Sri Krishna is the central figure of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna is widely considered to be an Avatar – a direct descent of God.
As Sri Krishna said in the opening section of the Bhagavad Gita:
“Whenever, O descendant of Bharata, righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails, I manifest Myself. For the protection of the righteous and the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of religion, I come into being from age to age.”
This not only expressed Sri Krishna’s divinity but, also promises future incarnations of God in human form.
Sri Krishna was born in prison to devout parents Devaki and Vasudeva. At the time his life was in danger because the tyrant Kamsa was seeking to kill him. It had been foretold that Kamsa would be killed by Devaki’s eighth child. Since Sri Krishna was the eighth child, he was smuggled out of prison to be raised by his foster parents Nanda and Yasoda in Gokula.
Sri Krishna in Brindavan
In the early stage of his life, Sri Krishna is often depicted playing the flute for his beloved gopis – female devotees. Of these Radha was the greatest devotee.
This life episode was crucial in the development of Hindu Bhakti devotional tradition. It is this tradition of bhakti which was important in the lives of future avatars such as Sri Chaitanya and to a lesser extent Sri Ramakrishna.
Sri Krishna and Bhagavad Gita
On his return to Mathura, Sri Krishna befriended the Pandava Prince, Arjuna. Sri Krishna became a counsel and friend to Arjuna. At the onset of the Battle of Kurushetra, Arjuna choose the counsel of Sri Krishna rather than his armies. It was on the Battle field of Kurushetra that Sri Krishna gave the immortal dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita, which was an exposition of Sri Krishna’s yoga and how an aspiring seeker might seek union with God. Unlike Indian scriptures of the past, the Bhagavad Gita did not require world renunciation, but encouraged world acceptance.
Sri Krishna at Dwarka
In later life Sri Krishna retired to Dwarka where he lived for many years.
Legend has it that Sri Krishna was killed by an arrow through his ankle.