Categories: Hindu Mythology

Yashoda:The Beloved Foster-Mother of Krishna

Yashoda, the beloved foster-mother of Krishna, holds a special place in Hindu mythology. Her endearing relationship with Krishna and her role in his upbringing are beautifully depicted in the Puranic texts of Hinduism. In this article, we will explore the life of Yashoda, her origins, and the significant events that revolve around her connection with the divine.

Yashoda’s Early Life and Origins

Yashoda’s life, prior to her marriage with Nanda, is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that she was the incarnation of Dhara, the wife of the vasu, Drona. Her life took a significant turn when she became the foster-mother of Lord Krishna.

The Family Background

Yashoda’s father, Sumukha, played a crucial role in her life. He was not only the treasurer of Vraja but also a wealthy trader. Described as having a long beard as fair as the white conchshell, and skin as dark as the ripe Indian blackberry, Sumukha’s distinctive appearance is intriguing. Yashoda’s family was deeply rooted in the traditions of worshiping Vishnu, and they held great reverence for the deity.

Yashoda’s mother, Pataladevi, came from a respected mercantile family of seafaring traders from the ancient city of Patala, situated at the mouth of the Indus River in the Sindhu kingdom. Her soft skin was often compared to the softness of rose petals. Her family’s devotion to Vishnu was a prominent aspect of their lives, and they offered their prayers to the deity before embarking on their seafaring journeys.

The Divine Arrival: Krishna’s Birth

Vasudeva, brought the newborn Krishna to his cousin Nanda

Krishna’s birth is a pivotal moment in the life of Yashoda. According to the Bhagavata Purana (Srimad Bhagavatam), Krishna was born to Devaki, but his father, Vasudeva, brought the newborn Krishna to his cousin Nanda and Nanda’s wife, Yashoda, in Gokulam. This decision was made to protect Krishna from Devaki’s brother, Kamsa, the tyrannical king of Mathura.

Yashoda’s Role as a Foster-Mother

Yashoda’s affectionate presence provided Krishna with a safe and loving environment

Yashoda’s nurturing love for Krishna is heartwarming. She cared for him as her own, and their bond was a testament to a mother’s unconditional love. Yashoda’s affectionate presence provided Krishna with a safe and loving environment in which he could grow.

The Liberation of Nalakuvara and Manigriva

The Liberation of Nalakuvara and Manigriva

One of the famous stories associated with Yashoda and Krishna’s childhood involves a mischievous Krishna. He was playing in the sand and, in a display of disobedience, began swallowing it. Yashoda, upon seeing this, was furious and punished Krishna by tying him to a mortar or grinding stone. However, Krishna’s divine nature soon revealed itself. He dragged the mortar to a pair of twin trees, Marutru, and got stuck. Miraculously, the trees transformed into Nalakuvara and Manigriva, the sons of Kubera, who had been cursed by Narada. Meeting Krishna led to their liberation, and they paid homage to the child.

Slaying of Putana

Another significant event in Yashoda and Krishna’s life was the slaying of the demoness Putana. Putana attempted to murder the infant Krishna by breastfeeding him with her poisonous milk. In a stunning display of his divine powers, Krishna sucked out her life force, turning her into a lifeless corpse. Yashoda, upon discovering the scene, quickly snatched Krishna and waved a cow-tail brush over him to protect him from harm.

Yashoda’s Reincarnation in the Kali Yuga

Yashoda’s devotion and love for Krishna transcend time. According to regional traditions, in the Dvapara Yuga, she could not witness Krishna’s wedding. However, Krishna promised her that she would get the chance to witness his wedding when he incarnated again in the Kali Yuga as Venkateshvara. In this era, Yashoda was born as Vakula Devi, the mother of Venkateshvara, and she had the privilege of witnessing the nuptials between Venkateshvara and Princess Padmavathi.


The life of Yashoda, the foster-mother of Lord Krishna, is a remarkable journey filled with love, devotion, and divine interventions. Her unwavering care and affection for Krishna left an indelible mark on Hindu mythology and continue to inspire devotees around the world. Yashoda’s story reminds us of the enduring power of a mother’s love and the divine presence that can grace our lives in unexpected ways.


Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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