Who is Goddess Yogmaya, and how is she associated with Lord Krishna’s birth?

The birth of Lord Krishna is one of the fascinating and captivating tales that showcase the might and the power of God. Lord Krishna is the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu, and he incarnated as a human being in the Dwapar Yuga. It was he who eliminated a tyrant like Kansa, his maternal uncle and it was he, who gave us the Bhagavad Gita. Ahead of Janmashtami celebrations this year, read on to know more about Krishna’s birth and know why Goddess Yogmaya is often associated with him.

Who is Yogmaya?

Before the birth of Lord Krishna, Shri Vishnu asked Goddess Yogmaya, a form of the Mother Goddess to assist him in his mission to visit the Earth. For the unversed, Lord Vishnu appears on Earth every time Adharma grows and causes massive destruction. Therefore, he takes new avatars time and again to restore peace and Dharma. 

Goddess Yogmaya was born to Yashoda and Nanda in Gokul, a couple who had waited long for a child. And in Mathura, Shri Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev, who were held captive in a dark prison, by Kansa. Therefore, two babies were born on the Ashtami Tithi, Krishna Paksha when Rohini Nakshatra prevailed – Shri Krishna and Goddess Yogmaya.

With divine intervention, Vasudev was able to carry baby Krishna to safely to Gokul. However, it was no easy feat. Rains were lashing Mathura and the adjoining Braj region. Vasudev put the baby in a basket, held it on top of his head and crossed the river Yamuna to reach his friend, Nanda’s house in Gokul. And amid all this, Shesh Nag, the serpent on which Shri Vishnu rests, appeared to protect the baby by spreading his five-headed hood over it.

After reaching Nanda’s house, Vasudev made baby Krishna rest near Yashoda and took her baby along with him to Mathura. Interestingly, Vasudev lost all his memory of visiting Gokul. Therefore, he believed that Devaki had given birth to a girl child.

Subsequently, when Kansa learnt about the birth of Devaki’s eighth child, he took the baby away. However, as he was about to kill the baby, she appeared in the sky to reveal her pure form. Thus, she saved baby Krishna from Kansa and also warned the demon-king of his inevitable death.

According to a legend, Goddess Subhadra, who was born to Devaki and Vasudev after they were freed from captivity, is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Yogmaya.

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