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Vanquishing the Kaliya Serpent
One day, Vanamali Krishna left His brother Rama at home and went out with His friends to tend the cows and play beside the Yamuna. At that time, the serpent Kaliya, the son of Kadru, lived in a lake within the river Yamuna. Kaliya had taken shelter in the Yamuna, the daughter of Surya-deva, to hide from his enemy Garuda. This venomous snake, the embodiment of the mellow of fear (bhaya rasa), existed in Vrndavana like an incurable heart disease. He was like death waiting as a helpful friend to engage one, or Rudra's fire of devastation that destroys the three worlds.
The burning venom of the great serpent Kaliya constantly heated and boiled the waters of the Yamuna. Yamuna-devi felt like she had a black ball of fire within her belly. Indeed, the poisonous vapors thus created polluted the air, and caused birds flying overhead to fall down into the water. The entire atmosphere was contaminated by the inauspicious presence of Kaliya, who continually harassed the inhabitants of Vrndavana. The forceful exhalation of fiery poison from his nostrils illuminated the Yamuna's waves with a crimson golden radiance. The beauty of this scene resembled the waves of the salt ocean glittering under the moonlight. The dense black smoke lingering above the Yamuna indicated the presence of a raging fire within. Nothing could live in the Yamuna except Kaliya's wives and sons due to the calamitous situation caused by the burning poison of that crooked serpent. As one takes shelter under an umbrella, Kaliya stayed safely in a deep lake within the Yamuna.The cowherd boys and cows sipped some water from the Yamuna to quench their thirst. Although the gopas have eternal transcendental bodies, by the supreme will of Krishna they fell unconscious immediately after drinking. Krishna, the destroyer of demons, worried for a moment about His friends and then He quickly revived them with a sidelong glance. It appeared that life-giving nectar dripped from Krishna's lotus eyes. Returning to consciousness, the boys felt astonished and smiled gently. They warmly embraced each other and talked among themselves in great happiness. One cowherd boy said, "Krishna is wonderful. He rescued us just like He did when we wandered into the cave-like mouth of Aghasura. We almost died from drinking that poisonous water but Krishna mercifully saved us. It seems that He has given sanjivani rasa to revive us." After speaking thus, all the gopas looked lovingly at their dearest friend.Since Krishna had descended from the spiritual world specifically to subdue envious demons, He immediately climbed to the top of a very high kadamba tree beside the Yamuna. That tall kadamba touched the clouds and kissed the sky. With a desire to crush the pride of Kaliya, the incomparable and inconceivable Lord Krishna prepared Himself for a fight. He gathered His locks of hair, retied His turban, tightened His belt, and clenched His lotus hand into a fist eager for victory. Krishna's tender body and slender waist displayed the prime of His joyful youth. Totally relaxed, Krishna glanced gently toward the cowherd boys and said, "Do not be afraid My friends. My transcendental effulgence will dispel all misfortune. Just wait here and watch the cows."His face illuminated by a row of radiant teeth, Krishna beamed a confident smile. With His fathomless intelligence and charming characteristics Krishna easily removes the pride and arrogance of materialistic people. Krishna enthusiastically leaped into the Yamuna, just as a kingfisher dives into a river to catch its prey. Krishna's forceful plunge pushed the Yamuna over her banks. The deadly poison from the serpent rose up into a mass of foam cresting on the high waves of the river. The cows and cowherd boys ran away in fear upon seeing these ominous waves rushing toward the banks.
