Krishna was born in the “Dwapar” Age which is the third age or yuga in the Hindu belief. Shri Krishna as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu never hid this fact right from his birth in fact announcing it at every step. Even before his appearance as a just-born child, he shows his godly form to his Mother Devaki in the prison of evil King and Uncle (Mother’s brother) Kans.
Every time the earth is burdened by evil forces, Lord Vishnu descends onto it in a divine avatar to save the earth and its residents from these very forces. Thus the main objective of Lord Krishna’s birth was to uplift Mother Earth from carrying the heavy burden of the moral degradation of society in that era. He also killed many demons and wicked kings.
Lord Krishna is one of the most loved Gods in the Hindu religion. He is popularly depicted with a peacock feather in his hair and a flute (Bansuri) in his hands. Krishna is the most colorful, vibrant, complex and happy gods from the many forms of God that exist in Sanatan Dharma. As a baby, he kills demon queen Putna. As a child in cradle, he kills the whirlwind demon “Trinavart” with a stroke of his tiny feet and as a boy he shows his foster mother Yashoda the entire Universe in his open mouth. Further, he lifts the Govardhan Mountain on a single finger saving the villager of Gokul from the wrath of Indra and overpowering the great Kaliya Naag (snake) and then finally killing the Tyrant King Kans – the invincible, who was the King of Mathura.
Shri Krishna received instructions from Sandipani, a Sage of Avantipura (near current day Ujjain). He lived with his teacher like an ordinary student. He mastered sixty-four arts in sixty-four days. As a teenager, Shri Krishna and his consort Radha performed the “Maha Raas” – the celestial dance of the cosmos – an allegorical representation of the final union of the Lord with the soul. As a man, Shri Krishna is the unrivaled warrior participating in the battle of Kurukshetra, here he profounds the universal eternal truths through the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta. His teachings on various aspects of human life to Arjun during the epic battle of Mahabharata are eternal and relevant till today. Though Hinduism has many holy books, The Bhagwat Geeta is considered a prime book of importance.
On reading the Geeta one realizes about the fluidity and the beauty of Hinduism due to the absence of dogma in the text. The main message of the Geeta is to continue our Karmas (action) and not bother about the fruits of the actions because that is only in God’s hands. By following this philosophy we can be so happy and carefree in life without any stress or tensions.
According to Lord Krishna there are four kind of Actions or “Karma” that a human can perform they are, Kamya Karma - Actions performed for selfish gains, Nishiddha Karma - Actions that are forbidden by holy texts and scriptures, Nitya Karma - Actions that must be performed daily and finally Naimittika Karma - Actions that must be performed on certain special occasions. Lord Krishna clearly forbade his devotees to perform the first two kinds of Karmas as they lead to rebirth and laid stress on the performance of the latter two as they help in getting Moksha or Nirvana, in other words, salvation.
Gita is considered to be the epitome of the Indian thought and philosophy. It is the essence of Indian culture and studied today all over the world. Even today the Gita is a light to all mankind. It has also been translated into many languages; people study and seek to gain peace of mind by following its teachings. Krishna, all through his life strived to protect Dharma (duty/natural, innate ability and nature). He practiced whatever he taught all throughout his life. Every incident in his life is a lesson to the world.
Due to the curse of Sage Kanva, when the Yadava clan fought amongst themselves, then a worried Krishna sat under a tree in Bhalka, a place near Dwarka. There he was injured with the arrow of the same hunter and left for heavenly abode (Vaikunthdham).
Krishna’s Avatar is a Sampoorna Avatar, the Lord appearing with all the sixteen Kalas (distinctive marks and abilities). The whole world is the manifestation of Lord Krishna and there is nothing in the world except him. Everyone should serve mankind like Krishna; we should love every man taking him to be Krishna. If we follow this and see God in every being, then there will no strife, no war in the world. There will be only Love and Devotion.
Year of Telecast: 156 episodes of Shri Krishna were telecasted on National network (DD1) in the year 1993. The rest 52 episodes were telecasted on Zee TV in 1999 and once more on Sony TV in 2001.
This serial was also telecasted in Mauritius – Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto- Channel 57, Nepal –Nepal TV, South Africa- M.Net, Indonesia- P.T. Cipta Television , Jakarta- Pendidikan, Italy- Fifth Remini Cinema International Film Festival, London- U.K.- T.V. Asia (Satellite). The series was re-telecasted from 3 May 2020 to 16 December 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown in India.
Direction and casting: Shri Krishna was produced by Ramanand Sagar and Prem Sagar under the banner of “Sagar Enterprises” and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The series was shot at Vrindavan studio, Umargaon studio and then later at the Sagar Film City, Vadodara. It was a massive family effort especially the entire Mahabharata war sequences were shot by multiple camera using multiple creative direction from Sagar Family members.
The visual depiction of the Bhagwat Geeta by late Dr. Ramanand Sagar is a treat to watch for film-makers, on how an abstract and philosophical subject like the Geeta can be re-told in for a mass media communication.
The role of young Krishna was played by Swapnil Joshi and grown up Krishna was played by Sarvadaman Bannerji. Both the actors became hugely popular after the telecast. Swapnil Joshi continues to be a leading actor in the Marathi Film Industry.
Awards & Recognition: Shri Krishna bagged the Uptron Award for the “Best director” in the year 1995.
Breaking The Records: Shri Krishna earns over Rs. 70 crores, makes history in advertisement revenue for Doordarshan.
Ramanand Sagar's mega block buster television serial "Shri Krishna" made history in advertisement revenue for Doordarshan - the Indian national television network by earning the highest ever advertisement revenue by a single serial – for Doordarshan till today - by crossing the Rs. 70 Crore mark - the no.1 TRP (Television Rating Points) serial "Shri Krishna" - while on the metro channel- it earned a record of Rs.14.31 Crores as advertisement revenue for the metro channel of Doordarshan- in the first year run on the national network – Doordarshan.
Shri Krishna now continues on Zee tv.
After the stupendous success of Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan on Sony tv, another mega-epic from the house of Sagars will continue its telecast on Zee tv from July 4 at the prime time slot - from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. every Sunday. Zee tv network will now continue Shri Krishna for the next 52 weeks - from where Doordarshan version ended.
As per the Org-Marg poll, Shri Krishna was being seen by 134 million viewers every week. Prestigious papers like ‘Wall Street Journal' and International news network like CNN news highlighted stories of Shri Krishna's super success.
Shri Krishna also earned the rare distinction of remaining on top of the charts in its television ratings for over 120 weeks. Zee tv will telecast Shri Krishna every Sunday morning on the super slot of 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., commencing from 4th July 1999.
Audience Reaction: The series continues to be one of the most popular series ever made on the life of India’s most favorite god, Shri Krishna and the depiction of the Mahabharata war. The series still garners millions of eye balls on any old age of new age mediums that it plays on.