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108 Facts about Sri Krishna – Unknown and Known

December 9, 2022 | Total Views : 1,226
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Sri Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, the Preserver Archetype in the Hindu religion. Vishnu has taken many avatars to preserve Dharma (righteousness) in the Universe whenever it is in danger. Here are 108 facts about Krishna, some of which are quite well-known and others not so well-known.

  1. The popular image of Krishna comes from Uttara. She was the wife of Abhimanyu and daughter-in-law of Arjuna. King Vajranabhi, who was the great-grandson of Krishna, created Krishna’s first image based on her description.
  2. The 3 foods that Krishna liked on earth reveal the importance of devotion and simplicity. They are poha or aval of Kuchela, leftover grain (or in some cases amaranth leaves) given by Draupadi, and the porridge he had at Vidura’s home.
  3. Krishna is seldom depicted with a mustache. But the Parthasarathy form of Krishna in the Triplicane Parthasarathy temple in Chennai has a mustache.
  4. Some cave drawings in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, show Krishna holding the Sudarshan  Chakra. The drawing goes back to 800 BC.
  5. Images of Krishna holding the Sudarshan Chakra are also found on Indo-Greek coins going back to 108 BC.
  6. Tamil Sangam literature from 200 BC to 100 BC mentions Mayon and his love for bulls and cows. Mayon is supposedly Krishna. Kerala’s Onam festival is related to Mayon.
  7. Bhagavad Purana refers to 22 avatars of Vishnu, including Rishabha, the Jaina God.
  8. According to legend, when Vasudeva took Krishna to Gokul, Devaki created a replica of the baby, which had four arms.
  9. A Kannada legend says that a donkey brayed whenever a son was born to Devaki in prison. Kamsa knew about the child’s birth due to the donkey. But during Krishna’s birth, the donkey did not bray.
  10. Krishna is dark-complexioned. But in modern television serials, he is fair-skinned.
  11. The Bauls of Bengal believe that Krishna is a form of Goddess Kali.
  12. The first demon Krishna liberated on earth was Putana. All the demons that Krishna slew were destined to die by his hands and attain Moksha.
  13. Krishna’s slaying of Kakasura (crow demon) finds mention in Sursagar of Surdas, but the Srimad Bhagavad Purana does not mention it.
  14. According to Harivamsa, Krishna plans the shift from Gokul to Vrindavan. For this purpose, he created wolves from his pores. The wolves caused trouble in Gokul by attacking people and livestock. After this, the people shift to Vrindavan.
  15. There are idols of Sri Krishna wearing nose rings. Yashoda supposedly dressed up Krishna like a girl so that demons and other negative forces would not harm him. Krishna wore a nose ring in Nathdwara in Rajasthan.
  16. Krishna showing the entire Universe in his mouth to Yashoda represents the Upanishadic teaching of Tat Tvam Asi.
  17. The Puranas say that Vishnu took a white hair and black hair and placed them in Devaki’s womb. The white hair became Balarama, while the black hair became Krishna.
  18. Krishna always shares the butter he steals with monkeys. These monkeys supposedly helped Rama to find Sita.
  19. Another name for Krishna is Keshava, as he slew Keshi, the horse demon.
  20. The sport of subduing bulls in India originated with Krishna taming Arishta, the bull demon.
  21. Krishna created children who Brahma concealed, thereby revealing that he is the Supreme Truth to Brahma. Thus Brahma realizes who the real creator is.
  22. Parrots have a link to Krishna as he is the king of Gopikas. The parrot is a symbol of love.
  23. Krishna wears fish-shaped earrings. These are Makara Kundala.
  24. Shiva became a Gopika in Vrindavan, and devotees worship him here as Gopeshwara Mahadeva.
  25. The Padma Purana says that Arjuna took the form of a Gopika to take part in the dance of Krishna and Gopis.
  26. Trivakra, a hunchback of Mathura, whom Krishna cured, was supposedly an incarnation of Manthara, a character in the Ramayana.
  27. A Kerala temple opens by offering food to Krishna. Supposedly, Krishna here is in Rudra Bhava after slaying Kamsa.
  28. Krishna subdues all animals like the bull, crane, python, horse, donkey, and elephant before killing Kamsa.
  29. Krishna began his formal education only after Kamsa’s death. Krishna’s Guru is Sandipani.
  30. Other than Bhakti, a major theme in the tales of Krishna is friendship.
  31. There is a belief that Radha was the wife of another man. He has the names of Ayan, Chandrasena, Abhimanyu and Raya.
  32. Radha’s story, which Krishna narrated to Rukmini and Satyabhama in Odia Haribansha by Achyutananda Das, is quite interesting. Krishna says that Radha is a form of Goddess Lakshmi and her father found her lying on a lotus leaf.
