Krishna Kali

It was a new moon in the middle of summer, and the sky glittered with a million shining stars. But their light together, could not vie with the sparkle of Radha Rani’s smile as she sat near Sri Krishna in the sylvan groves of Vrindavan.

She was mesmerized by Him, the Master of the Universe and He by Her, the Queen of pure love.  He looked down, and her eyes followed His and touched His magical blue feet. She jumped from their seat, a natural stone bench and ran to quickly gather flowers and fruits in the folds of her saree.

Spreading a leaf beside Sri Krishna, she placed succulent fruit and with a shy smile sat at His Feet and began decorating them with flowers.  He heard the sound of footsteps.

Who was coming at this midnight hour? It was the husband of Radha Rani and her two cruel sisters-in-law, Jatila and Kutila.  At midnight, they had gone to their brother and said, “Today is a special day to worship our household diety, Mother Kali, at midnight. What are you doing?  Where is your wife?”

Getting up with a start, the husband muttered, “Yes, where is she?”

“Surely in the forest with that cowherd.” Their scornful words proclaimed.

The three ran to the clearing in the middle of the forest.  The blue feet of Lord Krishna remained as He exchanged His flute for an axe, the vanamala (garland of flowers) for a munda mala (garland of skulls).  The same compassionate eyes and divine smile remained, as Krishna became Kali.

The husband and his sisters stood behind bushes and watched Radha Rani, engrossed in worship of the Blue Feet, of the Mother of the Universe.  The sisters were embarrassed as the husband felt relief and pride.

This new moon worship of Kali Ma is called Phalaharini puja (phala means fruit).  There is a belief that as we worship her with variety of fruits, She takes away the fruit of our actions, so we become free.  Free to do what? Worship Her. Dance with Her in Her every form, as Krishna, as Kali, as every form in creation, which is none other than that One Being, Pure Consciousness.

To celebrate this story of Krishna-Kali, it is a custom in some houses and temples in Bengal to dress Mother Kali as Krishna.  In the Krishna Temple in Udupi, South India, Lord Krishna is dressed as Mother Divine, on every new moon.

Image result for krishna kali photo

Sri Krishna Sharanam Mama



  1. So sweet to read…thank you very much…Krishna always shows ingenuity in saving us from any embarassing situation that may confront us…feeling very blessed as i read this reassurance from you…krishna is always there following you…even in your name…same with krishnapriya who has given the first comment. feeling blessed to see 3 krishna in this very page… 🙂

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    1. Yes, i don’t know if i can call this information – these are stories, Krishna leela. Lord Krishna in Udupi is dressed in various forms of Mother Divine, even during Navaratri. I have seen His pictures as Durga, Annapoorna etc — soooo beautiful. I guess Love in any form feels sweet and tender! 🙂 Writing all this makes me want to go to Udupi!


  2. oh, such a sweet, sweet story…and you paint the pictures so beautifully for us ti imagine…Love and the One interhanging appearances…an amazing reminder, inspiration….and did Lord Krishna adorn himself in necklace of skulls as a response, a reflection of the sweet girl’s jealous husband? *forgive if I do not fully understand the flow* this is perfectly sensible if he perceives as his wickedness projects…thank you for this, and for your loveliness beside me, singing and dancing to the One as the children of Love Divine we are…blessings and love to you, so grateful for your hand in mine on this path, my sweet, sweet Krishnapriya *sunbeams upon daisy field**rainbows dancing around children**angels and hummingburds in starlight*


    1. Dear Joan – is story is covered with so many cultural veils and I so appreciate your diving into it and talking about it, with no judgment and a pure open heart! Thank you! The young cowherd girls loved Sri Krishna — like brides of Christ….that is the closest thing I can think of to explain it. It was soul-to-God relation. But hard for their family members and others – even people today to understand. 🙂 One of the forms of Divine Mother is Kali. She is dark because She absorbs and takes away all our negativities – She has an axe with which She slays our egos (metaphorically) and then She wears them as a garland around Her neck….Even though this may sound violent, it is quite the opposite. It is Her infinite sweet love for Her children that She does anything she can to help us give up our illusions and live free, as little babies smiling in Her lap of eternity. Don’t know if this makes any sense or not?


    2. Yes, I understand about loving Krishna beyond the understanding of her husband. Some people aren’t up to grasping the various levels of love, or the intensity of of devotion to Love Devine. And I think I begin to glimpse about Mother Kali *sorry if misspelled* perhaps she takes away our negativity and also reflects back the dardarkness/skulls in an attempt to instruct us/remind us…? It is so fascinating to me to learn about the cultural myths humans have created to try and capture such unspeakable truths. Thank you for bringing these images for me to wrestle. Love you for this and the many ways you teach and delight with me…blessings and sweetness to you, my beloved Krishnapriya *starlight in darkness**sunbeams through willow branches**yellow butterflies in blue, blue sky*

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