Krishan.. more than just a hindu Idol


Krishna with Radha, 18th C Rajasthani painting
Krishna with Radha, 18th C Rajasthani painting

Devanagari कृष्ण
Affiliation Vishnu Avatar Svayam bhagavan
Abode Vrindavan, Dwarka
Weapon Discus (Sudarshana Chakra)
Consort Radha, Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati.
Sastra Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavad-gita
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This article is about the Hindu deity. For other meanings, see Krishna (disambiguation). Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə] in classical Sanskrit) is a deity worshiped across many traditions of Hinduism. Krishna is often described as having the appearance of a dark-skinned man during his earthly incarnation, often depicted as a young cowherd boy playing a flute (as in the Bhagavata Purana) or a youthful prince giving philosophical direction and guidance (as in the Bhagavad Gita).[1] Krishna and the stories associated with him appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions.[2][3] Though they sometimes differ in details reflecting the concerns of a particular tradition, some core features are shared by all.[4] These include a divine incarnation, a pastoral childhood and youth, and life as a heroic warrior and teacher. The worship of Krishna in Hinduism is part of Vaishnavism, which regards Vishnu as the Supreme God and venerates his associated avatars, their consorts, and related saints and teachers. However the exact relationship between Krishna and Vishnu is complex and diverse.[5] All Vaisnava traditions recognize Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu; others identify Krishna with Vishnu; while traditions, such as, Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[6][7] Vallabha Sampradaya and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, also regard Krishna as the svayam bhagavan, original form of God, or the Lord Himself.[8] [9][10] [11]

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// [edit] Etymology and names Main article: List of titles and names of Krishna The Sanskrit word kṛṣṇa has the literal meaning of “black”, “dark” or “dark-blue”,[12] and is used as a name to describe someone with dark skin. Krishna is often depicted in murtis as black, and is generally shown in paintings with blue skin. Krishna is also known by various other names, epithets and titles, which reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common of these are those that relate to his role as the deity of cattle herders – Govinda, herder of cattle, or Gopala, protector of cattle. Some of the distinct names may be regionally important; for instance, Jaganatha, or lord of the world, in eastern India. Some Hindu traditions often ascribe varying interpretations and power to the names. For instance, commentators on Vishnu sahasranama offers detailed explanations of a thousand names of Vishnu, that also can apply to Krishna.[original research?] The Mahabharata‘s Udyoga-parva (Mbh 5.71.4) divides kṛṣṇa into elements kṛṣ and ṇa, kṛṣ (a verbal root meaning “to plough, drag”) being taken as expressing bhū “being; earth” and ṇa being taken as expressing nirvṛti “bliss”. In the Brahmasambandha mantra of the Vallabha sampradaya, the syllables of the name Krishna are assigned the power to destroy sin relating to material, self and divine causes.[13] Adi Sankara‘s commentary makes Krishna is the 57th name of Vishnu, interpreting the Mbh 5.71.4 as “existence of knowledge and bliss.” Mbh 5.71.4 is also quoted in Chaitanya Charitamrita, and Prabhupada in his commentary on the latter translates the bhū as “attractive existence”. Based on this, ISKCON often gives the name as meaning “all-attractive one”.[14] [edit] Iconography Krishna as Jaganatha in a typical Oriya style, shown at the far right, with  Subhadra  in the center and Balarama on the left. Krishna as Jaganatha in a typical Oriya style, shown at the far right, with Subhadra in the center and Balarama on the left. Krishna may be depicted as a black or dark-skinned young man, particularly in murtis. In other, especially in modern pictorial representations he is usually shown with a blue skin, like many other deities of Hinduism. A common depiction shows him as a boy or young man in a characteristic relaxed pose, playing the flute. In these scenes which are set at Vrindavana, he is often shown with cattle, emphasising his position as herdsman, or with the gopis. The scenes on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, notably where he addresses Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are also another common subject. Here, he is shown as a man, often shown with typical god-like characteristics of Hindu religious art; such as multiple arms or heads, denoting power, and with attributes of Vishnu, such as the chakra. Representations in temples often show Krishna as a man standing in an upright, formal pose. He may be alone, or with associated figures;[15] his brother Balabhadra (also known as Balarama) and sister Subhadra or with his main queens Rukmini and Satyabhama. Krishna is also shown and worshipped as a small child (bāla kṛṣṇa, the child Krishna) crawling on his hands and knees or dancing with a piece of butter in his hand.