Nanda (Hinduism)

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Indischer Maler um 1755 002.jpg
Nanda (right) watches Krishna being pushed on a swing
TextsBhagavata Purana, Harivamsa, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata[1]
Personal information
ChildrenKrishna, Balarama (foster-children)
Yogamaya (biological daughter)

Nanda (Sanskrit: नंद, romanizedNandā) is a cow-herd chief,[2][3][4] and the foster-father of Krishna, featured in the Harivamsha and the Puranas.[5] Nanda is the son of Parjanya,[6][7] a ruler of the Vraja region,[8] who is a son of the Yadava king, Devamida.[9] He is the chief of Gokulam,[10] which is one of the most powerful territories of the Yadava tribe.[11] He is sometimes referred to as a king.[12]

Nanda is the cousin of Vasudeva.[9][13][11][14] Vasudeva takes his newborn son, Krishna, to Nanda on the night of the child's birth, so that Nanda could raise him. The chief, who is married to Yashoda, brings up both Krishna, and his brother, Balarama. Krishna derives his epithet Nandanandana (son of Nanda) from him.[15][16]


Nanda was the foster-father of Krishna. He also helped to raise Balarama. Nanda, identified as King Nanda in many scriptures[17] was a kinsman and a great friend of Vasudeva.[18] The fact that King Nanda and King Vasudeva were cousins is confirmed both by the Bhagavata Purana, Book 10, and the Mahabharata.[19][20]

Nanda requests a horoscope for Krishna.

King Vasudeva married Devaki, the daughter of King Devaka.[21][22] Devaki's cousin, an evil tyrant named Kamsa, had imprisoned his father, Ugrasena, and usurped the throne. Owing to a divine prophecy that he would be slain by the eighth child of Devaki, Kamsa arranged that all of Devaki's sons should die at birth. Six children thus perished.[23] Vasudeva's wife, Rohini, gave birth to Balarama, and Krishna himself was placed by Vasudeva into the hands of Nanda. Both Krishna and Balarama were brought up by Nanda, the cowherd-chief, and his wife, Yashoda.[24][25][26]

A legend from the Bhagavata Purana describes the episode of Nanda's abduction. Having observed a fast during the ekadashi, he entered the waters of the Yamuna the following night to perform ablutions, disregarding the fact that it was a period of the day that was reserved for the asuras. He was captured by an asura who served Varuna, the god of water, and took him to his underwater realm. Having heard that his foster-father had been taken captive, Krishna reassured his community of the former's safety, and sought an audience with Varuna. Delighted at the sight of Krishna, Varuna offered his obeisance, as well as apologies for his servant's actions, and returned Nanda from his abode. Astonished at the sight of Varuna's abode as well as his foster-son's actions, Nanda conveyed this incident to the people of Gokulam, who determined that Krishna must be Ishvara.[27][28]

When Krishna is enveloped by the serpent Kaliya, Nanda and his men attempt to rescue him by diving into the Yamuna, but he was restrained by Balarama, who knew the true identity of his brother.[29][30]

In an episode, Nanda and all the people of Vraja undertook a pilgrimage to a site named Ambika Vana, where they worshipped Shiva and Parvati, and bathed in the Sarasvati river. They spent the night at the banks of the river. A huge python started to swallow Nanda, having caught hold of his leg. Hearing his cries for help, Krishna and the cowherds arrived to rescue him. The men tried to brandish their torches at the snake to free him, but to no avail. Krishna merely tapped the python with his foot, and the creature assumed the form of a gandharva. The gandharva explained that he was named Sudarshana, and due to the fact that he had laughed to mock sages from his vimana, he had been cursed with the form of a python; the touch of Krishna's foot had liberated him from his curse.[31][32]


Yadava dynasty (After 74 generations)


Women waiting for gopis in the streets of Nandagaon during Lath mar Holi


Nandagaon is one of the religious places near Barsana in Braj. It was capital of feudal Nanda, where he resided with his followers and the cowherds.[33]

Nanda Bhavan (Chaurasi Khamba Mandir)[edit]

The residence of Nanda, known as Nanda Bhavan, where Krishna is said to have grown up and spent the first three years of his childhood is a main and most famous temple in Mahavan. This yellow coloured building has many wall paintings depicting pastimes of Krishna has 84 pillars inside. It is believed that there are 84,00,000 species in this material world and each pillar is said to symbolize 100,000 species, thus representing all the life in the universe.[34]

Nanda Ghata[edit]

