different names of krishna

Lord Krishna, one of the most revered deities in Hindu mythology, is known by different names, each representing his divine nature and qualities. The different names of Krishna have a rich history and significance and have been derived from ancient scriptures and texts. In this article, we take a deep dive into the different names of Krishna, their meanings, origins, and symbolism, providing a comprehensive guide to exploring the divine names of Lord Krishna online.

Key takeaways:

  • Krishna’s names hold great importance in Hindu mythology and spirituality.
  • The different names of Krishna represent different aspects and qualities of his divine nature.
  • Krishna’s names have historical origins and have evolved over time.
  • Mantras and chants featuring Krishna’s names are popular in spiritual practices.
  • Krishna’s names have an eternal appeal, resonating with millions of devotees worldwide.

The Significance of Krishna’s Names

Lord Krishna is regarded as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his names hold immense importance in Hindu mythology and spirituality. Each of Krishna’s names represents different aspects and qualities of his divine nature, such as his love, compassion, and strength.

The act of reciting Krishna’s names, also known as nama-japa, is considered a powerful form of spiritual practice in Hinduism. It is believed that by chanting his names, one can purify their mind, body, and soul, and attain inner peace and spiritual liberation.

The significance of Krishna’s names can be traced back to ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna emphasizes the importance of surrendering to him and chanting his names.

Furthermore, the repetition of his names is also believed to invoke his divine presence and grace, guiding one’s journey towards self-realization and union with the divine.

“Chant the names of Krishna and attain the supreme peace and transcendental bliss.”

As the embodiment of divine love and joy, Lord Krishna’s names continue to inspire and guide people from all walks of life, nurturing their spiritual growth and awakening.

Historical Origins of Krishna’s Names

Krishna’s names have a rich history that stretches back to ancient scriptures and texts. The Vedic literature and the Puranas are the primary sources from which the names of Krishna are derived.

In the Vedic literature, Krishna is referred to as “Hari” and “Vasudeva.” The Mahabharata calls him “Govinda,” “Madhava,” and “Keshava.” The Puranas contain a treasure trove of names related to Krishna, such as “Gopala,” “Damodara,” “Sudarshana,” and “Radheshyam.”

Over time, the names of Krishna evolved, reflecting the changing cultural and historical contexts in which they were used.

The Bhakti movement, which emerged in medieval India, played a significant role in further popularizing Krishna’s names. The saint poets such as Surdas, Tulsidas, and Mirabai composed bhajans and hymns that featured Krishna’s names, thus spreading his popularity among the masses.

“Krishna’s names are a bridge between the human and the divine, offering a path to transcendence.”

The following table highlights some of the significant historical sources of Krishna’s names:

Lord Krishna’s Popular Names

Lord Krishna is known by many names and is often referred to by his devotees with great reverence and affection. In this section, we explore some of the most popular names associated with Lord Krishna.

Name Meaning Symbolism
Govinda The one who gives pleasure to the senses Emphasizes Lord Krishna’s ability to delight and charm his devotees
Gopala The protector of the cows Reflects Krishna’s love for the cows and his role as the caretaker of all living beings
Madhava The husband of the goddess of wealth Denotes Lord Krishna’s prosperity, abundance, and the embodiment of all auspiciousness

These popular names stand as testimony to the devotion and love that people hold for Lord Krishna and his divine persona. They are an invitation to delve deeper into the spiritual significance and divine nature of Krishna’s names.

Lord Krishna's Names

Krishna’s Names Based on His Leelas (Divine Pastimes)

Krishna’s pastimes are a beloved aspect of Hindu mythology and culture. They are revered through different names, each reflecting a different aspect of his divine nature. Here are some of the most significant names associated with Krishna’s pastimes:

Name Meaning Significance
Muralidhara The one who holds a flute Refers to Krishna’s enchanting music and his ability to attract devotees towards him.
Shyam The dark one Represents Krishna’s physical appearance and his playfulness in his leelas.
Gopinath The Lord of the gopis or cowherd women Reminds us of Krishna’s close relationship with the gopis and how he reciprocated their love.

These names not only provide devotees with a glimpse into the playful and loving nature of Krishna but also inspire them to connect with him on a deeper level.

“Krishna’s pastimes are a source of endless joy and wonder. Every name associated with his leelas takes us on a journey of devotion and love.”

