Previously, the demigods and demons had
been at war in the heavens. When the demons were defeated by the demigods,
they decided to instead attack this planet earth. Thus, they invaded the
earth by discretely taking birth as princes in powerful royal families of
And as the earth became overrun by militaristic activities of these kingly
demons, the demigods including the Earth goddess earnestly sought Lord
Visnu's protection. Seeing the deteriorating social and political conditions
and hearing the prayers of the demigods, the all-compassionate Supreme Lord
Sri Krishna decided to descend for the benefit of all.
The Supreme Lord descends from time to time in this material world to
reestablish the teachings of the Vedas. In His Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna
promises: "Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious
practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at
that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the
miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself
appear milleniumm after millenium."
Although eternal the Lord appears in specific circumstances out of mercy
for His devotees. In fact, His principal biography, the Srimad Bhagavatam
states, "the learned men describe the births and activities of the
Unborn and Inactive." Therefore, although He appears within the
material dimensions of time and space, He is most definitely not of it.
Historically, Birth of Lord Krishna is in the midnight of the 8th day of the
dark half of the month of Sravana. This corresponds to July 19th 3228 BC. He
exhibited His pastimes for a little over 125 years and dissappeared on
February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalguna. (His departure
marks the beginning of the current age of corruption known as Kali.)
The great scholar Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti neatly outlines Lord
Krishna's activities in this way: the first three years and four months were
spent in Gokula, then equal lengths of time in Vrindavana and Nandagram,
eighteen years and four months in Mathura, and finally ninety-six years and
eight months in Dvaraka totalling 125 years of manifest pastimes. See the
Lord Krishna's early pastimes are briefly summarized at the website
Krishna's Adventures in Vraja"During this childhood time , He grew up
as the son of His foster parents Nanda and Yasoda in the midst of the
idyllic beauty of Gokula, Vrindavana, and Nandagram. Not only did He destroy
numerous demons, but also performed His famous rasa dance
Krishna enjoyed the dance of love (rasa-lila) with the gopis many of whom
are expansions of His own internal energies. The supreme gopi known as
Srimati Radharani is the object of Krishna's highest devotion. This
beautiful dance would occur in the autumn season at night under a full moon
when Lord Krishna would captivate the young gopis with the extraordinary
music of His flute . These esoteric pastimes constitute the most
confidential expression of divinity ever revealed.
Usually the conception of sprirtual perfection consists of overwhelming
feelings only of awe and reverence at God's majesty. However, in these
pastimes each devotee loves God either as a master, a best freind, a
mischievous son, or even as an intimate lover, thus revealing the infinite
possibilities of divine love. These early pastimes of Lord Krishna in
Vrindavana illustrate the extraordinary intimacy that one can have with God.
These pastimes are described in detail by Sri Visvantha Chakravarti in his
Sri Krishna Bhavanamrta Mahakavya
When Krishna and Balarama were older, They were invited to Mathura, where
Karnsa, Their demonic uncle, was planning Their death in a wrestling match
against two large and powerful wrestlers. When Kansa saw his wrestlers
defeated, he ordered his friends to drive the brothers out of Mathura,
plunder the riches of Their cowherd friends, and kill Their fathers, Nanda
and Vasudeva. However, Krishna immediately killed Kansa and Balarama killed
his eight brothers. Lord Krishna then established the pious King Ugrasena as
the emperor of several kingdoms.
In Mathura, both Krishna and Balarama were initiated by Gargamuni in the
Gayatri mantra> Later They went to live under the care of Sandipani Muni
who instructed Them in all the Vedic arts and sciences in sixty-four days
and nights especially in military science, politics and spirituality. As an
offering (guru-daksina) to Their teacher, They recovered his son from death.
Although God does not need instruction from anyone else, Lord Krishna and
His brother set the perfect example : one must accept instruction from and
serve a bona-fide spiritual master to advance in spiritual life.
For the next eighteen years, They continued to live in Mathura halting the
impending threat of many demonic kings. Later in Their pastimes Lord
Balarama married a princess named Revati. Lord Krishna married many queens,
the foremost among them being the extraordinarily beautiftil Queen Rukmini.
(See Sri Rukmini website for the story of Their marriage). Both Krishna and
Balarama established Their palaces in Dvaraka off the coast of western
India, where They enjoyed married life for many years. Although They were
married, Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama exhibited the quality of detachment
from material life perfectly.
They were about ninety years old, the great world war of Kurukshetra took
place. This climactic battle brought together all the major world leaders.
Lord Shri Krishna took the role of a charioteer on the side of the pious
Pandavas, while Lord Balarama refusing to participate went on a pilgrimage
tour thereby blessing the entire land of India.
At the start of the war, Lord Krishna displayed His stupendous Universal
Form delivered His famous message known as the Bhagavad-gita, literally the
Song of God. This Song contains the essence of all knowledge having been
spoken by the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Himself. This war concluded with the
destruction of the demonic kings and the reinstatement of the righteous
Having completed Their mission, Balarama and Shri Krishna resumed Their life in
Dvaraka where They spent some thirty-five more years before ending Their
earthly manifest activities The foremost description of Lord Krishna's
activities occurs in the Srimad Bhagavatam, literally "the Beautiful
Book of God."