Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the three Supreme Gods in Hinduism. Brahma is associated with creation, Vishnu nourishes and protects the world, whereas Shiva is the destroyer. In order to maintain the creation, Vishnu has number of times assumed human forms and defended mankind. Krishna is one of the ten forms of Lord Vishnu. According to the Hindu Scriptures, the Buddha too, is Lord Vishnu in human form.
Hindu scriptures like the Mahabharata, the Bhagavadgita, and the Purans comprehensively tells about Lord Krishna – His life and philosophy. Lord Krishna is worshipped in a baby form, child form, teenage form, and a young man form. The stories of Krishna’s miraculous birth and wonderful childhood, never-ending romances and his incredible valor are deeply etched in the hearts of the Hindus around the world.
Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in August, or sometimes in early September. This year Krishna Janmashtami, or Krishna’s birthday, is on August 9.
Krishna Janmashtami: Lord Krishna is Born on Earth
Once there was a king named Kansa, who was a demon in human form. He had put his father in prison and assumed the absolute control over the country; however, he loved his cousin Devaki very much. Kansa gave Devaki to Vasudeva in marriage. In the wedding day, he drove the chariot and escorted the newlywed couple to the palace. Suddenly a celestial voice said: O Kansa, thy death will come to pass at the hand of the eighth son born out of this union.
Kansa was terror-stricken, he shackled the newlywed couple and put them in prison. Over the years, he killed all six sons born to Devaki. The seventh son was saved by Lord Vishnu by transferring the fetus from Devaki to Rohini’s womb, Vasudeva’s another wife. When the child was born, he was named Balrama, who actually was the human form of Sesa Naga, the thousand headed Snake who guards Lord Vishnu in the cosmic ocean.
It was midnight, when the eighth child was born. He had azure blue complexion, he wore a crown of jewels and yellow silk robes, and bathed in a cosmic radiance. He stood before his parents as four armed Vishnu, protected by five headed Naga-Snake, and said he chose them as his parents because long-long ago, in another life cycle, he had promised them that he will be born as their son. Lord Vishnu also said a girl child was born to Vasudeva’s friend Nanda in a nearby village, and asked Vasudeva to exchange the child. Saying so Vishnu again became a baby.
By the will of divine, shackles broke, the prison’s gate opened and Vasudeva carried baby Krishna in a basket and walked to his friend’s house. It was raining heavily, and five headed snake protected the baby from rain. Vasudeva left Krishna to Nanda’s wife, carried Nanda’s girl child and came back to the prison.
In the morning Kansa went to prison and found the girl child. When he was about to kill the child, she escaped from his hand and announced: Thy enemy is born, and thy death is certain. Saying so, the girl vanished. She was Goddess Durga, who assumed a girl form to warn Kansa.
Kansa sent his demon friends in search of Krishna. They found him only to be killed by mighty Krishna. When Krishna was sixteen he went to Kansa and killed him in a wrestling match. After Kansa was killed, Kansa’s father again became the king and Krishna was his trusted courtier. During his lifetime, Krishna fought many wars and killed thousands of demons. In the great war of the Mahabharata, Krishna was Arjuna’s chariot driver. The war of the Mahabharata is believed to have occurred in 1300 BCE, however the epic of the same name was composed about 300 BCE.
Nepal Celebrates Krishna’s Birthday with Much Fanfare
The Bhagavadgita, literally ‘Song of the Lord’ and commonly called Gita, is an episode in the Mahabharata which occupies chapters 23 to 40 of book 6. There are 700 verses and 18 sections in the Bhagavadgita. It is composed in the form of a dialogue between Krishna and his cousin Arjuna when they are at the battle ground of the Mahabharata war. The Bhagavadgita is believed to be composed in 1st or 2nd CE. Krishna assumed the Universal Form while delivering Bhagavadgita to Arjuna.
Popularity of the Bhagavadgita increased when it was translated by British and European scholars in early 18th century. The Bhagavadgita presents essence of Hindu philosophy in simple terms, and summarizes the entire Hindu Scriptures.
The present day Hindu philosophy is substantially based on the Bhagavadgita.
Importance of Lord Krishna in Hinduism
Lord Vishnu has said, “Whenever religion and virtue decline and vice threatens, I will appear on the earth to save the righteous and punish the wicked.” Perhaps because of this assertion, among the Hindu Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – Vishnu is very popular God. The Vishnu cult called Vaisnavas is very strong in India and Nepal. There are many sub-cults within Vaisnavas. Among the practicing Hindus, Krishna is much loved God. There are many cults dedicated to Lord Krishna. ISKCON is one of them, which has strong roots even in the West.
