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The killing of the demon Trinavarta.
From the beginning of His childhood, Krishna performed such wonderful pastimes, one after another, that kept mother Yashoda and all the inhabitants of Vraja in a state of great astonishment. Simply by hearing of these activities, the dirty things in one’s mind immediately vanish. Generally, we are reluctant to hear about the activities of the Lord, but Krishna’s childhood pastimes are so attractive that they are automatically pleasing to the mind and ear. Thus, one’s attachment for hearing about material things, which is the root cause of material existence, vanishes.
When baby Krishna was propping up His body, attempting to rise and turn around, it was time to observe the utthana ceremony. This is also the time when the child is supposed to leave the house for the first time. Just after Krishna became three months old, Mother Yashoda celebrated this ceremony with the other neighborhood women. On that day, the moon was in the constellation Rohini.
The brahmanas were invited, and while they chanted the Vedic mantras, professional musicians also took part, so that it became a great festival. After nicely bathing child Krishna, Mother Yashoda gave the brahmanas food grains and other eatables, as well as cows and flower garlands.
Thereafter, when Mother Yashoda saw that her child was feeling sleepy, she placed Him beneath a household handcart, which was located in a corner of the courtyard, and was loaded with heavy utensils. Mother Yashoda lay with her child until He was sleeping peacefully, and then she got up to receive her guests. While Yashoda was thus busily engaged, she could not hear the child crying for His mother.
There was a ghost named Shakatasura who had taken shelter of the handcart under which Krishna had been placed to sleep, and he was looking for the opportunity to do mischief to the child. Actually, this handcart was another form of Shakatasura himself. Now, on the plea of demanding to suck his mother’s breast, baby Krishna angrily kicked His legs upward with the intention of killing the demon.
Although Krishna’s little legs were as soft as leaves, when He struck the cart with them, it violently turned over and collapsed. The wheels separated from the axle, the hubs and spokes fell apart, and a pole of the handcart broke. On the handcart were many utensils made of metal, and they scattered here and there, making a loud noise.
Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura comments that in His Vamana-avatara, the Lord had to extend His foot to a great height so as to penetrate the coverings of the universe. When the Lord killed the gigantic demon Hiranyakashipu, He had to assume a special bodily feature of Nrisinghadeva. But in His Krishna avatara, the Lord did not have to exert Himself. In other incarnations, the Lord had to exert some energy, according to time and circumstances, but in His form of Krishna, He exhibited unlimited potency. Just by touching the handcart with his little foot, Krishna made it fall to pieces.
When all of those assembled there saw the shattered cart and scattered utensils, they were shocked and began to wonder how this could have happened. While moving about, they tried to ascertain some cause of the handcart’s collapse, but could not. They thought, “It must have been the work of some demon, or else an evil planet.”
At this time, some of the children claimed that the crying baby Krishna had smashed the cart. They said that as soon as Krishna kicked the wheel, the whole cart collapsed. The gopas and gopis, being unaware of Krishna’s unlimited prowess, could not believe this, and so they dismissed these statements as childish nonsense.
Fearing that some evil planet had attacked Krishna, Mother Yashoda quickly picked up her crying child and allowed Him to suck her breast. Then she called for the learned brahmanas to chant Vedic mantras and perform an auspicious ceremony. After the strong cowherd men reassembled the cart, along with its contents, as before, Nanda Maharaja soberly took Krishna upon his lap and invited the brahmanas to perform a fire sacrifice to appease the evil planet.
When brahmanas are free from envy, untruthfulness, unnecessary pride, grudges, disturbance caused by the opulence of others, and false prestige- their blessings never go in vain. While the brahmanas were chanting the Vedic mantras, Nanda Maharaja bathed his son with water that was mixed with herbs. Finally, when the sacrifice was completed, he sumptuously fed all of the brahmanas with first-class food. After this, Maharaja Nanda gave the brahmanas many cows that were fully decorated with garments, flower garlands and gold necklaces. Upon receiving these cows, the brahmanas bestowed ample blessings upon Nanda Maharaja’s entire family, and especially upon Krishna. All of these brahmanas were yogis, endowed with all mystic powers, and thus their blessings were never fruitless.
One day, one year after the Lord’s appearance, Mother Yashoda was playing with baby Krishna on her lap, lifting Him up and then making Him seem to fall, so that He laughed. While thus playing, Mother Yashoda suddenly felt her child to be as heavy as the entire universe, so that she could no longer hold onto Him. Knowing that a great demon was coming, Lord Krishna did this so that His mother would not suffer any difficulty.
Being very astonished, thinking that the child was being attacked by another demon or ghost, Mother Yashoda placed Him on the ground and began to think of Lord Narayana. After calling for the brahmanas, for the purpose of counteracting any disturbances, she then engaged herself in household duties.
A demon named Trinavarta, a servant of Kansa, then came, in the form of a whirlwind, and by employing the mahima-siddhi he very easily carried Krishna up into the air. The whirlwind stirred up so much dust all over Gokula that everyone’s vision became covered, and the demon created a terrible and frightening sound. In the dense darkness, mother Yashoda was unable to find where she had placed her son. Indeed, everywhere was turmoil, and because of the dust, people could not even see their own selves. In great distress, Mother Yashoda threw herself onto the ground, like a cow that had lost her calf, and began to lament very pitifully.
Then, as the dust storm subsided, the other gopis hurried to Mother Yashoda, and when they saw that Krishna was missing, they joined her in searching for Him.
Meanwhile, as Trinavarta rose higher and higher into the sky, baby Krishna, Yogeshvara became very heavy, forcing the demon to stop his ascent. Indeed, Krishna felt like a great mountain to Trinavarta, and because the Lord firmly held him around the neck, the demon was not able to throw Him off. At this moment, Trinavarta began to consider Krishna to be some very wonderful kind of being.
Then, as Krishna continued grasping him by the throat, Trinavarta choked, being unable to make any sound or move his limbs. With his eyes popping out, the demon lost his life and fell, along with child Krishna, down to the ground of Vraja.
While the gopis were crying due to Krishna’s absence, they saw Trinavarta land upon a big slab of stone that smashed his limbs, and so they quickly ran and picked up Krishna, who was happily playing on the demon’s broad chest. The gopis delivered child Krishna to the arms of Mother Yashoda, and because He was unhurt and free of all danger, the cowherd men and women were extremely happy.
Nanda Maharaja then told the others, “We must have previously performed austerities for a long time, worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, performed a lot of public service, and given much in charity. As a result of all this, our Krishna has returned to give us happiness.”
Indeed, because of all the astonishing things that were happening, Nanda Maharaja again and again remembered the advice that Vasudeva had given him in Mathura.
One day thereafter, Mother Yashoda took Krishna upon her lap and fed Him from her breast. As she touched Him and gazed at His beautiful, brilliantly smiling face, the child yawned. With great astonishment, Mother Yashoda saw within baby Krishna’s mouth the entire sky. She saw the heavenly planets, the sun and the moon, and she saw the earth with its seas, islands, mountains, rivers, forests, and all kinds of living entities- moving and nonmoving.
By the arrangement of Yogamaya, Mother Yashoda regarded Krishna as an ordinary child. But, just to show her what kind of child she had on her lap, Krishna took this opportunity to exhibit the virat-rupa (universal form). Upon seeing the entire universe within her son’s mouth, Mother Yashoda’s heart began to throb as she murmured, “How wonderful, how wonderful.” Although she became absorbed in extraordinary thoughts, Mother Yashoda closed her eyes, for she did not actually like seeing Lord Krishna’s opulence.