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Shri Krishna and Hercules – indian and greek mythology

A comparison of Shri Krishna and Hercules – Gods from indian and greek mythology

Greek mythology and Indian mythology have some similarities. Earlier we saw that Shri Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu(god) had one weakness, that was in his heel. That was also the case with Achilles, one of the greatest warriors from Greek mythology.

If we follow the events of Hercules life, we come across similarity between him and Shri Krishna.

Birth of Hercules

When Hercules was born, he was not liked by his step-mother goddess Hera, wife of zeus. Hercules was born to Alcmene, who was deceived by Zeus in having believing him as her husband, Amphitryon. We again see a similarity between Greek and Indian mythology as Indra, the king of gods deceived Ahalya in the same way. Later, he was cursed by her husband, sage Gautam.

Hera – wife of Zeus

Hera wanted Hercules to be dead and she sent two serpents to kill him as he lay in his cot. Heracles throttled a single snake in each hand and was found by his nurse playing with their limp bodies as if they were a child’s toys.

Baby Hercules and Snakes

Interesting birth stories in Indian mythology


Shri Krishna and Putna

Above incident is quite similar to the infancy of Krishna when his uncle Kansa sent a number of demons to kill him. The famous incident was with Putna, who came to feed young Krishna, but lost her life.

Krishna and Putna

There is also another story of Hera feeding Hercules. Zeus had tricked Hera into nursing the infant Heracles: discovering who he was, she pulled him from her breast, and a spurt of her milk formed the smear across the sky that can be seen to
this day. This led to the origin of the Milky Way.

Milky way and Hercules

If we look at the above two images, we would realize that how similar Greek and Indian mythologies are. Krishna being a common factor.

(Read : Shri Krishna and Achilles)

Hercules went on to become the great warrior and is known for his many adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the “Twelve Labours. Shri Krishna’s whole life has been filled with adventures, with the greatest of them is the winning the Mahabharata for Pandavas.

Hercules’s twelve labours are listed as below:

Slay the Nemean Lion.
Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
Capture the Cretan Bull.
Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
Capture and bring back Cerberus.

Shri Krishna’s exploits can be found here.