Krsna's Demon Pastimes in Dwaraka, Part 2

BY: SUN STAFF - 5.9 2023

Krishna kills King Salva

Lila pastimes with the transcendental demons.


King Salva

"Lord Krsna began to think that while He was arriving in Hastinapura with Balarama after the killing of Sisupala, Sisupala's men must have attacked Dvaraka. On reaching Dvaraka, Lord Krsna saw that the whole city was greatly endangered. He placed Balaramaji in a strategic position for the protection of the city, and He Himself asked His charioteer Daruka to prepare to start. He said, "Daruka, please immediately take Me to where Salva is staying. You may know that this Salva is a very powerful, mysterious man. Don't fear him in the least." As soon as he got his orders from Lord Krsna, Daruka had Him seated on the chariot and drove very quickly toward Salva.

The chariot of Lord Krsna was marked with the flag bearing the insignia of Garuda, and as soon as the soldiers and warriors of the Yadu dynasty saw the flag, they could understand that Lord Krsna was on the battlefield. By this time, almost all the soldiers of Salva had been killed, but when Salva saw that Krsna had come to the battlefield, he released a great, powerful weapon which flew through the sky with a roaring sound like a great meteor. It was so bright that the whole sky was lit up by its presence. But as soon as Lord Krsna appeared, He tore the great weapon into hundreds and thousands of pieces by releasing His own arrow.

Lord Krsna struck Salva with sixteen arrows, and with showers of arrows He overpowered the airplane, just as the sun in a clear sky overpowers the whole sky by an unlimited number of molecules of sunshine. Salva struck a severe blow to Krsna's left side, where the Lord was carrying His bow, Sarnga, and as a result the Sarnga bow fell from Lord Krsna's hand. This dropping of the bow was indeed wonderful. Great personalities and demigods who were observing the fighting between Salva and Krsna became most perturbed by this, and they began to exclaim, "Alas! Alas!"

Salva thought that he had become victorious, and with a roaring sound he began to address Lord Krsna as follows: "You rascal, Krsna! You kidnapped Rukmini forcibly, even in our presence. You baffled my friend Sisupala and married Rukmini Yourself. And in the great assembly at King Yudhisthira's Rajasuya-yajna, while my friend Sisupala was a little absent-minded, You took an opportunity to kill him. Everyone thinks that You are a great fighter and that no one can conquer You. So now You'll have to prove Your strength. I think that if You stand before me any longer, with my sharpened arrows I shall send You to a place wherefrom You will never return."

To this Lord Krsna replied, "Foolish Salva, you are talking nonsensically. You do not know that the moment of death is already upon your head. Those who are actually heroes do not talk much. They prove their prowess by practical exhibition of chivalrous activities." After saying this, Lord Krsna, in great anger, struck Salva on the collarbone with His club so severely that he began to bleed internally and tremble as if he were going to collapse from severe cold. Before Krsna was able to strike him again, however, Salva became invisible by his mystic power.

Within a few moments, a mysterious unknown man came before Lord Krsna. Crying loudly, he bowed down at the Lord's lotus feet and said to Him, "Since You are the most beloved son of Your father Vasudeva, Your mother Devaki has sent me to inform You of the unfortunate news that Your father has been arrested by Salva and taken away by force. He took him just as a butcher mercilessly takes away an animal." When Lord Krsna heard this unfortunate news from the unknown man, He at first became most perturbed, just like an ordinary human being. His face showed signs of grief, and He began to cry in a piteous tone, "How could this happen? My brother Lord Balarama is there, and it is impossible for anyone to conquer Balaramaji. He is in charge of Dvaraka City, and I know that He is always alert. How could Salva possibly enter the city and arrest My father in that way? Whatever he may be, Salva's power is limited, so how could it be possible that he has conquered the strength of Balaramaji and taken away My father, arresting him as described by this man? Alas! Destiny is, after all, very powerful."

While Sri Krsna was thinking like this, Salva brought before Him in custody a man exactly resembling Vasudeva, His father. These were all creations of the mystic power of Salva.

