Krishna Consciousness

Krishna Consciousness

The Dancer
The Dancer

Krishna is a famous avatar of Vishnu the sustainer; a living embodiment of God in an apparently physical form. Unlike some other avatars of history, he was born aware of his Divine nature. In the Kala model, he was a full 16 of 16, something very rare. He’s also a quality of Divinity.

Amusingly, the Sanskrit word for avatar is daveed which means “descent.” This means a deliberate descent into lower layers of existence (the world) for a specific purpose. Avatars often seem to show up at the transition between Yugas or ages.

The story of Krishna’s life is told in the epic Mahabharata. A section of that, where he gives instruction to Prince Arjuna on the battlefield, is called the Bhagavad Gita or song of God. In that, he lays out the full unfolding of enlightenment and guides Arjuna through it.

Like other Devas, we can experience Krishna in 3* ways:
a) in form
b) in an intermediate or “spirit form”
c) as a law of nature or principle of Divinity.

Let’s use Shiva as an example first.

a) Shiva can be known in form. We can see examples of people’s experiences or artists interpretations of those illustrated all over the world.

b) Shiva has a Mahadeva aspect where his principle is embodied but not expressed into a defined form.

c) Shiva as the Observer aspect of consciousness, an embodiment of the Divine principle of alertness.

When the latter is embodied in our physiology, it’s called Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness. The observer wakes up to itself through this form.

For Krishna:
a) Krishna can be known in form, also widely illustrated. For me, he was the first Divine deva to show up. He brought my attention to a detail in the “sky” (see my crude illustration above) that allowed me to transcend the universe and discover our creation beyond it, to move from the 5th to 6th koshas.

b) Krishna has a cosmic form described in Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, where he shows Arjuna his body of all bodies. Arjuna is overwhelmed, but when this experience arises naturally, it’s less so; part of our progressive unfolding of the cosmic body.

c) Krishna is a principle of Divinity, what I’d call Divine Intellect. This is the topic of this post.

Some years ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi referred to a state of Krishna Consciousness. There has been much speculation among his students about post-Brahman stages, and I too puzzled about this vague reference. Over the years, he brought out further stages of development, but never the full Vasishtha model I use.

One key detail is the word Krishna means dark or black. What does that mean in the context of Divinity where it’s all lit up? What was Maharishi referring to?

I’ve written previously on the 7 stages of Divinity, the sub-stages of the ParaBrahman stage. The fourth sub-stage is embodied at the heart. This level has a dual aspect: Love which flows and brings life, and the Divine Intellect which gives structure and stability. This is the structuring of Divine intelligence which flows through the structure. Stable, but flexible.

We can also see this apparent heart/ intellect duality as the masculine and feminine expressions. Some will favour one or the other, others will explore both. Both however are sustaining, the Vishnu quality that Krishna embodies.

The Divine Intellect is the stable backing for consciousness to become aware of itself at every point. It is behind the Divine Mind which holds the ideas that lead to creation. And it is the field in which the Vedas or blueprints of our creation reside. All the aspects that sustain and evolve our creation.

This field is deep black and this is Krishna. When this is being embodied in the 4th stage of ParaBrahman, it comes alive and ceases to be background. The heart awakens on yet another level. This is apparently Krishna Consciousness.

PS: this article is not a claim of personal development, just a description of a recognition from what’s been shown. The stages of enlightenment are not personal.

*Update: turns out there’s a 4th way of experiencing a deva. When we experience them in form typically, it’s an expression of consciousness of that law of nature. However, it’s possible to experience them more directly as an expression of Divinity, of pure white light. This is like a synthesis of the other 3 styles but is more direct.

Last Updated on November 25, 2021 by Davidya

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 20

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. Jeff

    I experience deities on a regular basis, but I have yet to experience Krishna. I don’t see them, but have the experience on the finest level of feeling. In my own resting awareness, I identify with Rudra. So when I listen to any Rudra recitation, it enlivens aspects of my own self. This experience is much more dynamic if the recitation is a yagya, where offerings are made to the deity. Waves of flavored bliss arise from each individual offering.

    Others deities arise from the reverberation of my own consciousness , so I also experience them as Self, but there is a shift that results in the experience. These experiences are sustained if I play the recitation on continuous play, then leave and go about the day. This of course makes the experience much more tangible that my relationship with them is beyond time and space. Each deity has their own contribution if I then go to another room to do my meditation program. For example, with Shiva, there is an emphasis of the silence between the sutras. With Vishnu, the dynamism of the sutra is then emphasized.

