Yashoda is the cowherd woman, wife of Nanda, who became the foster mother of KRISHNA. The evil king Kamsa had determined to kill the first male child of Krishna’s mother, DEVAKI, wife of his minister VASUDEVA, to avoid a prophecy that he would die at the hand of a son of Devaki. By divine intervention, when Krishna was born, all of the king’s guards who kept watch over the couple fell asleep and he was delivered to Yashoda, who raised him. Yashoda has a special place in Krishna worship; poems and songs to her and of her can be found in every part of India.
   Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); John Dowson, A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature, 12th ed. (Ludhiana: Lyall Book Depot, 1974); John S. Hawley, At Play with Krishna: Pilgrim-Sri Yantra, symbol of the Goddess and ritual design for meditation age Dramas from Brindavan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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