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  • Narayaneeyam

    Narayaneeyam Dasakam:54-- Kaliya comes to Yamuna

    Formerly, Garuda used to eat snakes. All the snakes came to an agreement with Garuda and every month a snake was offered as sacrifice to Garuda at the foot of a particular tree on the new moon day. All snakes used to offer to Garuda their share of sacrifice. Garuda was highly pleased with this arrangement. But the serpent Kaliya, son of Kadru, was very proud of his strength. Therefore he did not make any offering himself to Garuda but took away the offerings made by others. Garuda was incensed and attacked him. Kaliya was overpowered in the fight. He sought shelter in a deep pool of water in the Yamuna.

    Once upon a time Garuda caught a fish in that pool of water and was about to eat it. Rishi Soubhari said, "O Garuda! Do not eat this fish." Garuda did not pay any attention to the words of the Rishi. The wailings of the other fishes touched the heart of the Rishi. In order to save the fishes, the Rishi pronounced a curse on Garuda that he would die if he entered that pool any more.Kaliya knew about this. Therefore he sought shelter in that pool of water with his family and it had been occupying the river Yamuna and its banks.It had poisoned the waters of the Yamuna and also dried the forests nearby by the poison airs breathed by it.

    Sri Krishna noticed that the most venomous snake had rendered the water of the Yamuna poisonous. He wanted to expel the serpent from the river in order to purify the water. Sri Krishna tightened His girdle, climbed a lofty Kadamba tree, and jumped into the pool of water. The serpent fiercely attacked Krishna and stung Him in His vital parts. It completely enclosed Him in its coils. The cows wept and the Gopa boys became senseless. Nanda and other Gopas came out in search of Krishna. They saw Him in the grasp of the powerful serpent and wept bitterly.

    Sri Krishna extricated Himself from the clutches of the serpent. He began to sport with it. He got upon its hoods and danced upon them. It had one thousand hoods, one hundred being the chief. Thus attacked, Kaliya looked for an opportunity to bite Him, but Krishna moved around him. Subduing Kaliya Krishna immediately pressed down the serpentís hoods and jumped up on them. He who is the original artist of all fine arts, such as dancing, began to dance upon the hoods of the serpent, although they were moving to and fro. Upon seeing this, the denizens of the upper planets showered flowers, beat drums, played different types of flutes and sang various prayers and songs.

    In this way, all the denizens of heaven, such as theGandharvas,Siddhas anddemigods, became very much pleased. Kaliya had about a hundred hoods, but Krishna took control of them. Gradually, Kaliya was reduced to struggling for his very life. He vomited all kinds of refuse and exhaled fire. While throwing up poisonous material from within, Kaliya became reduced in his sinful situation. Kaliya then began to vomit blood instead of poison; he was completely fatigued. His whole body appeared to be broken by the kicks of the Lord. Within his mind, however, he finally began to understand that Krishna is theSupreme Personality of Godhead, and he surrendered unto Him.

    Sri Krishna trampled down with His feet each one of the hoods. The body of the serpent was shattered. The serpent sought the protection of the Lord. The wives of the serpent, known as the Nagapatnis, saw that their husband had been subdued by the Lordís kicking and that he was almost at the point of death due to bearing the heavy burden of the Lord, within whose abdomen the whole universe remains. Kaliyaís wives also surrendered unto the Supreme Lord and began to pray. The Nagapatnis knew that Krishna is the shelter of all surrendered souls, and they desired to release their husband from the impending danger by pleasing the Lord with their prayer.The Nagapatnis were astonished that, although Kaliya had the body of a serpent as the result of grievous sinful activities, at the same time he was in contact with the Lord to the extent that the Lordís lotus feet were touching his hoods. The wives of the serpent praised Krishna and prayed for their husband's life.The Lord stopped His dance. Kaliya slowly recovered consciousness.

    The Lord was pleased with Kaliya and his wives. Immediately after hearing His order, the wives began to worship Him with great offerings of nice garments, flowers, garlands, jewels, ornaments, sandal pulp, lotus flowers, and nice eatable fruits. In this way they pleased the master of Garuda, of whom they were very much afraid. Then, obeying the orders of Lord Krsna, all of them left the lake within the Yamuna.

    Krishna said, "O Kaliya !Do not stay here any more. Go to the sea immediately with all your kith and kin and, wives. Let the water of the Yamuna be used by the cows and men. I know that you left Ramanaka island for fear of Garuda and came to live in this pool. But now, as your hoods bear the marks of My feet, Garuda will not touch you." Thereupon Kaliya proceeded to the Ramanaka island in the sea with his wives, friends and children. The waters of the Yamuna then turned as sweet as nectar itself.