Krishna dove so deeply into the River Yamuna that it seemed He went to trample the Patala region of the universe. Krishna sported in Kaliya's lake like a lordly elephant—swirling His mighty arms and making the water resound in various ways. This agitation caused the poisonous water to burst into flames. Unable to bear the vigorous vibrations, Kaliya felt as if his life was being thrashed out of him.Kaliya saw Krishna's beauty surpassing the sublime elegance of a tamala tree. Krishna's eyes looked peaceful and pleasing, and His handsome effulgent form easily defeated the sweetness of Kandarpa. Seeing Krishna's body covered with fragrant yellow sandalwood pulp easily destroys one's false pride. Despite beholding this wonderful darsana, the envious Kaliya felt Krishna to be the source of an intolerable fever. Shaking with anger, Kaliya furiously lunged at Krishna, bit Him on the chest, and attempted to squeeze Krishna to death by completely enveloping Him in his mighty coils.Kaliya considered how this person had so brazenly violated his watery domain. Beset with doubt and suspicion about the identity of Krishna, who removes the power of the best of snakes, Kaliya pondered, "Who is this unknown person who has created such a disturbance? And where has He come from?"The proud, impudent, materially attached Kaliya wondered how Krishna— a mere boy, blissful and beautiful with blooming youth—could have so effortlessly subdued the massive Aghasura. Finally he concluded that Krishna must have the ability to expand Himself to any unlimited size. Nevertheless, Kaliya tried to smother and crush Krishna by expanding his own body to monstrous proportions. Failing in his endeavor, Kaliya succumbed to exhaustion.
On one level the supremely independent Lord created an inauspicious atmosphere of impending death just to see how much love the Vrajavasis had for Him, and to make them impatient to run to Him. But on another level Krishna, His handsome chest adorned with the glistening kaustubha gem, performed this pastime of being bound by Kaliya just to satisfy His desire to dance on the hoods of the serpent. He merely awaited the approval of His Vrajavasi friends and relatives standing on the shore of the River Yamuna. Observing the lord of their hearts trapped in the snake's coils and submerged under the water, the cows and cowherd boys filled with fear and lamentation. Paralyzed by grief, the cowherd boys froze in place, held their palms on their foreheads, and wept profusely while crying out pite-ously to Krishna, "How painful! How painful! We cannot bear to live!" Seeing the whole world as void and nearing destruction, they collapsed on the ground. Feeling they had entered an ocean of poison, the cowherd boys nearly died from the devastating inundation of simultaneously experiencing the eight symptoms of transcendental ecstasy. Viewing the Vrajavasis enduring such misfortune, the demigods, their hair loosened and clothing disheveled, felt their hearts pierced with flaming arrows. In great distress they called out, "Alas! Alas!"
The three types of fearful omens, namely those on the earth, in the sky, and in the bodies of living creatures, which announce imminent danger, descended upon Vrndavana at that moment. Jackals shrieked harshly at the sun, smoke and dust as dark as the horns of a buffalo blanketed the sky, and the sun appeared dull and lackluster. High winds howled in every direction and violent earthquakes shook the earth. Afflicted by the inaus-piciousness, the left side of men's bodies (hand, eye, thigh), and the right side of women's bodies trembled. Anxiety seized the atmosphere and disturbed everyone's minds with grief and discontent. Perceiving all these inauspicious omens in his village, Nanda Maharaja and the gopas understood that a devastating time had assailed the earth. The hostile unfavorable atmosphere submerged their hearts in the mud of fearfulness. Although they had innumerable experiences of the unlimited majesty of Krishna, due to the covering potency of Yogamaya, they knew only His sweet intimacy. Forgetting about the Lord's omnipotence, they simply worried about the safety of Krishna.
While lamenting over the disturbances some of the learned gopas said, "Oh! How dreadful! Due to negligence and naivete our innocent Krishna has wandered alone into the dense forest which is infested with various demons that always bring calamities. And He has gone there without the company of His intelligent, powerful elder brother Balarama. Without our beloved Krishna we cannot live. But since we cannot fathom the actual situation from here, let us invoke good fortune by chanting, 'Siva! Siva!' " Overwhelmed with fear and lamentation, the Vrajavasis quickly left their eating and drinking and rushed out intent on finding Krishna. The whole village joined in that procession from one year-old babies to elderly men. They followed the path marked by Krishna's footprints, which bore the unique symbols of a flag,barleycorn, thunderbolt, lotus flower, and elephant goad. Nanda and Vrajesvari Yasoda, Balarama, the elderly gopas, and all the children hurried along the path to the bank of the Yamuna River. From a distance they saw Krishna trapped in the lake, motionless within the coils of the venomous black serpent. Stepping closer, they immediately understood the situation just by seeing the facial expressions of Krishna's friends lying unconscious on the bank. Witnessing this, the Vrajavasis succumbed to anguish and confusion.
