Uddhava (also known as Pavanayadhi) is a character from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, who is the friend and counsellor of Krishna the Avatar. He plays a significant role in the Bhagavata Purana, being taught the processes of yoga and bhakti directly by Krishna. The principle of these discussions is often referred to as the Uddhava Gita, similarly to the Bhagavad Gita wherein Krishna instructs Arjuna. According to some texts Uddhava was also Krishna's cousin, being the son of Devabhaga, who was the brother of Vasudeva, Krishna's father. His physical appearance was so like that of Krishna's that in some instances he is temporarily mistaken for the latter.
Message To Vrindavan
In the Bhagavata Purana, after Krishna had defeated Kamsa, Uddhava came to see him, much to Krishna's pleasure. Krishna then requested Uddhava to visit Vrindavan with a message on his behalf to the Gopis and other residents of the village, who were missing his company. Krishna asks Uddhava to tell the people of Vrindavan to forget him, because only when they forget him he can complete his duties on Earth. Uddhava was so filled with the devotion of Radha and Gopika towards Lord Krishna that he stayed in Vrindavan for the next 6 months, where he also asked the Gopis to be his Guru. The Gopis said "When Akrura came to Vrindvan, he took our Krishna with him and now are you here to take away his memories too, from us?", to which Uddhava is speechless. The content of the message and the feelings aroused by it when heard by the residents of Vrindavan constitute the highest understanding of love of God in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Hindi Poet Mahakavi Soordas has described this incident in a beautiful way-
उधो, मन न भए दस बीस। एक हुतो सो गयौ स्याम संग, को अवराधै ईस॥ सिथिल भईं सबहीं माधौ बिनु जथा देह बिनु सीस। स्वासा अटकिरही आसा लगि, जीवहिं कोटि बरीस॥ तुम तौ सखा स्यामसुन्दर के, सकल जोग के ईस। सूरदास, रसिकन की बतियां पुरवौ मन जगदीस॥
Krishna spoke the Uddhava Gita (also referred to as Hamsa Gita) to Uddhava shortly before he left the world in order to help console Uddhava after his forthcoming departure. It commences with Uddhava's perplexity after he saw the impending destruction of the Yaduvanshi community, in which Krishna was also brought up, born as a Kshatriya.
Uddhava was famous as devotee and a dear friend of Krishna but even he could not fathom why he had not prevented the destruction from happening. Brahma, the creator and the celestials implored Krishna to return to his divine abode after the purpose of his descent was over.
Krishna then explained why the Yadavas had to be finished, "Made insolent by prowess, heroism and fortune, and inclined to take possession of the whole world, this celebrated race of Yadu has been kept in check by Me as the ocean by its shore. If I depart (from this world) without destroying the huge race of the Yadus, who have grown insolent the entire humanity will meet its destruction..." Greatly saddened by this Uddhava approached Krishna and beseeched him to take him also. In reply, Krishna then expounds the Uddhava Gita.
- Krishna instructs Uddhava (vedabase.com)
- The Uddhava Gita (Hindu.com)
- Krishna Explains the Yoga System to Sri Uddhava (srimadbhagavatam.com)
- Gita/Swami Guruparanada
- bala devi chandrasekar