After the birth of Lord Krishna, Kansa arranged for numerous attempts on his life, but every time, the Lord killed the person who was appointed for his killing. Following is an incident involving the demon Shakatasur.
KILLING OF SHAKATASUR
Festival in Gokul
When Lord Krishna was twenty-seven days old, a festival was organised in Gokul. Mata Yashoda bathed the Lord and the worshippers recited hymns. Yashoda observed that baby was feeling sleepy, so putting him in a cradle, she left him under a cart. The cart was loaded with pitchers of milk, curd and butter. After sometime, lord Krishna awoke and began to cry with hunger, but Yashoda could not hear his cries.
Shakatasur on a chariot
Meanwhile, Shakatasur rode the cart and wanted to kill Lord by crushing him under the cart. But before he could act, the Lord touched the cart with his feet and cart turned over and all the utensils kept on it came crashing down. The demon,who wanted to kill Lord, was himself crushed to death under the cart.
Other boys, who were playing nearby, informed the Gopis that the little Kanhaiya had turned over the loaded cart, but they did not believe the kids. Yashoda ran in horror and lifted the baby in her lap. The Brahmins recited pacifying hymns then. Thereafter the baby was bathed again with holy water. A feast of Brahmins followed then.
Liberation of Shakatasura
This is how, Shakatasur was killed by Lord Krishna.In previous life, he was a son of Hiranyaksa named Utkaca. He went to the hermitage of Lomasa Muni and broke some trees there and was cursed to become bodiless. (He had a huge body). He then fell at the Muni’s feet and begged for mercy. The Muni told him that in the next manvantara he would be touched by the foot of the Lord and would be liberated.
Shortly after the birth of Lord Krishna, Kansa started to think of ways to kill the child. After his discussion with evil ministers,, he sent a cruel ogress Pootana to kill all the newly born babies in his kingdom. In the guise of a pretty woman, she entered Gokul.
Pootana finds Lord Krishna
She searched for new-born babies and entered Nand’s home eventually. Baby Lord Krishna was sleeping in the cradle. He was aware of her arrival; but posed as if he were fast asleep. He was only six days old then.
Pootana’s breasts were filled with poison. Such as someone lifts a sleeping snake mistaking it for a rope. Similarly she lifted the baby who proved her death. Pootana took Lord Krishna to a secluded place and began to breastfeed him.
Lord Shiva was also there
Lord prayed to Lord Shiva who came to stay in His throat and drank all the poison from the milk. Thereafter the Lord began to suck her life. She could not withstand the pain began to cry loudly and writhe nervously.
End of Pootana
As her death approached, she regained her real, ogress appearance. All the men and women were frightened when they saw the huge, formidable body of ogress. But when they saw Krishna playing nearby, their fear gone and with joy they lifted the baby and soothed him.
Meanwhile, Nand and his fellow Gopas too arrived from Mathura. Pootana’s body testified the truth of Vasudev’s words. Gopas cut her body into many pieces and burnt them outside Gokul. When her body was burning, a sweet smell of Agar (a kind of scented wood used in incense making) spread all around. Because Lord himself had fed on her milk, So all her sins were destroyed.
Thus, we see that even the sins of a ogress were destroyed merely by feeding the lord. In a way, she got the distinction of becoming Lord’s mother.
Rakshabandhan or Rakhi, is a popular festival in India which is celebrated on the day of Shravan Poornima. This day, sister tie sacred threads on the wrists of their brothers wishing good health and long life to them. Following are few stories which signifies the power of the holy thread or Rakhi.
Rakhi – Krishna and Draupadi
Draupadi and Lord Krishna shared a strong bondage and though they were not real brother and sister, but their love was never lesser than that. One of the popular stories in our mythology is that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi, the wife Pandavas.
Following incident is mentioned in the Mahabharata.
According to one version on a Sankranti day, Krishna to cut his little finger while handling sugarcane. Sathyabama, his queen immediately sent her help to get a bandage cloth while his other consort, Rukmini rushed to bring some cloth herself.
Draupadi who was nearby, tore off a part of her sari and bandaged his finger. In return for this deed, Krishna promised to protect her in time of distress.
There is an another narrative related to this incident which says that while killing Shisupala, Krishna, held the lightning fast Sudarshana on his finger and sent it the king’s way. Within a second, Shishupala was beheaded.
Lord Krishna’s finger started bleeding and Draupadi, an ardent devotee of the Lord and the Pandavas’ wife, rushed to bandage the bleeding finger of her beloved Lord. She tore a small piece from her sari and tied it to the Lord’s hand.
