By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
“Some say that the Unborn is born for the glorification of pious kings, and others say that He is born to please King Yadu, one of Your dearest devotees. You appear in his family as sandalwood appears in the Malaya Hills.” (Queen Qunti, the mother of the Pandavas, prays to Lord Krishna) [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.32]
Krishna says, ajo ‘pi: “Although I am birthless, I take birth,” Krishna is the Supreme Being, He’s the master of everyone, and He never takes birth. Still, He takes birth—a contradiction. Although He never takes birth, yet at the same time it is said that He has taken birth (jātam). This contradiction should be understood.
In the Vedas, there are many such contradictions like that. Paśyaty acaksuh: “Krishna, or God, sees, but He has no eyes.” Similarly, God, Krishna, takes His birth although He never takes birth. These are contradictions. Paśyaty acaksuh. Apāni-pādo javano grahītā: “He has no leg, but He moves so fast that nobody can compete with Him.” These are Vedic statements that you will find in the Upanisads, apāni-pāda: “He has no leg, He has no hand, but if you offer Him something, He takes (javano grahītā).”
patram puśpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyā prayachhati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam aśnāmi prayatātmanah
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” [Bg. 9.26]
Now, if the Supreme Lord, God, has no hand, no leg, then how can He walk? Just like Sāksi-gopāla. Sāksi-gopāla was a Deity, apparently showing as made of stone, and the devotee is asking, “My Lord, Gopala, You have to come to give witness.” So Gopala was smiling and said, “How do you expect that a Deity can walk and go to give witness for you?” The bhakta (devotee) said, “If the Deity can speak and smile, He can walk also.” That is the conviction of devotee. And the other party agreed that, “If Gopala comes to give witness, my sister will be given to you.” Because he’s an atheist, he is thinking that “How will the Deity come? He can never come. Then I shall not have to fulfil my promise.” He was confident like that. That is the difference between a devotee and a non-devotee. The non-devotee cannot understand. They will take it that “Once you say that God has no eyes, then how He can see? God has no leg. Then how can He walk? God has no hand. Then how can He accept your offering?”
Ajo ‘pi, although Krishna never takes birth, He takes birth. Therefore the conclusion should be that His birth is not like our birth. This is to be understood. He has no birth, but He has taken birth. Therefore, an intelligent man will conclude that His birth is not like our birth.
Therefore Krishna says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. It is all transcendental. It is not this ordinary birth. Ordinary birth means male and female union, then there is pregnancy, then the child comes out of the womb. It is not like that. We can take this example. Just like the sunrise in the morning (udilo aruna pūraba-bhāge). Before the sunrise, the sky becomes reddish, and then the sun comes out. So if somebody says that “The eastern side is the birthplace of sun,” then is it a fact? No. The sun is always there in the sky, but with your limited eyes you are seeing that now the sun has risen. The sun does not rise nor set – it is already there. Due to your imperfect eyes, you see that there is sunrise and there is sunset. Is it not a fact?
Similarly, Krishna is always there, but because we do not know Krishna, we understand that Krishna is taking birth from Devaki, or Krishna has taken birth in the family of the Yadus. Yes, He appears like that – that He has taken birth in the Yadu family. But why? The purpose is to glorify the family because it belongs to the devotee, Maharaja Yadu. That is His purpose. Mahārāja Yadu was a great devotee. Here it is said, yadoh priyasya. He appears to take birth in the family of Maharaja Yadu. Just like Lord Rāmachandra. He took birth in the family of Mahārāja Raghu. Therefore Lord Rāmachandra is called Raghunātha and Dāśarathi (son of Daśaratha), as Krishna is called Vāsudeva (son of Vasudeva) because He accepted Vasudeva as His father.
So actually, Krishna has no birth. Krishna doesn’t require. He can appear in any family. Just like Krishna appeared in the family of fish (matsya-avatara). Keśava dhrta-mīna-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Krishna took birth as a pig. Keśava dhrta-varāha-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Krishna is free. He can appear anywhere and everywhere. īśvarah sarva-bhūtānām hrd-deśe arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]: He’s situated in everyone’s heart. So He is with everyone; every living being has got Krishna. So Krishna is already there in the heart. From the heart, if He appears in front, than what is the difficulty for Krishna. Just like Dhruva Maharaja, who was meditating on the Visnu form of Krishna, and all of a sudden he saw that Visnu is not there. Then he opened his eyes and he saw that Visnu is in his front. So what is the difficulty for Krishna? If He is within the heart and if He comes in your front, is it very difficult task for Him?
But the rascals, atheists, they cannot understand. Krishna is everywhere. That is explained here, yadoh priyasya anvavāye. He can appear… How it is? Malayasyeva candanam. The sandalwood is famous as produced in Malaysia, or Malaya. I think formerly they used to grow sandalwood in Malaysia. Now, instead of sandalwood, they are growing rubber, rubberwood. Yes. So formerly malaya-candana, Malayasian sandalwood was very famous. Still it is famous. So this candana tree can grow anywhere, but it is famous as Malayan candana. Similarly, Krishna can appear from anywhere. He is independent. But He appeared as the descendant of the Yadu dynasty.