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108 Names of Lord Krishna with Meanings | Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Lord Krishna

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108 names of krishna

Krishna is also referred to as ‘Bhagavan Swayam’ in Srimad Bhagavatam, thereby implying that He is the source of all avatars (incarnations) of Godhead. Krishna is ‘Svayam rupa’ or the original supreme personality of Godhead, and is also referred to as ‘puskala’ or the most complete. He has innumerable names, describing His various qualities, pastimes and incarnations.

Ete camsa kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
Indrari vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28)

All these incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of plenary portions of the Supreme Lord, but Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. All of His incarnations appear whenever there is a disturbance created by atheists. These incarnations appear to protect the theists.

In this article, we shall try and describe 108 names of Krishna, meditating upon which devotees will be able to purify themselves and seek His refuge.

108 names of Lord Krishna

#1 Krishna – Dark complexioned

Krishna, who possesses a dark complexion, is also worshiped as Shyamasundara (shyama – dark, sundara- beautiful). Krishna’s name giving ceremony was performed by Garga Muni at Nanda Maharaja’s cowshed in Gokul. It was done to maintain complete secrecy. He suggested that the child should be named Krishna. Gargamuni explained how Krishna would become the cause of all their good fortune. Krishna would face several calamities but would eventually overcome all resistance. He would become very popular in Vrindavan. He had incarnated in bodily colors of white, red, yellow, and now black in the course of different yugas (millennia). Garga muni added that the child was formerly the son of Vasudeva and hence His name should be Vasudeva as well as Krishna. Krishna would protect His devotees just as demigods are always protected by the Supreme Lord Narayana. Krishna’s opulence would be at par with that of the Supreme Lord Himself. Garga muni urged Nanda Maharaja to shield Krishna as He would be troubled by many demons in the future.

#2 Kamalanatha – consort of Goddess Lakshmi

chintamani prakara sadmasu kalpa vriksha
laksavriteshu surabhir abhipalayantam
lakshmi sahasra shata  sambhrama sevyamanam
govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami
(Brahma Samhita, chapter 5)

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, rendering all desire, in dwellings built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of desire-fulfilling trees. He is always served with great reverence and adoration by hundreds of thousands of Lakshmis or gopis.

#3 Vasudeva – omnipresent

mattah parataram nanyat
kinchid asti dhanan jaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani gana iva
(Bhagavad Gita 7.7)

O conqueror of wealth (Arjuna), there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me (Krishna), as pearls are strung on a string.

radha krishna 108 names

#4 Sanatana – Eternal Being

Isvarah paramah krishna sac cid ananda vigrahah
Anadir adir govindah sarva karana karanam
(Brahma Samhita 5.1)

Krishna, who is also known as Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has a transcendental form of eternal bliss and knowledge. He is the origin of all and the prime cause of all causes.

#5 Vasudevatmaja – Son of Vasudeva

“…The Supreme Lord is not forced to appear in this world like an ordinary person but instead appears out of His own sweet will. When the time was ripe for the Lord to appear, the alignment of the constellations became very auspicious, and the influence of the star Rohini was dominant. Auspicious signs of good fortune, peace, and prosperity pervaded all directions. The denizens of heaven showered flowers from the sky. They sang and danced in ecstasy. At that auspicious moment, on the eighth day of the waning moon, Sri Krishna, the Supreme Lord appeared from the womb of mother Devaki, just as the full moon rises over the eastern horizon.

Vasudeva saw his son decorated with the marks of Srivatsa and holding a conch, club, disc, and lotus with His four hands. He saw His son dressed in yellow silk, wearing a jeweled necklace of Kaustubha stone, wearing a vaidurya helmet, earrings, ornaments, and gleaming with bright effulgence. Vasudeva was astounded to behold the beauty of his child. He wondered how a newborn could be so ornamented. Vasudeva realized that the Supreme Lord had appeared as his son and he offered his prayers unto Him. Although Vasudeva was shackled in Kansa’s prison, he imagined donating thousands of ornamented cows in charity to the brahmanas…” (an excerpt from our article entitled ‘Krishna Janmbhoomi | Sri Krishna Janmasthan temple, Mathura’)

#6 Punya – Supremely pure

Yac-chauca-nihsrta sarit pravarodakena
Turthena murdhny adhikrtenasivah sivo bhut
Dhyatur manah samala saila nisrsta vajram
Dhyayec ciram bhagavastas caranaravindam
(Srimad Bhagavatam 3.28.22)

The blessed Lord Shiva becomes all the more blessed by bearing upon his head the holy waters of the Ganges, which has its source in the water that washed the Lord’s (Vamana deva) lotus feet. The Lord’s lotus feet act like thunderbolts launched to shatter the mountain of sin accumulated in the mind of the meditating devotee. One should therefore meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for a prolonged period of time.

