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KRISHNA (/ˈkrɪʃnə/ ; ( listen ); Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: कृष्ण, IAST
IAST
: Kṛṣṇa) is a major deity in Hinduism
Hinduism
. He is the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu
Vishnu
and is also worshipped as the supreme God
God
in his own right.

He is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism
Hinduism
and is one of the most popular and widely revered among Indian divinities. Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu
Hindu
calendar , which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
.

Krishna
Krishna
is also known by numerous names, such as Govinda, Mukunda, Madhusudhana, Vasudeva, and Makhan chor in affection. The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Leela. He is a central character in the Mahabharata , Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
, and is mentioned in many Hindu
Hindu
philosophical , theological, and mythological texts. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, and as the supreme power. His iconography reflects these legends, and show him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter , a young boy playing a flute , a young man with Radha
Radha
or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna
Arjuna
.

The synonyms of Krishna
Krishna
have been traced to 1st millennium BCE literature. In some sub-traditions, Krishna
Krishna
is worshipped as Svayam Bhagavan, and this is sometimes referred to as Krishnaism . These sub-traditions arose in the medieval era Bhakti
Bhakti
movement context. Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatnatyam
Bharatnatyam
, Kathakali
Kathakali
, Kuchipudi , Odissi , and Manipuri dance . He is a pan- Hindu
Hindu
god, but is particularly revered in some locations such as Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
, Jagannatha
Jagannatha
in Odisha
Odisha
, Mayapur in West Bengal
West Bengal
, Dwarka
Dwarka
and Junagadh
Junagadh
in Gujarat
Gujarat
, Pandharpur in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
, Udupi
Udupi
in Karnataka
Karnataka
, and Nathdwara in Rajasthan
Rajasthan
. Since the 1960s the worship of Krishna
Krishna
has also spread to the Western world and to Africa, largely due to the work of the International Society for Krishna
Krishna
Consciousness (ISKCON) .

CONTENTS

* 1 Names and epithets * 2 Iconography

* 3 Historical and literary sources

* 3.1 Indo-Greek coinage * 3.2 Heliodorus pillar
Heliodorus pillar
and other inscriptions

* 4 Life and legends

* 4.1 Birth * 4.2 Childhood and youth * 4.3 Adulthood * 4.4 Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
* 4.5 Death * 4.6 Inconsistencies

* 5 Proposed datings * 6 Philosophy and theology

* 7 Influence

* 7.1 Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
* 7.2 Early traditions

* 7.3 Bhakti
Bhakti
tradition

* 7.3.1 Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
* 7.3.2 Outside Asia

* 7.4 Southeast Asia

* 8 Performance arts

* 9 Other religions

* 9.1 Jainism
Jainism
* 9.2 Buddhism
Buddhism
* 9.3 Bahá\'í Faith * 9.4 Ahmadiyya * 9.5 Other

* 10 See also * 11 Notes

* 12 References

* 12.1 Bibliography

* 13 External links

NAMES AND EPITHETS

Main article: List of titles and names of Krishna Head of Krishna
Krishna
cartoon for a mural of the Raslila, ca. 1800. in Metropolitan Museum of Art

The name "Krishna" originates from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word Kṛṣṇa, which is primarily an adjective meaning "black", "dark", or "dark blue". The waning moon is called Krishna
Krishna
Paksha , relating to the adjective meaning "darkening". The name is also interpreted sometimes as "all-attractive".

As a name of Vishnu
Vishnu
, Krishna
Krishna
is listed as the 57th name in the Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama . Based on his name, Krishna
Krishna
is often depicted in idols as black- or blue-skinned. Krishna
Krishna
is also known by various other names, epithets, and titles that reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Mohan "enchanter", Govinda , "chief herdsman", Gopala , "Protector of the 'Go' – "Soul" or the cows". Some of the names may be regionally important as, for example, Jagannatha
Jagannatha
, a popular incarnation of Puri , in Odisha
Odisha
in eastern India.

ICONOGRAPHY

Krishna
Krishna
with cows, herdsmen, and Gopis

Krishna
Krishna
is represented in the Indian traditions in many ways, but with some common features. His iconography typically depicts him with black, dark, or blue skin, like Vishnu
Vishnu
. However, ancient and medieval reliefs and stone-based arts depict him in the natural color of the material out of which he is formed, both in India
India
and in southeast Asia. In some texts, his skin is poetically described as the color of Jambul ( Jamun , a purple-colored fruit).

Krishna
Krishna
is often depicted wearing a peacock-feather wreath or crown, and playing the bansuri (Indian flute). In this form, he is usually shown standing with one leg bent in front of the other in the Tribhanga
Tribhanga
posture. He is sometimes accompanied by cows or a calf, which symbolise the divine herdsman Govinda. Alternatively, he is shown as an amorous man with the gopis (milkmaids), often making music or playing pranks. Krishna
Krishna
lifting Govardhana at Bharat Kala Bhavan , recovered from a Muslim graveyard in Varanasi. It is dated to the Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
era (4th/6th-century CE).

In other icons he is a part of battlefield scenes of the epic Mahabharata . He is shown as a charioteer, notably when he is addressing the Pandava prince Arjuna
Arjuna
character, symbolically reflecting the events that led to the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
– a scripture of Hinduism. In these popular depictions, Krishna
Krishna
appears in the front as the charioteer, either as a counsel listening to Arjuna, or as the driver of the chariot while Arjuna
Arjuna
aims his arrows in the battlefield of Kurukshetra .

Alternate icons of Krishna
Krishna
show him as a baby ( Bala Krishna , Bāla Kṛṣṇa the child Krishna), a toddler crawling on his hands and knees, a dancing child, or an innocent-looking child playfully stealing or consuming butter (Makkan Chor) or holding Laddu in his hand ( Laddu Gopal). Regional variations in the iconography of Krishna
Krishna
are seen in his different forms, such as Jaganatha in Odisha, Vithoba in Maharashtra, Venkateswara (also Srinivasa or Balaji) in Andhra Pradesh, and Shrinathji
Shrinathji
in Rajasthan.

Guidelines for the preparation of Krishna
Krishna
icons in design and architecture are described in medieval-era Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts on Hindu temple arts such as Vaikhanasa agama , Vishnu
Vishnu
dharmottara, Brihat samhita, and Agni
Agni
Purana . Similarly, early medieval-era Tamil texts also contain guidelines for sculpting Krishna
Krishna
and Rukmini Devi
Devi
(she is sometimes referred to as Sauriraja-pperumal in Tamil). Several statues made according to these guidelines are in the collections of the Government Museum, Chennai .

HISTORICAL AND LITERARY SOURCES

See also: Krishna
Krishna
in the Mahabharata Krishna
Krishna
is celebrated in the Vaishnava tradition in various stages of his life, such as Makkan chor (butter thief).

The earliest text containing detailed descriptions of Krishna
Krishna
as a personality is the epic Mahabharata , which depicts Krishna
Krishna
as an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna
Krishna
is central to many of the main stories of the epic. The eighteen chapters of the sixth book ( Bhishma Parva) of the epic that constitute the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
contain the advice of Krishna
Krishna
to Arjuna
Arjuna
on the battlefield. The Harivamsa , a later appendix to the Mahabharata contains a detailed version of Krishna's childhood and youth.

