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Lord Krishna and Hinduism
WHO IS LORD KRISHNA
Hindu Mythology believes in three supreme Gods described as Brahma (Creator), Mahesh (Destroyer) and Vishnu (Preserver). Lord Krishna is said to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who promised Goddess earth to take birth as a human being to remove sin and offer the world his sacred preaching. Eternal message of spiritual wisdom were kept in front of the entire world by the deity in the form of Bhagavad Gita (Religious book of Hindus) which contains the shloks (sayings) by Lord Krishna spoken to Prince Arjun during the war of Kurukshetra 5000 years ago among the pandavas and kauravas.
BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA
Birth of our deity God is an amazing story narrated to almost every child by their parents. Among the yadavas in Mathura, there was a king named Kansa who was threatened by a loud voice from the sky (Akashvani) that he will be killed by the eighth son of his sister (Devki) due to the sins committed by him. On hearing this, Kansa put his sister and her husband behind the bars in his own palace. While in the Prison Lord Vishnu appeared in front of the couple and Informed them about his birth from the womb of Devki so that to Kill Kansa and release the people of his terror. During the birth of Lord Vishnu, a miracle happened and all doors opened automatically and even the guards got unconscious. It was the time when Vasudeva (Devki’s Husband) took the child out of the prison to his friend Nanda’s (Cow herd chief in Gokul) House crossing the full fledged Yamuna River during the heavy rains. Vasudeva and Nanda exchanged their kids and Vasudeva came back to the prison with daughter of Nanda. Kansa as soon as got the information of the birth of a child appeared in front of Devki and Vasudeva to kill the eighth child and took her in his hands. As he tried to kill the child, she transformed into the Goddess Yogamaya and told Kansa “You are a fool and will not get anything by killing me. Your nemesis is already born somewhere else to plan your demise.”
INFANT LORD KRISHNA
CHILDHOOD AND THE YOUTH
Krishna was the son of the head of the community of Cow herders in Vrindavan. Hence he also became a cow herder. Krishna was the most mischievous child of the entire community always engaged in some or the other kind of pranks. He was mostly famous as makhan chor (butter thief) which he did from almost every house of the village. Logic behind this prank was that he wanted to be a strong person along with his fellow friends so that to be a protector of the entire Vrindavan.
He is also famous for his play with the gopis (milkmaids) his community. Radha among them was his favorite who is still worshipped as goddess along with Lord Krishna. His play with them is popularly known as Raaslila.
During his childhood, Krishna killed the demoness putana who was sent by Kansa to kill Krishna. Later he also tamed the serpent Kaliya, who was responsible for the poison in Yamuna River and killed numerous herds.
Apart from this he also taught a lesson to Indra Dev (God of Rain) who was full of pride and ego and got angry on Krishna’s advice to protect and take care of the people of Vrindavan. As per the views of Krishna, people should stop worshipping Indra Dev and spending their resources. He says that rain comes from the nearby hill called Goverdhana and advised people to worship the hill instead of Indra. This made Indra extreme furious and sent heavy storms along with rain. To safeguard the people of Vrindavan, Krishna lift up the Goverdhan hill to shelter the people and safeguard them from this terror of Indra dev.
Childhood of Krishna was full of fun, enjoyment and various teachings. From Time to time he safeguards the people of Vrindavan from various calamities and demons and wins their heart with his charming behavior and intelligence. Not only this, cows, birds, trees and various other animals were fond of his flute voice and loved him truly.
KURUKSHETRA AND BHAGAVAD GITA
After growing up he left Vrindavan and went to Mathura to kill his maternal uncle, Kansa. After his demise he handed over the thrown to Kansa’s father Ugrasen and himself became the Prince. It was then he came in touch with Pandavas and became a close friend of Arjuna.
Later he battled from the side of pandavas in the war of Kurukshetra fought between Pandavas and Kauravas for the throne of Hastinapur. Yudhishtira was the eldest brother of Pandavas and cousins Kauravas and was not accepted by Kauravas as king of Hastinapur. Duryodhan, eldest of kauravas wanted to ascend the throne unlawfully which was the ultimate reason for war. In whole of the issue Krishna sided with pandavas for Truth and law but he could not directly fight the war with weapons. So he became the charioteer of Arjuna to guide him all throughout the struggle time. It was this period of battle when Arjuna was counseled by Krishna to fulfill his duties of a warrior and as a human being so that to attain liberation. It was this conversation that has been converted to Bhagawad Gita so that the whole human community can take benefit of the teachings of Lord Krishna. As Bhagavad Gita is nothing else but the preaching of our almighty i .e Lord Krishna, it is the Holy book of Hindus. A person who reads Gita is said to be enlightened with knowledge.
WIVES OF LORD KRISHNA
Although Radha is the godess worshipped with Lord Krishna and it is believed that Krishna is incomplete without Radha still she was not his wedded wife. Krishna left her alone in Mathura while leaving for Vrindavan. Krishna married eight princely wives called as ashtbharya which includes Rukmani and Satyabhama. Apart from his eight princely wives he married 16000 which were said as his junior wives. They were forcibly kept by Narkasur in his palace and were rescued by Lord Krishna. To save their honor and allow them to live respectfully in society, Krishna himself married them. Rukmani, his first wife is considered as the avatar of Goddess Lakshmi whereas his second wife Satyabhama is considered the aspect of the earth goddess Bhudevi.
IDOLS OF RADHA AND KRISHNA AT MATHURA
WORSHIP OF LORD KRISHNA
Lord Krishna is associated with Vishnu and is considered as his incarnation. Therefore his worship is also a part of Vaishnavism. Lord Krishna is one of the most popular deity of Hindus worshipped all across the country including the southern states. Apart from India, Lord Krishna is the only god popular in western countries as well due to strong efforts of ISCON (International society for Krishna Consciousness). This was the movement called as Hare Krishna Movement which was spread outside through its founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Lord Krishna is worshipped in the form of an infant child as well as an adult Krishna with Radha Rani. Idol of Infant Krishna is a small child with some butter in his hand. This image of Krishna is basically treated by the follower as his own child. One pampers the infant Krishna and plays with him like a small child. It is felt as a member of the house and one has to involve him in daily routines. Like getting him up early morning, giving bath and making him ready for the breakfast. In the same manner preparing dinner for him at night and then making him sleep on small couch. One who worships infant Krishna follows every ritual and treats him like his own child.
Adult Krishna is worshipped along with Radha Rani and his name is chanted as RadheKrishna. It also indicates that worship of Krishna is incomplete without Radha. This is also believed that worshipping Radha means touching the heart of Krishna as she resides within his heart. Followers of Lord Krishna visit his native place Mathura and Vrindavan every year. There are number of temples built in the name of the deity that includes Janam Bhumi, Isckon temple, Bankey Bihari Temple etc.
Janamashtami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna every year in month of Aug-sep. People keep fast on this day and eat anything after 12 midnight which is exactly the birth time of Lord Krishna.