krishna accessories ornaments articles

#7 Lila Manush Vigraha – who enjoys His pastimes in a human form

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#8 Srivatsa Kausthubadharya – adorns Sri Vatsa and Kaustubha gems

#9 Yashoda Vatsala – shelter of Yashoda

Nanda Maharaja was the incarnation of Vasu ‘Drona’ and Yashoda was the incarnation of Drona’s wife ‘Dhara’. Previously, when Lord Brahma had instructed them to beget children, they expressed their desire to beget Krishna, the Supreme Lord, as their child. They wanted their reciprocations with Krishna to be so enchanting and captivating that simply by hearing them, one would cross over the cycle of birth and death. Brahma agreed and therefore in due course of time, Drona and Dhara appeared as Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda in Vrindavan where they served Krishna in the mood of parental affection.

#10 Hari – destroyer of all obstacles

#11 Chaturbhujatta-Chakrasi-Gada-Shankadhyayudhaya – Who holds disc, mace, conch and flower in His four arms

#12 Devakinandana – Son of mother Devaki

Vasudeva and Devaki were the incarnations of Prsni and Sutapa who had previously performed severe austerities with the only desire of having the Supreme Lord as their child. Hence the supreme Lord reciprocated their prayers by accepting them as His parents millennium after millennium. The Lord had previously appeared as Prsnigarbha, the son of Prsni and Sutapa. He had subsequently appeared as Upendra, the son of Aditi and Kashyapa, and now He had appeared as Krishna, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva.

#13 Shrisaya – Lord of goddess of fortune

#14 Nandagopa Priyatmaja – beloved son of Nanda Maharaj

#15 Yamunavega Samhari – who subdued the flood of river Yamuna

#16 Balabhadra Priyanuja – dear little brother of Baladeva

#17 Putana Jivita Hara – who took the life of demoness Putana

In her previous life, Putana was Ratnamala, one of the daughters of Bali Maharaj. On seeing Lord Vamanadeva, she desired to become His mother. The Supreme Lord who knows everyone’s mind obliged her request. Later she became enraged and bitter toward Lord Vamana deva when He tied up Bali Maharaja. Hence she was born as Putana where she could act as Krishna’s mother as well as harbor sinful desires of killing the Lord.

Putana represents a bogus Guru (spiritual master) who teaches beyond his realizations or teaches beyond the realization of his disciple. Such a Guru is a bad spiritual guide who offers the suck of the poisoned breast that kills the purified cognition of the soul. The real Guru is self-realized. The polluted mind also acts as a pseudo-Guru by proposing all kinds of false arguments that hinder one’s spiritual realization.

krishna yashoda rasa vrindavan

#18 Shakatasura Bhanjana – Destroyer of demon Shakata

Sakatasura represents pridefulness, laxity, bad habits, and bad philosophy that includes following the scriptures in their literal sense without due regard to their meaning. This offense needs to be dealt with early on in one’s spiritual life in order to realize natural love for Krishna.

#19 Nandavraja Jana Nandi – One who brings joy to Nanda and people of Vraja

#20 Sachidananda Vigraha – embodiment of eternity, cognizance and bliss

#21 Navanita Viliptanga – who smeared His body with butter

#22 Navanita Nata – who dances to get fresh butter

#23 Anagha – Completely sinless

#24 Navanita Navahara – Thief of fresh butter

#25 Muchukunda Prasadaka – who mercifully graced Muchukunda

#26 Shodasha Sthri Sahasresha – Lord of sixteen thousand women

#27 Tribhangi Madhura Kriti – who is charmingly curved in three places

#28 Sukavag Amritabhdhinda – Rising moon from the ocean of Suka’s nectarean words

#29  Govinda – Controller of the senses

#30 Yoginampati – Lord of the Yogis

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
(Bhagavad Gita 6.47)

And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, thinks of Me within himself, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.

#31 Vatsa palana samchari – Who protects the calves and wanders in the field.

#32 Ananta – One with no end ; infinite

“That Brahman is in front and in back, in the north, south, east, and west, and also overhead and below. In other words, that supreme Brahman (Parabrahman) effulgence spreads throughout both the material and spiritual skies.”
(Mundaka Upanishad 2.1.1)

#33 Dhenukasura Mardana – Killer of demon Dhenuka

Aho tala vanam punyam yatra talair hato surah
Hitaya yadavanam ca atma kridanakaya ca

Ah, the forest of Talavan is highly auspicious. It is here that a demon (Dhenukasura) was killed by being thrown on a Tala tree for the benefit of the yadavas and for the purpose of the Lord’s play.

