Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Krishna and Vatsa – XLIII

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Nilanjana recounts the tale of slaying the demon Vatsa, in the weekly column, exclusively in .

Now that the gopis and gopas had migrated to Vrindavan, they carried on with their regular lives. As simple cowherds were meant to, the boys would go out with the cattle in the morning and graze them the whole day. They would be busy playing pranks with each other and come back home around sunset. Their parents and others would be busy with other chores throughout the day.

Balarama and Krishna joined the other boys in grazing cattle the whole day. They were leading their lives with these simple folks who were completely unaware of the divinity that lay concealed in them.

Meanwhile, Kamsa’s spies were not lazing around either. They had kept an eye on the little Krishna as his people migrated to the new picturesque spot. They informed their king who decided that he needs to take some serious action soon. He, therefore, dispatched one of his henchmen to kill Krishna as soon as possible.

It was another ordinary day at Vrindavan. Balarama and Krishna were grazing their calves on the banks of the river Yamuna. The other gopas were also around. The boys were busy teasing each other and making merry when an asura (demon) called Vatsa arrived there. He looked around and inspected the whole terrain. Then he slyly assumed the form of a calf and joined the herd of the calves. He followed them quietly and waited for his turn to kill Krishna.

Krishna wasn’t the one to be fooled easily. He knew who this calf was. He whispered to Balarama about the asura. The asura was totally unaware of the fate that awaited him.

Gradually, Krishna approached the calf. The asura did not realise that his disguise had been discovered. He went about grazing, in his form of the calf, quite casually. Suddenly, Krishna grasped the hind-legs of the calf, held him up in the air and whirled him round and round. After quite a few rounds, when the asura was gasping for , he flung him down on the ground. Vatsa, another one of Kamsa’s loyalist, was dead.

While falling on the ground, the huge form of Vatsa hit the wood apple trees. The ground was covered with the fruits of the wood apple trees. The other gopas ran towards Krishna, surprised by what he had just done.

It is believed that there was a shower of flowers from the heavens at this juncture.

Another demon was killed without any effort but the simple cowherds could still not solve the puzzle… 

[To be continued]

 Footnote:  is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various  (incarnations) of Vishnu, also known as .

©Nilanjana Dey

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

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.
Nilanjana Dey