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Importance of Lord Krishna in Hindu Religion

Updated on August 10, 2020
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Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.

Introduction

Lord Krishna is a prominent figure in the Hindu religion and is considered as the supreme authority of Godhead. A large number of people in India as well as abroad follow him and consider him as the ultimate authority and the main Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. 'Hare Krishna Hare Ram' cult which has many temples and religious institutions in India and around the world is devoted to Lord Krishna only. Out of all the deities in Indian mythology and culture, Lord Krishna is the only well known religious figure among the international communities.

Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year in form of a festival called Krishna Janmashtami in India as well by his followers elsewhere in the world and as this day is observed as per Hindu calendar it falls sometimes during the months of August and September.

Many pictures of Lord Krishna are depicted as him playing a flute. That represents and symbolises his childhood when he used to go to jungle along with the domestic cattles and there he played the flute in presence of his friends and companions.

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Birth and childhood life

Lord Krishna is considered as the most powerful Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Mythologically, Lord Vishnu is the supreme Godhead of the Hindu Trinity of deities that is - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva). In the pictorial presentations Krishna is shown as a handsome personality with slightly dark complexion. In fact the word Krishna literally means 'blackish'.

Researchers and scholars agree that Krishna took birth in the year 3228 BCE (about 5248 years ago). Krishna's parents were Vasudeva, the father and Devaki, the mother. Devaki's brother Kamsa was a cruel and evil tyrant King and was told by forecast and fortune tellers that Devaki's son would kill him. So, Kamsa, being apprehended, imprisoned his sister and brother in-law and decided to kill the children whenever born to the couple. When Krishna was born, Vasudeva with great difficulty, with the help of some kind hearted people, took the child out of the prison and brought another child to replace it. When Kamsa tried to kill this child thinking it was Krishna, then it slipped from his hands but the child told him that Kamsa's end was nearing. Kamsa was furious but could not do anything. Krishna was brought up by Nanda and his wife Yashoda in a place near modern day Mathura.

Hindu scriptures and many holy Hindu books describe his childhood as full of episodes related to his mischiefs with friends and relatives and also many stories are there which showcase his exemplery intelligence and brevity in fighting against the evil forces. He is the only one personality which got so much respect and following by the masses after his death that he was considered as the incarnation of the supreme Godhead. Some of his later disciples took the glory of their master to the far off lands and from that new cult of 'Hare Krishna, Hare Rama' was created. Today, we find the international organisation ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Conciouness) which is fully devoted to the worshipping and spreading of Krishna philosophy in the world.

The young Krishna

Once reaching the adulthood Krishna changed into an attractive and impressive personality whose powers were thought to be above humans or of supernatural qualities. Many stories are there as how Krishna killed the demons including the tyrant king Kamsa, who torchered or oppressed the masses in those times. After the evil Kamsa was killed, Krishna requested Kamsa's father Ugrasen to take charge of the Kingdom and Krishna was made the prince in the king's court. Later Krishna raised a new Kingdom named as Dwarika and ruled it. That was the time when Pandavas requested his help in war against Kauravas.

Young girls of that time were much infatuated with the charm of Krishna and were also attracted to his flute tunes. Krishna gave love and affection to all of them and every girl (known by a common name of Gopi) thought that Krishna was her friend and protector. The name of Radha comes on the forefront as the most prominent of the Gopis. The legend goes that there were occasions when each of the Gopi found Krishna dancing with her only and Gopis were not knowing that Krishna with his divine powers was simply appearing to each of them like that. This strange thing is known as Krishna-lila or Raas-lila also.

In our scriptures, there is a mention of eight wives of Krishna but scholars differ in its interpretation. There are narrations where it is also mentioned that Krishna had sixteen thousand queens. Some say that they indicate the different aspects of the Lord and his ways. Western scholars like Dennis Hudson and George Williams have considered it as a spiritual symbol of love of Krishna for all the Gopis who have shown their devotion for him.

Krishna's role in the Mahabharata war

Mahabharata is one of the main epic in Hindu culture and one can understand it's importance by comparing it with other famous mythological epics in the world like say the Iliad and the Odyssey by great Greek writer Homer.

