Category Archives: Lord Krishna

Govardhan Puja (festival)

Govardhan Puja

Read about 21 unknown facts of Lord Krishna

Legend behind Govardhan Puja

‘Govardhan’ is a small hillock situated at ‘Braj’, near Mathura. As per  Vishnu Purana,  people of Gokul used to worship and offer prayer to Lord Indra for the rains because they believed that it was he who sent rains for their welfare.  Shri Krishna told them that it was Mount Govardhan (Govardhan Parvat) and not Lord Indra who caused rains. So they should offer the prayers to the mountain.

This made Lord Indra so furious that the people of Gokul had to face very heavy rains as a result of his anger. Then Lord Krishna came forward to ensure their security and after performing worship and offering prayers to Mount Govardhan lifted it as an umbrella on the little finger of his left hand so that everyone could take shelter under it.  This is how Lord Indra was defeated and  after this event Lord Krishna was also known as Giridhari or Govardhandhari.

Shri Krishna lifting goverdhan

Shri Krishna lifting govardhan

 

Govardhan Puja and Bali Pratipada

Most of the time Govardhan Puja day falls next day after Diwali and it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra. Sometimes there may be a day’s gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja.

In religious texts, Govardhan Puja celebrations are suggested during Pratipada Tithi of Kartik month. Depending on starting time of Pratipada, Govardhan Puja day might fall one day before on Amavasya day on Hindu calendar.

Govardhan Puja is also known as Annakut Puja. On this day food made of cereals like wheat, rice, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is cooked and offered to Lord Krishna.

In Maharashtra the same day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada or Bali Padva. The day commemorates victory of Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, over King Bali and subsequent pushing of Bali to Patal Lok (the underworld). It is believed that due to boon given by Lord Vamana, Asura King Bali visits the Prithvi Lok from the Patala Lok on this day.

Note: Thanks to Mr R Ramanathan for correctly pointing out an error in this article. That has been now rectified – Webmaster

Shri Krishna

21 facts of Lord Krishna

 Shri Krishna – known and unknown facts

Shri Krishna

Shri Krishna

Shri Krishna is perhaps the most written about amongst the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. His stories are magical, inspiring and sometimes they look human like. Please read on for some interesting and unknown facts about him.

Shri Krishna’s masterstrokes (1)

1. Lord was born in Rohini Nakshatra as the eighth son of Devki and Vasudeva.

Birth of Shri Krishna

Birth of Shri Krishna

2. He brought back the son of his guru (teacher), Sandipani, who was dead. Thus he paid his Gurudakshina to Sage Sandipani.

Sage Sandipani - teacher of Krishna and Balrama

Sage Sandipani – teacher of Krishna and Balrama

3. Many of us do not know that he also brought back the six sons of Devki (seventh and eighth being Balrama and himself) for a brief reunion. Names of these six sons are Smara, Udgitha, Parishvanga, Patanga, Kshudrabhrit and Ghrini.

Seven little known facts about Karna from the Mahabharata

These six sons were earlier grand sons of Hiranyakashyap and they were living under a curse.

3. Kansa or Kamsa was Kalanemi in his earlier birth.  Kalanemi was killed by Lord Vishnu.  The six sons of Devki were Kalanemi sons in his previous birth and they were cursed by Hiranykashyap that they would be killed by their father. Hence Kansa, duly kills six sons of Devki in their next birth. The six sons of Kalanemi were known by the names of Hamsa, Suvikrama, Kratha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahanta.

Killing of Kansa

Killing of Kansa

4. Gandhari’s curse to Lord served two purposes. In his earlier avatar as Lord Rama(incarnation), he killed Bali. He assured Tara (Bali’s widow) that Bali would be able to exact his revenge in his next birth.

The hunter Jara was  Bali reborn, and in this life, he ended Shri Krishna’s stay on earth with a simple arrow. Thus Gandhari’ s curse and his assurance has been fulfilled.

Death of Bali (Vali)

Death of Bali (Vali)

5. Shri Krishna had a total of 16,108 wives, of which only eight were his princely wives,also known as Ashtabharya,or patrani. There names are as following

Rukmini, SatyabhamaJambavatiNagnajitiKalindi, MitravindaBhadra and Lakshmana.

Rukmini is also considered to be an avatar of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune. Shri Krishna married her after she sent him a letter to come and abduct her and save her relatives from a fight.