Krishna’s Names Describing His Divine Qualities

Krishna’s names not only represent his different personas and pastimes but also describe his divine qualities. Each name holds a deeper significance, uncovering a new layer of devotion and reverence towards Lord Krishna. Here are some of the most significant names:

Name Meaning
Achyuta The infallible one who never loses his spiritual significance
Mukunda The giver of liberation from the cycle of birth and death
Hari The one who removes sins and purifies the heart
Gopinath The Lord of the Gopis (cowherd girls), who represents the ultimate object of devotion
Govinda The one who brings joy to the cows and senses of those who surrender to him
Radha-ramana The beloved of Radha, who enchants and delights the heart of every devotee

These names are not merely words, but powerful mantras that uplift the consciousness of those who chant them with devotion. Each name evokes a different emotion and represents a unique aspect of Lord Krishna’s divinity. By understanding their meanings and significance, we can deepen our relationship with Lord Krishna and experience the bliss of divine love.

Regional Variations in Krishna’s Names

Lord Krishna is worshipped across India with immense love and devotion. Over time, his followers in different regions have given him unique names that reflect their local cultures and traditions. Some of these names have become popular, while others remain lesser-known.

In Tamil, devotees call Krishna by the name Kannan, which means “the dark one.” The name Gopalji is common in Rajasthan, where it is believed that Krishna used to herd cows in his childhood. In Bengal, he is known as Damodara, which means “one who is bound by a rope around his waist.” Each name brings to light a unique aspect of Krishna’s divine nature.

Krishna playing the flute

The diversity of Krishna’s names not only showcases the varied cultures within India but also highlights the universality of his appeal. No matter where one is from, everyone can find a connection with Krishna in their own unique way.

Krishna’s Names in Bhakti Literature

Bhakti literature is a significant source for learning about the various names of Lord Krishna. These devotional works are filled with poetic descriptions and profound meanings behind the numerous names of Lord Krishna. Let’s explore some of the famous bhakti works and the names they use to describe the beloved deity.

Bhagavata Purana

The Bhagavata Purana is one of the most revered works in Hinduism. It describes the story of Lord Krishna’s life and is often read during religious ceremonies and festivals. The Purana uses several names for Lord Krishna, such as Gopala (protector of cows), Madhava (husband of the goddess of fortune), and Damodara (the one with a rope around his waist). The Purana repeatedly emphasizes the importance of chanting Lord Krishna’s names for attaining salvation and spiritual liberation.

Gita Govinda

Gita Govinda, written by the poet Jayadeva, is a beautiful work that describes Lord Krishna’s love for the cowherd girl, Radha. It features several names for Lord Krishna, such as Mukunda (the giver of liberation), Vamsidhari (the one who holds a flute), and Radheshyam (the beloved of Radha). The work is filled with lyrical descriptions of Lord Krishna’s enchanting beauty and the devotion between him and Radha.

Work Names of Lord Krishna
Bhagavata Purana Gopala, Madhava, Damodara, Kanha, Hari
Gita Govinda Mukunda, Vamsidhari, Radheshyam, Shyam, Govinda
Devi Bhagavata Purana Govinda, Madhusudana, Narayana, Janardana, Hrishikesha

Devi Bhagavata Purana

The Devi Bhagavata Purana is a text devoted to the goddess Devi, but it also features several sections that talk about Lord Krishna’s life and his divine nature. The Purana uses several names for Lord Krishna, such as Govinda (the protector of cows), Madhusudana (the slayer of the demon Madhu), and Hrishikesha (the master of the senses). The Devi Bhagavata Purana emphasizes the importance of devotion and prayer to Lord Krishna for achieving spiritual rewards.

These are just a few examples of the many names for Lord Krishna found in bhakti literature. The beauty and depth of these names continue to attract devotees worldwide and inspire them to seek a deeper spiritual connection with Lord Krishna.

Mantras and Chants Featuring Krishna’s Names

Krishna’s names hold immense spiritual power and are often chanted as mantras in various spiritual practices. Chanting these mantras is believed to invoke the divine energy of Lord Krishna and offer spiritual benefits to the devotee.

One of the most popular mantras is the Hare Krishna mantra, also known as the Maha Mantra, featuring the names of Krishna and Radha. This mantra is often used in Kirtans, a form of devotional music and chanting.

Another powerful mantra is the Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, which is believed to offer protection against negative energies and promote inner peace. This mantra features the name of Lord Krishna’s father, Vasudeva.

Some other mantras featuring Krishna’s names include the Govind Jai Jai, the Gopala Gopala Devaki Nandalaala, and the Radhe Radhe Shyam Shyam mantra, among others.

Chanting these mantras can be a transformative experience for the devotee, helping them connect with the divine and experience a sense of joy and peace. It is recommended to chant these mantras with devotion and focus, preferably in a meditative state.