  33. Krishna showed Akrura the vision of Cosmic Vishnu. It occurred at the Akrura Ghat in Vrinadavan.
  34. When Krishna was leaving Mathura, he gave his flute to Radha and said that there would be no music in his life without her. Dance and music happen in his life only when Radha is present.
  35. After reaching Mathura, Krishna asked the royal washerman to wash his clothes. But the man said that he would not wash the clothes of cowherds. Krishna then pushed him and took away his royal clothes. Some claim that he was the same washerman who doubted Sita’s chastity in the Ramayana. Krishna took revenge on him in his next avatar.
  36. Krishna, too, broke a bow in Mathura. It needed many soldiers to bend the bow and string it. But Krishna did it alone. When bending it, he broke the bow.
  37. During Krishna’s duel with Kamsa, he entered the wrestling arena holding a white tusk of the elephant, Kuvalayapida. Kamsa ‘s plan was to kill Krishna using the elephant. But Krishna killed the elephant and its evil mahout.
  38. Before encountering Kamsa, Krishna killed Chanura, a powerful wrestler.
  39. The death of Kamsa was not a dramatic event as portrayed by TV serials. Kamsa was on the podium watching Krishna fighting his wrestlers. On seeing him kill the wrestlers, Kamsa ordered his men to arrest the cowherds. In the commotion, Krishna rushed toward Kamsa and made him fall. Then he dragged Kamsa around the wrestling arena and killed him.
  40. Krishna’s prema (loving) and vatsalya (caring) form gives way to Rudra bhava after Kamsa’s killing. After this, Krishna becomes a manipulator and hero. His shringara bhava vanishes.
  41. Devaki first introduced Subhadra to Krishna. She was born in prison. Subhadra, the sister of Krishna, is supposedly Yoganidra.
  42. As Guru Dakshina, Krishna went to Yama’s abode and got back Sandipani’s dead son, who had been kidnapped and killed by Panchajanya, the conch-shell demon. After Krishna killed the demon, the conch was associated with Krishna.
  43. Sandipani’s son got lost on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent. Krishna first visited the region when searching for him. Later, Krishna built Dwaraka on this coast.
  44. Krishna, supposedly on Devaki’s request, went to Yama’s abode to get back his six elder brothers who Kamsa killed. But they were living in Sutala under King Bali. The six brothers were asuras who had done severe penance to get Moksha. Krishna took them to Devaki. But they disappeared soon, as they got Moksha.
  45. Krishna, as a prince, had many enemies. The greatest foe was Jarasandha of Magadha. Krishna knew that returning to Vrindavan was not possible and asked Uddhava to tell the Gopas, Gopis, and Radha that he would not come back, as promised.
  46. The stories of Krishna that we see on TV are mostly based on Mathura Mahatmya. This text has many incidents associated with him.
  47. Jarasandha attacked Mathura 17 times. Krishna and Balarama resisted him successfully each time.
  48. Krishna’s banner had the emblem of an eagle. His weapons were Sudarshana Chakra, the sword, Nandaka, the mace, Kaumodaki, and the Saranga bow.
  49. Krishna wanted to move the residents of Mathura to the island of Dwaraka. Jarasandha had sought Kalayavana’s help to attack Mathura. Krishna and Balarama fought against Kalayavana’s army. At this time, all the Mathura people fled to Dwaraka.
  50. Kalayavana was Sage Gargya’s son. He lived in Mathura. The Yadavas mocked Gargya as he lacked children and called him impotent. He did intense penance and got a boon from Shiva that he would have a son who would destroy Mathura.
  51. It was Vishwakarma, the divine architect, who built Dwaraka. Kubera, the God of wealth, filled its granary with grains and its treasury with gold.
  52. Krishna killed Kalayavana using deceit. No Yadava could kill him, so Krishna chased him into the cave in which warrior Muchukunda lay asleep. The warrior had helped the gods in many battles and was tired. He had a boon from the gods that whoever woke him up would be burned to ashes. Kalayavana mistook Muchukunda for Krishna and kicked him. Muchukunda woke up and turned Kalayavana into ashes.
  53. Krishna has the name, Ranchhodrai in Gujarat and Rajasthan because he withdrew from the battle.
  54. Jarasandha supposedly closed the cave when Kalayavana was killed and told his soldiers to burn it. He thought Krishna and Balarama were dead.
  55. Everyone believed that Krishna and the Yadavas were dead. But Rukmini of Vidarbha was sure that no one could kill Krishna. She gave a letter to a messenger and told him to roam around until he found Krishna and then give him the letter. Rukmini worshipped Goddess Gauri daily. On the day she was to wed Shishupala, a golden chariot came to the temple of Goddess Gauri and took Rukmini away. None of the assembled kings and warriors could stop the chariot. It was Krishna who was in the chariot, and he was very much alive.