The Chandogya Upanishad , estimated to have been composed sometime between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE, has been another source of speculation regarding Krishna
Krishna
in ancient India. Verse 3.17.6 mentions Krishna
Krishna
Devakiputra (Sanskrit: कृष्णाय देवकीपुत्रा) as a student of the sage Ghora Angirasa. This phrase, which means " Krishna
Krishna
the son of Devaki ", has been mentioned by scholars such as Max Muller
Max Muller
as a potential source of fables and Vedic lore about Krishna
Krishna
in the Mahabharata and other ancient literature – only potential because this verse could have been interpolated into the text, or the Krishna
Krishna
Devikaputra could be different from the deity Krishna. These doubts are supported by the fact that the much later age Sandilya Bhakti
Bhakti
Sutras, a treatise on Krishna, cites later age compilations such as the Narayana Upanishad but never cites this verse of the Chandogya Upanishad. Other scholars disagree that the Krishna
Krishna
mentioned along with Devika in the ancient Upanishad is unrelated to the later Hindu
Hindu
god of the Bhagavad Gita fame. For example, Archer states that the coincidence of the two names appearing together in the same Upanishad verse cannot be dismissed easily.

Yāska 's Nirukta , an etymological dictionary published around the 6th century BCE, contains a reference to the Shyamantaka jewel in the possession of Akrura , a motif from the well-known Puranic story about Krishna. Shatapatha Brahmana
Brahmana
and Aitareya- Aranyaka associate Krishna with his Vrishni origins.

Pāṇini
Pāṇini
, the ancient grammarian and author of Asthadhyayi (probably belonged to the 5th or 6th century BCE), mentions a character called Vāsudeva, son of Vasudeva. Bala Krishna dancing, 14th century CE Chola
Chola
sculpture, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
, in the Honolulu Academy of Arts

Megasthenes
Megasthenes
, a Greek ethnographer and an ambassador of Seleucus I to the court of Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
towards the end of 4th century BCE, made reference to Herakles in his famous work Indica . This text is now lost to history, but was quoted in secondary literature by later Greeks such as Arrian , Diodorus , and Strabo
Strabo
. According to these texts, Megasthenes
Megasthenes
mentioned that the Sourasenoi tribe of India, who worshipped Herakles, had two major cities named Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river named the Jobares. According to Edwin Bryant , a professor of Indian religions known for his publications on Krishna, "there is little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna
Krishna
belonged". The word Herakles, states Bryant, is likely a Greek phonetic equivalent of Hari-Krishna, as is Methora of Mathura, Kleisobora of Krishnapura, and the Jobares of Jamuna . Later, when Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
launched his campaign in the northwest Indian subcontinent , his associates recalled that the soldiers of Porus were carrying an image of Herakles.

The Buddhist
Buddhist
Pali canon and the Ghata-Jâtaka (No. 454) polemically mention the devotees of Vâsudeva and Baladeva. These texts have many peculiarities and may be a garbled and confused version of the Krishna legends. The texts of Jainism
Jainism
mention these tales as well, also with many peculiarities and different versions, in their legends about Tirthankaras . This inclusion of Krishna-related legends in ancient Buddhist
Buddhist
and Jaina literature suggests that Krishna
Krishna
theology was existent and important in the religious landscape observed by non- Hindu
Hindu
traditions of ancient India.

INDO-GREEK COINAGE

Krishna
Krishna
as Vasudeva on a coin of Agathocles of Bactria , c. 180 BCE

Around 180 BCE the Indo-Greek king Agathocles issued some coinage bearing images of deities that are now interpreted as being related to Vaisnava imagery in India
India
. The deities displayed on the coins appear to be Vishnu
Vishnu
's avatars Balarama
Balarama
-Sankarshana with attributes consisting of the Gada mace and the plow , and Vasudeva-Krishna with attributes of the Shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra
Sudarshana Chakra
wheel. According to Bopearachchi
Bopearachchi
, the headdress on top of the deity is actually a misrepresentation of a shaft with a half-moon parasol on top (chattra ). Heliodorus Pillar in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh , erected about 120 BCE. The inscription states that Heliodorus is a Bhagvatena, and a couplet in the inscription closely paraphrases a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
verse from the Mahabharata.

The ancient Sanskrit
Sanskrit
grammarian Patanjali
Patanjali
in his Mahabhashya makes several references to Krishna
Krishna
and his associates found in later Indian texts. In his commentary on Panini's verse 3.1.26, he also uses the word Kamsavadha or the "killing of Kamsa", an important part of the legends surrounding Krishna.

HELIODORUS PILLAR AND OTHER INSCRIPTIONS

A pillar with a Brahmi script inscription was discovered by colonial era archaeologists in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh . Using modern techniques, it has been dated to between 125 and 100 BCE, and traced to an Indo-Greek who served as an ambassador of the Greek king Antialcidas to a regional Indian king. Named after the Indo-Greek, it is now known as the Heliodorus pillar
Heliodorus pillar
. Its inscription is a dedication to "Vasudeva", another name for Krishna
Krishna
in the Indian tradition. Scholars consider the "Vasudeva" to be referring to a deity, because the inscription states that it was constructed by "the Bhagavata Heliodorus" and that it is a " Garuda
Garuda
pillar" (both are Vishnu-Krishna-related terms). Additionally, the inscription includes a Krishna-related verse from chapter 11.7 of the Mahabharata stating that the path to immortality and heaven is to correctly live a life of three virtues: self-temperance (damah), generosity (cagah or tyaga), and vigilance (apramadah).

The Heliodorus inscription is not an isolated evidence. For example, three Hathibada inscriptions and one Ghosundi inscription, all located in the state of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
and dated by modern methodology to the 1st century BCE, mention Samkarsana and Vasudeva, also mention that the structure was built for their worship. These four inscriptions are notable for being some of the oldest-known Sanskrit
Sanskrit
inscriptions.

A Mora stone slab found at the Mathura- Vrindavan archaeological site in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
, held now in the Mathura Museum , has a Brahmi inscription. It is dated to the 1st century CE and lists five Vrishni heroes: Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna , Aniruddha , and Samba
Samba
. Another terracotta plaque from the same site shows an infant being carried by an adult over his head, similar to the legend about Krishna's birth.

Many Puranas
Puranas
tell Krishna's life story or some highlights from it. Two Puranas, the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
and the Vishnu Purana
Vishnu Purana
, contain the most elaborate telling of Krishna's story, but the life stories of Krishna
Krishna
in these and other texts vary, and contain significant inconsistencies. The Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
consists of twelve books subdivided into 332 chapters, with a cumulative total of between 16,000 and 18,000 verses depending on the version. The tenth book of the text, with about 4,000 verses (~25%) and dedicated to legends about Krishna, has been the most popular and widely studied part of this text.

