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krishna

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KRISHNA , s. (The most celebrated form of Vishnu, or rather identified with Vishnu, as distinct from his ten Avatārs, or Incarnations. The following particulars of the history of this very popular deity, whose votaries are still so numerous in India are given as an introduction to the enumeration of his various names. Vasudeva, a descendant of Yadu and Yayāti, had two wives, Rohinī and Devakī. The latter had eight sons, of whom the eighth was Krishna. Kansa, a demon, the sister of Devakī, and king of Mathurā, was informed by the gods that one of these sons would kill him. He therefore kept Vasudeva and his wife Devakī in confinement in his palace, and slew their first six children. The seventh son was Balarāma, who was saved by being abstracted from the womb of Devakī, and transferred to that of Rohinī. The eighth was Krishna, who was born with kin as black as the dark leaves of the lotus, and with a peculiar mark on his breast: he was born at midnight, and immediately taken up by Vasudeva, who, favoured by the gods, was able to elude the vigilance of the guards, and make his escape through the gates of Mathurā to the banks of the Yamunā river. Here Sesha, the many-headed serpent, spread his hoods above the heads of the father and child, and thus protecting them, Vasudeva was enabled to cross the stream, and finding a a cowherd named Nanda, whose wife Yaśodā had just been delivered of a child, he quietly substituted his own son in its place, and returned with the child of the cowherd to the bedside of Devakī. When Kansa found that the infant Krishna had escaped, he summoned certain demons, his servants, and gave orders that a search should be made for the child, and that all male children in whom were signs of unusual vigour, should be killed. At the same time he released Vasudeva and his wife, as no longer endangering his safety. The cowherd Nanda, with his wife Yaśodā, taking the infant Krishna, and accompanied by Rohinī and the infant Balarāma, went to reside at a village called Gokula, or Vraja, where they settled. Here the female demon Pūtanā tried to destroy the young Krishna by offering him her breast to suck, but was killed by the child. Soon the child, with his playfellow Balarāma, began to be unruly; and one day his foster-mother passed the folds of a rope round his body and tied him to a large wooden bowl, but the strength of the young Krishna enabled him to drag the bowl against the trunks of two trees, which were uprooted by the shock. The family of Nanda now removed from Vraja to Vṛndā- vana, and here Krishna and Balarāma grew up together, and, roaming about the woods, joined in the sports of the herdsmen's sons. One day Krishna came to the banks of the Yamunā, within which was the fearful pool of the serpent Kāliya. Krishna jumped boldly in. A terrible combat ensued, in which the divine child was victorious, and commanded the snake-king to depart from the Yamunā to the ocean. About the same time Balarāma killed the demon Dhenuka, who sought to destroy the two boys, and soon afterwards killed the demon Pralamba, who had assumed the shape of a young cowherd, that he might mix in their sports. Not long after, the young Krishna, who delighted in playing tricks upon his elders, resolved to rouse the anger of the god Indra, who, according to some, was his elder brother. He persuaded Nanda to cease sacrificing to Indra, and to worship the mountain Govard- hana, which sheltered the shepherds