Krsna is belived to be the eighth incarnation of Visnu, who had been dominating the entire epic of Mahabharata. there is an enormous literature on Krsna, which highlights his life and events connected therewith. His popularity is still a living faith with Indian masses. His full personality is exhibited in the Puranas, more particularly in the Bhagavata and others. The work provides the glimpses of his life in brief in an interesting manner.
Shantilal Nagar, a graduate of the Punjab University, served in the curatorial capacity in the Central Asian Antiquities Museum, New Delhi, the Archaeological Museum, Nalanda, and Archaeological Section of the Indian Museum, Calcutta for a number of years. He has to his credit the scientific documentation of over fifty thousand antiquities, in these museums, representing the rich cultural heritage of the country and comprising of sculptures, bronzes, terracottas, beads, seals and sealing, ancient Indian numismatics, wood work, miniatures and paintings, textiles and Pearce collection of gems, ranging from the earliest times to the late medieval period. He was awarded, in 1987, a fellowship, for his monograph on the Temples of Himachal Pradesh, by the
Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He has authored more than fifty books.
Krsna happens to be the eighth incarnation of Visnu who had a forceful personality and incarnated on earth to remove the suffering of the people in distress. He himself had declared in the Bhagavadgita that "he incarnates on earth to uphold the grace of the noble people and for the punishment of the wicked, the evil and the degraded people." He had a multifarious personality and the entire country was practically in turmoil before his birth. He had all along an eventful life right from him infancy to the end. He was quite active in his childhood as well as in youth and the advanced stage. The childhood exploits of Krsna had been quite popular with the masses from the time immemorial and the small children even today listen with apt attention the childhood exploits of Krsna from their parents and grant- parents. The youthful age of Krsna had also been of great activity and his subjugation of Kamsa, who had imprisoned his own father, beside his participation in the Mahabharata war placed him in the centre stage of the Indian polity bestowing immense importance on him. Before we discuss in detail about his life sketch, it would be of interest to know about the conditions prevailing before his birth in the country.
(i) Burden of the Earth
In earlier times the earth having been tortured by the Danavas, the Daityas, the humans with evil minds 'and the wicked kings had been crying with pain and taking to the form of a cow she went to Brahma to take refuge with him because of the atrocities committed by the people. She was trembling at that time. Listening to the story of her suffering, Brahma consoled her and at once accompanied with her and other gods went to lord Siva who in turn reached Vaikuntha the abode of lord Visnu, Arriving there, Brahma bowed in reverence to lord Visnu and narrated to him the painful story of the earth. There after Visnu the lord of Laksmi spoke to the gods and Brahma, "O Brahman, lord Krsna is the ruler of innumerable globes is imperishable and is also lord of the
gods. His divine sports are innumerable and beyond description. This task cannot be established without achieving his grace". According to the Garga Samhita, listening to the words of lord Visnu he directed all the gods to go to Goloka which was lodged at the top of the globe. All the gods then went to Goloka and had an audience with lord Krsna.
(ii) Supremacy of Lord Krsna
Having an audience with lord Krsna in Goloka, according to the Garga Samhita, the eight armed Visnu, the lord of Vaikuntha, got up and merged into the body of lord Krsna, In the mean time lord Narasimha arrived and merged into the body of lord Krsna. Thereafter, the Virata Purusa having a thousand arms and lord of the Svetadvipa arrived there and merged into the body of lord Krsna. Thereafter lord Rama also arrived holding the bow and arrow accompanied with Sita, Bharata and other brothers and merged into the body of lord Krsna. Similarly, all the gods merged into the body of lord Krsna. The ascetics and other gods then started praying lord Krsna variously. When the gods so prayed to
the lord and offer their salutation to him, the lord spoke to the gods in deep voice, "O gods like Brahma, Siva and others, all of you should listen to my words and at my command all of you should incarnate from your amsa on earth in the form of goddesses of the race of Yadu. I shall myself incarnate on earth to rid the earth of her burden. I shall incarnate in the race of Yadus and I shall accomplish your task." When Krsna, the lord of the Universe was so speaking Radha also spoke, "O lord of my life, in case you incarnate on earth, you would be separated from me." Thus, thinking Radha was upset and fainted. Regaining
consciousness she said, "You surely descend on earth to relieve her of her burden but you listen to me, O lord of my life I shall not remain alive even for a moment after your departure and my life would depart from my body." The lord then said, "O Radha don't be upset, I shall move along with you on earth."