In Mahabharata war, Lord Krishna helped Pandavas by becoming the charioteer of Arjun, the great warrior. Being a divine power he told that he would not take the weapons in his hands but only guide the Arjuna in the war. Mahabharata is the story of fight between the truthful Pandavas and evil Kauravas who were cousins but the greed of Kauravas for land and property culminated in the famous Mahabharata war. The story goes that the main warrior Arjun from the Pandava side became emotional and perturbed when he saw that he had to fight and kill or get killed in the hands of his own cousins and his concience did not approve of it and at one point of time he simply thought not to fight. It was Lord Krishna who preached him and explained him the purpose of our life and what we have to do and what not to do. These preachings are preserved in the form of a compilation in Sanskirt language known as 'Bhagawad Gita' and is considered as a holy book in Hindu religion. Many people including some great Indian personalities have immensely benefited by these preachings and practical guidance provided for amalgamating them in our lives.

After getting the enlightenment from Lord Krishna, Arjun with renewed vigour and force understood what was his duty at that moment and announced war on Kauravas.

Some of the sayings of Lord Krishna

- Focus on what you do, not results, in anything.

- Desire is one of the greatest destructions of happiness.

- What is real can’t be unreal.

- Ignoring one’s own duty is a sin.

- Having the right attitude matters a lot in anything.

- Do not worry at all as long as you do good work.

- Your mind is your best friend as well as your greatest enemy.

- Life is so unpredictable and full of twists and turns.

- Happiness is a state of mind.

A brief about Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most read and revered scripture of Hindu religion. Many scholars have tried to interpret and explain its meaning and teachings and some are still pursuing that objective.

The saints and Yogis of India are much impressed and motivated by the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. They are actually the carriers of this knowledge to masses. Some scholars say that it is the 'The Song of the Lord'. Though Bhagavad Gita is the teachings of Lord Krishna delivered to the great warrior Arjuna right in the battlefield and removed doubts and confusions from the disillusioned mind of Arjuna, but these teachings apply to everyone in this world who are pursuing some goals but are worried too much for the results. The essence of these teachings is that do your work and do not unnecessarily perturb, bother or worry only for the results as results would come as the natural consequences of your actions. The prudent people concentrate and focus in the work in hand rather than worrying for the results.

Hare Krishna Hare Ram movement

The great Indian scholar Swami Prabhupada is the person who told the importance of Lord Krishna to the western world and after going through the voluminous mythological and spiritual Indian scriptures and literature translated by Swami Prabhupada in English many people became impressed with that wealth of knowledge and then Swami Prabhupada was able to raise sufficient financial aid for spreading the awareness in masses about the Lord Krishna, the ultimate authority of Godhead. Through the activities of ISKCON, this movement has picked up a good pace not only in India but also in many other countries. They have a chain of temples globally and they conduct courses on spirituality and Krishna conciousness. They have a network of large number of workers who have devoted their lives for worshipping and spreading the Krishna Conciouness everywhere.

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Conclusion

Lord Krishna is one of the main figures worshipped and revered in Hindu religion and it is one who have been adored and respected by a bigger world community. In India we have some festivals when people emphasise on the worshipping of Lord Krishna and pray Him for well being and prosperity. Lord Krishna is not only a symbol of spiritual attainment but also a well known entity in Indian mythology related to skills like music, love and soft relations.

References

1. https://www.amritapuri.org/3605/sri-krishna.aum

2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Krishna-Hindu-deity

3. https://www.commonsenseliving.co.in/common-sense-living-letters/detail.aspx?date=11/26/2014&story=178&title=Use-Lord-Krishnas-Teachings-for-Better-Decision-Making

4. https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/15-amazing-teaching-of-lord-krishna

5. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90643796

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

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    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      MG, thanks for your nice comment.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh emge 

      4 weeks ago from Singapore

      Lord Krishna is one of the physical gods in the Hindu religion in the sense that he was a physical entity like Lord Ram. Krishna was a down to earth god and he represented the many facets of the human mind both good and bad.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Sangita, thanks a lot for your comment.

    • profile image

      Sangita Joshi 

      4 weeks ago

      Wow, that is incredibly detailed and informative - thanks

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      5 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Anurag, thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      Anurag 

      5 weeks ago

      Great piece of work!!

      You have summarised the preachings and life of Krishna in a very elaborative yet in a brief manner!!

