Lord Krishna is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and was born in Dwapar Yuga, as per Hindu mythology. His childhood stories are full of courage. They show how Krishna stands up against mighty demons and sometimes against arrogant gods as well.
Children of today need to learn about the valuable character traits of courage, conviction, honesty, friendship, compassion. Krishna’s childhood stories teach just that. Each story has a moral in the end.
Also Read: Indian Mythology Books for Kids | Children’s Books about India’s Culture
Lord Krishna’s Childhood Stories for Kids
1. Story of Krishna’s Birth
Kingdom Mathura was ruled by a kind king named Ugrasena. He had two children – Kansa and Devaki. Kansa was a very unruly prince. One day, he put his father in jail, and became the King of Mathura.
Kansa’s sister Devaki was set to marry the neighborhood prince Vasudev. On the day of the wedding, a divine voice announced that the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudev will kill Kansa. Hearing this, Kansa Proceeded to Kill Devaki. But Vasudev convinced Kansa to spare Devaki’s life, saying he will handover all their newborns to Kansa immediately. Kansa agreed to this arrangement and threw Vasudev and Devaki to jail.
Year after year, whenever a child was born, Vasudev would handover the child to Kansa, and Kansa would kill it to ensure any child of Devaki and Vasudev never grows up.
On the night of the birth of their eighth child, heavy rain created havoc on earth. River Yamuna swelled up and broke its banks.
Exactly at midnight, Devaki gave birth to a son. Immediately a divine voice spoke – Vasudev, take your son to Gokul where your friend Nandraj stays. His wife Yashoda, just gave birth to a baby girl. Keep your son there and bring back the baby girl. No one will know, as everyone else will remain asleep during this period. They will bring up your son as their own, and he will be saved.
Vasudev immediately took his newborn and set out for Gokul. All the jail doors opened magically. He had to cross the overflowing Yamuna on the way, on a stormy night. But as soon as he reached the river, Yamuna gave way for Vasudev to walk across her. He safely reached Gokul, exchanged the babies, and came back to Mathura. No one came to know about this.
In the morning, guards at the jail informed Kansa about Devaki’s eighth child. Kansa immediately reached the jail to kill the newborn. As he was about to kill the baby, it went out of his hand and became Mahamaya, another form of Goddess Durga. She announced that the child who would kill Kansa is somewhere else. Saying this, Mahamaya vanished.
In the morning, everyone in Gokul came to know that Yashoda gave birth to a boy at night. He was named Krishna.
Moral – There will always be help in the path of good deed.
2. When Putana Came to Kill Baby Krishna
Kansa was worried after hearing that the child who was destined to kill him is still alive and being brought up somewhere else. But he had no way of knowing where the child was. So, he immediately decided to kill all the children who were born within 10 days in his kingdom and neighborhood ones too. For this task, he decided to engage the ferocious Rakshasi(demoness) Putana.
Putana was no ordinary demoness. She was huge in size and had magical powers. She enjoyed terrorizing people and was thrilled at the idea of killing all the infants. She immediately set out on her task.
Putna would enter a house when the parents were busy and would sneak the infant out, take it to the nearby jungle and kill it.
As news of an infant killer spread, people in and around Mathura became quite worried.
One day, Putana reached Gokul. People there were talking about a beautiful boy born in Nandraj and Yashoda’s house a few days back. Everyone seemed to be mesmerized by him. Immediately Putana realized that this must be the child she is looking for.
Putana decided to kill Krishna by feeding him her poisonous breastmilk. She changed herself into a very beautiful woman and reached Nandraj’s house. After entering the house, she saw Krishna lying in a cradle. Just after glancing at him only once, she realized that this boy is no ordinary human being. Putana requested permission from Yashoda to feed Krishna. Yashoda was so mesmerized by her beauty that she immediately agreed. Putana took her outside in the backyard and started feeding Krishna.
She had thought that within minutes Krishna will die from poisonous milk. But instead, she started feeling breathless as Krishna started to suck the life out of her. Now Putana wanted to get rid of him and escape. But how much ever she tried, she just could not get Krishna away from him. She came back to her original demoness form. Still Krishna was not scared. Eventually Putana died.
Yoshoda and other villagers ran to rescue little Krishna only to find the lifeless body of Putana lying on the ground and Krishna playing beside her. This was the very fast incident when the villagers of Gokul started realizing that the small child Krishna is no ordinary human being.