LIFE AND LEGENDS

Vasudeva carrying the newborn Krishna
Krishna
to Nand's house in Gokul via the river Yamuna

This summary is a mythological account, based on literary details from the Mahābhārata , the Harivamsa , the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
, and the Vishnu Purana
Vishnu Purana
. The scenes from the narrative are set in ancient India
India
, mostly in the present states of Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
, Bihar
Bihar
, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
, Haryana , Delhi
Delhi
, and Gujarat
Gujarat
. The legends about Krishna's life are called Krishna
Krishna
charitas ( IAST
IAST
: Kṛṣṇacaritas).

BIRTH

In Krishna
Krishna
charitas, Krishna
Krishna
is born to Devaki and her husband, Vasudeva of the Chandravanshi clan. Devaki's brother is a tyrant named Kamsa . At Devaki's wedding, according to Puranic legends, Kamsa is told by fortune tellers that a child of Devaki would kill him. Kamsa arranges to kill all of Devaki's children. When Krishna
Krishna
is born, Vasudeva secretly carries the infant Krishna
Krishna
away across the Yamuna and exchanges him. When Kamsa tries to kill the newborn, the exchanged baby appears as the Hindu
Hindu
goddess Durga
Durga
, warning him that his death has arrived in his kingdom, and then disappears, according to the legends in the Puranas. Krishna
Krishna
grows up with Nanda and his wife Yasoda near modern-day Mathura . Two of Krishna's siblings also survive, namely Balarama
Balarama
and Subhadra , according to these legends.

CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH

Krishna
Krishna
holding Govardhan hill as depicted in Pahari painting

The legends of Krishna's childhood and youth describe him as a cow herder, a mischievous boy whose pranks earns him the nickname a Makhan Chor (butter thief), and a protector who steals the hearts of the people in both Gokul and Vrindavana. The texts state, for example, that Krishna
Krishna
lifts the Govardhana hill
Govardhana hill
to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavana from devastating rains and floods. Krishna
Krishna
with Radha

Other legends describe him as an enchanter and playful lover of the gopis (milkmaids) of Vrindavana, especially Radha
Radha
. These metaphor-filled love stories are known as the Rasa lila and were romanticised in the poetry of Jayadeva , author of the Gita Govinda . They are also central to the development of the Krishna
Krishna
bhakti traditions worshiping Radha
Radha
Krishna
Krishna
.

Krishna's childhood reinforces the Hindu
Hindu
concept of lila , playing for fun and enjoyment and not for sport or gain. His interaction with the gopis at the rasa dance or Rasa-lila is an example. Krishna
Krishna
plays his flute and the gopis come immediately, from whatever they were doing, to the banks of the Yamuna River , and join him in singing and dancing. Even those who could not physically be there join him through meditation. He is the spiritual essence and the love-eternal in existence, the gopis metaphorically represent the prakṛti matter and the impermanent body.

This lila is a constant theme in the legends of Krishna's childhood and youth. Even when he is battling with a serpent to protect others, he is described in Hindu texts as if he were playing a game. This quality of playfulness in Krishna
Krishna
is celebrated during festivals as Rasa-lila and Janmashtami , where Hindus in some regions such as Maharashtra
Maharashtra
playfully mimic his legends, such as by making human gymnastic pyramids to break open handis (clay pots) hung high in the air to "steal" butter or buttermilk, spilling it all over the group.

ADULTHOOD

Krishna
Krishna
with his consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama
Satyabhama
and his mount Garuda
Garuda
, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
, India, late 12th–13th century

Krishna
Krishna
legends then describe his return to Mathura. He overthrows and kills the tyrant king and uncle Kamsa after quelling several assassination attempts by Kamsa. He reinstates Kamsa's father, Ugrasena , as the king of the Yadavas and becomes a leading prince at the court. During this period, he becomes a friend of Arjuna
Arjuna
and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom. Krishna
Krishna
plays a key role in the Mahabharata. After the war is over, he leads his Yadava subjects to the city of Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat
Gujarat
).

In Hindu
Hindu
traditions, Krishna
Krishna
is considered the eighth avatar of Vishnu
Vishnu
. Krishna
Krishna
marries the Ashtabharyas or the eight principle queens ( Rukmini , Satyabhama
Satyabhama
, Jambavati , Kalindi , Mitravinda , Nagnajiti , Bhadra , and Lakshmana ). He also marries about 16,000-16,100 women known as his junior queens , he accepted them as his wives upon their insistence to save their dignity and honor because society who saw them as slaves of the demon king Narakasura . The chief wife among these junior wives is Rohini . His lover, who he is most commonly seen with in images and idols is Radha
Radha
. All of his wives and his lover Radha
Radha
are considered in the Hindu
Hindu
tradition to be the avatars of the goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi
, the consort of Vishnu
Vishnu
. Gopis are considered as Radha's many forms and manifestations.

KURUKSHETRA WAR AND BHAGAVAD GITA

Main articles: Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
Iconographic representation in an Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
temple of Krishna
Krishna
and Arjuna
Arjuna
at the Kurukshetra War

According to the epic poem Mahabharata, Krishna
Krishna
becomes Arjuna's charioteer for the Kurukshetra War , but on the condition that he personally will not raise any weapon. Upon arrival at the battlefield, and seeing that the enemies are his family, his grandfather, and his cousins and loved ones, Arjuna
Arjuna
is moved and says his heart will not allow him to fight and kill others. He would rather renounce the kingdom and put down his Gandiv (Arjuna's bow). Krishna
Krishna
then advises him about the nature of life, ethics, and morality when one is faced with a war between good and evil, the impermanence of matter, the permanence of the soul and the good, duties and responsibilities, the nature of true peace and bliss and the different types of yoga to reach this state of bliss and inner liberation. This conversation between Krishna
Krishna
and Arjuna
Arjuna
is presented as a discourse called the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
.

DEATH

Main article: Mausala Parva
Mausala Parva

It is stated in the Indian texts that the legendary Kurukshetra War leads to the death of all the hundred sons of Gandhari. On the night before Duryodhana's death, Krishna
Krishna
visits Gandhari to offer his condolences. Feeling that Krishna
Krishna
deliberately did not put an end to the war, in a fit of rage and sorrow Gandhari places a curse on Krishna
Krishna
that he, along with everyone else from his Yadu dynasty, will perish. According to the Mahabharata, an internecine fight breaks out at a festival among the Yadavas, who end up killing each other. Mistaking the sleeping Krishna
Krishna
for a deer, a hunter named Jara shoots an arrow that fatally injures him. Krishna
Krishna
forgives Jara and dies. The pilgrimage (tirtha ) site of Bhalka
Bhalka
in Gujarat
Gujarat
marks the location where Krishna
Krishna
is believed to have died. It is also known as Dehotsarga, states Diana L. Eck , a term that literally means the place where Krishna
Krishna
"gave up his body".

