Krishna Episode 27 – Slaying of the Demon Pralamba


Surrounded by his kinsmen whose hearts were full of delight, Krishna, whose glories were sung by them, entered Vraja looking beautiful with herds of cows. While Balarama and Krishna, assuming through their Mäyä power, the guise of cowherds, were indulging in various sports, there was the advent of the season called the Summer which is not much pleasant to embodied beings. It, however, appeared like the spring due to the special environmental characteristics of Vṛndāvana where the glorious Lord Kesava (Krishna) was personally staying along with Balarama.

It resounded with the sound of cascades that drowned the jingling of the crickets. It looked beautiful with clusters of trees constantly sprayed with the particles of water from the waterfalls. Due to the pleasant breeze blowing over the waves of the rivers and the pools (and the cascades) and moistened with spray and carrying the fragrant pollen of white lilies, blue lotuses and other flowers, the inhabitants of that forest (Vṛnda vana) which, covered with meadows richly overgrown with green grass, did not experience the scorching heat radiating from the sun and forest fires in the summer.

At the place, the scorching rays of the sun, fierce like virulent poison, were not able to dry up the moisture and verdant nature of the soil wherein the mixture of sand and mire on all sides of the bank remained always wet by the waves that used to beat against the banks of rivers with unfathomable water. The resplendently beautiful forest was in full blossom and was resounded with the cries and notes of various birds and beasts, with singing peacocks and humming bees and warbling cuckoos and waterfowls.

With a desire to enjoy sports, the glorious Lord Krishna, accompanied by Balarama and surrounded with cows and cowherds, entered the forest playing upon his flute. With their persons decorated with tender foliage, peacock feathers, clusters of flowers and coloured earth, Balarama, Krishna and other cowherds indulged in dancing, wrestling and singing. While Kṛiṣhṇa was dancing, some cowherds sang, some clapped their hands, some played on flutes or blew their horns, while others applauded and cheered up.

Gods who had assumed the forms of cowherds and thus completely concealed their god-head, eulogised in applause both Krishna and Balarama, as actors do to cheer up another actor in spite of their master-servant relation. The two brothers wearing side-locks, sometimes, sported by running in circles, long-jumps, shot-putting, striking arms, tug-of-war and wrestling. Sometimes while other cowherds were dancing both Krishna and Balarama sang personally, and played on instruments and applauded with words “well-done! Buck up”.

Sometimes they would play with Bilva fruit, sometimes with Kumbha fruit, and now with a handful of Amalaka fruits myrobalans Sometimes (in a running race or with. swift movements in an arena) they would playfully not allow themselves to be touched, while at times they would play hide-and-seek after shutting the eyes of a cowherd boy-or by blindfolding and such other games. Sometimes they would divert themselves by mimicking the sounds and notes of beasts, birds. Now they would indulge in jumping like frogs, and now they would cut jokes of various kinds; now by swinging with the help of branches of trees and sometimes by playing the role of kings. Indulging in such sports well known among the people, they rambled all over the area in the rivers, on the mountains, in the valleys, bowers, in woods and lakes.

While Balarama and Kṛiṣhṇa were grazing their cattle in the meadows of that forest, a demon called Pralamba assumed the guise of a cowherd and entered his followers with a view to kidnapping them. Even though Krsna, the omniscient (All-perceiving) Lord of the Yadu clan, knew his real intention, he agreed to be his playmate and friend, with an intention of finishing with him. Krishna, a past-master in games, summoned all the cowherds and proposed, “Oh comrade-cowherds! Now let us play by dividing ourselves into two suitable parties.”

In that game, the cowherds selected Balarama and Krishna as their captains. Some accepted Krishna’s side, while the rest (the other party) Balarama’s side. They indulged in various sports characterised by one party member to carry as mounts the members of the other party-the winners being the riders and the defeated party members, the carriers. In this way, some boys riding and some carrying and simultaneously grazing the cattle-they went near a banyan tree called Bhandiraka.

When cowherds like Śrīdāmā, Vṛṣabha and others belonging to the party of Rama, became victorious in the game, Krsna and others carried them on their backs. Being defeated, Lord Krishna bore Sridáman, Bhadra carried Vrishabha and Pralamba took Balarama, the son of Rohini, on his back. Considering that Krishna was irresistible, the prominent demon Pralamba swiftly carried away Balarama far beyond the limit for dismounting. When his progress was stopped by carrying Balarama who grew weighty as the mount Meru (the king of all mountains), the demon who assumed his original (demonic) form adorned with gold ornaments and clothes, looked like a cloud illuminated with flashes of lightning carrying the Moon, the Lord of Stars on his back.

Balarama ,the wielder of a plough as a weapon was a bit disturbed to see the demon’s body soaring with crashing speed in the sky, and with burning eyes, terrific (frowning) brows, terrible jaws and teeth, hair like flames of blazing fire, weirdly dazzling with the splendour of gold wristlets, crown and ear-rings. he very next moment, Balarama regained his consciousness of his divine nature and grew fearless. And like Indra striking vehemently on a mountain with his Vajra, in great rage, he dealt a heavy blow with his fist on the head of his enemy who was carrying him away from his group of cowherd friends.

The moment the blow descended on his head, it was shattered to pieces; vomiting blood profusely from his mouth, he lost his consciousness. Giving out a terrific roar, the demon fell dead, like a mountain struck down by Indra’s weapon thunderbolt.

Seeing the demon Pralamba killed by the mighty Balarama, the cowherds were extremely astonished and shouted, “Bravo! well done !”. Pronouncing benedictions on him, they highly praised him and he deserved it. With their hearts overwhelmed with affection, they embraced him as one returned from the realm of death. When the sinful demon Pralamba was killed, gods felt highly gratified and happy. They showered on Balarama wreaths of flowers and applauded him with their approbations “well done! Well done!”

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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