Krishna & Eros

To fall in love with Krishna, we have to know what he is like. But we can’t directly know what he is like, because he is initially beyond the perception of our mind and senses. So on the Vedāntic principle of “anyārtha parāmārṣa” we have to infer what he is like by our experience of things that are somehow similar to him. 

Texts 19-42 of Gita’s Chapter 10 give many, many different examples of things that are somehow similar to Krishna, and therefore can give us a hint of what he is like. These are things that we can readily experience in our everyday life – and these experiences can give us a hint of what is beyond our current ability to experience. For example, we can get an idea of what it is like to experience Krishna by more mindfully understanding and experiencing the Sunlight, Ocean, Spring, Mountains, etc.

The pattern here is for Krishna to first point out the general field of experience (like “light”) and then give a specific thing within that field (like, “…of which I am the sun”), which is somehow both the origin (prabhava) and central point (pravarta) of the rest of the things in that field – and thus is directly analogous to Krishna’s “aham sarvasya prabhava, mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate” relationship to the cosmic field. 

At one point (10.28) Krishna suggests that we can comprehend him via the experience of, “Procreation, in which I am the Eros” (prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ).” In this particular case, Krishna suggests procreation as the general field of experience, and points to Eros (interestingly presented as the origin, prabhava, and central purpose, pravarta, of procreation) – as the part of procreation that especially represents him and thus reveals what it is like to experience him. 

By referring to procreation and Eros as being illustrative of his character, Krishna is sharing the hint that he is extremely creative and not at all a boring fellow, nor is he celibate, prude, victorian, repressed or even reserved in the slightest. He gives us a clue that he is an erotic, exciting, incredibly PLEASURABLE person.

Indeed all of his most important names (Krishna, Rāma, Govinda, etc) hint loudly at the same thing.

Krishna suggests in 10.28 that the experience of eroticism in our everyday life gives us a hint of what Krishna’s personality is like, and what it is like to actually interact with him. This statement might seem problematic to celibates and to persons with a Western religious orientation, because it suggests that eroticism has spiritual implications and use. But this doesn’t at all mean that every bhakta has to be sexually active. The statements at the end of Chapter 10 are meant for a wide range of people, who relate to a wide range of things. But for those who are, or have been sexually active in a positive manner – Krishna suggests that the riveting and liberating joy of sexual pleasure reveals an important hint (which we can immediately access even in our current state of existence) of the profoundly riveting, liberating, and yes, “orgasmic” joy of experiencing him.

The Upanishads use nearly identical language in describing the fundamental nature of the original consciousness, so kamayata bahu syama prajayeya (Tai 2.6)

Vraja Kishor (

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