Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe that there is a so-called Vrindavan Krishna and that the Krishna in Dwaraka is different from Vrindavan Krishna. Is there any scriptural evidence for that claim? They also say that Vrindavan Krishna was born to Yashoda and not to Devaki. They cite the words (yatra kva vā) in this verse- to mean that Krishna was actually born in Vrindavan.

I also heard some references being made to Hari Vamsa Purana by Jiva Goswami. I couldn't find the exact verse though.

Is there more credible evidence to this belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavas? Or does anyone know at least the specific reference that Jiva Goswami gives?

  • Which Gaudiya Vaishnav text says that Vrindavan krishna and Dwarka Krishna are different? Nov 30, 2016 at 4:09
  • "Is there a more credible evidence to this belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavas? " no there is not.
    – Wikash_
    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:25

3 Answers 3


No, Vrindavana Krishna and Dwaraka Krishna are both one and the same. In Bhagavatam it is mentioned that Lord Krishna is the son of Devaki and Vasudeva. And Yoga Maya has taken birth as a daughter of Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda. SB 10.3.47 says:

tataś ca śaurir bhagavat-pracoditaḥ

sutaṁ samādāya sa sūtikā-gṛhāt

yadā bahir gantum iyeṣa tarhy ajā

yā yoga-māyājani nanda-jāyayā

Thereafter, exactly when Vasudeva, being inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to take the newborn child from the delivery room, Yoga-māyā, the Lord’s spiritual energy, took birth as the daughter of the wife of Mahārāja Nanda.

Thereafter, Vasudeva went to Gokula and exchanged his son with Nanda Maharaja's daughter. SB 10.3.51 says:

nanda-vrajaṁ śaurir upetya tatra tān

gopān prasuptān upalabhya nidrayā

sutaṁ yaśodā-śayane nidhāya tat-

sutām upādāya punar gṛhān agāt

When Vasudeva reached the house of Nanda Mahārāja, he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. Thus he placed his own son on the bed of Yaśodā, picked up her daughter, an expansion of Yoga-māyā, and then returned to his residence, the prison house of Kaṁsa.

And the verse SB 10.4.12, you are talking about is said by Yoga Maya to Kamsa.

kiṁ mayā hatayā manda

jātaḥ khalu tavānta-kṛt

yatra kva vā pūrva-śatrur

mā hiṁsīḥ kṛpaṇān vṛthā

O Kaṁsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore, do not unnecessarily kill other children.

Yoga Maya is the Maya of Lord Vishnu. She had misled Kamsa so that he will not be able to find Lord Sri Krishna. This has been described in the purport of SB 10.4.29.

tasyāṁ rātryāṁ vyatītāyāṁ

kaṁsa āhūya mantriṇaḥ

tebhya ācaṣṭa tat sarvaṁ

yad uktaṁ yoga-nidrayā

After that night passed, Kaṁsa summoned his ministers and informed them of all that had been spoken by Yoga-māyā [who had revealed that He who was to slay Kaṁsa had already been born somewhere else].

Purport: Yoga-māyā, the goddess Durgā, kept Kaṁsa in darkness about Kṛṣṇa’s birth and misled him to believe that his enemy Kṛṣṇa had been born elsewhere. Kṛṣṇa was born the son of Devakī, but according to the Lord’s original plan, as prophesied to Brahmā, He went to Vṛndāvana to give pleasure to mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja and other intimate friends and devotees for eleven years. Then He would return to kill Kaṁsa. Because Kaṁsa did not know this, he believed Yoga-māyā’s statement that Kṛṣṇa was born elsewhere, not of Devakī.

Harivamsa Parva of Mahabharata also say the same.

garbhakAle tvasaMpUrNe aShTame mAsi te striyau |

devakI cha yashodA cha suShuvAte samaM tadA ||2-4-11

Before the completion of the normal period of pregnancy, the women, devakI and yashodA delivered in the eighth month at the same time.

yAmeva rajanIM kR^iShNo jaj~ne vR^iShNikulodvahaH |

tAmeva rajanIM kanyAM yashodApi vyajAyata ||2-4-12

A girl was born to yashodA at the same time of the same night when kR^iShNa, who elevates the (fame of) vR^iShNi race was born.

nandagopasya bhAryaikA vasudevasya chAparA |

tulyakAlaM cha garbhiNyau yashodA devakI tathA ||2-4-13

One (yashodA) was the wife of nandagopa and the other (devakI) was the wife of vasudeva. Both yashodA and devakI became pregnant almost at the same time.