    I am fascinated by Krishna, but so far he is beyond my experience.

    1. Beautiful, Jeff.
      I happen to be visual but your route is more direct. I found in retrospect that the forms that arose were specific to the need. Nowhere near all forms have arisen. Mainly those with some connection or some teaching. Note that Krishna is a form of Vishnu so if you’re experiencing Vishnu, that base may already be covered. You’ll see.

      At some point, your Personal form of God will arise and a profound and very direct relationship will unfold.

      1. Jeff

        In my experience, the laws of nature have three primary qualities when interacting with us. Divine beauty is a tool helps that draw our minds inward. It is like the tractor beam in Star Wars. This helps facilitate the flow of soma between humans and deities. The flow helps maintain creation.

        Divine love connects the subject with the object. It unifies us with them. Unconditional love invokes a like response. Loving and being loved, becomes a singular impulse and the Self recognizes the Self.

        Finally, divine grace liberates, a key that unlocks the next step of evolution.

        1. Thanks for sharing, Jeff.
          I equate the first with sattva. The second, much the same as you. It has the Vishnu/Krishna quality also (ie: its sustaining too).
          The third I don’t see as a law of nature or quality but rather an action of the Divine. But yes, grace is very much the key, superseding nature.

          I distinguish the Divine and nature. Nature runs the world using the 3 gunas and laws of nature. The Divine transcends and holds the world. We could say it’s like the the Divine is the board and nature is the management.

          Each of us has distinct perspectives to bring out other details of the whole.

          1. Jeff

            But both are interdependent upon us. We provide the soma which supports them. That is why it is so important to maintain our level of evolution, especially at this time. The more that we continue to evolve the more deities that are awakened.

            I’m a big fan of divine beauty. Charm is a form of divine beauty.. I find that it reaches its pinnacle in the Goddess of Immortality. When I experience her, my mind ceases to function, as their is nothing more enjoyable to experience.

            1. Yes, beautiful. We’re not separate from any and the whole thing is interdependent. They provide the experiences but need us to experience. We provide the soma so they provide the support. We give them form and greater self-awareness. We can embody Divinity so they can awaken.

              Here, the pinnacle is in Divine Mother. She goes beyond qualities of nature like sattva. Seems it’s a quality of Divine presence. It draws us home.

              I would caution the general audience to ensure it’s Divine. There is a lot of content of experience that can be very charming but can be a distraction from progress, something new to create attachment. Sometimes, it’s best to transcend and establish the silence first. Then unfold all the layers.

              Of course, we have no control over how it unfolds. (Laughs) But it’s good to recognize truth is found in the intelligence of the process of experience and the source, not in the content and appearances.

  2. Judith

    I am in the process of contemplation of several words used often along the path that are de-light-full to be found in many of your blogs. For example ‘awaken’. I am finding that it is not I that is doing the awakening; I am being awakened. I come ‘as’ a body (form) and my spirit form is as a subtle body. The principle of Divinity is ‘I Am That I Am’.

    ‘Surrender’ It is not I who is doing the surrendering; I am being surrendered. It is not I who is doing the observing, I have been alerted to That which Is. As observer I am being realized through real eyes. Looking is be-coming seeing; listening is be-coming hearing. ‘Let those who have ears to hear, hear.’ Listen through/ to the sound of silence.

    In chapter 11 of the Gita I was drawn to verse 55. Am I doing the work there ? I am being worked on there.

    Your comments will be most welcomed.

    1. Hi Judith
      Excellent recognition’s. It’s not the me that awakens. We awaken From the me to our nature as cosmic. “Awaken” is a subjective way to describe the shift as it’s like waking up to our larger nature.

      The sense of existence (I am) will evolve as you move through the stages. Divinity begins as an expression of that but transcends it as Divinity is prior to and the source of consciousness. And it’s self-aware consciousness that gives rise to the sense of being or Amness.

      Chapter 11 is pretty advanced. “he enters into Me,” for example, can be seen as an initial awakening. But this also relates to merging with the personal Divine in God Realization. It’s flowing from the direct experience of the cosmic body, the body of all bodies.