Moral – Even small can be powerful.
3. Krishna and Pots of Butter
Little Krishna grew up to be a naughty child. His love for milk and milk products- especially butter became well known. Whenever he could lay his hands on, he would just finish the entire pot of butter. Yashoda would always try to find new ways to hide the pots of butter from him.
Whenever Krishna could not find butter in his own house, he would steal the butter from neighborhood houses.
Krishna had a group of friends who would accompany him in his misadventures, and together they would share the spoils after the loot. Unable to find new-new hiding places every day, Yashoda and all the ladies of Gokul found an innovative way to keep butter out of Krishna’s reach. They started hanging the butter from the ceilings so that it was out of reach of the children.
One day while Yashoda went out of the house for some work, Krishna quickly gathered all his friends. Few of them stood in a circle, and others then stood on top of their shoulders. The kids formed a human pyramid like this and Krishna stood on top and reached the pots of butter and got them down. They then sat down to finish the butter. Yashoda came back and, seeing this chased all the kids away with a stick.
Krishna’s love of butter is celebrated throughout India and some parts of the world, during Janmashtami where youngsters enact the act in the form of Dahi-Handi.
Moral – When there is a will, there is a way.
4. Krishna Freed Nalakuvara and Manigriva
Once, after little Krishna broke a pot of butter, mother Yashoda decided to punish him. So, she tied him to a big wooden grinding mortar to ensure that he can not move from his place and went about for her work. Sitting there, Krishna could see two big Arjuna trees in front of him. Immediately he recognized them as Nalakuvara and Manigriva – sons of Kuvera, God of wealth. Sage Narad had cursed them a hundred years back after they had disrespected him. However, Narad also said that they would be freed by Krishna.
Krishna had to keep the words of his devotee Narad. So he started crawling towards the tress dragging the heavy mortar along with him. When he reached the small gap between the twin trees, the big wooden mortar got stuck between the trees. With great strength, little Krishna started to pull. Soon after, both the trees fell down. Out came Nalakuvara and Manigriva, who had been stuck there for a hundred years. They thanked Lord Krishna, offered their prayers, and went back to heaven.
Men and women from the neighborhood came running after hearing the heavy sound from trees falling. They were surprised to see how the twin trees just seemed to fall by the might of a small child. And could not really believe it.
Moral – Bad times always come to and end.
5. Krishna and the Fruit Seller
Once while Krishna was playing inside, he heard a fruit-seller’s voice outside. Curious, as he peeked out of the window, he saw that a fruit-seller is selling fruit outside. She had the juiciest fruits in her cart and people had gathered around her to buy fruits. Even his father Nandraj was also selecting a basket of fruits to purchase.
Little Krishna also noticed that people were exchanging grains and other stuff in return for fruits. Those were the times when the currency was not very common and bartering of general good for food and everyday items was a more common practice.
As he saw Nandraj buy a basket of fruits in return for a sack of grains, Krishna also wanted to buy fruits. So he went inside and scooped a fistful of grains in his small hands. Running outside, Krishna requested the fruit-seller for fruits in exchange for grains in his hand.
There was only a small fistful of grains. However, the fruit-seller, not wanting to disappoint the little boy, accepted them happily, and put the grains in her pouch. She let Krishna choose the fruit he wanted. Krishna rain inside happily after his successful purchase. The fruit-seller moved on with her cart.
After some time, as she checked her pouch, she noticed that it had turned into a bag full of golds. Immediately she remembered the small boy with the most charming face. She realized that he was not any ordinary child, but God himself. Tears of joy rolled down her face.
Moral – Kindness always pays in long term.
6. Krishna Taught Kaliya a Lesson
Kaliya was a dreaded poisonous serpent who lived in the river Yamuna. He would release venom into the water continuously, making the water black and unfit for human use. People there were scared of the venomous serpent living in the river. No one dared to venture into that part of the river.
Once Krishna was playing with his friends near the river. One time, the ball fell into the river. Krishna went after the ball, to fetch it. Looking at this, all the other kids started shouting, requesting Krishna not to go to the river. But Krishna went inside without paying any heed.
As soon as he stepped into the water, Kaliya attacked him. Krishna started fighting with the serpent. Kaliya then wrapped his body around Krishna and started pulling him inside the river. As the serpent attempted to crush him, Krishna started growing his size, making it more and more difficult for Kaliya. So the serpent had to release him. Krishna then pulled Kaliya’s tail and stood on top of the serpent, with all his might.
