on that of the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada as given in the “Srimad Bhagavatam” published by the Bhaktivedanta
Personality of Godhead, seeing that the Yamuna River had been contaminated by
the black snake Kaliya, desired to purify the river, and thus the Lord banished
him from it.
explain how the Supreme Personality of Godhead chastised the serpent Kaliya
within the unfathomable waters of the Yamuna , and how it was that Kaliya had
been living there for so many years.
Godhead freely acts according to His own desires. Who could be satiated when hearing the nectar
of the magnanimous pastimes He performed as a cowherd boy in Vrindavana?
Kalindi[Yamuna] was a lake inhabited by the serpent kaliya, whose fiery poison
constantly heated and boiled its waters.
Indeed, the vapours thus created
were so poisonous that birds flying over the contaminated lake would
fall down into it.
carried droplets of water to the shore.
Simply by coming in contact with that poisonous breeze, all vegetation
and creatures on the shore died.
Yamuna river with his terribly powerful poison.
Since Krishna had descended from the spiritual world specifically to
subdue envious demons, the Lord immediately climbed to the top of a very high
kadamba tree and prepared Himself for battle.
He tightened His belt, slapped His arms and then jumped into the
landed in the serpent’s lake, the snakes there became extremely agitated and
began breathing heavily, further polluting it with volumes of poison. The force of the Lord’s entrance into the
lake caused it to overflow on all sides, and poisonous, fearsome waves flooded
the surrounding lands up to a distance of one hundred bow-lengths. This is not at all amazing, however, for the
Supreme Lord possesses infinite strength.
elephant- swirling his mighty arms and making the water resound in various
ways. When Kaliya heard these sounds, he
understood that someone was trespassing in his lake. The serpent could not
tolerate this and immediately came forward.
yellow silken garments, was very delicate, His attractive body shining like a
glowing white cloud, His chest bearing the mark of Srivatsa, His face smiling
beautifully and His feet resembling the whorl of a lotus flower. The Lord was playing fearlessly in the
water. Despite His wonderful
appearance,, the envious Kaliya furiously bit Him on the chest and then
completely enwrapped Him in his coils.
who had accepted Krishna as their dear most friend, saw Him enveloped in the
snake’s coils, motionless, they were greatly disturbed. They had offered Krishna everything- their
very selves, their families, their wealth, wives and all pleasures. At the sight of the Lord in the clutches of
the Kaliya snake, their intelligence became deranged by grief, lamentation and
fear, and thus they fell to the ground.
and female calves, in great distress, called out piteously to Krishna. Fixing
their eyes on Him, they stood still in fear, as if ready to cry but too shocked
to shed tears.
–those on earth, those in the sky and those in the bodies of living creatures
Maharaja and the other cowherd men were fearful, for they knew that Krishna had
gone to herd the cows that day without His elder brother, Balarama. Because they had dedicated their minds to
Krishna, accepting Him as their very life, they were unaware of His great power
and opulence. Thus they concluded that
the inauspicious omens indicated He had
met with death, and they were overwhelmed with grief, lamentation and
fear. All the inhabitants of Vridavana,
including the children, women and elderly persons, thought of Krishna just as a
cow thinks of her helpless young calf, and thus these poor, suffering people
rushed out of the village, intent upon finding him.
Balarama, the master of all transcendental knowledge, smiled and said nothing
when He saw the residents of Vrindavana in such distress, since He understood
the extraordinary power of His younger brother.
in search of their dearmost Krishna, following the path marked by His
footprints, which bore the unique signs of the Personality of Godhead.
of the entire cowherd community, were marked with the lotus flower, barleycorn,
elephant goad, thunderbolt and flag. My
dear King Parikshit, seeing His footprints on the path among the cows’ hoof
prints, the residents of Vrindavana rushed along in great haste.
of the Yamuna River, they saw from a distance that Krishna was in the lake,
motionless within the coils of the black serpent. They further saw that the cowherd boys had
fallen unconscious and the animals were standing on all sides, crying out for
Krishna. Seeing all this, the residents
of Vrindavana were overwhelmed with anguish and confusion.
gopis, whose minds were constantly attached to Krishna, the unlimited Supreme
Lord, saw that He was now within the grips of the serpent, they remembered His
loving friendship, His smiling glances and His talks with them. Burning with great sorrow, they saw the
entire universe as void without their dearest Krishna.
as much distress as she and were pouring forth a flood of sorrowful tears, they
had to forcibly hold back Krishna’s mother, whose consciousness was totally
absorbed in her son. Standing like
corpses, with their eyes fixed upon His face, these gopis each took
turns recounting the pastimes of the darling of Vraja.
and the other cowherd men, who had dedicated their very lives to Krishna, were
beginning to enter the serpent’s lake.
As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Balarama fully knew Lord
Krishna’s actual power, and therefore He restrained them.
coils of the serpent, imitating the behaviour of an ordinary mortal. But when He understood that the women,
children and other residents of His village of Gokula were in acute distress
because of their love for Him, their only shelter and goal in life, He
immediately rose up from the bonds of the Kaliya serpent.
of the Lord, Kaliya released Him. In
great anger the serpent then raised his hoods high and stood still, breathing
heavily. His nostrils appeared like vessels for cooking poison, and the staring
eyes in his face like firebrands. Thus
the serpent looked at the Lord.
bifurcated tongues as He stared at Krishna with a glance full of terrible,
poisonous fire. But Krishna playfully
circled around him, just as Garuda would play with a snake. In response, Kaliya also moved about, looking
for an opportunity to bite the Lord.
His relentless circling, Sri Krishna, the origin of everything, pushed down
Kaliya’s raised shoulders and mounted his broad serpentine heads. Thus Lord Krishna, the original master of all
fine arts, began to dance, His lotus feet deeply reddened by the touch of the
numerous jewels upon the serpent’s head.
the heavenly planets – the Gandharvas, Siddhas, sages, Charanas and wives of
the demigods- immediately arrived there.
With great pleasure they began accompanying the Lord’s dancing by
playing drums such as mridangas, panavas and anakas. They also made
offerings of songs, flowers and prayers.
heads, and when one of them would not bow down, Lord Sri Krishna, who inflicts punishment
on cruel wrong-doers, would smash that stubborn head by striking it with His
feet. Then, as Kaliya entered his death throes,
he began wheeling his heads around and vomiting ghastly blood from his mouths
and nostrils. The serpent thus
experienced extreme pain and misery.
Kaliya would occasionally dare to raise up one of his heads, which would
breathe heavily with anger. Then the
Lord would dance on it and subdue it, forcing it to bow down with His
foot. The demigods took each of these
exhibitions as an opportunity to worship Him, the primeval Personality of
Godhead, with showers of flowers.
powerful dancing trampled and broke all of Kaliya’s one thousand hoods. Then the serpent, profusely vomiting blood
from his mouths, finally recognized Sri Krishna to be the eternal Personality
of Godhead, the supreme master of all moving and nonmoving beings, Sri
Narayana. Thus within his mind Kaliya
took shelter of the Lord.
fatigued from the excessive weight of Lord Krishna, who carries the entire
universe in His abdomen, and how Kaliya’s umbrella-like hoods had been
shattered by the striking of Krishna’s heels, they felt great distress. With their clothing, ornaments and hair
scattered in disarray, they then approached the Eternal Personality of Godhead.
placed their children before them and then bowed down to the Lord of all
creatures, laying their bodies flat upon the ground. They desired the liberation of their sinful
husband and the shelter of the Supreme Lord, the giver of ultimate shelter, and
thus they folded their hands in supplication and approached Him.