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1001 Stories Collection

The Birth of Krishna

1001 birthofkrishna
Added on 14th July 2020

Oral tradition Hindu myth

Asia Myths and legends
1001 , Audio

A myth that tells how one of the principal Hindu deities was born.


According to myth, Krishna was born to the Yadava clan of Mathura to Queen Devaki in a dungeon on July 21st, 3228 BCE.

On Devaki’s marriage to prince Vasudeva, a fortune teller told her brother, King Kamsa, that her children would bring his death. Devaki’s husband bargained for her life with the lives of their unborn children. In return for their lives Kamsa would kill any baby born to Devaki.

On the birth of the eighth child Vasudeva was woken by a divine voice telling him to take Krishna across a raging river to the Head of the Gopa tribe. There he exchanged Krishna for the baby girl born of Yashoda and Nanda.

Vasudeva returned to the dungeon. When Kamsa came to kill the baby she transformed into the Goddess Durga riding a lion. She warned Kamsa that his death had been born - just punishment for his sins - then she disappeared.

The baby Krishna grew up as the foster son of Nanda, the Head of the Gopi tribe. He spread joy and cheer to all around. He was also quite mischievous.

Why we chose it

The Birth of Krishna was one of the stories in our original audio stories collection. Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism, the god of compassion, tenderness and, love. Lord Krishna was born to save humanity from terrible rulers and kings. The life of Sri Krishna played an important role in making spirituality accessible to ordinary people.

Where it came from

Krishna’s story comes to us in fragments via Sanskrit literature first in the Mahabharata, then in the Harivamsa and then the Vishnu Purana. Meanings of the Sanskrit word Kṛṣṇa include, ‘black’, ‘blue’, dark-blue’ and ‘the all attractive’.

Where it went next

Stories of Lord Krishna’s life are referred to as Krishna Leela.

Associated stories

There are many stories of Krishna, particularly about his childhood. These include Krishna and the Fruit Seller; Krishna and Putana; Krishna and Arishtasura; Krishna and Keshi; Krishna tames the Serpent, Kaliya; Krishna eats mud.

Krishna is also known by other names such as Govinda, Madhusudhana, Vasudeva and Makunda.

Added on 14th July 2020

Oral tradition Hindu myth

Asia Myths and legends
1001 , Audio