Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu is said to have born to Devaki and Vasudeva in imprisonment, on the midnight of the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Shravan
. The objective of the birth was to kill Kamsa
, the cruel ruler of Mathura
and Devaki's brother. To protect the baby from the king, Krishna was taken into the cowherd family of Yashodha and Nandagopan, where he grew up with his brother Balarama as the legendary naughty boy.
Krishna's youth, like his childhood, is immensely popular with devotees, and is spiritually significant. The Rasalila, or the dance of love, that he enjoyed with the gopikas, or cowherdesses, has been subject to much literary and philosophical interpretation. The Mahabharata describes the War of Kurukshetra in which Lord Krishna favored the Pandavas against the evil that their cousins Kauravas embodied. Krishna drove Arjuna's chariot in the war, and delivered the philosophical text Bhagavad Gita to the diffident Arjuna in the battlefield.
Krishna is usually represented as playing the flute, the music of love. He is dark (blue) in color, and wears yellow silk and flower garlands. The birthday of the lord, known as Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti, is celebrated all over the country.