Small Things #25 – What is the last name of Krishna?

While my older one is excited about the wider acceptance and appreciation of our eBook ‘The Boy Named Joy’ (running in Amazon’s bestseller list of top 100 free books), the little one is exploring spirituality. Yesterday, he asked a question I had never thought of! “Krishna has so many names but what is the last name?” Baffling, isn’t it? Did you know?

Well, I threw the question back at him. “What do you think?”.

“Hmm…well Jesus has Christ as his last name. I don’t know why Krishna did not have a last name.”

So, I had to take help from Mr. Google and this is what I found. It seems that during Krishna’s age, the people had titles rather than surnames.

Krishna has been called by different names throughout Mahabharata – Yashodanandan (son of Yashoda), Giridhar (one who lifted a hill), Gopala (one who takes care of cows), Dwarikadheesh (King of Dwarika) and so on. But no surnames.

I guess, last names did not exist at that time. And since every name was based on the personal attribute of the individual, it was different. For example, Krishna was called Krishna (dark one) because he was dark in color.

In fact, all the people in the holy books ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ are referred to by their first names, which indicates their personalities. Yudhisthira (one who is steady in war), Bhima (one who is formidable), Arjun (One who is pure and white), Nakula (most handsome), Sehdeva (with gods) and so on… Usually, no two people had the same name.

Last names began to be taken when the British came to India.

So, by today’s context, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni. According the Google – “Krishna is referred to in the Mahabharata as a Vrishni during Arjuna’s war with Karna; the Vrishnis are a clan under the umbrella of Yadavas; Satyaki is also a Vrishni. So, by today’s human standards, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni.”

It was a great question and looking for the answer was equally interesting. Kids really see things differently and that is why they ask the best questions.

(P.S.- Last day to buy ‘The Boy Named Joy’ for free. So, do download here. Thank You.)

(image- Google)