  56. Rukmini Haran (the kidnapping of Rukmini) is a very popular tale in India.
  57. Krishna’s charioteer’s name is Daruka, and his four horses are Shaibya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa, and Balahak.
  58. In Maharashtra’s warkari worship of Krishna, Rukmini is important, not Radha.
  59. Rukmi, the brother of Rukmini, challenged Krishna, even though he was no match for him. But Krishna spared him on Rukmini’s request and freed him after shaving half of the hair on his head and half of his mustache.
  60. The family feud ended when Rukmi’s daughter married Pradyumna, the son of Krishna and Rukmini.
  61. Krishna’s 8 wives are Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Bhadra, Satya, Mitravinda, and Lakshmana.
  62. To marry Satya of the Kosala kingdom, Krishna had to tame 7 bulls of King Nagnaji. He created six more Krishnas out of his body and did it.
  63. Mitravinda of Avanti wed Krishna in a swayamvara. But her brothers did not like her marrying Krishna, who belonged to the clan of cowherds.
  64. To marry Lakshmana of Madra, Krishna shot an arrow into the eye of a fish that was fixed to a revolving wheel by gazing at its reflection in oil while he balanced on the pans of a scale.
  65. Krishna’s 8 wives are the manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi.
  66. Each wife of Krishna supposedly gave birth to 10 children. So Krishna had 80 children.
  67. The entire cache of gold and valuables that Satyabhama had was not equal to Krishna’s weight. But a single leaf of the Tulsi plant weighed more than Krishna. It is Bhakti that makes Krishna happy.
  68. The 8 wives of Krishna supposedly represent the 8 directions.
  69. Once, Krishna fell sick. Only the dust from under the feet of a woman whose love for him was true could cure him. His wives did not want to give dust from under their feet as they thought it would be a sin. Hence, the physician set off for Vrindavan to get dust from gopis. Radha and the other gopis readily gave the dust from under their feet. They were not afraid of going to hell, as they cared only about Krishna’s well-being.
  70. King Paundraka was an imposter who told everyone that he was the real Vishnu. He even ordered Krishna to hand over his divine weapons, saying they belonged to him. Krishna reached Paundraka’s palace, tossed his weapons at him, and told him to keep them. But the weapons crushed the king.
  71. The king of Kashi, Sudakshina, was jealous of Krishna and doubted his divinity. He created a demon who had flaming hair. The demon torched Dwaraka, but Krishna killed them both with his discus.
  72. Krishna first met the Pandavas at Draupadi’s wedding.
  73. He followed them and met Kunti. He also introduced himself as the son of Vasudeva, who was her brother. So Kunti was his aunt, and the Pandavas were his cousins.
  74. Kunti gained the courage to fight for what rightfully belonged to her sons after she met Krishna.
  75. The Pandavas got half of Hastinapur. Krishna helped them to build Indraprastha.
  76. The special bond between Krishna and Arjuna began with the building of Indraprastha.
  77. Draupadi once gave her cloth to Krishna when he needed it to bandage his bleeding hand. There is also a story that says she gave her dress to Krishna, who lost his own while bathing.
  78. Draupadi is also called Krishnai due to her dark complexion.
  79. It was Krishna who asked Arjuna to elope with his sister, Subhadra. He did this to boost the bond between the Pandavas and the Yadavas. Also, Krishna did not want Subhadra to wed Duryodhana.
  80. There are many stories of Arjuna and Krishna which indicate that they are Nara Narayana. In some, Krishna teaches lessons in humility. In others, Arjuna finds out about the divinity of Krishna. The popular stories include their meeting with Hanuman, going to Vaikunta to find a poor man’s dead children, fighting for the demon Gaya, helping Arjuna to find his love, etc.
  81. Jarasandha had the chance to wrestle with Krishna, but he chose Bhima. Jarasandha mocked Krishna by saying that ran away from the battlefield.
  82. Bhima had no idea how to kill Jarasandha. He could be killed only by tearing him into two pieces and flinging them in two different directions. Krishna conveyed the secret to Bhima by tearing a leaf from the middle and throwing the two halves in different directions.
  83. Shishupala was born with a deformity that Krishna cured. But a prediction said that the one who cured the deformity would also kill him. So, Shishupala’s mother asked Krishna to forgive a100 offenses of her son. When Shishupala exceeded the 100 insults at Yudhishtira’s coronation as the king of Indraprastha, Krishna killed him with his Sudarshana Chakra.
