Nilanjana retells the story of Krishna slaying the mighty poisonous snake, Kaliya, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
“Krishna jumped into the poisonous waters?” Parikshit said.
“Oh, yes,” Sukha continued narrating, “Krishna jumped into those waters as if it was a regular lake. He dived deep down and was not seen for some time.
Meanwhile, Yashoda and Nandagopa rushed to the banks of Lake Madu. They were informed by the cowherds who were standing there that their little one had dived into the poisonous water. They looked at the lake with sorrow wondering what one is supposed to do next. The simple cowherds, who had forgotten all the miracles that little Krishna performed, were lamenting away. They were concerned that Krishna should not have been allowed to roam alone. Balarama should have been there as his shield. Meanwhile, Balarama was smiling to himself and enjoying the drama of the simple people. He could not share the divine secret with these forlorn cowherds. He stood on the banks of Lake Madu to be a witness to the cosmic drama.
Krishna had dived deep into the water of the lake. His dive shook the placid water of the lake and created a ruffle. Kaliya was not used to such disturbance but he chose to stay silent for a while. However, the water was being churned and Kaliya found himself getting tossed around. Not used to being treated in this manner, Kaliya raised his head to check out the reason for such an upheaval in his lake.
The five heads of Kaliya looked out of the surface of the lake. He could see women and men gathered near the lake, shedding tears. As he kept wondering, Krishna suddenly emerged out of the surface of the water and faced him. The little boy had no trace of fear in him. Kaliya shook himself and grabbed Krishna. He coiled his serpentine body around the little boy and spat venom. His five heads were eager to cover Krishna with a virulent poison. The simple cowherds who had gathered on the banks of the lake screamed with horror as Kaliya dug his fangs into the little boy.
For a while, Krishna allowed Kaliya to have his way. But after a while, Kaliya felt that something strange was happening to him. A very heavy weight was pressing on his entire length. He felt as if someone was trying to tear him apart. He saw Krishna was growing in size and that was straining the serpentine coils that had entangled his frame. Kaliya tried to tighten the coils, but could not help as the child began to grow in size.
The simple cowherds, who were a witness to the event, were curious. Despair had given way to wonder and they called out to Krishna, asking him to quickly come back to the bank of the lake so that they could pull him away from the dreaded snake…”
[To be continued]
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