When he was eloping with Rukmini,  Rukmini’s brother Rukmi came and fought, before being defeated by Shri Krishna. His other  16,100 wives were rescued from Narakasura. They had been forcibly kept in his palace and after Krishna had killed Narakasura he rescued these 16,100 women and freed them.

Lord Krishna and Rukmini

Lord Krishna and Rukmini

6. Out of his wives, Satyabhama had some ego while Rukmini was fully devoted to Lord Krishna. There is a famous incident of Tulabharam, which has established the simplcity of Rukmini was better than the wealth of Satyabhama.

Tulabharam Shri Krishna

Tulabharam Shri Krishna

7. Shri Krishna had eighty sons from his eight queens (Ashtapatrani’s). From each of his queen, he had ten sons. Pradyumna was the son of Rukmini. Samba was the son from Jambavati, who was cursed by the sages which later became the reason of destruction of Yadu clan. Shri Krishna himself done penance of Lord Shiva to obtain a son like him. Incidentally, Lord also cursed Samba to be affected by leprosy. Courtesy of Sage Narada.

8. Shri Krishna’s sister Subhadra was born to Vasudev and Rohini. She was born after Vasudeva was freed from the prison. Balrama wanted her to be married to Duryodhana, who was his favourite disciple. But Rohini and other did not want this. To overcome this situation, Shri Krishna advised Arjuna to abduct Subhadra. He also asked Subhadra to hold the rains of the chariot, so it was technically not an abduction. Balrama was pacified later on, and the marriage was performed at Indraprastha.

Arjuna and Subhadra

Arjuna and Subhadra

9. There is no mention of Radha in scriptures. Neither Mahabharata, Nor Shrimad Bhagwat mention this. This fact is too important to missed by greats like Ved Vyasa. Probably, this was included by Jayadev and became famous from there.

10. Ekalavya was actually Krishna’s cousin. He was the son of Devashrava (brother of Vasudeva) who got lost in the forest and was found by a Nishada Hiranyadhanu. Ekalavya died protecting his father during Rukmini Swayamvar. He was killed by Krishna. For his great sacrifice of Gurudakshina Krishna blessed Ekalavya that he would be soon reincarnated and take revenge on Drona. This person was Dhristadyumna (who kiled Drona).

11. Krishna is arguably the most difficult character to understand. Once, he even started fighting with Arjuna. Lord Shiva got so perturbed that he descended to stop the fight. He asked what he was doing. Krishna’s simple reply was that Arjuna needed to fight in battle and hence he was testing Arjuna.

12. The narration of the Bhagvad Gita by Lord was heard firsthand not only by Arjuna but also Hanuman and Sanjaya. Hanuman was perched on top of Arjuna’s chariot throughout the battle of Kurukshetra and Sanjaya was blessed by Ved Vyasa with divine vision in order to narrate the events of the battle to Dhritharashtra.

Seven unknown facts about Lord Shiva

13. The narration of the Bhagvad Gita by Krishna was heard firsthand not only by Arjuna but also Hanuman and Sanjaya. Hanuman was perched on top of Arjuna’s chariot throughout the battle of Kurukshetra and Sanjaya was blessed by Veda Vyasa with divine vision in order to narrate the events of the battle to Dhritharashtra.

14. Pradyumna was  the son of Shri Krishna, was an incarnation of Kamadev. Kamadev was turned to ashes by Lord Shiva in the earlier life. In this life, he was abducted by Sambarasura and drowned in the ocean, but somehow survived and appeared in his kitchen. He was looked after by Mayavati, who was an incarnation of Rati. She told him that how Sambarasura has tried to kill him when he was ten days old, and asked him to kill Sambarasura.

Pradyumna and Sambarasur

Pradyumna and Sambarasur

Pradyumna immediately went before Sambara and challenged him to fight. Pradyumna began to address him in very strong language, so that his temper might be agitated and he would be moved to fight. Soon, a fight started and Pradyumna beat and killed Sambarasura.

15. Pandavas were related to Shri Krishna from mother’s side. Their mother, Kunti, was the sister of Vasudev, father of Shri Krishna.

16. Shri Krishna’s favourite weapon was Sudarshan Chakra. Its notable uses were in killing of Shishupala and more importantly, it was used to create the illusion of sunset which led to the killing of Jayadratha.