devakyajanayadviShNuM yashodA tAM tu dArikAm |

muhUrte.abhijiti prApte sArdharAtre vibhUShite || 2-4-14

In the midnight, at the auspicious time of abhijit, devakI, gave birth to viShNu and yashodA gave birth to a girl.

vasudevastu saMgR^ihya dArakaM kShiprameva cha |

yashodAyA gR^ihaM rAtrau vivesha sutavatsalaH ||2-4-25

vasudeva, fond of his son, quickly carried the boy to the house of yashodA in the night.

yashodAyAstvavij~nAtastatra nikShipya dArakam |

pragR^ihya dArikAM chaiva devakIshayane.anyasat ||2-4-26

Unknown to yashodA, he kept the boy with her and carried the girl to devakI's bed.

parivarte kR^ite tAbhyAM garbhAbhyAM bhayaviklavaH |

vasudevaH kR^itArtho vai nirjagAma niveshanAt ||2-4-27

Thus the two new-born babies were exchanged. vasudeva was terrified but satisfied. He went out of the house.

  • 4
    An answer, which is authentically supported by references from two or more, sacred texts. Oct 26, 2016 at 5:41
  • Thank you for the answer Narayan. You can read here the opinion of Gaudiya Vaishnavas- btg.krishna.com/dual-stories-krishna%E2%80%99s-birth. Though it is mentioned that "many scriptures" refer to Krishna being born to Yashoda, no actual references are given in it. Wondering if any of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas would care to provide them.
    – Kishore
    Oct 27, 2016 at 8:43
  • 1
    @Kishore yes. They are claiming that there are various scriptures that proof Krishna as original son of Yashoda but no proof provided. Oct 27, 2016 at 9:03
  • 1
    A great answer.I found absolutely no basis even in the slokas that are used to cite that these two Krishnas are different! I do not undrestand also what purpose is served by such unbelieveable and unsupporable claim of two Krishnas being born simultaneously!!
    – user17294
    Apr 26, 2019 at 7:04

Yes, one Krishna took birth simultaneously in 2 forms in the wombs of Yasoda and Devaki. However, they are same not like the two Krishna theory suggested by modern interpretations. Krishna in Vrindavan is predominated by sweetness and in Dvaraka or Mathura, there is predomination of aisvarya(opulence).

Bhagavata 10.3.8

niśīthe tama-udbhūte jāyamāne janārdane | devakyāṁ deva-rūpiṇyāṁ viṣṇuḥ sarva-guhā-śayaḥ | āvirāsīd yathā prācyāṁ diśīndur iva puṣkalaḥ ||

niśīthe—in the middle of the night; tamaḥ-udbhūte—in which there was an increase of darkness (or intensely pervaded by darkness); jāyamāne janārdane— when Janārdana was taking birth; devakyām—to Devakī (‘having taken Devakī as the support’, āśraya-saptamī); deva-rūpiṇyām—whose form is like the Lord’s; viṣṇuḥ—Viṣṇu; sarva-guhā-śayaḥ—who reposes in all secret places (or who is the abode (āśaya) of all secret places); āvirāsīt—made His appearance; yathā —suitably; prācyām—which is the east; diśi—in the direction; induḥ iva—like a moon; puṣkalaḥ—full.

Syntactical connection of the verse is as follows:

tama-udbhūte niśīthe deva-rūpiṇyāṁ devakyāṁ (vraja-nātha-patnyāṁ) janārdane jāyamāne, prācyāṁ diśi puṣkalaḥ induḥ iva (āvirbhavati), viṣṇuḥ sarva-guhā-śayaḥ (deva-rūpiṇyāṁ devakyāṁ śauri-patnyāṁ) yathā (yathā = yathāvat) āvirāsīt.

This is one verse of six lines.

“When Hari was appearing (janārdane jāyamāne = harau prādurbhavati sati) to Devakī, Nanda’s wife (devakyām = vraja-nāthapatnyām), when the middle of the night was intensely pervaded by darkness (niśīthe tama-udbhūte = ardha-rātre tamasā utkarṣeṇa bhūte vyāpte sati)—since a series of clouds came forth out of nowhere—Viṣṇu, who is that same Janārdana, suitably appeared, as a form that was already perfect before (yathā = yathāvat = pūrva-siddhena eva rūpeṇa), to Devakī, Vasudeva’s wife (devakyām = śauri-patnyām).”

