Amazing History of Blue-Skinned Krishna

Krishna and Third Eye Chakra

The Amazing History of Krishna

Joyful Blue-Skinned Deity of Hinduism

Krishna is one of the most significant deities in Hinduism. He is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, one of the three persons of the Hindu trinity. Krishna widely revered among devotees around the world. He is known for the qualities of compassion, tenderness, protection and love.

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Krishna's Early Life

Krishna’s mother Devaki is the Hindu goddess of childbirth. Devaki’s brother is the evil king Kamsa. When Devaki and her soon-to-be husband Vasudeva were traveling to their wedding, Kamsa received a vision which revealed to him that a child of his sister Devaki would overthrow him. He sought to kill her immediately to prevent this outcome, but Vasudeva begged for her life. 

Imprisonment of Krishna’s Parents
Kamsa agreed to allow Devaki to live if he would be given each of her male children. Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned by Kamsa after their wedding. As each of their first seven male children were born, Kamsa killed them. Finally they came up with a way to save their eighth son.

Saving the Baby Krishna
Around that time, a girl relative was born in the country. She was smuggled into the prison just as Devaki gave birth to Krishna. The guards miraculously fell into a deep sleep. The children were switched. Krishna was safely taken to live in obscurity in a rural area. The female child was also safe because she was not a threat to the king.

Symbolism of Krishna’s Early Life
Krishna grew up in the country with surrogate parents who raised cows. For this reason, Krishna was a cow herder as a child, protector of the sacred animal. Symbolically, Krishna is the one who protects the sacred truth. His childhood is replete with tales of his mischievous fun and his friendship with the milkmaids, especially his beloved Radha.

Meaning of the Names Govinda and Gopala
Because Krishna grew up living an idyllic rural life as a cow herder, known by the names of Govinda and Gopala.“Go” means cow, a sacred animal that may also symbolically represent sacred scriptures or sacred truth. “Go” is sometimes translated as “light.” 

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Finding the Historic Krishna

Most scholars of Indian history believe that that Krishna lived around 1,000 BCE. Krishna appears in many epics that include other historical personages. Others push the date back even further. Krishna is also found in Southeast Asian history and art including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The idea that Krishna was purely mythical may have first been advanced by missionaries of other religious faiths.

Krishna’s Genealogy
The genealogy of Krishna is discussed in detail in both Vedic and non-Vedic texts. This is true in a dozen of the eighteen major Puranas. A number of Buddhist, Jain and secular texts are in agreement with Krishna’s historical personage. Based on the positions of constellations described in the Mahabharata, scientists are able to date events such as the war of Kurukshetra. Krishna’s departure for Hastinapura on a diplomatic mission is dated as being in the month of September in 3067 BCE.

Archeological Evidence
The descriptions of customs, traditions, and political systems in texts about Krishna can be corroborated. Accordingly, landmarks such as hills, streams, and villages can also be identified. More recent archeological evidence is now proving the existence of ancient cities described in scriptures such as Dwarka, now under the ocean.

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Why Does Krishna Have Blue Skin?

The name Krishna (Sanskrit Kṛṣṇa) literally means black, dark or dark blue. On a philosophical level, the common depiction of Krishna as having light or dark blue skin is explained as symbolic. His blue skin may represent the infinite expanse of the blue sky. On the other hand, Krishna’s blue skin infers the calmness and depth of the blue ocean.

Blue Blood of Royalty
On a practical level, the phrase “blue blood” refers to royalty or someone who is wealthy, upper class, or highly influential. In many cultures throughout history, the right to rule has been reserved to those who are descended from an existing lineage. In the mythology of numerous ancient cultures, those lineages began with the gods who taught mankind the skills and knowledge needed for survival.

Ancients Gods Depicted with Blue Skin
The deities who brought agriculture, mathematics, architecture, and other advances to early civilizations are often depicted with blue skin. In addition to the East Indian images of Krishna (Vishnu) as blue-skinned, the ancient Egyptians also portrayed beings who were blue in color. Similarly, the Hopi Indians tell of blue-skinned Star Warriors.

Origin of the Early Gods
These gods may have been representatives of highly advanced civilizations that did not originate on earth. Some extraterrestrials are reputed to have blue skin including the Andromedans and Sirians. These ancient gods were flesh and blood beings who lived among the people that they taught and ruled. They lived for hundreds if not thousands of years, effectively dubbed as immortal. The question remains: Can humans or human-like beings actually have blue blood?

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Science of the Blue Blood Hypothesis

Legends all over the world say that the gods came from the sky or from heaven. Is it possible that the physiology of these gods differed from red-blooded humans? Can humanoid beings have blood that differs in color from ours? Let’s take a look at this as a scientific hypothesis.

Species on Earth with Blue Blood
Our oxygen is transported via hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a respiratory pigment that includes the metal ion of iron. The main purpose of blood is the exchange of gases. Interestingly, iron is not the only metal ion that can carry oxygen. For example, there are some species on earth that utilize copper rather than iron. These species include many forms of sea life: snails, ocean spiders, crustaceans, crabs, cuttlefish, and octopuses. This is called hemocyanin, a reference to “cyan” which is Latin for “blue.”

