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Krishna 22th Vishnu Avatar

Krishna



In KRISHNA Avatar, Lord Vishnu incarnates himself as KRISHNA , the central character in the epic MAHABHARATA. In this biggest epic of Indian mythology a myriad of topics are covered, including war, love, brotherhood, politics etc. It is essentially the story of two warring groups of cousin brothers, the PANDAVAs and the KAURAVAs. As a part of the Mahabahrata, during the war KRISHNA, gives a long discourse to his disciple ARJUNA, collectively termed as Bhagvad-Gita. Krishna, during his child-hood was responsible for the killing of Kansa. Krishna is also considered to be an ultimate playboy who was resonsible for charming all gopikas (cowherdesses) around him. Unlike Ramayana, Mahabharata deals with more down to earth issues like politics, human nature, human weaknesses, and does not attempt to idealise the characters as in RAMAYANA. His death marks the beginning of Kali yuga.
Birth of Lord Krishna

Mother Earth, unable to bear the burden of sins committed by evil kings and rulers, appealed to Brahma, the Creator for help. Brahma prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who assured him that he would soon be born on earth to annihilate tyrannical forces.

One such evil force was Kamsa, the ruler of Mathura (in northern India) and his people were utterly terrified of him. On the day Kamsa's sister Devaki was married off to Vasudeva, an akashvani or voice from the sky was heard prophesying that Devaki's 8th son would be the destroyer of Kamsa. The frightened Kamsa immediately unsheathed his sword to kill his sister but Vasudeva intervened and implored Kamsa to spare his bride, and promised to hand over every new born child to him. Kamsa relented but imprisoned both Devaki and her husband Vasudeva.

When Devaki gave birth to her first child, Kamsa came to the prison cell and slaughtered the newborn. In this way, he killed the first six sons of Devaki. Even before her 8th child was born, Devaki and Vasudeva started lamenting its fate and theirs. Then suddenly Lord Vishnu appeared before them and said he himself was coming to rescue them and the people of Mathura. He asked Vasudeva to carry him to the house of his friend, the cowherd chief Nanda in Gokula right after his birth, where Nanda's wife Yashoda had given birth to a daughter.

He was to exchange his boy and bring Yashoda's baby daughter back to the prison. Vishnu assured them that "nothing shall bar your path".

At midnight on ashtami, the divine baby was born in Kamsa's prison. Remembering the divine instructions, Vasudeva clasped the child to his bosom and started for Gokula, but found that his legs were in chains. He jerked his legs and was unfettered! The massive iron-barred doors unlocked and opened up.While crossing river Yamuna, Vasudeva held his baby high over his head. The rain fell in torrents and the river was in spate. But the water made way for Vasudeva and miraculously a five-mouthed snake followed him from behind and provided shelter over the baby.

When Vasudeva reached Gokula, he found the door of Nanda's house open. He exchanged the babies and hurried back to the prison of Kamsa with the baby girl. Early in the morning, all the people at Gokula rejoiced the birth of Nanda's beautiful male child. Vasudeva came back to Mathura and as he entered, the doors of the prison closed themselves.

When Kamsa came to know about the birth, he rushed inside the prison and tried to kill the baby. But this time it skipped from his hand and reaching the sky. She was transformed into the goddess Yogamaya, who told Kamsa: "O foolish! What will you get by killing me? Your nemesis is already born somewhere else."

In his youth Krishna killed Kamsa along with all his cruel associates, liberated his parents from prison, and reinstated Ugrasen as the King of Mathura.

Baby Krishna: Killer of Evils

Stories about Krishna's exploits abound. Legends have it that on the very sixth day of his birth, Krishna killed lady demon Putna by sucking on her breasts. In his childhood, he also killed many other mighty demons, such as Trunavarta, Keshi, Aristhasur, Bakasur, Pralambasur et al. During the same period he also killed Kali Nag (cobra de capello) and made the holy water of river Yamuna poison free.

Krishna's Childhood Days

Krishna made cowherdesses happy by the bliss of his cosmic dances and the soulful music of his flute. He stayed in Gokul, the legendary 'cow-village' in Northern India for 3 years and 4 months. As a child he was reputed to be very mischievous, stealing curd and butter and playing pranks with his girl friends or gopis. Having completed his Lila or exploits at Gokul, he went to Vrindavan and stayed until he was 6 years and 8 months old.

