Sri Krishna’s Family

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The residents of Vraja are actually Sri Krishna’s family members. This family of His consists of three groups:

1) the herdsmen (pasu-palas),

2) the priestly class (vipras)

3) the artisans (bahisthas).

1. Herdsmen (pasu-palah)

The herdsmen are further divided into three groups:

  1. a) vaisyas,
  2. b) abhiras and
  3. c) gurjaras.

They are descendants of the Yadu dynasty and are known by such appropriate names as Gopa and Ballava.

a) vaisyas (vaisyah)

The vaisyas generally maintain themselves by taking care of cows. They are considered to be superior to the abhiras and gurjaras. The vaisyas whose father belongs to a higher social class and mother to a lower are also known as abhiras.

b) abhiras

The abhiras are similar to the vaisyas in customs and behaviour. They belong to the sudras and maintain their life by taking care of cows, buffaloes and other animals, and are also known by the name Ghosha. The abhiras are considered slightly inferior to the aforementioned vaisyas.

c) gurjaras

The gurjaras are herdsmen who live at the outskirts of the pasturing grounds[1] and who take care of goats and other animals. They are somewhat inferior to the abhiras and are often physically strong and robust.

[1] Pasturing grounds refers to all Vraja.



This is a section of the book “Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika”, en English.

To buy the complete book, click above


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