Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Krishna and Vatsa – XLIII


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

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 breath, 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: 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.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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