17. Killing of Kaalyavan: There was demon named Kaalyavan, who was summoned by Jarasandha to fight Shri Krishna. He realized that beating him would take some time, so he used a boon on Muchkund to neutralize Kaalyavan. Muchkund was sleeping in a cave and he had a boon that the first person he sees after waking up, will be turned to ashes. Lord entered the cave and hid behind a rock while Kaalyavan happened to wake up Muchkund, and soon, was left to ashes.

18. Lord was the first person who told Karna about the secret of his birth. He was trying to persuade Karna while he was in Hastinapur, desperately trying to avert the war. Karna has politely refused his offer and requested him to not to divulge this secret to Pandavas.

19. During Raas Leela, Lord danced with gopikas. While dancing, all gopis thought that the Lord was dancing with them.

Seven unknown facts from Mahabharata about Bhishma Pitamah

20. Durvasa did not spare Krishna also from his curse. One day, Durvasa was eating kheer (a sweet dish made of rice and milk),Lord was also there. Durvasa ordered Lord to apply the left over kheer on his body. He applied it on the full body but did not apply on his feet thinking of the kheer to be consecrated. Durvasa got angry at this and cursed the Lord that since you did not obey my orders and did not apply the kheer on your legs,your legs will not remain impenetrable and unbroken. It is the famous story that he left this world because an arrow by a hunter hurt his toe.

21. Duryodhana foolishly tried to imprison Lord when he came for negotiations. Shri Krishna shows all the kings his great form (Virat roopa) . Knowing this Dhritrashtra, also pleaded to allow him to see him once in this form which was granted. The poorer souls shut their eyes while the pious ones were benefited.

Read about unknown facts of Mahabharata

More stories about Lord Krishna

Shri Krishna and Kaliya nag

Taming of Kaliya Nag is one of the innumerable exploits of Lord Krishna. Kaliya Nag was a vociferous serpent who has terrorised the people in nearby regions. Interestingly why Kaliya Nag chose his abode at Vrindavan is also good to know.

Why Kaliya chose Vrindavan

The proper home of Kaliya was Ramanaka Dwipa, but he had been driven away from there by fear of Garuda, the foe of all serpents. Garuda had been cursed by a yogi dwelling at Vrindavan so that he could not come to Vrindavan without meeting his death. Therefore Kāliya chose Vrindavan as his residence, knowing it was the only place where Garuda could not come.

Shri Krishna and Kaliya

Shri Krishna and Kaliya

Kaliya poisoned everything in the surrounding of Yamuna River. Vapours and bubbles in the river killed even birds that flew over the region.

How Shri Krishna tamed Kaliya

Once Krishna and herdboys were playing ball, and while playing Krishna climbed up the Kadamba tree and hung over the river bank, the ball fell into the river and Krishna jumped after it.  Kaliya rose up with his hundred and ten hoods vomiting poison and wrapped himself around Krishna’s body. Krishna became so huge that Kaliya had to release him. So Krishna saved himself from every attack, and when he saw the Brij folk were so much afraid he suddenly sprang into Kaliya head and assumed the weight of the whole universe, and danced on the naga’s heads, beating time with his feet.

Krishna overpowered the powerful Kaliya and emerged from the river dancing atop the middle head of Kaliya. The dancing left the mark of Krishna’s feet on the head of Kaliya. Kaliya’s wife begged for mercy to Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna spared the life of Kaliya and commanded them to leave Yamuna and to seek refuge in the ocean.

Kaliya was assured that Garuda would not attack him on seeing the mark’s of Sri Krishna’s feet on his head.

Shri Krishna with Sudarshan Chakra in Mahabharata

Shri Krishna’s masterstrokes (1)

Shri Krishna’s exploits and leelas have been written about a lot, but we still find novelty when he is discussed. This incarnation of Lord Vishnu is indeed the most popular one in today’s times. Couple of his exploits are detailed below.

Narayani Sena and himself

Before Mahabharat war, Duryodhan reached first in Dwarka to seek Krishna’s help. He came before Arjuna  to seek lord’s help. However, when Duryodhana reached, Krishna was sleeping. So, Duryodhana and Arjuna, both entered Krishna’s room while he was sleeping.  Duryodhan who entered the room,  sat besides the head of Krishna. Arjuna stood next to Krishna’s feet with his hand folded. When he woke up, he saw Arjuna first though he came only after Duryodhana. Shri Krishna set forth a condition that he will not fight the war. Hearing this Duryodhana decided to take the Narayani sena, not knowing that Lord without a weapon was more than a handful for the planet.

