Lord Krishna has unlimited names (Naam), forms (Rupa), qualities (Guna) and pastimes (Lila). It is said that once Lord Krishna approached Anantasesha (the great serpent) and asked him if he could hold the universe (Bhu-mandala) on his hoods. Anantasesha agreed but wanted a time frame, as to till when would he have to hold it. So, the Lord tricked him and said you hold it until you complete reciting my glories. And since then, the beginning of creation, Anantasesha has been reciting the endless qualities of the Lord and continues to do so. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahmaji says:
nāntaṁ vidāmy aham amī munayo ’gra-jās te
māyā-balasya puruṣasya kuto ’varā ye
gāyan guṇān daśa-śatānana ādi-devaḥ
śeṣo ’dhunāpi samavasyati nāsya pāram
Neither I nor all the sages born before you know fully the omnipotent Personality of Godhead. So what can others, who are born after us, know about Him? Even the first incarnation of the Lord, namely Śeṣa, has not been able to reach the limit of such knowledge, although He is describing the qualities of the Lord with ten hundred faces.
[Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.41]
So the Lord has endless qualities. A few of the commonly used names of the Lord with their meanings have been listed below.
Muralidhara - one who holds the flute
Achyutam – one who never fails or falls down
Ananta – derived from Anatasesha, the great serpent on which Garbhodakasayi Vishnu lies
Rasaraj - the king of mellows / emotions
Rasikashekhara - the crest or peak of emotions
Keshava - killer of the demon Keshi, also means long-haired one
Madhava - consort of mother (Ma)
Madhusudana – destroyer of the demon Madhu
Janardhana - chastiser of the enemies
Yashoda-Nandan - son of mother Yashoda
Devaki Nandan – son of mother Devaki
Rishikesha - controller of the senses
Giridhara – who holds the mountain (Govardhan)
Shyam - of dark blue colour
Shyamasundar - of beautiful dark blue colour
Ghanashyam - of colour like dark clouds
Gopinath -the master of the Gopis
Govinda - Ruler of the senses
Gopal - Protector of the cows
Purushottham – the supreme purusha
Radhanath - Master of Srimati Radharani
Radhakanta – sweet-heart of Radharani
Sridhara - One who possesses wealth (Sri= Lakshmi)
Hari - remover of darkness and illusion
Va(a)sudeva - the son of Vasudev
Damodar - One who is tied at the waist
Mukunda - giver of liberation
Manmohan - who attracts the mind
Madanmohan - who attracts Cupid
Yadunandana – descendent of Yadu dynasty
Manohar – one who wins over the mind, charming, lovable
Hence the names of the Lord are endless and so are His qualities. In fact, it is said that whatever opulent qualities people manifest; like intelligence, beauty, skills like – painting, music, sculpture, dancing etc. are a minute fraction endowed from the Lord. The Lord possesses these qualities in limitless quantities.
yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ
śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā
tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ
Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.
[Bhagavad Gita - 10.41]
We can only attempt to get a glimpse of the qualities of Lord Krishna. And this we can do by sincerely chanting the mahamantra; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. By developing steady faith and offense-less chanting, the qualities of the Supreme Lord will gradually be revealed to us.
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