, (Verses from Padyavali) – There was once a king named Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Krishna was listening and smiling from inside. He was careful not to smile in front of his mother, in case she begins to wonder why he was smiling. Krishna did not want to reveal that He himself is Ram. So when she began the story, he simply said ‘Hmm.’ “His wife’s name was Sita and Krishna goes on saying ‘Hmm, hmm.’ “Because of his father’s orders, Ram went to the forest in exile and there in Panchavati, Sita was kidnapped.”

Mother Yashoda prompts Baby Krishna, “Are you listening or not? Krishna however momentarily forgot that he was doing a leela and must keep saying ‘hmm.’ He didn’t say ‘hmm’ this time. Listening to his mother’s story, he realised then, “I had promised that I would keep saying ‘hmm, hmm’ during the story.”

Instead, Krishna flew into a rage and got up furiously and shouted, “Lakshman, bring me my bow now, bring me my bow!! Ravana has kidnapped Sita! Bring me my bow!” (Verses from Padyavali). Mother Yashoda got scared upon seeing this strange sight. She thought, “There is no Lakshman here. What’s the matter with him? Did a ghost take possession of my baby?”

Lord Krishna had inevitably recalled his previous descension as Lord Ram, in the midst of the story telling. “Ravana has abducted Sita. How dare he? Bring me my bow!” Mother Yashoda quickly ran and hugged Baby Krishna and tried to comfort him, “What happened Lala?” As she hugged and pacified him, Krishna realised that He should not have revealed Himself in this manner in front of his mother. He quickly returned back to his normal state.

Thankfully, Mother Yashoda did not make much of this incident and thought that something strange had happened earlier, but now my Krishna is all fine. She then pats Baby Krishna and lovingly puts him to sleep.

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*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*

(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)

The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957 by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include  -  Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh,  Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.