Krishna is worshipped as the eighth avatar of Vishnu and as the Supreme god in his own right.
69 Facts About Krishna
Krishna is the god of protection, compassion, tenderness, and love; and is one of the most popular and widely revered among Indian divinities.
The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Lila.
Krishna is a central character in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, and the Bhagavad Gita, and is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical, theological, and mythological texts.
Krishna's iconography reflects these legends, and shows him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young boy with Radha or surrounded by female devotees; or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna.
The name and synonyms of Krishna have been traced to 1stmillenniumBCE literature and cults.
Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Manipuri dance.
Since the 1960s, the worship of Krishna has spread to the Western world and to Africa, largely due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The waning moon is called Krishna Krishna Paksha, relating to the adjective meaning "darkening".
Krishna is known by various other names, epithets, and titles that reflect his many associations and attributes.
Some names for Krishna hold regional importance; Jagannatha, found in the Puri Hindu temple, is a popular incarnation in Odisha state and nearby regions of eastern India.
The tradition of Krishna appears to be an amalgamation of several independent deities of ancient India, the earliest to be attested being Vasudeva.
Vasudeva and Krishna fused to become a single deity, which appears in the Mahabharata, and they started to be identified with Vishnu in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita.
Additionally, the inscription includes a Krishna-related verse from chapter11.7 of the Mahabharata stating that the path to immortality and heaven is to correctly live a life of three virtues: self-temperance, generosity, and vigilance.
The inscriptional record for Vasudeva starts in the 2nd century BCE with the coinage of Agathocles and the Heliodorus pillar, but the name of Krishna appears rather later in epigraphy.
The first known depiction of the life of Krishna himself comes relatively late, with a relief found in Mathura, and dated to the 1st-2nd century CE.
The tenth book of the text, which contains about 4,000 verses and is dedicated to legends about Krishna, has been the most popular and widely studied part of this text.
Krishna is represented in the Indian traditions in many ways, but with some common features.
Krishna is often depicted wearing a peacock-feather wreath or crown, and playing the bansuri.
Krishna is sometimes accompanied by cows or a calf, which symbolise the divine herdsman Govinda.
Alternate icons of Krishna show him as a baby, a toddler crawling on his hands and knees, a dancing child, or an innocent-looking child playfully stealing or consuming butter, holding Laddu in his hand or as a cosmic infant sucking his toe while floating on a banyan leaf during the Pralaya observed by sage Markandeya.
Regional variations in the iconography of Krishna are seen in his different forms, such as Jaganatha in Odisha, Vithoba in Maharashtra, Shrinathji in Rajasthan and Guruvayoorappan in Kerala.
In many temples, the stories of Krishna are depicted on a long series of narrow panels along the base of the facade.
The legends about Krishna's life are called Krishna charitas.
When Krishna is born, Vasudeva secretly carries the infant Krishna away across the Yamuna, and exchanges him with Yashoda's daughter.
Krishna grows up with Nanda and his wife, Yashoda, near modern-day Mathura.
Two of Krishna's siblings survive, namely Balarama and Subhadra, according to these legends.
The day of the birth of Krishna is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami.
Krishna's interaction with the gopis at the rasa dance or Rasa-lila is an example.
Krishna plays his flute and the gopis come immediately, from whatever they were doing, to the banks of the Yamuna River and join him in singing and dancing.
Krishna is the spiritual essence and the love-eternal in existence, the gopis metaphorically represent the prakrti matter and the impermanent body.
Krishna befriends Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom.
The Bhagavata Purana describes eight wives of Krishna that appear in sequence as Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra and Lakshmana.
In Krishna-related Hindu traditions, he is most commonly seen with Radha.
Krishna then advises him about the nature of life, ethics, and morality when one is faced with a war between good and evil, the impermanence of matter, the permanence of the soul and the good, duties and responsibilities, the nature of true peace and bliss and the different types of yoga to reach this state of bliss and inner liberation.
The pilgrimage site of Bhalka in Gujarat marks the location where Krishna is believed to have died.
The Bhagavata Purana in Book 11, Chapter 31 states that after his death, Krishna returned to his transcendent abode directly because of his yogic concentration.
