Wednesday, 17 June 2020

KRISHNA SUBDUES KALYA | VISHNU PARVA SECTION - 67 - 012

CHAPTER LXVII

(KRISHNA SUBDUES KALYA)


Krishna Kaliya

VAISHAMPAYANA said: - Thinking thus Krishna repaired to the bank of the river. Tying his cloth firmly he, with delight, got upon the Kadamba tree (1). Climbing up to the top of the tree and emitting a leonine roar the cloud hued and lotus-eyed Krishna jumped headlong down into the lake (2). That lake, of the river Yamunā, was agitated by his fall. And the water thereof overflowed (on all sides) like scattering clouds (3). The huge abode of the serpent (Kālya) was shaken by that sound. And the serpents, with their eyes reddened with anger, rose up from the water (4). Thereupon was seen the king of serpents Kālya endued with the hue of clouds, having eyes reddened with ire, five hoods, a fiery countenance and tongue and effulgent like the flames of fire (5-6). The entire lake was covered with his hood burning like fire and five huge and dreadful faces were seen above (the water) (7). When that king of serpents was burning in his energy and anger the water there appeared as if boiling and the river Yamuna, stricken with fear, flew in her opposite course (8). Beholding Krishna coming to the lake and sporting like a boy he had powerful winds issue out of his mouth filled with the fire of anger (9). Scintillations of fire, accompanied by smoke, came out from the mouth of that king of serpents. All the huge trees, which were grown on the bank near him, were in no time consumed by the fire of anger discharged by that king of serpents, resembling the very incarnation of the end of a Yuga.[1] Thereupon his son Dāra and his servants, the other leading serpents of incomparable energy, came there vomitting the dreadful fire of venom accompanied by smokes (10-12). Thereupon they made Krishna enter into a circle of their hoods. Having his hands and feet made incapable of putting forth any exertion he stood there motionless like a mountain (13). The leading serpents began to sprinkle Krishna with water vitiated by their teeth. The powerful Krishna however did not die (14). In the meantime the cowherd boys, filled with fear, returned weeping to Vraja and with suppressed voice said (15) "Out of foolishness Krishna is drowned in the lake Kālya. The king of serpents is devouring him. Do ye all come without delay (16). Do ye speedily go and communicate to Nanda and his followers that Krishna is being dragged into the lake by the serpent" (17).

[1] When a cycle terminates everything in the world is destroyed. The serpent is compared to this termination for everything there was destroyed by his dreadful venom.

Hearing those words like unto the fall of a thunderbolt the milk-man Nanda was greatly distressed with sorrow and speedily went to that most excellent lake (18). All the inhabitants of Vraja, accompanied by the youthful Sangkarshana, boys, old men and young ladies, arrived at the watery abode of that king of serpents (19). Having reached the the bank of that lake all the milkmen, headed by Nanda, stricken with shame, surprise and sorrow, began to bewail with their eyes full of tears. Some cried, exclaiming "Oh, son"; while others said "'alas' woe to us" (20-21). Whereas others, assailed greatly by fear, cried "Alas! we are all slain!" The women, crying aloud, said to Yashodā "Alas! we are all killed. Behold your son brought under the control of the king of serpents. He is trembling there as if churned, like ambrosia, by the hood of the serpent (22-23). Forsooth, your heart is made of stone, since it is not breaking assunder even beholding your son in this plight (24). See, the milkman Nanda, filled with grief, is standing on the bank of the lake like one unconscious, fixing his look on the face of his son (25). Following Yashodā we shall rather enter into this lake, the abode of the serpents. And still we will not return to Vraja without Dāmodara (26). Without Krishna Vraja shall never appear beautiful like the day shorn of the sun, or the night shorn of the moon or the cow divorced from the bull. Separated from Krishna we shall not go there like a cow without her calf" (27).

Hearing the lamentations of the male and female inhabitants of Vraja, and of Nanda and the cries of Yashodā, Sangkarshana, who though of one mind, one body and one intelligence, was still a separate person, said in anger to Krishna (28-29):-"O Krishna, O thou of large-arms, O thou who dost enhance the delight of the milkmen, do thou soon destroy this venomous serpent-king (30). O my brother, O my lord, all these our relations have human understandings and so they are bewailing for the considering thee a human being" (31).

Hearing those wise words of Rohini's son, Krishna sportively raised up his arms and rose up snapping the fetters of the serpents (32). And placing his feet on the hoods of the serpent-king that were above the water he got hold of his head with his hands (33). Then rising up, by force, on his middle head, Krishna, who was adorned with a beautiful Angada, began to dance there (34). Thus grinded by Krishna the hoods of that serpent-king became pale and blood came out there from. (Kālya) then with dreadful accents said to him (35). "O Krishna of a beautiful countenance, unwittingly did I display anger against thee. But now I have been vanquished and subdued by thee and my venom has been destroyed. Do thou give me my life and command me whom I am to serve along with my wife, children and friends (36-37)."

Beholding that five-hooded serpent-king and hearing his distressful words, the Lord Krishna, having the enemy of serpents[2] as his carrier, replied like one having no anger (38) "O serpent, I do not wish to allow you to live in this water of Yamunā. Therefore repair to the ocean with your wife and kinsmen (39). After this whoever amongst your sons and servants shall be seen either in the water or on the land of this province he will be killed by me (40). O king of serpents, let this water prove wholesome unto all and yourself proceed to the mighty deep. If you remain here after this you will be visited by a great calamity that will bring about the termination of your life (41). If Garuda, the enemy of serpents, behold in the ocean, my foot-marks on your head he will not kill you" (42).

[2] This refers to Garuda whom Vishnu used to ride. Garuda used to devour serpents and was thus their enemy.

(Thus accosted by the Lord) that foremost of serpents Kālya, carrying on his head Krishna's foot-marks, fled away stealthily from the lake in the very presence of the milk-men (43). After the king of serpents had thus fled away vanquished the Lord came out from the water and stood on the bank. Filled with surprise the milk-men chanted his glories and circumambulated him (44). Thereupon those milk-men, living in the forest, delightedly said to Nanda: - "Indeed thou art fortunate and a favourite of the gods since your son is (so very powerful) (45). From to-day, O sinless one, the powerful Krishna, having large eyes, will be a refuge of the milk-men in their perils and a protector of the kine in the cow-shed (46). The water of the Yamunā has become everywhere delightful and wholesome. From now all our kine will happily range in every landing stair (47). Really we are milk-men for we have not been able to know Krishna truly in Vraja like fire covered with ashes" (48).

Thereupon eulogising the immortal Krishna the milk-men, filled with surprise, entered their hamlet like unto the celestials entering the Chitraratha garden (49).

Source: https://archive.org/details/AProseEnglishTranslationOfHarivamsh

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