Krishna (ˈkrɪʃnə; Sanskrit: , in IAST, pronounced ˈkr̩ʂɳə) is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism. He is one of the most widely revered and popular Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right. Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar. Krishna is also known by numerous names, such as Govinda, Mukunda, Madhusudhana, Vasudeva, and Makhan chor in affection. The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Leela. He is a central character in the Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita, and is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical, theological, and mythological texts. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, and as the supreme power. His iconography reflects these legends, and show him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young man with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna. The synonyms of Krishna have been traced to 1st millennium BCE literature. In some sub-traditions, Krishna is worshipped as Svayam Bhagavan, and this is sometimes referred to as Krishnaism. These sub-traditions arose in the medieval era Bhakti movement context. Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Manipuri dance. He is a pan-Hindu god, but is particularly revered in some locations such as Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, Jagannatha in Odisha, Mayapur in West Bengal, Dwarka and Junagadh in Gujarat, Pandharpur in Maharashtra, Udupi in Karnataka, and Nathdwara in Rajasthan. Since the 1960s the worship of Krishna has also spread to the Western world and to Africa, largely due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
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