      Thought provoking article!!

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      5 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      A K Tiwari, thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      A K Tiwari 

      5 weeks ago

      Very informative article. This gives complete insight of Lord Krishna in brief discription. I found articles of Mr U C Bhatt quite interesting.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      5 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      SKMUNSHI, thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      SKMUNSHI 

      5 weeks ago

      Summarising Mahabharta and Gita is a difficult job and you have executed it so well & brought about essence of the message contained in these holy scriptures. well done.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      5 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Anand, thanks for your thoughtful and lovely comment. Highly appreciate.

    • profile image

      S K Anand 

      5 weeks ago

      It's a very comprehensively write up about Lord Krishna vis a vis Hindu religion. You are able to cover most of the aspects associated with the Lord Krishna. It has been made very interesting that if one starts reading, he will surely complete it till end. I knew most of the things but it was a beautiful sum up. The real crux is life improving sayings of Lord Krishna which if implemented in life can make it easy and most livable. Thanks for taking up beautiful topic for the write up. All the best ❤️

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      6 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Sowspeaks, Namaste. Thanks for your encouraging comment. Also for sparing time to visit. God bless you.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile image

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Namasthe Umeshji, Sri Krishna’s life and work described so succinctly. I loved the flow and how well and briefly you conveyed his key teachings. Having written a recent hub on Krishna, I can appreciate your work.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      6 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Mona, thanks for your visit and really appreciate your observations. Stay blessed.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      6 weeks ago from Philippines

      It was delightful reading about Lord Krishna. Your article is informative and very interesting and full of compelling facts. To be honest, I know very little about Hinduism, and what I knew about Lord Krishna came from the song "Hare Krishna" in the stage musical, Hair. So it was nice to learn so much more.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Lora, you are always a source of inspiration for me for getting encouragement in my creative writing life. Your comments are very apt and appropriate in their subtle meanings. God bless you.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      7 weeks ago

      This is a fascinating article about Lord Krishna and the Krishna philosophy, Umesh. I really like the belief of focusing on what you do, not results, in anything. This reminds me of Deepak Chopra and his emphasis on process rather than reward- to enjoy the work that you do and forget about the outcome. We would all probably receive a better outcome if we did this because this would bring greater satisfaction and less stress! Thanks for this valuable information.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      RoadMonkey:

      Thanks a lot for your visit.

      Sp Greaney:

      Thanks for your interest and comment.

      Lorna:

      Your comments are always a source of encouragement for me. Highly appreciate.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      7 weeks ago

      I enjoyed this interesting and informative article about Lord Krishna. I did know a little, however, your article has taught me quite a few things I didn't know. The sayings you have mentioned really spoke to me, in particular - 'Happiness is a state of mind'. Thank you for sharing this article Umesh.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      7 weeks ago from Ireland

      Very interesting article to read. I don't really know much on other countries beliefs but it's always interesting to learn something new about their religion.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      7 weeks ago

      Very interesting, learned some new stuff here.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      Ah, good. I don't like getting anyone's name wrong! Thanks for letting me know.

      Ann

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Ann, you are very correct. My name is Umesh and surname is Bhatt. Chandra is just a decorative piece in between.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      By the way, I am rather ignorant regarding Indian names and the order of first name, surname etc. Reading your name the English way, I would say Umesh is the first name and Bhatt your surname. Am I correct? Apologies if I am not and perhaps you could enlighten me. Thank you.

      Ann

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Ann, so nice of you. Appreciate.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      An interesting, informative article. The first time I heard of Hare Krishna was in a Beatles' song! I like to find out about the backgrounds and philosophies of any religion. Thanks for the education.

      Ann

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Eric, thanks a lot. I am so happy that you liked the write up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like your view on Krishna. Very informative here. I like the childhood the best.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Asereht, thanks for commenting. Yes, we have some bollywood movies and a few TV serials on mythological stories. They are quite enjoyable and of course you also learn a lot about other religions. Thanks and stay blessed.

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 

      7 weeks ago from Philippines

      Very informative article. Especially now that I am into watching Bollywood movies. I am truly amazed by the many gods and goddesses the people of India have.

    • bhattuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      7 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Cheryl, thanks for your visit.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      7 weeks ago from Roanoke

      Interesting and informative information.

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