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108 Facts about Sri Krishna – Unknown and Known


These 108 facts about Sri Krishna is an attempt to learn more about Lord Krishna. Some of the facts are well known and some are unknown.

  1. The image of Sri Krishna today we see was described by Uttara, wife of Abhimanyu and daughter-in-law of Arjuna. King Vajranabhi, great grandson of Krishna, created the first image of Krishna based on the description given by Uttara.
  2. The three food that Sri Krishna enjoyed and earth gives the importance of devotion and simplicity. The three foods are stone filled and sweat drenched beaten rice (poha or aval) of Kuchela, the leftover grain (in some case amaranth leaf) offered by Draupadi and the porridge in the home of Vidura. 
  3. Sri Krishna is very rarely depicted with moustache. Parathsarathy form of Sri Krishna worshipped in Triplicane Parathsarathy temple in Chennai has moustache.
  4. Cave drawings in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh depict Sri Krishna holding Sudarshana Chakra. This drawing is dated to 800 BC.
  5. Krishna holding Sudarshana Chakra are found on Indo-Greek coins dating back to 108 BC.
  6. Tamil Sangam literature of 200 BC to 100 BC talks about Mayon, his love for bulls and cows. Mayon is identified with Sri Krishna. The Onam festival in Kerala traces its roots to Mayon.
  7. Did you know that the Bhagavad Purana talks about 22 avatars of Vishnu which includes Rishabha, Jaina God.
  8. Legend has it that when Krishna was taken away by Vasudeva to Gokul, Devaki created a murti of her new born son. The baby she created had four arms.
  9. A legend from Karnataka has it that a donkey brayed each time a son was born to Devaki in prison. Kamsa knew about the birth through the donkey. But when Sri Krishna was born the donkey did not bray.
  10. Krishna is dark-skinned. It is modern television-serials that introduced fair-skinned Sri Krishna.
  11. It is believed in Bengal that Sri Krishna is a manifestation of Goddess Kali. (Bauls).
  12. The first demon that gets liberation on earth due to Sri Krishna is Putana. All the demons that were killed by Krishna were destined to die by his hands and achieve Moksha or liberation.
  13. Krishna killing Kakasura (crow demon) is found in Sursagar of Surdas but it is not mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana.
  14. As per Harivamsa, Sri Krishna plans the move from Gokul to Vrindavan. For this he creates wolves from his pores. They create trouble in Gokul by attacking people, children, cows and calves. People then decide to shift to Vrindavan.
  15. Did you know that there are murtis of Krishna wearing nose ring. It is said that Yashoda dressed up Krishna like a girl to protect him from demons and other negative forces. Sri Krishna wears nose ring in Nathdwara in Rajasthan.
  16. The Upanishad teaching of Tat Vam Asi is symbolically portrayed when Sri Krishna shows the entire universe in his mouth to Yashoda. Supreme Truth is present in the universe and the universe is in Supreme Truth. There is no second.
  17. As per Puranas, Vishnu picked a white hair and black hair and placed it in Devaki’s womb. The white hair became Balaram and the black hair became Sri Krishna.
  18. Krishna shares stolen butter always with monkeys. It is said that these monkeys had helped Bhagavan Sri Ram in finding Mata Sita.
  19. As per some accounts, Krishna is called Keshava because he killed Keshi, the horse demon.
  20. The sport of subduing bull in India has its origins in Krishna taming Arishta, the bull demon.
  21. Krishna shows that he is the Supreme Truth to Brahma by creating children whom Brahma had hidden. Thus the creator Brahma is made to realize who the real creator is. 
  22. Parrots are associated with Sri Krishna as he is the king of Gopikas. It is a symbol of love.
  23. Krishna wears fish-shaped earrings known as Makara Kundala.
  24. Shiva becomes a Gopika in Vrindavan. Here is worshipped here as Gopeshwara Mahadeva.
  25. As per a story in the Padma Purana, Arjuna took the form of a Gopika to participate in the dance of Krishna and Gopis.
  26. Trivakra the hunchback of Mathura whom Sri Krishna cures is believed to be an incarnation of Manthara of Ramayana.
  27. A temple in Kerala opens by offering food to Krishna. It is believed that the Krishna worshipped in the temple is in Rudra Bhava after killing Kamsa.
  28. Krishna subdues all animals like bull, python, crane, horse, donkey, and elephant before he kills Kamsa.
  29. Krishna starts his formal education only after killing Kamsa. Guru of Krishna is Sandipani.
  30. Apart from bhakti, a key theme in the stories of Sri Krishna is friendship.
  31. There is a popular belief that Radha is the wife of another man. He never appears in real and he is known by the name of Ayan, Chandrasena, Abhimanyu and Raya.
  32. Story of Radha as told by Krishna to Rukmini and Satyabhama in Odia Haribansha by Achyutananda Das is interesting. Krishna tells that Radha is a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi and her father found her on a lotus leaf.
  33. Krishna had shown Akrura the vision of Cosmic Vishnu and it happened at the Akrura Ghat located in Vrinadavan.
  34. It is said that when Krishna prepared to leave for Mathura, he gave his flute to Radha saying that there is no music in his life without Radha. Dance and music in Krishna’s life happen only when Radha is around.
  35. On reaching Mathura, Krishna asks the royal washer man to wash his clothes. But he proudly says that he will not wash clothes of cowherds. Krishna pushed him and took away the royal clothes. Some believe that this same washer man had doubted the chastity of Mata Sita in Ramayana. Lord Ram did not take revenge. But Krishna did in the next avatar.
  36. Krishna also breaks a bow in Mathura. It takes dozens of soldiers to bend the bow and string it. But Krishna does it alone and in trying to bend it he breaks the bow.
  37. It is said that Krishna entered the wrestling arena holding one great white tusk of elephant Kuvalayapida. Kamsa had planned to kill Krishna using the elephant but the poor elephant and its evil mahout were killed by Krishna.
  38. Before meeting Kamsa, Krishna kills the powerful wrestler Chanura.
  39. The death of Kamsa is not dramatic as shown by modern serials. Kamsa was sitting in the podium watching Krishna killing his wrestlers. On seeing the death of his wrestlers Kamsa yells to arrest the cowherds. There is commotion and Krishna rushes towards Kamsa. He removes the sword to attack. Krishna cleverly causes Kamsa to fall. He then drags Kamsa around the wrestling arena and finally kills him.
  40. The prema (loving) and vatsalya (caring) form of Sri Krishna is replaced by rudra bhava after the killing of Kamsa. From here onward Krishna is more of a manipulator and hero. There is no more shringara.
  41. Devaki first introduces Subhadra to Krishna. She had born in the prison. Many believe that Subhadra, sister of Krishna, is Yoganidra.
  42. As Guru Dakshina, Krishna went to the abode Yama and got back the dead son of Sandipani. The son was kidnapped and killed by demon Panchajanya, conch-shell demon. Krishna had killed the demon and this conch is associated with Krishna.
  43. Sandipani’s son was lost in the western coast of Indian subcontinent. Krishna first ventures into the region while searching for his Guru’s son. Later, Krishna builds Dwaraka in the western coast of Indian subcontinent.
  44. It is said that on Devaki’s request Krishna went to the abode of Yama to get back his six elder brothers who were killed by Kamsa. But they were not in the abode of Yama. They were living in Sutala ruled by King Bali. The six sons were asuras who had performed intense penance for mukti. They decided to go with Krishna to Devaki. She was happy to see all her eight sons together. But soon the six children disappeared as they attained moksha.
  45. Krishna who had now become a prince had numerous foes – the greatest was Jarasandha of Maghada. So he knew he could never return to Vrindavan. He asks Uddhava to carry his message to Gopas, Gopis and Radha that he will not return back as promised.
  46. The numerous stories of Krishna that we see in television serials but not in Bhagavad Purana and Harivamsa are mostly based on Mathura Mahatmya. This text contains numerous minute incidents associated with Krishna.
  47. Jarasandha attacked Mathura seventeen times. Krishna and Balarama thwarted each of the attempt.
  48. The banner of Krishna had the emblem of an eagle. The weapons of Krishna were Sudarshana Chakra, sword Nandaka, mace Kaumodaki and bow Saranga,
  49. Krishna had planned to move the residents of Mathura to Dwaravati (the island Dwaraka). Jarasandha had taken the help of Kalayavana to attack Mathura. It is said that Krishna and Balarama fought the army of Kalayavana. In the meantime, all the people of Mathura escaped to Dwaraka.
  50. Kalayavana was the son of Sage Gargya. He was a resident of Mathura. The Yadavas had ridiculed Sage Gargya as he had no children. They called him impotent. He performed intense penance and got the boon from Shiva that he will give birth to a son who will bring about the destruction of Mathura.
  51. The city of Dwaraka was built by Vishwakarma, the divine architect. Kubera filled the city granary with grains and treasury with gold.
  52. Krishna kills Kalayavana by trickery. As no Yadava could kill him, Krishna drove Kalayavana to the cave in which warrior Muchukunda was sleeping. The warrior had helped Devas in many battles and finally he was tired. He had got the boon from Devas that whoever wakes him up will be turned into ashes. In the cave Kalayavana mistakes Muchukunda for Krishna and kicks him. The warrior wakes up and turns Kalayavana into ashes.
  53. Krishna is known as Ranchhodrai in Gujarat and Rajasthan as he withdrew from the battle.
  54. It is said that Jarasandha closed the cave on seeing Kalayavana getting killed and asked soldiers to burn it down. He thus thought Krishna and Balarama got killed.
  55. Everyone thought Krishna and the Yadavas were killed. But Rukmini of Vidarbha was convinced that no one can kill Krishna. So she gave letter to a messenger and asked him to roam around and find out where Krishna lived and handover the letter. Rukmini daily offered prayers to Goddess Gauri. Finally, on the day of her wedding with Shishupala, a golden chariot arrived at the temple of Goddess Gauri and carried away Rukmini. All the assembled kings and warriors could not stop the chariot. Krishna was alive.
  56. Rukmini Haran is a very popular theme in every part of India and there are numerous stories based on it.
  57. Krishna’s charioteer is Daruka and the four horses are Shaibya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa and Balahak.
  58. In warkari worship of Krishna in Maharashtra, Rukmini is given prominence not Radha. It is Vitthala and Rakhumai.
  59. Rukmi brother of Rukmini challenged Krishna. Rukmi was no match for Krishna. But the arrogant Rukmi kept on challenging Krishna. Finally, Krishna spares him on the request of Rukmini. Rukmi is let off after shaving off half of his head and moustache.
  60. The family feud ends when Rukmi’s daughter marries Pradyumna, son of Krishna and Rukmini.
  61. The eight wives of Krishna are Rukmini, Jambavati, Satyabhama, Kalindi, Satya, Mitravinda, Bhadra and Lakshmana.
  62. To marry Satya of Kosala, Krishna had to tame seven bulls of King Nagnaji. Krishna created six more Krishnas out his body and tamed the seven bulls.
  63. Mitravinda of Avanti married Krishna in swayamvara. Her brothers did not like her marrying a cowherd but a woman’s decision had to be respected.
  64. To marry Lakshmana of Madra, Krishna shoots an arrow into the eye of the fish fixed to a revolving wheel by looking at its reflection in oil while balancing on the pans of a scale.
  65. The eight wives of Krishna are considered to be the eight manifestations of Goddess Lakshmi.
  66. It is believed that each queen of Krishna gave birth to 10 children. Thus Sri Krishna had eighty children.
  67. All the gold and valuable of Satyabhama was not equal to the weight of Krishna. But a single leaf of Tulsi plant was greater than the weight of Krishna. Bhakti alone can make Krishna happy.
  68. The eight wives of Krishna are also believed to be the eight directions.
  69. Once Krishna fell ill and only the dust from under the feet of a woman who truly loves could cure him. His eight wives were not ready to give dust from their feet as they thought this will take them to hell. So the physician went to Vrindavan to get dust from gopis. Radha and other gopis immediately gave dust under their feet. When the physician wanted to know whether they are not afraid of going to hell, they replied that for the wellbeing of Krishna they are ready to suffer anything.
  70. King Paundraka was an imposter who dressed up as Vishnu and spread the word that he was the real Vishnu. He once ordered Krishna to give him his divine weapons as it belonged to him. Krishna reached the palace of Paundraka and found him dressed up like Vishnu. Krishna tossed his weapons and asked Paundraka to keep them. But the poor king got crushed under them.
  71. Sudakshina, the king of Kashi, was jealous of Krishna and he doubted the divinity of Krishna. He created a demon with flaming hair. She torched Dwaraka. Krishna hurled his discus and killed the demon and Sudakshina.
  72. Krishna first meets Pandavas at the marriage ceremony of Draupadi.
  73. He follows them and meets Kunti and introduces him as the son of her brother Vasudeva. Thus Kunti is his aunt and Pandavas are his cousins.
  74. Kunti gets the courage to take back what right fully belongs to her sons after meeting Krishna.
  75. Pandavas get half of Hastinapur and Krishna helps them in building Indraprastha.
  76. The special relationship between Krishna and Arjuna begins with the building of Indraprastha.
  77. It is said that Draupadi gave her cloth when Krishna needed it. Once to tie his bleeding hand. There is a folklore story of Draupadi giving her dress to Krishna who had lost his dress while bathing.
  78. Draupadi is also known as Krishnai because she is dark.
  79. It is Krishna who asks Arjuna to elope with his sister, Subhadra. This he did to strengthen the bond between Pandavas and Yadavas. Krishna also did not want Duryodhana to marry Subhadra.
  80. There are numerous stories of Arjuna and Krishna throughout India. All these stories point towards the fact they are Nara Narayana. Some involves Krishna teaching a lesson in humility. Some involves Arjuna finding about the divinity of Krishna. The popular among them are meeting with Hanuman, going to Vaikunta to find dead children of a poor man, fighting for demon Gaya, helping Arjuna in finding his love etc.
  81. Jarasandha had the opportunity to wrestle with Krishna but he chooses Bhima. Jarasandha mocks Krishna by telling him that he had ran away from the battlefield.
  82. Bhima did not know how to kill Jarasandha. The only way to kill him was by tearing him into two pieces and throwing them in two different directions. Krishna knew it and conveys the secret to Bhima by tearing a leaf from its middle and throwing it in two different directions.
  83. Shishupala was a deformed child. Krishna cured his deformity. But it was predicted that he who will cure the deformity will also kill him. Shishupala’s mother therefore asked Krishna to forgive his 100 offences. Shishupala crossed the 100 mark of mistakes at the coronation of Yudhishtira as the king of Indraprastha. Shishupala was killed by Krishna’s Sudarshana Chakra.
  84. To avenge the death of Shishupala, his friend king Salva attacks Dwaraka on a flying saucer. Krishna’s arrow brings down the flying saucer. He then beheads Salva.
  85. A single grain that was left in the washed vessel of Draupadi feeds the entire universe because Krishna ate that single grain.
  86. Krishna insists that Pandavas do the exile. He wanted to make sure that they are prepared for kingship. He also wanted them to acquire weapons and training powerful enough to taken on the Adharmic kings on earth.
  87. All the children of Pandavas stayed in Dwaraka when their parents were in exile.
  88. Son of Krishna and Rukmini, Pradyumna, was kidnapped by Asura Shambara and thrown into sea. But the child escaped and later reunites with his parents.
  89. Aniruddha was Pradyumna’s son and Krishna’s grandson. He fell in love with Usha, daughter of Bana, who was a devotee of Shiva. Bana imprisoned Aniruddha. Krishna and Pradyumna fights Bana and rescued Aniruddha. Krishna does not kill Bana, the Shiva devotee. Both Usha and Aniruddha get married.
  90. Krishna cursed his son Samba for misbehaving with women. He was cursed to have scaly white patches on his handsome face. Later Samba got cured when he performed intense penance and pleased Surya, the son God. Samba was son of Jambavati and Krishna.
  91. Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu, and Balarama’s daughter, Vatsala secretly got married. This angered Balarama who wanted his daughter to marry Duryodhana’s son. Balarama was pacified by Krishna.
  92. Krishna eating at the house of Vidura is retold in numerous regions in India. It states that what matter is devotion and simple offering.
  93. It is said that wife of Vidura was spellbound by the presence of Krishna that she gave banana peels instead of banana. Krishna ate them lovingly as he never rejects anything that is offered in devotion.
  94. Duryodhana considered the cosmic form Krishna displayed in the Hastinapura court as sorcery.
  95. It was Krishna who informs Karna that he is the son of Kunti and the eldest brother of Pandavas. But Karna decides to remain loyal to Duryodhana.
  96. In the Mahabharata war, Arjuna chose Krishna and not his army the Narayani Sena. Krishna’s army fought on the side of the Kauravas.
  97. Barbreek, grandson of Bhima and son of Ghatotkacha, was a powerful warrior. But in the Kurukshetra war he decided to side with the weaker. Krishna realized that his will result in the war being inconclusive as Barbeek will keep shifting his loyalties. So Krishna got the head of Barbeek as a sacrifice. He witnessed the battle in entirety. Barbareek is worshipped as Khatu Shyamji a form of Krishna. In the end, there was an argument as to who was most ferocious in Kurukshetra war. Bhima told it was him. Arjuna disagreed with his elder brother and told it was him. They went Barbreek who had witnessed the entire battle. Barbreek told them that she only saw Goddess Kali with the help of Krishna wiping out the Adharmic kings.
  98. Krishna took the form of Mohini and married Iravan, who was to be sacrificed the next day. Thus Iravan and Mohini were married for a night. Some people believe that Iravan is a manifestation of Shiva and he performed the sacrifice for the victory of the Pandavas.
  99. Krishna Arjuna conversation before the start of Mahabharata war is the condensation of all the teachings found in the Upanishads.
  100. Krishna as charioteer without raising a weapon destroys all the people who sided with Adharma in the Mahabharata. Arrows of Arjuna and the mace and ferocity of Bhima had Krishna written all over it. It was Krishna who made sure that the Pandavas did not lose focus.
  101. It is said that Krishna made sure that the animals in the Kurukshetra war received water. It is said that he asked Arjuna to bring out water from underground using his arrows.
  102. Bhima killed Duryodhana by hitting on this thighs and this secret too was revealed by Krishna.
  103. It is said that the moment Krishna came out of the chariot after the war, it burst into flames. The chariot and Arjuna was protected by Krishna.
  104. Krishna curses Ashwatthama to roam around earth suffering for killing those who were sleeping after the war and for attempting to kill the baby in the womb of Uttara.
  105. Dhritarashtra wanted to kill Bhima by hugging and crushing him. Krishna realized this and pushed an iron statue instead of Bhima. The iron statue was crushed by Dhritarashtra whose hands had the power to kill an elephant.
  106. Anu Gita is a second conversation between Arjuna and Krishna. The text deals more on Karma and Jnana Yoga.
  107. Samba, son of Krishna, dressed like a woman and asked Sage Durvasa whether she will have a baby girl or a boy. In anger, Sage Durvasa cursed Samba that he will give birth to an iron rod which will result in the death of the Yadava clan. A piece of the iron rod that Samba gave birth ended the Krishna avatar on Earth.
  108. Arjuna performed the last rites of Krishna. He then tried to save Dwaraka and its citizens but he was no longer the great warrior. He sat helplessly. Then he remembered the teachings of Krishna. He then saw the vision of a baby on the leaf. Cycle of creation continues.