Krishna in History, Thought, and Culture

An Encyclopedia of the Hindu Lord of Many Names

by Lavanya Vemsani


It is said Lord Krishna started the trend of marking others with color on Holi.

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June 2016


Pages 332
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Religion/Comparative
  World History/Religion

Krishna is a central figure in Hinduism, a religion that has been a fundamental force for thousands of years. This accessible encyclopedia covers texts, practices, scholarship, and arts related to Krishna from the earliest known sources on.

As Eastern religions and related practices such as yoga become increasingly popular, there is a need for resources that explain where these practices come from and what they mean. This is one of those works. Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, art, architecture, and literature, and an understanding of Krishna will give students greater understanding of the role of Hinduism around the world. Yet this isn't just a book on religion. The encyclopedia also provides insights into Indian and world history and into contemporary concerns, fostering respect for religious and cultural diversity.

Entries on a wide range of subjects related to Krishna cover India and other places where major Krishna religious centers and temples are established worldwide. Articles draw from classical Indian sources dating back as far as 1300 BCE and from folk and worldwide literature, including mythology from Jainism and Buddhism. The book's alphabetical organization, cross references in each entry that highlight related entries and further readings, and topical and thematic lists will facilitate in-depth research.


  • Overviews the importance of Krishna to world history
  • Offers topical and thematic entries illuminating classical texts and practice and modern developments inside and outside India
  • Covers philosophical traditions such as Advaita and vegetarianism as well as spiritual and yoga traditions and their contemporary adaptations
  • Includes extensive studies of followers and founders of Krishna in India and around the world
  • Shares geographical information regarding sacred places and places of pilgrimage
Author Info

Lavanya Vemsani, PhD, is professor of history at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH. Her published works include Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama: Change and Continuity in an Early Indian Cult and several articles on the early religious history of India. Vemsani holds doctoral degrees in religious studies from McMaster University and in history from the University of Hyderabad.



"This work has multiple uses in a large public or college library."Booklist

"[A] worthy effort that fills a unique niche. Summing Up: Recommended. "Choice

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