  84. To avenge Shishupala’s death, King Salva, his friend, attacked Dwaraka on a flying saucer. Krishna brought down the flying saucer with an arrow and beheaded Salva.
  85. A single grain left behind in the washed vessel of Draupadi fed the entire universe because Krishna ate it.
  86. Krishna wanted the Pandavas to go into exile. He wanted them to prepare themselves for kingship. He also wanted them to get proper weapons and training that would be powerful enough to overcome the evil kings on earth.
  87. All the Pandava children stayed in Dwaraka when their parents were in exile.
  88. The Asura, Shambara, kidnapped Pradyumna, the son of Krishna and Rukmini, and threw him into the sea. But the child escaped and reunited with his parents later.
  89. Pradyumna’s son and Krishna’s grandson was Aniruddha. He loved Usha, the daughter of Bana, who was a Shiva devotee. When Bana imprisoned Aniruddha, Krishna and Pradyumna fought him and rescued Aniruddha, who married Usha.
  90. Krishna cursed Samba, his son, for misbehaving with women. So, he got scaly white patches on his face. After performing intense penance and pleasing Surya, the patches vanished. Samba’s mother was Jambavati.
  91. Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son, and Vatsala, Balarama’s daughter, got married secretly. This annoyed Balarama, who wanted her to marry Duryodhana’s son. But Krishna pacified Balarama.
  92. Krishna eating at the house of Vidura reveals that what matters to God are true devotion and simple offerings.
  93. Vidura’s wife was supposedly so awed by Krishna’s presence that she offered him banana peels by mistake instead of bananas. But Krishna accepted them as he never rejected anything that true devotees offered him.
  94. Duryodhana thought that Krishna’s cosmic form, as displayed in the Hastinapura court, was sorcery.
  95. It was Krishna who told Karna that he was Kunti’s son and the eldest brother of the Pandavas. But even then, Karna remained loyal to Duryodhana.
  96. In the Mahabharata war, Arjuna chose Krishna rather than his army, the Narayani Sena. Krishna’s army fought for the Kauravas.
  97. Barbreek, the grandson of Bhima and son of Ghatotkacha, was a mighty warrior who chose to support the weaker side in the Kurukshetra war. Krishna realized that this would make the war inconclusive as Barbreek would keep changing his loyalties. So Krishna got Barbreek’s head as a sacrifice. He witnessed the entire battle. Barbreek is revered as Khatu Shyamji, a form of Krishna. There was an argument in the end about the most ferocious warrior in the Kurukshetra war. Bhima said it was him. Arjuna disagreed and said it was him. Finally, they asked Barbreek. He replied that he only saw Goddess Kali wipe out the Adharmic kings with Krishna’s help.
  98. Krishna, as Mohini, married Iravan, who was to be sacrificed the next day. They were married for a night. Some believe that Iravan is a form of Shiva and that he performed the sacrifice so that the Pandavas could win
  99. The conversation between Krishna and Arjuna before the start of the war condenses all the teachings found in the Upanishads.
  100. Krishna was only a charioteer, but he destroyed all the people who supported Adharma in the Mahabharata war without wielding any weapons. Arjuna’s arrows and Bhima’s mace, as well as ferocity, carried the imprint of Krishna. He made sure that the Pandavas never lost focus.
  101. Krishna ensured that the animals used in the Kurukshetra war always received water. He would ask Arjuna to get water from the underground with his arrows.
  102. Bhima killed Duryodhana by hitting his thighs. It was Krishna who revealed this secret about Duryodhana’s weak point.
  103. The moment Krishna stepped down from the chariot after the war, it supposedly burst into flames. The chariot, as well as Arjuna, was under Krishna's protection.
  104. Krishna cursed Ashwatthama to wander on earth as atonement for the sin of killing those who were sleeping after the war and for trying to kill the baby in Uttara’s womb.
  105. Dhritarashtra planned to kill Bhima by hugging and crushing him. But Krishna was aware of his plan and pushed an iron statue toward him instead of Bhima. Dhritarashtra crushed it easily as his hands were powerful enough to kill an elephant.
  106.  Anu Gita is a second conversation between Krishna and Arjuna. It is more about Karma and Jnana Yoga.
  107.  Krishna’s son, Samba, dressed up like a woman and asked Sage Durvasa whether he would have a baby girl or a boy. Sage Durvasa became angry and cursed Samba to give birth to an iron rod that would be responsible for the death of the entire Yadava clan. A fragment of the iron rod that Samba gave birth to, ended the Krishna avatar on earth.
  108.  Arjuna performed Krishna’s last rites. He tried to save Dwaraka and its citizens but failed. Then he remembered Krishna’s teachings and saw the vision of a baby on a leaf. He understood that death was not the end and that the cycle of creation would continue as always.

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