Krishna's life is presented as a cosmic play, where his youth is set as a princely life with his foster father Nanda portrayed as a king.
Krishna's life is closer to that of a human being in Harivamsa, but is a symbolic universe in the Bhagavata Purana, where Krishna is within the universe and beyond it, as well as the universe itself, always.
The date of Krishna's birth is celebrated every year as Janmashtami.
Krishna theology is presented in a pure monism framework by Vallabha Acharya, who was the founder of Pushti sect of vaishnavism.
The worship of Krishna is part of Vaishnavism, a major tradition within Hinduism.
Krishna is considered a full avatar of Vishnu, or one with Vishnu himself.
Vaishnavas accept many incarnations of Vishnu, but Krishna is particularly important.
Gitagovinda of Jayadeva considers Krishna to be the supreme lord while the ten incarnations are his forms.
The bhakti movements devoted to Krishna became prominent in southern India in the 7th to 9thcenturies CE.
The Pranami Sampradaya emerged in the 17th century in Gujarat, based on the Krishna-focussed syncretist Hindu-Islamic teachings of Devchandra Maharaj and his famous successor, Mahamati Prannath.
Krishna is found in Southeast Asian history and art, but to a far lesser extent than Shiva, Durga, Nandi, Agastya, and Buddha.
The most elaborate temple arts of Krishna is found in a series of Krsnayana reliefs in the Prambanan Hindu temple complex near Yogyakarta.
Krishna remained a part of the Javanese cultural and theological fabric through the 14thcentury, as evidenced by the 14th-century Penataran reliefs along with those of the Hindu god Rama in east Java, before Islam replaced Buddhism and Hinduism on the island.
Krishna's iconography has been found in Thailand, along with those of Surya and Vishnu.
The stories enacted and the numerous choreographic themes are inspired by the mythologies and legends in Hindu texts, including Krishna-related literature such as Harivamsa and Bhagavata Purana.
The Krishna stories have played a key role in the history of Indian theatre, music, and dance, particularly through the tradition of Rasaleela.
One common scene involves Krishna playing flute in Rasa Leela, only to be heard by certain gopis, which is theologically supposed to represent divine call only heard by certain enlightened beings.
Krishna-related literature such as the Bhagavata Purana accords a metaphysical significance to the performances and treats them as a religious ritual, infusing daily life with spiritual meaning, thus representing a good, honest, happy life.
Similarly, Krishna-inspired performances aim to cleanse the hearts of faithful actors and listeners.
Singing, dancing, and performing any part of Krishna Lila is an act of remembering the dharma in the text, as a form of para bhakti.
The Palliyodam, a type of large boat built and used by Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple in Kerala for the annual water processions of Uthrattathi Jalamela and Valla Sadhya has the legend that it was designed by Lord Krishna and were made to look like Sheshanaga, the serpent on which Lord Vishnu rests.
For example, Krishna loses battles in the Jain versions, and his gopis and his clan of Yadavas die in a fire created by an ascetic named Dvaipayana.
Similarly, after dying from the hunter Jara's arrow, the Jaina texts state Krishna goes to the third hell in Jain cosmology, while his brother is said to go to the sixth heaven.
Partial and older versions of the Krishna story are available in Jain literature, such as in the Antagata Dasao of the Svetambara Agama tradition.
In other Jain texts, Krishna is stated to be a cousin of the twenty-second Tirthankara, Neminatha.
The story of Krishna occurs in the Jataka tales in Buddhism.
The siblings of Krishna are not killed by Kamsa, though he tries.
The Arjuna and Krishna interaction is missing in the Jataka version.
Krishna dies in the Buddhist legend by the hand of a hunter named Jara, but while he is traveling to a frontier city.
In Chinese Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese folk religion, the figure of Krishna has been amalgamated and merged with that of Nalakuvara to influence the formation of the god Nezha, who has taken on iconographic characteristics of Krishna such as being presented as a divine god-child and slaying a naga in his youth.
Krishna is mentioned as "Krishna Avtar" in the Chaubis Avtar, a composition in Dasam Granth traditionally and historically attributed to Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.
Krishna was canonised by Aleister Crowley and is recognised as a saint of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica in the Gnostic Mass of Ordo Templi Orientis.