Lord Krishna is one of the most popular Hindu deities. He is the eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu as well. Lord Krishna is famous among his devotees due to a plethora of reasons. He is compassionate, tender, and loving. His name in Sanskrit refers to Krsna. Here, in this article, we will look into the origin, life, weapons, and vehicles used by Lord Krishna. We will focus on their significance, as well.
Devotees celebrate Lord Krishna's birthday as Krishna Janmashtami. Lord Krishna was born in Mathura to Devaki and Vasudeva. However, his parents had to leave him with Yashoda and Nanda because of a prophecy Devaki's brother, Kamsa confronted. As per the prediction, Devaki's child would kill Kamasa. To save his life, he decided to kill all of Devaki's children as soon as she gave birth to them.
Similarly, Kamsa, after the birth of Lord Krishna, came to kill him. But Vasudeva replaced him with Yogamaya, who was the daughter of Yashoda and Nanda. Before he killed her, she transformed into a goddess and informed that Kamsa's killer was still alive. She, then, disappeared.
Lord Krishna lived with Yasoda and Nanda in Mathura. He has two siblings - Balarama and Subhadra. Lord Krishna was naughty, and everyone loved him. He was known as 'Makhan Chor' and was a cow herder. He stayed as the protector of the people in Gokul and Vrindavan. As He grew up, He overthrew Kamsa and became the prince of Dwarka. Lord Krishna became friends with Arjuna and the Pandavas after He started to live in Dwarka.
As per Mahabharata, he helped Arjuna and the Pandavas during their war against the Kauravas. Though He drove the chariot for Arjuna, He did not take up a weapon in the fight. It was a condition that He made before He entered the Kurushetra war.
On the battleground, Arjuna lost courage and decided not to fight against his family. But Lord Krishna became his advisor. Through profound advice He gave, Arjuna regained faith and decided to wage war. Lord Krishna spoke about ethics and morality. He advised Arjuna on the good and bad of war. Lord Krishna stated that Arjuna must focus on his duties and responsibilities. He also spoke about the types of yoga to help Arjuna or anyone attain bliss in their lives. One can find these teachings in Bhagavad Gita in detail.
After the death of Duryodhana, Lord Krishna met with Gandhari, who was mourning her son's death. As per Stree Parva, Gandhari was quite upset, and she said that Lord Krishna would become the slayer of his people. Akin to her words, in Mahabharata, the Yadavas quarreled amongst themselves and died. Lord Krishna, who lived for 125 years on Earth, lost his life when Jara, a hunter, shot him with an arrow. He mistook Lord Krishna for being a deer. Before Lord Krishna died, Krishna forgave Jara. He ascended to the divine world soon after his demise.
References to Lord Krishna in Ancient Texts: There are countless references to Lord Krishna in ancient texts. We have discussed some of them in the previous section. Bhagavata Purana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu Purana, and Harivamsa are some of the works that refer to Lord Krishna. One can find the legends of Lord Krishna in Krishna Charita. As per Bhagavata Purana, Lord Krisha has eight wives. They are Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavathi, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra, and Lakshmana. As per various other references, Lord Krishna has 16,108 wives. Radha and Krishna are known for their eternal and spiritual love.
Harivamsa is a work that tries to provide a realistic depiction of Lord Krishna. Here, He leads a pastoral life as a herder. In the end, He becomes victorious. You can find references to Lord Krishna in Jainism and Buddhism as well.
Weapons used by Lord Krishna and their significance: Lord Krishna has several weapons. Some of them are Sudharshana Chakra, Kaumudaki Gada, Narayanastra Sharga bow, and Nandak sword.
Sudharshana Chakra is a weapon Lord Vishnu uses. It is a circular disc, and it means 'good vision.' Vishvakarma made Sudharshana Chakra from the Sun's dust along with the Pushpaka Vimana and Trishula. He gifted it to Lord Vishnu.
Lord Krishna gained Chakra from Parashurama. It flew at the command of Lord Krishna and could tear off the heads of the people.
Kaumudaki Gada is a weapon given to Lord Krishna by Agni. Lord Krishna used it in his fight against Indra and also to kill Dantavakra, a demon.
Narayanastra is yet another powerful weapon used by Lord Krishna. He also uses the celestial bow known as Sharaga.
Nandak Sword represents knowledge and is the destroyer of ignorance. It is famously known as the pure sword.
Vehicles used by Lord Krishna and their significance: Akin to Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna also has Garuda as his Vahana or vehicle. He used it when he waged war against Narakasura and when he brought Parijatha tree from Amaravathi. Apart from that, he commonly uses his horses and chariots. He used his horse to chase Satadhanwa. He has used his chariot several times. For instance, during his incarnation and also while bringing Rukmini home, Lord Krishna used his chariot. As per ancient texts, Daraka was the person who drove Lord Krishna's chariot. In front of his chariot, there is a flag with a symbol of Garuda. Lord Krishna also had four horses - Sugreva, Meghapushpa, Vahahaka, and Saibya.
Lord Krishna, thus, is a seminal figure in Hinduism. He is a deity of profound regard and plays a crucial role in our customs and traditions. There are numerous tales and legends about Lord Krishna as well.