The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Leela. He is a central character in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita, and is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical, theological, and mythological texts. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, and as the universal supreme being. His iconography reflects these legends, and shows him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young man with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna.
The name "Krishna" originates from the Sanskrit word Kṛṣṇa, which is primarily an adjective meaning "black", "dark", or "dark blue". The waning moon is called Krishna Paksha, relating to the adjective meaning "darkening". The name is also interpreted sometimes as "all-attractive".
As a name of Vishnu, Krishna is listed as the 57th name in the Vishnu Sahasranama. Based on his name, Krishna is often depicted in idols as black- or blue-skinned. Krishna is also known by various other names, epithets, and titles that reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Mohan "enchanter"; Govinda "chief herdsman", and Gopala "Protector of the 'Go', which means "Soul" or the cows". Some names for Krishna hold regional importance; Jagannatha, found in Puri Hindu temple, is a popular incarnation in Odisha state and nearby regions of eastern India.