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Shri Krishna - the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu

BY Mr Shiv Sagar June 16,2020
Shri Krishna - the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu

Other names: Balgopal, Makhan Chor, Govinda, Devkinandan, Murali, Morari, Girdhari, Dwarakadhish, Parthisarthi, Kanha and Murlidhar  

Vasudev was from the Yadava family of Mathura. He was married to Devaki; sister of Kans. Krishna was Vasudev and Devaki’s son. Krishna is said to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There are ten avatars of Vishnu (dashavataar) commonly considered as the most prominent:

1) MATSYA – the fish
2) KURMA – the sea turtle
3) VARAH – the boar
4) NARASIMHA – the man-lion
5) VAMAN – the dwarf
6) PARSHURAM – a priest who kills warriors
7) RAMA – the perfect man, epitome of Dharma, and protagonist of the Ramayana
8) KRISHNA – also known as Krishna, the dark lord
9) BUDDHA – the figure of peace and non-harm, or ahimsa

10) KALKI – (“Eternity”, or “time”, or “The Destroyer of foulness”), who is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the time period in which we currently exist.

''KALKI – (“Eternity”, or “time”, or “The Destroyer of foulness”), who is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the time period in which we currently exist.''

Krishna was born in the Dwapar Age (there are four ages according to the Hindu mythology- Krita (Sat), Treta, Dwapar and Kali). At the time of Devaki’s (Krishna’s mother) marriage, her brother happily came to see her off. Just then, there was an Akashvani (divine prophesy from the heavens), “Kans, you are happily sending off your sister, but you will be killed by the hands of her eighth child.”

 lord krishna - painting artist Pieter WeltevredeAt this, Kans was very scared and imprisoned Devaki and Vasudev. In the prison, Devaki gave birth to seven children all of which were killed by Kans. Krishna was born as the eighth child. He was born in Rohini Nakshatra. Overnight, Vasudev escaped and transported Krishna to his friend Nandrai’s house in Gokul and brought back with him Yashoda’s (Nandrai’s wife) newborn daughter.

Kans wanted to kill her but this girl was a Devi and so she freed herself from Kans’s seize and flew off in the sky. When Kans doubted that Krishna, who was growing up at Nandrai’s house was the eighth child of Devaki, he sent demoness Putna and demon Bakasur and many more demons to Gokul to kill Krishna but all of them instead were killed by Krishna.

Krishna was valiant from childhood itself. In Gokul, he trampled Kaliya’s ego and also broke Lord Indra’s ego. The stories of Krishna’s childhood and youth tell of his mischievous pranks as Makhan Chor (butter thief), stealing butter from the gopis and hiding clothes of the gopis while they were bathing. He took education from Sage Sandipani in Ujjaini.

In Gokul, his pious and divine love with Radha became a divine love story of the union of two great souls. Similarly, the Rasleela (the circular dance performed by Krishna and the Cowherdesses) act by Krishna along with the Gopis is such an act of divine love wherein Krishna symbolizes God and Gopis are the souls who are in love with God and live for this love. In the Maharaas, the love between the Gopis and Krishna is illustrious, desire less and divine love.

 lord krishna - painting artist Pieter WeltevredeThe Demigods would witness this divine dance and throw flowers from the sky giving their blessings. “Leela” (also spelled “Lila”) means “play,” so Krishna Leela refers to the God’s cosmic play and pleasure when he spent time on earth as a simple cow-herd and seduced the local cow-girls or Gopis. It is difficult to understand his leelas.

One day Baal Krishna was playing and put some mud in his mouth. On being scolded and ordered by Mata Yashoda he opened his mouth and showed her the complete universe in his mouth, the Sun, the Moon and all the stars, the sky, mountains, rivers, islands, oceans, all the continents, all living as well as non living beings.

''Kans wanted to kill her but this girl was a Devi and so she freed herself from Kans’s seize and flew off in the sky. When Kans doubted that Krishna, who was growing up at Nandrai’s house was the eighth child of Devaki, he sent demoness Putna and demon Bakasur and many more demons to Gokul to kill Krishna but all of them instead were killed by Krishna.''

