Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Arishta and Krishna – LXIX

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nilanjana recounts the tale of Krishna vanquishing the Ausra Arishta, from the Bhagavatam, in the weekly column. A Different Truths exclusive.

Sukha continued narrating the stories from Bhagavad Purana, which his father Ved Vyasa had authored. “Now,” he began, “another asura called Arishta comes in search of Krishna.”

Parikshit responded, “One more!”

“Yes,” Sukha said, “Kamsa and his cronies would not give up so easily. Their very existence was threatened, isn’t it? Ego and insecurity often drive people mad! So Arishta now came to Vrindavan to kill Krishna. Like his fellow asuras, even he was in disguise. He assumed the form of a bull. This was one big, angry and nasty bull that scared everybody. His tail was raised up and his mighty horns kept on piercing trees. He ran here and there in anger, eager to destroy anybody who dared to come in his way.

The gopas and gopis ran to Krishna scared. They all were his bhaktas* who had no qualms or ego to approach him. They asked him to help them out.

Krishna faced the bull and dared him for a fight. He reprimanded the bull for he had no business scaring innocent people. After all, divinity in the form of Krishna had taken birth to destroy wicked and vile creatures that were unnecessarily creating a ruckus and making life miserable for others. The bull rushed at Krishna, with his horns ready to attack. Krishna took the bull by his horns and pushed him back. The bull attacked him once again and this time Krishna took him by his horns, tossed him around and threw him down. He then stamped on the bull and pulled out one of the horns. With that horn, he beat the bull again. Eventually, the bull died.

The gopas and the gopis, who were all a witness to this fight, began celebrating this victory of Krishna. By now, they must be quite used to celebrating one victory after another, experiencing one miracle after another.”

Sukha’s eyes twinkled with delight as he narrated the cosmic drama, while Parikshit’s eyes were full of wonder. Are these asuras real or just symbolic of the various negativities that exist all around us and inside us all the time? Has this fight really happened in the past or is it happening within us all the time?

[To be continued]


*bhakta – Literally means a devotee, who has unconditional love for God. Nowadays the term is loosely used, often sarcastically, to indicate a sycophant or a bootlicker. That is a complete misrepresentation of the actual meaning of the word. 

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars(incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana. These stories are narrated by Ved Vyasa’s son Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.