Lord Krishna was clearly ‘the dude’ of his time. I mean, one of his many names was ‘Mohan’, which literally means ‘bewitching’ and ‘a charmer’. We usually remember the 8th avatar of Vishnu as the cute little butter thief, or as the charioteer guide of Arjun in Mahabharat, who helped the warrior find his path in the midst of battle. But Krishna is so much more than that.
Here are some things about the legendary mythological character that most people probably don’t know.
Part 1: Lesser-Known Facts About Lord Krishna
Krishna, often called ‘the dude’ of his time, is a legendary mythological figure with a rich tapestry of stories and characteristics. While many remember him as the cute butter thief or Arjuna’s charioteer in the Mahabharata, there’s so much more to discover about him. Here are some lesser-known facts:
1. Lord Krishna has 108 names.
Lord Krishna is known by 108 names, each holding a unique significance. Some famous ones include Gopal, Govind, Devakinandan, Mohan, Shyam, Ghanshyam, Hari, Girdhari, and Baanke Bihari, among others.
2. Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives.
Krishna had an astonishing 16,108 wives. He rescued 16,100 women from the demon Narakasura and married them to protect their honor. His principal wives, known as ‘Ashtabharya,’ included Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, and others. Krishna’s love for them was unparalleled, even though he didn’t have relations with all of them.
3. Lord Krishna was cursed by Queen Gandhari, which led to his death and the destruction of his dynasty.
Queen Gandhari cursed Krishna after the Kurukshetra war, predicting his death and the downfall of his dynasty in 36 years. Krishna accepted this fate, as he believed the Yadu clan had become morally decadent.
4. Lord Krishna’s skin colour was dark, not blue.
Contrary to popular depictions, Krishna’s skin was dark, not blue. The blue color is often associated with his aura, representing his all-encompassing magnetism.
5. Lord Krishna brought his Guru Sandipani Muni’s dead son back to life.
After completing their education under Guru Sandipani Muni, Krishna and Balarama asked their Guru what he wanted as Guru Dakshina ( fee for imparting knowledge). Guru Sandipani Muni asked them to restore his dead son who had disappeared in an ocean near Prabhasa. Balaram and Krishna travelled to the spot where they learnt that their Guru’s son had been trapped by a demon who lived inside a conch named Panchajanya which they subsequently took to Yama (God of Death) and asked him to restore the boy. Thus, Krishna and Balarama succeeded in restoring their Guru’s son.
6. Lord Krishna blowing on his conch, Panchjanya, was the war cry for the Pandavas in Kurukshetra.
Krishna’s conch, Panchjanya, had a powerful resonance worldwide. He blew it to signal the start and end of the Kurukshetra battle, symbolizing the victory of righteousness.
7. Lord Krishna was related to the Pandavas.
Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, was Vasudev’s sister, making Krishna and the Pandavas related.
8. Eklavya was Krishna’s cousin, but was slain by him.
Eklavya, the skilled archer was the son of Devsharavu who was Vasudev’s brother (Vasudev was Krishna’s father). After Dronacharya makes Eklavya cut off his right thumb, Lord Krishna grants him a boon to be reincarnated so as to seek revenge on him. Eklavya is reincarnated as Dhrishtadyumna who stepped out of the yajna fire, created for the sole purpose of killing Dronacharya.
it is also said that Lord Krishna killed Eklavya. His father, Devsharavu was the adopted son of the king of hunters, Nishada Vyatraja Hiranyadhanus. After Eklavya sacrificed his right thumb, his thirst to prove himself as the greatest archer grew and he taught himself to be ambidexterous. He started straying from the path of righteousness. Nishada Vyatraja Hiranyadhanus were long standing allies of Jarasandha, who was Krishna’s enemy and when Krishna was carrying away Rukmini, Eklavya joined forces with Shishupala and Jarasandha to stop him. When Eklavya challenged him, Krishna hurled a rock at Eklavya killing him. According to legend, Eklavya’s death was imminent as he would later have been a force to reckon with and would have wreaked havoc in Hastinapur.
9. There are conflicting reports about whether Radha, Krishna’s consort, was mentioned at all in ancient scriptures.
While Krishna’s devotion to Radha is well-known, her presence in ancient scriptures is debated. Some claim she’s absent in texts like the Shrimad Bhagvatam and Mahabharata, only appearing in later works.
