Sages at Kurukshetra
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534) is Lord Krishna in the aspect of His own devotee. He appeared in Navadvipa, West Bengal, and inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord to teach pure love of God by means of sankirtana.
Lord Chaitanya uses the word ‘jagadisha’ to glorify Krishna. Jagat means universe and isha means Lord. Whether we are Hindu, Moslem or Christian or whatever, we must acknowledge that there is a supreme controller of this universe. Our Supreme Father is Jagadisha, or Lord of the entire universe. Only Lord Jagadisha is in control; everyone else is controlled. Superiority of Krishna cannot be measured but can be accepted through the proof of the original Vedic scriptures (the Vedas and Upanishads), given directly by the Supreme Lord. There are many things we have to accept solely on grounds of superior authority. No one can deny the existence of his father, based upon the authority of his mother. There is no source of understanding the identity of the father except by the authority of the mother.
The great personalities in the past have accepted Krishna as to be the Supreme Lord and have concluded that there is no one superior to Him. One should accept it as supported by Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Narada and later by the acharyas Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarka and Vishnu Svami and still later by the greatest acharya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Let us learn what these great personalities have to say about Lord Krishna.
Suta Goswami, the great sage who related the discourse between Parikshit Maharaja and Shukadeva Gosvami, which forms the basis of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam states
esha vai bhagavan sakshad adyo narayanah puman
mohayan mayaya lokam gudhash carati vrishnishu
“Shri Krishna is no other than the inconceivable, original Personality of Godhead. He is the first Narayana, the supreme enjoyer.”
Uddhava was A learned disciple of Brihaspati and confidential friend of Lord Krishna in Dvaraka; In Krishna's Mathura and Dvaraka lila, Uddhava is Krishna's best friend. He visited the residents of Vrindavana to console them in their grief due to Krishna's absence. In the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Krishna imparts the most important transcendental knowledge to Uddhava. He declares
svayam tv asamyatishayas tryadhishah svarajya-lakshmy-apta-samasta-kamah
balim haradbhish cira-loka-palaih kirita-koty-edita-pada-pithah
“Lord Shri Krishna is the Lord of all kinds of threes and is independently supreme by achievement of all kinds of fortune. He is worshiped by the eternal maintainers of the creation, who offer Him the paraphernalia of worship by touching their millions of helmets to His feet.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.21)
Maitreya Muni is the great sage who spoke the Shrimad-Bhagavatam to Vidura. He gave advice to the Pandavas during their exile in the forest.
tad ahur aksharam brahma sarva-karana-karanam
In many faiths Godhead refers to several divine beings possessing qualities of being God. The term “Supreme Personality of Godhead” refers to Lord Krishna or any of His incarnations who are accepted by great spiritual authorities as being superior to all such Godheads. Shri Krishna, is therefore said to be the original cause of all causes. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.42)
The four Kumaras are the four sons of Brahma, named Sanat, Sanandana, Sanaka and Sanatana, who are incarnations of the jnana-shakti (power of knowledge) of Lord Vishnu. They live for the entire duration of universal time, but appear as children of only 5 years. They are the original founders of the Kumara Sampradaya - one of the four Vaishnava sampradayas.
tam tvam vidama bhagavan param atma-tattvam sattvena samprati ratim racayantam esham
yat te 'nutapa-viditair dridha-bhakti-yogair udgranthayo hridi vidur munayo viragah
“We know that You are the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, who manifests His transcendental form in the uncontaminated mode of pure goodness.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.47)
The Demigods are jivas or ordinary living entities whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead empowers to represent Him in the management of the universe. The first of the demigods is Brahma. Indra is the demigod of rain, Surya of the sunshine, Chandra of the moonshine, and Varuna of water. There are thirty-three million demigods in all. They live in the upper regions of the universe called svarga, or heaven. The Sanskrit equivalent of the word demigod is deva or devata.
satya-vratam satya-param tri-satyam satyasya yonim nihitam ca satye
satyasya satyam rita-satya-netram satyatmakam tvam sharanam prapannah
“Being present in the three phases of cosmic manifestation - creation, maintenance and annihilation - You are the Supreme Truth. You are the active principle, the real truth, in all the ingredients of creation, and therefore you are known as antaryami, the inner force. You are the beginning of all truth.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.26)
Sages at Kurukshetra
Chief among the sages at Kurukshetra were Krishna-dvaipayana Vyasa, the great sage Narada, Cyavana, Devala, Asita, Vishvamitra, Shatananda, Bharadvaja, Gautama, Lord Parashurama (along with his disciples), Vasishtha, Galava, Bhrigu, Pulastya, Kashyapa, Atri, Markandeya, Brihaspati, Dvita, Trita, Ekata, the four Kumara sons of Brahma (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara), Angira, Agastya, Yajnavalkya and Vamadeva.