[16][17] In many cases he is shown with his gopi-consort Radha and this image is representative of a number of traditions. For example Manipuri Vaishnavas do not worship Krishna alone, but as Radha Krishna.[18] This is also a feature of Rudra Sampradaya[19] and the school of Nimbarka,[20] as well as that of Swaminarayan faith. Caitanyaites celebrate one of the self manifested deities established by Gopala Bhatta Goswami as called Radharamana, and it is not surprising that Radharamana is seen as not only Krishna but also as Radha Krishna.[21] [edit] Literary sources See also: Krishna in Mahābhārata Yashoda bathing the child Krishna. (Western Indian illustrated Bhagavata Purana Manuscript) Yashoda bathing the child Krishna. (Western Indian illustrated Bhagavata Purana Manuscript) The earliest text to explicitly provide detailed descriptions of Krishna as a personality is the Mahābhārata which depicts Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu[22] who is central to many of the main stories of the epic. The eighteen chapters of the sixth book (Bhishma Parva) that constitute the Bhagavad Gita contain the advice of Krishna to Arjuna, on the battlefield. Krishna is already an adult in the epic, although there are allusions to his earlier exploits. The Harivamsa, a later appendix to this epic, contains the earliest detailed version of Krishna’s childhood and youth. Virtually every one of the later Puranas tells Krishna’s life-story or some highlights from it. The Mahābhārata and the Harivamsa are considered sacred by Hindus. Two Puranas, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana, that contain the most elaborate telling of Krishna’s story and teachings are the most theologically venerated by the Gaudiya Vaishnava schools.[1] Roughly one quarter of the Bhagavata Purana is spent extolling his life and philosophy. Satha-patha-brahmana and Aitareya-Aranyaka, associate Krishna with his Vrishni origins.[23] Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar attempted to show that “the very same Krishna” made an appearance in earlier texts, e.g as the drapsa … krishna “black drop” of RV 8.96.13.[24] [edit] Life Krishna with Gopis - Painting from Smithsonian Institution Krishna with Gopis – Painting from Smithsonian Institution This summary is based on details from the Mahābhārata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana. The scenes from the narrative are set in north India, mostly in the present states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi and Gujarat. [edit] Birth Traditional belief based on scriptural details and astrological calculations gives the date of Krishna’s birth, known as Janmashtami, as either 18th or 21st July 3228 BCE.[25] Krishna was of the royal family of Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva. Mathura was the capital of the closely linked clans of Vrishni, Andhaka, and Bhoja. They are generally known as Yadavas after their eponymous ancestor Yadu, and sometimes as Surasenas after another famed ancestor. Vasudeva and Devaki belonged to these clans. The king Kamsa, Devaki’s brother, had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki’s eighth son, he had locked the couple into a prison cell, planning to kill all of Devaki’s children at their birth. After killing the first six children, and Devaki’s apparent miscarriage of the seventh, Krishna took birth. Since Vasudeva believed Krishna’s life was in danger, Krishna was secretly taken out of the prison cell to be raised by his foster parents, Yasoda and Nanda in Gokul, Mahavana. Two of his other siblings also survived, Balarama (Devaki’s seventh child, transferred to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva’s first wife) and Subhadra (daughter of Vasudeva and Rohini, born much later than Balarama and Krishna). The place believed by worshippers to mark Krishna’s birth is now known as Krishnajanmabhoomi, where a temple is raised in his honour. Gaudiya Vaishnava scholars identify the form of Krishna who appeared in Mathura as Vasudeva Krishna of the first quadrupal expansion. In this form Krishna appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki without a natural birth, fully grown, with four arms and full paraphernalia. [26] Krishna holding Govardhan hill. From the Smithsonian Institution collections. Krishna holding Govardhan hill. From the Smithsonian Institution collections. [edit] Childhood and youth Nanda was the head of a community of cow-herders, and he settled in Vrindavana. The stories of Krishna’s childhood and youth here include that of his life with, and his protection of, the local people. Kamsa learnt about the child’s escape and kept sending various demons (such as Aghasura) to put an end to him. The demons were defeated at the hands of Krishna and his brother Balarama. Some of the most popular exploits of Krishna center around these adventures, such as the lifting of Govardhana hill and his play with the gopis of the village, including Radha. The stories of his play with the gopis became known as the Rasa lila and were romanticised in the poetry of Jayadeva, author of the Gita Govinda. [edit] The prince Krishna as a young man returned to Mathura, and overthrew and killed his uncle Kamsa. Krishna