Krishna, Hindu deity
[Sanskrit,=black], one of the most popular deities in Hinduism, the eighth avatar, or incarnation of Vishnu
. Krishna appears in the Mahabharata
epic as a prince of the Yadava tribe and the friend and counselor of the Pandava princes. His divinity is proclaimed in several places in the epic, particularly in the Bhagavad-Gita
. Krishna's childhood and youth are described in the Harivamsa
(a supplement to the Mahabharata
), the Vishnu Purana,
and the Bhagavata Purana,
the last being one of the most important texts of the Bhakti, or devotional, movement. As a young boy Krishna is the foster child of cowherds and shows his divine nature by conquering demons. As a youth he is the lover of the gopis
(milkmaids), playing his flute and dancing with them by moonlight. The play of Krishna and the gopis
is regarded in Hinduism as an image of the soul's relationship with God. The love of Krishna and Radha, his favorite gopi,
is celebrated in a great genre of Sanskrit and Bengali love poetry.
See W. G. Archer, The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry (1953, repr. 1960); M. Singer, ed., Krishna: Myths, Rites and Attitudes (1965); J. P. Losty, Krishna: A Hindu Vision of God (1980).
Krishna, river, India
Krishna (krĭshˈnə) or Kistna (kĭstˈnə), river, c.800 mi (1,290 km) long, rising in Maharashtra state, central India, in the Western Ghats, and flowing SE and then E through Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh states to the Bay of Bengal. The river supplies water for the irrigation of extensive areas in all three states; its flow fluctuates according to seasonal monsoon rains. Its source is sacred to Hindus; the river is named for the god Krishna.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a deity in Hinduism.
Krishna is venerated as an incarnation of the god Vishnu. In epic legends he is a wise teacher, a demon-conquering warrior, and later, in the Middle Ages, a divine shepherd (the incarnation of the forces of nature and love). The cult of Krishna plays a significant role in Hinduism. Legends about Krishna’s love for shepherdesses have long been used in Indian literature (from the 12th-century Gitagovinda of Jayadeva to R. Tagore) and art.
REFERENCELegendy o Krishne, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937. (Translated from Hindi.)
(Kistna), a river in India in the central and south-eastern Hindustan peninsula. Length, 1,280 km; basin area, 330,-000 sq km. The Krishna rises in the Western Ghats, crosses the Decca plateau from west to east, and flows into the Bay of Bengal, forming a delta. It is fed by monsoon rains, with the high-water level occurring in summer. In its middle and lower course it is used for irrigating an area of more than 500,000 ha, through canals totaling over 3,000 km in length. The Nagarjuna Sagar hydroengineering complex is located on its lower course. It is navigable near the ocean. The city of Vijayawada is located on the Krishna.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hindu god acts as spiritual and military counselor to Arjuna and his family. [Hindu Lit.: Mahabharata]
god who plays flute to enamored milkmaids. [Hindu Myth.: Binder, 23]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
a river in S India, rising in the Western Ghats and flowing generally southeast to the Bay of Bengal. Length: 1300 km (800 miles)
Hinduism the most celebrated of the Hindu deities, whose life story is told in the Mahabharata
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005