INCONSISTENCIES

There are numerous versions of Krishna's life story, of which three are most studied: the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Vishnu Purana. They share the basic storyline but vary significantly in their specifics, details, and styles. The most original composition, the Harivamsa is told in a realistic style that describes Krishna's life as a poor herder but weaves in poetic and allusive fantasy. It ends on a triumphal note, not with the death of Krishna. Differing in some details, the fifth book of the Vishnu Purana
Vishnu Purana
moves away from Harivamsa realism and embeds Krishna
Krishna
in mystical terms and eulogies. The Vishnu Purana
Vishnu Purana
manuscripts exist in many versions.

The tenth and eleventh books of the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
are a poetic masterpiece, full of imagination and metaphors, with no relation to the realism of pastoral life found in the Harivamsa. Krishna's life is presented as a cosmic play (lila), where his youth is set as a princely life with his foster father Nanda portrayed as a king. Krishna's life is closer to that of a human being in Harivamsa, but is a symbolic universe in the Bhagavata Purana, where Krishna
Krishna
is within the universe and beyond it, as well as the universe itself, always. The Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
manuscripts also exist in many versions, in numerous Indian languages.

PROPOSED DATINGS

See also: Vedic-Puranic chronology and History of Hinduism
Hinduism
14th-century fresco of Krishna
Krishna
in Udaipur
Udaipur
, Rajasthan
Rajasthan

The date of Krishna's birth is celebrated every year as Janmashtami . According to mythologies in the Jain tradition, Krishna
Krishna
was a cousin of Neminatha , the 22nd Tirthankara of the Jains. Neminatha is believed in the Jain tradition to have been born 84,000 years before the 9th-century BCE Parshvanatha
Parshvanatha
. Based on interpreting the events and circumstances described in the Puranas, several Indian sources place Krishna
Krishna
as an actual historic person and to a much later period, about 3100 BCE.

Other scholars such as Hazra and Rocher state that the Puranas
Puranas
are not a reliable source for dating Krishna
Krishna
or Indian history, because the content therein about kings, various peoples, sages, and kingdoms is highly inconsistent across the manuscripts. They state that these stories are probably based in part on real events, in part on hagiography , and in part embellished by expansive imagination. A high degree of inconsistency and manuscript corruption occurred particularly from the 12th century onwards, evidenced by cross referencing the texts; Matsya
Matsya
Purana, for example, stated that Kurma Purana has 18,000 verses, while Agni
Agni
Purana asserts the same text has 8,000 verses, and Naradiya attests that the Kurma manuscript has 17,000 verses. The Puranic literature has gone through slow redaction and text corruption over time, as well as sudden deletion of numerous chapters and its replacement with new content to an extent that the currently circulating Puranas
Puranas
are completely different from those that existed before the 11th century, or 16th century. For example, a newly discovered palm-leaf manuscript in Nepal
Nepal
has been dated to be from 810 CE, but is quite different from versions of the same Purana text that have been circulating in South Asia since the colonial era.

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

A wide range of theological and philosophical ideas are presented through Krishna
Krishna
in Hindu
Hindu
texts. Ramanuja
Ramanuja
presented him in terms of qualified monism (Vishishtadvaita). Madhvacharya presented Krishna
Krishna
in the framework of dualism (Dvaita). Jiva Goswami described Krishna theology in terms of Bhakti yoga and Achintya Bheda Abheda . Krishna theology is presented in a pure monism (advaita , called shuddhadvaita) framework by Vallabha Acharya . Madhusudana Sarasvati presented Krishna
Krishna
theology in nondualism-monism framework (Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
), while Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
in the early 8th century mentioned Krishna
Krishna
in his discussions on Panchayatana puja .

The Bhagavata Purana, a popular text on Krishna
Krishna
considered to be like a scripture in Assam
Assam
, synthesizes an Advaita, Samkhya, and Yoga framework for Krishna
Krishna
but one that proceeds through loving devotion to Krishna. Bryant describes the synthesis of ideas in Bhagavata Purana as,

The philosophy of the Bhagavata is a mixture of Vedanta
Vedanta
terminology, Samkhyan metaphysics and devotionalized Yoga
Yoga
praxis. (...) The tenth book promotes Krishna
Krishna
as the highest absolute personal aspect of godhead – the personality behind the term Ishvara
Ishvara
and the ultimate aspect of Brahman
Brahman
. — Edwin Bryant, Krishna: A Sourcebook

While Sheridan and Pintchman both affirm Bryant's view, the latter adds that the Vedantic view emphasized in the Bhagavata is non-dualist with a difference. In conventional nondual Vedanta
Vedanta
all reality is an interconnected and one, the Bhagavata posits that the reality is interconnected and plural.

Across the various theologies and philosophies, the common theme presents Krishna
Krishna
as the essence and symbol of divine love, with human life and love as a reflection of the divine. The longing and love-filled legends of Krishna
Krishna
and the gopis, his playful pranks as a baby, as well as his later dialogues with other characters, are philosophically treated as metaphors for the human longing for the divine and for meaning, and the play between the universals and the human soul. Krishna's lila is a theology of love-play. According to John Koller, "love is presented not simply as a means to salvation, it is the highest life". Human love is God's love.

Other texts that include Krishna
Krishna
such as the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
have attracted numerous bhasya (commentaries) in the Hindu
Hindu
traditions. Though only a part of the Hindu
Hindu
epic Mahabharata, it has functioned as an independent spiritual guide. It allegorically raises through Krishna
Krishna
and Arjuna
Arjuna
the ethical and moral dilemmas of human life, then presents a spectrum of answers, weighing in on the ideological questions on human freedoms, choices, and responsibilities towards self and towards others. This Krishna
Krishna
dialogue has attracted numerous interpretations, from being a metaphor of inner human struggle teaching non-violence, to being a metaphor of outer human struggle teaching a rejection of quietism to persecution.

INFLUENCE

VAISHNAVISM

Main article: Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism

Part of a series on

VAISHNAVISM

Supreme deity

* Vishnu
Vishnu
* Krishna * Rama
Rama

Important deities Dashavatara
Dashavatara

* Matsya
Matsya
* Kurma * Varaha * Narasimha * Vamana
Vamana
* Parasurama * Rama
Rama
* Balarama
Balarama
* Krishna * Buddha
Buddha
* Kalki
Kalki

Other Avatars

* Mohini
Mohini
* Nara-Narayana * Hayagriva
Hayagriva

Related

* Lakshmi
Lakshmi
* Sita
Sita
* Hanuman
Hanuman
* Shesha
Shesha

Texts

* Vedas * Upanishads * Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
* Divya Prabandha
Divya Prabandha
* Ramcharitmanas
Ramcharitmanas

Puranas
Puranas

* Vishnu
Vishnu
* Bhagavata * Naradiya * Garuda
Garuda
* Padma * Agni
Agni

Sampradayas

* Sri ( Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
) * Brahma
Brahma
( Dvaita
Dvaita
, Acintyabhedabheda ) * Rudra
Rudra
( Shuddhadvaita
Shuddhadvaita
) * Nimbarka ( Dvaitadvaita )