re-installed Kamsa’s father, Ugrasena, as the king of the Yadavas. He himself became a leading prince at the court. In this period he became a friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom, who were his cousins, on the other side of the Yamuna. Later, he took his Yadava subjects to the city of Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat). He married Rukmini, daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidarbha. According to some texts, Krishna had 16,108 wives,[27] of which eight were chief – including Rukmini, Satyabhama and Jambavati. Krishna also married 16,100 maidens who were being held in captivity by Narakasura, to save their honor. Krishna killed him and released them all. According to strict social custom of the time all of the captive women were degraded, and would be unable to marry, as they had been under the control of Narakasura, however Krishna decided to marry them to reinstate their status in the society. In Vaishnava traditions, Krishna’s wives are believed to be forms of the goddess Lakshmi. [edit] The Kurukshetra war and the Bhagavad Gita Krishna reveals his Vishvarupa form to Arjuna during their discourse of the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna reveals his Vishvarupa form to Arjuna during their discourse of the Bhagavad Gita. Main articles: Kurukshetra war and Bhagavad Gita Krishna was cousin to both sides in the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas. Once battle seemed inevitable, Krishna offered both sides to choose between having either his army or simply himself, but on the condition that he personally would not raise any weapons. Arjuna on behalf of the Pandavas chose to have Krishna on their side, and Duryodhana chose to have Krishna’s army on the side of the Kauravas. At the time of the great battle, Krishna thus acted as Arjuna’s charioteer. The Bhagavad Gita is the advice given to Arjuna by Krishna on the battlefield just prior to the start of the fighting. [edit] Later life Following the war Krishna lived at Dwaraka for thirty-six years. Then at a festival, a fight broke out between the Yadavas who exterminated each other. His elder brother Balarama then gave up his body using Yoga. Krishna retired into the forest and sat under a tree in meditation. A hunter mistook his partly visible foot for a deer and shot an arrow wounding him mortally. According to the Mahābhārata, Krishna’s death was caused by a curse by Gandhari. Her bitter anger after witnessing the death of her sons caused her to utter this curse, because she believed that Krishna did not do enough to stop the war when he had the full capability to do so. Upon learning of the curse, Krishna smiled and accepted it, stating that his duty was to fight for, and protect, the righteous people, not to prevent the war. According to Puranic sources[28], Krishna’s death marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, which is dated to February 17/18, 3102 BCE.[29] [edit] Early historical references One of the earliest recorded instances of a Krishna who could potentially be identified with the deity can be found in the Chandogya Upanishad, where he is mentioned as the son of Devaki, and to whom Ghora Angirasa was a teacher.[30][31] The Upansihads, namely Nārāyaṇātharvaśirsa and Ātmabodha, specifically regard Krishna as a god and associate him with Vishnu.[30] References to Vāsudeva also occur in early Sanskrit literature. Taittiriya Aranyaka (X,i,6) identifies him with Narayana and Vishnu. Panini, ca. 4th century BCE, in his Ashtadhyayi explains the word “Vāsudevaka” as a Bhakta (devotee) of Vāsudeva. This, along with the mention of Arjuna in the same context, indicates that the Vāsudeva here is Krishna.[32] At some stage during the Vedic period, Vasudeva and Krishna became one deity, and by the time of composition of the redaction of Mahabharata that survives till today, Krishna (Vasudeva) was generally acknowledged as an avatar of Vishnu and often as the Supreme God.[30] In the 4th century BCE, Megasthenes the Greek ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya says that the Sourasenoi (Surasena), who lived in the region of Mathura worshipped Herakles. This Herakles is usually identified with Krishna [33] due to the regions mentioned by Megasthenes as well as similarities between some of the herioc acts of the two. The Greco-Bactrian ruler Agathocles issued coins bearing the images of Krishna and Balarama in around 180-165 BCE. [33] At Ghosundi, near the town of Udaipur, is an inscription by a devotee mentioning Vasudeva and Narayana engraved around 150 BCE.