The Bhagavadgita commonly called Gita, probably the most sanctified book in Hinduism, is attributed to Lord Krishna. In the courts in India and Nepal, the witness is asked to take a vow of truth by placing his/her hand on the Bhagavadgita.
The great Hindu epic Mahabharata gives detailed account of Krishna’s many deeds of valor. The Mahabharata, is the oldest and longest story in the world, which is about seven times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. According to the Mahabharata, in order to placate his cousin’s mind, Krishna assumed his Universal Form. Arjuna saw the entire universe, along with all creatures, deities, and demons inside Lord Krishna.
Krishna was a God who lived like a common man, living many lives at a time. As a child he killed many demons, and played mischievous games with his friends and mother. As a teenager he had numerous love affairs, his girlfriends are commonly referred as Gopinies. Amongst his girlfriends, he loved Radha very much, however, but he did not marry Radha. Nevertheless, Krishna is always associated with Radha, even though he had ten wives. Radha-Krishna is the divine couple in Hinduism.
Krishna is a lover, a skilled politician and a great warrior. Hindus refer Lord Krishna as Purushottam, the Perfect Man. The Universal Form of Lord Krishna reminds us that there is only one God, and He is Krishna.
Teachings of Lord Krishna
Krishna’s philosophy is comprehensively explained the Bhagavadgita. The Teachings of Krishna can be summarized in three pointsKarma, Wisdom and Devotion. According to the Bhagavadgita these are the three paths to salvation.
Human beings must do their Karma without having desire for result. Literal meaning of Karma is deeds or actions. When you perform your actions without being attached to the result, you will find the path to salvation.
While doing Karma you have to have wisdom. Only when you have wisdom, you will be able to perform righteous Karma. In this Samsara, you are born again and again because of your attachment. Nourish your wisdom and let be born no more. Samsara is the endless cycle of birth and rebirth, literally Samsara means the world.
God is not far away from you, actually God exists in everything and everyone. You have to be devoted to your God. With your perennial devotion, you will reach mokshya, the salvation.
According to Lord Krishna’s teaching, only body dies, soul seeks another body to be born again. This chain of birth and rebirth can be broken when you perform Karma without seeking desire for result. One can perform Karma without attachment only he/she has wisdom. When you perform Karma without attachment, you gain wisdom. From wisdom comes the devotion. When you are devoted to Lord Krishna, you will be liberated.
Shaloo Walia from India on January 28, 2016:
A beautiful hub on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna!
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on October 02, 2012:
Stories about Krishna is much loved in our country. He is the God who lived like a common man. Thanks for sharing your views.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on September 30, 2012:
Vinaya-I loved this article. I've always enjoyed the story of Krishna and have a child's storybook about Krishna which I share with my grandkids.
Very beautiful photos and well presented, of course. Rated up/I/U/A
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on August 21, 2012:
@parwatisingari, thanks for stopping by.
@Movie Master, thanks for always appreciating my work.
Jasmin on August 19, 2012:
Vinaya, your pictures are brilliant, and your article is amazing.
Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 19, 2012:
This article is so interesting Vinaya, I enjoyed it very much - thank you and voted up.
Best wishes lesley
parwatisingari from India on August 15, 2012:
hi I shall my link about krishna when I am bit less lazy, here is one.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on August 13, 2012:
What I like about Lord Krishna is his duality. He taught about eternal love,and he also touted war.
Thanks for reading and leaving appreciative comment.
Alastar Packer from North Carolina on August 13, 2012:
Krishna's "Gopinies." Krishna's teenage girlfriends that is. How about that.What a discovery with all the intricacies in the life of this Supreme Hindu God, Vinaya. The Hindu religion and gods have always seemed very complicated to me but your writings on them here on HP have presented them in excellent form to learn about. Fascinating read Vin, thank you. Vote er up and interesting!
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on August 13, 2012:
I'm honored and blessed with a writer friend like you. There is so much to learn from you.
Thanks for your wonderful comment.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on August 12, 2012:
Can I tell you how honored I am to be a follower of yours? I just showed some of your photos of Nepal to my husband and he said "Wow". I also told him that you are incredibly talented and your writing is so good in English that no one would be able to tell you weren't from the US or GB! Also, the idea that you all celebrate Krishna in various forms of age, such as a baby, child and teen. Many Pagans celebrate the Mother Goddess in her 3 forms - maiden, mother, and crone. Just thought you might find that interesting.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on August 12, 2012:
@Shampa, thanks for your compliments.
