translation is largely based on that of the disciples of His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as given in the “Srimad Bhagavatam”
published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust]
serpent said: The punishment this offender has been subjected to is certainly
just. After all, You have incarnated
within this world to curb down envious and cruel persons. You are so impartial that You look equally
upon Your enemies and Your own sons, for when You impose a punishment on a
living being You know it to be for his ultimate benefit.
is actually mercy for us, since the punishment You give to the wicked certainly
drives away all their contamination. Indeed, because this conditioned soul, our
husband, is so sinful that he has assumed the body of a serpent, Your anger
toward him is obviously to be understood as Your mercy.
previous life, with his mind free of pride and full of respect for others? Is
that why you are pleased with him? Or did he in his previous existence
carefully follow the path of dharma with compassion for all living
beings, and is that why You, the life of all living beings, are now satisfied
how the serpent Kaliya has attained this great opportunity of being touched by
the dust of Your lotus feet. For this
end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for centuries, giving up all
other desires and taking austere vows.
the dust of Your lotus feet never hanker for the kingship of heaven, limitless
sovereignty, the position of Brahma of rulership over the earth. They are not interested even in the
perfections of yoga or in liberation itself.
Kaliya, the king of the serpents, has taken birth in the mode of ignorance and
is controlled by anger, he has achieved that which is difficult for others to
achieve. Embodied souls, who are full of
desires and are thus wandering in the cycle of birth and death, can have all
benedictions manifested before their eyes simply by receiving the dust of Your
unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Although present in the hearts of all living beings as the Supersoul,
You are all-pervasive. Although the
original shelter of all created material elements, You exist prior to their
creation. You are transcendental to all
material cause and effect, being the Supreme Soul.
Absolute Truth, who are the reservoir of all transcendental consciousness and
potency and the possessor of unlimited energies. You are completely free of material qualities
and transformations and You are beyond material nature.
of time and the witness of time in all its phases. You are the universe, and also its separate
observer. You are its creator, and also the totality of all
elements, of the subtle basis of perception, of the senses, of the vital air of
life, and of the mind, intelligence and consciousness. By your arrangement the infinitesimal spirit
souls falsely identify with the three modes of material nature, and their
perception of their own true self thus becomes clouded. We offer our obeisances unto You, the
unlimited Supreme Lord, the supremely subtle one, the omniscient Personality of
Godhead, who are always fixed in
unchanging transcendence, who sanction the opposing views of different
philosophies, and who are the power upholding expressed ideas and the words
that express them.
again and again to You, who are the basis of all authoritative evidence, who
are the author and ultimate source of the revealed scriptures, and who have manifested Yourself in those
Vedic literatures encouraging sense gratification as well as in those
encouraging renunciation of the material world.
the sons of Vasudeva, and to Lord Pradyumna and Lord Aniruddha. We offer our respectful obeisances unto the
master of all the saintly devotees of Vishnu.
material and spiritual qualities. You
disguise Yourself with the material qualities,
and yet the funcioning of those same material qualities ultimately
reveals Your existence. You stand apart
from the material qualities as a witness and can be fully known only by Your
of the senses, please let us offer our obeisances unto You, whose pastimes are
inconceivably glorious. Your existence
can be inferred from the necessity for a creator and revealer of all cosmic
manifestations. But although Your
devotees can understand You in this way, to the nondevotees You remain silent,
absorbed in self-satisfaction.
know the destination of all things, superior and inferior, and who are the
presiding regulator of all that be. You
are distinct from the universal creation, and yet You are the basis upon which
the illusion of material creation evolves, and also the witness of this
illusion. Indeed, You are the root cause
of the entire world.
you have no reason to become involved in material activity, still you act
through Your eternal potency of Time to arrange for the creation, maintenance
and destruction of this universe. You do
this by awakening the distinct functions of each of the modes of nature, which
before the creation lie dormant. Simply by Your glance You perfectly execute
all these activities of cosmic control in a sporting mood.
throughout the three worlds- those that are peaceful, in the mode of goodness (sattwa);
those that are agitated, in the mode of passion (rajas); and those that
are foolish, in the mode of ignorance (tamas)- all are your creations.
Still, those living entities whose bodies are in the mode of goodness are
especially dear to you, and it is to maintain them and protect their religious
principles (dharma) that you are now present on the earth.
should tolerate an offense committed by his child or subject. O supreme peaceful Soul, You should therefore
forgive our foolish husband, who did not understand who You are.
merciful. It is proper for the saintly
to feel compassion for women like us. This
serpent is about to give up his life. Please give us back our husband, who is
our life and soul.
do. Certainly anyone who faithfully
executes Your order is automatically freed from all fear.
Thus praised by the naga-patnis, the Supreme Personality of Godhead released
the serpent Kaliya, who had fallen unconscious, his heads battered by the
striking of the Lord’s lotus feet.
his vital force and sensory functions.
Then, breathing loudly and painfully, the poor serpent addressed Lord Krishna,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in humble submission.
Our very birth as a snake has made us envious, ignorant and constantly
angry. O My Lord, it is so difficult for
people to give up their conditioned nature, by which they identify with that
which is unreal.
generate this universe, composed of the variegated arrangement of the material
modes, and in the process You manifest various kinds of personalities and
species, varieties of sensory and physical strength, and varieties of mothers
and fathers with variegated mentalities and forms.
material creation, we serpents are by nature always enraged. Being thus deluded
by your illusory energy (maya), which is very difficult to give up , how can
we possibly give it up on our own?
omniscient Lord of the universe, You are the actual cause of freedom from
illusion. Please arrange for us whatever You consider proper, whether it be
mercy or punishment.
After hearing Kaliya’s words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was
acting the role of a human being, replied: O serpent, you may not remain here
any longer. Go back to the ocean
immediately, accompanied by your retinue of children, wives, other relatives
and friends. Let this river be enjoyed
by the cows and humans.
you- to leave Vrindavana and go to the ocea – and narrates this account at
sunrise and sunset, he will never be afraid of you.
place of My pastimes and offers the water of this lake to the demigods and
other worshipable personalities, or if one observes a fast and duly worships
and remembers Me, he is sure to become free from all sinful reactions.
you left Ramanaka Island and came to take shelter of this lake. But because you are now marked with My footprints,
Garuda will no longer try to eat you.
continued: My dear King, having been released by Lord Krishna, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, whose activities are wonderful, Kaliya joined his wives
in worshiping Him with great joy and reverence.
Lord of the universe by offering him fine garments, along with necklaces,
jewels and other valuable ornaments, wonderful scents and ointments, and a
large garland of lotus flowers. Having
thus pleased the Lord, whose flag is marked with the emblem of Garuda, Kaliya
felt satisfied. Receiving the Lord’s
permission to leave, Kaliya circumambulated Him and offered Him
obeisances. Then, taking his wives,
friends and children, he went to his island in the sea. The very moment Kaliya left, the Yamuna was
immediately restored to her original condition, free from poison and full of nectarean
water. This happened by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who
was manifesting a humanlike form to enjoy His pastimes.