Why Most Organisms Utilize Iron
Most organisms on earth evolved to utilize iron, partly due to its prevalence. Iron is the most common metal found on earth after aluminum. If an environment contained an abundance of another metallic ion, that metal might be favored for oxygen exchange in the blood. Furthermore, 90% of all iron ingested remains in the body after being ingested rather than being excreted. 

The Possibility of Copper-Based Blood
The sun has a high level of copper. Planets created from similar suns might have high levels of copper inn their crust. Our erythrocytes live for 120 days, after which they are replaced. Organisms that have copper-based gas exchange in their blood would need to replenish their systems with copper just as we constantly need to have iron-rich food.

Diet for Replenishing Copper
If the “gods” or ruling elite had copper-based blood, they would require a diet high in copper. An agricultural, grain-based diet is low in iron but rich in copper. In contrast with this, the Neolithic hunter-gatherers on earth had a diet rich in iron: meat, berries, and root vegetables. 

Sky Gods and Agriculture
Many legends report “sky gods” who came to earth and taught agriculture. Some stories say that people preferred their hunter-gatherer lifestyle but the rulers insisted that they take up agriculture. The move to agriculture actually increased the level of labor necessary to obtain subsistence food. Ethnographic evidence indicates that only about three hours a day were needed to secure food for hunter-gatherers. Instead, agriculture became a full-time occupation.

Pressure Towards a Grain-Based Diet
Even agriculture based on raising root vegetables rather than grain yields ten to one hundred times greater productivity. External pressures may have influenced this shift to predominantly raising wheat if the ruling class needed bread rather than iron-rich foods. Some indigenous peoples resisted this change for thousands of years.

Aliens with Blue Skin in the Movies
In modern movies and pop culture, the presence of blue aliens continues to fascinate us. Who knows if there is a kernel (no pun intended) of truth in the lore of blue-skinned deities, gods, and aliens? A brief list of movies featuring blue aliens includes Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Fifth Element, Megamind, and multiple Star Trek productions.

Mantra-Related Articles

Epic of Krishna and Arjuna: Bhagavad Gita

The following distillation of the story line and philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita was created from a detailed outline by Jake Fleming, condensed from a translation by Gavin Flood & Charles Martin. Jake is a musician, producer, yoga enthusiast and student of life and spirituality. He has released a series of instrumental meditative works: Elephants in Space, Flute Meditations, Atmananda, and  Dancing Roots. Jake’s music can be found on Spotify, YouTube and on his website

Setting for the Bhagavad Gita
The warrior Arjuna is presented with a paradox. As a warrior, he is required to go to battle. However, fulfilling his duties will end the lives of his relatives and loved ones. Although he understands that the nature of physical beings is death, he cannot bear this reality. He collapses.

Krishna Teaches Arjuna
Arjuna’s friend and teacher is Krishna. Krishna explains that the vital force cannot be extinguished, even in death. Arjuna must not turn from righteous warfare. This is Arjuna’s nature. To turn from battle would be a disgrace born from succumbing to fear. Arjuna must recognized that pleasure is the same as pain. It is action that is important, not the fruit of action.

Achieving Equanimity
The resolute, higher mind is undivided. If you are yoked by the higher mind, you are no longer bound by the fruit of action. This requires one to withdraw the senses. Once unyoked from hate and passions, you can engage with control,, unmoved by success or failure. You are no longer agitated by desires, suffering, anger or fear.

Taking Action in the World
As the Bhagavad Gita continues, Krishna elaborates on the need to do one’s duty in the world. One must take part in action to contribute and sacrifice. Even though Krishna himself has no need to do anything, he still acts without attachment to any needs. In this way, a leader is an example for followers. The appropriate actions for each person are determined by their own nature. it is better to do one’s own duty ineptly than to do another’s duty well. Make sure to act without personal desire.

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Krishna Explains the Practice of Yoga
There is a path of action and the path of renunciation. Both paths will lead to bliss. If one attains union with Brahman, one gains the ability to endure suffering, rage, and desire. One sees the same in all things. The yogi is fixed upon the Self, removing the veil of ignorance and cleansing impurities.

Coming to Know Krishna
Souls that are bound with Krishna are connected to Light, Sound, fragrance and radiance. Surrender allows one to pass beyond illusion. Krishna is honored by all seekers: knowledge seekers, wealth seekers, and wise men. A steadfast wise man is particularly dear to Krishna. 

Understanding the Universe
The physical being is transient. Spirit is divine, and Brahman is the essence of Self. To focus on Krishna is to become him when the spirit leaves the body. Otherwise, a person focused on duality and illusion will return to this world after death. Thus, the yogi sacrifices to go to the highest place.

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Krishna Mantra Article Summary

Krishna is one of the most significant deities in Hinduism. He is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, one of the three persons of the Hindu trinity. Krishna widely revered among devotees around the world. Krishna is known for the qualities of compassion, tenderness, protection and love. This article includes information on the historical Krishna and an in-depth discussion of Krishna’s blue-skinned iconography.

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Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew, and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

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