Lord Shri Krishna, Arjuna and Duryodhana before Mahabharata

Lord Shri Krishna, Arjuna and Duryodhana before Mahabharata

Jayadrath vadh

After the death of Abhimanyu, Arjuna was distraught and he vowed that he will kill Jayadratha or submit himself to fire. Jayadratha was the reason of Abhimanyu’s death as he did not allow anyone else to enter the ‘Chakravyuha’. Chakravyuha was a formation devised by Guru Drona. When Kauravas came to know about Arjuna’s intentions, they focussed on the sole objective of protecting Jayadratha from Arjuna. For them, this was the golden chance of winning the war.

A good part of day was thus spent and Kaurava’s succesfully defended Jayadratha. But Lord Krishna find something on that fateful day. He summoned Sudarshan Chakra. With the help of Chakra he hid the Sun. Seeing this, Kaurava’s started rejoicing and Jayadratha came out.This was as good as a victory of Kauravas in the war. At this moment, Shri Krishna withdrew the Sudarshana chakra, Sun was visible again and on his instruction, Arjuna divided Jayadratha’s body in head and torso.

Shri Krishna with Sudarshan Chakra in Mahabharata

Shri Krishna with Sudarshan Chakra in Mahabharata

 

Lord Krishna saves Arjuna from destruction of chariot

After the end of Mahabharata war, an interesting incident happened. Arjuna’s chariot was destroyed. Lord Agni gave this chariot to Arjuna out of gratitude. Lord Shri Krishna’s saved Arjuna from certain death.

Saving Arjuna from destruction of chariot

Arjuna and Krishna reach a deserted place

After the war, Lord Krishna realized that the mission of this chariot was accomplished, he took the chariot to a deserted place and asked the warrior Arjuna to get off the chariot.

Arjuna got off from the chariot

Initially Arjuna was not keen to leave the chariot because he thought that charioteer should first leave the chariot. Krishna insisted and Arjuna agreed. After Arjuna got off, he instructed Lord Hanumana, who was present on the flag to leave the chariot.

Arjuna and Krishna on chariot

Arjuna and Krishna on chariot

Chariot is destroyed

Finally Lord himself left the chariot. At this point of time, something unexpected happened. There was a loud noise and the whole chariot was destroyed as if it was struck by lightning.

Arjuna asks Lord

After few moments, Arjuna asks lord Krishna the reason behind the destruction of the chariot and significance of the incident.

Lord Krishna explains

Now this is very interesting, which gives an insight on Lord’s thinking. Not a single thing was missed from him. In the war of Mahabharat,  Maharathi Sage Dronacharya and Maharathi Karna  used a number of powerful weapons on Arjuna and his chariot. These  were  powerful weapons and there could be no escape from them for Arjuna and his chariot. He further explains that now they are showing their destructive capacity. This was because, Lord himself and Lord Hanumana were protecting the chariot.

Read – Lord Hanumana was immune to any weapon

He also explained to  Arjuna that those celestial weapons used by Karna and Dronacharya were given to them by demigods and thus they had had to make the effect that they were used for. Making them null would be the insult of the demigods who bestowed them to Karna and Dronacharya. Hence, to make them make the desired effect it was necessary for them to consume the chariot of Arjuna which is  just now done.

Thus,Lord Krishna once again saved Arjuna from certain death.

बांके बिहारी की कथा – The story of Banke Bihari

बांके बिहारी के प्रकट होने की कथा

संगीत सम्राट तानसेन के गुरू स्वामी हरिदास जी भगवान श्री कृष्ण के अनन्य भक्त थे। इन्होंने अपने संगीत को भगवान को समर्पित कर दिया था। वृंदावन में स्थित श्री कृष्ण की रासस्थली निधिवन में बैठकर भगवान को अपने संगीत से रिझाया करते थे।

Banke Bihari Jee

Banke Bihari Jee

भगवान की भक्त में डूबकर हरिदास जी जब भी गाने बैठते तो प्रभु में ही लीन हो जाते। इनकी भक्ति और गायन से रिझकर भगवान श्री कृष्ण इनके सामने आ जाते। हरिदास जी मंत्रमुग्ध होकर श्री कृष्ण को दुलार करने लगते। एक दिन इनके एक शिष्य ने कहा कि आप अकेले ही श्री कृष्ण का दर्शन लाभ पाते हैं, हमें भी सांवरे सलोने का दर्शन करवाएं।

इसके बाद हरिदास जी श्री कृष्ण की भक्ति में डूबकर भजन गाने लगे। राधा कृष्ण की युगल जोड़ी प्रकट हुई और अचानक हरिदास के स्वर में बदलाव आ गया और गाने लगे-

‘भाई री सहज जोरी प्रकट भई, जुरंग की गौर स्याम घन दामिनी जैसे। प्रथम है हुती अब हूं आगे हूं रहि है न टरि है तैसे।। अंग अंग की उजकाई सुघराई चतुराई सुंदरता ऐसे। श्री हरिदास के स्वामी श्यामा पुंज बिहारी सम वैसे वैसे।।’

श्री कृष्ण और राधा ने हरिदास के पास रहने की इच्छा प्रकट की। हरिदास जी ने कृष्ण से कहा कि प्रभु मैं तो संत हूं। आपको लंगोट पहना दूंगा लेकिन माता को नित्य आभूषण कहां से लाकर दूंगा। भक्त की बात सुनकर श्री कृष्ण मुस्कुराए और राधा कृष्ण की युगल जोड़ी एकाकार होकर एक विग्रह रूप में प्रकट हुई। हरिदास जी ने इस विग्रह को बांके बिहारी नाम दिया।

बांके बिहारी मंदिर में इसी विग्रह के दर्शन होते हैं। बांके बिहारी के विग्रह में राधा कृष्ण दोनों ही समाए हुए हैं। जो भी श्री कृष्ण के इस विग्रह का दर्शन करता है उसकी मनोकामनाएं पूरी होती हैं। भगवान श्री कृष्ण अपने भक्त के कष्टों दूर कर देते हैं।

The gem which gave Lord Krishna two wives

 The Story of Syamantaka Gem, Jambavant duel with Lord Krishna and his marriage

Syamantaka gem, is a rare gem which had the power to bestow all sorts of good things to the person holding it. This jewel originally was with Sun God, who gave this to Satyajit, who was an ardent devotee of Sun God. Satyajit brought this gem to Dwarka, where Lord Krishna instructed him to give it to Ugrasena, but Satyajit did not listen.

Satyajit gave this to Prasen, who was once killed by a lion while he was wearing this gem. Shortly after, it was attacked by Jambavant, described as king of the ‘bears’ , who killed it after a fierce fight and took off with the bounty.

Lord Krishna and Jambavant

Lord Krishna and Jambavant

Prasen’s disappearance fed to rumour that Shri Krishna killed him, as he wanted the Gem himself. To get himself rid of this, he decided to solve the mystery, Soon he found the Prasen’s corpse, followed it and found Lion’s corpse and finally discovered Jambavant’s cave.

Soon a fierce battle was ensued between these two. After 28 days, Jambavant got tired and he wondered that who is this person who can stand up to him for a fight? He realized that he was none other than Lord Vishnu himself. He happily handed over the gem to Lord Krishna and got his daughter, Jambavati married to Lord.

Meanwhile, Lord Krishna’s companions, who waited for Krishna to come out of the cave, returned to Dwarka despondent. All of Krishna’s friends and family members became extremely sorrowful and began regularly worshiping Goddess Durga to assure the Lord’s safe return. Soon,  Krishna entered the city in the company of His new wife. He summoned Satrajit to the royal assembly and, after recounting to him the entire story of the Syamantaka jewel’s recovery, gave the jewel back to him.

Satrajit accepted the jewel, but with great shame and remorse. He went back to his home, and there he decided to offer Lord Krishna not only the jewel but also his daughter so as to atone for the offense he had committed against the Lord’s lotus feet. Sri Krishna accepted the hand of Satrajit’s daughter, Satyabhama, who was endowed with all divine qualities. But the jewel He refused, returning it to King Satrajit.

Lord Krishna and Satyabhama

Lord Krishna and Satyabhama

Note: Incidentally Lord Krishna’s battle with Jambavant is because of a boon given by Lord Rama. Jambavant, the played a major role in during the building of the bridge, appears in the Mahabharat. Lord Rama was pleased with Jambavant’s devotion and told him to ask for a boon. Jambavant wished for a duel with Lord Rama, which he granted, saying that it would be done in his next avatar.

More stories about Lord Krishna