Sri Krishna Stories – Episode 18 – Kaliya Mardhana and Pralambasura
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The news of Krishna’s exploits was reaching Kamsa constantly. This fact coupled with the elimination of all the demons sent by Kamsa to Krishna had sent a wave of awful fury in Mathura, Kamsa’s capital.
There was a deep lake close to the bank of river Yamuna that flowed by Brindavan. A
huge poisonous serpent (Naga) with hundred and one hoods, named Kaliya, made this lake its home. The lake and waters of Yamuna were being poisoned as Kaliya spit poison continuously from its hoods. The residents of Brindavan were very afraid of the serpent and avoided to go near the lake. Whoever unknowingly went to take water from the lake was being killed by the serpent. This became the cause of concern and discussion for Nanda and all the elderly people in Brindavan. Krishna overheard this discussion and decided that it was time to get the serpent out of the lake, and restore it to the people of Brindavan.
One day, Krishna intentionally went near that lake to play with his friends. While playing, he threw a ball into the lake purposely. Krishna said his friends “ I’ll go and get the ball from the lake” saying so, He climbed a nearby tree, and jumped into the river. Kaliya got furious! Hissing violently; it gripped Krishna in its curl and caused him to swoon. This caused great chaos amongst the gopas. A few of them ran immediately to tell Krishna’s parents Nanda and Yashoda. ” Nanda Maharaj! Krishna is in danger! The 1001 headed serpent kaliya has caught Krishna. Come soon”. Soon the entire village of Brindavan assembled at the shore.
Krishna expanded Himself until the serpent could no longer hold him, and lost its grip. Then Krishna jumped up on to the top of the serpent’s hoods and started dancing so hard that it could not bear the pain. Then Kaliya began to die. But then the Naga’s wives came “Dear Krishna please do not kill our beloved husband. Please let him go”. Kaliya, recognizing the greatness of Krishna, surrendered, promising he would never harass or harm anybody again. Krishna agreed, and Kaliya with his wives moved to some other place leaving the lake forever.
Kamsa was sure that if Balarama and Krishna were separated, their strength would diminish and Krishna could be easily killed. So, he sent a fearful demon, Pralamba, to do away with Balarama.Meanwhile Krishna was attached by the fire demon. Pralamba was dreadful to look at with his two front teeth protruding out, and arms covered with long hair. His red eyes emitted fire and he possessed great miraculous powers. Pralamba transformed himself into a Gopa, and mingled with the other Gopas, Krishna’s friends. Pralamba suggested a game to play “Tug of war! We’ll play tug of war.” Pralamba said, ” Whichever team loses will have to carry the members of the winning side on their backs to some distance”. Pralamba intentionally fell in with the losing side and seated Balrama on his back and ran towards Mathura.
The demon was undoubtedly very strong and powerful, but he began to feel the burden, and thus he assumed his real form, decorated with a golden helmet and earrings and looked just like a cloud with lightning carrying the moon. Balarama observed the demon’s body expanding up to the limits of the clouds, his eyes dazzling like blazing fire and his mouth flashing with sharpened teeth. At first, Balarama was surprised by the demon’s appearance, and He began to wonder, “How is it that all of a sudden this Gopa has changed in every way?” But with a clear mind He could quickly understand that He was being carried away from His brother Krishna and friends by a demon who intended to kill Him. Immediately, He struck the head of the demon with His strong fist, and Pralamba fell down dead instantly. All the boys rushed to the spot, and were astonished by the ghastly scene. They began to praise Balarama for his heroics. When the news reached Kamsa, he felt thwarted.
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