Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 15:47 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 15:47


vp.5.7 Krishna combats the serpent Kaliya: alarm of his parents and companions: he overcomes the serpent, and is propitiated by him: commands him to depart from the Yamuna river to the ocean.
vp.5.7 ONE day Krishna, unaccompanied by Rama, went to Vrindavana: he was attended by a troop of cowherds, and gaily decorated with wild flowers. On his way he came to the Yamuna, which was flowing in sportive undulations, and sparkling with foam, as if with smiles, as the waves dashed against the borders. Within its bed, however, was the fearful pool of the serpent Kaliya, boiling with the fires of poison 1; from the fumes of which, large trees upon the bank were blighted, and by whose waters, when raised by a gale into the air, birds were scorched. Beholding this dreadful lake, which was like another mouth of death, Madhusudana reflected that the wicked and poisonous Kaliya, who had been vanquished by himself (in the person of Garuda), and had been obliged to fly from the ocean (where he had inhabited the island Ramanaka), must be lurking at its bottom, and defiling the Yamuna, the consort of the sea, so that neither men nor cattle could slake their thirst by her waters. Such being the case, he determined to dislodge the Naga, and enable the dwellers of Vraja to frequent the vicinage without fear; for it was the especial purpose he considered of his descent upon earth to reduce to subjection all such violators of law. "Here," thought he, "is a Kadamba tree, which is sufficiently near; I can climb up it, and thence leap into the serpent s pool." Having thus resolved, he bound his clothes tightly about him, and jumped boldly into the lake of the serpent king. The waters, agitated
vp.5.7 [paragraph continues] O god of gods!" they exclaimed; "thou art the sovereign of all; thou art light supreme, inscrutable; thou art the mighty lord, the portion of that supreme light. The gods themselves are unable worthily to praise thee, the lord self existent: how then shall females proclaim thy nature? How shall we fully declare him of whom the egg of Brahma, made up of earth, sky, water, fire, and air, is but a small portion of a part? Holy sages have in vain sought to know thy eternal essence. We bow to that form which is the most subtile of atoms, the largest of the large; to him whose birth is without a creator, whose end knows no destroyer, and who alone is the cause of duration. There is no wrath in thee; for thine is the protection of the world; and hence this chastisement of Kaliya. Yet hear us. Women are to be regarded with pity by the virtuous: animals are humanely treated even by fools. Let therefore the author of wisdom have compassion upon this poor creature. Thyself, as an oviparous, hooded snake, art the upholder of the world. Oppressed by thee, he will speedily perish. What is this feeble serpent, compared to thee in whom the universe reposes? Friendship and enmity are felt towards equals and superiors, not for those infinitely beneath us. Then, sovereign of the world, have mercy upon us. This unfortunate snake is about to expire: give us, as a gift of charity, our husband."
vp.5.7 Being thus addressed by Kaliya, Krishna replied, "You must not tarry here, nor any where in the stream of the Yamuna; depart immediately, with your family and followers, to the sea; where Garuda, the foe of the serpent race, will not harm you, when he sees the impressions of my feet upon your brow." So saying, Hari set the snake king at liberty, who, bowing reverentially to his victor, departed to the ocean; abandoning, in the sight of all, the lake he had haunted, accompanied by all his females, children, and dependants. When the snake was gone, the Gopas hailed Govinda, as one risen from the dead, and embraced him, and bathed his forehead with tears of joy: others, contemplating the water of the river, now freed from peril, were filled with wonder, and sang the praise of Krishna, who is unaffected by works. Thus eminent by his glorious exploits, and eulogized by the Gopas and Gopas, Krishna returned to Vraja.