and their cattle. This they did. but the exasperated Indra would have destroyed them and their flocks with heavy rain, had not Krishna lifted up the mountain and sheltered them under it. Indra, foiled in his revenge, descended from heaven to praise Krishna, and made him lord over the cattle, Meanwhile Krishna had grown a beautiful youth, and soon began to sport with the Gopīs, or shepherdesses, of whom seven or eight became his wives, and amongst them his favorite, Rādhā. In this character he is usually represented with flowing hair and with a flute in his hand, and has been compared to Apollo accompanied by the muses. In his pastimes with the shepherdesses he invented a kind of round dance, called Rāsa or Mandala nrityam, in which he and Rādhā being in the centre, the attendant Gopīs danced round them. But the happiness of Krishna was inter- rupted by his tyrannical uncle Kansa, who sent formidable demons to destroy him; Arishta, in the form of a bull, Keśin, in the form of a horse, Kālanemi, and others. They were all killed by the young Krishna. Kansa then sent a messenger, named Akrūra, to entice Krishna and Balarāma to his city Mathurā, under pretext of being present at some games. They accepted the invitation and went. At the entrance of the town Krishna killed Kansa's washerman, who insulted him. Having clothed himself in the washerman's yellow clothes, he proceeded, and meeting a crooked woman carrying ointment, miraculously made her straight by a touch of his hand. At the games he killed the king's boxer, Chānūra, and afterwards Kansa himself, and placed Kansa's father, Ugrasena, upon the throne. He then became the pupil of Sāndīpani, and, to rescue his son, killed the demon Panchajana, and, taking the conch shell, formed of his bones, bore it as his horn. Still living in Mathurā, he was attacked by a prince named Kālayavana, who advanced with a large force against the Yadu tribe. Upon this Krishna built and fortified a city called Dvāraka, in the province of Guzerat, and thither transferred the inhabi- tants of Mathurā. One day Krishna went forth unarmed, and, being pursued by Kālayavana, took refuge in a cavern, where Muchukunda, king of men, was asleep. Kālaya- vana, entering the cavern, was reduced to ashes by an angry glance from the eye of Muchukunda. Krishna then returned to Dvāraka. Soon after he was accused of stealing a wonderful jewel called
‘syamantaka,’ in the possession of a man named Prasena. But the jewel was really lost by the death of Prasena in a forest, and was picked up by a lion, who, in his turn, was killed by the king of the bears, Jāmbavat. The latter took the jewel to his cavern, where he was found by Krishna, and com- pelled to restore the gem. At the same time the bear gave him his daughter Jāmbavatī in marriage. He next married Satyabhāmā, daughter of Satrājit, and afterward carried off Rukminī, daughter of Bhīṣmaka. By the latter he had a son called Pradyumna, who is usually identified with Kāmadeva, the god of love, and a daughter named Chārumatī, as well as many other children. Be- sides these wives he had more than sixteen thousand others, who bore him a numerous progeny of one hundred and eighty thousand sons. The other incidents of his life are thus briefly related. Indra came to Dvāraka, and reported to Krishna the tyranny of the demon Naraka. Krishna went to his city, and slew him and another demon named Mura, who assisted in the defence of the city. He afterwards ascended to the heaven of Indra, with his wife Satyabhāmā, and, visiting the gardens of Swarga, was in- duced