The Ghata Jataka, one of the Jataka Tales that form part of Buddhist scripture, recounts the life of Krishna in a way that mostly parallels conventional Hindu accounts, except for one notable incident that would be quite unfamiliar to most Hindus. It goes as follows: "one clearly beloved son" of Krishna dies, and as a result Krishna "half dead with grief, neglected everything, and lay lamenting, and clutching the frame of his bed." In response to this, Krishna's younger brother Ghatapandita starts wandering in the streets, raving like a madman about how he wants a rabbit from the moon. Krishna realizes that wanting someone who is born to never die is just as impossible a request as wanting a rabbit from the moon, so he is convinced to stop mourning the death of his son.

The conceit, of course, is that Ghatapandita is supposed to be Buddha's previous birth and Krishna is supposed to be the previous birth of Buddha's disciple Sariputta. But my question is, do any of the details of this story have a basis in Hindu scripture, for instance in the Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana)? Is there any younger brother of Krishna corresponding to Ghatapandita? (Krishna does bring the earlier babies of his mother Devaki back from the dead, so he would have had six physically "younger" brothers, but none of their names are close to Ghata.) Is there any story about Krishna losing a "beloved son" and mourning the loss? All of this seems quite out of character, so I'm somewhat skeptical.


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There is a story when all of the Yadavs were suppose to end themselves fighting with each other. I think this incident is pointing to that. All yadavs (or most of them) fought with each other and died. This included Pradyumna, Saamb, etc also who were Krishna's sons. That time there was lot of mourning. Balaram at that time was so depressed by all this that he left everything and ended his own life. I think Ghatapandita is being refered to Balram. But yes, he was elder. For that, I can say that many scriptures gets confused about who is elder and who is younger, eg, in case of Ganesh and Kartikeya, many scriptures say Kartikeya is elder while other says Ganesh is elder. So, same might have been the case here. If not then I know of only one cousin brother of Krishna called Udhav. May be they are referring him.

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    First of all, the Ghata Jataka specifically says this: sacred-texts.com/bud/j4/j4018.htm#fr_57 "The eldest son of Devagabbhā was named Vāsu-deva, the second Baladeva, the third Canda-deva, the fourth Suriya-deva, the fifth Aggi-deva, the sixth Varuṇa-deva, the seventh Ajjuna, the eighth Pajjuna, the ninth Ghata-paṇḍita, the tenth Aṁkura." The order is mixed up, but it's clear that Krishna, Balarama, and Ghatapandita are all supposed to be seperate sons of Devaki. Nov 7, 2014 at 16:31
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    In any case, if you think Ghatapandita was either Balarama or Uddhava, that wouldn't make sense because I don't think there's ever a time when Krishna is mourning the death of Pradyumna or Samba or someone, and is cheered up by Balarama and Uddhava. You can look at the descriptions of the destruction of the Yadavas and Krishna's death in the Mausala Parva of the Mahabharata: sacred-texts.com/hin/m16/m16003.htm sacred-texts.com/hin/m16/m16004.htm And you can read the description in the Srimad Bhagavatam: vedabase.com/en/sb/11/30 Nov 7, 2014 at 16:42
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    By the way, answers on this site should be backed up with sources (preferably scripture), so I suggest you include some quotes from one or more of the scriptures I linked to to support your answer. Nov 7, 2014 at 16:44
  • Just an idea - in Drona Parva - when Arjuna is mourning the death of Abhimanyu his son, Sri Krishna steadies his grieving mind and says something to the effect that every creation faces destruction - is this incidence referring to this by wrongly / mistakenly interpolating Krishna in place of Arjuna? To the best of my knowledge there is no incidence of Sri Krishna losing one of his sons and grieving their death neglecting His duties in any of the 18 Puranas. Aug 12, 2017 at 14:42

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