[33] In the 1st century BCE, Heliodorus from Greece erected the Heliodorus pillar at Besnagar near Bhilsa[33] with the inscription: This Garuda-column of Vasudeva the god of gods was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshipper of the Lord Bhagavata, the son of Diya Greek Dion and an inhabitant of Taxila, who came as ambassador of the Greeks from the Great King Amtalikita [Greek Antialcidas] to King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra the saviour, who was flourishing in the fourteenth year of his reign… [missing text]… three immortal steps… [missing text]… when practiced, lead to heaven—self-control, charity, and diligence. Another 1st century BCE inscription from Mathura records the building of a part of a sanctuary to Vasudeva by the great satrap Sodasa. The renowned grammar scholar Patanjali, who wrote his commentary on Panini’s grammar rules around 150 BCE (known as the Mahabhashya), quotes a verse: May the might of Krishna accompanied by Samkarshana increase! Other verses are mentioned. One verse speaks of Janardana with himself as fourth (Krishna with three companions, the three possibly being Samkarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha). Another verse mentions musical instruments being played at meetings in the temples of Rama (Balarama) and Kesava (Krishna). Patanjali also describes dramatic and mimetic performances (Krishna-Kamsopacharam) representing the killing of Kamsa by Vasudeva. Also in the 1st century BCE, there seems to be evidence for a worship of five Vrishni heroes (Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Samba) for an inscription has been found at Mora near Mathura, which apparently mentions a son of the great satrap Rajuvula, probably the satrap Sodasa, and an image of Vrishni, “probably Vasudeva, and of the “Five Warriors”.[34] Brahmi inscription on the Mora stone slab, now in the Mathura Museum. [35][36] Many inscriptions and references to worship of Krishna can be found from the early centuries of the Common Era. [edit] Early worship of Krishna Vasudeva Deity of Krishna-Vasudeva (kṛṣṇa vāsudeva “Krishna, the son of Vasudeva“) is historically one of the earliest forms of worship in Krishnaism and Vaishnavism. [37] It is believed to be a significant tradition of the early history of the worship of Krishna in antiquity.[38][39] This tradition is considered as earliest to other traditions that led to amalgamation at a later stage of the historical development. Other traditions are Bhagavatism and Cult of Gopala, that along with Cult of Bala-Krishna form the basis of current tradition of monotheistic religion of Krishna.[40][41] Some early scholars would equate it with Bhagavatism,[38] and the founder of this religious tradition is believed to be Krishna, who is the son of Vasudeva, thus his name is Vāsudeva, he is belonged to be historically part of the Satvata tribe, and according to them his followers called themselves Bhagavatas and this religion had formed by the 2nd century BC (the time of Patanjali), or as early as the 4th century BC according to evidence in Megasthenes and in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, when Vāsudeva was worshiped as supreme Deity in a strongly monotheistic format, where the supreme Being was perfect, eternal and full of grace.[38] In many sources outside of the cult, devotee or bhakta is defined as Vāsudevaka.[42] The Harivamsa describes intricate relationships between Krishna Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha that would later form a Vaishnava concept of primary quadrupled expansion, or avatara.[43] [edit] The Bhakti tradition Main articles: Bhakti and Krishnaism Bhakti, meaning devotion, is not confined to any one deity. Krishna is currently an important and popular focus of the devotional and ecstatic aspects of Hindu religion, particularly among the Vaishnava sects.[6][44] Devotees of Krishna subscribe to the concept of lila, meaning ‘divine play’, as the central principle of the universe. The lilas of Krishna, with their expressions of personal love that transcend the boundaries of formal reverence, serve as a counterpoint to the lilas of another avatar of Vishnu: Rama, “He of the straight and narrow path of maryada, or rules and regulations.”[7] The bhakti movements devoted to Krishna became prominent in southern 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‘s popular collection of songs Tiruppavai, in which she conceives of herself as a Gopi, is perhaps the oldest work of this genre. Kulashekhara‘s Mukundamala was another notable offering of this early stage. [edit] Spread of the Krishna-bhakti movement Gita Govinda by Jayadeva. Gita Govinda by Jayadeva. The movement spread rapidly from Northern India into the south, with the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva (12th century CE) becoming a landmark of devotional, Krishna-based, literature. It elaborated a part of the story of Krishna, that of his love for one particular gopi, called Radha, a minor character in the Bhagavata Purana but a major one in some others like the Brahma Vaivarta Purana. The poem is in Sanskrit and soon became famous all across India. Radha henceforth became inseparable from devotion to Krishna.[4] While the learned sections of the society well versed in Sanskrit could enjoy works like Gita Govinda or Bilvamangala‘s Krishna-Karnamritam, the masses sang the songs of the devotee-poets who composed in the regional languages of India. These songs expressing intense personal devotion were written by devotees from all walks of life. The songs of Mirabai and Surdas became epitomes of Krishna-devotion in north India. These devotee-poets, like the Alvars before them, were aligned to specific theological schools only loosely, if at all. But by the 11th century CE, Vaishnava Bhakti schools with elaborate theological frameworks around the worship of Krishna were established in north India. Nimbarka (11th century CE), Vallabhacharya (15th century CE) and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (16th century CE) were the founders of the most influential of these schools. Chaitanya’s tradition, called Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[7] sees Krishna as the supreme God,[1] rather than as an avatar of Vishnu.