vp.5.13 AFTER sakra had departed, the cowherds said to Krishna, whom they had seen holding up Govarddhana, "We have been preserved, together with our cattle, from a great peril, by your supporting the mountain above us; but this is very astonishing child s play, unsuitable to the condition of a herdsman, and all thy actions are those of a god. Tell us what is the meaning of all this. Kaliya has been conquered in the lake; Pralamba has been killed; Govarddhana has been lifted up: our minds are filled with amazement. Assuredly we repose at the feet of Hari, O thou of unbounded might! for, having witnessed thy power, we cannot believe thee to be a man. Thy affection, Kesava, for our women and children, and for Vraja; the deeds that thou hast wrought, which all the gods would have attempted in vain; thy boyhood, and thy prowess; thy humiliating birth amongst us; are contradictions that fill us with doubt, whenever we think of them. Yet reverence be to thee, whether thou be a god, or a demon, or a Yaksha, or a Gandharba, or whatever we may deem thee; for thou art our friend." When they had ended, Krishna remained silent for some time, as if hurt and offended, and then replied to them, Herdsmen", if you are not ashamed of my relationship; if I have merited your praise; what occasion is there for you to engage in any discussion concerning me? If you have any regard for me; if I have deserved your praise; then be satisfied to know that I am your kinsman. I am neither god, nor Yaksha, nor
vp.5.13 singing sweet low strains in various measures, such as the women loved; and they, as soon as they heard the melody, quitted their homes, and hastened to meet the foe of Madhu. One damsel gently sang an accompaniment to his song; another attentively listened to his melody: one calling out upon his name, then shrunk abashed; whilst another, more bold, and instigated by affection, pressed close to his side: one, as she sallied forth, beheld some of the seniors of the family, and dared not venture, contenting herself with meditating on Krishna with closed eyes, and entire devotion, by which immediately all acts of merit were effaced by rapture, and all sin was expiated by regret at not beholding him: and others, again, reflecting upon the cause of the world, in the form of the supreme Brahma, obtained by their sighing final emancipation. Thus surrounded by the Gopis, Krishna thought the lovely moonlight night of autumn propitious to the Rasa dance 1. Many of the Gopis imitated the different actions of Krishna, and in his absence wandered through Vrindavana, representing his person. "I am Krishna," cries one; "behold the elegance of my movements." "I am Krishna," exclaims another; "listen to my song." "Vile Kaliya, stay! for I am Krishna," is repeated by a third, slapping her arms in defiance. A fourth calls out, Herdsmen", fear nothing; be steady; the danger of the storm is over, for, lo, I lift up Govarddhana for your shelter." And a fifth proclaims, "Now let the herds graze
vp.5.15 AFTER these things had come to pass, Arishta the bull demon and Dhenuka and Pralamba had been slain, Govarddhana had been lifted up, the serpent Kaliya had been subdued, the two trees had been broken, the female fiend Putana had been killed, and the waggon had been overturned, Narada went to Kansa, and related to him the whole, beginning with the transference of the child from Devaki to Yasoda, Hearing this from Narada, Kansa was highly incensed with Vasudeva, and bitterly reproached him, and all the Yadavas, in an assembly of the tribe. Then reflecting what was to be done, he determined to destroy both Krishna and Rama whilst they were yet young, and before they had attained to manly vigour: for which purpose he resolved to invite them from Vraja, under pretext of the solemn rite of the lustration of arms, when he would engage them in a trial of strength with his chief boxers, Chanura and Mushtika, by whom they would assuredly be killed. "I will send," he said, "the noble Yadu, Akrura the son of Swaphalka, to Gokula, to bring them hither: I will order the fierce Kesin, who haunts the woods of Vrindavana, to attack them, and he is of unequalled might, and will surely kill them; or, if they arrive here, my elephant Kuvalayapida shall trample to death these two cow boy sons of Vasudeva." Having thus laid his plans to destroy Rama and Janarddana, the impious Kansa sent for the heroic Akrura, and said to him, Lord" of liberal gifts 1, attend to my words, and, out of friendship
vp.5.20 felled! This is the boy who trampled and danced on the serpent Kaliya; who upheld the mountain Govarddhana for seven nights; who killed, as if in play, the iniquitous Arishta, Dhenuka, and Kesin! This whom we see is Achyuta! This is he who has been foretold by the wise, skilled in the sense of the Puranas, as Gopala, who shall exalt the depressed Yadava race! This is a portion of the all existing, all generating Vishnu, descended upon earth, who will assuredly lighten her load!" Thus did the citizens describe Rama and Krishna, as soon as they appeared; whilst the breast of Devaki glowed with maternal affection; and Vasudeva, forgetting his infirmities, felt himself young again, on beholding the countenances of his sons as a season of rejoicing. The women of the palace, and the wives of the citizens, wide opened their eyes, and gazed intently upon Krishna. "Look, friends," said they to their companions; "look at the face of Krishna; his eyes are reddened by his conflict with the elephant, and the drops of perspiration stand upon his cheeks, outvieing a full blown lotus in autumn, studded with glittering dew. Avail yourself now of the faculty of vision. Observe his breast, the seat of splendour, marked with the mystic sign; and his arms, menacing destruction to his foes. Do you not notice Balabhadra, dressed in a blue garment; his countenance as fair as the jasmine, as the moon, as the fibres of the lotus stem? See how he gently smiles at the gestures of Mushtika and Chanura,

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