Telling Lord Krishna stories to kids could be one of the ways to teach your little ones about Indian mythology, dharma, culture, and traditions. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is known to be the incarnation and a mortal form of Lord Vishnu. He was born in prison but was raised with the help of foster parents. There are a lot of stories about Lord Krishna’s life as they revolve around mischief, love, and bravery. These stories are guaranteed to enthrall the children when they listen to them. Here, we have some of the best stories about Lord Krishna that your little ones can enjoy listening to.
17 Best Lord Krishna Stories For Kids
1. The birth of Krishna
As per the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Lord Krishna was born to King Vasudeva and his wife Devaki. Devaki’s brother Kansa was a cruel man who engaged in heinous activities.
During Devaki and Vasudeva’s wedding rituals, Kansa is warned by the astrologers that their child would kill him. Hearing this, Kansa imprisons the couple and kills every child that is born them.
But when Krishna is born, Vasudeva secretly arranges for the infant to be carried away and replaces him with another baby (Krishna’s foster-mother Yashoda’s daughter).
When evil Kansa tries to kill this replaced baby, she turns into goddess Adi Parashakti and warns him that his death has arrived and nothing can change his fate.
Meanwhile, the newborn Krishna is carried to the other side of the river Yamuna, where he is rescued and fostered by Nanda and his wife Yashoda in Gokul. The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated as Krishnashtami or Janmashtami.
2. Krishna kills Putana
Kansa, who knows that the eighth child born to Devaki, would be his slayer, sends his soldiers to find the infant. But as they return empty-handed, Kansa sends the Queen of Demons, Putana, to kill Lord Krishna.
She schemes to kill Lord Krishna by feeding him her poisoned breastmilk. Putana goes to Gokul, disguised as a beautiful maiden. She reaches Krishna’s home and nurses him with the poisoned milk. Even as she hopes to kill the infant Krishna, he sucks her life out of her breasts and kills her.
3. Krishna and Arishtasura
One day, when Krishna was playing with his friends, an enormous bull enters Vrindavan and begins to attack everyone. People run helter-skelter, creating a commotion.
Just then, Krishna sees the bull and confronts it. He realizes that the bull is a demon named Arishtasura, sent by his uncle Kansa to kill him. He challenges Arishtasura to a fight and after a fierce battle, kills him. The soul leaves the body of the bull, bows to Krishna, and tells him how he was cursed to become a demon when he did not obey and respect his guru Lord Brihaspati.
4. Krishna’s dance on Kaaliya
A giant black serpent, Kaaliya enters Vrindavan and begins living, along with his family, in the river Yamuna. Kaaliya slowly turns the river water poisonous with its venom, making the lives of villagers miserable. People try everything possible to get rid of the black serpent.
Lord Krishna could not see his people suffering and decides to fight Kaaliya. Krishna gathers the weight of the entire planet, jumps on Kaaliya’s head and starts hitting the serpent by dancing on it.
Kaaliya begins vomiting blood and loses all the strength. When Kaaliya is nearing death, his wives appear and pray to Krishna, asking for mercy. Krishna grants mercy to the serpent; Kaaliya realizes the greatness and strength of Lord Krishna and promises to leave the river.
The serpent leaves the river and Vrindavan forever, and people rejoice the victory of Krishna.
5. The whole universe in Krishna’s mouth
One day, Krishna and his brother Balarama went to a garden to pick fruits and berries. As Krishna was still a toddler, he could not reach the fruits. He stuffs his mouth with dust and sand from the ground. When the other children see Krishna doing this, they go and complain to his mother.
Yashoda comes running to Krishna and sternly asks if he ate mud. Krishna denies having eaten mud and refuses to open his mouth. But when Yashoda insists, he opens his mouth, leaving Yashoda startled.
Krishna gives a naughty grin as Yashoda does not see any mud but the entire universe, including the sun, stars, skies, oceans, hills, rivers, and mountains. She realizes her son is not an ordinary child.
6. Little Krishna steals butter
Krishna was fond of butter as a child and would steal it from home and neighbors too. His stories of stealing butter were famous all over Vrindavan. His mother, Yashoda, would hang the butter pitcher high up on the roof so that Krishna can’t reach it.