Owing to the locative absolute, a simultaneous birth in two places is made to be understood.

This is also known from Sri Hari-vamsa:

garbha-kāle tv asampūrṇe aṣṭame māsi te striyau | devakī ca yaśodā ca suṣuvāte samaṁ tadā || “During the eighth month, when the pregnancy had not reached maturity, those two ladies, Devaki and Yasoda, gave birth at the same time.” (Harivamsa 2.4.11)

However, Bhagavata states:

SB 10.3.47: Afterward, Śauri was impelled by the Lord. When he, taking his son, intended to go out of the maternity room, birthless Yogamāyā took birth by Nanda’s wife

In the sentence of Hari-vaṁśa, the sense is that they gave birth at exactly the same time (samam = saha = sama-kālam eva). Since there is a discrepancy between the two scriptural statements, in Hari-vaṁśa and in Bhāgavatam, because in the former one meaning is understood but in the latter it is shown that Yaśodā gave birth after Devakī did, it is ascertained as follows: Yaśodā gave birth to Kṛṣṇa exactly when Devakī gave birth to Kṛṣṇa, and at a later time Yaśodā also gave birth to Yogamāyā. She had two childbirths by a difference in time. For that reason it will be said: adṛśyatānujā viṣṇoḥ sāyudhāṣṭa-mahābhujā, “Viṣṇu’s younger sister was seen: She had eight great arms with weapons” (Bhāgavatam 10.4.9). This statement has no meaning if both didn't take birth from Yashoda's womb.

In this way Yasoda had a pair of offsprings, a boy and a girl. It is understood that the pair was perceived neither by Vasudeva nor by Yasoda.

Here(SB 10.3.8), Yasoda too is expressed with the word devakyam.

For example there is a statement in Adi Purana:

dve nāmnī nanda-bhāryāyā yaśodā devakīti ca | ataḥ sakhyam abhūt tasyā devakyā śauri-jāyayā ||

“Nanda’ wife had two names: Yasoda and Devaki, therefore she developed friendship with Devaki, Vasudeva’s wife.”

By the logical reasoning of a lamp located in the threshold of a door (dehalīpradīpa- nyāya) (also called kākākṣi-nyāya), the syntactical connection of devakyām occurs in both places, due to the appropriateness of the reading between jāyamāne janārdane and viṣṇuḥ. (See the syntactical connection of the verse.)

In the current verse, this is perceived: Just as Vasudeva is an avesa of Hari, in accordance with avivesamsa-bhagena, “The Lord,with full identity, entered Vasudeva’s mind” (Bhagavatam 10.2.16), Nanda too is an avesa of the Lord, on account of inferential characteristics in the following texts:

(A) nandas tv atmaja utpanne jatahladah, “When a son was born, Nanda became overjoyed ” (10.5.1),

(B) nandah sva-putram adaya, “Nanda took his son” (10.6.43), and

(C) pasupangajaya, “[Brahma said: “I offer obeisances] to the son of a cowherd”” (10.14.1). As Vasudeva channelled the Lord in Devaki, so Nanda channelled the Lord in Yasoda, as in the case of a guru and a disciple.

However, due to the Lord’s order, Durga entered Yasoda’s womb much like Sankarsana entered Rohini’s womb, on account of the two verses that begin from: devakya jathare garbham, “[Sri Krsna said to Yogamaya:] My dhama known as Sesa is in Devaki’s uterus. Pull Him out of there and place Him in Rohini’s womb. O splendid one, afterward, with my full identity, I will become Devaki’s son and you will manifest in Yasoda, Nanda’s wife” (Bhagavatam 10.2.8-9).

In Vrindavan also, The cowherds who were King Nanda’s doorkeepers fell asleep because of Yoga-nidrā, a superior aṁśa, and all the doors opened by themselves. Yaśodā fell asleep only because of her. Vasudeva did not see her son. He placed his own son there, took her daughter and went back. It is understood that the two newborn sons became one, just like two broken clouds merge

Hari is the legitimate son of Yaśodā like He is the legitimate son of Devakī. For instance: yaśodā nanda-patnī ca, “Yaśodā, Nanda’s wife, [only understood that there was a birth. Being fatigued, and her memory hampered by sleep, she did not know the child’s gender]” (Bhāgavatam 10.3.53).

