Lord Krishna is the central figure of Bhagwadgita ,which is the holy book of Hinduism. He is the eighth avatar of Vishnu .He is probably the most charismatic and attractive among all the manifestations of Vishnu. He took birth to teach people the actual meaning of love and also to reestablish Dharma. Krishna is portrayed in various forms like a divine child, a master flutist, a lovely cowherd, a model hero, a divine hero and ruler and at last as the supreme universal being.
Altogether Krishna was the master of all arts . He could play with kids, gossip with old people, he could make love with gopis ,he could fight like lions in war, he could make every impossible thing possible . It is not the Godly position of Krishna, which attracts the devotees but the qualities of his behaviour and character that attracts the devotees.
Note for the readers– This article covers the life of Krishna from his birth till the death of Kamsa.
Krishna is the 57th name in Vishnu Sahashranama , which means black or dark. He is known by many other names .Some of which are Govind , Damodar, Madhav, Keshav, Gopala ,Vasudev ,Mohan etc. He is called by different names in different parts of the country.
kRISHNA : birth
Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva of Yadava clan. At Devaki marriage Kamsa( maternal uncle of Kamsa) was foretold the future by a loud voice in the sky that one of Devaki son would kill him.So Kansa arranged to kill first six childs of Devaki by throwing them on the ground just after they were born. But when seventh child was born , Gods asked godess Yogamaya to transfer it to the womb of Rohini , the second wife of Devaki who lived in a nearby village. As a result Balarama was born to Rohini.
Now Krishna was born as the eighth child to Vasudev and Devaki. The child was born on the eighth day into the dark half of the month, and it was pouring rain and thunder. His birth was accompanied by divine interventions as the doors of prison opened up by themselves and the guards fell asleep.Vasudev carried the child and went to the banks of river Yamuna all by his intuitution. The river was flooding and the water level was above his head. But when Vasudev enters the river yamuna gives him the way to go through it . At once the water level rises to his head ,because Yamuna desired to touch the feet of almighty Krishna. And finally Sheshanaga comes to safeguard Lord from the heavy rain.
He walked across and went to the house of Nanda and his wife Yashoda. Yashoda had delivered a girl child the same day .Vasudev exchanged this girl with Krishna and came back to prison.When Kamsa arrived to kill the girl child it transformed to the Godess Yogamaya and said,” Your slayer is elsewhere” and disappeared.
Hence Krishna who was born to devaki and Vasudev , who would have been the chief of Yadavas ,now lived with the cowherds and used to play with his friends at Gokul.
On the birth of his son, Nanda became very happy. At Gokula, Nanda performed the birth ceremony of his son with great pomp.The houses of Vraja were decorated with flags and festoons. The houses were swept well and sprinkled with fragrant water.From that very day, the Vrajas of Nanda reached the height of prosperity in every respect.
When Krishna lived in gokul Kamsa sent many demons to kill Krishna , all of them were killed by baby Krishna by his divine leelas .Some of the pastimes of Krishna are described below:
By Kamsa’s orders, the fierce demoness Putana went about killing children in towns, villages and pasture lands.She had the power to move in air and assume any form she liked.She entered the house of Nanda and saw the divine child in the cradle.The cruel Putana took the babe on her lap and suckled it with her breasts containing poison. The Lord squeezed her breasts by his hands and sucked through them her vital breath. She screamed forth, “Let go. Let go. No more.” Her eyes bulged out. At last she fell dead like a great mountain.
Apart from Putana Krishna killed many other demons like Baka, Chanura, Dhenuka, Putana, Kesi, Bana, Bhauma, Pralamba, Trinavarta, Mahasena, Mushtika, Arishta and Dvivida.
SHOWING COSMIC VISION TO YASHODA
One day Balarama and the other boys complained to Yasoda that Krishna had eaten earth. Yasoda got afraid that this might affect Sri Krishna’s health. She rebuked Krishna, “O my naughty child! Why did you eat earth in secret?” Sri Krishna replied, “O mother! I did not eat earth. These boys have told a lie. Examine my mouth.” Yasoda said, “Open your mouth, my child!”. Just at that time the child yawned. When he opened His mouth, the mother saw the whole universe within it. On seeing every celestial body in the mouth of her own son she shuddered and closed her eyes immediately in great fear. She was struck with wonder.
TYING OF KRISHNA
One day Yashoda caught Krishna stealing Maakhan and distributing it among the monkeys .She steadily approached Krishna with a stick and caught. Yashoda decided to tie him with a cord. When she attempted to tie him the rope fell short .So she took a longer rope which was longer. Although each time Yashoda increased the length of rope but it fell short to tie Krishna. Finally she was exhausted and Krishna felt pity on her and allowed her to tie him.
