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How Krishna was transformed from a tribal deity to a supreme god in the Puranic tradition

prasad1

Active member
Krishna is one of the most popular deities of the Puranic pantheon. A warrior, a child god of a pastoral tribe, a preacher, and a love deity, his saga is an amalgamation of many disparate elements in one harmonious and coherent whole.

Krishna's story, which developed over more than 800 years, was worked backwards. One first encounters the adult Krishna, a friend of the Pandavas and founder of the city of Dwarka, and then meets Krishna Gopala, the cowherd child and the lover of rasas, or dances.

Krishna’s journey begins as a hero of the Vrishni tribe, part of the Yadava clan, and ends with him being hailed as the Vishnu incarnate.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Krishna as a Vishnu incarnate
By the second century BCE, Vedic worship had become rigid and Vedic sacrifices expensive. Alongside this, Buddhism was gaining ground, fuelled by King Ashoka’s propaganda. The large-scale entry of foreign invaders, (such as the Shakas) who were favourably inclined towards Buddhism and other popular cults, weakened the authority of the priestly class.

Moreover, improved economic conditions of the lower varnas challenged caste rules. Hence, as Suvira Jaiswal argues in her book The Origin and Development of the Vaisnavism, “Brahmins seized upon the devotional cult of Vasudeva-Krishna and recognised it as a form of Narayana-Vishnu to infuse Brahmanical social ethics into this popular cult and re-establish their authority.”

Narayana and Vishnu were initially perceived as separate deities and later unified.

Thus, in this period, Krishna-Vasudeva was fused with Narayana-Vishnu and came to feature in the Mahabharata as a war hero and in the Bhagvada Gita as a preacher. Yet, the Mahabharata, in several places, reveals a hesitancy to accept a non-Aryan tribal deity as a higher god. This is why Krishna-Vasudeva is initially described as the incarnation of only a fraction of Narayana-Vishnu.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Bal Krishna
Till the first century BCE, Krishna was only worshipped in his adult form – as a preacher, a friend of the Pandavas, a Yadava-Vrishni hero and a Vishnu incarnate. What was missing from his grand narrative was a childhood.

Krishna-Gopala (or Krishna the cowherd) surfaced when Krishna was fused with another god of the Abhira (Ahir) tribe. Even though it has not been established whether the Abhiras were native to the Indian subcontinent or were immigrants, it is quite clear that in the first-century CE, the tribe was living in the lower Indus Valley and eventually migrated to Saurashtra. They became politically active under the rule of the Shakas and the Satavahanas.

The Krishna-Vasudeva of the Vrishnis was identified with the cowherd deity of the Abhiras because of the similarities between the two tribes, especially in the way they perceived women.

Krishna in the Mahabharata counsels Arjuna to acquire Subhadra, Krishna’s sister, by force and says that would be in keeping his Dharma, or religious law. He thereby hints that this must have been a common practice among Vrishnis.

Similarly, when Arjuna is escorting Vrishni women, his entourage is attacked by Abhiras, who take the women away.

The identification of Krishna-Vasudeva with the Abhira deity also introduced the amorous dalliances of Krishna with the milkmaids (gopis).

The Abhiras, being a nomadic tribe, allowed for a greater freedom of the sexes. Hence, their god came to acquire the erotic elements that were, in time, identified with Krishna.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Our present-day understanding of Krishna is an amalgamation of various Historical figures, from various geographical regions and various time frames.
Some of the stories are borrowed from other cultures.
I have visited Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwaraka, etc places as a tourist and a Hindu.
I love Bhagavat Gita.
I wish I had a better understanding and an Honest History of Krishna.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Krishna is one of the most popular deities of the Puranic pantheon. A warrior, a child god of a pastoral tribe, a preacher, and a love deity, his saga is an amalgamation of many disparate elements in one harmonious and coherent whole.

Krishna's story, which developed over more than 800 years, was worked backwards. One first encounters the adult Krishna, a friend of the Pandavas and founder of the city of Dwarka, and then meets Krishna Gopala, the cowherd child and the lover of rasas, or dances.

Krishna’s journey begins as a hero of the Vrishni tribe, part of the Yadava clan, and ends with him being hailed as the Vishnu incarnate.



A very disturbing article to read.

Why are so many articles like this around which say that Brahmins included the local deities into the Vedic pantheon?

Won't that equal to falsehood?

Its disturbing to read cos its just tears down the fabric of Hinduism.

Also these days neo-gurus even say Shiva was a human(The Adi-Yogi) and dethrone Him.


