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Sri Krishna

Introduction

Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism. He is worshipped as the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right. He is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism, and is one of the most popular and widely revered among Indian divinities. Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Krishna Janmashtami. Krishna is usually depicted with a flute in his hand. The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Leela.

He is a central character:

  • In the Mahabharata,
  • The Bhagavata Purana
  • The Bhagavad Gita,
Krishna Mentioned in many Hindu philosophical, theological, and mythological texts. They portray him in various perspectives:
  • A god-child,
  • A prankster,
  • A model lover,
  • A divine hero,
  • The universal supreme being.

Krishna iconography reflects these legends, and shows him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young boy with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna. Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Manipuri dance. Since the 1960s, the worship of Krishna has also spread to the Western world and to Africa, largely due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Philosophy of Sri Krishna

Ramanuja A Hindu theologian whose works were influential in Bhakti movement, presented Krishna in terms of qualified monism (Vishishtadvaita).
Madhvacharya A Hindu philosopher whose works led to the founding of Haridasa sect of Vaishnavism, presented Krishna in the framework of dualism (Dvaita).
Jiva Goswami A saint from Gaudiya Vaishnava school,described Krishna theology in terms of Bhakti yoga and Achintya Bheda Abheda.
Vallabha Acharya Krishna theology is presented in a pure monism (advaita, called shuddhadvaita) framework by Vallabha Acharya, who was the founder of Pushti sect of Vaishnavism.
Madhusudana Sarasvati Madhusudana Sarasvati, an India philosopher, presented Krishna theology in nondualism-monism framework (Advaita Vedanta).
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara, who is credited for unifying and establishing the main currents of thought in Hinduism, mentioned Krishna in his early eighth-century discussions on Panchayatana puja.

The Bhagavata Purana, a popular text on Krishna considered to be like a scripture in Assam, synthesizes an Advaita, Samkhya, and Yoga framework for Krishna but one that proceeds through loving devotion to Krishna. The philosophy of the Bhagavata is a mixture of Vedanta terminology, Samkhyan metaphysics and devotionalized Yoga praxis. Krishna as the essence and symbol of divine love, with human life and love as a reflection of the divine.
Other texts that include Krishna such as the Bhagavad Gita have attracted numerous bhasya (commentaries) in the Hindu traditions. In Bhagavad Gita we witnessed Arjuna ethical and moral dilemmas of human life, then Krishna presents a spectrum of answers, weighing in on the ideological questions on human freedoms, choices, and responsibilities towards self and towards others. This 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.

Sri Krishna teaching to Arjun in Mahabharat epic

  • The wise men do not grieve for the living or the dead.”
  • A karma-yogi does not care for men. He is unattached to everything
  • “A Karma-yogi should fight while treating victory and defeat alike, gain and loss alike, pain and pleasure alike and fighting thus, he does not incur sin.”
  • Dedicating all actions to Me freed from the feelings of hope and sadness and cured of mental fever. Because he who has given up all desires and has become free from the feelings of “I” and “Mine” eventually attains peace.”
  • Delight is derived by being free from likes and dislikes and that too, only after controlling one's senses.”
  • If you refuse to fight this righteous war and shy away from your innate duty, you will lose your reputation as a warrior and thus you will definitely incur sin.”
  • It is greed in the form of desires which is insatiable and grossly wicked. Its man’s enemy and conduces him to commit sin. Therefore, in all circumstances, it is the greed that should be renounced.”
  • Do not worry about the results.
  • We should rise above moh and maya and other worldly affairs'.