Garga Samhita describes that in his previous life Dhenukasura was Sahasika, one of the sons of Bali Maharaja (son of Virochana). Once he was enjoying himself with ten thousand women on the Gandhamadana mountain. It so happened that Durvasa muni was meditating in a nearby cave. The sound of the musical instruments and ankle bells broke the sage’s trance. Sage Durvasa who had grown thin performing austerity, sported a long beard and walked with wooden sandals holding a stick. Fuming with anger, he compared Sahasika to an animal and cursed him to take birth as a jackass. When Sahasika repented for his actions, Durvasa became appeased. The sage then comforted Sahasika informing him that he would become liberated after 400,000 years when Lord Balarama would kill him in the forest of Talavan. Previously Krishna had granted Prahlada Maharaja the boon that his descendants would not be slain by Him. Hence Krishna arranged for Lord Balarama to kill the demon Dhenukasura.

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#34 Trinikrita Trinavarta – Killer of demon Trinavarta

One day shortly after His first birthday, mother Yashoda was patting little Krishna on her lap. Finding Krishna heavy, she unwillingly placed Him on the floor. She gradually became engaged in her household work. At that time, a demon named Trinavarta, who was acting on the instructions of Kansa, arrived to steal Krishna away. He appeared as a whirlwind and picked Krishna up on his shoulders. He created a dust storm all over Vrindavan and carried Krishna about 800,000 miles above the ground. Not seeing Krishna, Yashoda began crying piteously. Meanwhile, as the demon carried Krishna high into the sky, Krishna made Himself very heavy. Trinavarta began to feel as if he was carrying a big mountain upon his back. Trinavarta tried in vain to escape from Krishna’s clutches, who was holding tightly onto the demon’s neck. Unable to bear Krishna’s weight, the demon fell down dead with his eyes popping out. The Gopis discovered Krishna playing upon the demon’s dead body and picked Him up with great affection.

Trinavarta represents false arguments, dry speculation, and useless controversy that hinders one’s spiritual progress. These can be compared to the dust that conceals the vision of Krishna. The demon Trinavarta, who is the embodiment of disloyal controversy, must be vanquished for the lotus of spirituality to blossom in one’s heart.

#35 Yamalarjuna Bhanjana – who delivered the two Arjuna trees

Krishna delivered Nalakuvera and Manigriva who had been cursed to take the form of Yamala Arjuna trees. During Damodara Lila, Krishna pulled the wooden mortar to which He was tied between the two Arjuna trees. Little Krishna escaped between the trees, but His mortar got horizontally stuck between them. As He pushed, the two trees fell creating a deafening noise. As soon as the trees were uprooted, they transformed back into Nalakuvara and Manigriva. The place became illumined due to their presence. The demigods bowed down and offered their respects to Krishna. Knowing Krishna’s divine identity, they glorified Him and prayed so that they could forever focus on His lotus feet.

#36 Uttala Talabhetta – who caused the big palm tree to fall (Dhenukasura’s pastime)

yashoda krishna vatsalya rasa

#37 Tamala Shyamala Kriti – who is blackish like a Tamala tree

#38 Gopa Gopi Svara – Lord of Gopas and the Gopis

#39 Yogi – Supreme master

#40 Koti Surya Samaprabha – who is as effulgent as a million suns.

#41 Ilapati – Lord of the earth

dvitiyam tu bhavayasya
rasatala-gatam mahim
uddharisyann upadatta
yajnesah saukaram vapuh
(S.B. 1.3.7)

For the welfare of the earth which had sunk to the nether regions of the universe, the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted His second incarnation as a boar.

#42 Parasmai Jyotish – Supreme Effulgence

#43 Yadavendra – Leader of the Yadus

#44 Yadudvaha – Hero of the Yadus

#45 Vanamali – who adorns a garland of forest flowers

#46 Pitavasas – who wears yellow garments

#47 Parijata Paharaka – The thief of Parijata tree

Krishna and Satyabhama had brought a Parijata tree from the heavens to the earth. Krishna triumphantly fought with the demigods when they opposed His actions.

#48 Govardhan Chalo Dharta – Lifter of Govardhan

Krishna had lifted Govardhan with the little finger of His left hand for seven days and nights to provide shelter to the Vraja-vasis and protect them from the intense rain and thunderstorms that had been unleashed by Indra on the city of Vrindavan.

#49 Gopala – Protector of cows

Namo brahmanya devaya
Go brahmana hitaya ca
Jagad dhitaya Krsnaya
Govindaya namo namah
(Vishnu Purana 1.19.65)

I offer my obeisances again and again to Lord Krishna, who is always worshiped by qualified brahmanas and is very dear to them. He is always concerned with the welfare of the cows, the brahmanas, and the whole world.  I offer my repeated obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, known as Krishna and Govinda.