I simply adore Krishna especially the Bhagavad Gita, its fine with me if He was a tribal deity if that is the truth because His Gita stands the test of time,place and person.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
I simply adore Krishna especially the Bhagavad Gita, its fine with me if He was a tribal deity if that is the truth because His Gita stands the test of time,place and person.

This sentence deviates from the op.
I was introduced to Gita by Swami Chinmayananda. I fully agree with you. The message of Gita is valid today as it was at any other time.
Chinmayananda took a syncretistic approach to interpret the text of the Gita.

1588940455946.png



Sorry, let us get back to Krishna the Historical figure.
 
Dr.Renukaji,
Whether Sri Krishna is tribal and later deitified or not. The point is He took middle path. In Tamil there is a word (இடையவன்) pun is intended
 
What we understand depends on our equipment.
I recall this story:
Inside a well there were a few frogs living in the well water. One day a newcomer frog jumped into the well from above. The frogs in the well asked the new comer where from he came. The newcomer answered that he came from the village above. Then he said the village was infinitely large. One of the frogs in the well jumped from its position to the middle of the water surface and asked the new comer whether his village was that vast.

Frogs in the well know only the well and not the vast infinite universe that lies beyond. Yes. People like the frog in the well try to measure up God entity with the inadequate scales they have and tell us he was amorous and indulgent like the Alampanah of the Mughal court was with his courtesan.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
The problem is that frogs in the well never learned. They covered their eyes like Gandhari, and tried to kill the frog that just jumped in.
The frogs in the pond will never know God but are too ignorant, and too vain to accept that there is something beyond their limited knowledge. I am pretty sure the other frogs in the pond agree with their ignorant lead voice.

Brahmam is beyond ignorance.
The prentice ignorant will never know because he is vain and proud to admit that.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Active member
To continue the frog story :

Mandugam in the well is a Rishi really waiting for சாப விமோசனம் on the vagai banks on சித்ரா பௌர்ணமி & Narayana did not go to Vaigai as he was locked up in his abode due to corona fear & Mandugam could not go the village above!
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
Maha bharatam Mousala parvamu
Single chapter.
Saint Vaisampayana told King Janamejaya, the story of Maha Bharata.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Arjuna went to Saint Vyasa and informed him what had happened. “O Saint Vyasa! all yadavas fought with each other and died. Sri Krishna and Balarama left their mortal bodies and returned back to their original abodes. Dwaraka was inundated into sea. I brought all the people of Dwaraka. On the way, some bandits plundered us. At that time, none of my Astras and Sastras worked out. I could not even attack those thieves. I enthroned the sons of Kritavarma and Satyaki. Kindly direct me about our future.” prayed Arjuna.

“O Arjuna! the words of Durvasa, curse given by saints and curse given by Gandhari to Krishna had cumulative effect. Krishna knows about the destruction of yadava community. Hence he remained silent. Even while you were fighting in Maha Bharata war, Sri Krishna was sitting in front of you and with the help of Rudra, he killed all your enemies. But you thought that your enemies were killed as a result of your Astras and Sastras. Because, Krishna was not by your side, you could not even attack ordinary thieves. Sri Krishna was incarnated only to eradicate evil from this world. After accomplishing his task, Krishna returned back to his original abode. Having heard Geeta from Krishna, you need not worry for his departure. Gandiva, your Astras, Sastras, were meant only to eradicate evil from this world. After that task was over, they became ineffective. You have to realise that either any powerful astra or sastra, and whatever be your manual effort, they will shine only with the influence of God and none else. You are aware of all these things. Time has come for all pandavas to leave their mortal bodies and attain heavenly pleasures. Therefore, make arrangements for your Maha Prasthana.” said Vyasa.

The mind of Arjuna was completely freed from sorrow, passion and desires. His mind was filled with eternal happiness. Arjuna returned back to Hastina. Arjuna informed Dharmaja and other brothers about the preachings of Vyasa.” said Saint Vaisampayana to Janamejaya, the story of Mahabharata.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

Active member
There are several references to Dvaraka in the Mahabharata, which include detailed descriptions of the flora, fauna, geography, landscape, and fortifications there. Without any tangible physical evidence of these, the historicity of the mythical city of Dwarka and of its founder, Krishna, remained rooted in mythology.


It may be argued that even Mathura is as closely associated with Krishna as Dwarka, and therefore why should the search for Krishna not take place there first? Reasonable question, but what makes any such search well-nigh impossible is that Mathura has been continuously inhabited for millennia, and any traces of the ancient kingdom of Mathura have been long destroyed and buried beneath modern constructions and successive settlements.


Dwarka, on the other hand, has remained submerged at sea – assuming that the mythology had any kernel of truth in it – undisturbed by human hand or habitation for thousands of years. It is therefore more likely to provide us with a truer and undisturbed glimpse into the past.

