m.Name of a celebrated Avatar of the god viṣṇu-, or sometimes identified with viṣṇu- himself ([ ]) as distinct from his ten Avata1rsAvatars or incarnations (in the earlier legends he appears as a great hero and teacher[ ];in the more recent he is deified, and is often represented as a young and amorous shepherd with flowing hair and a flute in his hand;the following are a few particulars of his birth and history as related in and in the purāṇa-s etc.: vasu-deva-, who was a descendant of yadu- and yayāti-, had two wives, rohiṇī- and devakī-;the latter had eight sons of whom the eighth was kṛṣṇa-; kaṃsa-, king of mathurā- and cousin of devakī-, was informed by a prediction that one of these sons would kill him;he therefore kept vasu-deva- and his wife in confinement, and slew their first six children;the seventh was balarāma- who was saved by being abstracted from the womb of devakī- and transferred to that of rohiṇī-;the eighth was kṛṣṇa- who was born with black skin and a peculiar mark on his breast;his father vasu-deva- managed to escape from mathurā- with the child, and favoured by the gods found a herdsman named nanda- whose wife yaśo-dā- had just been delivered of a son which vasu-deva- conveyed to devakī- after substituting his own in its place. nanda- with his wife yaśo-dā- took the infant kṛṣṇa- and settled first in gokula- or vraja-, and afterwards in vṛndāvana-, where kṛṣṇa- and bala-rāma- grew up together, roaming in the woods and joining in the sports of the herdsmen's sons; kṛṣṇa- as a youth contested the sovereignty of indra-, and was victorious over that god, who descended from heaven to praise kṛṣṇa-, and made him lord over the cattle[ ]; kṛṣṇa- is described as sporting constantly with the gopī-s or shepherdesses[ ]of whom a thousand became his wives, though only eight are specified, rādhā- being the favourite[ ]; kṛṣṇa- built and fortified a city called dvārakā- in Gujarat, and thither transported the inhabitants of mathurā- after killing kaṃsa-; kṛṣṇa- had various wives besides the gopī-s, and by rukmiṇī- had a son pradyumna- who is usually identified with kāma-deva-;with Jains, kṛṣṇa- is one of the nine black vasu-deva-s;with Buddhists he is the chief of the black demons, who are the enemies of buddha- and the white demons)
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