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Why Krishna’s Skin Is Portrayed Blue Or Black In Art

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Krishna, also known as Sri Krishna or Hari Krishna, stands as a revered deity within the Hindu pantheon, celebrated for his divine attributes and heroic exploits. As the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, Krishna holds a significant place in Hindu mythology, prominently featured in sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas.

The Enigma of Krishna’s Skin Color

The very name “Krishna”, derived from Sanskrit, translates as “black” or “dark”. Despite this, artistic depictions often depict Krishna with blue skin, prompting curiosity and interpretations rooted in mythology, spirituality, and even science.

Mythological stories: The origin of the shade of blue

Two fascinating mythological stories attempt to explain Krishna’s distinctive blue skin. In one story, Krishna consumes the poisoned milk of Poothana, a demonic entity. In another, the battle with the snake king Kalinga results in poison that gives a bluish tint to Krishna’s skin. These stories add to the rich tapestry of symbolism surrounding the deity.

Spiritual symbolism: Blue aura

The Isha Foundation points out that Hindu gods such as Krishna, Shiva and Rama are often depicted with blue skin, not as a literal representation, but as a manifestation of their spiritual aura. Sadhguru defines the aura as an energy field that surrounds every being, attributing “all-embracing” to the color blue. Krishna’s irresistible charm, according to Sadhguru, emanated from his blue aura, making him captivating and attractive.

Sadhguru further delves into the perception of individuals with a blue aura as “superhumans”, possessing immense dynamism and a heightened evolutionary state. A blue aura, in this context, signifies a deep connection with the living world while at the peak of personal evolution.

Scientific insight: methemoglobinemia and beyond

Slightly Blue offers a scientific perspective, suggesting a parallel between Krishna’s blue depiction and a rare skin condition called methemoglobinemia. This condition prevents the proper distribution of oxygen through hemoglobin, resulting in a bluish tinge. While Krishna’s blue skin is symbolic, this scientific connection adds an intriguing layer to the interpretive landscape.

Historical cases, such as the “blue baby syndrome” in Punjab, India, highlight how exposure to certain substances can turn skin blue. This scholarly anomaly adds depth to the exploration of Krishna’s unconventional portrayal.

Debunking Light Skin Portrayals: The “Dark Is Divine” Campaign.

In 2018, a movement called “Dark Is Divine” emerged in India, challenging the prevailing depiction of light-skinned Hindu deities. Despite scriptures describing Krishna as dark-skinned, popular representations often depicted gods with lighter skin. The campaign, spearheaded by Bharadwaj Sundar and Naresh Nil, sought to reimagine dark-skinned gods and goddesses, encouraging inclusivity and challenging societal prejudices.

Conclusion: acceptance of diversity in divine images

Krishna’s blue skin goes beyond mere aesthetic symbolism, delving into the realms of spirituality, mythology and social perceptions. Whether viewed through the lens of enchanting myth, spiritual radiance, or scientific curiosity, Krishna’s depiction invites contemplation on various aspects of divinity and challenges conventional norms of artistic representation. The “Dark Is Divine” movement further pushes the narrative of embracing diversity, encouraging a shift away from entrenched stereotypes to a more inclusive celebration of the divine.**

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