Philosophers–acharyas

* Nammalvar * Yamunacharya * Ramanuja
Ramanuja
* Madhva * Chaitanya * Vallabha
Vallabha
* Sankardev * Madhavdev * Nimbarka * Pillai Lokacharya * Prabhupada * Vedanta
Vedanta
Desika

Related traditions

* Bhagavatism
Bhagavatism
* Pancharatra * Tattvavada * Pushtimarg * Radha
Radha
Krishna
Krishna
* ISKCON * Swaminarayan
Swaminarayan
* Ekasarana * Pranami * Ramanandi * Vaikhanasas

Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

* v * t * e

The worship of Krishna
Krishna
is part of Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
, a major tradition within Hinduism. Krishna
Krishna
is considered a full avatar of Vishnu, or one with Vishnu
Vishnu
himself. However, the exact relationship between Krishna and Vishnu
Vishnu
is complex and diverse, with Krishna
Krishna
sometimes considered an independent deity and supreme. Vaishnavas accept many incarnations of Vishnu, but Krishna
Krishna
is particularly important. Their theologies are generally centered either on Vishnu
Vishnu
or an avatar such as Krishna
Krishna
as supreme. The terms Krishnaism and Vishnuism have sometimes been used to distinguish the two, the former implying that Krishna
Krishna
is the transcendent Supreme Being. Rasa Lila in Manipuri dance
Manipuri dance
style

All Vaishnava traditions recognise Krishna
Krishna
as the eighth avatar of Vishnu; others identify Krishna
Krishna
with Vishnu, while traditions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
, Vallabha
Vallabha
Sampradaya and the Nimbarka Sampradaya regard Krishna
Krishna
as the Svayam Bhagavan, the original form of Lord or the same as the concept of Brahman
Brahman
in Hinduism. Gitagovinda of Jayadeva considers Krishna
Krishna
to be the supreme lord while the ten incarnations are his forms. Swaminarayan
Swaminarayan
, the founder of the Swaminarayan
Swaminarayan
Sampraday , also worshipped Krishna
Krishna
as God
God
himself. "Greater Krishnaism" corresponds to the second and dominant phase of Vaishnavism, revolving around the cults of the Vasudeva , Krishna, and Gopala of the late Vedic period
Vedic period
. Today the faith has a significant following outside of India
India
as well.

EARLY TRADITIONS

The deity Krishna- Vasudeva (kṛṣṇa vāsudeva "Krishna, the son of Vasudeva ") is historically one of the earliest forms of worship in Krishnaism and Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
. It is believed to be a significant tradition of the early history of Krishna
Krishna
religion in antiquity. Thereafter, there was an amalgamation of various similar traditions. These include ancient Bhagavatism
Bhagavatism
, the cult of Gopala , of "Krishna Govinda" (cow-finding Krishna), of Balakrishna (baby Krishna) and of " Krishna
Krishna
Gopivallabha" ( Krishna
Krishna
the lover). According to Andre Couture, the Harivamsa contributed to the synthesis of various characters as aspects of Krishna.

BHAKTI TRADITION

Main articles: Bhakti
Bhakti
movement and Bhakti yoga Krishna
Krishna
has been a major part of the Bhakti
Bhakti
movement .

The use of the term bhakti, meaning devotion, is not confined to any one deity. However, Krishna
Krishna
is an important and popular focus of the devotionalism tradition within Hinduism, particularly among the Vaishnava sects. Devotees of Krishna
Krishna
subscribe to the concept of lila , meaning 'divine play', as the central principle of the universe. It is a form of bhakti yoga, one of three types of yoga discussed by Krishna
Krishna
in the Bhagavad Gita.

Indian Subcontinent

The bhakti movements devoted to Krishna
Krishna
became prominent in southern India
India
in the 7th to 9th centuries CE. The earliest works included those of the Alvar saints of the Tamil country. A major collection of their works is the Divya Prabandham . The Alvar Andal
Andal
's popular collection of songs Tiruppavai , in which she conceives of herself as a gopi, is the most famous of the oldest works in this genre. Krishna
Krishna
(left) with Radha
Radha
at Bhaktivedanta Manor
Bhaktivedanta Manor
, Watford
Watford
, England

The movement originated in South India
India
during the 7th CE, spreading northwards from Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
through Karnataka
Karnataka
and Maharashtra; by the 15th century, it was established in Bengal and northern India. Early Bhakti
Bhakti
pioneers include Nimbarka (12th or 13th century CE), but most emerged later, including Vallabhacharya (15th century CE) and (Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
. They started their own schools, namely Nimbarka Sampradaya , Vallabha
Vallabha
Sampradaya , and Gaudiya Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
, with Krishna
Krishna
as the supreme god.

In the Deccan
Deccan
, particularly in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
, saint poets of the Varkari sect such as Dnyaneshwar , Namdev , Janabai , Eknath , and Tukaram promoted the worship of Vithoba , a local form of Krishna, from the beginning of the 13th century until the late 18th century. In southern India, Purandara Dasa and Kanakadasa of Karnataka
Karnataka
composed songs devoted to the Krishna
Krishna
image of Udupi
Udupi
. Rupa Goswami of Gaudiya Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
has compiled a comprehensive summary of bhakti called Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu.

In South India, the acharyas of the Sri Sampradaya have written reverentially about Krishna
Krishna
in most of their works, including the Thiruppavai by Andal
Andal
and Gopala Vimshati by Vedanta
Vedanta
Desika .

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala states have many major Krishna
Krishna
temples, and Janmashtami is one of the widely celebrated festivals in South India.

Outside Asia

An ISKCON temple in Luçay-le-Mâle , France

By 1965 the Krishna-bhakti movement had spread outside India
India
after Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (as instructed by his guru , Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura ) traveled from his homeland in West Bengal to New York City
New York City
. A year later in 1966, after gaining many followers, he was able to form the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishna
Krishna
movement. The purpose of this movement was to write about Krishna
Krishna
in English and to share the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy with people in the Western world by spreading the teachings of the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
. In the biographies of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the mantra he received when he was given diksha or initiation in Gaya was the six-word verse of the Kali-Santarana Upanishad , namely "Hare Krishna
Krishna
Hare Krishna, Krishna
Krishna
Krishna
Krishna
Hare Hare; Hare Rama
Rama
Hare Rama, Rama
Rama
Rama
Rama
Hare Hare". In Gaudiya tradition, it is the maha-mantra, or great mantra, about Krishna
Krishna
bhakti . Its chanting was known as hari-nama sankirtana.