Though standing on the bank, they felt they too were drowning in the poisonous lake. Their hearts burned just like a person afflicted by poison. The women fell on the ground like creepers thrown down by a high wind, and the men toppled like uprooted trees. They sprawled out in all directions beside the lake.
Filled with panic and shock, Nanda Maharaja cried out in a voice choked with tears, "O my darling son! Why have you suddenly done this? O dearest of all, please come back to us." Gripped with lamentation, the cowherd men fell down unconscious on the ground around the King of Vrndavana. Yasoda swooned with equal distress and sadness. Sympathizing with her and wailing piteously like kurari birds, the elderly gopis collapsed on the ground next to the Queen of Vrndavana. At first the young gopis could neither cry nor lament as they starred at Krishna with unblinking eyes glittering with love. Then their piteous wailing strained the atmosphere, and the downpour of their tears muddied the bank of the Yamuna. Taking shelter in the embrace of the sakhi of personified unconsciousness, they fell flat on the ground like creepers and trees cut down by a hurricane. Though fainting, the gopis retained their life airs by recounting the pastimes of the beloved of Vrndavana. Even in that miserable state the gopis somehow maintained their existence. Indeed, intense lamentation permeated the atmosphere.Seeing the extent of Krishna's influence, Haladhara (Balarama) looked on with amazement. Then Balarama said, "O father, because Krishna is so dear to you, your heart is burning and you are overwhelmed with lamentation. Nevertheless, you need not be in anxiety for this body that is existing due to Krishna's mercy. O Mago! (Yasoda) Do not cry or lament anymore. Please hear My words and be patient. O Vrajavasis! You should not be so grief-stricken now that you have ascertained the extent of the danger."You are unaware of the magnitude of My younger brother's valor which always increases the joy of others. I am the only one who knows the extent of His transcendental identity. Among the greatest demigods, who can understand even a fraction of His opulence? Please be steady in your intelligence."For the lion-like Krishna it is a paltry achievement to subdue the demon Kaliya. Just as the wind cannot conquer a mountain, or as darkness can never cover the sun, or as a clump of reeds can never extinguish a raging forest fire, similarly, Krishna, who wears makara earrings, is not the least bit afraid of this tiny water snake. Therefore give up your grief. Any moment now My brother will finish this lowly snake and come out of the water. You can have complete confidence in My words."
By His illusory energy Krishna bewilders both the demons and the demigods. He possesses unlimited transcendental opulences and has a most elegant form. He relishes His own prowess within and without, and everyone knows His boundless power. To the surrendered soul He is an ocean of happiness.
Therefore, to remove the acute distress of His father, mother, and other relatives, Krishna decided to free Himself from the serpent the moment Balarama, who glowed like pure moonlight, finished speaking. Enwrapped in the thick coils of that black snake, Krishna looked as exquisite and striking as the full moon embraced by the branch of a dark tree. Releasing Himself from Kaliya's clutches, Krishna lifted His lotus face and cast a blissful smile toward the Vrajavasis.
Conchshells blasted from the assembly house of the demigods, the dundubhis pounded "dhunl dhunl dhunl dhunl" and the bheris (kettledrums) reverberated deep rhythms. The thunderous combination of these sounds of victory threatened to break the eardrums of all listeners. Gradually the Vrajavasis regained their lives upon hearing the auspicious drums of the demigods. As they pushed themselves up from the ground with their arms, they heard that joyous celestial music spreading in all directions and saw Lord Balarama standing nearby.
