(Kṛṣṇa): The eighth avatara of Vishnu. His name literally means “black,” and he is often depicted with black or blue skin. Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, and an instigator of all forms of knowledge. The worship of Krishna is part of Vaishnavism. He was born the eighth child of Devaki, the sister of the demon king Kamsa. The sage Narada predicted that Kamsa would be killed by his nephew, so Kamsa killed Devaki’s first six sons. The seventh, Balarama, escaped, and the eighth, Krishna, was secretly exchanged for a cowherd’s daughter. Krishna had enormous love for his foster mother Yashoda, and their relationship stands as a great example of both the love between a mother and child and the love for God seen as a child. Krishna was famous for teasing Yashoda and the gopis (milkmaids)—he and his friends would steal milk and butter, hide the clothes of bathing girls, and even break the water pots the milkmaids were carrying on their heads. The meaning of Krishna’s teasing was that he wanted to destroy their ignorance, teaching them not to be attached to matter or forms but to focus solely on God. Legends say that one moonlit night Krishna multiplied his body to dance with all the gopis and fulfill their desire for union with him. The love between Krishna and the gopis represents the divine play between reality and illusion, purusha (Spirit) and prakriti (Nature), divinity and humanity.