Sri Krishna is the central figure of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna is widely considered to be an Avatar – a direct descent of God. Krishna is one of the many names of Lord Vishnu, and Sri Krishan is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Sri Krishna said in the opening section of the Bhagavad Gita:
“Whenever, O descendant of Bharata, righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails, I manifest Myself. For the protection of the righteous and the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of religion, I come into being from age to age.”
– Sri Krishna
Short bio of Sri Chinmoy
Sri Krishna was born in northern India in approximately 3,228 BCE. The Puranas consider Sri Krishna’s life to mark the passing between the Dvapara age and the Kali Yuga (current age)
Krishna was born in prison to devout parents – Devaki and Vasudeva. At the time, his life was in danger because the tyrant Kamsa was seeking to kill him. It had been foretold that Kamsa would be killed by Devaki’s eighth child. Since Sri Krishna was the eighth child, he was smuggled out of prison to be raised by his foster parents Nanda and Yasoda in Gokula. Nanda lived a simple lifestyle and was a chief in the local Cowherding community. The young Sri Krishna is often depicted in these days as being a mischievous child, who enjoyed playing pranks and having fun. Some worship Sri Krishna as the ideal child of innocence.
However, even in his young years, Krishna is reported to have killed demons Trinavarta and Putana. He is also said to have lifted a nearby hill – Govardhana to protect the villagers against the wrath of Indra.
Sri Krishna in Brindavan
In the early stage of his life, Sri Krishna is also often depicted playing the flute for his beloved gopis – female devotees. Of these Radha was the greatest devotee.
This life episode was crucial in the development of Hindu Bhakti devotional tradition. It is this tradition of bhakti which was important in the lives of future avatars such as Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna.
Sri Krishna and Bhagavad Gita
On his return to Mathura, Sri Krishna killed his uncle Kansa – Kansa had tried several times to have Krishna killed.
In Mathura, he befriended the Pandava Prince, Arjuna. Sri Krishna became a counsel and friend to Arjuna.
The Kurushetra war was a battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Sri Krishna tried to mediate to avoid conflict, but once war became inevitable he offered a choice to Arjuna – either he could choose Sri Krishna himself or he could choose his armies. Arjuna choose the counsel of Sri Krishna rather than his armies. It was on the battlefield of Kurushetra that Sri Krishna gave the immortal dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita, which was an exposition of Sri Krishna’s yoga and how an aspiring seeker might seek union with God. Unlike Indian scriptures of the past, the Bhagavad Gita did not require world renunciation, but encouraged world acceptance.
During the battle, Sri Krishna occasionally intervened, to help Arjuna and the Pandavas win. Sri Krishna also unveiled his universal form to Arjuna – showing his dear friend, his full spiritual Realisation. After this Arjuna became a disciple of Sri Krishna, rather than just admirer and friend.
Sri Krishna took eight wives and had many sons.
Sri Krishna at Dwarka
In later life Sri Krishna retired to Dwarka where he lived for many years.
Legend has it that Sri Krishna was killed by an arrow through his ankle.
- Sri Krishna at Writespirit
- Sri Chinmoy on Sri Krishna
- The Play of God by Vanamali – an excellent account of Sri Krishna’s life.