Standing on Kaliya’s head, little Krishna started dancing and playing his flute. Soon enough Kaliya recognized that this is no ordinary child, but the Lord himself. He realized his mistake and begged for forgiveness. Krishna released him with a warning and asked him to move away from the place. The water of Yamuna became pure again.
Moral – One should never harm others.
7. When Krishna Ate Mud
One day, Yashoda was occupied with household work while Krishna and other children were playing outside. Suddenly few children came inside and informed Yashoda that Krishna is eating mud. Yashoda grew concerned. She rushed outside and asked Krishna if he was eating mud. Krishna vehemently denied. Yashoda did not believe him. So, she asked him to open his mouth.
After much persuasion, Krishna opened his mouth. As Yashoda peeked inside to check for mud, she saw the entire universe in his mouth instead. There, Yahsoda saw both heaven and earth. She saw people and animals going on in their usual activities. There were rivers, mountains, oceans. She even saw the entire Gokul and finally herself sitting and looking at Krishna’s mouth.
Yahsoda could not believe what she saw, became unconsciousness and fell down. After she gained her consciousness, she lost the memory of what just happened. Love for her child overwhelmed her. She picked up little Krishna and went back inside the house.
Moral – Parents always have best interests for their children.
8. Krishna Defeated Bull-Demon Arishthasura
Tales of the supernatural power of little Krishna from Gokul reached Kansa. He became convinced that this is the child destined to kill him, as per the Prophecy. Hence, Kansa engaged the demon Arishthasura to kill Krishna.
Arishthasura disguised himself as a bull and reached Vrindavan in search of Krishna. He started attacking random people and animals and harming them, knowing fully well that Krishna would surely come to rescue them. When news of a bull creating havoc reached Krishna, he immediately came rushing.
Once he saw Arishthasura, he realized, this is no ordinary bull, but a demon in disguise. The bull came charging at Krishna as soon as it saw him. Krishna held the bull by its horn, pushed it back, and threw it aside. The bull came back charging more vigorously. This time Krishna held the bull by its tail, swirled in, and threw it higher in the sky. Arishthasura came down on the ground hard and immediately died.
From the dead body of the bull, rose a man named Varatantu. He was stuck in the body of a demon after being cursed. After thanking and offering prayer to Krishna, Varatantu went back to heaven.
Moral – Always respect your teachers and elders.
9. Krishna Defeated Demon Keshi
After Krishna escaped all the attempts from Kansa for killing him, Kansa became even more worried and frightened. He summoned the most powerful and mysterious demon Keshi to kill Krishna. Kansa had ordered him to kill the boy from Vrindavan, who wore a peacock feather in his hair. Keshi took the form of a powerful horse and started charging towards Vrindavan.
Meanwhile, Krishna and his friends were playing there, blissfully unaware of the coming danger. One of Krishna’s friends- Madhumangala, had exchanged clothes with Krishna playfully and wore a peacock feather in his hair. As Keshi approached the group of children playing, he saw the boy with a peacock feather in his hair from far. Mistaking the boy to be Krishna, Keshi attached Madhumangala.
Krishna came to his friend’s rescue and blocked Keshi. This angered the demon. Keshi opened his large horse-mouth wide, to swallow Krishna. Immediately, Krishna put his hand inside Keshi’s mouth. As Keshi tried to swallow Krishna, the hand grew larger and larger in size. Finally, Keshi got exhausted and collapsed on the ground, choking on Krishna’s large swollen hand.
All of Krishna’s friends were watching this from far. As Keshi died, the boys broke into a huge cheer. Krishna came down to the ghat of river Yamuna to wash and take a bath after killing Keshi. From then on, that ghat came to be known as Keshi ghat.
Moral – Good always wins over evil.
10. Young Krishna Lifted Govardhan Hill
Once the villagers of Vrindavan were getting ready for their annual worship of Lord Indra. Krishna, a little child then, asked the villagers why they are doing the puja. They responded that Lord Indra is the Lord of rain. They wanted to please him so that he blesses the people of Vrindavan with timely rain every year.