(iii) Kamsa Gains Power on Earth
The Garga Samhita brings out the fact that Kamsa was the incarnation of Kalanemi who had fought with Visnu at the time of churning of the ocean. Visnu killed Kalanemi and he was brought back to life by Sukracarya with the knowledge of Sanjivani. Kalanemi then resolved to fight with Visnu and with that end in view he started performing tapas over Mandaracala mountain, consuming the juice of Durba grass. He meditated upon Brahma and after a hundred years Brahma appeared before him. At that point of time the body of Kalanemi was reduced to skeleton, Brahma asked him, "You ask for a boon", Kalanemi then said, "No god should be able to kill me, Visnu happens to be my main rival".
Brahma said, "O demon the boon you have asked for is impossible to achieve and you can do at some other time." Thereafter, Kalanemi was born from the womb of wife of Ugrasena known by the name of Padmavati. He was then known as Kamsa and he used to have wrestling fight with very strong wrestlers. Once Jarasandha, the king of Magadha, set out of victory and camped his army near the Yamuna river. He had an elephant named Kubalayapidha having the strength of a thousand elephants and the fluid was emerging out of its temples. Once it brokes several of the chains and rushed out of the camp. It started destroying the camp, the houses, mountain and banks. Kamsa had an encounter with it. Kamsa then caught hold of it by the trunk and rotating it in the air threw it on the ground towards the army camp of Jarasandha. Jarasandha the king of Magadha was
immensely delighted at the strength of Kamsa and married his two daughters Asti and Prapti to Kamsa and gave crores of horses to Kamsa besides enormous riches. Kamsa then felt immensely arrogated and he not only subjugated many wrestlers and kings of the country but also dethroned his own father and installed himself as the king of Mathura. While subjugating several kings he then went to Parasurama and challenged him who was filled with rage. Kamsa bowed in his head at the feet of Parasurama and circumambulated him a number of times. Kamsa then prostrated before him and said. But Parasurama who was burning in anger was calmed down a bit and he said to Kamsa, "O deplorable insect and son of the she monkey, you are useless for me like a mosquito. Look here I have a gigantic bow which is quite heavy and was handed over by lord Visnu to Siva to fight the Tripurasura. It was in turn handed over by Siva to me for the destruction of Ksatriyas. In case you string the bow, well and good. Otherwise in case you are unable to do so, I shall completely destroy you." On hearing this, Kamsa received the bow from the great sage and then strung it and produced a deafening sound with the stretching of the cord. Kamsa then placed the bow on the ground and bowed in reverence to Parasurama again and again. Kamsa then said to him, "O lord, I am not a Ksatriya but am a Daitya and your slave. You kindly protect me. Thereafter, Parasurama blessed him. In this way Kamsa subjugated several demons and the kings of the country.
(iv) Birth of Radha
Lord Krsna did not incarnate on earth for the killing of Kamsa or the demons alone, but he did so for the protection of the noble people on earth, he made the eternal Sakti to enter into the womb of Kirti and appear as the daughter of Vrsabhanu. In the earlier birth, the couple had prayed to the lord to have Laksmi as their daughter, as a result of which Radha was born to them. With the incarnation of Radha on earth, the water of rivers was purified besides all the directions. She was born on the Sarada Purnima day illumining like hundreds of moons; the milkmaid Kirti was
filled with delight and the girl was given the name of Radhika. When Radhika of whom, the several gods and humans always remain desirous. of having a glimpse at her, collected in the house of Vrsabhanu. She was daily placed in a cradle made of sandal wood and decorated with diamonds. She started growing like the moon of the bright fortnight. Radhika happened to be the moon rays. She was the divine light for Vrsabhanu and was like the garland around the neck of great cowherds.
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