We are often asked the question- ''who gave you your name?'' And the answers are filled with joy when we tell the name of that family member who loves us so much and gave us his favorite name. But don't you ever wonder who named the deities who are loved by all?
Through his article, you would know who had named the boy who was the eighth and the most famous incarnation of Lord Vishnu, how Krishna got his name. While most of us are lucky enough to have got ourselves named by our parents, it was not so in the case of Lord Krishna. In fact, his real parents were not even around to see when he was being named. However, the man who named him and those who had replaced his parents were no less than the real parents too. Read on to know under what situations and by whom Lord Krishna was named.
Krishna's maternal uncle was a wicked king. The atrocities that he did on the people in his kingdom, had no end. He was given a curse through a divine prophecy that he would be killed by the eighth child of his sister Devaki. But since the demon's pride had no measures, he believed that nothing in the world could bring an end to him. Under his selfishness and immeasurable pride, he made his own sister a captive and kept her in the prison. He had planned to kill the baby as soon as he was born.
Krishna Is Born
Then came the day, when the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva was born. Vasudeva had already made a plan that he would take the child and swap him with another newborn in Gokul.
However, the big issue was getting out of the prison cell that they were made to live in. but as it always happens, when Lord makes a plan, nothing in the whole universe can stop its execution. It so happened that just when the boy was born, all the guards fell asleep, and the doors of the prison all opened by some divine force to allow Vasudev transport the child to Gokul.
Vasudeva Swapped The Newborns
On the other end of the scene, there was born a daughter to the village chief, Nanda and his wife Yashoda. Vasudev, crossing all the barriers, amidst the heavy rains, with Sheshnag protecting the newborn boy from the rains, took the child, swapped him with the girl child in Nanda's house and came back with this baby girl to the prison cell.
Kansa Tried To Kill The Baby
Kans did no know about all this and thought that this girl child was actually the eighth child of his sister. Hence, he tried killing the girl, but much to his surprise, the girl at the very moment, when he held her in his hands, changed into lightning and vanished into the sky. He was annoyed that he missed the chance and could not kill her. The girl was actually the incarnation of Goddess Durga.
Nanda And Yashoda Feared
There in the house of Nanda Baba and Yashoda, they were very happy at the birth of the boy but wanted to keep it a secret, because Kans, not knowing where the girl escaped, had started killing every child in Gokul. Moreover, a nephew had also taken birth in his brother's house. This fact too was hidden from all.
Fearing that he might also kill the kids, Nanda and Yashoda tried all they could to keep it a secret that there were two babies in their house. They were worried how would they organize the naming ceremony, without letting anybody know about it.
Acharya Garg was a learned and famous sage of those times. He happened to be going to Mathura, when he thought of visiting the village chief Nanda, in Gokul, on his way. When he came, Nanda Baba was very delighted, as he had found a solution to the problem of the naming ceremony. Understanding the circumstances, Acharya Garg first congratulated them and then asked to bring both the kids in the cattle shed.
Naming Krishna And Balarama
There, seeing the future of both the boys, he could visualize that the great role these newborns were going to play in future. Visualizing the future of Nanda's nephew, he said that the boy by his virtue will bring glory and happiness to his family, just as Lord Rama had done.
Also that he will possess massive physical strength and a wonderful physical appearance. Therefore, he named the boy, Balarama, a combination of the words - Bala, meaning force and Rama, denoting the qualities of Lord Rama.
When it came to Nanda's own son, he had seen that the child was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu himself. He knew that he was the eighth form that the Lord had taken. He knew the purpose and aim of this form of Lord Vishnu.
Whenever there has been an imbalance in the cosmic universe due to the uncontrolled atrocities and evils on earth, the Supreme Power has taken birth to bring things to balance again.
As quoted in the Vishnu Purana, Acharya Garg said that: ''He has taken incarnation in every age. In the past ages he had taken white, red and yellow complexions, respectively, this time he has taken a dark complexion, so he will be known as Krishna!''
Hence, we know this most popular incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the name - Krishna, meaning dark.