Illustration to
'The Character of Niranjan'

The character of Dharam Rai: This passage shows the character and the actions of Krishna by lifting the fog of mythologisation generated by the Hindu scriptures.

Kirpal Singh writes:

Heroes like Arjuna and the Pandava brothers except Yudishtra, the Dharam putra – the embodiment of Dharam –, as he was commonly known and believed to be, were cast into the nether regions for engaging in a war, though of righteousness, and enjoined by no less a personage than the blessed Lord Krishna, because in doing so they could not, with all his exhortations divest themselves of the idea of doership.

The Mystery of Death (First Edition, 1968) –
IV. Death in Bondage,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

Krishna speaking of himself says,

I am Omkar, I am Pranva in all the Vedas, in speech I am Ek-Akhshra – the One Syllable.

The Crown of Life (First Edition, 1961) –
Part I, Chapter III: IV. Raja Yoga,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

Omkar – or 'Onkar,' as the Saints say – is Kal Niranjan, the ruler of the three worlds.

In the Bhagavad Gita the following is said:

Arjuna spoke:

O Lord of lords, so fierce of form, please tell me who you are. I offer my obeisances unto You; please be gracious to me. I do not know what Your mission is, and I desire to hear of this.

Krishna answers:

Time I am, the destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people. Except for you (the Pandavas) all soldiers on both sides here will be slain.

Bhagavad-gita â Chapter 11, Text 31-32,
by Swami Prabhupada

Time is one of the aspects of Kal Niranjan who also acts as the lord of death.

For further information about the character of Dharam Rai see 'Gurumat Sidhant – Part II, Chapter II: The Characteristics and Functions of the Lord of Death,' by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974.

As well as Rama, Lord Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu was an avtara.
Kirpal Singh writes about the avtaras of the Negative Power: 

The duty of a superintendent in a jail is to keep the prisoners in prison, to chasten, and to reform them. Similarly, the aim of the deities and divine incarnates – Avtaras – has always been to keep men tied to themselves by showering the gifts of various riddhis and siddhis on them. – This refers to the granting of gifts, boons, favours, wealth, ease, and comfort in worldly vocations and giving super-human powers for doing good or ill. These limited salvations and comforts they grant to their devotees are only up to the stage which they themselves have attained and they may ever permit nearness of sojourn in the various regions wherein they preside. They cannot help in the bringing about of union with the Almighty because these subordinate powers are themselves deprived of this Highest Privilege.

The siddhis, or extraordinary powers referred to above, are yogic powers which of themselves come to aspirants after Truth with a little sadhan – practice – but these are positive hindrances in the way to God-Realisation, for one is generally tempted to indulge in miracles like thought-reading, fore-telling, trans-visions, trans-penetrations, wish-fulfilling, spiritual healing, hypnotic trances, magnetic influences and the like.

These siddhis are of eight kinds:

Anima: to become invisible to all external eyes; Mahima: to extend body to any size; Garima: to make body as heavy as one wishes; Laghima: to make body as light as one may like; Prapti: to get anything one likes by mere wishing; Ishtwa: to attain all glories for the self; Prakayma: to be able to fulfil the wishes of others; Vashitwa: to bring others under influence and control.

The Wheel of Life (First Edition, 1965) –
V. Love and Serve,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

On the contrary the riddhis are donations of material matter, like highest sensual pleasures, wealth, different kinds of exaltation and grandeur – name and fame etc.

So there is a wide difference between the actions of avtaras and of Saints.

Kirpal Singh writes accordingly:

A Saint, on the other hand, comes with a commission and a purpose. He is God’s elect, His Messiah and His Prophet. He works in His Name and by the Power of His Word. He has no independent will of His own, apart from the Will of God; and being a Conscious Co-Worker with Him on the Divine Plan, He sees the hidden hand of God in all the affairs of life. Living in time, He really belongs to the Timeless. He is Master of life and death but is full of Love and compassion for the suffering humanity. His mission is to link such human souls with God as may be yearning for re-union and may be in earnest quest.

His sphere of action is quite distinct from and independent of Avtaras or incarnations, for the latter work only on the human plane. Their job is to keep the world in proper shape and order. Lord Krishna has declared in no ambiguous words that he comes into the world whenever there is an imbalance in the forces of good and evil; the object being to restore the lost equilibrium, to help the righteous and to penalise the unrighteous.

Similarly we read of Lord Rama in the Ram Charitra Mansa. He reincarnated himself when the evil in the world was in the ascendant. The Avtaras come to re-establish righteousness. They cannot, however, throw open the prison gates of the world and take the jivas out into the Spiritual Planes. This work falls purely within the domain of the Saints, Who consciously act as Co-Workers with the Power of God on the Divine Plan and teach the worship of the Divine alone; for that alone puts an end to the effects of karma.

A Muslim divine says:

At last it came to light, that in the Kingdom of Darveshs, karmas count for naught.

Again, it is said:

A Master-Saint chases away the karmas which fly as jackals do in the presence of a lion.

No one can escape from the fruits of his actions – not even the ghosts and spirits; nor the giants, demons, kinnars*, yakshas, gandharvas, devas and the gods. Those with luminous, astral and ethereal bodies enjoy the fruits of their actions in the region of Brahmand, the third grand division, above the first two, Pind and And. They, too, aspire for and await a human birth to get out of the clutches of karmic reactions; for in human birth alone there is the chance of contacting some Godman Who may reveal to them the secret of the Divine Path, the Sound Current or the Holy Word.

The Wheel of Life (First Edition, 1965) –
III. / (iii) Kriyaman Karmas,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

* According to several Indian transmissions, Kinnars are a family of demigods who are, among other things, described as excellent singers and dancers.

Creating karma and becoming karmaless:

Kirpal Singh explained:

Ashtang Yoga or the eightfold path of Patanjali leads to what is commonly known as Raja Yoga. It is the ladder whereby one achieves Nirbij Samadhi, Unmani, Sehaj-awastha or the Turiya pad, which is the crown of all the yoga systems and the efflorescence of the yogic art. It deals with the training of the mind and its psychic powers to an extent which may lead to enlightenment whereby true perception is attained and one gains an equipoise, a state of waking trance. His soul is unshakeably fixed inwardly at its centre, sam, even though he may apparently be engaged in the worldly pursuits like the rest of mankind. This state is the pinnacle of all yogic endeavours and practices, and once attained, the yogin while living in the world is yet no longer of the world.

This is how Raj Rishi Janak and Lord Krishna, the prince of the yogins, lived in the world, ever engaged in worldly pursuits and activities, carrying the wheel of the world in their hands in perpetual motion, yet with a still centre fixed in the Divine Plane. All of their actions were characterised by activity in inactivity. Such in the apex in the yoga system, a state in which the senses, the mind and the intellect come to a standstill, and in Katha Upanishad, we have:

When all the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – that, say the wise, is the highest state – the Kaivalya Pad (the state of supreme realisation).

It aims at Samadhi – the final step in Patanjali’s yoga system – whereby the individual is deindividualised and perceives within him the totality, unbounded and unembodied, limitless and free, all-pervading like the ether. It is seeing all things in the aspect of eternity.

The Crown of Life (First Edition, 1961) –
Part I, Chapter III: IV. Raja Yoga,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974