Religion

Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: The Cave – LXXXVII

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Nilanjana recounts an interesting tale from the Bhagavata about the chase of Krishna by Kalayavana. A Different Truths exclusive.

Sukha continued narrating, “Kalayavana kept chasing Krishna. At times he was too close, but Krishna deftly escaped him.

“They had now reached the end of the path and was near a mountain. Krishna looked around desperately and ran into a cave.  Amused, Kalayavana followed him inside. When his eyes had got settled with the darkness inside, Kalayavana saw a form lying flat on the ground. He assumed that it was Krishna since the face was not visible in the darkness.

“Kalayavana went in front of the form sleeping on the floor and challenged him to fight. He told that he would not let Krishna go so easily though he pretended to sleep. When the form would not move at all, he was irritated and kicked the “sleeping Krishna”. The eyes of the form opened and Kalayavana found himself facing a stranger. The angry eyes exuded fire and Kalayavana was reduced to ashes.”

Pariskhit asked curiously, “Who was the form that was sleeping? Where was Krishna all this while?”

Sukha replied, “He was King Muchukunda.  He was a great king and for a long time he kept fighting the asuras(demons) and protecting the devas (celestial beings). When Mahadeva’s son, Kumara was made the commander of the army of the devas, King Muchukunda was set free of the responsibility. When Indra asked him for a boon for his services to the devas, he requested that he should be allowed to sleep undisturbed. And if somebody disturbed him, he would be reduced to ashes.

“Muchukunda had entered the cave and had been sleeping for ages. Narayana wanted to grant him moksha (liberation). When Muchukunda woke up fully he saw Narayana in front of him in full form with sankha, chakra, gada, padma. He was mesmerised by the form and the grace that was bestowed on him. Krishna assured him that he had some more time left from this birth and one more after which he would be liberated.

“Kalyanvana decided to complete the remaining day mediating and dwelling on the cosmic consciousness. That way, the accumulated sins of this birth would be wiped out, or at least lessened.”

Parishit asked, “But why did Krishna not kill Kalyanvana?

Sukha replied, “Krishna was on earth for a bigger purpose. Besides, he wanted to grant moksha to Muchukunda. He had really helped the devas out and deserved it. He had been sleeping for a very long time now and it was time to grant him liberation. Besides, strange are the ways of the divine. Krishna had taken birth to wipe out evil. Some he killed himself and some he made others kill. Like in Kuruksetra, he was just Arjun’s charioteer. It is not always easy to understand “why” divinity acts in a particular way…”

(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. These stories are narrated by Ved Vyasa’s son Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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