Krishna was touched by this selfless token of affection and pledged to rush to Draupadi’s protection whenever needed. Draupadi used to tie a rakhi to the Lord’s hand every year and Krishna always showered His protection on her.
The word he is said to have uttered is ‘Akshyam’ which was a boon meaning ‘unending’.
And that was how Draupadi’s sari became endless and saved her embarrassment on the day of Cheerharan in Dhritarashtra’s court.
We know that Kamsa has imprisoned his sister and brother in law because of the Akshwani that eighth son of Devaki will kill him. He has killed seven of her sons and was waiting for the birth of eighth child. The day came was Amavasya of hindi month Bhadrapada. Following are the details of birth of Lord Krishna and events following him.
When the auspicious hour came, The star Rohini was shining. It was Vijaya Muhurta. All elements were extremely pleasant at the birth of Lord Krishna. Winds were blowing. The stars were shining with lustre. The lakes were filled with lotuses. Lord Krishna incarnated at midnight on this earth. The gods played divine music. The Kinnaras and Gandharvas sang. Siddhas and Charanas praised. The Vidyadharas (various grades of celestial beings) danced along with Apsaras, sages and Devas. There was a rain of flowers from the heavens in joy.
Lord Vishnu incarnated with lotus eyes, with four hands, armed with conch, disc, mace and lotus, with the diamond Kausthuba, with the mark Srivatsa adorning the chest, wearing silk Pitambara, with ear ornaments made of diamonds, with the crown made of several emeralds, with bracelets in the lower and upper arms and valuable waist-string. Vasudeva saw this marvel of a divine child.
Vasudeva praises Lord Krishna
Vasudeva praised Him, “Thou art known to me already as the Supreme Being. Thou art an embodiment of knowledge and bliss. Thou art seated in the hearts of all beings. Thou art the witness of the minds of all. Thou art beyond Maya and Avidya.” Devaki beheld marks of Vishnu on her son and praised Him, “Thou art beginning less, Omnipresent, self-luminous, attributeless, changeless and action less. Thou art the source and place of dissolution for everything. Kindly do not show me this form with four hands. Let me see you as an ordinary child. Withdraw this divine transcendental form. We are afraid of Kamsa.”
Lord Krishna suggested to take him to Gokula
The Lord said, “Let both of you often meditate with love on Me as a son and as the Supreme being as you will obtain eternal bliss and immortality.” The Lord assumed the form of a handsome baby through the power of his own Maya. The Lord said, “If you are afraid of Kamsa, then take me to Gokula and bring my Maya that is born there of Yasoda immediately.” Vasudeva took the baby and came out. The sentries became stupefied under the influence of Lord’s Maya and the people were all asleep. The doors which were locked, opened of their own accord. There was gentle rain. Adisesha spread forth his hoods like an umbrella to ward off rain. The deep Yamuna which was in floods with strong currents, made way for Vasudeva.
Vasudeva comes back with the female child
Vasudeva placed the child near the bed of Yasoda and took the female baby from there, he returned back to his prison-house and placed this Maya child near Devaki and put on his fetters as before on his legs.
Kamsa comes to kill the child
The sentries ran and told Kamsa of the birth of the child for Devaki. Kamsa soon got up from his bed, repaired to the place where Devaki was confined, and entered the room in which she was lying. The helpless Devaki told Kamsa, “O Kamsa! This child is your niece. It is not proper for you to kill a female child.” Kamsa threatened his sister and seized the child by her hands and dashed it on a stone.
The child warns Kamsa
The child slipped from his hands and rose high up into the sky. It was seen as the sister of Vishnu with eight hands. She was wearing the divine garland and robes and ornaments and adorned with the bow, trident, knife, conch, disc and mace. She was praised by the Siddhas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras. She said, “O fool! What benefit are you going to derive by killing me? He who is going to take your life is born elsewhere. He is your old enemy. Do not hurt in vain these helpless persons , Devaki, Vasudeva and other children.
‘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.
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 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.
1. Lord was born in Rohini Nakshatra as the eighth son of Devki and Vasudeva.
2. He brought back the son of his guru (teacher), Sandipani, who was dead. Thus he paid his Gurudakshina to Sage Sandipani.
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.
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.
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.
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, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Bhadra 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.
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.
7. He 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.
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. He 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.
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 Lord, 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 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.
20. Durvasa did not spare Lord 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.