Symbolism Behind Krishna’s Names

Krishna’s divine nature is embodied in his different names, each representing various aspects of his persona. Let’s explore the symbolism behind two of his names:


Radheshyam is a combination of two names, Radha and Shyam. Radha was a beloved of Krishna from his youth, while Shyam represents his dark complexion. Radha is known for her unwavering devotion to Krishna, and thus, Radheshyam symbolizes the core essence of love and devotion between Krishna and his devotee.

Venu Gopala

Venu Gopala is a name derived from Krishna playing his flute, also known as venu, for the purpose of enchanting his devotees. The name means ‘the cowherd playing the bamboo flute’. The flute melody represents the transformative power of divine music, while the cowherd symbolizes the freedom and simplicity of one’s natural self, bridging the gap between the individual and the divine.

“Krishna’s names are intimately connected to his leelas (pastimes), which serve as devotional inspirations. The deeper you delve into the meanings of his names, the greater your understanding of his divine persona.”

The Eternal Appeal of Krishna’s Names

Krishna’s names have a timeless allure that has attracted millions of devotees for centuries. Whether it’s the mellifluous sound, the poetic beauty, or the spiritual significance, Krishna’s names continue to resonate with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

One reason for their appeal is their ability to transcend time and cultural boundaries. Krishna’s names are not limited to a specific region or religion, but are cherished by people across the globe. They have been passed down through generations and have stood the test of time, surviving the rise and fall of empires and the evolution of language and culture.

Another reason for their appeal is the deep symbolism and meaning behind them. Each name encapsulates a unique aspect of Krishna’s persona, invoking a sense of awe and wonder in those who recite them. From his divine leelas to his transcendent qualities, Krishna’s names offer a glimpse into the vastness and profundity of his being.

“These are not just names, but mantras that can evoke the power and presence of the divine,” says Swami Mukundananda, a renowned spiritual leader and teacher. “They have the ability to elevate our consciousness and connect us with the supreme source of love and joy.”

In conclusion, the appeal of Krishna’s names is eternal and universal, touching the core of our hearts and inspiring us to seek a deeper connection with the divine. As the great poet and saint, Mirabai, once said – “The name of Krishna is like the sun, and all my miseries, like the shadows, flee in its presence.”


In conclusion, exploring the various names of Lord Krishna has been a fascinating journey. We have delved deep into the significance of his names, their historical origins, and the rich symbolism behind them. We have seen how Krishna’s names represent different aspects of his divine nature, and how they hold immense spiritual power for his devotees.

Through this article, we hope to have provided a comprehensive guide to understanding Krishna’s names, their meanings, and the impact they have on spiritual seekers. Whether you are a devout follower of Lord Krishna or simply curious about his mythology and spirituality, this article has offered insights and information to deepen your understanding.

Ultimately, the enduring appeal of Krishna’s names lies in their ability to evoke a sense of devotion, love, and connection to the divine. As millions of devotees worldwide continue to chant his names with reverence and devotion, Krishna’s legacy remains eternal, touching the hearts of all who seek his divine grace.


What is the significance of Krishna’s names?

Krishna’s names hold great importance in Hindu mythology and spirituality. Each name represents different aspects and qualities of his divine nature.

Where do Krishna’s names come from?

Krishna’s names have historical origins and can be traced back to ancient scriptures and texts.

What are some popular names associated with Lord Krishna?

Some commonly known names of Lord Krishna include Govinda, Gopala, and Madhava.

Are there names derived from Krishna’s divine pastimes?

Yes, there are names such as Muralidhara, Shyam, and Gopinath that are derived from Krishna’s divine pastimes or leelas.

What names describe Krishna’s divine qualities?

Names like Achyuta (the infallible), Mukunda (the giver of liberation), and Hari (the remover of sins) describe Krishna’s divine qualities.

Are there regional variations in Krishna’s names?

Yes, Krishna has been given unique names in different regions. For example, Kannan in Tamil, Gopalji in Rajasthani, and Damodara in Bengali.

Where can I find Krishna’s names in Bhakti literature?

Krishna’s names can be found in Bhakti works such as the Bhagavata Purana, Gita Govinda, and compositions by Jayadeva.

Are there mantras and chants featuring Krishna’s names?

Yes, there are popular mantras and chants that feature Krishna’s names, which hold spiritual significance and power.

What is the symbolism behind Krishna’s names?

Krishna’s names are rich in symbolism, representing different aspects of his divine persona. For example, Radheshyam symbolizes his relationship with Radha, and Venu Gopala represents the cowherd playing the flute.

Why do Krishna’s names have an eternal appeal?

Krishna’s names continue to resonate with people worldwide due to their profound impact, transcending time and cultural boundaries.

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