According to a famous legend, Krishn drove away the monsterous serpent Kaliya from the river to the sea. Krishna, according to another popular myth, lifted the Govardhana hill up with his little finger and held it like an umbrella to protect the people of Vrindavana from the torrential rain caused by Lord Indra, who had been annoyed by Krishna. Then he lived in Nandagram till he was 10.

Krishna's Youth and Education

Krishna then returned to Mathura, his birthplace, and killed his wicked maternal uncle King Kamsa along with all his cruel associates and liberated his parents from jail. He also reinstated Ugrasen as the King of Mathura. He completed his education and mastered the 64 sciences and arts in 64 days at Avantipura under his preceptor Sandipani. As gurudaksina or tuition fees, he restored Sandipani's dead son to him. He stayed in Mathura till he was 28.

Krishna, the King of Dwarka

Krishna then came to the rescue of a clan of Yadava chiefs, who were ousted by the king Jarasandha of Magadha. He easily triumphed over the multi-million army of Jarasandha by building an impregnable capital Dwarka, "the many-gated" city in an island in the sea. The city located on the western point of Gujarat, is now submerged in the sea according to the epic Mahabharata. Krishna shifted, as the story goes, all his sleeping relatives and natives to Dwarka by the power of his yoga. In Dwarka, he married Rukmini, then Jambavati, and Satyabhama. He also saved his kingdom from Nakasura, the demon king of Pragjyotisapura, had abducted 16,000 princesses. Krishna freed them and married them since they had nowhere else to go.

Krishna, the Hero of the Mahabharata

For many years, Krishna lived with the Pandava and Kaurava kings who ruled over Hastinapur. When a war was about to break oput between the Pandavas and Kauravas, Krishna was sent to mediate, but failed. War became inevitable, and Krishna offered his forces to the Kauravs and himself agreed to join the Panadavas as the charioteer of the master warrior Arjuna. This epic battle of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharata, was fought in about 3000 BC. In the middle of the war, Krishna delivered his famous advice, which forms the crux of the Bhagavad Gita, in which he put forward the theory of 'Nishkam Karma' or action without attachment.

Krishna's Final Days on Earth

After the great war, Krishna returned to Dwarka. In his final days on earth, he taught spiritual wisdom to Uddhava, his friend and disciple, and ascended to his abode after casting off his body, which was shot at by a hunter named Jara. He is believed to have lived for 125 years. Whether he was a human being or a God-incarnate, there is no gainsaying the fact that he has been ruling the hearts of millions for over three millennia. In the words of Swami Harshananda, "If a person can affect such a profound impact on the Hindu race affecting its psyche and ethos and all aspects of its life for centuries, he is no less than God."

The Radha-Krishna Romance

Krishna's youthful dalliances with the 'gopis' are interpreted as symbolic of the loving interplay between God and the human soul. Radha's utterly rapturous love for Krishna and their relationship is often interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. This kind of love is of the highest form of devotion in Vaishnavism, and is symbolically represented as the bond between the wife and husband or beloved and lover.

Radha, daughter of Vrishabhanu, was the mistress of Krishna during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vrindavan. Since childhood they were close to each other - they played, they danced, they fought, they grew up together and wanted to be together forever, but the world pulled them apart. He departed to safeguard the virtues of truth, and she waited for him. He vanquished his enemies, became the king, and came to be worshipped as a lord of the universe. She waited for him. He married Rukmini and Satyabhama, raised a family, fought the great war of Ayodhya, and she still waited. So great was Radha's love for Krishna that even today her name is uttered whenever Krishna is refered to, and Krishna worship is though to be incomplete without the deification of Radha.

One day the two most talked about lovers come together for a final single meeting. Suradasa in his Radha-Krishna lyrics relates the various amorous delights of the union of Radha and Krishna in this ceremonious 'Gandharva' form of their wedding in front of five hundred and sixty million people of Vraj and all the gods and goddesses of heaven. The sage Vyasa refers to this as the 'Rasa'. Age after age, this evergreen love theme has engrossed poets, painters, musicians and all Krishna devotees alike.

Lord Krishna the great teacher of harmony

"The glory of Sri Krishna is that He has been the best preacher of our eternal religion and the best commentator on the Vedanta that ever lived in India." As Krishna himself said: "In Me they are all strung like pearls upon a thread."