Answer By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Yes, Krishna was born, but you have to know how Krishna is born. That is your intelligence. Just like sun is born every morning. There is no sun now, but in the morning we will see sun and from the eastern side. So do you think that eastern side is the mother of sun? Because sun is born from the eastern side, you can take it for granted that eastern side is the mother of sun. Similarly, Krishna appears in similar way, but that does not mean that He is born. That is stated in the Fourth Chapter, Bhagavad-gita: janma karma me divyam yo jānāti tattvatah: “Anyone who understands in truth how I take My birth, how I work, how I am transcendental…” Simply by knowing these three things—how Krishna is born, and how does He work and what is His actual position—the result is tyaktvā deham punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] “My dear Arjuna, simply knowing these three things, one comes to Me after quitting this material body.” Punar janma naiti: “He never again comes back to…” That means, in other words, if you can understand the birth of Krishna, then you will stop your any more birth. You will be free from this birth and death. So try to understand how Krishna takes His birth.
Simply by understanding this… Tyaktvā deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. If you can understand how Krishna takes his birth, then your birth and death problem is solved. So, the birth of Krishna has to be understood. And who can understand? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye: [Bg. 7.3] “Out of many thousands of men”—sahasra means thousands; thousands, many thousands, means many hundreds of thousands of men—”one is interested for spiritual advancement of life.” Kaścid yatati siddhaye. Siddhaye means “perfection.” Not all men are interested. “What is perfection? Nonsense! Let us eat, drink, be merry, enjoy. Don’t care for perfection.’ This is perfection. We are eating, sleeping, mating, that’s all. Who knows what is going to happen after death? Who can…” They don’t care. This is the position of general population. So out of that rascal population, one may be intelligent enough, “What is the aim of life? What I am? Why I am suffering? Why suffering is imposed upon me? I want to be happy. Why happiness is not there? Why it is simply temporary?” So many things – questions. So, these questions arise in the mind of a person out of many thousands of men.
manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhaye means one who is trying to reach to the point of perfection; not perfection, but simply trying. And yatatām api siddhānām: [Bg. 7.3] “And out of many thousands of such persons who are trying to approach the Absolute Truth,” kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ, “one can understand Me as I am.” Therefore one who can understand Krishna, His birth, His appearance, His disappearance, His activities, all these things… That is also confirmed in another place, tato māṁ tattvato jnātvā (Bg 18.55): “Thus one understanding Me in truth,” viśate tad-anantaram, “he is allowed to enter into My kingdom.” Yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: “Only by devotional service one can understand Me, actually what I am.” So if we engage ourselves in submissive way in the devotional service of Krishna, then Krishna will let you know what is His birth, what is His appearance, disappearance, activities—everything revealed. These things are not to be understood by mental speculation. These things are revealed to a heart of a devotee when he is engaged in devotional service. So that is the process of Krishna consciousness. As you make more advancement in Krishna consciousness, you understand everything.
[An excerpt from a lecture on SB 7.6.6-9 delivered on June 23, 1968, Montreal, Canada]