WELCOME Vishnu is Krishna. Keep that in mind as you read Srila Prabhupada’s lecture in this issue. Vishnu and Krishna are not two different persons. God, Krishna, can reproduce Himself unlimitedly without diminishing, and each reproduction (“expansion”) is still the original person.
Academic sources and some Indian religious traditions say that Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu. But we Gaudiya Vaishnavas, in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, say that Krishna is the source of Vishnu (or, again, is Vishnu). We have plenty of scriptural evidence to support our conviction, including the authoritative Brahma-samhita, which Srila Prabhupada cites here. He is speaking on a series of verses from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita that clarify the creative roles of Krishna’s Vishnu expansions.
It’s easy to see why people would tend to put Vishnu above Krishna; mighty Vishnu just seems a better fit for the position of Supreme Lord. But power comes in many forms, and Krishna’s great power is His irresistible sweetness, which ultimately conquers all.
In this issue, we hear from Chaitanya Charana Dasa about how Krishna once seemed to fail, unable to defeat Duryodhana’s obstinacy. But the episode sheds light on other aspects of Krishna’s greatness. When You’re God, even Your so-called failures are a success.
Hare Krishna. – Nagaraja Dasa, Editor