One day, when Yashoda goes out on an important task, Krishna gathers his friends to steal the butter. Initially, his friends refuse to help but later give in to their friend’s pressure. Krishna takes the help of all his friends, stands up on their shoulders to reach the pitcher.
Even as they are engrossed in the mischief, Yashoda comes in and witnesses their mischief. Krishna’s friends escape quickly but he gets caught by his mother. Yashoda gets furious and runs after Krishna to punish him.
7. Lord Krishna and the disguised monster
Krishna and his brother Balarama helped their father take care of their cattle. They, along with their friends, took the cattle out for grazing. Krishna often played the flute and sang songs while the cows grazed.
One day, while the cows were grazing, Krishna noticed a new cow in the herd. Her unusual look panics the children around. But the two brothers silently approach the cow, hold her by her horns and throw her into a nearby lake.
When the cow falls, she comes out of the disguised form and takes the original shape of a monster, which was sent by Kansa to kill Krishna. Everyone rejoices at the death of the monster.
8. Lord Krishna lifts the Govardhan hill
Every year, the people of Vrindavan performed prayers to please Lord Indra for good rains for their crops.
One year, Lord Krishna explains the villagers about the importance of ‘Dharma’. He elaborates how they have to focus on working hard and being sincere in their duties. Everyone gets convinced and decides not to offer prayers to Lord Indra.
This enrages Lord Indra, who sends a huge storm to the village. Vrindavan is flooded with rainwater and people start looking for a safe place. Krishna lifts the Govardhan hill on his little finger and people and their livestock take shelter under the hill for days.
Lord Indra realizes his mistake and stops the rain.
9. Krishna and Varuna
Krishna’s father Nanda was fasting on one ekadasi (the 11th lunar day). He goes to take a dip in the holy river Yamuna just before the sunrise. The servants of demigod Varuna capture and present Nanda in front of their lord, accusing him of taking a bath in the river at a demonic time.
Krishna and his brother Balrama search for their father after his sudden disappearance. Then they hear sounds coming from the river and understand that demigod Varuna has captured their father.
When Krishna visits Varuna, they engage in a heartwarming conversation. Varuna realizes the mistake committed by his servants, apologizes to Krishna, and releases Nanda immediately.
10. Krishna swallows the forest fire
One fine summer day, Lord Krishna, along with his friends and their cows, goes deep into a forest. They get so immersed in the playful activities that they do not realize about the wildfire spreading rapidly.
By the time they realize, the fire comes too close to them. Krishna’s friends plead with him to save them. He asks everyone to close their eyes. While everyone keeps their eyes closed, Krishna swallows the colossal wildfire and protects everyone from the mishap.
11. Lord Krishna and the fruit woman
There was a fruit seller in Mathura, who hears about toddler Krishna and his cuteness from people. She hears about him so much that she decides to go to Gokul and see his charm.
She goes to Gokul and keeps selling fruits there with the hope to see toddler Krishna someday. One day, as the fruit vendor is passing by Krishna’s house, he gets tempted by the fresh fruits that she is carrying, and asks her to give him some.
The fruit vendor agrees to give him fruits if he sat on her lap and called her “mother”. Toddler Krishna hesitates but eventually relents. He calls the woman “mother”, sits on her lap and requests for fruits.
The woman is so carried away by the cute toddler that she gives away everything she has with her. On her way home, she realizes that her fruit basket is filled with jewels and precious stones. However, she throws them away in the river because for her seeing Lord Krishna was more valuable than any wealth in this world.
12. Krishna drags the mortar
One day, Yashoda catches toddler Krishna redhanded while stealing butter. She gets a long rope to tie him to a tree, but swift Krishna runs away from her. Yashoda chases him for a long time but eventually gives up. On seeing his exhausted mother, Krishna goes up to his mother and asks her to tie him up.
As the rope seems too small, Yashoda ties Krishna to heavy mortar. Sometime later, there is a loud noise and people gather to check what it is. They see that little Krishna drags the enormously heavy mortar and pulls down the two trees standing nearby.
The trees are the cursed sons of Kubera, the God of Wealth. As Krishna pulls down the trees, they get liberated from the curse.
13. Krishna’s lesson to Lord Brahma
One day, Lord Brahma decides to test Lord Krishna if he really is the Parabrahma (universal lord) or not. In order to test Krishna, Lord Brahma kidnaps every child and calf of Vrindavan and hides all of them in his world. Krishna understands that this is the handiwork of Brahma and decides to teach him a lesson.
