Similarities between Krishna and Hercules

Now a days no news on Hindu Purans surprise me.because of the fact that Hinduism is so old and all-encompassing.

And the fact that Bharatvarsha included the whole world and the scientific dating validates the Purans.

Now comes a shocker.

Lord Krishna was worshiped by the Greeks.

Before that a look into Heracles.

Lord Krishna as a child
Krishna as a child. Image credit. 

Heracles (/ˈhɛrəkliːz/ herr-ə-kleez; Ancient Greek: Ἡρακλῆς, Hēraklēs, from Hēra, “Hera“, and kleos, “glory”[1]), born Alcaeus[2] (Ἀλκαῖος, Alkaios) or Alcides[3] (Ἀλκείδης, Alkeidēs), was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon[4] and great-grandson (and half-brother) of Perseus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae (Ἡρακλεῖδαι) and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman Emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central MeMegasthanediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well’

Megasthanes took the legend of Krishna to Greece and had it incorporated  in Greek Legends.

See the excerpts towards the close of the Post.

Similarities between Krishna and Hercules.

Krishna’s Killing of Kalinga is similar to Hercules with Hydra.

Heracles Or Hercules, Greek Mythology.

Krishna’s killing of Kesi,Arishtasura, Kamsa and Hercules’s step mother have a striking parallel Hercules lifting the world Legend, these are very clos to Krishna.

It is of interest to note that Hercules is also associated with/as Balarama, Lord Shiva!

This information of Greek God being Krishna may prove to be incorrect, but it proves Krishna legend was so alive( I am of the opinion Krishna is a Historical Figure) that the Greeks took him to Greece!

Check the Links.

According to Arrian, Diodorus, and Strabo, Megasthenes described an Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshipped Herakles in their land, and this land had two cities, Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river, the Jobares. As was common in the ancient period, the Greeks sometimes described foreign gods in terms of their own divinities, and there is a little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged; Herakles to Krishna, or Hari-Krishna: Mehtora to Mathura, where Krishna was born; Kleisobora to Krishnapura, meaning “the city of Krishna”; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river in the Krishna story. Quintus Curtius also mentions that when Alexander the Great confronted Porus, Porus’s soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard.
— Krishna: a sourcebook, Edwin Francis Bryant, Oxford University Press US, 20

Heracles – Hari – Kula – Isha (हरी – कुल – ईश) or lord from Hari Dynasty

Here Hari is lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu 

There are amazing similarities between the two. It is assumed that Greek explorer Megasthenes (300BC) took tales of lord Krishna from India to Greece. Here Heracles is a deformed version of “Hari-Kula-Isha” which is the other name for lord Krishna and meant “Lord from Hari Dynasty”. In Greece, Krishna became Heracles and his personality was modified to fit into Greek environment.

Now who was this Greek Explorer “Megasthenes”.

Megasthenes (300 BCE) journeyed across India and wrote what he saw and heard in his literary works ‘Indica’. In Indica, It is mentioned, Megasthenes to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, described, “An Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshipped Heracles in their land, and this land had two cities, Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river, the Jobares.”

[Indica –India, Sourasenoi – Shurasenas – a branch of Yadavas dynasty to which Lord Krishna belonged, Heracles – Hari Kula Isha, Methora – Mathura, Kleisobora – Krishnapura, River Jobares – River Yamuna ]

The Greeks were not able to pronounce Sanskrit properly, hence the names given by them differed.

Another Greek Scholar “Selucus” has mentioned that the city of Polibrotha (Pataliputra or Patana) was founded by Heracles, 138 generations before the reign of king “Sandrocottas” (Greek Name of Chandragupta Maurya). 

It is similar to as king Alexendra”s name in India is “Sikandara”

This more or less states Lord Krishna period.

If we follow the events of Heracles life, we come across similarity between him and Shree Krishna.

1.     Heracles fight with Serpent Hydra and lord Krishna fight with Serpent Kaliya

Heracles fought with many headed serpent Hydra, defeated him and placed heavy stone over his head without killing him.

Lord Krishna fought with many headed serpent kaliya, pressed his head with his own weight, asked him to leave river Yamuna and to move to Brindavan instead, without killing him.

2.      Heracles fighting and killing the Stymphalian Birds and Lord Krishna killing Bakasura – The bird Demon

3.     Heracles Capturing the Cretan Bull and lord Krishna Killing Arishtasura – The Bull Demon

4.      Heracles taming up Horses of Diomedes and lord Krishna Battling against Keshi – The Horse Demon.

5.      Heracles carrying World and Lord Krishna carrying Goverdhan Mountain.

6.     Heracles step mother Hera and lord krishna’s uncle kansa

Both were born to mortal virgin mother and a divine father. On Heracles birth, his step mother Goddess Hera sent two serpents to kill him (Goddess Hera, wife of Zeus)

Similarly lord Krishna’s Uncle Kansa sends many demons to kill him. The famous incident was when Putna tried to breast feed young Lord Krishna and died, similarly Hera tried to breast feed Heracles, discovering who he was, pulled him from her breast,  and a spurt of her milk formed “the Milky Way” in sky. 

7.      Heracles and Narsimha – Lion act as par one of the 12 acts of Heracles. 

once there was a fierce lion in ancient Nemea in Greece. Heracles killed the Nemean Lion. After killing, he wore his skin as an armor. Similarly lord Vishnu in his 4th avatar, Narsimha killed demon Hirnayakshyipu. Lord Krishna is a eighth avatar of lord Vishnu. 

Greek Ambassador Heliodorus was a worshipper of Lord Krishna.

Greek Ambassador Heliodorus was fond of “Herakles” (Lord Krishna). He created multiple Garuda banner dedicated to lord Krishna.  

In Indo Greek culture many GODs bear striking similarity. Just the names are different. 

  1. ILĀ : daughter of Vaivasvata manu.
  2. BHĀGAVATA – भागवत
  3. Yadu – यदु
  4. BHARATA – भरत
  5. 71 Generations Lord Krishna Family Tree