Lord Krishna happens to be one of my favourite characters from mythology. Having grown up listening to his story, I always imagined that he led a very lavish and happy life to the very end. But I was surprised to be proven wrong. The story behind Krishna's death is a very sad one.
The beginning of this story is at the end of the Mahabharata war. Although the Pandavas won the war, they were deeply moved by the amount of distruction the war had caused. It had cost them the lives of those who were close to them to get to the throne, that was rightfully theirs.
At this time, another person who was in extreme grief was Gandhari, the mother of the 100 Kauravas. Devastated by her loss, she gets extremely angry and accuses Krishna of being the sole cause of her loss. In rage she then curses him saying, "if I have been fateful towards my husband, then you, the King of Dwarka will die 36 years from now. You will see the end of your Yadava clan perish by killing each other, just like the kins of Kuru perished. The city of Dwarka will be flooded leaving no trace of your clan." The Pandavas were in a complete state of shock listening to her. Just as she finished venting her anger, Gandhari falls to Krishna's feet with tears in her eyes." I didn't mean to curse you, oh what have I done! I have cursed the Lord himself! ", she sobs. Krishna gently picks her up and consoles her." Mother, you said nothing wrong. I am in fact grateful for your curse", says Krishna.
Lord Krishna had himself been worried about how the Yadavas glory will come to an end. He was well aware of the fact that his presence in the clan had made them very strong. With power completely in their hands, there was no doubt that at some point this would lead to imbalance in the society. He had to do something. But with Gandhari's curse, this problem was solved. A path for his end and the end of the Yadavas was made.
The years roles by. Krishna was leading a very happy life. Most of the other Yadavas, however were now consumed by power. The took to gambling and drinking. On one festive occasion, their gambling lead to a small squabble. The squabble turned into a heated argument and then they began killing each other!
Krishna was saddened by the behaviour of his Kim and decides to go to the forest. He was accompanied by Balarama. Balarama then sits under a tree for meditation. Subsequently, he gives up his body. Krishna was now the sole Yadava living along with his nephew, Udhava.
When Udhava was away, krishna settles himself in the Yoga Samadhi,with his foot resting on the ground. At this point, a hunter named Jara enters the scene. He mistakes Krishna's foot for a deer's and shoots it. When Jara learns the truth of the "deer", he is devastated. Krishna consoles him and tells him that he has just played his part in Krishna's incarnation and it was truly time for him to leave his body.
When Udhava returns, he find Krishna bleeding a. He immediately rudhes to tend to the injury. But Krishna asks him not to touch it. Udhava is filled with tears. Krishna the gives him his final piece of advice. This conversation between Krishna and Udhava is known as "Udhava Gita". After this, Lord Vishnu's incarnation as Krishna comes to an end.
The place where Krishna is said to have died is present in Bhalka, Gujarat. You will find a statue of Krishna with an injured foot in a temple here.
This story of Krishna is truly intriguing isn't it?