Salva began to address Krsna, "You rascal, Krsna! Look. This is Your father, who has begotten You and by whose mercy You are still living. Now just see how I kill Your father. If You have any strength, try to save him." The mystic juggler, Salva, speaking in this way before Lord Krsna, immediately cut off the head of the false Vasudeva. Without hesitation he took away the dead body and got into his airplane. Lord Krsna is the self-sufficient Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet because He was playing the role of a human being, He became very depressed for a moment, as if He had actually lost His father. But at the next moment He could understand that the arrest and killing of His father were demonstrations of the mystic powers which Salva had learned from the demon Maya. Coming to His right consciousness, He could see that there was no messenger and no head of His father, but that Salva had left in his airplane, which was flying in the sky. He then began to think of slaying Salva.

Krsna's reaction is a controversial point among great authorities and saintly persons. How could Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all power and knowledge, be bewildered in such a way? Lamentation, aggrievement and bewilderment are characteristics of persons who are conditioned souls, but how can such things affect the person of the Supreme, who is full of knowledge, power and all opulence? Actually, it is not at all possible that Lord Krsna was misled by the mystic jugglery of Salva. He was displaying His pastimes in playing the role of a human being. Great saintly persons and sages who are engaged in the devotional service of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and who have thus achieved the greatest perfection of self-realization have transcended the bewilderments of the bodily concept of life. Lord Krsna is the ultimate goal of life for such saintly persons. How then could Krsna have been bewildered by the mystic jugglery of Salva? The conclusion is that Lord Krsna's bewilderment was another opulence of His supreme personality.

When Salva thought that Krsna had been bewildered by his mystic representations, he became encouraged and began to attack the Lord with greater strength and energy by showering volleys of arrows upon Him. But the enthusiasm of Salva can be compared to the speedy march of flies into a fire. Lord Krsna, by hurling His arrows with unfathomable strength, injured Salva, whose armor, bow and jeweled helmet all scattered in pieces. With a crashing blow from Krsna's club, Salva's wonderful airplane burst into pieces and fell into the sea. Salva was very careful, and instead of crashing with the airplane, he managed to jump onto the land. He again rushed towards Lord Krsna. When Salva ran swiftly to attack Krsna with his club, Lord Krsna cut off his hand, which fell to the ground with the club. Finally deciding to kill him, the Lord took up His wonderful disc, which was shining like the brilliant sun at the time of the dissolution of the material creation. When Lord Sri Krsna stood up with His disc to kill Salva, He appeared just like the red sun rising over a mountain. Lord Krsna then cut off his head, and the head, with its earrings and helmet, fell on the ground. Salva was thus killed in the same way as Vrtrasura was killed by Indra, the King of heaven.

When Salva was killed, all his soldiers and followers began to cry, "Alas! Alas!" While Salva's men were thus crying, the demigods from the heavenly planets showered flowers on Krsna and announced the victory by beating on drums and blowing bugles. At this very moment, other friends of Sisupala, such as Dantavakra, appeared on the scene to fight with Krsna in order to avenge the death of Sisupala. When Dantavakra appeared before Lord Krsna, he was extremely angry."

Krsna Book, Chapter 77


King Sisupala

Krsna Liberates Sispuala, the King of Cedi


"Exceptionally qualified daughters of powerful kings were allowed to make a choice of their own bridegrooms in open competition, and such ceremonies were called svayamvara, or selection of the bridegroom. Because the svayamvara was an open competition between the rival and valiant princes, such princes were invited by the father of the princess, and usually there were regular fights between the invited princely order in a sporting spirit. But it so happened that sometimes the belligerent princes were killed in such marriage-fighting, and the victorious prince was offered the trophy princess for whom so many princes died. Rukmini, the principal queen of Lord Krsna, was the daughter of the King of Vidarbha, who wished that his qualified and beautiful daughter be given away to Lord Krsna. But her eldest brother wanted her to be given away to King Sisupala, who happened to be a cousin of Krsna. So there was open competition, and as usual Lord Krsna emerged successful, after harassing Sisupala and other princes by His unrivalled prowess."