by his wife to carry off the Pāṛjāta tree, or cele- brated tree of Paradise. Sachī, the wife of Indra, excited her husband to its rescue, and a conflict ensued between the gods and Krishna, who defeated them, and carried the tree to Dvāraka. Soon after this, Uṣā, the daughter of the Daitya Bāna, became enamoured of Aniruddha, son of Pradyumna and grandson of Krishna, and induced her father to carry him off. Krishna, Balarāma, and Prad- yumna, came to his rescue. Siva and Skanda aided Bāna, but the former was disabled and the latter put to flight; and Krishna, encountering Bāna, cut off all his arms. After this, Paundraka, one of the family of Vasudeva, assumed the insignia and title of Krishna, and was supported by the king of Benares. Krishna advanced against them, mounted on his vehicle Garuda, and having destroyed them, set fire to Benares by the radiance from his chakra or discus. Lastly, being recalled by the gods to heaven, he destroyed all his own family the Yādavas. Amongst them died Balarāma, out of whose mouth, as he expired, issued the great serpent, Ananta or Sesha, of which he was an incarnation. Krishna himself was killed by a chance shot from a hunter, and again became one with the Universal Spirit. From this summary of the history of Krishna his various names will become intelligible. Many of these names, as well as many of his attributes and peculiarities, are identical with those of Vishnu. SeeVISHNU. As being of a black or dark blue colour he is called) कृष्णः, नीलमाधवः. —
(As descended from Yadu) यादवः,यदुनाथः, कुकुराधिनाथः. —
(As son of Vasudeva) वासुदेवः, वसुदे-वभूःm. — (Son of Devakī) देवकीनन्दनः, देवकीपुत्रः, देवकीसूनुःm., दैवकीनन्दनः. — (As bearing the mark Śrīvatsa on his breast) श्रीवत्सभृत्m., श्रीवत्सलाञ्छनः, श्रीवत्साङ्कः. —
(As foster-son of Nanda) नन्दनन्दनः, नन्दकीm.(न्), नन्दात्मजः. — (As slayer of Pūtanā) पूतनाहाm.(न्), पूतनारिःm., पूतनासूदनः. —
(As having a rope round his body) दामोदरः. — (As destroying a tree in the forest of Vṛndāvana) यमलार्जनहाm. — (Conqueror of Kāliya) कालियजित्. —
(Younger brother of Indra) उपेन्द्रः,इन्द्रानुजः, इन्द्रावरजह्. —
(Upholder of Govardhana) गोवर्धनधरः. —
(Chief of shepherds and Protector of cattle) गोविन्दः,गोपालः -लकः, गोपेन्द्रः, गोपेशः. —
(The long-haired) केशवः, केशीm.(न्), केशः, केशटः. —
(Bearer of the flute) वंशीधरः,मुरलीधरः. —
(Lord of the shepherdesses) गोपीनाथः. — (Be- loved of Rādhā) राधाकान्तः, राधावल्लभः, राधानाथः. —
(Destroyer of Arishta) अरिष्टसूदनः. — (Of Keśin) केशिहाm.(न्), केशिसूदनः. — (Of Kālanemi) कालनेमिहाm., कालनेमिरिपुःm., कालनेमि-शत्रुःm., कालनेम्यरिःm.
(Dressed in yellow clothes) पीताम्बरः. — (Conqueror of Chānūrā) चानूरजित्. —
(Killer of Kansa) कंसहाm., कंसजित्m., कंसारिःm., कंसारातिःm. — (Lord of Mathurā) मथुरेशः. — (Bearer of the couch Pānchajanya) पाञ्चजन्यधरः. — (Conqueror of Kālayavana) कालयवनजित्. — (Lord of Dvāraka) द्वारकेशः, द्वारकनाथः. — (Husband of Jām- bavatī) जाम्बवतीपतिःm.
(Conqueror of Naraka) नरकजित्,नरकान्तकः. —
(Destroyer of Mura) मुरहाm., मुरारिःm., मुर-रिपुःm.
(Conqueror of Paundraka) पौण्ड्रकजित्. —
(Bearing the discus) चक्रधरः, चक्रीm.(न्), चक्रपाणिःm., चक्रहस्तः,चक्रवान्m.(त्), चक्रभृत्m.
(Bearing the conch) शङ्खीm.(न्),शङ्खभृत्m.
(Blowing the conch) धमः. —
(Bearing a chaplet or garland) वनमालीm.(न्), मालः. —
(Bearing the jewel on his breast) कौस्तुभवक्षाःm., कौस्तुभलक्षकः. —
(Destroyer of the demon Madhu) माधवः, मधुजित्, मधुरिपुःm., मधुभिद्m., मधुमथनः. —
(Having Garuda as his symbol) गरुडध्वजः, तार्क्ष्यध्वजः,तार्क्ष्यनायकः. —
(Foe of barbarians) यवनारिः. —
(Foe of the daityas) दैत्यारिःm.
