An avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna was known for his mischievous nature and is a perfect personification of divinity. Throughout his life, he inspired humans from all walks of life. On this auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, let us have a look at some popular legends associated with Sri Krishna, which greatly highlights His vivacity, valor and divinity.

Krishna and the evil Putana

Fearing his imminent death, Kansa sent Putana to kill the newly-born Krishna. Putana reached Krishna’s residence in Gokul, disguised as a woman and offered to feed milk to baby Krishna with her poisoned breasts. In those days, it was not necessary for a child to be fed by his biological mother alone. Unaware of his evil intentions, Yashoda (Sri Krishna’s mother) allowed Putana to feed milk to little Krishna. Nothing could be hidden from Lord Sri Krishna and He immediately recognized Putana’s disguised form. When he started feeding milk to the Divine, Lord Krishna sucked life out of her that led to his death.

A Glimpse of Lord Krishna’s Divinity

Once, while playing with His friends, the notorious Krishna gulped a lot of mud, which angered Yashoda immensely. She asked Him to open His mouth. At first, Krishna refused to obey, but due to His mother’s persistent demands, He finally opened His mouth that left Yashoda awestruck. She witnessed the entire universe inside Krishna’s mouth – including the earth, mountains, stars, galaxies and the sky.

Krishna – the Butter Thief or ‘Maakhan Chor’

Krishna was playful and mischievous as a child. He was famous in Gokul for stealing butter along with His friends. To stop Krishna from stealing their butter, they began hanging the butter pots from the ceilings of the wall. However, in their absence Krishna would sneak in to the houses in the neighourhood and would steal butter with his friends. Gopiyaan (women) constantly complained about Krishna’s notoriety to His mother but secretly, loved the innocent Krishna.

Lord Krishna and the Fruit woman

Once, a poor fruit-selling woman was passing by Krishna’s house. Little Krishna wished to have some fruits and thus, asked the poor woman to give Him some fruits from her basket. The fruit lady consented but asked something in return. Krishna immediately rushed indoors to fetch a handful of grains for her. By the time Krishna reached outdoors, most of the grains had slipped and He was left with a tiny quantity of grains in His tiny hands. This innocent act of Krishna surprised the woman and she gave away all her fruits to Him in return of the remaining grains in His hands. Soon after this incident, the fruit lady found her basket filled with jewels and gold. Only then, she realized that Krishna is not an ordinary child but the Divine Himself who bestowed His grace and kindness upon her.

Lord Krishna and Arishthasura

Once upon a time, a huge bull entered Vrindavan and started attacking its residents. Distressed citizens urged Krishna for help. Sri Krishna recognized that the bull was actually a demon. Krishna fought with the demon bull and when the Lord was about to slay the bull, the demon (Arishthasura) appeared in his real form, seeking forgiveness from the Almighty. Arishthasura then revealed that he was originally Lord Brahaspati’s disciple, who cursed him to become a demon on disrespecting his Guru Brahaspati. During this incident, on being touched by Lord Krishna’s divine hands, Arishtasura finally was freed from his master’s curse.

Lord Krishna and the five-headed serpent (Kaliya)

Krishna was playing with His friends on the banks of river Yamuna when their ball fell in the river. Krishna jumped into the river, which was believed to be poisoned by the venomous five-hooded snake, Kaliya. The serpent immediately attacked the divine Lord but instead, was defeated and was asked by Lord Krishna to never return to his Vrindavan.

Lord Krishna and Govardhan Hill

Every year, people of Vrindavan performed rituals to seek Indra’s (the Lord of Rains) blessings for adequate rainfall for their farms and fields. One particular day, Lord Krishna asked people to worship Govardhan Parvata rather than Lord Indra, since Govardhan Parvata provides fodder to their cattle. People obeyed and offered prayers to Govardhan parvat instead. This hurt Indra’s ego to such an extent that he poured heavy, uncontrollable rains on Vrindavan. People walked to Sri Krishna for help. Lord Krishna lifted the entire Govardhan parvat with His little finger to provide protection to His devotees from torrential rainfall. Every man, woman and child took refuge under this parvat for seven consecutive days. Apparently, Indra realized his mistake and stopped the heavy rains. He begged Lord Krishna for forgiveness.

Krishna called as Govinda

One day, Lord Indra sent His cow (Kamdhenu) to Lord Krishna to acknowledge His mercy and thank Him for protecting cows on earth. Kamdhenu did Lord’s abhishek (part of crowning ceremony) and bathed the Almighty with the holy water brought from heaven. Later, Lord Indra came down for divine’s darshan Himself and named Lord Krishna – Govinda, which means the Lord of the earth.