#50 Sarvapalaka – Protector of all beings

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#51 Aja – who is unborn

#52 Niranjana – spotless; pure

#53 Kama janaka – who enhances the desires of the Gopis (cowherd girls)

#54 Kanja Lochana – lotus eyed

#55 Madhuhan – Slayer of demon Madhu

#56 Mathura Nath – Lord of Mathura

#57 Dvarka nayaka – Hero of Dvarka

#58 Bali – Lord of strength

#59 Vrindavananta Samcari – who wanders within Vrindavana.

#60 Tulasidama Bhushana – who wears a garland of Tulasi

#61 Syamantaka Maner Harta – who recovered the Syamantaka jewel

#62 Nara-Narayanatmaka – Who is Nara-Narayana

devotee of krishna association chaitanya

#63 Kubja Krishtambaradhara – One who applied the sandalwood ointment of Kubja

#64 Mayi – Magician

Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa caracaram
Hetunanena kaunteya jagad viparivartate
(Bhagavad Gita 9.10)

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My superintendence, O son of Kunti, and produces all moving and non-moving beings. Under its rule, this cosmic manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

#65 Paramapurusha – The supreme Man

Isvarah paramah krishna sac cid ananda vigrahah
Anadir adir govindah sarva karana karanam
(Brahma Samhita 5.1)

Krishna, who is also known as Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has a transcendental form of eternal bliss and knowledge. He is the origin of all and the prime cause of all causes.

#66 Mushtikasura Chanura Mallayudha-Visharada – Who expertly fought against the wrestlers Mustika and Chanura

#67 Samsaravairi – Champion of Life

#68 Kamsari – Enemy of Kamsa

#69 Murari – Enemy of demon Mura

#70 Narakantaka – Slayer of demon Naraka

#71 Anadi Brahmachari – Celibate from the beginning of time

#72 Krishna Vyasana Karshaka – who protects us from dark misfortune

#73 Shishupala Shirascetta – who severed Sishupala’s head

#74 Duryadhana-kulantaka – Destroyer of Duryadhan’s clan.

#75 Vidurakrura Varada – Who granted the wishes of Vidura and Akrura

#76 Vishvarupa Pradarshak – who revealed His universal form

#77 Satyavak – who always speaks the truth

#78 Satya Sankalpa – whose all resolutions are fulfilled

#79 Satyabhama Rata – Joy of Satyabhama

#80 Jayi – Victorious

#81 Subhadra Purvaja – Elder brother of Subhadra

#82 Vishnu – Lord Vishnu

#83 Bhishma Mukti Pradayak – Who granted salvation to Bhishma

#84 Jagadguru – Foremost preceptor of this world.

#85 Jagannatha – Lord of the universe

#86 Venunadasharada – expert in playing flute

#87 Vrishabhasura Vidhvamsi – slayer of demon Vrishabhasura

#88 Banasura Karantaka – slayer of Banasura

#89 Yudhisthira Pratishthata – who established Yudhisthira and brought him glory.

#90 Barhibarhavatamsaka – who adorns peacock feathers

#91 Parthasarathi – Chariot driver of Arjuna

#92 Avyakta – Incomprehensible

Yasyamant tasya manth manth yasye na yed sya
Avijnant vijnanta vijnantamah vijantamah

He who knows for certain that Brahman is incomprehensible knows something of Him; he on the other hand, who thoroughly believes that he comprehends Brahman has not known Him. Sages declare that Brahman cannot be realized through limited sense perception. It is only fools who think He is so understandable.

#93 Gitamrita Mahodadhi – An infinite nectarean ocean of Bhagavad gita

#94 Kaliyaphani Manikya Ranjita Shri Padambhuja – whose lotus feet colored the hoods of Kaliya serpent and made it red like ruby.

#95 Damodara – whose waist was fastened

#96 Yajnabhokta – who is the object of all sacrifices

#97 Danavendra Vinashana – destroyer of demoniac kings

#98 Narayana – Narayana, the shelter of human beings

#99 Parabrahma – Supreme being

#100 Pannagashana Vahana – whose carrier Garuda devours snakes

#101 Jalakridasamashakta Gopi Vastrapaharaka – who had hidden the clothes of the gopis while they were playing in the water

#102 Punya-Sloka – who is praised with beautiful verses

#103 Tirthakara – Creator of holy places

#104 Vedavedya – who is known from the Vedas

#105 Dayanidhi – Treasure house of compassion

#106 Sarva Bhutatmaka – Essence of all beings

#107 Sarvagraha Rupi – embodiment of full understanding

#108 Paratpara – Greater than the greatest

 

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