Vishnu: Lord Krishna [ Destructor of Evil ]

Lord Krishna [ Destructor of Evil ] :

Because of his great Godly power, Lord Krishna is another of the most commonly worshipped deities in the Hindu faith. He is considered to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Shree Krishna delivered Bhagwad Gita on battlefield to Arjun.
He, like Lord Rama, is also known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life. The Lord is usually depicted as playing the flute (murali), indicating spread of the melody of love to people.
He is also shown with his childhood devotee Radha. The Lord is usually remembered and worshipped as Radha-Krishna. The pair symbolizes the eternal love between people and god.
Lord Krishna is also shown with his pet cow, his childhood favorite. Lord Krishna performed many divine sports (leela) as a child.
This incarnation of Lord Vishnu is probably the most important of the ten. It has accumulated a great variety of myths with the result that, as well as being a human incarnation, Krishna shows all the aspects of human development usually associated with childhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc.
There are few stages in a mortal worshipper’s life, or objects of his aspiration, for which a counterpart cannot be found somewhere in the stories relating the activies of Krishna. It is this almost universal appeal that is responsible for his wide popularity and the deep impression he has made on Indian life.
This reputation was only achieved gradually. As with other incarnations he began unobtrusively in the ancient texts but showed an almost organic tendency to develop that was, possibly, only equaled by the rest of the Vishnu legends together.
Although many of the stories about him concern his super-human deeds he also revealed a marked human capacity for drinking, fighting and amorous escapades. Most of these are found in the Mahabharata, especially in its later interpolation the Bhagavad-Gita which is almost entirely devoted to him, and the Bhagavata-Purana.
Perhaps the most popular of these stories are about his skill as a flute- player, illustrated by the image which (as is often the case) lacks its flute. This adds considerably to the pastoral character of many of the Krishna stories and, at the same time, its music and shape and the effect it has on the girl cowherds (gopis) provide a rich source of speculation on its symbolism.
On bearing the music of Krishna’s flute, pea- cocks dance and other animals stand still and worship him with their glances, celestial maidens flying in their aerial cars above the earth become infatuated with him and shower him with flowers, rivers become smooth- running and offer him lotuses, and in the beat of the day clouds let fall on him their cooling rain.
Bharata was an ancient king whose achievements are celebrated in the Mahabharata and from whose name derives one of the names for modern India, that is Bharat. During the final battle, Krishna serves as charioteer for the hero Arjuna, and before the fighting starts he bolsters Arjuna’s faltering will to fight against his kin.
Krishna reveals himself as Vishnu, the supreme godhead, who has set up the entire conflict to cleanse the earth of evildoers according to his inscrutable will. This section of the epic, the Bhagavad Gita , or Song of the Lord, is one of the great jewels of world religious literature and of central importance in modern Hinduism.
One of its main themes is karma-yoga , or selfless discipline in offering all of one’s allotted tasks in life as a devotion to God and without attachment to consequences. The true reality is the soul that neither slays nor is slain and that can rejoin God through selfless dedication and through Krishna’s saving grace.
A completely different cycle of stories portrays Krishna as a young cowherd, growing up in the country after he was saved from an evil uncle who coveted his kingdom. In this incarnation, Krishna often appears as a happy, roly-poly infant, well known for his pranks and thefts of butter.
Although his enemies send evil agents to destroy him, the baby miraculously survives their attacks and kills his demonic assailants. Later, as he grows into an adolescent, he continues to perform miracles such as saving the cowherds and their flocks from a dangerous storm by holding up a mountain over their heads until the weather clears.
His most striking exploits, however, are his affairs as a young adult with the gopis(cowherding maidens), all of whom are in love with him because of his good looks and talent with the flute.
These explicitly sexual activities, including stealing the clothes of the maidens while they are bathing, are the basis for a wide range of poetry and songs to Krishna as a lover; the devotee of the god takes on a female role and directs toward the beloved lord the heartfelt longing for union with the divine.
Krishna’s relationship with Radha, his favorite among the gopis , has served as a model for male and female love in a variety of art forms, and since the sixteenth century appears prominently as a motif in North Indian paintings.
Unlike many other deities, who are depicted as very fair in color, Krishna appears in all these adventures as a dark lord, either black or blue in color. In this sense, he is a figure who constantly overturns accepted conventions of order, hierarchy, and propriety, and introduces a playful and mischievous aspect of a god who hides from his worshipers but saves them in the end.
The festival of Holi at the spring equinox, in which people of all backgrounds play in the streets and squirt each other with colored water, is associated with Krishna.