Shri Krishna received instructions from Sandipani, a Sage of Avantipura in present day M.P. He lived with his teacher like an ordinary student. He was meek, humble and obedient. He mastered the sixty-four arts in sixty-four days. He was matchless in physical strength. He led a laborious life.

 lord krishna - painting artist Pieter WeltevredeSudama was Sri Krishna’s classmate. Krishna and Sudama were great friends and Krishna maintained this friendship even though Sudama was very poor. In India it is very common to refer to the friendship of Krishna and Sudama, as an example of great friendship and brotherhood in spite of there being so much of difference in social status between them.

Krishna was a person, an individual, with a transcendental body full of the most dazzling splendor. Even though Krishna was the oldest, the most ancient and primeval, he looked ever youthful. His eyes were like the petals of a blooming lotus flower. His head was decorated with a peacock feather.

His complexion was bluish, like the hue of rain clouds. Around his neck swung a garland of flowers decorated by the moon-locket and he was adorned by many jewels. In His hands he held a flute and he manifested in a graceful, threefold bending forms. In the material world, Cupid or Kamdev is considered to be most attractive. But the beauty of Krishna surpassed that of a million Cupids.

The body of Krishna was completely spiritual and qualitatively composed of truth, bliss and eternality. Lord Krishna was a noble embodiment of all the great qualities of head and heart. He was Ragi as well as Vairagi (living in the world and not living in the world); Nar and Narayan (God and Human); Chakradhar and Murlidhar (bearer of the Sudarshan Chakra as well as bearer of the flute) – all blending into one incarnation, Krishna.

Young Krishna along with his brother Balram went to Mathura and killed wrestlers like Chanur and Mushtik (trusted lieutenants of Kans) and in the end killed Kans and to get freedom for the people of Mathura from the oppression of Kans. He also freed his grand father Ugrasen from the prison and made him the King of Mathura.

Jarasandh, father-in-law of Kans, attacked Mathura on and off to take revenge of the murder of Kans. To protect the people of Mathura from these attacks, Krishna switched over the capital of Yaduvansh from Mathura to Dwarka.

It is said that when the Lord finally abandoned his body, the city slipped into the sea and its waves closed over it forever. Today’s Dwarka, like its ancient counterpart, stands poised on the edge of the Kutch peninsula, facing the Arabian Sea. Archeologist have discovered an ancient city below the sea at Bet-Dwarka.

Krishna married Rukmini, the princess of Vidarbha, by abducting her from her wedding. He was also married to Satyabhama daughter of Satrajit and Jambvanti, daughter of Jamvant. Krishna had eight chief Queen Consorts. Krishna killed Narkasur and freed sixteen thousand girls from his prison and also married them. According to Padma Puran, Krishna had eighty thousand sons.

To kill Jarasandh, he disguised himself along with Kunti’s sons Bhima and Arjun and during the wrestling duel, Bhima killed Jarasandh. Krishna was a friend of the Pandavas and had a special affection for Arjun. During the war of Mahabharata, Krishna became Arjun’s charioteer.

 lord krishna - painting artist Pieter WeltevredeAt the beginning of the war, when Arjun saw respectable elders like Bhisma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya in front of him, he became emotional and with a thought of not fighting the war, surrendered his arms.

Krishna described to Arjun who he really was, and also revealed his thunderous, terrifying and indescribable “Viraat Swaroop,” (the Cosmic Form). This vision of the One in the many and the many in the One was an experience full of astonishment, wonder, terror and rapture to Arjun.

''Krishna married Rukmini, the princess of Vidarbha, by abducting her from her wedding. He was also married to Satyabhama daughter of Satrajit and Jambvanti, daughter of Jamvant. Krishna had eight chief Queen Consorts. Krishna killed Narkasur and freed sixteen thousand girls from his prison and also married them. According to Padma Puran, Krishna had eighty thousand sons.''

Arjun saw the Lord as the imperishable, the Supreme Truth to be realized, and recognized him as the protector of the eternal law, and the very primordial Being. This infinite power with innumerable arms, faces and eyes, had no beginning, middle or end. Standing as the one and only support of the entire universe, and towering over Time and Space, He seemed to fill the entire universe.