In below verses Krishna is addressed many times as own son of Yashoda and Nanda by Shukadeva, Brahma etc.: And all need to be taken in direct sense.

nandagopa- gṛhe putro yaśodā-garbha-sambhavaḥ, “A son was born from Yaśodā’s womb, in the house of Nanda the cowherd” in Ādi Purāṇa, and similarly: nandas tv ātmaja utpanne jātāhlādaḥ, “When a son was born, Nanda became overjoyed” (Bhāgavatam 10.5.1), and nayam sukhapo bhagavan dehinam gopika-sutah (Bhagavatam 10.9.21) The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the son of mother Yasoda, is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but not to the materialist. and nandah sva-putram adaya pretyagatam udara-dhih(10.6.43) Simple and liberal Nanda took his son, who had returned from death. pasupangajaya, “[Brahma said: “I offer obeisances] to the son of a cowherd”” (10.14.1)

However, when Devaki spoke to Kamsa, she was trying to hide the fact of her son's birth by saying the eighth child was a daughter and thus SB 10.4.7 can't be taken literally.

Why did Sukadeva not state the birth of Krsna from Yasoda directly?

One should accept it as Lord's intention: Even the sage (Sukadeva), under the influence of the Lord, spoke of Him in a hidden way.

"I will appear in the house of both Nanda and Vasudeva. I will however remain only in Nanda's house with one form. If I have two forms, Kamsa will know that I hve taken birth and will persecute both sets of parents. You(Sukadeva) should recite my story so that the secret is not revealed". This is the intention of the Lord. Accepting the Lord's desire, the author wrote the book accordingly.

Vallabhacharya, of Rudra Sampradaya or Pushtimarg commenting on Bhagavatam 10.2.16 says that Krishna took birth as son of Yashoda:

“The Lord entered Ānakadundubhi’s heart along with the category of aṁśas (aṁśa-bhāgena = aṁśānāṁ vibhāgena).” However, some say: “He entered with a part, in the form of hair, which is an aṁśa in the form of Nārāyaṇa (aṁśabhāgena = aṁśena nārāyaṇa-rūpeṇa bhāgena keśa-rūpeṇa saha), but Puruṣottama took birth with Yogamāyā, only in Nanda’s home,” otherwise there is a contradiction with: nandas tv ātmaja utpanne jātāhlādaḥ, “When his son was born, Nanda became overjoyed” (Bhāgavatam 10.5.1).

References are: Laghu Bhagavatamrita of Rupa Goswami, Vaishnava Nandini of Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Subhodini of Vallabhacharya, Symphony of commentaries on 10th Canto.

  • 1
    This is interesting theory. Never heard of it.
    – user16581
    Apr 24, 2019 at 10:46
  • 1
    Then Which Krishna met the gopis while remaining with the Pandavas? Which Krishna told the Gita? Are the Supreme Personality of Godhead two in number--One Who played with the Gopis and One Who taught the Gita?
    – user17294
    Apr 24, 2019 at 11:28
  • @LazyLubber yes it is interesting. I too found it interesting when I heard it first time. Apr 24, 2019 at 12:45
  • 1
    @LazyLubber according to some whatever you never heard before are all wrong. :) Apr 24, 2019 at 15:40
  • 1
    @commonman that is because his answer is wrong.
    – Wikash_
    Apr 26, 2019 at 4:12

Before answering this question specifically, there are a couple of things that need to be made clear. The realized devotees of the Lord are able to go deep within the ocean of bhakti rasa And bring various jewels that they find there to the surface. However, when we conditioned souls read scripture, we can only attain a very superficial understanding.

Meanwhile the Gaudiya vaishnavas, under the guidance and direction, the anugatya, of Sri Rupa Goswami, who is directly empowered by Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu to understand and to reveal his innermost heart's desires, mano 'bhistam, Iare privy to so many very deep and beautiful understandings that are not clearly presented in the Bhagavatam. So many of our shastras are written from the realization of such personalities as Sri Rupa Goswamipada in their samadhi trances.

Scholarship, logic, academic and intellectual learning and comprehension can only take us so far in appreciating the actual meanings of shastra. So what do our acaryas say?

Here are several very important and deep realizations from our Srila Prabhupada, his siksa and sannyasa guru Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja and Srila Vishwanath Cakravarti in these specific regards.