Everyone shivered in fright upon noticing that extremely fierce serpent, whose body looked blacker than iron and who spewed foam and fiery sparks from His mouth. The effulgence of the gems on his hundred heads diffused throughout the sky. Sparks shot from His burning eyes and his gaping mouth resembled a pan full of boiling ghee. Raising his hoods high, Kaliya pounced on Krishna. The pride intoxicated Kaliya appeared to be licking the upper limits of the sky with his two hundred tongues. To enact yet another playful pastime Krishna slipped from Kaliya's grip and mounted his broad serpentine heads, which resembled a garden of large swaying creepers.Pointing toward Krishna, Balarama said, "Look at Krishna! His tender body and eyes beautified with kajala appear before you as personified death for the Kaliya serpent. His priceless jeweled ornaments sparkle a million times more than the fiery sparks dancing inside Kaliya's poisonous mouth. Krishna has all the power to finish this demon, and He is artistically dressed with a turban, earrings, yellow cloth, and a fragrant forest garland. His beautiful curly hair has loosened during the fight to free Himself from the grip of the serpent. Tightening His cloth, Krishna is revealing a desire to kick down the heads of Kaliya and enjoy a dance there."Look, just to please all of you, Krishna is determined to extinguish the dazzling gems on the hood of the serpent. Krishna's body glows with a desire to dance and diminish the radiance of those jewels. Understand this deeply and try to realize the purport of My words. Do not worry anymore about this insignificant calamity."
Krishna smiled and relished the mellow of laughter while Baladeva spoke. The Vrajavasis forgot their lamentation upon hearing Balarama's reassuring words. Although still overwhelmed with fear due to seeing the gigantic size of the king of the snakes, they blossomed with happiness upon seeing Krishna whose gleaming joyful eyes looked as pleasing as kunda flowers. Before enacting His dramatic dance on the hoods of Kaliya, Krishna cast a sidelong glance to enliven His friends and relatives, who brimmed with affection and complete attachment to Him. Accompanied only by His mind, Krishna displayed amazing skill as the best of dancers and the savior of His devotees. The Siddhas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and other demigods immediately arrived there to show their respect and appreciation for Krishna's unique dance performance. This joyful group of demigods exhibited their talent in music, singing and dancing by playing sweet melodies on mrdarigas, murajas, panavas, and panas. Shri Krishna, the unlimited reservoir of wonder who is expert in all artistic skills, appeared to be cruelly smashing down Kaliya's heads with His feet. But actually Krishna showed him the greatest mercy. The demigods delighted in the variety of fast, slow, and medium dances shown by the Lord as they kept time with the right rhythms. The instruments of the demigods softly sounded thiya-ta-ta, ta-ta-thiya, thai-thai-thai, thaiya-ta-ta. They also played loud and high-pitched sounds.The demigods brought out newer and newer melodies by combining different notes, sounds, and rhythms. Responding accordingly, Krishna nimbly stepped from one hood of the serpent to another. The demigods,however, could not keep up with the unique self-styled dancing of the Lord. Krishna, the supreme controller, moved rhythmically on the hoods of the serpent, and expertly danced in such a way to crush and suppress each of his hoods. As the beat drung-drung-drung, drimi-drimi, tung-tung-tung boomed faster and louder, Krishna's brilliance increased more and more as He stomped on the serpent's heads.
The extraordinary expertise of Krishna's dancing crushed the pride of the Apsaras and Gandharvas. Although feeling embarrassed, they tried their best to keep pace with Krishna. Defeated in their attempt, they just danced delightfully on their own. The resounding sounds of dundubhis, the deep reverberations of kettledrums, the chanting of hymns by the sages, and the showering of flowers from Nanda-kanana exhilarated the Vrajavasis and depressed the demons.
The ruthless steps of Vanamali Krishna's tandava dance devastated the serpent. Blood streamed from Kaliya's mouths, his eyes popped out, and his hoods completely collapsed. Seeing their husband vanquished and heart broken, the Nagapatnis (wives of Kaliya) felt sorry for him and cried pit-eously. Out of affection for him they thought, "Our husband will not survive unless he attains the mercy of the Lord." Abandoning all fear and shyness, the Nagapatnis put their children on their laps and approached Krishna to petition Him on behalf of their husband.
The Nagapatnis offered prayers to Shri Krishna with sweet voices: "O Lord, all glories unto You! O crest-jewel on the head of the demigods! Who other than You can be the Supreme Brahman? Brahma and Siva constantly glorify You, the unlimited ocean of transcendental qualities. The yogis and paramahamsas happily praise and meditate upon Your lotus feet, which are forever massaged by the auspicious lotus hands of Goddess Laksmi. As a swan extracts milk from a watery mixture, the paramahamsas reject the four desirable goals of human life to immerse themselves in the bliss of Your service. "O Lord, extolled throughout the Vedasl Please hear our prayer. O Lord, You are the personification of eternity, bliss and knowledge! You assume a transcendental body to annihilate all the demons! You are the oldest, the origin of everything, and yet You are an ever-fresh youth. You are the fountainhead of all the Vishnu expansions! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! Please give up Your anger and show us Your mercy!
"O Vasudeva, You are the life-giving Lord of all! O Sankarsana, You remove all the miseries of the universe! O Pradyumna, You are the treasure of love for all the Vrajavasis! O Aniruddha, Your Yogamaya potency prevents ordinary people from perceiving You! You are the Supersoul of all the demigods! Ah! You are the life and soul of the Vrajavasis. Be pleased with our prayers, O Lord, for the life of our husband is about to depart.
"Your lotus feet which delight the atmaramas, remove all mental anxieties, and are rarely achieved even in samadhi now stand on the hoods of our husband. O Lord, we have no idea how Kaliya has attained such a rare fortune. This wicked snake deserves to be punished. Only by Your mercy can one give up his wickedness and follow the righteous path. It is impossible for a living entity to do this on his own.
"O Lord! You alone maintain the entire universe created by the three modes of material nature by the mode of goodness, which purifies the mind. You create the world with passion and by ignorance, which is darker than night, You destroy the creation. O mighty armed! It is by name only that Vishnu, who rides on Garuda, is called the maintainer, and that Brahma, who sits upon a lotus, is the creator, and that Siva, who sits atop Nandi, is called the destroyer.
"O one who is dear to those who have nothing! Living entities appear by different combinations of the modes of nature. Being born in the mode of ignorance, it is natural for a snake like Kaliya to be crooked. As it is impossible to see a flower creeper in the sky, it also impossible to find gentle behavior or good manners in him. He does nothing good for anyone, and he has no power to overcome Your maya. This is the nature of one who lives in hole.
"His actions cannot be considered offensive because that is his very nature. So how can You, who are eternally liberated, the ocean of mercy, and full of all opulence, deny him Your mercy? You always treat everyone equally and all Your acts convey auspiciousness. Therefore, please quickly show Your mercy to our afflicted husband. It does not befit You to kill such a lowly living entity.
"Even Siva, Brahma, Laksmi, and the sannyasis who perform sadhana, meditation, and attentive service cannot understand You. Hence, how can Kaliya, who is bewildered by pride and ignorance, know You? Your playful kicks and dancing on his heads have practically killed him. Although he is a very powerful serpent, he is so weakened that only his life air remains. Indeed he is cruel and ill behaved, but nevertheless he is one of Your living entities. Alas! We hope he will not die. Please forgive his offense and return our husband so that we will not become widows." The gentle beautiful Nagapatnis petitioned the Lord with piteous choked voices.
