The common names of Lord Krishna-Venugopal, Bansilal, Murali and Muralidhar reflect His association with Bansuri or Venu, His constant companion. Bansuri is actually a flute made of bamboo. That is the reason, bamboo is revered in India because it is associated with Lord Krishna.
My dear gopis, what auspicious activities must the flute have performed to enjoy the nectar of Krsna’s lips independently and leave only a taste for us gopis, for whom that nectar is actually meant! The forefathers of the flute, the bamboo trees, shed tears of pleasure.
In the guise of releasing flowing sap, the bamboo trees are actually crying tears of ecstasy upon seeing their child become an exalted devotee-flute of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
The lakes and the rivers are considered to be the mothers of the trees because the trees live simply by drinking water. So the waters of the lakes and rivers of Vrndavana were in a happy mood, full of blooming lotus flowers, because the waters were thinking, “How is it that our son, the bamboo rod, is enjoying the nectar of Krsna’s lips?” The bamboo trees standing by the banks of the rivers and the lakes were also happy to see their descendant so engaged in the service of the Lord, just as persons who are advanced in transcendental knowledge take pleasure in seeing their descendants engage in the service of the Lord. The trees were overwhelmed with joy and were incessantly yielding honey, which flowed from the beehives hanging on their branches.
There are three kinds of flutes used by Krsna.
One is called venu,
one is called murali, and
the third is called vamsi.
Venu is very small, not more than six inches long, with six holes for whistling.
Murali is about eighteen inches long with a hole at the end and four holes on the body of the flute. This kind of flute produces a very enchanting sound.
The vamsi flute is about fifteen inches long, with nine holes on its body.
Krsna used to play on these three flutes occasionally when they were needed.
Krsna has a longer vamsi, which is called mahananda, or sammohini.
When it is still longer it is called akarsini.
When it is even longer it is called anandini.
The anandini flute is very pleasing to the cowherd boys and is technically named vamsuli.
These flutes were sometimes bedecked with jewels. Sometimes they were made of marble and sometimes of hollow bamboo. When the flute is made of jewels it is called sammohini. When made of gold, it is called akarsini.