yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham (4.7)
“Whenever righteousness goes down or there is harm to dharma, when unlawfulness, unrighteousness or ignorance rises on the planet and knowledge goes down, I come back again and again, to uplift knowledge, to uplift dharma, righteousness. ”
That one consciousness that has been the guiding force, which has been bringing up the knowledge, time and again, is Krishna. “In every age, I am born, to uplift the knowledge again.”This is the whole concept of avatar. It means ‘descending of the supreme consciousness’. That one consciousness which was a Guru to Vivasvan, which was Sri Ram, Sri Krishna, the same consciousness in various places, in various forms, has come to the planet to uplift people from time to time.
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge (4.8)
“In every age, I come back again on the planet to establish dharma, to establish righteousness, to establish the good, to show the path and to uplift good people and to destroy the bad ones.” In these few sentences, Krishna gave two ideas. First is the importance of tradition. Tradition is important. Whether you accept it or not, tradition is continuous in every field. In music, there is a tradition, you always refer to somebody; you are always dependent on somebody from whom to learn. No one can say, “I want to learn physics, but I don’t want to depend on anybody.” Is it possible? Nobody can become a doctor and say, “I don’t want to depend on any previous researcher or previous books. I want to start medicine all by myself.” He cannot become a doctor, he has to depend on case studies, research, and so many books, which are already there. The books are the tradition. In every field, the knowledge that you want to acquire is from the past. That tradition is so important. You cannot discard tradition.
Research and revival are and should be a part of every tradition. When tradition loses these two things – research and revival or rejuvenation, it dies. Reform, rejuvenation, revival and research are all part of the tradition. That is how science stands up because science acknowledges all this. If science is slowing down somewhere, it is because scientists are becoming fanatics;
they are becoming religious scientists. Religious scientists are stuck in a paradigm; it takes them a generation to get over that.
They apply a brake on the advancement of science. Similarly, there are scientific-minded, religious people, they have a scientific temperament. They are a boon to the world because they view even religions through reason and science. We need people who see religion from the scientific perspective, otherwise, they get stuck and stagnate. Scientific religion is good for the world but Religious scientists are not. They are stumbling blocks for future generations, for future research work. So, tradition is important for furthering knowledge and for authentic knowledge, because it is the work of several generations. Second is the concept of one consciousness, which is moving through it all. That one Divine voice is within every one of us. Don’t sit and think an avatar is some prophet who will come in some distant future. All over the world in all traditions, people have mistaken words like this and they sit and wait for someone to drop in one day. Even if they come, they keep waiting for the future, they can’t recognize it. They wait forever. Krishna promises, “I come in every generation, I am available everywhere, wherever righteousness stands up, there I am. Wherever things are in a hopeless state, don’t lose your heart; I’ll be there.
I’ll come and uplift the whole situation. I’ll be there for you; I’ll be there to protect the good and to destroy the evil.” This assurance Lord Krishna gave again and again. If you see, these words have been repeated by Moses, by Jesus, by Mohammed, by Buddha, by all those who came later. Everyone had said, “I have come to establish dharma.” When you are connected to the spirit deep within you, when you realise who you are, you will feel the same, you will see, “My job here is to help the good, to uplift the dharma, to uplift the righteousness.” This is an innate feeling in everybody. Like every mother has the feeling, “My job is to nurture the children.” Is there any mother on this planet who says, “I don’t care, I have just given birth to the children. Let them go to hell!” She will never ever say that. She says, “My job is to nurture these children and to bring them up.” In the same way, Lord Krishna played the role of a Guru, a friend, and a companion to Arjuna. He said, “My job is to nurture dharma. It is natural.” The same consciousness takes birth again and again and again — whenever, wherever there is a need.