 

renuka

Well-known member
What we understand depends on our equipment.
I recall this story:
Inside a well there were a few frogs living in the well water. One day a newcomer frog jumped into the well from above. The frogs in the well asked the new comer where from he came. The newcomer answered that he came from the village above. Then he said the village was infinitely large. One of the frogs in the well jumped from its position to the middle of the water surface and asked the new comer whether his village was that vast.

Frogs in the well know only the well and not the vast infinite universe that lies beyond. Yes. People like the frog in the well try to measure up God entity with the inadequate scales they have and tell us he was amorous and indulgent like the Alampanah of the Mughal court was with his courtesan.

The frog in the well isnt ignorant as everyone thinks.
He has been doing tapasya for centuries.
He is in the well but the well is not in him.

Nothing limits him.
He realizes that everyone else thinks the well limits him cos others are still limited by the rim of Maya on the Brahmacakra.
So who is really in the well?
 

jaythakar

Active member
A very disturbing article to read.

Why are so many articles like this around which say that Brahmins included the local deities into the Vedic pantheon?

Won't that equal to falsehood?

Its disturbing to read cos its just tears down the fabric of Hinduism.

Also these days neo-gurus even say Shiva was a human(The Adi-Yogi) and dethrone Him.


I simply adore Krishna especially the Bhagavad Gita, its fine with me if He was a tribal deity if that is the truth because His Gita stands the test of time,place and person.
There are many Hindu-phobics well and alive. Their main goal is to undermine Hinduism's glory and not only that they also distort the historical facts to fit their agenda. In the war of Mahabharata evil forces tried to subdue the good folks. This war goes on and on and so Krishna has to come down again and again as he said in BG 4.7.
 
As always, Brahmins seek North Indian biased scholars to come up with stories like this. An objective study of Tamil Tradition will reveal the Tamil God Thirumal preceding the stories of Krishna by hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The Sanskritists perhaps borrowed these stories in writing Bhagavatha Purana.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Active member
Purana - Narayana - Corona !

விதி வலியது is the undisputed message of our purana ! The Corona விதி of lock down is applicable with no exceptions ! Narayana is not allowed to enact his சாப விமோசன episodes on the waterfronts for Mandugams and Gajendras on chitra pournami - In such impasse situations Narayana has always come out with glory by his devious methods several times in our epics and puranas. ! These episodes of water fronts (Mandugam & Gajendra) are enacted in his abodes and brought to your drawing room live! We know he responds to our calls - (missed or even wrong) now he comes to your drawing room with a click on the remote! He is unstoppable Juggernaut!
 
The article cited has to be taken as the outcome of research done by Author from the records available to him and his inter locution of the same. I wouldn't like to attach any religious or racial prejudice to this article.

What matters most to me, based on my understanding and conviction over a period of time is that Ramayana and Mahabharata are Itihass - Writted or narrated "As It is"

Thus while Sri Rama was Maryada Purushotham - his life was one of setting personal examples of how an enlightened human being should be - particularly when instances of conflicts in role plays, emotional turbulence and in also sticking to Dharma cropped-up as his inner voice guided him.

He was a sthitapragnya - For me, he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu...notwithstanding the amount of any research-work, stories or hate messages to the contrary.

I don't crave for universal recognition of Shri Ram as God-incarnate or acceptance of our system as the greatest on Earth.

I will come back to Sri Krishna
 
Who IS Sri Krishna?

During my early childhood, he was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu but had a special place in the tender heart as a God who was a naughty playmate forever smiling, a prankster whose mischievous acts led to complaints from the neighborhood and sometimes getting punished by the mother too- at that stage of life, he was very much like a boy I could easily identify myself with.

And so many decades down the line, who is HE?
- a sthitapragnya - an eternal beatific smile adorned his face all the time. If he was seen getting furious, it was a put-on. Equanimity and composure were eternal to Him -even when the Hunter's arrow pierces his foot fatally.

- Gitacharya - the greatest compilation on Dharma humanity has seen so far.

How was he seen by the sages and noble souls of his time? - Durvasa, Bhishma, Drona, Kripacharya, Veda Vyasa, Vidura, - Yogeshwar as uttered by Sri Sanjaya which we chant at the end of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam. They simply bowed before him regardless of caste or age..

Among others, his maternal aunt Kunti, wife Rukmini, brother Balarama, Draupati and Sahadeva surrendered themselves totally at the time while the other Pandava brothers and to a much lesser extent Karna recognised the Divinity manifest in Him.

