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Who is Uddhava according to Mahabharata?


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November 06, 2011 6:27PM

Uddhava (also known as Pavanayadhi) was the friend and counsellor of Lord Krishna. He plays a significant role in the Bhagavata Purana, being taught the processes of yoga and bhakti directly by Krishna. The principle of these discussions is often referred to as the Uddhava Gita, similarly to the Bhagavad Gita wherein Krishna instructs Arjuna. According to some texts Uddhava was also Krishna's cousin, being the son of Devabhaga, who was the brother of Vasudeva, Krishna's father. His physical appearance was so like that of Krishna's that in some instances he is temporarily mistaken for the latter.

In the Bhagavata Purana, after Krishna had defeated Kamsa, Uddhava came to see him, much to Krishna's pleasure. Krishna then requested Uddhava to visit Vrindavan with a message on his behalf to the Gopis and other residents of the village, who were missing his company. The content of the message and the feelings aroused by it when heard by the residents of Vrindavan constitute the highest understanding of love of God in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Uddhava was famous as devotee and a dear friend of Krishna but even he could not fathom why he had not prevented the destruction from happening. Brahma, the creator, and the celestial implored Krishna to return to his divine abode after the purpose of his descent was over.