All the gods in the Hindu pantheon are representations of the divine, which give meaning, charm, and color to modes of worship. All representations are finite, and hence never perfect. A great many fascinating tales of miracles are told about baby Krishna. In the Hindu world, Krishna has become a hero to be remembered and revered. Lord Krishna is a divine personage in the Hindu world who is worshipped in temples. His life and deeds were first narrated in classical Sanskrit literature. He is regarded as one of the earthly manifestations or descents (avataras) of the divine on earth. The name Krishna literally means "black." According to tradition, King Ugrasena had a son Kamsa and daughter Devaki. Kamsa became a tyrant who imprisoned his own father. Devaki married Vasudeva. A sage had predicted that Kamsa would be killed by Devaki's son. So the tyrant imprisoned Devaki and her husband, and killed every newborn child of his sister. Their seventh child was miraculously transferred elsewhere, and when the eighth child, Krishna, was born at midnight, he was stealthily taken away across a river and left with the wife of a cowherd named Nanda and his wife Yashoda. Nanda and Yashoda fled to a place called Gokula with the child and it was there on the meadows of the herd forest, Vrindavana, that the boy was reared in the company of cowherds and milkmaids or gopis.
When Krishna played his magic flute, the gopis would throng around him and dance with joy. Each one of them would want to hold his hand. To satisfy them all, Krishna would transform himself into a thousand Krishnas. Sometimes he would steal their garments when they were still wading in water, and hide them high in a tree from where he would watch them. The symbolism is that the gopis are the individual soul, the cowherds are their physical bodies, and Krishna is the Supreme Soul who is beckoning them. Many of Krishna's exploits are found in the Mahabharata, leading up to the last eventful war at Kurukshetra. Krishna is what the library is to the scholar, a vast storehouse of knowledge. At every juncture, kings and wise men ask Krishna for advice and counsel. He is also what nature is to the poet: an inspiration for song and dance. In the celebration of Krishna there is often happy music and colorful dance. Countless joyous songs and beautiful poetry have been composed in the name of Krishna. At the same time, Krishna is also what colorful toys are for children, an instrument for mirth and merriment. In the tales of Krishna, there is much merriment with the gopis. He is equally what the beloved is to the lover: the instigator of intense joy.
Krishna as a charming and youthful personage with a flute in his hand, and often portrayed near a cow, is one of the most universally recognized symbols in Hindu culture.