“Śrī Gauḍīya vaiṣṇava literature distinguishes between Śrī Bhagavān’s janma (birth) and His āvirbhāva (appearance). The word āvirbhāva is filled with aiśvarya (opulence), but janma is filled with mādhurya (sweetness). We are related to Śrī Kṛṣṇa who is Vrajendra-nandana, Nanda-tanuja, Nandātmaja and Paśupāṅgaja. Śrīla Cakravartī Ṭhākura has addressed Śrī Kṛṣṇa, ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanaya: “Bhagavān Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa is my worshipful object,” and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, ’ayi nandatanuja’. Also by Śrī Vāsudeva we understand Kṛṣṇa as Nanda-tanuja (the son of Nanda). Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā, but He did not take birth from Devakī's womb. He appeared in Kaṁsa’s prison before Devakī and Vasudeva fully dressed and decorated, and holding His conch, disc, club and lotus (śaṅkha, cakra, gadā and padma.) Therefore Śrī Kṛṣṇa is not addressed as Vasudeva-tanuja (the son of Vasudeva). The cutting of the umbilical cord and other ceremonies of childbirth were not performed in Mathurā, but they were in Gokula. There, Kṛṣṇa took birth from the womb of Yaśodā Maiyā, and we worship this birth-pastime of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. kṛṣṇera yateka khelā sarvottama naralīlā naravapu tāhāra svarūpa (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 21.101) “‘Lord Kṛṣṇa has many pastimes, of which His pastimes as a human being are the best. His form as a human being is the supreme transcendental form.’ “Only Śrī Rūpānuga Vaiṣṇavas are able to take to heart this distinctive aspect of janma and āvirbhāva which is saturated with mādhurya. We are praying to Nandanandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of the Śrī Rūpānuga Vaiṣṇavas." Param Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnan Keshava Goswami Maharaja (Acarya Kesari)

"The Son of Yasoda (written by Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura discusses that Krsna appeared simultaneously as the son of Devaki and as the son of Yasoda, along with the spiritual energy Yogamaya. As the son of Devaki, He first appeared as Visnu, and because Vasudeva was not in the position of pure affection for Krsna, Vasudeva worshiped his son as Lord Visnu. Yasoda, however, pleased her son Krsna without understanding His Godhood. This is the difference between Krsna as the son of Yasoda and as the son of Devaki. This is explained by Visvanatha Cakravarti on the authority of Hari-vamsa. [SB 10.3.47 Purport]

The word anuja, meaning "the younger sister," is significant. When Visnu, or Krsna, took birth from Devaki, He must have simultaneously taken birth from Yasoda also. Otherwise how could Yogamaya have been anuja, the Lord's younger sister? [SB 10.4.9 Purport]

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Antya Lila 1.67 kṛṣṇo 'nyo yadu-sambhūto yaḥ pūrṇaḥ so 'sty ataḥ paraḥ vṛndāvanaṁ parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati

" 'The Kṛṣṇa known as Yadukumāra is Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa. He is different from the Kṛṣṇa who is the son of Nanda Mahārāja. Yadukumāra Kṛṣṇa manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathurā and Dvārakā, but Kṛṣṇa the son of Nanda Mahārāja never at any time leaves Vṛndāvana.' "

We should also understand that Srimad Bhagavatam was spoken by Sukadev Goswami to Pariksit Maharaj, the grandson of the Pandavas and thus a Dwaraka-basi. And sugar dove is speaking in such a way as to be very understandable and pleasing to Maharaj.

However, Lord Caitanya and His rupanuga Vaisnavas are presenting a higher understanding. Therefore Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada stated that the greatest of all literatures, so that if all the other literatures of the world were destroyed and this one alone was preserved, nothing would be lost ... is Sri Caitanya Caritamrta

So of course Vrindavan Krishna and Dwarkadhish Krishna are one. But they are also different. That Dwarkadhish Krishna does not manifest the four special sweetnesses, Madhuri, of Vrajendranandana Shyam Sundar. Is He wearing a peacock feather and playing a flute, is He sporting with the damsels of grudge in the forest of Vrindavan?

No. His venu madhuri (the sweetness of his flute playing), His unexcelled beauty (as Syamadundar) or rupa madhuri, His prema and lila madhuris (especially referring to unnatojjvala rasa, parakiya bhava, with the gopis if Vraj, especially Srimate Radhika, but also to His relationships with Yasodamaiya and Nanda Baba, are not present in Dwarka, or anywhere other than fraud. Therefore this Vrajendra nandana Shyamasundar is unequalled, and is Who Srila Vedavyasa Is referring to when he says Krsna's TU bhagavan swayam - and when Lord Brahma is singing Govindam adi purusam. Govinda is the name the gopuscgavw Him at the time of Govardhan Lila.

Krsna Janmastami ki jay!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .