Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-10 > Part-3 > The slaying of Arishta, the bull demon



 The slaying of Arishta, the bull demon.



     One evening, as Lord Krishna was preparing to perform the rasa-dance, a demon named Arishta appeared in the form of a bull with a large hump. While digging up the earth with his hooves, and thus making it tremble like an earthquake, Arishtasura entered Vrindavana. Pawing the ground, his eyes glaring and his tail raised, the demon dug up the earth with the tips of his horns while passing stool and urine.

     Mistaking the great demon for a mountain, clouds hovered over his hump, and when the residents of Vrindavana saw him, they were astonished. Indeed, he roared so fiercely that some of the pregnant cows and women suffered miscarriages. While the cows and bulls fled to the pasturing ground, the cowherd men and women rushed to the shelter of Lord Govinda, crying out, “Krishna, Krishna!”

     Upon seeing the cowherd community distraught and fleeing in fear, Krishna calmed them by saying, “Do not be afraid.” He then called out to the bull demon, “You fool! What are you doing, you wicked rascal, frightening the cowherd community and animals? I am here just to punish miscreants like you!”

     Having said this, Krishna slapped His arms with His palms and then casually threw His arm over the shoulder of a friend, while facing the demon. At this, Arishtasura became enraged, and after pawing the ground, he charged, pointing the tips of his horns straight ahead, while glaring menacingly. Indeed, the demon rushed at Krishna with great speed, just like a thunderbolt hurled by Indra.

     Still, Krishna seized the demon by the horns and tossed him away to a distance of eighteen steps. Although he was breathing hard and perspiring, the bull demon got up and rushed at Krishna once more, in a mindless rage. Krishna once again seized Arishtasura by the horns and forcefully threw him to the ground. Then, with His foot, Krishna began to squash the demon, just as one might wring a wet rag on the floor.

     While vomiting blood, and passing stool and urine, and moving his legs about violently- as his eyes bulged from their sockets, Arishtasura went painfully to the abode of Death. Upon witnessing this wonderful pastime, the demigods showered flowers on Krishna as he entered the village of Vrindavana, along with Balarama, while its inhabitants glorified Them in jubilation.

     Quoting twenty verses from the Puranas, Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura has described the origin of Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda as follows: The gopis said, “O Krishna, because You killed a demon who was in the form of a bull, You should atone by visiting all the places of pilgrimage, just as Indra did after killing Vritrasura.”

     Krishna replied, “Why should I wander throughout the whole world? I will bring all of the holy places of pilgrimage here- just see!”

     Saying this, Krishna struck the ground with the heel of His foot. At this, water from all the holy places came and announced their arrival. Krishna then took a bath and said to the gopis, “I have created a pond from all the holy places, whereas you have never executed such pious activities.”

Shrimati Radharani then said, “I must create an even more beautiful pond. Gopis, get to work!”

     The gopis saw a hole that had been dug by Arishtasura’s hooves, and within an hour they had dug out a pond with their hands. Krishna then told the gopis that they could fill their pond with water from His own, but Radharani replied, “No, this is impossible! Your water is contaminated by the killing of a cow!”

A celestial person then appeared from Krishna’s pond and bowed before Shrimati Radharani, begging for her to let him fill her pond with waters from the holy places. Radha agreed, and thus the water in Krishna’s pond broke through the barriers and filled Her pond. Krishna then said, “My dear Radha, may this pond become even more renowned than My own. I will come here often to bathe and enjoy My pastimes.”

     Radha replied, saying that She would also bathe in His pond, and that night Krishna enjoyed a rasa-dance at Radha-kunda.

After this incident, Narada Muni went to visit King Kansa at Mathura, desiring to expedite Krishna’s mission of killing the demons.     

      Narada said, “O Kansa, Yashoda’s child was actually a daughter, and Krishna is the son of Devaki. Rama is the son of Rohini. Out of fear, Vasudeva entrusted Krishna and Balarama to the care of his friend, Nanda Maharaja, and it is these two boys who have killed your men.”

     This was very important information for Kansa, because it had been predicted that the eighth son of Devaki would kill him. When Kansa heard Narada’s statement, he became furious and out of control. He immediately picked up a sword with the intention of killing Vasudeva for his having misled him.

Narada was able to restrain Kansa, however, by reminding him that it was the sons of Vasudeva that he must fear and not Vasudeva himself. Still, Kansa once again had Vasudeva and Devaki arrested and shackled in irons. Although it may be thought that Vasudeva would consider Narada’s actions inimical, this was not the case. Vasudeva was actually grateful because Narada’s words caused Krishna to come to Mathura, thus awarding him the Lord’s association.

     After Narada left, Kansa summoned Keshi and ordered him to go kill Rama and Krishna. The King then called for his ministers, headed by Mushtika, Chanura, Shala and Toshala- and his elephant-keepers.

     Kansa said, “Krishna and Balarama are living in Nanda’s cowherd village, and it is predicted that these two will be the cause of my death. When They come to Mathura, kill Them on the pretext of having a wrestling match. Construct a wrestling arena now with a large seating capacity, and invite everyone from Mathura and the surrounding areas to come see the competition.”

     “O elephant-keeper, place the giant elephant, Kuvalayapida, at the entrance to the wrestling arena and have the beast kill my two enemies.”

     “Commence the bow sacrifice (dhanur-yagya) on the Chaturdashi day, and offer in sacrifice the proper animals for the satisfaction of Lord Shiva.”

     Kansa next called for Akrura, a most eminent member of the Yadu dynasty. Knowing well the art of diplomacy, Kansa affectionately took Akrura by the hand and said, “O most charitable one, please do me a favor out of respect. Among all of the Bhojas and Vrishnis, there is no one as kind as you.”

     “Gentle Akrura, you always carry out your duties soberly and so I am depending upon you. Please go to Nanda’s village, where the two sons of Anakadundubhi are living, and bring Them here without delay. As you can see, I have arranged for a very nice, new chariot for your use.”

     Kansa thought that Akrura was a simple-minded person who would be thrilled to try out the new chariot. But actually, Akrura was pleased because it would have been inappropriate for Krishna and Balarama to travel in a chariot that had already been used by the wicked Kansa.

     Kansa continued, “The demigods have sent these two boys to kill me, and so bring them here and invite Nanda and the other cowherd men to attend the festival and bring gifts of tribute. When Krishna and Balarama arrive, I will have them killed by my powerful elephant. And if They happen to escape this attempt, I will have Them killed by my wrestlers.”

     “After the death of Krishna and Balarama, I will kill Vasudeva and all his relatives- the Vrishnis, Bhojas and Dasharhas. I will also kill my father, Ugrasena, because he is greedy for my kingdom, and I will kill his brother Devaka and all my other enemies as well. At last, the earth will be free of all thorns!”

     “My elder relative, Jarasandha is my well-wisher, as are Dvivida, Shambara, Naraka and Bana. I will utilize them to kill all of the kings that are allied with the demigods, so that at last I shall rule the earth. Now that you have understood my intentions, go at once and bring Krishna and Balarama here.”

     Shri Akrura replied, “O King, you have very expertly devised the means to free yourself from all misfortune. Still, one should be equal in success and failure because it is certainly destiny that controls the results of one’s endeavors. Of course, ordinary people consider themselves to be the sole cause of success and so are determined to act on their desires, even when fate prevents their fulfillment. Although this seems to be the case at present, I will execute your order.”

     Thereafter, Kansa dismissed his ministers and retired to his quarters, while Akrura returned home.