Krishna Episode 26 – Story of Kaliya Coming to Haunt of Kaliya



In the past, there was animosity between the Vinata mother of Garud, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, and Kadru, the mother of the serpents. Remembering the animosity of his mother, Garuda would eat any snake that he found. Distraught by this, all the snakes went to the shelter of Brahma. Then Brahmaji made it a rule that on every new moon, each snake family should offer one snake as sacrifice to Garud in turn.

As per the rule made by lord brahma the creator of the universe all the snakes agreed that whatever share of offerings was received by the Nagas, every month, from the serpent- worshippers, was to be dedicated to the noble-souled Garuda, and to be deposited on every New Moon day at the foot of a particular tree (in Ramapaka) by serpents who were the prey of Garuda. All Nägas thus contributed their share for self-protection. 

Being elated with pride for its power and virulence of its poison, Kaliya, the son of Kadru, slighted Garuda, and ate up the offerings intended for him. On learning this, the glorious Garuda, beloved of the Lord, got enraged, and with a desire to kill Kaliya, swooped down on it with terrific speed. Raising up its numerous heads (hoods), the serpent whose weapon is poison, advanced against Garuda who was vehemently rushing at it, and bit him with fangs as its weapons, and looked terrific with its dreadful tongues, poisonous hissing and cruel eyes.

 Brushing it aside with the terrific vehemence of his speed, the wrathful Garuda, the son of Tärkşya (the sage Kasyapa), the carrier of Lord Visņu and possessed of terrific prowess, struck it down with its left wing brilliant like gold. Struck down with the wing of Garuda, Kaliya became overwhelmed with fear and agitated. It entered the pool of the Yamuna that was out of bounds for Garuda, and hence unapproachable.

On one occasion Garuda, being extremely hungry, carried away by force his favourite prey-an aquatic creature, though he was prohibited from doing so by the Sage Saubhari.” Seeing that the fish were greatly overwhelmed with grief and felt miserable due to the death of that fish king, Sage Śaubhari, out of compassion for the aquatic creatures in that pool,and for the safety of the creatures living in that pool declared;  “If ever Garuda enters this pool and eats the fish hereof, he will instantly meet death. I utter the truth.” 12. Only Káliya knew this (Saubhari’s) curse but no other serpent knew it. So it resided in that pool out of the fear of Garuda. It was expelled out of it by Krishņa. 

Finding Krsna come out of the pool, decorated with heavenly garlands, sandal pigment and rich dress and beautified with numerous costly big diamonds, gems and gold ornaments all over his Person, all cowherds leapt to their feet like sense-organs on return of life (or ‘creatures after the return of the vital Principle”), and with their hearts overwhelmed with rapturous joy, embraced him with deep affection. Regaining their consciousness, Yasoda, Rohini, Nanda and other cowherds and cowherdesses got their desires fulfilled by meeting Krsna.

Balarama clasped Krsna in his arms and laughed, as he knew the prowess of Krsna. The trees, cows, bullocks, calves all were filled with extreme joy. The Brahmana preceptors (of Nanda) along with their wives (who had already come there along with all the inhabitants of Vraja), now approached Nanda and congratulated him, “Thank God! How fortunate it is that your son seized by Kaliya is liberated from its clutches. Confer some gifts to Brahmanas, on account of the deliverance of Krsna (from Kaliya)”. Delighted at heart, Nanda immediately gave cows and gold as gifts.  The highly fortunate Yasoda who got restored to her child, which was as good as lost, hugged him. Seating him on her lap, he again and again shed tears of joy. 

In the meanwhile, when the sun set, Kṛṣṇa along with Rama camped there along with their parents, cowherds and their wealth-the herds of cattle.The inhabitants of Vraja and cows, oppressed as they were by hunger, thirst and physical exhaustion, passed that night near the bank of the Yamuna. At that time, in Vraja,In the jungle dried up with summer, a great forest conflagration broke out at midnight, and surrounding the Vraja lying fast asleep, it began to scorch them.

Touched by the fire, the inhabitants of Vraja woke up and in their bewilderment sought resort to Lord Krsna, the Supreme Lord who had assumed a human form through his Māyā. “Oh Krsna ! Oh highly fortunate Kṛṣṇa! Oh Rama of infinite prowess! This extremely terrific fire is now consuming us who are yours (your devotees). Oh Lord! Protect us who are your well-wishers and friends, from this death-like (deadly) fire from which it is extremely difficult to escape. We cannot give up your feet (resorting to which) there is no fear from any quarter”.

Perceiving this helplessness and danger of his people (devotees), the Supreme Ruler of the earth, the Infinite Lord of unfathomable powers, swallowed up that terrible fire.

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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