(The undecaying one) अच्युतः, अनन्तः. —
(Worshipped by men) जनार्द्दनः. —
(Lord of the senses) हृषीकेशः. The following are other names of this deity, some of which will be explained under the head of Vishnu हरिःm., नारायणः, वैकुण्ठः, स्वभूःm., पुण्डरीकाक्षः, विष्टर-श्रवाःm.(स्), शार्ङ्गीm.(न्), पद्मनाभः, वासुभद्रः, वासुःm., त्रिविक्रमः,विश्वक्सेनः, चतुर्भुज्, शौरिःm., पुरुषोत्तमः, बलिध्वंसीm.(न्),विश्वम्भरः, विधुःm., अधोक्षजः, कैटभजित्m., राहुभेदीm.(न्), कुस्तुभः,उरुगायः. Krishna's mace or club is called कौमोदकी;
‘his sword,’ नन्दकः;
‘his jewel,’ कौस्तुभः, स्यमन्तकः;
‘his discus,’ सुदर्शनः, चक्रं;
‘his conch,’ पाञ्चजन्यः, शङ्खः;
‘his garland,’ वनमाला;
‘his charioteer,’ सात्यकिःm., शैनेयः, दारुकः, युयुधानः;
‘his heaven,’ गोलोकः;
‘a festival in his honour,’ रासयात्राः
‘his paternal uncle and friend,’ अक्रूरः;
‘his grandfather,’ शूरः; देवकः;
‘his city,’ द्वारकः -का, द्वारिका, द्वारवती, अब्धिन-गरी. A modern reformer of the Vaishnava faith called चैतन्यः is considered in Bengal as an avatār of Vishnu. He is also called गौरचन्द्रः, गौराङ्गः.
See also: कृष्ण - नीलमाधव - यादव - यदुनाथ - कुकुराधिनाथ - वासुदेव - वसुदे - वभू - देवकीनन्दन - देवकीपुत्र - देवकीसूनु - दैवकीनन्दन - श्रीवत्सभृत् - श्रीवत्सलाञ्छन - श्रीवत्साङ्क - नन्दनन्दन - नन्दकी - (न्) - नन्दात्मज - पूतनाहा - पूतनारि - पूतनासूदन - दामोदर - यमलार्जनहा - कालियजित् - उपेन्द्र - इन्द्रानुज - इन्द्रावरजह् - गोवर्धनधर - गोविन्द - गोपाल - लक - गोपेन्द्र - गोपेश - केशव - केशी - केश - केशट - वंशीधर - मुरलीधर - गोपीनाथ - राधाकान्त - राधावल्लभ - राधानाथ - अरिष्टसूदन - केशिहा - केशिसूदन - कालनेमिहा - कालनेमिरिपु - कालनेमि - शत्रु - कालनेम्यरि - पीताम्बर - चानूरजित् - कंसहा - कंसजित् - कंसारि - कंसाराति - मथुरेश - पाञ्चजन्यधर - कालयवनजित् - द्वारकेश - द्वारकनाथ - जाम्बवतीपति - नरकजित् - नरकान्तक - मुरहा - मुरारि - मुर - रिपु - पौण्ड्रकजित् - चक्रधर - चक्री - चक्रपाणि - चक्रहस्त - चक्रवान् - (त्) - चक्रभृत् - शङ्खी - शङ्खभृत् - धम - वनमाली - माल - कौस्तुभवक्षा - कौस्तुभलक्षक - माधव - मधुजित् - मधुरिपु - मधुभिद् - मधुमथन - गरुडध्वज - तार्क्ष्यध्वज - तार्क्ष्यनायक - यवनारि - दैत्यारि - अच्युत - अनन्त - जनार्द्दन - हृषीकेश - हरि - नारायण - वैकुण्ठ - स्वभू - पुण्डरीकाक्ष - विष्टर - श्रवा - (स्) - शार्ङ्गी - पद्मनाभ - वासुभद्र - वासु - त्रिविक्रम - विश्वक्सेन - चतुर्भुज् - शौरि - पुरुषोत्तम - बलिध्वंसी - विश्वम्भर - विधु - अधोक्षज - कैटभजित् - राहुभेदी - कुस्तुभ - उरुगाय - कौमोदकी - नन्दक - कौस्तुभ - स्यमन्तक - सुदर्शन - चक्रं - पाञ्चजन्य - शङ्ख - वनमाला - सात्यकि - शैनेय - दारुक - युयुधान - गोलोक - रासयात्रा - अक्रूर - शूर - देवक - द्वारक - का - द्वारिका - द्वारवती - अब्धिन - गरी - चैतन्य - गौरचन्द्र - गौराङ्ग
KRISHNA , l. 9. for sister, read brother.

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