KRISHNA MEETS RADHA
Once Radha had come to Gokul to visit a temple of Mahadev with her grandmother. Radha and Krishna met when Krishna was tied to the pounding wood by Yashoda. He just dragged it on and went towards the forest. As he was moving in the forest he got stuck between two big trees . At this place he saw Radha for the first time . When they met ,their eyes were sat on each other and till now there name are taken together.
At this time Radha was 12 year old and Krishna was 7 .They played together for a few days and then Radha returned back to Barsana. Krishna came to know that Barsana was migrating to Vrindavan .Krishna told Radha “I will come to Vrindavan “. After sometime the people of Gokul also moved to Vrindavan for safety , and thus coincidently Krishna fulfilled his promise.
As long as Krishna was in Gokul , he faced mutiple attempts on his life by the demons sent by kansa. Worried about the lives of their children the people of Gokul settled in Vrindavan .
Balarama and Krishna saw Govardhana, Brindavan and the banks of the Yamuna and became immensely delighted. They tended the calves in the company of Gopa boys. They played with other boys as ordinary children.
During his stay at Vrindavan also Krishna killed many demons to save his friends which include Vatsasura,Bakasura and Aghasura.
BRAHMA VIMOHAN LILA
Sri Krishna brought the cowherd boys to the sandy bank of the Yamuna. They all took their breakfast. The calves had strayed away somewhere and could not be found. The cowherd boys were overtaken with sudden fear. They were about to get up. Krishna stopped them and said that he would find out the calves. He started in search of the calves. Brahma came to the spot and removed the calves and the boys to some secured place and vanished.Krishna could not find the calves.
He returned to the sandy bank of the Yamuna and found that the cowherd boys also had disappeared. He at once knew that it was all the work of Brahma. The Lord Himself assumed the form of the calves and the cowherd boys in order to bring joy to the cows, to the mothers of the cowherd boys .
When Brahma returned to Vraja ,he could not make any distinction between those he placed under his own Maya and those who were created by the Maya of Krishna. Brahma wanted to delude Krishna, but He himself became deluded. All the cowherd boys and calves appeared to him in the form of Sri Krishna.
Seeing this wonderful sight Brahma was amazed and stupefied. Sri Krishna drew off the veil of Maya. Brahma fell at the feet of Krishna again and again with tears in his eyes and praised Him.
Other important pastimes that Krishna performed in Vrindavan includes Deliverance From Vatsasura, Bakasura,Aghasura,Dhenukasura,Grace on Kaliya serpent,Stealing of clothes of gopis, Abolition of Indra worship and uplifting of Govardhana and commencement of rasalila.
Rasa Lila is divine sport (Kreeda) with the devotees for bringing about their union with the Lord through Prema or pure divine love. Rasa is the sweetest juice of Prema. It is the manifestation of divine love or higher emotion which takes the devotee to the magnanimous height of holy communion with the Lord.
Krishna was ten years old when he performed the Rasa Lila. During the dance, the Gopis saw Krishna only, within, without, around and everywhere. They forgot all about their homes, husbands, children and parents. Their hearts melted in Lord Krishna, the Supreme Soul. The fire of devotion brought about a fusion of hearts. The glue of Prema cemented their hearts with Krishna. The Gopis were not ordinary women. They were exalted personages.
One day ,when it was full moon all gopis along withRadha and Krishna gathered on the banks of Yamuna and started playing,having fun .After some time it turned into a dance event . Seeing this Krishna started playing his melodius flute tune. His play was so enchanting that everyone gathered around him and once again swayed, for almost half the night.
Krishna with his divine powers extended the length of night . The news of this divine event somehow reached to Lord Shiva ,who is the first dancer in the universe. Enchanted by this news he left kailasha to witness it .
When he reaches at the banks of Yamuna he was stopped by a gopi and asked to become feminine if he wanted to join the celebration. So Lord Shiva who is the Adi Purusha( most masculine) converted himself into a Gopi to join Krishna in his Maharaas.
In context of raaslila Krishna himself says
“Transcendental love for Me arises by the devotional processes of hearing about Me, seeing My Deity form, meditating on Me and faithfully chanting My glories. The same result is not achieved by mere physical proximity. ”.
After all his divine acts in Gokul and Vrindavan ,Krishna was called to Mathura by Kamsa.Krishna returns to Mathura along with Balarama. There Krishna and Balarama kills Kamsa and reestablish righteousness in the kingdom of Mathura . Maharaja Ugrasena ,who was the father of Kansa was made the king , and Krishna was sent to the ashram of rishi Sandipani to gain Vedic knowledge.
After all this conditions never allowed Krishna to return to Vrindavan . He could never return to his Gopis ,his cows , his friends , and specially to Radha ,Yashoda and Nandbaba.
Krishna’s arrival to Mathura was the starting of his politically engaged life and end of his childly divine pastimes.Although he lived every moment of his life with a smile on his face despite of the conditions he was in .
WHY KRISHNA LEFT VRINDAVAN AND NEVER RETURNED BACK? – READ HERE