10. The Radha-Krishna relationship was used to legitimize premarital sex in modern India
In modern India, the Radha-Krishna relationship has been used to legitimize premarital sex, with the Supreme Court referencing their cohabitation in mythology to decriminalize it.
Stay tuned for more intriguing facts about Lord Krishna in Part 2!
Part 2: Lesser-Known Facts About Lord Krishna (Continued)
11. Krishna’s death was the result of a number of curses and his own act of adharma against Vali.
Krishna’s death resulted from several curses. Gandhari’s curse foretold his demise along with the Yadu clan in 36 years. Additionally, the sage Durvasa cursed Krishna, predicting his death by a foot-related incident.
12. Krishna’s End and the Hunter’s Arrow
Krishna went into yoga samadhi under a tree after the Yadu clan’s self-destruction, caused by Gandhari’s curse. A tragic twist occurred when a hunter named Jara mistook Krishna’s foot for an animal and shot an arrow, mortally wounding him. Krishna forgave Jara but revealed that Jara was the reincarnation of Vali, whom Krishna had previously killed deceitfully in another life.
Hindu mythology offers a fascinating glimpse into the complex and multifaceted character of Lord Krishna. These lesser-known facts highlight his extraordinary life, relationships, and the profound impact he had on ancient and modern Indian culture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Lesser-Known Facts About Lord Krishna
Q1: Who is Lord Krishna, and why is he famous in Hindu mythology?
A: Lord Krishna is a prominent figure in Hindu mythology and is known for his multifaceted character. He is famous for his role as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, his childhood adventures like stealing butter, and his pivotal role as Arjuna’s charioteer in the Mahabharata.
Q2: How many names does Lord Krishna have, and can you mention a few of them?
A: Lord Krishna is said to have 108 names, with some famous ones including Gopal, Govind, Devakinandan, Mohan, Shyam, Ghanshyam, Hari, Girdhari, and Baanke Bihari.
Q3: How many wives did Lord Krishna have, and why did he marry so many women?
A: Lord Krishna had 16,108 wives. He married them after rescuing them from the demon Narakasura to protect their honor. Eight of these wives were principal and bore him 10 sons each.
Q4: What curse led to Lord Krishna’s death and the destruction of his dynasty?
A: Queen Gandhari cursed Lord Krishna after the Kurukshetra war, predicting his death and the Yadu dynasty’s downfall in 36 years. Krishna accepted this fate.
Q5: What is the significance of Krishna’s skin color, and why is he often depicted as blue?
A: While Krishna’s skin was actually dark, he is often depicted as blue due to the belief that his all-encompassing aura had blue hues, symbolizing his magnetic presence.
Q6: How did Lord Krishna revive his Guru’s dead son, and what was the boon he granted to Eklavya?
A: Krishna and Balarama revived their Guru’s dead son, who was trapped in a demon inside a conch named Panchajanya. Krishna granted Eklavya a boon for reincarnation after Dronacharya demanded his thumb.
Q7: What was the significance of Krishna’s conch, Panchjanya, in the Kurukshetra war?
A: Krishna’s conch, Panchjanya, had powerful reverberations and was used to signal the start and end of the Kurukshetra battle, symbolizing the victory of righteousness.
Q8: How was Lord Krishna related to the Pandavas, and who was Eklavya in relation to Krishna?
A: Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, was Vasudev’s sister, making Krishna related to the Pandavas. Eklavya was Krishna’s cousin, and he later reincarnated as Dhrishtadyumna.
Q9: Was Radha mentioned in ancient scriptures, and what is her significance in Krishna’s life?
A: Radha’s presence in ancient scriptures is debated. While Krishna’s devotion to Radha is well-known, her name is often absent in texts like the Shrimad Bhagvatam and Mahabharata.
Q10: How has the Radha-Krishna relationship been used in modern India?
A: In modern India, the Radha-Krishna relationship has been cited to legitimize premarital sex, with the Supreme Court referring to their cohabitation in mythology to decriminalize it.
Q11: How did curses lead to Lord Krishna’s death, and what happened with the hunter’s arrow?
A: Lord Krishna’s death resulted from curses, including one by Gandhari and another by sage Durvasa. He eventually went into yoga samadhi, and a hunter named Jara mistakenly shot him in the foot, fulfilling the curse.
These FAQs provide insights into the lesser-known aspects of Lord Krishna’s life and mythology, shedding light on his extraordinary character and stories.