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Who Was Krishna?

Updated on August 25, 2016

Who Was Krishna?

Krishna is the main character of Mahabharat, the famous and popular epic of India. Mahabharat is considered as a holy Hindu book, but it is a collection of several fables. It has nothing to do with any specific religion. Further, it is a fact that Mahabharat was compiled after Vardhaman Mahaveer and Gautam Buddha.

As Jainism and Buddhism became popular in masses, Vedics needed an ancient Kshatriya (Warrior Class) personality popular in masses to use for safeguarding their interests. They choose Krishna, declared him a God, and spread Geeta through his mouth. They wanted a Kshatriya personality because the Shramanic religions Jainism and Buddhism were popular in warrior class, and were promoted by Vardhaman Mahaveer and Gautam Buddha, who themselves were born into warrior class.

Geeta itself was written in 4th Century C.E., in the reign of Gupt Kings, who were supporters of Vedic religion. Geeta is a separate text, and it is not a part of Mahabharat. As Vedics have a fondness of violence from the beginning, the Geeta is nothing but a book promoting war against own people.

There is no doubt that Krishna was a non-vedic person, belonging to Yadus, who were enemies for the Vedics. If you take a deep look of Krishna's life, you will find that Krishna was a black, as the Yadus were, and he defeated Vedic Gods like Indra and Varun.

Then what was the religious tradition of Krishna?

Krishna and Arjuna at battlefield.
Krishna and Arjuna at battlefield.
Krishna when he was a kid
Krishna when he was a kid

About Yadu People

Before throwing light on the religious tradition of Krishna, let us know about the Yadus. I have mentioned above that Yadus were non-Vedics, and the Vedics always described them as enemies.

P.R. Deshmukh, one of the great scholars of Indology and Indus Valley Civilization, writes:

According to Vedic literature, Yadus were one of the Panch Jan (five groups of people), and were not eligible to become a King. Most of the Yadus were follower of Jainism. Vasudev, the father of Krishna was mostly a Jain. ..... It is not just a co-incidence that Where ever there were strong holds of Yadus, there we find some of the oldest remains of Jains.*

Further he writes, Worshiping Krishna by Vedic Hindus is a later thing, and it is influenced by Jainism. We should note that Krishna worship prohibits use of meat and alcohol by the devotees. Vegetarianism is not a Vedic culture.

* Examples: Mathura, Shauripur, Hastinapur etc.

Krishna in Jainism

As I have described above that Krishna was not a Vedic personality, so the only religious tradition of him could be Shramanic. Jainism and Buddhism were two Shramanic religions in ancient India. As Buddhism was founded by Gautam Buddha in 6th Century B.C.E, and the estimated time period of Krishna is 10th century B.C.E., there is no question of Krishna being from Buddhist tradition. Further, there are no references to Krishna in Buddhist literature.

On the contrary, Jainism is much older than Buddhism, and even older than Vedic religion as we can trace the roots of Jainism in Indus Valley civilization.

Krishna enjoys a special position in Jainism. He is the elder cousin of Aritthanemi, the 22nd ford maker of Jainism. He is a half Chakravarti (Semi Emperor), and one of the 63 great personalities of Jain literature. Further, according to Jainism, he will be a ford maker (Teerthankar) in next cycle of Teerthankars.

Interestingly, not only Krishna, but his father Vasudev, brother Balaram and cousin Arritthnemi also are in the Jain list of 63 great personalities. Further, a Jain book Vasudevhindi is fully dedicated to Vasudev, father of Krishna.

According to modern research, sage Ghor Angiras was spiritual teacher of Krishna, and he was no one else but Arritthanemi.

References to Krishna in Jain literature go back to ancient period. Antagadadasao, an aagamic text of Jainism first gives detailed biography of Krishna. Further, his biography is given in Trishasti Shalaka Purush, a popular text of Jainism.

All these facts prove that Krishna was from ancient Jain tradition.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

References:

1. Indus Civilization, Rigved and Hindu Culture by P.R. Deshmukh
2. Trishasti Shalaka Purush (Jain Agamic Text)
3. Hindu Dharmache Shaiv Rahasya: Sanjay Sonawani

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    Samraj19 3 years ago

    I suspect that Ramayana and Mahabharat is originally written in Prakrit language and later translated into Sanskrit during Gupt period and took undue credit...There is a political change in India around 3rd century, afterwards there is a decline of Jainism and Buddhism noticed in India, whereas Buddhism started flourishing in Indo-China / SouthEast Asia. May be they flee out of India

    I guess, Hinduism took undue credit from Jainism and Buddhism

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    nostalgic atheist 3 years ago

    "According to Jainism, he will be a ford maker (Teerthankar) in next cycle of Teerthankars" but you didn't mention that jain scriptures put krishna in hell until then for all his exploitation. Plz clarify on this.