The Nanda Ghata is situated on the banks of the sacred river Yamuna. The Ghata (Riverbank) is related to the rescue of Nanda's abduction by the asura of Varuna, while Nanda was taking a bath in the holy river, Yamuna.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brahmavaivarta Purana Sri-Krishna Janma Khanda (Fourth Canto) Chapter 13.Verse 224 English translation by Shantilal Nagar Parimal Publications Link:
  2. ^ Bhatt, Dr G. P.; Gangadharan, N. (1 January 2013). The Agni-Purana Part 4: Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology Volume 30. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 1137. ISBN 978-81-208-3897-0.
  3. ^ Books, Kausiki (12 July 2021). Bhagavatha Maha Purana 1st Skanda : English translation only without Slokas. Kausiki Books. p. 119.
  4. ^ Case, Margaret H. (20 April 2000). Seeing Krishna: The Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-19-535153-8.
  5. ^ His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead- Chepter-5. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ISBN 978-9171495587.
  6. ^ Swarup Das (1999). Śrī Śrī 84 Krosh Vrajamaṇḍala. Samir Debanth.
  7. ^ A. W. Entwistle (1987). Braj: Centre of Krishna Pilgrimage. E. Forsten. ISBN 978-90-6980-016-5.
  8. ^ Holdrege, Barbara A. (14 August 2015). Bhakti and Embodiment: Fashioning Divine Bodies and Devotional Bodies in Krsna Bhakti. Routledge. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-317-66909-8.
  9. ^ a b Viśvanātha Cakravartī (2004). Sārārtha Darśini: Tenth Canto Commnetaries [of] Srimad Bhagavatam. Mahanidhi Swami.
  10. ^ Lach, Donald Frederick; Kley, Edwin J. Van (1993). South Asia. University of Chicago Press. p. 1052. ISBN 978-0-226-46754-2.
  11. ^ a b Gopal Chowdhary (2014). The Greatest Farce of History. Partridge Publishing. p. 119. ISBN 978-1482819250.
  12. ^ (16 July 2022). "Verse 5.14.7 [Garga Samhita]". Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  13. ^ Sanghi, Ashwin (2012). The Krishna key. Chennai: Westland. p. Key7. ISBN 9789381626689. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  14. ^ Lok Nath Soni (2000). The Cattle and the Stick: An Ethnographic Profile of the Raut of Chhattisgarh. Anthropological Survey of India, Government of India, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Delhi: Anthropological Survey of India, Government of India, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, 2000 Original from the University of Michigan. p. 16. ISBN 978-8185579573.
  15. ^ John Stratton Hawley (2014). At Play with Krishna: Pilgrimage Dramas from Brindaran. Princeton Legacy Library: Princeton University Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-1400859122.
  16. ^ Charles Barnett (2014). Blazing Sadhus or Never Trust a Holy Man Who Can't Dance. Charles Barnett. pp. III. ISBN 978-1632958624.
  17. ^ Sehgal, Sunil (1999). Encyclopaedia of Hinduism. Sarup & Sons. p. 1084. ISBN 978-81-7625-064-1.
  18. ^ Prem ságar; or, The ocean of love. Oxford University. 1867. p. 18.
  19. ^ Carl Olson (2007). Hindu Primary Sources: A Sectarian Reader. Rutgers University Press. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-8135-4070-2. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  20. ^ Jīva Gosvāmī (2006). Śrī Kr̥ṣṇa-sandarbha. Rasbiharilal & sons. ISBN 978-81-8403-018-1. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  21. ^ Dalal, Roshen (18 April 2014). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin UK. p. 424. ISBN 978-81-8475-277-9.
  22. ^ Garg, Gaṅgā Rām (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World. Concept Publishing Company. p. 21. ISBN 978-81-7022-374-0.
  23. ^ Carl Woodham (2011). A God Who Dances: Krishna for You. Torchlight Publishing. p. 84. ISBN 978-0981727363.
  24. ^ Carl Woodham (2011). A God Who Dances: Krishna for You. Torchlight Publishing. pp. 103–121. ISBN 978-0981727363.
  25. ^ Winthrop Sargeant, Christopher Key Chapple (1984). The Bhagavad Gita: Revised Edition. SUNY Press. pp. 9, 14. ISBN 978-0873958318.
  26. ^ Jürgen Neuß (2012). Narmad?parikram? - Circumambulation of the Narmad? River: On the Tradition of a Unique Hindu Pilgrimage Volume 42 of Brill's Indological Library. BRILL. p. 265. ISBN 978-9004228573.
  27. ^ Dutt, Manmatha Nath (1896). A Prose English Translation of Srimadbhagavatam. M.N. Dutt. pp. 128–129.
  28. ^ Dikshitar, V. R. Ramachandra (1995). The Purāṇa index. 2. (From T to M). Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. p. 435. ISBN 978-81-209-1274-8.
  29. ^ Hudson, D. Dennis (25 September 2008). The Body of God: An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram. Oxford University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-19-045140-0.
  30. ^ Leeming, David (17 November 2005). Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Oxford University Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-19-028888-4.
  31. ^ Venkatesananda, Swami (31 March 2010). The Concise Srimad Bhagavatam. State University of New York Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-1-4384-2283-1.
  32. ^ Vanamali (22 May 2012). The Complete Life of Krishna: Based on the Earliest Oral Traditions and the Sacred Scriptures. Simon and Schuster. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-59477-690-8.
  33. ^ Trilochan Dash (2012). Krishna Leeela in Brajamandal a Retrospect. Saudamini Dash. p. 196.
  34. ^ Dev Prasad (2010). Krishna: A Journey through the Lands & Legends of Krishna. Jaico Publishing House. ISBN 978-8184951707.
  35. ^ Trilochan Dash (2012). Krishna Leeela in Brajamandal a Retrospect. Saudamini Dash. p. 211.