The cult of Krishna Vāsudeva (IAST kṛṣṇa vāsudeva "Krishna, son of Vasudeva") is historically one of the earliest forms of worship in Krishnaism and Vaishnavism. It is believed to be a significant tradition of the early history of the worship of Krishna in antiquity. This tradition is considered separately to other traditions that led to amalgamation at a later stage of the historical development. Other traditions are Bhagavatism and Cult of Gopala, that along with Cult of Bala-Krishna form the basis of current tradition of monotheistic religion of Krishna.
Some early scholars would equate it with Bhagavatism, and the founder of this religious tradition is believed to be Krishna, who is the son of Vasudeva, thus his name is Vāsudeva, he is belonged to be historically part of the Satvata tribe, and according to them his followers called themselves Bhagavatas and this religion had formed by the 2nd century BC (the time of Patanjali), or as early as the 4th century BC according to evidence in Megasthenes and in the Arthasastra of Kautilya, when Vāsudeva was worshiped as supreme Deity in a strongly monotheistic format, where the supreme Being was perfect, eternal and full of grace.
The Harivamsa describes intricate relationships between Krishna Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha that would later form a Vaishnava concept of primary quadrupled expansion, or chatur vyuha.
- KLOSTERMAIER, Klaus K. (2005). A Survey of Hinduism. State University of New York Press; 3 edition. p. 206. ISBN 0-7914-7081-4. "Present day Krishna worship is an amalgam of various elements. According to historical testimonies Krishna-Vasudeva worship already flourished in and around Mathura several centuries before Christ. A second important element is the cult of Krishna Govinda. Still later is the worship of Bala-Krishna, the Divine Child Krishna - a quite prominent feature of modern Krishnaism. The last element seems to have been Krishna Gopijanavallabha, Krishna the lover of the Gopis, among whom Radha occupies a special position. In some books Krishna is presented as the founder and first teacher of the Bhagavata religion."
- BASHAM, A. L. "Review:Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes. by Milton Singer; Daniel H. H. Ingalls, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 27, No. 3 (May, 1968), pp. 667-670". www.jstor.org. JSTOR 2051211.
- Hastings 2003, p. 540
- Hastings 2003, pp. 540–42
- SINGH, R.R. (2007). Bhakti And Philosophy. Lexington Books. ISBN 0-7391-1424-7.
- p. 10: "[Panini's] term Vāsudevaka, explained by the second century B.C commentator Patanjali, as referring to "the follower of Vasudeva, God of gods."
- "Chatur vyuha," article at Bhaktipedia (a Hare Krishna's site).
- Hastings, James Rodney (2nd edition 1925-1940, reprint 1955, 2003) [1908-26]. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. John A Selbie (Volume 4 of 24 (Behistun (continued) to Bunyan.) ed.). Edinburgh: Kessinger Publishing, LLC. p. 476. ISBN 0-7661-3673-6. Retrieved 2008-05-03. "The encyclopedia will contain articles on all the religions of the world and on all the great systems of ethics. It will aim at containing articles on every religious belief or custom, and on every ethical movement, every philosophical idea, every moral practice."
- Hein, Norvin. "A Revolution in Kṛṣṇaism: The Cult of Gopāla: History of Religions, Vol. 25, No. 4 (May, 1986), pp. 296-317". www.jstor.org. JSTOR 1062622.
- SINGER, Milton (1900). Krishna Myths Rites & Attitudes. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO. ASIN B000PVXLYQ. ISBN 0-313-22822-1.
- Delmonico, N. (2004). "The History Of Indic Monotheism And Modern Chaitanya Vaishnavism". The Hare Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant (Columbia University Press). ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved 2008-04-12.</ref>
- Mahony, W.K. (1987). "Perspectives on Krsna's Various Personalities". History of Religions 26 (3): 333–335. doi:10.1086/463085. JSTOR 198702.
- BHATTACHARYA, Gouriswar: Vanamala of Vasudeva-Krsna-Visnu and Sankarsana-Balarama. In: Vanamala. Festschrift A.J. Gail. Serta Adalberto Joanni Gail LXV. diem natalem celebranti ab amicis collegis discipulis dedicata. Gerd J.R. Mevissen et Klaus Bruhn redigerunt. Berlin 2006; pp. 9–20.
- COUTURE, André: The emergence of a group of four characters (Vasudeva, Samkarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha) in the Harivamsa: points for consideration. Journal of Indian Philosophy 34,6 (2006) 571-585.