Krishna argued with the villagers that it is Lord Indra’s duty to rain. Hence worshipping him for the task which he has to do, is not required. Villagers being dependent on agriculture and dairy should worship nature instead. They can worship Govardhan Parvat (hill) instead since the Govardhan hill of Vrindavan lets villagers grow trees on it, and supplies the cattle with fresh grass throughout the year. The Vrindavan people agreed with this logic. Hence, instead of worshiping Lord Indra, they worshiped the Govardhan hill that year.
Lord Indra became really upset at the turn of events. To teach the villagers a lesson and remind everyone of his power, he ordered rain to continuously fall on Vrindavan. The village flooded as a result of this incessant rain. Villagers had nowhere to go. Krishna understood the situation really well. So he requested all the villagers to gather near Govardhan hill along with their cattle.
As they reached, Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill with his little finger and asked all the villagers to gather under the hill, to save themselves from the rain. The people of Vrindavan stayed underneath the Govardhan hill for 7 days while it rained furiously and the rest of the Vrindavan flooded. After that, Lord Indra realized his mistake and understood that in his arrogance, he thought of himself as the supreme powerful one. The rains stopped and life returned to normal in Vrindavan.
Moral – Be humble, not arrogant.
11. Krishna Saved His Friends from Aghasura
Aghasura was a powerful demon, and he was angry. Krishna had killed his siblings Putana and Bakasura. So one day, he set out to take revenge and kill little Krishna.
Aghasura entered Vrindavan and reached near the place where Krishna and all his friends were playing. To lure all the children, Aghasura used his mystical powers and changed into the shape of a huge black serpent. He expanded his mouth wide open from land to the sky. The boys had never seen anything like that before. So they decided to explore further.
However, knowing fully well that this is Aghasura, Krishna advised his friends not to go anywhere near the serpent. However, the boys were curious. So, paying no heed to Krishna’s advice, they started entering into the open mouth one by one. Aghasura kept his mouth open all the while, waiting for Krishna to enter.
After all the boys had entered one by one, Krishna was left with no other choice. To rescue his friends, he decided to enter the serpent’s mouth. Aghasura was waiting for that. Just after Krishna entered, he closed his mouth.
The boys were all stuck inside and started suffocating. Krishna expanded his body from inside the serpent’s belly. This choked the serpent, and eventually, it died. Krishna broke his teeth and came out of the serpent’s mouth, along with all his friends.
Moral – A friend in need is a friend indeed.
12. Krishna Kills Kansa
Stories of Krishna’s bravery reached far and wide. Kansa grew anxious day by day. He started getting sleepless nights wondering about the prophecy. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands and ensure personally- that Krishna is killed. To ensure that nothing goes wrong, he decided to make Krishna come to Mathura this time. Once inside Mathura, Kansa could easily kill him with all the might at his disposal.
With this plan in mind, Kansa invited Krishna and Balaram for a wrestling match at Mathura. Krishna happily accepted the proposal, since the people of Mathura were fed up with Kansa’a tyranny and something had to be done about it. Krishna took his parents’ blessings and set out for Mathura with Balaram.
Kansa now wanted to kill Krishna as early as possible. He released the mad elephant Kuvalayapida, to kill Krishna on the way even before he could enter the wrestling arena. The elephant stormed onto the street, killing living beings and uprooting and destroying everything in its way. As it reached near Krishna, it charged at him. However even before the elephant could attack him, Krishna quickly took out his sword and cut the elephant’s trunk. It died after some time. People of Mathura who had lined up on the roadside, cheered for the boys from Vrindavan.
In no time, the news of Kuvalayapida’s death reached Kansa. He got extremely worried and summoned his best warriors – the demon brothers Mushtika and Chanura for the task. The demons attached Krishna and Balaram as they entered the wrestling arena. But the boys were too swift and quickly fought with the demons and killed them. A group of spectators had gathered in the arena to watch the fight. They cheered on chanting Krishna and Balaram’s name.
Kansa had come in the arena, to watch the fight thinking that the demon brothers will surely be able to kill Krishna. But he watched in horror as the demons died. Now Krishna turned his attention towards Kansa and attacked him. He took Kansa by his hair and threw him on the ground. Kansa died immediately from the sheer force.
With Kansa’s death, the days of tyranny in Mathura ended. Next, Krishna freed his parents Devaki and Vasudev from jail. They were so happy seeing their son for the first time. Next, he freed his grandfather Ugrasena from the next jail and restored him as the king of Mathura. Justice had been done and peace restored.
Moral – Goodness always wins over evil, in the end.
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