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)

 

 

The Observer

On some days, I see a little girl in the house opposite to mine, looking up at the Sky. Soft pink hands rest lightly on dark railing of the old deck, while a half dreamy smile sits on her lips.

Motionless she observes the sky, as if at one with its vastness. Her breaths are slow…deep… meditative.

Nothing disturbs her. Not cars…nor the people. Not even flapping of Siberian birds returning to the lake.

Around that time, The Sun comes knocking at homes and enters through cracks, holes and half drawn blinds. It waits in empty houses like an unwelcome guest as people rush out in the morning hour.

Nobody greets or smiles at Him. They are all on the run to the next moment. Except, of course, that little observer!

She tilts up her bonnie face a little more on seeing Him, her smile widens and brown eyes twinkle. Happily, the dear sweet Sun covers her in a soft, golden embrace.

Around them, the world moves on at a hectic pace, cars zoom, planes fly… but the ‘still’ little observer has eyes only for the sky!

She deeply calms me, that little girl, she is so much at one with the infinity. So still, so calm, so mindful, so precious… I smile too as I observe the observer, observing nothing and… everything!

Image:Google

My Father’s Song to Krishna

Although credit goes to my grandma for introducing Lord Krishna to us, it is my 68 year old father who reaffirms our faith time and again through his soulful bhajans (devotional songs). As we celebrate the birthday (Janmashtami) of the mischievous God, do listen to this wonderful song invoking Krishna in my father’s voice.

Here, the singer is asking the Lord to take birth again once again and keep His promise. Everyone is waiting for Him to take Kalki avatar.

When we were small, Krishna ruled over our household and often caused mayhem. His room needed to be cleaned first. The best garlands were made for him. He needed to be bathed and adorned and then an elaborate puja ceremony would follow sometimes infuriating us kids. We would get jealous of the attention Krishna got.

While morning passed in tending to the enchanting one, Evening ceremony would bring joy. It was the most beautiful part of the day because my father would then sing soulful songs in his divine voice. Hearing him everyday, strengthened us from within.

He would transfer us to a world of spirituality, faith and belief. The belief that someone up there always takes care of us. Faith that there is always a positive aspect to every misfortune. And lastly, in order to be free and joyful, just surrender to Krishna.

Even now, my gentle and loving father teaches us the most profound things in a very simple way. I will relate an incident. My family believes in astrology to some extent and my father wore a couple of rings with special stones. I asked him to get a ring for me too according to my horoscope. He laughed and said – You don’t need any ring, or anything to protect you. You have Krishna!

The best lines of faith I have ever heard in my life. I am truly grateful to the almighty that I belong to a family that is steeped in faith. I hope you like my father’s voice. And although many of you don’t know the language, I am sure your hearts will comprehend. Jai Shri Krishna!