Krishna is not neutral but reciprocal

What is Krishna’s relationship with the world?

The Bhagavad-gita addresses this question repeatedly in its several chapters, especially in its ninth chapter. That discussion culminates in the well-known verse (09.10: mayadhyakshena prakrtih) declaring that material nature works under the supervision of Krishna. That verse is preceded by a verse stating that Krishna is not subject to any karmic reactions due to his neutral.

The erudite Gita commentator Baldeva Vidyabhusana emphasizes that total neutrality would render the Lord inactive, unable to do anything. But Krishna is active, supremely active, benevolently, reciprocally active. This is underscored by the word udasina-vata (as if neutral) in the Gita (10.09).

His neutrality is subordinate to his reciprocity. That implies the neutrality is not the passivity of a stone. Rather it is the impartiality of a judge, who though not favoring any particular person simply lets things function according to laws and gives people the just results of their actions.

To give another example, Krishna is like the earth that gives delicious and nutritious fruits to those who sow good seeds and gives thorny tasteless fruits to those who sow that kind of seeds. The earth is not a non-doer, yet it is not a partial doer – it is a reciprocal doer. The same applies to Krishna.

At a higher, more personal level, Krishna is also reciprocal not just in terms of law but also in terms of love. This is indicated in a later verse in the same chapter (09.29) which while reiterating Krishna’s impartiality underscores his mercy in reaching out extra to those who strive to reach out to him through devotion.

By understanding the impartial-yet-reciprocal nature of Krishna, we can situate ourselves appropriately on the continuum that extends from respect for his law to relish for his love and finally attain his eternal world of love.    

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 09 Text 10

Don’t challenge the wisdom of God – let the wisdom of God challenge you
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1 Comment

  1. Nice article. You’ve clarified a very important point that Krishna is not just an overseer and permitter (impartial judge) but he is also loving reciprocator.
    Thank you very much for sharing.

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