~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

Krsna's sixty-four transcendental qualities

"Lord Krsna's exquisite form is non-different from Him, and Krsna's name and form are likewise identical. Remembering and chanting Krsna's name immediately invokes His beautiful form in the mind, and both reside there harmoniously. Similarly, Lord Krsna's sixty-four qualities* are of an unlimited and transcendental character.

"The sixty-four transcendental qualities of Krsna are as follows: 1) beautiful features of the entire body; 2) marked with all auspicious characteristics; 3) extremely pleasing; 4) effulgent; 5) strong; 6) ever-youthful; 7) a wonderful linguist; 8) truthful; 9) talks pleasingly; 10) can speak fluently in all languages; 11) highly learned; 12) highly intelligent; 13) a genius; 14) artistic; 15) extremely clever; 16) expert; 17) grateful; 18) firmly determined; 19) an expert judge of time and circumstances; 20) sees and speaks on the authority of the Vedas; 21) pure; 22) self-controlled; 23) steadfast; 24) forebearing; 25) forgiving; 26) grave; 27) self-satisfied; 28) possesses equilibrium; 29) magnanimous; 30) religious; 31) heroic; 32) compassionate; 33) respectful; 34) gentle; 35) liberal; 36) shy; 37) the protector of surrendered souls; 38) happy; 39) the well-wisher of devotees;

40) controlled by love; 41)all-auspicious; 42) most powerful; 43) all-famous; 44) popular, 45) partial to devotees; 46) very attractive to all women; 47) all-worshipable; 48) all-opulent; 49) all-honorable; 50) the supreme controller, 51) changeless; 52) all-cognizant;.53) ever-fresh; 54) possessing an eternal, blissful spiritual body; 55) possessing all mystic perfection; 56) possessing inconceivable potency; 57) innumerable universes are generated from His body; 58) the original source of all incarnations; 59) the giver of salvation to His enemies; 60) the attractor of liberated souls; 61) the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes, especially His childhood pastimes in Vrndavana; 62) He attracts living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute; 63) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead; 64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty that cannot be rivalled anywhere in the creation.

"All the expansions and incarnations of the Lord are partial. Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, His qualitative expansions, only partially display the nature of the Supreme Lord. Everything about the Supreme Lord Krsna is infinite, eternal, unlimited and absolutely spiritual. He alone has the full sixty-four qualities, whereas His expansions, starting from Lord Narayana to Lord Ramacandra, are ornamented with only the first, sixty of His transcendental qualities. Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and the other demigods possess but the first fifty-five of these qualities, and these only to a partial degree. Ordinary jivas have just the first fifty, visible in mere fractional degrees, like small drops. Only Krsna, even amongst all His Visnu expansions, displays the pre-eminence of being the master of four-exceptional spiritual qualities unique to Him alone.

"If the Lord's qualities are compared to waves, then His pastimes mingle with these waves and continuously form, crest and reshape themselves again. Wherever they may be enacted, either in Vaikuntha, Goloka or on Earth in Vrndavana, they are always transcendental. Hence the Lord's name, form, qualities and pastimes are of the same spiritual substance.

"The conditioned jiva in contact with the illusory material nature experiences a state of consciousness diametrically opposed to Krsna consciousness. Because he identifies with his material body, the jiva's name, form, qualities and activities are all separate and different from his real spiritual self. Once he is purified of his material contamination, these four features take on the same spiritual nature and are non-different from him. But until he is purified and liberated by Lord Krsna's grace, the jiva has to suffer the pains of false identification. With Lord Krsna, who is Absolute and Supreme, it is different. He never experiences such suffering.

The holy name is the fountainhead

"Of the four characteristic features (name,form, qualities and activities), the Lord's holy name is the original, because it awards cognition of the other three. Therefore chanting the holy name is the prime religious activity of a Vaisnava. From the holy name gradually blossom the Lord's form, qualities and pastimes. The entire panorama of Lord Krsna's pastimes is present in the holy name. You have personally declared that Your name is the highest Absolute Truth.


* For a detailed discussion of Krsna's sixty-four transcendental qualities, refer to The Nectar of Devotion, Chap. 21-24 (for more information, see the Bibliography)-Ed,