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:10:29 Purport

"In that meeting, King Sisupala was also present. He was an avowed enemy of Krsna for many reasons, especially because of Krsna's having stolen Rukmini from the marriage ceremony; therefore, he could not tolerate such honor to Krsna and glorification of His qualities. Instead of being happy to hear the glories of the Lord, he became very angry. When everyone offered respect to Krsna by standing up, Sisupala remained in his seat, but when he became angry at Krsna's being honored, Sisupala stood up suddenly, and, raising his hand, began to speak very strongly and fearlessly against Lord Krsna. He spoke in such a way that Lord Krsna could hear him very distinctly.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I can appreciate now the statement of the Vedas that, after all, time is the predominating factor. In spite of all endeavors to the contrary, the time element executes its own plan without opposition. For example, one may try his best to live, but when the time for death comes, no one can check it. I see here that although there are many stalwart personalities present in this assembly, the influence of time is so strong that they have been misled by the statement of a boy who has foolishly spoken about Krsna. There are many learned sages and elderly persons present, but still they have accepted the statement of a foolish boy. This means that by the influence of time, even the intelligence of such honored persons as are present in this meeting can be misdirected. I fully agree with the respectable persons present here that they are competent enough to select the personality who can be first worshiped, but I cannot agree with the statement of a boy like Sahadeva, who has spoken so highly about Krsna and has recommended that Krsna is fit to accept the first worship in the sacrifice. I can see that in this meeting there are many personalities who have undergone great austerities, who are highly learned and who have performed many penances. By their knowledge and direction, they can deliver many persons who are suffering from the pangs of material existence. There are great rsis here whose knowledge has no bounds, as well as many self-realized persons and brahmanas also, and therefore I think that any one of them could have been selected for the first worship because they are worshipable even by the great demigods, kings and emperors. I cannot understand how you could have selected this cowherd boy, Krsna, and have left aside all these other great personalities. I think Krsna to be no better than a crow--how can He be fit to accept the first worship in this great sacrifice?

"We cannot even ascertain as yet to which caste this Krsna belongs or what His actual occupational duty is." Actually, Krsna does not belong to any caste, nor does He have to perform any occupational duty. It is stated in the Vedas that the Supreme Lord has nothing to do as His prescribed duty. Whatever has to be done on His behalf is executed by His different energies.

Sisupala continued: "Krsna does not belong to a high family. He is so independent that no one knows His principle of religious life. It appears that He is outside the jurisdiction of all religious principles. He always acts independently, not caring for the Vedic injunctions and regulative principles. Therefore He is devoid of all good qualities." Sisupala indirectly praised Krsna by saying that He is not within the jurisdiction of Vedic injunctions. This is true because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That He has no qualities means that Krsna has no material qualities, and because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He acts independently, not caring for conventions or social or religious principles.

Sisupala continued: "Under these circumstances, how can He be fit to accept the first worship in the sacrifice? Krsna is so foolish that He has left Mathura, which is inhabited by highly elevated persons following the Vedic culture, and He has taken shelter in the ocean, where there is not even talk of the Vedas. Instead of living openly, He has constructed a fort within the water and is living in an atmosphere where there is no discussion of Vedic knowledge. And whenever He comes out of the fort, He simply harasses the citizens like a dacoit, thief or rogue." Sisupala went crazy because of Krsna's being elected the supreme first-worshiped person in that meeting, and he spoke so irresponsibly that it appeared that he had lost all his good fortune. Being overcast with misfortune, Sisupala continued to insult Krsna further, and Lord Krsna patiently heard him without protest. Just as a lion does not care when a flock of jackals howl, Lord Krsna remained silent and unprovoked. Krsna did not reply to even a single accusation made by Sisupala, but all the members present in the meeting, except a few who agreed with Sisupala, became very agitated because it is the duty of any respectable person not to tolerate blasphemy against God or His devotee. Some of them, who thought that they could not properly take action against Sisupala, left the assembly in protest, covering their ears with their hands in order not to hear further accusations. Thus they left the meeting condemning the actions of Sisupala. It is the Vedic injunction that whenever there is blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one must immediately leave. If he does not do so, he becomes bereft of his pious activities and is degraded to a lower condition of life.

