Adhoksaja Krishna

Beyond the Limits of the Alphabet

Krishna is adhoksaja, which means that even persons advanced in knowledge cannot understand Krishna . Knowledge is manufactured from words and syllables and from the letters A to Z. That’s all. ABCD. We compose words with these twenty-six letters. And in Sanskrit, as in English, it is a to ksa. The end is ksa. So a and ksa, that is called aksa. Then there is aksa-ja, and ja means “generated.” Sanskrit scholars compose words from a to ksa, just as in English people compose words from A to Z. Our mental speculation and advancement of knowledge is limited between this a and ksa, aksa. Aksa-ja.

But Krishna is adhoksaja. Adhoksaja means where these kinds of speculation beginning from a to ksa will not act – Krishna is beyond any conjectures that can be constructed from the whole Sanskrit alphabet. Adhah krta means “cut down” [lit. “made to be down”]. Therefore Krishna’s name is Adhoksaja. Krishna is beyond the range of our sense perception and mental speculation. This is Krishna ’s position. Is Krishna so easy to understand that we can comprehend Him by sense perception and mental speculation? No. People are mostly influenced by passion and ignorance, not the light of spiritual knowledge, and they are also covered by the vast curtain of maya, or the illusory energy. But there is a process for knowing Krishna . The process is to hear about Krishna and chant the holy names: Hare Krishna , Hare Rama. So if we do not adopt the process, how can we understand Krishna ?

  – From a talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.8.19) by Srila Prabhupada, adapted by Tattvavit Dasa