  3. Judith

    After reading your blog for today, since I am a relative newcomer here, I continued dancing through earlier lessons following your pings. Your last sentence, “The stages of enlightenment are not personal” will become a mantra for me …. both a reminder and a warning. You most certainly are a trustworthy guide. Your book is an excellent map as well ….. but not the territory; this I understand. Since Divine Mind is infinite and eternal, I surmise that Self-realization is as well.

    Thank you for your teachings. I sincerely wish you ‘happy trails’, ……….. sometimes encountered as trials.

    1. Thanks for sharing, AB. Beautiful.

      Harri is the artist, describing direct personal experience and often illustrating it with his paintings. I’ve been guided to instead share what I’ve learned from such experiences rather than the experiences themselves. That leads to a very different flavour.

      From his language, it seems Harri is describing what I’d call the cosmic, Divinity expressing in the field of consciousness. That would be b-type in the article above.

  4. Sanjay

    Hi David

    Just wanted to get some clarification on Harri’s post. In the last couple of sentences of his articles, he talks about being beyond unity (” I am beyond unity, beyond everything and yet I am everything in Krishna. He makes everything possible, He is the everythingness of totality”). In the description of the stages that you have provided (, it seems 2 and 2a are Unity consciousness and God Realization. So if Harri is talking about his experience of beyond unity, is he referring to Brahman stages and beyond.


    1. Hi Sanjay
      The main point of models like Stages is to help put our own experience into some context. It’s very tricky to judge others, especially if they’re describing an experience (content) rather than their own current stage (what is experiencing). That’s a bit like trying to decide what degree someone has by the words they use to describe their house.

      Development is never entirely even, Brahman is inclusive of all prior stages, and they could be speaking to a stage different than they’re in.

      It can be useful to get a sense of where someone is speaking from. Does it seem to be mind, experience, or being? But I’d caution trying to put someone in a box.

      For example, in Harri’s article, absolute and relative are expressions of duality, often pointing to Self Realization. But it depends a little on what they mean by the words. It can vary.

      He talks about the Absolute body and related, an advanced stage of refinement.

      As you mention, he refers to “beyond unity” but doesn’t say of thats a stage. He may be referring to oneness with this object of perception or with the Divine itself.

      He uses a lot of fullness words like “everything” which point to values of consciousness, not Brahman. Yet he may be referring to saguna Brahm, the fullness of Brahman.

      It is clear he’s awake and has decades of detailed refined perception. But also that he uses some words in his own way. An enjoyable article. Just don’t try to read too much into it.

  5. Sanjay

    Thanks David. Yes, it seems like it is difficult to describe these stages and caution much be exercised in placing what others are describing as their experience within the framework.

  6. Jeff

    I try to avoid using terms of enlightenment. First of all, I can see qualities of all levels of consciousness in myself. Second, people then tend to put evolution into categories and develop expectations for each level of evolution. I believe we all tend to unfold our growth differently and evolution unfolds by itself. I think think it’s best to describe in detail my experiences, but even that has limitations as my experiences are really beyond the restriction of words, plus I am hampered by my limited vocabulary.

    But what I find is that my words used to describe my experiences enliven silence in the listener. That in itself is much more valuable.

    1. Hi Jeff
      Yes, I avoided using “enlightenment” for a long time because of the baggage. But I saw a lot of people going through the process needing a better understanding of what was unfolding. Too many common ideas were getting in the way or causing difficulties.

      Yes, there is considerable variation in the subjective experience of the process but there is a fundamental process behind that. I spent some time exploring those distinctions to find the fundamentals.

      An example is puberty. There is huge variation in the subjective experience but there is a common process behind that.

      And yes, people do develop concepts about it. I had some to get rid of myself. However, it’s still valuable to have a map for each part of the journey. And remembering the map is not the road. Do we deny someone a map because they might get wrong ideas about where they’re going beforehand? You learn.

      I’ve found that people create concepts anyway – that’s the nature of the mind. Better they have decent ones than bad ideas.

      My guidance was to share what I had learned rather than my own experiences, though I’ve gradually done a bit more of the latter. I’ve been fortunate to see many people have shifts and discuss them with many more. This really helped to see what was common and what variation.

      But yes, others are called to share their experience more directly. Harri linked above is an example there.