The maha-mantra gained the attention of George Harrison
George Harrison
and John Lennon of the Beatles fame, and Harrison produced a 1969 recording of the mantra by devotees from the London
London
Radha
Radha
Krishna
Krishna
Temple . Titled "Hare Krishna
Krishna
Mantra ", the song reached the top twenty on the UK music charts and was also successful in West Germany
West Germany
and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
. The mantra of the Upanishad thus helped bring Bhaktivedanta and ISKCON ideas about Krishna
Krishna
into the West. ISCKON has built many Krishna
Krishna
temples in the West, as well as other locations such as South Africa
South Africa
.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Krishna
Krishna
lifts "Govardhan" mountain, a 7th-century artwork from a Da Nang , Vietnam
Vietnam
, archaeological site

Krishna
Krishna
is found in southeast Asian history and art, but to a far less extent than Shiva
Shiva
, Durga
Durga
, Nandi , Agastya
Agastya
, and Buddha
Buddha
. In temples (candi) of the archaeological sites in hilly volcanic Java
Java
, Indonesia, temple reliefs do not portray his pastoral life or his role as the erotic lover, nor do the historic Javanese Hindu
Hindu
texts. Rather, either his childhood or the life as a king and Arjuna's companion have been more favored. The most elaborate temple arts of Krishna
Krishna
are found in a series of Krsnayana reliefs in the Prambanan Hindu
Hindu
temple complex near Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta
. These are dated to the 9th century CE. Krishna
Krishna
remained a part of the Javanese cultural and theological fabric through the 14th century, as evidenced by the 14th-century Penataran reliefs along with those of the Hindu
Hindu
god Rama in east Java, before Islam replaced Buddhism
Buddhism
and Hinduism
Hinduism
on the island.

The medieval era arts of Vietnam
Vietnam
and Cambodia
Cambodia
feature Krishna. The earliest surviving sculptures and reliefs are from the 6th and 7th century, and these include Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
iconography. According to John Guy, the curator and director of southeast Asian arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Krishna
Krishna
Govardhana art from 6th/7th-century Vietnam
Vietnam
at Danang , and 7th-century Cambodia
Cambodia
at Phnom Da cave in Angkor Borei , are some of the most sophisticated of this era.

Krishna
Krishna
iconography has also been found in Thailand
Thailand
, along with those of Surya
Surya
and Vishnu
Vishnu
. For example, a large number of sculptures and icons have been found in the Si Thep and Klangnai sites in the Phetchabun region of northern Thailand. These are dated to about the 7th and 8th century, from both the Funan and Zhenla periods archaeological sites.

PERFORMANCE ARTS

The Krishna
Krishna
legends in the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
have inspired many performance arts repertoire, such as Kathak
Kathak
(left), Kuchipudi (middle) and Odissi (right).

Indian dance and music theatre traces its origins and techniques to the ancient Sama Veda and Natyasastra texts. The stories enacted and the numerous choreographic themes are inspired by the mythologies and legends in Hindu
Hindu
texts, including Krishna-related literature such as Harivamsa and Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
.

The Krishna
Krishna
stories have played a key role in the history of Indian theatre, music, and dance, particularly through the tradition of Ras and Leela . These are dramatic enactments of Krishna's childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The themes range from his innocent frolics as a child, to his expressing his confusion and doubts about approaching girls, to him wooing and romancing gopis (girls in the cow herding community), who meet him secretly thus getting in trouble with their parents, to his intimacy with his beloved Radha, to his playing the flute while saving the world from all sorts of troubles and thus preserving the dharma . Some of the text's legends have inspired secondary theatre literature such as the eroticism in Gita Govinda . A Kathak
Kathak
performance

Krishna-related literature such as the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
accords a metaphysical significance to the performances and treats them as religious ritual, infusing daily life with spiritual meaning, thus representing a good, honest, happy life. Similarly, Krishna-inspired performances aim to cleanse the hearts of faithful actors and listeners. Singing, dancing, and performance of any part of Krishna Lila is an act of remembering the dharma in the text, as a form of para bhakti (supreme devotion). To remember Krishna
Krishna
at any time and in any art, asserts the text, is to worship the good and the divine.

Classical dance styles such as Kathak
Kathak
, Odissi , Manipuri , Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam
Bharatnatyam
in particular are known for their Krishna-related performances. Krisnattam (Krishnattam) traces its origins to Krishna legends, and is linked to another major classical Indian dance form called Kathakali
Kathakali
. Bryant summarizes the influence of Krishna
Krishna
stories in the Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
as, " has inspired more derivative literature, poetry, drama, dance, theatre and art than any other text in the history of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature, with the possible exception of the Ramayana
Ramayana
.

OTHER RELIGIONS

JAINISM

The Jainism
Jainism
tradition lists 63 Śalākāpuruṣa or notable figures which, amongst others, includes the twenty-four Tirthankaras and nine sets of triads. One of these triads is Krishna
Krishna
as the Vasudeva, Balarama
Balarama
as the Baladeva , and Jarasandha as the Prati-Vasudeva. In each age of the Jain cyclic time is born a Vasudeva with an elder brother termed the Baladeva. Between the triads, Baladeva upholds the principle of non-violence, a central idea of Jainism. The villain is the Prati-vasudeva, who attempts to destroy the world. To save the world, Vasudeva-Krishna has to forsake the non-violence principle and kill the Prati-Vasudeva. The stories of these triads can be found in the Harivamsa Purana (8th century CE) of Jinasena (not be confused with its namesake, the addendum to Mahābhārata) and the Trishashti-shalakapurusha-charita of Hemachandra
Hemachandra
.

The story of Krishna's life in the Puranas
Puranas
of Jainism
Jainism
follows the same general outline as those in the Hindu
Hindu
texts, but in details they are very different: they include Jain Tirthankaras as characters in the story, and generally are polemically critical of Krishna, unlike the versions found in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana. For example, Krishna
Krishna
loses battles in the Jain versions, and his gopis and his clan of Yadavas die in a fire created by an ascetic named Dvaipayana. Similarly, after dying from the hunter Jara's arrow, the Jaina texts state Krishna
Krishna
goes to the third hell in Jain cosmology , while his brother is said to go to the sixth heaven .

Vimalasuri is attributed to be the author of the Jain version of the Harivamsa Purana, but no manuscripts have been found that confirm this. It is likely that later Jain scholars, probably Jinasena of the 8th century, wrote a complete version of Krishna
Krishna
legends in the Jain tradition and credited it to the ancient Vimalasuri. Partial and older versions of the Krishna
Krishna
story are available in Jain literature, such as in the Antagata Dasao of the Svetambara Agama tradition.

In other Jain texts, Krishna
Krishna
is stated to be a cousin of the twenty-second Tirthankara , Neminatha . The Jain texts state that Naminatha taught Krishna
Krishna
all the wisdom that he later gave to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. According to Jeffery D. Long , a professor of Religion known for his publications on Jainism, this connection between Krishna
Krishna
and Neminatha has been a historic reason for Jains to accept, read, and cite the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
as a spiritually important text, celebrate Krishna-related festivals, and intermingle with Hindus as spiritual cousins.

BUDDHISM

Depiction of Krishna
Krishna
playing the flute in a temple constructed in 752 CE on the order of Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji Temple , Great Buddha
Buddha
Hall in Nara , Japan
Japan

The story of Krishna
Krishna
occurs in the Jataka tales in Buddhism
Buddhism
. The Vidhurapandita Jataka mentions Madhura (Sanskrit: Mathura), the Ghata Jataka mentions Kamsa, Devagabbha (Sk: Devaki), Upasagara or Vasudeva, Govaddhana (Sk: Govardhana), Baladeva (Balarama), and Kanha or Kesava (Sk: Krishna, Keshava).

