How did Lord Krushna end His Incarnation?

* The spelling ‘Krushna’ is used instead of ‘Krishna’ as it is more appropriate and in accordance with Sanskrit pronunciation.


1. Renunciation of the body

When the Yadavs fought amongst themselves and most died at Prabhas, Balaram renounced His body in the sea, that is He took jalasamadhi. Then one day, when Krushna was seated below the ashvattha tree with His left foot on His right thigh, a hunter named Jara mistook Him for a deer and shot an arrow which struck the sole of His left foot. When the hunter came close he realised his mistake and asked Krushna for forgiveness. Krushna pacified him and sent him to heaven. The place where this incident occurred is called ‘Bhalakatirtha’. Bhal means the tip of a spear or an arrow. At that time Krushna’s charioteer Daruk appeared there. As he alighted the chariot and approached Krushna, the chariot disappeared. Then Krushna directly merged His body into the five cosmic elements. (Saint Tukaram and Saint Muktai too have done the same.) According to some, the ashes of Subhadra, Balabhadra (Balaram) and Krushna were in a bamboo box which with the current of water reached Jagannathpuri. People installed the ashes there and began ritualistic worship.

On hearing that Krushna had culminated His incarnation Vasudev, Devaki and Rohini too renounced their bodies. Krushna’s eight wives entered the pyre and became satis. When Arjun came to know of this he went there and took the remaining wives and children of Krushna to his capital Indraprastha. After they left Dvarka, it too got submerged in the sea. Since without Krushna Arjun was powerless wild people attacked and defeated him and abducted the women.

Incarnations are not assumed according to destiny. Inspite of this ‘How is it that Rama had to take birth again as the incarnation Krushna in which He had to renounce His body after He was shot at with an arrow by Vali who was reborn as a hunter and whom He had slain with an arrow in the previous birth?’ is what some people wonder. Such examples are given only to emphasise the point that ‘one should not trouble another’. In reality in case of incarnations the concept of destiny does not hold good at all because throughout their lives their actions are non-actions (akarma karma). Apart from this those who are slain by them attain the Final Liberation (Moksha).

2. Chronological life events

Period of time Event
Before Shalivahan Shak Before Christ
3263 [the eighth day (ashtami) of
the dark fortnight of Shravan]
3185 Birth of Krushna
3244 3167 Slaying of Kansa
3241 3163 Akrur’s departure
to Hastinapur
3238 3160 Marriage to Rukmini
3236 3158 Birth of Pradyumna
3220 3142 Droupadi’s selection
of her groom (svayamvar)
3218 3140 Establishment of
3212 3134 Marriage of
3210 3132 Arjun’s embarking on
a pilgrimage
3198 3120 Abduction of
3196 3118 Birth of Abhimanyu
3195 3117 The rajasuya
sacrificial fire
3193 3115 Loss of Hastinapur in
a game of dice
3180 (Margashirsha) 3101 The Bhartiya war
3180 (Phalgun) 3101 Marriage of
3144 (Margashirsha) 3065 Krushna’s renunciation
(age 119) years

This chronology has been decided based mainly on the Mahabharat, the Harivansh and the Bhagvat.

3. Abode [the go region (Golok)]

Information on the go region of Krushna is given in the Padma and Brahmavaivarta Purans. This abode of Krushna is akin to Kailas of Shiva and Vaikunth of Vishnu.

4. Science behind the idol

With regard to the various facets in Krushna’s life various types of idols are given below. The variation seen in these idols is exceptional. It is not seen in the idols of other deities or incarnations.

A. The infant form

  • Santangopal: The one clinging onto Yashoda’s waist
  • Balkrushna: The crawling Krushna. This idol adorns the temple in most homes.
  • Kaliyakrushna: The one slaying Kaliya, the serpent king.
  • Govardhandhari: The one lifting the Govardhan mountain.

B. Holding a flute

  • Radhakrushna (Venugopal): Krushna standing with His right foot crossed and held against the left border of the left foot while playing the flute with Radha standing beside Him.
  • Murlidhar: This idol of Krushna has four arms. Rukmini and Satyabhama are standing on either side of Him. These idols are common in South India.

C. Madangopal

Murlidhar with eight arms.

D. Parthasarathi

The one narrating the Gita to Arjun.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: