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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 03 Putana Killing

Chapter Three


The Killing of Putana


The Supreme Brahman, taking the form of a human being, descended on earth  and assumed the mood of a village boy. Although He appeared like an  ordinary human to the common people, Shri Krishna, who is famous as the  beautiful form of supreme transcendence, has a completely pure spiritual  body. Manifesting along with His divine consort, He fully satis­fied the  minds of everyone.

Once, Vrajaraja Nanda, having accepted the customs of ordinary people,  followed the proper etiquette to protect his city, and went to Mathura  with other senior men to pay taxes to King Kamsa for their yearly milk  production. The Yadus and their faithful servants accompanied him. -In Mathura, King Kamsa had previously tried to kill the eighth child of  Devaki, who appeared as the personification of Yogamaya. At that time  Yogamaya severely rebuked Kamsa, who was known as Kalanemi in his previous  life, saying, "You *ool! What benefit will you get by killing me? The one  who will kill you has already taken birth somewhere else." Re­membering  his past enmity toward Lord Vishnu, that cruel and wicked Kamsa then  tactfully sent Putana raksasi to Vrndavana to kill baby Krishna. She was as  foreboding as an evil planet. Capable of assuming any form, Putana came to  Nanda's capital disguised as the most beautiful woman in the three worlds.  The villagers became attracted and bewildered by see­ing such an  exceptionally charming woman. In this way, Putana aston­ished the minds of  everyone with her superbly enchanting form.Seeing the extraordinary  elegance of Putana, the Vrajavasis openly mocked the famous society girls  of heaven, saying, "O Urvasi! You are the best of the heavenly damsels,  but in the presence of Putana you are no more than a beggar! O Alambuse!  There is no use maintaining the high bamboos of your pride any longer, for  it has now been crushed. O Rambhe! Very soon you will become the consort  of a frog. O Ghitachi! Your fame, which can be compared to a line of  melted butter, is now as valuable as a crematorium covered by water. O  Menake! All my followers now laugh heartily at you. O Prambolche! A  rushing current has now washed away the treasure of your beauty. O  Citralekhe! Your captivating form appears now like lines in a painting. O  Tilottame! Your glorious fame has dwindled to nil."


Everyone wondered about the identity of Putana. The Vrajavasis thought,  "Is this lady the presiding demigoddess of Vrndavana? Is she the goddess  of fortune of the three worlds? Is she a creeper of lightning appearing  without a cloud? Is she a friend of the kumuda flowers blos­soming under  the moon?"

When Putana entered Yasoda's home, the Vrajavasis concluded that the  goddess of the three worlds had favored that great soul, the King of  Vrndavana, by personally coming to render all kinds of service. Like a  thief executing his nefarious plan, that shameless woman Putana, her heart  full of cruelty and ignorance, courageously entered the house. Putana saw  baby Krishna as a spark of a powerful fire capable of burning the sum total  of all misfortune to ashes. That boy shone like the transcendental flame  of a lamp competent of subduing all enemies produced by the dense  dark­ness of night. He was just like another Agastya Rsi who could easily  swal­low the deadly ocean of poison represented by material existence.  Baby Krishna lay on a bed as white as the rays of the full moon, or the foam  produced from churning the ocean of milk. The baby looked like a great  emerald sprouting from a field of powdered camphor.

Putana played the part of the sweet deceiver who outwardly speaks  pleas­ing words, but harbors cruelty within his vicious heart. She exactly  re­sembled a well covered with grass in order to trap a wild elephant. Her  attractive form rivaled the jeweled sheath of a deadly sword. Although  assuming the form of a desire creeper, Putana posed as a poisonous plant.  Displaying motherly affection, Putana held the baby in her lap. Yasoda and  Rohini wondered, "Is this woman Bhagavati Gauri? Or is she the presiding  deity of the material elements? Is she the consort of Indra, the queen of  Varuna, or the consort of Agnideva? Has she appeared here to display  affection toward my son?" Thinking thus, they did not prevent Putana from  offering her breast milk to the baby.

At that time Vrajesvari Yasoda thought, "Am I the mother or is this woman  the mother of my child?" Fearlessly, Putana picked up baby Krishna and  cuddled Him in her lap. The compassionate Lord, who is absolute knowledge  personified, acted unaware of the situation. Accepting Putana as His  mother, Krishna immediately climbed up on her lap. Yasoda and Rohini watched  attentively as Putana expressed motherly affection to­ward Krishna by  pressing her poison covered nipple into His mouth. His soft,  copper-colored lips resembled drinking cups made of the petals of a  cluster of bandhuka flowers. Expert at performing pastimes, Krishna  skill­fully sucked out both Putana's milk and her very life, which left  her help­less and stupefied. Feeling intense pain, Putana shrieked,  "Please leave me, leave me!" as she forcefully tried to throw the baby off  her breast. But Krishna held tightly with both hands and sucked her breast  milk with the cup of His soft lips. Curiously, Krishna derived no  satisfaction from drinking that milk. Then Putana assumed her raksasi form  as a horrible demon. After accepting her poison milk, Krishna threw Putana's  huge and hideous body out of town. If the body had fallen in the city it  could have killed many residents.To everyone's amazement Krishna sat peacefully in Putana's lap. The  Vrajavasis froze in fright upon seeing the gigantic body of that witch.  Her visit resembled the tax collector who intimidates the people when  collect­ing money. As Vibhisana manifested his glories in the white land  of Lanka, similarly, Putana revealed a terrible body in Vrndavana. As  clouds hover above mountaintops, the milk filled breasts of that demon  looked like big clouds towering above her mountainous body.


As Bali Maharaja resides in Patala, the cavernous mouth of Putana  chal­lenged the depth of Patalaloka. Her nostrils resembled the dangerous  ravine of a mountain, her powerful set of teeth looked like a plowshare,  and her arms resembled two palm trees. As soldiers precede the com­mander,  her extended tongue formed a royal road leading to the dreadful kingdom of  her body. Putana's abdomen appeared like a large lake con­taining  varieties of aquatics. In the jungle the banyan and bahera trees grow very  tall, similarly, her eyes looked like tala trees.The ugly body of Putana extended for twelve miles. When the body of Putana  fell to the ground, it smashed all the mango trees in King Kamsa's fruit  orchard. The affection that Putana had shown toward Krishna left Yasodarani  in a state of bewilderment. Not seeing her son, Yasoda cried like a cow  lamenting over the death of her calf, and then fainted while sighing,  "Alas! How painful, what happened to my son? Where is He?" With tender  care the elderly gopis tried to revive Yasoda.


Although still stunned, Yasoda spoke, "Alas, how painful! Seeing that my  son is more beautiful than a blue lotus, the heavenly damsels kid­napped  Him in order to decorate their ears. Considering my son to be a priceless  blue sapphire, the Nagapatnis took Him to adorn their fore­heads. Thinking  Him to be a fragrant flower of the tamala tree, the Gandharvas abducted  Him to decorate their braids with Him. Seeing my son as the  personification of perfection (siddhi), have the yoginis snatched Him to  help achieve some siddhisl Mistaking my son for the moon has Siva put Him  in his matted locks? Are the activities of this wicked lady the results of  my bad karma, or is it just a freak play of destiny? Consider­ing me  unworthy, has my son gone to another mother?"

While thus lamenting, Yasoda staggered a few steps and fell senseless. But  the moment she heard that her son had returned, Vrajesvari Yasoda regained  her consciousness. Upon waking, she said, "Please tell me, has someone  kidnapped my son? Where can I find him?" As she stumbled forward, Yasoda's  hair came undone and her dress got covered with dirt. In such a distressed  condition, she resembled a lavali creeper blown about by a strong wind.  Although the Vraja gopis tried to restrain her, Yasoda continued to wail and strike her breasts. She appeared like compassion  personified as she passed through the town gate.

Meanwhile the gopas frantically ran in all directions crying, "Has a  moun­tain peak, without being driven by a high wind, suddenly crashed down  in Vrndavana? Is it the dead womb of the earth? Is it some melted flesh  fallen from the sky? Is it a heap of bones collected from the ten  direc­tions? Is it the body of a demon?"


Krishna's relatives saw all the townspeople running fearfully to the east.  Out of compassion for His family and friends, Krishna crawled up on Putana's  chest so that they could see Him playing there freely. Thinking thus,  Krishna arranged for Putana to fall down outside of town. The gopas saw that  child, who ever relishes blissful pastimes, as a small cloud sitting on a  beautiful mountain peak. Upon seeing Krishna, the gopas cried out, "O look!  That woman came to kill the son of Nanda, but she died as a result of her  grave offense. O how fortunate we are!" Then the gopas climbed up on  Putana's body that seemed like the base of a mountain. Beholding that  gentle yet fearless, beautiful boy with a sweet smile, the cowherd men  picked Him up and handed Him from one to another. Then the gopis told Yasoda, "O pious one, here is your son, please  em­brace Him." Thinking their words like those heard in a dream, Yasoda  said, "Are you tricking me?" Like a person suffering under the spell of an  evil planet, Yasoda could not believe them. However, she regained  con­viction when Krishna was placed in her lap. Vrajesvari Yasoda appeared  like a woman awaking from a deep sleep of lamentation, or a dead body  coming back to life, or an unconscious person returning to his senses.Yasoda swelled with joy upon seeing her sob's face. Thereafter, Yasoda and  Rohini, along with the other elderly gopis, waved about the switch of a  cow, bathed the beautiful child with cow's urine, and performed other  purifying acts to create auspiciousness. To further protect the child they  chanted the holy names of the Lord.


Meanwhile, the Vrajavasis chopped up the gigantic body of Putana, took it  away, and burned it. From a distance that burning body, spewing forth deep  black smoke and many sparks, looked like a monsoon cloud illumi­nated by  streaks of lightning. Because Krishna had touched Putana the smoke rising  from her_burning body filled every planet up to Vaikuntha with a sweet  aroma. Everyone enjoyed that fragrance which smelled like incense of aguru  and sandalwood. The rain falling through that fragrant smoke saturated the  earth with a sweet smell. Vrajaraja Nanda returned from Mathura amidst all this commotion. Observing  the smoke and feeling apprehensive, the associates of Nanda said, "O King  of Vrndavana, is this a blue veil blowing in the wind and reaching up to  touch the feet of a celestial lady? Is it the tips of tall grasses, or the  rays emanating from the jewels on the hoods of the huge serpents from  Rasatala trying to pierce the coverings of the universe? Is it the running  back and forth of the elephants that hold up the four directions? Is it  clouds falling on the ground and again rising up to pollute the entire  sky? Is it the mood of the goddess earth during her monthly contamina­tion  period ascending to heaven? Or has a dense cloud of darkness sud­denly  spread throughout the universe?"

Moving closer to Putana, the elderly gopas wondered, "Where has all this  aromatic smoke suddenly come from? Has the fragrance of the earth,  expressing its desire to conquer the sky, taken the form of smoke to  spread throughout the world?"


Thus, the gopas argued amongst themselves about the amazing event. Feeling  disturbed, Vrajaraja Nanda said, "What happened? What is wrong?" Within  minutes the Vrajavasis assembled before Nanda Maha­raja and told him about  Putana's demoniac deeds. Then to purify His son, Nanda Baba attentively  observed all the proper Vedic rites, which included bathing Him with cow's  urine and other auspicious substances. Gazing at his beloved child, Nanda  relished unlimited paternal affection.After the joyous sounds subsided,  Vrajaraja Nanda picked up his son and affectionately smelled His head. He  felt as if the seeds of bliss had sprouted within his heart. Overwhelmed  with unlimited pleasure, his mind melted with ecstatic feelings and his  eyes streamed tears of happiness.

Who can describe the mercy of the Lord? Even though Putana raksasi came  disguised as a mother to kill Krishna with her poisonous breast milk, the  compassionate Lord gave her the position of a mother in the spiritual  world.