They declare, “Dear Lord, we are surprised to see Your behavior, which is just like that of an ordinary human being and which conceals Your real identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Our dear Lord, You are the creator of the social orders and spiritual statuses of human society according to quality and work. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Soul.” Brahman is the impersonal, all-pervasive aspect of the Supreme. In the Chandogya Upanishad 3.14, Brahman is described as tajjalan, as that (tat) from which the world arises (ja), into which it returns (la), and by which is is supported and lives (an). (Chapter 84, Sacrificial Ceremonies Performed by Vasudeva, KRISHNA)
Shrimati Kunti is the mother of the Pandavas and Lord Krishna's aunt in the Mahabharata. She was the daughter of Shurasena and the sister of Vasudeva. She was adopted by King Kuntibhoja and later married King Pandu. Her other name is Pritha.
In her prayers to Lord Krishna, she says
namasye purusham tvadyam ishvaram prakriteh param
alakshyam sarva-bhutanam antar bahir avasthitam
“You are the original personality and are unaffected by the qualities of the material world. You are existing both within and without everything.”
Uttara was the daughter of King Virata and the wife of Abhimanyu. Virata first wanted Arjuna to marry his daughter, but Arjuna declined and said that his son, Abhimanyu, should marry her. Uttara became the mother of King Parikshit.
She prays to Lord Krishna,
pahi pahi maha-yogin deva-deva jagat-pate
nanyam tvad abhayam pashye yatra mrityuh parasparam
“O Lord of lords, Lord of the universe! You are the greatest of mystics. Please protect me, for there is no one else who can save me from the clutches of death in this world of duality.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.9)
Prahlada Maharaja is a great devotee of Lord Krishna who was persecuted by his atheistic father, Hiranyakashipu, but was always protected by the Lord and ultimately saved by the Lord in the form of Narasimhadeva. Prahlada is one of the foremost authorities on bhakti-yoga. Many important verses in Shrimad-Bhagavatam are spoken by him. He is one of the leading authorities on bhakti-yoga.
yatha hi purusasyeha
yad esa sarva-bhutanam
priya atmeshvarah suhrt
The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead. Therefore every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. This devotional service is natural because Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.2)
Arjuna, the great archer and intimate friend of Lord Krishna, acknowledges Krishna’s supremacy in the Bhagavad-gita.
param brahma param dhama
pavitram paramam bhavan
purusam shashvatam divyam
adi-devam ajam vibhum
ahus tvam risiayah sarve
devarsir naradas tatha
asito devalo vyasah
svayam caiva bravisi me
Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa proclaim this truth of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me. (Bhagavad-gita 10.12-13)
Dhruva Maharaja is a great devotee who at the age of five performed severe austerities and realized the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He received an entire planet, the Pole Star.
The young devotee Dhruva Maharaja asserts
“My dear Lord, You are all-powerful. You are the supreme one and Lord Brahma is fully surrendered unto You. I can understand that You are the same Supreme Godhead. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto You.”
King Yudhisthira is The eldest of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata, and the son of Dharmaraja or Yamaraja, the god of death. It was the dispute over his succession to the throne in India that led to the Battle of Kurukshetra; he ruled the earth after the Kurukshetra war.
He discloses why he wants to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice
“I want to perform this Rajasuya sacrifice and invite the demigods to show that they have no power independent of You - that they are all Your servants and You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Chapter 72, The Liberation of King Jarasandha, Krishna)
Kulashekhara was a great devotee-king and the author of Mukunda-mala stotra, prayers to Lord Krishna. In his prayers he describes,
cintayami harim eva santatam manda-hasa-muditananambujam
nanda-gopa-tanayam parat param naradadi-muni-vrinda-vanditam
“I always think of Lord Hari, who is the Supreme Lord, who removes all inauspiciousness and steals the hearts of His devotees and whose joyful lotus face bears a gentle smile. Although He is the son of the cowherd Nanda, He is also the Supreme Absolute Truth worshiped by great sages like Narada.”
(Verse 7, Mukunda-mala stotra)