"People always ask why Kṛṣṇa is blue. The color of the Lord has not been imagined by an artist. It is described in authoritative scripture. In the Brahma-saṁhitā also, the color of Kṛṣṇa’s body is compared to that of a bluish cloud. The color of the Lord is not poetical imagination. There are authoritative descriptions in the Brahma-saṁhitā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and many of the purāṇas of the Lord’s body, His weapons and all other paraphernalia."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.28.13, Purport)
Guest: I have a question. I was wondering why Kṛṣṇa is always portrayed as being blue.
Prabhupāda: Why the sky is blue? Can you explain?
Guest: Because the sky is blue?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why the sky is blue? First of all, you try to explain this. This is you are seeing every day. Can you explain? You don't? You cannot? Sky is blue! That's all. Therefore it is blue. Kṛṣṇa is blue; therefore He's blue. (laughter)
Guest: But His consort, His consort is not blue.
Prabhupāda: Sky is the reflection of Kṛṣṇa's bodily effulgence; therefore it is blue. Just like if the cover of the light is blue or, I mean to say, red, the radiance also becomes... Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is blue. It is described in the Vedic literature,
veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
God's bodily hue is just like bluish cloud. But it is very beautiful. These are not imagination. They are taken from Vedic literatures. So His bodily luster is like that. Therefore He is blue. It is not that we have painted blue by imagination. No. It is authoritative.
Venum kvanantum (Bs. 5.30). He is always engaged... He is God, therefore He is always enjoying, playing flute. Oh, He hasn't got to do anything, and there is stated in the Vedic literature,
parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8)
God has nothing to do, work. Under what kind of body that He has to work? This is Vedic literature. Parāsya śaktir. He has got immense energies; they are doing everything. Just like a big man, a rich man, he is sitting silently in his room, but his assistants, his secretaries, his managers, they are doing everything. You will find Kṛṣṇa always in enjoyment. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). These are Vedānta-sūtra. He is jolly by His nature. And if we associate with Him, then we become jolly. We are also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Now we are materially encumbered; therefore we have to transfer any of this material encumbrancy to spiritual life. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So Kṛṣṇa is blue because He is described in the Vedic literature as such.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 8, 1968)
Devotee: Swāmījī, does sundara, like "Gaurasundara," that sundara means beautiful?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Sundara means, the Sanskrit word sundara, means very beautiful. Śyāmasundara, Gaurasundara. Sundara means beautiful. Yes.
Devotee (2): Kṛṣṇa is black? Sometimes He's depicted as blue.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa is bluish. Kṛṣṇa's color is the sky. When you see the clear sky, bluish sky, are you not very happy? "Oh, today is very nice day, blue sky," especially in this country, when the sky is always overcast with cloud. So why you appreciate the color of the sky so much? That is Kṛṣṇa's color. Kṛṣṇa's... Kṛṣṇa's body, there is a rays, brahma-jyotir. That brahma-jyotir is reflected in the sky. That brahma-jyotir is outside this material sky, but that is being reflected. Therefore the sky's color is appear bluish.
Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudādhi vibhūti-bhinnam (Bs. 5.40). It is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, "On account of distribution of the rays of His body, the brahma-jyotir, there are generation of innumerable universes." So all these universes—this is one of the universes—they are in that brahma-jyotir, and that brahma-jyotir is being reflected in the sky, and sky is so beautiful. So how much beautiful is Kṛṣṇa, just we can imagine.
Just like the sunshine. The sunshine is the rays of the sun planet, and in the sun planet there is sun-god. So if sunshine is so pleasing, just imagine how the sun-god is pleasing. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's jyoti, brahma-jyotir, is so important. Then just imagine how Kṛṣṇa's beauty is appreciated in transcendental world. Yaṁ śyāma-sundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ. Barhāvataṁsam asitāmbudha-sundarāṅgam. Barhāvatāmsam asitā ambudha (Bs. 5.30). His color is compared with the blackish cloud, asitāmbudha; sundarāṅgam, but very, very beautiful.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, July 4, 1968)
"So jyotiṣām api jyotis tamasaḥ param. So this jyoti, this illumination, is beyond this material world. And because there is illumination, that illumination is reflected in the material world. You will find the reflection, bluish reflection, in the sky. It means that brahma-jyotir is bluish because it is coming out from the blue body of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is bluish."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, October 12, 1973)
"Krishna is blue because He is all attractive. The sky is blue because it reflects Krishna's blue color in the spiritual sky as much as the sunlight is reflected through skylight glasses."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 4, 1968)
Guest: Swāmījī, what is the color of Kṛṣṇa? It is blue or black? Not according to śāstra, but your experience.
Prabhupāda: So if you kindly advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you will understand. (applause and laughter)
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Madras, January 1, 1976)