[6] Followers of Chaitanya and Vallabha maintain that he is himself an incarnation of Krishna. In the Maharashtra and Deccan areas, saint poets such as Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Janabai, Eknath and Tukaram (among others) promoted the worship of Krishna (as Vithoba) from the beginning of the 13th century until the late 18th century.[4] In Southern India Purandara Dasa and Kanakadasa of Karnataka composed songs devoted to Krishna of Udupi. Rupa Goswami has compiled a comprehensive summary of bhakti named Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu.[44] [edit] Krishna-bhakti in recent times Krishna (left) with  RadhaBhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, England Krishna (left) with Radha
Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, England
Since 1966, the Krishna bhakti movement has also spread outside India.[45] This is largely due to the evangelistic Hare Krishna movement, the largest part of which is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).[46] The movement was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who was instructed by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, to write about Krishna in the English language and to share the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy with people in the Western world.[47] [edit] Western academic study Main article: Krishnology Vaishnava theology has been a subject of study for many devotees, philosophers and scholars within India for centuries.[3] In recent decades this study has also been taken on by a number of academic institutions in Europe, such as the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and Bhaktivedanta College. The Vaishnava scholars instrumental in this western discourse include Tamala Krishna Goswami, Hridayananda dasa Goswami, Graham Schweig, Kenneth R. Valpey, Ravindra Svarupa dasa, Sivarama Swami, Satyaraja Dasa, and Guy Beck, among others.[10] [edit] In the performing arts Krishna as depicted in Yakshagana, which emerged as part of Bhakti tradition in Karnataka. Krishna as depicted in Yakshagana, which emerged as part of Bhakti tradition in Karnataka. The earliest mention of any performance based on the Krishna story is mentioned in Patanjali‘s Mahabhashya, though the type of performance is unclear. As all stories of Krishna are presented as playful activities in which he is fully aware of his divine nature made him a difficult subject for the classical Sanskrit playwrights. These plays usually had scenes where the hero is deep in sorrow before the customary happy ending. While Vishnu’s other major incarnation Rama could be made into the protagonist of the plays, it was virtually impossible to write such plays about Krishna. Bhasa‘s Balacharita and Dutavakya are the only plays by a major classical dramatist. The former dwells only on his childhood exploits and the latter is a one-act play based on a single episode from the Mahābhārata when Krishna tries to make peace between the warring cousins. The problem faced by classical drama did not surface in the other performing arts such as music, dance, and narrative enactments of the story of Krishna. From the 10th century BCE, with the growing Bhakti movement, Krishna became a favourite subject of the arts. The songs of the Gita Govinda became popular across India, and had many imitations. The songs composed by the Bhakti poets added to the repository of both folk and classical singing. The classical dances of India, especially Odissi and Manipuri, draw heavily on the story. The ‘Rasa lila‘ dances performed in Vrindavana shares elements with Kathak, and the Krisnattam, performed now exclusively at the Guruvayur temple, was the precursor of Kathakali. The beautiful classical Sattriya dance form, founded by the Assamese Vaishnava Saint Sankardeva, extols the virtues of Krishna. Among these is the Dashavatar Nritya. Srimanta Sankaradeva wrote various dramas, called Ekankiyas, including ‘Chor Dara’ and ‘Pimpara Gusuwa’, on the childhood of Krishna. Krishna also inspired Sankardeva to compose other works. A prominent part of Assamese culture includes Namghars, a congregational gathering, established by Sankardeva for praying to Krishna. There is a namghar in every village of Assam. Medieval Maharashtra gave birth to a form of storytelling known as the ‘Hari-Katha’, that told Vaishnava tales and teachings through music, dance, and narrative sequences, and the story of Krishna became a rich source of knowledge to base these narrative sequences on. This tradition spread to Tamil Nadu and other southern states, and is now popular in many places throughout India. Narayana Tirtha‘s (17th century CE) Krishna-Lila-Tarangini provided material for the musical plays of the Bhagavata-Mela by telling the tale of Krishna from birth until his marriage to Rukmini. Tyagaraja (18th century CE) wrote a similar