Krishna The great exponent of the Gita, Krishna is the ninth and the most complete Avatar of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu Trinity. Of all avatars he is the most popular and perhaps the one closest to the heart of the masses. This blue-skinned deity has influenced the Indian thought, life and culture in myriad ways – not only its religion and philosophy, but also into its mysticism and literature, painting and sculpture, dance and music, and all aspects of Indian folklore. Read More >> The great exponent of the Bhagwat Gita, Krishna is one of the most powerful incarnations of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu Trinity of deities. Of all the Vishnu avataras he is the most popular, and perhaps of all Hindu gods the one closest to the heart of the masses. Krishna was dark and extremely handsome. The word Krishna literally means ‘black’, and black also connotes mysteriousness. The birthday of Krishna is called Janamashthami, a special occasion for Hindus that is celebrated around the world. The birth of Krishna is in itself a transcendental phenomenon that generates awe among the Hindus and overwhelms one and all with its supra mundane happenings. 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. 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 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. 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. 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.