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Raja Ravi Varma, Yasoda with Krishna.jpg
Yashoda with Krishna by Raja Ravi Varma
TextsBhagavata Purana, Harivamsa, Mahabharata, Vishnu Purana, Brahmavaivarta Purana
Personal information
ParentsGiribhanu(father), Padmavati(mother)[1]
ChildrenKrishna (foster-son)
Balarama (foster-son)
YogaMaya (daughter)

In Hindu legends, Yashoda (Sanskrit: यशोदा [Yaśodā]), also spelt as Yasodha, is the foster-mother of Krishna and wife of Nanda. She is described in the Puranic texts of Hinduism. According to Bhagavata Purana, Krishna was born to Devaki, but Krishna's father Vasudeva brought the newborn Krishna to his cousin brother Nanda Baba in Gokul, in order to raise and protect Krishna from Devaki's brother Kansa, the king of Mathura.


The name Yashoda means 'one who is giver (da, दा) of fame or glory (Yash, यश)'.[2][3] [4]


Yashoda bathing the child Krishna-Illustration of a Bhagavata Purana manuscript, c. 1500 AD
Krishna (Krushn) Foster Mother Yashoda with the Infant Krishna (Krushn). Chola period early 12th century, Tamil Nadu, India.

According to Bhagavata Purana, Yashoda was the incarnation of Dhara, wife of Vasu Drona. Little is known about Yashoda's early life, other than her marriage with Nanda. Kansa, the ruler of Mathura had decided to kill Krishna as soon as he was born. In order to protect Krishna from Kansa, Krishna and Yoganidra or YogaMāya were born at the same time from the wombs of Devaki and Yashoda, respectively, and were exchanged by Vasudeva Anakadundubhi. Krishna survived as the foster son of Yashoda.[5]

Various childhood episodes or Lilas of Krishna, growing up in Yashoda's household, abound in Hindu religious texts.[6] In Srimad Bhagavatam, Yashoda is praised as:

Neither Lord Brahmā, nor Lord Śiva, nor even the goddess of fortune (Goddess Mahalakshmi), who is always the better half of the Supreme Lord, can obtain from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer from this material world, such mercy as received by mother Yaśodā

— Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 9, Verse 20[7]

Important among them is Krishna giving darshan to Yashoda with his Vishwaroopa (his Divine Form).[8] Ved Vyasa states in Mahabharata that sage Narada once visited Krishna at Brindavan. Krishna was playing in the sand and was swallowing it. Yashoda, upon seeing it, was furious with Krishna for disobeying her and punished him by tying him to a grinding stone. Upon witnessing this act Sage Narada stated "Enna Thavam Saidhanai, Yashoda" ("What penance have You (Mother Yashoda) undertaken to be bestowed with the powers to punish the supreme (Narayana))". This is also seen as a question to Narayana as to how he accepts this. It literally asks what penance Yashoda has undertaken in her previous birth to be bestowed with the powers to punish, love, and care for the Supreme Vishnu.

Upon this request, it is said that Krishna opens his mouth in front of Yashoda, who sees the Seven Oceans and the entire Universe and also Narayana seated upon Adishesha (The Divine Snake), attended upon by his consort Mahalakshmi. Upon this divine intervention, Mother Yashoda faints, to be revived by Krishna and attended by Sage Narada, who explains to her about Krishna's life.[9] Krishna stealing butter, Krishna tied to a mortar[10] as written by poet-saint Surdas,[11] where her deep affection for Krishna becomes an epitome of 'Vatsalya Prema', Mother's Love and even 'Vatsalya Bhakti’, Mother's Devotion.[12][13]

Reincarnation of Yashoda[edit]

In the Dvapara Yuga, Yashoda couldn't witness the marriage of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna promised her that she would get that chance of seeing his marriage when Lord Krishna incarnates again as Lord Venkateswara in the Kali Yuga. In the Kali Yuga, Yashoda was born as Vakula Devi, as the mother of Lord Venkateshwara and witnessed the marriage between Venkateshwara and Goddess Padmavathi.[14]

See also[edit]

Modern works[edit]

1975 Telugu film Yashoda Krishna, directed by C. S. Rao,[15] presented events in the life of Krishna (Krushn) and his attachment towards Yashoda. Sridevi played the role of the child Krishna in the film.


  1. ^ Brahmavaivarta Purana Sri-Krishna Janma Khanda (Fourth Canto) Chapter 13.Verse 38 English translation by Shantilal Nagar Parimal Publications Link: https://archive.org/details/brahma-vaivarta-purana-all-four-kandas-english-translation
  2. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (2012-06-24). "Yashoda, Yaśodā, Yaśoda, Yashas-da: 14 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2020-11-15.
  3. ^ DADUZEN, Dayal N. Harjani aka (2018-07-18). Sindhi Roots & Rituals - Part 2. Notion Press. ISBN 978-1-64249-480-8.
  4. ^ Brahmavaivarta Purana Sri-Krishna Janma Khanda (Fourth Canto) Chapter 13.Verse 39
  5. ^ Ravindra K. Jain (2002). Between History and Legend: Status and Power in Bundelkhand. Orient Blackswan. pp. 31–32. ISBN 9788125021940.
  6. ^ "Yasoda the blessed one". The Hindu. 2009-09-22. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  7. ^ "Śb 10.9.20". https://vedabase.io/en/. Retrieved 24 February 2020. External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "No qualifications needed". The Hindu. 2018-06-18. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  9. ^ Story of Krishna and Yashoda
  10. ^ Krishna Tied to Mortar
  11. ^ Maata Vachan
  12. ^ Vatsalya
  13. ^ Yashoda and Krishna
  14. ^ "Dundee Hindu Temple presents it's [sic] first Ram Bhajan prayer". City: World. Northernnatalcourier. TNN. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  15. ^ Yashoda Krishna, retrieved 2019-05-26

External links[edit]