Krishna Episode 14 – Liberating Sakatasura

Krishna kicking cart

Liberating Shakatasur

In the days of yore,  a demon named Hiranyaksha had a son named utkacha. Utkacha was very strong and fat.Once while traveling, he crushed the trees of Rishi (sage ) Lomash’s hermitage. Rishi (sage ) Lomash cursed in anger – ‘O wicked! Go, you become body less. He hurriedly fell at the feet of Lomash Rishi and prayed – ‘oh merciful sage! Have mercy on me .I was not aware of your influence. please take back your curse and return my body.’ Lomash ji was pleased. Even the curse of Mahatmas becomes a boon. He said, “In Vaivasvata Manvantara, you will be liberated by the touch of Shri Krishna’s feet.” The same Asura was known by the name Shaktasura in this birth and had become a friend of Kansa. At the behest of Kansa, Shaktasura came to Gokul with the desire to kill Krishna .


On that day at the end of the third month , when the constellation (Rohiņi) that presided at the birth of Kṛṣṇa was in ascendance, and coincided with the ceremonial festive ablution to celebrate the infant’s (Kṛṣṇa’s) turning in the bed was to take place, the chaste lady Yasoda performed the rite of auspicious bathing of the child in the assemblage of Gopa women (who visited her house for this occasion), while musical instruments were played, songs were sung and benedictory Mantras were being chanted (by Brāhmaṇas). When the infant’s bath and toilet were over, and Brāhmaṇas who were duly honoured with liberal gifts of (sumptuous) food, garments, garlands and cows of their choice, pronounced the auspicious benediction (with Vedic Mantras), Yośodā (the generous wife of liberal Nanda) seeing her child’s eyes closing in sleep, gently put him to bed in a cradle under a cart. 


With her mind full of enthusiasm on the festive occasion of Krṣṇa’s turning in bed, the noble-minded lady, who was busy in receiving with honour the inhabitants of Vraja who came to congratulate her on that occasion, did not hear the crying of her child.Shaktasur saw that Krishna is alone under the cart, he thought that this is the opportunity to attack Krishna and he came and sat on the cart and started pressing the cart down. Lord Shri Krishna, who is the innermost and one master of all the worlds, came to know about this intention of Shaktasura and Shri Krishna started tossing his feet weeping.Being hit by the small feet, delicate like tender shoots of the baby that was lying beneath, the cart was overturned with its upside down, and all the pots of bell-metal containing various liquid delicacies (and other sweets) were crushed and the wheels, the axle tree were overturned and its yoke shattered.


Noticing the overturned position of the cart  Yasoda and other women of Vraja who assembled there for the festive occasion of Kṛṣṇa’s turning in the bed and Nanda and other cowherds as well, were perplexed at that marvellous sight and wondered, “How this cart could automatically be overturned ?”. Speaking thus and arguing about its cause in a perplexed manner, the people of Vraja surrounded the cart in a distressed mood, as it were.  Children  playing nearby  told the Gopas and their wives whose minds were confused and uncertain about the cause of overturning of the cart  “There is absolutely no doubt that it was upturned with the foot (kick) by this (Kṛṣṇa) while crying”. But the Gopas disbelieved it as mere prattle of children, as they did not know the immeasurable might of that baby. Taking up her son, Yasoda who suspected the trouble of evil spirits, made Brāhmaṇas to recite the benedictory Vedic hymns (to drive out the spirits), and to bless the child,and gave him suck. 


 Brāhmaṇas offered oblations to fire  to propitiate the presiding deities of planets . When powerful Gopas assembled the parts of  the cart as before along with the metal pots of dairy products etc.They worshipped it with curds, unbroken rice-grains, Kusa grass and water¹ (as that was the symbol of their calling and the abode of Lakṣmi). “The benedictions uttered by those who are truthful by nature and completely free from jealousy, falsehood, hypocrisy, intolerance, violence and pride, never become fruitless.” With this conviction, the cowherd Nanda took up the child and got it sprinkled with water sanctified with sacred mantras from the Sama, Rg and Tajur-Vedas, by the best of Brahmanas. Making the Brahmaņas pronounce the prescribed benedictory hymns (Svastyayana) and offering oblations to fire, Nanda with a serene mind, gave them a heavy feast (of rich, delicious articles of food).


For the all-round prosperity of the child, Nanda donated to them cows possessing all good (and auspicious) qualities, and adorned them with cloth, garlands and necklaces of gold coins. And Brāhmaṇas, on their part, pronounced blessings to the child. It is obvious that whatever benedictions are pronounced by Brahmanas who are well-versed in Vedas and devoted to God shall never turn out to be fruitless.



Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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