All the kings present, belonging to the Kuru dynasty, Matsya dynasty, Kekaya dynasty and Srnjaya dynasty, became very angry and immediately took up their swords and shields to kill Sisupala. Sisupala was so foolish that he did not become even slightly agitated, although all the kings present were ready to kill him. He did not care to think of the pros and cons of his foolish talking, and when he saw that all the kings were ready to kill him, instead of stopping, he stood to fight with them and took up his sword and shield. When Lord Krsna saw that they were going to engage in fighting in the arena of the auspicious Rajasuya-yajna, He personally pacified them. Out of His causeless mercy He Himself decided to kill Sisupala. When Sisupala was abusing the kings who were about to attack him, Lord Krsna took up His disc, which was as sharp as the blade of a razor, and immediately separated the head of Sisupala from his body.

When Sisupala was thus killed, a great roar and howl went up from the crowd of that assembly. Taking advantage of that disturbance, the few kings who were supporters of Sisupala quickly left the assembly out of fear for their lives. But despite all this, the fortunate Sisupala's spirit soul immediately merged into the body of Lord Krsna in the presence of all members, exactly as a burning meteor falls to the surface of the globe."

Krsna Book, Chapter 74


King Paundraka and Kasi King

Battle Scene from Mahabarata

"The story of King Paundraka is very interesting because there have always been many rascals and fools who have considered themselves to be God. Even in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, there was such a foolish person. His name was Paundraka, and he wanted to declare himself to be God. While Lord Balarama was absent in Vrndavana, this King Paundraka, the King of the Karusa province, being foolish and puffed up, sent a messenger to Lord Krsna. Lord Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and King Paundraka directly challenged Krsna through the messenger, who stated that Paundraka, and not Krsna, was Vasudeva. In the present day there are many foolish followers of such rascals. Similarly, in his day, many foolish men accepted Paundraka as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because he could not estimate his own position, Paundraka falsely thought himself to be Lord Vasudeva. Thus the messenger declared to Krsna that out of his causeless mercy, King Paundraka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had descended on the earth just to deliver all distressed persons.

...Under this false impression, thinking himself the Supreme Lord, Paundraka sent his messenger to Dvaraka to challenge the position of Krsna. The messenger reached the royal assembly of Krsna in Dvaraka and conveyed the message given by his master, Paundraka. The message contained the following statements.

"I am the only Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. There is no man who can compete with me. I have descended as King Paundraka, taking compassion on the distressed conditioned souls out of my unlimited causeless mercy. You have falsely taken the position of Vasudeva without authority, but You should not propagate this false idea. You must give up Your position. O descendant of the Yadu dynasty, please give up all the symbols of Vasudeva which You have falsely assumed. And after giving up this position, come and surrender unto me. If out of Your gross impudence You do not care for my words, then I challenge You to fight. I am inviting You to a battle in which the decision will be settled."

When all the members of the royal assembly, including King Ugrasena, heard this message sent by Paundraka, they laughed very loudly for a considerable time. After enjoying the loud laughter of all the members of the assembly, Krsna replied to the messenger as follows: "O messenger of Paundraka, you may carry My message to your master: 'He is a foolish rascal. I directly call him a rascal, and I refuse to follow his instructions. I shall never give up the symbols of Vasudeva, especially My disc. I shall use this disc to kill not only King Paundraka but all his followers also. I shall destroy this Paundraka and his foolish associates, who merely constitute a society of cheaters and cheated. When this action is taken, foolish King, you will have to conceal your face in disgrace, and when your head is severed from your body by My disc, it will be surrounded by meat-eating birds like vultures, hawks and eagles. At that time, instead of becoming My shelter as you have demanded, you will be subject to the mercy of these low-born birds. At that time your body will be thrown to the dogs, who will eat it with great pleasure.' "

The messenger carried the words of Lord Krsna to his master, Paundraka, who patiently heard all these insults. Without waiting any longer, Lord Sri Krsna immediately started out on His chariot to punish the rascal Paundraka. Because at that time the King of Karusa was living with his friend the King of Kasi, Krsna surrounded the whole city of Kasi.

