How many daughters does Lord Krishna have

The Divine Child - Part 1: KrishnaButter thief and demon slayer

Music for little Krishna's birthday. Hindus all over the world celebrate his birthday in August / September. Also in the Berlin Shri Ganesh Temple. There is a swing next to the Krishna statue. On his birthday, a figure of little Krishna is placed there and rocked.

"Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu," says Hanumaiah Viadyanathan, General Secretary of the Shri Ganesh Temple in Berlin.

"He originally comes from a farming family who were dairy farmers. That's why there are many very interesting stories about Krishna, how he stole milk or butter and so on. And he was also the group leader in the village where he was born."

Most Hindus are familiar with the stories of Krishna's pranks as a child. For his birthday, children traditionally dress up like Krishna. They paint themselves blue because Krishna was dark-skinned. He is considered to be the embodiment of the god Vishnu, who always incarnates on earth when creation is threatened. The story is often told in the holy scriptures of the Hindus, says the Berlin Indologist Liane Wobbe.

A child of divine origin

"As it is said in the Bhagavata Purana that Vishnu pulled out two hairs, one black and one white, and these hairs have now entered the Princess Devaki, are signs of the divinity of the child. They indicate that the child is not human conceived, it is a divine child, it has a divine origin. "

Vishnu incarnates as a savior because the earth threatens to perish under the weight of bad deeds. People no longer follow the divine order and the demons take over more and more power.

Posters and printed fabrics on the sidelines of the Janmashtami festival in Nepal (imago stock & people)

God Vishnu has chosen Princess Devaki, the impeccable sister of the demon king Kamsa, as mother. Kamsa is prophesied that his sister's eighth child will throne and kill him. He then locks his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva in the dungeon. Every newborn that Devaki gives birth to, the Demon King kills. However, when Krishna is born, a miracle happens, it says in the Bhagavata Purana. The book announces the salvific time in great detail.

The appearance of the Lord

When the auspicious time for the Lord's appearance came, all the qualities of virtue, beauty, and peace permeated the entire universe. (...) The rivers flowed with clear water, and the lakes, strewn with lilies and lotus flowers, and the great bodies of water were extraordinarily beautiful. In the trees and green plants, which were full of flowers and leaves and which delighted the eyes, birds like cuckoos began to sing with lovely voices for the sake of the demigods, and swarms of bees hummed. (...) [Heavenly beings like the] Kinnaras and Gandharvas sang auspicious songs [other demigods began to dance with exultation]. (Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.3, rest. Sw. Prabhupada, quoted in Paul Schwarzenau, Das divine child. The myth of a new beginning, p. 19f)

When Krishna is born, the gods scatter flowers from the sky. A gentle thunder resounds in the deep darkness of the night.

Vasudeva then looked at the newborn child, who had wonderful, lotus-like eyes and carried the four [divine] weapons of shell, wheel, club and lotus in its four hands. (...) The child was dressed in yellow robes, his body was blackish like a thick cloud, it had long, flowing hair, and its helmet and earrings glittered unusually (...) When Vasudeva saw his extraordinary son, they widened his eyes become astonished.

Although in prison, the father exults Vasudeva, realizing that this child is Krishna of divine nature. At the request of his parents, Krishna takes human form. Another miracle happens and the prison guards fall into a deep sleep, the prison gates open so that Vasudeva can escape with the child Krishna ...

"... and flees with the child across the Yamuna River to a shepherd's village. And he is also protected here. The miracles are omnipresent, it is the divine child. A snake follows them with several heads and protects this child and so Vasudeva can get to Yashoda in the house of a cowherdess without prejudice. "

Pranks and jokes

Krishna lives on unrecognized with the cowherds. He makes pranks and turns everything upside down.

"He steals his mother's butter and nibbles on it or feeds the butter to the monkey. So he behaves like a small child. But after his pranks, his parents are repeatedly confronted with his divinity."

When little Krishna eats a handful of earth, other shepherdesses rush to Krishna's foster mother.

"Then Yashoda goes to her son and opens his mouth for him. And then she sees the whole universe. How the whole universe reveals itself in his mouth. This is again a sign for her that a divine child is growing up with her."

Disguised child at the Janmastami festival, "a relationship based on chanting, joy and devotional love". (imago stock & people)

Another story tells how Krishna fights against the mighty serpent demon Kaliya. The serpent demon lives in a branch of the Yamuna River. The whole area is contaminated by its poison. Cows and children who drink from the river's water die. Krishna resuscitates the dead. Then he throws himself on the serpent with the many heads. The cowherds fear for their friend and protector. But finally Krishna jumps on the snake hood and begins a wild dance. In the end, the serpent demon has to surrender. Because Kaliya's wives immediately worship Krishna, the little hero pardons the serpent demon and banishes him to the ocean.

Personal relationship instead of ritual sacrifices

Krishna also brings a new form of religion to the shepherds. As the incarnation of Vishnu, he rejects the old Vedic sacrificial cult and deprives the sky god Indra of his religious inheritance. Instead, Krishna leads the shepherds to bhakti, to love the personal god Vishnu. But Indra, the god of weather, is angry and punishes the shepherd people with a severe storm. Krishna protects them and raises Mount Govardhana. In this way he shields the shepherds from the floods of water that Indra has sent. Basically, the message behind the adventures is already emerging: The shepherds should worship Krishna as the embodiment of Vishnu, says the religious scholar Liane Wobbe.

"The main focus is actually the devotional love for Krishna. A personal relationship. Not the ritual sacrifice, not the habitual observance of the Dharma duties, but a personal relationship, an enthusiastic relationship based on chanting, on singing, on joy and devoted love. "

The adventures of Krishna as a child are popular to this day. You can follow them in comics, in TV and movies, or on the Internet. Like Jesus, Krishna is venerated in the form of a child on his birthday. The divine is reflected in him, even when he is playing. Later as a youth, Krishna defeats the demon king Kamsa when he returns to the city.

In the stories about Krishna there are motifs that also appear in other divine children such as Buddha or Jesus: the prophecy about his glorious future, the wonderful conception and birth. Like Krishna, Jesus is threatened by an evil king or demon. Krishna and Jesus surprise with their physical strength or their omniscience. Even as children, they rule over life and death. Divine children do not go through any stages of development. From the beginning they combine wisdom and hardness in their childlike form. A paradox that only divine children can endure.