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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 09 The Kaliya Serpent

Chapter Nine

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.