    "The Geeta is nothing but a book promoting war against own people." , Can a Hindu agree with you on this statement, since they consider this is gist of all vedas.

  • jainismus profile image
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    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    Thanks Vinaya....

    Happy Krishna Janmashtami!

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    Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

    Happy Krishna Janmashtami!

  • jainismus profile image
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    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    vinay, Thanks for providing this great information about Krishna.

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    vinay 5 years ago

    You are saying there was no reference about krishna in Buddhism texts check this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna (in wikipedia Buddhism section given as The story of Krishna occurs in the Jataka tales in Buddhism,[108] in the Ghatapandita Jataka as a prince and legendary conqueror and king of India.[109] In the Buddhist version, Krishna is called Vasudeva, Kanha and Keshava, and Balarama is his older brother, Baladeva. These details resemble that of the story given in the Bhagavata Purana. Vasudeva, along with his nine other brothers (each son a powerful wrestler) and one elder sister (Anjana) capture all of Jambudvipa (many consider this to be India) after beheading their evil uncle, King Kamsa, and later all other kings of Jambudvipa with his Sudarshana Chakra. Much of the story involving the defeat of Kamsa follows the story given in the Bhagavata Purana.[110]

    As depicted in the Mah?bh?rata, all of the sons are eventually killed due to a curse of sage Kanhadipayana (Veda Vyasa, also known as Krishna Dwaipayana). Krishna himself is eventually speared by a hunter in the foot by mistake, leaving the sole survivor of their family being their sister, Anjanadevi of whom no further mention is made.[111]

    Since Jataka tales are given from the perspective of Buddha's previous lives (as well as the previous lives of many of Buddha's followers), Krishna appears as one of the lives of Sariputra, one of Buddha's foremost disciples and the "Dhammasenapati" or "Chief General of the Dharma" and is usually shown being Buddha's "right hand man" in Buddhist art and iconography.[112] The Bodhisattva, is born in this tale as one of his youngest brothers named Ghatapandita, and saves Krishna from the grief of losing his son.[109] The 'divine boy' Krishna as an embodiment of wisdom and endearing prankster forms a part of worshipable pantheon in Japanese Buddhism)

  • jainismus profile image
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    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    Sure. I will write a separate article on this subject.

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    Sri Balananda 5 years ago

    Please give a list of all 63 sakala purushas of jainism.

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    Dwarkadhish 5 years ago

    Krishana was superhuman and letter he became Most Power full Divine Power

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    Akshay Kittur 5 years ago

    Nobody will keep a record of their wrong intentions nor they will pass it to their next generations. It can be known only by logical reasoning based on events occurred in history. So there cannot be a proof of vedics searching for heroes. It has to be assumed.

  • jainismus profile image
    Author

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

    I am writing the history of writing of Mahabharat and Geeta separately. Krishna existed, and so Arritthanemii to, but Krishna was not under Vedic fold until 3rd Century C.E. Great scholars like D.D. Kosambi, Bhandarkar and others have proved it. Please wait for my next article with referances on this subject.

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    Major Ajit Raka 5 years ago

    This one is good article only if you could give the complete references. The statement "Vedics were in search of an ancient Kshatriya (Warrior Class) personality popular in masses to use for safeguarding their interests. They choose Krishna, declared him a God, and spread Geeta from his mouth." is true then Aritthnemi [Neminath], who was cousin of Krishna, what was he? Probably the statement needs revision. Do you mean to say that the character Krishna was not there? Since it is said 'Mahabharat was recited by Vyas and written by Ganesh.

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    puneet jain 5 years ago

    aapse ek request hai...aap jo bhi likhte hain..plz in baaton ka prooof diya kijiye ki in baaton ka historical proof diya kiiye..jaise ki "geeta baad mein bani hai..shri mahaveer swaami bhagwan ke baad mein bani hai..toh aap is baat ko kis adhaar par keh rahe hain...aapne yeh post bahut achchi likhi hai..historical mean according to indian historians..and latest researchs..