King Paundraka was a great warrior, and as soon as he heard of Krsna's attack, he came out of the city along with two aksauhini divisions of soldiers. The King of Kasi was also a friend to King Paundraka and he came out with three aksauhini divisions. When the two kings came before Lord Krsna to oppose Him, Krsna saw Paundraka face to face for the first time. Krsna saw that Paundraka had decorated himself with the symbols of the conchshell, disc, lotus and club. He carried the Sarnga bow, and on his chest the insignia of Srivatsa. His neck was decorated with a false Kaustubha jewel, and he wore a flower garland in exact imitation of Lord Vasudeva. He was dressed in yellow colored silken garments, and the flag on his chariot carried the symbol of Garuda, exactly imitating Krsna's. He had a very valuable helmet on his head, and his earrings, like swordfish, glittered brilliantly. On the whole, however, his dress and makeup were clearly imitation. Anyone could understand that he was just like someone onstage playing the part of Vasudeva in false dress. When Lord Sri Krsna saw Paundraka imitating His posture and dress, He could not check His laughter, and thus He laughed with great satisfaction.

The soldiers on the side of King Paundraka began to shower their weapons upon Krsna. The weapons, including various kinds of tridents, clubs, poles, lances, swords, daggers and arrows, came flying in waves, and Krsna counteracted them. He smashed not only the weapons but also the soldiers and assistants of Paundraka, just as during the dissolution of this universe the fire of devastation burns everything to ashes. The elephants, chariots, horses and infantry belonging to the opposite party were scattered by the weapons of Krsna. The whole battlefield became scattered with the bodies of animals and chariots. There were fallen horses, elephants, men, asses and camels. Although the devastated battlefield appeared like the dancing place of Lord Siva at the time of the dissolution of the world, the warriors who were on the side of Krsna were very much encouraged by seeing this, and they fought with greater strength.

At this time, Lord Krsna told Paundraka, "Paundraka, you requested Me to give up the symbols of Lord Visnu, specifically My disc. Now I will give it up to you. Be careful! You falsely declare yourself to be Vasudeva, imitating Myself. Therefore no one is a greater fool than you." From this statement of Krsna's it is clear that any rascal who advertises himself as God is the greatest fool in human society. Krsna continued: "Now, Paundraka, I shall force you to give up this false representation. You wanted Me to surrender unto you. Now this is your opportunity. We shall now fight, and if I am defeated and you are victorious, I shall certainly surrender unto you." In this way, after chastising Paundraka very severely, He smashed his chariot to pieces by shooting an arrow. With the help of His disc He separated the head of Paundraka from his body, just as Indra shaves off peaks of mountains by striking them with his thunderbolt. Similarly, He also killed the King of Kasi with His arrows. Lord Krsna specifically arranged to throw the head of the King of Kasi into the city of Kasi itself so that his relatives and family members could see it. This was done by Krsna just as a hurricane carries a lotus petal here and there. Lord Krsna killed Paundraka and his friend Kasiraja on the battlefield, and then He returned to His capital city, Dvaraka.

When Lord Krsna returned to the city of Dvaraka, all the Siddhas from the heavenly planets were singing the glories of the Lord. As far as Paundraka was concerned, somehow or other he was always thinking of Lord Vasudeva by falsely dressing himself in that way, and therefore Paundraka achieved sarupya, one of the five kinds of liberation, and was thus promoted to the Vaikuntha planets, where the devotees have the same bodily features as Visnu, with four hands holding the four symbols. Factually, his meditation was concentrated on the Visnu form, but because he thought himself to be Lord Visnu, it was offensive. After being being killed by Krsna, however, that offense was also mitigated. Thus he was given sarupya liberation, and he attained the same form as the Lord."

Krsna Book, Chapter 66

 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from various texts and purports of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.