Like the Jaina versions of the Krishna
Krishna
legends, the Buddhist
Buddhist
versions such as one in Ghata Jataka follow the general outline of the story, but are different from the Hindu
Hindu
versions as well. For example, the Buddhist
Buddhist
legend describes Devagabbha (Devaki) to have been isolated in a palace built upon a pole, after she is born, so no future husband could reach her. Krishna's father similarly is described as a powerful king, but who meets up with Devagabbha anyway, and to whom Kamsa gives away his sister Devagabbha in marriage. The siblings of Krishna
Krishna
are not killed by Kamsa, though he tries. In the Buddhist
Buddhist
version of the legend, all of Krishna's siblings grow to maturity.

Krishna
Krishna
and his siblings' capital becomes Dvaravati. The Arjuna
Arjuna
and Krishna
Krishna
interaction is missing in the Jataka version. A new legend is included, wherein Krishna
Krishna
laments in uncontrollable sorrow when his son dies, and a Ghatapandita feigns madness to teach Krishna
Krishna
a lesson. The Jataka tale also includes an internecine destruction among his siblings after they all get drunk. Krishna
Krishna
also dies in the Buddhist legend by the hand of a hunter named Jara, but while he is traveling to a frontier city. Mistaking Krishna
Krishna
for a pig, Jara throws a spear that fatally pierces his feet, causing Krishna
Krishna
great pain and then his death.

At the end of this Ghata- Jataka discourse, the Buddhist
Buddhist
text declares that Sariputta
Sariputta
, one of the revered disciples of the Buddha
Buddha
in the Buddhist
Buddhist
tradition, was incarnated as Krishna
Krishna
in his previous life to learn lessons on grief from the Buddha
Buddha
in his prior rebirth:

Then he declared the Truths, and identified the Birth: 'At that time, Ananda was Rohineyya, Sariputta
Sariputta
was Vasudeva , the followers of the Buddha
Buddha
were the other persons, and I myself was Ghatapandita." —  Jataka Tale No. 454, Translator: W. H. D. Rouse

While the Buddhist
Buddhist
Jataka texts co-opt Krishna- Vasudeva and make him a student of the Buddha
Buddha
in his previous life, the Hindu texts co-opt the Buddha
Buddha
and make him an avatar of Vishnu
Vishnu
. The 'divine boy' Krishna
Krishna
as an embodiment of wisdom and endearing prankster forms a part of the pantheon of gods in Japanese Buddhism
Buddhism
.

BAHá\'í FAITH

Bahá'ís believe that Krishna
Krishna
was a "Manifestation of God
God
", or one in a line of prophets who have revealed the Word of God
God
progressively for a gradually maturing humanity. In this way, Krishna
Krishna
shares an exalted station with Abraham
Abraham
, Moses
Moses
, Zoroaster , Buddha
Buddha
, Muhammad
Muhammad
, Jesus
Jesus
, the Báb , and the founder of the Bahá\'í Faith , Bahá\'u\'lláh .

AHMADIYYA

Ahmadiyya, a modern-era movement, consider Krishna
Krishna
as one of their ancient prophets. Ahmadi's consider themselves to be Muslims, but they are rejected as apostates of Islam by mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims, because Ahmadis consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad , the founder of Ahmadiyya, as a modern-day prophet.

Ghulam Ahmad stated that he was himself a prophet in the likeness of prophets such as Krishna, Jesus, and Muhammad, who had come to earth as a latter-day reviver of religion and morality .

OTHER

Krishna
Krishna
worship or reverence has been adopted by several new religious movements since the 19th century, and he is sometimes a member of an eclectic pantheon in occult texts, along with Greek , Buddhist
Buddhist
, biblical , and even historical figures. For instance, Édouard Schuré , an influential figure in perennial philosophy and occult movements, considered Krishna
Krishna
a Great Initiate, while Theosophists regard Krishna
Krishna
as an incarnation of Maitreya (one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom ), the most important spiritual teacher for humanity along with Buddha.

Krishna
Krishna
was canonised by Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
and is recognised as a saint of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica in the Gnostic Mass of Ordo Templi Orientis .

SEE ALSO

* Bhagavan
Bhagavan
* Dashavatara
Dashavatara
* Hinduism
Hinduism
in Russia * Prem Mandir Vrindavan * Radha
Radha
* Vedanta
Vedanta
* Shrinathji
Shrinathji

NOTES

* ^ The regional texts vary in the identity of Krishna's wife (consort), some presenting it as Rukmini, some as Radha, some as Svaminiji, some adding all gopis, and some identifying all to be different aspects or manifestation of one Devi
Devi
Lakshmi.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Ben-Ami Scharfstein (1993). Ineffability: The Failure of Words in Philosophy and Religion. State University of New York Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-7914-1347-0 . * ^ A B Edwin Bryant & Maria Ekstrand 2004 , pp. 21-24. * ^ A B Bryant 2007 , p. 114. * ^ A B K. Klostermaier (1997). The Charles Strong Trust Lectures, 1972-1984. Crotty, Robert B. Brill Academic Pub. p. 109. ISBN 90-04-07863-0 . "(...) After attaining to fame eternal, he again took up his real nature as Brahman
Brahman
. The most important among Visnu's avataras is undoubtedly Krsna, the black one, also called Syama. For his worshippers he is not an avatara in the usual sense, but Svayam Bhagavan, the Lord himself. * ^ Raychaudhuri 1972 , p. 124 * ^ A B John Stratton Hawley, Donna Marie Wulff (1982). The Divine Consort: Rādhā and the Goddesses of India. Motilal Banarsidass Publisher. p. 12. ISBN 9780895811028 . * ^ A B C Bryant 2007 , p. 443. * ^ "Krishna". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. * ^ Freda Matchett (2001). Krishna, Lord Or Avatara?. Psychology Press. p. 199. ISBN 9780700712816 . * ^ James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 314–315. ISBN 978-0823931798 . * ^ Richard Thompson, Ph.D. (December 1994). "Reflections on the Relation Between Religion and Modern Rationalism". Retrieved 2008-04-12. * ^ A B Mahony, W. K. (1987). "Perspectives on Krsna's Various Personalities". History of Religions. American Oriental Society. 26 (3): 333–335. JSTOR
JSTOR
1062381 . doi :10.1086/463085 . * ^ Knott 2000 , pp. 15, 36, 56 * ^ A B Hein, Norvin. "A Revolution in Kṛṣṇaism: The Cult of Gopāla". History of Religions. 25: 296–317. JSTOR
JSTOR
1062622 . doi :10.1086/463051 . * ^ Ravi Gupta and Kenneth Valpey (2013), The Bhagavata Purana, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231149990 , pages 185-200 * ^ A B Bryant 2007 , pp. 118. * ^ A B ML Varadpande (1987), History of Indian Theatre, Vol 1, Abhinav, ISBN 978-8170172215 , pages 98-99 * ^ A B C Ravi Gupta and Kenneth Valpey (2013), The Bhagavata Purana, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231149990 , pages 162–180 * ^ J. Gordon Melton (2011). Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. ABC-CLIO. pp. 330–331. ISBN 978-1-59884-205-0 . * ^ Cynthia Packert (2010). The Art of Loving Krishna: Ornamentation and Devotion. Indiana University Press. pp. 5, 70–71, 181–187. ISBN 0-253-22198-6 . * ^ Selengut, Charles (1996). "Charisma and Religious Innovation: Prabhupada and the Founding of ISKCON". ISKCON Communications Journal . 4 (2). Archived from the original on 10 July 2012.