Krishna responded compassionately by dissipating His anger and reducing the punishment. Smiling sweetly, Krishna replied to the wives of Kaliya, "Do not fear. Although I am very angry, your sweet appeal has satisfied Me. As a monsoon shower extinguishes a forest fire, your pleasing prayers have removed My intense anger. As a result I will spare his life. Now I request you to take your husband and return to your original abode. Since your husband's heads are now decorated with My bliss-giving lotus footprints, Garuda will feel blessed to see them. From now on you need not fear him."His false pride broken like a person bent over from carrying a heavy mass of iron, Kaliya felt relieved and happy by the Lord's assurance of protection. With fear, devotion, and submission Kaliya said, "O Lord! With all Your opulence You appear in this world to crush the demons and award the treasure of prema to Your devotees. As long as the sun and the moon remain, Your beautiful pastimes will give joy to the minds of Your devotees. You always bring immediate auspiciousness to the unfortunate. O abode of compassion!
"The River Yamuna is the ideal place for Your pastimes. Therefore You have rightly punished me for my offense of poisoning her waters. Who could have shown me more mercy than You? Your dancing has decorated my hoods with the splendid marks of Your lotus feet. Now my life has become completely auspicious. O younger brother of Baladeva! By Your order I will now return to Ramanaka Island. O Supreme Lord of all the demigods! Due to some misfortune I have offended You. O You who wear makara kunddla earrings! Please forgive me for my offensive behavior."
Concluding his prayer, Kaliya took out some special jewels from his collection and presented a valuable ruby and pearl necklace to Krishna as a 'gift. Then he and his family offered obeisances to the Lord and left the Yamuna. Immediately the water transformed into the sweetest nectar. After Kaliya left, the prince of Vraja, who ever enacts fresh and effulgent playful pastimes, climbed up on the bank of the Yamuna. The golden bangles on His lotus hands glistened attractively and His shimmering dhoti defeated the brightness of lightning.
Extinguishing the Forest Fire
With a pure loving heart Krishna paid obeisances to His parents and all the Vrajavasis. By taking part in Krishna's enchanting pastimes they crossed an ocean full of different mellows including fear, curiosity, and bliss. Nanda, Yasoda, and Balarama warmly embraced the beloved of Vrndavana. The cowherd girls cast sidelong glances toward Krishna. The innocent cows encircled Krishna, and looked at Him for a long time with eyes full of tears and hearts full of delight. While smelling the pleasing fragrance of Krishna's body the cows felt overwhelmed and happily licked Him. It seemed that the cows inquired about Krishna's elfare by mooing with choked voices.Hearing the cheering of His friends submerged Krishna in an ocean of happiness. Then the subduer of Kaliya warmly embraced each of His boy-friends. That sweet Lord, who pleased the Vrajavasis by living with them in Vrndavana, relaxed on the riverbank enjoying with His friends. Seeing the setting sun, Vrajaraja Nanda announced, "Listen, it is almost night. I see the frightening darkness as a personification of Rudra. My glorious son has restored the purity of this lake by removing the fiery poison. So let us spend the night here in this auspicious place."
On hearing his words everyone felt happy. The ladies and cowherd girls became ecstatic to again see the beautiful form of Krishna, which is more elegant than a monsoon cloud, ever youthful, full of joy, and attractive to all. By gazing at their captivating Lord the gopis felt relieved of their anguish and mental disturbance that had previously felt like the itching of a skin sore.Keeping Krishna in the center, the Vrajavasis surrounded Him in five circles. In the first circle nearest Krishna stood Vrajaraja Nanda and the elderly gopas, and next to them Yasoda and the cowherd boys assembled. The young gopis stood safely beside their mothers, and the married gopis remained near their mothers-in-law. The husbands of the loving gopis formed the second circle. The men in the third circle protected everyone with bows and arrows. Cows and calves comprised the fourth circle. Holding a variety of weapons, Vraja's famous chivalrous soldiers formed the fifth circle. These five circles made a vyuha around Krishna.The Vrajavasis spent half of the night discussing the incredible beauty of Krishna and His spectacular defeat of Kaliya. After they fell asleep a sweet and pleasant time arrived. In the quiet hours of night the eyes and minds of the gopis derived the fullest satisfaction from lovingly gazing at the attractive moon-like face of Krishna. Candravali and other gopi leaders relished a joyous festival for the eyes.The desire which Radha and Krishna had previously sprouted burst into bloom now that there was an opportunity for fulfillment. Eager to meet, Radha and Krishna extended their necks in anticipation. With Their eyes locked in enchantment They sported with each other through romantic glances. The lotuses of Their eyes played seductively. First Radha disturbed Krishna's vision with a sidelong glance. The agitation resembled the shaking of lotus flowers by the skittish movements of a wagtail bird. When Krishna opened the lotus of His sidelong glance, the flower of Radha's shyness reduced to a bud.
