Birth and childhood
Krishna was of the royal family of Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva, a noble of the court. He was born in a prison cell in Mathura, and the place of his birth is now known as Krishnajanmabhoomi, where a temple is raised in his memory. As his life was in danger from his uncle Kamsa the king, he was smuggled out to be raised by his foster parents Yashoda and Nanda in the forest at Vrindavana. Two of his siblings also survived, Balarama and Subhadra.
Boyhood and youth
He reached adulthood at Vrindavana. The original corpus of stories of his youth here include that of his life with, and his protection of, the local people. They included those of his play with the gopis of the village, including Radha, which later became known as the rasa lila.
Krishna the prince
Krishna as a young man returned to Mathura, overthrew his uncle Kamsa, and became ruler of the Yadavas at Mathura. In this period he became a friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom on the other side of the Yamuna. Later, he takes his Yadava subjects to Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat). He married Rukmini, daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidarbha.
The Kurukshetra War
In the Mahabharata, Krishna is cousin to both sides in the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas. He asks the sides to choose between his army and himself. The Kauravas pick his army and he sides with the Pandavas. He agrees to be the chariot driver for Arjuna in the great battle. The Bhagavad Gita is the advice given to Arjuna by Krishna before the start of the battle.
The last days
Krishna rules the Yadavas at Dwaraka with his wife Rukmini. Later, the Yadavas kill themselves in infighting. Krishna dwells for a time in the forest, is shot in the foot when asleep by a hunter, and dies there.
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