Krishna multiplies himself into all the missing children and calves. He and all his forms return to the village. People do not find any difference, and life goes on as usual. In fact, they feel happy as they begin to receive increased love and affection from their ‘children’.
Lord Brahma realizes his mistake and releases all the children with their cattle and calves.
14. Lord Krishna named Govinda
Lord Krishna has more than 108 names of which one is Govinda. Govinda means the protector of cows. There is a story on how Krishna got this name.
One day, celestial cow Kamadhenu meets Krishna and tells him that she came from Devlok, the kingdom of heaven, to perform the abhishekam, the crowning ceremony.
Kamadhenu bathes him in holy water brought from the heavens and thanks Lord Krishna for protecting all the cows. Lord Indra, who joins them, also does the abhishekam and gives him the name Govinda.
15. Akrura, the great devotee of Lord Krishna
In his yet another attempt to kill Krishna, Kansa tells his minister Akrura to go to Vrindavan and bring Krishna and Balarama to perform a holy yajna in Mathura. Kansa is not aware that Akrura is a great devotee of Krishna.
Akrura reaches Vrindavan, and brings Krishna and Balarama to Mathura. But on the way, he is overwhelmed with devotion and reveals Kansa’s evil plans to Krishna. He pleads with Krishna to go back to Vrindavan. On hearing Akrura, Krishna smiles and decides to go ahead with his journey to Mathura.
16. Krishna’s headache
One day, Lord Krishna decides to test the love of his devotees. He pretends to have a headache and tells sage Narada that he could recover only if any of his true devotees collected the dust from their feet and smeared it on his forehead. The startled Narada goes to Krishna’s wives for help.
All his wives disagree to do that as Krishna is their husband and putting their feet’s dust on his forehead would mean being disrespectful to Lord Krishna. Narada, then, goes to gopis and explains the situation.
The gopis are overwhelmed with sorrow. They quickly collect dust and give it to Narada. He realizes that their devotion is so blind that they didn’t think about the repercussions that might happen.
[ Read: Stories From Ramayana For Kids ]
17. The battle of Kurukshetra
On the 15th day of the battle of Kurukshetra, Karna has a face-to-face fight with Arjuna. A fierce battle takes place between them, and Karna fires an arrow, which almost hits Arjuna. But Krishna, the charioteer of Arjuna, lowers the chariot and helps Arjuna escape the arrow.
Arjuna shoots several arrows at Karna in return when the latter’s chariot gets stuck in the mud. Karna gets down to push his stuck chariot and asks Arjuna to stop shooting. He observes that it is unfair to target him while he is pushing the wheel out.
Krishna replies, “You shot at unarmed Abhimanyu, was that fair?” referring to how Kauravas broke the code of war and mercilessly killed Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu. Hearing Krishna, Arjuna is filled with righteous anger and revenge and kills Karna.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some instances where Lord Krishna’s stories can be used to promote virtues like kindness, compassion, and honesty in children?
Lord Krishna’s stories are enriched with essential virtues that parents may instill in their children at an early age. For instance, if a child struggles to be a helpful friend to their peers, the story of Krishna lifting the Govardhan hill can inspire them to show compassion and kindness towards those around them.
2. Are there any specific verses or hymns from sacred texts that kids can learn along with the Lord Krishna stories?
An inspiring verse can be from the Bhagavad Gita 2.47: ‘You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for reward, nor should you long for inaction.’ This encourages one to do good without selfish reasons and give their utmost effort without expecting rewards.
Lord Krishna stories are about love, mischief, courage, friendship, and kindness. Although the stories about this avatar of Vishnu are more of leela, the conclusions will make you think about the deeper concepts, like moksha and karma. They are interesting and inspire children to follow the right path of goodness, truth, and humanity. Stories about the birth of Krishna, when Krishna kills Putana, and Krishna’s dance on Kaliya are filled with amusement and teachings. Every story provided in the list is unique and offers valuable life lessons. So, read these stories to your children during their free time or bedtime. They will surely enjoy them and learn a lot about mythology and customs.
Little Krishna and his friends go on an enchanted picnic, full of fun and adventure! Join them as they explore the magical world around them.