* ^ A B

* Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (2008 revision) * Apte Sanskrit-English Dictionary

* ^ Bryant 2007 , p. 382 * ^ Monier Monier Williams, Go-vinda, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
English Dictionary and Ettymology, Oxford University Press, p. 336, 3rd column * ^ Bryant 2007 , p. 17 * ^ Hiltebeitel, Alf (2001). Rethinking the Mahābhārata: a reader's guide to the education of the dharma king. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 251–53, 256, 259. ISBN 0-226-34054-6 . * ^ B. M. Misra. Orissa: Shri Krishna
Krishna
Jagannatha: the Mushali parva from Sarala's Mahabharata. Oxford University Press
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Deity, Encyclopaedia Britannica (2015) * ^ John M Koller (2016). The Indian Way: An Introduction to the Philosophies & Religions of India. Routledge. pp. 210–215. ISBN 978-1-315-50740-8 . * ^ Vaudeville, Ch. (1962). "Evolution of Love-Symbolism in Bhagavatism". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 82 (1): 31. doi :10.2307/595976 . Retrieved 2017-04-06. * ^ John M Koller (2016). The Indian Way: An Introduction to the Philosophies & Religions of India. Routledge. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-315-50740-8 . * ^ A B C Juan Mascaró (1962). The Bhagavad Gita. Penguin. pp. xxvi–xxviii. ISBN 978-0-14-044918-1 . * ^ A B Georg Feuerstein; Brenda Feuerstein (2011). The Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation. Shambhala Publications. pp. ix–xi. ISBN 978-1-59030-893-6 . * ^ Nicholas F. Gier (2004). The Virtue of Nonviolence: From Gautama to Gandhi. State University of New York Press. pp. 36–40. ISBN 978-0-7914-5949-2 . * ^ John Dowson (2003). Classical Dictionary of Hindu
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worship is an amalgam of various elements. According to historical testimonies Krishna- Vasudeva worship already flourished in and around Mathura several centuries before Christ. A second important element is the cult of Krishna
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Govinda. Still later is the worship of Bala-Krishna, the Child Krishna—a quite prominent feature of modern Krishnaism. The last element seems to have been Krishna
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and Incarnation: The Divine in Human Form in the World\'s Religions. Oxford: Oneworld. pp. 19–24, 35–38, 75–78, 130–133. ISBN 978-1-85168-130-3 . * ^ Guth, C. M. E. "Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring, 1987 ), pp. 1–23". 42: 1–23. JSTOR
JSTOR
2385037 . * ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Manifestations of God". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 231. ISBN 1-85168-184-1 . * ^ Esslemont, J. E. (1980). Bahá\'u\'lláh and the New Era (5th ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 2. ISBN 0-87743-160-4 . * ^ Siddiq & Ahmad (1995), Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan, Law & Inequality, Volume 14, pp. 275-324 * ^ Minahan, James (2012). Ethnic groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, USA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 6–8. ISBN 978-1-59884-659-1 . * ^ Burhani A. N. (2013), Treating minorities with fatwas: a study of the Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia, Contemporary Islam, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp. 285–301 * ^ Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam (2007). Lecture Sialkot (PDF). Tilford: Islam International Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-85372-917-5 . * ^ Harvey, D. A. (2003). "Beyond Enlightenment: Occultism, Politics, and Culture in France from the Old Regime to the Fin-de-Siècle". The Historian . Blackwell Publishing . 65 (3): 665–694. doi :10.1111/1540-6563.00035 . * ^ Schure, Edouard (1992). Great Initiates: A Study of the Secret History of Religions. Garber Communications. ISBN 0-89345-228-9 . * ^ See for example: Hanegraaff, Wouter J. (1996). New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. Brill Publishers
Brill Publishers
. p. 390. ISBN 90-04-10696-0 . , Hammer, Olav (2004). Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age. Brill Publishers
Brill Publishers
. pp. 62, 174. ISBN 90-04-13638-X . , and Ellwood, Robert S. (1986). Theosophy: A Modern Expression of the Wisdom of the Ages. Quest Books. p. 139. ISBN 0-8356-0607-4 . * ^ Crowley associated Krishna
Krishna
with Roman god Dionysus
Dionysus
and Magickal formulae IAO, AUM and INRI
INRI
. See Crowley, Aleister (1991). Liber Aleph. Weiser Books. p. 71. ISBN 0-87728-729-5 . and Crowley, Aleister (1980). The Book of Lies . Red Wheels. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-87728-516-0 . * ^ Apiryon, Tau; Apiryon (1995). Mystery of Mystery: A Primer of Thelemic Ecclesiastical Gnosticism. Berkeley: Red Flame. ISBN 0-9712376-1-1 .

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and sacred sound, Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press , ISBN 0-87249-855-7 * Brown, C. Mackenzie (1983). "The Origin and Transmission of the Two "Bhāgavata Purāṇas": A Canonical and Theological Dilemma". Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Oxford University Press. 51 (4): 551–567. JSTOR
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Pillar of Besnagar, Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908–1909). Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing, 1912, 129. * Flood, Galvin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-43878-0 * Beck, Guy L. (Ed.) (2005). Alternative Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu
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Deity. SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-6415-6 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * Marijke J. Klokke (2000). Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-11865-9 . * Kumar Das, Sisir (2006). A history of Indian literature, 500–1399. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-2171-0 . * Rocher, Ludo (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225 . * Rosen, Steven (2006). Essential Hinduism. New York: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-99006-0 . * Schomer, Karine; McLeod, W. H., eds. (1987), The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120802773 * Sheridan, Daniel (1986). The Advaitic Theism of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. Columbia, Mo: South Asia Books. ISBN 81-208-0179-2 . * Sutton, Nicholas (2000). Religious doctrines in the Mahābhārata. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.,. p. 477. ISBN 81-208-1700-1 . * Valpey, Kenneth R. (2006). Attending Kṛṣṇa\'s image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava mūrti-sevā as devotional truth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38394-3 . * History of Indian Theatre By M. L. Varadpande. Chapter Theatre of Krishna, pp. 231–94. Published 1991, Abhinav Publications, ISBN 81-7017-278-0 . * Varadpande, Manohar Laxman (1987). History of Indian theatre. vol. 3. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-221-7 .

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at Encyclopædia Britannica * The Legends of Krishna, W. Crooke (1900), Folklore * Bathing in Krishna: A Study in Vaiṣṇava Hindu
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