Most of the songs accompanied by the Mridanga are offered in a mode of devotion or service to Lord Krishna. Within the Vaisnava tradition, Krishna is understood to be the eighth avatar or incarnation of the god Vishnu. The Mridanga is understood to be a manifestation of Lord Balaram; Krishna's brother. In Bengal, it is respected so highly that it is called 'Sri Khol'. Here we see Balaram (left) and Krishna (right).