Struck by these lotuses, Cupid's arrows forcefully returned to the god of love. As the curtain of darkness fell, the rising love between Radha and Krishna appeared as Cupid to envelop Them. Candravali and other gopis thought, "Oh! Krishna is only giving His love to the daughter of Vrsabhanu." Suddenly some other gopis that had remained awake discussing Krishna's pastimes cried loudly, "O look! Look! There is a great danger ahead!"
Hearing the commotion, the cows woke up and cautiously looked in all directions. The gopa leaders talked among themselves, "What is happening?" Those who were asleep awoke and shouted in alarm. Looking worriedly toward Krishna, the gopis said, "The nails of His feet are more worshipable than millions of our lives. Let there be no danger to Him!" Judging from their frightened glances, Krishna, the darling of Vrndavana, looked at them with love and assured them in a grave voice, "Fear not! Fear not!"
Speculating about the impending calamity, the people said, "Is Kaliya seeking revenge and racing along the path beside the lake? Or is it a large group of wild elephants charging madly due to intoxication from playing in a mountain pool?" Then someone announced in a loud voice mixed with pain, "Hey look! Come on, there is no way out! Surrounding us is a huge forest fire about to devour us. Fire! Fire!"
On hearing this, Vrajaraja Nanda became afraid, but remembering Gargamuni's words he immediately approached his son and said, "O my dear son! Please save us! Save us! Just in front of us is an immense forest fire. You are the one and only Lord of Vrndavana. This terrible fire is burning down Your home of Vrndavana, and rushing toward us with tremendous speed. Only You can put out this fire. There can be no more auspiciousness unless it is extinguished."
Seeing His mother, father, friends, and family members overwhelmed with distress, Madhava said, "Do not fear!" An ordinary forest fire cannot appear in the transcendental land of Vrndavana. However, Krishna, by His own sweet will, manifested a fire to enchant everyone with His amazing pastimes. The forest fire burned all the dry trees in its path. The leaves on the trees produced a crackling sound as they burned. Frightened animals fled in all directions from the raging fire. Nanda saw the gigantic fire licking the sky with its flames.While observing the forest fire, Krishna thought, "This devastating fire is killing many beasts and threatening the lives of My friends. I feel compassion for the trees whose leaves are burning to ashes. And it hurts Me to hear the terrified crying of the cows. The thick clouds of smoke have blinded the poor birds flying overhead. Maddened with fear, the deer are running hither and thither. Under these circumstances what shall I do?"As one pacifies the desires of poverty-stricken persons as soon as they arise, Krishna extinguished the fire as soon as it appeared. It disappeared as quickly as an illusion, a magician's trick, a flash of lightning, an object in a dream, or as the wealth of an unfortunate person. Under the shower of Krishna's merciful glance the trees, shrubs, and creepers returned to their previous state. Not a trace of the forest fire remained. Observing this, everyone said inamazement, "We talked just like madmen. Where is that fire?"
In the evening light, the son of the king of Vrndavana looked very elegant as He entered the town with His cowherd friends. Krishna, the glory of His family, is filled with boundless bliss and always absorbed in exciting pastimes. He is a nectar shower of mercy, and the essence of all good fortune who teaches the laws of love to His devotees. The people of Vrndavana surrounded Krishna and took great pleasure in praising Him with the prayers of Gargacarya. Pangs of separation overcame the Vraja gopis while waiting for Krishna to return. Although they spent the night like women far from their homes, when they saw Krishna coming they again overflowed with love.