@Rahul, thanks for always appreciating my works.
Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on August 11, 2012:
This was an interesting and thoroughly enlightening hub.... i read it from start to finish
great compilation Vinaya
Shampa Sadhya from NEW DELHI, INDIA on August 11, 2012:
voted up, beautiful and interesting.
I liked it very much. Shared and pinned across.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on August 11, 2012:
@Radha, some of the Hindu theologies mention Krishna's 10 wives, and Rukmini was the principle queen. However, he had 16 thousands Gopinies. Gopinies were not wives but the girlfriends. Thanks for reading and commenting.
@Snakeslane, your comment made me smile.Thank you very much.
@Frank, thanks for always reading and commenting on my hubs.
@Mckbirdbks, thanks for always supporting me on hubpages.
@Rosemary, Krishna is also referred as the god ofdivine love. Thanks for your comment.
@DFiduccia, Hindus belong to the Aryan tribe who lived around Caspian Sea five thousand years ago. The Riga Veda is one of the world's earliest books. Hindu theologies mention many technological advances, such as test tube baby, and flying vehicles. However, how it was done is not known today. Thanks for your comment.
@b. Malin, Krishna cult is very popular around the world. Thanks for reading.
thanks for always reading my hubs. I'm blessed with a wonderful writer friend like you.
@Epi, thanks for your generous support.
@vocalcoach, thanks for your appreciation.
@sen.sush, I believe writing on Krishna is a challenge, his stature is so immense that we can hardly capture in a short article. Thanks for your comment.
Sushmita from Kolkata, India on August 11, 2012:
Very well written and compact Hub on Krishna, Bhagwan. Vinaya, often the challenge in writing about is getting it shaped up to fit one idea and form. You have met that challenge very well. I myself have been planning a hub for long on the same subject, but thanks to you, I will be able to take up a different aspect altogether and for introduction just point out your hub. :) Voted up and sharing.
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on August 11, 2012:
Very interesting and the photos are beautiful. Thank you for teaching me.
epigramman on August 10, 2012:
...always a world class treat to arrive here on you cultured and enlightened scene and learn and be inspired.
Yes highly recommended is the new George Harrison dvd Living in the material world directed by Martin Scorcese and currently listening to a rockabilly compilaton and then some late night jazz - lake erie time ontario canada 2:39am will post this beauty to our FB group Let's just talk music or cinema
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 10, 2012:
This was so interesting. As you know, i love reading about other cultures and beliefs. Well done Vinaya..Thank you...
b. Malin on August 10, 2012:
What a Wonderful, as well as Educational read Vinaya. I had a friend, many years ago who became a Krishna, and raised her two children in the Faith. We both moved, and lost track of one another... Enjoyed reading of the Celebrations each year on Krishna's Birthday. Great Photos as well.
DFiduccia from Las Vegas on August 10, 2012:
This hub is very interesting and comprehensive. Hinduism goes back to pre-technological times, and I found it interesting about the transfer of the fetus— a feat surely not possible without the help of more advanced beings. It makes one wonder—who were the original Hindu people of India? There are many instances in the ancient text of India of flying craft and other unexplained phenomena.
Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on August 10, 2012:
What a wonderful festive way to celebrate Krishna's birthday.
I always find these hubs so interesting. You have done a awesome job with this hubVinaya. Wonderful photos.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 09, 2012:
Happy Birthday Krishna. What a nice presentation filled with information and insights. This is well written and you can tell how much interest you have in the subject by the beauty of the overall article.
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 09, 2012:
VG a great way to educate as well as celebrate voted awesome and interesting my friend :)
Verlie Burroughs from Canada on August 09, 2012:
What a beautiful festive hub for Krishna's birthday Vinaya. I think I saw your Mom and brother in the Kathmandu photos (I'm starting to recognize them now!) Happy Birthday Krishna! We need the George Harrison song now 'My Sweet Lord'. This is lovely, the photos are gorgeous, so colorful and descriptive. Regards, snakeslane
radhapriestess on August 09, 2012:
Good article. Pictures are wonderful. I think many of the writers on Krishna say he had eight principal queens, but married 16,000 women who the demon had captured because the men in their lives would not accept them after the demon captured them.