piece about Krishna called Nauka-Charitam. The narratives of Krishna from the Puranas are performed in Yakshagana, a performance style native to Karnataka‘s coastal districts. Many movies in all Indian languages have been made based on these stories. These are of varying quality and usually add various songs, melodrama, and special effects. [edit] Krishna in other religions "Celebration of Spring by Krishna and Radha," 18th Century miniature; in the Guimet Museum, Paris Celebration of Spring by Krishna and Radha,” 18th Century miniature; in the Guimet Museum, Paris Accounts of Krishna exist in many different belief systems, of which include: [edit] Indian religions [edit] Jainism The most exalted figures in Jainism are the twenty-four Tirthankaras. Krishna, when he was incorporated into the Jain list of heroic figures presented a problem with his activities which are not pacifist or non-violent. The concept of Baladeva, Vasudeva and Prati-Vasedeva was used to solve it. The Jain list of sixty-three Shalakapurshas or notable figures includes amongst others, the twenty-four Tirthankaras and nine sets of this triad. One of these triads is Krishna as the Vasudeva, Balarama as the Baladeva and Jarasandha as the Prati-Vasudeva. He was a cousin of the twenty-second Tirthankara, Neminatha. The stories of these triads can be found in the Harivamsha of Jinasena (not be confused with its namesake, the addendum to Mahābhārata) and the Trishashti-shalakapurusha-charita of Hemachandra.[citation needed] In each age of the Jain cyclic time is born a Vasudeva with an elder brother termed the Baladeva. The villain is the Prati-vasudeva. Baladeva is the upholder of the Jain principle of non-violence. However, Vasudeva has to forsake this principle to kill the Prati-Vasudeva and save the world. The Vasudeva then has to descend to hell as punishment for this violent act. Having undergone the punishment he is then reborn as a Tirthankara.[citation needed] [edit] Buddhism The story of Krishna occurs in the Jataka tales in Buddhism[48] in the Ghatapandita Jataka as a prince and legendary conqueror and king of India.[citation needed] In the Buddhist version, Krishna is called Vasudeva, Kanha and Keshava, and Balarama is his younger brother, Baladeva. These details match that of the story given in the Bhagavata Purana. Vasudeva, along with his nine other brothers (each son a powerful wrestler) and one elder sister (Anjana) capture all of Jambudvipa (many consider this to be India) after beheading their evil uncle, King Kamsa, and later all other kings of Jambudvipa with his Sudarshana Chakra. Much of the story involving the defeat of Kamsa follows the story given in the Bhagavata Purana.[citation needed] As depicted in the Mahābhārata, all of the sons are eventually killed due to a curse of sage Kanhadīpayana (Veda Vyasa, also known as Krishna Dwaipayana). Krishna himself is eventually speared by a hunter in the foot by mistake, leaving the sole survivor of their family being their sister, Añjanadevī of whom no further mention is made.[citation needed] Since Jataka tales are given from the perspective of Buddha‘s previous lives (as well as the previous lives of many of Buddha’s followers), Krishna appears as one of the lives of Sariputra, one of Buddha’s foremost disciples and the “Dhammasenapati” or “Chief General of the Dharma” and is usually shown being Buddha’s “right hand man” in Buddhist art and iconography.[49] The Bodhisattva, is born in this tale as one of his youngest brothers named Ghatapandita, and saves Krishna from the grief of losing his son.[citation needed] [edit] Abrahamic religions [edit] Bahá’í Faith Bahá’ís believe that Krishna was a “Manifestation of God,” or one in a line of prophets who have revealed the Word of God progressively for a gradually maturing humanity. In this way, Krishna shares an exalted station with Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb, and the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh.[50] [edit] Ahmadiyya Islam Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believe Krishna to be a great prophet of God as described by their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad: Let it be clear that Lord Krishna, according to what has been revealed to me, was such a truly great man that it is hard to find his like among the rishis and avatars of the Hindus. He was an avatar (i.e. a prophet) of his time upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend from God. He was from God, victorious and prosperous. He cleansed the land of the Arya from sin and was in fact the prophet of his age whose teaching was later corrupted in numerous ways. He was full of love for God, a friend of virtue and an enemy of evil.[51] [edit] Other 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, Biblical and even historical figures.[52] For instance, Édouard Schuré, an influential figure in perennial philosophy and occult movements, considered Krishna a Great Initiate; while Theosophists regard him as one of the Masters, a spiritual teacher for humanity.[53][54] Krishna was canonized by Aleister Crowley and is recognized as a saint in the Gnostic Mass of Ordo Templi Orientis.[55][56]

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