Krishna's Beauty

20th Oct 2004
Kalacakra Krsna das

Hare Krishna dear Vaishnavas,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev. 

I would like to share with you all one of the most beautiful verses that I came across while reading the Prayers sung by Lord Siva in the 4th canto, 24th chapter (SB 4.24.45-46). Here Lord Siva so elegantly describes the beauty of Lord Krishna through wonderful similes. Although all the verses are beautiful in Srimad Bhagavatam, this verse is more beautiful because it speaks about the beauty of the Supremely beautiful Lord. 

  snigdha-prāvṛḍ-ghana-śyāmaṁ sarva-saundarya-saṅgraham
cārv-āyata-catur-bāhu sujāta-rucirānanam

padma-kośa-palāśākṣaṁ sundara-bhru sunāsikam
sudvijaṁ sukapolāsyaṁ sama-karṇa-vibhūṣaṇam

The Lord's beauty resembles a dark cloud during the rainy season. As the rainfall glistens, His bodily features also glisten. Indeed, He is the sum total of all beauty. The Lord has four arms and an exquisitely beautiful face with eyes like lotus petals, a beautiful highly raised nose, a mind-attracting smile, a beautiful forehead and equally beautiful and fully decorated ears.

As HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj used to say, our shastras are mostly filled with instructions for the improvement of our behaviour only. There are very few verses describing the beauty, nature, quality etc of the Supreme Lord and this is one of them. Although there are only a few verses of this category, still the effect is so pronounced. The above verse literally brings the Lord's beautiful form in front of our eyes.

Srila Prabhupada enhances the ornamentation of this verse in his exquisite purport thus:

"The Lord's beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord's bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season. The devotees enjoy the Lord's beauty because it is a collection of all kinds of beauties. Therefore the word sarva-saundarya-saṅgraham is used. No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God's creation, God's beauty and God's bodily features. All these are so complete that all one's desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. The word sarva-saundarya indicates that there are different types of beauties in the material and spiritual worlds and that the Lord contains all of them. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Krsna. Similarly, His devotees also attract everyone. As mentioned in the Sad-goswami-stotra: dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau - the Goswamis are equally dear to the dhīra (devotees) and adhīra (demons). Lord Krsna was not very pleasing to the demons when He was present in Vrndavana, but the six Goswamis were pleasing to the demons when they were present in Vrndavana. That is the beauty of the Lord's dealings with His devotees; sometimes the Lord gives more credit to His devotees than He takes for Himself. For instance, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Lord Krsna fought simply by giving directions. Yet it was Arjuna who took the credit for fighting. nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyasācin: "You, O Savyasāci [Arjuna], can be but an instrument in the fight." (Bg. 11.33) Everything was arranged by the Lord, but the credit of victory was given to Arjuna. Similarly, in the Krsna consciousness movement, everything is happening according to the predictions of Lord Caitanya, but the credit goes to Lord Caitanya's sincere servants. Thus the Lord is described herein as sarva-saundarya-saṅgraham."

We can see how amazingly Srila Prabhupada blends the description of Krsna's beauty along with the behaviour of Vaishnavas. This is real preaching.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das.