I've been trying to find out whether Krishna used a bansuri flute (6 holed North Indian traverse flute), or the venu (7 to 8 holed South Indian/Carnatic traverse flute). I couldn't find a clear answer on Wikipedia.

On the bansuri page it says:

The bansuri-like flute is depicted in ancient Buddhist,[10] Hindu[11] and Jaina temple paintings and reliefs, as well as is common in the iconography of the Hindu god Krishna.[12][13] it is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha.[14] The bansuri is revered as Lord Krishna's divine instrument and is often associated with Krishna's Rasa lila dance.

And on the venu page it says:

The venu is associated with the Hindu god Krishna, who is often depicted playing it. This kind of flute is mainly used in South India.The Lord Vishnu is portrayed as Sri Venugopala - playing the flute of Creation.

So what type of flute did Krishna actually use?


1 Answer 1


According to Brahma Samhita, Lord Krishna play Venu and Vamsi,

atha veṇu-ninādasya trayī-mūrti-mayī gatiḥ
sphurantī praviveśāśu mukhābjāni svayambhuvaḥ
gāyatrīṁ gāyatas tasmād adhigatya sarojajaḥ
saṁskṛtaś cādi-gunuṇā dvijatām agamat tataḥ (5.27)

Meaning: Then Gāyatrī, mother of the Vedas, being made manifest, i.e. imparted, by the divine sound of the flute of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, entered into the lotus mouth of Brahmā, born from himself, through his eight ear-holes. The lotus-born Brahmā having received the Gāyatrī, sprung from the flute-song of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, attained the status of the twice-born, having been initiated by the supreme primal preceptor, Godhead Himself.

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam-
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (5.30)

Meaning: I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock's feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.

ratnāṅgadaṁ praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam
śyāmaṁ tri-bhaṅga-lalitaṁ niyata prakāśaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (5.31)

Meaning: I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara is eternally manifest.

However, Krishna is famous for playing Bansuri or murali as well.


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