For the rest of his contemporaries from the Mahabharata, he was a mere magician and the shrewdest of all manipulators, schemers and politicians. All the noble men trusted him implicitly while others always got outwitted..

What would have been Sri Krishna's reaction to any adversity today were he to sit by our side and read
the garbage?

With a smile, he would have brushed them aside and go on with his Karma.

Contrarian views will always exist. So what?
 
There are many Hindu-phobics well and alive. Their main goal is to undermine Hinduism's glory and not only that they also distort the historical facts to fit their agenda. In the war of Mahabharata evil forces tried to subdue the good folks. This war goes on and on and so Krishna has to come down again and again as he said in BG 4.7.

Organised religions from the Middle East do not brook opposition. For them, what is available in their Holy Books and as explained by their religious leaders of the time matters most. Thus they are conditioned or programmed to believe that we are idolaters and pagan worshippers.

That is the way they perceive their ancestors as well who lived and practiced a religion that existed before the religion that they follow took shape.

Denouncing their own ancestry and their past and destruction of relics or remnants of the past are part of the game.

We are not a religion. Among the adherents of sanatana dharma, there is diversity and plurality in culture, language, understanding of rituals, tradition, etc.

All these differences evolved and flourished under the benign umbrella of our Dharma. Thus accepting even organised religions was not difficult for us.

Truth will always triumph. Whenever dharma is threatened and feels helpless,God will manifest Himself, root out Adharma and reestablish Dharma...
 

tbs

0
hi

great epic mahabharata....we got 2 gems from mahabharata....1 bhagavad gita 2 sri vishnusahara namam....

radha's eternal love to sri krishna....we have enjoy through jaya deva's astapadhi....may be Rama and

Krishna are normal human being....moral of both stories still today RELEVANT...in any angle...

BOTH GREAT EPIC STORIES.....
 

tbs

0
Most important fact is Krishna was very handsome..thats enough.
hi doctor,

i agreed....in bhagavatha....there is sloka about Krishna's beauty explained by Rukmani...BHUVANA SUNDARA...

very first ghandrva LOVE MARRIAGE done by Krishna with Rukmani...the boy eloped a girl without

parent's approval happened many centuries ago...still relevant....without seeing each other....even though

Radha is most beloved to Krishna... ONLY RUKMANI KALYANAM IS FAMOUS....
 

Kaymakshi

Member
This is a very interesting article and speaks to how Hinduism (Brahminical or not) adapts to the energy and love flowing through people. If people worship - it is God. Much better than other religions which try to undermine the genuine faith of people and tries to change their mind. This is not disturbing to me at all!

The worst accusation you can make is that Brahmins were self serving. That they achieve their ends through assimilation of strong emotions faith and ideas rather than dominating the narrative is a positive attribute.

We are all kupamandukas - let us not jump to conclusions however about the intent of others. We should be seekers of knowledge. Let this forum be our periscope!


Bal Krishna
Till the first century BCE, Krishna was only worshipped in his adult form – as a preacher, a friend of the Pandavas, a Yadava-Vrishni hero and a Vishnu incarnate. What was missing from his grand narrative was a childhood.

Krishna-Gopala (or Krishna the cowherd) surfaced when Krishna was fused with another god of the Abhira (Ahir) tribe. Even though it has not been established whether the Abhiras were native to the Indian subcontinent or were immigrants, it is quite clear that in the first-century CE, the tribe was living in the lower Indus Valley and eventually migrated to Saurashtra. They became politically active under the rule of the Shakas and the Satavahanas.

The Krishna-Vasudeva of the Vrishnis was identified with the cowherd deity of the Abhiras because of the similarities between the two tribes, especially in the way they perceived women.

Krishna in the Mahabharata counsels Arjuna to acquire Subhadra, Krishna’s sister, by force and says that would be in keeping his Dharma, or religious law. He thereby hints that this must have been a common practice among Vrishnis.

Similarly, when Arjuna is escorting Vrishni women, his entourage is attacked by Abhiras, who take the women away.

The identification of Krishna-Vasudeva with the Abhira deity also introduced the amorous dalliances of Krishna with the milkmaids (gopis).

The Abhiras, being a nomadic tribe, allowed for a greater freedom of the sexes. Hence, their god came to acquire the erotic elements that were, in time, identified with Krishna.

 

Janaki Jambunathan

Active member
agreed....in bhagavatha....there is sloka about Krishna's beauty explained by Rukmani...BHUVANA SUNDARA... (#23)

Krishna aka Draupathi is Bhuvana Sundari!

Bhuvana Sundar was a guest in Bhuvana Sundari's Swayamvarm but was not a contestant. But why I have no idea.
 
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