      But yes, in the end the words are almost irrelevant. When you learn to speak from silence, the listener who can hear is enlivened and shifts can happen. I’m more practiced at writing from source than speaking… 🙂

  7. Cathie

    I had a friend, a Westerner, with no experience in eastern traditions that I was aware of, who encountered Krishna over a period of time – days, weeks, I don’t know. She felt bereft when he left. It was a delicate, very precious experience which she confided hesitantly and I did not probe. I found it interesting that Krishna could appear in someone’s life even where there was no context (as far as I know) in which to locate him. He gave her to understand that his name was Krishna and she perceived him as having blueish skin…

    Much more in this article than I can unpack. One thing that I keep stumbling back to is the reference to Krishna as a deva. How I have understood the term until now is as a force of nature (force may not be the right word) that governs (facilitates) the mechanics of the birth, unfoldment/evolution and ultimately dissolution of any and every aspect of form, from the most subtle to the most dense.

    In other words I had understood devas as non-human, on a different path of service to humanity so to speak (although the human experience – as with any other type of experience in form no matter how subtle – would not be possible without the activity of the devas.)

    I distinguish devas from angels, archangels and such, who have a different function – as I understand it. (And from devata. I don’t fully understand the term but devata seem to be the means, the tools, whereby the devas accomplish their tasks.)

    However, I’ve often reflected that there must be a deva of humanity, since humans manifest in form. I’ve never seen this possibility mentioned anywhere however. Your article made me wonder whether Krishna was this. Though this would make him more than a manifestation of Vishnu solely… (But you can’t really divide up the Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva functions. One or other may come to the fore but they fold into one another continuously, each present simultaneously, each in a sense supportive of… divine expression?)

    Sorry if this strikes you as wildly off base. Just trying to find some common understanding…

    1. Hi Cathie
      When Krishna first showed up here, I was aware of the name but the experience was unsought. In this instance, he didn’t give a name but i didn’t ask either. I called him the Dancer. (I didn’t illustrate him as blue skinned as I didn’t have the right coloured pen. This was on a paper place-mat. In the experience here, the blue is light but others see differently. It became obvious who he was soon after.)

      He didn’t leave. She just had some smoke come up that obscured the experience. She may well have had prior life experience with him. If she heals, he’ll return and be ever available. Although I can note they may withdraw if we become co-dependent or some such. They don’t want to culture an unhealthy relationship.

      Yes, some of the words are a little vague. Deva means light being. I generally associate them with specific laws of nature (a given deva is responsible for a given arena) like the wind or magnetism. There are some that are more primary or fundamental. But these are all expressions of nature. There are some like Krishna that are direct expressions of the Divine.

      Devata I used to use for small ones but have come to use the term for intelligent points of light. These are essentially laws of nature that are working in teams and without forms. Basically creating the primary structures of form. The article Soul Song talks about them. The first expression of the cosmic body is composed entirely of devata so I call it the devata body.

      And yes, angels are a class of light beings that are workers but higher than elementals and such. Angels are very aware of their connection to the Divine in ways others are not, making them more trustworthy. They’re more messengers, guardians, etc. They’re all in hierarchies. Various laws of nature have supervisors, then royalty. Angels have archangels. There are innumerable descriptions of parts of the picture. I don’t know that anyone has experienced all types as it’s so vast. We haven’t even described all the lifeforms on this planet. Imagine what runs the whole universe.

      i guess the deva of humanity is the cosmic body, also called Narayana and the first born. More affinity with Christ there. All sorts of room for explorations.

      I can mention that the second form to show up here was Christ but more like he’s described in Revelations. Each form showed up to help and support in some way.

    1. Hi Bartosz
      We discussed this more back on this article, and in comments:

      The basic sound of creation becoming is heard differently from different layers and perspectives. But other sounds also are. A friend of mind was deep in meditation on a retreat and was distracted by beautiful music. As he slowly came out of meditation to discover the source, he found it was a jack hammer outside the building.

      There are all sorts of things you might hear, just as you would walking in the woods or on a city street. What does it mean? That’s the mind talking. Does it matter? In time, experiences become more full and then it often becomes apparent what we’re experiencing.

      As Maharishi used to say “Something good is happening.” Often, it’s best to leave it at that and let it unfold. Mind naming everything can get in the way of it.

  8. Worth noting that Brahma is associated with the gut mahamarma and Vishnu with the heart mahamarma plus the related stages of Divinity. Seems Shiva would be the head. Makes sense from the witnessing standpoint.

    However, Shiva is also associated with the root. The wholeness containing all expression.

    Will explore more in a future article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest